Disclaimer: I am in no way, shape, or form a health professional so if you read this and intend on changing your diet please consult your trusted health professional first.
My sink got clogged up last night and it was dark so I didn’t want to go outside to the shed and get the plunger! I was hoping that it would drain out overnight – but it didn’t so now I have a bit of a backlog of dishes which I will need to sort out soon! :/
Our bodies are the same – they can get clogged up and be filled with toxic sludge! When our bodies are toxic it doesn’t matter how healthy our diet is because all the good stuff can’t get absorbed properly!
What can clog up our system and make it difficult to function properly? I believe it to be a diet that is meat, dairy and processed starch heavy. Added with plenty of pharmaceutical use and a sedentary lifestyle.
I have been reading lots of longevity books lately for my new site project (I posted a pic to my Instagram). With regards to a diet that promotes health they all say similar things – An abundance of leafy greens, all different coloured fruits and vegetables, beans – especially lentils, nuts, seeds, healthy fats, and fermented products. Not one of the books says to consume more meat or dairy for longevity – in fact, these products are known to increase inflammation which leads to increased levels of disease and premature ageing. A lot of us are in a constant state of inflammation! Myself included.
The only animal products I have found so far that are recommended as being beneficial to a healthy, longevity promoting diet are kefir – a fermented milk drink, yoghurt, of course for its probiotics – raw dairy is much better if you can get it! and certain types of wild fish for their EFA’s (like EPA and DHA). It is a very sad fact now that a lot of the fish in our oceans are contaminated with heavy metals – you can check online and see if the fish you are eating is safe. After undergoing what I now believe to be mercury poisoning in the past I think I am going to stop eating fish and seafood and see how my body responds.
A lot of changing your diet is not actually the physical act of it. It is predominately about changing your mindset. My mindset for a long time was that you can struggle to meet all of your dietary needs on a vegan diet. I have spent a lot of time researching how our bodies create disease and plant-based diets and have been often close to eating a vegan diet in the past but not quite! I now 100% believe that you can meet all of your dietary needs as an adult on a vegan diet eating all of the things I mentioned initially plus being mindful of including these things below which are super important!
-Numerous amounts of dark green leafy vegetables (preferably organic).
-Lots of coloured raw fruits and vegetables.
-Good quality sources of cooked protein like beans and lentils, grains like quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, brown rice, and tofu – I personally would avoid eating large amounts of soy but small amounts should be fine.
-Omega 3 fatty acids from sources such as chia seeds, flaxseeds, flaxseed oil, hemp seeds, hemp seed oil and walnuts which are really important for your brain health and help to reduce inflammation. Here is a great article about why EFA’s from plants are essential).
-Sea vegetables like algae and seaweed.
-Fermented foods like sauerkraut or kimchi, coconut yoghurt, tempeh, kombucha, and miso soup. These foods contain probiotics to help to promote healthy gut flora.
-Plenty of plant-based sources of iron – see here!
-Plus B12 supplementation as a safeguard.
I am planning to overhaul my diet soon and try and include more of the above products! I definitely want to try and be as close to vegan as possible. I have done a lot of research on vegan diets for children in the past and I do think that you have to be extremely careful and do your own research. Unlike adults who are just maintaining their bodies, children are growing and their needs are vastly different from ours. Plus they are often fussy eaters! Children need to have high levels of healthy fats and calcium in their diet for brain development and bone growth. However I definitely want to look into including more plant-based sources of EFA’s in my children’s diet.
I would also like to point out that one can be deficient and unhealthy on ANY diet. Being on a vegan diet does not necessarily mean that you will be healthier than someone eating a healthy diet abundant in the foods mentioned above that includes small amounts of organic animal products.
There are many facets to being in good health and maintaining it over time. Mindset is so important! You shouldn’t create any stress towards what you eat. We should always just make the best choice available based on our knowledge. Eating should not be a stressful thing! I am 100% against calorie restricting! Slowly increase more of the foods that you want to eat and eventually your tastes will change and you will no longer miss the old foods! Of equal importance is how well you take care of yourself, what steps you regularly take to minimise stress in your week and how often you move!!
(Photo: Seth Doyle)