1- There is not a disease out there that can not be benefited, if not reversed entirely, by adopting a plant based diet. Plants are medicine. They contain every healing property needed to heal from cancer, diabetes, bone loss, dementia, heart problems, or colds. That is what they were made for! So in my work as a Clinical Herbalist when people are asking which medicine herbs to take, I always mention that they need to incorporate more plants into their diets too. Kale and Broccoli can reverse bone loss. Tomatoes and garlic heal the heart and wine relaxes the blood vessels. Walnuts heal the brain and fresh greens remove built up mucous that inhibits memory. There are thousands of food combinations and every single nutrient one needs is located in fruits, nuts, seeds, legumes, grains, and vegetables.
The more meat or processed foods one puts on their plate, the less room there is for the plants. By adopting a plant based diet one gets all of the nutrients, none of the disease.
2- Saves Money and Time! We actually cut our grocery bill in half by eating a plant based diet. In half! This week I shopped at King Soopers and bought a week’s worth of groceries-all organic- for a hundred bucks. (Kuddos to King Soopers for hearing the need and desires for more organic!) Instead of an hour in the kitchen, I spend thirty minutes preparing a meal.
3- More Eco-friendly– We are all a little freaked out by our own lusts for oil and gas and the impacts we as a cumulative society are making on this beautiful planet of ours that sustains us and nurtures us. We purchase more fuel efficient cars and try to remember to turn the lights off but the one huge impact that one person could make is to adopt a plant based diet. After all this time after the reports came out many years ago, our mainstream meat production is still the number one cause of greenhouse gases and pollution, the loss of species and rainforests, and the reason that so many pollutants get into our water ways.
4- Animals and Karma– Let’s face it, when it comes to creating suffering, none of us really want to make an animal suffer. (There really is no difference between a horse, cat, cow, dog, pig…) Yet we tell ourselves that it’s the circle of life, the cavemen did it, or it’s healthier, and we continue to eat ten times more meat than our ancestors ever did, create so much suffering by being a consumer, and then wonder why our bodies begin to rebel and fall apart.
My brother-in-law lives and teaches in Thailand and I asked him when he was here visiting, “What is it like there? What wild animals do you have there?”
He replied, “There are no wild animals. The people ate them all a long time ago.”
5- It’s Fun!– I think I heard some of y’all choke out there. It is fun! I love cooking and creating and it is fun to cook through a new cookbook. It is fun to see what flavor combinations can be had. We cook together and as we chop and laugh and sauté and pour a drink, we talk about our day, alter seasonings, and eat really, really healthy food.
We were vegetarian/vegan for a long time. When we stopped we both started seeing just what eating meat does. Gout, weight gain, back problems, hormone disruptions, circulatory issues….It is nice feeding my husband foods that will nurture and heal him, give him energy and well being. It is nice feeding myself those foods as well. I know I am doing my part to help the animal kingdom whom I adore, and am lowering my footprint on this little homestead. I am saving money and making amazing, delicious foods. There are so many beautiful books out there. My new favorite is “The Homemade Vegan Pantry” by the magnificent Miyoko Schinner. We have been cooking our way through it this week. I highly recommend it. I don’t want processed food in my plant based journey, so this helps me in seconds whip up delicious substitutes.
After years of experimenting here is my favorite plant based milk recipe:
Cashew Milk– Place 1 cup of cashews with 4 cups of filtered water in blender and blend until completely smooth and frothy. No need to strain! It should be completely blended and smooth enough to go through the cappuccino machine or into your cereal.
It’s a bright new year, here’s to your health and your karma!