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Whether you are looking for a simple, 7-DAY RESET or are wanting to transition to the whole-food, plant-based, vegan lifestyle, this PLANT-BASED Recipe Guide will help you on your journey.
We are all genetically different and no one “diet plan” is right for all of us, all of the time. And the interesting thing is most diets actually do “work” in the beginning. Meaning, most diets – vegan, keto, vegetarian, paleo, low-fat, low-carb, pescatarian, carnivore, etc, can all help people lose weight. But do they work overtime? That is the real question. The simple act of switching up our diet from time to time is probably a good thing. This creates biodiversity in our gut. I like to think of this as eating with the seasons. I know I feel much better eating a more diverse, plant-rich, nutrient-dense diet.
My Plant-Based Journey
Over the years, I’ve tried many different diets- periods of being vegan or vegetarian, then going low carb for periods of time, or switching to a pescatarian diet, and short periods of a higher protein diet to build muscle, then swinging back down to a low saturated fat diet. Guess what? They all had some benefits. What I learned was to listen to my body.
First, I made a point of noticing what and when I was eating and why. I noticed that much of the time I ate when I was not actually hungry. I did a lot of mindless eating… snacking, eating whatever was sitting on the counter as I walked past regardless if I was hungry. Being a restaurant owner, then a caterer, there was always food in front of me, which inevitably ended up in my mouth! I noticed if the “healthy” nuts were out, and I had just one, even though I wasn’t hungry, I’d enviably eat the entire bowl. The salt! The fat! I loved it!
I also started paying attention to how my body felt – simply acknowledging the foods left me feeling energized, satiated and deeply nourished, and noticing which foods left me feeling achy, stiff, or inflamed. At first, it was so subtle, it was really hard to pinpoint. On the mornings I woke up feeling stiff or tired, I noted what I ate the night before. I began to see a real pattern. I’m curious if you’ve noticed it too?
Whenever I consume ultra-processed foods, inevitably the next day I feel signs of inflammation. My joints feel a little stiff and achy. An interestingly, eating these foods, actually cause me to feel ravenous and crave them even more.
Processed foods, even so-called “healthy” ones are designed to be ridiculously flavorful and addicting, making them incredibly easy to overeat. When you feed the “bad” bacteria in your gut with processed foods, you strengthen them, which amplifies their hunger signals to drive us to consume even more!
Most processed foods contain inflammation-causing “seed” oils (polyunsaturated fats, aka PUFA’s)- canola oil, sunflower, safflower, cottonseed, corn oil, and soybean oil- which were introduced to our diet not too long ago. Because of the way they are highly processed with high heat (instead of pressed) they cause inflammation, lower immunity, are near impossible to burn off. When we do burn them off, they can be quite toxic. They can “hijack” our fat cells and actually turn our “satiated signals” off, making us crave even more inflammatory foods. When was the last time you tried to eat just one tortilla chip? It’s impossible.
Some doctors believe that if you just changed this one thing, and eliminated seeds oils, your health would improve greatly.
The problem is, these Polyunsaterated Seed Oils (or PUFAS) are in practically everything. Even “healthy” things! Vegan burger patties, organic, store-bought hummus, nut milk, vegan cheeses, vegan mayo, store-bought salad dressings, sauces, even healthy “organic”, “non-GMO” products. Check the labels friends- it’s concerning!
Many processed foods also contain glyphosates (herbicides) that damage the good bacteria in our gut which are key to building a strong immune system. Glyphosates are used heavily in non-organic bean, corn, grain and soy crops – so all those delicious chips, crackers, tortillas, non-organic hummus, vegan snacks, etc., not only contain seed oils but contain glyphosates. Double whammy!
White Sugar and Flour:
White flour and processed sugar are also highly processed- very inflammatory to many people, and can create huge glucose spikes.
Now don’t get me wrong- our bodies probably can handle small amounts of any of these- we do have a beautiful built-in detox system (our liver) – but if your diet consists mainly of these, then giving your body a week or month of “clean eating” will feel life-changing!
Plant Based Guide
So the Simple 7-Day Reset begins with cutting out all these processed foods (even vegan ones!) and eating simple, clean, plant-based meals:
- fresh veggies and fruit
- plant-based proteins (beans, legumes, organic tofu)
- slow metabolizing carbs (whole grains, sweet potatoes, winter squash)
- plant-based fats (olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, nuts, seeds)
By consuming nutrient-dense foods, we will feed our healthy gut bacteria, all the while protecting our liver …and allow our body to do what it naturally does… balance and heal itself.
In the process, we also help reset our cravings, by feeding our “good” gut bacteria, strengthening THEM, amplifying THEIR hunger signals for more plant-based foods.
So, though I am not technically vegan, I like to do a week or two of plant-based eating every month or so. And on the days that I do eat fish, eggs, or dairy, I always incorporate a diverse range of nutrient-dense, veggies and fruits.
Every January, after “chocolate, wine and cookie season”, I love to partake in a whole month of vegan, plant-based eating. It’s a nice practice and I feel the benefits: better sleep, more energy, glowing skin, and weight loss.
9 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet:
- lowers cholesterol
- feeds healthy gut bacteria
- helps heal diabetes
- lowers inflammation
- lowers blood pressure
- reduces cancer risk
- lowers heart disease
- Is the least taxing diet on the environment.
There is even research out there that states that eating a plant-based diet for a 3 month period can actually affect our DNA! Studies by Dean Ornish and others show how a plant-based diet affects the length of our telomeres, and ultimately slows down the aging process.
And while we take this “break” our bodies become better able to absorb all the incredible nutrients we are putting into them. I find that in the process, I start to actually crave these whole plant-based foods because I feel better, sleep better and have way more energy.
So this is what I try to do every few months: For 7 days, I’ll cut out all processed foods, meat, dairy, refined sugars, refined carbohydrates, and alcohol. I make all meals from scratch, cooking only a few very simple meals that I eat throughout the week.
I keep it very simple. This is KEY.
(Now, of course, you can transition into the whole food, plant-based vegan diet full time. It need not be a “cleanse”, but rather a lifestyle change if you so choose.)
On an ongoing daily basis, I try to practice intermittent fasting most days, adopting a 14/8 fasting schedule (eating just 2 meals a day within a 10 hour period, with allowing my body to rest for 16 hours). This helps moderate insulin spikes and promotes autophagy.
For more information on the benefits of intermittent fasting, read this recent article from Harvard Medical School and this Wikipedia article. If you struggle with insulin resistance or type 2 diabetes, I highly recommend that you research this. It is absolutely reversible.
What to Expect
In the free, 7 DAY Plant-Based Guide I lay out a list of things to begin your journey. Please don’t feel like you have to do ALL these things in the first week (unless you really want to jumpstart your body). I’ve found that lasting success comes from gradually and gently incorporating these changes into your lifestyle so they become a more lasting habit. This is key.
Weight will come off a little more slowly, but this is a good thing, and this way it will most likely last. So go ahead and start with just one or two things this week. Then next week add another, and then another the following week so it’s not so overwhelming or dramatic. This is not intended to be a “diet”, but rather a lifestyle change for increased energy, vibrancy and gradual weight loss, with a “jumpstart” option if you are so inclined.
For the record, I am not a dietitian and I can’t say that this PLANT-BASED GUIDE is right for everyone. Please don’t take my word for it, do your own research, listen to your body and make sure this is a good fit for you. We are all so different, and I don’t believe in “one size fits all”. But this is what has worked for me- and I just wanted to share it! (By the way, the guide is totally FREE, just for subscribing to the blog. )
*I’m not here to try to convince you to become vegan, but rather to show you simple ways to include more nutrient-dense, veggie-focused, home-cooked meals into your life, and try to help wean you off of processed foods.
There are many paths to health, and my hope is to inspire and motivate you to find your own. Take inventory of how you feel and start taking responsibility for your health. This is not your doctor’s job- this is your job. We only get one body while we are here… and our food choices absolutely impact our health. We have more power that we are led to believe.
Not only does the guide contain helpful tips and tricks to make the transition easier- it contains delicious Vegan Recipes that will keep you feeling vibrant, energized and satisfied! A week without processed foods does wonders for the body.
Here are a few of my favorite resources that have inspired the PLANT-BASED Guide.
- The Longevity Diet
- Eat Smarter
- The Obesity Code
- Wildatarian Diet
- Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease
- Fat Burn Fix-great info on seed oils
- The Blue Zones
- Delay Don’t Deny
- Eat to Live
- Mastering Diabetes
Subscribe to the blog and get my free 7-DAY, PLANT-BASED RECIPE GUIDE and make some simple changes starting today! Once you sign up you’ll receive the list of things you can start implementing into your daily routine, along with some simple delicious recipes! You’ll also be signed up for our Saturday morning recipes.
Absolutly FREE and no strings attached, ever. 🙂