Feeling the Change

Ever since I watched the movie WHAT THE HEALTH, I have been very conscious of how I can incorporate more plants and less meat into my diet. When I say "Diet" I mean what ever I am eating. I am not on any certain diet, but I do have skin issues related to what I eat. As I get older, I am noticing how sensitive my skin really is, and how what I eat either creates inflammation or if it eliminaties it.

This year, I have been reading HOW NOT TO DIE and other plant-based and anti-inflammation books. What is weird is that I have been reading the book and, well....
While at a close relative's house, they mentioned they had been diagnosed with Diabetes. I was a little weirded out because I told them I am reading the book HOW NOT DO DIE by Michael Greger, M.D. and I had actually highlighted the section on what to eat to combat/reverse diabetes - which is odd because after reading a lot of the book, I haven't highlighted ANYTHING else.

I really liked the diet Dr. Greger recommends from the book to stay away from Diabetes:
"Instead of starving by eating less food, what if diabetics just ate better food, as in a 90% or more plant-based diet of all-you-can-eat greens, lots of other vegetables and beans, whole grains fruits, nuts and seeds?"

I like where this is going. This seems like the diet I want to take on, even though I am not diabetic.
But, it's always easier with a meal plan. Although this is not a specific meal plan, it's at least a guide:

"Eat at least:

  • one big salad every day,
  • as well as veggie-bean soup,
  • a handful of nuts and seeds,
  • fruit at every meal,
  • a pound of cooked greens,
  • and some whole grains;
  • restrict animal product consumption;
  • and eliminate refined grains, junk food, and oil."

In his book, he ultimately recommends "whole-food, plant based nutrition" and has a checklist he calls his Daily Dozen, a check list of 10 foods, beverages, and exercise to try to hit everyday. You can download his app, Dr. Greger's Daily Dozen, to help keep track of your Daily Dozen intake and to understand exactly what and how much of the Daily Dozen you should try to eat and incorporate daily. Check it out - it's free in the Apple App Store.

Dr. Greger is really emphasizing how the path to a healthier future is simply eating real food. I know you could argue all food is real food, but come on, you know what I mean these days. Not highly processed and mostly fresh fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains.

He goes into more detail HERE about how to incorporate his daily dozen into your diet so it doesn't seem so daunting. He also has wonderful videos on his website nutritionfacts.org. "But there's no need to be obsessive about the list. On hectic travel days when I’ve burned through my snacks and I’m trying to piece together some semblance of a healthy meal at the airport food court, sometimes I’m lucky if I even hit a quarter of my goals. If you eat poorly on one day, just try to eat better the next." - Dr. Greger, mindbodygreen.com.

After I started reading the book, I signed up for Imperfect Produce - a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) Delivery service. The difference between Imperfect Produce and most other CSA's is you can log in and actually choose what you want for the week. I love it because we are getting exposed to fun fruits and veggies we can't really find in our grocery - Asian Pears, Blood Oranges, purple potatoes, and colorful carrots are just a few of the fruits and veggies we have been sent. It's actually a lot of fun getting a delivery of delicious and different fruits and veggies. I'm on the bi-weekly plan and it's about $7/week.

So far, I love it. I don't have time to go to the farmer's market to see what else is out there. If it's not available at my local grocery, it's hard to search for and find different fruits and veggies.

Imperfect Produce is just a start to a healthier lifestyle. Change is hard, but I have been reading a lot of different books and I want to start a blog focused on how I'm changing my eating habits and how it (hopefully) will change everything from my skin issues to my anxiety - if I feel better inside, I know it will show.

Next blog, I am going to focus on substitutes. It's hard to just give up everything we love. What if instead of giving it up, we were just able to swap out ingredients and make most of our meals plant-based and healthier? Sounds easy, but we gotta know what to substitute! Let's tackle that one on the next blog.


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