By Gail Lynne Goodwin.
If you’ve been reading my blog for any period of time, you know that I write about inspiration and how to live a better life. Today, I want to share something personal with you, about health- yours and mine in particular.
Never before has our health been as important as it is today. Two-thirds of adults are either overweight or obese. In the past decade alone, the incidence of diabetes has grown a staggering 90%!
Today, a growing number of people are becoming aware that lifestyle choices can have a powerful effect on our health. Yet, many still eat a health-destroying diet rich in fat, salt, sugar and junk and rely on pills and procedures to treat the side effects.
More than twenty years ago, I decided to stop eating animal products. People generally decide to become vegan (consuming no animal products) for one of three reasons- their personal health, the environmental impact of an animal based diet, or out of compassion for the animals slaughtered. In my case, I initially decided to eat a plant-based diet because of the global environmental ramifications.
I was a strict vegan for about 15 years, but I added back fish… then seafood…. and then cheese. In the last few years since making those changes, I’ve passed the milestone 50 years of age, and have for the first time in my life, noticed signs of aging. My mother passed away and friends around me were getting sick. Rather than deal with the symptoms that come with age and bad habits, I wanted to fix the cause.
A few weeks ago my husband and I watched a DVD called Forks Over Knives. T.Colin Campbell and Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D, two of the most respected health researchers, create the book and the DVD. I was not prepared for the impact that this DVD would have on my personal world.
Recently, I’ve been part of a support team for several patients dealing with stage 4 cancer of one kind or another. This DVD showed research from Campbell’s book, The China Study, as well as clinical research from Dr. Esselstyn that was simply irrefutable. The movie revealed how cancer and other diseases skyrocket when we eat meat and dairy, but plummet when a traditional plant-based diet is implemented.
It was a perfect reminder for me that there is nothing else we can do for our health that can match the benefits of a plant-based diet. Nothing, period.
The last thing I expected was for this movie to have a significant impact on my Midwestern, meat and potatoes husband who grew up raising cattle. But it did. So much so, that without my asking, he’s eaten only a plant-based diet ever since! He travels for a living and has even eaten plant-based while on the road- not just when it’s easy at home.
For me, I feel like I’ve come back home. Instead of the same habit of grilling a fish and serving it with some veggies, our meals now center on whole organic vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits. In addition to our regular Vitamix green smoothies, the last few days we’ve enjoyed a sweet potato/veggie lasagna, Indian lentil stew, yamadillas (yam quesadillas), stuffed acorn squash and even chocolate banana ice cream- made from frozen bananas with no dairy products. Yum!
My taste buds feel like they’ve been reborn! I’m excited to cook the next meal and create something that promotes such vitality! It’s almost like I can feel my cells saying, “YES!!!!” with each bite.
This time, while the environmental impact and the compassion for the animals is still a concern, I’m eating a plant-based diet for my health. The side benefit is that my footprint on our beautiful planet will be much smaller, and animals won’t need to suffer needlessly so that I can be unhealthy.
Already I feel lighter, more energized and healthier, and it’s only been two weeks! I’m inspired to live a healthy life and to share the benefits of a plant-based diet with you. Imagine being off of your medications… your cholesterol levels, blood sugars and weight being exactly where they’re supposed to be… these are just a few of the “side effects”. For me, that sure beats the list of side effects of any pharmaceutical drug!
I invite you to join me on this adventure. Buy the book or the DVD and ask yourself just one question…..
What if one simple change could save you from heart disease, diabetes and cancer?
Join me to take your health to the next level and please feel free to ask questions or comment below. I’m happy to support you and help in any way!
The best way that we can live an inspired life and be there for one another is to first take care of ourselves, and that starts with using our forks over knives.
Photo Credit: Ed Yourdon