What is a Plant-Based Lifestyle?

Note: this post has been updated in February 2019.

When I mention plant-based lifestyle how does that differ from a plant-based diet?  I mean more than just a plant-based diet. I mean changes in the way you eat, sleep and play. That is a lifestyle, and it is much more than a diet. One of the best and easiest way to understand this concept is to follow the explanation that Dean Ornish, M.D and his proven four pillars.

Research by Dr. Dean Ornish

Dean Ornish, M.D., has directed revolutionary research proving, for the first time, that lifestyle changes can often reverse—undo!—the progression of many of the most common and costly chronic diseases and even begin reversing aging at a cellular level.

Medicare and many insurance companies now cover Dr. Ornish’s lifestyle medicine program for reversing chronic disease because it consistently achieves bigger changes in lifestyle, better clinical outcomes, larger cost savings, and greater adherence than have ever been reported—based on forty years of research published in the leading peer-reviewed medical and scientific journals.

Now, in this landmark book, he and Anne Ornish present a simple yet powerful new unifying theory explaining why these same lifestyle changes can reverse so many different chronic diseases and how quickly these benefits occur. They describe what it is, why it works, and how you can do it:

  • Eat well: a whole foods, plant-based diet naturally low in fat and sugar and high in flavor. The “Ornish diet” has been rated “#1 for Heart Health” by U.S. News & World Report every year from 2011 to 2017.
    Move more: moderate exercise such as walking
    Stress less: including meditation and gentle yoga practices
    Love more: how love and intimacy transform loneliness into healing

You can get a copy of this new book by clicking Dean Ornish, M.D., here

Ok, it sounds good, so what do I have to consider?

Have you ever had one of those “Aha!” moments? I have had many over the years, and several affected my life forever. The one I want to mention here is profound as it changed the way I looked at living, or what I call lifestyle – eating, exercising, sleeping, and taking care of my health. Your lifestyle and life longevity go together! As I became health-conscience, trying to learn all I could about nutrition and health, that is when I found the whole foods plant-based lifestyle.

My definition of plant-based lifestyle means no animal products whatsoever, which means no dairy, minimally processed foods, and no oils. Yes, no oils. I realized after a time that it was something I knew could help me to live better and healthier… and this is what I wanted for myself and for my family. That is why I am following the Whole Food Plant-Based movement!

Why in the world should you give up eating meat?

plant-based lifestyle

After all, the first human beings cut their teeth on a predominantly meat-based diet. Should you really abandon the eating habits of your Paleolithic ancestors and “go green” when you chow down? There is a lot of research, much of it coming to light in the last 10 or 20 years, that shows enjoying all the wonderful foods from the plant kingdom, and limiting or eliminating meat, may be the healthiest way for humans to eat.

Paleo diet debunked? – Research released by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in 2015 is bound to upset the paleo diet apple cart. Researchers have discovered evidence that humans were eating plant foods as far back as 400,000 years. Anthropological data shows early humans were also eating seeds, starchy root vegetables and consuming other types of starches and polyunsaturated fats. Evidently, your Paleolithic ancestors enjoyed salads just as much as a nice steak. Read more on the Paleo Diet.

The China Study, the largest study on nutrition ever conducted, shows that you can “turn on” and “turn off” cancer by adding or removing animal protein from a person’s diet. When people consistently consume animal-based protein, their incidence rates for developing cancer are much higher than average. When animal protein is removed and replaced with plant-based protein, cancer rates plummet. In many cases, cancer victims actually saw remission after ditching meat and switching to a totally plant-based diet.

In 2015, the results of a Cleveland Clinic study on obese children were released. Obese children, also suffering from high cholesterol, were switched to a strict vegan diet. By moving from processed food, sugar, fast food and meat to a plant-based diet, those children lost weight and significantly reduced their heart disease risks in just 30 days.

Those are just a few of the many studies that show people are naturally conditioned to eating plants. Both mental and physical rewards are associated with eating fewer processed foods, less meat, less salt, and sugar, as well as dairy products, and replacing those foods with nutritious, delicious choices from the plant kingdom.

Maybe it is worth considering a plant-based lifestyle. Don’t you think it is a least worth a look?

If I can answer any questions or if you an opinion that you would like to express, please let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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