I was inspired by a recent comment on Facebook to explore ways in which a simple plant-based diet has evolved into a significant worldwide movement. While at it's core, a person's decision to adopt a plant-based diet is a personal one, and requires personal decisions to stick to daily despite temptations to waver - it has managed to become a shared experience for people who like the sense of community.
Going into the office can provide a number of temptations. Some days your boss might bring in donuts or other sugary snacks, or you might even get stuck trying to figure out how not to seem "weird" at a pizza party. We know it's all meant to be good-natured and fun, but it can be a real challenge for those trying to get their health under control.
If the food that is available doesn't seem like it would be compliant with your diet, it is sometimes best to come prepared. Below are 12 easy snacks that are McDougall Diet compliant - courtesy of the McDougall Friend's Facebook group.
I find it fascinating how a plant-based diet can influence people around the world in different ways.
Late last year, I began chatting with Katie Simmons, "Chicago's Best Personal Chef," after stumbling across one of her excellent vegan recipes online and getting to know just by reading up on her background on her website - Plants-Rule.
Her story is a powerful one that has the ability to promote change - if you need some inspiration to make diet and lifestyle changes, seeing her own transition, loss of 50 pounds, and reclaiming her health is truly great. The "journey," as you will see, even comes with some scale not unlike the Lord of the Rings!
But, the story does not stop there.
Let us face the facts - changing your diet can be tough. Just like moving across country to a new, foreign city, can cause some anxiety and pose challenges - both expected and unexpected - changing to a plant-based diet can be as equally frustrating.
Fortunately, much like the analogy of someone moving across country, we have to keep in mind all of the positives that come from such a move - expanded horizons, potential for better jobs, ability to experience new things, and the ability to feel like you are making the best out of your life (just to name a few). Adopting a plant-based diet provides similar results - you can experiment with new foods, expand your taste pallet, and reap positive nutritional benefits that impact your body and mind for years to come.
Sometimes in all of the excitement to share what the plant-based diet is all about with others, we can forget how difficult it can be at times to make this change. Much of this is personal as I only recently (in the past few years) have been adhering to a plant-based diet - for the majority of my life, the "Standard American Diet" was par for the course.
I came across a great little story about William the Conqueror, an 11th century military commander and king that is known for bringing England under Norman reign during this time period, and his unique creation of what is often considered "the first fad diet." Apparently, he faced some weight loss struggles like the best of us, and decided to take matters into his own hands - in the form of a liquid, alcohol-based, diet. Inevitably, practical starvation led to some weight loss, but it had other health consequences. Supposedly, when he got on his horse one day, he didn't have the strength to stay on and fell off - and soon died from complications of the fall.
This little snippet of history is special because it shows us a few things - how human beings have used diets in one way or another to try and resolve some of our physical (and probably mental) challenges, and not always to great success. To some extent, there was some degree of experimentation required in the early days of dieting, after all these diets had no real potential to be grounded in the scientific method.
Things are different today, though, and if you do your research you can find a diet that can benefit your health, help you shed pounds, and still be healthy at the end of the day - instead of ready to fall off your proverbial horse!
In a detailed piece posted by The Washington Post regarding research originally published by the National Center for Health Statistics, it is made evident that the life expectancy in the United States is on the decline for the first time in two decades. It is a fundamentally powerful article because it speaks to every individual in the USA and the innate desire we all have to live – and not just live, but live in a fashion that is healthy, productive, and satisfying.
I am not sure where the old saying comes from, but I know it holds a lot of truth.
Sometimes, we can feel very desperate in life. Situations can be out of our control – in extreme situations the desperation can be the result of feeling like you are literally facing a life or death situation – as could often be experienced by soldiers at war. For your average person, these life or death situations will not be so extreme – rather, life can feel like it is being taken away from you as a result of some chronic illnesses – both diagnosed and undiagnosed.
One of my favorite breakfast foods is steel cut oatmeal. I think many individuals who subscribe to a plant-based diet would agree that it is a great way to kickstart the day given that it calorie dense (so...filling), provides a good deal of carbohydrate energy, and a good deal of fiber too to keep you regular. Of course, all this sounds kind of bland, until you remember that oatmeal actually tastes good, too.
My favorite aspect of oatmeal is how simple it can be to make adjustments so that it tastes radically different each time. While some companies sell artificially flavored oatmeal, often in "instant packets," you can have the same success with organic and natural plant-based diet friendly ingredients.