The RX to Your Optimal Health & Weight...become an herbivore!
Losing all the weight you want and becoming the healthiest you have been is at your fingertips!
Eat fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains. All you want--no limit! Our dentition and digestive tracts were designed for us to dine on these food items.
Omit animal products completely—no meat, eggs, dairy. Yes, that means no fish as well! Fish contain some "good" fats, but they also contain "bad" fats as well along with other possible pollutants including possibly serious levels of mercury.
Limit all oils greatly. Yes, that means olive, safflower, peanut, canola, etc. etc. Oil is fat. 120 calories per tablespoon! It doesn't matter which one. (You don't need to use oil to cook! Use water, vegetable stock or broth, or vinegar for instance)
Concentrate on eating whole foods--vegetables, unprocessed grains, fruits. Avoid food items that have had the fiber and the nutrients stripped out of them.
Avoid processed foods such as white bread, bleached white flour. We all need fiber!
Avoid fried foods.
Avoid sugary drinks such as soda pop and “energy drinks.” And that goes for DIET especially. Anything with aspartame or saccharin--don't put that poison in your body! If you don't believe, just do a bit of research yourself. Google articles on the harmful effects of those two artificial sweeteners. You will be amazed!
Give up tobacco.
Give up or greatly limit alcohol. If you do drink, limit yourself to two drinks/day max!
Give up or greatly reduce caffeine. I gave it up completely (except for some teas) and I sleep much better and shaved even more points off of my blood pressure.
Stay hydrated! Drink plenty of water! Water DOES do a body good!
MOVE! Get off your butts and exercise. I don’t care what it is. Bicycle, walk, hike, do yoga, lift weights, shoot baskets, golf, play tennis, or racketball. Doing something everyday is ideal but minimum of 3 days/week for at least 20-30 minutes at a time. I highly recommend yoga as well. It is marvelous for the mind and body!
I am asked frequently about what vitamins and supplements I take and recommend. So here goes.
If you consume awide variety of fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains, you probably won't need any supplements, except:
A multiple vitamin can't hurt to ensure you get what you need.
Vitamin D3, 2000 IUs daily. Preferably you should have your vitamin D level checked first, but it is very common in my practice as it seems that many of the patients I check have deficient levels--and we live in Arizona!
B12 (I prefer the sublingual form), 2500 mcg/day. This is one possibly deficient vitamin on a plant-based diet, but if you eat a well balanced mix of beans, fruits and vegetables, you probably won't have any problems. But, it is easy insurance to take one of these daily to be sure.
IF you take a statin medication such as Lipitor, Pravastatin, Lovastatin, Crestor or Zocor for cholesterol, I also recommend taking 100-300 mg of CoQ10 daily as well.
Quick meal tips. These are a few tidbits we've encorporated when we started eating this way.
These three items I highly recommend you have in your kitchen: 1. A crockpot--we do a lot of meals in this. Throw the ingredients in before leaving for work, then meal is ready when we get home. 2. Get yourself a steamer that you can steam vegetables with. There are many on the market--both electric and the ones you put over a pan of boiling water on the stove. It is quick (10-15 minutes) and the vegetables taste wonderful on top of rice or mixed with potatoes. 3. A food processor. I use my Ninja several times a day. My favorite is to make smoothies...these should become a staple in your nutritional regimen!
We use a lot of frozen fruits and vegetables. They last a long time and we can pull out and use what we need. We buy large bags of peas, corn, beans, mixed veggies, etc. that are resealable. Fresh is nice, but you have to make sure you use it up quickly. We make a lot of smoothies and frozen berries, blueberries, nuts, mango, etc are good to keep on hand in the freezer. We also keep our bread in the freezer as a loaf will last a lot longer (especially when there are only two people in the household).
They also have some excellent frozen microwaveable whole grain rices that heat in the microwave very quickly if you want something fast and do not have the time to mess with preparing rice from its raw form.
We recommend the following stores: Sprouts, Sunflower, Trader Joes, Whole Foods, but just about any supermarket has healthy and even vegan selections now. Because the word is spreading! Just remember this: Each time you check out at a grocery store, you are "voting" for foods as they ring each item up.
Don't think they aren't keeping track of what is purchased or becoming more popular. That is why you see all of the plant milks in stores now: Almond, Soy, Coconut, Rice....and other healthier choices. People are finally realizing that cow's milk really doesn't do a body good. I have even noticed the change in available items at Costco in the past couple of years.
As Dr. John McDougall suggests, plan each meal around a "starch", such as pasta, rice, corn, potatoes, or bread. And go from there. Add beans, lentils, tempeh, tofu and of course veggies. Here are some easy quick meal examples we do.
Veggie burgers. There are a host of veggie burgers on the market and can be found in every supermarket. Use whole wheat or other whole grain buns, add lettuce, tomato, onion, sprouts, or what ever you like.
Veggie chili. So simple. Put in any beans you like. We use a can of black beans, a can of pintos, a can of kidney beans, an onion, green pepper, tomatoes, mushrooms, and your favorite chili powder mix. Takes literally minutes to pop on the stove and heat up. It is even better the next day!
Tostados , tacos, or burritos. Use beans (whole or refried), or one of the "fake" meat products made out of vegetable protein on the market (it is remarkable how these taste and have the texture of real meat). Add you onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, salsa and there you go.
Veggie pasta or spaghetti. Try to use whole grain pasta or spaghetti and add you favorite ingredients to your favorite pasta sauce such as onions, green peppers, mushrooms, and perhaps lentils or beans. We love it!
We use frozen hash browns if we need to speed things up for for breakfasts or for dinner. Another recommendation I learned from John McDougall. For a breakfast meal, put the frozen hashbrowns in a skillet, add onions, diced green peppers, a cup or two of firm pressed diced tofu, and season with pepper, and don't forget the Tumeric. Tumeric is a wonderful yellow spice that has many health benefits in itself, but when added to tofu, turns the tofu yellow (yes, you get the color of real scrambled eggs). Hey, it don't get much better than this!
Hummus sandwiches. Don't knock it until you have tried it! There are some super-flavored hummus on the market. Spread the hummus on your favorite bread...try pumpernickel for a change or a good whole wheat, or multi-grain. We love "Chompies" breads (made in Phoenix, found in Bashas stores & Sprouts), but there are many very good whole grain bread selections on the market. Add romaine lettuce, onion, tomato, and perhaps some mushrooms, and this is it! Enjoy!
How to sweeten food. Use Maple (real maple) syrup, molasses, or Agave nectar.
Some local fast food tidbits: Did you know Burger King now has a veggie burger? They aren't bad, except they do have a bit more sodium than we would like! (but in a pinch...)
What we order at Subway: Veggie Delite without cheese on whole grain bread--we especially like the 9 grain bread there.
Eegees (only people living in Tucson know what this is): We get the veggie grinder on rye (or wheat) without cheese.
I have heard that they have a black bean burger at Chili's which is really good--haven't tried it yet.
I will update as time goes on...stay tuned!