The innovative book, The China Study, authored by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, uncovers an impressive and completely insightful relationship between nutrition and disease. Dr. Campbell discovered the most powerful “medicine” that can not only lower your risk for certain diseases but even reverse their progression. What is this “medicine” you may ask. Simple: A plant-based diet. Throughout Campbell’s 20-year China Study, he was able to test and compare laboratory findings against an actual population of people like you and me. Over 100 villages across China participated, and the findings were consistent: a high consumption of animal-based foods is linked to more chronic disease, while those eating primarily a plant-based diet were the healthiest. By adopting a plant-based diet, which has been proven to decrease your chances of developing a chronic disease, you are without a doubt providing yourself with an “Insurance Plan” for your health.
We are not saying we are experts in nutrition. We are not saying this the only way to eat to reach optimal health. We are strictly speaking from our own experience and research. The meals we prepare are majority plant based. We are not chefs, so everything we do is simple. Just the way we like it. We have never felt better, and we believe our nutrition is the driving force of our health. No, we are not perfect. And yes, we do treat ourselves with…well, anything and everything that contains chocolate. It’s all about balance people! Our hope for you is that you gain awareness of the amazing healing properties of whole foods and begin incorporating them into your diet. Eat what God put on this Earth for us to eat, not what was made by man in a lab. Seriously, nutrition labels are starting to sound like science projects. Let’s go back to the basics and start eating real food again. Who’s with us?
Animal Protein- Dr. Campbell studied the effect of casein, the main protein in milk, on foci (pre-curser group of cells that grow into tumors). He discovered that foci development was almost entirely dependent on how much [animal] protein was consumed. In short, animal protein promotes the growth of cancer cells.
Dairy- Casein, which makes up 80% of the protein in milk, is the most relevant cancer promoter ever discovered!
Humans are the only mammals that continue to drink milk from a different animal after breastfeeding from their mother.
What about the other necessary nutrients?
Carbohydrates are our body’s most efficient source of energy. One thing you must understand is all carbohydrates are not created equal. We have simple, complex, and “man-made” carbohydrates. Instead of trying to learn how each of these specifically affects the body, when eating carbohydrates, choose natural, whole plant foods (including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds) as often as you can.
*Start from transitioning from the white to the wheat! Next step is from the wheat to sprouted grain.
Another concern that people have when debating whether or not to switch to a plant based diet is their fear of iron-deficiency. Interestingly, in most cases, iron-deficiency is not a result of insufficient iron intake but the result of blood loss, use of certain medications (such as aspirin and ibuprofen), heavy menstrual cycles, and cancers, among other things. Many people have heard that plant iron is not as readily absorbed as animal iron, and that is possibly a protective feature (as more iron is not necessarily better). But, to compensate for this fact, plants (unlike animals) are loaded with Vitamin C, which helps to regulate and increase iron absorption.
Supplements: do you really need them?
Nature has made it easy for us to consume the necessary nutrients we need. When we eat all-natural, whole foods they are perfectly packaged with proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and fibers.
Which begs the question: Why put something artificially manufactured into your body when the natural form, found in whole foods, is available to you and is better and safer for you?
Not only are these nutrients abundantly available in whole foods, but they are also delivered in the right balance and proportion. Although supplements do contain certain nutrients, they are manipulated and isolated. Instead of functioning collectively in our bodies, as they were intended to, they function individually.
As medications, they should be used for people who are unable to consume, absorb, or properly metabolize the natural forms of these nutrients and have proven deficiency diseases.
There are two exceptions. These two vitamins are difficult for people to consume when on a plant-based diet.
1) Vitamin B12- Why? This vitamin is found in bacteria and because we are very sanitary and rarely eat unwashed foods, we lack the ability to intake vitamin B12. If you completely cut meat out of your diet, which is where people usually get this vitamin because of the bacteria in animals, a supplement is recommended.
2) Vitamin D- This is only for those people unable to obtain it naturally through sun exposure (15 minutes outside 3-4 times week gives us 90% of the Vitamin D we need)
When transitioning to a more plant-based lifestyle…
THERE IS ONE IMORTANT RULE: YOU MUST PLAN AHEAD.
You need to consume enough calories each day in order to meet your daily caloric needs. Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, legumes/beans, nuts, and seeds. Do NOT eat small, insufficient meals. You want to consume as many nutrients as possible.
It is very understandable that people don’t have the willpower or desire to give up animal protein completely. If you’re one of those people, you are the majority! So please don’t get discouraged. Our challenge for you is to gain awareness of the health risks and benefits of the foods you are putting into your body. On those occasions where our only option is meat, we try our hardest to choose the highest quality. We would choose Grass-fed beef, organic chicken, or Alaskan salmon. If we can't trace back where the meat comes from, we are very reluctant to eat it. Challenge yourself and join the Meatless Monday Campaign, where you abstain from meat every Monday. Another suggestion would be to have one meatless, plant-based meal per day. Just by this simple change in lifestyle, your body will become a step closer to its healthiest state.
Pulde, Alona, and Matthew Lederman. Keep It Simple, Keep It Whole: Your Guide to Optimum Health. Ed.
Mona Howard and Gil Pulde. Illus. Monica Richards. N.p.: Exsalus Health and Wellness Center,