The plant based diet

As my first ‘official’ blog post I thought it best to share with you and clarify the plant based diet concept.

First things first, I am no scientist. I am merely a teenager wanting to live a active and healthy life so what I explain to you here is fully backed up scientific research from a few leading scientists around the world.

I eat:

  • Fruits: mangoes, bananas, grapes, strawberries, blueberries, oranges, cherries, etc.
  • Veggies: lettuce, collard greens, broccoli, cauliflower, kale, carrots, etc.
  • Tubers: potatoes, yams, yucca, winter squash, corn, green peas, etc.
  • Whole Grains: millet, quinoa, barley, rice, whole wheat, oats, etc.
  • Legumes: kidney beans, chickpeas, lentils, lima beans, cannellini beans, black beans, etc.

I try not to eat:

  • Meat (including chicken and fish)
  • Dairy products
  • Eggs
  • Highly refined foods (bleached flour, refined sugar, oil)

So now the basics are out of the way – let’s get into it!

I will get to the benefits later but for now I am going to focus on my experience, views, and tips.

If you are worried about not eating enough, don’t be! I am training for the Marines and currently want to be eating about 3,500 calories a day so I can put on weight and bulk up a bit, don’t eat this much if you are happy with yourself ;-). I definitely don’t get very hungry and if you do it will either be psychological or if it isn’t and you genuinely feel hungry, EAT MORE! As teenagers we can eat tons of food and it doesn’t effect us, that is because we are meant too because we are still growing. The average fully grown man should eat about 2,500 calories and a women should eat about 2,000. If I am eating like this and still managing to eat about 3,500 calories, so can you!

The next thing to talk about is the actual food. Eating food with no meat, dairy, or eggs in it has a common misconception that it is disgusting. This WAS the case but now so many people are adopting this way of eating that big food companies are forced to create good tasting alternative foods to fill the gap in the market. That said, these can often be expensive and full of salt (if savory) or sugar (if sweet) – so have these things as a treat, definitely buy some Alpro ice cream or dairy free chocolate cheese cake that is pumped full of sugar (I do!) but don’t make it a habit. In my opinion the easiest thing to do is to get in the kitchen, find some good recipes (I will be posting weekly recipes on this blog that I have tried and tested myself), and get cooking! Buying a trolley full of whole food, plant based items is much cheaper than buying a trolley full of meat, dairy, eggs, and processed items. In essence, you can make something amazing and tasty just by getting into the kitchen yourself, taking the pressure off Mum and Dad and cooking a great meal, pudding, or snack.

Stick to it as best you can, but don’t get miserable or stressed about it.

When I go into town with friends or family and go out for dinner, I often go for the vegan/vegetarian option because most of the time they are really nice. BUT, if I really fancy a milkshake or burger I will get one! Every now and then a bit of meat or some dairy isn’t going to harm you and accidentally eating a risotto that is cream based (a personal experience from last week!) is not something to stress about. Just follow it as best you can and HAVE FUN. However, eating a diet which includes animal produce (meat, eggs, dairy) and refined foods  can be really damaging and eating a Whole Foods Plant Based can be extremely beneficial and in some cases, lifesaving.

The facts. Taken from nutritionfacts.org. Click words in bold to see evidence and find out more.

The pandemic of chronic disease has been ascribed in part to the near-universal shift toward a diet dominated by processed foods and animal-sourced foods – more meat, oils, dairy, coke, eggs, sugar, salt, and refined grains.

How can scientists parse out the effects of specific foods? Researchers studied lapsed vegetarians. People who once ate vegetarian diets but then started to eat meat at least once a week experienced a 146 percent increase in odds of heart disease, a 152 percent increase in stroke, a 166 percent increase in diabetes, and a 231 percent increase in odds for weight gain. During the 12 years after the transition away from eating vegetarian, meat-eating was associated with a 3.6 year decrease in life expectancy.

Researchers have shown that a more plant-based diet can help prevent, treat, or reverse some of our leading causes of death, including heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure. Interventional studies of plant-based diets have shown, for example, 90 percent reductions in angina attacks within just a few weeks. Plant-based diet intervention groups have reported greater diet satisfaction than control groups, as well as improved digestion, increased energy, and better sleep, and significant improvement in their physical functioning, general health, vitality, and mental health. Studies have shown plant-based eating can improve not only body weight, blood sugar levels, and ability to control cholesterol, but also emotional states, including depression, anxiety, fatigue, sense of well-being, and daily functioning.

Only one way of eating has ever been proven to reverse heart disease in the majority of patients: a diet centered around whole plant foods. If that’s all a whole-food, plant-based diet could do—reverse our number-one killer—shouldn’t that be the default diet until proven otherwise? The fact it may also be effective in preventing, treating, and arresting other leading killers seems to make the case for plant-based eating simply overwhelming.

On top of this a World Health Organisation report bacon, sausages, ham, and other processed meats as carcinogenic to human (causes cancer). They are on the same level to cause cancer as smoking, level 1 carcinogen. All other meat is a level 2 carcinogen. You can see the report here.

If that wasn’t enough info to satisfy your need to give the whole foods plant based diet a go then head to my resources page to read more: www.jamesfutcher.com/resources

That all might seem quite scary, and it is.

So, giving this way of living a go can only improve your health and lifestyle – it can not harm you. Basically, it is a obvious thing to try and I will help you though my blog to achieve your best self. Starting young, as a teenager like me, can only be the best way.

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