Vegan/Plant Based Diet Tips
"Eat food, not too much, mostly plants", I love this quote by Michael Pollan, journalist and food activist. "Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food", another great quote from Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine. These are two quotes that sum up my beliefs about food, especially the plant based diet that I have followed for the past 21 years!! I remember going to my first vegetarian cooking class at UNLV, taught by a woman named Yogi G. She made healthy eating look simple and fun as we learned how to make home made salad dressings and prepare meat free dishes. This class was life changing for me as I saw how easy it was to transition to a plant based, vegetarian diet. From this point on, it really wasn't hard for me to stop eating meat or dairy products. It was never hard for me to "give up" cheese or animal products. These things didn't really make me feel good anyway, so why not try a different way of living. I was never stressed about how I would get my protein as there were plenty of plant based options (even more so today)! My mom was a huge influence as well. We have attended many raw food and vegan cooking classes together over the years (and today I am teaching plant based cooking classes)! We had a food dehydrator and learned how to make healthy snacks and experimented with raw -vegan foods. My mom even helped start the first raw food meet up group in Las Vegas and hosted many pot lucks in her home. My father was also on board with this healthier lifestyle and also created healthier versions of favorite dishes. Over the years, the raw food and vegan community grew in Las Vegas and still is growing to this day! I attended many healthy workshops and cooking classes that always inspired me to continue this journey, and connect with many friends and professionals that inspired me to continue to follow this path. One of my favorite conferences was Health, Healing and Happiness that brought together many plant based doctors, experts, holistic healers and motivation for this lifestyle.
My journey to plant based eating wasn't a drastic measure to defeat major health conditions. For me, it purely was a journey to a healthier way of living. I had minor health issues, but all healed quickly due to the removal of dairy, meat and other animal proteins. I just felt better overall eating a fresh, plant based diet that consisted of fruit, vegetables, grains, nuts and legumes. I studied from many plant base doctors such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. McDougall, Dr. Neil Barnard, and many others doctors and plant based/vegan specialists over the years. I realized this journey was mine to create, and I continued to experiment with different super foods, herbs, essential oils and many healing foods over the years. Cooking, nutrition and food became a true passion for me.
My healthy diet was put to the test when I was pregnant in 2007. I was determined to have a 100% vegan pregnancy, and I thankfully was successful. I had tended to always test low in iron, so at one point when my iron was low my doctor recommended that I eat meat. Knowing that I could eat plant based sources of iron and take an extra iron supplement, I listened to my body and ate the plants that I needed. To make a long story short, I had an extremely healthy pregnancy, and ended up having a beautiful, drug-free home birth with the assistance of a mid-wife. I know that this was mostly due to the healthy preparations that I had made during my pregnancy.
Fast forward to the present, my diet has changed slightly. I have studied nutrition and many diet theories over the years. I have learned there is not one diet that will work for everyone. I have also learned that our bodies change so much as we age. I still eat a full plant based diet, but I occasionally incorporate minimal animal protein (turkey, fish, eggs) when I feel my body wants it and maybe sometimes craves it. I do this without judgement. I know it's not important to have a label on how we eat. What's important is knowing where our food comes from (eating mostly organic, unprocessed food), and knowing how we feel after we eat this food. Food is supposed to make us feel good, energized and satisfied, if it doesn't then we shouldn't be eating it.
In my current career as a Certified Health Coach, I inspire other to eat more plants, to eat the rainbow, to eat greens and nutrient dense superfoods (superfoods are defined as the most nutrient dense foods on the planet)! We live in a very processed, fast food world, and I want to make a difference by inspiring others to make small changes in their diet. It doesn't have to be drastic, and it doesn't have to be hard. You don't have to go 100% vegan or forever give up your cheese (but you might want too)! All you have to do is "Eat food, not too much, mostly plants", thank you Michael Pollan. My work has focused mostly on nutrition for children and families. I saw first hand with my own son, who is now 12, as I cooked with him, planted edible gardens in our backyard and taught him over the years. I also manage the Chef and Nutrition Program for Green Our Planet, which is the largest school garden company in the United States. I teach hundreds of kids and parents how to eat real food growing right in the school garden. I love the healthy journey that I have been on, and I love inspiring others.
Please reach out to me if I can help YOU on your healthy eating journey!
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PLEASE NOTE: The information provided throughout my website pertaining to your health or wellness, is not intended to be a substitute for the professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by your own physician or health care provider. It is intended to be provided for informational, educational, and self-empowerment purposes only. This information should not be used to diagnose, treat or cure any illness or health condition. If you have, or suspect that you have a medical problem, contact your physician or health care provider. A Health Coach is defined as a guide and mentor who empowers clients to take responsibility for their own health and supports them to implement and sustain lifestyle and behavior changes that will contribute to the achievement of their personal wellness goals. I became certified as a Health Coach because of my passion for health and wellness, and to work with others on incorporating positive and healthy changes in their lives.
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