We should all aim for a plant based diet. Meat eaters, please hear me out. I realise that this statement could potentially divide the population at a surface level. This is not a post about veganism or vegetarianism. What it is a post about is plant medicine.
No one diet will fit everybody. Diet is bio individual and will look different for different people. Although I myself am a vegetarian, a choice I made for ethical reasons, I don’t believe everyone needs to be a vegetarian or vegan. I wont push people to become vegetarian or vegan either. Some people really do thrive on a diet that includes animal protein for various reasons – it can be to do with anything from genetics to the culture you grew up in. Diet is also intuitive and you may crave something one day because your body needs it. But one thing is pretty consistent across the board, and that is that mother knows best. More specifically, mother nature.
If nature is medicine and Hippocrates said ‘let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food’ then surely should be eating more of nature? Food is much more than fuel – it’s therapeutic. Every mouthful we take alters our body on a cellular level (that fact alone makes me want to be made up of the good stuff). Fruits, vegetables, herbs and other plant based edibles in their natural form have multiple benefits to the body. Fruits and vegetables a are a source of fibre, polyphenols (plant based compounds), antioxidants and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) that affect the overall functioning of the body. Fibre is a biggy. It supports gut health by feeding the microbiota in the large intestine, helps with weight management and reduces risk of cardiovascular disease. The health benefits of a plant based diet are also undeniable. Getting more plants into your diet helps reduce oxidative stress, lowers BMI, reduces the risk of cancer, diabetes and heart disease, improves gut health lowers cholesterol and increases longevity. And to top it all off, adding tonnes of colourful fruits and veggies to your diet literally adds life force to your plate. The source of energy for the Earth, the sun, is soaked into the flesh of plants. Adding plants to your plate makes a dinner look so vibrant and vital that it makes you want to smile just eating it (or at least it does me). And do you know what is even better than a normal vegetable? A GREEN VEGETABLE. The green colour in plants is chlorophyll and at the centre of a chlorophyll compound is magnesium, which is a cofactor for lots of enzymes in the body. Honestly, I am constantly so astounded by nature and our bodies and how they work in harmony. It’s almost as if the universe intended it to be that way…
One thing I will add to this post is that if you decide to become a vegetarian or vegan, it is important to be a conscious one. When I first became a vegetarian I was a little lazy and a few two many of my meals contained processed meat substitutes and no where near enough green veg. As a yoga teacher and very active person, my body really suffered. I found I was bruising easily, my muscle mass was decreasing, I was getting ligament and tendon pain, my bones and joints were cracking, I was tired and depressed. I could barely stretch whilst teaching a yoga class. The moment I took nutritional guidance and fuelled my body in a loving way, my health bounced back in DAYS. It was literally like my cells screamed ‘THANK YOU’ from the rooftops. Initially you do have to work hard at it to make sure you are getting everything you need. But once it becomes habit, it is joyful eating a diet full of whole plant foods. I can honestly say that I am the happiest and healthiest I have ever been from eating mainly plants (I still eat eggs from my own chickens, local honey and consume dairy mindfully). If you are vegan or mainly plant based, make sure you are getting enough Omega 3, B12, Calcium, Iron and Vitamin D. It’s best to get these from food sources if you can as this will be synthesised better in the body, but a good quality supplement may also be needed. It’s always good to consult a medical professional before adding a supplement into your health routine.
If by the end of this post I still haven’t convinced you to add an extra portion of broccoli to your plate, the take a look at me holding this beautiful season squash. I hope you too begin to find the joy in plants and plant based eating.
With Love, Light & Best Wishes,