I didn't set off on this journey to become a "Vegan".
Many people do and that is perfectly fine, but my goal was simply to become healthier. And I knew that for me personally, that started with what I was eating.
Over the years I have learned a lot about this lifestyle, and I've put together some basic principles that have helped me, which I hope may also help you.
Here are my 5 Simple Rules for Regaining Your Health.
Note: Of course, before starting ANY new program, whether that be some kind of dietary program or exercise routine, please consult with your medical professional first.
I may ask you to do some things you may not be comfortable with, but I can assure you that any medical doctor would endorse these rules, and assure you they're 100% safe.
In fact, many doctors are now recommending these same principles in their practice, and other doctors have been practicing them themselves for decades with amazing results.
And speaking of results..... although weight loss may not be the original goal, it usually IS a result.
From the day I started this journey back in 2008 until now, I have lost a total of 37 lbs.
My blood pressure is now normal also, and I take absolutely no meds.
While this may not seem like a huge deal, I have struggled with high blood pressure often over the years, and actually had a stroke in Feb of 2020.
I truly believe that living these 5 simple principles over the last seven or so years is what saved my life. My 'mild stroke' could have been a whole lot worse so I am very thankful I eat this way now.
Of course your results may vary, but it is my sincerest wish that by following these 5 easy rules, you too can begin the process of regaining your health.
5 Simple Rules for Regaining Your Health
#1. Move Your Body
It doesn't have to be much. Just move a little.
Walk, jog if you're able, go out and dig in the garden, mow your own grass, park a little further from the store, whatever.
We are not meant to be sedentary creatures. No couch potatoes allowed. One of the things the Blue Zones have in common is that the people in all 5 areas get some form of daily exercise.
In my private Brand New Community Facebook Group, we've created what we call Walkin' Wednesdays where we post pictures of things we see on our walks. Not only are we getting a little exercise, but we're also out in nature, relieving stress, and getting some sunshine and Vitamin D.
#2. Eat More Plants
Eat - more - plants.
Potatoes, rice, whole grains, mushrooms, beans, tomatoes, celery, carrots, spinach, kale, cauliflower, broccoli, apples, bananas, peaches....
You get the idea.
The more plants you can get into your daily diet the better. That's where all the vitamins and minerals come from - not to mention fiber. You can easily get all your macros from whole, intact plant foods too. Carbs, fat, and protein.
This is NOT a low-carb diet - we eat a LOT of carbs..... but the good kind.... the kind that nature put in real foods that grow on plants, bushes, and trees.
And protein? There has never been a recorded case of protein deficiency in America - ever.
As long as you are eating enough calories - you are getting all the protein you need.
#3. Stop Eating Animals
That includes birds, fish, and even insects if you are into that sort of thing. And not only their flesh, but their by-products too.
No meat, no dairy, no eggs, no cheese....... nothing.
Animals (and their products) contain tons of cholesterol and saturated fat, which are associated with about every chronic-disease we suffer from here in America.
Study after study has proven for DECADES now - that we do NOT need animal protein and that it is actually detrimental to our health.
And if you can't stop - at least cut back and add more plants. Even the Blue Zones limit their fish, meat, and eggs to a couple of times a month. It's treated as a condiment, a side dish, not the main focus of the meal.
#4. Stop Eating C.R.A.P.
Calorie-Rich and/or Processed - aka CRAP!
We are ALL guilty of eating it. Who here hasn't been tempted by the smell of fresh doughnuts or a gooey slice of pizza?
Yes, even us Vegans can still eat a lot of CRAP. Vegan meats, vegan cheeses, chips, fries, vegan burgers, the list goes on and on.
It's almost as if it isn't loaded down with tons of salt and sugar and deep-fried - it can't possibly taste good.
But there are other foods we may not associate as being crap - that I would still add to this category.
There are foods that are still Calorie-Rich that are not necessarily processed....
- Olive oil is VERY calorie-rich AND it's processed!
- So is Peanut Butter and tahini
- Tofu and Tempeh also have a lot of calories
- Nuts and seeds are whole foods - but are STILL calorie-rich
- And so are Avocados
So we have to be careful. These calorie-dense foods may be whole foods, as are nuts, seeds, and avocados, but they still pack a lot of calories.
If you ARE trying to lose weight - I'd limit any and ALL calorie-dense foods until you reach your goal weight.
But for sure - cut out the obvious sugary, salty, oily fast-food processed crap.
#5. Write Down Your Goals
If you really want to succeed with this new way of eating - you really need to have a plan, or a goal.
And for a goal to be anything different from a wish or a dream - it has to have these things....
- It has to be precise: What exactly are you trying to do? Lose weight? How much - exactly. Give it an exact number, not just "I want to slim down some". Instead, "I want to lose 15 lbs by Aug. 1".
- It has to be measurable: It has to be something that you can monitor and measure. Weight loss, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol, etc. We have tools that we can use to measure these.
- Timeframe: By when? When you attach a timeframe to your goal, you are now accountable. Just saying "this summer" isn't going to cut it. Give it a date...... again "I want to lose 15 lbs by Aug 1."
- Yours: They also have to be YOUR goals. If your wife wants you to lose - it ain't likely gonna happen. YOU have to want to.
- Written: And lastly - and THE most important - YOU HAVE TO WRITE THEM DOWN.
There used to be a free book available called "IT WORKS", another one is "Write It Down - Make It Happen". They are worth a look as I have owned both for many years and they have both helped me immensely.
It's almost as if something magical happens the moment you write it down, so do it - and put your list someplace you will see it every day.
Move your body, eat more fruits & veggies, eat less meat, cut the crap, watch the calorie-dense foods if you want to lose weight, and write down your goals.
Pretty straight forward and I think you'll agree - common sense.
No matter where you are in life, what age, nationality, sex, religion, color - I believe these basic guidelines will help you, at least I hope they do.
If you ever wanted a chance to start again, get off those pills, lose a little weight, lower that blood pressure - now is the perfect time to do it.
It's time for your ultimate do-over, a chance to begin anew....
Almost like a ..... Brand New Beginning..... 🙂