Eating a Plant-Based Diet for Beginners (and Curious Omnivores) – Part 5

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Plant-based diet - Part 5

Never mind Big Brother, the cat’s watching to make sure you stick to your plant-based diet

Ed: This is the final installment in our five-part series on eating a plant-based diet. Be sure to check out parts one (which includes our ‘take it with a pinch of Himalayan salt’ disclaimer), twothree, and four as well.

More and more of our readers have been asking us what eating a plant-based diet entails. While we try our best not to be militant when talking about our food choices, we love it when people express an interest in moving away from meat, eggs and dairy. So, it gives us a ridiculous amount of pleasure to present: Eating a Plant-Based Diet for Beginners (and Curious Omnivores). Enjoy!

Couple of notes before we dive in. When I set out to tackle the topic I had no idea it would unravel into something in excess of 4000 words (in blogosphere terms that’s like the extended version of War and Peace).  I’ve therefore decided to break it up into installments (probably four five) to avoid the risk of information overwhelm. Plus, it’ll give you guys the opportunity to weigh in with questions and observations along the way. (Because, collaboration.)

Movies (and Talks) Worth Watching

Plant-based diet - Movies

Happy endings are awesome, but sometimes you need to watch movies that make you think

Movies

These aren’t schmoozy feel good enjoy with a large bowl of popcorn kind of movies, but don’t let that be a reason to shy away from watching them. We owe it to ourselves, to the animals, and to the environment, to find out what’s going on. 

They’re not all hard to watch though, some are truly eye-opening and inspirational. In Super Juice Me and Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, for example, you’ll witness some truly miraculous health turnarounds.

Cowspiracy by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

As eye-opening as “Blackfish” and as inspiring as “An Inconvenient Truth”, this groundbreaking documentary reveals the absolutely devastating environmental impact large-scale factory farming has on our planet, and offers a path to global sustainability for a growing population.

What The Health by Kip Andersen and Keegan Kuhn

If you only watch one movie please do yourself a favour and make it What The Health. This equally groundbreaking follow-up film from the duo that brought you Cowspiracy exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing the US trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping people sick.

Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner

Food, Inc. unveils some of the sombre practices underpinning the American food industry, exploring how corporations place profits before consumer health, worker safety and the environment. This documentary argues that industrial production methods are not only inhumane, but they are also unsustainable from an economic and environmental standpoint.

Super Juice Me by Jason Vale

What would happen if you put 8 people with 22 different health conditions on nothing but freshly extracted juice for 28-Days? At his Juicy Oasis retreat in Portugal, best-selling health author, Jason Vale, tests his theory that chronic disease is caused by toxicity and nutritional deficiency and that the best way to treat disease is simply with high quality nutrition… the results may surprise you!

Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead by Joe Cross

100 pounds overweight, loaded up on steroids and suffering from a debilitating autoimmune disease, Joe Cross is at the end of his rope and the end of his hope. In the mirror he saw a 310lb man whose gut was bigger than a beach ball and a path laid out before him that wouldn’t end well— with one foot already in the grave, the other wasn’t far behind. 

Forks Over Knives by Lee Fulkerson

Billed as a movie that can change your life, Forks Over Knives examines the profound claim that most, if not all, of the degenerative diseases that afflict us can be controlled, or even reversed, by rejecting animal-based and processed foods.

Food Choices by Michal Siewierski

Join award-winning filmmaker Michal Siewierski on his three-year journey to expose the truth about our food choices. He looks at the impact that food choices have on people’s health, the health of our planet and on the lives of other living species. Michal also discusses several misconceptions about food and diet, offering a unique new perspective on these issues.

TED (and other) Talks

The Secrets of Food Marketing by Kate Cooper

Think you aren’t being fooled by advertising tricks? Kate Cooper is a marketing consultant to the food industry and in this eye opening talk she unpacks how she goes about doing her job, which is to make us, the consumer, want what she’s peddling. Out of the talks listed here, this is the one you absolutely must watch.

Why I’m a weekday vegetarian by Graham Hill

Obviously we’d rather that everyone transition to a 100% plant-based diet, but I guess Graham’s approach is a step in the right direction. And who knows, maybe those who try it will eventually just ditch the meat entirely at some point anyway. Here’s hoping!

A vegan bodybuilding experiment by Joshua Knox

A blizzard on a drive to Tahoe led to a conversation about food and nutrition, which inspired bodybuilder Joshua Knox, a Google employee, to go vegan for a week. One week turned into a 1.5 year lifestyle experiment with bodybuilding and diet. (Spoiler: he’s still a muscle Mary!)

The power of plant-based eating by Dr. Joanne Kong

In this talk Dr. Kong explains why eating a plant-based diet is the healthier choice for humans, for the environment and most importantly, for animals. Both thoughtful and thought provoking, it’s well worth watching.

Books (and Articles) Worth Reading

Plant-based diet - Reading

The awesome thing about reading is all you need for it to be perfect is a good book and chocolate

Top Tips for Plant-Based Athletes by Robert Cheeke

Now that you have been inspired by Forks Over Knives and adopted a whole-food, plant-based diet as your foundation for health, perhaps you are ready to pursue meaningful fitness goals but don’t know where to start. Or perhaps you have been working out for a long time and are concerned that your new diet will affect your performance. As a twenty-year plant-based athlete, Robert has a bunch of info to share.

My Year of Meats by Ruth L. Ozeki

A cross-cultural tale of two women brought together by the intersections of television and industrial agriculture, fertility and motherhood, life and love. My Year of Meats is a novel and an infinitely readable and gripping one at that, however it discusses some very real issues around meat and agriculture. 

Not On The Label by Felicity Lawrence

Not On The Label provides a shocking account of what really goes into the food we eat. You’ll discover why beef waste ends up in chicken, why a single lettuce might be sprayed six times with chemicals before it ends up in our salad and why bread is full of water. It’s a sobering read to say the least.

8 Weeks to Optimum Health by Dr. Andrew Weil

Eight Weeks to Optimum Health lays out Dr. Andrew Weil’s famous week-by-week, step-by-step plan that will keep your body’s natural healing system in peak working order. It covers diet, exercise, lifestyle, stress, and environment–all aspects of daily living that affect health and well-being.

The Blue Zones by Dan Buettner

Longevity expert Dan Buettner draws on his research from extraordinarily long-lived communities —Blue Zones— around the globe to highlight the lifestyle, diet, outlook, and stress-coping practices that will add years to your life and life to your years. His TED talk, How to live to be to 100+ has had almost 3 million views.

Hear Your Body Whisper: How to Unlock Your Self-Healing Mechanism by Otakara Klettke

Can you talk to your body? Is it possible to hear your body talk to you? Could you help your body to get healthy and heal acute or chronic diseases? Could your body return to its ideal shape on its own? Hear Your Body Whisper answers a resounding Yes! to all of these questions.

Check out my post on the minimalist approach to health for more.

31 Meals: a month of healthy, simple dinners by Dana Schultz

A digital cookbook with resources to help you make dinner simple, affordable, and delicious. If you’re looking for healthy, simple, and affordable dinners that will please the whole family, then this is it. The simple, yet super tasty, recipes provide the perfect cross-over from meat-based dishes to plant-based.

Esther the Wonder Pig: Changing the World One Heart at a Time by Steve Jenkins, Derek Walter and Caprice Crane

Unlikely pig owners Steve and Derek got a whole lot more than they bargained for when the designer micro piglet they adopted turned out to be a full-sized 600-pound sow! She quickly crept into their hearts, taking their lives in a whole new direction in the process. Follow Esther’s antics on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Podcasts Worth Listening To

Plant-based diet - Listen

There are two reasons why I’ve only listed episodes from Rich Roll’s podcast. Firstly, I’m super late to the podcast party. I only started listening to them in the past year or so (I know!). Secondly, I’m easily overwhelmed, so it makes sense to stick with one I really enjoy.

The episodes listed here are just a tiny slice of what Rich has to offer. I typed ‘vegan’ into the search bar on his website and this super long list came up. Quick side note: while he’s a plant-based advocate, Rich’s podcasts aren’t necessarily centred around that.

• What the Health
• Darin Olien: a Superfood Hunter on Peak Nutrition & Next Level Hydration
• Andrew “Spud Fit” Taylor
• Neal Barnard, M.D.
• Dr. Melanie Joy
• Stephen & David Flynn aka The Happy Pear

Plant-Based Peeps

Plant-based diet - tribe

The best thing to do when adopting a plant-based diet is to find a tribe of like-minded peeps

Gone are the days when vegans were all dreadlocked hippies living off the grid in teepees and cob houses. Nowadays, people from all walks of life have sworn off meat, eggs and dairy in favour of a more healthful and compassionate lifestyle.

Type a standard [vegan + whatever] query into Google and you’ll find top athletes, movie stars and even rappers who’ve made the switch. You’ll discover fat people who lost a ton of weight, parents raising healthy kids and regular folks who are just excited to share their journey.

While it may at time feel like it, you’re not alone on your journey to a happier, healthier and more compassionate you. Your friends and family, heck, even your spouse, might not ‘get it’, but that’s okay. They don’t have to. Remember, as much as you’re on your journey, they’re on theirs too. Have fun and let us know how it’s going.


*We’re keen to earn passive income to fund our coffee habit, but we’re definitely not going to be shifty about it. This means we’ll only ever link to something if we’ve personally used it, eaten it, read it, or whatever, and are 100% impressed. Also, it won’t cost you anything extra if you purchase something via our link. The vendor has to cough up our commission fee, not you. 😉

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3 thoughts on “Eating a Plant-Based Diet for Beginners (and Curious Omnivores) – Part 5

  1. Wonderful resources! I was blown away by Cowspiracy because, until I watched it, I had never thought of it from an environmental aspect. Quite an eye-opener!

    • Have you watched What The Health yet? It’s made by the same guys and an even bigger eye-opener. That said though, Cowspiracy is definitely a movie everyone should watch. I think so many people just don’t get the impact agriculture has on the planet. 🙂

    • I have always been very keen on healing myself with food or natural remedies and after watching What The Health I am even more resolute in my commitment to taking charge of my own health!

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