Food as Medicine

Like many of us, I came to the whole foods, plant-based way of eating because I wanted to become healthier and I wanted to lose weight. I did not come to it out of concern for animals or the environment. Since coming to this WFPB way of eating however, I have found myself more disturbed about how we treat animals for our personal gain and benefit. And I've learned so much about how eating meat is affecting our environment and global climate change. Just this week, for example, Governor Jerry Brown in California put the blame for the current drought conditions squarely on the meat industry. Before learning these things, I thought that things like oil and coal and automobile pollution were what's responsible for our environmental and global warming issues. And they are major factors, but as shown in Cowspiracy and as reported by the World Health Organization, eating meat is probably an even bigger factor.

So, eating a whole food, plant-based diet has made me more aware of the damage we are doing to not only our own bodies, but also to animals, the environment, the climate and more. Now that I eat this way, it's easier for me to take a stand in favor of the animals and the environment. There's no longer any hypocrisy in my doing so. And it makes me want to proclaim those issues to everyone. The problem, however, is that everyone won't listen to that. I know because there was a time when I wouldn't listen.

But everyone is interested in their own health. And we are in a health crisis in the United States as well as in other western civilizations around the world. And because everybody can see and feel the negative effects of their own health, that provides the opening for getting to the most people about why a whole food, plant-based diet is their best option.

For that reason, I think that we're smart to focus on the health benefits of a WFPB diet. The other benefits are equally important, and I feel good that we are on the right side of those benefits, but if I want to convert other people to a whole food, plant-based diet, then my best option is to convince them by talking about how WFPB foods can protect and improve their health. That is their immediate concern.

And it does. Although anecdotal, I offer myself as an example. I've lost 127 pounds since October 2013 and I've come off of all my prescription medications. My bad cholesterol is down to 71 and my triglycerides are down to 68. My blood sugar clocks in at 90. These are all excellent numbers, and ones that very few people over the age of 65, as I am, are able to claim they have without taking any prescription medications.

For me, food has really become my medicine. I no longer line up bottles of pills to dole out into little pill reminders each day. I no longer stand in line at the pharmacy waiting to get prescriptions refilled. Those are things of the past. Instead, I spend enjoyable time shopping for produce at local farmer's markets as well as growing my own produce in a community garden. I like the sight of my new medicine. I like the taste of it. I like the smell of my new medicine. It's all wonderful. There's nothing like savoring a fresh tomato right off the vine.

That's the message that sells to others who won't listen in other ways. While some people will listen to concerns about animals and concerns about the environment, everybody wants to listen and know what to do about their own individual health as well as the health of their loved ones. Of course, some will dismiss us and some will say they just can't give up their meat. Some won't believe what we tell them or they'll throw in contradictory studies for argument that refute what we say. Some will be so brainwashed by the low carb myth that they'll seem like they'll never accept what we say.

But many will listen because many people are concerned about their health. And when they listen and they come around, they will also often find themselves now thinking about the cruelty of factory farming and the adverse effects of eating meat on the environment.

I believe the world is changing. I believe that more and more people in time will come to see that food really is medicine. It's just a matter of time.