I would like to begin by saying that eating a predominantly vegan diet (no animal products) is no guarantee for long term health, as one could eat nothing but chips dipped in tomato sauce, pasta made from highly refined white flour or handfuls of sugar and be eating a 100% vegan diet, but how unhealthy would that be? Very little in the way of micro-nutrients, minerals, vitamins or fiber, a recipe for weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and bowel cancer to name a few.
Clearly I am exaggerating an extreme but it does illustrate the worthlessness of the term Vegan if your aim is long term health and wellbeing. Maybe the better term to use is “Whole Food Plant Based” as this perhaps paints a better picture; Whole Food, therefore unprocessed and thus retaining high nutritional value, and Plant Based, therefore a diet with no or low in animal protein.
But why is it so important to eat food high in nutrition? We know that red blood cells are replaced in our bodies every 4 months, white blood cells every year, skin cells every 2 to 3 weeks, colon cells every 4 days, while neurons in the cerebral cortex are with us for life. So it is a fact that a large percentage of our body is replaced on a very regular basis. The body is a wonderful self-healing system but if it does not have the necessary building blocks to replace cells accurately then it just does the best it can. The poorer the diet the more rapidly the body breaks down and the less it can protect itself from the ravages of time and internal and external assaults, the main reason for premature aging and long term chronic diseases.
I have been interested in the value of food for health for the past 30 years, with the last 12 trying to follow the teachings of Dr Joel Fuhrman as outlined in his book “The Eat to Live Diet” backed up by the findings as outlined in Professor Colin Campbell’s book “The China Study” (you can read his inspiring and informative Introduction to the book by pressing the China Study menu option on this blog), in an effort to test out the health benefits, or otherwise, of a largely “Plant based whole foods diet” in my own body. I am now just short of my 65th birthday and feel that my health has benefited greatly from this diet. I take no medications, have no medical conditions and am able to ride my push bike over huge distances, having in the past 10 years cycled;
- Lands End to John O’Groats (1,700 k in 14 days)
- Perth to Port Augusta (2,400k in 20 days)
- Port Augusta to Darwin (2,700k in 19 days)
- Bendigo to Alice Springs
- Bendigo to Perth (3,500k in 20 days)
- Bendigo to Sydney
- The Orkneys, Skye and Outer Hebrides
Most of these rides were self-supported.
In April 2013 I plan to ride from Maryborough (Victoria) to Maryborough (Queensland), 2100k in 18 days, with a group of 14 riders and 3 support crew.
I have now retired from work (Friday 27th July 2012) as an Occupational Therapist and plan, over the next 6 to 12 months, to work through my large library of Vegan recipes in an effort to find the dishes that I can truly say are nutritious, tasty and easy to prepare. This blog will thus document my journey as I test out large numbers of dishes and one that will hopefully culminate in a cookbook of my favourite recipes.
I do encourage you to read Dr Fuhrman’s “The Eat to Live” book as well as Professor Colin Campbell’s “The China Study” so that you too can be sold on the virtues of eating a predominantly whole food plant based diet. If you find these books difficult to obtain then I have several of each which I would be happy to lend on a free short term loan. Just send me a message and I’ll post them out to you.
Note: Most of my food preparation will be done using my Thermomix as I find it a quick, easy and healthy way to prepare food, but you should be able to prepare them also using a food processor, blender, hot plate and oven.
If you have a favourite tasty Vegan dish then I would be overjoyed if you would send it to me as a message below or by contacting me on 0400703277 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org