IMG_0225Eating a predominantly vegan diet is no guarantee for long term health, for 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 truly vegan diet, but how unhealthy would that be? No nutrients, minerals & vitamins or fiber, a recipe for weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, stroke and bowl 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.

The better term to use is a “Plant based Whole Food diet” and this is why;

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 spent the past 12 years or more trying to follow the teachings of Dr Joel Fuhrman as outlined in his book “The Eat to Live Diet” and the findings as outlined in T. Colin Campbell’s book “The China Study” 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 the 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 (14 days)
• Perth to Port Augusta (20 days)
• Port Augusta to Darwin (19 days)
• Bendigo to Alice Springs
• Bendigo to Perth (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 2 support crew.

I am now a semi-retired Occupational Therapist working 1 or 2 days per week in a small rural community setting.

I am passionate about the environment and the need for everyone to substantially lower their energy footprint and to live as sustainably as possible, to this end I have a new highly energy efficient house with a large solar panel array, water tanks, veggie garden and small orchard.

I am presently in the process of setting up an aquaponics system in my back garden with the aim of showing how we can grow wonderful organic food in a totally sustainable way.

My aim is also to eventually purchase a plug in all electric car and fuel this with the excess electricity I produce from my solar panels.

I enjoy playing the Didjeridu and supporting the aboriginal cause. I’d love one day to play alongside a keen cellist as the Didj and cello go so well together.

During the Spring I enjoy walking through the bush to photograph native orchids.

I am a spiritual traveller and presently learning a great deal from “The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying” by Sogyal Rinpoche. It rings so many bells for me.

I do not intend to vegetate during my retirement as I have so much more to give to humanity and the world in general.

This blog will thus document my journey as I prepare each dish with an honest appraisal 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 Colin Campbell’s “The China Study” so that you too can be sold on the virtues of eating a predominantly plant based whole food diet. If you find the books difficult to obtain then I have several of each which I would be happy to lend to you on a free short term loan. Just send me a message and I’ll post them out to you.

Just a note: I will be using my Thermomix for most dishes as I find it a quick, easy and healthy way to prepare food, but you should be able to prepare them using a food processor, blender, hot plate and oven.

Bon Appetit.

24 Responses to About

  1. Zerin Knight says:

    Congratulations Paul; this is a fantastic Blog, full of great info and recipes.

    • Thanks Zerin. I’m trying to add to the Blog daily. Please pass it on as the more people who hear about the health benefits of a “whole food plant based diet” the better. Especially when the information is from very reputable sources with decades of objective research backing up their claims.

  2. Scharon says:

    This is great Paul! I love Dr. Furhman and like you, I have been interested in nutrition for a long time and am experimenting with healthy (high vegetable content) recipes. I look forward to more recipes from you . This is my first time reading your blog. 🙂

    • Thanks Scharon,
      So good of you to look at the blog and for your message. If you wouldn’t mind, I’d love to hear your story and share recipes either in the reply section to this blog or direct to my personal email.
      My main reason for starting the blog was to try to get the message across to people that eating a healthy diet (whole-food, plant based) could ensure that they didn’t need to look forward to gradually descending into ill health as they age.
      I have seen so much of that working as an Occupational Therapist in a general hospital over many years. If I were to receive a dollar for every time I heard the statement, “old age doesn’t come alone”, I’d be a rich man. And I know that that doesn’t have to be.
      The recipes are just examples of what tasty meals can be prepared with absolutely no animal protein. There is a wealth of cookbooks and recipe ideas on the internet that anyone can tap into nowadays. I just hope that people who look at the blog take the time to read the articles and become convinced themselves at how powerful food can be for health.
      Thanks again,

  3. Somer says:

    Congrats on your retirement! I think it’s amazing that you are sharing your knowledge with others and that you are even willing to lend out your books. Good on you! p.s. I lived in Sydney for a couple years in the 90’s and met and married my husband there. Poor Aussie, he’s now stuck in America with me 😉

    • Thanks Somer for taking the time to read my blog. I started it to add my voice to the chorus that what you put into your mouth on a regular basis really does affect your health either positively or negatively.
      In my youth I always marvelled at how the body could turn the rubbish I was eating into viable fuel to keep me going, what I didn’t realize was just how much my health was slowly being affected. I was totally uninformed. Thankfully I soon changed my ways after reading books about eating for health and I am now enjoying the long term health benefits.
      When we are young we cannot comprehend the fact that we age and that one day we will become “old”, we feel bomb proof, and unfortunately by the time most people wake up to this they are well and truly on the slippery slopes of chronic diseases, pill taking and constant trips to the doctor and surgeon.
      You are a member of the enlightened few who really know the benefits of eating healthily so keep spreading the word so that we can help those that are willing to hear.

  4. uberdish says:

    Wow – your About page is so inspiring! Congratulations on your retirement and all your accomplishments!

  5. uberdish says:

    I have nominated you for The Beautiful Blog Award! Please see http://www.uberdish.ca for the details 🙂

  6. great to read what you are doing Paul,I agree I don’t understand people eating bad>junk food! it just doesn’t do it for me ! I love good healthy whole food too.

  7. Julie says:

    Hi Paul, I happen to be an occupational therapist too! I was already planning to peruse your blog more fully, but now I know I have to. I’m waiting on the China Study and some related books from my library as we speak…I also feel the need to look at some science behind things. I’m sure I’ll be back soon:) Take Care, Julie

    • G’day Julie. Great to hear from a fellow OT who is also interested in health through diet. Whilst you are waiting for the China Study, which is a great book with probably all the science you’ll ever need about diet, could I suggest, if you haven’t done so already, that you read the introduction to it which I have published in the book section of the blog under China Study. It will really wet your appetite (sorry for the pun).
      I look forward to your thoughts as you read more.

  8. Julie says:

    Paul, I think that is a really helpful idea, to have that intro on your blog. I was already intrigued after watching Forks Over Knives, but now even more so. I have had the opportunity through OT and some advanced degree pursuit to understand research, good vs bad, more thoroughly, so looking forward to the book. I may just have to order it if the wait is too long. Meanwhile, keep eating plants!

    • Julie, if it is of any help you can get the China Study as an e-book through Amazon Kindle. I have done so and then I download it onto my IPAD for easier reading. The e-book is about half the price and if you have a Kindle you can be reading it within a few minutes.
      His research methodology seems to be second to none and very sound.
      I have read some criticisms of the China Study from people who do not seem to understand research methodology. For your interest I’ll email Prof Campbell’s response to that criticism. It’s well worth the read and will give you even more confidence in his findings and conclusions.
      Keep well.

  9. veggiereader says:

    just wanted to stop by and let you know i really enjoy your blog and have nominated you for Versatile blogger award. If you are interesting in accepting, here is my nomination blog with the details. If not, no worries. you have a nice shout out on my blog.

    • Thanks Veggiereader, I really do appreciate your comments and the fact that you took the time to make contact. You are certainly on the right track for a healthy life so keep up the good work.
      I started eating for health when I was about your age and I am now 65 with no health conditions, on no medications and still able to ride thousands of kilometres on my push bike on long trips across Australia.
      All the best in your studies and keep in touch won’t you?

  10. Hello! My husband and I started following a plant-based diet a year and a half ago after learning about it at a cooking class at Whole Foods Market. It’s been such a wonderful change for us. My husband’s high blood pressure and high cholesterol went down to normal in less than two months on this diet. I continue to educate myself about healthy eating, and Joel Fuhrman’s ‘Eat to Live’ is one of the books that I found very inspirational. Like you, I also am passionate about environmental concerns and nurture my spiritual nature. I recently read “Proof of Heaven” by Eben Alexander, which I found very inspirational. Anyway, I really connected with what you shared in your about page and I’m glad I discovered your blog! Celeste 🙂

    • Thanks so much Celeste for posting such a wonderful and inspirational comment on my blog. It is always great to hear first hand how changing to a “Whole-food, plant based” diet can so quickly and dramatically improve ones health.
      Unfortunately it seems that the vast majority of people just don’t see the connection between food and health and so continue to live a lifestyle that almost inevitably leads to premature aging and chronic health conditions. I see the end results of poor lifestyle choices, on a daily basis, working as an Occupational Therapist on a Rehabilitation Ward in one of our rural hospitals and it saddens me to think that in almost every case it just didn’t need to be so.
      Yes our bodies must wear out eventually but, with the right diet and regular exercise, we can give ourselves the best possible chance of maintaining our health until very late in life, which can go a long way towards a high quality of life.
      Please keep in touch won’t you?

  11. Hello,your blog is wonderful!Could you please visit my blog ” http://loveeatlovefood.wordpress.com/
    Every stats of visitor and view will be scored in my studying class.
    Thank you very much

    • Visited your site She Angel Devils. Hope you do well. Nice graphics and well designed.
      I am a whole-food, plant eating person so I stay away from meat of any kind, dairy, and heavily processed food for health reasons so a lot of your recipes are not for me, but I appreciate the time and effort that you have put into your site.
      Thanks for visiting mine.

  12. Julie Hinde-Cuchen says:

    Well done Paul. I know you will do a fabulous job and inspire many along the way. I will look forward to following your journey. Let me know what I can do to help. Cheers Julie H-C xx

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