why whole food plant based?

Here are a few resources for the benefits of WFPB eating and comparison to other popular dietary approaches:

  • A study in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition found that “A low-fat vegan diet improved body weight, lipid concentrations, and insulin sensitivity, both from baseline and compared with a Mediterranean diet. Blood pressure decreased on both diets, more on the Mediterranean diet” SOURCE
  • A plant-based diet has been shown to help improve risk factors for heart disease, including hypertension, high cholesterol, atherosclerosis and inflammation.
  • And check out this article comparing the benefits of a Mediterranean Diet to a Low-Fat Vegan diet which showed: “an average weight loss of 13 pounds (lb), whereas the Mediterranean diet produced no mean change; greater loss of visceral fat than the Mediterranean diet; greater loss of fat mass (about 7.5 lb more; reduction of LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels, while the Mediterranean diet produced no significant changes, reduced insulin resistance and increased insulin sensitivity, while the Mediterranean diet caused no significant changes. Both diets led to a drop in blood pressure, but the Mediterranean diet reduced it by about 6.0 mm Hg and the vegan diet decreased it by 3.2mmHg.”

Recommended watching:

Recommended reading:

  • Ornish Living – Dr. Dean Ornish’s lifestyle approach to reclaim your health & undo disease
  • NutritionFacts.org from Michael Greger, M.D. offers over 2,000 articles and videos – just search the specific topics that interest you to read/watch evidence based information to help you make healthy choices
  • The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine offers a ton of research as well on a variety of topics – click HERE to search
  • Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and was one of the first researchers to promote a whole foods plant based approach to disease prevention and treatment.
  • Dr. Michael Klaper has served thousands of people on their journey to reclaim health through proper nutrition and a balanced lifestyle for over 40 years.
  • Veganuary has a ton of information & recipes
  • Plant Strong is also full of great info & recipes
  • No Meat Athlete covers all the bases regarding plant based eating as it relates to athletic performance

Personally, I can say that I have eaten fully plant-based (“vegan”) for 5 years. I have had two body scans that show that my body composition (muscle mass, fat mass) are ideal and my lab values are now all normal whereas they weren’t before eating a WHOLE FOODS plant based diet (you *can* be a junk food vegan and live on Oreos & french fries, but that doesn’t yield the same results as when eating whole unprocessed foods). I also used this approach to lose 65 pounds and keep it off for nearly 5 years. Some may call a whole foods plant based approach “extreme”, but that’s fine – I want to be extremely healthy, not moderately healthy, and it’s easier than ever to follow this way of eating!

*always speak with your healthcare provider before changing your diet or exercise routine – this is not medical advice*

Meditation and Loss (not what you think)

A student once asked his spiritual teacher what he has personally gained from meditating over the years.

“To be honest, I haven’t gained that much,” his wise teacher answered with a smile. “But I’ll tell you what I’ve lost.”

“I’ve lost my anger, my depression, many of my insecurities, and most importantly, I’ve lost my concern about what others think of me.“

If you can’t easily determine what you’ve gained from your inner work, it can be reassuring to consider all that you may have lost
.”  -Light Watkins from his daily email, Light’s daily dose – HERE

3 blocks & 3 upgrades to improve your daily wellbeing

We all know that it’s important to eat our veggies, get moving, prioritize restful sleep, etc – but I wanted to share some common blocks to living as the best version of ourselves as well as some easy yet impactful habits to upgrade our wellbeing!

Watch out for these pitfalls:

  • Distraction: It can be easy to become bored & always looking for the next shiny object instead of staying the course, remaining focused & continuing the work you started
  • Unrealistic expectations: We all want the quick-fix, but trust me – there’s no such thing.  Again, gotta stay the course & put in the work!
  • Bad Habits: A history of poor choices – food, alcohol, negative thinking, mindless behaviors (hello, scrolling) are big obstacles that require mindful work to overcome. 

Try these UPGRADES to improve your wellbeing:

  • Don’t underestimate the power of an accountability partner! Having someone you trust that you can turn to – whether it’s  for encouragement or commiseration is a powerful tool! You may enlist a pal who is on the same place in the journey that you are – OR- ask someone who has been where you are now but is now further down the path to act as a mentor. 
  • Meditation and breath work – I’ve said it before & I’ll say it again – the benefits of even 5 rounds of box breathing are a potent way to decrease cortisol and re-focus on your goals when distraction (see above) starts to rear its ugly head. 
  • Get moving! ANY movement – if you have time for a full workout – go for it! – but even a 5 minute walk or quick stretch can raise your energy level (remember – oxygen is our primary fuel!)

Want more? Join us in the Goal:Fit Monthly Membership HERE

Quick, easy salad dressing

If eating out, I always bring a tiny jar of salad dressing in a baggie in my handbag (and often, some air-fried tofu or tempeh).  I never know if there will be a healthy option at a restaurant & don’t want to completely derail my healthy eating on a crappy salad dressing. Here are a few of my go-to dressing recipes:

Basic Vinaigrette:

  • 1 TB EVOO
  • 1 TB white wine OR champagne vinegar
  • 1 TB apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp any of the Trader Joe’s seasoning blends (Green Goddess is my fave, but I also use the Za’atar or EBB)
  • Add all to small jar & shake to blend

Creamy Avocado / Lime

  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 clove garlic, peeled & pressed
  • 1 tsp diced white onion
  • 1/4 c coarsely chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 1/4 c diced red pepper
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 TB white vinegar or ACV
  • 2 TB EVOO
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • Add all to mini food processor or blender & pulse until smooth

Lemon Tahini Dressing (this is also a great drizzle on roasted veg)

  • 1/3 c tahini
  • Juice of 1 & 1/2 lemons
  • Dash Himalayan salt or sea salt
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • water
  • 1 tsp – 1 TB  pure maple syrup
  • Add all to mini food processor or blender & pulse until smooth, add maple to taste if you like it sweeter, add water to thin out to desired consistency. 

Quick Balsamic Dressing

  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 TB Balsamic vinegar
  • 1 TB dijon mustard
  • 1 TB EVOO
  • Dash each salt & pepper
  • Whisk together in small bowl

Ann Esselstyn’s Oil-free 3-2-1 Dressing

  • 3 TB Balsamic vinegar (or your favorite vinegar)
  • 2 TB dijon mustard (or your favorite mustard)
  • 1 TB pure maple syrup
  • Whisk together in small bowl