Benefits of Plant-based Diet

A diet high in animal-based and highly processed foods makes people sick and overweight. But many of these sicknesses can be prevented, halted, and even reversed by eating a whole-food, plant-based diet.

Watch Rip Esselstyn's (author of Engine 2 Diet) TEDTalk on how the Plant Strong Diet improved the health of his fire house.

By the way, Rip Esselstyn is the son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, who was trained as a surgeon at the Cleveland Clinic and at St. George's Hospital in London. Dr. Esselstyn has been associated with the Cleveland Clinic since 1968. He was studying about how a plant-based diet can reverse chronic diseases, such as heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc.

No kidding...we have cures for these common killers already.

A whole-food, plant-based diet has been shown to:

• Lower cholesterol, blood pressure, and blood sugar
• Prevent and reverse heart disease
• Prevent and reverse obesity
• Lower risk of cancer and diabetes
• Slow the progression of certain types of cancer
• Improve symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
• Improve overall quality of life

Then, why agen’t we aware of this miracle diet?

Pharmaceutical companies are not advertising it. Doctors are not believing it, because they're trained to prescribe medications.

Anyway, watch "Forks Over Knives" documentary in Netflix, and you'll know who Dr. Esselstyn is and what the China Study discover.


Lower Oxidative Stress & Reduce Inflammation

Studies show that a diet rich in whole plant foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, beans, see, tea, coffee, red wine and olive oil, decreases levels of oxidative stress and chronic inflammation, which are associated with the development of chronic diseases.

In the Adventist Health Study II, a vegetarian diet was linked to lower CRP levels, a marker of inflammation.

Promotes Healthy Gut/Immune System

Increasing evidence shows that a fiber-rich plant-based diet promotes healthy gut microbiota, and it is also linked to better immune support and digestive health.

EPIC study found lower rate of hospital admissions and risk of death from diverticular disease among vegetarians.

Protects the Brain

Chronic inflammation and oxidative stress lead to development of Alzheimer’s. Consuming a plant-based Mediterranean diet is linked to lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Protects the Environmental

All meat is NOT created equal. Lamb, beef, pork and cheese generate the most greenhouse gases. They are also high in saturated fats and have the worst environmental impacts.

Animal meats and dairy products require large amount of pesticides, chemical fertilizer, fuel, feed and water to cultivates. And, as a result, generates an enormous amount of greenhouse gases, toxic manure and other pollutants that contaminate our air and water.

Environmental Benefits of Plant-based Diet

How to Lose Weight for Good

How to Lose Weight For Good

To figure out how to lose weight for good, we need to first understand how our body works and what makes us gain all the extra weight in the first place.

The human body is hard-wired or programmed to survive. That’s how the human race has out-lived many species and survived.

Based on this fact, we know our body has special mechanism to keep us alive, such as the fight-or-flight response when we’re in a dangerous situation.

Let’s talk about nutrition a little…

There are 3 macronutrients that make up all the foods that we eat - carbohydrate, protein and fat.

I’m going to focus mainly on carbohydrate here…Carbohydrate’s main function in our body is to provide energy. Energy for us to breathe, for blood circulation, thinking, walking, running, etc. Everything that happens in our body needs energy.

Most of the time this energy comes from food we eat, specifically carbohydrates. Our body can, in very rare occasions, convert protein into carbohydrate for energy. But we don’t want this to happen because it means losing muscle mass.

Our body can also convert fat to carbohydrate to use as energy. This is usually the results that we wanted in terms of achieve weight loss goal.

Ok…now we know the function of carbohydrate, then let’s look at where our carbohydrates are coming from.

A typical American diet consists of lots of carbohydrates and most of us are not aware or thinks that it is good carbs, then it’s okay to eat.

Let’s look at a typical healthy diet…

Breakfast: oatmeal or cereal with milk or granola with yogurt, and a latte.

Mid-morning snacks: granola bar

Lunch: turkey and cheese sandwich on whole wheat bread, baked chips, an apple.

Afternoon snack: trail mix made with granola, chex mix, nuts and a latte.

Dinner: Grilled chicken, brown rice, steamed vegetables and orange juice.

Do you spot all the carbohydrates?

Oatmeal, cereal, granola, granola bar, latte, whole wheat bread, baked chips, trail mix, orange juice, brown rice.

These are “healthy carbs” right?

Related article: Plant-Based Diet Saves Lives

Our body needs carbs for energy. What happens when we consume more carbs for energy than our body can use up.

Our body does not have a switch that you can flip at the end of the day to purge the excess carbohydrates eaten.

Remember, our body is a survival machine. It’ll convert all the excess calories from the carbohydrate into fat for storage for use later.

Why does the body do this? Because of survival. Our body stores the excess energy in preparation for possible famine or starvation.

It is this mechanism that human beings have lived for as long as history.

This weight problem starts here. When was the last time you didn’t eat for at least 24 hours because of lack of food (not for medical reasons)?

The answer to this question is “NEVER” in 99% of the population.

So our body is preparing for something that is almost never going to happen. Just like the dooms’s day people.

Our body also creates body fat to protect us from toxins in our environment (namely the food we eat and air we breathe). Many environmental toxins are fat-soluble, and that’s how the body can hide them away from the rest of the body.

Nutritional Rebalancing

As days go by, the fat storage increases alone with your weight and your risk of developing chronic illnesses.

Excess body fat interrupts the endocrine system, resulting in thyroid problems, hormone problems and type 2 diabetes mellitus.

We now know when we consume more carbohydrates than our body can used up, it gets stored as body fat and stays there until something happens.

To achieve weight loss (specifically fat loss), we need to stop the body from making more body fat and start using what is already stored.

First of all, you need to restrict carbohydrate intake and focus on eating only high quality, nutrient-dense carbohydrates from fruits, vegetables and beans.

Then, you need to increase your physical activities that will help create an energy deficit along with the diet change.

The diet change stop the body from making more fat, while the physical activities will create an energy deficit that will force the body to use stored up fat for energy.

And fat starts to melt figuratively. When this happens, the toxins that’s been stored in the body fat is released into the blood stream, and you’ll feel an initial “lousiness”. But your high quality, nutrient dense diet is going to save you.

All that extra vitamins, minerals and antioxidants from the fruits and vegetables that you’re eating is going help boost your body’s detox system and get rid of the toxins.

In no time you’ll feel brand new, lighter and fresher, with more energy.

And that’s how you loss weight for good.

Related article: Juice Fast

Disclaimer: Weigh loss is never a desired goal for growing children. Weight management in children should be supervised by an experienced provider, such as a pediatric nutritionist, who can determine your child weight management goal.

Is Juice Fast Safe?

I’m sold.


Juice fast works…

This guy Joe Cross is good. For someone without any medical experience and/or background, he successfully demonstrated how reversing chronic diseases and weight loss are totally achievable with lifestyle changes that include dietary changes and exercise. 

I know many medical professionals who are watching this documentary would disagree with the juice fast approach. After all, we've been taught in school that starving or fasting is a bad for the body. This idea has deeply ingrained in us.

But I disagree, as a registered dietitian.

The juice fast introduced in the documentary makes perfect sense. You're not 100% starving. You’re still getting calories and nourishing nutrients in its purest form. 

Related article: Juicing for Detox

You have no idea how long the human body can survivor without food. I see that every day in the hospital. Patients on NPO (nothing by mouth) for 5-7, sometimes up to 10 days or longer with only IV (intravenous) fluids (aka salt water).

Usually these patients have some kind of gastrointestinal disorders that prevents them from ingesting and digesting food. And in most case, these patients would have intravenous infusion of saline solution, sometimes sprinkled with some dextrose and electrolytes.

Then, there are adults and children starving without food or water in third world countries.  These are more severe cases of starvation that last even longer than patients we see not eating in the hospital for medical reasons.

Technically, the juice fast is not a real “fast”. You’re just replacing your usually calories with pure nutrients. And in doing so, there is a small caloric deficit.

The juice fast feels like a “fast” because it is significantly a lot less calories and food compared to the usual diet someone eat to gain the excess body weight.

The juice fast probably provides enough calories to maintain a healthy weight, it’s just that our normal way of food consumption is so distorted that when we're consuming the APPROPRIATE amount of calories, that it seem deficit.

After all, it’s a lot easier to consume 2,000 calories in ONE meal of cheeseburgers, fries and milkshake than to consume 2,000 calories of pure fruits and vegetables juices in one day.

While the juice fast does create a caloric deficit (from 4,000 calories a day to 2,000), it also introduces an abundant of very high quality and powerful antioxidants that optimizes the body's detox system to facilitate cleansing. 

With the caloric deficit, the body is forced to used the stored up fat from all those years of overeating and lack of physical activities for fuel.

As the body fat is being converted into energy and used, waste products are generated. The body fats also stored up toxic chemicals and artificial additives that we consume from our contaminated food supply. When fat cells are blasted up for energy, the toxic waste also leaks out. That explains why most people experience a period of ill-feeling during the initial weight loss process. However, as you continue to introduce the healing fresh fruits and vegetable juice potion, the body’s detox system will get more and more efficient.

The dark cloud eventually clears up, and you’ll feel brand new.  

I promise you won't die in this process.

Do you remember why we have body fat in the first place?

Have you noticed that we, as a nation, eats a lot of carbs.

Think of the last meal or even snack you ate. Carb is the focus.

Almost all the convenient snacks that we consumed frequently for convenience are carb, such as crackers, rice cake, granola bar, cereal bar, chips, Belvita cookies, etc.

All these so-called healthy snacks are not so healthy after all.

The main purpose of carbohydrate is to provide energy. Our body needs energy for basic body functions, such as breathing, heart pumping blood to circulate the body, thinking, digesting foods, etc. We also need energy for physical activities, even sitting, standing requires energy, and, of course, fun activities, such as hiking, swimming, sports, etc.

However, when we consume too much carbohydrates from food and beverages, especially simple carbohydrates and our body is not using up all the energy. Your body will start to store the extra energy in the form of body fats.

Our body does not have a purging mechanism that purges all the excess calories at the end of the day. Instead, our body stores the excess calories consumed and stored them as body fat, which is the storage unit of excess energy.

Our nation, in general, consumes a lot of carb, and that was the old idea from the historic Food Guide Pyramid.

The body stores excess energy just in case famine happens. But when was the last time you did not eat for 24 hours because of circumstances you cannot control?

Like never?

The juice fast induces the body to start dipping into the body fat to use as energy while infusing the body with life-enhancing powerful antioxidants from fresh fruits and vegetables. 

This is exactly what should happen In weight loss. You burn body fat while cleansing the whole system.

The Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2 is even better. I wasn’t even going to watch this thinking that most sequel are disappointing. But Cross proves me wrong.

In this follow-up of Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Cross shows the continued challenges people face after losing lots of weight initially with the juice fast.

The show dealt into the emotional aspects of eating, life stressors, social isolations, and how having a supportive community is crucial to life long success in maintaining a healthy lifestyle. 

The documentary shows a surprising side effect of changing our lifestyle. It went back to some people featured in the first episodes. It shows that changing YOUR OWN lifestyle not only impacts your own life, but can potential affects the people around you, and possibly your whole community.

I have to say, it is very inspirational and motivating not only for people who wants to lose weight, but for anyone who wants to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

I wish more people struggling with weight loss and making lifestyle changes would watch this and be inspired as well. 

Related article: Juicing Recipes for Kids