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Lifestyle


What about stress, sleep, and relationships...  don't these things have a major impact, too?

Some medical experts point to stress, paired with unexpressed emotions, as the primary cause of illness and disease. Suicide is among the top twelve causes of death globally, and rates are increasing rapidly. We stay up at night, tossing and turning from anxiety, not getting the healing benefits of a good night's sleep. Addiction and mental health issues, often caused by trauma and loss during childhood and young adulthood, are rampant in our society with no end in sight. We're feeling angry, fearful, isolated, polarized, overwhelmed, exhausted, and generally fed up. 


If we continue to eat calorie-dense, fiber-poor, nutrient-deficient foods and remain glued to our sofas, TVs, cell phones, and social media portals, we'll continue down this slippery slope towards a dreaded diagnosis from our doctors. It's a dire situation. Managing stress, sleeping seven plus hours, and getting support are core lifestyle factors for creating health. 


More food for thought: The connections of stress, sleep, and relationships to foods, beverages, and fitness are bio-chemical, physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. 


  • Increased alcohol and drug use can contribute to depression and some cancers. 

  • Stress has a direct impact on just about every biological and psychological process - unplugging daily is key. 

  • Anxiety and an addiction to electronic devices and social media can contribute to poor sleep - or not enough. 

  • Isolation, dread, trauma, loss, and nutrient-deficiency can contribute to mental illness and addiction. 

  • A lack of healthy connections to others can contribute to sadness, hopelessness, and spiritual disconnection. 

  • Sedentary lifestyles and junk foods can contribute to heart disease, type-2 diabetes, chronic conditions, and stress.

  • Poor nutrition can contribute to foggy mental capacities, dementia, and a lack of enthusiasm and energy.   

In short, whole plants, fitness, sleep, unplugging, and experiencing love and support are keys for optimal health. 


Why are 'everything in moderation' and 'the 80-20 rule' not recommended approaches?

Potentially, this nice-sounding argument could be effective if the "everything" or "20" part included mostly nutrient-dense foods and beverages. This approach falls flat when considering that Oreos, Coca-Cola, and french fries are vegan, too. In the WPF community, some experts say a bit of iodized or natural sea salt, faux products like vegan cheese, lower consumption of alcohol (one drink per week), and use of sweeteners like stevia are fine. Others point to vast amounts of research showing that even one chicken breast, one slice of pizza, and one martini can have adverse effects on the body.

 

More food for thought: my observation points to addiction, large and small, as a core struggle to ween ourselves off certain foods and beverages. Our bodies have been taught to seek out calorie-dense, nutrient-deficient foods and beverages via food/bev corporations that create crave-able products in order to make us addicted (this travesty is real). We're also wired to crave calorie-dense foods from our ancestors, who had much longer periods of what we would call "food insecurity" today. Every once in a while, I eat peanut M & M's or faux-vegan sausages. I'm a mostly recovered food junkie whose WPF 95% approach works for me. 


I've heard that a plant-based diet is expensive. Is that true? My budget is limited.

If we shop at mainstream supermarket chains and places like Whole Foods Market, eat a lot of restaurant or packaged foods, as well as waste 35% of our food (the average rate in the US)... then yes. If we buy more expensive items like raw nuts, raw seeds, and dried fruits online in bulk and freeze them, as well as keep track of our food inventory and commit to having a low-waste kitchen... then no. 


More food for thought: I organize my kitchen and reduce waste similar to what I learned (and taught) in the hospitality industry as a chef, manager, and business coach. FIFO, first in first out, and other restaurant tricks I use have created 15% lower food costs than before, when I wasn't cooking and eating primarily whole plant foods. 

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