Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet
I am a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach and Physician with more than 15 years of experience primarily in Pediatric Medicine, wife, and mother of 3 children, and the Founder and CEO of Flourish Health Coaching, LLC.
I grew up in a small city in North Carolina, with my parents and brother. We were a close nit family, spending a lot of time with our relatives, friends, and church family. I first became aware of the amazing work that physicians and the health care team do through one of the most terrifying events of my life. When I was 12 years old, my only brother who was 8yo, became seriously ill with a ruptured appendix and had to have emergency surgery. I felt so afraid and helpless to watch my only brother suffer in tremendous pain and grow progressively ill. It was during this time that I saw how faith, the skills of the surgeon and health care team, our family and friends’ prayers and support were immensely instrumental to my brother’s survival and healing. I valued the importance of being an integral part of saving people’s lives and helping them walk in health and wellness. As a result, I set my goals to become a physician to help others when they are sick become better.
After years of training and working extensive hours as a pediatrician; trying to balance being a wife, mother and my career, my personal health began to decline. I lacked self-care and fueled my body with many fast foods and processed foods. Prayerfully, I learned a better way of living and fueling my body with the right foods. I enrolled in The Institute of Integrative Nutrition Health Coaching Program and learned the importance of using food as medicine and how valuable a Plant based diet is to the body. This was transformational for me. As a result, my health improved, and I began to live in balance. Therefore, I started Flourish Health Coaching, LLC to help other busy women and their families to become healthier through whole foods, diet changes, including a plant-based diet, and lifestyle changes.
There are many benefits to having a plant-based diet. One being whole plant-based eating provides many necessary nutrients and vitamins for the body to be healthy. There are many diseases that can be improved or treated by having a whole food plant-based diet, such as Heart Disease and Diabetes Mellitus, which are two of the top 10 leading causes of death in the U.S.
My recommendation is to strive to have your diet consist mostly of whole food, fruits, vegetables, and limit processed foods which have a lot of preservatives, salts and sugar that can be detrimental to the body.
One mistruth that I would like to dispel is that “It doesn’t matter what you eat, and that all food is created equal”. It does matter what we it. The food that we eat will send messages to our body to promote health and wellness or disease. We are what we eat!
It is great to buy local produce when possible, and to maximize the meals that you can prepare from foods that are readily available.
I think that more and more people will adapt a vegetarian diet. With the COVID19 pandemic and meats becoming limited, people will benefit from learning how to get their daily protein allowance from sources other than animal protein. I believe that we will continue to see more vegetarian options on restaurant menus as well as have an increase in vegetarian restaurants.
A simple hack to add more plant-based foods into your diet is to eat whole foods daily, as your daily snack. Some examples would be whole apple, carrots, peppers, blueberries, and pineapples, and the list goes on.
Adapting a plant-based diet is a healthy way to give your body the important nutrients and vitamins it needs to function well. By having an ongoing plant-based diet, it will support daily release of unhealthy chemicals from the body, which will help the body stay health.
Building the immune system on a plant-based diet can be accomplished by having a wide array of fruits and vegetables in the diet; strive to eat the colors of the rainbow through fruits and vegetables. Also, include whole grains, such as quinoa, brown rice, or barley in the diet. Do not forget important supplements such as Vitamin B12 that naturally is found in animal products.
One of my favorite plant-based recipes is Buffalo Cauliflower Florets! This is delicious, and cauliflower has great health benefits.
For anyone looking to adopt a whole food plant-based diet, I would recommend start with designating 1 or 2 days weekly where you only eat a plant-based diet, and increasing more and more as you grow to adapt to it and enjoy it.
Chlorophyll is in plants and it has several benefits for the body. Eating plants that are fresh and green, such as spinach, arugula, parsley, and peas will provide the body with chlorophyll. For example, you can blend parsley with water and create a liquid chlorophyll drink. Some benefits are liver detoxification and improvement of anemia.
Two of my favorite vegan books are Vegan Cookbook for beginners, and The Homemade Vegan Pantry The Art of Making Your Own Staples by Miyoko Schinner.
You can find me at www.FlourishHealthCoachingllc.com, Follow me on Facebook and Instagram at: Flourish Health Coaching, LLC.