You might be surprised to find out that I usually avoid talking about my eating habits with new friends. That’s because a lot of people are quick to whip out their “Expert Dietician” personas and haul me off to an imaginary interrogation room. I’m still not sure why saying, “I don’t eat meat.” usually prompts people to empty a full clip of Nutrition 101 questions on me. They are often quite surprised at my admission and make such firm attempts to save me from my insanity, that I’m equally amused and annoyed. But, only a few of these Protein Preachers have ever asked me why I ended up on the ‘rabbit food’ side of the fence. Even fewer have asked me where I’ve been getting my nutritional information from. So, today I’ll tell you about the doctors whose prescription I filled.
The Last Supper
On the night of my little brother’s 21st birthday, when my family cozied up in one of Kingston’s more trendy steakhouses, I never imagined that it would have been the last day I sat down to a meal of flesh foods. You know how sometimes, people will say they don’t feel for any meat today. Well, I had been hanging out in one of those zones for a few weeks. Even though, I had spent the previous weeks not having any appetite for meat or poultry, I had been eating lots of seafood with no complaints. But, when my fish dinner arrived, I couldn’t stomach more than a couple bites and convinced someone else to finish the fillet for me. I just realised that I couldn’t do it anymore… My body had decided to quit liking meat!
It wasn’t a big surprise, really. My co-workers had gotten used to me trading the chicken in my boxed lunch for their steamed vegetables. But, what they never knew, was that for about 3 months, I had been feeding my mind on various lectures by various health experts and wellness advocates about making healthier food choices. But, these weren’t the regular, “avoid fried foods and sugary drinks” campaigns. All these medical professionals had been singing the same song: “eat plants, not animals”. So, it didn’t take very long for all their arguments, research findings and real-life case studies to set up residence in my mind and convince my mouth to stop salivating for Pan Chicken and to inveigle my stomach to get repulsed by the normally appetising Steamed Snapper, Oxtail & Beans, Jerk Pork, and Curried Mutton.
The Plant-Based Doctors
5 years in, I can say this is not a passing fad. My switch to Vibrant Eats (meals that bring vitality to the body without failing to bring my tongue satisfaction) was actually initiated, encouraged and continues to be supported by medical doctors and nutrition experts. I knew that a plant-based diet was the best one could embrace while sat ad learned at the feet of Dr. L. Danovan Whyte during his Saturday meetings at the Lifestyle Transformation Centre in New Kingston. His book, “Perfect Health is Unquestionably Yours” is very dear to me – I have re-read it many times and reference it often. The knowledge he shares and the impact it is having on those who are willing to make the necessary changes can be heard through his Wednesday night radio programme, “Your Health Matters” on NewsTalk 93FM. Of course, I have much respect for other physicians like Dr. Anthony Vendryes, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. among others.
Food as Medicine
Through their writings, videos, workshops and lectures, these truly compassionate and responsible physicians have highlighted the dangers of eating animal foods (meat, fish, dairy and eggs) and revealed how real people, like you and I, have reversed lifestyle related diseases like cancer, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension just by switching to a whole-food, plant-based diet. But, they haven’t just left it there. They have gone through the trouble of teaching people about the nutritional needs of the human body and how to fully satisfy those needs with a varied diet made up of whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. I have personally had the privilege of watching Dr. Whyte prepare live (uncooked) food and served it to us with love and enthusiasm, on more than one occasion. I still have a folder full of some of his favourite recipes. which he so kindly shares in his workshops.
Your journey is very likely different from mine, but if you have been arguing with the quiet voice, inside, to make better eating choices you may want to give these doctors a listening ear. Look them up and examine what they have to say. At the end of the day, you may not eliminate animal products completely, but you will undoubtedly have a new respect for your body, be more conscious of your health and make healthier eating choices.
Have you ever listened to or read from any of these Plant-Based Physicians? Please tell me what has impressed you most?