* What are the 5 plant food categories?

  • nuts & seeds

  • legumes (beans, peanuts, lentil & chickpeas)

  • fruits

  • vegetables

  • whole grains

* Do doctors & teachers know about healthy foods?

Neither teachers nor doctors learn about food nutrition in school or during their post-graduate professional development. We need to become informed because we cannot rely on others to provide accurate information about food. Doctors are required to study nutrition for 20 hours, and during that time they learn about details like the % of magnesium in an IV but not how to eat for a long and disease-free life. Check out the doctors you know. Do they look healthy? Do teachers? They look no more or less healthy than the general population. As both doctors and teachers are expected to be enlightened with knowledge that they share with us as a part of their role in society, why aren’t they role models for healthy lives?

My father, a physician, died from eating a high animal fat, high saccharine diet that resulted in hypertension, type 2 diabetes and eventually the pancreatic cancer that took his life.

  • A doctor I was eating with said there was no relationship between diet and cancer. He then covered his food in salt, so much that it looked like there was snow on his food.

  • My own doctor became curious about adopting a plant-based diet after he saw that my cholesterol dropped, and I reported having more energy. He asked me about the details and is considering trying it. He knew nothing about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet.

  • Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams had severe type 2 diabetes. After visiting Dr. Esselstyn (President Clinton's cardiologist) at the Cleveland Clinic, he began eating plants only, no oil and no added sugar. He did not take ANY insulin or other diabetes medication. He cooks all of his own meals. Within three months of his diagnosis, his diabetes was gone. His mother also eats a plant-based diet and has reversed her diabetes.

  • As I taught my 580 students about healthy eating, the teachers were frequently at the back of the room eating unhealthy foods like chips and drinking soda. Teachers are as educated or uneducated about nutrition as the rest of us. Teachers should be role models of healthy eating when they are with their students.

  • Who benefits from the teachers' and doctors' lack of knowledge? The more diseases we contract, the richer the healthcare, insurance and pharmaceutical industries become. As we eat ourselves into an early grave, the profits fill their pockets!

* How do I feel since I stopped eating animals and animal products?

Higher energy, sick less often, fantastically good numbers at my annual physical including lowered cholesterol, & improved digestion. In 2019, I went to a health fair at a local university. The graduate students there were amazed by the numbers recorded for my lung capacity, blood pressure, strength and other measures. Thank you, vegan diet!

* Have I lost weight?

Yes, and I eat as much as I want, as often as I want. 

* How about sugar & oil?

Added sugar (not the sugars naturally present in plants) is highly toxic for our bodies. The only sweets I eat are those I bake, including banana bread, carrot cake and zucchini bread. As a substitute for animal milk, I use Oatly oat milk. For each egg called for in recipes, I use 1 Tablespoon of ground flaxseed mixed with 3 Tablespoons of water or a powdered egg replacer. For the occasional buttery flavor, I use Miyoko’s vegan butter in small quantities. For example, I will add a teaspoon to steamed peas. I am trying to evict oil from my diet.

Occasionally, I eat Ben & Jerry's non-dairy or Haagen Dazs non-dairy frozen desserts. There are many flavors. Let them sit out of the freezer for 5 minutes before eating. They're as tasty as real ice cream, especially the coffee caramel fudge.

* Our digestive systems resemble herbivores, not carnivores. 

* Health problems resulting from eating meat, dairy and eggs include cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, osteoporosis, impotence, hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and strokes.

* In a study of Dr. Esselstyn's heart disease patients who adopted an oil-free, added sugar-free, plant-based diet, 100% of them reversed their heart disease and had no heart attacks during a 5 year longitudinal study. 1 in 4  Americans deaths (610,000 people) are from heart disease every year. 

* The average American eats 33 spoonfuls of sugar each day. The average American child eats over 40 spoonfuls per day. We are only supposed to eat a maximum of 6 spoonfuls per day. 6 grams = 1 teaspoon. A can of Coke has 9 spoonfuls of sugar. You can take this quiz to see how sugar savvy you are. 

* Half of people under 18 are predicted to contract type two diabetes in their lifetimes, based on their current diet that is overflowing with added sugar, processed foods and animal products.  Diabetes is a pandemic.

* Americans do not eat enough plants. Only 14% of American adults consume at least 2 servings of fruit and at least 3 servings of vegetables daily. What passes as a serving of vegetables can be french fries (hot oil is a carcinogen. Fried foods are toxic for our bodies) or apples in an apple pie. The dairy and sugar cancel out the health benefits from the apples. 

We could do an apple taste test, found out our favorites and eat one or more each day. The inside of our bodies will smile!

* Why cut out dairy?  This video says it all.  Dairy products WEAKEN our bones by removing calcium from them. The dairy industry is no longer allowed to lie and say that milk builds strong bones. Now they claim to be a good source of protein. Animal protein is not as healthy as plant protein. Much of what we were taught about nutrition ("Milk builds strong bones.") belongs in the dustbin along with those old "cigarettes are great for your health." advertisements that we laugh at now.  

* Why not eat fish? Fish are high in cholesterol, just as high as poultry or steak. Often fish and shellfish are scooped up after a detonation of a coral reef that paralyzes or kills sea life that floats to the surface. The seafood is sometimes processed by enslaved people from countries in Southeast Asia. 

* And poultry?  I could keep going. Aside from the arsenic in 70% of chicken meat, just like all animal products, it's bad news for our bodies.  Basically, I don't eat anything with eyes, except potatoes.

* What is Cholesterol? A crumbled-up, waxy, blobby fat that sticks to the walls of our vessels.

All animal products are cholesterol laden foods.

No plants have cholesterol. 

* A common myth is that soy products cause cancer. Below is a quote from WebMD:

"In one study of more than 73,000 Chinese women, researchers found that those who ate at least 13 grams of soy protein a day, roughly one to two servings, were 11% less likely to develop breast cancer than those who got less than 5 grams.

“In Asian cultures, where people eat a lot of soy from a young age, there are lower rates of breast cancer,” Meyers says. And in those societies, people still eat soy in its traditional forms.

Meanwhile, another analysis of eight studies showed that those who got the most soy isoflavones -- about the amount in a serving of tofu - were 29% less likely to get the disease compared to those who got the least.

“As part of a healthy diet, whole soy foods are safe,” says Denise Millstine, MD, director of integrative medicine at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ."

Elaine PerlmanComment