WHOLE FOODS, PLANT BASED DIET
The body and the mind are viewed as one thing in Indian and Oriental medical philosophy. Each affects the other in a profound way. By concentrating the mind on the act of eating a lemon we can cause the body to salivate. Erotic thoughts in the mind will cause physical arousal.
Many people have reported curing their diseases, including cancer, by visualizing and feeling the healing process. A placebo medicine (e.g. a sugar pill) will cure the disease 30% of the time simply because the taker of the medicine believes it is really medicine.
If we believe that we are a bad person, an unworthy person or a miserable wretched sinner then we will develop physical diseases as a direct result of this. Negative thoughts about others will cause harm to the body. If a person is told they will die of a disease by a certain date, they most likely will and not from the disease but from the belief that they will die. Being stressed mentally and emotionally will greatly harm the body over time if the stress is ongoing.
What we want to focus on here is having a healthy physical body because a sick body will cause us to be depressed and lethargic. This will be an impediment to our effort to dwell in a happy state. A happy body contributes greatly to a happy mind. In advanced stages of practice, one develops enough detachment from the body that the changing states of the body do not affect our happiness. But for the rest of us, and until we get to that state, we should strive for good health.
That which contributes or detracts from a happy body more than any other physical thing is the food we eat because our body is composed of the food we eat. We literally are what we eat.
The author is well aware that discussing food habits is more incendiary than discussing politics or religion. Simply suggesting a food change will cause a normally calm person to jump up and down with their hair on fire howling at the messenger. With that said, here goes!
The core, fundamental, common sense, bottom line, tell-it-like-it-is food rule for happy bodies is this:
Nature Has a Plan for What Foods We Should Eat
Violating Nature’s plan produces disease and suffering and this, as we all know, is because Mother Nature always knows best.
Conforming to the natural order produces health, well-being and happiness. Therefore, we want to observe and determine what is the natural order of the universe regarding our bodies and food. How did Mother Nature set it up? What was the plan in which our bodies evolved over millions of years? What are the foods she designed for us to eat?
There are so many food theories most of which are concocted, not from truth, but from a desire to sell books. All of these theories revolve in the intellect and never consider what are Nature’s intentions. This only requires unbiased observation.
The simplest and most effective path is to determine how Mother Nature wanted us to eat and follow that. For example, Mother Nature did not design white sugar granules as a food and we can see there are no sugar packets hanging from trees.
From this we can assume that our bodies were not designed to metabolize such large quantities of this extracted and processed substance. No other animals in Nature are eating sugar this way. Our bodies evolved eating sugar as it naturally occurs in vegetables and fruits.
Therefore, we can see the natural order regarding sugar and conclude that sugar, in its concentrated and extracted form, should not be eaten. It is like putting highly explosive nitro fuel in a common car or 220 volts of electricity into a standard 110-volt light bulb.
We can take this a step further and conclude that we should avoid eating all processed and refined foods including sugar, oil and white flour. This would be in harmony with the natural order. Being in harmony with Nature produces health, well-being and happiness. And, of course, it goes without saying that she did not design the human body to consume and metabolize pesticides, fungicides and herbicides nor the chemicals that are routinely added to processed foods.
Herbivores and Carnivores
By observing the way in which Mother Nature designed carnivores (meat eating animals) and herbivores (plant eating animals) we can readily conclude that the human body is designed to be an herbivore. Below are just a few examples of the many differences.
Sweat to cool Pant to cool
Sip to drink Lap to drink
Long intestines Short intestines
Flat molars Sharp molars
The primates that preceded the human being and from whom our own bodies evolved are 99% plant eating.
The same thinking about Nature’s order applies to milk and dairy products. Nature designed the milk of a cow to facilitate the growth of a calf to 600 pounds in three months. Nowhere in Nature do we see any animals drinking milk past the normal age of weaning and certainly not the drinking of milk designed specifically for other species. Drinking cow’s milk and consuming dairy products is a departure from Nature’s order.
Because eating flesh foods and dairy foods is not natural to the human body, diseases will result from this. Hundreds of medical studies have been done that prove beyond all doubt that this is true. Clinical studies have shown that a whole-foods, plant-based diet (WFPB) will stop and reverse heart disease and that humans who eat a WFPB diet will not get heart disease.
The number of cancer incidents will be greatly diminished as will strokes and diabetes. Arthritis would become rare. All of this from observing Nature’s plan and following that plan. Departing from Nature’s plan produces disease and suffering.
Kaiser Permanente goes Vegan
The scientific studies showing the health benefits of a WFPB diet are so overwhelming that in 2013 Kaiser Permanente, the largest private healthcare provider in the world, sent a memo to all 17,000 of its on-staff, salaried doctors and suggested they advise all patients to pursue a WFPB diet. In part, the memo states:
"Healthy eating may be best achieved with a plant-based diet, which we define as a regimen that encourages whole, plant-based foods and discourages meats, dairy products, and eggs as well as all refined and processed foods."
The whole bulletin can be read here.
In addition they have put together a wonderful, full-color, expertly-illustrated 20 page pamphlet to explain the reasons for adopting a WFPB diet and how to go aboiut it. Click here to see it as a pdf file. Here is a wonderful short video about Kaiser's whole-foods, plant-based diet discoveries and recommendations.
The author would suggest reading his book Whole Foods Plant Based Diet www.devipress.com.
And where do we get our protein? The average horse weighs 1,200 pounds and gets all of its protein from eating grass. An elephant from eating leaves. A great ape from eating fruit. There is ample protein in all vegetables and fruits all of which contain all eight essential amino acids.
Nature designed our bodies to be slightly alkaline and studies have shown that departing from this natural state produces a plethora of ailments and diseases. The most acidizing foods producing the greatest “acid load” are animal foods - meat and dairy. This is true because of the high concentration of amino acids in them. These foods shift the body toward an acidic condition. Countries that consume the most dairy have the most hip fractures because the body must pull calcium out of the bones to neutralize the excessively acidic condition that occurs from eating meat and dairy (eggs too).
All bottled oils are unnatural, highly concentrated, highly processed foods like sugar. There are no bottles of oil growing on trees and no other animals in Nature require any additional oils for their optimal health. This is the natural order for them and it is also for humans. Adding these processed oils to our diet is a ticket to health problems which can be quite severe.
All vegetables, grains, legumes and fruits contain oil. We use rose oil, lavender oil, eucalyptus oil and other similar oils because we can press these oils out of the plants. Yessiree! Rose petals produce oil! There is even oil in lettuce!
The vegetable kingdom is awash in oil and the amount of oil in these foods consumed naturally is the amount of oil that Mother Nature designed for us to eat. This is the amount of oil all plant-eaters in the animal kingdom eat.
There are no healthy bottled oils because all of them are highly refined and processed and therefore a departure from the natural order. No, so sorry, coconut oil is not an exception. It is extracted from coconuts and is therefore highly concentrated and taken out of its natural context. If we want coconut oil, we should eat the whole coconut.
Oil consumption, year after year and day after day in a person’s life, destroys the vital and protective epithelial cells that line our arteries and this produces coronary heart disease. It causes insulin resistance resulting in type 2 diabetes. It causes our red blood cells to clump diminishing the efficiency of our blood to distribute oxygen and nutrients. Being the most calorie dense food substance known to man it is the main contributor to obesity. All oils cause inflammation – some more than others.
Watch the awesome documentary Forks Over Knives.
Animal Agriculture Destroys the Environment
Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 45 pounds of grain, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 1,100 gallons of water, 30 square feet of forested land, and one animal’s life.
Animal agriculture is the single most destructive human activity with regards to the ecology of the planet. 100,000 animals are slaughtered every minute which adds up to 6 million every hour or 70 billion animals each year.
Animal agriculture is the leading cause of species extinction, ocean dead zones, water pollution, and habitat destruction.
90% of the destruction of the Amazon rainforest is to raise beef cattle.
Farmed animals produce more greenhouse gas than all modes of transportation (cars, buses, trucks, trains, airplanes and ocean going ships) worldwide combined.
Farmed animals consume most of the fresh water available on the earth. Their waste is the single greatest source of pollution on the planet causing immense damage. And these factoids are only a drop in the bucket in the whole inventory of ecological destruction being caused by animal agriculture.
Watch the wonderful documentary about this titled Cowspiracy.
“When I see bacon, I see a pig, I see a little friend, and that’s why I can’t eat it. Simple as that.” - Paul McCartney