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How to be a plant based health care advocate
I started this blog two years ago with the intention of showing my friends and family the complete lifestyle changes I had made to my lifestyle. I truly had no idea how large the conversation would grow, but I quickly realized it was not a conversation I would be able to limit to my immediate circles. There are millions of people doing it, I figured, so why not start it? I was also motivated to write about it because a close friend I met two years ago and haven’t seen in nearly two years was facing a life-threatening illness and had recently begun to incorporate plant-based foods into her diet, and I wanted to help her find the resources and tools to help her in her journey.
I now have over 4,000 friends on Facebook who have been following me through the challenges, triumphs, and successes of plant based living. And I am not just talking about people who are dedicated plant-based enthusiasts. This blog, and many others I find on the Internet, have given me a tool to empower those who are just beginning to explore the benefits of a plant-based diet. As I have gone through the transformation, I have realized that my journey does not have to stop at giving the good news to a friend, now it is time to do my part in educating others about the many benefits of plant-based eating.
When you read this, you might be thinking “I’m already doing that, why do I need to be another voice promoting plant based diets?” I am one of the fortunate ones, I have a health care professional who has seen the success of my dietary changes in my own life and who also believes plant-based living to be the way to go for our planet and our health.In many respects, this profession is crucial to helping others believe in plant-based eating.
As my journey has progressed, I have realized that there are many questions which I wish to answer for those who are either new to plant-based eating or those who are embarking on this journey for the first time. These questions will not only help you navigate through the blog, but can also be helpful for your own journey. With that in mind, here is a set of questions to ask when starting a plant based lifestyle.
What is plant based eating?
This is a very broad question with a very clear answer. When most people think about plant based living, it is their dietary lifestyle that they are referring to. Plant based eating is a term which encompasses all dietary lifestyle changes made for health and the environment. If you are a vegetarian, you are already plant based, and if you are a vegan, you are already plant based. Of course, there are many more people in the plant based community that still eat animal products, in that case, some of the questions below would be a little more nuanced.
For instance, if you are part of a religious community where meat is always forbidden, but it is okay to drink milk, then plant based living is not really for you. In that case, you could still be eating a vegan diet, but the answers you are looking for will be somewhat different than the rest of the questions.
What does this have to do with me?
Throughout my journey, I have been talking to people about what this lifestyle change means for their diet and health. I have heard stories of miraculous recoveries from diseases that had been terminal and of new health challenges that have never presented themselves before. I want to be able to provide all of this to those who come to my website.
There are so many different health and ethical arguments for adopting a plant based diet that I don’t feel I can sufficiently answer each one, so I have decided to give a framework for people to use. I have broken down my approach to this blog to six topics:
Protection of Natural Resources
Local and Community
Importance of Planet Earth
I will not be able to write about each topic completely and I hope the framework for questions and answers will be helpful for you as you find your way through my site.
How should I feel about this?
Being in the health care profession, I know a little bit about disease and the importance of maintaining good health. When I started this journey, I never expected the positive effects it would have on my life. I expected that it would just be a lifestyle change. I found that this new way of living and eating is more than a lifestyle change and more than a method to improve my health, it is a way of life that makes life more enjoyable.
If you find this road difficult, if you feel pressured to make lifestyle changes but do not know how to make those changes, or if you are looking to adopt the lifestyle change but do not have a framework for how to maintain that change, then these questions will help you begin your journey. I ask these questions to remind myself of what I am setting out to achieve. As a health care professional, I know that if I do not remind myself why I am adopting this lifestyle, it will eventually become a day-to-day struggle that will not have the energy it takes to keep me moving forward.
Should I give up what I am doing?
I am glad you asked this question, because you should never feel the need to give up something you are doing just because you are about to embark on a new lifestyle. I understand that there is a strong tendency to feel pressured or even guilty by family,