The U.S. News and World Report Magazine just published the best diets of 2018. Forty-five million Americans are dieting. I would be comfortable in saying that many of those are experiencing health problems in addition to being overweight. Another common ground is that everyone believes vegetables are healthy. Plant based nutrition is for life and not just a diet. That is the reason it is such a good way to eat, and also the reason why people fear trying it. They do not want to fail, and it is easier to stop a diet than fail at a lifesytle. And apparently the cool kids eat meat or so they think.
Even though I liked being outside more than inside, science, playing in the band and golfing, I did not realize I might be considered a “geek” until after medical school. I had plenty of “cool friends” that were also, apparantly, geeks. I enjoy my world, and I am happy to share my time with those willing to accept me as I am. So becoming vegan or plant based was not a worry. My reasons are sound. I want to eat in a way that allows me to be the healthiest that I can be. A way that allows my body to heal from the stressors of life so that I can experience as many things as I can. Strangely enough no one tries to get me to sway from my nutrition choices.
So why not live and let live. Why feel the need to eat the unhealthy foods just because others do. Why should you be embarrassed eating salads instead of steak? Remember there are 45 million people trying to improve thier health right now with you. However, most of them view nutrition as a punishment for having been a little too cool and gaining a few extra pounds. And as soon as those pounds go away their health will be restored to ground zero, and they can go back to the cool ways of eating. Some people believe, if you only eat the cool things like butter, steak and eggs, you can get healthy again and eat the way cooler things like potato chips and ice cream. But we know that really does not work.
What makes eating meat cool and vegetables uncool? Why do people brag they like meat and make fun of those eating plants? It is certainly not the nutrition profile. The World Health Organization has deemed processed meat as a Level 1 carcinogen and red meat a Level 2 carcinogen. That is compared to fruits and vegetables that provide protection against, and help to reverse lifestyle diseases. I’m thinking it is not any better to be cool now than it was when I wasn’t before. There are a lot of people just like you that want to be healthy and not hurt. They are just not sure they want to leave the cool table in the lunch room.
The lunch table with the overweight, unhealthy people is large. The plant strong table is much smaller. But there are plenty of people happy to sit with you as you eat your kale salad and vegetable soup. They will be breathing easy and full of energy. Their plates will be colorful. They may ask you to go for a walk or run and enjoy the fresh air. They will be smiling because nothing on their plate was mistreated or tortured, and the earth may live another day because it too was nurtured in producing their food. The plant strong table is happy to be healthy and free of medications. They may not know it, but they may be the envy of the cool kids now. You are not alone in the desire to be healthy, and don’t forget to be kind when the cool kids asks to sit with you.