The secret ingredient for a healthy life

While studying nutrition in college, my friend heard from a teacher that it is easier for a person to change their religion than it is to change their eating habits.

But necessity is the mother of invention. When my dad got sick and was hospitalized for cancer, I started doing research to learn how to protect ourselves and heal ourselves from cancer. While watching “A Delicate Balance” on Vimeo, I heard nutritional researcher T. Colin Campbell describe the results of the largest study ever conducted on nutrition and cancer, as detailed in his book, “The China Study.”

A had given me the friend in the book years before, but he had been a deciding factor as he advocated a vegan diet, which meant giving up all animal foods, including vegetarian foods like cheese and eggs. But in the fight for my father’s life, he was willing to do whatever it took, so I read the book and couldn’t put it down. My first thought upon completion was “knowledge is power.”

The premise of the book is that animal protein causes cancer cells to multiply, while plant protein causes cancer cells to shrink. This research is supported by empirical scientific evidence and published in academic journals. It is detailed in Chapter 3 of the book and would be a compelling place to start your own investigation. But the investigation is hushed up by food industry lobbyists who don’t want this kind of information available.

After reading the China Study and realizing how many foods are caused by the “Standard American Diet” or SAD, I vowed to go vegan. Going vegan seemed like an easy option to protect my health from the dreaded threat of cancer.

Although he was an experienced vegetarian, he lacked the ability to make tasty vegan food without cheese and eggs. Committed to the health benefits of a vegan diet, I enrolled in vegan chef school and trained for three weeks with a vegan master chef.

Throughout chef school I lived exclusively on vegan food. The first thing you notice is the incredible energy you get from eating fresh, healthy food. Antioxidants color fruits and vegetables that strengthen our own systems.

When people inevitably ask where our protein comes from, one expert replies, “I get my protein from the same place your protein gets its protein.” Leafy green vegetables, grains, nuts, greens, beans, and seeds are some “whole food, plant-based” sources of protein.

And the best thing is that the food tastes magnificent. Cashew cheese, almond milk, and coconut butter are staples. Toss tofu cubes with nutritional yeast, tamari, and olive oil, then bake for tasty nuggets. Steam the tempeh cubes for 20 minutes; mix them with vegan mayonnaise, garlic, onion, basil and parsley. Layer it on a pita for a “mock” chicken salad sandwich.

My passion is wellness and vegan food benefits human health, animal health and environmental health. Looking for a place to start? Mark Reinfeld of Vegan Fusion offers a series of cookbooks on Amazon.

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