Considering a Plant Based Diet

The Year of Health has become even more important with my husbands unexpected heart attack and need to quadruple bypass surgery. As he recovers from a surgery, that seems inconceivable to me, we are researching what we need to do to protect him from having to go through anything like this again. We also want to protect our son from being where his dad is in 30 years. The genetic risk lives on chromosome 19. I learned this this week. The idea that a 15 yearly boy has to be tested for high cholesterol is mind boggling to me. We had already dubbed 2020 as our “Year of Health” even before this event. Now it is even more important for our whole family.

Diet and exercise seem to be the two areas where we can make an impact. We had committed to at least 10,000 steps a day and 52 hikes this year. We may need to do some urban hiking to make this work. Today instead of the hike we had planned, Marty took his first walk down the hall on the intensive care unit. We may have to double up on hikes later in the year to make our 52, but we will get there.

As soon as my brother heard about Marty’s heart attack he suggested a plant based diet. My brother follows this type of diet and it prevented him from needing to be on medication for his cholesterol. It also probably prevented him from a fate similar to Marty’s, as we have family history of hear disease. I have been pescatarian since 2011. I travel for work so have been hesitant to give up dairy, eggs, and fish. Marty eats what I cook but when he eats separate from me, he eats the typical American diet. Wanting to protect our family from having this ever happen to anyone we love again, got us seriously looking at plant based diets. My 9 years eating things without legs has taught me how to cook some amazing meat free dishes. I am confident that I can bring this to the next level. But, does a plant based diet really work?

We started research by watching some documentaries on Netflix. What the HealthFork over Knife, and The Game Changers provided us with information that was so surprising. A friend recommended a YouTube Channel Krocks in the Kitchen, which led us to another one called, The Jardoui Family. The YouTube channels provide some great ideas as well as wonderful inspired recipes. The host of The Jardoui Family shared her story and it was just as my brother had said. eating a plant based diet restored health and prevented the need for the Statin drugs that are often used to reduce cholesterol. It confirmed what the documentaries had said.

Can we do this? Sure, why not! Planning ahead and cooking for ourselves will be key in being successful on a diet like this. More and more restaurants are offering plant based food. In the Twin Cities we have The Herbivorious Butcher, which has wonderful options.  When I first stopped eating animals back in 2011, I just tried it and thought, “I will see how long I can do this”. Now, 9 years later, I am looking at taking the next step for my health and the health of my family.

May you always have good health. I love you!

If you have any fabulous plant based recipes  or information you would like to share, please post them in the comments. Thank you. If you want a natural way to improve your health, I recommend you watch the documentaries.



You Are Complete, You Are Whole

I am complete; the Universe exists within me”. This was the centering thought in a meditation I recently did; put out by Deepak Chopra. What a profound statement. “I am complete” is profound in and of itself but adding; “The Universe exists within in me”, causes it takes on a much deeper meaning. Thinking about this and taking it into our consciousness, can have a profound effect of how we feel about ourselves and how we interact with others. For if this is true of us, then it is also true of all others. Let’s look at this bit by bit. 

I am complete –This is another way of saying; “I am enough”. It is a beautiful sentiment. How much time do we spend judging ourselves and feeling like we are not worthy or not enough. Just acknowledging that we are complete can start you to feel things shift within. You may not even believe it is true at first but slowly, if you keep reminding yourself, you can start to see how you really are complete. You are worthy. You are enough. You do not have to strive to be better. You do not have to feel like a failure. You are complete. Your journey through this life is not over and you most likely will have many more experiences. You may even be actively working on self improvement. All of this does not change the fact that you are complete. You are beautiful. You are whole. 

The Universe exists within me – This part, to the centering thought, is also quite profound. I use the word Universe synonymously with God. So to me, this means that God lives within me. Much like the greeting ‘Namaste’ which has many translations, but the one I hear the most is, “The Divine in me recognizes the Divine in you”. This greeting acknowledges that God lives in all of us. The Kundalini Yoga tradition I follow uses the Mantra; “Sat Nam”, which means “I am truth”. If God lives within me how can I be anything but truth. In the Bible 1 Corinthians 3:16 says; “Do you not know that you are a temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” It is commonly accepted in India what we are God. God is within us all, connecting us all.

If this is true for you then it is also true for others. So if you are complete, then others are also complete. It doesn’t matter who they are or where they are on their soul’s journey. They are complete. The doctor, homeless person, college student, veteran, or anyone else you can think of; they are all complete. They are whole. They are worthy. They are enough. We do not need to judge them. We can hold the space for them to have the experience they came here to have and accept them as is. It is not our job to fix them. The Universe lives within them as well. They are a bit of the God consciousness. We are all connected in this way. We are all Divine. We are all perfect because of that Divine light which we hold within us. 

When you start to judge another person, remember that they are complete and the Universe exists within them. When you start to judge yourself, remember that you are complete and that the Universe exists within you also. Be patient with yourself and others. Be kind to yourself and others. Share love with all you meet. 

Thank you for reading my blog today. I love you! May you understand your Divine and complete nature, as if by magic. 

*Photo taken in the mountains in Oregon.

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