If you feel that you are not achieving your fullest potential, or that something just isn’t right in your body, it might be time to take a plant-based diet out on a first date.
Plants are the medicine of ancient tradition and of the future. Since the beginning of time, humans ate plants and the human body evolved as a result of this synergistic action: the plants provided vital nutrients which our cells instinctively knew where to send and how to use them to stay healthy and happy. What’s changed since then? What we put in our mouths.
Our ancient ancestors were exposed to a large variety of plant species and chemotypes, meaning that their phytochemical exposure (the diversity of plant nutrients they ate throughout the year) was 8 - 10 times more than that of modern diets, although Kevin Spelman would speculate it's closer to 100 times. By transitioning to a plant-based diet, you’ll increase your exposure to various phytochemicals which gives your cells a toolkit packed with numerous tools to get all the odds and ends jobs fixed and finished in your body.
Following a plant-based diet is not going to limit you, unlike many diets that are defined by what you can’t eat, a plant-based diet has a more optimistic approach by looking at all the possible things you can eat, which include: lots of vegetables and fruits, seeds, nuts, specific grains, and even animal products that are raised on a plant-based diet.
Internal spring cleaning
This quick-start 3 day detox guide is a great place to start when transitioning to a plant-based diet.
What can you expect after 3 days of plant packed meals?
If you’ve been in a long-term relationship with unhealthy foods, you might want to kick-start a plant-based diet by gently detoxing for longer than 3 days. By restricting your diet for a few more days or for a few weeks, and focusing on eating nutrient dense foods and avoiding foods that cause inflammation in the body or are difficult to digest, you’ll give your body a much-needed break to reboot. During this period, you’ll want to:
Focus on foods rich in chlorophyll (eat all the greens)
Prioritize sleep and rest (swap the bar for the bath and be in bed by 10pm)
Start moving (hit up a yoga studio for a restorative practice and take a stroll around town)
Research has proven that plants rich in chlorophyll have: anti-cancer, anti-ulcer, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-arthritic, and blood building activity and supports the body’s natural detoxification function. By eating primarily chlorophyll rich veggies, and avoiding foods that cause inflammation, you’ll create homeostasis in the body: giving your cells space, tools, and time they need to heal, rebuild, and flourish as they are programmed to naturally do.
While transitioning to a plant-based diet and doing spring cleaning, you’ll want to avoid: beef and lamb (a “light” protein like chicken or fish is fine during this period), diary of any kind, grains, legumes, starchy veggies, sugar and fruits high in sugar, alcohol, coffee, and any processed foods.
Moringa: the leafy green not to be missed during a detox or any phase or life.
Packed with nutrients, in 100 g of moringa leaves, you’ll find: vitamin A (4x more than 100 g of carrots), calcium (4x more than a cup of milk), iron (4x more than 100 g of spinach), vitamin C (7x more than 100 g of oranges) potassium (3x more than 100 g of bananas), and protein (similar in quality, digestibility, and bioavailability to that found in milk and eggs): see the research here and read more about moringa here.
While 8 different parts of the moringa plant are traditionally, and currently, used in numerous therapeutic applications, moringa leaves are a particularly important addition to integrate into your diet while bringing the body back to a baseline health. Moringa leaves boast a nutrient dense profile, have an antibacterial and antiviral action, and are calming to the central nervous system: these actions calm the sympathetic nervous system (the fight or flight response) enabling the body to feel safe and initiate healing, support the body’s ability to fight off whatever is suppressing its natural functioning, and gives our cells additional tools (the super nutrients) to rebuild.
Change your perspective, change your palate.
Food is intended to be given and received: to be picked up at farmers’ market and community-based produce pantries. Gathering around food allows one to connect with others, gives the produce a story, and the food made from it a vibrant history, and by sharing the food you’ve made with someone else, it allows this process to repeat.
Plant-based food is the most nourishing gift you can give to yourself and to others.