Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Eating a Vegan Diet

Can heart disease be prevented and (usually) reversed?  Yes it can!
Are we doomed because of our genetics?  No way!  That is old information.

Taking responsibility for our own heart health, regardless of genetics, starts with learning modern nutritional research, which overwhelmingly indicates that we should be eating a whole foods, plant-based diet and avoiding all animal products (although Dr. Oz adds fish 3x/week).

Dr. Esselstyn calls Heart Disease a "Toothless paper tiger that need never exist."  To get fully up to speed, here are multiple doctors, with websites, to help with your research:

Dr. Esselystn: http://www.heartattackproof.com/excerpt.htm
"My message is clear and absolute: coronary artery disease need not exist, and if it does, it need not progress... I believe that coronary artery disease is preventable, and that even after it is underway, its progress can be stopped, its insidious effects reversed… The key lies in nutrition—specifically, in abandoning the toxic American diet and maintaining cholesterol levels well below those historically recommended by health policy experts."

Dr. Barnard:  http://tinyurl.com/otoxp8z 
"The greatest advance in the understanding of heart, or cardiovascular, disease (CVD) was the discovery that this disease can be virtually eliminated by controlling three factors: cholesterol, smoking, and blood pressure...To clean up your arteries (reverse atherosclerosis), a very low-fat, no-cholesterol diet must be followed strictly. Immediate benefits, such as relief of chest pains (angina) and tolerance for more exercise, are seen within days."

Dr. Fuhrman: http://www.drfuhrman.com/disease/HeartDisease.aspx
"Heart disease, medical interventions and heart attack deaths can be totally prevented. You can make a decision not to die of heart disease… Most people are not aware that heart disease can be totally prevented and cholesterol levels drop radically low without drugs with my Eat To Live diet-style; a program for those who want to completely remove their risk of heart disease and not merely lower their risk a little. It is designed for those who are not satisfied with mediocrity and for those who want to know the most effective way to lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, reverse diabetes and reverse heart disease naturally."

Dr. McDougall:  http://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/oct/if.htm
"Changing to a plant-food based diet will cause a 90% reduction in the frequency of chest pain episodes (the primary reason for heart surgery) in less than 3 weeks.  Over months, actual healing of the artery disease (reversal of atherosclerosis) can be demonstrated in almost all patients who follow a low-fat, starch-based diet."

Dr. Oz:  http://www.bhg.com/health-family/conditions/heart-disease/preventing-a-heart-attack/
Push past your fears by finding the joy in adopting a healthy program and by making it fun. "You absolutely can reverse and virtually eliminate heart disease by making sensible lifestyle changes," he says.

"Take Heart!  Heart Disease is Preventable" article: The University of Chicago Medicine http://www.uchospitals.edu/specialties/heart/services/prevention/prevent-CVD.html

Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease is described for you by Dr. Oz and guess what it is?  A plant-based diet!  “Reverse Your Heart Disease in 28 Days” http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/reverse-your-heart-disease-28-days

Here's another good book to read:  "Dr. Dean Ornish's Program for Reversing Heart Disease":  http://www.amazon.com/Ornishs-Program-Reversing-Heart-Disease/dp/0804110387

Here's a book I haven't read, but it sounds like they understand that heart disease is a lifestyle disease, not a genetic death sentence:  "Reverse Heart Disease Now: Stop Deadly Cardiovascular Plaque Before It's Too Late"


This is not some wild-hair idea of mine that I am irresponsibly preaching.  The medical information is out there for those willing to research and be open-minded.

I will cheer on everyone willing to take responsibility for their health by at least changing to the cleanest diet possible, which based on science is a vegan diet, rather than blaming poor health on genetics.  Why not do everything you can to take care of your health and then, if your worst fears are confirmed and genetics get you in the end, well; you've done all you can.

Personally, if I chose not share this transformative information about heart disease that Americans so desperately need to hear, it would seem irresponsible to me.  So I will shout it from the rooftops in the hopes that someone benefits.   To your exceptional health!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Tessa's Eating Out Tips

Eating healthy vegan food at restaurants is a learned skill. While much restaurant food is overly salted, loaded with sugar, and marinated in butter, you can increase your chances of eating good food with the following tips:

  • Hungry?  Find good options: Before you go out to eat, use HappyCow.net to find vegan-friendly places to eat. 
  • Find great options:  If you can find a specialized raw food or vegan restaurant, SCORE! You will find amazing food and chefs that can make vegetables sing! 
  • Menu Surf:  Before you go out, look up the restaurant's menu online so you can be ready to ask questions or order. 
  • Ask:  Always ask your waiter questions about meal ingredients (mayo or vinegar based?  Is it vegan?) I am okay with a very minor ingredient being non-vegan, but I try to get it removed if possible. 
  • Food Prep is Critical:  determine how a dish is prepared (baked, fried, grilled?).   I've been surprised by veggie chips that I thought were going to be raw and instead they were fried -ugh!  Always ask.
  • Substitute:  If you must remove something from a dish to make it vegan (like cheese), then substitute something else (like avocados). There should be no charge for a substitution and if it the waiter does not mentioned a charge, then it should not be on your bill and request its removal (or ask in advance if the substitution is without additional charge). 
  • Bill Reduction:  If you request to take a meat off a menu item, then ask for the bill to be lowered accordingly. Or find a vegetarian menu option and then add some items. You should not have to pay for expensive meat that you don't eat. 
  • Save an animal:  Instead of pushing meat off a dish when it comes to the table (like ordering a chicken caesar salad and pushing aside the chicken), always request that the meal come to the table without the meat. There is no need for an animal to suffer and die when you're not even going to eat it. Also, that is one less serving of meat the restaurant will need to buy from the meat industry. 
  • Design your own meal:  If you need to design your own veggie meal, scan their side dishes for any veggies that they can grill or sauté for you. The chef can put together a nice veggie plate using "all the vegetables that can be found in the kitchen."  Oftentimes, this option will not be on the menu. 
  • Side dishes:  If a side dish comes with your meal, but you can find no healthy options, then just ask if they'll steam or sauté a veggie for you. Example: I refused all the unhealthy side dishes at a cafe yesterday and was then offered steamed broccoli, which wasn't on the menu. It helps if they know you're eating healthy vegan. Don't let bad food even get on your plate or you'll be tempted. 
  • Final Requests:  After you order your food, ask for "no added oil, butter, or salt." Explain you're aiming for "healthy" - they're good with that. 
  • Facebook Suggestions:  If you love to frequent a place where vegan options are lacking, type a quick suggestion on the restaurant's Facebook page, asking them to add a couple healthy vegan options. Usually, you'll get a nice response from the restaurant and hopefully more food options in the future. 
  • Common Ground:  Places with buffets or salad bars are great places to share a meal with omnivores.
  • Ethnic restaurants often offer great vegetarian/vegan options. You might enjoy trying foods of various cultures, particularly as your taste buds change and become more sensitized over time.  Many countries have more vegetarians (often for religious reasons) than we have in the U.S.  They're great options.
  • Share the Love:  Always tell the restaurant folks that you're eating Vegan.  Why?  The more people who eat that way, the more they will cater to our healthy needs. My husband, Ned, just told me of a steakhouse in Houston that now has 2 vegan options that they didn't have just a short time ago.  (He is an awesome vegan!)
  • Be Proud:  Hold your head high when you politely request healthy vegan options!  Be proud to be a vegan, taking care of your body.  We only get one body to last a lifetime!
Healthy Bon Appetit!

Please add your own healthy restaurant eating tips in the comments.  Hope that helps