Our Body

“Your body isn’t a temple, it’s a home you’ll live in forever. Take care of it.”

Colin Wright

“Your body isn’t a temple, it’s a home you’ll live in forever. Take care of it.” 

I love this quote from Colin Wright; I’d never thought of our bodies being our home. Thinking about it like that certainly changes my perspective on how I view my own body. I’ve ‘dieted’ plenty of times, using different diets. As long as my head is in the game then I’m usually relatively successful, until I stop and then put all that weight back on. Then I got dragged, (screaming – I should add), into my thirties, and I gradually discovered that I was more concerned about my health and well-being rather than being skinny (don’t get me wrong, I’d love to be slimmer, but my health has now taken precedence). I thought I knew what being healthy meant, and like most of us, I did to a degree, but there was something missing. I knew that fruit and vegetables were healthy, but I hadn’t realised how they were the healing food our bodies required. And then, on top of that, I discovered the negative side of foods which I thought were good for me. Your body is important. Find out how to treat it with some TLC and it’ll look after you for the rest of your life!

The Truth About Our Food

These days, we are all concerned about our health and how we can improve it. We’ve all heard the phrase that ‘you are what you eat’ and we all know that eating fruit and vegetables is really good for you. But do we really understand how good they are, and how much processed foods, meat and dairy negatively impacts our lives?

Here are some facts for you that might come as a surprise:

1. Diabetes is NOT Caused by a Diet High in Carbohydrate or Sugar

This fact blew me away, but I’ve now read it from so many well respected doctors, nutritionists and scientists that I can no longer ignore the evidence. According to a huge number of studies, “pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes are caused by a drop in insulin sensitivity blamed on ‘intramyocellular lipid,’ the buildup of fat inside our muscle cells.” Nutrition Facts. This is caused by consuming cholesterol rich foods.

The Adventist Health Study showed a 93-97% increased risk of diabetes for those who ate meat compared to those who didn’t. Check out the study here.

2. WE are the no.1 Cause of Heart Disease

Cardiovascular disease (CVD’s) is the no.1 killer globally. An estimated 17.9 million people died from CVDs in 2016 with 85% of those due to a heart attack or stroke. Most of these are preventable through diet, exercise, not smoking and drinking sensible levels of alcohol. Our arteries get clogged up from LDL and dietary (saturated and trans fats) cholesterol. These are found in processed foods, meat and dairy. See what the WHO has to say about it.

This study, across 20 countries, shows how death rates increased as consumption of animal protein went up.

3. 93% of Cancer Causing Dioxin in our Bodies Comes from Meat & Dairy

Dioxin is a toxic chemical which was the primary component in Agent Orange. It causes cancer, can affect our developmental and immune system and is linked to a hole host of lung, skin, fertility and pregnancy issues and much more.

It’s now infiltrated throughout our food chain, growing immensely within animals (it loves fat). A vegan diet has been shown to be the only diet to avoid this toxic contamination to our bodies. For more information read EJN’s summary and supporting evidence.

4. Milk is a Cause of Cancer, Acne, Bone & Hip Fractures & Type 1 Diabetes

Hold on…what? These shocking truths about dairy have been discovered and tested over multiple studies. Experts have long been concerned how the hormones found in dairy play a part in hormone-sensitive tumors. They have found that casein (the main protein found in cows milk) has been shown to turn cancer on in this study. And for breast cancer, the evidence is overwhelming that higher estrogen levels are a critical determinant for a higher risk of developing the disease.

This study and this one show the increased risk of bone and hip fractures from consuming dairy (including low fat).

Plus, children who drink cow’s milk and have a genetic predisposition have been shown to be at a far greater risk of developing type 1 diabetes.

And lastly…for all you teenagers and twenty somethings, you’ll want to know the main cause of acne…you’ve guessed it, milk! Here’s a study which shows this and many of the other effects of milk.

5. 'Faulty' Genes Don't Dictate the Outcome

Your genetic predisposition or susceptibility to a disease does not necessarily mean you will contract that disease. Take a seed for example. If you give it the right combination of food, water and sunlight, it’ll grow, but take one of those elements away and it won’t get off the starting block. Your lifestyle, including the food you eat, can determine whether or not your genes create the disease. For further information read WHO’s Human Genomics in Global Health, Michael Greger’s How Not to Die, T. Colin Campbell’s The China Study and watch What the Health on Netflix

6. Meat Increases Artery Inflammation

“The primary reason…may be the load of dead bacteria in animal products which release endotoxins that are absorbed into our system leading to the endotoxic inflamation we see after meat, egg and dairy consumption.” Michael Greger M.D. FACLM

Did you know that bacterial endotoxins (from meat and dairy) cannot be killed off by cooking, the acid in our stomachs or digestive enzymes?

And artery inflammation is thought to lead to many heart attacks…


The Solution

Okay, we’ve had the bad news, so, how can we adapt our diet to not just avoid some of these diseases but to actively heal our bodies? Let’s take a look at the best healing, nutritious foods and find out how to get all the benefits from a whole food plant-based diet.


Question 1

So,what is a whole food plant based diet?

Well I’m glad you asked 😉 This is a diet of plants, that are in their original state (as much as possible) and not refined (this even includes oils which have had most of their nutrition stripped from them). The whole food diet consists of whole grains, beans and lentils, vegetables and fruits, nuts and seeds and herbs and spices.


Question 2

How does that work in practice?

Here are two ways to get started. Firstly, check out the information below, developed by Dr. Michael Greger, M.D. FACLM. This is a list of 10 food groups plus drinks and exercise (for a complete whole-body reset). To give your body the best possible chance to heal and recover, these are the foods to focus on. I will be the first to admit that I haven’t yet achieved ticking everything off on one day, but I’ve found this to be such a great tool to help me focus on what and how much to eat. The number of Vegan Inspire Icon‘s indicates how many portions of each group to aim for each day. For more information why each group is so important, the foods each group includes and the ways in which they can heal your body, read Dr Greger’s How Not to Die book.

Secondly, take a look at some of the whole food plant based (WFPB) recipes in our Vegan Inspire recipe section.

Dr. Greger’s

Daily Dozen

Vegan Inspire  one serving

(serving sizes shown below)

Beans Vegan InspireVegan InspireVegan Inspire

black beans | edamame | chickpeas | miso | tempeh | tofu etc.

60g / 1/4 cup hummus / bean dip
130g / 1/2 cup cooked beans, split peas, lentils, tofu or tempeh

Fruits Vegan InspireVegan InspireVegan Inspire

apples | avocados | melon | oranges | bananas | peaches etc.

1 medium fruit
40g / 1/4 cup dried fruit

Greens Vegan InspireVegan Inspire

kale | spinach | swiss chard | collard greens | sorrel etc.

60g / 1 cup raw
90g / 1/2 cup cooked

Nuts & Seeds Vegan Inspire

almonds | cashews | chia | sunflower & pumpkin seeds etc.

30g / 1/4 cup nuts or seeds
2 tbsp nut or seed butter

Herbs & Spices Vegan Inspire

turmeric | basil | chilli powder | coriander | oregano | parsley | coriander etc.

1/4 tsp turmeric
Any other herbs and spices

Exercise Vegan Inspire

Moderate: brisk walk (4mph) | biking | hiking | treading water | skateboarding etc.

Vigorous: jogging | football | rock climbing | swimming laps | weight training etc.

90 mins of moderate activity
40 mins of vigorous activity

Berries Vegan Inspire

blackberries | blueberries | strawberries | cherries | grapes etc.

60g / 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries
40g / 1/4 cup dried berries

Cruciferous Vegan Inspire

broccoli | cabbage | kale | watercress | cauliflower etc.

30-80g / 1/2 cup chopped
12g / 1/4 cup Brussels or broccoli sprouts

Vegetables Vegan InspireVegan Inspire

artichokes | asparagus | bell peppers | sweet potatoes | squash | mushrooms etc.

60g / 1 cup raw leafy vegetables
50g / 1/2 cup raw or cooked non-leafy vegetables

Flaxseed Vegan Inspire

golden | brown

1 tbsp ground

Whole Grains Vegan InspireVegan InspireVegan Inspire

brown rice | oats | quinoa | wild rice | whole-wheat pasta | buckwheat etc.

100g / 1/2 cup hot cereal or cooked grains, pasta or corn kernels
50g / 1 cup cold cereal

Beverages Vegan InspireVegan InspireVegan InspireVegan InspireVegan Inspire

water | green tea | coffee | black tea | jasmine tea | matcha tea | peppermint tea etc.

350ml / 12 ounces

Dr. Greger’s ‘Daily Dozen’ used with permission from nutritionfacts.org

Whole Food Plant Based Recipes

Chocolate & Nut Butter Nice Cream

dairy free | egg free | soy free | gluten free

This take on ice cream is so delicious it’ll have everyone fooled. Perfect on a hot summer’s day or for dessert any time of the year.

Quick & Healthy Chana Masala

gluten free | dairy free | nut free | soy free

This is one of my go-to dinners, especially over the winter months, and even more so during the week because it’s so quick to make and hits those taste buds just right.

Eggy Tofu Scramble

gluten free | dairy free | nut free

I have recently discovered Black salt (Kala Namak) which gives this scramble an egg-like flavour. It’s great for breakfast on gluten free or wholemeal toast with veggies.

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