Food - what you eat
Please note, SLS Health Coaching does not receive compensation for promoting the content presented here.
These resources are simply examples of information that we find useful and we hope you will too.
If you are concerned about your health, the health of a loved one, the health of this planet, and/or the health of animals, then these are the resources for you. The answer to your health problems, environmental problems, and desire to live compassionately towards animals, is found in one simple sustainable lifestyle solution - change what's on your plate. Eat food that heals instead of harms. Be free of confusing fad diets. Be free of restrictive calorie counting. And be free of portion control. Eat until you are satisfied food that is naturally high in nutrients but low in calories. Eat delicious food that everyone will love. Eat food that nourishes your body, your mind, and even your spirit. Become empowered with the knowledge that YOU DO HAVE CONTROL over your health, THERE IS HOPE for our planet, and NO ANIMAL HAS TO DIE. Below are just some of our favourite examples of an ever-growing mountain of resources. We have had the pleasure of meeting many of the experts in the whole-food, plant-based (WFPB) world and we are happy to recommend their resources to you. So, dig in! ... and it's OK to come back for seconds.
Changing from a typical meat and processed-food centered diet to a WFPB diet can result in dramatic health improvement within weeks or even days. Anyone taking medication should consult often with their doctor to assess whether the medication is still needed since taking unnecessary medications could result in injury. For example, medication for high blood pressure will likely need to be reduced or stopped since a WFPB diet can often naturally lower high blood pressure and the medication would cause the blood pressure to be too low possibly resulting in fainting and injury.
For Your Health and the Health of Your Loved-Ones
Health Canada promotes a plant-based way of eating!
On January 22, 2019, Health Canada revealed a significant improvement to "Canada's Food Guide". The new guide on what to eat and drink is a plate half full of fruit and vegetables, a quarter full of whole grains, and a quarter full of protein foods - protein foods that it recommends come from plants more often. As the guide explains, "Eating plant-based foods regularly can mean eating more fibre and less saturated fat. This can have a positive effect on health, including a lowered risk of cancer, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes." In addition to the food, the guide now promotes the importance of making water the drink of choice. This is a dramatic departure from previous guides that focused on meat and dairy.
The 2019 Canada's Food Guide also advises Canadians to be mindful of eating habits; enjoy food; eat with others; cook more often; use nutrition labels; limit foods high in sodium, sugar and fat; and to beware of food marketing.
The rationale for these drastic and much-needed changes to the guidelines can be found in the report "Canada's Dietary Guidelines", a 62-page report which also provided guidance for policy makers on how to implement the new guidelines.
"Now is the time to let food be our medicine."
If we could put only one resource on this page, this would be the one. Many people credit Forks over Knives as the starting point for their journey of healthier living. It began as a documentary film in 2011 which proved that our forks have more power than surgeons' knives. In the words of T. Colin Campbell, "I know of nothing else in medicine that can come close to what a plant-based diet can do." The film received rave reviews: "A film that can save your life." "A life changer." Since then, Forks over Knives has answered pubic demand and provided more, a lot more: a fantastic website, three books, hundreds of recipes, and even a super user-friendly app. The app contains 200+ recipes and a shopping list tool that allows you to share your list with others - cooking and shopping have never been easier. All of this and more can be found on their website. Our recommendation is to watch the film (available on Netflix) and get the "Plan" book and/or the app.
"Why didn't my doctor, health organization, or government tell me this?"
The news of the amazing power of a WFPB diet is often received with a lot of disbelief and sometimes anger. People think, "If it were true, the people I trust to take care of me would have told me." What the Health is the groundbreaking follow-up film from the creators of the award winning documentary Cowspiracy. The film follows intrepid filmmaker Kip Andersen as he investigates why the nation’s leading health organizations don’t want us to know about the power of healthy eating to prevent and reverse disease. With the help of medical doctors, researchers, and consumer advocates, What the Health exposes the collusion and corruption in government and big business that is costing us trillions of healthcare dollars, and keeping us sick. (Currently, fall 2017, this film is available on Netflix).
"We could turn on and turn off cancer growth."
For more than forty years, T. Colin Campbell, PhD has been at the forefront of nutrition research. He is the co-author of the bestselling book The China Study, which describes the most comprehensive study of health and nutrition ever conducted, and Whole. Dr. Campbell is a professor emeritus of nutritional biochemistry at Cornell University. He is the founder of the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies and the online internationally recognized Plant-Based Nutrition Certificate offered by the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies in partnership with eCornell. We became certified through this program and highly recommend it.
"Heart disease is a toothless paper tiger that need never, ever exist and if it does exist it need never, ever progress."
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr. (as well as Dr. Dean Ornish) proved decades ago that heart disease is preventable and reversible with lifestyle changes. As shown in the film Forks over Knives, Dr. Esselstyn's first "test group" were cardiac patients who were told by their cardiologists there was nothing more that could be done and to just go home and wait to die. Instead they followed Dr. Esselstyn's treatment of a whole-food plant-based diet and lived decades longer and healthier. Learn the details in Dr. Esselstyn's book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease. We had the great pleasure of meeting this magnificent and remarkably warm and humble man (along with his wife Ann, daughter Jane, and son Rip).
"What kind of pan should you use? ... One with a bottom."
Ann and Jane Esselstyn (wife and daughter of Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.) provide 125 delicious and practical recipes to compliment Dr. Esselstyn's work in their Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease Cookbook. This book is easy to read with lots of colour photos.
"Real men eat plants."
Rip Esselstyn (son of Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr.) proves there is nothing manly about eating animals. As a plant-strong professional triathlete and Austin City firefighter, he could outperform his meat-eating competition and comrades. Speaking of performance, Rip's second book, My Beef with Meat, explains how animal products are the cause of most of our killer chronic diseases, and the cause of "performance" issues no "man" wants. Packed with information and 145 simple, man-friendly recipes, this is a great resource for the guys.
"Childhood diets create adult cancers."
Dr. Joel Fuhrman has written several books that we would recommend, but Disease-Proof Your Child is of particular importance considering how many times we hear people say, "Well, I'd like to eat a whole-food plant-based diet, but I couldn't ask my kids to." Dr. Fuhrman explains to parents why this is exactly what they should be doing in order to best take care of their children. In addition, the book contains kid-approved recipes. His website also includes a Children section that includes testimonials of children who no longer suffer from asthma, allergies, ear infections, and more. Important reading for any parent.
"It's the food!"
Dr. John McDougall has been studying, writing, and speaking out about the effects of nutrition on disease for over 30 years. He is the founder and director of the nationally renowned McDougall Program: a ten-day residential program that he and his wife Mary host at a luxury resort in Santa Rosa, CA where medical miracles occur through diet and lifestyle changes. In addition to her formal training as a nurse, Mary McDougall provides many of the delicious recipes that make the McDougall Program not only possible, but also a pleasure. Dr. McDougall has cared for thousands of patients for almost 3 decades. His program not only promotes a broad range of dramatic and lasting health benefits but, most importantly, can also reverse serious illnesses including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and others, all without the use of drugs. Plant-based living is truly a family affair. Daughter Heather McDougall and son Dr. Craig McDougall, MD are contributors to the Forks Over Knives website.
Fast food that is approved by a registered dietician.
Jeff Novick, MS, RD is not just a chef, a registered dietician, and a nutritionist. He's also an educator. Jeff takes his incredible depth of knowledge of the world of nutrition and serves it up in easy to digest practical advice with a side-order of humour. In his series of DVDs Fast Food, he demonstrates how to make healthy, delicious, simple and economical meals in under 15 minutes! You can find samples of his videos on Youtube. Although Jeff's website could do with some updating, the content is very reliable - and we know he's busy sharing his knowledge, as he did when he promptly answered one of our emails. Jeff also provides nutrition advice through the website of Dr. John McDougall at www.drmcdougall.com/forums/ .
You didn't have all the latest nutrition facts at your finger tips ... until now.
Do you want the facts from the latest nutrition related research but don't have time or expertise to dig through the data? Physician and New York Times bestselling author, Dr. Michael Greger, scours the world's nutrition research to bring you free daily videos and articles. All proceeds from his books, DVDs, and speaking go to charity. We love him as much for his thoroughness as for his humour.
"Joy of living is sustainable; fear of dying is not."
Dr. Dean Ornish's program was the first to scientifically prove you can "undo" (reverse) heart disease by optimizing four important areas of your life: food, stress, love and support, and exercise. He is the author of several books on lifestyle medicine including The Spectrum which explains that lifestyle changes do not have to be an "all or nothing" approach, but the more you do the more you benefit.
"A plant-based diet can prevent, reverse, and manage diabetes."
Dr. Neal Barnard is the founder (1985) and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a nonprofit organization advocating for preventive medicine and higher ethical standards in research. PCRM empowers patients by putting prevention over pills, and saves animals by advocating for more effective alternatives to using animals in medical education and research. PCRM combines the clout and expertise of more than 12,000 physicians with the dedicated actions of 150,000 members across the United States and around the world. They work with policymakers, industry, the medical community, the media, and the public to create a better future for people and animals.
PCRM.org is an excellent resource of nutrition and health information for both medical professionals and the lay person. Dr. Barnard is the author of several books on nutrition and health including Dr. Neal Barnard's Program for Reversing Diabetes.
"Protein is not the answer. In fact, it’s the problem."
Dr. Garth Davis is the medical director of the Davis Clinic at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and starred on the hit TLC show Big Medicine. Dr. Davis is a recognized expert in initial bariatric procedures as well as revisional bariatric surgery, and frequently lectures on the importance of a plant-based diet. He is dedicated to helping people discover the foods and adopt the behaviors that can lead to a healthy and happy life.
Like most people who don't eat meat, we are constantly asked about protein. We are grateful to have the extensive amount of scientific evidence (peer-reviewed journals and not industry-funded) found in Proteinaholic to help us educate people on the facts surrounding this obsession. And we also appreciate Garth's direct and witty style.
"The Plantpower Way is better than a diet: It's a celebration of a delicious, simple, and sustainable lifestyle."
Created by renowned plant-based ultra-distance athlete and high-profile wellness advocate Rich Roll and his chef wife Julie Piatt, The Plantpower Way shares the joy and vibrant health they and their whole family have experienced living a plant-based lifestyle. Bursting with inspiration, practical guidance, and beautiful color photography, The Plantpower Way has more than 120 delicious, easy-to-prepare whole food recipes, including hearty breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, plus healthful and delicious smoothies and juices, and decadent desserts.
We've been fans of Rich Roll and his wife Julie Piatt long before this book came out, due to Rich's incredible podcasts designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock and unleash your best, most authentic self. We encourage you to dig into his conversations for yourself. There is something for everyone.
"Prevent not stent."
At his core, Dr. Joel Kahn believes that plant-based nutrition is the most powerful source of preventative medicine on the planet. Having practiced traditional cardiology since 1983, it was only after his own commitment to a plant based vegan diet that he truly began to delve into the realm of non-traditional diagnostic tools, prevention tactics and nutrition-based recovery protocols. These ideologies led him to change his approach and focus on being a holistic cardiologist. One of the world’s top cardiologists, Dr. Kahn has treated thousands of acute heart attacks during his career. He’d like all that to stop. He’d like to prevent ALL future heart attacks by breaking through to the public to educate and inspire a new holistic lifestyle.
For the Health of this Planet
"Animal agriculture is responsible for more greenhouse gas than all transportation."
As much as Forks over Knives is an eye-opener to the significant role food plays in disease, the documentary film Cowspiracy: The Sustainability Secret (available on Netflix) is an eye-opener to how animal agriculture is devastating the planet. Each individual will have their own "why" for any change they want to make in their lifestyle behaviour. If you want to adopt healthier eating habits and you are more concerned with the health of the planet than your own health, this is the film for you. (Warning: there is a graphic scene of a duck beheading at 1h10min.) Their website contains a wealth of facts and infographics.
"... our planet can only sustain indefinitely, a population of 2 billion people at the lifestyle of the average European. Clearly we have a huge problem. ... Things that we value most—family, health, freedom, happiness, friends, peace and wealth—do not exist without sustainability. In other words, if we don’t quickly learn how to live in harmony with nature, life will be nothing more than a hell on Earth for those few of us who survive."
The current population of planet Earth is approaching 8 billion! But our direct impact on the environment is nothing compared to the disastrous impact of the 80 billion animals on the planet we produce for our food. J. Morris Hicks' book Healthy Eating Healthy World explains with great clarity that the only hope we have to rescue our planet from this environmental crisis is to eliminate animal products from our diet. It's the ultimate win-win.
For the Health of the Animals and the Health of Your Spirit
In this groundbreaking book, Dr. Melanie Joy explores carnism, the invisible belief system that shapes our perception of the meat, eggs, and dairy we eat, so that we love some animals and eat others without knowing why. Carnism is sustained by complex psychological and social mechanisms that cause us to unknowingly act against our core values, our own interests, and the interests of others.
Like other “isms” (racism, sexism, etc.), carnism is most harmful when it is unrecognized. Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows names and explains this phenomenon and offers it up for examination. Unlike the many books that explain why we shouldn’t eat meat, Joy’s book explains why we do eat meat – and therefore how we can make more informed choices as citizens and consumers.
"Mercy For Animals believes that a humane society is possible. We are committed to reducing the greatest amount of suffering for the largest number of animals. Our efforts focus on protecting farmed animals—the most abused and exploited animals on the planet—and utilize a broad range of strategic approaches that seek to expose cruelty, prosecute abusers, and inspire consumers to make compassionate food choices."
Please be advised that this website contains graphic images and videos that represent what actually occurs millions of times each day to produce meat and dairy. These images can be very disturbing, which is the intent. We should be disturbed by them as our innate nature is compassion. Not seeing the cruelty does not mean it is not happening. However, SLS Health Coaching cautions against showing these to children.
"Think about it. If you can live well and be happy without causing unnecessary harm, why wouldn't you?" - Gene Bauer, Farm Sanctuary President
Farm Sanctuary was founded in 1986 to combat the abuses of factory farming and encourage a new awareness and understanding about farm animals. Today, Farm Sanctuary is the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization. They have rescued thousands of animals and cared for them at their sanctuaries in Watkins Glen, NY; Northern California (Orland); and the Los Angeles area. At Farm Sanctuary, these animals are friends, not food. They educate millions of people about their plight and the effects of factory farming on our health and environment. They advocate for laws and policies to prevent suffering and promote compassion, and they reach out to legislators and businesses to bring about institutional reforms.