Friday, October 8, 2010

No more burgers for Bill Clinton!

The president finally got the message that the public needs to get: what we eat is really a matter of life and death. Clinton's decision to adopt a plant-based diet was not so much about losing a few pounds for Chelsea's wedding, but about living long enough to see his grandchildren. Sandy Pukel recently wrote at the Huffington Post

Pukel went on to state that Clinton's decision to go vegan was also influenced by the ground breaking research of Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of the The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health. Turns out that the truism "You are what you eat" is spot on. Food creates the body and has a great influence on our mind and spiritual life.

I share Sandy's belief that the deadly seriousness of diet hasn't been enough to make most people change their ways. The reluctance towards veganism has been less about the medical proof of its effectiveness, and more about social perceptions, misconceptions and outdated stereotypes. What people forget is that the current explosion of degenerative diseases has not only led to an increase in premature death, but also to a significantly reduced quality of life. Healthy diet offers so many benefits, but most people never get past the obstacles to discover the possibilities.

Will Tuttle has documented in The World Peace Diet how the meaning of food for us goes deeper than simple health and nutrition. The vegan lifestyle is unfortunately associated with self-deprivation. Habit, taste and tradition also create barriers to change. For many, even those facing life risk, it is inconceivable to give up foods that they grew up with and associate with pleasurable events, such as the Sunday barbeque, hot dogs at the ball game or an ice cream cone on a hot summer day. What we really need is a change in consciousness about our food. As a vegan transition educator, I have really enjoyed problem-solving with these issues. I am deeply gratified when serving vegan variations of childhood comfort foods to my guests and get enthusastic thumbs up and interest in taking the next easy-after-all steps in self-care.

For me, my circle of like-minded friends and those I coach, holistic living is joyful living. I happily share the gift of food as medicine - food as love.

This lifestyle has come quite a ways in the four decades I have been involved in the whole food movement. Circa 2010 ain't your mother's vegetarianism. It needn't mean tofu: it can mean soul food, or Asian fusion, and even ice cream and cake. I was intrigued to hear Scott Tobe (a 30 something financial advisor), on our recent Wellness Retreat report that soon after he and his wife adopted a vegan lifestyle eight couples in their circle little by little did too. With the proliferation of vegan restaurants, conscious food companies, distributors, local markets and whole food markets with hot and cold bars, CSAs that provide recipes, cooking classes, wellness getaways and meet-up socials- it is easier than ever to feel supported and enthusiastic about making lifestyle changes so big - and just one coconut or brown rice yogurt at a time!

Many Species...One Planet...One Future
~I See You ~ Namaste ~
Yours in Wellness, Gratitude, Vitality and Reverence for All Life,
Suzen Sharda Segall
This blog post can be reproduced in its entirety with the following information:© Suzen Sharda Segall 2010, CelebratingtheInnerHealer.comListen at: www.celebratingtheinnerhealer.blogspot.comOr on its unique radio channel at:Suzen Sharda Segall, Wellness Personal Trainer/Consultant, designer and facilitator of BodyArts Therapeutics, has provided an integrated approach to health and wellness for a wide variety of populations, internationally, for over thirty-five years.

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