That’s what “vibrant health” is all about.
Let’s face it; most people change what they’re eating for one of two reasons: to lose weight or to help correct some medical condition. Also, many people choose to become vegan or vegetarian if they’re concerned about animal welfare.
But being vegan doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re eating healthy. There’s a lot of junk-food vegans out there that know what I’m talking about.
What about vibrant health? That’s the topic of the day. Why don’t more people choose a whole foods, plant-based 4Leaf kind of diet-style to promote vibrant health—and enjoy all of the many benefits of being as healthy as they can be?
I think it’s because “vibrant health” means different things to different people. It’s kind of like sex, it’s hard to describe it if you’ve never experienced it. A few days ago, I received a note from a reader who is fairly new to the wonderful world of whole foods, plant-based eating. Now scoring high in the 4Leaf range of our survey, she wrote to tell me about some new, unexpected benefits of eating this way. Karen wrote:
Dear Jim, You do a lot of research so I’m wondering if you’ve found anything on a question that I have. I’ve always enjoyed food as much as the next person but since I’ve been eating plant-based whole foods, I have such a good feeling when I’ve finished eating. It’s like perhaps some endorphins have been released or something like that.
One of my daughters called me the other day after lunch. She was so excited and wanted to tell me how good she felt after just finishing her simple lunch of sweet potatoes, a mango and a blueberry oat muffin (from The Happy Herbivore cookbook) and that her little 2 year old happily ate it all too. She’s giving this way of eating a try for 6 weeks. She mentioned that the good feeling is coming from inside.
I knew exactly what she was talking about because I experience that all the time too. The way I used to eat, that good, or pleasurable feeling would be in my taste buds but it would stop at that point. So I’m wondering, what is making us feel so good? I realize it could be just a simple by-product of eating healthy, non-processed, whole plant foods but I just wondered if it could be something else too because I feel so happy when I finish eating!
Also, I took a look at your survey again. I am trying to eat more salads and fruit for a snack and it seems like now I’m able to score a 44 on your survey on a consistent basis. Best regards, Karen Barnes
Bingo, Karen is talking about “vibrant health” and has shared a glimpse of what it means to her and her family. Click here for earlier blog about Karen. Perhaps some of you out there could help answer Karen’s question—from your point of view. If so, I would like to ask you to share some of your experiences by posting a comment…
telling us what vibrant health means to you!
I wrote Karen back and thanked her for the input and shared some similar vibrant health anecdotes from my family: Dear Karen, Thanks so much for your note; and thank you for sharing what “vibrant health” means to you and your daughters.
As one moves toward an optimal diet, some pretty neat things start happening—and they may be a little bit different for everyone. I remember what my 27-year old nephew had to say and I put it in the book:
“Maybe the most interesting effect is that I feel ‘lighter’—sort of like having a clear sinus as opposed to being stuffed up, but for the whole body. It’s very refreshing.”
Karen, it’s great to hear that you’re doing so well on your new dietary regimen. If you’re scoring a 44 on our survey, you’ve obviously eliminated the vast majority of the processed foods from your diet—and are well on your way to optimal health. And, as a bonus, your daughter is following your lead. How cool is that? That’s how I felt when my son embraced my diet-style at the same high level of commitment that I did.
Another vibrant health anecdote from my family (in our book): Lisa, a thirty-six-year-old teacher and triathlete, reports faster healing, almost no need for deodorant, no cramping during her monthly period, and effortless weight loss (she went from size 8 to size 2 in the first six months).
Let us hear from you. Please post your own “vibrant health” anecdote below. And if you want to share your secret with others, you might recommend this handy package that will change their lives and show them how to find out exactly what vibrant health means to them.
Handy 5-piece take-charge-of-your-health kit—from Amazon.com
- The movie that’s changing the lives of millions: Forks Over Knives DVD
- Our book: Healthy Eating, Healthy World by yours truly & son
- An essential scientific resource: The China Study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell
- Dr. McDougall’s new book, The Starch Solution, with lots of great recipes.
- Earlier blog: Happiness = Healthy Body + Healthy Mind
Want to find out how healthy your family is eating? Take our free 4Leaf Diagnostic Survey. It takes less than five minutes and you can score it yourself. After taking the survey, please give me your feedback as it will be helpful in the development of our future 4Leaf app for smartphones. Send feedback to email@example.com
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To order more of my favorite books—visit our online BookStore now
For help in your own quest to take charge of your health, you might find some useful information at our 4Leaf page or some great recipes at Lisa’s 4Leaf Kitchen.
Got a question? Let me hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org. Or give me a call on my cell at 917-399-9700.
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Blogging daily at hpjmh.com…from the seaside village of Stonington, Connecticut – Be well and have a great day.
—J. Morris Hicks, board member, T. Colin Campbell Foundation
Most of the health benefits were unexpected because I felt that the results of SAD were normal. I must say a spiritual aspect of going plant based also came about on it’s own…maybe good karma for taking care of the earth and being a better steward of other species.
So many reasons to feel good…
– Regularity. Thought I knew what this was. Wrong. You can’t underestimate the healthy benefits of regularity.
– GERD disappeared
– Hands feel more fluid. Realized family legacy of arthritis came more from our family diet, than genes.
– Love life improved. Healed atheroscerosis in all parts of the body.
– Cholesterol down 110 points (last count).
– 20 pounds lighter. Slowly gravitated to my natural weight.
– Running for the first time in 30 years. Not just running….got fourth place in my age group in my first 5K. My wife is also running…and has really never done so in her life.
Thanks so much for your daily blog!
For me vibrant health extends to not just my physical health but also to my mental and spiritual health and every living thing around me. I have this quote hanging on my refrigerator.
“Every decision we make about FOOD is a vote for the kind of world we want to live in.” – Frances Moore Lappé
This is so true. Not only am I taking care of myself and doing my best to provide myself vibrant health but I’m also affecting the health of animals and the planet and other people. What we choose to eat has a ripple effect on EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. So after I eat really good and nutritious food, I do have ‘that feeling’ and I think it goes way beyond feeling physically good. Changing to a plant based diet makes sense at every level and when you become part of that positive change something inside you changes. You know you’re a part of something spectacular.
I became very aware of the importance of a plant-based diet last September. For health reasons I had made changes to my diet that did help (I was juicing and cut out most processed foods), but I still wasn’t where I knew I needed to be. I started researching about plant based diets when I came across Forks Over Knives and Food Inc. I immediately ditched all animal product. Reading Healthy Eating Healthy World brought it full circle and sealed the deal. There has been no looking back. For 6 years I suffered from fibromyalgia on a daily basis – tremendous pain, fatigue, brain fog, depression. Today I am 95% pain free. I still have some muscle tenderness, but nothing that affects my ability to function. My depression, fatigue, and brain fog are gone. I am able to concentrate on tasks, enjoy a book, and sleep really, really well, feeling very rested. I have my life back and the solution was so simple it makes me laugh. I’ve also lost 30 lbs without even trying and without ever feeling deprived or hungry.
Changing to a plant based diet has been the best decision I’ve ever made – for my health, for the welfare of animals, and for the health of our planet. That’s why I feel so happy – especially after eating.
Wow Lisa, Thank you so much for telling your story. I’m thrilled to know that reading “Healthy Eating, Healthy World” brought it “full circle and sealed the deal.” Many thanks for sharing. Best, Jim
Many people notice that there is a change in body odors ( 8, 10, 11) after switching to a whole plant-based diet. The following points listed by an individual might be experienced when changes are made. Another comment that could be included would be that you may find yourself having fewer or no headaches.
As a result of my change in dietary habits and education, the following has occured in me:
1. GERD and acid reflux are gone
2. As a result of addressing the GERD, I lost, effortlessly, 43 pounds
3. Cholesterol dropped 138 points from 240 to 102
4. Candida is COMPLETELY gone
5. No more sinus congestion
6. More energy than I know what to do with (I routinely get up at 5 or 5:30 each morning without a struggle; prior to this, I would have a problem getting up at 7 am.
7. I sleep like a baby every night
8. No bad breath
9. A skin rash I had on my back for twenty some years is gone
10. No body odor (one day I was working outside sweating up a storm and I noticed I didn’t smell like before.
11. No smelly flatulence (and the joke that people make that “you don’t think your s–t doesn’t stink”, there is truth to that statement)
12. This is the first winter I have not had a cold/flu/or bronchitis
13. Mental clarity is improved
We definitely have to re-think and educate ourselves what is real food and what is “toxic waste.”
In the following link go to 1:07:40 where gases are discussed. You may find the whole lecture worth your time.