Digging Down And Grabbing The Hype By Its Roots

What do Mike Tyson, Bill Ford (of THE automotive company), Steve Wynn of Wynn Resorts, Russell Simmons, and former president Bill Clinton all have in common? Sounds like the beginning of a bad joke, right? Well, if you guessed they all eat and rally for the benefits of a plant-based diet, you’d be right. (If you didn’t guess that, don’t worry, you don’t lose any points here…)

Surely, you’ve noticed that diets like this are currently all the rave and how celebrities seem to be jumping on the bandwagon left and right. But what is all the buzz really about? Is there anything behind the hype, or is it just a fad diet restricted to the world’s elite? More importantly, what can this type of diet do for our weight loss goals as well as our overall health and well-being?

plant-based diet

A Look At “The Meat” Of A Plant-Based Diet

Just like it sounds, the term “plant-based diet” refers to any kind of diet based largely on plant foods (typically of the fresh variety but sometimes processed plant foods are included as well) and includes cutting back hard on animal products.

But there are a broad range of “plant eaters” out there foraging our supermarkets, and all these herbivore characters eat according to different principles, depending on their health goals and/or eating philosophies.

For instance, veganism is a strict version of this type of diet in which zero animal products are allowed, including dairy. Vegetarians, on the other hand, cut out meat but often happily gobble up milk based products, like cheese, and possibly even feast on a regular helping of eggs.

Then you get the occasional “vegetarian” who makes allowances for small amounts of seafood here and there.

I know a woman who claims to be a vegetarian but eats fish and bacon (if that makes any sense). There’s even a term for her unique brand of vegetarianism: Wikipedia defines her as a “semi-vegetarian.”

The point, however, is that a plant-based diet is somewhat vague in actual definition and covers a wide range of different eating practices – there are no real hard fast rules besides the general inclusion of lots of plants and avoidance of meat.

Whatever camp of vegetarianism a person chooses to follow, no one can deny that it takes the typical person a certain level of self-discipline to take it up in any of its various forms. Not only because it means no more fat, juicy steaks but also because it requires is a hard charge against the grain in modern society, and it creates quite an inconvenience when shopping, dining out, or eating at the table of a friend.

So why do Mr. Clinton and all these other social superstars even bother? Is it worth the sacrifices, and are the health benefits remarkable enough to make up for the total life makeover it demands?

Let’s have a peek.

What’s So Good About “Eatin’ Your Veggies?”

The plant-based dieting trend as it exists today stems from a growing pool of experts observing something inherently wrong with the Western diet. Study after study notes a plague-like epidemic of chronic diseases in the western world and points out how the rise of these diseases counter-intuitively corresponded with technological advancement (particularly in agriculture).

Others point out how regions of the world where the Western diet hasn’t yet caught on, a diet largely associated with economic development, don’t suffer the same alarming rates of these diseases. In fact, these diseases (which include obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and many forms of cancer) are often referred to in popular text as “Western diseases.”

T. Colin Campbell, co-author of the groundbreaking (and sometimes controversial) book on the subject, “The China Study: Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, and Long-Term Health,” goes as far as to claim that “cancer is a geographically localized disease.” He maintains that if you look at a world map, the areas of the world with the highest cancer rates clearly correlate with the areas of the world where protein is a large part of the local diet.

Meat based diets, his camp proclaims, are the villain.

A 40 year veteran in nutrition research, Dr. Campbell maintains that a human diet composed of more than 10% meat leads to a huge rise in cancer risk… period. Not only that, he stresses, but a plant based diet even has the power to heal a body long battered by degenerative disease and restore good health.

And while Campbell is certainly the most active, vocal, and influential of the plant-based diet crowd, he’s certainly not the only one.

Another study recently published in the Journal of the American Medical Association details how Canadian researchers fed subjects with high LDL cholesterol levels (that’s the really, really bad stuff) a diet characterized by plant-based sterols, soy protein, soy milk, soy-based meat substitutes, nuts, and oats.

In the span of 6 months, the subjects saw their LDL levels drop by an average of 13% – a decline that equates to an 11% drop in the risk of a stroke in the next decade.

Another proponent of the diet, Caldwell B. Esselstyn, MD, carried out a twenty year experiment on advanced heart disease patients who were able to not only stop their condition from worsening but completely reverse it in 70% of cases.

And What About Weight Loss?

Great question.

Another great benefit of the plant-centric diets is that they tend to lead to very significant, very consistent weight loss. One of the main reasons for this nice side effect is that red meats, and especially fried foods, are more caloric-ally dense than are water-based foodstuffs like your run of the mill fruits and veggies.

Replace a larger portion of food on your plate with the plants, and the end result is you eat a lot less calories and you lose weight faster. Simple, really.

In fact, one study specifically related to weight loss monitored African American women, a demographic particularly prone to obesity, comparing subjects who ate a largely plant-based diet with those regularly consuming fried foods and red meat. They found the second group put on far more weight over the 14 year study.

The researchers were quick to point out how both groups tended to eat the same amount of food, but the calories were far higher for the second group. So, it was the high-caloric density of meat and fried food that caused the big weight gains.

Do you see where this is going?

Harnessing Your Inner Herbivore

If the plant-based diet makes sense to you but you’re not sure if you’re disciplined enough to go “cold turkey” on meat, one simple tip for switching over your diet without making it too hard on yourself is to start slowly, with incremental changes.

Try swapping out a few meals a week with vegetarian food choices. Or replace a couple problem products that you use a lot with healthier alternatives, one by one – there are actually some real tasty and convincing meat alternatives out there these days, for example. Another possibility is to pick one or two days a week to “try out” being a vegetarian.

As time goes on, these simple choices can become a regular part of your new, healthier diet, and you’ll gain the momentum for more radical changes.

Work some legumes, like beans, into your diet as well. They’re high in fiber and protein, and they replace some of the calories you’re missing – some dieters find a lag in energy levels when switching to a plant-dominated diet without adding a heavy replacement.

Finally, don’t forget about the human tendency to eat the same portions no matter what sits on our plate. Trick yourself by taking up more room on your plate with fruits and veggies, leaving less room for the dangerous stuff.

For ultimate health, 80% of your diet should be composed of “water-based” foods – by that, I mean fruits and vegetables.

Try it and see how you feel.

A Word On Keeping It Simple

As far as how strict your plant-based diet should be, it’s really a matter of which of the philosophies you follow and how hard-core you are about personal food philosophy.

Is total veganism the only true plant-based diet? Are vegetarians who eat a little fish and perhaps the occasional red meat dish (gasp) going to vegetarian hell?

It’s a personal choice, but here’s my take – you won’t find many diets out there that don’t admit grubbing down on more of those good ole’ fresh fruits and veggies and cutting back on the red meat while lowering your calories won’t do wonders for your health, your looks, and your waistline.

Be aware of these benefits and take them very seriously.

But before you get too drastic with your new diet plan, acknowledge that a successful diet is a balance between personal priorities, quality of life, and health. And it’s completely possible to take up a predominantly plant-based diet without signing over your soul to the veggie garden and completely outlawing cheeseburgers for the rest of your life.

A good diet is maintained through basic guidelines, and an occasional cheat from time to time (once you’ve got it under control) doesn’t make you a bad person or mean you’re a traitor of some vague, esoteric clan. After you’ve established solid eating habits, cheating can even be a good thing sometimes.

Sure, there’s a lot of research out there raising some very interesting questions about meat and the potential damage it can do to our bodies (especially in high quantities), but more research is still needed before any absolutes are determined. Meanwhile, just use some common sense.

Michael Pollan probably puts it best in his book, “In Defense of Food,” when he sums up his own rules for plant-eating as such: “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.”

It doesn’t’ get any simpler than that, and any person out there looking to reap the health and weight loss benefits of a sensible plant-based diet without putting themselves through raw broccoli boot camp would do well to follow his simple philosophy.

About the Yogic Plant Based Diet

Those who practice yoga believe that yoga is not only food for the body, but nourishment for the soul. Yogic practitioners view life force or prana as a vital source to sustain life. Prana is the energy that maintains the strength of the body and brings about health and energy.

You consume prana by practicing yogic breathing techniques (pranayam) or through eating and drinking. This means that the type of food that one eats will have a direct reflection on one’s mental, physical, and emotional health.


The Entire Experience

To practice yoga in its entirety, a plant-based diet is recommended. This type of diet develops sattva, which is the positive quality of love, connection, awareness, and peace with all beings. Sattva supports the concept of ahisma, which means non-harming. Individuals who follow a sattvic diet don’t eat foods that are created by the harming or killing of animals. The diet also promotes foods that are grown naturally. Yoga practitioners view food and eating as the first connection with the outside world. If people don’t eat with love, peace, and connection, this can cause suffering in other parts of life.

There are a number of delicious foods that are part of a yogic plant-based diet, as well as some foods that should be avoided. Some of the natural foods that are allowed include:

  • Fruits, particularly bananas, peaches and berries, as they are naturally sweet
  • Vegetables, with the exception of garlic and onion
  • Aduki, beans, tofu and mung beans
  • Whole grains like rice, oats and wheat
  • Raw nuts and seeds
  • Herbal teas with water and lime or lemon
  • Spices with a sweet taste to them, like cardamom, basil, turmeric, ginger, fennel or cumin
  • Oils that are derived from plants, like olive oil, sesame oil and sunflower oil
  • Raw sugar like molasses and maple
  • Vegetarian foods that are made with love. Thanks should be given for the food before it is eaten.

Foods that those following the yogic plant-based diet should avoid eating include:

  • All types of fish and meat
  • Eggs
  • Junk food
  • Soft drinks
  • Margarine or lard
  • Fried foods
  • White flour
  • White sugar
  • Spicy foods
  • Microwaved foods
  • Genetically engineered foods
  • Alcohol
  • Tobacco
  • Stimulants
  • Foods that are eaten hastily or in a negative setting

The yogic diet was created to improve the function of the body and enhance mental clarity. The diet should be followed in conjunction with asana, which are physical postures, along with meditation and breathing techniques or pranayama.

Yogic Lifestyle for a Green Planet

For most of us, yoga is a form of exercise. However, the truth is yoga is an active lifestyle that goes far beyond an exercise. Yoga not only teaches us some basic and therapeutic asana plans, but also offers us information about a better and healthier lifestyle. Yogic life consists of helping others, developing healthy relationships, balanced diets with plant based foods, pranayama, philosophy, mantra, and various forms of meditation. Each of these processes makes a person’s life more fruitful.

With the many growing environmental problems in this world, we are facing many issues in our day-to-day life; solutions to global warming, air pollution, ozone layer depletion, and water pollutions are still in need. As a result, we find ourselves in an unhealthy and unpleasant environment. In fact, we are creating this unhealthy environment for our future generations.

How Can Yoga Help?

How does yoga help us in creating a green planet? Yoga, in fact, teaches us about healthier food alternatives without polluting the planet. Those who are open to the idea can opt for a diet that is for the most part plant-based. When you eat plant-based food, your body becomes healthier. Also, you will find more ways to grow and plant seedlings for making a greener earth. As a result, the substantial CO2 in our global environment will gradually decrease.

In addition, modern yoga teaches us to opt for organic food options. If each one of us ate an organic diet, the demand of organic produce would be high. This would eventually decrease the use of genetically altered and chemically treated food. Let’s face it, the use of pesticides and chemicals are a big part of contemporary agricultural techniques, and deplete the natural resources of our world. Additionally, some of today’s health problems can be traced back to the consumption of chemically and genetically altered food.

Yoga teaches us lifestyle techniques. This in turn offers us a better and enjoyable life. When your body and mind are free, you tend to think on the positive side. Yoga lifestyle techniques also make you an active person. Instead of driving a car, you opt for a walk or riding a bicycle.

Yoga practices also make a person calm, motivated, and optimistic. Therefore, yoga practice make you successful, healthy, and content with your life. Historically, yoga has aligned itself with non-violence, which teaches us to develop compassion and tolerance for others. Yogic philosophy serves us as a blueprint for building a better, green, peaceful, and happy world.

Types of Plant-Based Diets and Their Famous Followers

Plant-based diets have received an increasing amount of media attention over the past several years. Yet many may feel confused over what exactly these diets involve.

Here is a list of eight different types of plant-based diets, including some renowned devotees.

Plant-based diets

1. Vegetarianism

Vegetarians may eat dairy products and eggs but not any meat. According to the Vegetarian Society, a vegetarian is “Someone who lives on a diet of grains, legumes, nuts, seeds, vegetables and fruits with, or without, the use of dairy products and eggs. A vegetarian does not eat any meat, poultry, game, fish, shellfish or by-products of slaughter.” Many celebrities call themselves vegetarian, from Paris Hilton to Ariana Huffington.

2. Semi-Vegetarianism (Flexitarianism)

A semi-vegetarian adheres to a plant-based diet but occasionally eats meat. This category includes food writer Mark Bittman.

3. Veganism

Vegans do not eat any animal products (dietary vegans). Some vegans go further and choose not to use any animal products at all, including leather or wool clothing (ethical vegans). Bill Clinton now eats vegan due to health concerns. Other well-known vegans include actresses Natalie Portman and Anne Hathaway as well as talk show host Ellen DeGeneres.

4. Raw Veganism

Raw vegans combine veganism with raw foodism (rawism) by avoiding all animal products and not cooking food above a maximum 118 degrees Fahrenheit. Adherents to this diet believe that greater heat destroys foods’ micronutrients. In addition, some proponents think that cooking foods produces dangerous chemicals. Actress Demi Moore maintains a raw vegan diet.

5. Herbivore

Herbivores are plant-eating animals. In terms of a dietary choice for humans, it generally refers to vegans and vegetarians. Lindsay Nixon, known as the author of the Happy Herbivore books, describes herself as eating a strictly vegan diet.

6. Fruitarianism

Fruitarians eat fruit, nuts and seeds but avoid animal products, vegetables and grains. Michael Arnstein has competed in ultramarathons and Ironman Triathlons as a fruitarian. The most famous fruitarian may have been Steve Jobs.

7. Macrobiotic Diet

Hippocrates originated the term macrobiotics, which he used to describe healthy, long-lived people. Today this diet combines principles of Zen Buddhism with Western-style vegetarianism. Practitioners choose foods to obtain a balance of yin and yang. Whether foods taste sour, sharp, salty, sweet or bitter determines pairings. Whole grains take up about half of a macrobiotic diet, followed by vegetables, beans, fish, seeds and nuts. Followers consume substantial amounts of soup. This low-fat, high fiber diet relies on minimally processed foods, locally sourced if possible. Low-fat meats and fish are allowed, making this not a strictly vegetarian plan. How foods affect well-being takes prominence. Tom Cruise follows a macrobiotic diet.

8. Nutritarian

Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Eat to Live author, coined the term nutritarian to describe choosing foods based on maximizing the amount of micronutrients per calorie. He advocates for a diet consisting of mostly vegetables, with fruits, beans, seeds, and grains following. Fewer calories should come from poultry, oil, eggs and fat-free dairy. Finally, beef, cheese, processed foods and sweets should be minimized. In public, Dr. Fuhrman seems to avoid advocating for a vegan diet. However, his writings definitely emphasize eating only low-fat, strictly vegan foods. His list of seven worst foods for health includes: butter, cheese, potato chips and French fries, doughnuts, salt, processed meats and barbecued or smoked meat.


Each of these diets has its subscribers. Their details and philosophies may vary somewhat, but all stress the importance of a plant-based diet.

Why A Plant-Based Diet Matters

There is not much mystery about a ‘plant-based diet’ but it may be interesting to ponder for a little on the vastness of what it holds for you.


Whole Foods

Firstly, a plant-based diet recognizes the value of natural, whole foods, not nutrients or calories, as the fundamental unit of nutrition. This is due to the synergistic combination of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals that can only take place with whole foods. Thus it makes good food sense to have moderate amounts of different whole foods in your diet all the time.

This continual switching around of one type of vegetable, whole grain or fruit for another till you have all the different types of phytochemicals well inside your body is very important for ultimate health. Besides, different parts of your body require different plant chemicals to function; thus, a healthy mix of nutrients is essential to good health.

Colors of Natural Foods

Further, a plant-based diet is also about eating the colors. Combining different colors and types of fruits and vegetables is both healthy and appetizing. In fact, colors give clues to the nutrients they contain.

For example, red indicates vitamin A (beta carotene) and vitamin C. Closely following, is yellow, which is a sign of potassium and fiber; while green means it is packed with iron or folic acid. Further, blue and purple colors show the presence of anthocyanins that fight free radicals; and white shines with vitamins and minerals.

Healing Power of Foods

Notably, the healing power of whole foods in a plant-based diet is at your disposal if you care to use it. However, this sort of healing is seldom instantaneous; Nature must be allowed to take its course and there are no health miracles overnight.

Meanwhile, the processed foods in your diet can cancel out all the good work of natural foods in the blink of an eye. What you do and do not eat are all important if you wish to see definite results.

Green Blood of Plants

In a way, a plant-based diet is letting in the sun in your life when you eat leafy greens with a high amount of chlorophyll. In fact, your own red blood thrives on the green blood of plants. So, the more greens you have inside your body, the more oxygen to produce red blood cells for you. Just as the trees depend on the leaves for food, you can make it through life with leafy greens.

Food Preparation

Lastly, a plant-based diet takes into consideration the way foods are prepared or eaten; so you should feed on fresh foods or freshly cooked food. There was a case in which re-heated leftovers were served to a woman in confinement. From that time onward, her health went downhill and she lost all her energy, not being able to hold down any full-time job.

Thus, Wordsworth had been right all along – that there is a close bond between man and nature. And a plant-based diet is the nearest thing though it may not be exactly what the dear poet had in mind. Edible poetry, anyone?

5 Great Benefits to Get From a Plant Based Diet

A plant based diet includes a high percentage of food sourced from plants rather than animals. This can mean eating nuts, whole grains, lentils, peas, beans, fruits, and vegetables. But, this style of diet does not need to be strictly vegetarian.

Here are five of the health benefits that come from eating lots of plant foods:

plant based diet

Blood pressure

A plant-based diet offers a perfect source of potassium-rich foods which can help to naturally lower blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables, as well as most seeds, nuts, legumes, and whole grain include a sufficient amount of vitamin B6 and potassium for healthy blood pressure. Animal foods like meat include minimal potassium and can lead to higher cholesterol and blood pressure.


A significant benefit of adopting a plant-based diet is the ability to lower cholesterol. Plants are cholesterol-free, even the more saturated types like cacao and coconut. For this reason, eating a diet that mostly consists of plant-based foods can offer a simple solution to lowering cholesterol. Great food choices to lower rates of heart disease and cholesterol include seeds, nuts, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.

Blood Sugar

A highly effective method to control high blood sugar is to increase the fiber in the diet. A fiber-rich diet is perfect to help with slowing the absorption of sugar in the bloodstream. An added benefit is the ability to control hunger throughout the course of the day. Also, fiber can help with balancing the level of cortisol in the blood stream, which is responsible for the feelings of stress. Many of the animal foods can have a significant hand in increasing the blood sugar level.


A plant-based diet that includes low-fat, whole food is one of the most efficient choices for helping to cut the risk of cancer. Certain cancers like breast and colon are at great risk for those that eat a diet mainly consisting of animal foods.

Weight Loss

A diet consisting of plant-based and whole foods, with minimal processed sugars and low in fat, is certain to help with cutting weight. A further benefit comes from a diet that is high in clean and raw whole foods. Weight loss is naturally able to occur when the daily diet includes a higher percentage of vitamins, minerals, and fiber compared to proteins and animal fats. A well-planned plant-based diet has the potential to cut 4-6 pounds within a two-week period. This should also ensure you aren’t left feeling hungry.

How to Transition to a Whole Foods, Plant Based Diet

Anytime you are changing the way you eat on a daily basis, you must be realistic about your approach. You cannot expect to stop eating all the foods that you enjoy cold turkey as that will do nothing but add more weight on your body once you crash from the emotional withdrawal of it all.

How to transition to a whole foods, plant based diet is not as challenging as it may seem at first, it will simply require some focus and will power for the first few days.

plant based

A plant based diet is obviously one that does not permit cupcakes or your morning doughnut. You will be encouraged to eat foods that are natural and organic is the best option to go when trying a plant based diet. You will need to purchase all your foods for the weeks ahead so you have plenty of options when you are looking for a snack.

This will also discourage you from losing sight of your diet and cheating by grabbing the first thing you see in your pantry. Make sure you clean out all of the foods that are currently in your home or office that are not on your plant based diet and replace them with healthier snacking choices as well.

You always want to create meals for your plant based diet that are rich in antioxidants. You have to get a book or follow a plan on the web that you can access for free and get all the great tips and ideas for meals and snacks to help guide you through the process. Also there are a few more tricks to help you transition into a plant based diet and the most important one is to prepare your mind first.

Mental awareness of what is to come is vital when planning a big life change such as changing the entire way you will be eating. You must realize that in fact what you eat should only be a matter of providing your body with enough energy to get through all the activities you engage in all day. Food is not about the cheesecakes or pastas it is what you mentally need it for and all the foods that result in temptation to cheat off of your plant based diet are just to please your mind, as your body does not need all of those empty calories in it.

After you have eaten on the plant based diet for awhile you will notice your body will no longer crave those fatty foods any longer. Check out any cookbooks you can find that will provide additional recipes and snack ideas as well. A blender or food processor will also help in getting all the vegetables in that you will need. Experiment with different food textures and combinations until you find a few that you really like. Make your own juices and dishes with the fresh ingredients for your plant based diet success!

How to Achieve Good Nutrition by Eating a Plant Based Diet

Vegetarianism and veganism are lifestyles that are defined by the eliminating of animal products from food and clothing, and opposing animal testing and cruelty. In vegetarianism and veganism, the diet is plant based and excludes meat.

While it may seem to be lacking to exclude meat in the diet, a plant based diet can actually provide all the essential nutrients a body needs to maintain good health and promote longevity.

Plant Based

A plant based diet consists of fruit, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. Each of these contains all the essential nutrients that the human body needs to promote healthy digestion, cell function and repair, heart health, bone health, and even mental health. At the same time, they are low in calories, fat, and cholesterol. They help in maintaining weight while providing adequate amounts of fiber, vitamins, carbohydrates, and antioxidants.

The way to ensure there is an adequate supply of all the nutrients needed to have a healthy disposition is to vary up the plant based foods that are eaten. There are several to choose from so the possibilities for variety are better than one would expect. The diet does include salads and fresh fruit, but also consists of whole grain products, beans, oils, herbs and spices. All together, these items can be mixed and matched and prepared in various ways to get the amounts of nutrients needed for good health, without necessarily having to take supplements.

Plant based foods contain amino acids, various vitamins, protein, fiber and magnesium, an absolutely vital nutrient for good health, among others. They can be found in several foods. Some foods contain a lot of some nutrients and only a little of others, which is why variety is highly recommended for a plant based diet. Here are a few nutrients that need to be in adequate supply from food, and it is important to look out for and try to consume them at every meal.

Calcium is one nutrient the human body needs for strong teeth and bones, but it is not made or stored within the human body. To get an adequate supply of calcium, leafy greens must be a main staple of a plant based diet. These include spinach, kale, bok choy, collard, mustard and turnip greens. Almonds and hazelnuts can be added to a meal for a little extra calcium.

Iron is very important in the transport of oxygen to the organs in the body. Leafy greens are a good source of iron, but other items will provide the necessary iron as well. In order to consume enough iron on a plant based diet, foods like oatmeal, whole wheat breads, and lentils, along with several other foods. Iron rich foods should be consumed on a regular basis.

Vitamin B12 is one vitamin we need, but is not very abundant in plant based diets. B12 can be found in fortified foods and supplements. This essential vitamin plays a part in giving us energy, reduces the risk of several diseases, and helps with overall mental health, so it needs to be a regular part of the plant based diet.

The foods of the earth in their natural form are unaltered and therefore healthier for humans than animal based and cooked foods. With a bit of research and the implementation of variety, a person could successfully achieve great health and a well balanced lifestyle by adopting a plant based diet.

Following A Plant Based Diet Is Easy With Home Gardens

Many people today are turning to a plant-based diet as an alternative to diets too rich in saturated meat products, junk food, and highly processed foods. In some cases, it involves spending more time in the produce section of your local grocery store, looking for fruits and vegetables that are grown organically and spending extra money on them.

You can follow a great plant-based diet in an even better way while growing your fruits and vegetables in your own home garden. If you live in an apartment, you can start a container garden in front of a sunny window. If you have a plot of land to turn into a garden you can go big with a garden filled with healthy fruits and vegetables. You can grow almost anything in a small garden so you have the spring, summer and fall to eat off your own land.


Vegetables Easily Grown At Home

Tomatoes lend themselves well to container gardening and can grow like wild in the good earth of your back yard. They grow and ripen all season long so you can pick what you need for sandwiches, salads, snacks, fresh sauces and even for juicing.

You can grow your own peas or beans in a container or in your backyard garden. They are rich in phytonutrients that have their maximum potency if you simply pick what you need and eat them as soon as possible; you have the greatest amount of healthy phytonutrients and antioxidants in the food shortly after picking them.

Peppers, zucchini, carrots, broccoli, and greens like Kale are great options for a home garden and allow you to reach for healthy and super fresh produce all summer long and into the fall.

Your Home Garden

If you decide to have a back yard home garden, you need to decide if you want to grow organic foods or not. Organic gardening is the best possible choice because the food is grown without pesticides, herbicides, or fungicides. This means no harmful chemicals exist with the food you pick and you can even eat them straight out of the garden without having to wash them extensively.

Grow a wide variety of foods that become ripe at different times of the season:

Radishes, for example, take only a few weeks to become edible and, after pulling them up, you have room to grow a row of something else. Most people grow tomatoes and some people grow carrots, lettuce, and potatoes.

Both potatoes and squash need the entire summer to become available for eating so all you need to do is to keep them weed-free and watch them grow. In the early autumn or late summer, you can dig up the potatoes and harvest the squash. These types of produce can be kept at room temperature or in a cool place for many months so you have instant winter eating from vegetables you grew in the summer.

Lettuce and other greens can be grown and harvested all summer long for the best in salads that are high in phytonutrients and antioxidants. All you need to do is harvest some of the leaves, wash them, and enjoy them in a healthy salad with tomatoes, carrots, or radishes you grew yourself. This is the core of a plant-based diet that will give you benefits far beyond a meat-based diet.

Meat-based diets are low in antioxidants and high in saturated fats. You can get the nutrition you need from vegetables and fruits you grow yourself with a known reduction in fatty deposits in your arteries and a lesser chance for heart disease and stroke. There is a reduced risk of certain cancers with a low fat, plant-based diet.

Get Even Better Results With Composting

If you want an especially fruitful garden, consider starting a compost pile or box. All you need to do is put in vegetation and clippings from around your yard, add food scraps and paper, mixing everything with a little bit of soil. Worms thrive in the moist environment of a good compost heap so that you will soon have these things turned into rich soil that will make your organic garden thrive.

Get Started Today

There are millions of guides online for organic vegetable gardening, and many books on the topic. In reality, the best teacher is experience, so learn the initial steps, get the supplies and just do it! Remember to get the kids involved in the garden as well; it is a great learning experience, and a great opportunity to spend quality time together.

Easy Weight Loss With Protein-Rich Diet

Have you ever had a problem with your weight? There are thousands of people around the world who search for an answer to their weight loss solution, and few find it. The truth is, the procedure of losing weight is not difficult, but it is difficult to stick to the plan.

A lot of us think that a “little bit more” will not harm, but it actually does more damage than you seem to think. What you need to do is have a plan in your mind and stick to it too.


This is the reason why you should make it a point to go for a diet that suits you. A lot of people go for a high-protein and fiber with low carbohydrates diet. The reason why they go for it is simple – they feel that this form of diet has the maximum chance of winning, as you are cutting out carbs from your diet. But, what they do not realize is that high-protein diets tend to come with their own set of problems, the most important one being liver and kidney problems.

The simple reason why people have them is the lack fluids in their bodies. When you go on a protein-rich diet, it is crucial to drink a lot of water, to make sure the body does not retain a lot of the urea and mercury that is gathered from the protein. Drinking water flushes out the extra toxins of the body and keeps the system clear, so you can go ahead and make sure you lose weight without the fear of doing damage to your health.

One of the essential proteins that doctors always recommend in a high-protein diet is eggs, which are rich in protein and Vitamin B, and quite low in calories. Also, proteins tend to keep your body feeling full for a longer period of time, making sure you do not eat much, so the emphasis on more proteins in your diet is given quite resolutely. Those who are vegan can also get protein from sources like tofu, pulses and beans.

A great source of quick-cooking, low-calorie and inexpensive plant proteins are from different kinds of pulses. A lot of people cook beans with low amounts of fat, and consume them, to make sure their body gets enough protein. You should ideally avoid more complex proteins, like red meat, which tend to come with a lot added complication, like fat and cholesterol, with it.

4 Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

It is imperative to understand that most if not all of the life forms on earth have emanated from plants. The healing arts and medicine were derived from plant life. Plants (trees) provide oxygen for our very existence. If they have done all of these things for us then consuming plants should be nothing less than top priority in each household around the world. Unfortunately, we live in a meat-eating society which preaches that the only way to consume protein is through meat. Nothing could be further from the truth. When we speak of plant-based diets we are referring to fruits and vegetables.

Below are 4 benefits of consuming a plant-based diet.


1. Micronutrient Power

There are two forms of nutrients of which you should be concerned. The first category is known as macronutrients. The macronutrient group includes proteins, fats and carbohydrates. The body requires a certain amount of macronutrients to function correctly on a daily basis. The second category is known as micronutrients. The micronutrient group includes vitamins and minerals. Health experts emphatically state that micronutrients are the key to life longevity. Micronutrients are only found in plant life. These guys are packed with enzymes and provide what is known as phytochemicals which are cancer fighters or popularly termed antioxidants. Most importantly, micronutrients feed your body at the cellular level and aid your biological clock. For this reason you may notice many vegans who appear twenty years younger than their chronological age.

2. You Don’t Have to Cook

The fact of the matter is that we exist and work in a society where some people work twelve hours. If you don’t have to be bothered with cooking each day after or before work then you will be a happy individual. Preparing certain foods is a job in itself. Making a brown bag lunch with a few vitamin packed herbs and a few pieces of fruit and vegetables takes little to no effort at all.

3. Lowers Cholesterol Naturally

When you consume raw fruits and veggies you do not have to worry about high cholesterol. However, when you consume a diet rich in meat you have a great chance of contracting a case of high cholesterol. Here is why. Meats are high in fat and fat plays a major role in high cholesterol. Plants have little to no fat so you will merely glean nutrients. Some meat eaters switch to a low-fat diet and fail to see lower cholesterol results. They fail to understand that a low-fat diet is of no value unless the meat is eliminated or significantly reduced. Your liver loves plants because it does not have to work as hard to regulate the cholesterol.

4. They Cleanse The Body

Inside of every cleanse on the market you will find herbs. Herbs are the true healers in the plant life regime. Not only do herbs behave as medicine but they also have a sweeping effect on the body. To make their case concrete, herbs also contain certain vitamins and minerals. Herbs will get inside of the major organs in the body and dispel the most vicious toxins. Fiber which also stems from plant life is a cleanser. If you suffer from constipation you are normally instructed to consume fiber rich plants in an effort to cleanse your system.