Surprising health benefits of plant based eating

Like you, I want to know more about healthy eating, but find published nutrition information conflicting, confusing, and complicated. But almost all of it seems to agree on one thing-eating more whole plant based unprocessed foods is the best choice, with proven health benefits and little if any harm.

Like you, I want to know more about healthy eating, but find published nutrition information conflicting, confusing, and complicated. But almost all of it seems to agree on one thing-eating more whole plant based unprocessed foods is the best choice, with proven health benefits and little if any harm.

In this post I’m introducing you to two books and associated websites that present the evidence for the benefit of plant based eating and explain in easy to understand terms how to do it.

SURPRISING BENEFITS OF PLANT BASED EATING

Over 30 years ago, a father-son team showed the world the results of “the most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted” , so I wonder why it seems we’re just now believing that what we eat influences our health and lifespan for better or worse.

(several affiliate links are in this post. )

The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted

by  T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D and Thomas M. Campbell, M.D.

They looked at more than 350 variables of health and nutrition with surveys from 6,500 adults in more than 2,500 counties across China and Taiwan, and conclusively demonstrated the link between nutrition and heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

“What they found when combined with findings in Colin’s laboratory, opened their eyes to the dangers of a diet high in animal protein and the unparalleled health benefits of a whole foods, plant-based diet. “

Amazon

T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies

At the Center for Nutrition Studies website, you can meet Dr. Campbell , learn the history of the China study and explore

“Eat whole plant based foods”

It’s a lifestyle, not a diet

Dr. T. Colin campbell

How Not to Die- Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease 

by Michael Greger, M.D. with Gene Stone

Like the Campbells, Dr Greger has reviewed thousands of studies of nutrition and concluded that major chronic diseases-heart disease, diabetes, cancer-are caused by the foods we eat, and can be prevented, even reversed by changes in our diet. He too advocates whole food, plant based diet. He recommends

  • Avoid refined processed carbs-chips, pastries, jams, condiments
  • Avoid wheat and gluten
  • Avoid grain fed meat and feedlot chicken
  • Avoid concentrated and synthetic sweeteners, and sweet drinks
  • Avoid commercial oils

Instead, we should be eating

  • Olive oil
  • Grass fed, free range meat
  • Vegetables, legumes, nuts
  • Low sugar fruits
  • Tea, coffee
  • Dark chocolate, herbs, seasonings

NutritionFacts.org

At this website, founded by Dr. Greger, you can

In this video about causes of cancer, Dr. Greger refers to one of Dr. Campbell’s nutrition articles.
Dr. Greger’s Daily Dozen – NutritionFacts.org

I have found his Daily Dozen App useful for tracking my intake of whole plant based foods. This free app is available from the App Store.

Both of these websites are 501(c)3 non-profit entities supported by donors.

a basket filled with fruits and vegetables
Will you commit to buying, preparing, and eating more fruits and vegetable?
photo from the collection at LIGHTSTOCK.COM, an affiliate link

Thanks for joining me to explore the HEART of nutrition and health.     

I hope you will bookmark both of these sites so you can go back often and explore the information they have to offer. You may not choose to incorporate all the changes they propose, but even a few changes may improve your health, decrease your risk of chronic disease, and help you live longer.

Consider this affiliate if you’re looking for an easy way to eat better and lose excess weight. (and help me fund this blog with the commission it generates)

468x60 Healthy Weight Loss Delivery Plan

I appreciate all of you who are following Watercress Words, and if you aren’t I invite you to join the wonderful people who are. You can meet some of them in the sidebar, where you can click on their image and visit their blogs. Use the form to get an email notification of new posts. Don’t worry, you won’t get anything else from me.

Dr Aletha

Still TRUMPED by SOVEREIGNTY: a family update

You’ve met my friend Sara Stophel here before when I reviewed her book and when I told you she completed her college degree. Now she has more exciting news- a wedding.

You’ve met my friend Sara Stophel here before when I reviewed her book and when I told you she completed her college degree. Now she has more exciting news- a wedding.

Nik, the son of Sara and her late husband Chuck, married a beautiful young woman Alivia in a spring wedding. Sara gave me these photos to share with you.

a bride and groom posing with flowers
Mr. and Mrs. Stophel

I know how it feels to welcome a girl having raised 2 sons. Sara is thrilled to have a daughter in her family now.

In case you missed it, here is my review of Sara’s book where she explains how her life has been…

TRUMPED BY SOVEREIGNTY:

Juggling Faith, Healing, And Submission to God’s Perfect Plans

a memoir BY SARA STOPHEL

“Damen Ballard, twenty-five, left his apartment on April 19, 1995, to grab a pack of cigarettes at the convenience store. On his way back he took the shortcut…crossing I-44 on foot at rush hour. He was hit and became a John Doe while doctors tried to save his life. Even as we were watching the terrible news of the Oklahoma City bombing down the road…and fighting against all of those feelings of desperation when we discovered no hearts would be coming…Chuck’s new heart was just two floors above us in the very same hospital.”

Sovereignty is a word you may not use or even hear often; I know I don’t.  Probably the most common usage is in a political sense, like the sovereignty (authority) of a nation. Maybe that’s why Sara Stophel offers this definition on the back cover of her book;

“‘Sovereignty’ means that God, as the ruler of the universe, has the right to do whatever he wants. Further, he is in complete control over everything that happens.

In a game of cards, a trump card overrules any card previously played … But what happens when that “game” is actually life? And what happens when you realize that God’s sovereignty is the final trump card?”

Trumped by Sovereignty is two stories in one book.  One story relates the multiple medical challenges faced by Sara, her husband Chuck,  their children and extended family. The other story describes how Sara coped with these challenges, especially in relationship to her Christian faith.

I have known Sara and her family for several years and already knew much of their story although not all. I know Sara to be direct, truthful and frank. She does not mince words.

(I did not consult Sara prior to writing this review.  I paid for my copy of her book.)

This is not one of those “how we went through a horrible experience and survived by our unshakable faith” stories; rather it is “how we went through extraordinary stress which tested our faith which survived and grew anyway”.

Sara doesn’t tell you how she solved her problems; she admits that her problems caused her to change the way she looks at life, faith and God.

Sara’s book describes multiple medical conditions that afflicted her family (yes, afflicted is exactly the right word). The list reads like a medical textbook, so much so that you may need to look up some of the terms to understand what they are; she does not describe them in detailed scientific terms.  (I’ve included some links for you to use.)

Between Sara, her husband Chuck, their children and extended family they endured –

Sara and Chuck met in college, a Christian university that is known for its belief in divine healing. However, Sara’s home church did not teach miraculous healing. So it was a new concept for her, and one she found difficult to reconcile as her family’s serious health issues continued to worsen and not respond to medical treatment much less prayer.

Sara Stophel with her late husband Chuck

She does not expect you to believe that she endured these challenges and tragedies due to strong and unwavering faith; rather she freely admits otherwise. As she puts it, her “truster” frequently breaks and needs repair.

“I could not commune with a God who did not honor my bigger-than-mustard-seed faith. I was more than certain God loved people…but I was also nearly certain He just needed me as a tool of transparency. My truster was broken. Having loved God my whole life, I couldn’t think of anything better…anywhere else to turn…so I just kept on serving and assuming the love and peace of God were for everyone but me.”

Sara sense of humor never wavers, both in her writing, and  in life; she probably could not have made it  through some of the days she has lived without it.

You will laugh, cry, or both at some of her stories like-

  • Her annual physical (which was a year late) with her doctor, Dr. LionKing (an offbeat humorous pronunciation of his real name)
  • Her first CPR class after a family death

And you may get angry as she describes her shabby treatment by the IRS, the cell phone company and the local fire department first responders who refused to take her critically ill husband to the hospital.

Sara recently with her 3 sons

I encourage you to buy and read Trumped by Sovereignty. I know Sara and her sons which means I also know that their challenges are not over; in fact, they may be bigger than ever. I believe she will continue to face them with the same courage and humor that she has so far; and maybe in a few years she will write volume 2 of her story.

 

 

Trumped by Sovereignty is published by Paladin Publishing, Tulsa Oklahoma.

Sara Stophel welcomes invitations to speak; you can follow her on

Facebook  at Sara Stophel -author .

Sara at a speaking engagement

Sara’s son Nikolai Stophel is a professional writer/photographer for Samaritan’s Purse. Prior to that position, he  covered the turbulent weather we have here in Oklahoma. His photos of Oklahoma storms illustrate this previous post. You can find more of his work on Instagram. 

On the 6th anniversary of Chuck’s release from illness and pain, his wife Sara reflected on her Facebook page-

          Dr. Aletha  

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