Many ask us what we are doing for longevity and, in particular, nutrition. That is why we have written a lot of detail in the “Getting Started” section of this website. But it still happens that people say to us, “Well, that’s fine, but I could never do it because . . . .”
We’re sorry — THERE ARE NO EXCUSES!!!
And if you think there are, here are some of the most common excuses we hear and why they are just NOT VALID EXCUSES!
Excuse #1: My husband/wife/partner/children/…. wouldn’t want to make this change.
Okay, so let them eat what they want. But you should eat what will make you healthier. Interestingly, as they see the changes that occur in you — it only takes a few weeks — they will start changing, too. Of course, if they don’t change over a few months you can let them know you expect to find a replacement for them when they are gone!
I find that the changes I have made not only resonate in the family. Almost everyone I know who has watched the changes in me over the past few years has moved their diets in my direction. This includes friends who will invite me over to dinner. I take my own meal — these really are friends and although they always cook something ‘special’ for me, I can usually get away with only a taste or two. I always take enough of what I eat for everyone. Imagine my surprise recently when I showed up and they had prepared nothing — they joined me in what I was eating! Like others I know who have seen the change in me, they are moving to a whole foods plant based diet.
Excuse #2: I eat out a lot and it is not possible to get such food in a restaurant.
Totally incorrect. It can however take a little bit of training on your part to get the meal you want/need. Even fast food restaurants now have whole food plant based meals! In other restaurants, just order some of the sides. In better restaurants, ask to speak to the chef and tell them your needs — I usually find they are excited to produce a meal that is not on their standard menu. If you can, alert the staff ahead of time and you will be surprised at the meals that appear.
The most interesting change I have seen is in a chef who was always kind enough to cook something special for me. I visit his restaurant a few times a year. A couple of years ago he started featuring a whole foods plant based, gluten free meal that I could just order off the menu! And then, on my most recent, visit I noticed he was much slimmer and healthier looking. He thanked me for noticing and then for showing him he way. He now eats a plant based diet and works out every day!
Excuse #3: I can’t afford to do it – it costs too much.
The largest part of the world’s population eat a plant based diet. They have to because it is all they can afford! You’d better do your calculations again.
Buy dry goods (beans, rice, grains) in bulk. Eat oatmeal. Eat greens and fruits in season. See the menus in our “Getting Started” section. Visit our recipe section or purchase some of the recipe books we have reviewed in our book section for meal ideas. The internet is a great source of inexpensive, tasteful recipes.
Excuse #4: I have to eat meat to get my protein
This is one of the biggest errors in logic that can occur in nutrition! All proteins are made from amino acids. The human body needs 22 different amino acids to make these proteins. The body is capable of making all but 9 of these (often called the essential amino acids) which need to be consumed and are available from plants — just eat a good variety. And, yes, eating meat will provide these essential amino acids. However probably all of the meat you eat comes from animals that get their protein (the protein you want to consume) from PLANTS! Do read my blog on muscles and a whole foods plant based diet (and watch the interesting videos listed there.)
Excuse #5: I’ll start after the holidays/vacation/wedding/family reunion/…….
These are all different situations. However, the solution is common. Just decide to do it now! Set the example, and don’t preach — they’ll follow you when they see how much healthier you are.
Excuse #6: It is difficult to do because I travel for work so much.
Actually, that can make it even easier. You are in complete control of what you eat when you travel, whereas, when you are not traveling, you are more captive to your family, your fridge, all those things in the house that you know you shouldn’t eat but you can’t throw out. When you travel you generally get to choose what to eat at each meal. See the comments on Excuse #2 above on eating out
Excuse #7: It takes too much time to prepare the meals.
There are lots of tips in our Getting Started section to help in this. You will probably find that with a little organization you can get by with less time than at present. Also see some of the chefs on the internet like Jeff Novick or Chef A.J. for videos and other hints on how to prepare delicious meals efficiently.
Excuse #8: I don’t know how to start
Yes, perhaps it is a little daunting. That’s why we have the section on Getting Started!
But it can be a bit challenging to contemplate a complete change in diet for the rest of your life (which will be much longer if you make the change).
So why not make a small investment. Suppose you have lived 42 years. That is a little over 500 months. One month would represent just 0.2% of your life (if you are over 42 that month represents an even smaller percentage of your life). Why not make a big gamble and for the next month and follow a whole foods plant based diet? Consider it a bit of a vacation. See how it works out. See if you feel or look any better. See if you are satisfied with the ‘new’ you. In one month there will be changes. If you are not happy with the changes you can revert and at least you will have removed any doubt that it is not for you. (A secret: anyone I know who has taken this personal challenge has continued on the diet).
And if you are a bit scientific and/or worried about your cholesterol, have a cholesterol test before you start (available at most drug stores for as little ass $25) and then take it after a month — you might be surprised at the difference. And if you are taking statins you will probably be able to stop taking them (check with your, preferably vegan, cardiologist before stopping)
Excuse #9. I am happy the way I am and don’t want to change.
Why are we having this conversation? I’m not trying to force you.
Excuse #10. I don’t see any benefits to making this change.
Again, why are we having this conversation?
Excuse #11. My doctor hasn’t suggested this.
Chances are your doctor has no training in nutrition! Did you know that most medical doctors get no more than one semester course in anything related to nutrition!
Ah! But they do get many, many courses on prescribing drugs to you to deal with conditions that are caused by the malnutrition (SAD == Standard American Diet) that characterizes most meals in the developed world. We suggest you find a doctor who is at least a vegetarian if not a whole foods plant based vegan. And read some of the books on our website, for example, Dr. Joel Kahn’s “The Plant Based Solution” to see what other doctors think.