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Benefits of Plant-Based Food

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Real Food Daily Jack Fruit Street Tacos

When I was first diagnosed with osteoarthritis last season I changed my eating habits to be anti-inflammatory in nature – high protein, high vegetable content, no grain, no dairy, low sugar, and a strong dose of healthy fats. I eat eggs, fish, chicken, and a bit of pork and I try to go meatless – all plant-based food – on my lunches 3 to 4 times per week. Within a few days of being on the diet, my pain level eased by half and now that I have been on the diet for more than a year, my pain levels are down by 75 to 80%. I feel good and you can feel good too.

Real Food Daily Ann Gentry Photograph

No Grain Protein List

Eating no grains in my diet means no soy, so tofu and other items that are soy-based will not work for me as a protein solution. Instead, I try to eat vegetables and plant-based food that has a higher protein content, and many of these things you can grow in your own garden. Below is a list –

  1. beans
  2. peas
  3. lentils
  4. nuts
  5. seeds
  6. spinach
  7. kale
  8. artichokes
  9. asparagus

Traveling as much as I do means I often have to bring my own food along for the journey because restaurants commonly use corn and soy oil in much of their cooking, but on a recent trip to Los Angeles I ate at Real Food Daily, a restaurant that features plant-based organic foods and I didn’t have to bring a thing. I had a sit-down with the inspirational proprietor of the restaurant, Ann Gentry (above). As a television chef and author of three cookbooks including The Real Food Daily Cookbook, Ann has exceptional insight into eating a plant-based diet.

Real Food Daily Cookbook

Benefits of a Plant-Based Diet

According to Ann’s cookbook, “Western medicine now stresses eating a more plant-based diet to get the essential vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytochemicals that are found abundantly–and in some cases exclusively–in the plant kingdom that surrounds us.” This means, of course, that a strong benefit to eating a plant-based diet is that you get more cancer, heart disease, and disease-fighting components from fresh food, not just by taking vitamin pills as a nutritional supplement. Beyond the basic nutritional benefits, it makes sense to eat more plant-based food and less meat for other health reasons such as high blood pressure control, preventing diabetes, and weight loss.

While I was at the Los Angeles restaurant, the Culinary Director, Chef Tara Punzone, prepared some amazing meat-free, dairy-free, grain-free, sugar-free dishes for me; Jack Fruit Street Tacos with kale wraps (top), Red Head Juice [which is beet, carrot, celery, and apple] (below), and Rainbow Bowl Salad (bottom). Each bite was more delicious than the one before. When people learn of my diet and ask me, “What DO you eat anyways?” I want to tell them ALL THE FOODS that Ann and Tara cook. Ann has three amazing cookbooks out if you would like to cook some of this deliciousness for yourself. Go to this LINK to find them.

Being mindful of your health means being mindful of what you consume. Eating more plant-based meals means you are helping the environment, helping animals, and also helping yourself to wellness.

Real Food Daily Red Head Juice
Plant based no grain protein list

*Special thanks to the Visit California team that helped me with a rental car for my #takeadaynow trip so that I was able to come to visit Ann Gentry and the Real Food Daily California, team. #landscaping #gardening #discoverla #visitcalifornia

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One Comment

  1. We loved meeting you Shawna when you were on your So. CA. food travels. You are an inspiration to show people that indeed you can change the way you eat and still be satisfied and enjoy the finer aspects of the culinary world!

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