Wildlife Conservation And Healthy Diet Are Closely Entwined

Your Plant-Based Ambassador: Image by Dana Ellis Hunnes

We all want to look our best, be our skinniest and healthiest selves, right?

Well, I've got the secret.

See, I've been a dietitian, working with individuals and patients for over 12 years.

I've seen patients who eat every type of diet you have and have not heard of; from the Paleo, to the Atkins, to the Zone, to the blood-type diet.

You know what? None of them worked long-term.

Not only that, they never really helped the underlying disease or "problems" that the patients had; and believe me, I work with the sickest of the sick patients. I work with organ-transplant patients, cardiac patients, and all types of surgical-cancer patients.

In all these years, and with all these patients, and with all my research. The one diet that works best for almost anyone**, whether you want to lose weight, reverse disease, lower your cholesterol levels, or just have clearer skin; is the plant-based diet.

Not only that, but, the plant-based diet is the only diet that also protects Earth.

Right now, we are in the midst of mass-species extinctions. Our glut for sushi, poke, sashimi, or ceviche, is throwing our oceans out of balance. It is leading to extinction of the mightiest of fish, the Bluefin tuna.

Fewer than 3% of the Bluefin tuna in the Pacific ocean remain. And of those, very few reach maturity or are of age to spawn and reproduce. Most are taken from the oceans, far too early.

This is a major problem.

Not only that, but we are killing the small fish too; such as anchovies, menhaden, herring at ridiculously fast rates, such that they cannot support the rest of the oceanic ecosystem or the larger fish that we, humans, like to eat. Yet, these smaller fish are not necessarily consumed at the dinner table. Rather, they are found in fish oils, or used as animal feed or fertilizer.

And, we have completely contorted the way our food is grown, reared, and what it is fed; including ourselves. We remove the vast majority of the fish in the ocean, and then we call other consumers such as whales and dolphins, pests, and retaliate against them.

Something has to change. For wildlife, and for OUR HEALTH.

We all strive to attain that perfect figure, those washboard abs, those beautiful biceps. But, we're going about it all wrong.

See, we eat poorly, too many animals, too many processed sugars and grains, not enough fruits and vegetables, and then we wonder why we look the way we do, or feel the way we feel.

But, we can fix this.

Myself? I swim miles at a time, do hard, long cycling classes (with a bonafide triathlete), and do so with energy, with stamina, at peak performance, and I do so on a plant-based, eco-friendly diet.

I've never been leaner, I've never been stronger, I've never been healthier.

I've been a plant-based eater for the vast majority of my adult life, mostly for personal health reasons. But, as I've learned more and read more about the environment and conservation of wildlife, my priorities, my reasoning for eating this way have evolved.

Luckily, these are not mutually exclusive reasons. We can eat a healthy plant-based diet for our health, and for the environment! Because it's simply good for both!

If you are looking to rid your body of diabetes, obesity, or cardiovascular disease; the best thing you can do today is start eating a plant-based diet.

If on the other hand, like me, you worry about the future of our earth, the future of Bluefin tuna, the future of the environment, the best thing you can do today is start eating a plant-based diet.

When I began my quest to defend and advocate for wildlife conservation, I didn't necessarily expect to be talking about diet as much as I do. But, the reality is they are so closely entwined, they cannot possibly be separated.

The truth of the matter is, my over 12-year history of being a dietitian has placed me in the ultimate position to educate and advocate for the healthiest of all diets, a plant-based diet.

Moreover, my scientific and doctoral background in climate-change science affords me the scientific basis for which I can fully conclude that a plant-based diet is THE ULTIMATE DIET.

So, whether you want to lose weight, have a six pack, or want to protect the environment; the best thing you can do for you, your family, your children, our home-Earth-is eat a mostly, if not entirely, plant-based diet.

And, anyone who tells you, you need meat to be healthy, doesn't know their science. There are amino acids and proteins in almost any and every food.

Anyone who tells you that you don't need carbs in your diet doesn't know their science, because our brains utilize 8 grams of glucose every hour.

Our biggest problems are the types of carbs and the processing of our food supply.

For more recommendations on a healthy plant-based diet, please see my prior post: "Why plants are this summer's coolest Diet."

(**Disclaimer: There are some disease states that require extra-special care in planning the type of plant-foods that should be consumed; consult with a dietitian or physician**)