Knowledge is Power

Having served as a nurse, biology teacher, and chief information officer in the past, I know all too well that this statement is true, knowledge is power. What you know, can make the difference between life and death.

If you think about it, a good majority of we do every day is meant to help us avoid death. Once we get the basics taken care of, we can then focus on making our lives better. But often that is when we start taking our health for granted. Then things start to go downhill. Many start to gain weight. Others start having headaches, gut problems, joint pain, or some other health challenge like prediabetes, high blood pressure, chest pain, cancer, or our skin and hair are just no longer vibrant, our muscles are starting to atrophy, and the condition of our nails has changed.

I am a believer that it is never too early or too late to harness the power of knowledge to optimize your health. The body was designed to heal itself given the right raw materials and optimal conditions for it to do so. The good news is there are several exciting new advances in science that you can learn about in this blog that will empower you to do just that.

My Perspective

I believe that a primarily plant-based diet (with mostly raw food) is the healthiest diet especially for those facing health challenges. Scientific studies have proven this time and time again. Eating animal foods is associated with a majority of the top fifteen killers. Nevertheless, I am not totally against eating some animal products on special occasions or for nutritional purposes, especially for developing children. In other words, if you are a parent and cannot put the time into researching how to eat a nutritionally balanced diet as a vegan or vegetarian, I do not recommend it as children with developing brains/bodies can’t afford for you to make any nutritional mistakes. Adults can get by with a little temporary hair loss during such an experiment. However, until you get the time, go with a more Mediterranean type diet. Keep in mind that plenty of meat eaters deal with nutritional deficiencies.

Too many people get hung up on their way being the best way. They become diet snobs wearing their diets like a badge, “I’m vegan,” “I’m paleo,” “I’m Adkins.” The bottom line and, I believe, the most important thing is to remember is to eat whole (unprocessed) foods, make them as clean as possible (organic), and at the very least, meet the recommended daily allowances of the nutrients your body needs, getting a good majority of your calories from plant sources (especially leafy greens and berries).

Personally, I try to stay true to my nutritional goal of eating as vegan and as raw or raw-till-four as possible because I found that I can only lose weight under these conditions. This isn’t true when I include the following in my diet: a) cooked foods during the day, b) sweets, or c) meat.

Why is being a Grandma Significant?

I called myself the Plant-based Grandma in honor of the birth of my first grandson, Solomon, and because of the association with grandmothers. For one, grandmothers are among those in society charged with passing down important knowledge to successive generations.  Also, when thinking about archetypes one typically associates grandmothers with love and care. While they don’t love and care for us more than our parents do, they just have a bit more time to dedicate to the task.

Grandmothers are also wise. Because they have lived longer, they tend to have the foresight to help us avoid the land mines of life. While our young parents are often still engaged in tackling the challenges of life, Grandma sees them as our teachers if not actual opportunities.

Also, grandmothers typically possess a patient form of determination. No matter how many times we brush them off or discount what they have to say, they will be ready to help pick up the pieces afterwards if needed. So, it is with those qualities in mind that I gave this blog its name, The Plant-based Grandma. In other words, I do not get paid or thanked for these efforts. Consequently, my motivation to help others is much like a grandmother’s.

My Qualifications

Being an academic, I am perpetually going to school and continuing my education through years of uncredited research. Being a teacher and journalist/author gives me a reason to dig into the scientific and professional literature either to bring support to what I already know with further evidence or professional corroboration. Or I am looking for answers to solve a particular problem. Consequently, I am more qualified than most to conduct and discern the research and to disseminate the results of my investigations to others in a variety of formats.

As an academic, I have acquired two advanced degrees, one in conflict negotiation and adult education. I am now seeking the appropriate doctoral program to help me accomplish other goals, possibly in the areas of research (social, psychological, or medical) or in counseling or medical/nutritional treatment. I can’t decide. I suppose I will pick the one with the broadest capabilities.

What I Do Now

I consider myself semi-retired, but I work full time at what I do and will never quit working to improve our world by sharing what I learn. This designation suits me best because it allows me to be more flexible than if I took on a staff position which would dominate most of my time. Don’t get me wrong, I might consider taking such a position if it interested me. But for the time being, I am free to take on only the projects, clients, and invitations to speak that I have an interest in taking. I like this because it allows me to spend more time researching and writing about the issues that I deem vital to the world. In this blog’s case, that topic is about nutritional and other strategies that can optimize our health.

Having the wisdom, intellect, talents and skills to be able to organize and disseminate information in a way which is easier for people to understand and make better use of, I am able utilize this knowledge within the context of what I do now as a published author, speaker, blogger, video publisher, and ordained pastoral counselor. For the past 40 years I have served people as a mentor and coach within the context of my Christian duty. Those in the Church would refer to this as a ministry. And that is what it is. But I don’t like to be pigeonholed into any single designation like that because people have all sorts of ideas what that comprises of and I usually get put into some puritanical and stereotypical category. What typically happens when people do that is they start apologizing to me for their sins and begin avoiding me. But that is not what I want to have happen so I tend to avoid telling people that I am in the ministry. Basically what being a pastoral counselor and speaker in churches means is that I educate adults and the audience I typically speak to is within the Church. However, what I know would apply just as well to people within a business setting as it would to those within any organization or social group. So, it would probably be more appropriate to call me a professional consultant and educator. The “counselor” part of when I apply what I know about unraveling self-destructive and relationship-impeding behaviors to help individuals solve their problems to achieve equilibrium and inner peace.

I am more of a renaissance woman with a wide scope of knowledge in a number of different disciplines. I have many other interests besides helping people improve their lives and make better connections with themselves, God, and others. I am deeply involved in utilizing these nutritional strategies for for myself. This includes growing my own organic produce and learning new recipes.

Personal Health Challenges and Success

We all want to lose weight to be healthier or to keep some disease from taking our life away too soon (e.g., cancer, stroke, heart attack). I found it fascinating three years ago when I was finally able to lose weight at a normal rate of speed without restricting calories. What’s more, I was over 50 when the body begins to slow way down! I did this by embarking upon a raw-till-four, whole foods, plant-based diet. What’s more, I was able to lower higher blood sugars and reverse the pain found throughout my body in and around my joints.

As you might imagine, I was jubilant to finally find success while NOT restricting calories. Not starving yourself makes keeping the weight off much more likely. While I may have found the formula down for diet success, I must admit that a too-busy lifestyle, my love of sweets, and more cerebral nature do tend to get in the way of consistency from time to time. So, while I have managed to lose a total of 65 lbs since going plant-based, the last forty was gained and lost over and over again in ten pound increments, going up and down like a yo-yo during the course of the past couple of years. So, yeah, just like anything, my diet works like a charm when I stick to it.

However, I discovered that the most damaging thing for my weight was allowing myself to maintain a policy that I could eat meat while traveling and celebrating during holidays. Consequently, I decided I can’t eat animal products… at least not until I finally lose all of the weight and reverse this toxic overload that has burdened my body to the point that I am manifesting pain and various metabolic issues like higher blood sugars. Maybe then, I can have partake on rare occasion.

Due to the results found in various scientific studies, when I eat clean, I can be assured that I am reversing the damage done to my body from a lifetime of unintended abuse. You see, I used to be healthy and athletic. I believed I was eating a fairly healthy diet. But when studies proved not eating a diet with animal products reverses all of the top fifteen causes of death, I changed my ways.

Losing weight and staying healthy in today’s toxic world is a struggle for us all. Not only is it hard to stick to a diet, but, people tend to come to a point that the weight loss just stops. Often that is because our bodies have a toxic burden to deal with. This makes sense when you discover that the safest place for our bodies to shuttle those toxins away from our most vital organs and tissues is to store it in our fat.

The same thing is true of animals. If you eat animal products, especially their fat, you are adding their toxic load to your own. So, are grass fed, antibiotic-free, free-range animals better? Yes, and no. There are other reasons not to eat animals, the least of which is the formation of TMAO (check out my article on this).

Can people eat clean animal products once and a great while and still be okay? Yes. Do I think they should? Definitely not three times per day seven days per week. One a week or month, possibly. A lot of that depends on your genetics (you can get your DNA tested and upload your data into certain websites that will give you a better idea about how well you process toxins or you can pay more and get the whole run down). By that I mean that you’d want to assess your potential health challenges (those destructive genes that could be switched on by abusing your body). And you need to take a look at your current level of health and toxic burden as well. For instance, you will want to discover if you have gut bugs that turn meat into TMAO. If you eat animal products regularly, you likely do. If you only eat them rarely, you may not.

Thanks for stopping by. I’d love to hear if any of the articles were helpful or if you have any questions.