Wellness is a Choice
Our lifestyle choices impact our wellness. This fact alone can be very empowering. Let’s take a look at how we could reap the benefit of abundant energy, optimal weight, health and happiness. There are some indigenous populations with almost no heart disease, no cancer, no diabetes, no high blood pressure and no obesity like the Papua New Guinea Highlanders, the Okinawans and the Hunzas among others. The majority of their total calorie intake is from organic, whole plants. They eat very little or no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no sugar and no oil.
Our body has inner-intelligence to self-harmonize, when we nurture it in natural and organic ways with plant-based nutrition, spring water, relaxation, walks in nature and loving-kindness. – GM Brana
Whole-food plant based nutrition has vitamins and minerals that our body needs to thrive in a healthy way. Plants contain dietary fiber, antioxidants and have no cholesterol and have no or very little saturated fats. The healthiest foods are those with whole, unrefined plants: vegetables, fruits, tubers (like potatoes and sweet potatoes), whole grains (like quinoa and whole oats), legumes (like lentils and beans), and nuts (like almonds and walnuts) and seeds (like flaxseeds and sesame seeds). Animal-based foods are almost devoid of Vitamin C and antioxidants, which are essential for our immune system functions.
Vitamin C can be found in the following plants:
➢ Raw sprouts: mini treasure chest;
➢ Elderberries, wild blueberries, aronia berries native to Quebec;
➢ Camu-camu (Myrciaria dubia), from the Amazon rainforest is one of the most potent botanical source of Vitamin C in the world;
➢ Amla (Emblica officinalis), is an indigenous fruit to the Indian subcontinent;
➢ Fruits like oranges, pineapple, mango, cantaloupe, lemon, peach, kiwi, strawberries, guava, pomegranates, grapefruits;
➢ Dark leafy greens like kale, spinach, mustard greens;
➢ Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, brussel sprouts and cauliflower;
➢ Peppers, chilli peppers, cayenne, tomatoes;
➢ Fresh herbs such as cilantro, parsley, basil;
➢ Rose hips
Animal-based foods are acidic, they contain in most cases cholesterol, a lot of fat and have no dietary fiber, little or no beta-carotene (the source of vitamin A) nor folate (water soluble B-vitamin). The unhealthiest foods are those with saturated fats and animal protein:
(1) dairy products- cheese, milk, yogurt, butter, whipped cream, sour cream, milk powder, dairy-dips, dairy-desserts, ghee and various other products made from milk.
(2) other animal products-meat including beef, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, horse, rabbit and other meats, processed meats, eggs, fish, fish oils and processed products made out of meat.
The World Health Organization declared processed meat as a Group 1 carcinogen, putting it in the same category as plutonium. Why are children still given these processed meats? Regularly consuming foods high in saturated fat can cause weight gain, raise LDL cholesterol levels, increase a risk of heart disease, diabetes, fatty liver and cancer. “Low-fat” on animal-based products is just a marketing scheme. Eggs for example contain a substantial amount of cholesterol in their yolks, the fatty stuff in our blood that contributes to clogged arteries and heart attacks. Animals are fed antibiotics, hormones and genetically modified foods, and are often treated inhumanly. It does not come as a surprise that meat and fish can be infested with worms and other parasites. In addition, animal agriculture is the cause of deforestation and water pollution. National Geographic says that at the current rate of deforestation, the world’s rainforests could diminish and virtually vanish within the next 100 years at our current rate of depletion.
Dr. Gabriel Cousens states that: “All fast food, processed, preserved, canned, packaged, refined, microwave meals, dairy, and meat are acid forming foods and should be avoided like the plague if you plan to remain healthy or regain your health.” Unfortunately, vegetarians tend to use a lot of dairy products and fat and some vegans tend to consume a lot of processed food loaded with sugar and fat. Dr. Neal Barnard explains in his new book The Cheese Trap, how this highly addictive food is a root-cause of various health conditions. In Canada we produce four genetically modified organism- or GMO-based foods: corn, sugar beats, soy and canola oil. Almost all processed food contains one of those four ingredients. It’s important to read ingredients and labels on all food products. As an example, the Bt-toxin produced by genetically modified corn kills insects by punching holes in their digestive tracts. Numerous scientific studies confirmed that Bt-toxin damages human cells as well. Eighty thousand toxic chemicals have been released into our environment since the dawn of the industrial revolution (mid-1700s), and very few have been tested for their long-term impact on human health.
In a study spearheaded by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in collaboration with Commonweal, researchers at two major laboratories found 287 chemicals and pollutants in umbilical cord blood from 10 babies born in August and September of 2004 in U.S. hospitals, out of which 180 cause cancer in humans or animals, 217 are toxic to the brain and nervous system, and 208 cause birth defects or abnormal development in animal tests. Based on Stats Canada, 30% of people in Canada die from cancer and 20% from heart disease. The healthcare costs in Canada exceed $200 billion per year and are increasing. While the current medical system addresses emergencies and surgeries well, it’s obvious that based on 50% of death rates from two health conditions, it offers no viable solution for treating the chronic conditions. Despite countless dollars spent on medical research to improve our health, more people are disabled and dying from chronic diseases than ever before. “New age” medicine based on various synthetic compounds became widespread only in the last 50 years. It’s treating the body symptoms locally, and offers a range of negative toxic side-effects, which is rather concerning for current and future generations.
“We now have evidence showing that the kind of nutrition provided by a whole-food plant-based diet (WFPB) offers more health benefits than all the present-day pills and procedures combined. This means health benefits for both disease prevention and treatment.” -T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D
“There are two kinds of cardiologists: vegans and those who haven’t read the data.” -Kim Williams, MD, President of American College of Cardiology
“We should be eating fruits and vegetables as if our lives depend on it, because they do.” -Michael Greger, MD “The beef industry has contributed to more American deaths than all the wars of this century, all natural disasters, and all automobile accidents combined.” -Neal Barnard, MD
“Some people think plant-based diet, whole foods diet is extreme. Half a million people a year (in USA) will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some people would call that extreme.” -Caldwell Esselstyn, MD
“The fat you eat is the fat you wear.” -John McDougall, MD
“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.”– Hippocrates, an ancient Greek physician (~400BCE).
My favourite breakfast, lunch, and dinner is nothing other than good ol’ grass! I get all protein from plants, and my muscles are stronger than Brana’s! Yours Truly, Horse.
It’s remarkable that almost 2,500 years ago, Plato in his dialog between Socrates and Glaucon predicted that consuming animal-based foods would lead to sickness, disease and disputes, suggesting that this could be avoided if humans would consume plant-based nutrition. According to T. Colin Campbell, PhD nutritional imbalances are the most significant causes of disease, within the context of whole-food and not as supplements of individual nutrients. His research demonstrates that casein (cow’s milk protein), and likely most other animal proteins, are a far more relevant carcinogen than pesticide, herbicide, food additive, or other chemicals all together. Dr. Campbell studied the survey that included about 880 million people in China, which looked at effects of nutrition on health. It involved about 650,000 workers around the country as they collected information on analyzing different kinds of cancer and heart disease. In this study, animal-based consumption had the highest rate of correlation with cancer and heart disease.
In his book The China Study, Dr. Campbell writes: “How did we go from knowing that the best athletes in the ancient Greek Olympics must consume a plant-based diet to fearing that vegetarians don’t get enough protein? How did we get to a place where the healers of our society, our doctors, know little, if anything, about nutrition? How did we get to a place where the companies that profit from our sickness are the ones telling us how to be healthy; where the companies that profit by our food choices are the ones telling us what to eat?” Dr. Dean Ornish demonstrated that positive changes in lifestyle are turning on the genes that are protective, and turning off the genes that cause oxidative stress and inflammation, which promote cancer and heart disease. He completed a study on telomeres with Nobel Prize laureate Elizabeth Blackburn. As we get older our telomeres tend to get shorter. As our telomeres get shorter our lives tend to get shorter. They found that after just three months of a plant-based nutrition and stress-reduction, telomerase, the enzyme that repairs and lengthens telomeres, increased by 30% in the patients. Dr. Ornish found that fiber, found exclusively in plant foods, was associated with longer telomeres. Plant foods are filled with antioxidants that can fight the oxidative stress responsible for telomere shrinking, preventing and even reversing cellular aging.
Many doctors unfortunately have no education on nutrition and lifestyle benefits. However, people all over the world in phenomenal numbers are gaining interest in natural stress-reduction programs, nutrition, fitness, complementary medicine, and all kinds of related wellness education, coaching and services. They want to feel good, look good, and they are seeking out natural ways to prevent health challenges and self-heal.
The Global Wellness Institute estimates that the global wellness industry was a $3.7 trillion market in 2015, in the following categories:
➢ Beauty & Anti-Aging ($999 bil.);
➢ Healthy Eating, Nutrition & Weight Loss ($648 bil.);
➢ Wellness Tourism ($563 bil.);
➢ Fitness & Mind-Body ($542 bil.);
➢ Preventative & Personalized Medicine and Public Health ($534 bil.);
➢ Complementary & Alternative Medicine ($199 bil.);
➢ Wellness Lifestyle Real Estate ($119 bil.);
➢ Spa Industry ($99 bil.);
➢ Thermal/Mineral Springs ($51 bil.);
➢ Workplace Wellness ($43 bil.).
Natural therapies have been in use for thousands of years, they have no negative toxic side effects, they treat the cause, and have a long-term positive effect on our well-being and environment. Naturo-therapists teach not only how to bring the whole body into balance, but also focus on prevention and purification. Naturo-therapy designates all natural techniques that work toward homeostasis of the human body through natural agents and are in alignment with the universal principles. Every human being has a fundamental right to choose his or her lifestyle and food.
There is no magic pill, and no shortcut to health and happiness except by following a natural and spiritual way of life. Here a simple and effective formula for a healthy lifestyle and optimal weight:
1- eat healthy nutrition: whole-food plant-based nutrition prepared at home, grown organically based on authentic seeds and spring water;
2- practice stress-reduction techniques: Reiki, meditation;
3- exercise moderately: walks, yoga, chi gong, dance;
4- find your spiritual community: spiritual mentor, love and support group;
5- visit nature: retreats in nature, connection with the Earth, Sun;
There are certain plants and plant-based products, which cause damage to our health, like cigarettes misusing a sacred plant of tobacco, Marijuana and alcohol. Based on the Tobacco Atlas Org, tobacco caused 100 million deaths in the 20th century (more than World War I and II combined), and projected 1 billion deaths in the 21st century if the current smoking patterns continue. Do you remember the times when people considered smoking cigarettes healthy? In our bodies, alcohol (ethanol) is converted into a toxic chemical called acetaldehyde. The International Agency for Research on Cancer has classified acetaldehyde formed as a result of drinking alcohol as being a cause of cancer, along with alcohol itself.
Smoking Marijuana causes serious damages to brain and nervous system. Unlike sellers of those toxins would like us to believe, there are no “spiritual experiences” while smoking marijuana, those are hallucinations. According to Dr. Gabriel Cousens: “Marijuana makes us physically weak, psychically suggestible, emotionally immature, and socially inept. The drug is highly toxic and literally destroys the brain. Given the importance of brain health for concentration, meditation, and spiritual growth, marijuana use threatens the integrity of all aspects of our health and spiritual wellbeing. The symptoms of THC brain damage include distorted perception, impaired coordination, difficulty in thinking and problem solving, and memory difficulty.” Dehydration, unexplained pain, weight loss, inflammation, compulsive bathing and nausea could be caused by effects of THC on brain, as in the Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. Marijuana has long been associated with an increase in risk for mental illnesses, including psychosis, depression and anxiety. In a new study released in November of 2016, researchers studied brain scans of 1,000 US marijuana users. The users had significantly restricted blood flow all over the brain. Hippocampus, the brain’s key memory and learning center, has the lowest blood flow in marijuana users suggesting higher vulnerability to Alzheimer’s.
What happens when a person takes cocaine, smokes marijuana or cigarettes (tobacco), drinks alcohol, or eats animal-based foods, sugar-loaded and fat-loaded foods, among other substances? Psychologist Douglas Lisle explains the pleasure trap based on three main motivators: pleasure seeking, pain avoidance and energy conservation. Based on misguided instincts, we might be thinking and feeling that we’re being extremely biologically successful when in fact we’re being self-destructive. The pleasure trap can be resolved by self-reflection, “logical reasoning” over “feeling” and by using our will to overcome misguided instincts. All our tastes are acquired, except that for mother’s milk. Thankfully, our taste buds can be retrained. We can discard our taste for disease-causing and disease-promoting “foods” and acquire the taste for health-promoting foods. The pleasure trap: Douglas Lisle at TEDxFremont.
Unless a therapy is in use for hundreds of years and has undergone hundreds of scientific trials and peer reviews, with no negative toxic side effects, like organic whole-food plant-based nutrition and Reiki, we cannot be sure that it’s healthy. Prevention is a mindful process affected by the choices we make today. It’s better to change a habit, than to create or feed a disease. Treatment of diseases can be painful and stressful in many ways for a person with a chronic condition, their loved ones and the society in general. By implementing whole-food, plant-based nutrition, B12 Vitamin supplement, practicing Reiki, doing mild exercises and making time for visits to nature, we contribute to our health and the health of the planet. Dr. Mehmet Oz recommends Reiki as the number one alternative therapy and recommends the vegan lifestyle for health. Some of the celebrities and world’s best athletes choose a vegan lifestyle and Reiki for better performances, beauty and wellness. Does it make sense to sacrifice our health in order to make money, only to spend this money to recuperate our health? Do you love yourself enough to heal yourself? Imagine what would happen if all of us chose healthy lifestyles! We would preserve our health and help our beautiful planet.
Author: GM Brana holds a Master’s degree in biomedical engineering. She’s a graduate of the nutrition program at the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutritional Studies from eCornell University. She has studied Dr. Gabriel Cousens approach to live food after visiting the Tree of Life center in Arizona. Brana’s first plant wisdom teacher was her grandmother Jula, who owned a farm. Brana is a member of the Canadian Naturo-Therapist Association. She practices what she teaches. Brana enjoys fresh and raw organic greens and fruits, filled with bio-photons.
Are you looking for whole-food plant-based recipes?
Other sites of interest:
Books by MDs
➢ The Cheese Trap by Neal Barnard, MD- How breaking a surprising addiction will help you lose weight, gain energy and get healthy
➢ Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell Esselstyn, MD-The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutrition-Based Cure
➢ The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell, MD- The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health
➢ How Not To Die by Michael Greger, MD- Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease
➢ There Is a Cure for Diabetes by Gabriel Cousens, MD- The 21-Day+ Holistic Recovery Program
Reserve your organic baskets delivery in Montreal from the local farmers: http://www.equiterre.org/
If you would like to learn how to help yourself or your family with natural therapies or how to become a naturo-therapist, please call (514) 999-4018 or e-mail email@example.com