Beauty should be viewed and approached as the product of an elegant balance we strike between body, mind, and spirit. If our beauty doesn’t radiate outward from within ourselves, creating a mystique and an aura that observers can’t quite describe, the steps we take to adorn ourselves on the exterior won’t be as effective as we’d like them to be.
There is one type of diet that not only supports near immediate results in physical health and vitality; it encourages inner peace and contentment and mental resiliency and sharpness. That diet is plant-based. It’s a nutrient-rich, whole food diet devoid of animal flesh and animal products and it yields constant and myriad benefits.
Says Dotsie Bausch, Olympic cycling medalist,
“Saving money. Better sex. A healthier heart. Beautiful skin. Those four reasons are enough for me.”
The meat-centered diet is a holdover from earlier more ancient times when farming was so difficult the people of those times were forced to kill animals for food. But today’s farming practices coupled with innovations and creativity in plant-based food preparation make it so you can refrain from meat and animal products quite easily and deliciously.
Ironman, ultramarathon champion and bestselling author of Thrive: The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life, Brendan Brazier, experimented with all kinds of diets to find the one that would best support his dream of becoming a professional endurance athlete.
He says that the plant-based diet stood alone as the diet that allowed him to recover from workouts most effectively despite what coaches and others around him believed. The shorter length of time it took him to recover between workouts allowed him to train harder and more often than his competition and he credits this for his twice having won the Canadian 50K ultramarathon championship.
Veganuary is an annual challenge in the United Kingdom that educates about and promotes veganism by encouraging people to follow a vegan lifestyle for just one month—January. Since the event began in 2014, participation has more than doubled each year with large numbers remaining plant-based when their one-month experiment is over.
“Each year people who take part in Veganuary are asked how they found their month of plant-based eating and what physical changes they experienced during that time. Among the most common responses are: my skin cleared up, my digestion is a whole lot better, my sinuses are clearer, my nails are stronger, I have more energy.”
—Veganuary Founders Jane Land and Matthew Glover
Still, others report better sleep, the cessation of snoring, and increased libido. For some women, their periods are easier, while others notice an improvement in menopause symptoms.
One person told Veganuary organizers, “I didn’t realize how ‘sick’ my body felt ‘til I realized what ‘healthy’ feels like.”
And these are all very commonplace outcomes of a plant-based diet.
Plant-based lovers notice an improvement in skin conditions like eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is often reversed and so are chronic fatigue and joint pain. Even arthritis patients notice an easing of pain and inflammation.
Eating herbivorously clears the cobwebs from the brain so that improved concentration and mental clarity become the new norm.
In addition to longevity and a greater sense of well-being, consuming foods made from plants can give you a glow and a level of vitality that meat never can.
This glow and vitality comes from:
• nourishing uplifting light derived from the sun
• phytochemicals that heal
• a fantastic array of vitamins and minerals
• a natural anti-inflammatory action
• a good cleansing and detoxification
• fiber from plants that scrub your intestinal walls to keep elimination regular
• naturally occurring prebiotics and probiotics to keep your intestinal and brain health thriving
• essential fatty acids(1) for overall health of body and mind
• resistant starch—a type of nutrient that can boost digestion, prevent diseases and promote weight loss(2)
• antioxidants—keys to mitigating aging
• zero cholesterol
Eating unbalanced diets high in calories and low in nutrients places stress on our health and it shows on our face first and foremost.
“Over a certain age, if we don’t start eating really well, we will pay a big price both in our health and in our appearance.” —Sophie Uliano, New York Times bestselling author of Gorgeously Green
It’s a misconception to think that plant-based eating means you’re only going to be eating salads and crudités. With the abundance and variety of plant-based foods that mimic foods you may be used to eating in a meat-centered diet, it’s easier than ever to make the transition. Many of these foods will amaze you like burgers, pepperoni, breakfast sausage, and more from a list that’s near endless.
There is one word of caution, however, but it’s something that can easily and proactively be addressed when you’re an herbivore: The risk of vitamin B12 deficiency increases when consuming a diet low or absent in animal products.
This deficiency can manifest in older adults as neuropathy (pins and needles feeling in the extremities), heart palpitations, dark stripes under fingernails, chapped lips and other symptoms.
To avert or reverse such a deficiency simply consume algae-based supplements. Vitamin B12 in chlorella is bioavailable and a natural way for vegetarians and vegans to get the vitamin B12 they need.
If your diet’s foundation is meat and animal products and you’d love to be feeling and looking better, you can make the switch to plant-based that will make a lasting impact on your quality of life. You can make it work even within the framework of a busy career and family life. And you can make this switch quite easily with all the knowledge and foods that abound in tons of recipe books, magazines, websites, and health food and grocery stores. Try recipes or plant-based foods one at a time. Find the ones you like (which will be most of them) and then watch your body, appearance, and mental outlook change!
(1) Studies have shown that increasing the intake of certain essential fatty acids, either alone or in combination with other fats and compounds, can increase health, help in treating certain diseases, and even improve body composition, mental and physical performance.
(2) While most starches are digested and broken down, resistant starch will pass through you unchanged.
(3) Enzymes will be found more intact when consuming unfired plant foods which is ‘next level’ plant-based eating. David Wolfe, author of Eating for Beauty says: “The evidence in support of moving toward a raw plant-based diet is derived from science, natural history, physiology, experience, and common sense… These raw plant-foods are where the magic is found—in the enzyme factor.”
Daigneault, Christina, and Galper, Amy. Plant-Powered Beauty, Updated Edition: The Essential Guide to Using Natural Ingredients for Health, Wellness, and Personal Skincare (with 50-plus Recipes). United States, BenBella Books, 2020.
Uliano, Sophie. Gorgeous for Good. United States, Hay House, 2015.
How To Go Vegan: The Why, the How, and Everything You Need to Make Going Vegan Easy. United Kingdom, Hodder & Stoughton, 2017.
Frazier, Matt, and Ruscigno, Matt. No Meat Athlete: Run on Plants and Discover Your Fittest, Fastest, Happiest Self. United Kingdom, Fair Winds Press, 2013.
Brazier, Brendan. Thrive (10th Anniversary Edition): The Plant-Based Whole Foods Way to Staying Healthy for Life. United States, Hachette Books, 2017.
Di Pasquale MG. The essentials of essential fatty acids. J Diet Suppl. 2009;6(2):143-61. doi: 10.1080/19390210902861841. PMID: 22435414.
Wolfe, David. Eating for Beauty. United States, North Atlantic Books, 2003.
Merchant RE, Phillips TW, Udani J. Nutritional Supplementation with Chlorella pyrenoidosa Lowers Serum Methylmalonic Acid in Vegans and Vegetarians with a Suspected Vitamin B₁₂ Deficiency. J Med Food. 2015 Dec;18(12):1357-62. doi: 10.1089/jmf.2015.0056. Epub 2015 Oct 20. PMID: 26485478.
Obeid, Rima et al. “Vitamin B12 Intake From Animal Foods, Biomarkers, and Health Aspects.” Frontiers in nutrition vol. 6 93. 28 Jun. 2019, doi:10.3389/fnut.2019.00093