Nigel Hargreaves - Nutrition
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Whole food, plant-based nutrition and lifestyle

I began my journey into whole food, plant-based (vegan) nutrition and lifestyle in 2012, after realising several years before this that I had to do something to improve my health for the long-term, not just to loose a few pounds for a summer holiday or Christmas, it had to be a lifestyle change. A gradual deterioration in health culminated in my early forties, manifesting itself with an increase in weight, elevated blood pressure and high cholesterol, which meant that for the first time in my life, I had to begin taking prescription medication, in the form of statins (anti-cholesterol medication).

After my initial awakening to the need to have to do something about this, my initial moves towards this were driven by the acute fear of a mid-life heart attack, that almost certainly loomed in my probably not too distant future at that time if I didn’t address matters. Initially, my goals were modest, to loose weight, get fitter and to enjoy life with my wife and kids in good health, long term.

Having already started running in 2010, I picked up a book to take on holiday. From an Amazon search about health and well-being books, I ordered the newly released book by Rich Roll, “Finding Ultra: Rejecting middle age, becoming one of the worlds fittest men and discovering myself” (Crown Archetype books 2012). It is safe to say that this book changed my attitudes towards diet and health and changed my life at the time of reading it, from that moment to present day and has given me the framework for the rest of my life.

This book then lead to much wider researching on the subject, many of the resources are given in the references below. I could see the benefits of a wholefood, plant based (vegan) lifestyle immediately, but knew that it would be difficult to integrate this into a busy daily routine involving an extremely busy daily work routine. This could not be a “diet” in the conventional sense, it could not be about calorie counting, weighing food, or adding up proteins, carbohydrates, fats, “points” or “sins” for each meal, it was to be a complete dietary lifestyle change. Initially, I had a plant-based breakfast and lunch, then eating with my family a typical mixed omnivorous evening meal. After several months of this, despite loosing weight and feeling better, blood results showed that my cholesterol was still high, despite taking statins. The option was to continue as I was and increase the dose of statins, or to commit to and try a 100% wholefood, plant-based vegan lifestyle.

This I did in May 2014 and have never looked back. I have certainly never felt better or fitter, I’ve lost 60lbs altogether to date and I am off all long-term meds (including statins). Recovery from exercise is excellent, which I can vouch for being in preparation for my first 100 mile run in April 2016 at 51 years of age. There is much science on this subject, some of it detailed below in the references section, this is simply my own experience, but the list below will give details and references to look into the idea and subject deeper.

People approach plant based nutrition or “veganism” from any of three angles; from the point of view of health, environmental issues, or an ethical (animal rights) perspective. Mine was health initially, but all three combine the more that you look into matters. Heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer are playing and increasing role in the demise of our health, but 90% of Western disease is preventable and in some cases reversible through simple diet and lifestyle changes. Plant-based nutrition is the true path to sustainable long-term wellness for both the individual and the planet at large.

Have a look through the references below with an open mind, read some of the books, follow the references and watch the films……..then make a judgement, or maybe try it!

Plant-Based references and resources
Plant-Based Nutrition Primers and Books

“Finding Ultra: Rejecting Middle Age, becoming one of the worlds fittest men and discovering myself”

Rich Roll (Crown Archetype books 2012) 

“The China Study: The most comprehensive study of nutrition ever conducted and the startling implications for diet, weight loss and long term health”

T Colin Campbell and Thomas M Campbell II (BenBella Books, 2006)

“The Food Revolution: How your diet can help save your life and our world”

John Robbins (Conari Press 2001)

“Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease: The revolutionary scientifically proven, nutrition based cure”

Caldwell B. Esselstyn (Avery 2008)

“Meat is for Pussies: A how-to guide for dudes who want to get fit, kick ass and take names”

John Joseph ( HarperWave, 2014)

“Eat and Run: My unlikely journey to ultramarathon greatness”

Scott Jurek (Bloomsbury 2012)

“The Plantpower Way”

Rich Roll and Julie Piatt ( Avery 2015 )

“How not to Die: Discover the foods scientifically proven to prevent and reverse disease”

Dr Michael Greger (2016)

“Proteinaholic: How our obsession with meat is killing us and what we can do about it”

Dr Garth Davies MD and Howard Jacobson (2015)

“My beef with Meat: The healthiest argument for eating a plant strong diet”

Rip Esselstyn (Grand Central 2013)

Plantpower-friendly Website Resources

Recommended Films

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