Saint Louis University

Author: Hannah Kimanthi
Published: Friday, January 20, 2012

Ever eaten an entire meal and then felt guilty about what you ate, or had a patient/friend tell you that? Then after the meal you or they had to go exercise and workout extra hard just to burn off the excess calories you/they ate? A survey showed that fifty-four percent of Americans admitted to feeling "a bit guilty" after eating fast-food and another sixteen percent say they just felt "bad".

There is a simple and easy remedy that addresses these feelings of guilt… a whole food plant based diet.

2012 SLU Dietetic Intern Plant Based Diet

Forks over knives was a documentary that hit home for me and a confirmation that consuming a plant based diet is proven to be life changing and beneficial. Most people are very skeptical to this notion but the truth is most diseases can be prevented and avoided if we just changed one simple thing- how we eat.

Following a plant based diet has tones of benefits. Some of these are:

  • Reversing some diseases such as type 2 diabetes as well as prevent diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease.
  • Reducing the amount of medications especially for the diseases that can be prevented or reversed
  • A guaranteed lowered cholesterol
  • Weight maintenance and weight loss for those who are overweight and or obese.
  • Quick and simple meals to make.
  • An increase intake of fruits and vegetables
  • No feelings of guilt after you eat.

Just to make things practical below is a sample menu of some of the foods you can enjoy:

Buckwheat banana and walnut pancakes with maple syrup
Coffee with soy milk/almond milk
A bowl of cubed cantaloupe

Mixed berry smoothie

Pizza- Assorted vegetables- tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, mozzarella cheese (soy based) with nutritional yeast

2012 SLU Dietetic Intern Plant Based Diet

Apple with candied walnuts

Vegan tofu and vegetable pot pie

Strawberry filled crepe

As aspiring dietitians, I am sure you are wondering if this diet is sufficient in vitamin B 12 and calcium. You need not to worry, with the vegan diet evolving, there are cereals now that have been fortified with vitamin B 12 plus there are other non-meat sources such as nutritional yeast which has a parmesan cheese flavor to it and can be easily added to lunch and dinner meals. Also, almond milk has been fortified with calcium and actually has higher levels of it than regular milk!

So my challenge to you today is to try this diet for 1-2 weeks and see for yourself that following a plant based (vegan) diet is not so bad after all!