Eating a plant-based diet is one of the best ways to prevent and reverse disease, says health and wellness expert Kathy Freston. Removing meat from your diet reduces your odds of cancer by 40 percent, heart disease by 50 percent, and Type-2 diabetes by 60 percent.
Progress, Not Perfection
If you're thinking about giving up meat, it's important not to fall into a junk-food vegan diet, Kathy says. She recommends leaning into healthier choices -- it's about progress, not perfection -- by trying a black bean burrito instead of a burger one day a week. Then, try a pizza with Daiya dairy-free cheese and veggie sausage.
Once you go vegan, the weight will just roll off, Kathy says. If you're eating a diet full of whole foods and nutrient-rich proteins, you won't have to worry about counting calories or carbs.
In her book, "The Quantum Wellness Cleanse," Kathy recommends giving up sugar, alcohol, caffeine, gluten, and all animal products for 21 days. She says followers of the program have experienced weight loss and clearer skin, and many have decided to continue aspects of the plan once the 21 days are up. It's also a great test to find out if you have a hard time digesting gluten -- if your belly suddenly turns flat after avoiding it for 21 days, chances are you do.
The Dinner Party
You don't have to decline all dinner party invites as a vegan. Simply tell your host that she need not buy a piece of meat or fish for you, and that you'll be happy to bring something for yourself. It's important not to be obnoxious, Kathy says. "It's not my business to tell anybody else what to eat."
Veganism is gaining popularity, Kathy says, especially since a number of celebrities have recently decided to give up all animal products: Bill Clinton, Atlanta Falcon Tony Gonzalez, Ultimate Fighter Mac Danzig, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Alicia Silverstone, Erykah Badu, and Google cofounder Larry Page are just a few.
Learn more about Kathy Freston and her book, "The Quantum Wellness Cleanse: The 21-Day Essential Guide to Healing Your Body, Mind, and Spirit."