Have you wondered how you might lead a healthier life, one that allows you to age beautifully? It’s a tough question. I’m Nivien Saleh, a political scientist by training with a Ph.D. from American University, a university teaching career, a book to my credit, and a number of magazine and journal articles. I have made it my life’s work to research tough questions. On these pages I’ll share with you what I am finding out.
Our food system has been on my mind for years. Back in the days when my partner Terry and I still savored medium-rare steaks, I wondered how we could enjoy a piece of meat while abhorring the brutality that was involved in its creation. Yes, this contradiction kept me preoccupied. So much so in fact that I built it into a talk I once gave at a political science convention.
A decade earlier I took a quiz that measured my global footprint. It asked me about my living habits and then spewed out how many planet earths we would need if everybody else were to consume as many resources as I did. The outcome, I believe, was three earths. The experience left me feeling guilty and helpless.
Five years ago I embarked on a quest to figure out how to live a healthier life. The answer that presented itself – plant-based nutrition – was a goldmine. Not only did it help me personally, but it supported the ethical treatment of animals, and it offered a way in which individuals, one by one, could stem the greenhouse effect. If Lyndon B. Johnson were alive today, he would say that plant-based nutrition is a three-fer, because you get three solutions for the price of one.
Many people believe that a vegan, whole foods diet is a pastime for hippies. But instead it is a proven strategy for aging well, one that minimizes your chances for heart attacks, strokes, and a number of other civilizational diseases. Don’t take my word for it – check out this list of bona fide medical experts. All of them say that plants are good for us. The more of them we eat, the healthier we will be. Plant-based living is for anyone who wishes to be physically fit in his or her seventies, or who wishes to spare family members the burden of having to care for a stroke victim.
Eliminating processed foods, meat, eggs, milk, cheese, and other dairy products from your diet is challenging in a society that binges on chicken wings. But once I made the transition, I learned to enjoy vegetables in a completely new way. Now it’s hard to live without them.
This blog explores the many angles of plant-based living. It investigates strategies for accommodating our evolutionary needs, and it examines ways in which we might give back to the natural environment on which we so thoroughly depend. Wouldn’t it be great if we managed to leave this place greener than we found it?