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My Whole Plant-Based Journey

Dr.Garth Davis describes protein lovers as “proteinaholic” in his bestselling book “Proteinaholic”.  So he makes a strong definition by adding ”aholic“ to protein, which means overly fond of something like ”alcoholic“ or ”workaholic". He intends to tell about how our obsession with meat is huge.  It really is... I have heard from my relatives, friends many times: "I can't help eating meat, I would rather die than not eat meat…"


walkin man toward his goal
My whole plant-based diet journey

My Experience in Nutrition

I grew up as a “proteinaholic” like my family and my friends. During my boardingschool years, meat and dairy products were always given the top priority at the table as the main source of protein. Sometimes, when there was a green lentil dish on the menu instead of meat, a lot of friends were turning back from the dining hall entrance without eating any food. In those years, protein from animal products has been considered by school administrations as the most valuable food item in accordance with general acceptance of the time, while others have been reduced to the level of complementary foods or flavors. It's the same nowadays, isn't it?...

When I found out that a friend of mine was vegan until a short time ago, I would say with a sarcastic and confident “Where do you get your protein?”, and then  I would add my comment in an obscene manner "Protein is very important, and animal foods are the most effective source; if we don't get it enough, we become weak and ill.” I was sure that almost the whole of society thought that way about it.

Common beliefs about nutrition continue unchanged. Mintel, a London-based company famous for its food market research, contends that two out of every three consumers believe that high-protein foods are the best for weight loss.


a basket full of fruit picture for whole plant based diet

My Discovery of Whole Plant-Based Nutrition

I realized four years ago that it wasn't like that. My parents had suffered from high blood pressure and diabetes. I had been aware that these diseases were likely to come and find me one day, so I was paying close attention to my nutrition, trying to maintain my ideal weight, and doing regular and daily exercise.

Despite all this, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure at the age of 42! I didn't stop fighting... I quit smoking, deciding that I should pay more attention to my diet; I tried to combat this scourge more effectively by exercising more regularly and often and avoiding carbohydrate foods, or I had thought it was so. But with passing years, the amount of my blood pressure medications has increased, and moreover, other ailments have begun to appear.

As of June, 2019, the number of my high blood pressure medications had increased to three, my thyroid condition and my joint pains had started, I had gained a lot of weight and my energy had decreased noticeably.

“How can I cope with this high blood pressure?” when I asked to doctors in desperation, the answer was just “stay away from salt and take your pills regularly.” I had not been very old and I hadn't been wanting chronic diseases to affect my quality of life. I had been worring about the negative effects that high blood pressure causes in the body, and as a result, I had been thinking that I could have had a heart attack or brain hemorrhage at any moment. My blood marks had been also above what they should be.

While doing research on high blood pressure on the Internet in those days, I came across an interview that former US President Bill Clinton had on a television channel. The former president's answers to the questions were unusual and incredible for me. In 2006, Clinton, who had stents inserted into four veins by doctors, was asked the question “how did you lose weight and what kind of diet do you follow”. He has been following a plant-based diet since 2010, eating fish only once a week as the breach of diet. He followed the recommendations of his consultant doctors from A to Z.- Dr. Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn. During the treatment, he lost 12 kilograms, his veins began to reverse, his entire metabolism changed, and his health improved every day. His diet had prevented him from having stents inserted into his thinning veins again. He gave details of the diet in his speech and it was obvious that he was full of gratitude towards his doctors.

The same TV channel also made a program with Clinton's doctors one of the following days. In the program, doctors explained in a clear language that cardiovascular diseases are preventable, even blocked vessels can be reversed, which is possible with plant-based nutrition, i.e. pulses, fruits and vegetables, whole grain foods.

The program had a transformative effect on me. By typing “Plant Based Diet” into the Google search engine, I read the articles and watched videos I could find related to the topic. There were very good documentaries. I found and watched these documentaries. The transformation stories of the patients featured in the documentaries were truly inspiring. I found and read books by Ornish and Esselstyn.

There were not many people who worked on the subject in Turkey. It was impossible to find anything other than the advices like ”Increase plant-based nutrients in your diet". In fact, on the contrary, the number of experts who said that animal protein is indispensable and we should only pay attention to the fact that these products were grown in natural environments (i.e. a kind of Paleo Diet) was quite a lot. In this time, if you don't live in a village, how can you be sure that you are buying natural products or even that what you  eat is really beef!

The only exception of these specialists for me was Dr. Murat Kinikoglu. I took both his books titled ”Vegan Nutrition“ and ”Vegan Health" and read them many times from beginning to end. It was in line with what Ornish and Esselstyn had said. Dr. Murat was using the term ”Fat-Free Vegan Diet“ instead of ”Whole Plant-Based Diet". I learned a lot from him.

Later, when I examined the Chinese Study and the Blue Zones, I had no doubts about plant based diet.


plant based food picture
Whole plant-based foods can be your medicine.

I Have Structured My Mind According to the New Situation

I remember thinking: the relationship between diseases and nutrition is much larger than thought, but most doctors, with exceptions, are not aware of it. Doctors deserve respect always and unconditionally; they are indispensable for us. But unfortunately, most of them do not know how to guide their patients about nutrition.

In addition, it works if the treatment is a joint process between the doctor and the patient; after a few minutes of examination and blood tests results, the use of medications prescribed to you only serves to relieve the symptoms or temporarily hide them. In the nutshell, I have to strive for healing and a healthier life myself. I'm thinking about it in this context today as well.

Thus, plant-based nutrition entered my life in July of 2019. I have added a new one every day to the information I first acquired by researching foreign sources. I learned fat-free recipes. I tried to improve myself in this area.

If you are getting enough calories for your daily activities, you are not likely to experience protein deficiency when eating a plant-based diet at all. If you care about diversity in the same way, your foods can be your medicines.

In addition to plant-based nutrition, it is important that our thought patterns also serve us. The best remedy for this is to dive into philosophy and get to know yourself.

Reflections of Plant-Based Diet on My Life

The results began to show themselves three months after starting to eat: fewer hospital visits, reach ideal weight, a significant decrease in medications, an increase in fitness level, an increase in activity performance…

After all, I've been having a completely plant-based diet for four years. This way of eating has also introduced me to the vegan philosophy. I started to become more aware of the suffering of animals. I found the opportunity to better see and evaluate the damage caused by animal agriculture to the environment and its effects on climate change. I have become more sensitive to animal rights and the environment. In short, in the last four years, I have experienced a transformation not only in terms of health, but also in the field of thinking, and these have added new values to my life.

 

 

 

 

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