It’s time to elevate your kitchen game, boost your nutrient intake and do all of this on a budget.
We’ve created a mind map to help you do this.
The aim of this mind map and blog post is to arm you with tools, techniques and ideas that will elevate your nutrition and kitchen game.
Because developing the habit of eating more plants is one of the simplest ways to improve your health.
Cooking more plant-based meals will make you a healthier and happier person. It will bring clarity to your thought processes, improve your ability to focus and result in more effective study.
From junk food addict to plant-based foodie
A decade ago I was a hardcore meat eating, junk food addict.
I had nuked my taste buds with junk food and highly processed meats. Sadly, I could no longer appreciate the subtle flavours of fruit and vegetables. So I survived on fast food with the occasional home cooked meal thrown into the mix.
Now my diet consists of minimal junk food and a lot of vegetables, fruit, beans, wholegrains, nuts and seeds.
What shifted my path?
A couple things …
I had some friends who had made the shift to a plant-based diet. I couldn’t help but notice that they looked really healthy. Their skin glowed and they exuded energy.
I also started reading about the connection between eating plants, brain health and learning. I came to understand that my ability to learn and my wellbeing could be dramatically improved by eating a range of fruits and vegetables.
To my surprise, I discovered …
• Many chronic diseases could be eliminated if we followed a plant-based, whole-food diet.
• The more fast food consumed, the higher the amount of toxic waste products in the body.
• Having a poor diet can cause subtle brain damage and decrease the size of your hippocampus (the part of your brain associated with memory and learning).
• Eating fast foods and commercial baked goods has been linked to depression.
• Eating more fruits and vegetables increases your life satisfaction, especially when people go from consuming no fruit and vegetables to consuming 8 portions a day (the shift in life satisfaction is equivalent to moving from unemployment and poverty to employment and financial adequacy).
So the science is in! Eating natural plant foods is the best way to boost your brainpower and wellbeing.
The Baby Steps Approach
I figured if I can feel better and think better by eating more plants, then surely, everything in life would be a little bit easier? It was worth giving this plant-based thing a shot.
When I decided to cut back on junk food and increase my plant intake, I didn’t go for a complete life overhaul. It was a slow and gradual process where I recalibrated my taste buds, increased my knowledge and upgraded my cooking skills.
Going plant-based required a complete shift in mindset
It wasn’t always easy, especially in some social situations.
I spent time experimenting in the kitchen. Some dishes weren’t the best. But the vast majority tasted delicious and made me feel fantastic. This kept me going.
Slowly but surely, my confidence and cooking skills improved.
The mind map is based on ideas gathered from a range of sources:
• The Alzheimer’s Solution by Drs Dean and Ayesha Sherzai
• The How Not to Die Cookbook by Dr Michael Greger and Gene Stone
• Fast Food Genocide by Dr Joel Fuhrman
• Power Foods for the Brain by Dr Neal Barnard
• The NEURO Academy Brain Health Course (also by Neurologists Drs Dean and Ayesha Sherzai)
• Food Rules by Michael Pollan
• Online culinary school: Rouxbe
If you follow the simple tips on this mind map, you will enhance your energy levels, sharpen your thinking and boost your productivity.
How to use this mind map
Don’t delay. Download and print out the mind map today. Circle any strategies that resonate with you. Then choose one idea and test it out.
The trick is to treat this mind map like a delicious buffet. There’s a lot here. You don’t have to try everything all at once. I encourage you to take what you like. Leave what you don’t like. But the point is to try something.
I want to make one thing clear …
I am not trying to make you vegetarian or vegan.
I couldn’t care less about that. Why? Because being vegetarian or vegan doesn’t necessarily mean you’re healthy. There are many vegans who live off highly processed foods (Oreos and Tofurky anyone?).
My aim is to get you eating more plants so you can think, feel and learn better.
And if this mind map helps you to do that, then I’m happy!
Note: I’m still on my plant-based journey and I’m constantly learning how to up my game and take things to the next level. If you have any tips and ideas that you’d like to add to this post or mind map, please share them below. I’d love to hear them!