Plant Food + Wine is a gorgeous new restaurant in Los Angeles along chic Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Matthew Kenney started the plant food culture that infuses this and his other ventures. Seated at a long table under gracious trees and sparkling lights, the garden of vegetable and edible flower bouquets was well in view during our delicious plant based meal.
I was delighted today to have both Matthew Kenney and Brendan Brazier “like” my tweet of the photo above, as these two are some of a group of luminaries that are transforming the way we experience nutrition. Although not for everyone, and this may well be due to genetic differences between people, I am of the tribe that benefits from living on mainly plants above all other foods.
How do you know if your body mind and energy love plants?
First and foremost, you are the key Experience Expert of what benefits you. All information that you encounter, is an invite to a possible 'aha' moment for your most brilliant health. So, try some of the ideas recommended by key luminaries in plant love and see how you feel.
Radically transform your health by following guidelines from Andrea "Earthy Andy", Kris Carr, Natalia Rose, Chris Kresser and Alejandro Junger. If brain health is at issue, experts on the cutting edge of amazing and scientifically explained recoveries include Norman Doidge, David Perlmutter, and Dale Bredesen. If your mood needs a redo, consider words of wisdom from Annie Hopper, James Greenblatt, Wendy Warner, Ann Hathaway, and Vancouver’s own Heidi Rootes. Athletic advantage can be found from key athletes Brendan Brazier, Kelly Slater, and Tia Blanco. For a functional medicine whole body approach, Mark Hyman and Amy Myers bring some brilliance to your body and mind.*
The common thread running through plant based health is that vegetables and other whole foods provide a variety of nutrients and minerals that are pure and thus do not inflame or aggravate the physical body and mind.
Plant Food Life
Matthew Kenney started a beautiful culture of plant based eating, and now hosts a restaurant, a culinary school, and wellness retreats. I found his plant food life culture first on instagram. Posted consistently, beautiful photos of artfully arranged vegetables and edible flowers leave space on the plate in a presentation that honors a balance of presence and emptiness. Did you know that eating until only 80% or less full is associated with longevity and high health? To me, the MK presentation provides a mindful approach to food specific even down to the detail of presentation, that supports this balanced approach to eating.
“The Future of Dining is Plant Based” is the quote on his cuisine page online, and I could not agree more. When you look at the women and men living vibrantly into their mid-centuries, while maintaining a youthful appearance, quick mind, gorgeous athletic figures and high agility, they base most of their diet on plants. Plants contain nutrients, vitamins, minerals, protein, fiber, and are sourced without any industrialized processing, thus deeply nourish our cells and body systems. Diversely colored and shaped, they provide a delight for the eyes and mind. The science of the incredible healing and regenerating and protective elements of plants is incredibly detailed and evidence-based. The longest living and healthiest cltures on our planet live mainly plant based, such as the Okinawans, the Mediterranean cultures, and the Blue Zone inhabitants.
Eating mainly plants, also supports kindness to animals and to the world, as plant-based eating supports less destruction of the lungs of our planet, the medicinally rich rainforests, and allows for more food for all, thus combating starvation and the imbalance in economies. Mainstream meat production increases illness, adds extra hormones to our bodies, and to the environment.
When we choose what to eat, we need to consider the downstream effects, and the downstream effects to our jewel of a planet are repleting when eating plant based. Composting the non edible part of a plant is the waste process of the based lifestyle, which only serves to then replenish the land and soil. A beautiful cycle of a way of life that actually gives back to the earth, we need to seriously consider, as a global community, the Plant Food Life.
Plants and Physics
If you are curious about the energy field of your body, and the chakras and yoga and more subtle and spirit rich experiences, plant based living can significantly shift you to a higher state of consciousness. On my flight returning from Los Angeles, I read the Athlon edition on Longevity. In this magazine, the editor clearly states the benefits recognized in alternative healing systems from nourishing the chakras, energy vortices along our spine that colocate with endocrine and nervous system centers. The chakras also curate the flows of the electromagnetic field around our body, and can be strengthened through yoga, meditation, time in nature, and specific practices from ancient wisdom. Energy is the new medicine, essence is the new self definition, and paying attention to the physics and spirit or the body is key.
The Plant Food Way
The plant food way, combined with pure eating and eating less, can significantly reduce the energy that your body and mind put into digestion. If you could see the beautiful wave like movements of your delicate small intestine, you would want to give it a rest! When you eat clean, and use intermittent fasting or long breaks between meals, you allow this area of body to heal and recharge. When you do this, it can begin to balance its production of serotonin, the contentment and happiness chemical.
When you are happy, your mind can focus on subtler aspects of life, and sensing your energy and the electromagnetic flows in the body is a subtle sense to cultivate. Take two magnets and place your finger between them. Notice how you sense the electromagnetic field. Bring your arms up and down the sides of your body, and see if you can sense a shift in the heart’s electromagnetic field. These are factual and objective areas of your existence, and your experience of them can greatly enhance your understanding and navigation through the adventure of your life.
Kris Carr has radically transformed her health by juicing and eating primarily vegetables. Juicing is a trend that many are wary of and many have difficulty maintaining a juice cleanse without high levels of hunger. However, if you can appropriately settle your nervous system and ground through your root chakra, you can enjoy the vibrancy and high density nutrition that a juice cleanse offers. Choose primarily green juices with little natural sugar or fruit added, and absolutely no sugar or maple syrup or stevia or other sweetener added.
Bitter juices stimulate bile production and cleansing, so are beneficial even though tart. Lemon is an amazing aid for health, and the green lemonade suggested by Kris Carr or Natalia Rose is delicious and sustaining. Lemons and a sprinkle of cayenne added to water help reduce hunger and hydrate our bodies which are mainly water and benefit from this fuel for body fluids and processes, including mitochondria energy centers, and the elegant pulsing cerebrospinal fluid that bathes our spinal cords and brains.
If you require something sweet added to this water, there are several options to consider. Apple juice is low on the glycemic index, or pear juice, and will maintain a natural sugar level in the blood to support brain metabolism etcetera, without triggering insulin to deposit the sugar into fat. Stevia powder will not spike insulin the same way agave or honey will, but honey will add many beneficial minerals and nutrients. Maple syrup may be something that fits your body or you may find you feel excessively tired after having it or crave it.
Generally, if something depletes our energy or stimulates strong cravings, it is not a balancing or beneficial food for us. If you plan a juice cleanse with minimal fruit, plenty of water, and a quiet and peaceful pace of life, yoga and meditation to bring down the nervous system, and a cleanse of any stress producing conversations or relationships, then a juice cleanse can dramatically boost your vitality and give such a state of natural bliss and happiness, that you will be absolutely amazed that this feeling can come from simply altering how you feed your cells. Called the “soil” in the functional medicine approach, the balancing of your cell systems, creates the metaphorical and actual soil from which truly vibrant health can grow and develop.
I think of myself as an organic/sustainable gardener of the body! When we work to improve the functionality of the body rather than block biological pathways and work towards replenishing nutritional deficiency from processed foods or “food-like products” of the industry, we can achieve balance for the body as a whole without side effects! - Ali Miller, ND on Functional Medicine
Eating for Better Overall Health
Natalie Rose is a luminary in detoxing the body balanced with certain food pleasures. Her methods likely fit a certain kind of genetic pattern, and she has helped many women recover from female health problems with a specific approach to food. If leading a more pure food plan is not you and you wish to still have cheese, wine, and chocolate, then her plan may well work for you! Included with food combining principles to avoid a mix of difficult to co-digest particles in the body, she explains how goat’s cheese, animal protein, wine, and chocolate can be balanced into a way of eating that keeps your body healthy and free from illness. The food combining principles are such that starches and proteins are not consumed together, and fruits are consumed separately. This allows for the particles produced when the stomach breaks down the food, to be digested at the same time, leading to a smoother and less complicated process for the body to adapt to.
If you try her method and find difficulty, you could try eliminating all oils. “Earthy Andy” a Hawaiian mother and wife, had severe digestive difficulties before she adopted a plant based diet and eliminated all oils. Maybe this could work for you - try it and see if you notice a difference! She also recommends other sources of essential fatty acids, and ways to get the healthy fat that you are missing by avoiding processed oils, such that brain and skin and hormone health continue to flourish.
If you find that without meat you are severely exhausted, less energized, and overall unbalanced, then the Paleo approach could be the best fit for you. Created by the intelligent and passionate Chris Kresser, the paleo approach looks at the science of evolutionary medicine and current medicine, and combines these two areas to design a plan that reduces inflammation, protects from illness, and supports high athletic health. His website and books have a very clear program that you can adopt, and you can consider going on the wait list for his individual assessment and coaching. He is driven by a passion to help others through the information he finds, and evolved his business from the dramatic increase in visitors to his blog on health - he had 6000 followers within one year - so then he thought, what should I do with this? And formed the Kresser Institute.
To increase your wellness, you can also consider the approaches created by numerous new medicine consultants certified by the Institute for Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine uses cutting edge scientific research to extrapolate new approaches to healing that work on mitochondrial health, neuron level health, reducing inflammation, and other emerging areas of research. Although not condoned by the western medical system due to a need for more extensive research and the funding for this as well, the functional medicine approach can make a difference for those not treated by conventional medicines, and the stories from individual patients are absolutely heart warming.
~ Dr. M.
*If you have a significant and diagnosed medical illness, I do advise you to seek medical professional help. Too often I have seen people with poor health trying to heal through natural methods and failing, sometimes to the point of near death. I have also seen the opposite. I believe that conventional medicine and new approaches need to work together for high health. That said, this blog is primarily for health optimization, in other words for wellness and prevention.
If you have significant illness and looking for a new approach, please consult relevant experts rather than this post, which is intended to celebrate the beauty of a plant based life, and inspire people to wellness, rather than cure disease. Even if the plant based life can cure disease, the design of the words here is not intended to support disease cure, and so you will find more benefit by looking to some of the experts listed above.