Common questions on Whole Food Plant-Based eating and living

Getting Started

Is it hard to get started on this diet?

The word 'diet' is a difficult one for us. Generally, Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) people prefer to talk about this subject as a way of life. Diet to us implies that you are doing it for a short period only. You can do that, and you will see a measurable change, but you won't experience any of the long term benefits.

And as far as getting started, well, that's no different from many other things in life - it depends on your level of commitment. The extent of your commitment is often governed by the measure of understanding on the subject.

Read around, watch YouTube videos on the subject. The more convinced you are, the easier it will be.

Do I have to buy set foods to do this?

No. WFPB describes a way of eating. It is not a commercial operation (eg Weight Watchers) that provides set foods etc. You can do this entirely by yourself in the comfort of your own kitchen with food you can grow yourself, buy at a green grocer, supermarket or weekend farmers market.

You can access a set range of commercially supplied meals from www.thewholemeal.co.nz which is new (as at 26/09/2018) and currently offering deliveries to east and south Auckland.

Note: If you are aware of any similar operations around New Zealand please let us know.

Are there many WFPB places to eat out at?

No, not as many as we all would like but the number of dedicated whole food plant based eateries is certainly increasing throughout New Zealand. This site will soon contain a directory of all those we know of.

And to be fair, the number of traditional restaurants now offering vegan or vegetarian options is considerable. Some will even make up whole food plant based options if you request it.

Is it hard to manage?

No, not if you are clearly committed to making the change. You need to plan your meals ahead. Make sure you are eating a wide variety of everything you should be.

Planning is the key to managing this way of eating and it becomes easier as time goes by.

How quickly will I notice any changes?

Probably within the first two to four weeks you will be feeling quite different.

Your weight will reduce. You will have more energy and you will naturally become more active.

What's the difference between whole food, vegan and vegetarian diets?

A Whole Food Plant Based diet consists of whole wheat, grains, vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts and seeds. There are no refined flour, sugars, processed oils or added salt. It contains no animal, fish or dairy products.

A Vegan diet is all of the above, but does include refined flour, sugars and processed oils.  Also there are no animal, fish or dairy products.

A Vegetarian diet includes all of the above plus dairy, but still no animal meat or fish.

Is honey ok?

In moderation maybe. We put it in the same category as molasses.

And, as this study points out, when you buy New Zealand honey you might not be buying the real deal anyway - which is more than a bit scary!

But we believe the final word rests with Dr Caldwell B Esselstyn. Here's his view.

What about strength and energy?

You'll have plenty.

In fact, according to Dr Caldwell B. Esselstyn in his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, excessive consumption of animal protein badly weakens our bodies.

"Among other things, it accelerates the loss of calcium through the kidneys, leading to the brittle porous bone condition called osteoporosis," he says.

On a more lowly note.  Plant-based people like Venus and Serena Williams and Formula One Driver Louis Hamilton don't lack the strength or energy to do what they do. Nor do elephants or rhinos.

Slipping

I've done many other diets. I slipped often. Will it happen here?

Yes possibly. The bottom line advice here is NEVER beat yourself up for 'slipping'. You may already know that, even if you tried some of the fad diets in the past you may have experienced some benefit (usually weight loss ) at times, but were unable to keep it up.

Good health is the overall long term aim here.

Some are able to make the change completely and almost instantly. Others step themselves out over a longer period time as they reduce then drop added sugar, reduce and drop added salt, cut out red meat, then chicken and finally fish and dairy.

Does slipping set me back?

Yes it does unfortunately. Healthwise how 'bad' it is depends on how often you keep slipping but there is no scale on how to measure this.

If you have a serious health condition the problem could be dire. Talk it over with your doctor and seek support from other WFPB followers.

And remember, you actually don't have to do this 'diet' for ever. You only need to do it today.

What's the real danger in slipping?

The problem with slipping is that your sense of taste doesn't fully adjust. The more you slip the longer you will hanker for the taste of certain foods. Slipping can also happen for social reasons too.

Pressure from workmates at a farewell lunch, morning tea with friend. "OMG you're what?"

We're all human. You just need help. We all do from time to time.

Heart Health

Will a plant based diet improve my heart health?

It certainly will.

A good plant based diet contains a lot of fiber, vitamins, and minerals that help lower blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol which are primary contributors to serious heart issues.

It also reduces your risk of diabetes and helps you to  maintain a healthy weight.

Can a WFPB diet reverse heart disease?

It most certainly can. And, there considerable evidence to proving that it will also prevent the onset of range of heart and general health conditions.

Check out what American cardiologist, Dr Steven Lederman, has to say about this.

But I don't have heart disease. What's the point?

Prevention is always far better than cure.

There is considerable evidence which shows that there is no downside to adopting a whole food diet along with clear proof that such a diet will result in less risk of heart failure.

Need more help? Send us a note!

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