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Rochester, NY

© 2018, Ian M. Cramer, MS, ATC.

Let's Get Healthier, and Stay Healthier, Together. 

Answers to your questions

What is this Whole Foods Plant-based lifestyle all about? 
Put very simply, this Whole Foods, plant-based (WFPB) lifestyle is the best way to ensure you prevent or treat chronic disease and poor health.  It's based on eating plant foods in their whole form. For example, apples are a whole plant food, apple sauce is not. Other common whole foods that could be incorporated as staples into your diet include rice, beans, bananas, potatoes, carrots, mangos and celery. But this is just the beginning and a VERY small list. Get in touch and we can go over every detail. 
How can you be sure this will work? 
The hard work has already been done. Through a robust and growing body of evidence, this lifestyle not only prevents chronic diseases but also treats epidemics like heart disease, diabetes, strokes and cancers. This way of eating is what we were meant to eat from an anatomic, physiologic and evolutionary stand point. Plants nourish the body and provide it with countless vitamins, minerals, phytochemicals and antioxydants to promote health and vitality. Food with ingredients like refined sugars, flours, oils, meats and dairy products promote sickness, not health. This lifestyle addresses the root cause of poor health and chronic diseases, THE FOOD! And from the root cause we work upwards on a path to health.  
Why is this called a 'lifestyle' and not a diet?  
A lifestyle is FOR LIFE, a diet is temporary. One of the main reasons diets don't work is because they are not sustainable for life, usually because of calorie restriction. With the WFPB lifestyle, there is NO CALORIE RESTRICTION, which is why this is much more sustainable over time. If you stick to the foods that cause health, and eliminate the foods that cause harm to your body, not only will you become healthier but your body will naturally and easily obtain the calories and nutrients that it needs and be satisfied through natural physiologic mechanisms. 
What's the catch? 
Unlike most answers to this question, I AM going to throw in a catch because complete transparency is a core value. The catch is...you have to give up some of the foods you've been eating your whole life. Additionally, you have to change your mindset and throw out what you've probably been told about health and nutrition. For example, Milk is NOT as healthy as you think, meat IS NOT required to grow up big and strong and you CAN fight cravings and urges for sugary, fatty foods. And, what you give up will add years to your life, will subtract pounds and inches from your body and you will not be sacrificing anything with the abundance of flavors and textures present in plant foods. 
Do you have to go 100% vegan? 
I stress a reasonable, practical approach to wellness. With all of the plant-based language, you've probably assumed that you must go vegan. But I'm going to tell you this is not necessarily true, hence the name 'Plant-based' not 'plant-exclusive'. You can think of health as a continuum, a scale from 1 to 10 with 1 being the worst diet imaginable and a 10 representing the BEST. The more plants and the less animal and refined foods you eat, the healthier you'll be. To reach a 10, giving up all animal foods and refined products is the best idea. Moving from a 1 on the scale to an 8 does not require complete veganism yet will provide significant health benefits. For maximum health benefits, abstaining from all refined foods and animal products is required. The choice is yours. 
How strict do you have to be?
Along the same lines as the answer above, the more strict you choose to be, the better your results. Bottom lines:
  1. You're in the driver's seat. 
  2. You make the decisions for you and your family. 
  3. Animal products, refined and enriched flours, sugars and oils damage the body, aka. cause disease, aka. lead to sickness. 
The choice is yours. I will open the door, but you have to walk through it. You CAN do it! 
How do I get motivated to change my lifestyle? 
No one can tell you what to do. Motivation MUST come from within, but if you've thought any or all of the following, you're a prime candidate for adopting this lifestyle:
  1. I am suffering from a chronic disease and I want to slow, halt or reverse this disease to live a longer, healthier life. 
  2. I'm overweight and I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired. 
  3. I want to live a longer, healthier life for my family, my children or grandchildren.
  4. I want to feel full of energy all of the time, recover from workouts faster and live disease free. 
I've tried every diet under the sun, Why will this work?
This whole foods plant-based lifestyle WILL work because it's based on many factors, notably basic human physiology and nutritional needs. Our digestive tract, teeth and stomach enzymes are designed to digest whole plants most efficiently. When digesting meat, fatty foods, refined sugars or flours, many systems within our body get thrown out of whack. Our blood sugar reacts ineffectively, our digestive tract slows and nutrients within the food harm our bodies. If we stick with what our bodies are designed to eat, we will provide our body with the healthiest environment. The diets you tried didn't worked because they didn't promote health, they didn't emphasize healthy foods, they simple emphasized calorie restriction, and that is a recipe for inevitable failure.