What are Plant-based Whole
This is a frequent question
I get asked when telling people that I lost 145 pounds with nutrient dense
Vegetable Juices and a Plant-based Whole Food eating lifestyle. That question
usually comes along with, "what about the protein?" and, "how do I transition
from traditional animal protein foods to create healthy plant-based recipes?
"How can I possibly just eat vegetables, plants & fruits?"
When you consume a variety of plants - the whole plant including Fruits &
Vegetables, Beans, Legumes, Nuts and Seeds are the builders and re-generators of
the body and contain ALL the amino acids, phyto-nutrients, proteins, mineral,
salts, enzymes, fiber and vitamins needed by the body, provided they are used in
large quantities, raw (or cooked), and preferably without preservatives, and as
with juicing, that they have been properly extracted from the vegetables.
Moreover, you will receive healthier, bio-available nutrients and protein since
plant protein is less likely to promote cancer growth and increase blood
cholesterol levels associated with heart disease. In most cases, plant-based
foods are nutrient dense foods, whereby animal-based proteins are almost devoid
of any usable nutrition.
The Garden Approach - A cornucopia of
health promoting selection
Click to read more --->
THE EIGHT CATEGORIES of
As the ground
breaking nutritional science book "The China Study", states on page 348:
Never before has there been such a mountain of empirical research
supporting a whole food, plant-based diet. Now, for example, we can obtain
images of the arteries in the heart, and then show conclusively, as Drs.
Dean Ornish and Caldwell Esselstyn Jr. have done, that a whole food,
plant-based diet reverses heart disease. Animal protein, even more
than saturated fat and dietary cholesterol, raises blood cholesterol
levels in experimental animals, individual humans, and entire populations.
International comparisons between countries show that populations
subsisting on traditional plant-based diets have far less heart disease,
and studies of individuals within single populations show that those who
eat more plant-based foods not only have lower cholesterol levels but also
less heart disease. We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing
that a whole food, plant-based diet is best to combat cancer and alleviate
diabetes and autoimmune diseases. We also have tantalizing evidence
linking multiple sclerosis with animal food consumption and especially
Published data show that animal protein promotes the growth of tumors.
Animal protein increases the levels of a hormone, IGF-1, which is a risk
factor for cancer, and high-casein
(the main protein of cow’s milk)
diets allow more carcinogens into cells, which allow more dangerous
carcinogen products to bind to DNA, which allow more mutagenic reactions
that give rise to cancer cells, which allow more rapid growth of tumors
once they are initially formed. Data show that a diet based on
animal-based foods increases females’ production of reproductive hormones
over their lifetime, which may lead to breast cancer.
Intervention studies show that when people who have type 2 diabetes are
treated with a whole food, plant-based diet, they may reverse their
disease and go off their medications. A broad range of international
studies shows that type 1 diabetes, a serious autoimmune disease, is
related to cow’s milk consumption and premature weaning. Kidney
stones arise because the consumption of animal protein creates excessive
calcium and oxalate in the kidney. We know now that cataracts and
age-related macular degeneration can be prevented by foods containing
large amounts of antioxidants. In addition, research has shown that
cognitive dysfunction, vascular dementia caused by small strokes, and
Alzheimer’s are all related to the food we eat. Investigations of human
populations show that our risk of hip fracture and osteoporosis is made
worse by diets high in animal-based foods. Animal protein leaches calcium
from the bones by creating an acidic environment in the blood.
We now have a deep and broad range of evidence showing that a whole food,
plant-based diet is best for our kidneys, bones, eyes, and brains.
More research can and should be done, but the idea that whole food,
plant-based diets can protect against and even treat a wide variety of
chronic diseases can no longer be denied. No longer are there just a few
people making claims about a plant-based diet based on their personal
experience, philosophy, or the occasional supporting scientific study. Now
there are hundreds of detailed, comprehensive, well-done research studies
that point in the same direction.
you want to live free of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes for your entire
life, that power is in your hands (and your knife and fork). But, sadly,
medical schools, hospitals, and government health agencies continue to treat
nutrition as if it plays only a minor role in health.
And no wonder: the
standard Western diet, along with its trendy “low fat” and “low carb”
cousins, is actually the cause, not the cure, of most of what ails us. In a
nutshell, the “miracle cure” science has been chasing for the past half
century turns out not to be a new wonder drug painstakingly formulated after
decades of brilliant and relentless lab work or a cutting-edge surgical tool
or technique using lasers and nanotechnology or some transformation of our
DNA that will turn us all into immortal Apollos and Venuses.
Instead, the secret
of health has been in front of us all along, in the guise of a simple and
perhaps boring word:
When it comes to our health, it turns out the trump card is the food we put
in our mouths each day. " In the process of learning all this, I also
learned something else very important: why most people didn’t know this
The medical and scientific research establishments, far from embracing these
findings, have systematically dismissed and even suppressed them. Few
medical professionals are aware that our food choices can be far more
effective shields against disease than the pills they prescribe. Few health
journalists report the unambiguous good news about radiant health and
disease prevention through diet. Few scientists are trained to look at the
“big picture,” and instead specialize in scrutinizing single drops of data
instead of comprehending meaningful rivers of wisdom. And paying the piper
and calling the tune for all of them are the pharmaceutical and food
industries, which are trying to convince us that salvation can be found in a
pill or an enriched snack food made from plant fragments and artificial
What I can tell you is that there are 3 stages of pre-cancerous conditions:
initiation, promotion, and progression. Do you know that cancer and other
debilitating disease or chronic auto-immune conditions could be growing and
progressing from the carcinogenic foods that you consume? Were you aware that at
any of those stages, that any-type of growing cancer, can be reversed? Did you
know that cancer, diabetes, obesity and degenerative disease could be stopped in
its tracks with nutrition? Did you realize that what you consume in your
day-to-day life could be feeding any cancer or other debilitating degenerative
disease, whether it is active or lying dormant?
If you should in fact receive a positive diagnosis (for any form of
degenerative disease, including cancer, diabetes, heart disease, obesity, or
chronic auto-immune illnesses), there is really no need to be fearful. You need
not resort hastily to pharmaceuticals, medications, invasive treatments or
surgery. I would implore you to not only read thoroughly, but consider now the
following excerpt from T. Colin Campbell, PhD in his latest book, Whole:
Rethinking the Science of Nutrition2*
"The good news is that we don’t
need medical breakthroughs or genetic manipulation to achieve, maintain, and
restore vibrant health. A half century of research—both mine and that of many
others—has convinced me of the following:
What you eat every day is a far more
powerful determinant of your health than your DNA or most of the nasty chemicals
lurking in your environment. The foods you consume can heal you faster and more
profoundly than the most expensive prescription drugs, and more dramatically
than the most extreme surgical interventions, with only positive side effects.
Those food choices can prevent cancer, heart disease, Type 2 diabetes, stroke,
macular degeneration, migraines, erectile dysfunction, and arthritis—and that’s
only the short list. It’s never
too late to start eating well. In short: change the way you eat and you can
transform your health for the better".
"For some reason,
“health food” has a reputation for being tasteless and joyless. You might be
thinking at this point that the miracle diet for human health must be the most
grim fare imaginable. Fortunately, that’s not the case. Evolution thankfully has
programmed us to seek out and enjoy foods that promote our health. All we have
to do is get back to our dietary roots—nothing radical or miserable required."
"The ideal human
diet looks like this: Consume plant-based foods in forms as close to their
natural state as possible (“whole” foods). Eat a variety of vegetables, fruits,
raw nuts and seeds, beans and legumes, and whole grains. Avoid heavily processed
foods and animal products. Stay away from added salt, oil, and sugar. Aim to get
80 percent of your calories from carbohydrates, 10 percent from fat, and 10
percent from protein. That’s it, in 66 words".
T. Colin (2013-05-07). Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition (pp. 6-7).
BenBella Books, Inc.. Kindle Edition.
THE EIGHT CATEGORIES of
PlantBased WholeFood - The Garden Approach
Based on the findings of her father, T. Colin Campbell in 'The China Study', *LeAnne
Campbell - in her complementary book, "The China Study Cookbook", recommends
selecting whole plant-based foods in their native state rather than trying to
obtain specific nutrients from highly processed foods or supplements. This
recommendation is based on three important points:
1) Optimal nutrition
occurs when we EAT food rather than take nutritional supplements.
2) The closer foods are to their native states— prepared with minimal cooking,
salting, and processing— the greater the long-term health benefits will be.
3) Choose locally and/or organically grown produce whenever possible, but
don't be afraid of, or abstain from conventionally grown -- just wash and prep
consciously. Be aware of your food sources.
One of the interpretations of T. Colin Campbell's research (as cited* by
LeAnne Campbell in The China Study Cookbook) was that the consumption of a
variety of different parts of whole plants promotes optimal health. Given
this, the Campbell's have broken the plant into seven categories—
fruits, grains, leaves, roots, legumes,
flowers, and nuts— and given mushrooms a separate
category because they can’t be easily categorized as part of a plant. This
categorization is to make you aware of the different parts of the plant
and to help you think about consuming all parts of the plant. It is not
meant to be a strict guideline but merely a framework to use in trying to
put together a meal that Nature deems nutritionally ideal.
They created these categories rather simply. Obviously,
are the parts of plants that grow below the ground.
include all lettuces, kale, spinach, celery, collards, Swiss chard,
cabbage, and so on.
are the parts of plants that contain seeds, such as tomatoes, apples,
peppers, cucumbers, pumpkins, and oranges.
consist of the seeds
themselves: wheat, corn, barley, quinoa, oats, and the like.
are made up of all the
different types of beans: soy, pinto, red, black, lentils, kidney, and
broccoli, cauliflower, dandelions, etc. For
include all tree nuts. Almost every part of the plant is edible,
nutritious, and delicious, and each part has a different nutrient composition;
even the smallest sprout of seed, legume, flower, root,
nut, grain or leaf categories play
a power-packed 'alive' superfood role of the utmost nutritional density. So
it’s important to consume a variety of the categories in order to obtain a
full complement of nutrients on a given day and across a week or month.
NUTRITIONAL VALUE: Here’s a look at some of the nutritional
value of the eight categories (seven types of plant parts plus mushrooms):
FRUITS are packed with vitamin C and other phytochemicals.
GRAINS abound in carbohydrates, fiber, minerals, and B vitamins.
LEAVES are lush with antioxidant vitamins, fiber, and complex
carbohydrates. ROOTS have lots of carbohydrates; some have
carotenoids. LEGUMES are a hearty source of protein, fiber, and
iron. FLOWERS are rich in antioxidants and phytochemicals. NUTS
are loaded with omega-3 fats, vitamin E, and protein. MUSHROOMS
offer a good supply of selenium and other antioxidants.
To be consistent
with the message in The China Study and especially its sequel, 'Whole' by
T. Colin Campbell, "The China Study Cookbook" nutrient compositions are
not presented with recipes. Nutrient contents in different samples
of the same food often are highly variable, leading consumers to be
concerned with trivial and meaningless differences instead of the far more
important health characteristics of food variety and wholesomeness.
"no need to count calories....just eat plants"
ACORN SQUASH, APPLE, AVOCADO, BLACKBERRIES, BLUEBERRIES, BUTTERNUT SQUASH,
CRANBERRIES, CUCUMBER, EGGPLANT, GRAPEFRUIT, GREEN PEPPER, KIWI, MANGOES,
OKRA, ORANGE, PAPAYA, PEACH, PEAR, PUMPKIN, RASPBERRIES, RED PEPPER,
STRAWBERRIES, TOMATO, ZUCCHINI, WATERMELON
AMARANTH, BARLEY, BUCKWHEAT, CORN, KAMUT, MILLET, OATS, QUINOA, RICE, RYE,
SORGHUM, SPELT, TEFF, WHEAT
ARTICHOKES, ARUGULA, ASPARAGUS, BASIL, BEET GREENS, BELGIAN ENDIVE, BOK
CHOI, BRUSSELS SPROUTS, CABBAGE, CELERY, CILANTRO, COLLARD GREENS, KALE,
LETTUCE (ALL VARIETIES), MUSTARD GREENS, PARSLEY, RHUBARB, SEAWEED,
SPINACH, SWISS CHARD, TURNIP GREENS
BEETS, CARROTS, GARLIC, GINGER, LEEKS, ONIONS, POTATOES (ALL VARIETIES),
RADISH, RUTABAGA, TURNIPS
ADZUKI BEANS, BLACK BEANS, BLACK-EYE PEAS, CANNELLINI BEANS, GARBANZO
BEANS, GREEN BEANS, KIDNEY BEANS, LENTILS, PEANUTS, PEAS, PINTO BEANS,
SOYBEANS, WHITE BEANS
BROCCOLI, CAULIFLOWER, DANDELIONS
ALMONDS, CASHEW, HAZELNUT, MACADAMIA, PECANS, PISTACHIO, WALNUTS
BABY BELLA, CREMINI, OYSTER, PORTOBELLO, SHIITAKE, WHITE BUTTON
THE GREAT EXCHANGE:
SUBSTITUTIONS TO CREATE PLANT-BASED RECIPES*
transition to a health-promoting eating style, you may
want to re-hab a favorite animal-derived recipe to a plant-based garden approach (as well
as extra-sugary recipes to less refined ones). Below is a list of possible food
substitutions. You may know of other suggestions that work well. Use whatever
makes the dish tasty for you and your companions without compromising your
health directive. Be creative and experiment
with new ingredients, spices and flavorings.
Click here for my favorite
PlantBased WholeFood recipes.
LOOK AT ALL THESE DELICIOUS FOODS TO CHOOSE FROM
-- ALL PLANT-BASED WHOLE FOODS ~
REPLACE MEAT, POULTRY, OR FISH: Depending on the recipe and your food
preferences, you can use favorite vegetables, sprouts, seeds, nuts, beans, grains, or portobello
mushrooms or a 'steak' of broccoli spear to replace these items. Another food you can use as a substitution
while transitioning to a whole food, plant-based diet is tofu, which is
available in varying consistencies, from very soft to extra firm (for slicing
and crumbling). For optimum benefit create your own 'faux meats' and veggie
burgers or nut n' tofu loafs - there is a multitude of combinations. There is also seitan, a wheat product that comes in plain and
spicy flavors, as well as soy hot dogs, veggie burgers, tempeh, and soy crumbles
(similar to ground beef).
REPLACE DAIRY MILK: Nondairy milks include soy, rice, almond, hempseed, cashew, coconut,
hazelnut, and many others. Experiment with a few different kinds to find one
that works best. Generally soy milk will produce a thicker product, and rice
milk a thinner one. When making a creamy sauce or a pudding, I have found the
best replacement to be unsweetened soy or almond milk. Otherwise, rice milk or
any other type of milk substitute can be used in its place. To replace cheese, consider
different recipe blends of tofu, miso, nutritional yeast and nuts, although it
won't necessarily melt, the flavor and texture is all there. Melting varieties (high
oil/fat content) of commercial 'dairy free' cheeses are available but read the
labels carefully - some still use casein which defeats the purpose of
CHOOSE WHOLE GRAIN FLOURS: There is a wide variety of whole grains, parts of
grain (endosperm, bran, cracked), and combinations of grain flours (5-grain,
7-grain, 9-grain) in the market. Wheat, oat, triticale, rye, barley, flax,
spelt, brown rice, and durham grain flours are some examples. Use whole grain
products, not refined flours. For some people, their choice of which whole grain
(as flour) to use will depend on their sensitivity to gluten, especially found
in wheat, barley, and rye. To some extent, determining which grain flour to use
in order to avoid this allergy is a matter of trial and error.
REPLACE CHICKEN EGGS: There are many different substitutes you may use for eggs.
In most cases, you can use whatever is easiest or more convenient for you
without it affecting taste or consistency. Some examples of egg substitutes are:
1 tablespoon ground flaxseed mixed with 3 tablespoons water, 2 tablespoons hemp
hearts dissolved in 2 tablespoons water, 1 tablespoon chia
seed meal with 3 tablespoons water, ½ mashed banana, ¼ to 1/ 3 cup silken tofu,
commercial egg replacer used according to the directions on the box, or ¼ cup
applesauce— each replacement equals 1 egg.
SUBSTITUTE FATS AND OILS IN MAIN DISHES OR SALADS: Use vegetable broth, water, or
wine for sautéing or frying. Or simply bake instead of frying. Try oil-free
salad dressings with a base of vegetable broth, water, avocado, nut butters, or
REPLACE FATS AND OILS USED IN BAKING CAKES, COOKIES, AND SWEET BREADS: Prune
paste is one of the best substitutes. It does not change the taste of the dish
as much as other substitutions do. Puree 1 cup of pitted prunes in a food
processor with ½ cup of water. Substitute 1/ 3 the amount of prune paste for the
amount of oil called for in the recipe (i.e., use 1/ 3 cup of prune paste to
replace 1 cup of oil). Pureed bananas also work well in some recipes, but they
do not hold moisture as successfully as the prune paste, and they distort the
flavor. Unsweetened Apple sauce is an excellent replacement for oil/butter.
Consider raw cacao mixed with water and a splash of maple syrup for a rich
chocolatey syrup solution.
CHOOSE WHOLESOME SWEETENERS: When substituting for the sweetness of refined sugar, try
concentrated pure fruit juice— specifically apple juice— maple syrup, or any of
a wide variety of pureed fruits, including applesauce, bananas, preserves, and
jams. Dried fruits, such as dates and raisins, work well for baking. Shredded
coconut adds a sweet touch, too. The sweetness of each sweetener varies, so you
may need to alter the amount according to taste.
For sweeteners, there are two categories: wet and dry. I recommend tasting your recipe along the way to determine
if more or less is needed. Here are a few examples of both:
Wet: brown rice syrup, agave nectar, maple syrup, molasses, fruit syrup, barley
Dry: date sugar, stevia, raw sugar, turbinado sugar, Sucanat, evaporated cane
REPLACE SALT: Depending on the recipe, seasonings such as onion, garlic, parsley,
coriander, and celery seed can be used. Fresh onion, garlic, lemon juice, salsa,
or any type of hot sauce can add zing without sodium (just be careful to check
the brand; some are high in sodium). Granulated Sea vegetation like Dulse or
Kelp is a great substitution for salt and supplies the much needed B12.
Low-sodium soy sauce, tamari or Bragg's Amino Acids are delicious in many
*Campbell, LeAnne (2013-05-07). The China Study Cookbook: Over 120 Whole Food,
Plant-Based Recipes (Kindle Locations 523-526). BenBella Books, Inc.. Kindle