If you're in Galveston this Saturday, swing by Oasis Juice Bar & Market around 4:30. I'll be speaking for on healthy diets (including the Healthy Indian Diet) to attendees of a yoga retreat at Ms. DiNatale's Oasis, which is a neat place. I'll also be doing a book signing, and it's open to the public.
You hear people always say it costs a lot to eat healthy. But this isn't true. And Mark Bittman points out in his NY Times essay "Is Junk Food Cheaper?" that nobody should believe it. After all, we tend to buy into these wrong perceptions, and thus it is no surprise that many pass on eating natural foods because they don't want to spend what they perceive will be "Whole Foods dollars" to get organic stuff that they then have to go home to cook.
(Here's a figure showing how it actually costs more to feed a family of 4 unhealthy stuff from McDonald's than it does to feed that same family a healthier meal from foods bought at the grocery story.)
Moving on, here's the biggest roadblock: it takes too much time and effort to cook. This used to be my roadblock. But as Mr. Bittman explains, it's really not that time-consuming to cook compared with how much time people spend watching TV. Yet it's all about perception, not facts. And the most important perception in all of this is that cooking is work and not something pleasurable.
Forks over Knives is an interesting documentary, less for its vegan point of view and more for the stories of two doctors who grew up on farms eating "Western diets" and who are decades later advocates for a whole foods plant-based diet.
As in most documentaries, the filmmaker follows a few individuals to demonstrate the power of this diet in terms of weight loss and improved health. I remember one family man because with the help of a progressive-minded physician, he was able to come off and stay off his medications for diabetes and conditions tied to heart disease (e.g., hypertension and high cholesterol), which is pretty incredible.
The most famous person on the diet advocated by Drs. Essylstyn, Jr. and Campbell isn't in the movie, but you can see him speak briefly on why he adopted a plant-based diet and how he lost weight on that diet. Amazingly, he claims he's been on the diet for many months - which underscores that a plant-based diet isn't about crash dieting but rather part of one's lifestyle.
I worry about obesity because despite the increased health consciousness of people like you, your friends and family, and really our society, obesity keeps getting worse. I thought we might be turning the tide. But no. We lost our last blue state between 2009 and 2010. I don't 'blue state' in terms of politics, but rather a state that had less than 1 in 5 of its population in the 'obese' category. That state was Colorado.
Niraj "Raj" Patel, M.D.
Disclaimer: The facts, advice and opinion on www.healthyindiandiet.com are based on scientific evidence published in journals. However, no content should be construed as medical advice. You should seek the counsel of your physician before making changes based on the content, especially if you have a medical condition.