Plant-Based Nutrition

My Fabulous Plant-Based Journey

Over ten years ago, my mother and I stumbled upon a book by the name of “Skinny B****,” by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin.  Deeply disturbed by the treatment of animals in the environments of factory farming and slaughterhouses, we switched to plant-based diets. Living hours from each other, it seemed that we were left to our own devices in the process of making sense of this new journey. It was concerning for me in the beginning because I was unfamiliar with a lot of plant-based ingredients and I held the misconception that this new diet would not be healthy or enjoyable.  Grocery shopping was a real chore and I learned to keep an open mind!  I remember telling my doctor about my decision and he was alarmed.  He could neither pronounce “vegan,” nor understand why I would make such a radical change.  I came to understand that few health care professionals have significant training in nutrition and that I was on my own at the time.  I made sure that I took a multivitamin and added a daily, 2,500 mcg, B12 supplement in the form of cyanocobalamin. I excitedly stayed the course and, before long, my doctor was a believer, too.

What followed was a barrage of books in my desperation for insight. I read every book I could find, especially books penned by Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Thomas Campbell, Dr. Neal Barnard, Dr. Michael Greger, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Terry Shintani, Dr. John McDougall, and more.  I am grateful for their writings as they gave me considerable faith and understanding at the beginning of my journey.  I have relayed facts from these knowledgeable professionals and doing so has influenced countless individuals to change to plant-based diets.

I studied Plant-Based Nutrition at Cornell University because it was a continuation of my quest for knowledge about nutrition and health.  I would like to commend all of you for having the courage to explore this lifestyle because it can be frightening to deviate from what we have been led to believe is the healthy normal.

I am absolutely ecstatic every time I meet someone who is following a plant-based diet or someone who is interested in switching to the diet.  It is with great enthusiasm that I love helping others and I welcome anyone and everyone to connect with me.  I would like to assist and encourage those who are just starting out because I know how daunting the first few months were for me.

My life changed for the best over ten years ago, and I have not looked back even once!  It is my hope that the same will be true for you.

Danica De La Mora

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3 Comments

  1. Joao Castro says:

    Thank you for making such an impact in my life when you introduced me to a plant-Based diet. I never thought this would be for me but it’s hard to argue with it’s health benefits

  2. Teresa Hoang says:

    The biggest question I have is how do you go vegan without having to take supplements because supplements are not natural. My intention is to change my diet for health reason, not for a belief. Supplements are man-made ingredients (even though they claim plant-based) and will contain unwanted substances that can cause health issues.

    This is the only reason we’re still trying to squeeze in a little seafood (fish, shrimp…and mussels…). Otherwise, we would not have any hesitation of going completely vegan!

    1. DeLaMora says:

      Greetings! Thank you for your comment!

      There is a great deal of evidence to support your assessment about supplements. The problem with the current societal belief system is that it attempts to localize everything. Science has long revealed that isolated nutrients, in the form of supplementation, or in an attempt to cure maladies, has been ineffective. This is because nutrients in plants are working in combination with other nutrients, but do not seem to work by themselves. For this reason, supplements can help with nutritional deficiencies but they are not a panacea for good health.

      The good news is that plant-based diets provide almost all of the vitamins and nutrients that are necessary to sustain good health. There is one exception–and this vitamin is absolutely nonnegotiable–and that is vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is actually an organism that grows in the dirt and is found in the intestines of animals primarily due to unwashed vegetable consumption. Plant-based diets do not contain significant amounts of vitamin B12 unless there is an inclusion of fortified foods such as cereals, milks, or nutritional yeast with active cultures. Plants can absorb B12 but they have to be grown in organic soil where there are lots of organisms that are produced, so plants are not very reliable sources of vitamin B12 today. (reference 1 below)

      Vitamin B12 is essential for proper functioning of the nervous system and for healthy nerves, blood and eyes. A deficiency in vitamin B12 has resulted in blindness, paralysis, psychosis, and many other unfortunate conditions. For this reason, it is my conclusion that it is absolutely important to supplement a vitamin B12. Fortunately, vitamin B12 supplementation is very easy to do, very affordable, and it actually is one of my favorite daily routines. If you like cotton candy or raspberry flavors, there is a chewable vitamin B12 tablet that you might enjoy. There are many other brands and options, but I enjoy this one so much that I look forward to my daily dose! The product to which I am referring may be found here: https://www.amazon.com/Vitamin-B-12-2000mcg-Bluebonnet-Chewable/dp/B00H4GH36M/ref=sr_1_1_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1530202554&sr=8-1&keywords=bluebonnet+b12+cyanocobalamin

      There are two main types of vitamin B12: methylcobalamin and cyanocobalamin. According to Dr. Michael Greger, founder of NutritionFacts.org, cyanocobalamin is the preferred form of vitamin B12 because there is not sufficient evidence to conclude the effectiveness of methylcobalamin. (reference 2 below)

      As for everything else, there are virtually no nutrients in animal products that are not better provided by plants. This is a very extensive topic, but many people around the world subsist entirely on plant-based diets and experience none of the diseases known to Western cultures. The low-carb, high-protein, high omega-6-to-omega-3-ratio diet ensures that people of Western cultures remain unhealthy. (reference 3 below)

      I would like to invite you to check out http://www.NutritionStudies.org to learn ground-breaking information regarding a healthful plant-based diet by one of the leaders in nutritional research for the past 60 years, and also author of “The China Study,” Dr. T. Colin Campbell. Another wonderful source is: http://www.NutritionFacts.org . Founder Dr. Michael Greger devotes most of his time combing every English-speaking medical journal for the latest in nutritional research so that we don’t have to do so. He includes thousands of short and informative videos that users may find by browsing various topics.

      I wish you great luck and if I may help with any more of your questions, please let me know.

      1. Dunn, Helyn, et al. “T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.” Center for Nutrition Studies, 2018, http://www.nutritionstudies.org/.

      2. Greger, Michael, and Gene Stone. How Not to Die: Discover the Foods Scientifically Proven to Prevent and Reverse Disease. 1st ed., Flatiron, 2015.

      3. 1. Dunn, Helyn, et al. “T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies.” Center for Nutrition Studies, 2018, http://www.nutritionstudies.org/.

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