The act of choosing what to eat expresses a level of consciousness in a being. A plant-based diet is founded on love, compassion, and respect for our planet, as well as for all sentient beings. It is a step towards a realistic spiritual life, taking responsibility for the future of our planet and the continuance of the human race. First, we must understand that everyone is their own unique being, living his or her own evolutionary process. Transitioning to a plant-based diet is a process, but a conscious process, of which your mind and body will determine the speed. For example, some people take away red meat, then gradually stop eating chicken and fish. Others go vegan-raw in one day and never go back. Whichever the case may be for you, you need to do it with knowledge of what you are doing: Know what your body needs and make sure you provide the right nourishment in order to feel balanced and energized. What you need to know before you begin: ❇ It’s not about taking things away from your diet, it is about expanding your horizons and replacing some things with better, higher quality, organic whole foods. ❇ Learning, researching, analyzing, studying, and reading about plant-based nutrition will become a part of your daily regimen in order to understand what it is that you are doing. ❇ When we say dark green leaves, we don’t mean lettuce. And, no, lettuce is not the nutritional leaf of choice for our salads. ❇ Nutrition is about quality not quantity, and by quality we mean foods that have the highest nutrient count PLUS are easy to digest, absorb, and eliminate. ❇ When changing your lifestyle to a plant-based diet your body will be chemically changing right in front of your eyes, eyes that cannot see their micro-universe. You will be changing from the inside out. Don’t be surprised if you find that you now don’t like things that you liked before and vice versa; this is normal and to be expected. As you change your diet, you will have a new body, physically and chemically. ❇ Some kitchen tools to make your transition easier in the kitchen: high speed blender, food processor, seed grinder, great paring and chopping knife, mandoline or julienne slicer, lime presser, stainless steel pressure cooker, stainless steel medium size pot, stainless steel sauce pan, mixing bowls, salad bowls, measuring cups, measuring spoons, plastic chopping board (one for veggies and one for fruits). ❇ You are finally taking responsibility for your health and overall well-being by doing what you are doing, consciously exerting your power of choice (with knowledge), now that you choose not just what you put in your body but also WHY. ❇ You are helping our planet survive by not consuming animals that produce gigantic amounts of methane gas, which is a huge contributor to global warming. ❇ Your body is not very forgiving and when you go back to the bad stuff, it will complain—faster and louder. ❇ If you are not doing this under the supervision or advise of a knowledgeable holistic practitioner, make sure you inform yourself daily and do things gradually to test out your system. Some people have a bad liver, kidney issues, or certain imbalances/allergies, and if you don’t prepare your body for the change, you might experience uncomfortable symptoms of cleansing, such as diarrhea or gas. This is part of the process, as your body tries to get all of the toxins out. Drink plenty of water to help. We support an organic, vegan whole foods diet and especially a holistic lifestyle. So our recommendations for transitioning into a plant-based diet will be Holistic = Mind, Body, and Spirit. Mind: Preparing your mind for a lifestyle shift is a must. Especially since this change will have such an amazing impact on not just your body but also your mind. Remember, our mind and body are one, what we do to one affects the other and vice versa. Having an optimistic, positive attitude and being open to great change is a wonderful start for the mind. Know that through this change you will be the healer of your own self. You are in charge of your health and it is up to you to care for your cells, neurons, and organs; you guys are a team and must look after one another. That is why we are never alone. It is the beginning of your relationship with energy, with the Source, and the vegetable kingdom is the medium by which you will acquire photonic energy from the sun for your cells, and change the frequency of your body, mind, and spirit. Replace your old thoughts with new ideas, thoughts, and mental associations to food. You need to see food in a different way in order to understand why and what you are doing. Also, know that by eating a plant-based diet and healing your body with these foods, you will not only be cleaning out all the crap from your intestines but also the crap from your mind. Your personal issues (personal “demons”) will surface, so you can face them, understand them, transmute them, and let them go. Remember: mind and body are one. To heal the body we must also heal the mind. Body: First step—read Protein: The Untold Story, so you can start to understand what protein is, and how you can replace animal protein with plant-based protein. By taking meat away, you need to replace it with other protein from plant sources, of which there are plenty, like organic tempeh, bean, and grain combos, nuts and seeds, quinoa, spirulina, chlorella, bee pollen, and vegetables themselves. Don’t just stop eating something without replacing it; being malnourished and starving the body is very similar. The point of eating is to get the right amount and quality of proteins (amino acids), complex carbohydrates, lipids (good fats), enzymes, minerals, vitamins, antioxidants, and phytonutrients in order to get nourished and create ATP (ENERGY). Bring more veggies into your life. Seventy to 80% of your plate should be veggies. Go to the farmers markets and grocery store and load up on ORGANIC produce. Organic, because it is about NUTRIENTS, and organic and wild produce have more nutrients than conventional as well as a higher frequency energy. You also don’t want to work your liver overtime with the pesticides, herbicides, and other chemicals in conventional produce. Have fun—there are infinite varieties and options when it comes to the vegetable kingdom. Remember that the stronger the color, the more antioxidants that fruit or vegetable contains. Antioxidants are what give vegetables and fruits their pigmentation, what keeps you young, and keeps your cells from damage. And you can only get them from the Vegetable Kingdom. Have a raw, dark green leaf salad with every meal, if possible. Leafy greens are filled with enzymes, vitamins and minerals like calcium, some which lose their potency when cooked. Combine the salad with brown rice and beans (legumes), which make for a complete protein when eaten together (this can be 30% of your meal and your raw salad 70%). You can also lightly steam some veggies like asparagus, or broccoli and either add them to the salad or serve them as a side with some raw cashew cheese for other meal options. It is delicious. Get some vegan, raw cook books to get some ideas and check out our HKitchen section every week for a new plant-based vegan recipe. Remember the variety of vegetables you have to create nutritious, hardy, and delicious meals. Also, bring in some whole grains like brown rice, quinoa (a complete protein all by itself!), millet, amaranth, and buckwheat. I’m not a big fan of wheat because the gluten in it is an inflammatory agent, and many people develop allergies to it. But, if you do have it, perhaps in the form of bread, have it once a day or once in a while, and have it whole grain, organic and freshly made. Bread that comes from another state probably had to have a preservative as part of the ingredients to prevent it from molding. Who knows how many days it has been since they actually made it? And the list of ingredients for most of these items is ridiculous. Bread doesn’t require much to make—so check the ingredients. My rule is: organic, whole grain, freshly made, no more than four ingredients, and NO SUGAR. This brings me to my next point: READ LABELS. Having a plant-based diet doesn’t mean a processed, boxed, vegetarian junk food diet. <–NOT NUTRITION, PEOPLE. Processed sugar is poison for the mind and body, and petroleum is not for human consumption, but when you have both from GMO corn turned into a cheap sweetener that the food industry uses any possible way they can, WE HAVE A PROBLEM. Google it and learn how many names corn syrup goes under, maltodextrin, high fructose corn syrup… hey, they even made a commercial saying, “No, it’s not bad, it’s just corn!” Yeah, corn mixed with DNA of fish, fossil fuels and who knows what else. DONT BUY IT! Read labels and read our post/video on Excitotoxins: The Taste That Kills You, which will definitely get you to start reading labels, and focused on whole, plant-based foods. Eat food people…REAL FOOD! Spirit: Get in touch with nature. Connect. Go to some organic farms, learn about them, what they are doing, and why. Experience the people, the real farmers that take pride and love in what they do, which is cultivate the land and give us nutrient-dense produce. Learn about our planet and how it suffers from the bad and ignorant choices we make every day with our wallets. Love your planet; it’s a living being and it needs our help. Get in touch with it; look at it from a different perspective. Earth (Terra) could be just one cell inside a huge body that hosts all of us. Be grateful for the vegetables that bring us only great nutrients with no cholesterol or bad fat, the very veggies that have vibrational codes inside them to activate our divinity once we breakdown the cell walls by chewing and accessing the pure photo energy from the sun. Think about your energy and how you will be cleansing and raising its vibration by ingesting high-vibration energy from the vegetable kingdom. Be grateful, for your time has come to prepare for the upcoming cosmic alignment beginning 2012-2014, where our bodies need to be lighter and higher frequency in order to sustain the photonic energy that will come down. A plant-based diet will help us to acclimate, and enter the alignment with ease. This is a big question and there is still so much more I want to say, but all in due time. Baby steps. We need to process the information and take things step by step. Change is a constant and it is a good thing, especially if it comes with positive effects. We are beings in evolution, and evolution will keep going with or without us. Will you ride the wave or get hit by it? Silvie and Maryl are holistic lifestyle experts and wellness gurus whose integrative approach includes plant-based nutrition, all aspects of love, practical spirituality, and life design. Their website is a cutting-edge wellness guide with articles, blogs and video on holistically healthy living. Follow Silvie+Maryl on Twitter and Facebook. Learn more about Silvie and Maryhttps://www.sunwarrior.com"