I was listening to RRP 128 (Rich Roll Podcast), an interview with cardiologist Joel Kahn. It was great to actually hear a doctor defend a healthy, nutritious, plant based lifestyle. He discussed the science that backs up the theory that eating unprocessed whole foods is the best thing for health and longevity. He points out that almost all studies on disease find that around 80% of the diseases in our country can be reversed with nutrition and fitness plans.

80% of the diseases in our country can be reversed with nutrition and fitness plans

Isn’t that shocking? We could solve one of the largest problems facing our country by simply following a fitness and nutrition plan. He proposes that the problem with our diet and nutrition is a lack of skills. It’s way to convenient to eat poorly, and most americans don’t think they have the skills to cook “real” food anymore. The solution is that we need to educate others on how to get more fruits and veggies into their diet. So with that in mind, here’s my super simple Berry Smoothie recipe.

Berry Smoothie Recipe

I eat/drink one of these for breakfast almost every morning. Load the following into your Vitamix blender and blend on high for 30-45 seconds:

  1. 1-2 leaves of kale
  2. handful of other greens (spinach, collards, mustard, etc)
  3. seeds (pumpkin, hemp, chia) I just sprinkle about a tsp
  4. 1/2 scoop of Vega One vanilla
  5. frozen strawberries and blueberries
  6. 1 fresh banana
  7. 4-8 oz of almond milk or water

You can add other yummy foods like ginger, cherries and raspberries. Sometimes I add almond butter, sometimes I add walnuts and cashews. I just mix and match and experiment. No skill required :)

Planning

Dr Kahn believes that everyone needs a stress management plan, a fitness plan, and a nutrition plan. Having a clear plan in these three areas will set you up for a heart healthy, happy, long life. (I’d add that you need a financial plan and a big goal that you are working towards) He didn’t outline any specific plans, so you’ll need to do your own research.

Here are a few resources that have been extremely helpful for me.

Movies

Books

Websites

Living Long

Another idea that grabbed my attention in the interview was that Dr. Kahn thinks that if we treat our heart right that we could live to 120. Initially that may sound terrible. If you’re like me then thoughts of hospital beds and breathing machines came to mind. But that’s not the case if you take care of your body. Healthy elderly people typically die peacefully in their sleep. But to get to a healthy 120 yeas of age, we have to live a life that keeps our heart healthy.

He outlined 6 guidelines for Heart Health:

  1. Don’t smoke
  2. Eat 5-6 servings of fruits and vegetables a day
  3. Exercise 30 minutes a day, and stand 5-10 minutes a day
  4. Keep you waste under 40” and 35” m/w
  5. Sleep 7 hours a night
  6. Have the occasional alcoholic drink

Community

One last thing… Doctor Kahn mentioned that a group of his patients started a meet-up to discuss heart healthy topics. His hospital sponsored it, and it’s turned into a great way to build a community around healthy living. They bring in great speakers, hold cooking classes, and discuss health related topics. This struck a chord with me and made me want to look into starting something here in Kingwood. If you know anyone at the Kingwood Hospital please let me know. I’m on a mission to show the people around me that living a healthy lifestyle is convenient, rewarding, and a hell of a lot of fun!!

from my journal on February 5 2015