“Stacking the Deck with a Plant-Based Diet”

Why do you think the same five guys make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker every year? What, are they the luckiest guys in Las Vegas? – Mike McDermott

That’s a quote from one of my favorite movies, Rounders. I often think of poker when I think of the game of health. The #1 and #2 killers in the United States are Heart Disease and Cancer. My goal is to use as much knowledge as I can to stack the deck in my favor to prevent these 2 diseases, Heart Disease and Cancer.

Unless you’ve lived on a tropical island in the middle of nowhere your whole life eating mangoes and bananas(sounds good to me) you’ve been and are exposed to chemicals on a daily basis. These chemicals, whether it be from being exposed to lead paint as a child or nitrates from a recent Hot Dog you enjoyed, can be carcinogenic and lead to cancer later in life. We’ve all been exposed to some type of carcinogenic chemical at numerous times in our life. However, the human body has an amazing ability to fight off disease. I like to think of the analogy of poker when preventing disease in life. It’s all about stacking the deck in your favor to give yourself the best chance possible for long-term disease free health. Why live your life with the odds against you when you can stack the deck in your favor with a Whole Food Plant-Based diet?

As I mentioned, we’ve all been exposed to cancer causing chemicals. The first stage of cancer is the initiation stage. This is when DNA damage happens from exposure to some type of carcinogenic chemical at some point in our life. One way for stage 1 to occur is through heterocyclic amines like one called PHIP found in cooked meats. Cooking Fish, Meat, or Poultry at high temperatures causes stage 1, the mutation of your DNA. The 2nd stage of cancer is the promotion stage. This happens when the mutated cell is stimulated to grow faster. We now know that animal proteins actually promote cancer growth through the hormone IGF-1, the 2nd phase of cancer. Without the promotion stage of cancer it will never reach the progression phase(stage 3) which leads to rapidly mutating cells eventually causing a tumor. Heterocyclic amines are known as 3 strike carcinogens because they actually increase its metastatic potential by increasing cancer invasiveness as well, stage 3 of cancer. We also now know that casein protein from cows milk promotes cancer growth as well. T Colin Campbell illustrates this in his book, The China Study. According to scientific regulatory standards casein protein from cows milk is one of the most carcinogenic chemicals ever discovered. So, just by drastically reducing or eliminating our intake of animal proteins, specifically cooked meat and casein protein from cow’s milk we can drastically reduce our risk for cancer growth.

If we can reduce our risk for growth by eliminating animal protein can we reduce it or even reverse it eating a Whole Food Plant-Based diet? The Nathan Pritikin Research Foundation did some interesting work. They put people on specific diets, took their blood samples, dropped them in a petri dish of cancer and sat back to see what blood was better to prevent cancer. Even the blood of Standard American Diet(SAD) can fight cancer somewhat, we’d all be dead if it didn’t. In a year long study of Prostate Cancer the blood of the SAD samples slowed down cancer by 9%. However, the blood of those put on a Plant-Based diet fought cancer an amazing 8 times better, 70% slowed growth. A few of the Pritkin studies conducted against breast cancer on a Plant-Based diet slowed down and stopped cancer growth in just 2 weeks!!

Atherosclerosis is a disease in which plaque builds up in your arteries, hardening and narrowing your arteries over time. This leads to our nations #1 killer heart disease. We now know that mummies from Alaska and mummies from Egyptian royalty ranging from 300-3,000 years ago had atherosclerosis. These were 2 heavy meat eating societies. This occurred before processed foods or grain fed cattle, often blamed today for heart disease. Again, I’m looking to stack the deck in my favor so I don’t believe in eating processed foods either. These are loaded with cancerous chemicals mentioned previously. However, if nearly all the mummies found from these high meat societies had atherosclerosis doesn’t it make sense to eliminate meat from our diets? In more recent studies at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio Dr. Caldwell Esselystn has been reversing heart disease in patients with the most severe conditions for the past 25 years. Angiogram pictures show before and after photos on a Whole Food Plant-Based diet. The before pictures show clogged arteries suffering from severe atherosclerosis, the after photos a few years later show the artery unclogged. The former President Bill Clinton is one of Esselystyn’s patients and praises the work being done at the Cleveland Clinic. In the words of Dr. Caldwell Esselystn, Heart Disease is a toothless paper Tiger that need never exist.

Roughly 80% of all deaths in the United States are from Heart Disease or Cancer. We can now use all this knowledge we have now to drastically eliminate the risk of these diseases. We live in a polluted society filled with dangerous chemicals in the air and in our food. In John Robbins book, Healthy at 100 he illustrates 3 long lived cultures with a large number of centenarians from Russia(Abkhasia), Ecuador(Vilcabamba), and Pakistan(Hunza). All three of these cultures eat the way I’m always stressing- A whole Food Plant-Based diet with around 80% of calories coming from carbohydrates, and only 10-15% of calories coming from both protein and fats, low sodium, & zero to very little processed foods. Take some control over all these risks today, take control of your health. The same 5 guys don’t make it to the final table of the World Series of Poker by luck, just like the healthiest people on earth aren’t lucky. Stack the deck in your favor with a Whole Foods Plant-Based diet.

Need help going Plant Based? Our website can help you along your journey. We have over 100 privates videos on health, daily food journals to show you exactly what we eat, a forum to answer all your questions, and all the yoga you care for. We also just released a meal plan bundle. You get From My Bowl ebook, a 4 Week Meal Plan, and access to Thriving Plant Based for 2 months. Sign up today https://www.bananablondieyoga.com/4-week-plant-based-meal-plan/

All the best-

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