Doreen Wennberg

Thursday, June 1, 2023 by Doreen Wennberg

We live in a world where we like to proceed with little effort or difficulty. That is the definition of convenience, right?  

Hey if I can push a button for this or that and have what I want in thirty seconds or less, than I am all for it. Yeah, thirty seconds—as most are unwilling to wait even a minute these days.  

All kidding aside, our culture dictates this push for convenience. And while I am all for easy, more often than not, there is usually a downside to easy.  

Convenience stores are often located just down the street. Why? You guessed it—convenience. But there are limits to what they carry, and you are more likely to pay a little more for the convenience of getting your item quicker.

These stores do carry some groceries, and you might be able to find a few canned goods or a box of pasta in a pinch. 

Most of these stores offer grab-and-go foods for people looking for whatever quick comfort foods they can find to sustain them.

How about fast-food restaurants for convenience? It doesn’t get any easier than going through a drive-thru to order and pick up a meal, right?

Here is a little fun trivia fact. Do you know when the first fast-food restaurant opened in the USA? It was in 1921 in Wichita, Kansas. Can you guess the name? I didn’t know it either. It was White Castle, famous for those little square burgers. Soon after, in 1930, Colonel Sanders followed with the world’s first fast-food chicken restaurant. McDonald’s opened in 1940, and in the next decade, Jack-in-the-box, Sonic, and Burger King opened their doors. Are you getting hungry yet?

Let’s talk about the downside that I mentioned earlier. An unhealthy society has emerged from convenience.

 Our society is suffering the cost of good health due to the ease and comfort that pre-packaged, processed, and fast-food restaurants serve.

The amount of fat, sugar, and sodium in most convenience processed foods have contributed to an unhealthy society. Cardiovascular disease and cancer are the top two diseases many Americans suffer and die from. Hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and chronic inflammation wreak havoc on the body. There is also an epidemic of obese adults and now children too!

There is much evidence for the connection that these diseases are directly related to the unhealthy foods consumed today.

So, what are we to do? Diets do not work. Most people lose a few pounds, go off their diet, and gain those pounds back along with a few more. Dieters are worse off than before they started!

The healthcare system will attempt to correct the disease by prescribing medication. High blood pressure, or high cholesterol, no problem they make a pill for that. Do you have type 2 diabetes or chronic inflammation, no worries they make a pill for that too.

Did you know there is a better solution to correcting and in many cases, reversing chronic pain and disease? While I am not a doctor, I follow many doctors who have done research with thousands of credible studies.

Most people will say, “Show me the research and the data to prove a point I cannot argue with.” These Doctors and dietitians have set out to do just that. 

I did not adopt a whole-food, plant-based diet other than to learn to eat healthier as I age. My family has a history of cardiovascular disease and hypertension; I just wanted to learn to eat healthier to avoid medication. I have discovered for some in my family who were on medication for hypertension, the evidence of their bloodwork showed they no longer needed meds.

As I began to feed my family meatless meals, one of the first doctors I found ironically grew up on a dairy farm. Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D. “Everyone in the field of nutrition science stands on the shoulders of Dr. Campbell, who is one of the giants in the field.”—Dean Ornish, MD.

Another well-known Doctor who also grew up on a dairy farm is Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., M.D.

Both of these highly respected Doctors are Whole food, plant-based advocates. They teach and follow the practice of eliminating oil, meat, fish, dairy, and sugar to live a healthier lifestyle.

I will admit when I first set out to eat plant-based, it was a bit overwhelming but not impossible. My family liked meat, roasts, grilling steaks, and meatballs in my sauce. Chicken parmesan was a weekly staple meal.  Eggs, cheese, bread, and lots of it were the norm for us. Did I say cheese? My weakness is cheese! I mean, how do you eat a pizza without it?

These were my initial thoughts and arguments on plant-based cooking. After all my family was used to eating good food; how would I replicate that? But was the good-tasting food I was serving healthy? That fueled my passion to learn how to make healthy food that tastes good! It was a learning curve and a challenge I was up for.

I decided to get certified in Food, Nutrition, and Health and continue educating myself with doctors and nutrition experts who have paved the way. My passion is to help a growing community of people searching for a better way to health. We can get off the yo-yo diets that don’t work; and stop the fat and sugar cravings that set us up for chronic pain as we age. We can reverse the numbers on our blood work and safely get off medication if we adopt a new way of eating.

Convenience it is the number one reason we reach for a portion of unhealthy food in the first place. I have set out on a mission to make plant-based eating a convenient and enjoyable experience. It is possible to make great-tasting, healthy food to fuel your body!

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