A Journey Into Plant-Based Eating

"How we view food by gaining a deeper understanding of how the food industry works in the USA, is part of the challenge." - Greg Halpen
Plant-Based Eating, Healthy Foods, Wellness, Men's Health, Greg Halpen, Kinkster MAG

“How would your life be different if…You were conscious about the food you ate?” – Steve Maraboli

Part 1

Through a three-part series, I’m going to layout some simple plans on how you can begin your journey into plant-based eating. For me, transitioning into plant-based eating wasn’t just saying, “I’m going to quit meat cold-turkey” kind of thing; transitioning took a long time to examine and dismantle all those decades both unhealthy eating and a messed food industry. Transitioning to a plant-based diet is a time-consuming process and if we internalize those concepts, we’ll be so far ahead.

Ok. Let’s begin.

It was the week after my cancer diagnosis that I decided I would do everything to be healthy emotionally and physically. While I was in the “bargaining” stage of my process, I knew transitioning was a bargain I had to keep.

I’ve always walked in and out of veganism, but this time I vowed that I would make it stick. In the beginning, a cancer diagnosis wasn’t a high enough shock voltage to make me eat better. Transitioning is a process: like when I workout, I stretch and breathe before beginning my routine. If I don’t, I put my body at risk for possible injury. That’s what some people forget when they fail at something like changing their unhealthy eating habits.

Part of my challenge was gaining a deeper understanding of how the food industry works. Animal agriculture and oversized portioning in restaurants mixes with personal and social issues like poverty, capitalism, racism, and patriarchy. No wonder America’s obesity problem is reaching a record high.

Wrapping my head around my eating problems and viewing my problems from a personal and cultural place helped me make huge changes in the ways I eat. I chose a plant-based way of eating to begin the process of understanding why I was very overweight and would compulsively overeat. I began to look at all the foods that are modified or enhanced and caused me to crave more, as well as marketing and advertising.

What didn’t work for me was 12 step programs. They didn’t provide enough education or support for me. I chose to work with a therapist to help me examine my eating challenges. A coach can also help. Also, what didn’t work for me was dieting. Diets set me up up for failure and left me hanging emotionally. I also sought out professionals who have experience in plant-based eating.

Before part two of this series comes out, and if you are considering transitioning into a plant-based way of eating, start to consider a couple of things. First, consider how the food agriculture in the US works and why there is surplus food while people go hungry. I began doing this by watching documentaries like “Forks Over Knives.” Be aware that most food documentaries are biased and sensationalized, but this one will inform you about our current agriculture climate. Also, if you are considering eating plant-based, and find yourself not sticking to it, think about the why. Oh, by-the-way, I use the title “plant-based” instead of vegan for reasons I’ll talk about in part two.

In part two I discuss some plant-based nutrition myths, ways I begin to slowly incorporate more plant-based eating into my life and why I don’t care to use the term vegan.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at eatplants@greghalpen.com

Eat well, eat consciously!

Healthy Living

Greg Halpen is a trained, non-traditional, certified discovery and life coach who helps highly sensitive and creative gay men who want lasting love. Greg Halpen offers private and group coaching for gay men on various topics and issues.