Have you been curious about the Plant Based way? This is your place to learn how to join the Gorgeous, Sexy, Fun, Exciting Plant- Based Life. Maybe you have some questions: Is it a diet? A lifestyle? Is it good for me? Can I lose weight? Can I gain muscle? Is it tasty? Is it Fun? If you are ready to let it rip or just want to learn more and maybe stick a toe in, start here! We’re not here to tell anyone how right or wrong they are. It is here to show you how fun, easy, delicious and healthy the plant based lifestyle is. You’ll get clarity on terms (What’s the difference between plant based, WFPB, vegan, vegetarian, raw). You’ll receive help on how to transition from where you are to where you want to be. We assure you that you will be healthy and safe. You can find resources here, if you desire to educate yourself on the whys: be it the science, the compassion, or the environment. It’s about empowering YOU to make the choices that work best for YOU. Gladiators did it and you can too!
It started decades ago, really. I was in Kindergarten or first grade when my Grandpa used to point at the salt shaker and yes, “This is poison! Poison I tell ya!” I was scared of salt until college. I read a book called Fit For Life by the Diamonds when I was still in elementary school. Science, health and nutrition were fascinating to me! My Dad was a marine who ran marathons, triathlons and all kinds of other races all the time. If we were old enough to enter we did, or we were always there to cheer him on. I was raised in Hawaii with a deep appreciation for fresh fruit picked right off the trees in the yard. I respected nature, animals, the environment and my health.Let’s Fast Forward a little bit here. I am now the proud wife and mother of three healthy vegan kids, ages 10, 11, & 7 months! I’m an independent Plant Based Leader carving my own way on this path. Free food prep guide: Bit.ly/KickinPrep Zero to Plant Based Hero Course: Bit.ly/PlantHero Blog: Kickinvegan.comLeave a comment for radio show guests
What’s the story behind the story? We’ll find out on Dropping In. our guests are today’s original thinkers. Conversations that spark new ways of seeing what’s going on. We bring it all to the table. Diverse perspectives, controversy, loving and singular voices. Magically stories reveal the common threads that link us. Experience the joys, the fist pumps, the detours and the hard-won truths of those who blaze the trail so that we might do the same and now here’s your host Diane Dewey.
Diane: Welcome to Dropping In everyone. It’s a new year when we’re full of resolve. Today’s amazing guest Britt Taylor talks about a subject that is a lightning rod for every conceivable concern we have strength, power, physical stamina, long life, heart health, warding off cancers, building energy, climate change, our planet, preservation of animals and their habitats, sex and our sexual capacity, endurance and eating well. The subject of course is plant-based living. Her website is Kickin’ Vegan welcome Britt Taylor.
Britt: Thank you so much Diane. Wow, that’s a great introduction and you’re so right. You really summed up the purpose of it all. Thank you.
Diane: Well I’m going to ask you to even elaborate further because your website Kickin’ Vegan provides the how to, the support, even recipes and the reasons why plant-based living. I thought maybe you’d like to get into that a bit with us and talk about the prime reasons that you think plant-based living is important.
Britt: I would love to. Is it okay with you if I start with like a little story like my personal story?
Britt: Great. I’ve been doing the whole vegan/vegetarian/plant-based and every iteration of it since I was about 14 years old. I’ve had like anybody else my ups and downs with how focused and good I was with my diet. I had years when I was great and years when I allowed myself a little bit of comfort. Gosh, a couple of years ago, actually almost just a year and a half ago I was working a job. I’m not kidding you. I was working myself to the bone. I was working 70, 80 hours a week. I never saw my kids.
Diane: Tell us what the job was?
Britt: Sure. I was running a karate school and I was teaching between four to eight classes a day and doing events. I was doing all of the things and it was a lot of fun and it was really rewarding to be working with people but I never saw my kids. My health was really taking a toll in that I was always on the go. I was still vegan but I was eating a lot of junk food. Not gonna lie. There was a gas station across the street where I got a lot of my meals and I ended up gaining 20 pounds. I was really stressed just so stressed. I decided I needed to let go to allow everything else in my life to fall in line. I was scared and I didn’t know what to do but I decided okay, I left my job and I took an entire month off. I ran to Hawaii because my dad lives there. I’m not like lifestyles of the rich and famous but it’s a great place for your dad to live. I ran every day. I ate 100% plant-based and raw. I had some warm meals but I mostly ate raw while I was there. I ran and swam and snorkeled and kayaked every single day.
I wrote out my whole plan. I also meditated every morning. I just had a mantra I was family and health, health and family, family and health, health and family. That was all that mattered to me whatever was coming next. I birthed this concept of Kickin’ Vegan that had been on the back burner for 100 years with the same pile of excuses that some of us listening might have right now about why you’re not living your dreams although I have a job or I’m raising kids or whatever it is. I was like well I’m going for broke. This is what I’m gonna do. I got home and I was doing really well. I was running. I was so healthy and then my weight loss just stopped cold. I didn’t know what was wrong. I started feeling very fatigued and I was like what am I doing wrong? I know I’m doing the right thing. What’s going on? Maybe my adrenal system is repairing itself and I’m having a, well it turns out at 47 years old. After a lifetime of infertility that I was actually pregnant.
Britt: Yes. I do have two children that I did birth that were 10 and 11 and now 11 and 12 but it did take five years of doctor’s visits and needle pokes and fertility treatments to be able to get them.
Diane: This one came out of the blue.
Britt: Yes. I mean not only was I not fertile so we didn’t worry about birth control because we thought hey, what the heck. If something accidentally happened and we had another one that would be a miracle. We just didn’t think it would come 11 years later. This late in life but I tell you all of that background just to kind of paint the picture of how focusing on that plant-based life really became such a focal point for me. Curing my own infertility, curing my adrenal system that I had seen a doctor and they said my adrenal system was completely blown out. One of the other reasons I left my job and just living at optimal health. Being able to raise a newborn vegan. He’s eight months old now as of Christmas all while being completely plant-based and just really solidifying my mission. Then I can talk about that for a minute about the whole, that was like kind of the roundabout way to get to the point of why that’s my purpose in life.
Diane: It’s a super cool thing. I also just think that back to the original arguments our power and our strength unbeknownst to most people including myself many elite athletes, I know that you were burnt out from your karate studio but in terms of actual many karate professionals and elite athletes who are in martial arts and self-defense there are a lot of reasons that meat is not only expendable in the quest for strength but as it is written in Men’s Health Magazine, a plant-based diet is actually superior for athletes of all disciplines.
I wondered, you came to it early in your life but many athletes that we know and love including Arnold Schwarzenegger as a bodybuilder. Certainly James Wilkes, who has created this film The Game Changers which is noted on your website Kickin’ Vegan they have learned that eating meat is not conducive to building strength, to building longevity and stamina. I wondered how that had entered into your life when you were doing karate and running the studio.
Britt: That’s a 100% true. When you’re looking as a professional athlete, they’re always looking for the edge when they’re competitive. When those of them that really pursue nutrition will often discover that what happens when you’re eating plant proteins and plants carbs and plant fats instead of processed foods and meats and dairy is your recovery window is dramatically shortened which means you can train more and recover more quickly and therefore your endurance is better, your stamina is better. You can train more with less injuries. It’s an anti-inflammatory way of living. Meat and dairy cause great inflammation in our bodies. As a matter of fact if you think about the reasons that people are in the hospital they’re all related to heart health. They’re all related to obesity. It’s heart health. It’s stroke. It’s diabetes. It’s all of these things that are created by the environment and that’s created in our bodies by over consuming animal products.
It creates an acidity that is not optimal for our health. We are omnivores in that our bodies are capable of digesting all foods in order for survival but that should not be confused with what is optimal for longevity and our most healthiest, happiest productive way of life so definitely the edge if you’re gonna go plant-based for sure.
Diane: You touched on something that I think is critical and that is recovery. A lot of us are even just recovering from a sprained ankle or knee replacements in my sort of age category but like any kind of strain and I remember reading about Kristin Armstrong who is a cyclist. She was on the US cycling team. When she converted to plant-based because she said that exact same thing what you just said. It’s about recovery. You’re doing these endurance tests, these incredible trials on your body and then it’s about recovering so that you can perform the next time. When she transferred to plant-based she was telling her teammates look, let’s keep going. Let’s keep going. They’d be ready to stop and go in like remission. She was like no, I’m blasting in. I’m going through. She was an Olympiad at age 39 and a half. One of the oldest Olympiads ever to win a gold medal with her teammates.
Britt: I love that. You were young selves.
Diane: It’s super, super exciting and you on Kickin’ Vegan which I should mention is spelled K-I-C-K-I-N-V-E-G-A-N on your kickinvegan.com blog which I think is so fantastic.
Britt: Thank you.
Diane: Oh it’s wonderful. There’s a recent post for those of us that are newbies because we have all these ideas and kind of myths in our heads so I thought let’s do some myth busting here and create some new kinds of resolutions. Your September 8th blog is are vegans malnourished. Do you want to speak to us about that?
Britt: Sure. I do like to create a little bit of a clickbait like hey, these are the things we’re afraid of and then to just write about that to ease people’s fears because I really feel that my role in the plant-based space is to create that bridge. It’s like hey, it’s not scary over here. Come on over. It’s safe. It’s good but yes so there are a lot of myths. There’s the complete protein myth where people are like well meat is a complete protein but again just because it contains all the amino acids in one bite does not make that an optimal food. As a matter of fact it takes an enormous amount of energy for our bodies to digest and break that meat down into its individual amino acids that are then kept in let’s say we’ve got reserves of each amino acid in our body, the pools if you will that we pull from to create tissue when it is needed to be created.
When you are eating vegetables and plants it just goes right in. The amino acid you eat it, it goes right into the stores. There is no, I have all my amino acids in one bite and I’m going to use all those amino acids to create a thing. Like a lot of people are taking collagen supplements. It breaks down and it goes into the different amino acids. Eating collagen doesn’t create collagen in your body. It’s just an expensive way to eat food but if you’re eating fruits are magical. Berries especially. Anything with a dark pigment is where you want to be in produce like if you have a choice between white grapes or red grapes eat the red grape but if you hate red grapes. Eat the white grapes. They’re still grapes, whatever and the pigment…
Diane: Why are the darker pigments better? Why are they better?
Britt: They’re just more full of phytonutrients. Phytonutrients and antioxidants are what our fruits are loaded with. An antioxidant is exactly what it sounds like. It keeps things from rusting. It keeps you from oxidizing and decaying. If you want the fountain of youth just start eating fruit all day every day. A lot of people are afraid of the sugars in fruit. There’s really no need because it comes with so much hydration. It comes with your super nutrients. This is high quality calorie density. Okay the reason that we have a craving for sweets in general is so that before we even invented processed foods humans on the planet if you found something sweet we were meant to eat as much of it as possible because that’s the best stuff to eat. As long as we’re not eating the processed sugars and I call it the white flour, white rice, all the white things. If you’re eating whole foods in their natural form then that’s going to be really beneficial to you but those things are they keep ourselves really young. They’re very protective against decay and aging you’re also really feeling your body with the best stuff that you can to live longer, to get instant energy and to feel great.
It’s also much easier on your digestion. When you’re consuming meat and dairy it’s so hard to digest and break down so it just sits in your gut and kind of rot. We don’t want to keep food inside our body. We want it in and out, in and out. We really want to keep that clean passageway. The only way to do that is fiber and fiber is only in plants.
Diane: It’s so interesting because one of the strongest men in the world of course I really absorbed this film The Game Changers which was produced by the way by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Novak Djokovic, James Wilkes, top athletes in their fields who are living plant-based. I think you were just talking about the antioxidant properties for example of blueberries and all this idea of how these kinds of foods are just aren’t gonna make us strong enough, that they have these myths that we’re going to have to load up on calories. We going to have to load up on carbs and to some extent is that true?
Britt: Well carbs are good for you to begin with. I feel that any macronutrient that gets vilified via protein carbs or fat and they’ve all taken their turn. Protein not so much but the items that are actually being vilified are going to be your processed items like fat is not good in the form of isolated fat. Animal fats obviously but because they’re solid room temperature, coconut oil or even olive oil which people think is heart healthy. It’s a processed food stripped from its original container so all of the goodness has been taken out. You’re just mainlining and that’s how it is with carb. Oil is basically the white sugar of fat.
When you look at carbs, if you’re taking them in as whole food then they automatically come also with the protein and the fat. All in the perfect balance so you don’t have to measure macronutrients. You don’t have to count your calories. If you’re just eating plants whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables then you can let go of all that things as long as you’re not introducing the processed foods. That’s where things start to get thrown off balance but eating plants has your perfect human ratio of proteins, carbs and fats. You don’t really have to worry about it. I think there’s a huge misrepresentation of the amount of protein that we need in our diet. A lot of people are really being harmed by this protein overdose. There’s no such thing as a protein deficiency. It doesn’t exist.
Diane: You’re right. We’re getting these myths about plants not being full of protein when in fact they are. The person I was thinking of, his name is Patrick and he was one of the great lifters of all time, 1200 pounds, the size of a horse he could lift.
Britt: I know who you’re talking about.
Diane: This kind of hairy guy but like so cool. Of course someone said to him at a news conference you’re as strong as an ox. How is it that you aren’t eating meat? He said I look at the ox and they’re eating grass. That’s why I’m plant based.
Britt: There you go.
Diane: It’s like it is something that you’ve mentioned actually quite frequently in your blog which is eliminating the middleman. How do we get the nutrients without having the interference of the animal or the fish and what does that actually mean for us? Are we capable of even doing this? We’ve got to take a commercial break right now. I can tell you that Arnie Schwarzenegger says he doesn’t miss it at all talking about meat but we’re going to talk more with Britt Taylor and find out is this doable and if so how so. Don’t go away. We’ll be right back on Dropping In.
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Diane: Welcome back everyone. We’re here with Britt Taylor talking about
Kickin’ Vegan and the plant-based diet. I would call it a lifestyle. I think you do too Britt and we’re so happy that you came on to talk about this. How it’s affected you personally during the break. We were just chatting. I had the loss of a dear friend that I learned about today through a very acute case of leukemia. Leukemia is often linked with fertilizer use, DDTs, pesticides. It’s not necessarily “proven” as a direct relationship but there is thought to be and there are plenty of scientific studies substantiating this a relationship between chemicals and certain diseases. I know this has touched you personally and I
Wondered if you’d like to share some of that with us.
Britt: I don’t mind at all. Thanks and first of all I’m very sorry to hear of your friend. That’s very sad but I did lost my mother to leukemia. This was 11 years ago and that is when I decided to get more serious about my plant-based lifestyle. She was a cautionary tale with her diet but she was a woman full of life and spirit but she ate a lot of meat and cheese. She took a lot of pharmaceuticals and we lost her very, very quickly from diagnosis to the end was four months.
I went back to school and got my undergraduate in nutrition. I had an undergraduate in theater already and then I was applying to get my master’s in nutrition. I really didn’t like what they were doing. It was the top-rated public school of nutrition in the country and they were not open to a plant-based agenda at all because their funding came from big chicken, big meat, big dairy. They were like no, we’re going to teach you the food chart. You’re going to institutionalize it. That’s the job and that didn’t rest with me. I looked online and found a program that is through Cornell University which is a plant-based nutrition certificate.
I earned that and it’s just like you’re saying with the pesticides and the meat, the entire agriculture system, it’s one of the reasons to go plant-based as well. If it’s not just for your own personal nutrition we’re looking at the overall health of our environment. Big farming practices because there’s another myth that oh it’s plants that pick up more farming. It’s not the animals. It’s like well 90% of the plants grown are fed for livestock so our agriculture is supporting animals so that we can eat them and then be less healthy. We could feed the entire world if we used all that land to grow food instead of animals. It’s a real environmental concern and we can care. Go ahead.
Diane: Also the amount of water I mean to feed. I mean animals, they are also. Our planet, we’re drying up. We know that much. Rivers that once went to the sea no longer reach the sea. The environmental crisis that we’re in gets played out. It’s I think it’s interesting that you said big Farma with an F because also big pharma PH is a big issue with this too because look, let’s not change the way we eat because that would upset like the whole industry of the meat industry. Let’s take cholesterol-reducing drugs.
Britt: Oh exactly. They are the same people creating our food chart are the ones selling our medications.
Diane: But don’t you think people, I mean it was obviously a revelation to top athletes but also what about women who were mothers. I remember these food charts very clearly. My hat’s off to you for going to Cornell. It’s one of the best institutions for organic farming and for plant-based uh understanding. What about mothers that you get the food chart. It’s got the big piece of red meat. These are the proteins and the fish is there, the eggs, the cheese, milk. Then over here are like the crackers that are the carbs and stuff but always that big slab of meat. How do we disabuse ourselves from that Britt? How do we do it?
Britt: We have a lot of work to do which I feel the biggest impact that can be made and this is for me personally like the biggest impact that can be made is in working on our legislation with farm subsidies like meat and dairy farms. They dump so much unused product that goes to waste that doesn’t get sold because they’re subsidized. That’s why a poor family can buy a burger for a dollar and feed their family toxic food because of farming subsidies. Subsidies are not given to organic farms or people growing broccoli. On that waterways, California Water Conservation is a really big concern and they have made almond the bad guy. The funny thing about that is California provides most of the world’s almonds. Now the cattle agriculture in California uses more than ten times the amount of water than the almonds and only provides about 2% of the world’s population of meat but yet the almonds are the bad guys in the water shortage. No one questions why it’s okay to eat meat and grow meat and support meat and dairy. I feel it’s not the public’s fault because we are taught that way.
Diane: Totally brainwashed.
Britt: Is really where we have…what’s that?
Diane: We’re brainwashed or as Arnold Schwarzenegger said it’s all marketing. I think your point is well taken in terms of advocacy and how we’re going to have to really need to pivot now that it’s possible perhaps with a new administration that might be supportive. Vegan farming, let’s just touch on this for a second. This is cited in, I read your blog with great interest. A family that grows, has one tenth of an acre of land. This is against the argument of how all the space that vegetables take up. One tenth of an acre of land, they’re growing 7000 pounds of organic food per year supplying 90% of their own diet. They spend less than $2 a day per person on other kitchen staples and they’re making over $20,000 a year selling their excess produce. I think what we’re saying here is that animals are not really efficient users of the vegetables and the wheat and the corn that we’re growing.
In fact they’re incredibly abusive of these. I’m currently stationed, I’m here in Switzerland where we have family. In Switzerland it’s a well-known fact that these beautiful crystal clear lakes don’t drink the water because it’s got the runoff from the fertilizers from all the cows. The cows are great the cows are grazing in the beautiful snow-capped mountains. It all looks like the sound of music but in the meantime everything is gently polluted.
Britt: It’s so sad.
Diane: It’s very sad and I think my question to you is if an economy, let’s say. I mean this is a big question so none of us really have all of these answers yet but we’re going to keep working on it. If an economy like say Switzerland or any number of Midwestern states like Wisconsin where the entire economy is basically milk and cheese like it is here yogurts. If that’s the case is the big fear too that the economies are going to collapse if we go to plant-based? How does that work?
Britt: I really firmly believe in a replacement economy. For example I went to Mexico with my husband and they used to do these deep fishing tours and not even tours but just people making their livelihood as fishermen but the reefs are being destroyed. Fishing is a horrible ecological disaster. People came in. This group came and taught them hey, you can earn a living instead with ecotourism. My husband and I went out in the middle of the ocean and swam with whale sharks. We were instructed not to touch them. We got to swim with this beautiful majestic beast and we paid a lot of money for it and so did everybody else on the boat. The guy driving the boat and his crew we’re making a better living by teaching preservation of the ecology, not harming the environment.
That’s just one example and I feel that these farmers that have their livelihood they’re just trying to survive. I don’t want to take away their survival but I want to switch what they’re providing like hey you’ve been raising cows. You’re a dairy farmer. Let me teach you about soybeans and how much more money you can make and how much less land you can use and how much better it’ll be for the environment. There’s a lot of politics involved in that. That’s where I think our strength is going to I think it’s going to also come from education. People need to understand that meat and dairy isn’t healthy for them and that’s like slow coming but it’s happening.
Diane: It’s happening and you’re giving it a big shove in the right direction. I think then when you’re voting with your pocketbook. My husband said to me well where do I get this soy? Where do I get all this? I said same place as we’re buying our “regular food”. You can. It’s obtainable but of course I’m glad you didn’t touch the shark but also the eco-tourism idea in terms of like even just observing. Fish farms are I think in convenience of thought oh well farm fishing. This all sounds very romanticized. It’s big tanks of fish going around in a circle. It’s the most disgusting thing and then we’re back at the question of conditions that animals live in. If you’re in an animal based, we all know it. We’ve all seen the tragic gut-wrenching photographs of calves and cows and chickens and overcrowding. The same is true of fish.
My stepdaughter who is, was plant-based up until very recently and now we’re in Switzerland. It’s much harder. Anyways was talking about it’s also it’s the prevalence of where you are. She normally lives in Brooklyn. There there’s no menu at any restaurant when we used to go to restaurants that didn’t have vegan. Now there’s a statistic like 16% of all restaurants in New York have vegan options. When we choose those are we making a difference then in terms of how the markets are being driven by what we’re purchasing too? She also talked about whether it’s this theory that somehow animals don’t experience pain and as a result talking with you I actually researched this and there’s so many so-called scientific papers talking about how because animals don’t have so-called consciousness that they’re not experiencing pain. I’ll leave it at that because the absurdity.
Britt: Tell that to your dog. Look your dog right in the eyes then tell me he doesn’t feel pain. There’s another layer of that because my compassion for animals is huge. I tend to somewhat shy away with it with my brand not because I don’t care about it but because I’m trying to be like a friendly bridge with no judgement however personally I greatly, it’s horrific. I look at those videos often. I educate myself on it because it keeps me sharp and keeps me on purpose but I have a very firm belief that we are what we consume energetically. When we as a whole, as a world are consuming the flesh of a horrifically tortured animal who’s known nothing but misery it’s entire life then that is doing something energetically in us. I don’t mean to get all super mystical and everything on you and not everyone might believe that but I really feel that we can make a huge difference in this world by eliminating putting that energy into our bodies.
If we want to break it down just the science, they have done scientific studies that have shown that meat, animal products do create depression and suicidal thoughts and mental disorders. They have done studies where taking animal products away have greatly benefited people that are suffering from mental disorders and depression. I would recommend anyone that’s feeling blue to just take animals off the menu and see how you feel. I wouldn’t replace that with whatever therapy that you need to take. I’m not a mental health professional but it can only help. I’m a really big believer in that.
Diane: It’s interesting because even in in societies or cultures where animals are killed there’s the notion that if you’re going to shoot a bow and arrow and kill a deer you’ve got to do it in a precise way because otherwise there’s a shock that goes through the animal’s system and that meat will be tainted. When you think about what goes on with animals in terms of yes, I mean how in fact they are processed into meat. Look at our health. I mean if we were glowing with good health as a society then we could say this is all just a bunch of bunk but we’re not. As you say there’s more depression. There’s more cardiovascular. There’s much, much more disease. In fact the one thing that’s really come to the fore for James Wilkes is the idea and others Joaquin Phoenix, a lot of other celebrities have jumped on the bandwagon is the idea of Covid 19. Here we are in the midst of a pandemic where we’re talking about social distancing in terms of contagion and yet look at what we do with animals that are farmed. I mean what are your thoughts there? Do you see the corollary?
Britt: Yes. Yeah I’m reading a great book right now called How to Survive a Pandemic by Dr. Michael Greger. He wrote How Not to Diet, How Not to Die. He’s a real leading source. He has nutritionfacts.org which is a fun website to go to but he’s very science-based. All his opinions come from cold hard facts and putting things to the test. He studied in infectious diseases for I think it was 15 years. I don’t know the years exactly but these pandemics are animal born pandemics from those types of environments. What you’ve heard many times about the wet markets it’s because these animals are kept really in close quarters breathing together. As a coronavirus which there are many, the common cold is a coronavirus. There are many coronaviruses but that doesn’t make them all the same but they are transmitted in those close quarters really quickly and then once it makes that jump from animal to human you’ve got these breeding grounds.
I really think that is a huge participant for the birth of these viruses. They’re not a huge participant but the main reason and traces the lineage from bats are super spreaders and then they bring them to other animals and then they bring it finally. I mean it’s a long line as it mutates throughout the different species to get to the humans but why should we create these environments where these are just being allowed to breed and breed and breed and breed and evolve so rapidly. Keeping meat off your plate is a great, great way to cut down on future outbreaks for sure undoubtedly.
Diane: Animal mutation like loss of habitat and what is one of the biggest reasons for loss of habitat. I mean because we’re clearing the land.
Britt: Agriculture and then they blame it on growing plants but these plants are feeding the animals.
Diane: It’s really a conundrum but we’ve got to take a commercial break here. It’s so interesting talking with you Britt. I really feel as though your time has come even though you’ve been participating in healthy lifestyles for a long time mostly all your life. I’m so glad that you’ve now taken the moment to share it on kickinvegan.com. When we come back we’re going to see actually the logistics of how this works for individuals. How do we incorporate some of these steps into our very own lifestyles? Don’t go away. We’ll be right back on Dropping In.
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Diane: Welcome back everyone. We’re here with Britt Taylor and we’re talking about plant-based lifestyles. How do we incorporate it into our own lives? What’s actually happening Brit? I’m trying to sort of take the temperature because this is relatively mind-boggling and new to me. As Arnold Schwarzenegger he said if you talk to him, I don’t know 30 years ago. He spent all of his lifetime being a bodybuilder and became plant-based. He said if you say to the average guy listen, you got to cut out meat. They’d say fuck you. That’s a quote. He said if we say to somebody hey, maybe you could just chill out with the meat like cut it back to once a week instead of obviously people are consuming it, athletes are consuming at breakfast lunch and dinner. By the way many studies showing sexual prowess diminishes, your blood is clogged, your efficacy is diminished but nonetheless. My question to you is as a knowledgeable source do you think that there’s such a thing as a hybrid diet or are we going all or nothing?
Britt: That’s a great and common question and like my whole purpose as strongly as I feel for me on the all the way there side I really feel it’s a much bigger impact if we encourage people to take baby steps. Help them get to the next step, encourage them to say oh, look how good you feel. Do so without judgment or condemnation because no one’s going to want to follow you if you’re screaming animal murderer in their face because what we want to do is say oh, I hear that you’re trying to lose those last five pounds or oh I hear that you’re trying to take two minutes off with your whatever. Whatever their goal is and be like hey, would you like to try this. I’ve gotten great results and it worked for so and so and so. Oh gosh, if you’re having problems in the bedroom then if you if you eliminate the meat you’ll get a lot better stamina or whatever’s there you offer them to try. Hey why don’t you.
Number one red and processed meats are a class four carcinogen. I’m sorry class one carcinogens which is it has been proven to cause cancer. We want to eliminate those immediately. That’s just like smoking. Okay, don’t smoke. Don’t eat red and processed meat. Yes, bacon counts as a processed meat. Ham, bacon, anything. Then once they feel comfortable there then be like okay, we’re going to take the chicken out and the fish and any other meat product. Everything else. All the other meat okay. Then we’re going to take away the dairy okay. That one can be really big and scary. Everyone’s like I don’t want to give up my cheese. It’s mental. You will live without cheese. You want to know what? If you want to be inspired look around at the public walking around, the obesity epidemic what you’re watching walk around are blocks of cheese. That’s what people are wearing on their bodies. That is enough to keep me off of it right there.
Just doing it a little bit at a time and being okay. If you’re at your great aunt’s house and she makes chicken salads because she knows you’re vegan. She thinks that chicken isn’t meat. Then if you eat that I’m not going to judge you. You don’t want to hurt her feelings. It’s like it’s not the end of the world. You’re not going to die. You didn’t ruin everything because you had one misstep. I think that if we can get a heavy meat eater to eat one vegan meal a week that’s a huge victory because that is a step. Think about if you take everyone in the world and like oh Meatless Mondays., that’s a great movement because how many people do meatless Mondays now. You’ve got to multiply it by all the people that are not eating meat on one day of a week. We have to take every win.
Diane: I think so and I think you’re right about the victories in small steps. It’s much more doable, manageable, feasible and it’s more inclusive. As you say we don’t want to be the boring proselytizers. You want to be enjoining people. What has been the response on Kickin’ Vegan? How is it going in terms of people reaching out to you and how do people reach out to you to get your tips on how to transition into plant-based lifestyle?
Britt: It’s been really good. I really like to keep it light, keep it fun, keep it sexy, and keep it adventurous. This is hey, we’re gonna do this thing. Come on over here with the cool kids and let’s have a good time, wear bikinis and whatever just to have that image that it’s a fun exciting thing to do. It’s not oh, I’m in trouble because I ate meat. I have to be good and do this. That’s not the mentality shift we want to make. We want it to be a really positive mindset and have it you know injected with fun. People are often afraid to change so there’s a lot of mindset that goes into it. A lot of pep talks about hey, you can do this. It’s all about changing the definition of who you think you are like what do you look like right now? You’re exactly the product of your choices so redefine who you are and make some new choices that equal that person and then just be that person right now. You don’t have to wait six months to be that person. You can be that person right now and then you’ll look like that person in six months. You can make change immediately but it is just doing little tricks with yourself to get your mind in gear. It’s not that scary especially when you start cooking really fun things and discover that food is actually delicious and actually being able to taste it so much better.
Diane: I mean there was an entire football team that had this notoriously losing stretch.
Britt: Tennessee Titans.
Diane: Tennessee Titans. After years of this and well one of the players had a partner who was cooking this vegan meals. When he was taking them in and he had all this stamina. He’s outrunning people down the field. His performance was outshining the others and so they kind of wanted to get hip to this. Like as you say it’s like the sexy thing. You get more powerful. You get more drive. You get more mental health. More positivity. Anyway this woman is pictured and you offer recipes too but the food that she was cooking it looked absolutely delicious. Clearly, I need to just open my mind to the possibilities of how this is going to taste, how it’s going to be, it’s not cardboard. It’s not tasting like cardboard anymore.
Britt: Those days are gone.
Diane: Those days are gone. There’s like a little bit of an image problem with plant-based lifestyle and vegan diets but that’s pretty much another myth right Britt? What are your tips that you use?
Britt: I’ve been doing this over 30 years. Vegan options were not that great back in the day but here’s it’s a point of clarification on the difference between vegan and plant-based. Vegan is a philosophy that’s about not using animal products. You can eat Oreos. You can eat a bunch of junk food as long as it doesn’t have animal products but you can’t wear leather so that’s more of a lifestyle choice centered on not making animals suffer whereas plant-based and you can be both. I’m both. Plant-based is about not eating processed foods unless I’m not 100%. No’s perfect. It’s okay. I have goals and then I’ll be 100% and I’ll slide a little bit and then I’ll get a little sugar. I’m like you know what? I’m a mess. Let me bring it back to 100%. Just like every other normal person on the planet there’s ebbs and flows but keeping it, you can keep it as strict as you want. Make your own rules based on your goals and where you’re trying to go. That’s important but just I think that everyone just needs to stop beating themselves up, have a good time with it but the food is so delicious now.
When I first get people into Kickin’ Vegan. I show them it’s junk food but I show them it’s there. Those veggie burgers and veggie meatballs and all of the fun things, the veggie cheeses. All of these delicious options that they have out there because step one is just getting them off the animals. Once they see that they can buy a cheesecake and they can have pizza and they can have all their favorite things then it gets a lot easier. Then you start to educate on processed foods. You start to now that you’re comfortable off of the meat we’re going to substitute like take away the processed foods and bring in as you’re learning to cook other things because ideally we want to just be eating plants right out of the ground. Stuff that grows goes in our mouth but I think transition’s so important.
You want to know that if you feel like having a cheat day and you’re like I don’t care about anything but eating a burger right now. They know what kind of burger to buy because they have been shown which ones are good and where they can get it so they don’t have to go to Burger King or they do or they can get a veggie burger.
Diane: We can make space for imperfection but of course the Titans went ahead and went on to having a winning season for the first time ever. Of course the woman was pictured saying hmm, it’s the breakfast burritos that did it. I mean it’s hilarious but you never know. I mean certainly it helped them be more efficient physical machines if you will. What about supplements? You talk about supplements a bit on your website. What are you thinking there? B12 and what else do you recommend?
Britt: B12 is the main supplement because vegetarian so meat is fed B12 or injected with B12. You are getting B12 as a supplement in your meat, the animals are supplemented so that you get it because B12 doesn’t come from meat. It actually is a microbe that grows on soil and gets into streams and waters. We have sanitized those things so that we don’t die of cholera and all these wonderful diseases that have come out there which is a good thing but the B12 has been destroyed. You do want to take a B12 supplement. It must be sublingual or liquid. It needs to dissolve in your mouth otherwise it’ll bypass the liver and it won’t actually be processed. I recommend a sublingual tablet or they have sprays and drops as well. You want to take your B12. That’s for everybody. That’s not just for vegans. Everyone needs B12. It’s not really plentiful anymore so you’ve got to get it.
The other thing that I supplement and I do it with food is omega-3s. I do flax seeds, chia seed and walnuts every single day every day. They’re in three mason jars on my countertop. We sprinkle it on everything those are like our condiments. We also use nutritional yeast which does have it’s fortified so you’re getting things either through fortified food or from the foods themselves and that chia and the flax is the way to go. You want that flax ground or milled because if you eat the whole seed it doesn’t digest. You just eat the seed and poop it back out. You need to get inside of it. You can put it in a coffee grounder or just grind it. I buy it already ground.
Diane: This is the lady who knows something about poop because now you have an eight-month-old. You have had two other children who are also vegan. I think this is just like a sort of happy a happy picture. Baby boomers are experiencing well we’re popping probiotics and then hoping that our gut is going to have the right climate and clearly we’re not changing the diet that would make that happen is what you’re saying. Also I wonder do you think that millennials who are now getting very hip to plant-based living. Is it because of their starting to have kids and not wanting to pass on a world that’s as damaged?
Britt: I love the millennials for that. I’m Gen X and I know we’ve given those millennials a real hard time but I love that they really came into this world ready to recycle, conservation effort and taking the plant-based agenda further. Now they are raising kids so I’m really grateful for that and the growth that that generation has brought to the world in this arena because it’s never been a better time to be plant-based. I’m a firm believer that the future is plant-based. It has to be for our survival. For our planet to survive we’ve got to go plant-based.
Diane: It’s a given. We only have a couple minutes left. Do you want to talk about Veganuary and also tell us where to find you on Kickin’ Vegan and social media?
Britt: My mission is to, I want people to come in and learn and then take what they’ve learned and use a ripple effect and just spread it. I don’t just want a student so that I can teach them something and they can feel better which I do want but I want them to then be empowered, to be a leader and to spread it forward. My whole mission is to create that ripple effect. I am so excited about Veganuary. It’s the best month of the year. It’s when you make a commitment. You pledge to go vegan for the entire month of January. I’ve been prepping people on my Facebook group. I’m like okay we’re doing Veganuary. Step one we’re gonna just stop buying any more meat. Let’s just not bring any more into the house. If you bought it for the holidays and you’re getting through it, eat it up or throw it out but don’t buy any more.
Prep for that and then now you’re listening to this. It the first day of the year so if you have any in the house just feed it to the dogs or throw it out. It’s okay. Listen, it’s okay to mess up but why there’s no time like now to give it a shot and see how you feel. Veganuary is such a great time. You’ll get so much support online. Follow the hashtags and all your social media Veganuary. You’ll get lots and lots of ideas. Go to google and google WFPB Recipe whole foods plant-based or plant-based recipes. You’ll get about a million hits. There’s you can actually name any food in your head that’s your favorite food put plant-based in front of it and google it and you’ll get a bunch of recipes. It’s mental. You just need to commit.
Diane: You know you know a thing or two about this as a coach and as a friend. Thank you so much Britt Taylor for joining us on Dropping In in time for New Year’s resolutions. Happy new year everyone. You can find her on Kickin’ Vegan and we need the support to help make these changes in the New Year. Thanks to our engineers Matt Weidner and producer Robert Giolino and most of all to our listeners. Till next week stay healthy and think about it. Plant-based is where it’s at. Thank you for dropping in.
Thank you so much for dropping in. Please join Diane Dewey again next Friday at 8 AM Pacific Time and 11 AM Eastern Time on the Voice America Variety Channel. We’ll see you then.