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Protective Diet is an oil-, sugar-, nut-, and additive-free whole food plant based diet and lifestyle. It’s designed to support, guide and nutritionally intervene to produce optimal health and protection for human life, animal welfare and the earth. Julie Marie Christensen is the Creative Director, Oil-free Vegan Chef and Recipe Developer for the Protective Diet Test Kitchen, Director and Educator at Protective Diet Education, TV Chef on Health Local (a public access series focused on the elimination of childhood obesity), Plant-based Cooking Instructor for Humana Guidance Centers, Public Speaker, Creator of The 30 Day Whole Food Detox and Taste Bud Reprogram, The 50/50 PD Plate, 21 Meals to Mastery, Host of Protective Diet Mind & Body Retreat and PD One-Day Intensive. PD-Ed has guided many students and their families with the application of a Protective Diet to reverse disease, reach their ideal body weight, and eliminate food addiction. Julie makes the application of a Protective Diet easy, rewarding, affordable and sustainable. Julie Marie is certified in Plant Based Nutrition with eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. Dr. Campbell, Dr. Mc Dougall and Dr. Esselstyn gave her the education and confidence to apply her cooking skills and ability to teach and inspire her students with a diet that is optimal for all humans, no matter what age or stage in life. She is best known for her ability to teach plant-based affordability, day to day application and her innovative easy to follow cooking techniques and comfort food favorite recipe remakes designed for the entire family. She surrounds herself with an ever-growing community of global support that is successful with this lifestyle and is excited for the opportunities to share and grow with Protective Diet.Protective Diet is not just Mommy’s diet. It’s a diet and lifestyle for the entire family to achieve optimal health as a team. Protective Diet is an information and recipe resource guide. It is the host of Protective Diet Education. It is an aide in transitioning to an oil-, sugar-, nut-, and additive-free whole foods plant based diet called a Protective Diet. A Protective Diet focuses on the promotion of the endothelium and the foundation of the immune system. This plan isn’t just for those new to a plant-based diet. It is also for the seasoned vegan, vegetarian, or flexitarian to improve the way they eat and live to successfully achieve optimal health, and to improve animal welfare and our environment. This site is for anyone interested in increasing their consumption of whole foods and kicking their sugar and processed food addictions to the curb. Even a vegan diet can consist of high fat, colorless, salt-filled, sugar-laden, processed food. Julie Marie makes the purest of healthy, nutrient-dense, plant-based eating fun, rewarding, affordable, familiar and delicious. The application of a Protective Diet is designed to eliminate food cravings and guide you to optimal health.
Warning: This eating plan will cause many healthy side effects, including, but not limited to: reaching your ideal body weight, lowering cholesterol, lowering blood pressure, clearing blockages, reversing type II diabetes, making you heart attack proof, eliminating food cravings, strengthening your immune system, increasing energy, eliminating constipation, stopping Candida, easing joint pain, reversing many autoimmune diseases, improving skin appearance, and attracting a healthy partner…just to name a few.
As a chef and cooking instructor, I have learned people are starving. They are starving for pure, clean, nutrient-dense food. Most people don’t know how to separate the good from the bad at the grocery store. Unfortunately, people are confused by all the sales-driven information they receive from the media. Do I need to eat a gluten-free diet and what is it? What is hydrogenated oil? Is high-fructose corn syrup okay in moderation? How do you get enough protein without eating meat? These commonly asked questions are raised because we, as a society, are so far from eating real food and there is much confusion about what is truly health promoting. I have spent the past eleven years studying nutrition and have learned how plants heal the body. I have learned most people don’t even know how much protein is appropriate to consume or how much they are currently consuming. I have also learned that most of America knows they aren’t eating what they should to maintain health and remain disease-free. They want to try, but don’t know where to start.
My goal is to provide this proven, effective and informative education program to support and guide everyone who wants vitality and to feel perfect within their body. I make it simple and cost-effective to adopt a Protective Diet. I will empower you with the ability to take control over your heath and future with your food choices. I offer one-on-one guidance, group workshops, phone coaching, live and interactive online weekly classes called Protective Diet Education or PD-Ed, cooking classes, support groups, live chats, and presentations followed up with company and community workshops. I hope you will enjoy my original, innovative recipes, application tips, cooking techniques and guidance videos to assist you with ultimate dietary consciousness.
Please visit the Personal Journey tab/page for my personal recovery and health history with before and after pictures. Use my experience along with the Protective Diet community’s experiences as a paved path and proven guide to optimal health. Use my knowledge and experience to shortcut adopting a plan that will simply map out how to reverse disease, reach your ideal body weight and never go to bed hungry. You will enjoy eating starches in abundance and never count a calorie or point again. Join our Protective Diet community and feel supported on your path to optimal health.
The best of health and protection from disease will be owned by those who eat an abundance of plants.
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For the majority of my adult life, I had struggled with food obsessions, food addictions, restricting calories, starving, binge eating, trend-dieting and obsessive exercise. I was plagued with health problems, including but not limited to obesity, heart disease, migraines, sleep apnea, restless leg syndrome, acid reflux, planter fasciitis, chronic fatigue, acne, eczema, severe allergies, gallstones, gout, chronic inflammatory pain, constipation, depression and anxiety attacks. I started off my twenties not eating as a way to control my weight. I was very slim and difficult to be around. I can remember my mother saying, “Lean is mean.” I think she was onto something. I thought it felt wonderful to control what I consumed or what I didn’t consume each day. This made me feel in control of something as I was going through changes in life as a young adult.
Then I met a wonderful man and we married very young. He was very aware of my obsession with food. He was understanding and helped me to understand the importance of eating. I began to gain weight. I was a healthy weight and eating normally by the time we married. Then I began the famous high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet. I stuck to this way of eating for a few years, but it was an off and on struggle because I loved carbohydrates and was restricting them. Still in my 20s, I quickly packed on the pounds, and at 60 pounds heavier, I was diagnosed with acid reflux and medicated for depression and anxiety. I was given medication for pain, and for the anxiety attacks and depression for two years. The medication never provided any relief. I changed doctors and was told I needed my gallbladder removed. I was later told gallstones are a common side effect from eating a high-protein, high-fat diet that is low in carbohydrates. My body was taxed from all the fat I was consuming and formed gallstones as a result. Here I was: extreme dieting and bingeing, obese, suffering, in pain and needing surgery. I was up from a petite size six to a busting at the seams women’s size 22. I avoided all social engagements and was so depressed I distanced myself from my husband and soon divorced him. At the time, I wanted to run away from everything, including myself.
A year later, still miserable, fat and gaining, I had to have my appendix removed. Not an easy process for an unhealthy girl who was also smoking. I thought it was helping with my weight loss. It’s ridiculous, but most people think smoking increases their metabolism. It doesn’t increase it enough to make up for the lack of exercise. I was too busy smoking and trying to catch my breath to workout. At this point, my weight had climbed an additional 35 pounds. I was up 95 pounds.
I was then diagnosed with high cholesterol. I was told it was hereditary because my mother had it too. I went home and started investigating options on the Internet. I found information stating that I could reverse heart disease with a diet completely free of cholesterol called a vegan diet. I was shocked to learn what I had been contributing to by buying and eating animal products. The torture and sinful practice of animal agriculture had me off all animal products the next day. I was vegan from that day forward.
It was amazing! The pounds were falling off me. I thought God was rewarding me for not contributing to the sin of animal agriculture. I quit smoking and joined the gym. I became obsessed with exercise and struggled to shed the last of my excess body fat. I continued to maintain an overweight BMI. I was torturing myself in the gym everyday and even hired a personal trainer. I became obsessed with nutrition and studied everything I could find to increase the nutrients in my vegan diet. Unfortunately, my weight was increasing and creeping back up quickly. All this exercise made me hungry and on edge. I was always in need of a snack, feeling shaky or thinking about food. I came across a plant-based diet book that promoted eating a volume of non-starch vegetables. I followed the six-week program and shed 19 pounds. This plan allowed for nuts, but limited whole grains to one cup a day. This diet left me feeling unsatisfied, restricted and cold. I could not sustain this way of eating long term as I was still craving food. The meal options were not exciting and left me longing for familiar food favorites. I gained all the lost weight back quickly once I started eating a standard vegan diet again.
I spent daily hours in the gym to maintain what I would describe my figure as one veggie burger away from being considered fat and a five-day juice cleanse away from comfortably sliding into my tight fitting jeans. This was my decade of weight management torture. I spent countless hours trying to find an outfit that would fit and hid my love for full fat vegan salad dressings, nuts, guacamole and chips. I would avoid getting together with friends and special events with photos due to depression and anxiety caused by my ever-fluctuating weight on the vegan diet that I wanted everyone to adopt for the love of animals. My career was developing as a vegan lifestyle coach. I tried my best to represent health on the outside but I was personally struggling daily to find the ideal diet that would satisfy my foodie taste buds and allow me to achieve my ideal body weight and optimal health without restriction and excessive hunger-inducing exercise. I was well into my 30s and couldn’t take much more of this daily self-abusive torture in the attempt to find my way as a healthy vegan.
I started working as a plant-based food coach, assisting clients to lose weight. At that time, my best friend Christa died of a heart attack at age 40. I was devastated to have lost her to a dietary disease while trying what I thought was my best to influence her dietary consciousness. I then realized there is much more to health than being slim. I got serious and focused on optimal health, disease reversal and protection of the immune system. This was when I discovered Dr. Esselstyn and learned all about our endothelial cells.
This completely shifted my focus to eating for protection and promotion of my immune system. I even took it a few steps further than what science was suggesting at the time. I eliminated all forms of sugar, coffee and food additives to eliminate food cravings and mood imbalance. Sugars, coffee and additives, along with oils, animal products, high fat plant-based foods such as nuts, coconut and avocados, and refined, processed foods were out of my diet, kitchen and recipe development. I quit the gym due to lack of time. At the same time, I had fallen in love with Jerry Christensen. Jerry, an endurance athlete on his 4,450th mile of a solo bike tour across America, joined me on this program he called dietary consciousness that we later named the Protective Diet. He was intrigued by the nutritional science and endothelial promotion, along with all of the delicious meals I was creating. Although Jerry was already an athlete, he trimmed down to a very lean body fat percentage in the first few weeks. I on the other hand didn’t drop a pound until the start of my fifth week. It was discouraging at first, watching his excitement and success without experiencing the same, even though I was eating exactly the same meals as he was. I focused on the science and knew I had to keep on nourishing my body with this clean diet of protection that was improving my entire system and which was going to eliminate food cravings. I knew obesity could not exist along with optimal health, so I continued on.
Then it happened! I was out shopping, pushing a grocery cart and it seemed as if my pants became longer. I thought, did I shrink? I raced home and jumped on the scale to find I was down ten pounds overnight. Moving forward with practical studies coaching others on a PD, I noticed this common trend of body fat falling off in clusters. It was so common that we nicknamed it BCS (Baggy Clothes Syndrome). It was a drop in weight unlike any of us had experienced with any other diet program. It continued to happen in clusters throughout weight loss experiences on a Protective Diet. This had me encouraging the students I was teaching to limit weigh-ins to once a month and not to expect an even loss week by week.
After experiencing such consistent success thought my community of students and my own personal experience reversing disease and eliminating obesity, I went on to confidently develop systems to make this diet and lifestyle easy and enjoyable. Using my cooking skills, I remade all of my favorite comfort foods and every ethnic recipe I could learn to please and excite students from around the world. A Protective Diet allowed me to finally achieve my ideal body weight, eliminate cravings, and end all my meals with total satisfaction, and it was doing the same for anyone I could reach and inspire.
Sometimes I pinch myself to see whether this is a dream. I no longer had to waste time at the gym, count calories, measure portions, and I ate until I was full and satisfied while I easily achieved optimal health and maintained a slim figure without struggle. At last, I was no longer a fat struggling vegan. I was creating protection for all animals, my own health and the environment, while attracting attention with appealing recipes, kitchen systems, joyful lifestyle practices and a slim and healthy appearance. My suggestions to adopt a Protective Diet became more exciting and finally appealing to others. I shared what I was simply cooking and eating to look and feel fantastic in an online educational guidance program called Protective Diet Education, or PD-Ed for short. For years I had been teaching a local community in Chicago and Jerry saw the opportunity to share my classes with the world. His ideas were ahead of the times, and from the broadcast of my local cooking and application classes, we developed PD-Ed. We were a bit ahead of video broadcast technology at that time, but it has since advanced with our needs. We are now able to connect and interact with anyone interested in taking control of their health path with the guidance and application of a Protective Diet.
I have personally eliminated heart disease, the number one killer of humans. I eliminated this, along with all the other aliments listed above that were labeled hereditary. I did it with the change in my hereditary diet.
In March of 2016, I was diagnosed with the second leading killer of humans, malignant cancer. Doctors think this is a brain tumor believed to have been with me and growing since childhood. Going against the advice of the oncology department, my first and only medical procedure was a brain biopsy. For most, this diagnosis would be a life-changing experience filled with debilitating, life-threatening medical treatments. I returned home from the hospital with an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and confidence that I was already eating a diet of protection and not having to figure out what to eat to boost and protect my immune system. I glanced down at my plate and said to Jerry, “There isn’t anything I would change here. We already eat a diet to promote optimal health, and I’m going to experience cancer like a boss.”
I encourage you to eat and live proactively. This way you will have already built an ideal defensive team with endothelial promotion. The proactive diet and lifestyle I made a priority has eliminated the stress and fear associated with a malignant cancer diagnosis.
Julie Marie Christensen is the Creative Director, Oil-free Vegan Chef and Recipe Developer for the Protective Diet Test Kitchen, Director and Educator at Protective Diet Education, former TV Chef on Health Local (a public access series focused on the elimination of childhood obesity), former Plant-based Cooking Instructor for Humana Guidance Centers, Public Speaker, Creator of The30-Day Whole Food Detox and Taste Bud Reprogram, The 50/50 PD Plate and 21 Meals to Mastery.
Julie Marie applies her whole food plant-based cooking skills and ability to teach and inspire her students with a diet that is optimal for all humans, no matter what age or stage in life. She is best known for her ability to teach plant-based affordability, day-to-day application systems, and her innovative, easy to follow cooking techniques and comfort food favorite recipe remakes designed for the entire family. She surrounds herself with an ever-growing community of global support that is successful with this lifestyle and is excited for the opportunity to share and grow with Protective Diet. It’s a diet and lifestyle for the entire family to achieve optimal health as a team. PD-Ed programming has guided many students and their families with the application of a Protective Diet to reverse disease, reach their ideal body weight, and eliminate food addiction. Julie makes the application of a Protective Diet easy, rewarding, affordable, sustainable and fun for everyone.
Julie Marie is certified in Plant Based Nutrition with eCornell and the T. Colin Campbell Foundation. Dr. Campbell, Dr. Mc Dougall and Dr. Esselstyn gave her the education and confidence to apply her cooking skills and ability to teach and inspire her students with a diet that is optimal for all humans no matter what age or stage in life. She is best known for her ability to teach plant-based affordability, day to day application and her innovative easy to follow cooking techniques and comfort food favorite recipe remakes designed for the entire family. She surrounds herself with an ever-growing community of global support that is successful with this lifestyle and is excited for the opportunities to share and grow with Protective Diet.
Protective Diet is not just Mommy’s diet. It’s a diet and lifestyle for the entire family to achieve optimal health as a team.
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The Protective Diet
A diet rich in whole plant foods, free of all animal products, saturated fats, oils, nuts, avocado, concentrated sugars, artificial sweeteners and food additives is the most protective diet we can consume. I teach and practice the application of this diet to reverse and eliminate the risk and fear of disease. Following this plan, along with reducing stress in our life, we can protect ourselves from disease, reverse disease, eliminate obesity, balance our mood, increase our energy level and lift our spirit. I call it a Protective Diet because of the protection we are creating inside our bodies along with protection for animals and our planet.
The Protective Diet was developed over a decade of studying nutritional research, formal education, practical studies and testing along with countless development hours in the Protective Diet Test Kitchen to perfect food satisfaction. The driving force was to create a way to reverse my own personal struggle with disease and obesity that was sustainable, affordable and enjoyable. If you would like to learn more about my successful journey to optimal health, click on Julie Marie in the FAQ menu.
We have a lining of cells that are called the Endothelium. They form a single cell deep protective wall that runs for miles throughout all blood and lymph vessels in our body. Disease begins with dysfunction in these cells. We can eliminate the risk of disease and reverse disease by promoting these cells and their ability to protect us. The best way to do this is to adopt a Protective Diet, eliminate stress and don’t smoke or expose yourself to second hand smoke. Consuming a diet of whole plant based foods rich in greens and whole grains will super powerhouse your endothelial cells.
This plan will boost your immune system and keep you well when others around you are ill. It will make you heart attack proof, as said and proven by my mentor Dr. Esselstyn. No matter what you’ve been told about hereditary disease such as heart disease, diabetes, auto immune disease or obesity, do not give in and give up. You can change your health path and you are in control of your wellness. You can prevent and reverse disease with Nutritional Intervention and the daily application of a Protective Diet. If you choose to take the path of illness and disease, it is your choice not your destiny.
Protective Diet delivers the message from dedicated doctors and scientists who bring us the science behind this diet plan and lifestyle. They have proven it time and time again to be effective against disease and to easily and naturally eliminate obesity. Protective Diet Education guides you through the day-to-day application to make this diet and lifestyle easy and effective. I will show you how to simplify pantry stocking and cut your food cost in half. The lessons will excite you about cooking meals that serve your health. I will guide you through kitchen set-up for maximum efficiency and support you though the transition. I’m thrilled to have the information to base my recipes and guidance from Dr. Colin Campbell, Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. McDougall’s decades of practice and research in the prevention and reversal of disease.
I have taken it a step further, incorporating what science and my practical studies have proven to eliminate food addiction, cravings and develop a healthy relationship with food. This eating and lifestyle plan is so simple yet extremely effective it is criminal that it is not the practice of everyday medicine. I’m excited to educate and help all those who are ready to stop taking a diagnosis as their destiny. Protective Diet has a global reach to educate the world to take charge of their health path with Nutritional Intervention and the daily application of this diet and lifestyle. We have the ability to eliminate heart disease, inflammatory diseases and the premature death and suffering of humans. Our program is educating families how to shop, prepare food, and implement this lifestyle full-time. Many people are aware of this plan but can’t seem to figure out how to apply it with ease. Protective Diet will guide you and support you down the proven paved path to optimal health.
On this plan I never go to bed hungry. Sometimes I have to pinch myself to check whether I’m dreaming. Eating starches was hard for me to comprehend after years of starving myself and restricting carbohydrates with my never successful attempts to maintain my weight. Now that I understand nutritional science and how the body utilizes nutrients, I am able to see the good from the bad when it comes to food choices. I can eat potatoes, whole grain pasta, rice, and fresh corn tortillas until I’m full and satisfied every day for the rest of my slim and healthy life. I never count points, calories, or measure portion sizes. This is one of the most difficult concepts for my students to grasp.
We have been brainwashed into thinking that carbs are the enemy when it comes to weight loss. The media began grouping processed, packaged, and refined foods together with starch based plant foods. Yes, donuts, cookies, and sugar-covered treats are carbohydrates. For some unknown reason there is no longer a separation between health-promoting, whole grains and these nutrient-poor refined foods. Antioxidant rich fruit was even labeled as an unhealthy food because of its high carbohydrate value. Big thanks to the countless personal trainers and the Zone Diet. Carrots were off limits due to being high in sugar and carbohydrates. Then the potato was the problem. The Atkins Diet was all the rage and it gave people the approval to eat a diet rich in fat and protein. Carbs were off limits. I can remember my first introduction to a high protein low carb diet. My older sisters were at a party and they snacked on chunks of cheese, sausage and celery. No carrots or bread for them. I joined them a few years later and adopted the plan. I managed to increase my cholesterol, develop gallstones, and gain weight on a plan I couldn’t sustain. Even with all the ill health developing from this low-carb plan, America still feared the carb. This low carbohydrate trend is still going on with the new diet trends of The Paleolithic Diet and the books Wheat Belly and Grain Brain.
Why do so many people believe in these nutritional misconceptions? If you look at countries where the main supply of calories is corn, rice, potatoes or wheat you will find health. These communities are fit, trim and disease free. If we look at how a complex carbohydrate is used in the body, it will explain the fear away. Carbohydrates are used to regulate our body temperature, supply us with energy, and are not easily stored as fat. Complex carbohydrates contain fiber. Fiber is essential for optimum health. Whole plant based foods that are often categorized as carbohydrates also provide us with a perfect amount of protein and fat.
For example, let us review the potato. It has developed a poor reputation in modern diets, including diets designed for diabetes maintenance. Unfortunately it isn’t the potato that is the problem. It is all the junk people are putting on the potato or the oil they fry them in that is causing weight gain. The butter, cheese and bacon are the problem, not the potato.
Let’s look at a medium baked white potato with the skin on. It’s a satisfyingly delicious 130 calories, 3 grams of protein, double that of fiber and full of vitamins, including a great source of vitamin C. It has twice the amount of fiber found in broccoli. I can’t believe the potato has been put on a diet don’t list for so long. Potatoes can also promote serotonin production. This is one of the reasons we feel so satisfied after eating potatoes. The same goes for whole grain bread, pasta and rice.
When my students are given the go-ahead to eat complex carbohydrates, they are often hesitant. I have to insist they try it for 30 days. They are always amazed at the sustainable weight loss, increased energy and satisfaction from eating a diet rich in whole grains and starches. They never go to bed hungry and neither should you. Check out Protective Diet recipes featuring starches. Enter the word potato, rice or pasta in the search box and start eating. Learn to easily make deliciously satisfying recipes with the support of Protective Diet recipes and cooking videos.Adding starch based complex carbohydrates back into your diet is a life changer. I can’t wait to hear about your experience and success while eating high-energy starch based plant foods that promote fat loss and optimum health.
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Lose The Nuts
Yes, I said lose the nuts! They are, on average, ⅓ saturated fat. Avocados and coconut as well are high in saturated fat. You will read many articles that say the fats in nuts, avocados and coconut are healthy fat. I’ve heard people quote research funded by the avocado and nut industries that state that these fats are essential to life. Cholesterol and saturated fat are, in fact, essential to life. It should come as no shock, though, that just as our bodies produce all the cholesterol we need, so do we produce all the saturated fat we need. The consumption of dietary saturated fat is taxing on the body and contributes to disease and dysfunction of endothelial cells.
All of the vitamins found in nuts and avocados can be found in other low-fat plant based foods. These expensive high-fat foods are not the best plant based food choices. Marketing and studies funded by the dried fruit and nut industry are misleading consumers. Most studies that feature the addition of nuts resulting in health improvements and weight loss fail to share that the test subject added a handful of nuts per day and eliminated a king-sized candy bar or large bag of potato chips. This addition of nuts to a standard diet is not going to have you achieving your weight loss goals. It is not going to assist you to reverse disease or achieve optimal health. If a person practicing a Protective Diet added a handful of raw organic nuts to their already healthy low-fat diet, weight gain, reduced insulin reception and cravings for high fat foods would quickly re-emerge. All that was accomplished removing high fat foods to reprogram our taste bud reception would be undone and our fat receptors would lose their new found sensitivity to fats.
When our goal is to reverse inflammatory disease, heart disease, diabetes or obesity, nuts should be removed completely. When I have a student who can’t achieve their goals with a Protective Diet, I always find out about their secret stash of nuts. Do yourself the greatest honor and make this a successful practice by following the proven paved path of a Protective Diet free of nuts, avocados and coconut. At first it seems difficult, but the results are far more rewarding than eating any or all of these foods. Ask anyone of our successful members if it was worth it.
Always remember that our bodies are miraculous. All the nutrients we need are provided with an oil-, sugar- and nut-free, whole food, plant-based diet. This diet gives our body everything it needs to function perfectly. It also provides a diet that promotes health and endothelial function. Nuts, nut butters and avocados are pleasure traps. We are drawn to them due to their caloric density. This is human nature. We were conditioned for survival and this draws us to high fat foods. Unfortunately, modern life has us spending most of our days sedentary. It is hard for me and my students to keep nuts in our homes without being drawn to eating them. I call peanut butter crack for women. We can’t stop, or are haunted by the jar calling us for a quick spoonful. Toss it out or feed the squirrels. Don’t tempt yourself with something that can cause a delay in disease reversal, greatly contribute to obesity, stimulate food cravings while holding you back from complete taste bud re-programing and meal satisfaction on a low-fat diet.
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Why No Oil
All oils consist of saturated fat. For example, let’s break down America’s touted health food — olive oil. It is advertised as heart healthy, but is it really? Each tablespoon of olive oil consists of 120 fat calories, zero vitamins, and contains 13% saturated fat. It has no benefit to the human body. It has less saturated fat than butter, so it is considered a healthier choice. The oil has negative effects on the body. Saturated fat increases blood cholesterol levels, promotes excess body fat, and breaks down endothelial cells. Most people are not aware that saturated fat is found in all oils. The industries promoting these products have done a fantastic job of convincing us we need these empty fat calories to survive.
We do need fats to process the nutrients found in our food. These fats are present in perfect amounts every time we consume whole, plant-based foods. For example, corn, in its whole form, ground into cornmeal or corn flour has fat, fiber, protein, complex carbohydrates, vitamin A, and iron. It has the perfect amount of fat needed by our body to absorb all the nutrients in the corn. All whole foods are designed this way. From brown rice to beans, they are complete with every nutrient we need. When corn is processed into corn oil, all of the fat is extracted from the kernel and the beneficial fiber, protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins are left behind. We are now consuming an isolated nutrient that is 100% pure fat. When we add isolated nutrients like fat to our automatically perfectly balanced whole food, plant-based diet, it causes an imbalance. This imbalance is an increase in fats and saturated fat that is not found in a natural diet ideal for humans or any animal.
Additionally, oils create an acidic environment in the body. Our bodies are designed to be alkaline, and adding extracted foods or nutrients causes an imbalance. Lucky for us, our bodies are highly complex and amazing. Our system will automatically correct this imbalance for the majority of our lifetime; however, this constant correction is very taxing on the body. This in turn causes side effects such as inflammation and disease and weight gain due to the consumption of empty fat calories. The number one killer of humans is heart disease, and it is due to the consumption of saturated fats and the breakdown of our endothelium.
We have all been trained to cook with oils. That’s how our mothers did it and so did we. I will teach you how to eliminate the oils from your diet without losing any flavor. All you will lose is excess body fat and risk of disease. Watch this technique video to learn my Dry Browning Technique that cuts all the fat and includes all the flavor of golden browned onions.
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How will I get my protein?
This nutrient is necessary and ideal when it makes up 8 to 10% of your caloric intake. This amount happens naturally when consuming a whole food, plant-based diet. Protein is present in all foods, including whole grains, beans, fruits and vegetables. When they are consumed in whole natural form, we get all the protein our body needs to repair and grow new cells.
Protein has been made into a super-nutrient by media sabotage of other nutrients. The media has convinced the masses that carbohydrates make you fat and should be consumed sparingly. They have told us to consume a low-fat diet to avoid obesity and heart disease. Well, what nutrient are we left with? Protein! It must be good for us. It repairs and grows cells in the body. People then began consuming more protein than other nutrients and created an imbalance. They added animal proteins because they were believed to be the ideal source. It is true that animal protein is the closest form of protein to human protein and is used efficiently by the body to create growth. We also know that it promotes too much growth. Animal protein promotes the growth of cells we wish to keep from growing, such as cancer cells. It can cause cells to mature faster and, in turn, hasten the aging process. I don’t know about you, but I want the slowest form of cell growth and aging happening in my body.
Dairy protein exposure in infants has been directly correlated with the onset of Type 1 Diabetes. A protein found in dairy, casein, has also been shown to turn on cancer cell growth. Protein in the form of animal flesh is loaded with saturated fat and cholesterol.
I can hear you asking….What about Fish? Fish has the highest rate of pesticides of anything we can consume on our planet. This is because of all of the runoff of industry contaminates, fertilizers and pesticides from farming grains to feed our country’s livestock. Fish, like chicken, is animal muscle tissue, and all contain cholesterol, plus a toxic amount of contaminates. A Protective Diet also focuses on the protection of animals and our environment alongside of human health. If we continue fishing practices, farmed or wild caught, ocean biologists predict the seas will be empty by 2050. This will affect our entire ecosystem and change the world as we know it within our lifetime and our children’s lifetime.
Plant protein is the cleanest form for proper cell repair and healthy growth when consumed in whole foods. Isolated protein such as protein powders are taxing on our livers, are out of balance in a healthy diet, and can cause unhealthy growth. Eating a whole food, plant-based diet will naturally provide all the usable clean protein the human body requires without the need to count grams.
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I find sugar to be one of the worst ingredients in the human diet. It has been connected to multiple diseases and now it is linked to causing heart disease. It breaks down the endothelium, our body’s most important protective barrier. Sugar has been found to be more addictive than cocaine in laboratory studies. When laboratory rats were given a choice between cocaine and sugar, the majority chose sugar. It causes mood swings, irritability and lethargy.
I decided to eliminate all sugars from my diet. My main source of sugar was vanilla soy milk. At the time, I enjoyed about eight ounces of this sweet creamy soy milk in my morning coffee. I began making my coffee with plain, unsweetened soy milk. I found I was only drinking about ¼ cup before abandoning it on the counter. I would notice with amazement as I walked back to the kitchen at lunchtime that I wasn’t drinking my coffee. I thought I was hooked on the caffeine. This went on for a week or so until I stopped making it all together. I didn’t experience headaches from caffeine withdrawal. I was confused until I realized it was the sugar in the soy milk I was addicted to. The first thing I had every morning was sugar in soy milk camouflage.
Whole fruit is the only source of natural sugar designed for human consumption. Isolated or concentrated sugar is not natural in our diet. Eating fruits in their whole food form is ideal, whereas juices are not. Whole fruit is complete with fiber to slow down the absorption of fruit’s natural sugar in our system. Juices remove the fiber from the whole food, disrupting the fiber and allowing sugar to be rapidly absorbed in our system. Sugar in liquid form such as soda pop, pure maple syrup, agave nectar, and juices are not health promoting choices. Not even organic pomegranate juice comes home in my grocery tote. Have you ever had a pomegranate? It is full of seeds encased and surrounded with little burst of juice. When consumed in its whole form, the fiber of the seeds is present. This slows down the digestion and slows down how much you have time to consume. It’s brilliant how nature grew things in perfect form for us to consume.
Unfortunately we started to blend, process and concentrate all of these perfect foods. We made an orange go from a healthy snack to a glass of five oranges with the fiber removed. Let’s just call that glass of juice a sugar and calorie overload. If your teeth fell out and you’re on a liquid diet, it is acceptable to blend your food. If you are underweight and want to pack on a few pounds and can’t be bothered with eating, juice and blend up your food.
I’ve had many overweight students who were making smoothies for breakfast. They felt they were doing something wonderful for their bodies. They looked at it as fruit, but never looked at it as sabotage to their calorie budget and sugar overload on the first meal of the day. Some of them drank their smoothie alongside a bowl of oatmeal covered with dried fruit and nuts. Let’s break it down. Are you going to do a triathlon after breakfast or will you be driving to work? How much caloric energy do you need? The average fruit smoothie I was finding in food journals contained 424 calories and 50.6 grams of sugar. Typical ingredients included : One whole banana (105 calories and 14.4 grams of sugar), 1 cup frozen blueberries (84 calories and 14.7 grams of sugar), 1 cup vanilla soy milk (100 calories and 8 grams of sugar), three dates (60 calories and 13.5 grams of sugar) and 2Tbs flax seeds (75 calories). We compared their smoothie with a 7.5-ounce can of Coca-cola, which has 25 grams of sugar and 90 calories. The smoothie will set you up for an unproductive day, in terms of reaching your health goals. No right-minded person on a diet with a goal of shedding unwanted body fat would drink a coke for breakfast. This smoothie is double that in sugar, more than four times that in calories, but is camouflaged with fruit. Eat your fruit; don’t blend it. When you eat whole fruit, you will feel full longer and it will be less taxing on your liver. If you drink a smoothie, you will likely need a mid morning snack. The example of the smoothie provided is actually an example of a somewhat simple smoothie. I have found some to include fruit-sweetened yogurt, raw honey, and agave nectar. Agave is liquid sugar and is no healthier than honey and maple syrup. I have even seen a smoothie at the store that is ready-made sweetened with cane sugar. Cane sugar is sugar. Along with honey–raw or not, agave–organic or not, or coconut sugar, it all acts the same in your body as sugar.
My goal is to help you understand which foods are health promoting, and which foods are not. There are many products that are labeled and marketed as “healthy” that are not. You are not to blame if you are confused by marketing and product packaging. These products are basing their health factor on being a better choice than most other choices; however, they’re often still poor choices. If a cereal bar says “healthy”, it is because it is better than a candy bar. It doesn’t take much reduction in sugar to allow this labeling. It is also allowed to contain many food additives, chemicals, artificial sweeteners and colorings. We can’t put an end to this major problem in advertising, so I will teach you how to stop relying on packaged foods. You need not worry about ingredients and labeling any longer. You will save money and time spent trying to find healthy packaged choices. They do not exist, so stop looking for treats and bars that are healthy. I’m here to sort it all out, break it down and give you the knowledge and education to gain perfect health.
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Why This Works
The differences between The Protective Diet and other low-fat plant based diet plans are:
- Physical cravings are eliminated by removing all forms of sugar (including dried fruit), food additives, coffee, juice and all animal products
- Taste buds are reprogrammed with the elimination of extracted fats in the diet such as oils
- Whole plant based foods high in saturated fats such nuts, nut butters, avocado, coconut and seeds (except for chia seeds for thickening purposes) are removed
- Physical food addiction is eliminated in the first 30 days with abstinence
- After the 30 Day Detox and Taste Bud Reprogram is complete, our taste bud receptors are not searching for the missing fats
- Natural food satisfaction is improved, making this plan an enjoyable, maintainable delicious lifestyle
- We can then truly address eating to satisfy hunger without cravings and addiction driving us to over-consume food
- After 30 days our major challenges of food addiction are behind us
- It becomes easy to stay on track
- We are eating to satisfy hunger rather than to satisfy cravings
- New skills are developed to manage this diet and lifestyle
- The Guide to Optimal Health outlines three focus levels to hone your practice all the way to optimal health (the guide is located in the Services menu).
Protective Diet recipes are based on comfort food favorites for the entire family to enjoy. They aren’t just boring steamed veggies with rice or big pots of hot water and vegetables called soup. I’m offering you familiar food favorites so you never have to cheat. The recipes are sure to please simple young palettes and foodies alike. Protective Diet incorporates authentic global cuisine, uniting kitchens of the world with healthy worldly options. The program and recipes are designed to encourage those new to the kitchen along with master chefs who want to improve with innovative healthy cooking techniques.
I designed this plan incorporating the science behind a whole foods plant based diet proven to reverse and protects us from disease. I then took it a few steps further to eliminate cravings, make us feel incredible, and satisfy our love of good food with delicious and easy to follow recipes. Protective Diet incorporates lifestyle coaching, a community of support and a step-by-step guide to make this practice enjoyable and fun while quickly reaching all our health goals.
The Protective Diet allows us to eat when we are hungry and stop when we are full and satisfied. This may sound simple, but it is something that is nearly impossible to do when we are eating foods loaded with additives, sugars, and fats that cause us to confuse cravings or withdrawal with hunger. We never limit grains or starches. Once we accomplish the first 30 days, we move forward improving our health with the PD 50/50 Balanced Plate Practice. We then can move on to mastering our practice with a 21 Meals to Mastery Challenge. This third and final step is optional and focuses on mindful eating to accelerate weight loss or eliminate those last few pounds of body fat. It will reduce food costs and time spent preparing meals.
Join the free support group Protective Diet Living and meet many people enjoying the lifestyle and health benefits of a Protective Diet. Start taking action today by enrolling in PD-Ed. You are just 30 days away from a slimmer, healthier you.
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Juicing and Smoothies
The only time a liquid diet is encouraged is for survival due to the inability to chew. If you can chew, please eat your food and do not drink it. When we chew fruit, the fiber is bound to the fructose, slowing down the absorption of sugars. The fiber fills us up with volume, signaling our full receptors – what I call our natural built-in calorie tracker. When fruit is blended, the fructose is separated from the fiber. This makes absorption rapid and can injure the liver and break down endothelial cells.
If you are slim, you may have heard drinking blended fruit and vegetables is health promoting, but it is not. We need to chew our greens to begin the production of nitric oxide to promote our endothelium. If you or your children are struggling to maintain body fat, add more whole starch-based foods into the diet. We cover ideas to increase caloric intake with larger meal portions and having snacks readily available to maintain weight in Protective Diet Education classes.
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Is Erythritol Good for Me
Erythritol is used in 9% of Protective Diet recipes. It is an optional addition to cut the bitter taste of cacao in Breakfast Brownies or soften the tang of vinegar in Sweet and Sour Tofu. It balances out a vinaigrette so perfectly and has everyone asking for a daily salad.
Erythritol was introduced to a Protective Diet after Dr. Greger featured research studies showing it to be beneficial in the diet. It is proven to be an excellent sugar substitute that is rich in antioxidants, reducing free radical formation. Unlike other sugar alcohols, this one is digested and doesn’t cause gastrointestinal symptoms and headaches. It is free of sugar grams, eliminating cravings for more.
It was almost too good to be true, and I felt like it was sent to me by angels to insure my success in practicing a diet free of sugar. When I dug a little deeper I found out it was first discovered in the 1800s and has been tested for safety throughout the years. It doesn’t cause cavities, or an inflammatory response in the body. No issues with preterm births, hypertension, brain disorders and it’s well tolerated. Erythritol is made from non-GMO corn. It has 70% of the sweetness of classic sugar and has no odd aftertaste. It even smells like sugar.
After learning that Dr. Greger blended it up and gave it to his kids to sweeten natural herbal beverages, I felt comfortable using it in my health promoting personal diet. I tested it and tested it. I found I could eat BBQ sauce and brownies sweetened with it and stop at full. There wasn’t any draw to over-consume like my previous experiences with sweetening recipes with sugar, dates, honey, agave and maple syrup.
Erythritol allowed for the creation of classic condiments such as Sweet & Spicy BBQ Sauce and Killer Ketch-up. This health promoting, non-toxic, low calorie sweetenerhas made life a little sweeter and dinner parties a lot more entertaining for my guests. I have found since the addition of this ingredient that months have passed without the thought of it. Although I do consume it in my vinaigrette salad dressings on a regular basis, the baked goods have lost their appeal. This has confirmed what the studies suggest as non-addictive. I have found since creating dressings using erythritol my daily salad satisfaction has increased. I’m not only getting the boost of antioxidants found in my salad, but I’m topping them off with more in Protective Diet’s perfectly balanced vinaigrettes.
Watch Dr. Greger’s video reviewing studies and the benefits of Erythritol.
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Coffee is acidic in the body. It promotes inflammation, contributing to disease and endothelial breakdown. Coffee drinkers experience detoxification symptoms on a daily basis when the caffeine buzz starts to wear off; instead of going for another cup or two, we reach for snacks. This usually hits us hard in the late afternoon, sometime between lunch and dinner. This is when healthy diets that include coffee take a nosedive right into the candy bowl, vending machine or cookie jar. This emergency junk food binge then sends us into the evening feeling moody, miserable and challenged with raging cravings.
Cut coffee out of your routine to balance your energy level and even your mood. A coffee free diet will eliminate dependency, cravings and the crash caused by daily detox. Join us in PD-Ed for tips and support to free yourself from what I call the Black Devil.
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Benefits of Soy
A Protective Diet includes and suggests the inclusion of minimally processed soy ingredients. This includes and is limited to unsweetened plain soymilk, refrigerated water packed tofu, tempeh and Edamame. These ingredients are recommended for their phyto-chemical benefits and protection in the body. Epidemiological studies have found that soy protein may reduce the risk for cancers including breast, colon, and prostate. Studies in both men and women have shown that soy did not hinder reproduction. Please visit Physicians Committee For Responsible Medicine and read more about the health benefits of the inclusion of soy in the diet.
Avoid all processed soy products and soy protein isolate. These extracted proteins are not a whole food and some evidence suggests it can promote cancer cells.
The inclusion of soy doesn’t have adverse effects on the thyroid gland, but it may reduce the absorption of thyroid medication. Always avoid consuming soy at the same time as your thyroid medication. Consult your doctor or pharmacist for specific food and drug interactions and specific recommendations.
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90% of Protective Diet recipes are naturally gluten free or have a delicious gluten free option in the Notes section. This makes it easy for anyone challenged with celiac disease or gluten intolerance to practice a Protective Diet. The gluten free section on the site was added to make Protective Diet easier to navigate for those who consume a wheat free diet.
A sustainable diet for optimal human health contains whole grain wheat. Whole wheat offers us the ability to make high fiber burger buns and classic pizza crust. Kids are able to enjoy whole grain healthy Protective Diet Pizza Puffs vs. the processed oil filled versions sold in your grocer’s freezer.
When pizza is calling our name, we have many choices of crust including an oat crust option on the Mini Party Pizza recipe. When we remake classic recipes into health promoting recipes for Protective Diet, we always choose the best ingredients based on health impact, performance in a recipe and tradition. Cost of ingredients and resources are always considered along with options for those with ingredient intolerance. Each week when a fresh new recipe is posted our entire community has been considered. We try our best to create recipes with options for everyone. Some recipes can’t be perfected and recreated to replicate the original requested classic without the use of whole grain wheat. This has only been the case in 10% of all Protective Diet recipes.
I do not suggest the practice of a wheat free or gluten free diet for achievement of optimal health and your ideal body weight. Our community has a history of these achievements with the inclusion of all whole gains and whole grain flours including wheat. Science has shown the removal of gluten to result in higher rates of diabetes and obesity. The committed practice of a Protective Diet results in fast positive health changes, but sustainability is key. A diet that eliminates flours and whole grains is unsustainable and will promote off-plan eating, feelings of deprivation and struggle. Eating a whole food plant based diet is sustainable, enjoyable and successful with the inclusion of whole grains and wheat. A Protective Diet is designed to be a long-term diet and lifestyle for the entire family to enjoy.
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The average weight loss with full-time practice of a Protective Diet is 10 pounds per month. I have witnessed as much at 31 pounds in a single month to a little as four pounds. The average is calculated to be 10 pounds per month until you achieve your ideal body weight.
Sue lost a total of 80 pounds
It took her 8 months to reach her goal
She averaged 10 pounds of weight loss per month
Sue’s weigh-ins ranged from 6 pounds in a month to 15 pounds in a month
When Sue divided her 80 pound weight loss by the number of months she was practicing full time, she averaged 10 pounds of weight loss per month
In practical studies of members practicing a Protective Diet, as it is designed and following through full time, we find they have achieved their ideal body weight at an average of 10 pounds lost per month. This is rarely an even 10-pound loss per monthly weigh-in, because weight loss tends to consistently fall off in clusters. This results in what I call Baggy Clothes Syndrome, or what our community endearingly refers to as BCS. BCS becomes most challenging at the end of the third month of practice.
On your start day, take a before picture and weigh in, then put the scale away. Your next weigh-in should not be until one month has passed. Results happen fast, so don’t forget to take that before shot. I recommend taking a monthly photo in the same position and outfit. You will enjoy having these to track your progress. They will help you to wrap your mind around your accomplishments.
Weighing more than monthly is not recommended. What if your body didn’t release weight until your first 30 days were complete, and then on the fifth week you dropped 20 pounds, but you quit early because of a premature weigh-in indicating that PD wasn’t working for you? I call this complete and total self-sabotage. This program is proven effective. You are not a specially designed human different from everyone in the community who has successfully achieved their goals. The only thing that can stop you from success is yourself. Follow through and weight loss along with internal healing will be a natural side effect of a Protective Diet.
Track those results and stick to it. Write down your start date and mark down your weight loss goal, averaging a ten-pound monthly weight loss. If your goal is 50 pounds, put a star on your calendar five months from your start date. Follow the Guide to Optimal Health with the support of PD-ED and our community and expect BCS to be a welcomed challenge in just three months.
Your age, history of difficult weight loss or thyroid disorder will not make weight loss challenging to achieve on a Protective Diet. Excess body fat is not a possibility when you are eating a diet for optimal health.
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What Is PD-Ed
Protective Diet-Ed is a live and interactive weekly webcast lesson about the application and benefits of a Protective Diet. Each week covers a different topic of discussion relating to an oil, sugar and nut free whole food plant based diet and lifestyle. The format allows you to ask live questions and interact with other students in the classroom. These interactive courses are designed to be affordable, help guide you, offer support and make this lifestyle successful, easy and rewarding. Learn the science, application, and tips and tricks to experience fast and sustainable results with nutritional intervention. Members receive access to online weekly classes, live question and answer, and exclusive new recipes reserved for PD-Ed students only. If you can’t tune in live on Tuesday at 8:00 pm CST, you may watch the recorded lesson at your leisure. You will have access to all archived classes for the duration of your membership. Julie Marie is looking forward to working with you and sharing all her proven effective tips and tricks to guide you to optimal health.