HEALTHY LIVING Nutritionist Jeff Novick on Eating Right    
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Refined viewers, welcome to Healthy Living on Supreme Master Television. This week we re-cap an insightful interview with award-winning vegan dietician and nutritionist Mr. Jeff Novick conducted during the October 2011 Healthy Lifestyle Expo held in Los Angeles, California, USA.

Mr. Novick is based in the US and currently serves as vice president for Executive Health Exams International and is the Director of Nutrition for the Meals for Health community project that helps “empower low-income families to achieve optimal health.”

He is also a lecturer for two programs which assist people in transitioning to a vegan diet: the McDougall Program run by famed vegan physician Dr. John McDougall as well as the Engine 2 Immersion program started by vegan fireman Rip Esselstyn, the bestselling author of “The Engine 2 Diet.” He has also produced a line of DVDs on wellness including “Jeff Novick’s Fast Food,” “Should I Eat That? How To Choose The Healthiest Foods,” and “Calorie Density: How To Eat More, Weigh Less and Live Longer!”

Mr. Novick received the Indiana State Public Health Excellence in Health Science Award from the governor of Indiana, and Indiana State University, USA awarded him the Graduate-of- the-Last-Decade Award. He’s been interviewed by national media outlets such as Fox News and appeared in the American documentary “Processed People.”

When I went on a really healthy plant-based diet I noticed a lot of different changes. I didn’t have heart disease, diabetes or any of those problems that drives a lot of people. I was just exploring ways to optimize my life and lifestyle. I had been plagued on and off with allergies over the years and those seemed to go away, most all of them, so now, it’s really an occasional thing that might happen. But the biggest change was my energy levels. I was always an active, energetic person, but it really changed when I cleaned up my diet and changed the way I live. And getting up was a joy now and I just felt so much better.

Animal products are the prime cause of many dangerous health conditions from diabetes and cancer to heart disease. Current research conducted by esteemed nutrition experts such as Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. John McDougall and Dr. Dean Ornish among others, has shown that not only are these diseases preventable but they are reversible too. Eating a whole foods plant-based diet, meaning a diet free from processed foods and any animal products conveys huge health benefits.

I’ve been fortunate to work with many, what we call “immersion-style programs” over the last two decades. And so, I get to see the power of a plant-based diet in a controlled setting where we really get to implement it in a person’s life for anywhere from three to five days to several weeks or more even in some of the places I’ve worked, where we’ve kept people in a residential setting for weeks and months at a time.

And, diabetes goes away, heart disease goes away; high blood pressure goes away; metabolic syndrome goes away; weight loss is, you don’t have to count calories. They get to eat whenever they are hungry till they’re comfortably full. So a lot of the struggles that people have with food and health, just seem to start going away the more they do that. Of course there is valid physical scientific reasons why that happens, but in the big picture, that’s what happens. And in addition, we see things, allergies go away or auto-immune conditions get better; lupus and arthritis, rheumatoid arthritis.

And currently I’m involved with Dr. McDougall, and we’re running a study, on the effects of a whole foods plant-based diet on multiple sclerosis. And so, we are doing that now, it’s been about two years we’re running a study.

Many people who have made the switch to a vegan diet have noticed improvements in their mental and emotional state.

Some of the mental benefits are, sometimes maybe not something that you can directly measure, but I know personally and from working with people over the years, a much clearer mind, ability to think and focus and attention really becomes much sharper. Also, in general, (you experience a) better mood, you feel better, (and experience) less depression and anxiety, especially when you couple it with an active lifestyle. Eating well and exercising and being active have shown to be very effective in reducing mild to moderate depression. So people having anxiety or mental issues, it can also really help.

There is an unfounded concern that by adopting a vegan diet one will not consume enough protein. However this is completely untrue as plant-based proteins are vastly superior to those derived from animals which are detrimental to health. Dr. Neal D. Barnard, founder and president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine noted that “A healthy diet of beans, grains, vegetables, and fruits provides all the protein you need. In fact you are better off getting protein from plant sources. While animal protein can be hard on the delicate tissues of the kidneys, plant proteins appear to be free of this problem. They are also free of the risks of calcium loss and kidney stones associated with animal protein.”

Another one of the myths of a vegan or plant-based diet is not getting enough protein and to be honest, it’s amazing that this one has actually lasted the decades that it has, because it’s virtually impossible not to get in enough protein. If you consume enough calories from whole plant foods, you’re getting enough calories to maintain a healthy weight and you eat a variety of foods, then getting in enough protein it’d be impossible not to do it. So it really isn’t a problem. So again vegetables, you eat a lot of vegetables, you eat a lot of whole grains, and you eat a lot of beans.

Beans are probably one of the best sources of protein there is. What people don’t realize is when you use animal foods for protein, you’re also getting in saturated fat and cholesterol and you’re not getting in any fiber. Yet when you eat beans, not only are you getting in lots of good protein, you’re also getting in lots of fiber, you’re getting in virtually no saturated fat, you’re getting no cholesterol. So when you look at it as a total package, there’s no comparison.

With so much information available today on what foods we should eat as well as the various diets and fads, knowing what is good for us in terms of nutrition can be challenging. Thankfully Mr. Novick has the following useful advice.

And what we look at is the overriding body of evidence and we look at that, it really hasn’t changed that much in 50 years. Fruits and vegetables are still good for you and junk food is still bad for you. And a lot of these peripherals that they argue about aren’t really the health issue.

The basics are really simple, your diet should predominantly be based on fruits, vegetables, starchy vegetables, intact whole grains, legumes with a little bit of nuts and seeds. And those foods can make up all of your diet, all of your calories, and it would be the healthiest diet. It’d be the least processed, it would be nutrient adequate, more than nutrient adequate and that would be the best.

Apart from what we eat, our lifestyles and thoughts have a big effect on our lives. Exercise, clean air and fresh water, all enhance our well-being.

So physical fitness is part of it. In addition, getting in pure air and getting in pure water. A lot of the water is polluted, and the air, most Americans don't smoke anymore. But for the 20% or so that still do, they put out second-hand smoke and what's now called third-hand smoke. So, even though I've never smoked, I'm exposed to smoke. So it's important for me to make sure I have fresh air and clean water. I also need to make sure I get adequate sleep, rest and relaxation, and an emotional poise so we're not too stressed out. And that may be through meditation.

Mr. Jeff Novick also recommends “vitamin S” or sunshine to enjoy the best mental and physical health.

Sun and sunshine is important to us. And again, on an emotional level, we all know it, because we know how good we feel when we get out to the sunshine. And look where people go on vacation and everything. They don't go to dark caves. They go to the sunny areas of the world and they spend their time out in the sunshine because it makes them feel so good. And we know there's a Seasonal Affective Disorder where, when the sun isn't around as much, people get depressed.

Clearly the way to optimize health, wellness and happiness is through the adoption of a whole foods organic vegan diet. This compassionate lifestyle choice not only benefits us and our loved ones but also holds the key to reversing climate change and many of the other urgent environmental problems we face. Our appreciation Jeff Novick, for taking time from your busy schedule to speak about wellness issues and your benevolent health promotion work over the years. Let many more people hear your wonderful message of vegan health in the future.

For more information on Jeff Novick, please visit
Mr. Novick’s DVDs are available at the same website

Conscientious viewers, thank you for your company on this week’s edition of Healthy Living. May all people soon adopt the organic vegan diet, for prime health and a kinder, more caring world.
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