With no clear directions, Alisia Essig was handed a piece of paper from the doctor after her husband suffered a stroke. The paper advised them to follow a heart-healthy diet which read to avoid alcohol, trans-fat, saturated fats, and cholesterol. It also said he needed to eat more fiber.
“We had to learn the hard way. If you don’t make time now, your body will make time for you in the future in the form of diseases, sickness, or tragedy,” Alisia Essig, nutritionist, and owner of PlantWhys, states.
After her husband’s stroke at just 37 years old, Alisia dedicated her time to understand what she had to do from now on to prevent another stroke. She had lost her father at just 55 years old to his one and only heart attack, and she wasn’t about to lose her husband too.
She was shocked to find an easier explanation of a “heart healthy diet” than what that complicated piece of paper outlined. Simply put–a heart healthy diet is a plant-based diet. If you want to avoid trans fat, saturated fat and cholesterol then eating less meat and dairy is key. If you want to eat more fiber then eating plants is key–since fiber only comes from plants.
“Most people are scared to eat plant-based because they don’t like the label of being “vegan,” Alisia describes, “but the truth is that you don’t have to go all in to experience some incredible benefits.”
Alisia promotes a 90/10 plant predominant lifestyle. “You have to leave some wiggle room for people or else they won’t stick to it long term,” she describes, “If you tell someone they can never eat bacon again, then all they will want is bacon. But if you say, you can have bacon when you want it–but let’s first eat a handful of veggies before every snack and meal, then that seems doable.”
While Alisia has managed to help her husband improve his health, she was determined to help others too. Because a plant-based diet isn’t only heart healthy, it can prevent a plethora of conditions such as Alzheimer’s, cancer, diabetes, and autoimmune diseases.
With her business PlantWhys, Alisia helps individuals and families take simple steps toward a more plant-predominant diet through meal plans, courses, and coaching. Alisia states, “changing your diet is harder than changing your religion, and having support and accountability can make all the difference in transitioning to eating more plants successfully.”
“Eating meat sparingly and eating more whole plant foods is the best thing you can do for your long-term health,” she states. ‘This isn’t a diet. It is a lifestyle change, and this change can make all the difference to reducing your risk of chronic disease. Because, if you don’t take the time for eating more whole plant foods, your body will take the time for you.”
Alisia recognizes that waiting for the right time never works. It takes small consistent effort and habit changes, but it is also what makes you live the life you were destined for. For more tips and tricks on adding plants to your diet, you can follow Plantwhys on Instagram or on their blog. Check out her free guide, “18 Easy Ways to Add More Plants to Your Diet.”