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Do you think of feeding yourself as self care?

I’m Cora Naylor – Certified Co-Active Coach and Emotion Code Practitioner.

As Empty Nesters we don’t always think of feeding ourselves as self-care but we are aware that taking care of ourselves to continue living a healthy life is important. To tell us more about doing that with plant based eating I’ve invited Lauren D’Agostino to join us today.

Lauren D’Agostino is a private plant-based chef, intuitive cooking coach, speaker, and author, helping people fall in love with plant-based food. She serves high-vibe vegan and gluten-free menus infused with doterra essential oils and recipes from her new cookbook, “Plant-Based Cooking with Essential Oils.” Her seasonal menus are paired with clean-crafted, organic, and vegan Scout & Cellar wine. Inspired by her work as a professional vegan chef, the global consciousness awakening, and her own transition into living a delicious plant-based life, she is guiding others to create lasting habits by incorporating more plants, both on and off the plate. Welcome Lauren!

Thank you so much. I'm so excited to be here. 

Yeah, I'm excited too. actually my husband and I have been eating mostly plant based for almost the last month. And we're really enjoying it. 

That's so great I always love hearing when people are still so new on their journey. I think it's really something to be celebrated I'm so excited for you that's wonderful. 

So maybe you can tell us a little bit more about why a plant based diet and lifestyle are important for our health. 

Yeah, so a lot of people are familiar with this term plant based, and even I'm finding folks that aren't necessarily identifying their diet as plant based. when you actually look at what they're eating it is a lot of fruits and vegetables. it's so important to eat more plants, because, of course, we get the nutrients and we get the energy from the earth and the sun and the rain. We also get a ton of water when we eat more produce. a lot of the processed and manufactured foods we eat, if you think about it, they're kind of dry and dehydrated and that certainly does not do our living bodies any service. When we need to go to such effort to digest them. So a lot of the power here in enjoying a plant based diet and the benefits, come with the ease with which they're digested. for some people they might have some condition where digesting some foods or some produce items might be more challenging, but everyone's on their own path and every body is unique. But overall, everyone would benefit from eating more plants. 

It's helpful for maintaining a glowing complexion, giving you more energy helping you sleep better, improving digestion, improving elimination. contributes to you know better heart health better bone density, more balanced blood sugar. so many different benefits you can really go crazy enjoying the science but I would say my most favorite benefit is just that you feel better, you just feel like you're kind of on this elevated wavelength. it makes life more beautiful I think, at least that's been my experience. I noticed the beauty and things and then people more. And I noticed it in myself more emotionally speaking I'd say I'm on a higher frequency now definitely and it's just because I'm incorporating more of those higher energetic and vibrational foods.

 what do you think, especially for empty nester women, you know at that time of life we can be going through a lot of things like hormonal things often we're struggling with weight and body image because our bodies are changing because of menopause. How can plant based eating help with that stuff. 

Yeah, definitely. one thing that a lot of people don't understand or a kind of a misconception is that fruit contains sugar and sugar is bad, right. actually eating a lot of fruit eating more fruit can help to curb those cravings as you go through those different hormonal dips and adjustments. You won't crave sugar, refined sugar that is or candy or cookies or any of those things you'll actually start to notice that strawberries and carrots and apples tastes really really sweet. And your body and your microbiome will start to adjust to wanting more of those. And then you won't have those cravings for those other foods anymore it just, it'll become something you don't even think about and that might sound a little far fetched but it's really really true. 

I you know as a kid was like totally hooked on ice cream, and it's very rare that I eat it now. Just because my palate has changed so much. I can't really stomach it anymore. that would kind of be, I think, one of my number one tips for sure. then more fiber, of course fiber is the broom that keeps our body clean, specifically our digestive system. when things back up and build up it creates all sorts of challenges and problems in the seat of our immune system which is of course our gut. so more fiber more fruit would definitely be some recommendations I'd make for those particular people. 

what is the difference between plant based and vegan? because I think there's a lot of confusion around those terms. 

Yeah there definitely is. plant based is going to incorporate many different diets could incorporate this in my opinion and my understanding of kind of how I've interacted with different coaches and different people. You could be on a plant based diet and not be plant exclusive or vegan so you could be still incorporating some eggs hopefully locally raised eggs. you could still be incorporating or enjoying some fish or seafood if perhaps you live by the coast and you've got a connection to a really great local and sustainable supplier. Perhaps you live near a cattle farmer who does things organically and, you know, really kind of aligned to nature, perhaps, then you're still eating some of those types of things. 

So plant based folks will identify really with the health benefits that plants have to offer. where someone who identifies more with a vegan is really passionate about the animal and ethical reasons, maybe more on the environmental impact, they're also in addition to switching their diet, they're also looking at the types of products that they that they use on their bodies and in their homes, they're not tested on animals. They're not wearing or consuming by way of having goods in their home like leather. So they're looking more at the lifestyle holistically I would say that someone who's plant based. also just because someone is vegan or on a vegan diet or wanting a vegan diet, it doesn't necessarily mean that they're health foods. I see vegan labeled on so many packaged and processed foods now. I mean you can even get a vegan meal at a fast food place. it's like okay, that's a really cool option for when we used to be traveling or when you're out and kind of in a rush or you want to try something new or for the person who thinks that they can't possibly live without meat. But they're definitely not a health food, they're not a one for one swap. They're still processed and manufactured and loaded with tons of additives and things but the vegan alternatives for meat and eggs and those types of things can be a great bridge food. So, vegan doesn't always mean healthy, plant based doesn't always mean plant exclusive that's kind of a long way of saying, 

Yeah. And the same thing goes for gluten free. people say they're gluten free, but then they go to the store and they buy all these products that are processed foods. Yeah, it says gluten free on there but there's still a lot of it's still processed food. So I think, trying to stay more clean with the food makes a huge difference. 

Exactly. for the person who is gluten free just while we're on that subject. I would encourage them and really anyone. How can you have the least amount of gluten in your diet and then if you really are gluten free. how can you just purchase a product that's certified gluten free, that still allows you to enjoy that thing whether it's toast piled high with veggies or a sandwich or something like that but totally on that same line. you're not going and loading your cart with all the gluten free snack food junk food processed food you can find.

Yeah. what about protein. that's the thing that most people are concerned  about. if I'm eating all these vegetables, am I getting enough protein. 

Totally, yeah. so fruits and vegetables do contain some protein actually. mangoes I think contain three grams of proteins so we actually do get some protein from our produce. we're not designed to process the amount of protein that we have been led to believe. my favorite example is when you see those protein cookies that are 30 grams of protein in one cookie. Wow, that's a lot of protein. Right. what I always tell people is that it really matters what the vehicle is. how the protein is delivered to our body. so a plant based source of protein like , tempeh, edamame, peas,, nuts and seeds, and then different legumes and lentils and those sorts of things, those deliver a nice gentle package of protein.

imagine a smart car driving down the highway. it's pretty quiet light on the road right. then imagine the animal based protein that cut of steak, or the bacon ,the pork ,the ham, the turkey that's like an 18 Wheeler, right, those really wear on the roads and they come fast and furious. That's one of the difference in our bodies of how they interpret that protein. And the other thing that I always am curious about when someone starts to have that conversation about protein, as well as ask them, where are you getting your fiber from. where are you getting all of those other things it's not just about the protein.

in fact it's really as I mentioned before the fiber. It's about kind of keeping the house clean. imagine if you had your home and you never swept, not ever you kept loading in things, loading in front of the protein all those other things but you never swept the floors. That's what it's like when you don't have enough fiber in your diet to keep everything moving. you really focus on getting all the protein but you've got to look more holistically at it. by eating more plants and just more colorful, food, you're able to hit your marks every time and you don't have to food journal, you don't have to go crazy with understanding all the micro and macro nutrients of everything. you say does this food look good for me to eat. Does it taste good and am I full, once I eat this. Are you eating slowly enough, are you focused on enjoying your meal, and maybe enjoying it with the people around you or are you thumbing through a magazine, are you watching the news, are you standing up and trying to have some different conversations. are you on a call while you're eating, just prioritizing those 15 or 20 minutes can really make a huge difference as your body can understand that you're actually eating and actually feeding it.

I know I'm bad for that too. the mindfulness of it is part of it but I have to say we've been doing it for a few weeks and I have felt more satisfied and not over full. Even with eating all this stuff. part of it is just all the chewing when you're eating all those crunchy vegetables. There's a lot more chewing involved. it's been actually easier than I thought it was gonna be. 

So as we're wrapping up here I'm sure you have something you can offer people if they want a bit more information maybe from your website. 

Yeah, for sure. So, my website is  and when you sign on there you can see what else I'm up to. then by joining my email list to keep up with what all I'm up to, and you'll get the what why and how of plant based. so some more tips on how to actually start thinking about this transition process, starting to get an understanding of where you are and where you want to go, and then putting the map together that's what I work with folks one on one or in a group program for is how are you actually going to get to your destination, no matter what it is. maybe you're only going halfway down the road or all the way into vegan with me. Everyone's on their own journey and it will take however long it takes.

it's like when you take the highway to get to where you're going, or do you decide to walk. you can go at a pace that feels good for you. so this gift is kind of a good introduction to a little bit more of what we've started to touch on. it also comes with a pantry shopping list so you can start to understand what ingredients you need to keep in your kitchen so that cooking becomes fun and flavorful. really easy in the day today to day. We're not going crazy buying all sorts of processed foods and all of that. But really just getting set up. 

I find that it's so easy. I know what we've been doing is doing a great big sort of chopped salad with all kinds of kale and vegetables in there and then that's sort of the base. then we add the nuts and seeds and some, some kind of grain. if you have some beans and grains and salad, all kind of ready to go it's amazing how many meals, you can make out of that if you do a little bit of prepping on the way.

totally - exactly. 

Awesome. thank you so much for joining us today Lauren. I hope some people will give it a shot. If you haven't tried plant based maybe start with a few different meals and thats how some people are doing it. you know meatless Mondays and that kind of thing. You might be pleasantly surprised. If you have any questions reach out to Lauren, go to her website get her freebie. 

if you're an empty nester and you're not part of my empty nester Facebook group yet just drop a “Yes” down below and we'll get you added into the group. From there you'll get more support from other women empty nesters as we go through this journey after our kids are grown and get notified of any other videos we've got coming up. 

So thank you so much Lauren for joining us and we'll see everybody next time. 

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