Clearing Up Plant-Based Diet Confusion With Brenda Davis


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There is a LOT of conflicting information out there about what constitutes a healthy plant-based diet. Sometimes, all that noise can leave people so confused (and so worried that they won’t get it “right”) that they tune out altogether, and continue eating the way they always have — even if it’s causing inflammation and disease in the body.

That’s what makes today’s episode so powerful. Nutritional superstar Brenda Davis is here to clear up the confusion around plant-based eating and show us how getting more of Mother Nature on your plate can totally transform your health, heal disease, and keep you alive for longer. 

Brenda is a registered dietitian, leading academic, and has hands-on experience as a public health and clinical nutritionist. She is the lead dietitian on a diabetes research project in Majuro and regularly co-authors articles for peer-reviewed medical and nutrition journals. Brenda has co-authored 11 award-winning books which have collectively sold more than 750,000 copies and have been translated into 13 languages. Her most recent book, The Kick Diabetes Cookbook, gives readers an easy-to-follow blueprint on how to heal their diabetes with food. She has been inducted into the Vegetarian Hall of Fame for her incredible work in plant-based nutrition and is determined to show the world that a wholefoods, plant-based diet is a powerful tool to create outrageously good health.

Brenda really brings the science in this episode, dropping knowledge bombs on everything from high-fat diets, to macro nutrition and more. She surprised me more than once, and blew me away with the surprising truth behind B12 (seriously!). 

So if you want to learn how to nourish your body with Mother Nature, and create a nutritional environment where your cells can THRIVE, pop in those earbuds beautiful… this one’s for you! 

In this episode we chat about: 

  • Her story and how she got to where she is today (07:48)
  • The most common diseases she sees in her practice (14:23)
  • How the food you eat can protect you from disease (15:10)
  • The surprising foods eaten by all the centenarians in the Blue Zones (18:19)
  • The truth about organic animal products (21:29)
  • How your diet impacts the environment (and what to do about it) (24:13)
  • The plant-based protein myth (my hubby can back this up!) (27:07)
  • What are your macros? (29:11)
  • The truth about B12 (33:00)
  • Why meat is not a good source of B12 when you are 50+ years old (34:55)
  • How much B12 you ideally need in your diet (36:32)
  • The importance of gut health (39:06)
  • The truth about iron (and how to maximise your iron absorption) (46:13)
  • How to have a healthy pregnancy (50:26)
  • The best way to get toxins out of your body (51:34)
  • Breastfeeding tips and tricks when you’re eating plant-based (52:34)
  • Why you shouldn’t make your own baby formula (53:52)
  • How to transition from a high animal-based diet to eating more plants (yup, all the steps are right here!) (58:03)
  • The best documentaries to educate and empower yourself about your diet (64:26)
  • Why you need to watch The Best Speech Ever by Gary Yourofsky (65:13)
  • Plus so much more!

Episode resources: 

The Kick Diabetes Cookbook by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina
Pre-order Kick Diabetes Essentials by Brenda Davis
Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina
Books by Joel Fuhrman
Cronometer App
Adventist Health Study 2
Epic Oxford Study
2019 ACC/AHA Guideline on the Primary Prevention of Cardiovascular Disease
Forks Over Knives
Hungry For Change
Food Matters
Gary Yourofsky - The Most Important Speech You Will Ever Hear
Join the Melissa Ambrosini Tribe on Facebook
Open Wide by Melissa Ambrosini
Open Wide Video Masterclass

Thank you so much for listening to this episode. I’m so honored that you’re here and would be so grateful if you could take 2 minutes to leave me a 5-star review in iTunes or on your podcast app, that way we can inspire even more people together.

P.S. Please seek advice from a qualified holistic practitioner before starting any new health practice.

P.P.S. If you’re looking for a high-impact marketing opportunity for your business and are interested in becoming a sponsor for The Melissa Ambrosini Show podcast, please email pr@melissaambrosini.com for more information.

Comments (7)

+ Leave a comment
    • Miriam
      July 25, 2019

      Absolutely loved this episode Melissa. It is so timely as I am currently overhauling my food intake due to some health issues that have arisen over the last few months. Thank you xx

    • Amber
      July 26, 2019

      Always love your positivity.
      Great episode, full of useful advice. My mindset is in the transition of going plant based, already don’t eat any dairy, eggs & cow. But I’m ready to take it a step further. My husband adores meat so a tricky combination. Concerned about protein for my 1 & 4 yr old. Any tips???
      Thanks Melissa.

      • August 1, 2019

        Hey Amber, get her book and read it cover to cover and you will know how to get all the protein you need. Also, check out the app Cronometer to track your macros. Keep me posted how you go. xx

    • Em
      July 29, 2019

      Hey Melissa,

      This podcast was great, I always love the questions you ask and the guests you get on the show. I just want to say though, that it's important to remember that these blue zone groups DO eat small amounts of meat, with even the Okinawans eating some pork! Some also eat wheat, drink alcohol and consume soy, all things which us 'healthy' folk in the west would shun! Additionally, diet for the blue zone communities is just ONE factor for their longevity, and many say it's not the most important, or at least not the first thing they mention when asked about longevity.

      I say all this because as much as I love your show, I think it's important not to get too extreme or reductionist in your views. I feel like some people in the wellness space take science and research and simplify it too much, meaning the information they present isn't actually entirely accurate, or at the very least doesn't give people the entire picture. I kind of felt this way with this episode, as Blue Zones aren't exclusively plant-based, they just plant...prominent.

      Anyway, keep up the great work, I love listening and will continue, just wanted to share my thoughts <3 x

      • August 2, 2019

        Hey Em, I'm aware that they are mostly plant-based which is what I have mentioned. I didn't say they were entirely plant-based and I wouldn't want anyone to think they are full vegan because that is not true. They eat a mostly plant-based diet. I hope I was clear but maybe not enough so I'll make sure I'm even more clear from now on so there is no confusion. xx

    • February 29, 2020

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