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How Healthy Are You? My Vegan Diet Personal Redemption

How Healthy Are You? My Vegan Diet Personal Redemption

Last week I wrote about how you can start closing the gap between the life you are living and your best life… but I received some reader complaints. Desire to live their Miracle Question life? Check. Ideas and solutions to start closing the gap? Check. Energy to get their plan (and butt) into action? Not so much. And this is a valuable lesson. Inspiration and desire are only part of what is needed to close the gap, which is why desire + diet is the formula for success. Without physical and mental energy, it’s impossible to put the plan into action. This is why feeling good, having energy, and being healthy are so critical to living your best life.

So, how healthy are you? Jumping on the scale can give you some indication. Analyzing your body fat percentage is another option. Maybe calculating your body mass index (BMI). Getting your blood work done and looking at cholesterol levels. You could also check your blood pressure. These are all decent methods to try to answer the question, “How healthy am I?” And this is a question I’ve been asking myself for some time — often while chugging down a thick green nutrition shake. Is this stuff really working? If there was an inverse relationship between taste and nutritional value, I should be pretty damn healthy, but who knows?  I sure didn’t.

But all of that changed a few days ago . . .

Let me take you back a few years first. In 2008 I read the very funny and informative book, Skinny Bitch, and it changed my life. After finishing the last page of the book, I became a vegetarian. No hamburgers. No turkey. No chicken. No pork. And most traumatically, no more Double-Doubles from In N’ Out Burger. Then after reading The China Study and earlier this year reading Kathy Freston’s Veganist, I made the leap to a vegan diet. No pizza. No ice cream. No yogurt. No whey.

So what do I eat? I drink several green protein shakes a day, wheat grass, resveratrol, acai berry juice, and eat baby carrots like they are a bag of Lay’s potato chips, raw protein bars, salads, quinoa, and did I mention thick green nutrition shakes?

Here’s what I’ve discovered . . . I’ve NEVER felt better in my life. I have tons of physical and mental energy. I’ve lost a significant percentage of body fat, and now I never have digestion problems (goodbye Tums). In short, I feel fantastic, and while that doesn’t exactly answer the question “How healthy am I?” — now I know that I am!

While visiting a local Rancho Santa Margarita vegan shop, I had my carotenoid antioxidant levels measured with a nifty skin scanner that claims to “prove the effectiveness of your supplements in improving your overall antioxidant health.” I have no idea what this means, but Dr. Oz featured the scanner on his show so it must be good. It basically measures the amount of cancer-fighting antioxidants in your body.

The painless scan takes 90 seconds, so during this time the women told me that there are five levels: red (worst), orange, yellow, green, and blue (best). She said most people score in the orange range and that less than 1 percent of the American population is in the blue category. I spent about 80 of those 90 seconds professing — no, demanding — that I would score in the blue category. If I didn’t my whole nutritional world would have come crashing down. Well, 90 seconds later, I got my blue score. Needless to say, she was surprised. In fact, she had tested so many people and so few had scored blue, she gave me a blue shirt and took my picture for their wall of fame.

So, I left with a shirt, but more importantly, I left with more self-respect and redemption. This stuff really does work.

If you want more physical and mental energy so you can get the most out of life, first focus on what you put in your body. Trust me… being blue never felt so good.

(Vegetables Image by luckyjimmyCC 2.0)

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Read more: Diet & Nutrition, Food, Health, Vegan

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Robert Pagliarini

Robert Pagliarini is obsessed with improvement, making the most of his time and energy, and inspiring others to live life to the fullest by radically changing the way they invest their time and energy. He is the founder of, a community of passionate people who want to learn and achieve more in life and at work and the co-founder of The Band of Brothers Foundation, a non-profit helping kids around the world.


+ add your own
4:25AM PDT on Jun 12, 2012

Thanks for the Reading tips.

11:07AM PDT on Jun 8, 2012


3:41PM PDT on Jun 1, 2012

Thank you for sharing.

4:41AM PDT on May 28, 2012

Thanx for a great post. I'm so glad that you are one of hopefully an ever greater number of people who have been influenced by the writings from the China Study, Kathy Freston, etc. Though I became a vegan over 25 years ago, it wasn't the health aspects of the diet that attracted me. It was compassion for animals and I learned that from my first puppy Peaches. Isn't it funny? A teacher by profession, I was smart enough to learn from my wonderful dog. I often wonder why other people are not similarly influenced by their companion animals. I guess my Peaches was ultra special or I was ultra wise to learn from her.

6:43AM PDT on May 21, 2012

Wrong we are as has been stated omnivores.

1:45AM PDT on May 21, 2012

Ryder W. Wrong! Humans evolved as omnivores.

11:52PM PDT on May 20, 2012

That's a fabulous diet you are on ..... I had better not ask whether the resveratol is in the form of an enjoyable glass of red wine - but it did cross my mind/

6:06PM PDT on May 20, 2012

There is nothing healthier than a balanced diet with fruits and vegetables. The human being is not a carnivore. Carnivores are jaguars, lions, tigers and so on.

10:52AM PDT on May 20, 2012


9:35AM PDT on May 20, 2012

Thank you

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