I have a reference article by India Leigh that comes from the Huffington Post Lifestyle page, in which she describes going vegan in seven steps. Her first step is not to eliminate foods from your diet, but to increase certain things like fresh fruits and vegetables.
There is also a new program on food television called Food Hospital that will give you something to think about as you watch them treating various physical ailments with diet and nutrition.
Okay, at first they made quite a success with two overweight patients. They lost weight. No surprise there. But one of them had Fatty Liver Disease, which in itself will end your life, and he reversed it in inside of a month.
Other patients have had migraines and psoriasis, alopecia areatis (hair loss), and acid reflux, and as long as they followed their diets they not only improved the condition, in some cases they reversed it.
A singer who had damage to her voice due to the acid reflux put an end to the acid but also restored her vocal range and quality. A little boy who had a dangerous degree of psoriasis cleared it up, as did his mother who also has the hereditary form of the disorder. I won't forget watching Dr. Jan Garavaglia, the famous "Doctor G" who found that a man in Florida had actually died from heat stroke because the extensive red psoriatic areas on his body had prevented the release of heat through normal skin. He died from the effects of psoriasis!
So in the effort to support the Food Hospital and India Leigh, I am going to recommend one way to increase your fresh fruits and vegetables following the recommendations of Harvey Diamond, author of the Fit For Life series. Start every day with a fresh-fruit smoothie, or a combination of a smaller smoothie and some plain fresh fruit. Eat nothing but fresh fruit until noon every day.
An example would be a smoothie of frozen strawberries and blueberries, with a handful or so of fresh red or green grapes. If you are hungry, make it a banana. Here is the basic smoothie that I make every morning.
1 cup of frozen organic fruit such as strawberries or dark cherries
1 cup of frozen organic fruit such as sliced peaches or whole blueberries
1 measure of protein powder
Stevia sweetener packets as desired
1 teaspoon of Benefiber brand soluble fiber
1/2-3/4 cups fruit juice
Place the fruit in a microwave and warm for 30-45 seconds to soften the icy texture.
Remove the fruit from the microwave and transfer it to a blender or food processor. Add the remaining ingredients. Blend until no lumps are present.
Any fruit juice can be used to soften the smoothie, from bottled juice to fresh raw apple or orange juice. I use Garden of Life Raw Protein Beyond Organic Protein Formula, which I buy at Sprouts in Tucson because their prices are the best for this fine line of products.
The frozen organic fruit is available at Sprouts and also at other Tucson supermarkets, under the name of Cascadian Farms and others. This fruit is also available at Trader Joe's in Tucson. Whatever you choose, you need 2 cups of two different kinds of fruit to make the quantity suitable for one person.
If you want quantity, like me because I am on this diet for as long as I live, the place to go for frozen fruit in quantity (not always organic, though) is Costco. The same goes for Sam's Club. They have huge bags of fruits and mixes, such as organic sliced peaches and tropical fruit blends that include things like papaya chunks. You can't get any more yummy.
If you are in need of a probiotic, yogurt can be included in a smoothie recipe--decrease the fruit a bit unless you are hungry.
Fresh fruit is also perfectly acceptable for smoothies, but you will have to chill it first. That suggests that you buy it, refrigerate it and use it promptly. Spoilage and waste of fresh organic fruit is the main reason that many people freeze it or buy it frozen in the first place.