Iraina Rosenthal-Tawil, M.S., RD
Hello! My name is Iraina Rosenthal-Tawil.
I'm a registered dietitian specializing in the prevention and reversal of chronic health conditions, such as heart disease and diabetes. My approach to healing is simple: consume nutrient-dense, whole, plant foods.
I’ve spent years working in the wellness field before learning about the benefits of a plant-based diet. Throughout the years, I’ve witnessed people with chronic conditions try countless diets, pills, and quick-fixes. At best, they slowed the pace of their disease. At worst, their health degraded even more.
Watching my friends, family and patients struggle with their health was frustrating. Even worse, I was struggling with my own health issues (see my story below). I desperately wanted to find answers. So, I took a deep dive into the scientific literature. I learned that the answer was not another pill, it was plants. The research clearly demonstrated that no other diet or pill compares to healing with nutrition, specifically, a plant-based diet.
I have witnessed the positive effects of a plant-based diet for hundreds of people with a wide range of serious conditions. Those of my clients who adopted a plant-based diet, their cholesterol dropped, their blood sugar normalized and the excess weight fell off within months of changing their lifestyle. I wish I knew about the benefits sooner; it may have saved lives.
I want to congratulate you for taking the first step. You're officially ahead of the game. Your decision to pursue optimal health begins one of the most significant journeys one can take. If you adopt a plant-based diet you will lose weight, drop the medication, and heal from chronic inflammation, the underlying cause of all diseases. At the same time, you'll improve your relationship with food. You'll discover a level of satisfaction in eating that you didn't know was possible.
The information presented here is meant to guide you through your transition to a plant-based diet. Applying what you will learn will help you achieve long-term success as you take control of your destiny.
At the age of 25, my doctor diagnosed me with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) I never thought that I would develop a "disease." As a child - I admit - I never ate vegetables but, as an adult, I led a relatively healthy lifestyle. I exercised regularly and ate a well-balanced diet - or so I thought. I was only 25 years old! So, why me?
While there are no tests to identify and confirm CFS, my symptoms matched the condition well: profound fatigue, brain fog, orthostatic intolerance, unrefreshing sleep, and exhaustion after exertion.
After 6 months of countless doctors visits, I was relieved to receive a diagnosis. I thought, “Now that I know what's wrong with me, I can be cured.” This was wishful thinking. My doctor informed me that CFS has no cure - not even a treatment plan - but some symptoms can be treated. The doctor wrote me a prescription for a variety of medications, all of which have side effects worse than the disease itself. I said, “No, thank you” and walked out of the office.
Just months after my diagnosis, my symptoms worsened. I developed inexplicable muscle and joint pain, frequent migraines and body spasms, and a new symptom emerged daily without any relief from the pre-existing ones. Within a few months, I went from running 10Ks to panting as I walked up a flight of subway stairs. There was no denying it, my body snapped.
As much as I wanted to know why and how I got sick, I realized that it didn’t matter. It was time to figure out how to reverse my condition. So, I read book after book that prescribed diets and lifestyle changes for disease reversal. Everything I read had one commonality: a diet based on plants.
But could plants really heal my body? It seemed unlikely that something so simple could be the answer to my health problems. But, to my surprise, the research was crystal clear: plant-based diets are proven to be more effective than any other diet at preventing, managing, and reversing health conditions.
At this point, I knew the answer to my health condition was not another pill, it was food. I said goodbye to animal products, vegetable oils, and processed foods; and then I adopted a whole-food, plant-based diet. That meant eating copious amounts of fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. I was surprised how easy it was to eat this way. Everything I needed was available at the local grocery store. I didn't use any special superfoods or tonics, just whole, plant foods.
After about 1 year of eating an entirely plant-based diet, something amazing started to happen: my body started healing itself. The pain in my joints became more localized, the fogginess subsided, and the headaches improved. Sure, the improvements were small and, sometimes, went unnoticed, but I remained hopeful.
Fast forward to today and I have a different story to tell, a story about how I reclaimed my health and healed my body - but also a story about how I started living by my values.
It never occurred to me that changing my diet would make all the difference for the future of the planet. It turns out that eating a plant-based diet is the single most effective action you can take to protect the environment, impact climate change and help animals. Who knew that a plant-based diet can not only heal the body, it can also heal the planet and everyone on it! Today, I feel that I am living the most healthy, compassionate and ethical life possible.
I’m sharing my story for one simple purpose: to inspire you to give a plant-based diet a try. Whether it's to improve your health, reduce your carbon footprint or live a more ethical lifestyle; removing animal products from your life and adopting a plant-based diet will work wonders on your health and the planet’s. Luckily, eating plants has never been easier, and I’m here to help you every step of the way.
About Your Life on The Veg
Your Life on The Veg is a beginner's nutrition guide to plant-based eating. On this website, you'll find everything you need to know about how to adopt and implement a plant-based diet. The information provided is evidence-based: no health claims, false information, or industry-funded studies.
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