DASH Diet Plan 

DASH diet plan with weekly meal planning. Let's discuss vegetarian based DASH menus. This plan includes grains, fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, legumes, low fats and some sweet.  You can substitute meat, fish and poultry for a variety of beans and pulses.

Carole went to the surgery worried about her father, Harry. He lived with her and although he was still quite independent. Carole did all of his cooking for him. Harry had been on medication for his high blood pressure and high cholesterol for many years, and Carol wanted to know if the DASH diet a friend had told her about would be suitable for her family and her father. Let's see how Carole is introduced to a vegetarian Dash Diet Plan. Vegetarian cooking is healing and nourishes all the different levels of our body. 

"I wanted to know if the DASH diet plan was something the whole family could eat," said Carole. "I knew it was designed for people  with heart disease and hypertension but I wanted to know if a healthy person could also follow it.".  Until Carole asked the doctor this question he hadn't realized what a common misconception this was about the DASH plan, he quickly explained to her that EVERYONE could and should follow this heart healthy way of eating. It was not a diet exclusive to people with heart problems.

"I felt a bit silly really," said Carole. "I don't know how I got it into my head that healthy eating was only for the ill!"

Once they had cleared up that misunderstanding the doctor showed Carole how daily meal planning for the whole family was easy. What surprised him though was after just one week Carole came to see him again for some advice on how to go one step further and follow a vegetarian based DASH diet.

"We had been on the DASH plan for a week," explained Carole. "One night when we were all sitting around the dinner table conversation turned to how we could make our meals even healthier and we came up with the idea of changing our whole nutrition 

 on its head and going vegetarian."

Because she was not used to vegetarian cooking, I discussed with Carole how her daily meal planning had to reflect the fact that  meat was no longer part of their diet. "It was a lot easier than I expected it to be," Carole explained.

I learned that by using a variety of beans and other pulses we could still get enough protein from our food without needing to eat meat.

"I learned that by using a variety beans and other pulses we could still get enough protein from our food without needing to eat meat. As we all  ate low fat dairy anyway I had no problems at all creating healthy balanced meal plans for the whole family."

After a few months Harry was able to reduce his prescription medication for his high blood pressure by half and he completely stopped taking his diuretics. And Carole and her husband had lost weight and lowered their own cholesterol levels as well. It was a success story for the whole family and yet more proof to that vegetarian based diets are extremely effective at lowering blood pressure. So remember to include beans, lentils and pulses instead of meat in the Dash Diet Plan.

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