Consider, for a moment, the idea of installing  a solar power system for your home. Maybe you’ve thought about installing one. Or at least it’s caught your attention. There seem to be benefits to installing one, right? 

There are many benefits. Solar power systems for your home serve as a hedge against ever increasing utility rates. Our bills are forever rising. Going solar is a way of hedging against ever-rising electricity bills and costs - solar provides very low-cost power and put you more clearly in control.

That parks more money in your bank account, long term, and cleaner energy begins to power your home life. In many provinces and states, there are also sizeable government rebates for taking the leap [here in Saskatchewan, the provincial rebate is 20% the total cost of system you install, cash in hand].  And overall, solar systems themselves are also simple and very reliable. It makes practical sense to install solar power in our lives. But it takes a leap, because it requires real change. 

Plant-based diets offer a very similar proposition. They contain the same features for your body and health in the way solar power serves you, your family, and your home. And in a meta sense, your body actually is your home, after all.

Plant based diets allow you to use highly renewable, green, clean energy to power your body. In a very real way, plants are sunlight transformed into energy, combined with micronutrients and water gathered from the soil. Plants really are solar power. And solar power is a smart power source. Pound for pound, the energy [calories] from plants are significantly more affordable than those from animal products. The financial calculus is better [so is the nutritional calculus]. The plant “power” costs far less, in part because producing plants for food is much more resource efficient than breeding livestock for meat and dairy. Meat and dairy are like coal. They work, but there are negative consequences for using them.

The medical evidence also showcases that plants as source of clean “power” help clean out the body and alleviate chronic illness and disease.

In the same way that using coal for power dumps pollutants into our external environment, a conventional S.A.D. diet agitates and stresses our internal environment. It makes most of us very sick over time, and sets us up for a shorter functional lifespan and a lower quality of life. It’s been said many times: a fast food diet is a slow death.

Plant-based diets are also clinically proven to arrest and even reverse chronic disease - like heart disease - in people. It’s a single, remarkable, perk of using plant-based solar “energy” for your body. And there are many more. Ingesting plants serves as a hedge against the creep and buildup of heart disease, as well as other illnesses and chronic ailments.

And the diet brings a lighter carbon footprint with it. Far less than a conventional, S.A.D. diet About 50% less, in fact. This is exciting, because opting for plants is a personal decision with a very powerful environmental impact. 

I don’t know about you, but I really don't like the idea of handing off a needlessly trashed planet to our children and descendants. I can always do better.  I recycle, I compost, I install LED lightbulbs, and I try to buy local. These actions are helpful. I think. But I'm not totally clear on the degree of impact all this activity is having. Is it enough? I'm not so sure it is. I have to do more. But where to look?

Plants. That’s where. 

And there are financial rebates for adopting a plant-based diet, too. Health Insurance companies like HEALTH IQ are starting to take notice of people who camp out in plant-based territory. They offer reduced premiums for people are who are vegan and for those who regularly exercise. That’s a lot like a rebate you receive for installing a solar system for your home. Plant-based diets are going to keep you healthier, long term, too. They reduce the frequency [and cost] of you getting sick in the first place. Cha-Ching.

“But, I’ve got good health insurance, I’m good no matter what happens to me. I can do whatever I want”, you say. That may be true, but having health insurance is not the same as having a healthy physiology.

Having health insurance doesn’t reduce the actual chances of you getting sick or developing something chronic at all. All health insurance does is make your hospital and drug bills the responsibility of someone else, instead of you. It just changes who pays the bills. It’s effective wealth protection, but it doesn’t offer you any physical immunity from disease. Plant-based diets, however, do.

And at their heart, plant-based diets are simple systems to adopt, just like residential solar-power systems. Here are the mechanical guidelines of how to eat plant-based:

1.Eat a lot of plants
2.Whole foods are best.
3.Shy away from [or avoid]  processed foods.
4.Don’t eat animal products [Meat, Fish, Dairy, Eggs etc]

Plants are embraced, and animal products are removed from the option list. Simple. But not necessarily easy.

There is a cost to making the change, and in most cases, the cost is the friction and turbulence of that very change. I won’t deny that overhauling to a plant-based doesn’t have it’s challenges. It does. There’s an upfront “cost” to install the system, because it involves changing habits. You have to make new grooves in your life.

And this change will be messy in the middle, because you have to learn new cooking methods, new ways of shopping, and new ways of scanning menus and ingredient labels, among many other things [check out my condensed list of resources to help you get started]. You’re going to be in unexplored territory, and it takes time to learn how to do all of this. But it is an adventure.

And, once you nail it, boom; you're running on solar. Once you’ve paid the cost and installed the system, you can reap the benefits for a lifetime, including a trimmer figure, a stronger immune system, and elevated energy levels. The intrinsic value of this investment is incredible. The dividends are enormous. Power your life with solar energy. You will feel like a superhero.