I am a vegan athlete. I have not consumed red meat for more than 25 years, I do not eat any flesh nor do I eat dairy. There is a great deal of misconception and misinformation out there on this topic. In the 1950’s the Meat and Dairy Associations created the Standard Basic Food Chart to increase sales of their product and this has became the standard diet for most North Americans without question for many decades….REALLY? That is changing rapidly as illness and obesity sky-rocket particularly in North America.
It is becoming more and more accepted and known around the globe (thanks to the Internet) that meat and dairy are not healthy for the human body and that regular over consumption of such foods create all kinds of health problems as we age from too much protein and saturated animal fat. Osteoporosis (did you know…too much protein robs the bones of calcium), colon cancer from years of eating meat and saturated fats that cannot be properly digested…the result…food that is impacted and rots in the intestine (Sounds pretty gross don’t you think?) releasing all kinds of toxins, causing obesity, cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, digestive disorders as well as other disease. These problems could be eliminated from a plant based diet. Our bodies were not designed to digest these foods, our intestinal track is very long and winding with lots of places for undigested or partially digested food to get stuck and decay. Plant based foods are simple to digest, full of water and fibre moving through the system much faster than meats and dairy products (healthy properly functioning digestive system transit time should be 24 hours).
Many of the biggest animals are herbivores, take a Horse for example, these magnificent, muscular, powerful creatures do not eat meat. How do they fuel their muscles? They eat hay, grass and oats. I am not suggesting we eat hay, grass and oats however there is something to consider here. There is plenty of protein found in plants, nuts and seeds, in fact, all the protein our bodies need and can assimilate is provided by a plant based diet. Not only is there enough protein but it is easily digested and absorbed by the body. When one eats a plant based diet they are fuelling the system on clean, high energy foods that support vitality, energy, hydrate the cells/tissues, build and maintain muscle mass. In addition a plant based diet does not rob calcium from your bones because your are not overloading on protein.
As a personal trainer I encourage my clients to stay away from protein powders – many of which have chemical additives and are far from natural- and to simply eat a kale salad with some hemp hearts, nuts and seeds post workout or make a smoothie with nut butters, banana, hemp hearts and Maca.
“Maca is a nutritional powerhouse especially rich in iodine. It is a reliable protein source containing significant amounts of amino acids. The protein and calories in Maca are stable even after years of storage. It is also rich in complex carbohydrates and essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and iron. It contains vitamins B-1, B-2, B12, C and E and is a source of glycoside steroids“. Ideal for body-builders who choose the vegan path.
Not only are nuts/seeds/hemp hearts high in protein but so are dark green leafy vegetables like Kale, Chard, Collards etc. It’s really all you need.
The Vegan lifestyle is simple, delicious, high energy and very healthy if you know what you are doing and your diet consists of a variety of living whole foods… mainly vegetables, legumes, nuts, seeds, sprouts, superfoods, fruits (limited- don’t want too much sugar) and high quality oils like Extra Virgin Olive Oil (First Press) Organic Virgin Coconut Oil, Avocado.
“Let Food Be Thy Medicine and Medicine Be Thy Food” ~Hippocrates
Copyright Anica Brandt 2013
Anica is available for nutritional consultation,coaching, and support for those who are looking for lifestyle change. Additional services include personalized catering.