Well hello, guess what. I am officially practicing a plant-based diet. Also, I decided to call it plant-based dieting instead of “vegan” simply because I am not totally eliminating meat and diary products (give up burgers and ice cream… are you kidding?). This lifestyle change will involve me eating plant-based foods majority of time so I can study the physical changes to my body. As of right now I have been eating only plant-based foods for a little over a week. Even since then I have noticed a few changes. I am full of energy, I don’t need that afternoon coffee or nap. I have lost 2 lbs. My workouts are amazing, I am never bloated and my digestion has improved.
Now disclaimer, this blog is to not convince you to be a vegan. That is not my goal while writing this. I believe that something different works for everyone. If this works for me I will stick to it. This may not work for you and that is totally fine, maybe you think it is crazy and you will never even try it. I am simply trying to educate and share my experience.
First off, I would like to explain my reasons for switching to a plant-based diet. These are my personal reasons that I strongly believe in, and my motivation for the transition.
- Health Benefits
There are numerous proven health benefits to switching to a plant-based diet. Your risk of cardiovascular disease is reduced due to the reduction of saturated fats and cholesterol. Cholesterol is naturally made within our body. An average male will produce 1g per day, and contains about 35g within his cells membranes. 300mg of cholesterol is above the upper limit recommended by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee. If the limit of cholesterol that is recommended is 300mg, and 1 egg has 200mg, you can only imagine how much cholesterol the average person has in one day. Numerous studies have also shown that a vegan diet prevents diabetes and certain cancers. It is hard to go into detail about these things without turning this blog into a novel, but if you want to know more let me know.
2. Physical Benefits
Weight loss is a common reaction to vegan diets. It eliminates lots of “junky foods” from your diet and forces you to eat more vegetables. It also increase the volume of food and you feel more full because of the low calorie foods that you will be able to consume. This is easily explained by our Glycemic Index. Foods that are high on our glycemic index are things like sugars and white breads. Which spike our blood sugar levels quickly, therefore they drop quickly and result in loss of energy and cravings. Foods that are low on the glycemic index are lentils, beans, sweet potatoes, oats, etc. These are slowly digested therefore leaving you fuller for longer. Glucose is slowly released into your bloodstream which elongates your span of energy and eliminates energy spikes and crashes. Also, by switching to a plant-based diet, you might notice a huge difference in your complexion. Vitamin’s A and E are abundant in plants, grains and nuts. They improve complexion and acne.
3. Experience and Knowledge
Being a professional in the fitness industry, I want to be able to help my clients. I have a couple clients who practice plant-based diets. Therefore, I want to learn as much as I can and be able to connect to with them through experience.
I have been conflicted with animal products and dairy for quite a while. I felt as though I was eating too much protein. I never craved chicken or steak, I was simply eating it because I felt like I had to. I was always bloated and fatigued. Learning more and more about specific protein sources from plant-based foods got me thinking that plant-based eating could be possible and delicious!
There are many reasons for people to start plant-based diets; animal rights, environmental issues, health benefits, etc. The list goes on and on. At the end of it all everyone has different reasons and it comes down to personal preference. I am excited to share my journey starting my transition to a plant-based diet with you all.
We can achieve adequate protein through plants. I thought I would list some of the plant-based foods that are amazing protein sources, as well as my “Plant-Based Grocery List”
Plant-Based Grocery List:
- Quinoa (high in protein)
- Form of Nut Milk (almond, soy, cashew, etc)
- Nuts (almonds, cashews, walnuts)
- Leafy Greens (spinach, lettuce, coleslaw mix)
- Frozen Fruit of Choice (for smoothies)
- Sprouted Grain Bread / Bagel
- Fruits of Choice
- Vegetables of Choice
- Sweet Potatoes
- Chick Peas (high in protein)
- Kidney Beans (high in protein)
- Black Beans (high in protein)
- Peanut / Almond Butter
- Chai / Flaxseed
These are just some of the things I have and will be eating as I begin my journey. There are also plenty of plant-based protein powders and some great vegan protein bars that can help with flavour and protein intake.
I am extremely excited to start this journey. I hope you stick around to read about it.
And hey... wine is plant-based ;)
Thanks for reading!