Good question… My first instinct would be no. This was a topic and question that I had been bumping into on a regular basis so I figured that I would dive in. Let’s face it, it makes your head spin and almost want to give up with all of these new diets popping up every year. No fat, atkins and no carbs, healthy fat, complex carbs, liquid based, detox etc… And most people will try any of these in search of vanity. In that same journey for the holy vanity most will compromise the true health of what is going in on inside the body and who knows what’s going on in their heads with deprivation and stress.
Being an athlete and fitness model I have been the guinea big for just about every “diet” lifestyle out there. Something was missing… did it require that much deprivation and discipline to get a temporary feeling of thinking that you look “good enough”? We can dive further into the topic of self-image and confidence in another article. Most of these people in magazines are in a starved state of mind and body to get the “magic look” that lasts about a day (and that is usually with the help of some editing).
So back to the topic of the body performance… I had been inspired after researching the topic of eating more plant based after reading Thrive by Brendan Brazier (this is a 35 year old Super Ironman competitor who fuels himself with a 100% plant based diet all well looking like he is in his early 20’s). I still thought 100% was too extreme and wanted some more opinions and views. I picked up a copy of The All-Pro diet written by Tony Gonzalez and Mitzi Dulan, RD. Now besides lacking 10 pro bowls on my resume, I figured that I could relate easier to Tony Gonzalez as a football player. Both books shared some awesome studies and claims from transitioning into more of a plant based diet.
So now I have an example of two great athletes in two of the most grueling and demanding sports in the world incorporating a vegan and plant based diet. WHERE DO THEY GET THEIR PROTEIN?? I had this idea pounded in my head that every meal needed to include some whey protein, eggs, steak, and chicken etc… So depending how serious I wanted to take this I would have to give these up. Keep in mind, I LOVE FOOD… I am a foodie and the “no-no” foods were all somewhere on my favorite recipe list.
But these claims:
- Quicker muscle recovery
- Increased energy
- Improved mental clarity
- Sleep quality (less requirement of sleep as well!)
- Resistance of infection and allergies
- Overall full potential of body and mind
The list didn’t end there; of course there was better skin and complexion, hair and nails, etc…
What could it hurt to try another “diet”? I decided that I would try it out for a month.
At first I lacked that satisfied feeling and felt a lower energy level and possibly more fatigue… I figured this was part of the transition phase and this would pass. I made the decision to enjoy the process and make fun out of new grocery store trips to whole foods and local produce. What do you know all of these people are constantly happy and optimistic!? Typical American diets are loaded with starches, processed and refined foods that are stripped of any nutritional value. This creates more work for the body to recognize and digest these foods for fuel.
So my new diet would focus on the idea of high net gain foods that were more nutrient dense. Basically less work for the body to digest, thus meaning less stress on the body and more energy preserved for my mind and performance. Think “easy in-easy out”. These foods were made up of more leafy greens, juiced mixes with fresh veggies like carrots, beets, ginger, etc… I turned to Spirulina and plant based proteins like Hemp, pea, and brown rice protein for my recovery. These plant based proteins like Pea and hemp carry natural good sources of fiber, alkaline forming, non-bloating protein. So much easier on the stomach! AND I found that I could get more than enough protein in my fruits vegetables, grains like quinoa etc… On top of this I could season and flavor all of my food with more natural food. The process has been a fun learning experience including a lot of experimenting in the kitchen.
I honestly have had more energy than ever as well as a leaner body composition than any time in my life. My workouts have been supercharged and I feel good inside and out! For convenience, I was able to use NutraSumma plant based protein line that surprisingly tasted great (natural sweetened) and mixed easy into smoothies, shakes, and pancakes, etc… Give it a try. What do you have to lose? Besides a few pounds and some experience… Check out NutraSumma’s plant based options, designed and by doctors and tested by high performance athletes. Enter “Sani” as discount code in shopping cart to save 15% off of your order.