There are few people I know that actually feel that they eat a sufficient amount of vegetables in a day. Many people try to eat healthy but recognize they fall short of incorporating sufficient fresh produce in their diet. Truthfully, those that actively seek to eat more veggies tend to be missing out somewhere, and those that don’t try to eat more vegetables regularly might find they almost rarely eat any! I won’t bore you with the stats, but the number of people that can go days to weeks without eating a fresh, plant-based food is astounding.
The most common kickback to trying a plant-based diet (be it vegetarian, vegan, or some off variant of the two) is that they won’t be able to get sufficient protein. Done right, this simply isn’t true. You can actually get quite a solid dose of protein whether you do a combo of foods, like rice and beans, or go for complete-protein plant sources, like hemp, soy, or quinoa. True, there are some common deficiencies seen with plant-based diets, like Vitamin B-12 and D, Omega-3, Iron, and Zinc. Are these all reasons to empty your vegetable crisper drawer to make room for those chicken breasts and ground beef? Absolutely not! Many of these nutrients can be obtained through careful planning, supplementation, or just a more balanced approach to your diet. The benefits of following a plant-heavy diet (ranging from improved energy levels and weight loss to cancer-fighting potential) vastly outweigh any of the potential drawbacks. Attempting to eat more fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing approach. The best, long-lasting changes are the small ones that you can maintain with your lifestyle. Maybe instead of totally giving up meat, try the trendy “Meatless Mondays” option. You could even choose one meal a week to try and find an alternative protein source rather than meat. Done right, a diet more rich in fresh produce can greatly excel any of your health and fitness goals. Don’t believe me? Feel free to speak with Western Personal Trainer Devin Van Dyke, who is currently following a mostly plant-based diet. Even his performance in the gym speaks for itself.
If I were to summarize, I would just want to say this. Just lettuce be more open to turnip the amount of plants in our diet. Going bananas for fruits and veggies may kale any ailments you have, help you beet your friends in sports, and berry your cravings. This might seem corn-y, or you may even think I am nuts. But if bean healthy is your goal, you might want to eat more plants.
ACSM Personal Trainer