My “Plant Based” Diet

Last night I ate 30oz of frozen yogurt.  Seriously, here’s proof:

Vincent and I were trying to create the heaviest yogurt possible, and based on the horror on the cashier’s face, I think we were successful.  I loaded that sucker up with peanut buttery candy pieces, peanut butter and Milk Dud froyo, and loads of other really-bad-for-you treats.

The first half of that bowl was magical.  The second half was terrible.  But, I fought on, and conquered that nutritional abomination.  This is one PR that I’m not intent on breaking very soon:

(Click me, I’m a link to Harold’s Twitter feed!)

Now, this is pretty damn gross, and I don’t feel too hot this morning.  If I’m going to get gluttonous with food, it’s typically on Saturday nights, after my hardest workout of the week.  After a squat and deadlift variations, single leg work and upper body pulling, and some conditioning, I’m not too worried about a little bit a giant bowl of frozen yogurt.  Especially when I consider how I typically eat.

Outside of Saturday evening extravagances, my diet typically includes at least one, if not two, salads a day, and loads of vegetables.  To all intents, constructions, and purposes, I’m eating a plant based diet.

By a plant based diet, this is what I mean:

See!  The plants are the base for the meat! Bwahahahaaa I’m funny! But seriously…

I use loads of plants to make a base for the animal protein that I eat, be it steak, or chicken, or steak, or eggs, or fish, or steak, or… okay, you get me.

I don’t like to subscribe to any dietary cult label, but I do like the idea of Just Eat Real Food.  I’m definitely not proponent of vegetarianism, but I do think that everyone would benefit from eating greater quantities of vegetables.  Just throw a steak on top.

My friend Erika wrote an awesome post called How To Be A Flesh Eating Vegetarian, and I strongly suggest you check it out.  Here’s an excerpt that I really like:

So how can you eat a plant based diet that is still rich in delicious meat?

Step 1: Build every meal around animal protein: Beef, poultry, fish, eggs, pork..  Preferably the highest quality you have access to (grass-fed, pasture raised, cage free, wild caught, etc are your most optimal choices NOT pre-packaged, frozen, pre-cooked processed meats).  Your portion size should be approximately the size of your palm – more or less depending on your hunger. (Once you start eating more real food and less processed junk, you’ll be more in tune with your body’s hunger signals).  Protein is king. This is the most important, no matter what your goals are – fat loss, strength, muscle gain, overall health

Step 2: Fill up at least the remaining half of your plate with veggies and/or greens.  Unless you’re five years old, saying “I don’t like veggies” or “Veggies are gross” are both invalid excuses. Man up/Woman up/Nut up. These are where a large majority of your vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and badassery will come from.  They will also kick inflammation’s gnarly ass and make you an indestructible superhero.

Step 3: Add a healthy fat source.  Your body cannot absorb all those vitamins from your veggies without fat.  You have no reason to fear fat and it’s amazing health benefits, as long as you are eating the right kinds.  It will also keep you satiated, make your food taste better and boost your energy through the roof, especially combined with protein.  Nuts, seeds, avocados and certain oils are the best.  (I’ve been digging both avocado and walnut oil lately).

Seriously, Erika nailed it!  I like to think of each salad I eat as an opportunity to combine my love for steaks and avocados.  While there is loads of research that discusses the benefits of eating whole foods, I don’t want to be Wonka:

Yes, a whole foods plant based diet is a component of a healthy lifestyle, and can help mitigate factors that lead to cancer and auto immune diseases, but… you can’t escape those things.  In today’s society, everyone is caught up in diets that solely focus on weight loss, or being skinny, or reducing the prevalence of disease.

Why don’t we just focus on feeling better?

A year ago, I had never eaten a salad, and thought that I ‘ate my vegetables’ if I had broccoli with my chicken, made a spinach and blueberry smoothie, and had some V8.  I tend to be a picky eater, so I figured it counted a little bit, and it did, but now that I’ve moved past my fear of leafy greens, I feel a hell of a lot better.

Sure, it’s healthier, which was the initial selling point, but when you feel better as well, you can’t beat that.

Today is my Mom’s birthday, and I can’t help but give her a little shout out.  (Happy Birthday, Mom!)  We’re going out for dinner later, and I’m hoping that they have some massive salads on the menu.  That should give me a good place to cut my steak.

I have some good things planned for the site this week, so stay tuned for some fun.  Until then, enjoy the closing of this gorgeous weekend!

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3 Replies to “My “Plant Based” Diet”

  1. This is awesome! Thanks for the shout-out! Do you typically eat the same kinds of salads every day or do you switch them up? You should totally do a Harold’s salad recipe post.

    1. Erika, your post was far better than mine, I loved it! I tend to go through a check list in my head, of some sort of leafy green, a healthy fat, an animal based protein, and then extra veggie goodies…I think you’re on to something, I’ll try a salad recipe post soon!

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