Had an amazing weekend catching up with friends and running the Shamrock Half in honor of Cameron Gallagher. Will post a recap soon.
This week was supposed to mark our buffer week in the food experiment department.
BUT, Justin and I have had an unexpected eye opening experience in these last 2 weeks.
I already mentioned some findings I learned through these 3 weeks.
We have enjoyed some pretty yum meals on this plan.
These meals weren’t too far off from what we normally eat, just no bison or chicken. I struggled with feeling full week one and two. By week three, I was eating a lot of beans and starting to feel like I was going to float away with all the extra “air.” But, I noticed an increase in energy, mood and performance this last week.
I lost 1 lb., but I don’t know if that was from my increase in teaching classes and running or decrease in eating meat.
I never have my act together and this did not change. I blame that on the kids.
What was our eye opening experience?
We have just started having aversions to meat, specifically beef, chicken and turkey. We have actually started thoroughly enjoying a plant-based diet (once our guts adjust!).
A plant–based diet is one based on vegetables, whole grains, legumes and fruit, with little or no animal products (including dairy).
As I’ve been studying Colin Campbell’s work, I see how plant-based diets actually reduce certain diseases. While researching Paleo or other meat-driven diets, I don’t see a “this lowers the risk”, but more of a defense, “this won’t cause a risk.” That was a big eye opener for us. I mean, how can you argue with things that you plant and God grows for you?
Here are THREE more reasons we’ve decided to go plant-based. I’ve looked into the arguments that meat eaters make against vegetarians and have found these 3 the most prevalent. That plant-based eaters don’t get enough omega 3’s or protein and that they consume too much phytic acid.
1. Omega-3 fatty acids are polyunsaturated fatty acids that are essential nutrients for health. We need omega-3 fatty acids for numerous normal body functions, such as controlling blood clotting and building cell membranes in the brain, and since our bodies cannot make omega-3 fats, we must get them through food. SOURCE
Plant-based sources of omega 3’s include soybeans, flaxseed, walnuts, Brussels sprouts, leafy greens. These types of omega 3s are called alpha-linolenic acid or ALA.
Animal-based sources include fatty fish. These type are referred to as eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).
However, research from meat-eaters indicate that the conversion of ALA (plant-based omega 3’s) to EPA and DHA (animal-based) is extremely limited. Less than 5% of ALA gets converted to EPA, and less than 0.5% (one-half of one percent) of ALA is converted to DHA. SOURCE
What do my plant-eaters say?
I tend to agree with the plant eaters on this point. This is just my opinion and thoughts, but I feel like our bodies are machines, constantly compensating for things. From one of my throwback favorite shows…
The human body is designed to compensate for loss. It adapts so it no longer needs the thing it cannot have. But, sometimes the loss is too great and the body can’t compensate on its own. That’s when surgeons get involved.
and (not from McDreamy)
The human body readily responds to changing environmental stresses in a variety of biological and cultural ways. We can acclimatize to a wide range of temperature and humidity. When traveling to high altitudes, our bodies adjust so that our cells still receive sufficient oxygen. We also are constantly responding in physiological ways to internal and external stresses such as bacterial and viral infections, air and water pollution, dietary imbalance, and overcrowding. SOURCE
So why couldn’t our bodies adapt to a different form of omega 3’s by chance? Just a thought.
I typed in “the human body is amazing” and food this picture. ????
2. Plant-based eaters do not get enough protein. Remember this post? It varies widely, but humans really only need 10-30% of their daily calories to be from protein. Obviously endurance athletes would be on the higher end. It may seem like you need more, but American certainly does not have a protein-deficiency problem. If anything, we have a protein surplus problem. Yes, it is MUCH easier to get those calories from meat, but it is very possible to also get them from plants.
If you are an endurance athlete, or trying to bulk up on muscle, just add a VEGA protein shake to your day and BAM, there’s your required daily amount.
(No I’m not sponsored by VEGA in any way, shape or form. I just heart them.)
3. Phytic Acid. This is a big proponent of the Paleo Diet. Phytic acid is called an anti-nutrient by some because it binds to nutrients in the food, preventing you from absorbing them. It doesn’t steal any nutrients that are already in your body, but it does make that bowl of lentils a lot less nutrient-dense than the Nutrition Facts panel would have you believe. SOURCE
Phytic acid is present in beans, legumes and peanuts. Paleo-ers do not eat these items.
With this being said, Kale can also be considered an anti-nutrient according to this definition. It contains glucosinolates, which, after processing by the body, can suppress the thyroid gland’s ability to take up iodine and convert it into thyroid hormones. SOURCE
Also, by soaking, sprouting or fermenting the food items you can SIGNIFICANTLY reduce the amount of phytic acid in them.
But, I do agree with the Paleos that these beans and legumes can irritate the gut. Hence my extra “lofty” feeling post bean-rich vegetarian meals. But, I think our bodies can, again, adapt.
So what are we eating?
For those of you looking forward to my food experiment, my apologies. After researching, listening to MILLIONS of podcasts and watching several documentaries, we just don’t feel able to eat the meat-driven Paleo way. I hate labeling ourselves, but if we have to, we are “plant-based.” We plan on eating some fish and eggs, but no dairy and mostly plants. The whole vegan month may happen in the future, but we plan on continuing this way for now.
Here is our goal:
What are your thoughts?