Roughly one year ago, I decided to adopt a more plant-based diet. Since the age of about 12, I have made a concerted effort to consume enough protein for my "fitness-first" lifestyle. However, after looking at the research, I have concluded that avoiding meat may be one of the healthiest decisions I could make...
If you haven't seen the movie, "Forks Over Knives", I highly recommend it. It is an eye-opener to say the least.
As founder of The Fitness Doctor, I consider it my personal responsibility to promote (and adopt) the healthiest lifestyle possible. With that in mind, I recommend a "plant-strong" dietary approach to every client I encounter. Animal cruelty is obviously horrendous, but it's not just that, it's the fact that meat has been proven to cause cancer!
The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has classified processed meat as a carcinogen (something that causes cancer). IARC is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization. Processed meat includes hot dogs, ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats. It refers to meat that has been treated in some way to preserve or flavor it. Processes include salting, curing, fermenting, and smoking. Red meat includes beef, pork, lamb, and goat.
Twenty-two experts from 10 countries reviewed more than 800 studies to reach their conclusions. They found that eating 50 grams of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. That’s the equivalent of about 4 strips of bacon or 1 hot dog. For red meat, there was evidence of increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer.
"But Dr. Fred, I want to enjoy life and eat what I want!"
Why not have it both ways?
Take a look at some of these delicious recipes!
Fitness Doctor Power Breakfast
Half cup steel cut oats
1 Tsp Chia, Flax, and Hemp seeds.
Fresh or dried fruit on top!
Fitness Doctor Pre-Workout Snack
Handful of almonds
Fitness Doctor Post-Workout Lunch
Salad mix with vinaigrette dressing
Seeds or nuts for protein
Fitness Doctor Dinner
Bed of brown rice (or quinoa)
Beans or lentil
Tofu or tempeh
Roasted sweet potatoes
Guacamole or salsa
Some important things to consider:
Get sufficient calories - One of the most important rules to follow when on a plant-based diet for bodybuilding is getting enough calories. If you do not get enough calories, your body may turn the limited amount of protein into fuel and use it up during workouts. This way, you might not build muscle mass but notice a deficit.
Do not avoid legumes and chickpeas - If you are looking for ways to build lean muscle mass, do not miss chickpeas and legumes. It is a good source of low-fat carbs which will add proteins to your body as well.
Go for quinoa instead of rice - Quinoa is a complete protein source which is why it would promote muscle-building.