We all have to admit that before veganism went mainstream, the perception that those who are vegan, were not the ideals of what health had been perceived to us. Fast forward to 2019, and what is said to be the “Year of the Vegan”, stereotypes are being crushed and masculinity re-defined by science and the very men and women who live a plant-based lifestyle.

 

 

Two questions that vegans are inundated with (which leaves me a little salty at times), namely:

1. “why did you give up meat?”

Well for me, the short version is this; All it took was one Carte Blanche documentary to turn me vegetarian. I remember not finishing my dinner, going to bed with a heavy heart and waking up the next morning with one thought.

The meat I consume was once a living thing, it does not die peacefully for my consumption, instead an animal (like any human being) fights, begs and screams for their life – this is the negative energy I put into my body and have been doing so for the past 26 years.

The switch from vegetarian to completely plant-based occurred when again I came across a graphic video detailing the production of dairy. Three years later, I am still a vegan, and I do not think that I will ever go back to consuming meat or dairy.

 

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Don’t know which seeds to add to your daily intake🤷🏼‍♀️ I’ve pinned two of my regulars against each other, Chia seeds and Hemp seeds (AKA hemp hearts )🌱 Similarities: 💚 Both are a complete protein, they contain all essential amino acids. 💚Great source of healthy fats, especially in omega-3; essential for your immune system and brain function. 💚Nutrient dense as well as calorie dense. Now let’s take a look at them individually. Chia Seeds: 💚Source of calcium essential for bone health 💚High in soluble fiber which assists in digestion and control of blood sugar 💚Great for cardiovascular health, as chia seeds are high in phosphorus & manganese. Hemp seeds: 💚Higher than chia seeds in iron, zinc and magnesium. 💚 Two tablespoons of hemp contains 7 grams of protein (equivalent to 1 🥚), higher in protein than chia seeds. Incorporate both in your daily intake for an upgrade in your health💪🏻🌱 Have you tried either of these super seeds?

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2. “where do you get your protein from?”

This question is by far my favourite, for one reason only. This is my chance to crush “bro science” with actual science and nutritional facts. Being a competitor with the IFBB and a personal trainer, this question is unavoidable and my approach to it is education.

My transition from vegetarian to vegan was not an easy one, predominately due to living in a town where boerewors and biltong is a staple diet. After months of research and living off beans and rice, I finally decided to treat by body differently to that of your average bikini competitor. Yes, I wanted the muscle but I was not going to flood my body with supplements.

I instead use plant-based, whole foods (apart from my consumption of pea protein) to meet my macro intake and the added benefit of being a vegan is that my vitamin and mineral intake is also being met due to the variety of fruit, veg, nuts and seeds, grain and legumes that I consume on a daily basis. I take a B12 supplement and make sure to get my blood tested twice a year, just so that I am aware of any nutrient deficiencies – which there have been none of for the past two years.

Over the past six years (period that I have not eaten meat), one thing is for sure, veganism has surely grown, people have converted for health reasons (trust me there are too many to ignore), for the animals and for the environment. Science is proving that eating a plant-based diet promotes not only longevity but also and most importantly vitality.

 

Plant Based And Thriving By Melissa Kannigan Aka Beyond The Bikini

 

The bottom line is this, any diet whether plant-based or not will have deficiencies if it isn’t researched and well-planned , the question you have to ask yourself is “what is going to help you thrive, perform better and keep you alive longer.

With veganism going mainstream, there are still skeptics, mostly among males. Its somehow been fortified in the male psyche that not eating meat, makes them less masculine.

Let me introduce you to the men who have re-defined masculinity…DRUM ROLL PLEASE AND ITS OKAY TO SALIVATE ;)

Dominick Thompson 

Not only has this man crushed the very ideals of what masculinity is, he is also a formidable animal activist and athlete. 

 

Nimai Delgado

The IFBB Pro who responsible for the podcast Generation V and get this… has never eaten meat! Please can someone ask, “where do you get your protein from?” (I hope you can feel my eye roll).

 

Torre Washington

IFBB Pro, who recently landed a contributing roll in Chris Hemsworth’s (yes, Thor) CentrFit Team.

 

Simon Hill

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Happy weekend friends! Thought I’d share a few of my healthy eating tips for anyone new to the Plant Proof community 🙏🏼 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 1- Don’t stress about labels. As a society we like to place people in boxes & this can place pressure on ourselves. If you don’t like labels then don’t use them :) Some people may choose to use a label for how they eat & that’s totally fine too, each to their own! ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 2- Eat more fibre. Most western populations are fibre deficient. Only 4% of Aussies reach the recommendations for daily fibre intake. Fibre is incredibly healthful & only found in plants 💪🏼🌱 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 3- Don’t be scared of carbohydrates, just choose the right ones. Refined carbs like added sugars in processed foods should be minimised for optimal health however unrefined carbohydrate sources like oats, brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato etc should be part of a healthy balanced diet. The longest living populations eat plenty of unrefined carbohydrates 🌱💪🏼 ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 4- Any diet can be unhealthy if you over consume calories and store too much fat. Obesity and being over weight in general is a risk factor for most diseases and metabolic disorders so maintaining a health weight is very important. Naturally by eating more whole foods filled with fibre you will consume less calories than a very animal & processed food focussed diet. Dietary fibre will help you feel satiated during & between meals. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ 5- Reduce your animal protein consumption and get friendly with plant protein sources like legumes, nuts & seeds. Processed plant based foods are ok for transitioning but where possible stick to as many unprocessed sources of plant protein as you can. This is in line with Canada Healths new eating recommendations which encourage a shift from animal based protein to plant to improve health & wellbeing. The average sedentary man needs 0.84g of protein per Kg per day whereas the active man needs 1.2-1.7g/Kg per day. If you are in a calorie deficit there is some science suggesting 1.7-2.2g/kg per day to maintain muscle mass while losing weight. Female protein requirement is slightly less than this. You can easily achieve this with plant proteins. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ Simon 🙏🏼

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Nutritional bad-ass who founded the Plant Proof podcast and who is also a part of the formidable CentrFit team.

 

These are just a few of the men that have proven that you do not have to kill to have a killer body and do they look like they have a protein deficiency?

Here are a few good reasons why you should be giving a plant-based diet a try:

  1. Plant-based foods are widely available, you will not be missing out on the good stuff. More and more vegan eateries are popping up, catering for every craving.
  2. Being vegan does not have to be expensive. Lentils and beans rank as one of the cheapest foods you can buy. Also take a peak at plantbasedonabudget.
  3. More and more doctors and other health professionals are recommending a diet centered around plants, check out veg_md.
  4. Resources to assist you are widely available, and their purpose is to help you make the transition to a plant-based lifestyle.
  5. We cannot ignore the science surrounding a plant-based lifestyle and how it reduces the risk of illness and promotes health.
  6. Aside from all the marvelous, and literally life changing benefits that a plant-based lifestyle has for your health, body, animals and the environment, just remember – VEGANS do everything better!

 

Written by Melissa Kannigan. Find her on her instagram, and her vegan blog.  

 

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