Men CAN Be Strong Eating Only Plants
Shock. Strong men that only eat plants? No? The idea that you have to consume whole chickens, piles of steaks and wash it down with a smoothie containing a dozen raw eggs to be a strong man is still the general concept that is floating around, which may date back to cave-men days. Yet, thank goodness we no longer live in caves and now more and more prominent males in the spotlight are demonstrating that this is not the case. You can live a cruelty-free life and be healthy.
You can EVEN live a cruelty-free life and be STRONG - and be a male.
Firstly look at the role models proving this to be true; ultra-athelete Rich Roll, Aussie Cricketer's Peter Siddle, Adam Zampa, Kane Richardson, Brazilian Jiu-Jitzu champion David Meyer, four-time Formula 1 world champion Lewis Hamilton (do you have to be fit to race cars.. not sure, but still!!) English soccer player Jamie Defoe, boxer David Haye. And these are just to name a few. (Obviously there are many strong WOMAN athletes also on vegan diets but that is not what this blog is about!)
It is understandable that most people have had the false belief they need to eat meat to get enough protein to be healthy, let alone be an athlete because that is what we have been fed for years, from well-funded campaigns from almost every angle. It has become a collective misbelief. It is recently that figures such as above have been helping lift this fallacy, and I am sure they did not make this decision lightly, because I know first hand professional athletes care A LOT about their craft. My father and my ex partner were professional sports players. Trust me.
We do need protein, without a doubt. And we do need sufficient amounts of it. Protein is absolutely critical in building and repairing muscle tissue and maintaining of a wide array of important bodily functions. But the myth is that we can only get this protein from the flesh of a dead animal and that we need copious amounts of it.
Protein is made up from 20 amino acids, of which 9 we MUST get from out diet and are called essential amino acids - means they are essential to EAT! The remaining our body can synthesise itself. All of these 9 essential amino acids we must ingest from our diet are ALL found in plants and animals. The animals firstly have to get them from the plants themselves, and as I deeply believe in the ability of our human bodies, we, like the animals, can also eat the essential amino acids in our diet from plants and convert them to what we need them to do in our own bodies.
Some plant-based foods that contain proteins are :
black, kidney, butter and all types of other beans, legumes, lentils, a variety of all nuts and seeds (especially adding seeds like chia and hemp seeds) spriulina, sweet potato.
When you eat a varied diet, you will get the essential amino acids your body needs.
I hear lots of vegans say thats all there is to it, but I am also conscious that while our bodies ARE clever and DO know what they need to do, in the typical fast-paced, stressful lifestyle where we often consume way too much coffee and alcohol, then you DO need to be aware that WHAT you eat is important but HOW your body digests and assimilates that nutrition is just as important. If our digestive system is stuffed, then we won't be getting what we think we are from our foods.
Perhaps the lazy way is then to claim 'just eat meat', then perhaps your body needs to do "less" since it has the already converted forms of amino acids ingested. But I disagree this is sustainable longterm. Meat is hard to digest. Our bodies are not designed like carnivores, we have relatively flat teeth, our guts are much less acidic then them and we have very long digestive tracts compared to their short ones.
I can't help ignore that free-range, pasture-raised meat can be beneficial on a health platform when suffering from deficiencies but it is not the only answer. We can repair our systems with herbs and nutritional support and most importantly, lifestyle choices. We don't have to go to the fall back of meat.
And as for needing it as an athlete, just google the list of the people mentioned earlier to look at their feats. Powered by plants only. Whether these ultra-fit guys gave up meat and chose to eat only plants due to compassion for animals or the high amount of research on the health benefits, they are redefining the stereotype of what consists to be masculine by doing so.
Then there is my husband, who is still rocking it and my Dad, who in his late sixties is fitter than many of my friends half his age. Both strong, healthy plant-based fuelled men, constantly inspiring me.