More people are interested in plant-based eating than ever before. With movies like Game Changers (https://gamechangersmovie.com/) and What the Health (https://www.whatthehealthfilm.com/) leading the way, a lot of buzz is being created. Then, with people like Beyonce and Jay-Z and other celebrities and athletes supporting and investing in plant-based businesses, the buzz about plant-based eating is growing stronger than stronger.
But, what is plant-based eating?
Back in 1989, I considered myself a vegan. I’ve eaten no animal products since that time, which is part of the definition of veganism. Another part of the definition is not to wear animal-based products. By that standard, I have failed as I do have a few leather products in my closet. Also, over the last 32 years, I’ve eaten all types of highly processed vegan products, many of which I now consider harmful to my body.
Now I’d like to think I’m a plant-based eater, but the definition of that is sketchy. Plant-based means a diet primarily based on plants, but you can eat some meat. That sounds like cheating to me because one would think that plant-based means “everything” you eat should come from plants. Regardless of the definition, I still have not consumed any animal products to this day.
Now is the time to throw away the labels and simply focus on what food gives us the most bang for the buck. I started my Fit Beyond 40 New Year’s Challenge recently and the focus is weight loss and energy gain. The best foods for those objectives come from the first aisle of the supermarket, also known as the fresh produce aisle.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman devised the Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI) years ago that Whole Foods used to detail the nutrient content of food. All of the foods that had the most nutrients per calorie were found in the produce section, especially in green, leafy vegetables. So, regardless of whether you’re vegan, plant-based or meat-based, the bottom line is how much of those power-packed foods can you get into your system to drop a few pounds, energize you and fight disease.
Those who accepted my challenge have all reported more energy. Those who needed to drop a few pounds have dropped those pounds. I’ve asked everyone to keep a food journal and shoot for at least 75% plant-based eating, what I call the 75% Solution. That seems to be a comfortable threshold for everyone to thrive and enjoy their lives.
Give it a shot and have a great year!