When you look at the diets of great warriors (i.e., the Samurai, Gladiators and Roman Legion soldiers), they ate predominantly whole food plant based meals. The animal products they did eat was clean (not processed like today), and in limited amounts.
Did these warriors know a secret that we’ve only recently discovered?
We know that junk food, heavily processed foods, and alcohol etc., all tax the liver. That’s because our liver is the main organ that filters toxins out of our body. But did you know that the liver is also responsible for muscle function, performance, and injury recovery? So, it makes sense NOT to stress your liver with junk/processed foods, and high meat diets, because you need it to function optimally for your body to train, and defend itself at the highest level.
Todays athletes, elite military, and law enforcement personnel are performing at their highest levels since switching to this way of eating.
How do you start eating more plant based meals?
The key to remember in eating a more plant based diet is NOT to cut out other food groups, but to start adding in more plant foods. A great way to do this is to eat your plant based foods first, then if you're still hungry and need some animal foods, go for it.
Interestingly, you will find that you do not need a lot of the animal foods to get full after eating the plant based meal. The secret is to eat the plant foods first.
Are plant based meals complicated, or do they take a long time to prepare?
No they are not. Plant foods are quick and easy to prepare and don't even need to be cooked to eat, unlike meat, chicken and fish products. While you can make elaborate plant based meals that take a long time to cook, that is not the norm.
What about Protein?
Somewhere along the line folks were told a myth that plant based foods don't have any protein. This couldn't be farther from the truth! While animal products certainly have more protein per gram, they also stress the liver out more, as they are harder to break down and get rid of their toxic byproducts (like ammonia).
Furthermore, new studies show that combining plant proteins with (clean) animal proteins enhance protein uptake, making it more usable for your body than animal protein alone. So why not add plant based protein sources to your diet?
There are quite a few plant based foods that are chock full of protein. Here's a list of a few plant foods that are high in protein:
And many, many more foods.
Adding plant based foods to your diet can increase your performance whether it's for sports, self-defense, health and/or longevity. If you want help successfully including them in your life, let me know.
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Until next time, Stay Safe and Fit!
Sincerely, Lawrence Castanon,
Author, The Short Fight