In this podcast I talk about why adapting a plant-based diet is ideal for us humans. Not necessarily a vegetarian diet, but a diet that is dominated by plants.
Core Balance Podcast. Episode 75.
What do you think your body would look and feel like if you continue to move like you did when you were a kid, before fitness became about treadmills and calories. There is a better way and now you've found it. Welcome to the Core Balance Podcast with your host Chris Janke-Bueno.
Hello and welcome. Welcome to the Core Balance Podcast. I'm your host Chris Janke-Bueno and I'm glad that you are here. Today we are going to talk a little bit about nutrition. So today I want to talk about the merits of a plant-based diet. Not necessarily a vegetarian diet. I'm not a vegetarian although I try to eat – the vast majority of my food I try to make plant-based. And the reason is that in a plant-based diet we can find so many more nutrients that are not available in meat: phytonutrients, vitamins, minerals, fiber, water – all these nutrients that you will find in vegetables, fruit that you will not find in meat.
Now, as far as I know there's nothing in meat that cannot be found in vegetables. Now the one exception might be Vitamin B12, that's the one thing that vegetarians and vegans tend to be deficient in, I know especially vegans. You know they are at risk for B12 deficiency. However, everything else including protein can be found in a plant-based diet.
If you ate 2000 calories of let's just say spinach, only spinach, you would actually be getting over the recommended daily allowance of protein. It's pretty amazing. In fact if you eat only whole foods, you will get the allotted amount of protein, if you eat enough calories, that's the trick and that's why I think a lot of vegetarians and vegans lose a lot of weight is that it's really, really hard to eat a lot of calories of spinach, celery, carrots. It's hard to over-eat those. It's hard to even get enough calories that you need to burn so that's why a lot of vegans I think are very lean. Now I've seen vegan bodybuilders, so you don't have to be lean. You can be really big and strong. It's all in how many calories you consume.
Another benefit of a plant-based diet is that plants are very easy for the body to digest, very easy compared to meat and I ran into some really interesting statistics that show almost evidence, there's almost evidence that prove that human beings are meant to eat a lot of plants. Now, again we are herbivores, excuse me, we are omnivores. Herbivores are vegetarians. We are omnivores meaning we eat meat and plants. But I believe we were meant to eat more plants. So here's some of the evidence. Number one is that our digestive track is very long compared to carnivores. So the longer the digestive track, the longer the food stays in the body and a plant-based diet you know a bunch of plants staying in your body is no big deal but imagine having like a 8-ounce steak staying in your body for a few days – kind of not too healthy.
Secondly our saliva in our mouth is alkaline whereas a carnivore’s saliva is acidic. That acidic saliva actually helps break down meat whereas our saliva, the only enzyme in it is the enzyme to help break down carbohydrates. And in plant-based products they are predominantly carbohydrate, even though again you know spinach and all that has protein in it but it's predominantly carbohydrate.
And then third, the third piece of evidence that shows that we are meant to eat more vegetables is just the fact that we have so many teeth, so many molars to break down plant material, whereas we only have four canine teeth. The canine teeth are like what dogs have and tigers and the really sharp ones. We have four of those and even then they are not that sharp. We have a lot of teeth that are meant to break down roughage.
Also I'm going to add a fourth here, a fourth piece of evidence. If you go to our nearest ancestors in the animal kingdom, all the chimpanzees and monkeys and apes right, all the primates, we are very closely related to them. And in fact I've heard that as much as 97 or 98 percent of our DNA is identical to apes or something like that. I don't know the exact statistic. I also know that 52 percent of statistics are made up. Did you know that?!
Anyway, moving on, so primates are predominantly plant eaters. Gorillas though have been shown to eat little ants and insects and bugs so they are not vegetarian, but they eat – a gorilla for example will eat I think it's 10 percent, let me think, I think that was right because – oh no, no, it was like 5 percent, okay, so anyway, a 200-pound gorilla will eat 10 pounds of roughage a day, so there's 5 percent. A 200-pound gorilla will eat 5 excuse me 10 pounds of plant material a day. Now imagine how healthy you would be if you ate 10 pounds of spinach, carrots, kale, Swiss chard, collard greens, watercress, celery, all of those very low density as far as calories go but very high density as far as nutrients and water and vitamins, minerals, fiber, all that stuff. I mean imagine that. And I don't know anyone who has ever tried that except for me. I tried it for three days, felt amazing, but my food bill was ridiculous. It was like $50 a day.
So anyway that is my little food rant for the day that I believe we should be predominantly on a plant-based diet, occasionally having some meat, although again if we go to the primates we may want to reconsider what type of meat we eat, maybe tend to go toward the smaller animals, maybe more chicken, less beef, I don't know, just my thought, but try it out, try it out. I know people have lost weight on the Atkins diet and doing the high protein and stuff like that but that's been proven to be very unhealthy. So let's try the other way, maybe try to consume two salads a day, two big salads a day. Go back to our primate days and you know try to get up to that goal of maybe not 10 pounds of roughage a day but maybe try 3. What if you did 3 pounds of roughage a day? I mean I guarantee you, you would hit your daily fiber requirement, you would probably hit it 10X. I guarantee you, you would also hit your water requirement. You wouldn't even need to drink water because there would be so much water in the food that you are eating.
So think about that. I don't know to you if it seems like a silly challenge but seriously I think you would be well served to aim for 3 pounds of roughage a day for 3 days. I will call it the 3 x 3 challenge. 3 pounds for 3 days. If you do it let me know how it goes. I want to hear about it because like I said I did it, I did more than 3. I did 5 or 6 pounds a day for 3 days. Again, felt amazing. Digestion was great and just very clear headed. I also felt like I didn't need to sleep as much, very, very cool results that I would recommend you try.
So that's it for today. Thank you so much for listening.
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You’ve been listening to the Core Balance Podcast, I'm your host Chris Janke-Bueno. We'll talk again next time. Until then let's be fit, let's be healthy, let's be happy. It feels good to move, so keep moving.
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