We get a lot of e-mails every day from people who ask us questions about the plant-strong life. In these e-mails I usually find that they reveal a lot about the person, and usually the complexity in which they are approaching their plant-strong life.
Here are a few ways you can make things harder than it needs to be:
1. You worry about nutrition/protein/calories/fat/vitamins.
The plant-strong diet is complete. You do not have to worry about getting enough protein or fat or calories or vitamins. You don’t have to count calories, track your nutrition, figure out carbs, or protein. Stick to the basics: vegetables, fruit, beans, whole grains and you’ve got all you need. No need to add to that to get what you need.
*Take b12 – that is the only supplement we recommend. AND vitamin D (which is really a hormone) IF your Dr. has tested your levels and if they are low and your Dr. has recommended you take them.
What always surprises me is that people generally do not start worrying about things like protein or sodium or fat until they start eating plant-strong. The modern diet of junk food is going to do a lot more harm and should cause a TON more concern when it comes to if someone is getting what they need.
2. You are eliminating things you don’t need to eliminate.
With the rise in popularity of Paleo and other grain-scare diets, people have been eliminating things like whole grains when they do not need to. A very small percentage of the population have a documented gluten allergy or Celiac disease. Celiacs is a serious disease that causes a lot of suffering, one of the first signs is usually weight loss and a host of very uncomfortable physical symptoms. If you suspect you have a wheat allergy, get tested.
If you do not have an allergy, there is no reason to go gluten free. Whole wheat and whole wheat products can be part of your plant-strong life.
3. You are only cooking from recipes.
Recipes can definitely have their place in your plant-strong life. But often the easiest thing is going to be creating a meal out of the basics that require no actual recipe. 100′s of combinations can be found from vegetables, fruit, whole grains and beans. Last night I had 2 baked potatoes, spinach and salsa for dinner. That was it. No recipe, a simple, fast and tasty meal.
4. You are trying to fit eating out into your plant-strong life, a little too much.
I believe that at 99% of restaurants you can get a plant-strong meal if you know how to ask for one. However, I also believe that you are going to probably get a lot more for your money and a much tastier meal if you are eating at home. If your life revolves around eating out, it might be time to evaluate that part of your life, or restructure it in a way that works a little better. If eating out is your hurdle to a plant-strong life, my advice is to stop eating out. Take a break from it for a while. When you go out with friends, eat before you go instead and when you are with your friends stick to herbal tea, fizzy water or ask for a bowl of chopped fruit. Get the focus off the food and into the reason you are going out – to socialize.
5. You are looking to add things that you do not need to.
When you start down this road it is easy to get side tracked into thinking that there are other things you might be missing in the world of health and nutrition. You start to look at other advice to find “tricks” or in many cases, gimmicks on living a healthier life. I get that. We want to make sure we are doing everything possible. So when someone approaches you and tells you that X mineral is really important or that a pill is going to give you an extra 17 servings of vegetables per day or a protein powder is going to boost your athletic performance, or you should be drinking tons of greens to boost your health even more, we want to believe it.
This way of eating is complete, and the longer you do it, the better it gets, the healthier you become. It takes time and work (like anything worthwhile). You will not be at your ideal weight overnight, or a pro athlete in a week. There aren’t short cuts. You will get a great body by eating right and working out. It won’t come from the extra stuff that is sold to you – just the simple, basic (maybe boring) stuff: eat right and move your body. Which, incidentally does not bring in huge amounts of money, thus all of the marketing gimmicks to get you to spend more for no good reason.
When going down the plant-strong path, keep it simple, and rest assured that you are in the right place, heading in the right direction!