11/06/19 - A Plant-Based Diet

Tags Health

Netflix has several documentaries on plant-based diets. Arnold Schwarzenegger is in all of them, and he talks about switching from a high-protein, high-meat diet to a broader plant-based diet and how much more energy he has. He is in fantastic shape (understatement), it’s amazing.

The environmental impacts of the meat industry are compelling, and there is no denying that cattle ranching requires a lot of resources. The industry is not sustainable and that labor/resources need to be migrated to industries that are. There is also no denying the Meat Lobby is highly-incentivized to encourage meat consumption in spite of health risks. I know the documentaries are selling plant-based diets, but having watched three or four of them I’m not seeing any downside to trying it, but it’s worth noting they all feature famous, successful athletes and bodybuilders with personal chefs and caterers talking about how “easy” it is to switch to a plant-based diet. Yeah, I bet.

Over the last five years I’ve struggled a lot with low energy and depression. I run regularly and eat a reasonably healthy and varied diet, but there’s always room for improvement. I’m thinking about adding in weight lifting over the winter and starting to work on reducing meat and getting more vegetable variety. Two issues. First, I need to find simple recipes that are easy and taste good, obviously. Second, I have a four-year-old, and being able to put some form of ground beef or turkey on the plate usually ensures they’ll eat dinner, so I’ll have to get a little creative on that front.

For now, I saw a recommendation of adding 1,000 calories of legumes, whole grains, and starchy vegetables to the diet. Bananas and sweet potatoes were actually highlighted in one of the documentaries and I thought, well, that’s easy. I actually don’t eat many bananas because they are so sweet but I could eat sweet potatoes every day. I think I had the idea that potatoes are “inferior” in some way, it seems the emphasis is always put on leafy greens, but I like potatoes, and I don’t like salads, so I’ll just do what I want here ok.

I think my starter goals will be to come up with some quick and simple lunch stuff for myself, since I have a bad habit of skipping lunch anyway, and figuring out a meatless chili and a meatless spaghetti that Minnow will eat that doesn’t use meat substitute products like tofu sausages or whatever. The chili is easy because we can probably just omit the meat entirely, but I’d like to try using bulgur wheat.