Fitness Over 40

Paleo, Vegetarian, Vegan? Which is best?

I love food and nutrition.  I almost went back to school to receive my nutrition degree, but I believed at the time preparing my son for college was more important.  I didn’t think that having that degree would significantly advance my career.  But during my time teaching college, I would teach a basic nutrition course for my students, and we always enjoyed learning about the “popular diets” and eating styles that people engage in, all looking for that “secret” to better health.  Let’s look at a few of the most popular ones:

  • Vegetarian: no meat products, but will eat byproducts of those such as eggs and dairy.
  • Vegan: Absolutely no meat or meat related products.
  • Paleo: Eat as first humans ate, just from the land.  Vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds and meat.

There are plenty of other diets that fall into the category of “fad” diet, so I would like to focus on these and lead into how Veg-aleo came into play.  Looking at that list, if you had to choose which one our body was most conditioned to follow from a basic human nature standpoint, which would you choose?  I hope you said Paleo, since for millions of years until up to the last almost 100 years; the human being only was able to eat what the land provided.  There was no such thing as a cookie (in today’s terms at least) a thousand years ago.  So it is logical to think that we are conditioned to eat in a certain way, it is in our DNA, and it is how the human evolved into our current state.  Now, advancement and the current evolving of our society is going to change, there is no doubt about that.  However, it cannot be argued that we are in the unhealthiest of states we’ve ever been and it just gets worse every year.  The food we eat becomes more and more processed (looking for that bliss factor), and we become more sedentary as a society, putting everything within our finger tips reach.  My point is that this has just occurred over the last 100 years, and it’s only getting more advanced by the minute.  But the hundreds of thousands of years before that, the human being did not eat foods that were filled with artificial ingredients and chemicals.  This has become a shock to the body, and the only way the body can react is to become sick and unhealthy.

For me personally, I believe you cannot go wrong consuming as many fruits and vegetables in a day as you can tolerate.  Most people don’t realize that by consuming more fruits and vegetables, you will fill up the stomach much faster than processed foods and fats.  I love this diagram:

veggies-oils-fats-1024x576

This is why during the day, I try to keep my cooler filled with a bag of spinach, apple, banana, carrots, strawberry’s, kale and any fresh stuff I can get my hands on.  I keep my nutribullet at work with me, and every few hours, I grind up some chia seeds, let it sit in the water for about 15 minutes, then throw in my fruits and vegetables.  In the afternoon, I also like to add a scoop of vegan protein powder and some branched chain amino acids for muscle repair.

a1

I purchase mine right online from A1supplements.com.  Today I added a handful of organic spinach, about 8 strawberries, teaspoon of ground up chia seeds, a scoop each of Muscle Martini and Vanilla Vegan Protein Powder.  Trust me, add 1 or 2 all fruit and vegetable smoothie into your diet, and you will be surprised how little your blood sugar spikes and crashes, leaving you feeling more satisfied throughout the day.

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