Being on a plant-based diet is not about mindlessly eating vegetables and fruits and
assuming that you’re getting all the nutrients you need. You must pay attention to
your meals to know if you’re getting all your macro and micronutrients.
Before going any further, it’s important to establish that not all calories are made
equal. Getting 100 calories from a candy bar and 100 calories from a serving of
sweet potato may look the same on paper. However, common sense will indicate
that the candy bar is doing your body harm while the sweet potato is good for you.
The calories are just one factor. How your body reacts to the food is another. The
candy bar may spike your blood sugar levels and cause weight gain. The sweet
potato will just nourish your body and give it fuel. Big difference.
That just means one thing – you need to make your calories count. Even on a
plant-based diet, you have a daily caloric intake number to meet. We can find taht number together in your initial goal setting session here at CrossFit Alanis. Head Coach Beaux Dyson is a Board Certified Holistic Health Practitioner and Master Nutritionist and can give you a caloric range for optimum health and performance.
The next step is to ensure that you’re getting your macros and micronutrients in the
right proportions to meet this number. Initially, it may be a little confusing as to how
much of each food you should eat. However, after a while, it’ll become second
nature to you.
As far as micronutrients go, making yourself different types of red juices and green
juices should give you all the micronutrients your body needs. Juice vegetables and
fruits such as: celery, kale, apple, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, berries, pineapples,
beets, cranberries, carrots, lemon, watermelon, etc.
Just by juicing alone, you’ll have a ton of micronutrients in your diet. Drink a different
juice daily. You can find a ton of recipes online to help you with this. The goal is to
keep things simple but also keep your juices varied your juices so that your body
gets all the micronutrients it needs.
You can get your healthy fats by using extra virgin olive oil or cold pressed coconut
oil in your dishes, IN MODERATION. A tablespoon of coconut oil in your coffee will give you a healthy
dose of natural fats. Adding ground flaxseed, chia seeds, avocados, walnuts,
pumpkin seeds, etc. in your diet will give you the healthy fats you need.
As for proteins, rest assured that vegetables are just as effective as meat to meet
your protein needs. In fact, many vegetables contain more protein than meat does.
Nuts such as cashews, almonds, walnuts, Macadamia nuts, etc. contain a lot of
protein. Beans are great too. Green beans, black beans, white beans, chickpeas and
lentils are rich in protein too.
You can also get your protein from greens such as broccoli, kale, chard, spirulina
and chlorella. Sprouts, soy, seeds and even pumpkin or almond butter are rich in
protein. All these plant proteins are all that your body needs to stay strong.
The fact of the matter is that you can have a very healthy and balanced diet just by
eating plant-based foods. Do your research and make a list of all the different types
of vegetables, seeds, nuts and fruits that meet the different macronutrients.
You can then use this list to plan your dishes so that you’re getting a good mix of
macronutrients from different sources. Your meals will be healthy, tasty and
rewarding when you put in the extra effort.