Coach Kev tells us about how important it is to have a varied diet-
 
All diets should be “plant based”!
 
When I was a kid, I was always told to eat my vegetables, when I dare ask why I would simply get – because they are good for you!
 
And despite my grumbles or the fact I smothered them in tomato sauce, I ate them. Fast forward 30 years and I still eat vegetables this day on that simple prescription.
 
These days you have people with PHD’s appearing on documentaries telling you to eat whatever their supplement company sells and it fills the industry with a very contradictory set of rules that people follow
 
Currently it’s the extremes of either eating an entire plant-based diet or not eating ANY vegetables.
 
Now I am an omnivore, so I eat meat, but if you really had to push me down one avenue removing fruit and vegetables from my diet entirely just sounds crazy whereas removing meat wouldn’t be as devastating.
 
All the benefits you get from vegetables happen with or without the inclusion of animal-based products. Nowhere does it state that eating meat or dairy removes the vitamins and minerals from plants and until such evidence appears people should eat what they choose.
 
In fact, I believe that my diet is plant based already and that any good diet should revolve around getting in as much quality fruit and vegetables as possible every day.
 
Benefits of Plant based diet:
 
High in Vitamins and minerals – This is a no brainer, the main reason to eat all the plants is to ensure we get a rich supply of vitamins and minerals to help our body function correctly. The more varieties you can consume the better chance you have of getting in different vitamins. Some examples being:
 
· sweet potatoes, carrots, and squash (vitamin A)
· Oranges, Strawberries and Chilli peppers (Vitamin C)
· mushrooms (vitamin D)
· spinach and asparagus (vitamin E)
· kale, spinach and broccoli (vitamin K)
· spinach, kale, lentils (Iron)
 
Quality carbohydrate source – We need carbohydrates to function properly, it powers our nervous system, fuels our muscles and aids recovery, so it makes sense to consume it daily. Problem is when we think about carbs, we instantly think about our tasty processed friends like bread and pasta, though these are delicious they have little nutritional value to us so are pretty much wasted calories. Eating starchy vegetable sources like potatoes not only gives you good old carbs for the fuel but also Vitamin C, B6, Magnesium and iron to name a few. There is no competition
 
High in fibre– The secret weapon to a better functioning body. Low fibre diets have been linked with many health problems including – Cardiovascular diseases, Diabetes & High blood pressure. Even if eating more fibre eliminates the risk of those diseases by 1%it will be worth it. The best souces of fibre are:
 
· Fruit – Apples, bananas, Pears, Prunes & Raspberries
· Vegetables – Brussel sprouts, Corn, Potatoes & Broccoli
· Beans & legumes –Kidney beans, Pinto beans, Green Peas & Lentils
 
Not to mention – beans & legumes, Spinach & Broccoli have a great protein ratio so can help you reach your protein goals with much less expense and greater variety.
 
The New Plant Based Diet
 
So, for every meal or snack you eat, look to add vegetables or fruit to ensue you get enough of the good stuff every day.
 
As we have discussed before with the slow cooker meals the framework of each meal should be:
 
Step 1 – Pick a protein rich food
Step 2 – add 2-3 vegetables of your choice
Step 3 – add a sauce, stock or spies to add flavour
 
Couldn’t be easier right?
 
There are no set rules but here is an example of my day:
 
Breakfast – Omelette with peppers and tomatoes
Snack – Protein shake and banana
 
Lunch – Beef chilli with Peas, Parsnip & carrots
 
Snack – 50g nuts and an apple
 
Dinner – Spaghetti Bolognaise with grated carrot and tomatoes mixed in the mince
 
Dessert – Protein Shake and Raisins
 
This requires minimal skill, time to prepare and gives me a rich source of protein, carbs, fats and fibre.
Start to look at your diet and think of places you can add more plant-based ingredients.
 
Now go get the day
 
Kev