And yes, of course there’s a catch. My foray into the world of vegan-living lasted a grand total of 3 days. Actually, 3 days was the plan, but I only managed 2.5. Still. You might well wonder why I turned vegan at all given my recent lengthy and strongly worded diatribe on being personally against a non-meat diet.
The reason is that I firmly believe that probably the most fundamental key to healthy living is change. Be it breaking a well-played-out exercise regime, rotating various supplements, or straying from the path of so-called correct nutrition now and then. Your body is highly skilled at adaptation, so anything that you do for too long will eventually become less powerful and may even start to be counterproductive. A classic example is eating the same food again and again an again. Eggs are a common offender. Organic or not, it’s not natural to have access to the same food day in and day out, and many people who eat this way find themselves suffering low-level intolerance symptoms such as bloating, gassiness, and the inability to lose stubborn belly fat.
So as much as I love my protein, and do – 90% of the time – choose fully organic, grass-fed meats, I believe it can’t hurt to give it a break now and then. Even the best caveman/hunter would come home empty-handed from time to time! The way I see it, there are 3 very powerful benefits to going vegan for either a few days each month, or one day a week.
1. A break of 24 hours or more from protein will increase protein absorption and assimilation afterwards. This is just common sense. Having a break from anything leads to an increased adaptation response upon reintroduction.
2. By definition, eating no protein results in increased vegetable intake (so long as on a Paleo diet, of course!). This is definitely not a bad things – seasonal organic veg are chock full of nutrients and natural fibres. It’s all too easy to let adequate vegetable intake pass you by when focusing on protein as your number one macronutrient. And here’s a tip – eating some spinach once or twice a day does NOT count as adequate veg intake!
3. Raw vegie salads are incredibly delicious, and you really do feel a sense of cleansing when you get through nearly an entire crisper-drawer full in one day! Added to this is the estrogen (lower body fat) detoxifying effects of certain cruciferous veg, and you really have a win-win situation.
RULES FOR EATING VEGAN ON A CARNIVORE’S DIET
Well, to be honest, the rules are pretty simple.
- The most important key is just to make sure you do truly eat a vegan diet for a period of at least 24 hours.
- This means absolutely no animal protein
- Including all forms of dairy
- No packaged foods that include animal products (not that you should be eating packaged foods anyway!)
- And if health truly is your goal then you’ll be loading up on vegies and perhaps a few fruits, rather than any forms of grain or starch
- Legumes are fine, as are oils, real salt, spices, herbs, and nuts and seeds
- I’d suggest no alcohol on this day
- No supplementing with amino acids or whey protein
There are two main ways in which you can include veganism in your diet. Firstly, you can eat this way for a 24 hour period each week (remember that doesn’t have to mean dawn till dusk). Or, you can block 3-4 days together each month. Up to you. Either way, I’d absolutely love to hear what you think of this concept. I realise it’s a bit of a twist on the usual Body Incredible principles, but hey – it’s always good to trial new ideas.
Final Food For Thought
I often talk about the health and weight loss benefits of grass-fed organic meats, but I’ve never gone into a lot of detail on the moral side of not eating farmed meat and fish. Jess Etcell has done an absolutely tremendous job of summing up the horrors of eating antibiotic-filled protein. This post is an incredibly easy read – but I’d only suggest clicking over if you’re willing to be powerfully influenced against convenient and cheap meat shopping. Until I read this, I have to admit I was including some farmed protein in my diet. Wild fish, for example, is really tough to find. Suffice to say, I don’t think I can ever go back after reading Jess’ post. Click here to check it out.
And for those who are staunchly committed to a non-meat way of life, or perhaps you know someone who is and would like to help them out, visit Part 2 of this series, in which I discuss truly healthy vegetarianism through food combining, amino acids, and supplementation.
That’s all from me for today – I’ve got some vegies to get munching on!