Weekly Tip to Reset, Recharge & Renew
3 Key Takeaways from Game Changers
by Lauren Zimmerman, Registered Dietitian
Plants provide enough protein, even for the elite athlete.
The film dispelled the protein myth: that the only way to meet protein needs, especially elevated protein needs that occurs with athletics, is with animal proteins such beef, poultry, dairy, fish, and eggs. This is not the case.
Patrick Baboumian, the strongest man in the world and a feature athlete in the documentary states, “People ask me, how could you get as strong as an ox without eating any meat? And my answer was, have you ever seen an ox eating meat?”
To break it down simplistically, protein is composed of amino acids and our bodies require 9 essential amino acids, which we must obtain from our diet. These amino acids are all found in abundance within the plant kingdom. So, if we eat a variety of plant-based foods including whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts/seeds, beans/legumes and we are consuming adequate calories, then our protein needs will be met and likely met at greater quantity than the body requires. This understanding of protein is not new. It is just is not advertised or marketed.
Animal agriculture is taking a tremendous toll on the environment in terms of land usage, water, fossil fuels, and greenhouse gas emissions.
Did you know it takes 10x more fossil fuel to produce one calorie of animal protein compared to one calorie of plant protein, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Or that it takes more than 2,400 gallons of water to produce 1 pound of meat and only 25 gallons to produce one pound of wheat. Supply is fueled by demand, which is empowering. Dr. David Katz, the founding director of Yale University’s Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center, Past-President of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine, and Founder/President of the True Health Initiative states, “There are no healthy people on a disrupted and ruined planet.”
It is not all or nothing.
I really appreciated the ending message - that as we shift towards a more plant forward diet, we reap the benefits for our health and well-being. This includes everything from a reduced risk of chronic disease to quicker recovery, improved endurance, and a positive influence on agricultural practices and the environment. So, start small, start with one meal, start with some core staples, focus on what to add in and naturally without even noticing the other stuff falls off.
Stay tuned for more recipes, nutrition tips, and inspiration around this plant-based lifestyle.