Vegan / Vegetarian / Paleo / Pescatarian / Meatarian / Flexitarian …
Written by Claire Dunkley from Cluzie Clinic
It feels like every day there is a new ‘descriptor’ for an eating style. Recently, I’ve had the experience of some people BEING their eating style where they constantly talk about it and try to convince you to come on board their way.
However, I believe that there is no one style that fits ALL people. Yep there are guidelines as to what are good principles to follow, however no down and out rules that fit every one. At Cluzie Clinic, we are big believers in paying attention to what your body tells you as ‘feedback’ as to what you are putting in your mouth.
Listening to your body!
Whatever eating style your body likes, we love the principles behind a plant-based lifestyle and eating plan. There are some great concepts behind this style … let’s explore.
Firstly, what is a plant-based diet? “Plant-based or plant-forward eating patterns focus on foods primarily from plants. This includes not only fruits and vegetables, but also nuts, seeds, oils, whole grains, legumes, and beans. It doesn’t mean that you are vegetarian or vegan and never eat meat or dairy. Rather, you are proportionately choosing more of your foods from plant sources.”
Advantages of this eating style:
No Lock Ins: The style is a guide only and not eliminating food groups based on their source, ie as a vegetarian – you DO NOT eat meat, that is the whole point of that food group. However, with plant-based, you are not restricting a food group like meat, just adjusting the focus on where the majority of daily food comes from.
Ancestral Style: of the approximate 300,000 years humans have been on the planet, the majority of the diet would have been vegetable matter with the odd wildebeest thrown in. It is only in very recent years in relationship to existence, that food groups like processed grains and dairy have been introduced; ~10,000 and ~5,000 years respectively.
Thus, keeping inline with how our body’s have been trained to eat à a lot of vegetable with some meat included is perfect.
Vitamins and Minerals: By not excluding particular food groups, there is an advantage that most minerals and vitamin requirements are being met. For example, if you are vegan, it is important to supplement the diet with Vitamin B12 in order to meet the body’s needs.
Key Tips When Following a Plant Based Lifestyle
- Food Processing: You want to be eating the LEAST processed from all the food groups possible! The more it looks like its natural form, the better it is for your body. When eating meat, choose an animal that is as close to living in its natural habitat as possible. Comparing wild kangaroo to a factory cow is like chalk and cheese. Wild kangaroo is still eating its natural diet of grass and shrubs and is a clean, lean meat. Factory cows have been bred and fed to put on fat as quickly as possible, are injected with multiple antibiotics to protect against disease outbreaks due to mass crowding, get limited movement due to restricted penning and are commonly filled with tumors etc. Thus, when we ingest the meat, we get all those other factors as well.
- ‘Fakeries’: Beware the ‘fakeries’ … an item trying to imitate the real thing, i.e. a wannabe meat patty that is meatless. These processed items usually contain a heap of chemicals in order ‘to look like’ the real thing with the same texture. These chemicals can cause a lot of harm to the body.
- Proportion Sizes: A key tip for when converting to a plant-based lifestyle is to change the proportion sizes on your plate. Aim for the plant-based proportion of your meal to take up the majority of the plate. Meat becomes more of a garnish compared to centerpiece. Or build a meal around a salad instead of a meat component.
- Healthy Oils: Switch to the healthiest oil options you can: coconut oil and olive oils are great options to cook in. Fill up on avocado and nuts and seeds to feel particularly satiated.
All in all, we come back to the key point: Listen to YOUR body! Really pay attention to what food makes you feel fabulous on the inside out. For me, when I had my own farm and had to kill kangaroo to retain enough pasture for the live-stock, every time I ate the kangaroo (which is super high 9n protein and a very lean meat), it was like an explosion of good fireworks going off in my belly that so much goodness was going in.