How to be a Half-Assed Vegetarian Part 2

Maybe Mac's on to something?

If you’re like me, you’ve been asking yourself these questions a lot lately . . .

Why am I feeling tired all the time? Getting sick easily? Having trouble recovering from my workouts?  Are the stresses of work, family, and other commitments wearing me down?  Wrecking my training?  How can I get back on track and feel better?

The answer might be pretty simple: like Mom always, said, “you have to eat your vegetables!”

In my last post on this topic, I talked about Vega and how it’s been a great benefit to me as I try to maintain my strength and improve my fitness while transitioning to a more plant-based diet.

Here’s a little more information on the topic, courtesy of Vega creator and The Thrive Diet author Brendan Brazier:

When acidic forming food is consumed, starting with digestion and continuing until elimination, it produces toxins that the body must deal with. Denatured foods are toxin producers and as a result have the greatest negative impact on pH balance within the body. Highly refined and processed, denatured foods are void of any usable nutrients, yet retain their caloric value – the worst combination. Toxins in the body lead to premature aging through cell degeneration. Aside from food, most prescription drugs, artificial sweeteners and synthetic vitamin and mineral supplements are extremely acid forming. — http://www.vegparadise.com/athlete7.html

So Twinkies and fatty meats are bad for you.  We all knew that.  But did you know they ruin your health not only because of sugar and cholesterol but also because they overwork your body as it tries to cleanse itself of high pH and toxins?  Most athletes know this to some extent and monitor their diets accordingly.  There’s still the issue of recovery, however.  How do you eat clean, plant-based foods without being sore all the time?  Protein shakes?  Have you ever read the label on yours?  Can you pronounce any of the ingredients?

I didn't know you could trademark good nutrition . . .

They may not all be bad, and they may even include some good ingredients, but what’s a sort-of-vegetarian, want-to-be athlete like me to do?  If meat is too heavy and protein shakes are too processed, what makes a good post-workout recovery solution?  Again, here’s Brazier’s opinion:

For recovery to be expedited, alkalizing foods, such as those rich in chlorophyll, need to be consumed soon after exercise. Protein must also be consumed to help repair broken-down muscle tissue. As with processed energy bars, numerous sport supplements touted as post-work-out recovery agents contain highly processed, manufactured proteins usually in the form of denatured isolates, which are acid forming. Suggesting they be consumed soon after a workout will fulfill the body’s need for protein, but completely neglect its need for pH balancing. http://www.vegparadise.com/athlete7.html

Like many athletes and fighters suggest, including Randy Couture, a good greens drink is essential for proper nutrition and recovery.  Here’s my new choice . . .

Garden of Life’s Super Green Formula has finally usurped my trusty Trader Joe’s Green Drink!  It tastes a little strong and is a bit more expensive, but it packs in way more of the good stuff.  Here’s the prodcut description from their website:

  • One serving of Perfect Food Super Green Powder is equivalent to 140g of fresh grass juice.
  • Excellent source of natural Vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene and a good source of natural Vitamin C.
  • Contains spirulina that supports healthy immune function.
  • Contains algae and cereal grass juices that provide a natural source of alkalizing minerals.
  • Includes a Probiotic Blend to support digestive health.
  • Supports healthy carbohydrate metabolism.
  • Great for those on low carbohydrate diets or people who are unable to eat enough green foods.

Yes, there’s a fair amount of marketing here, but, speaking from experience, this product is great after workouts.  As I’ve been eating a more plant-based diet, I realize that my hunger pangs are not always caused by a lack of calories but instead by a need for vitamins and minerals.  This is especially true when your body is in a state of recovery: it sometimes doesn’t need quick energy so much as clean nutrition.  Garden of Life delivers this for sure.  Give it a shot (or any similar product), and let us know if you get good results.

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About moaimartialarts

Lucky enough to grow up with the martial arts, I have felt their positive influence throughout my life and am especially interested in sharing these experiences with others. I enjoy working with youth and adults to give back some of what I've received. If you would like to learn more about Uechi-Ryu/Shohei-Ryu Karate, or if you want to find people to train with, please contact me. I am the head karate instructor for the Meriden Martial Arts Club.
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