My Plantcentric Journey

Posts tagged ‘high fructose corn syrup’

It’s Our One Year Plantcentric Anniversary!

I remember it like it was yesterday.  Last Christmas, after a substantial weight loss journey for both of us, I surprised my husband with
Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, Jr., MD’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Rip Esselstyn’s The Engine 2 Diet, Julieanna Hever, M.S., R.D., CPT The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Plant-Based Nutrition, The Forks Over Knives Companion Book, and Kathy Hester’s The Vegan Slow Cooker.  After reading Dr. Esselstyn’s & Rip Esselstyn’s books, my husband, Bill, turned to me and said, “I’m going vegan.  You don’t have to if you don’t want to, but I am.  I’m starting now.”  I about choked!  We had just “come out” as vegetarian, but this was different. This was really radical.  Go without cheese??  And ice cream and pudding?  I shakily said, “OK.  If you are, I am too.”  Gulp!

Then, we watched Dr. Robert Lustig’s The Bitter Truth About Sugar

We had already been following the Rule of 5 from You on a Diet by Michael F. Roizen, MD and Mehmet C. Oz, MD, one of which was no high fructose corn syrup, but now we cut out any kind of added sugar.

We are also learning about GMO’s and trying to cut them out of our diet.  Pretty hard when there is currently no labeling.  We definitely are supporting legislation to have all food that has GMO’s in them to be labeled.
What a great year it’s been.  It hasn’t been hard.  We just armed ourselves with knowlege about the effects of dairy and used vegan cookbooks.  We discovered great new flavors, spices and ways of cooking.  No meat, no dairy, no added oil and no added sugar.  Our palates have really grown.

jesse                                                      fbpic2

This was taken 3 years ago this Easter                                                                                                 Christmas 2012

 

Now, I daresay, we are actually becoming foodies again!  We love trying all new recipes.  I really love Chloe Coscerelli’s cookbook, Chloe’s Kitchen http://chefchloe.com/.

I hope you are enjoying following our journey.  I’ve been humbled when I hear how we’ve inspired you to make changes in your own life as we continue to make changes in ours.

Let me know how you’re doing and what you like about this blog!

Happy Plantcentric One Year Anniversary!!

Laura

Make Today the Day to Dump the Junk…in Your Kitchen

Dumping the Junk (and not restocking with more!) has saved us so many times.  There have been plenty of nights where if we had had it in our cupboards or fridge, it would have been eaten in a flash!

I would also add GMOs to the following list.  Throw out that Canola Oil.  Throw out anything with soy or corn or refined white sugar (comes from sugar beets), unless it specifically states it’s non GMO or has the GMO Verified stamp on it.

Remember:  You can’t eat it if it’s not there!

Laura

YOU:  On a Diet

Tip from RealAge

Dump Your Fridge
Are you harboring nutrition felons in your kitchen? It’s time to put these criminals away for good — in the trash can.

The YOU Diet is all about eating foods that help your body function the way it should. So shake down your kitchen cabinets, your refrigerator, your secret boxes, and everywhere else you stash food, and make room for the good guys.Read ingredients labels; if something includes simple carbohydrates, added sugars, fructose — especially high-fructose corn syrup — trans fat, saturated fat, or non-whole-grain flours, throw it out.

Beware of Imposters
Many foods contain cheat words on their ingredients list — they don’t clearly scream “Diabetes ahead!” or “Imminent heart attack!” like some other words. But they indicate dietary danger, just the same. Here are four typical food-label traps to watch out for. Some other notable clues:

For sugar: Avoid dextrosesucrose — anything with “-ose.” And stay away frommannitol or anything with “-ol”; they are alcohols that are quickly converted to sugar.

Stay away from foods that have more than 4 grams of sugar in them. Even “natural sugars” like maple syrup and molasses are still sugar, so limit them to fewer than 4 grams per serving unless you’re eating pure fruit (we make that exception because fruit has so many nutrients).

For fats: Besides saturated fats (fewer than 4 grams per serving) and trans fats (avoid them all), avoid foods with other fat code words, such as partially hydrogenatedpalm oil, and coconut oil.
Reference: YOU: On a Diet, Revised and Updated Edition. Roizen, M. F., Oz, M. C., New York: Simon & Schuster, 2009.

http://www.realage.com

Replacing High Fructose Corn Syrup in Your Diet

 

by VSINGH

So you have decided it is time to make a change. The media storm of anti-High Fructose Corn Syrup publicity (lots being scientifically-based, but admittedly, some propaganda-based as well) has inspired you to eliminate foods withHFCS from your diet. Now you are searching for advice on how to execute on your inspiration. Congratulations, you’ve found the right blog.

Before we start digging deep, we MUST all acknowledge an inconvenient truth – simply replacing High Fructose Corn Syrup with table sugar is not the answer. While it is true that HFCS has some uniquely unenviable biological consequences (which I chronicle in detail here), consumption of ‘added sugar’ in general presents NO health benefits (understand what is considered an ‘added sugar’).

The average American consumes 22 tablespoons (355 calories) of added sugar daily, whereas the American Heart Association’s recommended consumption is no more than 6 and 9 tablespoons for women and men, respectively. Clearly the issue is general over-consumption of sugar, with High Fructose Corn Syrup being the secondary concern. With that said, in addition to limiting our daily injection of these not so innocuous drugs we call sugars, specifically eliminatingHFCS from our diet is a great idea. Lets discuss how!

1. Raid your kitchen & identify foods with HFCS.

HFCS can be found in most processed foods, so this may be a time-consuming ordeal. Start with the freezer. Any dessert (ice-cream, cookie dough, pie etc.) is likely to have it added. Then move to the fridge. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the largest dietary source HFCS, so most processed beverages (soda, fruit juice from concentrate) will contain the stuff. These are the easy targets. Unfortunately, many grain-based products in the pantry also contain HFCS, and so do some beloved condiments like ketchup.

 2. Make the tough choices: which foods with HFCS can you live without, and which can’t you?

So you’ve identified your kitchen’s culprits. At this point, it is time to step back and remember why you are going through this process. Are you relatively healthy, but trying to improve for your long-term health and for the sake of your kids? Or are you overweight, and trying to slim down?

If the answer is closer to the latter, then you need to decide which foods you should be cutting out all together. Desserts and sodas, even if they contain cane sugar or an artificial sweetener, are not going to help your fight. Do your best to make the right choice!

3. Make the necessary replacements.

Once you’ve made the tough decisions, it’s time to hit the grocery store and find HFCS-free substitutes. For the record, this goal can be achieved without hitting up an over-priced Whole Foods. Most large-scale grocery stores now contain HFCS-free alternatives for almost all foods. To make this easier, I encourage you to check out this awesome list of HFCS-free foods: List of Products with no High Fructose Corn Syrup.

4. Beware of eating out!

For most of us, reality mandates that we eat out on occasion. Furthermore, not all of us live in organic-crazed cities like San Francisco & Portland, so finding HFCS-free foods can be a challenge.  In facing this challenge, the best advice I can give is to use logic and ask questions. If this fails, just remember that the occasional encounter with HFCS isn’t going to kill you!

For more information:

FoundHealth: HFCS and Its Impact on HypertensionDiabetesHeart Disease, and Autism

WikiHow: How to Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup

http://www.foundhealth.com/blog/2012/06/replacing-high-fructose-corn-syrup-in-your-diet/

Dunkin’ Donuts Pumpkin-Flavored Coffee is NOT Vegan

MEGHAN S


Beware: Dunkin Donuts’ pumpkin-flavored coffee is NOT vegan. The seasonal pumpkin flavor contains skim milk.

Directly from the website, the ingredients are:

INGREDIENTS: Brewed 100% Arabica Coffee, Pumpkin Spice Syrup [Skim Milk, Sugar, High Fructose Corn Syrup, Water, Brown Sugar, Caramel Color, Natural and Artificial Flavor, Potassium Sorbate (Preservative), Salt]. 

All other flavors seem to be vegan (caramel, cinnamon, coconut, etc) but double check to be sure.

 

Meghan Schmitt | Blog | Twitter | Facebook
Philadelphia, PA Meghan has been an animal lover since she brought her first hamster home as a child. She has been involved with animal rescue for more than 12 years and recently became vegan. She is a stern advocate for spay/neuter programs, as well as adoption over buying.

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons/ Tianliu

Mercury Contamination in Corn Syrup?

You’ve got to see this, especially the classic ads for sugar and lard!

Fifty different brands of high fructose corn syrup containing foods were tested for mercury.

9 Surprising Foods That May Raise Your Cholesterol Web MD

Did you know that ground turkey could boost your cholesterol? Learn about these nine surprising artery-clogging foods. Which one shocked you the most?

9 Surprising Foods That Do Increase Cholesterol

  1. Ground turkey. Even when ground turkey is labeled as 85% lean, it has 12.5 grams of fat in a 3-ounce portion, says Christine Rosenbloom, PhD, RD, Georgia State University nutrition professor emerita. Her advice: Ground turkey breast can be a heart-healthy substitute for ground beef, but watch the portion size because it’s not without fat.”
  2. Added sugars (such as table sugar or high fructose corn syrup). One of the biggest surprises is that added sugars in processed and prepared foods are associated with decreased HDL levels. A study published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in April 2010 found an association between added sugars and blood lipid levels and discovered adults averaged 21 teaspoons of added sugars daily. “Increased added sugars are associated with blood cholesterol levels and heart disease risk,” says Leslie Bonci, MPH, RD, author of Guide to Better Digestion.  Everyone would benefit by reducing the amount of added sugars in the diet because they can also lead to obesityand type 2 diabetes, Bonci says. The AHA recommends getting no more than 100 calories from added sugars on a 2,000 calories-per-day diet.
  3. Mashed potatoes. “Most mashed potatoes, especially at restaurants, include hefty portions of butter, cream, whole milk, sour cream, and/or cream cheese, turning a perfectly healthy potato into a saturated fat bomb,” says American Dietetic Association spokeswoman Marissa Moore, MBA, RD. Order a plain baked potato and top it with vegetables, salsa, or low-fat sour cream. Another option: Enjoy the natural sweetness of a vitamin A-rich plain baked sweet potato.
  4. Pizza. Just one slice of plain pizza has 10 grams of fat and 4.4 grams of saturated fat — and we all know that one slice without any pepperoni is not the usual order. Stick to one slice and top it with lots of high-fiber, filling vegetables.
  5. Whole-fat dairy products. “Dairy foods are nutrient-rich, loaded withcalciumprotein, vitamins, and minerals, but if your choice is full-fat, you could be getting a hefty dose of saturated fat,” says nutrition consultant and author Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD. For example, one cup of Fage Total Plain Classic Greek yogurt has 18g saturated fat, but if you choose their 0% variety, it has no fat. When you choose nonfat or low-fat, you get all the nutritional benefits without the extra calories or fat. If you love full-fat cheese, “portion control is the answer,” Ward says.
  6. Plant foods from the tropics. Coconut, coconut oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil, and cocoa butter all sound healthy but they are the only plant foods that contain saturated fat, says Connie Diekman, Med, RD, Washington University nutrition director. “Read labels for these terms and enjoy them in small doses so they won’t sabotage your cholesterol level,” she says. Karmally calls pina coladas “heart attack in a glass — there are 602 calories and 20 grams saturated fat in a 12-ounce glass.” And Moore says, “Don’t forget about chocolate, when eaten in excess can lead to increased cholesterol levels.”
  7. Ghee (clarified butter). In India, ghee is associated with healthful eating and honoring your guests but it is very high in saturated fat, just like butter, says Karmally. “It is also high in palmitic acid which is artery clogging.” Use heart healthy olive oil or a trans fat-free margarine instead of ghee.
  8. Pie and pastries. “Flaky crusts, streusel topping, custard filling, cheese filled pastries — these all promise a hefty dose of saturated fat because they often include butter, shortening, cream, cream cheese, and/or whole milk,” Moore says. It is the butter or shortening that makes the crust so nice and flaky. Choose fruit pies and eat mostly filling and only a few bites of the crust for a lower-fat and calorie treat.
  9. Movie theater tub popcorn. Regal Cinema’s medium-sized popcorn has a whopping 60 grams of saturated fat and 1,200 calories. Why? Because it is popped in fats, then topped off with more fat, earning it a spot on foods that can wreck your cholesterol level. Shave the fat and calories by skipping the buttery topping and opt for a smaller portion.

Read the Label

Reading food labels can help you avoid foods high in saturated and trans fats. To limit trans fat, avoid fried foods, foods with vegetable shortening, margarine, and partially hydrogenated vegetable oil.

When reading labels, keep these numbers in mind: Saturated fat should not exceed 7% of calories and trans fats less than 1%, according to the AHA. That’s less than 16 grams saturated fat and 2 grams trans fat on a 2,000-calorie diet.

Read more at:  http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/features/9-surprising-foods-that-may-raise-your-cholesterol

10 Brawny & Buff Vegan Men (Plus a Bonus!)

Our picks for the brawniest vegan men.

BY CHINA DESPAIN FREEMAN MAY 25, 2012

If you’re a vegan or a vegetarian, it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll hear this question at least once in your life: “But where do you get your protein?!” Despite plenty of scientific evidence to the contrary, there is still a pervasive belief that humans must eat meat — and lots of it — to ingest adequate amounts of protein and build muscle.

Not only that, but there’s also a stigma, particularly for men, that being vegan is somehow less “manly” than following a carnivorous diet. In fact, a recent study found that people tend to describe meat as more “masculine” than vegetables. The study’s authors say that, “To the strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American male, red meat is a strong, traditional, macho, bicep-flexing, All-American food. Soy is not. To eat it, they would have to give up a food they saw as strong and powerful like themselves for a food they saw as weak and wimpy.”

This is clearly a misconception that needs to be addressed, so we’re doing our part to show that there’s nothing wimpy about vegans. In fact, there are plenty of examples of strong, studly, masculine dudes who abstain from animal products, and we’re here to prove it. So, without further ado, we present our choices for the top 10 brawniest vegan men, with a vegetarian bonus.

Robert Cheeke

Bodybuilder Robert Cheeke has been a vegan since age 15.

Robert Cheeke is a bodybuilder whose vegan diet helps him maintain his ripped physique. He grew up on a farm in Oregon, an experience he credits with helping develop his compassion toward animals, and at age 15, he gave up all animal products. Now he gets his protein from legumes, greens and plant-based protein powders, and considers fruits and nutrient-dense burritos his go-to foods. “Yams and potatoes, quinoa, kale and artichokes are some of my other favorite whole foods. Thai and Indian dishes, especially Masaman and Yellow Curry and vegetable samosas and Aloo Matter, are by far my favorite dinner meals. Avocado rolls are another menu item I indulge in regularly,” he says.

VegNews named him one of its 15 most influential vegan athletes, and in 2006, Cheeke released a documentary about vegan fitness. He has also been involved in animal advocacy campaigns for PETA and VegSeattle.
Photo credit: Mikkei

Mac Danzig

The champion fighter embraced a vegan diet after seeing the plight of pigs in a slaughterhouse.

Mac Danzig, an MMA fighter and UFC competitor who has won numerous titles, including King of the Cage Lightweight Champion and Gladiator Challenge Lightweight World Champion, is a strict vegan who has campaigned with PETA for animal rights. ”Animals on factory farms and in slaughterhouses don’t have a fighting chance,” Danzig says in the PETA ad. “I don’t eat animals because I don’t want to contribute to their suffering — it’s that simple. Do yourself a favor, do the planet a favor, and help end animal abuse — go vegetarian. I am a fighter in the best shape of my life.”

In 2008, he was listed as a finalist in Men’s Health magazine’s 25 Fittest Guys in America, and in the profile, he explained how, due to an allergy, dairy was detrimental to his health. “A lot of people don’t realize how hard milk, whey, and other dairy products are on the sinuses and respiratory system, and the dairy industry would like you to believe that you need milk to get calcium. That notion is as oxymoronic as you can get. Although not everybody has as severe an allergy to dairy products as I did, I just wanted to point out that after years of battling with ear and sinus infections, eliminating dairy completely cured my problems. Anyone with similar problems may want to try it for a while,” he said.
Photo credit: PETA

Mike Tyson

Mike Tyson credits his 130-pound weight loss to his vegan diet.

He may have suffered a number of ups and downs in his career, but there’s one thing that can’t be disputed: this brawny guy was a really great boxer. A former heavyweight champion of the world, Mike Tyson holds records as the youngest boxer to ever win the WBC, WBA and IBF titles (he was 20 at the time). Now retired from the sport, Tyson lives a much more peaceful life overall, shunning all animal products from his diet.

He credits the diet overhaul with helping him shed 130 pounds (revealing a sleeker, stronger physique), and explained in 2010 that it was part of an overall plan to revamp his life and improve his mental and physical health. “I wanted a different life. I felt like I was dying. I had an incident in life where I lost my 4-year-old daughter in a tragic accident at home. I don’t know. I didn’t want to live anymore. So I said, that in order to go there, I had to change my life. I am going to change everything I dislike about myself. I changed everything that I was as a human being. I started that journey in October or November…I don’t smoke anymore. I wanted to give up everything. I had to change my life.” Mission accomplished.
Photo Credit: CarlaVanWagoner / Shutterstock.com

Brendan Brazier

Brendan Brazier went vegan at age 15 to improve his sports performance.

This Canadian athlete is proof that a vegan diet is more than enough to fuel an active lifestyle. A former triathlete, Brendan Brazier won 50-kilometer ultramarathons twice: once in 2003, and again in 2006 (If you don’t do metric, that’s about 31 miles. In other words, a really long way to run!). An advocate for a plants-based lifestyle, Brazier is also the man behind the Thrive Diet and the Vega sports nutrition line (fellow brawny dudes Robert Cheeke and Mac Danzig are fans).

Brazier discovered veganism as a teenager, and has never looked back, even though he no longer competes professionally. “I’ve been vegan since I was 15, and I got into it just because I wanted to be a better athlete, I didn’t care what I ate,” he says. “At the time I would’ve eaten anything if I thought it would have made me a better athlete. And I just tried different ways of eating…That’s what brought me to it, it was really selfish reasons. I mean, I’m kind of embarrassed to admit it. Then I found that a properly put together, plant-based diet was a real performance advantage, and I started racing professionally.” The rest is triathlon history.
Photo credit: Iknowiknowithink

Jake Shields

Jake Shields is a lifelong vegetarian who made the switch to vegan in 2011.

This MMA and UFC competitor is a lifelong vegetarian and current vegan who cites the SunWarrior brand as his protein powder of choice. A middleweight and welterweight champion, Jake Shields is an animal rights advocate who teamed with PETA to support vegetarianism. The Srikeforce champ denounced the way slaughterhouses treat animals, and cited himself as an example of a successful vegan athlete. ”I’m living proof that you can further, train harder, and pack a meaner punch without eating animals,” reads his PETA ad.

Shields has been advocating for a meat-free diet for years. Back in 2009, he explained, “I’m a life-long vegetarian and the diet obviously works. I also have two brothers that are strong and healthy. But you do have to have a good balanced diet and eat healthy foods. There’s plenty of ways to get protein other than eating meat.” Well said.
Photo Credit: PETA 

Rip Esselstyn

Rip Esselstyn is the creator of the Engine 2 Diet, which is featured in a Forks Over Knives companion film.

The success of vegan documentary “Forks Over Knives” helped make Rip Esselstyn a household name (his father is one of the doctors profiled in the film), and now he has his own documentary touting the benefits of a meat-free diet. A former All American swimmer and top triathlete and current firefighter (and Lance Armstrong workout buddy), Esselstyn’sfitness background is impressive: ”[Esselstyn] took first place in many major events, including the 2001 Police and Fire World Games, the world’s largest athletic competition. He also won the Capital of Texas triathlon eight times and was the leader and top-three finisher at many televised events, including the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon, where he was first out of the frigid, shark-infested waters six years in a row. Rip still competes in various events, recently winning the master national championships and setting the national record in the process.”

Esselstyn is also the creator Engine 2 diet and hosts its companion film, “Forks Over Knives Presents: Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue” (it streams on Netflix if you want to check it out), which features him teaching two families basics of a plant-based diet. He initially created the Engine 2 diet to help save the life of one of his firefighter co-workers (it worked!), and now works with Whole Foods to spread the message about the benefits of a vegan diet.
Photo credit: Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue

Georges Laraque

Georges Laraque is an animal-rights activist and vegan restauranteur.

Canadian athlete Georges Laraque may have retired from hockey, but the 6’3″ forward made quite an impression on the ice in his day: in 2003, he was named “Best Fighter” by The Hockey News, and Sports Illustrated crowned him “Best Enforcer” in 2006. Despite his tough on-ice persona, Laraque lives a decidedly more peaceful life outside the rink as a PETA supporter and vegan restauranteurIn a PETA video, Laraque says, “I don’t put up with much, and I certainly don’t want to put up with the cruelty of the meat industry. I’m Georges Laraque, and I’m vegan.”

His decision to abstain from animal products came after watching the documentary “Earthlings.” “After I saw that video…I encouraged people to watch it, because I am sure people, like me, are sensitive to cruelty. And when you see that animals go through so much cruelty, why would you want to encourage that?… I felt better, I have much more energy, and I feel even stronger, so the stereotype that says that big guys cannot be vegan, if you don’t eat meat, you can’t be strong, it’s not true,” he says. And not only did the film lead him to change his diet, but it brought on a whole new level of activism for Laraque,including participation in fur protests. Now that’s a fight we’d like to see him win.
Photo credit: PETA

John Salley

Former NBA star believes a raw vegan diet is optimal for good health.

It takes a lot to fuel 6’11″ of muscle up and down a basketball court, but former NBA starJohn Salley knows the key to a healthy diet is abstaining from animal products. Salley has had a varied entertainment career since he retired from sports, but his real passion is health, and he’s an outspoken raw vegan who has worked with PETA and the PCRM and who has his own line of organic, vegan food products.

Salley’s discipline is both physical and mental; he considers his body a temple, and takes care of it through fitness, diet and spiritual study. And he believes it’s up to adults to spread the message of good health to our children. “As a former athlete, I know that the nutrition of the food I eat has a direct impact on my physical and mental performance on the basketball court. More fruits, vegetables, and other vegetarian foods help you stay healthy, fit, and alert. Adults influence kids’ eating habits. We have to improve kids’ eating habits — and re-educate adults about what is food and what is not food. People can have pizza and pastries without dairy products and eggs. They can have tofu mozzarella cheese or egg substitute and they should use agave in place of high-fructose corn syrup and refined whole sugar,”he said back in 2010. Here’s hoping his suggestions catch on.
Photo credit: Joe Seer / Shutterstock.com

Bryan Danielson

Bryan Danielson credits his meat-free diet with helping him succeed in the WWE ring.

Also known as Daniel Bryan and the Red Dragon, this vegan WWE superstar has a litany of credits to his name, including: “former Ring of Honor World champion, two-time Pro Wrestling Guerrilla World champion, a one-time Westside Xtreme Wrestling Heavyweight champion, a one-time FIP Heavyweight Champion and a one-time World Heavyweight Champion in WWE.” He’s also integrated veganism into his villainous wrestling persona to elicit crowd reactions.

Like many of the athletes on our list, he’s partnered with PETA to promote the benefits of a vegetarian diet. In a video for the animal-rights organization, he says, “As a WWE superstar, staying healthy and having a lot of energy helps me succeed in the ring, and that’s why I choose to be a vegetarian. My vegetarian diet allows me to lead a healthier lifestyle, reduce my carbon footprint, and save the lives of more than 100 animals every year. I’m stronger and healthier than ever, and I feel good about doing something positive for myself, animals, and the planet.”
Photo credit: PETA

Carl Lewis

Carl Lewis's most successful year as an athlete happened when he adopted a vegan diet.

Carl Lewis is one of the United States’ most decorated athletes. Standing tall at 6’3″, this former track and field athlete competed from 1979 to 1996, racking up nine Olympic gold medals, one Olympic silver medal, eight World Championship gold medals, one World Championship silver, one World Championship bronze, and three Pan American Games medals (two golds and a bronze). He was also drafted by both the NBA and the NFL, although he opted not to play in either league. All this and he’s a vegan — now that’s what we call impressive.

So, just how did his meat-free diet enhance his career? Lewis says, “In the spring of 1991 – eight months after beginning to eat vegan…I was drinking 24 to 32 ounces of juice a day. I ate no dairy products. And I had my best year as an athlete ever! You have total control over what you put in your body. No one can force you to eat what you don’t want to eat. I know that many people think that eating a vegetarian diet – and especially a vegan diet – will require sacrifice and denial. Jannequin Bennett demonstrates…that eating vegan does not have to be tasteless and boring. As she says, ‘vegan eating is a truly indulgent way of life, as vegans regularly partake of the very best foods that nature has to offer.’ Your body is your temple. If you nourish it properly, it will be good to you and you will increase its longevity.” Well said, Mr. Lewis.
Photo credit: Manfred Werner

Michael Clarke Duncan

Michael Clarke Duncan says he's stronger as a vegetarian than he was as a meat-eater.

Actor Michael Clarke Duncan is the 11th guy on our list, and we’re including him as a bonus. He’s not a vegan (yet!), but he adopted a vegetarian diet three years ago, and is a prime example that meat is not necessary to maintain a strong, manly physique (according to Wikipedia, he’s 6’5″ and 315 pounds). The star recently teamed up with PETA to advocate his animal-friendly diet, which helped him lose weight and improve his overall health.

In the video for the campaign, he says, “The best thing about being a vegetarian for me, number one, is I know I’m not harming any animals. The number two thing is increased strength. I’m a lot stronger than I was when I was eating meat. Most of your most powerful animals in the wild are vegetarian, so I’m trying to get my strength to that level…Don’t think that you have to have these gigantic steaks to get your protein. The protein you put in from the beans, legumes, fresh fruits, and vegetables will last way longer, and you’ll get more out of it than you will in that 12 ounces of meat.”
Photo credit: PETA

::

This pretty much proves it — there’s nothing un-masculine about abstaining from meat. On the contrary, these guys all concur that it’s not possible to be healthy, fit and strong on a vegan diet, it’s actually easier! And not only are they taking care of themselves, they’re also helping to save lives and protect the planet. That level of kindness is just plain hot.

Featured image: Shutterstock.com

About China DeSpain Freeman

China DeSpain Freeman is an Atlanta and San Antonio based writer and blogger. She loves pop culture, animal rights, health and fitness, international travel, books and wigs. You can find more of her work at themodernista.comand writefork.com. Follow China on Twitter: @ChinaDeSpain

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