Simon is a qualified health professional having completed a Bachelor of Physiotherapy with Honours in 2008, Plant Based Nutrition at Cornell University and is currently studying a Masters in Nutrition at Deakin University in Australia. With his experience of understanding the human body from the inside out and having worked closely with professional athletes, he is well equipped to help you explore and adopt a plant-based diet.
It’s true, plants have reignited my passion for creation + making foods that are nutrient dense, cell fuelling + delicious. At home, 90% of what we cook takes less than 15 minutes of preparation/hands on time.
People regularly ask me “Why? What’s the motivation?”. Initially it was through reading and listening about the key dietary contributing factors to cardiovascular disease and many other lifestyle diseases which predominately include saturated animal fat, cholesterol, hormones, antibiotics and a lack of vitamins and minerals. I reviewed my diet and saw that although I ate what I thought was a healthy ‘gym’ diet of chicken, sweet potato and broccoli or eye fillet and a small side salad, I was not only most likely exposing myself to some of these nasties, but I was 100% not fueling my space suit with all the added goodness that goes with eating a plant-based diet (bucket loads more vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and dietary fibre). A decision was made – no longer would ‘meat’ be the star of my plate. To be 100% transparent, this decision was not made in a single moment and when I started the switch away from animal foods, I had doubts. Here’s how it unfolded.
I initially did 3-6 months of experimenting with a whole food based pescetarian diet: At this stage I was doubtful I could give up eggs as I did enjoy poached eggs a few times a week I and wanted to include fish for ‘protein’. This seems to be a common starting point and although I look back and wish I had just started 100% plant-based from Day 1, I appreciate this part of the journey as a way to ease into a new way of living and thinking.
During the initial pescetarian period, I continued to listen to my body and educate myself. I would feel better after days of just plant-based eating. My body would feel lighter after meals and I would feel more energetic in mornings so the switch to a 100% plant-based diet was an easy one from there. I started to notice I was able to lift more and my recovery from workouts was way faster… I couldn’t explain it then but it felt like my body was thriving with the new foods I was feeding it, so I continued and dug deeper and deeper into making sure what I was eating weekly was made up of ‘premium fuel’ and no longer the ‘diesel’ I’d been putting into my unleaded petrol tank. Having now been eating 100% plants for several years with zero animal products, these are the benefits I have noticed first hand:
- Zero bloating or prolonged heaviness after meals or that ‘yuck I overate’ feeling which I would so often have after heading out in previous years for a meat-based meal. I really never ate that much beef (maybe once a week or fortnight) but every single time I went out with friends and had an eye fillet I would always feel sluggish for hours after (makes sense now that I understand the time it takes to break down).
- Stronger in the gym and way more endurance. I used to walk into gym and at 30 minutes be tired and ask myself what I’m doing here and make an excuse to leave. Now I get to 30 minutes and want to push harder and longer to finish off the session and make some proper improvement in strength and endurance. I walk in with intent to get the most I can out of the session and my body is allowing me to do that.
- Leaner and more vascularity.
- Quicker recovery post workout which I now credit to reduced inflammation in the body.
- Clearer skin.
- Reignited my passion for food and creativity in the kitchen which has become an outlet for me to stimulate my brains away from my daily work.
- Improved ability to switch off and sleep – I now get a solid deep sleep for 7-8 hours straight per night and when I wake up at 6am, I am super alert and ready to go.
- 6 month blood tests show lower cholesterol, which is a great indicator for avoiding cardiovascular disease in future years.
Best of all… that’s just what I can feel or see in the outside world. I have no doubt with the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients + anti-inflammatory compounds I am consuming, my space suit is in a better place internally.
“But isn’t it a bit extreme to cut out all animal products and isn’t it hard when eating out?”
I can appreciate from the outside it can seem a restrictive way of living or radical decision, but for me the only thing that is extreme is to be fueling my body with foods that don’t allow me to thrive during my finite existence + foods that have been clearly linked to negative health consequences. I can get everything I need plus more without having the animal proteins, cholesterol, saturated animal fats + hormones/antibiotics floating around my system. The eating out part is very simple and made easier by the fact most restaurants and cafes are adding plant-based options – I haven’t found a restaurant that won’t accommodate for my choice in fuel. In fact, it’s fast becoming the ‘trendy’ thing to open a Vegan restaurant or have a Vegan menu. If you’re looking for vegan-friendly places to eat out at a good starting point is the Happy Cow app @happycow.
Plant Proof Lifestyle Eating Guides
Soon, Plant Proof will have free lifestyle guides for anyone who wants to improve their health, feel more energetic, feel more youthful and maintain physical shape by nourishing their insides with healthy plant-based foods. Within the guides, you will learn about plant-strong foods and how to get healthy exercise/performance results and improve many other facets of your health at the same time. Unlike many ‘diets’, which are all just about the outside and disregard the detrimental effects they are having on your organs, a plant-based lifestyle is holistic.
Think about it, without your organs running on premium fuel, your outside youthfulness, vibrancy and health will only be short lived.
In simple form, through Plant Proof and the lifestyle guides, you will understand why you are putting each ingredient into your body and how it will be assisting you to reach and maintain your health goals. In the meantime, please read over all my blogs and recipes to get acquainted with this truly life-changing lifestyle that awaits you.
It won’t be long before you stop thinking “where do I get my protein from?”and you start thinking “how did I previously function properly all those years”.
May your Space Suit thrive,