ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Get Healthy Eating Fresh Vegetables

Updated on April 27, 2016

Decision to "Go Lean"

So, I have this problem and I think that you are in the same boat as me. I am getting older. I'm 29. Now, depending on your age you, may think I'm still young or you may think I'm close to getting over the hill (You millennials may consider me a Grandfather). It doesn't matter to me. I'm trying to reach you all. Every single one of you, because, guess what? Yes, you guessed it. No matter how old -or young- you are, we are all aging and sooner or later will be affected by what's affecting me. I also have another problem. I enjoy to exercise and being active. The problem is that as I get older, I notice that it becomes more difficult to maintain my weight and that I cannot eat everything or anything I want anymore, regardless of my level of activity. I won't go into the specifics, but they boil down to the same thing... diet, activity level, genetic makeup, etc. All those factors affect how we lose or gain weight and at what level. So after seeing all of the infomercials for some of the newer food processors and blenders, I decided to go buy one of my own. This isn't my first foray into eating more greens. When I decided to get back in shape because I put on an extra 20 lbs, I bought a juicer. Nothing fancy, just a $29.99 Black and Decker juicer that worked just like the more expensive ones. I loved it. The fresh fruit and veggie juices were delicious and nutritious. The problem was that the cleanup really was a hassle. Still, I lost the extra 20 lbs. in a matter of 45 days with a new exercise regimen. I cut out bread and rice and had resolved to drink more water, veggie and fruit juices made with my new juicer and stopped eating fried foods and ate only lean cuts of meat and turkey. Of course life caught up and the cleanup became a hassle so I stopped juicing as often as I had grown accustomed to. I did maintain my diet and exercise regimen and have kept the weight off. I have a new goal...

No MEAT.

And what is my new goal? Well, it is really just an old goal which has recently resurfaced. I want to drop my body fat percentage to below 10%. I won't tackle the exercise portion here, but here is an overview of what I do: I incorporate a mixture of high intensity runs (tempo, sprint intervals), plyometric body weight exercises, pull-ups and weight training. All of those are very important. The exercise portion has never been a problem for me. Instead, the diet part is what has hindered me from breaking that 10% barrier that I haven't seen in almost 10 years. I've been hovering around 12-14%. I want my abs back and it is not getting any easier as I get older. That is why I bought myself a Nutri-Bullet and decided that instead of juicing, I'm going to extract the veggies, fruits and even nuts. More importantly, I have decided to cut out meat completely. So no steak, no pork and no chicken. I don't eat seafood much, so giving that up wasn't a problem. I'm not saying that eating meat is an unhealthy - although there are many individuals from that school of thought- practice. However, by cutting out meat I decrease my total fat intake and still won't suffer much as I will use nuts and seeds as an alternative source of protein. I also cut out processed foods which is one of the reasons why America is among the most obese countries in the world. I digress...

So, where would I get my protein from? As I mentioned earlier, nuts and seeds would be my go-to fat and protein source. I could eat them alone or mix them with my fruits and veggies to get the most nutrient intake from my meals.I decided that a salad wasn't just an appetizer or a side dish. Instead, I opted to make my salad the main dish in my meals. So lettuce, cabbage, spinach, green peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes (with freshly squeezed lime or lemon juice) and my choice of pine nuts, sesame seeds or soy nuts for protein would make not only a delicious salad, but a nutritious meal with almost everything I needed (And just about everything the human body needs). All of those nuts and seeds have high levels of protein per serving and no or low trans fat. Between my salads that are packed with protein from the nuts and seeds in it, I will have apple or orange slices mixed with almonds or Brazil nuts. I might just go crazy and add some raisins to the mix. My own home-made trail mix. All healthy, delicious and filling snacks. With all that in mind, I was still hesitant to go without eating any type of meat because it would be the first time trying it and I didn't know how my body would react. I was concerned that this new diet/way of life would not provide sufficient energy for my workouts or to sustain me through the day.

The Verdict

I've been on this new diet for 2 weeks now. I have lost 4 lbs., but more importantly, I feel energized and have not had cravings for meat since about day 6. One of my concerns was the possibility of having those cravings coupled with a possible lack of energy caused from B12 deficiency(rare) which could occur after cutting out meat. It was an initial shock not to be eating meat or chicken on a regular basis, but having supplemented my body with the right proteins from seeds and nuts was the answer my body was looking for. My initial goal was to do this for a month. Once I reach that month I may reassess and decide to go another month. The truth is that I am really considering making this new lifestyle a permanent one. I am not starving and I am providing my body with all of the nutrients it needs. All while enjoying fresh fruits and veggies and some delicious smoothies. The clean-up? Its almost non-existent. Rinse the cups and blades from the Nutri-Bullet and that is all it takes. Preparing the drinks is easy as well. Not only do I make some delicious drinks, but I can also use the machine to make some dressings, soups, and even dips. I am hovering right at 140-141 right now, though weight loss wasn't my main concern as much as getting lean and a little ripped. Eating and drinking fresh fruits and vegetables and seeds and raw nuts is just allowing my body to get back to it's natural weight without being weighed down by processed foods. I am also starting to notice the difference in my my body. My new goal is to be in the best shape of my life by the time I am 30 and continue to live healthy once there. I am not a nutritionist or dietician, but I have a fairly good understanding of what is healthy and what isn't and processed foods are not good. Even if you don't cut out meat, think about cutting out processed foods. Sure, they are cheap and easily accessible, but is your health worth cheap and easily accessible products and the long-term effects they can have on you? Cut out processed foods from your diet and you will begin to not only lose some weight, but feel better as well.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Jonathan Vallejo profile image
      Author

      Jon 4 years ago from DuPont, Washington

      Thanks. I've always loved eating veggies too. I just made the decision to not only take them in by extraction but also to add nuts such as almonds and others as replacements for meat and my new source of protein. Love spinach in my salads and kale in my juicer or NutriBullet with some cucumber, berries and a few almonds.

    • peachpurple profile image

      peachy 4 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      i love green vegetables. I have a home grown vegetable patch with spinach and kaile. Quite different from market ones. Wonderful hub