I recently completed my journey through the T. Colin Campbell Certificate Program in Plant-Based Nutrition from the Center for Nutrition Studies. Food has been a passion of mine for a long time and I felt compelled to get a deeper understanding of what this plant-based lifestyle really means. With friends, co-workers and family constantly asking me questions about the way I eat, I wanted to have the “why” understanding. Why don’t we know about this type of health care? Why do people continue to eat mass amounts of protein? And why are we opting to pop pills that essentially keep us sick?
When I started listening to the Rich Roll podcast my world was exposed to Dr. T. Colin Campbell’s China Study. From this introduction, I was driven to learn more about the types of diets people adopt and how they were working. I listened to podcasts, watched videos and read articles but that just wasn’t enough. I craved more. I wanted to learn from the man himself and truly understand how we got to the stage where our food system is now. Not only is it out of control, it’s significantly impacting the environment in a negative way.
I have always lived a healthy lifestyle and this has meant something different throughout the stages of my life. Admittedly, my food choices have always been driven from a standpoint of performance. Eat this to get faster or drink this to maintain muscle but never have I felt better than I do now, eating a whole foods plant based diet. Growing up, I looked the other way when greens were served and now I can’t seem to get enough spinach or kale. I know now that this has everything to do with the microbiology that I’ve created in my gut. My favorite dish is simply oven roasted asparagus, lightly salted with a few grinds of black peppercorn. I enjoy the flavors and how my mind and body feel every day. My system is more in balance as this way of eating is anti-inflammatory as opposed to the Standard American Diet which is extremely pro-inflammatory.
I am now 43 years old and entering my 12th season of triathlon racing. I continue to train anywhere from 10-20 hours a week, logging intense workouts and bouncing quickly in my recovery so I can do it again the next day. This is where the anti-inflammatory piece is key in staying healthy throughout a long season, while the healthy microbiology, that comes from this way of eating, reduces digestive issues so I can pull maximum nutrition from my meals. I successfully raced 2 Ironman races last year and 1 Half Ironman. Fueled entirely by plants, I was awarded Gold Level All World Athlete status from Ironman for placing in the top one percent of my age group worldwide. I continue to get stronger, faster and more durable while feeling happy, balanced and healthy.
A plant-based lifestyle will continue to fuel my athletic endeavors into the future, I see absolutely no need for change. If I can feel this good and perform my best while helping to save the planet and the lives of animals than I am in for the long haul. The dots just seem to connect for this way of living and now I get to share it with others who are ready.
Be sure to check out our High Vibe Kitchen for more on this way of eating and to contact me about guidance on your plant based training, racing and life.