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Being a vegan and a plant-based chef I am often asked why everyone doesn’t move to a plant-based diet. Like anything else the answers are very simple and just as complex as life itself.

  1. Fear that we might not get enough protein.
  2. We usually stay with the foods that we ate as a child because something different is threatening.
  3. Most are not aware of the damage to our bodies or our planet that an animal based diet inflicts.
  4. We are so removed from the source of our meat that we don’t see the pain and suffering that a meat-based diet does to the animals that we use for food. Individuals who have to harvest that meat have some of the highest suicide rates in any population.
  5. Probably the real reason that we are not all plant-based vegans is because we either don’t know what to prepare or we don’t feel that we have the time to devote to preparing those meals.

I would like to put the protein issue to bed right away. (Warning-this is a bone of contention for me) The period in our life when we are growing the most and our brain is developing the fastest and our demand for protein is at it’s highest is the first year of our life. During that time we are being sustained by one food–mother’s milk which is only 5% protein. A potato contains 6% protein. The myth that only meat products are complete protein is just that-a myth. Your body breaks down protein into amino acids from muscles and other body parts daily, these amino acids are supplemented by the additional amino acids we get in our food either from meat or vegetables and are used to rebuild those parts of the body as needed.

Even an athlete who exercises daily only have a very slight need for additional protein that is easily supplied by the fruits and vegetables we eat. Only extreme athletes who exercise 8 to 10 hours a day, 7 days a week need additional protein supplementation. There are vegan protein supplements available for those individuals. The practice of trainers pushing protein supplements on young athletes in schools is creating a situation where these children are developing the heart and arteries of a 70 year-old and as you know it is not unheard of for a child to have a heart attack on the football field or on the basketball court.

At the last check in for the Olympics, 17% of our best athletes could not pass the health check up due to advanced heart disease. This is what pushing whey based protein supplements is doing to our children and athletes. These trainers do not have a degree in nutrition and are only listening to salesmen who want to make as much money as possible selling these trainers on protein supplements that are not only not needed, but are actually killing our young athletes.

I am a certified professional plant-based chef with years of experience planning and cooking whole food plant-based meals. My degree is in holistic nutrition and I owned and operated Ceres’ Kitchen, a gluten-free bakery and food service in Colorado Springs, Colorado. I not only am a personal chef, I am a life coach who specializes in working with people interested in making the transition to a plant-based, whole-food diet. I offer classes and workshops geared toward helping people understand why a plant-based diet is the best diet.

For more information on my services call 719-351-7133 or email me at sbivins@discoverhealthyu.com.