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Challenge Nutrition: Whole Food Plant Based Eating

Whole Foods Plant Based Eating

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The Spring Training Challenge is coming up in a few weeks, and we want to drop some extra knowledge for you heading into the challenge specifically related to the nutrition piece.  The upcoming challenge focuses on a whole food, plant-based way of eating.  Curious to learn more?  Read on!   

What is it?

Whole Food Plant-Based (WFPB) is (totally optional) way of eating that focuses on nutrient-dense, whole foods that mostly come from plants. This includes veggies, fruits, whole grains, beans & legumes, and nuts & seeds.  When eating WFPB, all processed foods are avoided.  Foods such as refined sugar, refined white flour and any overly processed foods and ingredients, even the vegan ones, should be avoided.  WFPB does not mean that you cut out all animal products; it just means that plants and foods in their most natural state make up majority of your plate, which in turn reduces your consumption of animal products.

Why eat WFPB?

It is estimated that by the year 2030, 42 percent of the American population will be considered obese, and 80 percent will be overweight.  We eat a ton of food every year.  A ton of anything put into our body has a profound effect.  This is why it is so important that the ton of food we consume each year positively benefits our health.  Following a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle enables us to focus on eating foods in their most whole form, yielding the most nutrients and optimizing our health.  

A WFPB way of eating features simple guidelines grounded in science.  There’s a lot of evidence that plant-based diets have been linked to reducing the risk of heart disease, certain cancers, obesity, diabetes and cognitive decline.  Many people who follow a whole-food, plant-based diet report more energy, reduced inflammation, and better health outcomes. 

How does it apply to the upcoming challenge?

In general, there are a few ways to approach WFPB eating.  If you want to go all in and make the switch overnight then you cut out all processed foods and focus on filling your plate with mostly plants. If you’re just curious about this way of eating, then maybe you focus on having a few meat free meals throughout the week.  There is no right or wrong way to do this. Listen to your gut and heart and decide what you want to do, and then do it.  Maybe you try “Meatless Monday’s” or make all of your lunches WFPB for the next 14 days.

The recipes in the challenge are meant for encouragement and inspiration as you give plant based eating a try and/or if your current way of eating does not include a variety of plant-based foods.  You will find that most recipes don’t have an animal protein source, but you can easily add as much or as little protein as you desire.

Think about taking the two weeks of the Spring Training Challenge to focus on making majority of what you eat consist of plants and whole-foods.  It’s just 14 days to experiment and try something that may be new to you.  We want you to be open to trying something new.  It’s a great opportunity to experiment with new foods and a new way of eating to see how your body feels and reacts.  There will be things you learn about yourself along the way, ultimately making yourself a better version of YOU along the way!  

All Hail the TreadMighty,

Coach Lauren