First off, for anyone who has visited my site before, the blog has a new look and feel to it. This is because I decided to leave my previous blogging platform in search of a provider that would give me some more design flexibility, and ideally would be a bit cheaper to run. Amazingly, I found both of those traits by switching to WordPress! So far, so good – if you have the urge to start blogging, you should definitely check them out! Lastly, if you have any thoughts or suggestions on how the blog looks and feels, don’t be afraid to leave a comment below! Otherwise, I hope you enjoy the new coachoiseau.com!
DISCLAIMER: I am not a trained dietitian or nutritionist. My degree is in kinesiology, which included courses in nutrition, human anatomy, biology and physiology. If you are in search of medical advice, please seek out the help of a trained professional!
For a number of months now, I have been making a deliberate and gradual change in my diet toward eating more and more fruits and vegetables, and less and less meat. The title of this blog reflects the answer that I often give to people who ask whether I’m a vegetarian, because the truth is that I’m not. I still do eat meat. I still absolutely love meat. If you offer me meat at a social function, it is very likely that I’ll say yes to it and eat it with a massive smile on my face. However, I no longer buy meat when I shop at grocery stores, and that has allowed me to slowly shift away from taking on the quantities of meat that I used to consume regularly. So, just to summarize…Mike Bird = omnivore who eats lots of veggies.
Why am I doing this? There are a lot of compelling reasons, and they all feed into one another very nicely. In no particular order, here they are:
- my body is better “micronutritionally”-fueled;
- my grocery bill is shrinking;
- I’m maintaining a lean body as my age slowly forces me away from my natural, physical peak form;
- the risk of me succumbing to heart disease and/or cancer is being reduced.
- to minimize my environmental footprint.
Anyone who knows me in-person understands that I’m a pretty logical guy who rarely does anything without a good reason (NB: this is not always a strength!). Now to briefly expand on the first four points written above (point “e” will get its own follow-up post at a later date)…
While most diets are focused primarily around manipulating the core macronutrients (ie: carbohydrates, proteins, and fats – some also include water as a macronutrient) which we need to survive, a lot of the time we overlook the importance of micronutrients. The list of micronutrients is quite long and can’t really be covered concisely in this post, but in short we are now talking about our vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Eating a broad base of fruits and vegetables allows us to cover virtually all of our needs when it comes to micronutrients. Their key roles in most of our body’s processes and functions take us from surviving, to thriving! For the car buffs in the crowd, I like to relate consuming micronutrients to filling up on high-octane gasoline!
The second and third reasons are fairly straightforward. A pound of raw chickpeas typically costs less than a pound of medium ground beef in most supermarkets. Now here’s the kicker: the pound of chickpeas contains more protein than the pound of beef! Yes, a few skeptics might say that the chickpeas are not what are called a complete protein, and therefore your body can’t really do much with all that lean, mean, bean protein on its own. Their point is a valid one, however, if you combine the beans with most other sources of plant-based protein (for example, from seeds or grains – also pretty cheap!), then your body will have all the complete protein that it needs! With all of the saturated and trans fat that you are not consuming from all the meat that you are avoiding, it is naturally easier to gain/maintain a lean(-er) physique.
Finally, the fourth reason for my meat-cutting mentality is related to overall long-term health. In the US (one of the leading consumers of meat per capita in the world), the top two leading causes of death are heart disease and cancer. What is interesting to note is that globally, cancer is not one of the top two killers of mankind. In fact, it’s barely in the top five, and has been deemed to be very lifestyle and diet-dependent. As for heart disease, there is plenty of support that diet and exercise play significant roles in controlling the risk of death due to heart-related illness. These two diseases are of particular importance to me personally, as one of my parents is a cancer survivor, while the other experienced a heart attack in their early-50s. It would seem that the heredity component of my overall risk profile is quite real for me.
Doesn’t it all seem so logical when you step back and take the long view on things? Would you ever try something like this? Hopefully this post gives you some food for thought (and yes, pun intended…)! Let me know your thoughts, or if you just think I’m crazy, in the comments section below!