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If you've ever thought about converting to a plant-based but didn't know where to start, Julie Wilcox's new book, The Win-Win Diet will show you how. On episode 522 of the 40+ Fitness Podcast, we meet with Juile to discuss the book and plant-based eating.
[00:02:22.870] – Allan
Hello, Ras. How are things going?
[00:02:24.960] – Rachel
Good Allan, how are you today?
[00:02:27.150] – Allan
Doing pretty good. It's really been really busy here. Of course, we knew we were going into busy season and it's like ebbs and flows. So we had a bunch of people at New Year's, and then it kind of let up. And where Tammy is looking at the schedule and saying, wow, we're wide open. There's nothing and all of a sudden reservation reservation. And so it's really cool. Except it just means that, yeah, it's like right now tomorrow, three rooms checking in and we weren't expecting that kind of thing. You're on. It like we thought we had a day off or we thought we were going to have some time and like, no, if it's up there, it can get booked. And then I'm trying to figure out some of the back end stuff of how do I get the TripAdvisor thing to work with the Facebook thing with the Google thing with our reservation system back and forth and trying to tie all that stuff together. So I'm trying to get that a little bit better organized. So people when they come in, they're like, okay, I don't see any reviews. Well, I want you to see some reviews.
[00:03:24.260] – Allan
I want you to see some current reviews because we're a little different than the previous owners were, as far as how we're running it and what we do and how we've upgraded it. So really just making sure that they're not. Don't get me wrong. The previous owners did a great job. They have great reviews. But you start looking around and it's like we've done so much. Tammy's done so much to make the place look great and operate great. That when someone comes in, we want them to understand that there's a different way we're approaching this and a different level of service that we provide here at Lula's. That's been very busy. And then the gym has been relatively busy. And so it's been go go go go. And since New Year, literally since New Year's Eve. Boom, this is go out of the gate. So haven't had much time to look up and do much else. But it is what it is. Busy can be good. And then we'll probably block out a week or so in May and take some time off just to catch our breath before we go into this kind of the lull of the season.
[00:04:33.500] – Allan
But at some point, I think we're going to have to take a deep breath and relax for sure.
[00:04:38.710] – Rachel
Definitely see a time off here now and then. That's good. Glad to hear everything's going well with Lula's. That's so exciting.
[00:04:46.230] – Allan
Yeah, it is. How are things up there?
[00:04:48.590] – Rachel
Good. Actually, the opposite of you. It's quiet now. My kids are back to College. They had a very nice long break for the holidays, and now they're back in school. So I've had some extra time here to work on my other New Year's resolution to start reading books. So I'm reading a book for entertainment, not about running or health or fitness or anything. So it's kind of nice to have that change.
[00:05:13.510] – Allan
Every once in a while I'll sit down and do some of that. I've got three books I ordered and had because again, there's no bookstore here. I'd ordered a few books to come down. Some of them are like, these old classics. It's like you were supposed to have read this somewhere in College or high school or something. I was like, You've never read that? No, I've never read that. That was like I had to read it. And I'm like, we didn't have to. But now I want to know. So I'll go back and read those. And then there was the show, the Man from High Castle. It was on Amazon, I think. So I watched all those and then I was like, I knew it was a book. I was like, I want to go read the book and see how close the book is to the series because I typically like the books better than movies. I don't know about you, but I tend to like books better than movies. And some books are entirely different. Like, if you see Forrest Gump the movie, the book is an entirely different story.
[00:06:13.150] – Rachel
[00:06:13.790] – Allan
It's the same story, but it's almost like the character is different. And I would even say, Dare say, a little less likable, but that's just my impression of it. But again, when you read a book, it's a little bit more what's going on in your head versus what the actor wants to put on the screen, the director on the screen. So I like to read the books to see how close they are to what I saw or vice versa.
[00:06:39.680] – Rachel
Sure. Awesome. Well, enjoy those reading. If you have the time.
[00:06:45.970] – Allan
I am a little head on my interviews, four or five interviews in there, and I've got three or four more that are kind of on deck. As soon as they get their interview book, then I'll be on to those. But I am trying to kind of pace myself now to say, okay, I'm not going to do more than two interviews a week. There's no reason for me to do more than two interviews a week because I can tell you three is a lot and five is too much. And that's what I did before we got to New Year. So never again in a week. But I will drop it down and try to get to two a week here and there and just keep myself ahead because we are pretty much ahead now and recording, which is kind of a good place to be other than it is. Some of these interviews happened two months ago and trying to remember what we talked about. All right. But we are going to talk to Julie Wilcox. Are you ready for that?
[00:07:37.060] – Rachel
Yes. Let's do that.
[00:08:36.850] – Allan
Julie, welcome to 40+ Fitness.
[00:08:39.970] – Julie
Hi, Allan. How are you? Nice to be here. Thank you.
[00:08:43.690] – Allan
One of the things I love about life is that if we really take our time and we think about it, we can develop a win win attitude. We can develop a win win relationship. And for a lot of people, when it comes to food, they don't think that way. Their brain is in this. I've got to win over food, or food is going to win over me. But you're bringing a plan. And your book is called The Win-Win Diet: How to Be Plant Based and Still Eat What You Love. So you're approaching this from a very good mindset of I can win and have good food and still enjoy it with a win win instead of a win, someone's got to win. Someone's got to lose.
[00:09:26.830] – Julie
That's exactly right. Yeah. The win win actually operates on several important levels. You get to reap a laundry list of health benefits while also alleviating climate change. You get to eat an incredibly healthy diet while not having to sacrifice entire food groups or foods that you love. And lastly, as you mentioned, you can personalize your diet. You don't have to conform to a fat or fit into something that's made for the masses, not for you. And how your body actually works optimally.
[00:10:04.450] – Allan
Yeah. I've tried different ways of eating over time because I'm doing this podcast. I did things for my own health, and I was like, okay, this doesn't work for me, and I would figure it out pretty quickly, but it didn't. And that's one of the things I've talked about on the podcast for a long, long time is that each of us has to eat to our own. We have to know what serves our body. We have to get rid of foods that don't serve our body and then find our place. In a sense, we're always going to have labels because as humans communicate at all, we have to put a label on the way we eat. Are you a carnivore? Are you an omnivore? Are you a vegetarian? Are you a vegan? And then there's some space in between those. And that's what I like about this is your approach, it goes into four levels, and I'll admit it's not on the carnivore keto side, for sure. But I've had vegan Ketos on, so you can do that as possible. So I'm not saying it's not there, but you're helping people go a little bit more plant based, which there's a ton of evidence.
[00:11:10.300] – Allan
You look at Mediterranean style diets, the dash diets. And then you realize that plants provide nutrition that we need and the more of them we can get in our diet, probably the better with fiber and all the other things we talked about that help you feel satiated and full. You're getting the protein and you're getting some healthy fats. Then it all kind of comes together. So in your approach, in the Win Win diet, you have four levels, and I'm going to say they're sort of stacked because as you go in, they're a little bit more restrictive at the next level, next level, next level. And it's flexitarian, pescetarian, vegetarian, and then vegan. Can you talk through those and why you structured those in that way?
[00:11:55.690] – Julie
Sure. So I think those four diets really suit a wide variety of preferences and needs out there in the world for pretty much anyone. And within those diets, there's actually a range that you can also personalize. So just to define each one of those eating patterns, Flexitarian reduces their meat consumption and eats fish, eggs and dairy, as well as plenty of fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, seeds and plant-based proteins. And all the diets share those plant foods in common. They're trying to increase the consumption of those plant foods and decrease the animal foods. The pescetarian diet doesn't eat any meat, but they do eat fish, eggs and dairy. Vegetarians eat no fish or meat and eggs and dairy, and some eat only eggs or dairy. And then finally, we have the vegans, which don't eat any meat at all. So really, there's a lot of room for personalization customization along the spectrum between the diets within the diets. So that's why I decided to choose those four. Other plant based diets, like fruitetarian, for instance. I don't think that's something that appeals to all that many people. I mean, I don't know that many people who only really want to eat fruit.
[00:13:33.470] – Allan
Well, Besides, maybe ritual, but the thing is in each of these approaches, because I don't want to use the word diet. I think that's a bad word. Actually, it's a four letter word, anyway, is that each of them allows you you're teaching them how to get an adequate amount of protein. They're getting less of it from processed foods. They're getting more fiber in each of these than they would if they were eating a lot more meat. They're moving with the flexitarian, more chicken and poultry, and fish. And then with pescetarian, they're going more to the fish. All of them are going to have some form of eggs and maybe dairy. But it's a tolerance thing because you can get vegetarian, as you said. Okay, I'm vegetarian, but I don't do well with the dairy. And so I just eliminate the dairy. And now I'm egg vegetarian, which I forgot the word for that.
[00:14:39.510] – Julie
That's ovo vegetarians. The ones that only have dairy are lacto.
[00:14:41.740] – Allan
Okay, there we go. So see, there's a place and I think where a lot of people have made a mistake, and I have, too, is that I would say it's an all or nothing. So I would literally just take and be eating the way I was eating and jump to pescetarian in my perspective. And I just jumped to pescetarian, and it was a train wreck. It's a complete train wreck. You're staggering it down. And you've got this into a series of transitions. And each transition is six weeks give or take because it's individualized and then a two week kind of stabilization. You call it a honing and maintenance. Can you talk about that transitioning process and why that's important?
[00:15:28.650] – Julie
Yeah. The transition methodology that I developed essentially asks that you allow your body to adapt to these shifts, as you mentioned, to just shock the system doesn't really ever work how many weight loss stories have we heard only to then have the follow up that people have put the weight back on? Also, for chronic disease prevention and management. You want a diet and a lifestyle that's sustainable for the long term. So the way I've mapped out the transitions between the diets starts with focusing on portion control. So let's say if you're moving from omnivore to flexitarian, for instance, and you're used to eating two sausages in the morning with a couple of fried eggs, the first step for you would be to have maybe one sausage that's regular red meat, and then maybe substitute the other one with a Turkey sausage. If you're having, then a Ham sandwich for lunch with typically four slices of Ham, reduce it to two. Add some lettuce add some tomatoes or other veggies that you'd like to again start moving more towards consuming the healthier foods, the fruits, the vegetables.
[00:16:54.950] – Allan
And as you said in the book, avocado. So, yeah, put some avocado.
[00:16:59.910] – Julie
Avocado lover. And same for dinner. If you're used to eating a six ounce steak, try for three, add another vegetable, add a whole grain. Another thing that I talk a lot about, because in the world, there's a lot of hostility towards carbs. And, yes, refined carbs. We want to be very careful about and really not eat a lot of but whole grain carbs are wonderful for you. As you talked at the beginning about fiber. They're full of fiber, protein. They have lots of vitamins and minerals, and they're really essential for overall optimal health well being. Your digestion, energy, carbs are what fuel our muscles, our brains. So the idea to eliminate them completely is not really a sound one. So you really want to focus on the refined stuff, the processed foods, the sugary foods, the foods with trans fats added saturated fat.
[00:18:07.770] – Allan
As I say, bag box jar, or can be wary.
[00:18:13.290] – Julie
So in terms of that first two weeks for any of the transition, it applies across the spectrum. So if you're moving from flexitarian to pescatarian, then you would do the same portion reduction in the first two weeks, taking the meat down and substituting that with fish and plant foods. Pesceterian to vegetarian. You're reducing the fish in favor of eggs, dairy, vegetables, fruits, legumes, plant proteins. And when you're transitioning from vegetarian to vegan, you're starting to lose the eggs and the dairy. And you want to be careful along these transitions to make sure that you're focusing on what nutrients you might be losing in the process, especially between vegetarian and vegan. So vitamin D12, vitamin D, Omega three is our big ones calcium. So you want to definitely make sure that you're paying attention to getting those from the other foods. Also, it's important to understand that I'm not saying that everybody has to move from being an omnivore all the way to a vegan. I make it very clear in the book that you can stop at any point and you can go back if you want as well. So, for instance, I became vegetarian when I was 14 years old.
[00:19:32.600] – Julie
I saw a film on factory farming and science class, and I also had a sister that was vegetarian. And as we know, the people with whom we surround ourselves have a high impact on our eating habits and lifestyles. So I became vegetarian for about ten years, and it wasn't until my 20s that I realized I just wasn't feeling my best and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. It definitely had something to do with not having enough variety in my diet. I don't think I had as much energy as I wanted, and I started slowly eating fish again, and I've been a pescetarian since. So it can be different phases of your life. That one diet suits you more than another. If you're pregnant, that's a whole other set of things you have to think about. As you age into over 60. Let's say every phase of life, we have different issues to contend with. And so you really just need to listen intuitively to what your body is telling you and what it needs.
[00:20:39.870] – Allan
And that's what I liked about this is every two weeks you have to check in with yourself, go in there to do this, check in and see how this is fitting your life. And is it serving you? Are you feeling good? Do you feel like you're getting what you need? And do you feel like maybe you're ready to step a little bit further away? So you dropped one of the sausages and replaced it with a Turkey sausage. It's like, okay, are we ready to go in the next week and say, okay, every other day I'm going to have two Turkey sausages. And every other day I'm going to have two of the pork sausages and then walk your way down to a point where you're now a flexitarian and very little red meat at all. And if you feel better, if you feel good, then you did the right thing. If you're not feeling it, then you may need to walk back some.
[00:21:25.710] – Julie
Exactly. And so after the portion reduction, the next two week phase is meal frequency reduction. So if you're eating meat, say three times a day as an omnivore and you are trying to get to be a flexitarian, you reduce it by one meal in the first week, every day, perhaps, or a few times a week, and then in the second week, maybe you reduced to only one meal a day. So the idea of the meal frequency reduction is that by the end of the two week period, you're eating only one meal a day that has your transition food, because then the final two weeks before there's a honing and maintenance phase the last two weeks. But the last two weeks of the six week period is where you reduce the days on which you actually eat your transition food. So if you're eating it now four days a week, say one meal a day, then you work on taking two days away and the first week, and then the second week, another two days a week, and then you're down to zero, hopefully by the end. But then you assess yourself one more time and you say, Is this right for me?
[00:22:32.720] – Julie
Am I feeling okay now I have two more weeks to actually just be with this diet and see how it feels and make any adjustments that maybe I need.
[00:22:44.020] – Allan
But I think that self-awareness is really the important part of this because it might take you three or four weeks to get through one of these phases and really feel like, okay, I've got it nailed down, and I'm comfortable with the way I'm eating. I feel good or feel okay. And I'm ready to take the next step versus just saying, oh, no, it's two weeks, and I'm not sure you be kind to yourself. So show some self compassion and say, okay, I need a little bit more time to acclimate to what I'm doing, and then you can take that next step.
[00:23:17.450] – Julie
Exactly. And that's why, more specifically about the assessment sections, they're divided into three parts, and I ask you to really do a medical check, talk to your doctor, make sure everything is clear with your labs and your health status. In that sphere, I ask you to do an emotional and psychological check to make sure that you're really okay with those arenas. So it's a pretty comprehensive evaluation to make sure that you're feeling good and feeling better hopefully. The reason why people would theoretically be doing this is because they want to feel better and better.
[00:24:00.350] – Allan
Absolutely. Now, one of the things that's really hard for a lot of people is okay. When I'm cooking my own meals, breakfast may be the easiest unless you're in a hurry and wake up a little late and it's like, oh, no. And now I have to stop somewhere and have to buy food either at a restaurant or I'm in a real hurry, and I need to do some kind of take out or delivery. Can you give us some tips for how we can manage what we're trying to do now in those environments? Because sometimes those menus are a little hard for us to know. What are we getting here? And how would you recommend someone to go and do that?
[00:24:38.790] – Julie
I would recommend that you immediately scan menus for fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains. Ideally, you want to do your research in advance, so you want to have a few go to places where you know they have the foods that you'd like to be eating and having not only those groupings of food, but also portion sizes that are appropriate, because that's a big pitfall for people and especially when eating out or ordering in. So again, you want to learn what the proper portion size of any food is and make sure that you're curating your places and your meals properly that way. Word of mouth, talking to neighbors, talking to friends, family in the area is a great way to get ideas of where to go as long as they're on the same page as you are doing online research looking at menus. A lot of places now provide nutritional information on their menus. I'm not a big believer in calorie counting, and I think it's good to know generally what you're consuming day to day, but not really actually having to do the computations. That's a little bit more of a complicated conversation.
[00:26:06.140] – Julie
But if you do it once and you eat routinely enough, essentially, you'll know where you are and what you need to do there with the calories. I think asking questions is super important of your servers. Again, what are the ingredients in there? What are the portion sizes? Is it possible to make alterations? Can I have this? But not that? I think people need to really feel empowered to speak up and ask for what they want, and at least in the least asked questions so that they can make the decision if they don't want it and they can choose something else, you can always eat half. You don't have to eat the whole thing. I know that can be difficult, but if you set your mind up for that, take the rest home. Save it for the next day. Or if you're with someone or, you know, you have colleagues in the office that might want some or family at home. Since so many are working from home these days, take it with you. Hopefully someone will have it. And if not, put it in the fridge, freeze it. Of course we don't like to waste, but you can always get rid of it if you need to.
[00:27:14.760] – Allan
Well, one of the things I would do is if I knew I was going to a place and I knew the servings were going to just insane. I mean, okay, serving of beef is not 12oz or 8oz. That's two or three servings. So it would be like, okay, I'm going to take a container and I'm going to take my own salad dressing. And my wife kind of sometimes was a little upset with me for making a scene and doing these things. But I was really wanting to make sure I was eating better. I would bring my takeaway. And as soon as they bring out the food, I would cut the meat and I would put the portion I was not going to eat in the takeaway.
[00:27:50.950] – Julie
There you go.
[00:27:52.750] – Allan
Now, what's on my plate is my meal. And then I enjoy a nice meal and I don't have to think about it anymore. That's the way I approached it. So having a plan going in, I do I agree with you is really important in doing the research. A lot of restaurants are doing that. They're putting the information out there. They're making it available. They're flagging their foods, whether it's vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, all those different things. And if they're not, letting them know with your dollars is probably the best way to get them to change. So if the quality of their fish, the quality of their meat is not what you want it to be. Don't eat it, refuse to go there. And eventually they'll realize, oh, maybe I have to up my game to have you as a customer.
[00:28:38.830] – Julie
Right. And I just want to say that if you know also that you have a lifestyle that is going to require you to eat on the run, you can also prepare for that by making foods at home on the weekend that are good for transportation, that will stay well, that you can make a couple of batches of whether it's overnight oats or yogurt parfaits, dried granola you can always bring with the side of berries, hardboiled eggs. There are definitely a bunch of options that you can prepare for yourself at home because there's nothing better than knowing what is exactly in your food, making it yourself, knowing where it's coming from and being able to portion everything the way you should, just taking your control, your power back over that.
[00:29:32.410] – Allan
And it's probably cheaper too.
[00:29:34.460] – Julie
[00:29:36.190] – Allan
Now one of the things that's coming about because veganism and vegetarian, these are not new things, but being plant based as a diet, as a dietary way of eating, a way of eating is getting bigger. It's a growing trend based on the science people are paying attention. And so now they're coming up with the substitutes so I can go into the grocery store. And there's the vegan burgers that are bean based or soy burgers or the vegan bacon, which to me, is kind of I don't know that I don't even understand. But then now the big ones impossible and beyond meat, which you can buy at McDonald's or Burger King, I guess. They're doing this because there's a market. But is this something that we should be doing? Like, should we just substitute our meat with impossible or beyond burger?
[00:30:38.030] – Julie
I think it's okay to do occasionally as you're transitioning when you're in a pinch. But I think people need to really be aware that those foods are comprised of a long list of ingredients that aren't wholly natural, and they contain saturated fat. They contain chemicals and just all different sorts of hybridizations of things. The best is to go as pure as you can. Make your own burgers with tofu or beans or vegetables. Again, you can get fewer forms of all of those they're processed a little bit just to get them to the supermarket. But you want to stay away from the ones that are flavored or trying to imitate something. So yes, the vegetarian bacon like rather just get a loaf of tempeh and slice it up really thin, throw it in the pan with some olive oil and use some smoky spices and make the flavor yourself that way. And I think that goes for any of those plant based proteins. The beauty of them is that they really absorb flavor beautifully. And so as frequently as you can use and learn about and stick with herbs and spices and making your own sauces out of natural ingredients, whether that's tahini or you want Asian style sauces with soy sauces and ginger, garlic, things like that.
[00:32:15.290] – Julie
You can do all that yourself, but using whole, pure, healthy ingredients, as opposed to things that have been manufactured on a mass scale that are basically chemically derived and made.
[00:32:30.000] – Allan
Yeah. And the cool thing is in your book, The Win Win Diet. You have recipes to help with the transition to each of these levels. So you're going to have some delicious food, you're going to enjoy it, and then at that point, find your spot in here. So you're eating healthier and feeling better.
[00:32:46.610] – Julie
Exactly. Yeah. I have 95 recipes in the book, and I think that's where I've been really successful in the field of nutrition, working with people and that once you start to actually eat the food that's delicious and you realize that it can be so tasty and amazing, you don't then need or want or crave the foods that, like meat, for instance, that maybe you should be eating less of or want to be eating less of. So I think a lot of it comes down to resources and having those recipes on hand and also having the meal plans to support them. So you understand how to put it all together again so that you don't have to be sitting there worrying about or counting your calories or your fat intake during the day because the meal plan is there for you and you do it a couple of times and then basically, you know, like this is the way I can mix and match, and I don't really have to think about anything anymore. It's delicious. It's healthy. It's whole foods, vegetables, fruits, seeds, nuts, all those great things that are going to fuel my energy that are going to help me sleep better that are going to enhance my focus, prevent and help me manage chronic disease.
[00:34:02.170] – Julie
There are so many reasons to start to embrace the plant based or plant slanted diet, and it's really not as difficult as people think. You just need to make these incremental small changes, and that's what I really try. That's the message I'm trying to get across in this book.
[00:34:22.210] – Allan
I like that Plant Slanted. I'm going to use that.
[00:34:28.110] – Allan
Julie, I define wellness as being the healthiest, fittest and happiest you can be. What are three strategies or tactics to get and stay well?
[00:34:36.810] – Julie
so of course, eating your plant based diet fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and plant based proteins. Sleep getting at least 7 hours of sleep a night. Exercise at least 30 minutes a day, about five days a week is about the minimum that I recommend. Those are three. I can go on and on meditation, self nurturing, really, just taking care of yourself to decrease your stress and anxiety, which of course, contribute to and drive a lot of poor food choices and cravings. Socializing, having a great group of people around you that uplift your mood that support your goals that help you when you're struggling. All those things are really important.
[00:35:26.550] – Allan
Awesome. You just regurgitated Buettner's blue zones again.
[00:35:34.290] – Julie
[00:35:36.030] – Allan
Okay. If someone wanted to learn more about you and the book, The Win Win Diet, where would you like for me to send them?
[00:35:42.990] – Julie
They can go to Amazon or Barnesandnoble.Com and order it as a pre sale right now. It actually drops on January 18. They can follow me on social media. Instagram juliacockswellness. LinkedIn Julie Wilcox. Facebook Also Juliewilcoxwellness, I have a website, juliewilcoxwellness.com. I try to keep people updated on all of these channels. I have a newsletter that they can sign up for on my website, so those would be the best channels.
[00:36:18.290] – Allan
Great. You could go to 40plusfitnesspodcast.com/522 and I'll be sure to have the links there. Julie, thank you so much for being a part of 40+ Fitness.
[00:36:29.190] – Julie
Thank you. It was wonderful speaking with you. Thanks for having me on the show.
[00:36:40.090] – Allan
Welcome back, Ras.
[00:36:41.620] – Rachel
Hey, Allan. Wow. What a fun conversation. And how can you not want to win and win with your diet what a really interesting interview about plant based or no plant slanted diet. That was pretty cool.
[00:36:55.250] – Allan
Yeah. Whenever someone says plant based, I think almost everyone's immediately vegan. And the reality is the whole concept of food and eating food is really a continuum. And it's a continuum of whether you're going to be more meat based or more plant based or a little bit more balanced. And then from that, there's kind of the tweaks of foods you're just never going to eat. So there are some people I sit there and say, I happen to love liver and onions. And in a few weeks we're going to talk to someone about why that might actually be good for you to have in your diet. But most people are going to sit there and say, no. Not going to do the organs. And I would say, then it comes to the mind of if you want to be carnivore and you're not going to eat organ meat, you're going to have to supplement because you've made a decision to be in a restricted diet, very restricted diet. And the only way you're going to get the nutrients you need is really to eat hoof the Horn. I mean, you got to eat the whole animal to make that work.
[00:38:08.280] – Allan
And it's kind of the same thing with other levels here where you're going flexitarian all the way down to vegan is you are eliminating something, or you're at least significantly reducing it. And you have to think about the nutritional ramifications of making that decision. So for vegan, you're not getting B twelve. There's no food, there's no vegetable based food, plant based food that gives you B12 enough B12 anyway to matter, and therefore your body can't create it, and therefore you don't have it. And that can be a big problem. So you may have to supplement if that's the way you're choosing to eat that far on that continuum, and the things you start deciding you want to eliminate, you have to figure all that out. And as we were talking earlier, you can want to eat a certain way. But if your body says no, then it's probably going to be no.
[00:39:09.350] – Rachel
Yeah. And we all know about the most common food allergies. There's peanut allergies, seafood allergies. And there's even some that maybe people haven't heard about. I think I might have mentioned on our podcast before that my mom is allergic to blueberries and other really dark skinned fruits, and my brother has to me the worst allergy. He's allergic to apples and Apple juices, which is in a lot of different products out there. And he also has a sensitivity to the pit fruits like peaches and nectarines, those things that have pits. So, I mean, not very many people have heard about those types of allergies. And again, like we mentioned before, you could tell me all day long that fish is good for me, which I can eat fish. But if I had a seafood allergy and couldn't eat it, well, then that's the problem. I can't eat it. So you're right about finding other ways to get those nutrients in and the fiber and the other vitamins and minerals and these different types of foods.
[00:40:09.020] – Allan
Yeah. And then some of it's just availability. Here in Bocas, if I decided I wanted to be vegan, now, there's lots of restaurants that I could go have vegan meals, but I can't necessarily walk into the grocery store and find Tempa or soy. I can find maybe some edamame, but I'm going to get really tired of eating edamame every day as my protein source.
[00:40:34.120] – Rachel
[00:40:34.800] – Allan
And if you have sensitivity, some people just really don't tolerate beans or they don't tolerate night shades. They don't tolerate a lot of those things. And if you have not just allergies but intolerances, you're really going to struggle to get the nutrients that you need. And some of the things you're eating are actually anti nutrients and pulling away from that as well. So the closer you can get to a balanced diet where you feel comfortable, you're kind of balancing out your ethical concerns or concerns about the planet and just recognizing, okay, I'm probably not killing the planet by eating a little bit of meat, and I might not be killing the planet at all. I don't know. You can show me a study. You can show me a statistic that tells me. Okay. Yes, one cow destroys the Earth, and I'd say, probably not now, millions and billions of cows and the process that we're doing, and obviously in industrial farming is terrible the way they treat the animals because they're a product. And I know that sounds horrible, but it is what it is. And if you want to eat those ways, you can. What I've found is a lot of people end up substituting and doing all this machinations to almost pretend they're not eating that way.
[00:42:02.110] – Allan
And I don't think that's any better. And as we discuss with Julie, it's like, yeah, some of those substitutes are probably worse for you than had you just said. Okay, I'm going to go ahead and eat some chicken and just be a flexitarian. I'm going to go ahead and eat a little bit of beef, but in real moderation, maybe once a week or twice a week thing, and you're flexitrian most of your food. Most of your nutrition and calories is coming from plants. Then you're moving. It may be a way that's more healthful for you, but you have to figure that out. As you said, everybody's going to be a little different what you eat. I don't eat what I eat. You don't necessarily eat everything. But you probably won't eat, right? Because I eat just about everything. I'm not afraid of any food. And if I know I need someone, I literally went to the Butcher where I buy most of my meat. And I said, okay, I want to see if you can get me some organic liver, give me some organic kidney, give me some organic heart and get me some thymus.
[00:43:05.620] – Allan
And I had to spell thymus, and she had to look it up to figure out what it was. Oh, it's in the neck. Yeah, it's really good. I didn't want to call it. Tell her sweep, right? I don't want to confuse her, but she's like, brain. I'm like, no, that's the one thing I don't want to eat because there's been some stories of people having issues with brains and stuff. I avoid eating brain, but that's just a line because I've seen if they don't take care of the animal, that's how they're going to get you. But, you know, if you're willing to eat anything, then you're going to be able to get the nutrition you need as long as you're paying attention and just not eating stuff. That's where people get in trouble. Is that elimination, right.
[00:43:48.180] – Rachel
Well, I love how she made it a four level kind of way to move, being flexitarian, pescetarian, vegetarian and vegan and then sliding to those different ways of eating as your body responds to it. But I also appreciated how she said to try something and sit there for a couple of weeks, like, just don't go from a to Z. Start with making smaller food swaps, or instead of eating meat five days a week, eat it for a couple of meals a day or a couple of days a week and just kind of switch from beef to chicken to fish and just kind of make these tiny swaps, but then sit on it for a couple of weeks to get your body used to that and see how it responds. And I really appreciate, too, because if vegan is too difficult or you're not feeling great being vegan, you can slide back up again and have a meal that has fish or chicken in it and slide back down again and see how your body responds, because at the end of the day, that's what's the most important thing is you feeling good and having enough energy to do what you want to do.
[00:44:55.230] – Allan
Yeah. Well, in a sense, with any of these things, when you go to a publisher, if you sat there and said, this is the four month plan, they would say, no, no one's going to buy a four month plan. But to be honest with you, two weeks was just enough for you to kind of kick the tires a little bit. You're not really even taking it for a test drive. So she encourages even go a little longer if you need to. So if you're going from full meat eater to flexitarian, then not just on a couple of weeks. But you may want to sit there for a good long time and just say, okay, I'm comfortable here. And now when I'm comfortable, I can consider going to the next level. When you take that next step. And she talks about that a little bit in the book. But she couldn't say the four months plan to figure out the best way for you to eat. And then the other side of it is, okay, so maybe you get yourself to a point where you're full vegan, okay. And you're going full vegan, and then you're out with friends and they don't have the vegan options.
[00:45:57.840] – Allan
But they have a deal where you can do something that's like vegetarian, and you take that step and say, okay, well, I'm going to have a vegetarian meal. You're not going to die. You're going to have your vegetarian meal, enjoy the heck out of it. And then tomorrow, when you fix your own breakfast, it's your normal vegan fare, and you're back to normal. And so just recognize that it's that strictness. It's that feeling like you've got this electrode fastened to you that if you do something wrong, it's going to shock you and your body might. I mean, I can tell you if you are eating vegan, and then you go out and decide to have a big eight ounce juicy steak. You might have some difficulties the next day or so where your body is trying to say, what the hell did you just do to me? That was a little too bizarre if you do that jump. But if you just say, okay, I normally would eat vegan, and some are predominantly plant based. And, oh, there's a little bit of fish. I'm going to have a little bit of fish.
[00:46:59.780] – Allan
And I'm going to go on about my day. So I get some protein because I had the fish and then I had the salad and I'm good. It was a meal. I think a lot of people kind of get lost. And once I define as something, then I have to eat that way. Or the gods of veganism or the gods of Carnivore are going to get it down on me because I see it every day. Like I'm on Facebook and someone being a group and they're like, Well, am I allowed to have this on the carnivore diet? And it's just so funny that they're asking people on the internet permission to eat a plant to have coffee. Can I have coffee on the carnivore diet? And I'm like, Are you really asking permission from people on the internet like, they're the rulers of carnivore? It works the same way. It works the same with vegan. It's the same thing if they cook my vegan meal on a plate on a pan that was cooked meat. Am I not vegan? And I'm like,
[00:48:00.370] – Rachel
Well, it's unfortunate that people are so mean about it. That people are saying, if you're going to be vegan, this is how you're going to eat till the end of time. And again, it doesn't have to be that way. You need to eat based on how you're feeling and what your energy level or energy needs are for that day. And what you eat today or ten years from now could be vastly different. And that's okay. I just don't see how people can be on top of each other like that and be so rude.
[00:48:31.970] – Allan
It's the tribalism. It was the whole reason I had that guy on to talk about tribalism. His first name was Allan. It was Dr. Buchanan. That's why we talked about tribalism, because I really wanted folks to understand that you get into this ideology. It's an us versus them thing, and they're using it now everywhere. If you don't follow their ideology, you're wrong and you're evil. And so they create this us versus them. And I would just say, don't buy it, don't buy into it. Just don't even identify with how you eat. If that's an Identifier, that might be an indication that there's a problem. If you just say, I eat real food.
[00:49:19.280] – Rachel
Yeah. End of story.
[00:49:24.570] – Allan
I know it was alive, and if I'm hungry for something, I eat it. And that might be like, I'm going to have a big salad with some. I found this product here called Black garlic, and I'm obsessed with it. Basically it gets really kind of sweet because the way they handle it, I don't know the whole scenario how it's made. I probably need to look that up because I'm eating something, and I don't really understand. But if you've ever had a salad and it has dried cranberries in it or something like that, like that and kind of get that texture of a cranberry in with your salad. So it's just a different texture in your salad. Like I'm doing that. I've got olives, I've got different spices and things that I'm putting in it. And then I'm throwing in. I'm just doing vinegar and oil, balsamic vinegar and oil on this big salad. But these things come in beets, and it's like they come in as just a different texture. So there's the beets, and then there's the lettuce, and then it's Rosemary that I put on there. And you guys will hear the episode on that not too long in the future, but some foods that she talked about in her book, and we'll get into that.
[00:50:33.950] – Allan
Like I said in a few weeks about these different foods. I've started adding them to my normal diet just to see how I feel eating that way. But I found these things, and it's kind of like now I don't need raisins or dried raspberry things that cranberry things that I would normally have on a salad. I do this. But again, you try something new and you learn something, and I have to do a little research to figure out how they make black garlic or whether it is because it can't just be a garlic. There's something they're doing to it that makes it this versus just being garlic. But it's delicious. And I'm pretty much having it about once every other day or once every day, maybe two days in the last week. But I haven't had that big salad with that. But you buy Lettuce, it's like lettuce and arugula and this. And I need to work through this before it goes bad, yes. Five times out of the last seven days. But no, it's just try new foods, try to learn something new. And if you want to kind of go down this plant based approach, then here Julie Wilcox is kind of giving you a guidance and talking you through the transition from one level to the next to make it sustainable and make it easier so that you can find where you belong.
[00:51:58.990] – Allan
And if you go a little far, you can take that step back. Or if there's a day or a celebration or something going on, and you're kind of like, well, I really want that. Then you go ahead and have it, and then you just recognize your body might not appreciate it as much as you did. And then you just know, okay. This is my like you said, there's a dish that you always have at Christmas time. If you found your body just said, okay, that's just a reality of December 26. It just is. And so that's how we want to live our lives is food serves us, not us serving our food.
[00:52:39.110] – Rachel
Yeah. What a great book. Great interview.
[00:52:41.850] – Allan
All right. Well, Rachel, I will talk to you next week.
[00:52:45.200] – Rachel
Awesome. Take care.
[00:52:46.550] – Allan
[00:52:47.470] – Rachel
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