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IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips Hits the Mark on Plant Power

The latest issue of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips (November–December 2016) is one many of us have been waiting for! The recognition of plant‐based nutrition is revolutionary for the fitness industry. The past couple of decades have led us to the world of animal protein—and lots of it. The message has been that athletes and very active people need "quality" protein, meaning "animal products."

     Shari Greenberg
     Health Coach

I want to share a few thoughts I have after reading the November–December issue of IDEA Food and Nutrition Tips.

Thanks for all of the good information! I have been in and around the health and wellness industry as a certified personal trainer, group fitness instructor, nutrition specialist and health coach for more than 16 years. Over the past 6 years in my work with public‐health organizations and private clients as a full‐time health and wellness coach and consultant, I have watched a shift in the industry from advocating "vegetarian" or "vegan" lifestyles/diets to advocating "plantbased" lifestyles/diets.

For years I have advocated a change in focus from what we shouldn't eat to what we should eat. After all, just because you don't eat something considered unhealthy (for example, meat or dairy) doesn't mean you do eat something considered healthy (i.e., vegetables). Don't we all know at least one "junk food" vegetarian/vegan?

After reading the special issue, I am renewed in my belief that "vegetablarianism" (my term) is the next logical step in the slow but sure evolution of our understanding that vegetables are the most important components in a healthy diet. As a health coach, I continue to use the vegetablarian approach with my clients because it breeds success. Why? For two main reasons: (1) it is actually easier for clients to add to their plate rather than subtract; and (2) this approach is truly a healthier option.

Based on the articles and trends covered in the issue and in other publications, I am glad to see vegetablarianism becoming more popular with chefs and restaurants; hopefully, as we shift our thinking, and veggies become the star of the plate (as even the USDA recommends), we will see an accompanying shift in our health outcomes. I am pursuing a master's degree in nutrition science to prove just that.

     Tanya Leake
     Health Coach and Group Fitness Instructor
     Founder, EmBODY WELL
     Smyrna, Georgia

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