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About Everything Wiki » Health » Leo Babauta and his plant-based diet

Leo Babauta and his plant-based diet

22 May 2023, 13:17, parser
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The debate about what is more natural and healthy for a person — meat or vegetables, began a long time ago and still will not subside. And every time there are more and more new facts and figures that confirm the correctness of one or the other side.

I think we should listen to our body and eat what it needs at the moment, whether it's cabbage, meat, fish or dairy products. In addition, I personally believe that a daily steak or a hard veganism, fructorianism and raw food will not lead to anything good, as well as any extremes. Who said that if you can't just reduce your meat intake to a minimum and increase your plant-based diet? Those who feel sorry for the cow can refuse meat, but it is not a crime to continue eating dairy, fermented milk products and cheeses. The accusation of weakness of willpower is all the machinations of fanatics, and you should not undermine your health by trying to swallow a spoonful of another "soup", which was prepared at a temperature of 40-45 degrees Celsius, proving to another fanatic that you are not a weakling. There are much more pleasant ways to a healthy lifestyle. Not very short and simple, but still pleasant.

And now we turn to the most important and interesting thing — the plan for switching from a standard diet to a diet based mainly on plants, which was compiled for himself by Leo Babauta, author of the Zenhabits blog and already quite an impressive number of small books about minimalism, productivity and a healthy lifestyle.

Benefits of a plant-based diet

Weight loss. When people eat a lot of meat, semi-finished products, processed flour and refined sugar, they get better. When people eat mainly plant foods, and the use of these products is minimized, they finally begin to lose weight and feel much better.

Prevention of cardiovascular diseases. If you do not consume animal products or have reduced them to a minimum, it means that less harmful fats have begun to enter your body, which settle on the walls of blood vessels and thus cause cardiovascular diseases.

Prevention of diabetes mellitus. If you have given up sweets based on refined sugar, then you reduce your chances of getting type 2 diabetes to almost zero. And this will make it better not only for our pancreas, but also for the waist, since this sugar is part of cakes, candy cakes and other sweets. It is better to replace all this with what nature gives us with such generosity — honey, sweet dried fruits (dates, figs, dried apricots, prunes, etc.).

Most centenarians adhere mainly to a plant—based diet: Okinawa is a plant—based diet based on sweet potatoes, soy, a lot of vegetables and a small amount of fish and quite occasionally pork; Sardinia is a large amount of vegetables and legumes, cheese and meat only once a week.

Preservation of the environment. It sounds a bit strange and unusual, but have you ever thought about how much waste the animal industry gives us? Cows, goats, lambs and other artiodactyls, birds and pigs eat a lot and, as a result, leave behind a large amount of waste that releases not only unpleasant odors into the air (anyone who has passed near a poultry farm at least once will understand what I'm talking about), but also the notorious CO2. According to the UN, in 2006, the share of greenhouse gas emissions into the Earth's atmosphere resulting from animal husbandry activities amounted to 18%, while the share of emissions due to transport of all types combined amounted to 13.5%. That is, what we eat literally kills us indirectly. I'm not even talking about how much additional resources are spent on raising animals on the farm. "One hamburger" takes from 4,000 to 18,000 liters per day.

I will not talk about the feeling of compassion. There are religious movements that believe that even plants and stones have a soul. So we will all have to go on a diet based solely on prana and solar energy. They say that there are such people. But I have not met such yet. And you?

Transition plan

If you are used to eating meat every day, immediately switching to a plant-based diet will be difficult and fraught with health. Therefore, you need to do this gradually and it is advisable to consult a doctor before doing this, especially if you have health problems. That is, it is necessary to switch to normal nutrition unambiguously, but carefully!

Step #1. We reduce the consumption of meat. If you are an avid meat eater, but you understand that it will be better for your health if you at least reduce your meat consumption, start doing it gradually. If you are used to eating meat every day, enter one fast day per week. When you get used to it, you can gradually either reduce the consumption of meat to a minimum (leave one meat day in a week or even a month), or completely abandon it. Start by giving up red meat, then move on to poultry, then fish and seafood. And in parallel with the rejection of meat, try new products of plant origin, experimenting with various products.

Step #2. Rejection of eggs. This step is not mandatory, but it is not particularly difficult. Just try it.

Step #3. Reduce the consumption of dairy products. Leo suggests trying to gradually give up dairy products, but if you can't imagine a complete rejection of cottage cheese or cheese, you can leave these products in your diet by simply reducing their amount.

Step #4. Switch to whole, unprocessed foods. This is much more difficult to do than it seems at first glance. At least because the shelves of our stores are littered with processed foods and semi-finished products, while the choice of the same whole-grain bread is quite limited. Instead of salted peanuts or pistachios, try raw almonds, walnuts or cashews. More vegetables and greens, less flour, sweet and salty snacks.

How can we replace the products we are used to without harming the body? There are quite a large number of options.


Legumes and other proteins. These are not only beans, peas, black and red beans, various types of lentils and peas (I love chickpeas — they have a nutty taste!), but also soy cheese tofu, soy and almond milk, soy yogurt and much more. The main thing is that they are produced from genetically modified soybeans.

Nuts and seeds. It seems to me that now you can buy almost any nuts in stores and markets. With seeds, the situation is a little more complicated, but sesame, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and sunflower seeds can brighten up a surprisingly large number of dishes. I think that sprouted wheat and soy can be added here.

Good fats. Fats are needed by our body. It's just that vegetable fats are better absorbed by our body without consequences. Vegetable oils, avocados, nuts and seeds are all sources of good fats.

Greenery. This is one of the most important components of a plant-based diet, especially greens with a dark green color — it contains a huge amount of vitamins, calcium and iron. These are spinach, kale, broccoli and white cabbage. Another plus is almost zero calories and a large amount of fiber!

Healthy starch. It is found in sweet potatoes, red potatoes, sprouted wheat grains, pumpkin and brown rice.

Berries. Any berries in any form are always incredibly tasty and healthy! Just do not forget about them, and if there is an opportunity to freeze, then do not miss the chance! It's so great to drink a smoothie made of soy milk and frozen blueberries in winter or add a couple of raspberries to oatmeal.

Drinks. Despite an almost completely plant-based diet, Leo does not completely abandon coffee and wine. In the morning — coffee without sugar, in the afternoon — green tea, and in the evening for dinner a little red wine for a pleasant end to the evening.

As I said, you should not completely abandon the pleasant little things. If you like coffee, try drinking it without sugar and in smaller quantities. At first it may be a little unusual and I immediately warn you that you will have to switch to very high-quality and not very cheap coffee, since sugar and milk can easily mask the taste of a not very high-quality drink. But if you drink it without sugar, and one flaw will not hide from your taste buds. Do you know, there is a coffee that makes you shudder even after one sip? Better more expensive, tastier and less frequent than often and tasteless!

Experiment, look for new interesting recipes, play sports, read good books, travel and enjoy life. Because to live is zdaboutrovo, and healthyabout to live is even better ;)

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