If you are an active person, you do strength training a few times a week, have a physically demanding job or are generally active, then the official recommendations on daily protein intake are probably not sufficient for you in the long term, niether if you’re old. Several studies show that (1).
This is known to people who exercise a lot and have adopted a diet with increased protein intake, which for almost all these mean an increased consumption of meat. A meat industry that globally contributes to almost 20% of emissions (2), 70% of all use of fresh water (3) and 30% of all non-glacial landmass (4). A meat industry that every year exposes billions of animals to lifelong suffering before slaughter. There are some animals that may live a far more pain-free life, but these are in an absolute minority today.
In the face of these seemingly conflicting issues and having decided that a change is a must, it seems that most people have chosen either the cow and the gym, or the salad and sofa.
But can physically active people also adopt a vegetarian diet without missing out on the fruits of their training, without becoming anemic and break down rather than build up?
That is the question, and this apparent dilemma is why I’ve spent the last two years in the kitchen and now run around filming weightlifters and ninja warriors. With a little creativity, knowledge and recipe inspiration, these individuals can both have and eat the proverbial cake of living both a healthy, strong and more environmentally friendly life.
And they can, so can bloody anyone. Even you. Or your partner. Or your dad.
(4) The FAO, 2006