My plant based diet experiment



I’ve always been fascinated with the human body, in particular how nutrition can influence its performance and general wellbeing.  I’ve been a meat eater my whole life and apart from breakfast, I rarely eat a meal without meat.  I enjoy the taste of meat, so plant based diets were just not for me.

Just before Christmas I watched ‘The Game Changer’ documentary, which studies the benefits of a plant based diet for athletes.  I was fascinated but also a little sceptical.  The documentary really challenged my thoughts and sparked my curiosity to learn more.  My wife has been plant based for nearly 4 years and swears by the differences it has made to her overall general health.  To be honest I’ve always taken what she says about a plant based diet with a pinch of salt and she’s always been determined to prove me wrong!

The experiment

To educate myself and to make sure I could form a balanced opinion, I decided to cut my meat intake down to twice a week for the whole month of January.  Yes this isn’t completely in line with the documentary but I enjoy meat and this is a huge cut considering the amount I normally eat.  My plan was never to go completely plant based, I just wanted to see if cutting down my meat intake made me feel any different or if it affected my training. 

One of my main concerns was that I didn’t believe plant based food could be interesting or tasty.  My wife proved me wrong pretty quickly with some amazing meals!  During the whole month of January I only ate 8 meat based meals and that was either chicken or salmon.   The only difference I noticed was that my digestive system was a lot more regular.  I also started to like food I’ve disliked for years; tomatoes and courgettes in particular.  I will caveat this by saying they must be heavily spiced for me to eat them!  I didn’t feel that cutting down on my meat take had effected my training or body in a positive or negative way, or so I thought.


At the beginning of February I went back to my ‘normal’ diet of meat in every meal.  After 4 days I noticed that my joints, in particular my knees, ankles and shoulders were really aching when I got out of bed.  I’m approaching 50 and train hard, so aching joints was a common occurrence for me.  However, I realised that I hadn’t actually noticed any significant joint pain at all during January.  Could this just be a coincidence?  Could it be that the weather was a little colder which was affecting my joints?  I decided to continue with the experiment for the whole of February, just to see if the mainly plant based diet was making a difference.  Guess what – it absolutely does!  I’m not saying my aches and pains have disappeared but my body feels far better than it has in years.

I could never go 100% plant based as I enjoy meat, but the benefits of cutting my intake down to twice a week has had a huge impact on my physical body.  I now actually enjoy a plant based diet but please don’t tell my wife she was right………

Stay at home.  Stay safe.

Make the Change!


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