High-Performance Vegan Letters

The Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen - Should You Stop Eating Fruits and Vegetables?

May 17, 2024

Most fitness journeys are lonely.

Especially as vegans.

There just aren't enough vegans (yet) who care about the planet, animals, AND their health.

But we’re a growing tribe.

A few weeks ago, we hosted our in-person VFR Inspire Retreat.

Exclusively for our VFR students, we had clients fly in from different parts of the country (drive mini road trips) and even fly in from Canada to spend 3 days together here in Asheville.

The prior 2 weeks had me burnt out with our son’s arrival.

But I was eager for this weekend.

It turned out to be one of the best weekends I’ve had this year.

Insights. Connection. Deep shares. Laughter. Great memories. And good food.

All of this and more got exchanged.

One of things that I love as a coach is watching our students grow and develop.

While change takes time, making a decision can happen immediately.

Which reminds me of the power of having the right tribe around you…

You can go fast alone.

Or you can go far together.

As you continue to develop and grow, you’ll find that having the right tribe and community makes all the difference.

When I’ve tried to do things ONLY by myself is when I’ve struggled the most.

As the saying goes, “We become the sum result of the 5 people closest to us.”

Who are you allowing to influence your life?

Who are you permitting to impact your goals?

It’s up to us to set healthy boundaries around us.

Choosing the right mentors and leaders in my life has changed my life.

P.S. Can’t wait for our November VFR Retreat - round 2 coming up soon!

Lesson: Your results in life are the sum total of the 5 people closest to you.

Here's Your 5 Minute Friday:

#1.) The Dirty Dozen

According to the EWG, there are 12 fruits and vegetables that you should be wary of when eating.

Let’s cover the fruits and veg and then why EWG may be steering people the wrong direction:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Kale, collard & mustard greens
  4. Grapes
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Nectarines
  8. Apples
  9. Bell and hot peppers
  10. Cherries
  11. Green beans
  12. Blueberries

Is it true that these veggies and fruits have pesticides?

If they’re conventionally grown, absolutely.

However, there’s a few red lights here.

First, when you hear that food has toxins, you’re less inclined to buy it at all, especially if you can’t afford to buy organic.

(many low income families struggle with this - ‘Let’s buy McDonalds since fruits have pesticides.’)

The second thing?

The organic industry (not the produce), is run by big corporations.

Having you pay more into their products is their main goal.

I agree with the dirty dozen list that pesticides are toxic.

They can cause cancer. Feed pathogens. Harm us.

But fruits and vegetables are the MOST healing foods on the planet.

Like all things, being cautious can be a smart decision.

For fruits and vegetables, if you can invest into organic, invest in fruits and vegetables that have THIN skins (think apples, grapes, berries, etc).

This will minimize pesticide consumption while maximizing nutrient uptake.

If you can’t buy organic - no worries.

Wash your fruits and vegetables thoroughly, especially the thin-skinned ones.

A good fruit or veggie scrubber can be a good investment to take off dirt and any excess chemicals.

Key Note: When faced with eating animal products, junk food, or fast food - fruits and vegetables will always be superior for nutrient quality.

Growing our own food may be the solution we need to protect our health.

#2.) The Clean Fifteen

Coming back to another one of the EWG’s recommendations - here’s the ‘clean’ fifteen they suggest:

  1. Avocados
  2. Sweetcorn
  3. Pineapple
  4. Onions
  5. Papaya
  6. Sweet Peas (frozen)
  7. Asparagus
  8. Honeydew Melon
  9. Kiwi
  10. Cabbage
  11. Mushrooms
  12. Mangoes
  13. Watermelon
  14. Sweet potatoes
  15. Carrots

My same thoughts from the dirty dozen apply here.

You’ll notice there is one slight difference with clean fifteen.

Some (not all) of these fruits and veg have thicker skins.

(EWG got something right).

Thick skin vegetables and fruits tend to be much safer to buy even if conventional.

This is due to mother nature protecting her produce.

Typically, you won’t need to worry too much about washing your food here either.

Keep in mind, the powers that be thrive off of us living in fear and making the wrong choices.

Eating fruits, vegetables, and whole foods is a powerful way to protect your health and family for life.

In the world of charlatans, test this for yourself.

Go for 30 days and 3-5x the amount of fruits and vegetables you eat on a daily basis.

Study the results.

Keep a log.

Notice how you feel.

And share the abundance with others.

Health truly is wealth.

Client of the Week

Can you tone up while taking care of your family?

Pascal did.

Working long hours and taking care of her kids consumed most of her time.

Yet, she was committed to her health having put on extra weight and inches around her waist.

She wanted to regain her energy, confidence, and belief in herself.

So we got to work.

Our strategy: Focus on setting up specialized home workouts 4x a week, increase her fruit and vegetable intake, and get at least 7+ hours of sleep per night.

We also set a goal to track her nutrition at least 5 days a week.

While it was tough with her busy schedule and not every week was perfect, what was great to see was how Pascal wouldn’t give up on her health.

Her commitment is testimony of her results.

She dropped 15+ lbs, 5 inches off her waist, and as important, started to believe in herself again. It didn’t hurt having a ton of energy during the day too.

If you're a busy vegan, plant-based human, or plant-curious and want to get in the best shape of your life while leading by example, apply here to get lean, strong, and healthy in 2024. 

(2-week waiting list and capped at 5 new spots per month)

One Quote To Finish Your Week Strong

“If you truly treat your body like a temple, it will serve you well for decades. If you abuse it, you must be prepared for poor health and a lack of energy.”
– Oli Hille

What would you do if you had limitless confidence and energy?

What kind of impact would you have?

Who would you be?

Guess you’ll need to find out…

Pass this along and share with a friend.

- Gabriel

Whenever you're ready, there are three ways I can help you:

#1 Join our free high-performance fitness FB group to get access to dozens of live trainings recorded along with a tight-knit group of leaders who want to get healthy, lean, and strong.

#2 Are you a high achiever who wants to be lean, strong, and lead by example? Apply for private 1:1 coaching and get in the best shape of your life (2-week waiting list).

#3 Want to fuel your fitness curiosity and follow along with the latest findings, insights, and evidence-based practices? Let's be friends on Facebook and Instagram. :)


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