By Ben Whale, Nutritional Head Chef
We wanted to start 2019 in the best possible way here at The Body Camp. So, we’ve made the easy decision to go 100% plant-based across both of our retreats – becoming the first all plant-based fitness retreat in Europe.
We have always been proud to offer a vibrant 80% plant-based menu and as the head nutritional chef on camp I’m keen to explain why going completely green is the way forward and how we came to our decision.
What we mean by plant-based using ‘whole foods’ is pretty simple – we will be using foods that are as close to their natural form as possible – like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, beans, peas, nuts, seeds and fermented food.
In short, what we want to do is keep the produce we deliver on camp as fresh and recognisable and exactly as how nature intended us to see it.
We have chosen to do this for a few reasons:
- It makes us humans feel far better inside and out.
- We find cooking with plants far more exciting and inspiring.
- It’s better for the environment.
- It’s kinder to animals.
There are so many benefits to eating a plant-based diet and the more I have researched it, the more passionate I feel about cooking and eating this way, especially for the way it makes me feel personally. Not to mention the fact there’s a huge stigma associated with plant-based food – the reality is there’s very little extra you are able to gain with a diet that includes red meat.
For instance, several studies have reported that a diet rich in plants tends to provide more fibre, antioxidants and beneficial plant compounds and are richer in potassium, magnesium, folate and vitamins A, C and E, all of which do amazing things for us. It has been proven that this way of eating helps to reduce the risk of heart disease and diabetes (food born conditions) and builds our immune system to protect us from illness. It does incredible things for our gut health too, increasing the good bacteria that reside there, which helps us to be healthy in so many ways.
We want to show you how delicious this way of eating can be during your stay with us and we will teach you how to have a balanced plant-based diet that provides all the nutrition you need, including protein, Omega 3 fatty acids and B12.
We will also show you how to make your favourite dishes in our iconic cooking demos, a much-loved session for many of our guests! So when you get back home you have the skills and tools needed to continue in your quest to a better you.
Here are a few of our plant-based food heroes who inspire us at the Body Camp – all athletes, who fuel their bodies with plant power.
- David Haye, Boxer
- Patrik Baboumian, Body builder
- Chris Smalling, Football player
- Lewis Hamilton, Four-time Formula One World Champion
- Venus Williams, World Champion Tennis player
- Novak Djokovic, World Champion Tennis Player
Speaking about his diet to Forbes, Djokovic said: “My diet hasn’t just changed my game, it’s changed my life – my well-being. And if I feel better, that obviously transfers to my professional life.”
The health benefits of adopting this way of eating are massive! It’s nutrient rich, full of colour, vitality and life. Opening the fridge to a garden is a great feeling. It’s generally lower in calories, so shedding a couple of extra pounds of fat becomes easy and people have completely transformed their bodies by changing over to this way of eating. I could literally go on listing the benefits but I think you get the idea.
In this day and age, it’s becoming far more important for us to learn about the benefits of going green and plant-based cooking is one of the best ways to start. It’s been at the centre of what Body Camp’s been doing for the past three years and our Food Bible cookbook is 100 % plant-based.
I cannot wait to spread the word on the extensive plant-based research I’ve done around the globe over the past ten years. And I hope to meet you in person to get you started and open your eyes to a better way of living.
By Ben Whale
Nutritional Head Chef