Since most New Year’s resolutions have gone by the wayside by now, you’ll need a better excuse to kick-start your diet. Here’s one: Beyoncé’s bodacious figure that she managed to slip into that sheer barely there Givenchy sparkler at the Met Gala last week. To figure out how the 33-year-old songstress pulled off her near-nakedness like a boss, we spoke to Miami native Marco Borges, Bey’s go-to nutrition man and exercise physiologist (rough translation: trainer). The married father of three has come out with a new book, and the title about says it all: The 22-Day Revolution: The Plant Based Program That Will Transform Your Body, Reset Your Habits and Change Your Life (Celebra, $27.95).
How do you describe a plant-based diet to a layperson?
A plant-based diet is made up of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes, beans and unrefined grains (quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, etc.) and absent of any products that come from anything with an eye. No meat, poultry, fish, dairy, cheese and honey. In addition, a plant-based diet avoids highly processed foods and refined grains and instead is made up of edibles found as close to their natural state as possible.
A lot of people in Miami love their meat, chicken, rice, the whole nine yards. How can they change things up and still get the satisfaction?
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Although for some time I was the only Cuban-American vegan I knew, I can confidently say that because we already love meals like that the transition is much easier for Hispanics than one might imagine. The preparation of the food changes for the better in ways that leave us feeling full of energy and life and the staples are more delicious than ever. Walnut tacos ... need I say more?
How can everyday folks with harried schedules prepare to do this meal plan?
The beauty of The 22-Day Revolution is its simplicity. You don’t need to prepare for it, you just simply start. The program serves as a daily guide over the course of 22 days and helps create habits that empower you with optimum wellness beyond.
Are there any cheat days?
Yes. Every day you’re on the program you’re cheating statistics and reducing your risk of disease. [So the answer is no.]
If you could name one of your guilty pleasures what would it be?
Re-setting habits allows you to realize that pleasures don’t have to feel guilty. I love chips! I love the texture, crunch and explosion of flavors, so I make my own in a food dehydrator and love exploring with new recipes and bases.
Organic means spending more at the store. What if readers can’t afford it?
Yes, organic produce can be more expensive than conventional produce, however, it is still way less expensive than animal proteins. Ultimately, health is always less expensive than the absence of it.
What is a typical day like for you in regards to diet and exercise?
I usually begin my day with a glass of warm water and lime juice followed by oatmeal cooked in water or almond milk topped with walnuts, berries and milled flaxseeds. Sometimes I work out before and sometimes I work out after breakfast, and it’s a combination of high intensity training, cardio and resistance work; never the same and constantly evolving. Lunch is usually some of my favorite legumes with veggies and quinoa or other complete grain. Dinner is almost always a giant bowl of greens often topped with more greens, bright veggies, seeds and homemade dressings. Because life isn’t always perfect, if I’m pressed for time I’ll replace a meal with a plant-based protein smoothie full of fruits, veggies and seeds, recipes found in the book, which will also be available in Spanish and Portuguese.