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- American singer, songwriter, and actress
Beyoncé teamed up with Borges to launch the vegan meal delivery service, 22 Days Nutrition Service, earlier this year. And now Borges has a new book out that touts his plant-based philosophy. (Photo: Getty Images)
Beyoncé has the power to set trends — in fashion, music, and beyond. So, it was no surprise that when she credited her post-pregnancy weight loss to going vegan for 22 days, the world wanted to follow.
But when working with Beyoncé, it was an overall lifestyle change that her trainer Marco Borges was aiming for — and not just a quick fix to drop weight, he tells Yahoo Health.
“Optimum health is always the focus,” says Borges, who continues to work with the singer. “It is all about creating healthy habits and bringing more plant-based foods into the diet.”
After her weight loss, Beyoncé and Borges created the 22 Days Nutrition Service, a direct-to-your-door meal delivery program based on Beyoncé’s eating habits during that period of time. But with plates ranging from $10 to $15, many people were priced out of the service. So now, Borges has come out with a book called The 22-Day Revolution, which is the same program he used with Beyoncé, “except you get it bound in a book form with over 65 easy-to-follow recipes, 38 different types of plant-based protein sources, and a day-to-day guide that makes it practical and effective,” he explains.
Beyoncé says in the book that eating plant-based gave her more energy, better sleep, improved digestion, weight loss, and increased clarity. Borges adds that plant-based eaters will also experience a "reduction in risk of heart disease, strokes, cancers, diabetes, [and] obesity,” and better “skin tone and sex life.”
"I thought, like with most diets, I would feel deprived and hate food, that I would miss out on restaurants and celebrations, that I would get headaches and be irritable, etc.,” Beyoncé wrote in the forward of The 22-Day Revolution. “I was wrong about all of that.”
But anyone embarking on a vegan diet needs to be aware of the risks if they don’t get their recommended nutrients, experts say. “Most vegan dieters are at risk for nutritional deficiencies that are primarily found in or absorbed from animal foods, such as protein, zinc, iron, B-vitamins, vitamin D, and calcium,” Lisa Moskovitz, RD, founder of the New York Nutrition Group, previously told Yahoo Health. “This doesn’t mean they can’t reach the RDA [Recommended Dietary Allowances] standards for these nutrients in vegan foods, but it can be very challenging without taking supplements.”
But The 22-Day Revolution isn’t about going strictly vegan, Borges says. "People might have a misconception that plant-based foods are all or none and that’s not” what this, he says. “We’re encouraging people to eat more plant-based foods not to be perfect, but rather to include healthier options into their diet. And when you take that approach, sustainability follows.” Exercise and stretching are also recommended along with the diet changes.
Research about the benefits of plant-based diets has been increasing over the years with studies coming out showing that it’s cost-effective and lowers body mass index, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels. Some research has even linked it with living longer. And The 22-Day Revolution is hardly the only book to tout the virtues of aiming to go mostly plant-based — Mark Bittman’s VB6: Eat Vegan Before 6 book, for instance, promoted the idea of eating vegan before 6 p.m. and then enjoying other foods at night. By following this plan, Bittman lost weight and lowered his cholesterol and blood sugars levels, and his sleep apnea went away.
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