We see a guy like Health Man Mark and often wonder whether it's hard work, diet, or unfairly bestowed genetics. Depending on the answer (at least the one we tell ourselves), we consider the possibility of achieving his look.
It doesn't help that the fitness and fashion model, contributing editor for Australian Iron Man and multiple-time body building finalist is… all the above. The man placed first in the Vegas Musclemania and Fitness America championships for World Fitness Model America Title and also now operates as a guest judge through the year.
And because all that isn't enough, Mark Robinson is additionally an Accredited Dietitian with a Masters Degree in Nutrition & Dietetics and Bachelor Degrees in Exercise Science & Psychological Science. Which he now uses to help clients with his online health coaching business. Talk about over-achiever.
Since we know abs are made in the kitchen, we thought we'd check with him on two things: How to safely manage a vegan diet for those who are interested (brainwashed by The Game Changers too, huh) and tips on something we tend to overlook—food labels.
Ways to safely manage a vegan diet
The basics—Protein up
Vegan eating habits require a bit more creativity to ensure sufficient protein requirements can be met for muscle recovery, tone, and immune boosting strength. This can come from tofu, mixed beans, seeds, nuts and meat replacements as well as almond yoghurts and pea or soy protein powder supplements.
Don't forget your micronutrients
Perhaps even more important are micronutrients such as Iron and various other minerals. Iron is crucial to replace as the primary source from red meat, which can be made up for with extra green vegetables. It is also encouraged to take a multi-vitamin and mineral daily.
Mix your veggies
Have a very wide variety of vegetables every day raging in all different colours helps in the absorption and digestion of certain vitamins and minerals. For instance, Vitamin C helps us absorb iron, so mixing red capsicum that is especially high in Vitamin C with green beans that are high in iron creates a symbiotic relationship.
Five steps to understanding food labels
We all know the complicated series of numbers on the back of the pack can be frustrating. Health Man Mark gets it. Health Man Mark gets you. Health Man Mark has put together what to look out for if you're trying to trim a little weight.
- Use the 100g column rather than the serve size column, as each product has a 100g column on their label so you can make a standard comparison between products.
- The higher the protein the better, as you would have already guessed.
- Aim for Fat to be less than 5g per 100g.
- Aim for sugar to be less than 10g per 100g.
- The ingredient list is listed in order of ingredients from most to least, so hopefully sugars and fats are at the end of the list.