It is day 11 of Beyonce and Jay Z's pledge to go vegan for 22 days.
It appears Beyonce is feeling strong about her newly adopted diet. The superstar flashed her super toned abs in a series of bikini-clad pictures she posted earlier this week - and of course, that surprise album on Thursday night!
The A-list couple announced via social media their intention to go vegan for a period of time. Jay Z wrote, "This all began a few months back when a good friend and vegan challenged me to embrace plant-based breakfast every day."
That friend is Miami-based wellness expert, Marco Borges, who also helped Beyonce shed her pregnancy pounds. A longtime vegan, Marco created the 22 Days Nutrition Program, which helps folks adopt a healthier, more plant-based eating plan.
"I think the catalyst is always, whether it's Jay and B or Mary Smith in Tampa, is a desire for better health. While I don't preach, I do share with friends my nutrition, because I'm always asked how do I have such high energy and always feel great," Marco reveals to Healthy Hollywood.
A very excited Marco chatted with Healthy Hollywood about the health benefits of a plant-based diet and the motivation behind Jay Z and Beyonce's vegan challenge. Marco confirms it all began with Jay Z, who started eating a plant-based breakfast and felt so energized, he wanted to try a full-on vegan diet.
"He's thinking about optimal wellness and his life and how food makes him feel. It's incredible when people take the power and choose to live proactively. Health is the one thing you can't have someone else do for you. It is up to us to be proactive on how we want to live," he adds.
The 22-day challenge is based on the study it takes 21 days to break a habit. Marco adds, "If you adopt a healthy habit and gave up an unhealthy habit for 21 days; then on the 22nd day you would be a better version of yourself."
The health benefits of a plant-based diet are well-documented. Besides better energy and weight loss, it can also help with prevent cancer, diabetes and heart disease. "If there was a drug that could prevent or decrease heart disease, how much do you think that drug would be worth? I would say trillions of dollars instantly. Well, that drug exists. It's called a plant-based nutrition. And, for us [Americans], to have heart disease as the number one killer is really irritating," states Marco.
Marco invites everyone to give plant-based nutrition a try, even if it's just one vegan meal a week. "I think it is best to give people the tools that empower them with the knowledge to make healthier choices. We are inviting people to come along with us, whether it's to go completely vegan or just embrace a more plant-based diet. I think we can all agree whether you're a meat eater or not that we can all benefit from more plant-based food."
Here's healthy kale salad recipe, compliments of Marco's website...
Kale Salad with Apples, Raisins & Creamy Curry Dressing
(Serves 2-4) For the dressing:1/2 cup raw cashews or walnuts 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 pitted dates 1/2 cup water 1/2 tsp. sea salt 2 tsp. curry powder
For the salad:1 head kale, de-stemmed, washed, dried, and cut into bite sized pieces (about 5 cups) 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped 1 large apple, chopped into small pieces 1/3 cup raisins 1/2 cup chickpeas
Blend all dressing ingredients in a high speed blender till smooth. Massage the kale with the dressing, making sure that everything is well coated and softened (start with 1/2 cup dressing and add as needed--you may have some leftover). Add the apple, carrot, raisins, and chickpeas, and remix the salad, adding more dressing if you like. Serve.
For more on Marco and his plant-based challenge, check out www.22daysnutrition.com.
Copyright 2013 by NBC Universal, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.