Diabetic exercise physiologist Drew Harrisberg has shown off his incredible physique after adopting a plant-based diet for the past 18 months.
The vegan sports scientist, 30, from Sydney, said when he started eating plant-based wholefoods a year and a half ago, his ‘primary mission’ was to reverse some of the damage he had done from previously eating a ‘high saturated fat keto diet’.
But the rewards have been myriad – with Drew saying he feels and looks fitter, stronger and healthier from ever by giving up animal foods.
Nowadays, he said he is 90 per cent plant-based – but does allow himself two animal-based foods occasionally – mussels and oysters.
Diabetic exercise physiologist Drew Harrisberg has shown off his incredible physique after adopting a plant-based diet for the past 18 months (pictured after eating a vegan diet)
Drew (pictured after going vegan) said he was ready for his muscle to just waste away when he went vegan, but instead the opposite happened
‘When I started, I completely surrendered to the notion that I might wither away and lose all my muscle,’ Drew wrote on his Instagram profile.
‘I was okay with it because I desperately wanted to regain control of my health. Well, it turns out, not only did I achieve my best overall health and diabetes management, but I also ended up in the best physical and mental shape of my life.’
The 30-year-old said he has gained a ‘significant’ amount of muscle since he started eating vegan food only.
‘I’m fitter, stronger, more energetic, and at peace with the fact that my actions are aligned with my morals, ethics and values,’ he said.
What is Drew’s day on a plate?
For dinner, Drew typically eats a buddha bowl (pictured) or a homemade curry with rice
Breakfast: Avocado on toast (pumpkin and turmeric loaf) with a salad of greens, balsamic vinegar, pumpkin, chickpeas, tempeh and nutritional yeast
Lunch: A buddha bowl with a grain, a non-starchy vegetable such as broccoli, a protein source, a starchy vegetable, a sprinkle of nutritional yeast and dark leafy greens
Post-workout: A smoothie bowl made from frozen fruit, almond milk, plant protein powder, hemp seeds, chia seeds, flaxseed meal, walnuts or mixed nuts/granola
Dinner: Another buddha bowl or in winter a homemade curry served with quinoa or wild rice
Snacks: Fresh fruit, mixed nuts or date bombs (a pitted Medjool date filled with a teaspoon of peanut butter and a dark chocolate square)
A typical day on Drew’s plate includes wholegrains like buckwheat, gluten-free oats, quinoa and brown rice, legumes and plenty of fresh fruit and veg (left, a breakfast of a smoothie bowl and right, Drew practising yoga)
A typical day on Drew’s plate includes wholegrains like buckwheat, gluten-free oats, quinoa and brown rice, legumes and plenty of fresh fruit and veg.
While 90 per cent of what he eats has been plant-based, he said he has ‘less than 10 meals containing animal products in the last 18 months’ and most of these have been oysters and mussels.
‘I can confidently say I will always be greater than 90 per cent plant based for the rest of my life,’ Drew said.
‘I truly feel the happiest and healthiest I’ve ever felt.’
While 90 per cent of what he eats has been plant-based, Drew (pictured) said he has has ‘less than 10 meals containing animal products in the last 18 months’ and most of these have been oysters and mussels
Speaking previously to FEMAIL, Drew (pictured) revealed how eating a diet that is high in fats like LCHF, keto and carnivore can be a major problem for our health – and we all need to eat more plants
Speaking previously to FEMAIL, Drew revealed how eating a diet that is high in fats like LCHF, keto and carnivore can be a major problem for our health.
‘Worryingly, processed meat has been classified by the World Health Organisation (WHO) as a group 1 carcinogen (known to cause cancer) and is in the same group as asbestos and smoking,’ Drew told Daily Mail Australia.
‘Just because you can lose weight eating bacon, eggs, coconut oil, cheese, and drinking butter doesn’t mean it is healthy in the long term. We have lost sight of lifespan and health-span because of the desire for six-pack abs.
‘It’s a shortsighted approach to health and wellness.’
Drew said he has also witnessed conversations online ‘demonising’ carbohydrates such as fruit as the cause of obesity and type 2 diabetes.
‘They’ve even gone as far to say that table sugar should be grouped in the same category as a blueberry,’ he said.
‘It’s an outrageous claim that goes against the overwhelming majority of evidence and is a dangerous message at a time when we should be encouraging people to eat more fruit and vegetables and less processed meat.
‘Animal agriculture (factory farming) is an extremely inefficient food system which uses up the earth’s resources. It’s also bad for human health, planetary health and happens to be very cruel from an ethical perspective.
‘If we would all simply limit our animal intake or at least aim for more sustainable and ethical practices, the planet and ourselves would be better off for it.’
‘I’m not saying everyone should be 100 per cent plant-based, but a predominantly plant-based diet is a great option,’ Drew (pictured) said
Instead, the sports scientist believes that all of us should be eating more plant-based foods like buddha bowls, legumes and fruit and vegetables.
‘A predominantly whole food plant-based diet made up of fruit, vegetables, whole-grains, legumes, nuts and seeds is high in fibre, water, micronutrients, and antioxidants, and happens to be a very satiating way of eating,’ Drew said.
‘I’m not saying everyone should be 100 per cent plant-based, but a predominantly plant-based diet is a great option.
‘By shifting the balance from majority animals to mostly plants (80:20 or even 90:10) you’d be eating in a way that is aligned with the longest living populations in human history, otherwise known as the blue zones.’
According to Drew, people in the ‘blue zones’ live longer than any other population across the world and they have the least amount of chronic disease.
‘If you care about your health, environmental sustainability, and animal welfare, a predominantly plant-based diet is the way of the future,’ he said.
‘Blue zone populations also have lower BMIs indicating that they can effortlessly maintain healthy body weight without counting calories or restricting their food intake.
‘A plant-based diet is a highly satiating and very nutritious way of eating,’ he concluded.
‘It is very difficult to overeat calories on a WFPB diet because it is naturally fibre-rich, calorically sparse, and nutrient dense.’