Marco Borges is an exercise physiologist, founder of 22 Days Nutrition, New York Times bestselling author and plant-based living advocate. Passionate about guiding people to develop healthier lifestyles, he has spent the last 20 years as a lifestyle coach and touring the world empowering others with tools for ultimate wellness. He is the author of The 22-Day Revolution, as well as Power Moves: The Four Motions To Transform Your Body For Life. He lives in Miami with his wife and their children.
Caryn Hartglass: Hello everybody! I’m Caryn Hartglass and welcome to It’s All About Food, thank you for joining me, and I am wound tight today. I just came from the United Nations here in New York City, Manhattan. There’s many different activities going on over there, and I was one of the attendees at the Eat Foundation EATx conference, and there’s so much that I want to talk about regarding that conference but I think the theme for today’s program is revolution, food revolution, and coincidentally my first guest has a book with the word revolution in the title so let’s get right to that, and more about the conference in a little while. My guest is Marco Borges who has an exciting new cookbook out called The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook. Marco is an exercise physiologist, founder of 22-Days Nutrition, New York Times Bestselling author and plant-based living advocate passionate about guiding people to develop healthier lifestyles. He has spent the last 20 years as a lifestyle coach and touring the world empowering others with tools for ultimate wellness. He is the author of The 22-Day Revolution as well as Power Moves: The Four Motions to Transform your Body for Life. He lives in Miami with his wife and their children. Marco, I am so glad to be able to talk with you today on It’s All About Food. How are you doing?
Marco Borges: I’m wonderful! Thank you for having me. I guess this is serendipitous that The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook is out on a day that you are talking about revolutions.
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah, it wasn’t intentional but I flow with the universe, and the universe is telling me… Marco Borges: I’ll take it!
Caryn Hartglass: REVOLUTION! I was… I’m going to go into it more later, I was just at this conference with all of these luminaries from all over the world talking about sustainability, talking about the UN goal of eliminating extreme poverty and hunger by 2030, talking about all the food waste that’s going on, and the elephant in the room was a cow! Nobody was talking about meat! There was one guy who was talking about clean milk, and I’ll get back to that later, it was just so revolting, but I want to thank you for being part of the good revolution, the 22-Day Revolution, this plant-based revolution which is really the only way we can save ourselves, the planet, and live a beautiful, joyful life. Thank you very much Marco.
Marco Borges: Thank you, thank you, thank you. Well, I’m incredibly excited to be a part of this because if we look at this as selfishly as possible the power of a plant-based diet can unleash the most miraculous health benefits we’ve ever experienced, and if we’re thinking just of ourselves, and by the way there’s nothing wrong with that…
Caryn Hartglass: Nothing wrong with that.
Marco Borges: If we’re thinking just of ourselves, right if we’re thinking just of ourselves, if we’re thinking self preservation there is no diet in the world that has more evidence based research behind it that proves that you cannot only stop, but you can actually reverse heart disease, diabetes, and many of the other diseases that we are bringing about from what’s at the end of our fork. So simply moving over to plant-based diet could be the answer to all of your problems. And it’s beautiful because it has so many additional benefits that come along with it. You’re going to reduce your impact on the environment, you’re going to promote cruelty-free living, you’re going to empower the people around you, your friends, your family members to follow suit and improve their health. So this is the gift that keeps giving. You benefit from it, and then everyone around you benefits from it as well. So what we wanted to do with The 22-Day Revolution Cookbook is, you constantly are being told and you’re always hearing, eat better, eat better, eat better, but what does that actually mean? I think it’s always easier to show people how to do something rather than to tell them, so what we did is we packed this book with over 150 delicious plant-based recipes so that you understand exactly how you can apply them to your life. And then we coupled that four really amazing, customizable programs so if you’re someone that has to lose more than 50 pounds the “Fast-track” is for you. If you’re someone who has to lose less than 20 pounds the “Light and Bright” is for you. If you’re exactly where you want to be you just want to move to a more sustainable, more conscious diet and lifestyle then “Nirvana” is for you. And if you’re an athlete at peak performance and want to continue to perform the way that you do but want to also benefit from the fast recovery, and the amazing benefits of a plant-based diet then the “Athlete Advantage” is for you. So we coupled really great recipes with four customizable programs so you can take all the recipes in the book and put them in a program that will suit whatever your fitness goal is.
Caryn Hartglass: Well it’s beautiful, the book is beautiful. I love cookbooks that have pictures of almost every recipe, and yours absolutely does. And another thing I like about it is looks exactly like how we eat at home.
Marco Borges: Thank you!
Caryn Hartglass: Yeah! I’ve been a vegan for almost 30 years, this is how we do it, and it’s just great to see it put in such a luscious format. And I want to tell you; I made the first recipe in the book last night. I made your banana bread.
Marco Borges: Awesome! Isn’t that delicious?
Caryn Hartglass: It is, and it was funny, I was laughing to myself because we try it last night, because whenever you bake something you always want it warm out of the oven, and then I had it again today, I brought it with me on my trip to the conference and it was a great travel food, and just like you say in the book, “quick breads taste and slice best when enjoyed a day after baking”, and that is so true, it was so much better this morning than it was last night!
Marco Borges: Awesome! So happy to hear that! You know, the idea behind the book was that we wanted to make it simple but delicious, right. So I don’t think that you have to sacrifice one or the other, I think that they can mutually exist, and a lot of times what I found is that you find really beautiful images of dishes that you want to try, but the image and the recipe is almost… I don’t know, it’s a bit… It puts you back a little bit because you’re like, “Oh will I be able to do it or not?” And we don’t want this to feel threatening. We wanted it like you were eating at home, just as you felt when you open the book. They’re simple recipes; I’m not a chef; my wife is not a chef. We love to cook and we love to be in the kitchen, we love to create with our kids, and we wanted the reader to have the same experience. The recipes that are equally as simple as they are delicious, and as you notice as you flip through the book, there are no “Franken foods”, we’re not telling people to go buy anything prepackaged. You are going to shop, basically the produce aisles and you may wind up going to the spice rack and what not, but the book is, everything is from scratch, it literally could be farm to table book so we’re excited because the recipes are really really easy to follow, and anyone, whether you’ve been in the kitchen your whole life or you’ve never been in the kitchen at all, can try these recipes.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay, quick question. There’s no mention of gluten free and soy, and yet all those recipes, unless I missed something, are gluten free and soy free. Is there a reason for that?
Marco Borges: The entire book, the entire book is gluten and soy free, and it’s tough to weigh in there. We didn’t want it to be the highlight of the book. I think the highlight is that they’re all plant-based and that the entire book is basically a vegan cookbook, but we wanted to really focus on what’s in it rather than what’s not, right, and I think that a lot of times what we have is when you mention a plant-based diet to someone, they’re like, “Oh my god, I can’t eat chicken, I can’t eat fish, I can’t eat meat.” But what they don’t realize is that by giving up these few items, these few ingredients they open their world to thousands of other ingredients that they’ve never tried before, so I think it’s a pretty awesome switch, right? You’re giving up four things or five things and you’re gaining so many more ingredients, and then the cover was meant to show the readers, the people of, what is in a plant-based diet, cause a lot of the times people are like, “Plant based? What do you eat?” And the reality is that, I would challenge anyone on an animal based diet to count the amount of ingredients in all of their dishes and without even looking can almost guarantee that someone on a plant based diet has ton more variety than they have. So really it’s about understanding the benefits of a plant-based diet, getting the right tools so you can arm yourself for success, but ultimately reminding yourself that you have the power for ultimate health. You have the power for how healthy or unhealthy you are, and it really is all at the end of your fork. So we’re trying to guide people…
Caryn Hartglass: I’m sorry I just wanted to jump in because I loved how you said there are so many ingredients that you’re introducing people to that are just so delicious and flavorful and people think in error that this kind of diet is so restrictive, but it opens the world. Every time I found I eliminated something from my diet, when I eliminated meat, when I eliminated dairy, when I eliminated fish, and I’m not entirely gluten free, but even when I started gluten free baking, the world opened up to me, and more foods came, appeared on my plate, I just discovered so many more things. It’s rich, it’s delicious, it’s vast.
Marco Borges: I agree. And then when you share with your friends what all the benefits are that come along with plant based diet, and you mention that you have better sleep, and that you have increased energy, and that you don’t have that brain fog after lunch, and that you have an increased sex drive, and that the weight is falling off of you, you’re melting away without even thinking about, that you’re never really hungry, that your skin is clearer, that your mood isn’t as sporadic as it typically is. We notice that a lot of what suffer from really stems from what we’re eating, or rather what we’re not eating. So we want to make it easier for people to move to plant-based diet, and move in the direction of health because we know ultimately, it’s the only thing at the end of the day that is sustainable, right. So when you look at the medical system where it is today, we’re incredibly advanced at being able to treat emergencies, someone falls off a tree, someone gets hit by a car, God forbid something atrocious happens, we’re fantastic at that, but we don’t seem to understand yet how to treat the diseases that are caused by our lifestyle or our dietary indiscretion. With a plant-based diet you can change all of this. We literally have the power to eradicate heart disease. We have the power to eradicate the number one killer in this country, and in many others! So for me to know that we have the power to eradicate a disease that is stripping so many people of their lives, and stripping so many families of their loved ones, I have to be able to spread this message, I have to be able to climb to mountaintop and to be able to preach this because the reality is, we hold the power, we hold the key.
Caryn Hartglass: I listened to a lot of passionate people today at this Eatx forum, and really, I just wanted to give every one of them a copy of your book. Marco Borges: Oh thank you so much.
Caryn Hartglass: Just make this food! Now I wanted to bring up a few recipes that popped out to me, one was your strawberry protein smoothie, and I loved your little story about how it’s your replacement for your childhood strawberry shortcake bar from the ice cream man, and often when I do this show from home, I hear the Mister Softee truck go by and fortunately I’m in the studio so we’re not going to hear that tune today, but I’ve made an orange creamsicle frozen dessert that brings me back to the Good Humor man’s [13:37] creamsicle pop, and we can have these great flavors with the simplest amounts of foods that are so healthy and wonderful. Marco Borges: It’s so true, and again, congratulations, you’ve hit on all of the things that I intended to pop when someone reads the book. And the reality is that a lot of times people think that they have to give up everything that they love, that they’re sacrificing their happiness for their health, and it’s not that way at all. You can have it all! You can be healthy, and you can be happy, and you can enjoy the foods you eat! For instance, people love sushi rolls.
Caryn Hartglass: Oh, I’m so glad you brought that up, I wanted to talk about your banana sushi, I’m so glad you brought that up. Marco Borges: Yeah, well the truth is, what we love is the experience, we love to grab chopsticks, and we love to dip a roll in something, we love the experience of it. You don’t necessarily love the fact that it has raw fish inside it, you just love the whole idea, the whole… it’s just something that it’s sexy, it’s different, it’s alluring. So we make sushi rolls at home with vegetables inside, with avocado, with sweet potato, with a ton of different veggies, with baked chickpeas, there’s so many different ways to enjoy the foods you already enjoy today in a way that you will love the food, but the food will love you back.
Caryn Hartglass: Absolutely. Marco Borges: So you’re going to reduce your risk of heart disease, but you’re not going to… but you’re not going to give up the foods that you’re enjoying, so when I speak to the… whether it’s the strawberry shortcake that I miss from when I was a kid, I look at the foods that I love and I try to find replacements for them in the plant-based world and many, many, many times I find replacements that are way tastier and are way better for me.
Caryn Hartglass: Yes.
Marco Borges: So, again you don’t have to sacrifice you’re happiness in order to eat healthier, because a lot of times what you’ll find all these people saying, “Oh my God, if I’m going to eat boring food, I’d rather just die 10 years younger.” Well, the reality is, new flash, you don’t have to eat bland food. You can continue to eat delicious food but this time, the food will love you back. So it really is all about providing the right tools so that people can enjoy the meals that they’re going to love, and will nurture them from the inside out.
Caryn Hartglass: There’s a set of staples that are necessary to make the recipes in your book, and for some people they may be a little unusual or different, but once you get a handle on it and you have your pantry stocked, you’re ready and fortunately my pantry is stocked to make everything in this book which is really exciting, and we love peanut butter, and we love bananas, and you’ve got two recipes in here, banana sushi, which is so simple, and I just can’t wait to make it. We love frozen bananas and it just looks like an amazing treat, and then your frozen banana and sunflower butter pie. So simple and amazing.
Marco Borges: Those might be my two favorites; those might be my two favorites. Honestly they’re so, they’re so good, but you know what I love the most about them, I’m not even going to lie to you, they’re so easy to make, and my kids go through them so fast, that I could literary bring out all the ingredients and have them make them with me, and it’s not like you have to make a huge mess, or you need a thousand tools, and you have to go buy expensive gadgets, I mean they’re really easy to make, and your kids will love them. By the way, you will love them as well.
Caryn Hartglass: I know that, and I’m very hungry right now, that’s what I want. The last thing I’m looking at that popped out for me, I mean there’s wonderful recipes in here, there’s chilies, and soups, and salads, and dressings, and cashew treats, and all kinds of wonderful delicious dishes but looking at crispy lentils, something I never thought of doing, and looks like a great, indulgent snack food.
Marco Borges: I keep those in the pantry, all year long. It’s one of my favorites, honestly, it’s one of my favorite snacks, because again, going back to me being a kid, we used to eat potato chips when I was a kid so there’s something about crunchy foods that I love, that I want in my life, right, so what we did was, I thought to myself, what can I make crunchy that’s really delicious but also nutritious, and lentils pack incredible punch. They are an amazing source of protein, one of the only alkaline, I don’t know if you know this, but it’s one of the only alkaline protein sources in the world, full of nutrients, full of vitamins, full of minerals. So what I did was, I cooked beluga lentils, which are the really tiny ones, the little tiny black ones, almost look like caviar, really, really small in size, so I cooked those basically just boil them, and I add some seasoning. Now I like paprika, and cumin, whatever it is you like to season your stuff with, you’ll see the recipe is pretty detailed, and then I just stick them in a dehydrator, and if you don’t have a dehydrator, you can put them in an oven at low heat, and it makes the most amazing snack, you could eat them, basically I pour them into a mason jar and eat them by the handful, or you could toss them over a salad, or you could toss them into a bowl of quinoa, or toss them into a bowl of brown rice, or put them over Ezekiel toast or some avocado and just sprinkle them over the top. There’s so many ways to enjoy them. I mean, it’s a really, really delicious recipe.
Caryn Hartglass: Mm. So good. Okay, clearly you are passionate about food. I am passionate about food. We could solve all of the world’s problems right here, today, deliciously.
Marco Borges: Absolutely!
Caryn Hartglass: And you know you mentioned earlier, you just want to, I forgot exactly how you said it, but you wanted to get these recipes to people to show them what to do, well I just want to put the food in their mouth, because sometimes they don’t want to put the energy into making a recipe until they taste it, and they realize, “Oh my God, this is amazing!” Marco Borges: Well, they’d be surprised, and often times people are, we just got someone who wrote us an email the other day, and we just got this note that says, “Thank you so much for putting The 22-Day Revolution together. In the beginning I thought it was going to be twice as expensive to live this way, but I knew that I had to do it in order to move to a healthier lifestyle so I was willing to do it, and then shortly thereafter I realized not only was it not expensive, it was much less expensive than I thought it would be. It was actually a very inexpensive lifestyle, and I’ve lost over 58 pounds…” and literally the compliments went on and on and on and on about how this person turned their life around by adopting a plant-based diet through the 22-Day Revolution.
Caryn Hartglass: Beautiful.
Marco Borges: It really is something that… it really is something that makes us proud. We’re humbled by every note and every message that we get because at the end of the day all we’re trying to do is make a difference, we want to make the world a happier place and we know that if people are healthier, people are ultimately happier, and if people are happier, they put out a better message everyday, they go out with a smile on their face, they’re paying it forward, and if there’s ever a time where we could use a little more love, a little more compassion, a little more kindness, it truly is now.
Caryn Hartglass: Thank you, I really needed to hear all that after coming out of the EATx forum, the answer is right here, and it’s delicious and it’s simple and it’s beautiful, and it’s… Anyway, thank you for The 22 Day Revolution Cookbook. Where can people find more out about you, Marco Borges?
Caryn Hartglass: Very good. Thank you so much for joining me, and I can’t wait to dig in a little more with this cookbook.
Marco Borges: Thanks for having me, enjoy!
Caryn Hartglass: Change the world! Thank you!
Marco Borges: Thank you, we’ll do it together.
Caryn Hartglass: Okay! Deliciously! That was Marco Borges with the The 22 Day Revolution Cookbook. It’s stunning, and I want to eat the book right now, because I’m really hungry!
Transcribed by Zia Kara, 12/26, 2016