Plant-based diets may have become a little more mainstream in recent years, but to set the record straight, Beyoncé and JAY-Z were ahead of the trend long before buzzed-about documentaries started putting things into perspective. Back in 2013, the pair dedicated 22 days to following a vegan diet to see how it felt, and they were pretty much instantly hooked on the benefits. Fast-forward to 2019, and the couple’s trainer, Marco Borges, is now publishing a book on this very subject, and Beyoncé and JAY-Z wrote an intro for the book on plant-based lifestyles. Needless to say, the prelude is a page-turner, and you’ll want to get your hands on a copy ASAP.
Bey and JAY’s vegan story first began on Dec. 3, 2013, the day before the "Holy Grail" rapper turned 44. In a blog post for his website Life+Times, the performer wrote that both he and B were inspired to go all in on the 22-day challenge when Borges suggested they both try eating plant-based for breakfast. “It was surprisingly easier on me than I thought,” JAY-Z wrote, adding that he didn’t know where the challenge would take them, but that it felt “spiritual” and serendipitous.
After sticking with plant-based eating for the entire 22 days, Borges told PEOPLE that the couple was all about the diet, the lifestyle, and the benefits of eating an abundance of plants. He told the outlet,
They walked away with a greater understanding of the powerful benefits of plant-based nutrition. They were getting people saying, ‘Your skin has this glow.’ And who doesn’t like being told they look awesome?
Now, Borges' new book, called The Greenprint: Plant-Based Diet, Best Body, Better World, is an all-encompassing guide to veganism that teaches you how to eat primarily, if not entirely plant-based, and how doing so can benefit not just your health, but planet Earth, too. Seeing as how Borges and the power couple have had an ongoing partnership ever since Bey and JAY teamed up with the trainer to launch the 22-Day Nutrition Challenge in 2015, it comes as no surprise that the two would pen an intro to his new book.
To capture their readers' attention, Bey and JAY started off with a quick excerpt detailing what led them to try plant-based eating in the first place. Aside from Borges' encouragement, PEOPLE reports, the couple wrote in the trainer's book that becoming parents to their now 6-year-old daughter, Blue Ivy and their twins, Rumi and Sir Carter, put life, and what they truly wanted to get out of it, into perspective. “We realize now, more than ever, that most of the things we want for ourselves we also want for the world—peace, happiness, love, prosperity, and, above all, health,” they wrote — all of which, Borges and the couple claim, can be accomplished through a plant-based lifestyle.
Of course, Beyoncé and JAY-Z are billboard chart-toppers, not doctors, so they made sure to add in a brief disclaimer to say that, while they don’t have the authority to definitively say that a plant-based diet is best for everyone and every lifestyle, their goal is to encourage you to, at the very least, incorporate more plant-based meals into your weekly menu. “The benefits of a single plant-based meal per day can have a profound impact on our health and environment,” the couple wrote, stressing that, unfortunately, the world cannot change itself. However, in a conclusion that's sure to tug on your heartstrings, Bey and JAY reminded us that, fortunately, you and I can play our own parts and become the change.
A single decision by one person can affect change not only within themselves but also within their family, their community, and the planet.
We all have a responsibility to stand up for our health and the health of the planet. Let’s take this stand together. Let’s spread the truth. Let’s make this mission a movement. Let’s become "the Greenprint."
Thanks to Amazon’s sneak peek at what The Greenprint has to offer readers, the R&B royalty couple’s introduction can be read in full here, if you’re interested. And, if you’re thinking about joining Bey and JAY on their plant-based journey, there’s no better time like the present to start. Of course, no one — not even Queen Bey and Mr. Carter — expects you to completely immerse yourself in the vegan lifestyle overnight. If you’re currently following a typical American diet, it can be a difficult transition, so you'll definitely want to start slow.
Maybe committing to Borges' 22-day challenge could benefit you, but if you aren’t even at that point yet, no worries. Start with one meal of the day, then a second. And if changing up entire meals sounds daunting, add more veggies to your meals, swap a loaded sandwich for a loaded smoothie for lunch, or snack on some trail mix in between meals. Eventually, eating plant-based will come more naturally, and the benefits — i.e. clearer skin, a boost in energy, better sleep quality, and much more — will simply be too good to pass up.