Today's blog post starts our new series, the “Purora Everyday Heroes and Heroines”. We will visit inspiring personalities, including athletes and nutrition experts, and talk to them about topics such as healthy eating and their experiences with Purora. First up is the Austrian professional mountaineer Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner. By climbing K2, the second highest mountain in the world at 8,611 meters, she became the first woman to reach all eight-thousander peaks without the use of bottled oxygen and without the support of high porters. We were allowed to visit her in her home and interview her, you can read the results here.
Purora: What does healthy eating mean to you?
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner: For me, a healthy diet is a diet with which I feel absolutely comfortable and can be completely in my strength and therefore go through the day centered and powerful. For me that also means eating a purely plant-based diet and have done so for fourteen years. It is particularly important to me to eat a healthy vegan diet. Vegan does not necessarily mean healthy because, for example, white sugar or white flour products are vegan, but are very harmful to the body. At the beginning, I looked intensively at the acid-base balance and looked at what makes the body acidic and what is metabolized in an alkaline manner in the body. I learned that all animal products, except honey, are metabolized in a negative acidic way. Then I simply left out the animal products. After just three to four weeks I noticed that the regeneration between training sessions had shortened, my sleep had improved since then and my concentration had increased enormously. Since then I have been able to maintain focus much better. The complexion's appearance has also changed for the better and so it was clear to me that I would only eat a healthy, purely plant-based diet. Since then I have hardly had a cold or been sick, so my immune system is very strong. Of course, I am often asked whether it is difficult to have to do without so many things. But for me it is not a sacrifice at all, on the contrary, it enriches me because I feel at every moment what the purely plant-based diet is doing to my body and how good it is for me. Purora plays a very important role for me because it makes my everyday life much easier with an organic vegan diet. I can integrate most of the products into my everyday life and they fit my nutritional philosophy very well.
Purora: You're not a mainstream mountaineer with your diet, because people often believe that you have to eat meat to do it, how do you see that?
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner: I hear that very often and then I am asked how it is possible to climb an eight-thousander without meat, without dairy products and without eggs. I've been eating a plant-based diet for so many years now and have found great plant-based protein sources. At the same time, I have to say that I make sure not to consume too much protein. Because protein, even vegan protein, is still metabolized acidically in the body. Although these are positive acid generators, meat, for example, is a negative acid generator. By changing my diet at the time, I discovered that the body doesn't need as much protein as we often believe. For example, if I eat too much protein a day, I immediately feel it in my joints the next day. Because I know my body very well, I now know what is good for my body and what I can leave out. :-) I consume around 80% carbohydrates, 10% fat and a maximum of 10% proteins per day.
Regarding the vegan diet, I would like to report on a funny experience with my 2 Russian/Kazakh friends, with whom I also climbed K2. The two of them are real meat tigers; meat-free days are rarely on their menu. At the beginning they didn't know that I was purely vegan. Once for breakfast they ate their ham & eggs again and noticed that I didn't eat anything animal. They asked me how I was going to climb K2 without meat. I just laughed and told them that I've been eating vegan for many years and it's working better than ever. Colleagues who ate ham & eggs in the morning are simply weakened in the first few hours afterwards because the energy is needed to digest the fatty food. I often and often eat some boiled potatoes (which are metabolized in an alkaline way) with herbal salt or sometimes oatmeal for breakfast at base camp and that provides really good energy.
Purora: That all sounds very simple!
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner: It is! At the beginning you have to deal with it intensively, after that it becomes easier and easier. It's about your own body and I think every person wants to grow old in a healthy way and simply enjoy life. And you have to do something about it. We have so much in our own hands. In the beginning, you don't need much more than enough exercise and thinking about your diet. It is also very important to have an inner attitude and to be aware that I am in control of my own well-being. For example, you could visualize how you would like to be in old age. Namely physically and mentally fit and healthy and full of life energy. And then it is important to align yourself accordingly in order to be able to achieve this. I want to inspire and motivate people to at least try it once.
Purora: What connects you to Purora?
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner: What connects me with Purora is primarily its focus on a healthy diet and absolute well-being. Purora makes sure that people are doing well when it comes to nutrition and that is also my big concern. I have been intensively involved in healthy eating for many years. I'm particularly interested in how I can stay fit and healthy in a completely natural way and how I can gain even more strength. This can be achieved with a really healthy, alkaline, varied diet and that is definitely what connects me with Purora.
Purora: Which Purora product should you not miss?
Gerlinde Kaltenbrunner: I definitely can't miss the blueberry apple guarana porridge , it's really good and then the mango coconut ginseng smoothie bowl , it also tastes sensational . What shouldn't be missing is the energy elixir , for example with hawthorn, which is good for the heart, then peppermint and ginseng. It also contains tragacanth, which is particularly good for the lungs. Breathing is particularly important to us at altitude and is therefore very beneficial. The partial pressure of oxygen in the lungs increases with increasing altitude, breathing becomes more strenuous, and it can happen that you get a cough, which is when the Power Drops are particularly good for me.