A Vegan Diet Will Cause a Nutritional Nightmare!

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I don’t know if you’ve seen the latest scare that has come out regarding a plant-based diet.  Apparently, if the entire U.S. population decided to follow a plant-based diet we would all succumb to nutritional deficiencies and die horrible deaths according to a “scientific” report put out by – wait for it…. Robin A. White, who just so happens to be an “animal and poultry professor” at Virginia Tech who teaches animal and poultry use and agriculture; and Mary Beth Hall who works in Dairy Science at USDFRC, Madison, WI., again working for the Dairy Industry.

https://qz.com/1131428/if-the-entire-us-went-vegan-itd-be-a-public-health-disaster/

Now, once we find out who these people are, we have to wonder why, after all the scientific evidence there is that shows that consuming meat and dairy leads to a number of health problems, heart disease and cancer included, why oh why would the meat and dairy industry want to keep “proving” that a plant-based diet is going to kill you?  Could it be that meat and dairy consumption has declined, leading to the oh-so-problematic decline in profits?  Greed of course is behind this “study”.

Should one believe this study, one would think that anyone who is eating a plant-based diet should be on the verge of dying.  However, that is simply not true.  Well, I haven’t heard of anyone dying due to eating a healthy plant-based diet.  And, I am no-where near death myself, after almost five years on a vegan diet.  As a matter of fact, after my last yearly visit with my doctor, he was amazed at how low my cholesterol and sugar numbers were.  I was quite healthy with no nutritional death in sight.  There were no deficiencies in my diet that he could find.  Am I a modern medical miracle?  I think not, since my daughter also received a clean bill of health.

As far as the claims that humans simply cannot get the nutrition they need from plants, I beg to differ.  Calcium comes from plants, as do the other nutrients listed in the study.  When you receive any nutrients from eating the flesh of another animal, you are simply eating the middle-man.  Ever hear of broccoli or leafy greens?  Apparently the “researchers” didn’t.  For any questions regarding plant-based diet, please go to https://nutritionfacts.org/ and find out more information.  I apologize if anyone found this post too snarky.  I simply couldn’t help it.

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Are Dietary Advanced Glycation End Products Unhealthy for You?

AGESPaleohacks

Lately there has been a concern that the vegan diet, which while being rich in both fruits and vegetables is an unhealthy diet due to its supposedly high levels of glycation, and may be contributing to the rise in diabetes and cardiovascular disease.  This seemed an odd thing to me, since I was sure that fruits and vegetables did not have a causal relationship to either diabetes or cardiovascular disease, so I decided to look this up and see what was going on myself.

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So, what did I find?  Well, according to the information below, animal-based foods are rich in AGE’s, and increase these after cooking.  However, fruits, vegetables and grains are not rich in AGE’s, and they don’t increase in these after cooking.  I’ve left two links, the first one is the actual findings of the study, and the second is a listing of all kinds of food with their AGE information so that you can pick and choose the healthiest foods to eat.  I hope that this summary clears up any confusion you might have.  I know that it helped me.

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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3704564/table/T1/

How the book Black Beauty made me who I am today

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When I was young, one of my favorite books was Black Beauty by Anna Sewell.  It wasn’t until I got it out of the library and read it to my children, that I realized that through some kind of osmosis I had made the entire novel a part of myself.  If someone had asked me why I felt the way I did regarding animals, I could not have answered.  But after I read this book to my children, I understood.  I got all my compassion and empathy from this one book.  It’s funny how a book can mold you into who you become.  Black Beauty, and to a lesser extent, all the A.A. Milne books did that to me.  Here are some quotes for you.

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It was after I read this book to my children that I fulfilled my childhood dream and became a vegetarian.  And, after that, I fulfilled my adult dream and became a vegan.  Some books just stay with you always and forever.

Aging

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Today is my birthday.  I’m not going to come right out and tell you my age, since I feel that mystery is a good thing.  However, I will tell you that even though I’m in my 50’s you wouldn’t be able to guess, since I’ve been blessed with both a baby-face, and good genes – not great, but good.  Until very recently I haven’t been taking care of my skin, instead choosing simply to put coconut oil on my face and neck every night for a number of years.  Although coconut oil is wonderful, I’ve decided that I’d probably benefit from some age-appropriate eye and face/neck night creams.  I’ve found some that I like, so that’s what I’ve been doing.  Next up on my list is to start using masks.  This is something that even though I am aware of them, I haven’t bothered to use them.

For a long time, I didn’t wear any make-up, I also didn’t bother to cut my hair for years and years at a time, choosing to wear it in a bun every single day.  I do cut my bangs with a variety of very crooked results, many of which have been amusing to the world at large.  However, as part of my effort to improve my life, I’ve started both wearing some make-up and I recently had my hair cut at a salon.  How transformative is that?

As I age, I can’t help but notice that people seem to feel that we need to fight against any obvious signs of aging, cover our gray/white hair, and pretend that we’re not getting any older.  And, for celebrities who have rocked the aging coin, Helen Mirren, we say they are “sexy for their age”.  No, Helen Mirren is sexy, period!   But exactly what is sexy, anyway.  True sexiness comes from within.  It’s confidence in yourself, and some people, like Helen, have that in spades!

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Since I read some fashion magazines (yes, it’s a little secret of mine), I find it upsetting that most models/celebrities who are featured are young or at the most, in their 40’s.  So, is it that as women we drop off the face of the earth as we become older?  I know that men get to age like “fine wine”, but what do we say about older women?  Usually, the nicest thing we say is that she “looks good for her age”, as though age is a thing we can fight and overcome.  Well, I’m here to let you in on a little secret, no matter how many facelifts and/or nip and tucks you get, you do indeed age.  It happens to ALL OF US!

So, what is my plan for aging?  Well, I’ve got those magic creams and masks.  I’m keeping my haircut up, and I’m thinking of using something to actually brighten my gray/white hair.  But most Importantly, I’m exercising, eating right and keeping myself moving.  Yes, I did just do a little dance to Saturday Night Fever in BJ’s this morning.  You know what, so did another woman who happened down my aisle.  We had fun!  So, yes, I will rage against the dying light.  Life is a gift, and I want to keep unwrapping it.

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Stepping Toward Goals

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Here is an update on my accomplishments over the summer. I had a long list of things that I wanted to get done.  Right now, I’m feeling pretty low because I haven’t done them all, but here’s the list of what I have done:  doctor visit; license plates turned in and truck off the insurance policy; computer room cleared out and “stuff” taken to the swap-shop at the town dump; living room cleaned out and some books given to the library; mortgage refinancing done; budget planning in process of updating; chapter book written (working on revising and pictures).

My unfinished list is longer, but I’m plugging away.  Some things that I’m actively working on: de-cluttering house; coaching accreditation (this is almost) accomplished; cleaning out second shower (I’ve been storing bottles of water in there for when we lose our electricity); keeping house picked-up; and setting up a new schedule.

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Wow, on paper it looks like I’ve been busy.  As they say, looks can be deceiving.  While I feel that there are a lot of things that could be better, I am glad that I wrote down what I have done, and what it is that I’m currently working on.  It does make me feel that I have accomplished something so far.

How are you doing at getting your goals accomplished?  Let me know in the comments, and we can encourage each other.

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Doctor Visit

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After eight years, I finally put on my “big-girl panties” and went to the doctor for a “wellness visit”.  Once again, when it came time to go for my pre-visit blood test, I almost backed out.  Seriously, after eight years of not having any tests done, why go now?  I feel healthy and only have a few questions.  However, the change now is this – who knows how long I’ll have health care?  I could lose it at any time, just as you could (if you live in the U.S.).  The cost of our insurance is sure to continue rising, and it looks like rising is the least of it.  I’ve heard up to 18% increases and more in my state alone.  So, I decided to keep my appointment, just in case.

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How did it go?  Great!  All my blood work was terrific.  The only problem is that once again my blood pressure was a little high.  Gee, I wonder if that has anything to do with how nervous I was?  My doctor suggested that I buy a cuff and take my pressure every day for two weeks and see if my normal pressure is lower than the one at his office.  So, that I will do.  If it is high during the day on a consistent basis, I’ve got to go back. I hope it’s not.

I do know that I’ve got a major “fight or flight” response, so in order to combat my stress I want to try just laying on my bed and practicing my yoga breathing since that is one thing that I know works for me.  I’m happy that I went, and I’m extremely happy that I’m healthy!

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My Low-fat, Plant-based Diet

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I’ve been following a low-fat (no oil), no prepared foods, plant based diet since the middle of March.  I was over-weight and just couldn’t lose any weight, even though I had been Vegan for 3 years at that point.  I had watched Forks Over Knives and was aware that I needed to decrease my oil and processed foods consumption.  However, it wasn’t until I got the book Seven Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn that I found a simple and easy diet to follow.  And that was when I started to lose weight.  Was it hard?  Well, cooking without oil can be a little bit difficult, but I quickly adjusted.  Now I use some water instead of oil and I add more herbs and spices to my food then I ever did before.  One of the easy things about this diet change is that I liked all the foods that I was eating.  For the first month, I was completely about cooking my own food.  These days I will get a pizza with no cheese on it from the local take-out, so no, I don’t feel “cheated”.   I will also eat Chinese take-out that has been steamed with no sauce on it.

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So, have I been losing weight?  Yes!  With absolutely no calorie restriction (I actually eat a lot), so far, I’ve lost 23 pounds.  For a moderately over-weight woman of over 50 this is huge.  I don’t exercise every day, but I do eat all I want every day.  Here is a list of my meals for one day:

Breakfast – one shredded wheat biscuit with plain Almond Milk (I eat Post Shredded Wheat), I only eat one because I also have a large glass of water, a banana and a peach or plum.  If I’m not that hungry I’ll save the banana for a snack around 10:00 or so.  I will eat another banana if I’m hungry later on in the morning.

Lunch – a fairly large salad with either homemade oil-free dressing, or bought oil-free dressing with little to no “extra” stuff in it.  I’ll then have a baked potato with a little salt, pepper and garlic on it.  And again, I’ll have a large glass of water.

Snacks – if I’m hungry in the middle of the afternoon I’ll eat some fruit.  With it being summer, that could be sweet cherries, a peach or plum, grapes or a banana.  If I’m really hungry I’ll have more than one piece of fruit.  If I’m eating cherries I’ll just have a few (or more) handfuls of them.

Dinner –  usually I’ll have a bowl from Seven Day Rescue Diet.  If I’m not having that, I could be steaming up some veggies and having them with preservative and oil-free soy sauce and some brown rice or quinoa.  I put a ton of spices on my food.  I’ve always used a lot.

Desert – I usually have fruit in the evening.  Right now, since it’s summer and strawberry/blueberry season, I’ve been having that for a treat.  And, even though I normally only eat whole food, I will have the vegan whipped cream on those.  Not every night but one or two nights a week.

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When I started this diet, I didn’t eat a single prepared food.  I made everything from scratch, including hummus.  Homemade hummus is really good.  I now eat some no-oil, no-preservative guacamole, oil-free salad dressing, and I make veggie sandwiches with vegan sandwich thins.  But, I mostly (6 days out of 7) still follow the no-oil, low-fat diet.  I now have added plain peanuts to my diet, so that’s really good if you feel like a nosh.  I’ve also had air-popped popcorn with a small amount of salt on it – one caveat, popcorn without vegan butter can be pretty dry.  I’ve also made potato chips in the microwave – they are really good with some garlic powder on them, but are time consuming to make.

The only issue with eating this way is that you have to actually make your meals.  It can take more time than I’m used to, but it also tastes much better than prepared foods.  If you want some recipes let me know and I’ll share some with you.  The other important thing is that I drink a lot of water.  All the time.

As far as health is concerned, I used to have fairly bad asthma and now I don’t.  We’ll see how the rest of the summer goes, but the humidity hasn’t really bothered my breathing as much as before I started this eating plan.  My fibromyalgia also isn’t giving me as much pain as before.  Those were my two health issues, and they seem to be improving.  So, I’m looking forward to losing more weight on my goal to a healthy weight.  If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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