Posts tagged ‘health’

13 November, 2015

Michelle Bridges – Your Best Body (Review)

your-best-body

Was at my local library picking up some vegan / vegan friendly books – Dr John McDougall and Dr Caldwell Esselstyn and saw this on display. I laughed. The librarian said Bridges books were among the most stolen book items. So I picked it up to review.

I’m long time vegan, so I didn’t think I would get anything out of it.

I was right.

The first odd thing I noticed in some photos Bridges has a tattoo and in others she doesn’t (and its hard to miss, the entire book is full of Bridges posing), this makes me wonder how old some of the photos really are.

It opens with a story about deer hunting in New Zealand – just what every women wants with her starvation diet books, a cheery story about slaughtering animals.

Later on she tells the reader to ‘man up’ and lift weights – seriously its the 21st century, aren’t we sick of these gender stereotypes yet?!

She has a whole section on foods she recommends then follows that up with ‘I’m no biochemist, nor am I a dietician’ (p108) with the amount of animal products listed as heart foods, I can see that clearly.

 

In another book of hers she says that she eats a really low daily calorie intake – so I don’t think there is anything I can learn from Bridges, back to the library you go, hopefully someone steals you so nobody else can borrow you.

Michelle Bridges – Losing The Last 5 kilos: Your kick-arse guide to looking ad feeling fantastic (2011) “I keep my calories at around 1200-1300 per day” (p3)

Eat Carbs and Carrot On

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11 November, 2010

Why B12 can be important for Vegans (my story)


This does not apply to all vegans, but is my personal story of what happens why B12 levels become critical.

I assume that I am no different to most vegans, in that I read about nutrition and food widely. I think vegans probably read more books about food than most other people.

So I knew that B12 (cobalamin) of all the vitamins and minerals was the most important one, being sourced via animal products.

My vegan breakfast from the Mirage buffet

Image via Wikipedia: vegan breakfast

It is produced by bacteria – so if it is found in plant food, it is in foods such as mushrooms which may have come in contact with dirt, or if it is found in animal products it is still the result of bacteria production.

Which is why, unless vegans pay attention, it can be overlooked.

There is a common idea on vegan websites and books, that there is enough B12 in the body to last five years or so, so when someone first goes vegan there is enough still in their system to last.

Last year, several things happened to me all at once, I got a really bad case of flu, and was not eating, this came after several weeks of dental treatment, where I hadn’t eaten, which came after a personal thing, in which I’d lost my enjoyment of food.

As a result, my weight had dropped by almost 10 kilos. My diet was shocking, I knew there was chance I would be low in some nutrients.

But I had begun to get strange symptoms.

My feet had started to get permanent pins-and-needles, then my hands. And then what was really scary, my memory was being affected.

Several instances stand out:
I was with a group of friends discussion how long we had known each other. I looked at one of my closet friends who I met in 2000 and the word that formed in my mind was 1990, when I spoke it, it came out as “1900”. No, that’s wrong, I mean 1990. My friend wasn’t born til 1991, so I wrote on a piece of paper 2000, which my hand wrote as 1880.

Another, I was with the same friends, trying to find something on a map, I pointed to the red section, the word that formed in my brain was “orange” even though I knew it was red, I told myself “it’s red” but again the word “orange” took the place of red. And as I spoke, the words that came out of my mouth were “I think it’s that purple section”
… So not only did I know that it was red as a colour, yet the letters in my mind were “orange”, my mouth said purple.

I was losing my nouns. I couldn’t remember the names of things, even though I could describe them.

I couldn’t remember the world “Cucumber”, and I was trying to describe it to my dining companion, “it’s long, and round, and hard…” (no, I am not flirting with you) “it’s cold, you eat it in salad, it had a dark green skin…”

It was time for action, this wasn’t a hold over of my flu or dental work.

I have occasional blood tests as part of my job, so during one routine blood test, I asked for my Iron and B12 to be also checked. We discussed my dental work, the flu I’d had and my lose of appetite, so I expected some of my readings to be a little low.

When the results came back, my doctor said my B12 was fine, but my iron was low.

I’d read in several places that low iron can mask a B12 deficiency, so while I expected my iron to be low, but Not out of range, I really thought my B12 would be low too.

Priceline vitamin isle

pills and medications

I knew these results had to be wrong.

I occasionally take a vitamin supplement that has a B12 component, and I read the instructions: Take 2 every day with food.

I probably would have been taking not even 2 a week. But I made sure I took the recommended dosage.

And within a week and half, or so, the numbness in my hands and feet went, my memory returned. I don’t know that it was B12 deficiency, but I really, sincerely believe that it was. I don’t believe the blood tests told the wole story.

There are four foods I consume regularly that are fortified with B12, and I try to eat them often. And I try to get motivated to take vitamin supplements.

And if anyone wants to say, “but that just shows the inadequacies of being vegan”, take a look around your kitchen/bathroom, at how many pills and medications you take. I only take B12 occasionally, and that is it, that is all.

A serving suggestion representing a common ser...

mmmm toast

What happened to me was not just because I am vegan, it happened because there were 3 things in my life at the same time, that occurred one after the other, which meant I was barely eating…

and even having barely eaten in the 6 weeks or so before the medical tests, I still had an Iron level that was in the normal range (allbeit, the low end of normal)… and of all the people I know who have ever been prescribed iron tablets, they have been meat eaters, so I got a smile out of that result.

This is not medical advice, this is my personal story, I don’t blame it on being vegan, I chalk it down to being a young woman, who sometimes has changing life circumstances.

Being vegan is not hard, being a person is.



Edited to add:
Recommended Supplements for Vegans: by Ginny Messina RD
29 November 2010

28 October, 2010

Ok, so you’re vegan – but do you eat people?


Food additives can refer to a lot of things – flavours, colours, emulsifiers, preservatives… these can be known by their chemical name or their E-number.

For example – E120 is cochineal, E901 is beeswax, E621 is MSG (for a full list http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E_number), and vegans get into the habit of scanning food labels to find those additives that are animal derived.

However, there is one additive that is derived from humans, E920 (L-Cysteine) which is produced from human hair.

E920 is an amino acid and is used as an improving agent in flour-based products.

It is used as a ‘dough improver’ or ‘bread improver’. The L-Cysteine is added to the ingredients during the mixing process prior to baking. During mixing, it reacts with a protein in wheat. As the original L-Cysteine amino acid is not present in the final product, by law there is no requirement to list it as an ingredient.
Vegetarian Network Victoria

It is also used in the manufacture of cigarettes, as well as the pharmaceutical and cosmetics industries (one of its names is Keratin)

Traditionally L-Cysteine has been sourced from feathers, pig bristles, but one of the richest sources is Human Hair.

And China, has an entire industry devoted to producing L-Cysteine from human hair.

The amino acid is extracted from the hair and feathers using a fermentation process involving a mutant strain of Escherichia coli (E.coli).

So while VEGANs are very conscious about avoid animal products, the manufacturing industries continue to find new ways to put animal derived ingredients in products, and now, there are human-byproducts to be aware of.

Food for vegans: fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains.... and HUMAN HAIR? ...

Food for vegans: fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains.... and HUMAN HAIR?

6 September, 2010

Jillian Michaels diet to save the world

Jillian Michaels' Fitness Ultimatum 2009

Image via Wikipedia


Jillian Michaels diet to save the world – or maybe a small corner of it

Jillian Michaels, the celebrity fitness trainer and television host, her diet is making headlines, and not for the usual reasons.

As a celebrity and as a person who has attained that fame through fitness training, her food and fitness routine is put under a microscope by a media that thinks the latest celebrity diet can sell magazines – Jillian Michaels Diet, Jillian Michaels: From NBC’s Biggest Loser, Join the Black Team Now!, Jillian Michaels – Biggest Loser Black Team Trainer – Diet Review , Jillian Michaels Diet Review – she even has her own personal website to learn more about how she says to maybe get a body like hers Jillian Michaels: America’s Toughtest Trainer Helps You Lose Weight complete with daily email newsletter for signing up.

Recently, however, Jillian Michaels diet has gotten some interest for reasons other than weight-loss. Although, how accurate these stories in the online media are, is hard to know. But they make a change from celebrities such as Angelina Jolie close to death saying “vegan… nearly killed me.

In an article in Vegetarian Star: Jillian Michaels Avoids Beef, Chicken Because Of Slaughter Practices,

Jillian Michaels has whittled down her animal intake to sustainable fish, citing her reasons to the Houston Chronicle as being for animal welfare.

Personally I’m not eating chicken or beef right now. It’s not about health; it’s about the slaughterhouse practices. I eat a lot of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, fish, organic yogurt and eggs and a lot of beans and nuts. But I also eat things like dark chocolate.”

.

In this interview with treehugger.com: Jillian Michaels Wants You to Master Your Metabolism, the Green Way

I began exploring different avenues of “greening” my life – getting a hybrid, water conservation, air pollution etc. I was also in the process of reading books about the food industry and the pharmaceutical industry (Selling Sickness, Appetite for Profit and Food Politics). These books horrified me. I knew there was corruption in the government and corporate America, but didn’t begin to fathom the extent or the depth of it. …

I have gone off the deep end on this. I find that when one has the knowledge and the means they have a responsibility to make the ethical choice. With regard to my diet, I always go organic. I shop at local farmers’ markets whenever possible. I have given up all animal products except for fish that has been ethically fished like ocean caught salmon, farmed arctic char, farmed trout, pacific cod, tilapia, crab, shrimp, and farmed oysters. I use all natural beauty products like Olive Oil, brown sugar for scrubs, avocado and ethical organic brands. My cleaning products are all green – and got rid of paper towels almost entirely and use rags instead. I use a Kangen water filter for drinking water and put in stainless steel canteens- never bottled water.

This is an extract of that article, for the full interview, Jillian Michaels Wants You to Master Your Metabolism, the Green Way

If these are true quotes, regarding the use of animals for food and the perceived nutritional qualities, it is saying the treatment of animals is affecting the choices Jillian is making, and she is eating with awareness.

When someone who makes her living via her body, such as Jillian Michaels, comes out saying that what happens in the slaughterhouse has an impact on her food intake makes a powerful statement for anyone who follows her. It may also get her fans to begin to question their own food intake and why they eat death.

For anyone wanting to know what these slaughterhouse practices are getting people such as Jillian Michaels to change her diet…

Earthlings

watch the full video here – http://www.earthlings.com/earthlings/video-full.php
which has been described as “Powerful, informative and thought-provoking, EARTHLINGS is by far the most comprehensive documentary produced on the correlation between nature, animals, and human economic interests.”

or this brochure:


Feedback welcome.

30 August, 2010

Angelina Jolie close to death


Just how close to dying did Angelina Jolie really get?

Stories hit the media throughout the past week, that Angelina Jolie says she came close to death on a vegan diet. (A vegan diet is more correctly known as “strict vegetarian”)

Hollywood superstar Angelina Jolie has blamed her vegan diet for “nearly killing” her, saying that she loves to eat red meat.

The Salt star says that when she restricted her diet to not include any animal products, it had negative effects on her health, reported Contactmusic.

“I joke that a big juicy steak is my beauty secret. But seriously, I love red meat. I was a vegan for a long time, and it nearly killed me. I found I was not getting enough nutrition,” said Jolie.
http://movies.ndtv.com/movie_story.aspx?Section=Movies&ID=ENTEN20100151314&subcatg=MOVIESINDIA&keyword=hollywood&nid=47809


Jolie, pictured here, has never been one of the celebrities often quoted in lists of vegan celebs, so her admission that she was a vegan for a long time strikes actual vegans I speak to as an interesting comment.

She also clearly was NOT a vegan, but following a vegan diet (strict vegetarian) and her confusing the words shows how shallow her “veganism” really was.

And just how unhealthy is a vegan diet? Maybe Dr Ruth Heinrich would know. She is a
Vegan Triathlete who has run 67 marathons. And while it is possible that living the life of one of the highest paid actresses in the world may be tough, it’s hard to know just how tough compared to 67 marathons.

Yes, it does take a little thought into what you eat on a vegan diet in order to meet your nutritional needs, just as you would on a meat-and-dairy based diet. In fact it would be easier to meet your nutritional needs as a vegan, as long as you eat enough calories in a day.

What would be difficult is trying to meet your nutritional requirements on a diet that is high in saturated fat and low in fibre, calcium and iron on an animal-product diet.

If Jolie is accurate in what she says that she was “not getting enough nutrition” that would indicate someone who is not getting enough calories or getting enough Food!

In fact, as Amanda Benham (Qualifications: Bachelor of Arts (Murdoch), Grad Dip Human Nutrition (Deakin), Grad Dip Nutrition & Dietetics (QUT), Master of Health Science (QUT), Dip Journalism (ACJ), Member of the Dietitians Association of Australia, DAA appointed expert on vegetarian nutrition, Accredited Practising Dietitian, Accredited Nutritionist
dietitian-nutritionist specialising in vegetarian and vegan nutrition, points out:

As far as nutritionally, people often think protein is a big issue. Protein is not a really big issue but instead of meat, people need to eat things like legumes, which is like your lentils and beans and things like that. Or there’s lots of different meat substitutes made now. Soy products like tofu and TVP are really good. And nuts are good too. So they’re all good sources of not only protein but iron and zinc, which often people think you can only get from meat.
… There is quite a bit of calcium in grains, also in almonds, and in soy products. So calcium isn’t exclusive to dairy products So finding other sources of calcium is a good idea.
… There’s no evidence that vegetarians have problems with either iron or protein. Vegetarians need to be more aware of vitamin B12. They do need to supplement with that or have fortified foods that have vitamin B12 added. And, vitamin D, which we can get from the sun, but if someone’s not getting out in the sun much, they need to be careful of vitamin D as well.

So maybe it was not the vegan diet that tried to kill Angelina, but her own lack of awareness of what she was eating and nutritional laziness to eat a well-balanced meal.


Feedback welcome.

11 May, 2010

Meat eaters are killing their children


Guest post: Del

This current generation of children, will be the first generation to live shorter lives than their parents. Up til now, each new generation has lived longer lives, due to advances in knowledge, medicine, health and hygiene practices, work practices. But we – in the Western World collectively – are killing our children.

De-evolution of Man

By letting large multinationals put profits before healthy nutritious food, by letting bio-tech companies engineer poisons and neuro-toxins and bacteria into food and calling it “genetically modified”, by allowing governments to irradiate food and grow it in toxic waste. By feeding children junk food because it’s easier for busy parents to acquiesce than cook a healthy meal. Because junk food has replaced real food.

Because meat and dairy producers feed their animals a chemical cocktail of growth hormones, rendered bodies parts of diseased animals (even to grass eating animals) even of their own species, road kill or euthanised pet dogs and cats; anti-biotics the same class used to treat humans which will leave humans vulnerable to the increase in antibiotic bacterias; toxic sludge, pesticides, insecticides, fertilisers; animal waste (manure) which can contain antibiotics and hormones, dirt, rocks, sand, wood; whatever junk is swept of the floor of the factory farms, plastic pellets for roughage as these animal diets contain little fibre. By the time the animal gets to slaughter or the milk is produced it may contain salmonella, pus, BLV (Bovine Leukemia virus), Mad Cows Disease (BSE – Bovine Spongieform Encephalopathy), Scrapie (a disease in sheep which is closely related to Mad Cows Disease), myco-bacterium paratubercolosis in milk.

Yum!


By feeding children a diet high in fast food, they are getting excessive amounts of chemicals, saturated fats, trans-fats, salt and sugars and depending where the food is grown or raised nuclear waste. This is leading to increases in diabetes, heart disease, kidney disease, anti-biotic resistance diseases, possible cancers, bacterias, viruses and toxins.

The end result is meat eaters are feeding their children a diet that will kill them.


Feedback welcome.

5 May, 2010

Is Obesity more socially acceptable than being Vegan?

There has been some discussion about this recently, about whether society (or the people/institutions in it) are more tolerant and accepting of an obese person than they are of a vegan. Since the the controversy It’s strange being in the eye of a media storm exploded regarding celebrity blogger Mia Freedman.

As a former fashion magazine editor and columnist, she caused a furor recently on a blog post about “gainers” Gainer blogs: Meet the people who think bigger is better.

Gainers deliberately gain weight, a lot of weight, super morbidly obese, not just lumpy, dumpy, chubby, but skin-melds-with-the-couch obese (so large that they can’t move, because their skin has fused with whatever bed or sofa they are sitting on).

Watching the attacks on Mia Freedman for her totally innocuous comments, from obese people who are offended by their choice to eat themselves to death questioned by someone who looks like she takes care of her health.

The critics went from defending an obese persons lifestyle choice to attacking the writer, Mia Freedman, not what she wrote. These Gainers defended their lifestyle like a mama lion defending her babies.

However as a friend noticed, where are the defenders of Veganism. Vegan get their children removed by government agencies for not feeding children animal products, equating veganism with child abuse, yet the woman at the centre of Mia’s article, is eating herself to death in front of her children.

Which raises the question, in our western society, it’s more acceptable to be Obese than Vegan? (side bar: is there such a thing as obese vegan?)

Vegans tend to be not overweight, I have never met a long term vegan who was over-weight, though some people take up a vegan diet (more correctly termed “strict vegetarian”) for weight-loss, and other are large to start with but gradually the weight comes down. The unofficial theory that has come up in talking with other vegan females about body image is: when you eat proper nutritious food your body settles at the weight it was always suppose to be.

Of course, if someone is super morbidly obese, their eating patterns have become disconnected from what their body is telling them it needs for nutritional requirements. For someone – especially a mother with young children (such as Donna Simpson, the woman at the centre of the article) – to set out to become 700 kilos probably needs some sort of therapy. This woman knows her eating will very likely kill her, leaving her children without a mother, yet, she goes on the internet, and allows strangers to pay to watch her eat.

What I found interesting about the whole Gainers controversy was the overwhelming numbers of fat people, obese people, mostly women, who attacked Mia Freedman for her comments, without taking the time to understand them. They have some kind of Obesity Pride movement going on. Size acceptance. Forcing society to treat people who set out to gain weight as a minority group who have been deprived of their rights. The effect is that super morbidly obese becomes normal. (And the effect this will have on a generation of children obese from birth will be disastrous in terms of health consequences.)

If an obese person is told to buy two plane tickets because they take up two seats, they raise hell like their civil rights have been denied. Hey, people! if you take up two seats, the airline can’t sell the second seat, you are depriving them of income and you act like that is equal to having your right to vote or free speech taken away? And, if you think that is bad, try getting a vegan meal on a flight. Last time I did that, despite ordering and checking, and then double checking, the best I got was “we seem to have misplaced the vegan meal, would kosher do?” well, looking at some kosher slaughtered meat (which causes intense suffering because to the animal, pre-stunning is not allowed) on my vegan tray, I would have to say No! It will not do! And yet the super morbidly obese person two rows ahead of me got full on pampering because they would not shut up about being made to pay for two seats.

Let’s talk about clothes shopping – my local chain store starts their sizes at 10 (Australian 10 = UK 12 = USA 8). All the media focus on is the super morbidly obese complaining they can not find clothes that fit. Not in my experience. I shop in the children’s department to find something that fits, because large chain fashion stores are more interested in catering to their obese customers. Far from not having options, obese people have more options than non-obese.

Yet, when it comes to clothes shopping some obese people act like they are being discriminated against because they have to pay more. If their clothes use up twice the amount of material as average sized clothing, why should they not pay more to reflect that.

Eaten out recently? Plate sizes that banquet sized. Meals that could feed a family of four served to one individual. Meals that contain a weeks worth of salt, sugar, saturated fat. And yes, everything has Fries with That. It’s not Small-Medium-Large anymore, it’s now Large-Extra Large-Super Extra Large. With extra cheese. Ok, now try finding a vegan meal at a chain restaurant.

Vegans are called extreme, have their food choices question, have their motives attacked, compared to “Peta terrorists” (as I heard recently), meanwhile society is being Super-sized, we have given up on the war on obesity. We seem to have accepted that obese is the new normal and instead of looking at ways for people to reach an acceptable healthy weight, we are just making everything bigger.

However, as Adventures Being Vegan shows, vegan is slowly getting the message across. Things are being to change.

Obese-defenders will say that being morbidly obese is a health issue while being vegan is a choice. I’m sorry, but to me it is not a choice. Faced with causing the slaughter of billions of animals for food, clothes, entertainment, porn, Mengeler science “experiments”, cleaning products or personal care products. I don’t see it as a choice.

If you don’t look after your body, where are you going to live?” Donna Aston


Feedback welcome.

8 October, 2009

Animal Experimentation – but it’s for good for everyone


Good scientists, altruistic and noble, good men and women, with only the best interests of their patients at heart. Seeking to find cures for diseases?

White-coat Nazi’s would be a better description.

The Tuskegee syphilis experiment was a experiment on poor, black men in Tuskegee Alabama that lasted 40 years (1932-1972), and refused to give treatments even after penicillin was invented.

Even when people tried to bring this issue to attention, the CDC (Center for Disease Control) over ruled them, and continued the experiment. The CDC wanted the Tuskegee study to continue until all the participants were dead.

The experiment only ended when a researcher went public, the spotlight of media attention was the only reason it ended. It is easy to imagine that these experiments would have continued if the media had not have found out.

This happened because the men involved were black and poor. It happened because people in charge did not care about the lives of those who were being experimented on.

People who do experiments on any living being, whether human or non-human, do not care about their patients, and they do not care about making a better society, they do these things because they can. They have a pathological cruelty and total lack of empathy, they do not see others as having any rights to life at all.

Animals and people become mere things, not individuals. The lives of a few are traded for some imagined good for everyone.

And if this is what they can do to people, imagine what they can do to animals, and people who have no rights. They do these things because they can.

If it is outrageous to do this to people, imagine what it is like for animals.

13 September, 2009

Super Size Me (full-length): Morgan Spurlock

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Super_Size_Me_, posted with vodpod

Morgan Spurlock’s expose on McDonalds as an example of Fast Food restaurants which have contributed to USAmerica becoming one of The most obese nations on earth.

Receiving an Academy Award nomination for this 2004 documentary which follows the film maker for 30-days during Febuary 2003 which he ate Only McDonalds food. He gave himself the following rules, eat only McDonalds, eat only products on the menu, eat three meals a day, consuming every item at least once, And, if offered the option to supersize, he took it. This documentary follows his journey and the impact of this diet on his lifestyle and health, both mental and physical.

He consumed an average of 5,000 calories (the equivalent of 9.26 Big Macs) per day during the experiment.

6 May, 2009

Protein On A Vegan Diet


How do you annoy a vegan? . . . Ask them where they get their protein.

Let’s ask a vegan body builder.

Robert Cheeke is champion body builder, and as he shows in this video, and says on his website, vegan protein is found in lots of accessible places: including

Quality protein sources include tofu, tempeh, nuts, seeds, beans, legumes, isolated protein powders and shakes, soy protein bars, nut butters, seitan, soymilks, and other soy products.
http://www.robertcheeke.com/?page=article_bodybuildingbasics

So, if a body builder can get adequate protein, then most vegans should be able to get adequate protein.

Robert Cheeke

Image Robert Cheeke, via Wikipedia


Where vegans get there protein is an issue that comes up pretty quickly in the conversation when someone finds out you are vegan or is contemplating a switching to a vegan diet (strict vegetarian).

It is a curious thing that people are concerned about their protein intake, a nutrient that most people, whether vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore rarely suffer from a deficiency of.

Kwashiorkor is a disease related to protein deficiency. How many people do you know have that? How many people have you ever heard about having that?

Kwashiorkor is found where there is poverty, extreme malnutrition, famine, natural disaster – it is found where there is a lack of food and nutrition. This suggests that where someone gets adequate general nutrition and enough calories, that person is likely to get enough protein.

In affluent western countries, kwashiorkor is related to severely restricted diets, such as macrobiotic (International Vegetarian Union (IVU) or living on junk food.

These examples show, that where there is adequate nutrition and calories it is not easy to get protein deficiency.

On the other side, excessive protein can lead to osteoporosis, and dehydration, kidney damage, and heart disease. How many people have you ever heard of with any of these things? How many people do you know with these diseases and medical conditions?

So which seems like a bigger problem to most people in western societies, protein deficiency or excess protein?


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DISCLAIMER: I am not a nutritionist, this is not medical advice, this is showing examples of where to get protein, this is a raising issues for people to ask questions regarding their own health if they think getting protein is a problem for vegans. If anyone has any questions regarding their own health, consult a medical professional.


Feedback welcome.