Updated: Feb 4
This is definitely unprecedented times when most of us are still in some sort of quarantine or hybrid version of that. With this crazy COVID-19... or should I say the COVID-19 lbs? Who hasn't gained weight through this pandemic?
Between the lack of gym availability, the lack of work available and the shear boredom of being stuck at home, it's no wonder we are all gaining weight and going nuts.
In one of my many Netflix adventures, I stumbled upon a documentary called "What the Health". This shocked me to the core, I couldn't even believe what I saw.
Before I get into that let's go back to my journey of trying to eat right and take control of my health pre-COVID. I've always struggled with my stomach, most of my life I didn't know what it was like to not have a stomach ache, no matter if I ate or not.
Eating For Your Blood Type:
As a child my mom struggled to find the right diet to get me regulated and she tried everything. At one point she found the "Eat Right For Your Blood Type" diet. She read every book and tried every recipe to help me with my stomach problems.
This way of eating was drastic, strict and a huge adjustment for a teenager that loved pizza and Dr. Pepper. Still I tried it and with some success it did seem to help with my stomach issues.
Basically it was a meat free diet based on fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes, and whole grains. (A Type) It did allow some cheese but it was considered a neutral. I love cheese, this was a HUGE struggle for me. WebMd has a great article describing the basics here.
Years went by and I strayed from this diet as some of the rules didn't really seem like they fit my reactions. Like it claimed that I shouldn't have any nightshade plants like tomatoes and peppers but I simply loved these and didn't seem to have a reaction to them.
I did find out later that there is a secretor non-secretor portion that affects this, which sounds weird but it did explain why even though I was an "A" blood type I could still eat some of the "avoid" list foods.
So, this made me question this entire diet all together. I will say that everyone is different and you have to find what fits with you and your desires. I wanted more than just a strict diet, I wanted to be free to eat flavorful things and eating all veggies just seemed boring to me.
This is a diet that I heard about and it seemed too good to be true. You mean I can eat meat and cheese and loose weight? Ok, I'm in!! I bought several Keto cookbooks and started cooking my way to ketosis.
-What's Ketosis? Ketosis is a metabolic state in which your body uses fat for fuel instead of carbs. Check out the article on Healthline to learn more about this diet here. I thought for sure this was it for me.
-Books that I ordered and loved were: Southern Keto My favorite recipe is the Bacon Stuffed Mushrooms.... I LOVE BACON!
This is another book I loved using: Keto Comfort Foods My Favorite Recipe is Buffalo Chicken Wings.
After implementing this diet I did lose 5lbs right away and I was excited, after all I wanted to shed that dreaded COVID-19 lbs. But after a few weeks I noticed that I felt extremely bloated and it was as if my stomach was as hard as a rock and not it a good way.
I got so excited about this diet I went to the grocery store and loaded up on cheese, meat and all the "healthy" fats I could find like butter, oil, cream...etc.
Quickly I realized I was going in the wrong direction when I realized I couldn't.....UM Well....GO!! I couldn't go at all.... that damn cheese backed me up so much I was in excruciating pain. I was taking psyllium husks 3 times a day, magnesium and folic acid just trying to get regular again.
I am not saying that this diet is bad or will do this to you, I'm sure it's successful in moderation and with the balance of dairy....maybe.
In Steps Vegan:
I saw this documentary about health and the meat and dairy industry. It truly changed my viewpoint all together about diet and health. Check it out here.
After I saw this I was truly shocked at what I was eating and how it was affecting my body and the environment. Some of the Stats:
WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION REPORT HAS CLASSIFIED BACON & SAUSAGE AS CARCINOGENIC TO HUMANS
DIABETES IS NOT CAUSED BY EATING A HIGH CARBOHYDRATE DIET OR SUGAR
ONE SERVING OF PROCESSED MEAT PER DAY INCREASED RISK OF DEVELOPING DIABETES BY 51%
WITHIN MINUTES OF EATING DEAD MEAT BACTERIA TOXINS, THE BODY GETS A BURST OF INFLAMMATION, STIFFENING OR PARALYZING THE ARTERIES
THE LEADING SOURCE OF SODIUM IN THE AMERICAN DIET FOR ADULTS IS CHICKEN
THE NUMBER ONE DIETARY SOURCE OF CHOLESTEROL IN AMERICA IS CHICKEN
EATING 1 EGG PER DAY IS JUST AS BAD AS SMOKING 5 CIGARETTES PER DAY FOR LIFE EXPECTANCY
THE NUMBER ONE SOURCE OF SATURATED FAT IS DAIRY
FISH HAVE BECOME MERCURY SPONGES
TOXINS BIO-ACCUMULATE IN FISH FLESH
93% OF DIOXIN EXPOSURE COMES FROM EATING ANIMAL PRODUCTS
COMMERCIAL ANIMALS ARE LARGELY FED GENETICALLY MODIFIED (GMO) CORN AND SOY
EATING ORGANIC MEAT WILL NOT HELP YOU AVOID CONTAMINANTS
MOST OF THE WORLD'S GMO CROPS ARE CONSUMED BY LIVESTOCK WITH DAIRY COWS CONSUMING THE MOST PER ANIMAL
THERE IS A STRONG LINK BETWEEN DAIRY FOODS AND AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE
MOST PEOPLE IN THE WORLD ARE LACTOSE INTOLERANT
CHILDREN ARE SUFFERING FROM CONDITIONS LINKED TO DAIRY CONSUMPTION
DAIRY PRODUCTS HAVE PUS
COUNTRIES WITH THE HIGHEST RATES OF DAIRY CONSUMPTION HAVE THE HIGHEST RATES OF OSTEOPOROSIS
ANY ANIMAL PROTEIN BOOSTS THE LEVEL OF CANCER PROMOTING GROWTH HORMONE IGF-1
DAIRY CAN INCREASE A MAN'S RISK OF GETTING PROSTATE CANCER 34%
FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD BREAST CANCER, JUST ONE SERVING OF WHOLE DAIRY A DAY CAN INCREASE THEIR CHANCE OF DYING FROM THE DISEASE 49%, AND DYING FROM ANY DISEASE 64%
PHARMACEUTICAL INDUSTRY SELLS 80% OF ALL ANTIBIOTICS MADE IN THE UNITED STATES TO ANIMAL AGRICULTURE
RAISING ANIMALS FOR FOOD PRODUCES MORE GREENHOUSE GASES THAN THE ENTIRE TRANSPORTATION SECTOR
LOW FAT, PLANT-BASED DIET IS MORE THAN TWICE AS POWERFUL AT CONTROLLING AND/OR REVERSING DIABETES, THAN THE ADA DIET RECOMMENDING MEAT AND DAIRY
If these stats don't freak you out, I encourage you to do your research. I never blindly put my faith in anything without research first! Take Action!
I looked into this more and found the list of athletes that have gone plant based here.
1. Novak Djokovic: Number one tennis champion in the world
2. Tia Blanco: Professional Surfer and Beyond Meat Ambassador
3. Steph Davis: World Leading Professional Rock Climber
4. Venus Williams: Tennis Great
5. Mike Tyson: The First Heavyweight Boxer to Hold the WBA, WBC, and IBF Titles.
6. Chris Paul: The NBA's Newest Vegan Who Was Influenced by The Game Changers
7. Colin Kaepernick: NFL Player and Social Activist
8. Cam Newton: New England Patriots' Newest Quarterback is Vegan
9. Elijah Hall: American Sprinter Training for The 2021 Tokyo Olympics
10. Morgan Mitchell: Omplyian Sprinter Who Won her First Title at 2014 Australian National Championships
11. Lewis Hamilton: Formula One Driver Who Credits His Vegan Diet For Allowing Him to Be Victorious
12. Patrik Baboumian: Arguably The Strongest Man in The World
13. Arnold Schwarzenegger: Former Proessional BodyBuilder, Producer, The Game Changers, and former Governor of California
How Will I Ever Get Enough Protein?
I think this is the usual first question if your considering going vegan.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT:
Black Beans- 15g protein in 1 cup serving (cooked) = equivalent to 50g of pork loin or 80g of chicken meat from drumsticks (2 drumsticks)
Almonds-12g protein in ¼ cup serving of almonds, or 1 tbsp of almond butter = equivalent to 1 cup of full fat milk
Quinoa- 8g for 1 cup serving (cooked) = equivalent of 1 slice of non-fat mozzarella cheese
Buckwheat- 6g per 1 cup serving (cooked) = equivalent of 1 large egg
Tempeh- 20g of protein in 100g of tempeh = equivalent to 30g of protein in 100g of a chicken breast
Hemp Seed- 31g of protein per 100g serving = equivalent of 85g of lean beef (1 serving)
Hummus- 8g of protein per 100g serving = equivalent of 1 cup of skimmed milk or 3 spoonfuls of minced beef
Lentils- 17.86 grams per cup (boiled)
Green Peas- 9 grams of protein per cooked cup (240 ml), which is slightly more than a cup of milk (32).
Oats and Oatmeal- Half a cup (120 ml) of dry oats provides you with approximately 6 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber.
Where do I start?
Here's a few of my favorite Cook Books So Far:
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Choose What's Best For You:
Whichever choice you make about your diet you should always listen to your body. You truly should feel great after you eat food not guilty or heavy or depressed. There is another way of eating that doesn't have to involve extremes in one way or another.
I highly encourage you to take a b-12 and Iron supplement if you become vegan. These important nutrients only come from red meat and if missed could cause head aches and in extreme cases anemia.
Throughout my journey I am going to share with you some awesome recipes and my weight loss goals and achievements. Let's help each other learn and grow every day! As I write this I have been on the vegan diet for 2 weeks now and I've lost 6lbs and 2 inches on my waste. I have so much more energy and I can actually keep up with my son.
What about kids?
I will say that I have one of the pickiest eaters I have ever seen, my son is 4 years old and has a very specific palate for food. I was very nervous about trying vegan with him but guess what? We went from chicken nuggets and macaroni and cheese to beans and rice with such ease.
My son loves it, he eats carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, loves all fruit and his entire diet has changed his mood and his sleep habits. My son has food allergies to dairy, gluten and soy so this has helped him greatly.
Not to mention diner time is less stressful knowing he's actually going to eat a healthy meal without a debate. Trust me there are recipes out there to help kids eat veggies! I'll share some in my future posts. Plus, they have vegan mac and cheese if your kids still need that fix! Good luck, and please share your recipes as I will share mine!