good intentions

You are the captain of your ship

 

I remember telling my mom I’m switching to a plant based diet, that I’m vegan. Nothing from an animal at all. My mom was shocked, understandably. To someone who grew up during a time there weren’t really any vegans and to  my mom, who in her mind veganism is ‘extreme’, it was a bit of a shock.

I think her first question was ‘Where are you going to get your protein from?’.  Then I believe the next thing my mom said was ‘make sure to mix foods so your protein is complete’. I love my mom. Like all moms, friends, family your loved ones want the best for you. My mom wanted to make sure that I was still taking care of myself and not risking my health, according to what she knows. And unfortunately a lot of what we know, especially when it comes to following a plant based diet is misinformation.

I want to focus on one myth that still lives, you need to mix your foods when vegan to get a full amino acid profile.

That’s correct, this is a myth.

Plant based foods

Let’s look at how this myth started. Back in the early seventies, a book was written, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé. This is where the phrase protein complimenting came about. The author wrote that in order to be a healthy vegetarian you needed to eat a combination of certain plant foods at the same time in order to get all the amino acids the body needs.

Lappé, neither a doctor or a nutritionist was a sociologist who was trying to end world hunger. 10 years later she admitted to her mistake in her anniversary version of the book. But the damage had been done. Have you ever read an article from a newspaper, or news web site and that article was very damning, controversial? The article is so controversial that it sells a record number of papers, or results in a record number of page hits. But later the news corporation finds out it made a mistake and writes a correction, or retraction. Where does that correction end up? Usually buried where you’ll probably never see it.

But the damage has been done. It’s obvious. Something from a book written in the early ’70’s is still alive.

Fortunately we have the internet! You can do your own research to come to your conclusions and no longer have to rely on people you know, books, or other sources of information. You have the power to access research papers, to read published articles from renowned and respected authorities. Is there still crap out there? Absolutely so you have to be smart about it. But why wouldn’t you be smart about something as important as the food you put into your body. I’ll use the analogy that I have used in the past. You buy yourself a McLaren F1 car, the fastest production car of it’s time. A highly tuned car made to perform to peak limits. You dropped over a million to buy this car. And…you pull up to the gas station and put in regular gas! After all you just dropped over a million on this car and you are tapped financially and can’t afford the extra 10 cents per litre for premium. You drive away wondering why the car isn’t performing as it should. It just doesn’t have the acceleration. But unbeknownst to you, it’s not only the acceleration that is suffering but also the life of the engine.  I like to think it’s the same with our bodies. What you put into your body has short term implications but also long term. The long term being disease. Read some of my previous posts regarding the impact of animal protein on our health.

But I digress.

Back to the amino acid profile. Lappé in the 10th aniversary edition of the book, and in later additions corrects her mistake and clearly states that all plant foods typically consumed as sources of protein contain all the essential amino acids.

Unfortunately the myth just won’t go away. In a 2001 article the Nutrition Committee of the American Heart Association wrote, “Although plant proteins form a large part of the human diet, most are deficient in one or more essential amino acids and are therefore regarded as incomplete proteins.” Medical doctor John McDougall wrote to the editor pointing out the mistake but was denied by Barbara Howard, Ph.D., head of the Nutrition Committee who failed to cite any scientific reference  that the committee was correct. Yikes!

But, check it out for yourself here or here or here.  Don’t take my word for it. Listen to the experts, the real experts. People like Dr. Kim Williams, president of the American College of Cardiology who is a vegan. Hmm, head of the American College of Cardiology and is a vegan.

It’s not easy

It’s not easy following a plant based diet, or being vegan, partly because of the brain washing of society that: we need to eat meat/dairy and you are a pussy if you don’t. Lot’s of people perpetuating the stereotype that eating that almost raw steak makes you a man. Vegans are wimps. Tell that to the Diaz brothers, the toughest MMA fighters and yes, vegan. Funny how people will say you need to eat meat/dairy to perform well yet here’s a couple vegans killing it at the toughest triathlete event out there. And people have a hard time letting people make their choices. And don’t ever get sick or injured. When this happens people will be quick to tell you that you are injured because you are vegan and you better start consuming red meat now! I’m not making this shit up, I’ve seen it.

Being vegan can be tough. Educate yourself to help you reinforce the idea you are doing the right thing. It’s your health. And remember, those who tell you different for the most part (there are haters out there, but just ignore them) are doing so because they care for you. Tell them in a nice way that it’s a myth and why it’s a myth. You just might open some eyes and begin the start of an interesting dialogue. And be happy knowing you are doing your part to end the needless suffering of countless animals for no reason at all.

Yours in health,

Darryl

* I am not a nutritionist. Please consult a health care professional if changing your diet.

 

Confusing what is real

“These wounds they will not heal
Fear is how I fall
Confusing what is real”

Chester Bennington

Round 2. If you read my post last week you read how there is a lot of misinformation out there, for various reasons. People’s 15 minutes of fame, money, and did I say money? We live in a capitalist society and greed rules. Greed is good to quote Gordon Gekko. Greed is everywhere. Sometimes it hits us over the head, but most times it sneaks in, in the form of pleasant advertising showing us how our live can be better, or is not complete unless we eat this food, drink this beer or soda, or drive this car. Politicians are bought off, CEO’s make huge bonuses by hitting or exceeding wall street estimates. Do you honestly think the CEO who denies climate change exists so more of his product can be sold really believes that? I don’t. I think he believes it does exist but doesn’t care. Why would he? He makes millions a year and can afford the increase in food costs due to climate change, can afford to move due to rising sea levels because of climate change, can afford to do what ever to mitigate the impact of climate change. I’m not a cynical person. I just think this is the reality we live in.

What can we do? Lots! First we can educate ourselves so we remain as healthy as we can. We can start by eating foods that heal instead of foods that cause disease. Take care of yourself instead of relying on others to do that. Don’t count on your doctor. Yeah, that doctor who had a total of maybe 20 hours of nutrition education.

Ok. Enough of the heavy stuff. I’m ready for comedy gold and I’m sure part two of “25 Surprising JUNK FOODS That Are Actually Good For You” will give me that. Having said that, let’s get into it.

 

Blue M&M’s and sports drinks: Yes, you just read Blue M&M’s and sports drinks. Seriously. “The dye in these things might just one day help treat spinal cord injuries”. I wish my post was a video so you could laugh at the look on my face right now. So go load up on Blue M&M’s and sports drinks because maybe the dye will help treat spinal cord injuries? I really don’t know what to say here. This has to be trolling at it’s best. What does the possibility of the dye used in Blue M&M’s and sports drinks possibly helping with spinal cord injury have to do with people eating and drinking it? Really. Did he say consuming Blue M&M’s and sports drinks will help prevent spinal cord injury, or consuming Blue M&M’s and sports drinks will aid in the research of curing spinal cord injury? Nope. But go ahead and eat and drink this stuff loaded with sugar that most people don’t need. Hold on, what is the scientific name for the blue dye used in Blue M&M’s and sports drinks? I sure hope it’s not one of those names that you can’t pronounce. Didn’t he praise Ben and Jerry’s ice cream because it’s not full of junk you can’t pronounce. There’s no fake green in the pistachio, he says. So fake green bad, fake blue good? Got it. Wait, if only fake green would one day cure spinal cord injury… then other ice creams would make the list!

And that is the only reason  Blue M&M’s and sports drinks made the list. Sports drinks are good, the natural ones. They offer a lot of benefits such as replenishing electrolytes that were lost due to heavy sweating, and they hydrate. But they get abused. I have a young student who shows up to class with a blue mouth from drinking sports drinks before training. Totally unnecessary. Our classes are not long enough for you to replenish your electrolytes that you would need to consume a sports drink, especially before showing up for class. And he’s 7! No 7 year old need to drink a sports drink!

Cheese: Ah yes, gold old cheese. Tastes awesome. It really does. Some people have a hard time giving up cheese when they switch to a plant based diet. I get it. Aged cheddar, I mean really aged, was something I enjoyed. But I’m fine not eating it. Tempeh kind of took it’s place. Love me some Tempeh.

So, why did it make it to the list? Because increasing milk and cheese consumption to 5 times a day has resulted in weight loss and loss of fat around the belly, apparently studies have found. I can pretty much guarantee that these studies were funded by the dairy industry. Wait, forgot something, consuming that much cheese, dairy will also lower risk of heart disease according to Mike. Grass fed though.

Cheese, pure fat, saturated fat. Read my last post to read the studies linking saturated fat to increased risk of heart disease. Or, let’s look at the following from the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine:

Saturated fats, which you’ll find in animal products and oils, pose significant heart-health risks, too: For every 1 percent increase in energy from saturated fat intake, LDL cholesterol concentration increases by about 2 percentage points.43 Similar patterns emerge with dietary cholesterol; for every 100 milligrams consumed, the equivalent of half an egg, total cholesterol increases by about two to 10 points.44 The leading sources of saturated fat in the American diet, which often come prepackaged with dietary cholesterol, are cheese

Funny thing though, isn’t it weird that the President of the American College of Cardiology is a vegan? The president of the American College of Cardiology is vegan…hmm. Vegan, that means he doesn’t eat cheese. But it lowers the risk of heart disease. What does he know, right?

Ok. I’m regretting this post already. I’m pissed, frustrated and can’t believe the crap coming out of Mike’s mouth. Hey, did you know drinking Coke Zero will increase your financial worth by 1,000%? Studies have shown that increasing your aspartame consumption by drinking Coke Zero may also somehow magically increases the amount of money in your bank account but it doesn’t matter anyway because after consuming all that aspartame you’ll be dead anyway.

Ugh.

Ready for it?

Butter: Butter, saturated fat and cholesterol. Full of things good for the body and your brain. K2 though. Clog your arteries just to get K2.

And last……..

Pork Rinds?

And the winner is pork rinds! Skin from a pig. The number 1 health food that is actually healthy for us. Because of protein. Way more protein that potato chips. That’s why. Consuming animal protein increases our IGF-1 level, a cancer promoting hormone. We should be looking at reducing our consumption of animal protein to reduce the risk of cancer. But why is it healthy if it’s full of protein? How does that really benefit us? Doesn’t reduce aging of our cells, doesn’t reduce risk of cancer. I don’t think it really benefits us at all. All this for 18 grams of protein. But for sure, forego the potato chips.

It’s up to you

Don’t fall for this shit. It’s your health. You are responsible for your health. Only you can choose what you eat so choose wisely. You’ll be glad you did today, tomorrow and years from now.

And you don’t need all this crap. Trust me. Eating a plant based diet is not hard, is full of variety, and the food tastes awesome! So much variety, flavours, spices and so much food that heals you.

Yours in health,

Darryl

Hey, did you know that this is post 199? 200 just around the corner. Let me know if there is something you would like me to post about for number 200.

 

 

there’s nothing in the streets

“I’ll tip my hat to the new constitution
Take a bow for the new revolution
Smile and grin at the change all around”

Tired, overwhelmed, duped, lied to. That’s how we can feel when we hear information that contradicts what we thought to be true. A recent example is that the American Heart Association now says Coconut oil is bad for your health. A few years ago a lot of people were praising the benefits of Coconut oil. So who do you believe?

Another is eggs. Vilified (for good reasons) because of cholesterol and saturated fat but now you can find lots of resources saying it’s perfectly fine to eat eggs and even some resources recommending you eat eggs. I can go on with other examples (wait for it) but not at this point.

It comes down to this. You need to be smart about what you believe. You need to either find a resource that you have found be be trustworthy in the sense you know they dig deep into research and use reputable resources or you need to do the homework yourself.

Remember, it’s your health here. It’s easy to lose focus of that in a sense. Many of us don’t realize that what we do today can have a profound impact on our health down the road; 10, 20,30 or more years. Then it’s too late. If we are constantly eating foods that are bad for us, and I’m not just talking about ‘junk food’, I’m talking about foods high in saturated fat, cholesterol and foods that have been classified as a  carcinogen then we are fooling ourselves if we think we are taking care of ourselves from a dietary perspective. We are what we repeatedly do a philosopher once said. And based on various factors; activity level, environment, stress, genetics, we may be in for a rude awakening.

Besides, who wants to age and become less mobile, overweight, sick, unable to do what we used to. Eating poorly ages our cells, damages our cells and can age us at a faster rate then we would like.

This doesn’t need to happen. You have a choice. The information is out there waiting for you.

And, there is a lot of crap out there. Really. The benefits of YouTube are also it’s detriments. Anyone can post a video and anyone can see it and end up misinformed to the point it has a negative impact to their health. I’m serious. When I say negative impact I mean that following advice from some of these people can result in heart disease, cancer, obesity or other ailments. I’m not being over dramatic my any means. I’ll show you what I mean.

The evidence

Let’s take this video for example. The title is very enticing: ‘25 Surprising JUNK FOODS That Are Actually Good For You’. You come across this link and you are thinking ‘awesome, junk food I can eat that is good for me!’. Who would not want to read this? Everyone loves junk food. We can’t go though life following the line every day. We need to deviate once in a while be it rewarding ourselves for hard work, or just the fact that junk food tastes great. 

But now we have someone, a really irresponsible person who is giving us the reasons why 25 junk foods are good for us. So the possibility is now there that people will no longer think of these foods as junk food and will consume them more frequently.

I’m going to go though this video looking at the 25 items, not all of them but the ones I’m concerned with in the sense of the damage they do to our bodies. Let’s get started.

The Vid

Mike, the creator of this vid starts of by saying there are some positive benefits of junk food. It’s like saying I save $100 off of the $999 TV I just bought. No, you spent $999 not saved $100. How can there be health benefits of junk food when at the same time there are negatives and the negatives do damage to our bodies.

Having said that, let’s get into it:

Beef jerky: Mike says it’s pretty darn good for you, mostly protein with little to no sugar. Remember this part, sugar is bad. That’s what he’s saying when he points out that there is little to no sugar. High in sodium, which increases the risk of heart disease and stroke, Also the World Health Organization has cited processed red meat as a type 1 carcinogen right there with tobacco, arsenic, and pesticides. Wait, you are promoting the eating of a type 1 carcinogen. What?

Red Meat: Mike starts off by saying red meat has been blamed for almost every health boogey man one can imagine, from heart attacks to cancer. YES BECAUSE IT IS THE BOOGEY MAN WHEN IT COMES TO HEART ATTACKS AND CANCER! He then goes on to say that more recent studies stating that there is not enough data to connect eating red meat to cancer, heart disease and strokes. Wait, oh, here’s one, oh, and another, It’s got me wondering though. Why would the President of the American College of Cardiology want heart disease patients to eat  vegan Diets? Maybe because he wants to prevent heart disease.

He also says there is no consistent evidence showing eating read meat greatly raises cholesterol levels. Funny because the American Heart Association advocates against eating red meat due to it raising cholesterol and it’s saturated fat. Vitamin D. That’s why we should eat red meat Mike goes on to say because it’s good for bones and breast health. The FDA serving is 85 grams, which is really small, and this serving has 4% of the RDA for vitamin D. Yet you get lots of saturated fat, and cholesterol. Hey, it also contains zinc. Woo hoo. Then Mike goes on about grass fed beef. Right, grass fed makes it better because of Conjugated linoleic acid which aids in fat loss. Hmm, get more Conjugated linoleic acid but increase risk of heart disease, stroke, Alzheimers, and cancer due to saturated fat and cholesterol. How about I just get my Conjugated linoleic acid from a supplement and skip the disease? Decisions decisions. Oh wait, my bad, Mike says it’s good for us so no worries, it may be just what our body needs. That’s what Mike said. Go ahead and eat that stake because it may be just what our body needs.

Peanut butter: I’m on board with this as long as it’s not process with added sugar, oil, salt. Just peanuts. That’s what peanut butter should be. But Mike instead uses a jar of Jiff peanut butter which is full of sugar, hydrogenated oil, and salt. Way to get the message out there Mike.

Ice Cream: ‘It’s not healthy healthy’ as Mike says. What does that mean? He continues, ‘But compared to other brands of ice cream, it doesn’t contain a bunch of junk you can’t pronounce’. Always made with milk from cows that aren’t treated with artificial hormones which do come through to humans in milk he continues. Right, be worried about artificial hormones. Milk by nature is high in estrogen, a hormone as it is designed to get a calf as big as quickly as possible. Also, cows are impregnated as soon as possible to keep the milk flowing so that milk you are consuming could be coming from a pregnant cow which increases estrogen levels in milk. More and more studies are linking cows milk to disease. Here is an excerpt from a study of the impact of hormones in dairy:

It is thought that the great concern about dairy foods hormone content is steroid hormones especially estrogens due to current epidemiological evidence, which indicating most probable effects of them in initiating and provoking of breast and prostate cancers

Give me another scoop of that healthy junk food ice cream full of hormones from pregnant lactating cows so I can increase my risk of breast and prostate cancer. Funny, I didn’t hear Mike mention that. Oh right, it’s not full of stuff with words we cannot pronounce and Mike is too busy contradicting himself. Remember to eat your beef jerky because it’s low in sugar, right? Hmm, yet he says ice cream is healthy. Ice cream, not low in sugar at all. Has Mike confused you yet?

The burrito: Antibiotic free humanely raised beef. Yet beef that still contains saturated fat, cholesterol, heme iron. Studies are showing the increased risk of colorectal cancer due to heme iron which comes from red meat. And more and more studies are showing the increased risk of various cancers from consuming red meat.

Humanely raised tho.

Eggs: Ugh, I’m doing my best not to lose my sh*t as I go through Mike’s video. Eggs, demonized like red meat Mike exclaims. Saturated fat, cholesterol, they aren’t bad for you Mike states. He even says it mockingly, waving his hands around – ‘Cholesterol and fat equals bad stigma’. Yeah, stigma, because of all those studies that show cholesterol and saturated fats are bad for us. Those wacky scientists and their studies, how silly. He than says most americans hospitalized for heart disease have ‘normal’ (Mike’s air quotes) cholesterol levels. Yes, normal. Normal as what most americans have. The healthy level of LDL cholesterol is 50 – 70 milligrams /deciliter. Most americans have levels around 111.

So eggs are healthy, right? Let’s look at the following that speaks to the fact that the USDA does not allow egg producers to call eggs healthy or nutritious:

‘For example, one email shows an egg company trying to put out a brochure on healthy snacking for kids. But because of existing laws against false and misleading advertising, the head of the USDA’s poultry research and promotion programs reminds the company that eggs or egg products cannot be couched as being healthy or nutritious. “The words nutritious and healthy carry certain connotations, and because eggs have the amount of cholesterol they do, plus the fact that they’re not low in fat, [the words healthy and nutritious] are problematic.” 

Then Mike goes on to say that we need to get cholesterol from good sources like eggs, ‘rather than over processed industrialized sources like vegetable oils.’ Hmm? Cholesterol in vegetable oils? A quick search of cronometer shows that vegetable oils contain zero cholesterol. Here’s a search for olive oil on google. Just what I though, 0 cholesterol. Oh, if you are bored, here the same search using the generic vegetable oil.

But hey, low in carbs! Wait, didn’t you recommend ice cream, ketchup, peanut butter (jiff with the added sugar), graham crackers. I really hope no one is buying this crap.

Lastly, studies are showing the link between consuming animal protein, not plant protein causes cancer.

“Nutrition controls genes that control cancer.” Dr. T. Campbell, PhD. Want to know more? Read The China Study.

Bacon: Saturated fat. Cholesterol. Must be good for us because Mike says it’s a healthy junk food. Packed with protein Yo. Bacon is good because protein.

Ahh yes, but choline. We need to eat bacon to get Choline, it helps prevent Alzheimer’s?!? Bacon is healthy for the brain Mike says. So Alzheimer’s, a vascular disorder, is helped by consuming saturated fat, cholesterol, things that cause atherosclerosis which causes plaque build up inside your arteries. Arteries are blood vessels that carry oxygen-rich blood to your heart and other parts of your body, like the brain. And plaque is made up of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.

Yet bacon is brain food because it contains Choline. Riiight. I can’t effin believe this! You are telling people it’s ok to eat bacon because it will prevent Alzheimer’s! Holy F*ck!!! People aren’t buying into this shit, are they? My gosh no one wants anyone to have to go through Alzheimer’s or have a love one to suffer what Alzheimer’s means. I’m going through this right now. I visited my step dad a couple weeks ago and he did not know who I was. The first time this happened. I’m still trying to deal with it.

But, it gets better. Omega 3 acids (all 0.1 grams) as well as the Choline helps prevent heart disease. Yet we know that atherosclerosis, the  causes heart disease, stroke due to the narrowing of our arteries is from consuming too much saturated fat and cholesterol.

I’m sitting right now and I’m exhausted, mentally. I’m calling it a day even though I have more to cover. I’ll do that another day. It get’s better. You’ll never guess what Mike’s number 1 pick is.

Part of me thinks that this is just someone trolling, but then part of me thinks that this is someone trying to get more hits, trying to make more money.

But the sad thing is people will watch this and use it to justify eating more bacon and other crap. “Hey, bacon’s awesome. I’m eating bacon and increasing my Choline! Killing off that Alzheimer’s gene. My brain is super healthy right now dude!. I saw it on YouTube.’

Stay tuned…

Darryl

 

 

got milk?

Hopefully not

I touched on this a bit in one of my last posts, the assumption that we need dairy to be healthy, to have strong bones, or to feed to our babies. I’m going to touch on this in today’s post but mainly the subject is calcium and how we should be getting calcium. And it’s not from dairy.

Got Milk?

From Got Milk, Milk, it does a body good, milk mustache on sports figures, milk programs in schools, the food pyramid, happy looking cows we have been marketed to from an early age and marketed to death by the dairy board. And they have done an outstanding job. Really! After relentless prodding from a co worker as to why I don’t consume dairy, I asked ‘would you drink dog milk, cat milk, mouse milk?’. They looked at me disgustingly and said ‘that’s not the same thing’. Really? There folks is the power of dairy marketing. No one bats an eye while they consume lactating fluids from a cow.

And it’s not just marketing, its pressure, from medical professionals to peer pressure. People have been vilified, mocked, made fun of by their family, friends when told they are not going to consume dairy or give their kid dairy, specifically milk. Doctors will tell you you need milk for healthy strong bones, it’s the perfect food they say. Sports figures, the ones everyone knows in commercials and in magazines smiling holding a glass of milk and donning a milk mustache. It must be good for us, right? You will be told first to cut out the chips, pop, greasy food before being told to cut out milk.

Are they right? Is milk the perfect food?

No. It’s not. Actually it’s really bad for you and we don’t need it. Before I go any further it is my responsibility to inform you that I am not a medical professional, not a certified nutritionist. Whenever changing your diet, please consult a medical professional or doctor.

What is it?

Hmm, what is milk’s purpose. To feed another species from infancy throughout adulthood? To make human’s bodies really strong by strengthening their bones and providing lot’s of protein, vitamin D? Or, is it to feed a newborn calf weighing about 65 lbs and bring that calf to a weight of about 500 lbs in one year, as quickly as possible. It has all the things in it to do this, higher levels of proteins, fat, hormones. That’s probably why the level of protein in cows milk is over 3x the amount of protein in breast milk per same size serving. I believe that breast milk has all the things an infant needs in the right proportions. So why would we give it to a baby?

And why would we continue to drink it for the rest of our lives? Let’s look at nature. Do other mammals continue to drink it’s mom’s milk though out life? I like to think that ‘nature’ knows what it’s doing. If there was a need for a baby deer, lion, etc. to have it’s mom’s milk as an adult than I would think nature would have those animals continue to feed their babies into adult hood. Just like Colostrum is produced for a newborn by it’s mom for the first few days before milk appears, it has a purpose. It’s purpose to give a new born all the nutrients it needs at the beginning of life. But as we grow we have other ways to get those nutrients.

The bad side of it

Dairy does our bones strong, right? Let’s take a look, let’s see what Amy Lanou Ph.D., nutrition director for the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in Washington, D.C., has to say:

“The countries with the highest rates of osteoporosis are the ones where people drink the most milk and have the most calcium in their diets. The connection between calcium consumption and bone health is actually very weak, and the connection between dairy consumption and bone health is almost nonexistent.”

And lets look at what Case-Control Study of Risk Factors for Hip Fractures in the Elderly. American Journal of Epidemiology. Vol. 139, No. 5, 1994 concluded:

“Consumption of dairy products, particularly at age 20 years, was associated with an increased risk of hip fracture in old age.”

And let’s look at this:

“And the 12 year long Harvard Nurses’ Health Study found that those who consumed the most calcium from dairy foods broke more bones than those who rarely drank milk. This is a broad study based on 77,761 women aged 34 through 59 years of age.”

Wow, I thought milk makes our bones strong?

So why is this? Although milk is high in calcium, it is also high in animal protein which results in our body turning acidic. This is believed to cause the leaching of calcium from our bones.

Also, there are things in milk that you many not care to consume. I think if you are going to eat/drink something you should be fine with what’s in it, not make that face ‘I can’t believe you just told me that … is in this’. Because dairy is a business, and businesses are in business to make money, rules are set for what are allowable limits of things in food and what we drink. Stuff gets into food, it happens. Did you know that in 1 teaspoon of milk it is allowable for there to be 2 million pus cells? I’m not trying to freak you out, that’s just what is allowed. Is there always pus in milk? I’m sure some milk is available that probably has much less pus, and some producers of milk that try to maximize profit by cutting costs that have more pus. It’s like anything, there’s quality and than there’s quantity. But you don’t always get to choose where your milk comes from. Milk is in a lot of the food we consume, cheese being the main one. That pizza you ate with cheese, did the milk come from your mom and pop dairy farm you know so well and produce great dairy, or did it come from one of the large dairy farms that are maximizing profits by keeping costs low? You just don’t know.

Again, not trying to be a fear monger but what about disease? Before the first case of mad cow disease no one thought of getting a disease from eating beef, yet it happened. Could we see the same thing happen with dairy?

Lastly let’s talk about hormones. Estrogen. Milk is produced by a lactating cow and sometimes a pregnant lactating cow. Milk, full of hormones to get that calf as large as possible as quickly as possible. Yet people are concerned about raised estrogen levels due to eating soy. Let’s look at Okinawa, Japan. It’s common for people to live past 100 years with much less disease than the western world. A diet high in rice, tofu, sweet potato, bamboo, seaweed, etc., yet have a very low risk of hormone-dependent cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer. Wow, that goes against what we have been told about consuming soy.

So, what?

So what do we then eat to get our calcium? Lots to choose from. Kale, Tempeh, Almond butter, Almond milk (have you heard in the USA the dairy industry is trying to have a law passed that only milk from a cow can be called milk? Wonder why, maybe they are afraid of losing sales?), Broccoli, Oranges, Figs, Amaranth, Navy Beans and the list goes on. In other words, we can get all the calcium we need without harming any animals. No animals harmed.

Awesome, right?

I think so. Forgive me if I sound like somewhat of a conspiracy theorist but we need to do our own homework, our own research. We cannot take what we have been told, are being told as the truth. There are motives at work. I’ve seen it myself where I work. I work for a huge company that I won’t name that a few years ago had a leader ship change at the highest level. All communication meetings over two years we were told that all changes were done to grow the brand, to increase sales and that the rumors of being sold were not true. Guess what. Almost 3 years later it comes out that the person brought in because of this leadership change was brought in to prepare the company for it’s sale, which happened. Basically we were lied to for the benefit of the company, it’s share holders. Farming is an industry, dairy is an industry. Yes, so is vegetable farming a business.

So if preventing harm to animals and preventing their unneeded death is not enough to move you away from consuming dairy, do it for your own health. Reduce your risk of disease, increase your level of performance, reduce your risk of bone fractures and osteoporosis due to loss of calcium.

An argument thrown my way lately was ‘we’ve been doing it for hundreds of years and we’re all fine’. Not sure that we are all fine. Disease is higher and keeps increasing. We’ll, we’ve been consuming dairy for only about the last 10,000 years. It wasn’t always in our diet. And, did you know that doctors used to spit on wounds to heal them? We used to bleed people to bleed out the sickness, doctors would advertise the best cigarettes to smoke, doctors would drill holes in the skulls of patients to treat seizures and migraines. Yikes! Just because we’ve done things, or are doing things, doesn’t make it the best thing for us. As we learn more, should we change what we do, or keep doing the same thing even though it is harmful to us?

Lastly

Exercise. Especially resistance training. Want strong bones? Along with a healthy diet be sure to add resistance training to your exercise regiment. Along with countless other benefits resistance training will help you in having strong bones.

Yours in health,

Darryl

back on the line

As promised.

 

As I’m nearing 200 posts I’ve been racking my brain to come up with interesting, engaging articles. So I thought why not have one article that encompasses what most people are needing information on. So, I hope this article meets 90% of your requirements.

 

Lets get started.

 

Sleep

I believe in our western society sleep gets underrated. Most of us work too many hours each day and with the lack of time outside of work sleep gets pushed aside for other things. Or, due to various reasons we just can’t get to sleep. Let’s look at some of the reasons:

  • Distractions – Many of us have a TV in the room. Keeping the TV on keeps the brain engaged and makes it tough to fall to sleep. Also, the light and audio from the TV prevents us from having a deep sleep, the sleep we need when left on. Turn it off. Leave it off. Phones and tablets/laptops are common items people bring to bed. Once again a distraction that may push out going to sleep another hour to two. Went to bed at 10 with all good intentions of falling asleep and now it’s midnight and 15 youtube videos later. Yeah, I’m just as guilty.
  • Diet – I have no issues with eating  before bed. Some people believe that you shouldn’t have anything to eat after dinner but I have no issue with it. Just don’t have food high in simple carbs. This could raise your blood sugar levels and prevent you from getting to that sleepy state or even enter into a deep sleep. If you are going to eat or snack have something higher in protein and fat.
  • Stimulation – Try to go to bed with an empty mind. Not always possible but going to bed with unsolved problems that your mind is busy working on, or going to bed with more anxiety than normal may prevent you from falling to sleep. Do  what you can to push those things aside. If they can’t be dealt with before bed, tell yourself to leave it until next day. Meditate. Take at least 5 minutes to meditate and relax your brain, body. Push those things out of the mind and forget about them. They will be there tomorrow to deal with.
  • The space – Bed should be somewhere you go to sleep, not where you work or do things that can be done elsewhere. The feeling is if you don’t define this space and keep it exclusively for sleep the other things you do there can prevent you from relaxing and falling to sleep.

Nutrition

— NOTE — I’m not a certified nutritionist, not yet. The following is my opinion and I strongly recommend you do your research and consult a health professional if making changes to your diet.

  • You’re being lied to – I’m not a conspiracy theorist. I think I’m pretty level headed. But I also believe governments and corporations do not have our best interest at heart. The evidence tells us so. Did you know doctors used to recommend cigarettes? Did you know Monsanto lied about the affects of rbGH put into dairy? These are blatant examples. But there are much more subtle ones that are used to sell product even if it’s bad for us. The dairy industry is a great example. Got Milk? Milk Mustache. Milk makes our bones strong. You know we are the only species that consumes milk after infancy. Why? Because we’ve been told we need to. Even though research shows that consuming milk and dairy products doesn’t do us good, it does us harm. But the milk lobby is strong. Put milk in the schools, and when the kids don’t want to drink it because they don’t like it, add sugar to it in the form of chocolate and strawberry syrup. Problem solved. Let’s make people think they need milk to be stronger, to recover properly after working out. There’s more and more marketing being done to tie milk to sports and that the two belong together. The dairy board of Canada has even had an app created to remind people to get enough dairy. It all comes down to money, not health. The American Heart Association’s web site recommending beef in their food plans yet we know eating animals brings fat into our blood cells clogging our arteries. One of the largest breast cancer support groups partnered with Yoplait even though there are many studies that show the risk of breast cancer increases with the consumption of dairy. Why is it the top dairy consuming countries also have the highest incidences of osteoporosis? Shouldn’t that be the opposite? Woman and men fear consuming too much soy because of misinformation that this will elevate estrogen levels, yet gladly consume large amounts of estrogen laden dairy. Did you know milk and dairy are high in hormones? For sure, it comes from a lactating cow. Ugh, I wish life could be simpler. But this is the reality we live in. Business – maximizing profits, corrupt politicians and industries. You need to educate yourself. Not easy, but it can be done.

 

  • We need to reeducate ourselves about food. We need to cut through the bullshit and get to the facts. Yes, eating out all the time, snacking on chips, candy, soda is bad for us. But, we need to go further down the rabbit hole. You are not eating healthy if you are consuming animal products. Unfortunately we have been led to believe that as long as you cut out junk food you are eating healthy. You are setting yourself up for disease and sickness. Don’t take my word for it. Look at the scientific evidence. Read The China Study as a start. Animal products offer NO benefits doing more harm than good. High in fat, bad protein, no fiber, increases risk of disease. It’s a fallacy that as we age we will slow down, become immobile. We think this because that is what we see every day. Elderly people with mobile issues, over weight, some obese. Why is that? Is it due to years of inflammation from eating dairy? Possibly. Not exercising? Possibly. If aging is due to damage being done to our cells than maybe we need to look at what really damages our cells. We should probably start with what we eat.
  • Almost 110 billion was spent in 2015 on drugs treating cancer. That is a lot of money.

Work out

  • Intensity – You have to bring it. You have to get out of your comfort zone. Like it or not it has to be done. So many benefits to be had when you work out intensely. Lower resting heart rate, better utilization of glucose, increased V02 max, higher resting metabolism and so on. Read about HIITs, Tabata, You’ll see what I mean
  • Smart – Don’t jump into the above point if you have not started to work out. You can’t go intense right off of the bat. You’ll injure yourself or become run down. Train smart not only hard.
  • Monitor – If the goal of your workout is to hit 95% of heart rate max, did you do that? How do you know? Oh, you have a heart rate monitor, good for you. Get yourself a heart rate monitor so you know when you are hitting your goal be it 70% or 100% of heart rate max. Of all tech to buy, this is the one you need and be sure to buy one that’s accurate.
  • Trainer – Everyone should engage the services of a personal trainer at least once in their lives. Even if you think you are exercising with good form you probably aren’t. Pay the money, Get evaluated. I’m sure you will have corrections made and even pick up some new knowledge. That in itself will make what you paid worth it as you have now reduced the risk of injury and also learned some new things. You have invested in yourself.

Goals

  • Have them – Set goals. Set large goals then break those down into smaller goals. You will be amazed at what this does for your motivation. And be vocal about them. Post on social media your goal of running 10k, or losing weight, or running a marathon. Just putting that out there will add some pressure, good pressure to complete these goals. And if the goal is something like running a marathon, break that down into sub goals that can be achieved every couple weeks or so.

Time

  • Give yourself time – Over the last year I’ve probably have put on about 15lbs. Lack of activity for various reasons I won’t go into. I would like to get rid of this but I can’t expect for that to happen over a month or two. It took a year for it to happen so I should be realistic and expect it to take a while for it to come off. I have to keep in mind that what ever I do it needs to be sustainable. Something that I can do for years moving forward. So many times I hear people saying ‘I’m trying this new diet to lose 10 lbs in 2 weeks’. Totally not sustainable. We need to take an approach that is healthy.

 

  • Ease into it but once you are there, work hard. Work hard and work smart.

 

The mind

  • The body goes where the head goes – I use this saying when teaching about throws. Move the opponents head and they body will follow. But this also pertains to our state of mind. Being depressed I know. My body won’t get out of bed because my mind won’t allow it. We focus a lot on our body when we talk about health but we don’t talk about the mind because of many reasons – the stigma around mental health. I won’t go into it but I’m sure you know what I mean. In my opinion we need to adopt the eastern philosophy of meditation and start quieting our mind, relaxing from the inside out. MRI’s have shown the positive changes to our brain when we meditate. Take care of your mind and you will be surprised at what you can do.

 

One more thing(s)

 

Does any of this matter if you don’t care for yourself? Be easy on yourself. Let yourself fail, let yourself mess up once in a while. But be realistic too. If the scale has swung to the side of doing nothing than you need to evaluate that. But, if you are working hard at it the majority of the time, doing your best than ease up on yourself those times mistakes happen. Sometimes mistakes happen because of trying too hard. It’s like pushing a square peg in a round hole. The effort is there but the plan needs to change.

Lastly, be flexible. I used to get upset when my day got upended and I couldn’t do my regular workout. I used to run a lot, sometimes I would run 18 miles for my long run that week. I used to get pissed when something like work would come up and I couldn’t go on my run. I than learned to be flexible. No long run today, that’s fine, I’ll do a Tabata and do my long run tomorrow, or the next day. Can’t go to the gym because you are hold up in a hotel room? Fine, time for a prison work out. Always have a plan B and always be flexible to change things up.

And last thing, you are worth it. Don’t sabotage your success because you feel guilty about it, for whatever reason. You deserve to shine.

Yours in health,

Darryl