words can be molded until they clothe ideas and disguise

They decide and the shotgun sings the song.

I think it’s safe to say most of us believe what we believe due to what we constantly hear. What we hear on the radio, on the internet, what we read from news sites, blogs, social media sites. And what we hear from people that are influential in our lives: friends, family. For the majority of us what we hear from these sources can dictate how we live our lives from simple things such as a movie we choose to see or major things that can directly impact our lives like the foods we choose to eat. And the ironic thing about this last sentence is most people will not consider that a major choice that will impact our lives.

Impact

But the food we choose to eat has a major impact on our lives. Having finished a certification in plant based nutrition run by the leading medical experts in heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and so on, my  belief about this was confirmed, and reinforced. Did you know the only diet to reverse heart disease is a whole foods plant based diet? This is only one of the many benefits of following a whole foods plant based diet. I’ll be posting more in the future but for now, lets get on with the subject of this post.

Protein

I’m sure if I were to take a quick survey on how much protein people thought we need we would get answers such as 20%, 30% or even higher. If you are trying to add muscle, or are an active body builder you are probably consuming levels higher than 30%. And for the vast majority of these people their protein is coming from animals, not plants. Is that an issue? Absolutely. Read the China Study or watch Fork over Knives to see the direct impact on cancer tumor growth when consuming animal protein at levels above 20%. To summarize IGF-1 (Insulin growth factor 1) is in high levels in animal products and IGF-1 is responsible for cell replication, which is ok when you have a cut that the body needs to repair but when in your body at high levels due to consuming animal protein it impacts the growth of cancer tumors. And a high protein diet damages our cells and accelerates aging. It makes our kidneys work so much harder as it has to process all this protein and this can lead to kidney stones.

Why

protein
Plants have all the protein you need

Are we obsessed with protein? Yes. Recently I saw on a person’s computer monitor an image of all the logic fallacies such as straw man fallacy, appeal to authority, etc. I told this guy what a cool wallpaper and I could relate since a lot of the videos I watch having to do with veganism has examples of these as people use them to defend why they continue to eat animals. So, he said ‘Wow, I didn’t know you were vegan’, and then a look on his face of deep thought appeared and he asked me ‘Where do you get your protein?’ I’ve heard this so many times it didn’t phase me , but it speaks to my point. Why are we obsessed with protein? I think for a few reasons.

Here’s a bit of a history lesson. In 1839, protein was first isolated by a Dutch chemist, Gerhard Mulder, then named from the Greek word, proteios. Protein was isolated from meat, leading to the idea that meat and protein were the same; another mistaken belief that still survives for many people. Carl von Voit, a prominent German physiology professor recommended 118 g/day for an adult man of average weight, even though he had determined that 52 g/day was enough (later research showed even lower levels were enough). By the early 1900’s the link between meat was firmly established in the minds of men, the link that eating meat was macho, and not eating meat meant you were a wimp and through the years the stereotype has grown to political views – vegan = left leaning communist or socialist, terms used in the derogatory sense. Real men eat meat!

Eating meat, or protein, was also a status symbol as only the rich could afford it. But let’s look at another angle, the marketing angle.

It’s easy to market meat with these associations we have with meat, protein. The social statuses that come with it. The peer pressure. Riding on the belief that we need a lot of protein it’s so easy to add that to the sizzle of the commercial showing you the slab of beef grilling on the bbq, ‘get the protein you need from our grade A Alberta beef, only the best’, or ‘we have the juiciest chicken breasts for you to enjoy’. How do you do that with broccoli or spinach? ‘Our broccoli is super dark green and our spinach leaves are the finest and smoothest’. It just doesn’t sell does it.

Then we have the fitness industry pushing supplements. You are told by your trainer, the gym where they sell the shakes, by your friends and so on that you need to supplement with protein to ‘make those gains’. Of course they tell you that because that adds to their bottom line. It’s all about the dollar bills y’all. In 2016 the protein supplement industry size was at 12.5 billion expected to rise by 6%! These industries do not want you to understand that the notion that you need to supplement with protein is not true. And this is true for any protein supplement, plant based or not.

Robert Cheeke

Let’s look at Robert Cheeke. Adopted a vegan life style in 1995 at the age of 15. A two time natural body builder champion, Robert does not supplement with protein. Not since 2011. Robert was like most of us, he bought into the lies that you need to supplement with protein, branch chain amino acids, etc. Then in 2012 after educating himself and digging deeper into the whole protein thing he decided to change it up. No more supplementing, nothing. Nothing but a whole foods plant based diet. So what happened? He lost 60 lbs and no longer competes. NO! This is what the industry would want you to believe! Robert MADE gains in both strength and muscle growth. Was it a fluke, a short lived benefit? No. Even to this day Robert is the strongest he has ever been. No supplementation and no focus on protein rich foods. In fact, his focus is on complex carbs because as we know, we need complex carbs, it’s what fuels our body. It gets you through those workouts. Yams, brown rice, lentils, leafy green veggies, fruits. All these gains while consuming only 10% – 15% of calories from protein. How is it possible? The meat industry, the supplement industry, the bro that pumps iron and has smelly protein farts would tell you different, ‘bro, you need to load up on protein, you better get a Casein or Whey shake from the counter or you won’t be making those gains!’.

I have the answer

Do you want to add strength, and muscle growth? It’s easy, it really is. Follow a whole foods plant based diet. And, eat as much as you want, don’t go hungry!

Most people, or really everyone who follows this diet and is not gaining strength and muscle mass (the assumption you are working out properly) are not eating enough calories. You need to consume enough high quality, nutrient dense calories so your body can grow.

Save your money! You worked hard for it! Don’t spend the $60 on the tub of cancer inducing protein powder because it’s going to end up in the toilet anyway! You are literally shitting your money away! Stop listening to uneducated people who are doing the things that another uneducated person showed them. It’s your body and what you put into it will directly impact your health.

Yours in health,

Darryl

 

 

 

Oh yeah Alright

Feels good inside

For the last maybe 5 years, or maybe longer than that a new term arose, superfoods. What does that mean, superfoods. Does it make you superhuman? Probably not. Personally I think the term gets overused and also I think there is the potential for damage in that just like vitamins people will consume superfoods in place of foods they should be consuming on a daily basis.

plant based foods
Plant based foods

First and foremost everyone should be eating a whole foods plant based diet. Not sure what that is? It’s not being vegan for one thing. Veganism is a moral position that has much more to do with the foods consumed. It includes this but also reaches beyond to what you put on your body be it hygiene products, clothing, make up, etc. It can also extend to activities such as not patronizing zoo’s or circuses or other places animals are exploited for our entertainment. If you want to find out more about a whole foods plant based diet I suggest you start with reading the China Study or another option is to watch Fork over Knives.

Back to my point, consuming a whole foods plant based diet should give you all the nutrients you need.

But, if you are looking to increase certain nutrients, not replace eating well then below I’ve listed some foods you might want to add into your daily eating.

What

Chia seeds: Rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, protein fiber, calcium, magnesium, iron, zinc and antioxidants. Easy to use. I recommend grinding the seeds first as this is easier for your body to digest. Add a tablespoon to a smoothie or shake, to a salad, or a sauce. You can add it to almost anything.

Flaxseed: Also high in Omega-3 fatty acids. Also high in lignans (a powerful antioxidant) and fiber, can be used to improve digestive health. Just like Chia seeds, you can grind up your flax seed and use it the same way; shakes, etc.

Spirulina: Once called ‘the best food for the future‘ by the United Nations World Food Conference. Extremely digestible and contains every natural known antioxidant a healthy body could need. Rich in vitamins, reported to correct anemia, reduce radioactive damage and lower cholesterol. Some studies have shown that because of it’s high anitoxidant properties athletic endurance becomes enhanced significantly increasing the time it took people to become fatigued. Do your homework when buying spirulina. It’s an organism that grows in both fresh and salt water so be sure you are not buying it from a source that has grown it in heavy metal dense water or radio active water.

Hemp Seeds: Also known as hemp hearts. Also rich in Omega-3 fatty acids but also a great source of protein. 3 tablespoons provide 16 grams of protein! That’s huge! Let’s look at the following example: Women usually need 1,600 to 2,400 calories a day. Your protein consumption should be about 10 – 15% of total calories.  Let’s use 2,000 calories as an example, and we’ll also use 15%. 15% of 2,000 = 300 calories. There are 4 calories per gram of protein so 16 grams X 4 = 64 calories or 21% of your daily need! Quiet a bit from a small amount. Lastly, you are probably thinking that my numbers for protein requirements is quiet low. It is by what everyone else is telling you or you have been hearing. If you follow the recommendations that are communicated by the industries that are funded by the industries that sell protein – fitness industry, food industry, the dietitians industry, etc. of course they want you to spend your money on protein powders and supplements – processed protein.

If you follow a whole foods plant based diet you will be get all the protein you need. More on that in another post

Oats: When eating oats be sure to get the steel cut, lesser processed oats. Again, a whole foods plant based diet should minimize as much as possible processed foods. Why do I look at Oats as a superfood? High in complex carbs, fiber, maganese, magnesium, copper, iron, zinc, B vitamins, and more. A half cup of oats contain 51 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, 5 grams of fat and 8 grams of fiber. A very nutrient dense food. Oats also have  soluble fiber called Beta-Glucan. Beta-glucan partially dissolves in water and forms a thick, gel-like solution in the gut giving you that satiated feeling helping to prevent unnecessary snacking.

Finally

I’m sure I could have added more things, things such as Tumeric, Garlic, Ginger, etc. all good things. Sometimes I find when coming across lists like these you get overwhelmed in the things you need to eat and then you just give up. I hope my list is simple and something else about my list is it also promotes an easy way to get Omega-3 (DHA) into your diet daily without having to consume pills and without having to consume animal products.

Yours in health,

Darryl