Tag Archives: health

Veganalysis: Part One

2 Jul

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A vegan diet is about living more compassionately and more consciously. It is a lifestyle of pure intention. This purposeful way of living will bring you inner peace, and if done right, provide complete nutrition your body has never seen before! In this blog we explore the latest science in vegan nutrition. The complex science will be explained in an easy to understand way through infographics, easy to understand explanations and recipes. You will learn how to examine and how to optimize each of your organ systems by eating only plants, and apply it to your everyday life!

Part One: Examining Your Vegan Diet

1.1 Why are you Vegan? To be a healthy, balanced vegan you must Nourish the Body, Mind and Soul

  1. For a Nourished Mind: Chances are if you are vegan you are more intentional with the food you choose. Ask yourself these questions to see where your intention is. Do I know where my food comes from? Is it organic, local, fair-trade? Where was my food grown? Upgrade your choices, and choose foods that benefit your environment, community and the people who grow it. Are you connecting with your food? Know that after you eat your food it becomes a part of you. Try mindfully eating your food, enjoying every flavor and texture. Examine how you feel before and after eating and monitor the trends. Do you crave certain foods such as sugar? To nourish the mind we have to detach ourselves from the wanting of certain foods. Look at your food beyond the immediate gratification. The goal is to form a healthy relationship with food. Knowing that food is here to heal us, not harm us. We must see food for what it really is, a healing, energy source.
  2. For a Nourished Body: We hear in the media stories about celebrities like Beyonce going vegan for a month for health reasons. This can anger many long-term vegans, because it can portray the vegan diet as more of a diet than a lifestyle. I argue that this is a great place to start. You can still call yourself a vegan and eat potato chips, orange soda and Oreos all day, but why are you treating other animals with love and respect, but not yourself? To nourish the body, we have to feed it the right nutrients it needs to thrive. It can be done on a vegan diet, but must be managed thoughtfully with professional guidance.
  3. For a Nourished Soul: Believe it or not, the type of energy put into your food makes a difference. Try pouring as much positive energy into your food when growing and creating it as possible. Look where your food has been created, has it been lovingly created, and assembled? Or has your dinner been put together by disgruntled, underpaid food workers? Continue to choose non-animal dishes. Today’s factory farms are not like the ones most of us learned about in school; they are mechanized factories where an animal’s welfare is of little concern compared to profit. Veganism emerges as the lifestyle most consistent with the philosophy that animals are not ours to use. By eating this suffering, you are ingesting the energy of that animal who has suffered.

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1.2 Are you a good role model?

Being a good vegan role model means being kind and leading by example. I understand that it can be frustrating to see people eating meat, visiting zoos and sea world, or wearing fur. The biggest impact I find is that when you are kind, compassionate and live your own life with conviction, others will see your transformation and want to learn more. Don’t put anyone down because of their choices. Chances are you ate meat and animal products at one point in your journey, so you should not judge others. Kindness is the key.

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1.3 Are you getting enough variety?

  1. A varied diet makes sure you are covering all your nutritional bases. It keeps you safe and helps you avoid over-exposed to hazardous chemicals, or overexposure to one specific nutrient. For example raw spinach everyday in your morning smoothie may over expose you to too many oxalates.
  2. Veggies and Fruits/Antioxidants: Goal at least 6-11 cups/day of organic vegetables like asparagus, bok choy, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, celery, cabbage, cucumber, collards, kale, spinach, radishes, squash. These should be a mix between cooked and raw. 1 cup raw=1/2 cup cooked. Goal for at least 1-2 cups/day of low sugar fruit like fresh strawberries, cranberries, raspberries, blueberries for adequate antioxidants and polyphenols.
  3. Beans and Lentils/Protein: Choose at least 2-3 cups of whole plant based proteins like red lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, red lentil, green lentils, mung beans. Be sure to sprout your beans and lentils to maximize the nutrients. Sprouting also helps to neutralize phytic acid and enzyme inhibitors which aids in better digestion and absorption of important nutrients like zinc copper, iron, magnesium and calcium.  The goal is to completely avoid processed fake meats. To calculate you protein needs take your body weight in KG (divide pounds/2.2 to get KG), and that will be approximately how much protein you need per day in grams for the average person. Multiply your weight in KG by 1.2-1.5 if you are an athlete, or wanting to build muscle. If you need more protein try a plant based protein powder like Sunwarrior or Vega Sport.
  4. Nuts and Seeds/Fat: Get in 2-4 servings of nuts and seeds like, almonds, walnuts, macadamia nuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, watermelon seeds for fiber, healthy fat, vitamins and minerals. Choose sprouted varieties when possible. We will talk more about fat when we get into optimizing 2.1, 2.7 and 2.9, but I want to encourage you to NOT shy away from fat. Getting enough healthy fat (30-50% of your total calories/day) will help absorb certain nutrients like Vitamins A,D,E,K, sustain a healthy brain/nervous system, cardiovascular system, reproductive system, healthy functioning mitochondria, and prevent mood disorders. Getting enough fat will help your body and mind stay energized all day long. Choosing a total fat intake of 5-9 servings per day including the 2-4 servings of nuts, seeds, and also including also avocados, olives, walnuts, olives, and oils like extra-virgin olive oil, coconut oil, algal oil, Brain Octane by Bulletproof are all great choices. It is a good idea to avoid all vegetables oils like canola, safflower, sunflower, corn, soybean, and peanut oil. These types of fats (PUFAS) are now showing a higher connection with heart disease due to the high amounts of Omega-6’s in them. Completely avoid margarine that contain trans fat or partially hydrogenated oils.
  5. Grains/Carbohydrates: Don’t go overboard on grains. The goal is to keep our blood sugar and insulin levels from spiking all the time. Sometimes on a vegan diet we can lean more toward a grain/carb centric diet. Ideally only 1-3 servings of grains per day. Choose wild rice, forbidden rice, quinoa, brown rice. When possible, instead of grains, choose other carbohydrates like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, butternut squash, pumpkin, plantains for complex carbs, additional vitamins and minerals, and variety. Try to avoid gluten if you can. There are so many other types of grains to choose from than gluten! Give amaranth a try, for example! Do you best to limit added sugars, even in the forms of agave, maple syrup, and coconut sugar. Try a natural sugar alternative like a monkfruit sweetener, or non-GMO xylitol, or non-GMO erythritol. Lakanto makes a great one with a combo of monkfruit and erythritol.

VarietyVariety2 (1)1.4 Are you deficient?

  1. Being on a vegan diet requires special attention and proper managing to get the right nutrients. There are too many stories to count with vegans who start off feeling great for the first couple years, but then start to experience fatigue, sickness, hair loss, anxiety, diminished sex drive, and mental breakdowns. As a solution to this, a properly managed vegan diet can provide “gene therapy in the kitchen,” and keep you feeling amazing for a lifetime!
  2. Ask yourself, How do I feel on a regular basis? Am I tired, sluggish and dragging towards the end of the day? Am I experiencing brain fog, or reduced concentration? Do I have mood swings, or bouts of depression? Am I an athlete with increased fatigue? These are all examples of possibilities that you are not getting enough of the right nutrients, and/or your mitochondria are not functioning properly.
  3. It is important to look at your blood work to monitor trends, and to see what is going on inside. Get these nutrients to get tested yearly-
    1. 25(OH)D, CMP, CBC, ferritin, Total iron binding capacity, Cortisol, Omega 3 (DHA, EPA), RBC magnesium, RBC Folate, Copper, Zinc, B12, Homocysteine, CRP, Serum Methylmalonic Acid, Iodine, T3, T4, TSH, Lipid Panel

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Part Two of exploring the body systems will be in the next blog posts!

❤ Colleen Poling, RD

Top 15 Podcasts I am Hooked On Right Now

5 Jun

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I LOooooVvvvvvEeeee ❤ ❤ learning, and that is a huge understatement! I am unceasingly asking questions, and feel the constant desire to better myself, my relationships and the world around me. If you see me out and about walking my dogs, for example, you will almost always see me with my earbuds in listening to an audiobook or podcast. I aim to read/listen to 2 books a month, and listen to minimum of 2 podcasts a day. I have probably even watched every educational documentary on Netflix! So, if you are curious like me, then do yourself a favor and check out these podcasts ASAP! 🙂 These are in no particular order of preference. All of these except #9 can be found on the stitcher radio app or iTunes.

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  1. Bulletproof Radio: This podcast distills the knowledge of world-class MDs, biochemists, Olympic nutritionists, meditation experts, and more than $250,000 spent on personal self-experiments. From private brain EEG facilities hidden in a Canadian forest to remote monasteries in Tibet, from Silicon Valley to the Andes, high tech entrepreneur Dave Asprey used hacking techniques and tried everything himself, obsessively focused on discovering: What are the simplest things you can do to be better at everything?
  2. Invisibilia: is about the invisible forces that control human behavior – ideas, beliefs, assumptions and emotions. Invisibilia interweaves narrative storytelling with scientific research that will ultimately make you see your own life differently.
  3. Big Picture Science: is a podcast that engages the public with modern science research through lively and intelligent storytelling.
  4. Rich Roll Podcast: Each week Rich delves deep into all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking, paradigm busting minds in health, fitness, nutrition, art, entertainment, entrepreneurship & spirituality. This podcast highlights intimate, deep and often intense conversations designed to provoke, educate, inspire and empower you to discover, uncover, unlock your most authentic self.
  5. The Minimalists Podcast: How might your life be better with less?
  6. The Ben Greenfield Fitness Podcast: This podcast includes fitness, nutrition, health, diet, wellness, workout, exercise, triathlon, Ironman, swimming, cycling, running, weight lifting, bodybuilding, Crossfit, Paleo, Spartan, vegan, vegetarian, muscle gain and fat loss advice from America’s top personal trainer.
  7. Sex with Emily Podcast: Dr. Emily Morse is a sex and relationship expert dedicated to educating people to achieve the sex and relationships they desire in order to maintain happiness and longevity.
  8. The Tim Ferris Show: In this show, Tim deconstructs world-class performers from eclectic areas (investing, chess, pro sports, etc.), digging deep to find the tools, tactics, and tricks that listeners can use. This includes favorite books, morning routines, exercise habits, time-management tricks, and much more.
  9. Where Should I Begin with Esther Perel: (New series on audible channels, the audible app): The acclaimed therapist and TED speaker, Esther Perel, opens her office door to let you listen in as she counsels real couples. 
  10. Multiamory: is a podcast about out-of-the-box ideas to deepen current relationships, broaden sexual horizons, developing a better understanding of yourself, and provides awareness and education about the ethical practice of non-monogamy. Insights come from research and years of personal experience with polyamory, but the information found here is useful for people in any type of relationship. Whether you are poly, considering diving into it, or just looking to have better monogamous relationships, their tips and ideas will help you to have the healthiest, happiest dating life possible.
  11. The School of Greatness: Lewis Howes is a NYT bestselling author, lifestyle entrepreneur, former pro athlete and world record holder in football. The goal of the School of Greatness is to share inspiring stories from the most brilliant business minds, world class athletes and influential celebrities on the planet to help you find out what makes great people great.
  12. Sword and Scale: This true-crime podcast is an immersive audio experience covering the underworld of criminal activity and the demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions, proving that the worst monsters are very real. They cover true-crime stories, high-profile trials, unsolved murders and missing persons cases.
  13. Mastering Nutrition: Chris Masterjohn, who has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences, explains complex science and puts it into new, practical ideas that you can use to help yourself on your journey to vibrant health. This show allows you to master the science of nutrition and apply it to your own life.
  14. Risk! : Take a walk on the wild side with the RISK! podcast, with selections from the RISK! live shows where everyone from comedians to regular folks divulge true stories they had always thought they’d keep to themselves.
  15. Smart Drugs Smarts: Fuel Your Brain With the Latest in Neuroscience.

What are your favorite podcasts that you listen to??? 

Challenge: listen to a podcast that you might not normally listen to this week. Learning about perspectives/ideas/stories different from your own will educate you, and keep you open-minded! ❤

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❤ Colleen Poling, RD