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I like big buns and I can not lie…

Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast…

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Why Some Vegetarians Start Craving Meat

During her nine years as a vegetarian, writer Courtney Dunlop says she always had a “nagging feeling” eating plants exclusively wasn’t the absolute best thing for her own health. She felt sluggish, unhealthy, and like her general mood could be improved.

However, with animal welfare as a driving motivator, she continued with the restrictive diet — even choosing to go vegan earlier this year.

Source: Why Some Vegetarians Start Craving Meat

We already have words to better summarize “craving on a cellular level” – nutrition deficiency.  That’s why it’s not a good idea to make a substantial change to your diet without information.  Unless you live in an area without internet, there’s no excuse.  Libraries provide internet access…

It’s incredibly difficult to be vegetarian, nevermind vegan, if you are on warfarin/coumadin.  You can, but your medication dose is likely to be higher that on other diets as spinach/kale/chard are extremely high in vitamin K.

Pursue whatever diet you want, so long as it is providing the necessary nutrition.  But I admit, I don’t like the idea of a diet based on guilt/shame.  I do however advocate that most could stand to have more fruit and vegetables in our diet.

Study: Why It Pays To Be Semi-Vegetarian

A new study shows it pays to eat a more-vegetable-than-meat diet. But what if you’re not a fan of the green stuff? Here are some “gateway veggies” to consider.

Can’t cut meat completely? You don’t have to. People who follow a “pro”-vegetarian diet — which involves eating more plant-based foods than animal products — have a lower risk of dying from heart disease and stroke, says new research from the American Heart Association EPI/Lifestyle meeting.

In fact, people in the study who ate the most pro-vegetarian(so that 70 percent of their food came from plant sources) had a 20 percent lower risk of dying from these causes, compared with those who ate the least plant-based foods (where 20 percent of food came from plant sources).

Source: A Healthy Diet Doesn’t Have To Be Drastic! Why It Pays To Be Semi-Vegetarian

Aside from the spinach, the vegetable suggestions are OK for those of us on blood thinners.  Cucumbers – only the skin is an issue for us.  And this article has notes from previous posts:

Bacon Can Power You Through A Marathon

Most people who exercise or compete in endurance sports would probably answer no. For decades, recreational and competitive athletes have stoutly believed that we should — even must — consume a diet rich in carbohydrates to fuel exertion. The conventional wisdom has been to avoid fatty foods because they are an inefficient fuel source and could lead to weight gain.

But in recent years, some scientists and quite a few athletes have begun to question those beliefs. Athletes devoted to ultra-endurance sports, in particular, tout high-fat diets as a means to improve performance.

…exercise scientists long ago established that endurance training makes athletes better able to use fat as a fuel. And that metabolic adaptation prompted many scientists and coaches in recent years to wonder what would happen if you extended that ability to its farthest extreme and trained an athlete’s body to rely almost exclusively on fat, by removing almost all carbohydrates from the diet and ramping up grease intake?

Source: Should Athletes Eat Fat or Carbs?

If you decide to make a change – do it in the off season.  It may take a few weeks for your body to adapt to a high-fat diet (three weeks for cyclists in one of the studies), and it may never work well if you’re doing sports that require sudden bursts of power or strength, like weightlifting, Crossfit, or team sports like American football. But if you’re gearing up for a marathon or a long bike race, bacon-heavy breakfasts might suit you just fine.

For vegans/vegetarians, you’ll want to source fat from the following:

  • Avocados
  • Cheese (assuming not vegan/etc and/or lactose intolerant)
  • Nuts (assuming no allergies)

Recipe: Rum Caramel Eggnog Bubble Tea

Because why not?  You can omit the tapioca/boba for a standard eggnog – here’s the recipe.

Rum Caramel Eggnog Bubble Tea

  • Tapioca/boba is a plant starch – it’s both vegetarian and gluten free
  • Eggs are not technically animal flesh, but substitutes are covered here.
  • Dear lactose intolerant and vegans: The recipe calls for dairy milk, substitute appropriately because not everyone tolerates soy/almond/etc
  • Refined sugar: I will update accordingly when I have a vegan caramel recipe

Study: Creatine From Meat Seems to Help Us Think

Are you a vegetarian or a vegan? Besides vitamin B12, depending upon what you eat and the supplements you take, you can find your diet somewhat low in zinc, long chain omega 3 fatty acids, and even some amino acids. One of these amino acids is called creatine, and the best source is meat.

Researchers who study cognition and athletic performance simply love giving vegetarians creatine supplements. This practice might seem curious until you look at the following facts…

Source: Your Brain on Creatine

Most people don’t understand about non-essential amino acids is that you don’t need them – your body can synthesize them.  Just not efficiently.  Unless you’re getting your non-essential aminos from your food or supplements – you’re probably non-essential amino acid deficient.

Can a Vegan Diet Work for Athletes?

More and more of us are questioning the long-held notion that a meal is not a meal unless it is based around a piece of meat. Awareness is also continuing to grow of the health, environmental and welfare issues that are consequences of chowing down on many of the animal food sources we take for granted.

Source: Can a vegan diet work for cyclists?

The article addresses “where’s the protein?”, but nothing about iron or vitamin B12.  There are a couple of spots where they say “vegan” but mean “vegetarian”.  It makes up for being cursory by suggesting investigating what suits you.

It can be really good to make a dietary change but:

  1. Start it in the off season
  2. Be gradual to get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t

Vegans: Better Skin?

Can cutting meat and dairy from your diet—even part-time—make your skin glow? Lily Simpson, the chef behind The Detox Kitchen, a London-based meal-delivery service, thinks so. “I go vegan every other week and, when I am eating meat, I stick to fish and lean white meat,” she told the Daily Mail. “I definitely notice I have brighter, clearer skin since going part-time vegan.”

Source: Do Part-Time Vegans Have Better Skin?

Skin is just one aspect.  The article suggests partial adoption, as compared to full-on.  The underlying suggestion is the same as other posts in the past: Eat less, eat more plants, generally eat better.

There are some who will sneer at part-timers, because of ideological reasons.  Meh, be happy for awareness and exposure in a positive light.  Let them make the choice for themselves, and what suits their lifestyle.

Recipe: Brownies – Black Bean

I got this after chatting with a someone at a potluck.  They said they would let people eat it before telling them that it was vegan, made largely from black [turtle] beans…

I had to add more water than the recipe called for – somewhere around a quarter to a third of a cup.  The result was a tad wet.  I also added almonds and walnuts on top. The nuts could’ve used to be pressed into the brownie mixture  a little because the baking process did nothing – they fall off easily.

But the result was something else.  I could taste the cocoa, but a pan later and I still can’t pickup on the beans.  Guess I’ll just have to test more…

Here’s the recipe.

Study: Plants Know When They’re Being Eaten Alive

We’ve been hearing for decades about the complex intelligence of plants; last year’s excellent New Yorker piece is a good place to start, if you want to learn more about the subject. But a new study, conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri, managed to figure out one new important element: plants can tell when they’re being eaten, and they don’t like it.

Source: Plants Can Tell When They’re Being Eaten

The issue has also been covered in this AsapScience video “Can Plants Think?” (3:44 minutes).  Response to stimuli might be misconstrued as intelligence, but both sources demonstrate that the action is for protection and self-preservation.  This information makes it difficult to stomach those who rally to “Meat is Murder”, as if the death of an animal is different than a plant.  The idea that if something isn’t cute, fluffy and/or squealing for it’s life – it doesn’t rate is a very weak position to take.

I agree that we can and should be eating more plants and vegetables.  Just not entirely.