Author: feeoshea (page 1 of 21)

Is Nicotine Good For You?

So what do you think about the title?

Is Nicotine Good For You?

Bet you never thought the Vegan Health Coach would come out with something like that did you?  Well, sit tight, I’m about to tell you all about what I’ve just discovered.

Back in the 60’s when the tobacco companies were trying to stop the Surgeon General’s warning going onto the packets, they came up with some really ludicrous arguments including that smoking was good for you.

They claimed that smoking stopped Parkinson’s Disease something the was poohooed and totally dismissed as being a huge ploy on the part of the cigarette companies.

Now comes the weird part.  Over 5 dozen studies since the 70’s have indeed shown that tobacco smoking does in fact lower the chances of Parkinson’s Disease quite dramatically.

But don’t go thinking that I’m about to take up and start waving the flag for cigarettes – not at all.  We all know that smoking is linked to lung disease and emphysema in fact 80 – 90% of lung cancers in the USA are caused by smoking.

Not only that, but there is a right toxic mix in the cigarette with over 7,000 chemicals are added to the tobacco!!!!

So the researchers decided to find out why and it seems that it is the actual nicotine in the tobacco plant that is the beneficial part.  Tobacco comes from the Nightshade plant family and so does Bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes.

Wouldn’t it be much nicer to introduce peppers into your diet – having them a bit more often?  Let’s face it, you can’t go past a gorgeous red Bell pepper filled with a plant protein like lentils or quinoa and baked.  Then pour over a nice tomato sauce add some gorgeous fresh dark greens like kale and spinach and you’ve got a bang up nutritious meal.

While on the subject of plant based – I have a freebie to give to you.  If you are at all curious or have questions about plant based eating/veganism – make an appointment to talk to me, one on one,  Jump over to my appointment calendar and grab a 30 minute Discovery Call appointment.

Have great food
Be compassionate to all animals

Ciao
Fee



Do You Have To Eat Meat To Get Good Iron?

It’s a myth that many believe … that you have to have meat in order to get good amounts of iron.

Here in New Zealand, we have  Olympic athletes who advertise on our  T.V. for the meat industry, touting Beef and Lamb being rich in protein and iron.  Kind of saying – eat this and you’ll be an athlete like me.

Sadly I have some news that hopefully will dispel this crazy myth that meat iron is good for us.

Yes, we need iron.  In simply language we need it for healthy red blood cells which carry oxygen around our body.

Meat iron is called heme iron and it differs considerably from plant iron … and here’s why.

Iron is regulated by the intestines.  So when we don’t have enough, the intestines will increase the absorption of iron into the blood.  When we have too much iron, the reverse happens – the intestines decrease the iron.

But, here’s where it gets interesting.  You see, it does NOT work for heme iron.  The intestines can only regulate plant iron!!!!

Heme iron also is a pro-oxidant.  That means it can generate cancer-causing free radicals.  Quite honestly you don’t really want to have heme iron in your body at all, plus, how many meat eaters do you know who are really into their antioxidants?  Check out my post on Antioxidants

So if you are relying on meat for iron, or your doctor has told you that it is the best source, understand that because the intestines can’t regulate it …. too little will lead to anemia, but, too much (which the average meat eater has), you run the risk of cancer and heart disease.

iron in meat

BUT – I haven’t finished yet!!!!!  This next bit is really interesting.

I have it on very good authority that the meat industry is looking at ways to have additives that will

“suppress the toxic effects of heme iron”

This reminds me of the Tobacco Industry who knew back in the 1920s & 30s that cigarettes caused cancer, but nothing was done until 1969 when finally the public were made aware of the dangers.
So does this action from the meat industry sound familiar???

I leave you to ponder on that, and I’d love you to leave a comment.

Ciao
Fee



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What do You Know About Antioxidants?

How much to you know about antioxidants?  And what about Free Radicals?

I’m pretty sure you will have heard about antioxidants and know that you should be having them – maybe you know why or maybe you don’t.  Well let me say, that these little critters are the best!!!!

So lets start with the free radicals:
Free radicals are the little blighters that go about damaging our cells and cause the aging process … think wrinkles!  The antioxidants are the heroes who set about tracking the free radicals down and destroying them.  O.k., fairly simplistic view, but that’s it in a nutshell – oh free radicals also increase the risk of cancer because of the damage they do to cells.
About Antioxidants
If we don’t get enough antioxidants the body can go into oxidative stress, put in layman’s terms, can rust!  Just like a car will rust if not looked after, so can our bodies.  Oxidation = rust.

When you age you can get little brown spots on the backs of your hands … very common.  Check your own hands or, if your too young, check out your mother/father or grandparent.  Those little brown spots are often referred to as “age spots” they are, in fact, wee pockets of oxidated fat = rust spots!!!

So what foods are the best?  Well plant foods are 64 times better than animal foods.  For example.  The humble Iceberg lettuce (which is mainly water), has 17 units of anti-oxidants as opposed to a piece of Salmon which only has 3 units.

Here’s a list of the top 10 foods that contain the most antioxidants:
•    Goji berries
•    Wild blueberries
•    Dark chocolate
•    Pecans
•    Artichoke
•    Elderberries
•    Kidney beans
•    Cranberries

How can you tell if the vegetable or fruit is rich in antioxidants?
A good rule of thumb is to go by is, if it goes brown after you’ve cut it, then it won’t be high in antioxidants.  
For example:  Cut an apple and it will go brown pretty quickly.  Cut a melon and it won’t got brown at all = more antioxidants in the melon than in the apple.

So next time you’re out, do yourself a favour and get some berries to put into your morning breakfast.

Ciao
Fee





Clean Water Plans for New Zealand?

Last week the Minister for the Environment put forward the Clean Water Plans for New Zealand.

What a joke that was!

The plan is to have 90% of rivers and lakes swimmable by 2040.  That’s gone up by 10 years.  From my understanding it was going to be cleaning them up by 2030, but now, again, the goal posts have been shifted.
Well, Massey University freshwater ecologist Mike Joy says the Government is “trying to pull a swifty” with its new swimmable waterways plan.

You see it’s all about how much E-coli (and other stuff) is in the water.  This is how I understand it:

540 E.coli/100mls of water gives the swimmer a 1 in 20 chance of getting sick.  However,  the Ministry of Health recommendation is 260 E.coli/100mls of water and that’s what it used to be.  That would equate to 1 in 1000 chance of getting sick.

Big damn difference – again, shifting the goal posts.

read: Unswimmable Lagoon Now Swimmable

The problem is that the Government wants to intensify the dairy industry, meaning, more cows per herd and more dairy farms.  Although I have no idea why – with the downturn of dairy and the rise of plant milks, dairy is definitely on the way out (albeit slowly).

cows in river

The only good thing they announced was that all farmed waterways were to be fenced …. however, yes, there’s a ‘BUT’ to this. – doesn’t have to be done till 2040!!!!  How much damage can be done till then????
Besides with cows in paddocks, they’re still weeing and poohing and that eventually gets into the water table.

And one last thing he said?  Don’t go swimming if there’s been a decent amount of rain.  Instead of cleaning the water…..

“a big rainfall event that brings all the crap in.” – Nick Smith

If you want to find out more, head over to Stuff News “The New Swimmable Fresh Water Target”

If you’re interested to hear the Podcast interview with Dr Michael Joy (in two parts):
Episode One
Episode Two

What’s the water like in your neck of the woods?

Ciao
Fee



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Trying To Get More People Drinking Milk

The dairy industry never ceases to amaze me how they come up with ideas to get more people drinking milk

This is one such example

I was in the supermarket yesterday and was checking out the cow milk section, (well I was actually looking to see if they stocked fresh almond milk yet … which, no, they don’t). I thought I’d have a look at all the different cow milks on offer and then I spied this one.


I actually laughed out loud. I think the couple standing next to me thought I was crackers, but I couldn’t help it.
I just find it so amusing that there is a cow milk that is designed especially for the lactose intolerant people out there …. just in case they are getting their calcium and protein from – I kid you not – PLANTS.

Take a look at the label – it also says “trim” that means they’ve taken most of the fat out as well.

So here’s a bit of info you may not know:
If you eat animal protein the body produces metabolic acidosis and the body uses calcium to fight it off.
For some reason, the less fat there is in milk, the more acidosis is formed and the more calcium is needed usually drawing it from the bones.

Dairy companies are messing around with the milk so much it is not true milk ….. here in N.Z. the large companies actually strip the milk down to milk powder and then reconstitute it into the different types.  I can’t speak for other countries, but if you know how the milk is produced, please let us know in the comments below.

Ciao
Fee



How To Make Hummus

This is my version of how to make hummus.

Ingredients:

  • 1 can of chickpeas (or 1 cup of precooked chickpeas).
  • 2 Tblsp aquafaba water (water from the can or the cooking water). (may require more).
  • 3 Tblsp tahini
  • 2 Tblsp olive oil
  • 1 – 2 plump cloves of garlic
  • 1/2  cup lemon juice (add a little of the pulp)

Season with:

  • Sea salt
  • Smoked paprika
  • Ground cumin

Method:

  1. Blend the chickpeas and aquafaba together, add more aquafaba if you want it to be more  creamy.
  2. Add all the other ingredients and blend to the desired consistency.
  3. Serve with sliced raw veggies, crackers or even use it on top of a salad… you can put it pretty much anywhere!!!

Check out the video in My Kitchen – I made the hummus live on FB and at the end discovered I’d left out the garlic!!!

The Rise of Veganism?

With the latest Supermarket Stats from Britain out, are we seeing a Rise in Veganism?

Now I realize that these statistics are from Britain, but I truly believe that these figures are synonymous with what is a growing trend in the Western world.  Even in my own small city, the emergence of new plant based cafés – vegetarian, vegan and raw foods has increased considerably in the last 18 months.  It’s wonderful to behold!!!!

The following statistics were taken from the supermarket figures in Britain for the year 2016.  What I have done is show you what they would be if they were USA or N.Z. dollars (Australians can go sort of in between those two).

Fresh Meat was down £328 million – $106 million USA – $566 million N.Z.

Itemized out that is:

  • Beef – down £72 million – $90 million USA – $124 million N.Z.
  • Pork – down £62 million – $75 million USA – $107 million N.Z.
  • Lamb – down £21 million – $26 million USA – $36 million N.Z.
  • Poultry – down £49 million – $60 million USA – $84 million N.Z.

But not only was meat down, so was dairy ….

  • Fresh milk – down £54 million – $66 million USA – $93 million N.Z.
  • Butter – down £83 million – $102 million USA – $143 million N.Z.
  • Cheese – down £73 million – $90 million USA – 1266 million N.Z.

Brilliant news!!!!  And the beauty is that there was a rise in Dairy Free product which were up by £123 million

If this trend continues we could see omnivores as being the odd ones out and plant based eaters as main stream. Wouldn’t that be grand for us all (humans, animals the planet!!!).

Enjoy great food and be compassionate to all animals including humans

Ciao
Fee




Cameras In Slaughterhouses – Well Done France!

I heard today that France has passed a bill that there are to be cameras in all their slaughterhouses.

Which got me remembering all the other things that France has done.  So I have made a list (as I do).

  1. They have introduced incentives to embed sustainability into French urban planning.
  2. They are encouraging  alternatives to conventional means of transportation such as self-service bike rental stations and car sharing.  They are also encouraging the use and maintenance of hybrid and electric vehicles as well as the necessary infrastructure to power them.
  3. France became the 1st country to totally ban Neonicotinoids – the bee-killing component in pesticides.  This measure goes above and beyond the E.U. ban put in place in 2013.  The German company Bayer is not happy and, in fact, has a lawsuit pending against the E.U. Learn more  It’s almost like France has put up its middle finger to Bayer.
  4. France is the first country to ban plastic cups and plates and utensils –  French law will require all disposable tableware to be made from 50% biologically-sourced materials. read more.   And on the subject of plastic, they have also banned the common plastic bag – that’s the smaller and thinner type used in supermarkets.  They will still have plastic bags, but they must be reusable ones which should cut down the numbers.
    You know those little plastic bags you put the veggies/fruit in? well they’ve been phased out as of the start of this year (2017) The law also currently plans to have domestically compostable bags which should replace plastic fruit and vegetable bags too.  Did you know:  An average plastic bag takes one second to make, is used for roughly 20 minutes and takes up to 400 years to degrade naturally.
  5. Food – The have become the world’s first country to ban supermarket waste and compel large retailers to donate unsold food.  Let’s face it – there’s heaps of places that will take donated food, not just the homeless shelters – what about schools, orphanages, old folk homes .
  6. All the new buildings in commercial zones must now comply and have green roofs – that is to say the rooftops must be partially covered in plants or solar panels by law.
  7. And now – the cameras in slaughterhouses.  Although France’s history of animal welfare is lacking compare to other countries, at least this is a real start.  It did come about by the release of hidden video as well as a fair amount of protesting.  Read more  To top this off a coalition of 26 French animal protection associations have combined to make sure that animal welfare is on the political agenda for the next presidential and legislative elections.

Our animals and our planet need us to get behind countries that are actually doing something.  Yes we need the “something” to be way more than what’s being done, and way faster, but, being the realist I am, I’m grateful for small wins.

Speaking about the environment – The EU, those pesky bureaucrats in Brussels who care for the environment, are putting all countries under pressure to reduce the consumption of plastic bags.  Wish the same could be said for here Down Under!!!

Love food, be kind to animals (including humans)
and, remember, for every $ you spend you shape our world.

Ciao
Fee

 

My Partner Is A Full On Meat Eater And I Want To Go Veg

Is this where you’re at?  Your partner is full on meat eater and you’re wanting to go veg.

Or, perhaps you know some-one who is in this situation and you’re not sure how to help them.  Well, I’ve set out a few ideas below and hopefully they’ll be of some benefit.

You see, I’ve pretty much heard all the excuses, in fact I wrote a book about it Why Be Vegetarian Debunking The Excuses  and in that book I go through the most common (and funny) ones that are asked.

But the one that I think is not necessarily an excuse per se, but is a reason and one that I do understand – my partner is a meat eater but I’d love to go veg –

1. The very first thing I tell them is that bringing in the cruelty of animal farming usually doesn’t work.  Many have tried by putting up the argument about the animal abuse within the meat industry, but, sadly, many meat-eaters have turned off the compassionate switch, in fact, putting factory farming images can actually have the opposite effect – it’s called desensitization.  The brain doesn’t compute the images with what is being eaten, because the brain is so used to believing that what is being consumed is needed by the body.  (plus it tastes good).

So the trick is to bring in health and scientific research.  There is a documentary which you may have heard of called  Forks Over Knives.   This doco was made in 2011, but it is even more relevant today.  The medical studies and research are incredible and the results amazing.

The idea is to watch this documentary TOGETHER … you can rent it from Amazon really cheap …. then when it’s finished, hopefully, it will stimulate conversation between the two of you.  That’s when you’re then able to suggest that you both could try having animal free days even just a couple of days a week and see how you go.

However, don’t be surprised if the result is even more dramatic and a full on 100% plant based diet is suggested by the meat-eater.

2. If you’re the one doing the cooking, then this can be much easier.  You can easily make veg meals and have meat as a “side dish”.  In fact it’s even easier if you have single serve pieces of meat e.g. a piece of chicken, steak, fish etc.

3. Of course you can just say …. “This is what I’m eating – if you want meat, you cook it yourself”.  Now this one is rather dramatic, but has been known to work.  You know your partner, so you’ll know just how far you can take this one.

4. Another great way of introducing veg meals is to have food in different bowls laid out on the table so everyone can help themselves.  Along the lines of a buffet style meal.  Yes, it makes for a lot more dishes, but it’s actually quite fun, and rather than you dishing up each plate of food, everyone gets to choose.

Now this bodes well for the change.  The meat-eater can still have the meat, but can also try a little of the plant based foods as well.  Make sure you add some vegan cheese also just for fun.

5. You can use faux meats, however, I’m not a believer in this type as, at the end of the day, it’s still processed and, for health, you want to avoid processed as much as possible.

In saying that, if you come across something very tasty, then it could be a way for your meat-eater to give it a go.  Perhaps an idea for transition food.

6. Last one is that you could approach it this way …. “I respect your eating choices and we eat the way you want every day, so, please can you respect my choices and perhaps we can eat the way I would like twice a week?”  It could be a start.

One thing to remember throughout all this, is to respect the meat-eaters choices.  You may not agree, but each person has a right to make their own choice and chances are s/he is just not ready yet.  We all come at this from different angles and at different times.

Hopefully this has been of some help if your partner is a full on meat-eater and you want to go veg.

Ciao
Fee



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Melon & Curry Sauce

Oh this is simply divine – a melon and curry sauce that can be used over anything!

You will need a good food processor/blender and:

How To Make:

  • 1 cup of cashews soaked and drained. (for optimum result soak overnight).

Blend these nuts until really, really creamy then add:

  • 1 Tblsp Maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 1/4 cup Fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon.
  • Blend these with the nut cream then add:
  • The flesh of 1/2 a Rock Melon (for a more traditional taste use a Mango).
  • 2 – 3 teaspoons Curry powder – add enough curry powder to your taste.

Blend until smooth tasting as you go so you don’t over-do the curry.   You want the flavour of the Melon to come through.

Once the sauce is blended to a creamy consistency, put it into a glass jar and refrigerate.  You can add to all sorts of dishes at the last minute to just get it heated through.

Note:
You don’t want to boil it … be gentle if heating through on its own.

Please leave a comment if you do make this and what you added it to.

Enjoy
Fee



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