Category: Anything Else (page 1 of 12)

My 3 Top Tips For Going Vegan

These are my three top tips for going vegan, maybe they would be more aptly named as my top 3 ‘don’ts’.

1.   DON’T GO COLD TURKEY

(excuse the pun), especially If you’re doing this on your own. Going vegan or plant based eating is a lifestyle change. It’s not a diet in the traditional sense of the word, it is a different way of eating (and for vegan it includes way of living) and something that you need to get your head around. I know it can be difficult if you’ve just seen a movie like ‘Earthlings’ and you see where your meat is actually coming from. It’s like the old saying – once seen, never can be unsee – which means you’re finding it really difficult to look at meat the same way you used to.
But, if you want going vegan to work, then do it slowly. Pick 2 or 3 days a week to be animal free (including dairy and eggs) or, just make the weekends the time for having animal products.
Make sure you eat up the food you already have, it’s a waste to throw it out – but as you replace it, you can then look for the vegan version.

2.  DON’T THINK ABOUT ‘GIVING UP’ FOODS

Think about discovering ‘new’ foods.
Many people think about the foods they are going to have to give up such as bacon or cheese or ice-cream or chicken nuggets or other favourites they may have.
So I always counsel to try and think about the new foods and flavours. When looking at recipes think things like ‘ooo that looks so good’ or ‘wow I bet that’s tasty’ or ‘I know I’ll like that because it has XYZ seasonings’. So look at the new foods and soon those foods will become part of your life.

3.  DON’T JUST TAKE THE MEAT OFF YOUR PLATE

Put a quality protein in its place. You need to be eating quality foods, so putting a quality protein in the place of meat is a great way to start your vegan voyage. To begin with try foods like chickpeas, quinoa, lentils and beans and put one of those with your plate full of vegetables, grains, nuts and seeds. Not only will it give you the nourishment, it will help to fill you up. Oh, and keep it all full of as much colour as you can – not only looks tasty but full of nutrition.

Those are my top 3 tips for going vegan:

Don’t go Cold Turkey – Don’t think about ‘giving up’ foods and Don’t just take the meat off.

Ciao
Fee



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Should We Eat Eggs?

Eggs are such a common food and touted as being great for us, but should we actually eat eggs?

Now I have to admit, that eggs were the hardest thing for me to leave behind, but I did so for a couple of reasons.

The Egg Industry:

I think we all know just how cruel life is for the chickens who have to live in the cages.  So let’s look at a few facts on the caged chicken.

  1. It can take around 34 hours for a chicken to produce an egg which means that farmers have to make sure they have enough chickens producing enough eggs in order to make a living.  As demand increased so the space allocated to each chicken decreased.
  2. Battery cages allow a space no bigger than an A4 size piece of paper. And, because the hens are packed into these cages with anywhere between 5 to 11 to a cage,
  3. At the start of their life the end of their beaks are cut off with a hot blade – no anesthetic given (not all battery hens suffer this, but it is still a common practice around the world).
  4. Cages are usually stacked one on top of another which allows urine and feces to fall through to the birds in the cages below
  5. They often die in the cage and on some farms are left to rot. This does make you wonder just how much disease is coming through into the eggs.

These cages are being phased out. They’re already banned in many European countries and in parts of the United States.  N.Z. has put a ban on battery cages, however, currently is allowing colony cages which is really just a bigger version. … wire and steel.  Australia, I believe, still is running with this barbaric practice.

So, instead, you choose free range eggs.

Before I go on let’s start at the beginning because this is the start of all chickens lives regardless of whether they are for the caged or the free range farms.

  1. Because the demand is so great for layer hens, chicks are born in large incubators obviously never seeing their mother.
  2. Shortly after birth the chicks are sorted into male and females. The males are tossed into the trash to suffocate gassed or ground up alive in machines.
  3. At the other end of life – again, same for all types of egg farms.
  4. Hens can live up to 10 years of age, but in this industry they are lucky if they reach 2 years. Most are packed into crates and trucked off to slaughter around the 18 months of age this is because their egg laying begins to tail off and so they are no longer a viable proposition to the farmer.
  5. For those who live in cages and in barns – the journey in the truck to the slaughter house is the only time a hen will see the light of day, the only time she will breathe the air and see the sky.

Eggs For Health:

Where do I start?

Even the US Department of Agriculture warned the egg industry that if they say eggs are nutritious or safe they may violate the rules against false and misleading advertising.

That in itself speaks volumes.

  1. Egg yolks alone can cause artery clogging plaque build up nearly two thirds as bad as smoking.
  2. Eggs are the number one source of cholesterol.  A fascinating study was done over a period of a year where they put the subject on eggs, then took him off eggs, put him back on eggs, took him off eggs and the rise and fall of cholesterol was massive – it turn his blood cholesterol on and off like an eggy light switch.
  3. Eggs increase our risk of cardiovascular disease.   Putting  all the studies going right back to the 1930’s all together you find those who ate the most eggs (average a single egg per day), had a 19% increase in cardiovascular disease, a 68% increase risk of diabetes and those with diabetes a 85% increase risk of heart disease.

You must remember that you need to be sure the research you read are not funded by the egg industry.
and what I find amusing is that their studies will compare a single egg to something like a cheese and sausage found in the McDonald’s McMuffin which, of course, is laden with saturated fats.

Now, If you’re already eating a high cholesterol diet, then adding an egg isn’t going to make a difference.  But if you’re trying to eat healthy and bring your cholesterol down, then an egg is going to shoot it right back up again.

Apart from the cholesterol and looking at other phytonutrients that eggs have such as lutein which have been shown to be beneficial to one’s eyesight against conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.

But wait – you can get both these nutrients in spinach. In fact, you’d have to eat 9 eggs to get the same amount that is in a single spoonful of spinach.

Eggs are not rich in protein, iron or folate as the industry might want you to believe.  Choline is about the only nutrient eggs are rich in (besides cholesterol) and even though the industry would love you to think that eggs are the only source of it in reality we probably all get too much choline as it’s found in lots of foods.

If you tend to have a bit of a ‘fishy’ breath, sweat, urine and other secretions, then chances are you’ve had too much choline.  Oh and by the way, dietary choline is found mainly in eggs, milk, liver, red meat, poultry, shell fish and fish.

It’s also been discovered that once it’s been through the gut and oxidized in our liver the result may contribute to plaque build up in the arteries.

My conclusion is that eggs are a double whammy when it comes to heart health having both the cholesterol and the choline.
There’s just no way round it …. go wholefood vegan and help not only the chickkies but your health as well.

Ciao
Fee



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Should We Eat Organic Food?

We do hear a lot about organic food – but should we eat it?

Well, there seems to be two main reasons why people think organic food is right.

1 – the nutrition value and
2 – the lack of pesticides

So do organic foods actually have a greater nutrition value?

There have been lots of studies done over the years and whats really interesting is that it appears there’s not that much difference in the nutritious value of organic over regular.
But don’t think I’ve finished there. You see they actually did find that organic fruits and vegetables have much higher levels of phenolic phytonutrients which are thought to be behind the real health benefits of plant eating – organics have between 18 – 69% more of these gorgeous anti-oxidant compounds than standard produce.

But where does that leave us. Well, unfortunately there’s not been enough clinical trials and studies done to be able to categorically say that organic is much healthier, however, we do know that there is some increase in nutritional value,
BUT
and I hope I can explain this – because of the cost factor – it’s kind of negated – you see you can buy more standard produce meaning you’ll get that extra nutrition … equals …organics have no more nutrient value per dollar than regular…. you just have to eat a bit more of the regular and you’re on a par with the organic. …. Make sense?

So what about the sprayed fruits and veggies?

In 2006 there was a study done on children to see how much pesticide was flowing through them
The study put them on conventional food, then organic food, then back onto the conventional food – the results, without question, clearly showed that on the organic diet the amount of pesticides fell away entirely.

Another study done on adults showed a nearly 90% drop in exposure when the subjects went onto organic foods.

Now, no studies have been done yet to see if organic offers more of a protection against disease.
My opinion? I try and have organic soft skin foods and other types can be regular.
I’m not overly pedantic, but then I do try to eat in season, get to the Farmer’s market, and ask if it is spray free.

Ciao
Fee



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Research the Research

What do I mean when I say Research the Research?

So have you ever actually questioned the research, you know, when you read something that appears factual?  Have you ever dug deep into research to find out exactly where it’s come from?  Or do you take it all at face value?

One of the things that I really try to do is to bring you information that has been researched thoroughly by independent researchers.

So here’s an example of research that really isn’t that great, and, taken on face value, easily misled people.

There was a study done around 2012/13 by Tuft University.  The researchers looked at dietary cholesterol and did it effect blood cholesterol levels.

Previously science had clearly shown that if you eat more cholesterol in foods such as eggs (eggs have high cholesterol), the blood cholesterol goes up.

What these researchers did was that they took 12 studies that had been previously done and they re-did them – the results differed dramatically from the original.  They managed to show that it didn’t seem like the cholesterol levels would go up very much and, if it did, it was only for certain people.

But – when you really looked at  those 12 new studies, 11 of them had been industry funded and 10 had been funded specifically by the egg industry.

So you’ve got the research saying that the cholesterol was fine but when the details were dug into more it was found that it did indeed show that dietary cholesterol from eggs was in fact a problem.  The researchers had manipulated the findings to stay in line with those who were paying them.

This is just one example of many.

If you do ever want to find out the really good research on any given health topic, rather that reading it up yourself , (you can go to Pubmed which is where the research is published, but remember to really dig deep), the best source is a website by Dr. Michael Greger Nutritionfacts.org.  He does all the reading for you and puts it into layman’s language that makes it way more easy to understand.  Plus it’s always independent research.

Just to re-iterate – I do research the research so I can be pretty darn confident that what I’m telling you has been scientifically proven.

Ciao
Fee



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Obesity On The Rise

We all know that obesity is on the rise which is such a sad state of affairs.

The absolutely worst part about it is that it’s not just the wealthy countries like USA where the problem is.  Far from it.

It now is filtering out into Asia and also into developing countries where once the diet was mostly plant-based and healthy, now processed and fast foods are becoming more and more available and cheap.

My belief is that the beginning was when factory farming came in and animal produce became cheaper and easier to get.
The increased sugar in products is only part of the problem.  Animal foods is also a massive issue too as researchers know that too much animal protein leads to all the now common diseases like heart, diabetes, cancers etc.

In the west and wealthy countries – these diseases are controlled by drugs, which in itself poses problems, but the poorer countries don’t have this option due to cost.

Wholefood, plant based eating has been scientifically proven to not only reduce obesity, but can reverse common diseases like heart disease and diabetes.  No other ‘diet’ can claim this.  Obesity and all the side effects that it comes with it is down to a lifestyle choice and sadly most have no idea that all it takes is a switch in lifestyle.

Why?

There’s no money in veggies!

Check out this video which really sums it all up.

credit: http://www.playground.plus/

Till next time
Ciao
Fee



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Is It Hard To Be Vegan?

A question I get asked frequently is “Is it hard to be vegan” and the simple answer is “No”

Should I just end this post now?

O.k. – I’ll keep going and explain why it’s not at all difficult.

The hardest part to being vegan is taking the initial step into the plant-based kitchen.  Deciding that you’re going to flip the ratio of meat to veggie on it’s ear and go veggie to meat. In fact for many days during the week, you’re even going to try having no meat at all.

That’s the hardest part.

Once you’ve made the decision the rest kind of falls into place. Such as discovering What to Eat Instead of Meat (great title for a book … oh yes, one I’ve written).  It’s learning about having beans, peas (as in chickpeas) or lentils instead of beef, chicken or fish.

Next, it’s getting some recipes and you can’t get a better cookbook than Mr Google!!!
Just type in something like ‘vegan recipe with lentils’ and you’ll get so many hits you’ll have a hard time picking just one.

You can also meet like-minded people.  Get out there and get among other vegans and vegetarians.  You can start with FaceBook.  There are many, many vegan groups …. but a word of warning, find one that is supportive of new vegans – these are the groups that will help you whenever you need it.

Perhaps you can find a group in your town.  http://meetup.com is a brilliant place to start.  You will have to ‘join’ which is free then you can search for vegan groups in your area.

Another place to go is to the local cafe that you know sells vegan food.  Ask them if them if they know of a group that you can join.  Maybe you can put up a sign for newbie vegans to meet for coffee there.

The point of all this is that the hardest part is definitely the start.  Just like anything, when you step outside of your comfort zone it’s scary and strange – but, believe me when I say – get into this way of cooking and suddenly it becomes your comfort zone!!!

If you need help at all, I am here for you.  Jump on a live call with me for ½ hour and ask me anything you like –  it’s free and I’m happy to help.
Pop through to my appointment calendar and made a time that suits (time is shown in N.Z. zone), I’d love to connect.

https://visibook.com/feescoaching

One last thing … if you’re new to veganism, then make it as healthy as you can, (yes there are unhealthy vegans), go whole-food plant based eating which will mean that you get a great bonus … your own health.

Ciao
Fee



Some Comedy To Lighten The Mood

Nothing beats a bit of comedy to lighten the mood.

Every week on my Social Media (you’ll find links somewhere on this page), I post up a “funny”.  Usually on a Friday, but lately I’ve been putting up one on Mondays as well.  It’s been ages since I shared.

So here’s the next batch for you to enjoy ….

Click here to see more funnies

Hope you’ve enjoyed – If you have, you might like to share

Ciao
Fee



 

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The Vegan Survival Kit – Episode 2

In the Vegan Survival Kit today we’re putting in Tools.

To be precise, I’m talking about knives.

I hope you enjoyed the  first episode  which was about protein.  Well, episode two is about tools. We need to have good tools in the kitchen if we are to enjoy cooking.  It’s like anything – the right tools for the job makes life so much easier!

So, in this episode I talk a bit about the knives and how to look after them.  Of course, there’s other tools, and one or two in particular that are really important for plant based eating … I go more into detail in my Vibrant Living course.

But, for now, enjoy the video The Vegan Survival Kit – Episode 2

Enjoy good food and be compassionate to all animals

Ciao
Fee




The Vegan Survival Kit – Episode 1

Over the next little while, I’m going to be filling the Vegan Survival Kit with all sorts of odd thing.

Today, into the kit goes Protein.

I’m going to let the video below tell you most of it, needless to say, protein is one pretty necessary ingredient when it comes to what a vegan (or anyone) eats.

You see protein is an incredibly important building block of bones, muscles, cartilage, skin and blood.  It helps to make enzymes, hormones and other body chemicals to do this work and, along with fat and carbohydrates, we need relatively large amounts of it to do its job.

Plant protein is the best protein you can get and as long as you’re having quality proteins (beans, peas, lentils etc), you really can’t go wrong.  It’s also advisable to have protein with each meal, however, don’t stress out about it as all plants do contain protein.  Also the beauty of plant over animal protein is that plant protein also has fibre which animal protein doesn’t.  In fact omnivores have well below the recommended daily fibre intake – whereas vegans have over.

But … watch the video as to why I’m making protein the first item in the Vegan Survival Kit.

Enjoy good food and be compassionate to all animals

Ciao
Fee




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



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