Category: Health (page 1 of 2)

Should Vegans Take Supplements?

This is my view on whether vegans should take supplements or not.

If you’re on a wholefood plant based way of eating then you shouldn’t need supplements other than two, which I’ll tell you about in a minute.

Assuming your food is pretty good, like you grow it yourself,  get it at farmers markets,  buy local produce, organic where you can etc,  then you should be getting all your nutrients from the food.

Most people don’t know but some supplements can actually be detrimental to your health. These are in two ways:

  1. Hazardous ingredients are known to turn up in some supplements causing those taking them to end up in hospital with a range of serious problems. These are mainly found in Body building, Weight loss and Sexual enhancement supplements.
  2. Some supplements have the risk of giving the taker organ damage, cancer and cardiac arrest.
    Many ingredients can also interfere with those taking prescription medicine especially cholesterol lowering and blood-thinning drugs.

So to give you a couple of examples.

Red Yeast Rice is used to Lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol to help prevent heart disease however, it can actually trigger kidney and muscle problems, liver problems, hair loss and can magnify the effect of cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, increasing the risk of side effects.

another is

Green Tea Extract Powder mainly used in the weight loss industry  can lead to dizziness, ringing in the ears, reduced absorption of iron (exacerbates anemia), glaucoma, can elevate blood pressure and heart rate, can cause liver damage and possibly even death.

It’s the way some of the supplements are made up and the ingredients that are used that is the problem.
Also, you have to remember that the supplement’s ingredients have been  processed – not a whole-food and therefore can be just as detrimental in its refined state as sugar or white flour is.

If you believe you should be taking supplements, then always seek advice from a health professional.

On a brighter note:
The two I suggest? Vitamin B12 as this comes from the soil and we have the habit of washing the bejezual out of our veggies – and Vitamin D if you’re an indoor person or live in poor sun.  Vitamin B12 comes in a selection of foods, so look on the label for the words ‘fortified B12’ and you won’t have to bother with tablets.

And, always choose quality branded product from a health food store.

That’s it for me today

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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Factory Farmed Meat And Human Health

How does factory farmed meat affect human health?

Factory farming is a reality … sadly … but hopefully we’ll start to move away from it.  Mind you, with humans voracious appetite for meat, I’m not sure it will happen in my lifetime.

In the UK there are over 800 mega farms and the biggest of these factory farms have the capacity to house more than:

  • a million chickens,
  • 2,000 dairy cows
  • over 20,000 pigs.

Most of these animals are constantly kept inside.  In fact both the chicken and pork industries are incredible intense and cruel because they are crammed in to such small spaces.

It’s not just the cruelty that these animals have to endure, but these farms can be a breeding ground for food poisoning bugs like campylobacter,  E.coli and salmonella, especially in the chickens followed by the pigs.

Because the animals live so closely together diseases spread quickly which means there is a widespread use of antibiotics – in saying the the practice is dropping.  Doctors are realizing that we’ve been over-exposed and the antibiotics just doesn’t cut the mustard any more.
World-wide, more antibiotics are dished out to animals than to humans. … quite bizarre – so the animal will be fit for human consumption.

Well they’re not

These animals also are fed grains that are doused in chemical pesticides and fertilizers, grown on vast amounts of land that are pushing out the wild life and putting a lot of them on the brink of extinction.

How does this equate to human health?

Apart from the fact that animal protein is not good for our health which research continues to back up, those who choose to continue eating meat are getting a lot sicker than past generations because of factory farming and the way the animals fed and housed.  This makes both the animals and the humans really susceptible to diseases.

So the human health is going on a mega slide down because of the massive consumption of this meat.

It really saddens me when I see people refusing to see the overwhelming scientific and clinically back evidence that animal protein (includes all meats, fish, dairy & eggs) is not the healthy option.  It seems to me that people would rather be sick and be on meds with a much lower quality of life than embrace a wholefood plant-based lifestyle.
This attitude is very obvious with my age group who are quite set in their ways – always had the meat and three veg and don’t want to change.  They’d rather get just another prescription than learn how to feed themselves so they can reverse heart disease, diabetes, obesity etc.
The silly part is that not only would they have quality of life they’d live longer on a healthy vegan lifestyle.

However, I am seeing more young people taking on the vegan life, usually more because they have had their eyes opened to animal suffering, but sometimes because they don’t want to end up with dementia, heart disease, cancers etc like their grandparents, parents or older relatives.

If you do want to go vegan … then do yourself a favour and be a healthy vegan by adopting a whole-food plant base way of eating – you’ll be doing it for the animals with the bonus of giving yourself good health too.

Till next time
Ciao
Fee





The Humble Little Nut

We really do sometimes take the humble little nut for granted when, in fact, it packs an almighty powerful punch.

Not only can we use the nut in different ways, but it is also a major contributor to our health.

So let’s start with the nutritional value of nuts.  Yes, it does depend a wee bit on the actual nut, but generally they are a source of:

  • protein (yes, nodding head, they are)
  • potassium,
  • calcium (see, you don’t need dairy – chop some nuts and sprinkle over dark green veg and you’re good to go!)
  • magnesium
  • anitoxidants
  • Vitamin E
  • fibre
  • selenium
  • iron

As I said – each type of nut offers different things.  However they pretty much all have fat in them – good fat – but still fat.  This is why you don’t want to sit down to a bag of nuts!!!  Instead it’s recommended that a handful a day is sufficient.  (mixed or one type).

Please avoid nuts that have been roasted as they normally will be done in oil and have salt and/or flavourings added.  It’s best to buy raw and dry roast them in the oven yourself.

HOW TO STORE.  Sadly nuts come already shelled and not chilled which means you have no idea how old they are.  If they smell a bit “off” (rancid) they are waaaaay past their ‘best by’ date.  When you get them home … pop into the fridge and they will last longer.

What to do with them:

NUT MILK

Nuts make remarkable milk that can be used either in cooking or just plain over grains or to drink. To make the nut milk –

You’ll need:.

  • Organic nuts are best and they ought to be fresh. You could use any kind of type, however, I suggest you start with either almonds, cashews, Brazil nuts or hazelnuts.
  • This is where you need to have a really good, and powerful blender – one that you make smoothies with.
    Next you’ll need something to strain the milk with.  You could use cheese cloth or muslin which I’d suggest to start with – you can get a nut milk bag later on if you want to continue making your milk.

How to:

  • Soak the nuts over night this will soften them and make it easier to blend.
  • The portion is 1 cup of nuts to 3 cups of filtered water (you can alter the amount of water as you get familiar with the process
  • Put into your blender and blend at high speed until the nuts are well mixed. (They’ll turn the colour of milk)
  • Strain the fluid through your cheese cloth to separate it from the pulp, getting out as much milk as possible by twisting the cloth.
  • You can use the pulp in baking.

If you do want to sweeten the milk, try with a little date puree which is the healthiest option … just put it back into the blender with the date puree and blend well.

NUT BUTTER

Again quite a simple process.  Your food processor will do the job effectively.

You’ll need:

  • Organic nuts and this time dry roast them and cooled
  • Oil – maybe.

How to:

  • Put the cooled nuts into the processor and start to blend them.
  • They should start forming a ball.  Some nuts won’t need the extra oil, but if you think the nuts are not forming enough of a paste, then add a little oil to help the process.
  • Once made, place into pot or small glass jar to use.

Nuts au natural:

Regardless if you have them whole or chopped they are a fabulous addition to practically anything.

  • Include cashews to stir-fried vegetables – scrumptious.
  • Obviously you can always add nuts to baking e.g. cakes, breads or cookies.
  • A little mix of nuts sprinkled over a salad or I’ve been known to put them over veggies.

That’s it – so go nutty!

Ciao
Fee



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How Can We Be Healthy?

In order to be healthy in today’s society, we must first choose it.

Then we have to put in a bit of conscious effort and dedication until the healthy way becomes ‘normal’ … doesn’t really take that long!

It really is quite ironic that the Standard American Diet spells out S.A.D. … sad.  And sad it certainly is because its unhealthy diet is causing people to end up with diabetes, obesity, heart disease and cancers and even more sad is the fact that children are now suffering from obesity and diabetes all caused by the S.A.D.

This is also becoming alarmingly more prevalent in countries like New Zealand and Australia who also seem to follow blindly the American way – and now Asian countries are feeling the effects of S.A.D. too.

So, people want to be healthy, but sadly they fall short.  They want it, but not quite bad enough.  So they give up and put their trust in Doctors who are, more often than not, reliant on what the pharmaceutical companies teach them.
A pill for this, a tablet for that, a minor surgery here, a stent there, a bit of chemo and maybe come back in 5 – 8 years for more.  It’s certainly a money spinner!

But it doesn’t have to be like that.

These are diseases that either don’t have to happen in the first place or can actually be reversed.  There’s more research in the medical journals than you can shake a stick at.  Research, blind controlled studies, over hundreds of thousands of volunteers, over many, many years from different research doctors, universities and clinical trials from all over the world since the 1920s and they all point to one thing – EAT MORE PLANTS.

There are proven and powerful ways to get healthy.  There are coaches and mentors who can help you get there in the easiest and quickest way, but ultimately you have to put it all into action.  It’s your body, it’s your health and it’s your success.

Know that you CAN be successful with this.  It really isn’t going to take you too long at all, in fact you will start feeling the benefits within 48 hours and once you do it will give you the incentive to keep going.  If you know the right techniques and mindset you will be so thankful that you took that first step to bringing the healthy foods into your life that WILL give you the beautiful, healthy life possible.

Ciao
Fee

Check out how I can help you get onto that ‘healthy you’ path:  Helping Hand




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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





How To Stop Being Hungry On A Vegan Diet

Just gone vegan?  Here’s how to stop being hungry when going vegan.

So many new vegans tell me just how hungry they get.

Well, some of you may already know that I do suggest taking things slowly for example starting with two or three days a week going completely animal free.

But some of you may see a movie like Speciesism or Earthlings and just decide that you can’t go another day consuming animal flesh and by-products.

And when you jump right in, then hunger can be quite a factor.

So just how do you tackle the hunger and stop it from happening ?

The first thing you have to do is make sure you are getting enough protein such as beans, nuts, pulses etc and enough fats ..  again nuts, seeds and oils like coconut or olive.  Then there are the carbs (which seems to be especially true for men) and this can be potatoes and other root vegetables, bread or rice.

Get a list from the internet on both vegan carbs and vegan protein.

Unfortunately many new vegans think they just need to subtract the animal and they’ll be right.  Unfortunately this isn’t the case. you need to replace the protein and fats.  The beauty is that you’ll replace with much healthier protein and fats.

Another thing you can do is don’t go so long between meals.  Be prepared by having snacks at the ready.  Hummus and crackers are excellent as are a things like Sundried tomatoes with avocado or olive tapenade on pita.  Of course there’s fruit, I find a banana fills me up long enough before the next meal.

And last tip – Slow down … like really slow down.  This is so much better for your digestion anyway and  if you have gone to the trouble of preparing the meal, the least you can do is enjoy it.  So turn off the T.V. (unless you live alone) and enjoy your family and the meal together.

If you have any other tips, please leave a comment below … would love to have them added here.

Until next time – be a conscious consumer and enjoy life.

Ciao
Fee

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Clean Eating – Nutrition Made Easy

Brand new book in “The Good Life” series!!  
As the title of this post says “Nutrition made easy” – that’s what this new book is all about.  As a vegan, I really can’t count the number of times I have been asked what food I have for protein or calcium or B12 or whatever the person asking the question is stumped over.
I keep saying, I don’t think about it.  Just like a meat-eater generally doesn’t stress over whether they are getting the right nutrients, then really speaking neither should a vegan or anyone having meat free meals.

Hence the reason to write this book:  A Clean Eating Nutrition Guide

http://tiny.cc/z7vijx
Now, I’m the first one to tell you, that I’m not a nutritionist nor do I work in the “health” industry, but through my own experience, extensive research and educating myself, I certainly try to keep on top of the latest studies that come out from the experts.
This book is for those who just want to be sure that what they are eating is right, for those who want eating animal free meals to be stress free and for those who want to know which foods contain which nutrients.
You really will be surprised just how easy it is!
Here’s one review:
“The author makes it perfectly clear that she is not a ‘professional’ in nutrition, she’s better than a professional, Fee has gained her knowledge through her own research, understanding and more importantly – her experience! She does not present ‘professional advice’ rather what feels like sage advice from a good friend.
Book 3 contains the high standard of writing and explanation that we readers have become accustomed to from Fee’s work.”
– Flip’n’Chip
So, grab a copy while it’s on the launch special of $0.99 USA – this offer ends the night of Monday 28th July NZ time.
Oh, and if you can …. I really will appreciate an honest review back on Amazon.

Here’s the link again:  A Clean Eating Nutrition Guide

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