Is animal protein bad for our health?

I want to start this post by clarifying what I mean with animal protein, any kind of animal meat (red, white or seafood) or products derived from animals like dairy (cheese, yogurt, milk) and eggs. Since we are kids, we are told that we need protein and that we get the protein by eating meat, and somehow the more meat we eat, the better. Have you ever stopped and wonder if this is really true?

Most of us don’t even know how much protein we need a day, or other protein sources besides animal produce. We get bombarded by marketing from the meat and dairy industries, and it works because we are conditioned to eat these products since we are born. I mean a lot of us love to eat things like cheese or bacon, they taste soo good, right? If you want to know why they taste so good to us, you can read my blog about this subject Why do unhealthy foods taste so good? . Here comes a harsh truth: turns out, we don’t even need to eat animal protein. The only thing our body needs that is not in plant based foods is vitamin B12, it used to be found in nature but because of all the chemicals and pesticides we use it can’t be found in nature anymore. We are eating animal protein daily and in excessive amounts causing us to get ill with diseases like diabetes or cancer just to name a couple of them. Not to mention we are destroying the environment while accepting all the cruelty these animals go thtough just to satisfy our craving. We don’t get bombarded with this information because there is a lot of money in the processed-food, meat, poultry, egg and dairy industries, so the more meat we eat, the more money they get. Documentaries like Fed Up, Forks Over Knives, Food Choices, and What the Health? explain this relationship in more detail in case you would like to know more (all available on Netflix:).

If we take the Dietary Guidelines from the USA 2015-2020, we see that they recommend 5.5 ounces (156 grams) of protein per day.

They also recommend 3.7 ounces (105.2 grams) per day of specifically meats, poultry, and eggs based on a 2000 daily calorie diet (105gr beef = 56 grams of animal protein). They do this while admitting in the same guidelines, that there is a link between meat consumption and cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, obesity and some types of cancer.

They also recommend adults to eat up to 3 cups of dairy per day (3 cups of skimmed milk 245 grams = 96 grams of animal protein) and 1.1 ounces of seafood per day or 32 grams per day (32 grams of Atlantic cooked salmon = 7 grams of animal protein).

This recommendations would come to 56+96+7= 159 grams of animal protein which exceeds their recommendation per day of protein intake. They recommend 5.5 ounces (156 grams) of protein per day for the 2000 calorie level diet. In other words, they want us to eat all the proteins from animal products. Though they included in these guidelines for the first time, that the protein group is also comprised of legumes, nuts and seeds and not just meats.

The World Health Organization (WHO) and Doctor McDougall tell us that we need 5% on average of our daily calories to come from protein or 0.6 grams per kilogram of bodyweight. Doctor Campbell thinks we should aim at 8%-10% as half of the population needs more than 5%.

Let’s compare the 2 recommendations for a woman weighing 60kg (132lbs), the US government says she should eat 156 grams of (animal) protein per day while the Doctor Campbell says maximum 72 (plant based) grams of protein per day. That is less than half the amount of protein, but the problem is not only in the amount we consume, but also in the source of that protein.

When it comes to this information I choose to believe the doctors who are not economically tied to any (food) industry and base their advice on independent scientific peer-reviewed studies. These studies are good quality research. And they are telling us that an excess of protein has been linked to an increase of chronic disease rates especially when eating animal protein.

Animal proteins (especially hard cheese, red meat, poultry; yup even turkey specially the processed kind, seafood, and eggs) contain a high amount of amino acids abundant in sulfur, not to mention the excess of cholesterol and lack of fiber, but that’s for another post. This amino acid breaks down into very powerful sulfuric acids. I’m going to get a bit specific here because it is important so that we can understand better. We find this sulfur as two of the primary amino acids, methionine and cysteine. Derived from these two, are other sulfur-containing amino acids namely, keto-methionine, homocysteine, cystathionine, taurine and, cysteic acid. Although we need these sulfur acids to survive, an excess in the amount we consume, can deteriorate our health in many ways. Here are some examples.

Osteoporosis and kidney stones

Our bodies are not able to store the excess protein we consume so it has to be broken down. This is done mainly by our liver, who gets help from our kidneys and muscles, leading to an accumulation of toxic protein byproducts.

Since we are kids we are told that if we drink milk we are going to have strong bones because our bones need calcium and we get the calcium from drinking cow’s milk, right? Wrong! The countries consuming more dairy are the countries with higher osteoporosis (weak bones) rates, among other conditions. So how is this possible? Well, proteins are acidic by nature, they are made of amino acids. To neutralize the effect of these acids, our bones release buffering materials, these buffering bone materials settle in the kidney system resulting in what we know as kidney stones. And your bones get depleted from calcium, which is quite the opposite of what they’re selling us.  

Cardiovascular and mental diseases

The more meat in our diet the higher level of the amino acid homocysteine we have in our blood. When we metabolize the amino acid methionine, it becomes homocysteine and animal foods are the main source of homocysteine in humans. Several scientific studies have proven that homocysteine significantly contributes to cardiovascular and mental diseases.

Cardiovascular diseases:

  • Heart attacks
  • Strokes
  • Closure of the arteries of the legs (peripheral vascular disease)
  • Blood clots in the legs (venous thrombosis)

Mental diseases:

  • Thinking problems (cognitive impairment)
  • Dementia
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Depression

Let’s look at my favourite example of this. When the Nazis went into Norway during WWII and took all the livestock to feed their soldiers, the people of Norway were forced to feed themselves mainly with plant-based foods. The result from this was a dramatic drop in the number of deaths caused by circulatory diseases. As you can see in the graph below, when the war ended and the livestock was back, the mortality from circulatory diseases shoot back upwards.

Mortality-in-NorwaySource: Strom A, Jensen RA. Mortality from Circulatory Diseases in Norway 1940-1945. The Lancet. 1951; 1(3): 126-129.

Cancer

The methionine in sulfur feeds cancerous tumors. Our healthy cells can live without us eating methionine, but cancer cells are another story. The metabolism of cancer cells depends on methionine being in our diet, they feed from it. This has been demonstrated for the following types of cancers:

  • Breast cancer
  • Lung cancer
  • Colon cancer
  • Kidney cancer
  • Melanoma
  • Brain cancer

Additionally, IGF-1 is insulin-like growth factor-1, a hormone naturally produced by our bodies to help us grow during childhood which decreases as we go into adulthood. If we have too much of this hormone as adults, it can promote abnormal growth, spread and invasion of cancer. Evidence has been found that meat and dairy products raise our IGF-1 levels through methionine promoting the growth of breast, colon, prostate, and lung cancers.

Last but not least, The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which is the cancer agency of the World Health Organization, declared processed meat as a probable carcinogen in 2015. Processed meat includes ham, bacon, sausage, and some deli meats. The conclusions of reviewing around 800 studies by experts from 10 countries were that eating 50 grams (4 bacon strips or 1 hot dog) of processed meat every day increased the risk of colorectal cancer by 18%. There was evidence of increased risk of colorectal, pancreatic, and prostate cancer associated to red meat consumption.

Inflammatory bowel diseases

Ulcerative colitis is an Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can potentially be life threatening. This disease can be the result of consuming too many animal foods, hence a diet high in methionine. Even a small amount of sulfur in sulfur-containing amino acids is toxic to the tissues of our intestine causing damage to the colon.

Diabetes

There are two types of diabetes. Type-1 diabetes happens when the cells in the pancreas producing insulin are destroyed and it cannot be cured. However, patients might benefit from eating a plant based diet. Type-2 diabetes is caused by the Western diet, and according to Dr. McDougall, medication is NOT required and can be cured by eating a plant-based diet and doing exercise.

Contrary to what we thought, type-2 diabetes is not caused by an excess of sugar. Studies have found a link between type-2 diabetes and meat consumption, especially processed meat and particularly poultry because of the high saturated fat content which prevents your cells from using insulin. High risk foods include eggs and fish. Eating one egg a week can almost double your odds of getting diabetes. Fish, especially salmon are one of the main sources of  PCB’s (Polychlorinated biphenyls) and other industrial toxins that may play a role in the development of metabolic diseases like diabetes. PCB’s are considered carcinogens, and might also affect male sperm count and may be the cause for early onset puberty.

Foul smells

Another consequence of the sulfur in the meat you do much like, specially in methionine-rich animal protein can be stinky smells like halitosis (bad breath), body odor and farts smelling similar to rotten eggs.

Life prolongation

On the opposite side, we have fruits and vegetables which are highly alkaline, preserving healthy bones and preventing kidney stones, and yes there is plenty of protein in these plant based foods as well. Avoiding sulfur in our diet increases our lifespan, in experimental animals it has been shown that ingesting little or no methionine coming from food makes them live longer. This goes in line with the fact that a plant based diet, which is essentially low in calories and methionine, is the best and most easy way to a prolonged and healthy life.

Below you can see an adorable poster created by Simple Happy Kitchen where they show us the plant-based sources of protein:

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Now I don’t expect you to never eat animal protein ever again (but I can dream right?). Not even I can do this 100% all the time, but i do try to stick to 95%. Sometimes, I admit, a veggie pizza might find its way into my stomach somehow. There are some amazing people out there who are 100% and I feel an incredible amount of respect and admiration for them. But, reality is that eating a plant-based diet takes a while to learn and to bring to practice because it is a lifestyle change. It can be harder when nobody around you eats the same way or supports your views, but hey we got the internet now! Why do you think I started this blog?

Our body is amazing and we can reverse the damage done to it by years of eating garbage. Most people start seeing changes in a matter of days of eating a plant-based diet. I can tell you my parents got off of blood pressure and cholesterol pills by eating and keep eating this way. Personally, I have lost over 10kg and most significantly to me is that I reduced my allergic reaction to pollen tremendously. During the last years my hay fever had been getting worse and worse, I was getting asthma attacks and even had to use an inhaler (I also believe that stress and emotional traumas can play an important factor in developing allergies, but that’s just my opinion from what I’ve experienced). Some studies have found a link with respiratory diseases and eating dairy.

If a little part of you wants to make a change but finds it difficult, I’d say start little by little. Skip the beef and go for the chicken one day, skip the chicken go for the vegetarian option another day. Or simply reduce the amount of animal protein you are consuming. It was found in mice that more than 5% of animal protein in their diet stimulated and accelerated tumor growth, so maybe just reduce the amount of meat in your plate. You can also start by just changing your breakfast into plant-based, and then lunch, and then hopefully dinner. If you want an idea of what a plant-based diet is or what to eat, I would recommend you to download the app: Daily Dozen. It offers a super easy way to know and keep track of what you need to eat and actually eat every day. It was created by Dr. Michael Greger, he also wrote the book How Not to Die. A great read if you want to know more about the relationship between diet and diseases. ANother book the helped me get started was the Forks Over Knives cookbook.

There’s something that I feel I need to say, and you are probably not gonna like this but, it has been admitted by health organizations that eating processed meat is as cancerogenous as smoking tobacco, I can’t help but wonder: Would you give your kids a cigarette? Then why is it ok to give them a hamburger, or a hot dog?

If all this info I just threw at you did not convince you to make a change, maybe what convinced me will help you change your mind. The consequences our diet has on our planet and the innocent and amazing animals living in it, this will be the focus of my next informative post, so stayed tuned!

Sources:
https://www.forksoverknives.com/meeting-protein-needs-simply-by-eating/

https://authoritynutrition.com/how-much-protein-per-day/

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2004nl/040100puproteinoverload.htm

https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines/chapter-1/a-closer-look-inside-healthy-eating-patterns/#callout-meat-poultry-heading

https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/body-measurements.htm

https://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/search/list?qlookup=05064

https://www.drmcdougall.com/misc/2007nl/apr/protein.htm

http://nutritionfacts.org/topics/diabetes/

https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/education/health-science/hot-topics/medical-topics/diabetes/

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/why-is-meat-a-risk-factor-for-diabetes/

https://nutritionfacts.org/video/igf-1-as-one-stop-cancer-shop/

https://nutritionfacts.org/topics/pcbs/

http://cafefernando.com/conversion-tables/

http://www.theunitconverter.com/ounces-to-grams-conversion/26-ounces-to-grams.html

https://www.destitutegourmet.com/metric-conversion-chart/

https://www.google.nl/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=protein+in+fish&*

http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/pr/2015/pdfs/pr240_E.pdf

http://www.fultonmassagetherapy.com/history-of-the-whole-food-plant-based-movement/

https://www.simplehappykitchen.com/

Buying consciously: Zuperzozial eco-friendly tableware

For me, living a more conscious and sustainable life it’s a process, there are so many different aspects that I feel I can’t change everything at once or be aware of everything at the same time, I would go crazy. Sometimes I do, when I realize more and more the consequences of our daily actions and consumptions.

Take a moment and think from the time you wake up till you go to bed, all the products you use and buy during the day: Where do they come from?, Who made them?, Where they paid a fair salary for their work?, How long did it take to make them?, Which materials were used?, How much energy, water and other resources it took to make and transport them? Where are they going after you use them? Asking ourselves questions like this is going to make us more aware of the impact we are having in our environment and hopefully help us to buy more consciously. I’m getting to know more and more brands that asks themselves these questions and in this post I want to talk about one of them. Zuperzozial is a Dutch brand that makes beautiful eco-friendly tableware.

 

Zlogo

Since the first time I saw their products I loved not only the look of them but also the fact that they focus on making their products with the eco-friendly materials like bamboo. Zuperzozial was born in March 2011 in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. They saw the need for a more eco-friendly materials and discovered bamboo is perfect to make tableware. Their products contain as much plant-fiber as possible, they are made of around 75% fiber which is produced on a durable way. Zuperzozial’s goal is to make eco-tableware affordable for everybody. Their factory is in China where the material also comes from. When it comes to design they use the expression of the material  to explain the characteristics of it, while making it modern by using hip colors.

plates

 

Making eco-friendly products doesn’t come easy, it takes a lot of energy and time, and there are always obstacles to overcome. Zuperzozial still faces a few challenges like the environmental impact of transport. Also, they had to compromise in the balance between the plant-fiber and the resin. They experimented with natural resin to make the product 100% plant-based, but found serious troubles with the durability. It was falling apart during production. Now Zuperzozial has to add a ordinary resin to make the products durable. The main advantage is that the products are dishwasher-safe because of that. Zuperzozial  noticed that customers like eco but in the end what matters most is that products should be up-to-date regarding modern use.

 

zuperzozialcutlery

 

Zuperzozial believes that eco friendly tableware will be the standard in the future, and therefore they have experimented with other plant-based materials and plant-based components to have a smaller footprint on agri-components.

Visit their webpage to see their beautiful designs and find out where you can buy them!

http://zuperzozial.com/

I want to thank Remco van der Leij for his help and support on making this post possible.

5 places to eat vegan in New York City

I was lucky to be in New York for 7 days a couple of weeks ago and I made it my mission to stick to eating healthy while in the big apple. What’s great about a big city is that there are more options available so it’s actually easier to stick to eating plant-based. I did some research beforehand and found some awesome places that I visited and want to share with you.

 

by CHLOE – 60 West 22nd Street, 185 Bleecker Street – $-$$

About to have their 7th location opened (for all their locations check their website below), by CHLOE is a great success, with a delicious and varied menu and a great hip interior decor to match it. I loved that you have the option to eat while seating on a swing, what a fun idea!. I admit the interior looks like only girls would go eat there (my boyfriend was not so much into it) but I saw all kinds of people enjoying a healthy meal there which made me very happy.

I had an great tasting smoothie bowl and cold coffee at their location at the Flat Iron. I liked it so much that I decided to take my boyfriend and see their location in West VIllage. He wanted pancakes and by CHLOE has some plant-based pancakes on the menu. But, unfortunately ( like many places in NYC, we found out later) they only make pancakes on Sundays, so a bit of a disappointment there. Nonetheless, I definitely recommend it and will go there next time I’m in the city because they have a wide variety of options on the menu and their flavour will rock your tastebuds.

Chloeframe

Website: http://eatbychloe.com/

 

Le Botaniste – 833 Lexington Avenue – $$

I think I went to this place almost every day. Their food is super fresh and plant based and 99% organic. They have one of my favourite dishes since I started eating plan-based: coconut curry. They have a few bowl style dishes you can pick from or you can make your own if you wish.

When we were ordering we noticed that the interior looks like a chemistry lab (because they believe food should be the medicine, wink) and there are empty bottles with the names of the elements in Dutch. We thought it strange so we asked about it and it turns out that the first La Botaniste was opened in Gent, Belgium where they also speak Dutch.. Kind of funny since I live like an hour away but went all the way to New York to discover them. At the moment they have one location in Lexington Avenue but they told us they are planning to open more locations in the near future!

Le Botanisteframe

Website:http://www.lebotaniste.us/

 

El Rey – 100 Stanton St – $-$$

This one is a really tiny restaurant/cafe located on the Lower East Side, we went in once during a rainy day and were not disappointed to walk into some salsa music playing. There are only a couple of tables so you probably will have to share yours. There were not many vegan options, but I really didn’t need more. I went for their Avocado “del sur” a pita bread covered with avocado drench in onion and lime. I am addicted to lime so for me this was heaven on a plate, if there were not people there I would’ve licked the plate.

ElRey frame

For more info you can check their website: http://www.elreynyc.com/

 

Inday – 1133 Broadway – $

Bowl style indian food with plant-based options. We went here for lunch and it was so busy, but you can pre-order and they will have your meal ready. I went to meet an old friend that I hadn’t seen in ages, so with all the excitement I forgot to make pictures of our food! But trust me it was good. I like the variety of foods, they offer a lot of different options you can add to your bowl. The portions are a really good size, you’ll end up filling up your belly and feeling satisfied.

Indayfinalframe

Website:http://indaynyc.com/

 

DIMES – 49 Canal St – $-$$

When I was searching for this restaurant I missed it a couple of times because it is in the chinese neighbourhood and it doesn’t have a big logo or sign outside to easily distinguish it. It has a laid-back-retro vibe to it, and you won’t be disappointed if you need to go to the toilet. Funny thing but, I loved that when you go to the toilet they play you the audio of a nature documentary. I’m pretty sure is Sir David Attenborough, so you leave feeling lighter and wiser than when you walked in.

That took a weird turn so let me tell you about the menu, I was there on tuesday and they had a pretty small menu, I had a broccoli toast. Sounds pretty simple but the seasoning was spectacular, it was really tasty.  During the weekend we stopped by for coffee and noticed that their menu was suddenly bigger you can check it out below.

DImesframe

Website:http://dimesnyc.com/

 

I gotta say that I was really excited to be able to go and try so many different restaurants that offer healthy options with affordable prices . If you have visited this places or have more suggestions on places to eat vegan in NYC leave a comment below! Will try to visit them the next time.

 

Turkish Red Lentil Soup

Source: combination of several recipes

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Serves: 3-4 people

Categories: lunch, dinner, first course, main course

This is my favorite soup and favourite dish at the moment. Easy to make, cheap, nutritious, and delicious! Compared to other soups this one is done rather fast, because red lentils unlike other legumes don’t have to be soaked for hours but can be rinsed and used right away.

I first had this soup at a soup restaurant and since then I was hooked, I had to learn how to make it at home and it took me several tries and recipes to get the delicious taste I fell in love with. I think I finally got the right taste, I discovered the secret ingredient is tomato paste and with tomato paste the soup is called Turkish red lentil soup.

Ingredients

  1. 1 1/3 cup (about 8 ounces) red lentils, picked through and rinsed
  2. 7 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  3. 1 large onion, diced
  4. 1 large carrot, diced
  5. 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  6. 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  7. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  8. 1/8 teaspoon paprika powder
  9. ½ teaspoon thyme or oregano
  10. 3/4 teaspoon fine sea salt, or to taste

 

Lentilsoupingredients

Ingredients for serving

  1. Lemon or lime wedges
  2. Chopped fresh mint  
  3. 1 avocado diced (optional)

 

Lentilsoupserving

Ingredients for side dishes

  1. Whole grain bread toasts for serving
  2. Lettuce, tomato and cucumber for a small side salad

 

Lentilsoupsides

Directions

  1. Wash the lentils, I usually put them in a sifter and rinse them 2 or 3 times and then set them aside.
  2. In a large pot over medium-high heat, in a little water or vegetable broth sauté the onion with a pinch of salt for 3 minutes. Add the carrots and sauté for another 3 minutes. Keep adding water or vegetable broth as needed.
  3. Add the tomato paste and stir it for around 1 minute. Now add the cumin, paprika, thyme, and sauté for 10 seconds to bloom the spices. Immediately add the lentils, water, broth, and salt. Bring the soup to a boil.
  4. After it has come to a boil, reduce heat to medium, cover the pot halfway, and let it cook for 15-20 minutes or until the lentils have fallen apart and the carrots are completely cooked.
  5. After the soup has cooked and the lentils are tender, blend the soup either in a blender or simply use a hand blender to reach the consistency you desire. Taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.
  6. Serve the soup with lemon or lime wedges, fresh mint and my own twist: ¼ of diced avocado. Chop the lettuce, tomato and cucumber and serve as a side salad.
  7. Enjoy!

 

Lentilsoupfinalblack

 

 

Reduce your plastic waste with Funky Bottles

I want to make it easier for us to make better decisions. I am on the lookout for brands that are making a positive impact on our lifestyles, our planet and all living creatures in it. In this post I am going to tell you about one brand who’s doing exactly that. I am very excited about their products, not just because they look really good but also because they tackle one of the biggest issues we face today: single-use plastic bottles. FunkyBottles makes reusable glass water bottles and thermos bottles paying special attention to the design, they even give the option to personalize your own bottle.

FBLogo2

When the creators of FunkyBottles started learning about the different environmental threats we are currently facing, they asked themselves what they could do to help. Soon they realized that what was important was to take action and do something, no matter how small. They saw the opportunity to tackle the single-use of plastic bottles as the most feasible option. Therefore, in October 2016, Tudor and Alexandra created FunkyBottles in Amsterdam. Their backgrounds combine Business Innovation with Industrial Design.  Their mission? To reduce plastic consumption and help people in expressing themselves through a “different” form of art. They believe that the value of their products relies on the way they are created. We live in the era of personalization and uniqueness, and perceived as a method of self-expression.

Portrait2

Starting a business is never easy, at the beginning FuckyBottles had to take the time to know their target audience and what they wanted. After gathering product feedback they decided that the best was to create designs that match different personalities and environments. Also, to create designs that are able to express unique feelings, making it challenging but most of all fun.

If we want to make a change we need to change our daily habits. We are used to go for the fast and easy solution, if we are thirsty on the go we just buy a plastic bottle drink it and throw it away. This is exactly the problem, not only are we spending a lot of money by doing this but we are creating so much waste. One plastic bottle can take up to 1000 years to decompose, the average time is around 450 years. That’s about 5 human lifetimes! Plus, most plastic bottles are not recycled. A lot of plastic bottles end up in the ocean, where they can degrade in a year. After that year all the toxic materials used to make the water bottles end up washed up at shorelines or inside sea creatures and consequently inside the humans that eat them. But I will leave our plastic crisis for another post.

Even if you decide to buy a reusable water bottle it might take a while before you get used to bringing it everywhere you go. I have been there. To make this process easier FunkyBottles want us to fall in love with our bottle so that we want to be with it all the time and won’t want to leave it behind. How you ask? By offering a large range of designs collaborating with different artists so that everybody can find a design that really represents them.

They have designed eight different collections of water bottles, offering 28 unique designs. And when I say unique I mean it in! it is hard to choose just one because they are all so cool. They also offer their beautiful thermos bottle in 3 different colors blue, red and, purple. I want to show you my favourite designs, Elephant from the Wild collection and 4 from the Merged collection:

WaterBottlesElehantFrame

DesignMergedFrame

Gorgeous! Don’t you think? To see all of their designs and buy your favourite one go to the FunkyBottles webshop. It is important for us as consumers to choose our future, and we can do this by wisely deciding where we spend our money.  We need to support those businesses like FunkyBottles, who are trying to make a positive impact, by buying their products, thus giving them the power to actually make the change we want to see in the world. So help me help them help us, like, share and buy!

Webshop: https://funkybottles.com/shop/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/funkybottlesofficial/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/funkybottlesofficial/

I will like to thank FunkyBottles, specially Tudor for facilitating the information and products for this post. I hope that this post contributes even in the smallest way to increase your brand awareness and the future success of FunkyBottles.

 

Sources:

 

Chunky Monkey Smoothie

Source: Forks Over Knives The Cookbook

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 0 minutes

Serves: 1 people

Categories: breakfast, smoothie, dessert

This is a quick, filling, and tasty breakfast that’s ready in less than 5 minutes. If you prefer, use any  other nut butter in place of the peanut butter and substitute carob powder if you prefer it to cocoa. You can also use other milk like soy or oat milk instead of almond milk. If you don’t have bananas in your freezer, use fresh instead and add a few ice cubes to the blender. I personally like to add strawberries and mint for an extra kick of flavour.

This is one of my favourite recipes to go to when I’m craving chocolate and best part is that I feel guilty free after drinking it. I have made this recipe a couple of times, and usually I have it as dessert. The first time I did it was way too heavy because the consistency was too thick, therefore I recommend to stick to a light consistency.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk, plus more as needed or water
  • 2 medium frozen bananas, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup pitted and chopped Medjool dates, or to taste
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa
  • 3 slided strawberries (optional)
  • 4 leaves of mint (optional)

Post2Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients (except for strawberries and mint) in blender and process until smooth and creamy. Add more almond milk as needed to achieve a smooth consistency.
  2. Pour smoothie into a cup and add the strawberries and mint on top and TA DA! you are ready to drink all the deliciousness.

Post2finalprodct

Why do unhealthy foods taste so good?

What we eat affects not only our health but also the environment. The western pattern diet is full of crap, literally. Most of the things we can buy in a supermarket are processed foods high in fat, salt, and sugar mixed with ingredients we don’t even understand.  

I want to start the subject of food by tackling the main excuse we have to eat animal proteins and high caloric dense foods, the pleasure we get out of eating them. Most of us know that these foods are not good for us, so if we know they are bad why do we keep on coming back for more?

Why do we love to eat high-fat and high-sugar food?

Let’s first understand a bit of how our stomach works. We have receptors in our stomach that help us know how much food we have eaten.

  • Stretch receptors: measure the volume of food
  • Density receptors: measure the caloric density of the food

Take 500 calories of plant based foods, it can fill our stomach and trigger both stretch and density receptors giving the signal to our brain that we are satisfied. But 500 calories of oil which is only fat will barely fill our stomach, triggering almost no receptors telling our brain we need to eat a lot more. We live in a time that we can and we do make food completely artificial, so people have to overeat in order to feel satisfied.Caloric denistyA lot of us feel like we can’t live without steaks, burgers, fries, chips, bacon, cheese, chocolate, ice-cream, etc. But do you know why it tastes so delicious and we get so much pleasure out of eating it? According to PhD. Douglas Lisle It is because we are stuck in the Pleasure Trap.

To understand the Pleasure Trap we need to understand a bit more how our psychology works. Nature has designed a trio of biological mechanisms in every single animal creature, including us humans. These mechanisms make sure that we live long enough to pass our genes into the next generation, in other words we “eat to survive and survive to reproduce”.

triad

These three legs are called “The Motivational Triad” and it is a good summary of animal behaviour. This Triad is like our compass, that helps us navigate on this planet. But how do we know if we are on the right track? There is a second guidance system that we know as happiness. This systems gives us feedback through feelings, feelings are the signals that tell us to do what feels good and stay away from what doesn’t. Happiness is a short term mood state activated in the mood regulating centers of the brain, mainly through the hormones serotonin and norepinephrine, so we feel happy as we get closer to pleasure and away from pain. We are trying to make ourselves happy with pleasure, when it’s the journey that makes us happy, and no amount of pleasure will makes us happy. But this is no guide on how to be happy, so let’s get back to food.

Looking at the Motivational Triad, we can understand that richer food naturally excite our senses through the hormone Dopamine. It is nature’s way of telling us they will provide the highest amount of dietary reward with the least amount of effort. This helped our ancestors to find the most calorie dense and ripe food available which contributed to our survival. But in today’s environment we can artificially increase caloric density well beyond what our ancestor would’ve found in nature. This resulting foods give us a hypernormal amount of pleasure leading us into the Pleasure Trap.

What is the Pleasure Trap?

The Pleasure Trap is an interaction between our natural instincts which are trying to tell us the right thing to do and some kind of artificial modern stimulation which is highjacking that process. A classic example of this is drugs, drugs take over our existing pleasure circuits and when certain chemicals hit those areas they cause feelings of euphoria and excitement, the same drug-like effect happens when we eat high dense caloric foods.

The western pattern diet, and the information fed to us by marketing efforts from the multinationals producing this food have us in an cycle of addiction that is not easy to break. Even if we are lucky enough to get the right information, it is really hard to break it. This is because when we eat these artificial foods we experience higher pleasure than if we would just eat what we can find in nature. A lot of people say “ I rather die than eat that way. Even if it costs me some years of my life, taking pills and some surgeries.” But the truth is that the pleasure we get does not get higher and higher, we get used to the high amounts of fat and sugar and pleasure stays at the same level, this is called neuroadaptation. Is the same that happens when you wake up at night to go to the bathroom and turn a light on, it seems like it is extremely bright but after a couple of minutes you get used to it. If you suddenly start eating healthy food, it feels like you are doing the wrong thing even if it’s the right thing, your senses are dull because they are used to overstimulation. And this is exactly why is is so hard to escape, because you are craving this food, because when you eat it your Motivational Triad is telling you that you are doing the right thing, but our compass is not working properly on our modern environment. It is time to reboot our systems, but how can we do this?pleasure trapownHow to escape The Pleasure Trap

Doctor Lisle, has a few tricks that might help. The first one is to know that what you are going through is time limited, it will get easier after 2-3 weeks, but to be all the way out will take 6-10 weeks and just a few people succeed in doing this 100%. The second one is to reboot the system by only drinking water for 24 hours, total sensory deprivation is the most efficient way to do this. Another option is to do a juice fast for 2-3 days, giving fat and sugar receptors a break to recover sensitivity. Afterwards blend foods will not be tasting so blend anymore, and oatmeal in the morning will sound pretty tasty. The other trick is to get more information, get informed, get support if needed. Most of the people who start this journey relapse, and that is ok, every time is easier to escape and you can always get back in track.

I have made a slow transition when it comes to my diet. I started by eating vegetarian food, then vegan and now when I cook I only cook plant-based without oil and without sugar. I still get cheese cravings and chocolate cravings but the less I eat it the less I crave it. Sometimes it is hard to keep eating this way when being out and about with friends, but I always try to make a conscious choice. It is not easy and that is why the more we talk about it and the more we do it the easier it will get.

The processed food industry, meat industry and medical industry have made a very profitable business out of keeping us sick and addicted.  It’s a cliche, but there is no money to be made out of healthy people. There are so many illnesses caused and made worse by these foods such as, diabetes, cancer, heart disease, migraines, IBS, arthritis, and different inflammation manifestations. Eating this foods is not only killing ourselves but also the planet and the creatures we share it with, a subject that I will be discussing later on.

Now, don’t get me wrong avoiding processed foods and animal protein is not the ultimate solution to all our problems, but there are so many doctors that have proven that eating this way we can live a healthier and longer life through many scientific studies. Namely, Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Dr. Joel Fuhrman, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Neal Barnard, and Dr. John McDougall. 

If you would like to know more about The Pleasure Trap PhD. Lisle has co written a book you can look up called “The Pleasure Trap: Mastering the Hidden Force that Undermines Health and Happiness” with Doctor Alan Goldhamer.

 

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