Tag Archives: vegan

Just Because You’re Not Sick Doesn’t Mean You’re Healthy

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This past weekend we visited with some of our family. One of our sons and his wife (our daughter-in-law) are both chiropractors. As we discussed our health, our concerns, and our diet, our son said, “Just because you’re not sick doesn’t mean you’re healthy.” He continued the theme with a surprising report from health providers. Patients presenting themselves as vegans are surprised to discover how unhealthy they are. How can vegan be unhealthy?

It depends on your definition of vegan.

Most vegans agree that avoiding animal meat and animal products define their diets. After that definition, agreements vary. Some vegans avoid vegetables, fruits, nuts, and other options in exchange for processed food with little or no nutritional value. Here is where our son’s statement rings true.

So how do you know if you are healthy or not?

Working with a health professional who monitors your blood work, reviews your diet, and recommends nutritional supplements if needed can assist you in your quest for optimal health. Connect with others striving for the same goal to share recipes, experiences, successes, and challenges. Share and post this blog what works for you.

Be healthy – not just “not sick.”

The Impact of Influence

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(photo by DepositPhotos.com)

Since 2012, my diet has been limited to no more than 5% animal product which includes all meats and dairy. For me, the change was fairly easy as in 2003 my diet had to change for immediate health reasons after my diagnosis of celiac. In 2003, I immediately stopped eating breads, pastas, cookies, cakes, most processed food, and within one week my dire health predictions completely turned around. Based on the quickness of my change in health after a change to gluten-free diet in 2003, I had no problem eliminating protein based meats and dairy from my diet in 2012.

My loving husband enjoys his Steak’n’Shake meat sandwich along with the extra-large milkshake. A Five Guys burger would be a perfect meal for him.

While reading The China Study by Campbell & Campbell, I read different passages to my husband who had the same reactions I did to the results of the years of research. However, he did enjoy his meat and dairy for the past two years.

From meal to meal, he would acquiesce and eat the meatless, cold, (and delicious!) stuffed peppers. Or join me in a dinner at a vegetarian restaurant. He may comment on how good my hummus tastes compares to other versions.

But within the last few weeks, my husband has actively sought out meat-free and dairy-free products – get this – even when I am not around! At first, he reviewed the labels on processed food for gluten-free wording – he said he wanted me to be able to eat the item as well as him. This makes sense in a home of two individuals.

Lately, not only selection of processed food, but also selection of dishes when we eat out (often) and when we cook (not so often) has been more vegan than traditional American meals!

Had we been able to find a can of fava beans in our small community, my loving spouse was most excited about the prospect of making foul madammas for dinner last night! He suggested the spaghetti squash option for our spaghetti lunch.

He affirms how much better he feels, how much more energy he feels, and importantly how much ‘stuff’ his body is able to process and release with vegan meals.

We still visit our favorite restaurant in the world – Bern’s Steak House in Tampa – for a delectable steak from time to time. However, know that as you are moving more and more to a vegan lifestyle, you are silently impacting others who are watching to find out what happens.

Pros & Cons of Becoming Vegan – AQA Air Quality Alert

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*** Warning *** descriptive language about digestion follows *****

Depending on how quickly you assimilate into vegan, you may notice differences in your body.

The main reason I became vegan and promote the diet to others is to live healthier and longer – basically to avoid pain as long as possible. My main reason is a strong ‘Pro’ for becoming vegan.

A side benefit of vegan diet is improved digestion.

When the medical physicians were investigating the cause of my anemia for six years with no answers, the oncologist asked me if I had normal bowel movements. “Yes”, I replied. One month after my Celiac diagnosis and gluten-free diet, in my 50th year of live, I first experienced what ‘normal bowel movement’ meant. It does not mean alternating between diarrhea and constipation with constant almost uncontrollable urgings throughout the day. In fact, at least one alternative medical practitioner told me that everyone should automatically clear the bowels around 6;00 a.m. daily – what???

So what could a vegan diet produce that is a ‘Con’?

AQA – Air Quality Alert – spontaneous farting.

There are ways to reduce the excess air in your intestines. Stop smoking or chewing gum. If you are new to vegan, slowing chew your food completely prior to swallowing (my challenge), limit your consumption of gassier producing foods (beans, cauliflower, broccoli, watermelon, etc.), drink more water, practice Kegel exercises for control.

For me, the Pros definitely outweigh the Cons – I mean, it’s just hot air, right?

Most Wonderful Hummus Recipe Ever

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Hummus varies in taste, flavor, and consistency. This recipe makes fabulous, tasty, delicious hummus every time. It is gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, tasty, and easy to make. Let me know what you think when you make and taste this recipe. It comes from Healthy Cooking for Two (or just you) by Frances Price, R.D. which is a fun and excellent cookbook if you can still find it.

We use the hummus with vegetables for a meal. Others use hummus as a spread on sandwich or in pita bread. Let me know your favorite way to eat this sumptuous dish!

Rainbow Hummus

1/3 Cup Water

3 tbsp Tahini

3 tbsp Lemon juice

1 tbsp Olive Oil

16 oz Great Northern beans, rinsed & drained from a can

2 cloves garlic

4 parsley springs (sometimes I use cilantro)

1/4 tsp salt

dash(es) hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Process on medium speed until hummus is smooth. Serve immediately or store in covered container in refrigerator for up to 1 week (hah! It doesn’t last that long in our home!)

Glutton of vegan sites

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Trying to be careful to limit intake of protein to 5% of my diet takes time. When you add the dietary restriction of no gluten, creativity has to come to the surface to have tasty meals. Lately, I have found many wonderful websites with fabulous recipes to share. Here are a few – please post additional sites as you discover them as well. Specifically, any gluten-free vegan sites with tasty, easy recipes! To your good health!

http://www.MyVega.com

http://www.HeatherNicholds.com

http://www.MyWholeFoodLife.com

Overworked and smart

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The other day at work one of our team members fell ill. Luckily another team member was EMT trained, called an ambulance, and the ill team member was taken to a nearby hospital where his blood pressure was found to be too high for comfort.

The hospital kept our team member there for three days – no idea of cause or cure – until his blood pressure returned to within normal range. The patient was released – he returned to work site to pick up his car and on the drive home began to fell ill again – so he pulled into the emergency room of the next hospital on his route home.

Again, the second hospital staff offered no cause or cure, but kept him until his blood pressure returned to a ‘safe’ range.

So our team member returned to his car to finally drive home after a week of hospital stays. Except, (you guessed it), he didn’t make it home. Thankfully, a third hospital accepted him to help him lower his blood pressure which had spiked again.

Again, no cause – no cure.

Two weeks later I saw our team member – he had lost considerable weight, his blood pressure was in the normal range and he reported feeling better than ever. What was his solution?

Because no one could tell him what was happening to his body, he decided to research – and chose a vegan diet. He still was unsure what happened to cause his blood pressure to spike. But the results were clear: he felt well enough to stay out of the hospitals, to return to work, and to enjoy life another day. Smart.