Cooking vegan has been a fun exploration for me since starting this blog a couple of years ago. I started it as a kitchen experiment, wanting to give myself encouragement to stay on a vegan diet, and share my research with others. What I uncovered was that, unless you are cooking vegan with a focus on right nutrients and health, you can easily make yourself sick. This is true, whether you commit to cooking vegan or not.
Recently one of my excellent Twitter followers sent me a message that said,
“@AllVeganFoods you should publish a cookery page as you are queen of all things delicious. quit the #nhs love and focus on #vegan.”
First off, thank you so much, @MartinStill1, for naming me “Queen of All Things Delicious.” I’m thrilled that others enjoy the recipes I publish as much as I enjoy researching and testing them. And yes, I promise to keep giving more!
Yet, I want to express to the world why I also focus on health. Too many ex-vegans out there blame the vegan diet for their health woes. Celebrities like Angelina Jolie who speak out about how a vegan diet “almost killed her” beg to have the question asked, well, exactly what were you stuffing yourself with in the first place? While I do not believe that Dr. Mercola tells the whole story.
Cooking vegan or not, pay attention to essential nutrients
Meat and vegetarian diets can still be lacking in essential vitamins and minerals for the body. Here below is an excerpt from a post on The Full Helping that makes this point well:
The vast majority of women I’ve worked with who had a bad experience with veganism in the past simply were not eating enough variety and caloric density to supply their bodies’ needs; they also frequently paired veganism with other drastic and overnight dietary changes (giving up certain food allergens, or going 100% raw). The overall effect was a devastatingly restrictive pattern of eating. I have absolute respect for anyone who has followed a well balanced vegan diet and found it wanting, but I know from experience that many people who try veganism and fail to thrive simply haven’t bothered to modify the lifestyle to suit their own needs. Any new way of eating involves guesswork, patience, and trial and error: you figure out what’s working and what isn’t, and you modify it until you feel great.
This is actually why I so admire my buddy Brendan: many of you may be surprised to hear that Brendan’s first run with veganism was a big flop! He was tired, sluggish, and hungry all the time. Rather than decide right away that veganism itself was to blame, Brendan studied nutrition carefully and identified precisely what was lacking in his diet. In his case the culprits were, among a few other things, iron and Omega-3 fatty acids. As soon as he took care to find vegan sources of these nutrients, he found his own best health, and the rest is history. [Read the whole post here]
The bottom line is, whether you are cooking vegan, vegetarian or otherwise, know the essential ingredients that keep you in optimum health, so you can continue to support the whys of cooking vegan, in optimal health. And yes, Martin, I promise to live up to the compliment, “Queen of All Things Delicious,” with many more recipes to come!
Thanks to all for reading and visiting often!
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We are living in a pretty cool world now. We don’t have to take anybody’s word for anything. Take, for example, the argument that a vegan lifestyle is deficient and you will get sick if you don’t eat meat. If you’re doctors aren’t vegan, they may give you that same argument. I bet plenty of ex-vegans in the past believed this one, because there just was not enough research done to find out exactly what the deficiencies were.
Vegan doctors understand about B-12 vitamin deficiencies, among other things
Here’s a brief explanation about B-12 deficiencies in the video below, and why it’s so important:
FullyRawKristina says that B-12 is only found in organic, nutrient-rich soil grown vegetables. She also points out that, before taking supplements, get checked first to see if you have the deficiency. You may be fine! Of course, it never hurts to get a blood test to make sure you are getting all the nutrition you need. For busy lifestyles that don’t have time to prepare foods everyday, nutritional supplements can give the extra support you need.
Vegan doctors may know better
I don’t know if it’s true, and I don’t want to diss any doctor who has taken the Hippocratic oath. Yet if you want to stay true to yourself and your vegan lifestyle choices, you may want to check out vegan doctors and healthcare, if these services are in your area. Here are a couple of resources that may help:
Actually 8 scientific reasons… Again one of my male friends said: I need meat I’m a man – I need it for the production of my testosterone and semen, a vegan diet may be fine for you women. Then when we reach to the compassion for farmed animals I was told they are doing fine… But I have found out that if I can convince my male friends that vegan men are more manly and I can prove it scientifically then they (the men) will listen, so I searched and found a great article of exactly what I wanted, here an excerpt from my favorite:
1. Vegan Men Have Higher Levels of Testosterone
If there is one scientific way to measure a man’s manliness, it would surely be testosterone – the hormone that literally defines masculinity. Men might assume that their testosterone levels would plummet by eating nothing but plants, but that’s just the stereotype at work again. A British Journal of Cancer study of 696 men (233 of whom were vegans) concluded this: “Vegans had 13% higher T [testosterone] concentration than meat-eaters and 8% higher than vegetarians.” Not only did vegan men have as much testosterone as meat eaters, they actually have 13% MORE of this manly hormone. On the flip side, too much testosterone can be a bad thing because it leads to higher levels of IGF-I – a risk factor for certain cancers. Surprisingly, the report also found this: “Vegan men had on average 9% lower IGF-I levels than meat-eaters.” A big boost in T and added protection against IGF-I? Win and win.
and #6 is just perfect, it doesn’t get better than this
6. Vegan Men Can Cook
I’ve never met a lady who isn’t attracted to guys who can cook. While going vegan doesn’t directly result in cooking skills, it encourages people to cook for themselves more frequently. Most cities don’t have endless vegan restaurant options and preparing your own meals at home is often a necessity. That was the case for me. After I went vegan, I fell in love with cooking (which turned out well). I hear this from others too – going vegan doesn’t restrict your diet, it expands it. You go down new supermarket aisles and try new foods that you never considered before. You learn new cooking techniques. Food takes on a much larger and more positive role in your life. And if you need some help cooking delicious vegan meals, I know just the guy.
Are we happy because we eat healthy or are we eating healthy because we are happy?
Researchers from New Zealand have made a test to see if they can prove if what we eat have an impact on how we feel.
(It may be obvious to some people that there is a connection, but can we prove it?)
Their findings were that people who ate more fruits and vegetables over the 13-day period of the trial was reported higher average levels of curiosity, creativity, and positive emotions, as well as engagement, meaning and purpose.
The study featured 405 participants, all university students, who kept a daily diary for 13 consecutive days. Each day, they recorded the number of servings they had of fruits, vegetable, desserts and various fried-potato dishes.
Many fruits and vegetables contain higher levels of Vitamin C, an important co-factor in the production of dopamine,” they note. “Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that underlies motivation and promotes engagement.”
In addition, they point out, antioxidants found in fruits and vegetables have been shown to reduce bodily inflammation, which “is thought to protect against depression.”
So while it’s too early to claim kale will cause contentment, the results do suggest that healthy eating and psychological flourishing go hand in hand. Which is certainly food for thought.
The answer according to dr. Joel Fuhrman is that they are absolutely and utmost healthy. You have to eat according to your needed calorie intake, but if you do that, the nuts and seeds will actually help to enhance your body’s absorption of nutrients from leafy greens,
Have you ever thought about what the different nuts are good for? Here is a list from the doctor:
Almonds are rich in antioxidants. In one study, people ate either almonds or a snack with a similar fat profile each day for 4 weeks, and the subjects who ate almonds showed reductions in markers of oxidative stress.
Walnuts. Diabetics who ate walnuts daily for 8 weeks experienced an enhanced ability of the blood vessels to dilate, indicating better blood pressure regulation. There is also evidence that walnuts may protect against breast cancer.
Pistachios and Mediterranean pine nuts have the highest plant sterol content of all the nuts – plant sterols are structurally similar to cholesterol, and help to lower cholesterol levels. Pistachios reduce inflammation and oxidative stress as well as cholesterol.
Mediterranean pine nuts contain a specific type of fatty acid that has been shown to curb appetite by increasing hormones that produce satiety signals.
Flax, hemp, and chia seeds are extremely rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids,and hempseeds are especially high in protein, making them a healthy food for athletes.
Pumpkin seeds are rich in iron, calcium, and phytochemicals, and may help to prevent prostatecancer.
Sesame seeds have the greatest amount of calcium of any food in the world, andprovide abundant amounts of vitamin E and contain a unique antioxidant called sesamin.
The nuts will also be helpfull if you are trying to lose weight, so don’t cut them out of your diet. Read why and more on the subject at: http://thekindlife.com/
23 Vegan men telling about how they became vegan and why.
“I decided to become a vegetarian when I was in my teens. At the time I was doing it because of my love for animals, but also for a girl. Of course. I have continued to stay with it out of my great respect for animals, though. Any form of animal abuse is pretty upsetting to me.”
“When people ask me why I don’t eat meat or any other animal products, I say, ‘Because they are unhealthy and they are the product of a violent and inhumane industry.’”
Read and see the pictures at: www.buzzfeed.com
Photo credit: Michael Dorn (I cannot find a link to him, if you know please let me know thanks)
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