An Unhealthy Vegetarian Lifestyle?

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The vegan lifestyle is becoming increasingly popular these days. A common reason people consider converting to a vegetarian or vegan diet is to lose weight, improve health, avoid contaminants in meat, and compassion for animals. However, it’s imperative to research the proper way to plan meatless meals to avoid serious nutritional deficiencies.

If you are considering a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you may want to start by reducing your meat intake and incorporating more meatless dishes into your weekly meal plans. Further research and experimentation can help you determine if a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle is right for you.

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There can be some confusion regarding the terms vegan and vegetarian. Vegetarians eliminate meat but some include dairy products and eggs in their diets.

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Vegans, on the other hand, eliminate all animal products, dairy, eggs, and often avoid any products made from animals.

Global Healing Center explains the

Differences Between Vegan and Vegetarian

A vegetarian excludes meat, poultry, and seafood from their diet. Some vegetarians also exclude dairy, some don’t, and some may consume eggs. Likewise, vegans avoid meat, poultry, and seafood, but they also take it a step further by eliminating all animal products from their diet. This includes any type of animal milk and eggs. Vegans avoid foods produced using animals or animal products in any way, including honey. Many vegans also avoid household products, clothing, or other items made from animal products or tested on animals.

Additionally, the terms vegan and vegetarian can be difficult for many to differentiate as some people think the words have the same meaning.

To add to the confusion, some vegetarians are called “lacto and or ovo” and include dairy/eggs in their diet.

So as you can see, the term “vegetarian” can mean different things to different people:

  • A true vegetarian eats no meat at all, including poultry and fish.

  • A lacto-ovo vegetarian eats dairy products and eggs, but excludes meat, fish, and poultry.

  • A lacto vegetarian eats dairy products but not eggs.

  • An ovo vegetarian eats eggs but not dairy products.

Therefore, when considering converting to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle it’s imperative to do your research. Make sure you are clear on the differences between the diets and that you have a good understanding of what’s involved in the switch.  Making the change to a more restricted diet can be challenging to follow. Many restaurants don’t offer vegan options, so understand your choices for grabbing food on the go will be limited.  Also, making meals will require more preparation and pre-planning.

It’s important to make sure meals are well-balanced and include sources of vitamin b12, essential fatty acids, iron, calcium, and vitamin d.

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Per Dr. Josh Axe a wellness physician certified in clinical nutrition, popular radio show host, and sought-after national speaker points out some important issues when considering a vegan or vegetarian diet.

Switching to a vegan diet is considered a healthy move by many, but it may not be all it’s cracked up to be in some bases. Below are some of the downsides to eating a completely vegan diet long term (more than several months): (6)

  1. Protein deficiency (lack of amino acids). Amino acids are the building blocks of muscle and are important for cellular health and proper metabolism. Too little protein can call muscle wasting, cognitive changes, mood swings and weakness.

  2. Low levels of vitamin B12. You can only get vitamin B12 in substantial amounts by consuming meat, fish, eggs, and dairy, so vegans usually need to take supplements.

  3. Lower intake of other nutrients like zinc, sometimes calcium and omega-3 fatty acids.

  4. Higher intake of antinutrients like phytic acid. There are grains, beans and legumes, such as raw soybeans, lentils and mung beans, that may contain trypsin inhibitors. These inhibitors can block key digestive enzymes. Also, grains can contain phytic acid that can keep you from digesting calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc. However, soaking and sprouting your grains and legumes can greatly reduce phytic acid.

  5. Potential inability to put on muscle. This may be due to the lack of certain vitamins that we normally get from meat and fish.

  6. Overconsumption of carbohydrates. One of the most common trends I’ve found from working with hundreds of vegans and vegetarians is that they tend to overconsume carbohydrates and hidden sugar foods. Eating too many carbs can cause candida and yeast overgrowth along with weight grain. There are some vegans who have created a better balance, but this is far from the majority.

  7. Fatigue and feeling exhausted. Again, this is usually due to the lack of certain vitamins and minerals that we normally get from meat and fish, such as iron and B vitamins.

SOME ALARMING CONCERNS FOR KIDS:

The issue of children consuming vegetarian/ vegan diets is controversial. Some experts report it’s not safe for children while others state it can be perfectly healthy if followed properly.

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Per EurekAlert! an online, global news service operated by AAAS, the science society : reports that when:

parents pursue a vegan diet for their child, they must seek and strictly follow medical and dietary advice to make sure their infant receives adequate nutrition. Both mother and infant should follow advice regarding supplementation” advises Professor Mary Fewtrell, chairman of ESPGHAN’s nutrition committee comments:

The biggest risk to vegan children is that of vitamin B12 deficiency.

Foods derived from animals have been shown to be the only reliable source of vitamin B12 and a deficiency of the vitamin can have devastating effects. Vitamin B12 is essential to the creation of DNA, indispensable for the maintenance of the nervous system, and a lack of it can result in hematological and neurological disorders, causing damage in young children which can be irreversible.

Therefore problems can arise when parents are unaware of the associated risks of switching to a more restricted diet….

Per CBS news:

Stories of vegan parents being arrested for malnourished children pop up every few years in the U.S., and the cases in Italy have made international news.

In Arizona, Kimu Parker was arrested in April 2005 for nearly starving her three children with a diet she and the children’s father called vegan. She was sentenced to 30 years in prison; the father, Blair Parker, got 15 years.

In Florida in 2005, Joseph and Lamoy Andressohn got probation for neglect in the death of their 6-month-old son, who was fed only wheat grass, coconut water and almond milk.

In Georgia, Jade Sanders and Lamont Thomas were sentenced to life in prison for the 2004 death of their 6-week-old son, who starved to death after they fed him a too-limited diet of soy milk and apple juice.

Therefore, do your research! Know that if you make the decision to change to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle, you must make sure you and your family get the proper nutrients. It can be challenging with a busy schedule and eating out can be difficult with many restaurants offering limited or no meatless options. It can be easy to fall into the trap of relying on unhealthy choices such as junk food, pizza, fries, and desserts due to the lack of available choices. Meals should be well balanced with complete proteins and you may need to consider supplementation.

Be sure to consult your child’s pediatrician, family physician and or certified nutritionist to ensure you and your family are getting the proper nutrients in your diet.

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Converting to a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle can be a great way to help the environment, combat obesity, lower blood pressure, and cholesterol. However, make sure to consult with a nutritionist and your physician on proper guidelines.

Follow these tips to make sure your diet is healthy and provides the proper nutrients:

  1. Include a wide variety of fruits and vegetables with all your meals. Make smoothies and juices to make it more appealing for kids and picky eaters.
  2. If needed consider supplementation with a multivitamin that contains b12, iron, zinc, and vitamin d. Discuss this with a nutritionist or your family physician.
  3. Make sure you get enough protein in your diet- beans, nut butter, protein supplements, etc.
  4. Have regular family check-ups with complete blood workups to make sure you and your family are getting adequate nutrients on a daily basis.
  5. Plan your meals and snacks each week to make it easier to avoid eating processed foods loaded with sugar and unhealthy ingredients.
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Your Daily Choices Can Heal Or Kill

“Regaining health is more difficult an objective then becoming ill. Becoming ill is a random act of ignorance and regaining health is an intentional effort in frustration.” 
― Richard Diaz

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Although hereditary factors can play a part in some diseases, you have more control over your health than you think. Your body is an amazing machine designed to heal if it senses a threat, but poor daily food choices and inactivity can lead to permanent damage. There comes a point where your body gives in and stops fighting.

Once this occurs there is often damage that can’t be reversed. Diabetes can lead to blindness, loss of limbs, and even coma. Heart disease and hypertension can lead to heart attacks and strokes. Your choices could leave you dependent on others for your care.

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But the good news is you can change your future. You have a choice every day to make better decisions regarding your health.

Don’t wake up one day and regret the opportunities you had to create a healthy lifestyle, and live a better quality of life.

FOLLOW THESE TIPS TO CREATE A HEALTHIER LIFESTYLE :

  • Monitor your weight- Although it’s important not to obsess over the scales and weighing yourself daily, you do need to check your weight periodically. Gaining just a few pounds each year can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and diabetes. Make a point to weigh yourself once a week and log your results. If you notice a slight gain of a couple of pounds, then simply increase your activity and cut back on portion sizes. Tracking your weight on a regular basis will help you avoid extra pounds that can creep up over the years.
  • Remain active– Staying active is a key factor in improving health and maintaining an optimum weight as you age. Today more than ever, people tend to lead a more sedentary lifestyle. Many people have desk jobs and find it difficult to incorporate exercise into their schedule. However, it’s important to remain active so you can enjoy a good quality of life as you age. Brisk walking is a great cardiovascular exercise and you may want to consider walking or biking to work. Perhaps you can fit exercise in by taking a walk on your lunch break or joining a gym close to work. Many gyms are now 24 hours making it easier than ever to fit workouts into your schedule. It’s important to find an activity you enjoy and schedule your workouts on your calendar.
  • Avoid processed foods- Processed foods are typically high in calories and contain chemicals and toxins that can lead to weight gain. If you frequently eat out, try to select grilled lean meat without sauces. Select a salad, baked potato, or steamed vegetables as a side dish. Try to cook and eat most of your meals at home. Purchase organic fruits and vegetables when possible and experiment with healthy new recipes you’ve always wanted to try.
  • Do resistance training- Weight training is vital as you get older. Studies show that muscle mass declines with age. Muscle mass peaks around the mid-twenties; starts to decline in our thirties, and picks up speed as we age. Weight training helps you maintain a healthy metabolism and helps combat the loss of muscle tone as you get older. Lifting weights 2-3 times a week can play a major role in maintaining your strength and muscle tone. Therefore, if you are already strength training, you are on the right track! If not, it’s never too late to pick up a set of weights and get started.

Take control of your health starting today! Make the decision to heal rather than kill. It’s all about our daily choices.

Six Week Challenge To Improve Your Fitness

Get a jump start on your fitness goals by incorporating this challenge into your day. It’s only fifteen minutes six days a week to boost your metabolism and improve your fitness level.

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Drink 20 ounces of water daily with your 2 snacks and with breakfast, lunch, and evening meals

Monday, Wednesday, Friday – Circuit 1 (Perform 1 minute of each exercise) Repeat circuit 2x . Finish with the 5 minute yoga sequence

Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday– Circuit 2 (10 minute high intensity interval workout followed by five minutes of ab work

Circuit 1:

Diver Push ups

Mountain Climbers

Tricep Push-ups

Plank Jacks

Jump Squats

Yoga (5 minutes)

Circuit 2:

Tues, Thursday, and Saturday –

High Intensity Interval Training- 10 minute workout

Five Minute Ab Workout

Amazing Total Body Workout

 

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Try my Amazing Total Body Workout circuit that hits cardio, strength and flexibility.  Complete each exercise back to back with quick rest and water break at the end of the circuit.  Repeat circuit 3 to 4 times.  Finish with yoga stretch routine.

Warmup-  Bodyweight – 5-7 minutes

 

THE WORKOUT:

  1. Indoor Cycle – 3 mins of fast paced interval work  (WORKS HEART/ LEGS/GLUTES)

 

2.  Incline Barbell Chest Press- 12 Reps  (UPPER BODY CHEST)

3.  Barbell Bicep Curl- 12 Reps (Upper BODY BICEPS)

 

4.  Pull- Up – 5 Reps (UPPER BODY BACK)

 

5.  Battleropes 45 Secs (FULL BODY/ CORE)

 

6.  DB Rear Delt Fly- 12 Reps (UPPER BODY SHOULDERS/back)

 

7.  DB Side Raise- 12 Reps (UPPER BODY SHOULDERS)

 

8.  Weight Plate Tricep Extension 12 Reps (UPPER BODY TRICEPS)

 

Bicycle Abs 45 secs – (CORE ABS)

 

 Water Break-   Complete this circuit 3-4 times

Final stretch – 6 Min Post Workout Yoga

Killer Body Weight Weekend Workout

Try my new weekend workout. Perform each exercise with little rest in between exercises.  Aim for 12 repetitions each exercise and complete entire circuit 2-3 times finishing with final stretch.  Don’t forget to warm-up with 7 to 10 minutes of light activity and drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated.  Enjoy!!

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T- pushup- Push- up side plank (12 reps)

 

Burpee Jump Lunge  (12 reps)

 

Jabs with 360 Jump Squat (12 reps)

 

Burpee with Tricep Push-up (12 reps)

 

Glute Bridge to sit-up (12 reps)

 

 

Downdog Mountain climber (12 reps)

 

Five Tips to A Great Morning Routine

 

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A good morning routine is vital to our mental and physical health.  Quite often our mornings are filled with stress as we rush to get out the door and start our day.  Although it’s nice to hit the snooze button a couple times, it can create a cascade of events that can impact your day in a negative way.

That extra sleep robs you of valuable time that could be better spent fueling your body with a healthy breakfast,  grooming, meditation and family time.  Then of course you have to deal with traffic that can cause anxiety, anger, and elevated blood pressure before you even get out the door.

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What if those extra minutes of sleep could be much better spent on a healthy routine that could make a dramatic impact on your day?

Try the following tips to improve your daily routine and set you up for a fabulous day.

  1. Get up 20 to 30 minutes early to allow enough time to avoid the stress and anxiety of being late. Splash some cold water on your face and brush your teeth. Extra time is always a good thing when unexpected things happen like when you spill coffee on your outfit or suddenly remember you need to stop for gas. You will welcome the extra time and avoid the anxiety or running late.
  2. Try a short stretch and meditation sequence when you first get out of bed.  This is a great start to your morning that will clear your thoughts and get you energized to start your day.

3.  Drink 20 oz of lemon water.  Hydration is key for beautiful skin.  Lemon water will boost your metabolism and get you energized for you day.

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The benefits are endless including vitamin C to boost your immune system and also aids in digestion.

4. Eat a healthy breakfast and spend some time with your family.  Family time is priceless and just a few minutes in the morning to chat with family to tell them you love them is time well spent.  Stock up on food items that are easy to eat for breakfast such as protein bars, smoothies, fresh fruit and yogurt.

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5.  Get out the door 15 minutes early for your commute to offset any unforeseen incidents.  Instead of listening to the news or blasting music, try tuning into positive affirmations on your ride. This 20 minute meditation is an amazing way to start your day with a positive mindset and gratitude.

 

 

Spin, Sweat, Meditate

Post Spin 😓

Spin is a great non impact workout that can help you burn fat and lose weight.

I just recently purchased a spin bike on Amazon a couple of weeks ago for under $300.

It’s well worth the money especially as I patiently wait for my knee to heal. Spinning provides a safe and effective low impact workout while I take a break from running. I also love the convenience of working out at home if I don’t have time to get to the gym.

I’ve found a great variety of spin workouts on YouTube such as strength, endurance, or high intensity calorie burn. Therefore the options are endless in regards to time, intensity and goal.

Here is the one I just finished. I got an amazing workout in around twenty minutes.

Just check out the many benefits below:

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Also, meditation is a great way to relieve stress, improve health and sleep. Check out the new “Calm” app to guide you through simple meditations and proper breathing techniques.

 

https://www.calm.com/

Don’t Let The Weekends Destroy Your Progress

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What did you do this week to help you move closer to your health and fitness goals? Did you food prep your meals in order to stay on your nutrition plan? Did you kill it in the gym this week pumping out more reps, weight, and intensity?

Think about all the effort you put into preparing meals, journaling intake, and resisting junk food and cravings during the week

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Did you get all scheduled workouts in this week? Do you feel yourself getting stronger and improving your fitness level?

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Believe it or not, that’s the easy part…..

The hard part is when the weekend rolls around. It can be easy to destroy all the progress you gained during the week.

All it takes is an innocent splurge of drinks with friends one night, pizza and dessert the next.

All those calories can offset the progress you worked so hard to achieve during the week.

Plan your weekends just like the rest of the week. Plan extra activity to help burn excess calories. Choose light beer instead of calorie laden cocktails. Remember you can have fun and splurge but put some thought into sensible choices.

Self Control- It’s More Important Than You Think

Self control can be a tremendous challenge but it’s like a muscle that responds to how often we use it. The more you use it the stronger it gets. Learn to pause and think about your food choices. It’s more important than you might think.

How are you going to feel 5 minutes after gobbling down a burger and fries? Poor food choices affect you physically by making you feel sluggish and in the long run can lead to disease. Mentally it often makes you feel bad about yourself and your inability to stick to your goals.

Think about it; is your health and well being worth that few minutes it takes to scarf down that greasy pizza or sugar laden doughnut? You can learn to make better choices by exercising self control.

Learn to visualize success and imagine how you are going to feel after making a healthy food selection. Every time you make a better food choice, you increase your will power and self control.

You can learn to enjoy healthy food. It simply requires discipline. Try experimenting with new recipes and really get involved in your food preparation. Your body will respond with more sustained energy and you will build discipline and self control.

Remember pause and reflect- food can either improve your health or cause disease. It’s your choice. 😊