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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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)

 

Why Does The Media Tear Women Down?

women“Why does the media have to tear women down? And why do we have to tear other women down to build another woman up?” ~ Reese Witherspoon

I love this quote about how society thrives on gossip and judging others. It’s no wonder we are becoming more narcissistic and obsessed with our appearance.

Look at how the media chases female celebrities desperate to get a picture revealing cellulite on their thighs or a protruding belly. All so we can judge them; tear them down. Does that really make us feel better about ourselves?

Take a look at the popularity of reality shows where you see women in catfights trying to destroy each other, portraying a barbaric look at our society and our values. Women are encouraged to use their looks as a means to climb the ladder of success or find the “perfect man.”

And who watches “The bachelor?” It amazes me the number of my friends and family members who reluctantly admit they “love this show.” The Chicago Tribune posted an article  `Bachelor’ Gives New Demeaning to Reality Shows 

“Each woman either seems on the verge of tears or ready to scratch her rivals’ eyes out.”  

 Another article on  Why “The Bachelor” Demeans Woman…  from the online site,  Miss Strong  states: 

Our world has an ideal fantasy of the woman that has dated back for thousands of years. We use art, television, media, and even daily interactions with friends or in the school hallways to constantly remind women of what they should be, and what they are expected to be. Women are not cardigan sweaters that get purchased after someone surveys the entire store for better sweaters. You either know you want the sweater you see, or you don’t. Watching a roomful of women in high heels and plastered whitened smiles stare at a man while he takes his pick from the litter does not reveal their individual potential, nor show the world how strong and real they can be

This attitude encourages women to use their looks as a value of success and fuels competition with one another. I mean it blows my mind that we have cheerleaders in schools/ professional football games and girls who walk the ring at professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fights, all scantily dressed and encouraged to use their sexuality to promote these events. It surprising after all these years and the evolution of the feminist movement, we still promote this kind of thinking.

Syracuse.com reports, five former Buffalo Bills cheerleaders filed suit against their own team, alleging that the Buffalo Jills were required to perform unpaid work for the team for about 20 hours a week. Unpaid activities included: submitting to a weekly “jiggle test” (where cheer coaches “scrutinized the women’s stomach, arms, legs, hips, and butt while she does jumping jacks”); parading around casinos in bikinis “for the gratification of the predominantly male crowd”; and offering themselves up as prizes at a golf tournament, where they were required to sit on men’s laps on the golf carts, submerge themselves in a dunk tank, and perform backflips for tips (which they did not receive)

Celebrity, Joseph Gordon-Levitt  when asked by Ellen DeGeneres if he was a feminist, summed it up perfectly ” I learned gender equality at a young age.”

“We would always watch Lakers games as a family, but my mom would always point out every time the cheerleaders came on, ’OK, so look, here’s the story that gets told: The men get to be the heroic skilled athletes and the women just get to be pretty. She wanted me and my brother to be aware of it because we see these images on TV, in the movies, and in magazines all the time. And if you don’t stop and think about it, it just sort of seeps into your brain and that becomes the way you perceive reality.”