Probably the most asked question and myth around Plant-powered diet is about our favorite macro nutrition, protein. ‘How can you possibly get enough protein when you do not eat meat and diary?‘ I too was concerned about this element at the start of my Plant-powered journey, however, I found out that the contrary is true.
We live in times in which we are possessed by protein consumption. ‘Proteinaholic’ by Garth Davis, MD , presents us with an evidence – based case of why such an obsession for protein, meat protein in particular, takes place and makes us ill, fat and tired. The fact is that whether you are an athlete or a couch potato the copious amounts of meat protein are not going to do you any good. The animal protein is a circus of factory farmed, hormone and pesticide fueled, low in fiber foods that are extremely high in saturated fat.
However, let’s not be mistaken. Protein is essential nutrient. It is not only critical to repair or build muscle tissue, but its role in wide range of important body functions is crucial. So does it make really any difference if our protein comes from meat or plants? And how much do we need?
Protein consists of twenty different amino acids. Eleven of which can be naturally produced by our bodies. The remaining nine, that are called essential amino acids, must be derived from foods that we eat. From technical point of view, we require certain amino acids, not protein in itself. In spite of that, these nine essential amino acids are not available only from animals. Actually, they are synthesized by plants and found in meat and dairy products just because these animals have eaten plants. In fact, they are found in bountiful amounts in a wide variety of grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables and legumes. So in common sense, if your diet contains well rounded variety of these plant based foods, it is impossible for our bodies to be deficient in ability to properly digest all the proteins it needs for correct tissue maintenance and repair.
Let’s just skip the fact that most people procure their protein consuming animal foods, which tend to contain a whole shebang of unhealthy byproducts. On the other hand, with Plant-power diet, one needs to obtain the nine essential amino acids from plant based foods, which are digested much easier and processed differently by our bodies from animal based proteins. Now, let’s get nitty gritty here. Recommended daily allowance (RDA) is 0.8 grams per kilogram of protein. Meanwhile, studies show that the requirements of the athlete don’t exceed RDA recommendation. The World Health Organisation even recommends that men and women only need 5 percent calories as protein, which is a half of RDA amount. And still, most of the people, of whom are mainly sedentary, manage to have intake 2 – 5 times higher than RDA.
‘So how do I get protein that I need without animal foods?’ Simple. If we spread it over a course of the day, having a homemade green smoothie and toast with peanut butter for breakfast, bean salad with quinoa for lunch and lentils, edamame beans, barley, tofu and spinach and broccoli is going to take you where you need to be. And to really hit the nail on it’s head, even if you would eat nothing else than variety of fresh fruits, you still would not suffer protein deficiency nor missing out on particular amino acid. Even though eating only fruits is a little bit extreme, but enjoy diet of legumes, grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and green vegetables throughout the day and there is no way that you are not going to meet your daily requirements of essential amino acids.
On the days when I train and feel fatigued, travel a lot, or when I didn’t eat enough plant based foods high in protein, I do include a small amount of plant based protein powder in my smoothie as a safeguard. Personally, I use Nutrilite All Plant Protein, which is organic, made from soy, wheat and peas. They can actually trace all the nutrition from the product to its very origin as a seed in a soil, as well as time and date when it’s been planted, harvested and turned into a supplement. And I started to include spirulina in my green smoothies. It is a fresh water algae phytonutrient super food, which boosts protein content of 60 – 65 percent by weight.
With respect to all athletes and people of all possible activities, I could not find a scientific study, which would show that protein consumption beyond RDA advised minimum, helps additional growth nor physiological repair induced by exercise stress. On the other hand, there are numerous studies proving that excess protein intake from animal based sources can significantly contribute to set in motion a variety of diseases such as osteoporosis, cancer, kidney malfunction as well as heart disease.
Proteins found in milk are not only packed with hormones, as they meant to serve as feed for baby kettle, but also high in casein, which can be a huge contributor to several maladies, including cancer. What makes me sick as well as admire the industry for their genius is invention of whey protein. Whey is nothing less than a low grade, highly processed discard of cheese production. The diary industry created billion dollar business out of stuff that had been previously tossed into unwanted rubbish. Yet, many stores sell these giant cans with packed up muscle man on its cover in bulk for ridiculous money, when its value production as well as nutrition wise is worth nearly big fat nothing.
The protein craze is over hyped and harmful. Why instead of steak, chicken, eggs, milk and whey supplements not to try plant based sources such as black or kidney, and many other beans, Brazil nuts, almonds, legumes, linen, chia or hemp seeds, spirulina or tempeh.
And if you are still unsure, consider this . The most ferocious animals on the planet like an elephant, gorilla, rhino and hippo, they all get their protein from plants, one hundred percent of it.
Peace & Love
One of many things that I can’t stomach is putting labels onto people, their actions and other happenstances. True, labeling has been put in place to set a direction of a topic, however many of us will have their idea mostly formulated hearing just the certain word. Especially these three terms in title are very hot merchandise. When one proclaims being vegan, most of us are going to have a reaction based on the past experiences and information gathered to that term, therefore we don’t look beneath the surface to discover many layers of the person standing in front of us, but we tend to judge the book by its cover. So I do not proclaim myself to be a vegan. I just eat everything, that does not contain milk, eggs, coloring’s coming from insects and anything that had been breathing and living creature. This to me is very creative, fun and sustainable way how we could take care of ourselves as well as of our environment. Let’s have a look at a bigger picture.
The biggest contributor of drastic climate changes in recent years is down to animal agriculture. Animal agriculture is responsible for 18 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, which is more than combined exhaust from all the transportation. Greenhouse gas emissions from transporting the livestock contributes by 13 percent. Fact is, that methane is 25-100 times more destructive than CO2 and has a global warming potential 86 times than that of CO2 on a 20 years time frame. Now, a single cow produces between 250 – 500 liters of methane per day. The same industry uses lots of water – half of a kilogram of beef needs 7 thousands liters of water, and yet we have third world countries where people are drinking unclean, contaminated water or hardly any at all. Animal agriculture contributes to species extinction in many ways. In addition to the monumental habitat destruction caused by clearing forests and converting land to grow feed crops and for animal grazing, predators and “competition” species are frequently targeted and hunted because of a perceived threat to livestock profits. The widespread use of pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers used in the production of feed crops often interferes with the reproductive systems of animals and poison waterways. The over exploitation of wild species through commercial fishing, bush meat trade as well as animal agriculture’s impact on climate change, all contribute to global depletion of species and resources.
These few facts are just a raindrop in ocean of mad practices, cruelty and 0 consideration about consequences. What legacy are we going to leave to future generations. Are we going to continue to support our own exploitation by huge concerns, politics and lobbying, to have convenience resulting in catastrophe, over searching for right information and freedom. Can we muster enough hunger in us to change. One person at a time, for a grater good. Only time will tell. So this is a fraction of what the term ‘vegan’ means to me. What about you? Do you care enough?
Peace & Love
Autumn has slowly crept in, but it seems that summer is not ready to give up. Air is fresh and crisp with sun beaming through the bright sky. I cannot help myself but slip down the memory lane and remember last month, when we set out for an amazing journey to Poland. Me and my girls, Julia and Livi. The weather was splendid as well as the surroundings and company of our friends and family. Every day was packed with action. We stayed in Poznan for about a week and then traveled to Kamionek. Small village with magnificent trails to run or ride, situated on the side of Kamieniec Lake. However, it was utterly different experience that I’m very grateful for. Part of our family living there is running their own, sustainable, organic farm. Being able to help around and experience the nitty-gritty from first hand was eye opening and real.
Before leaving for our family journey I had made a decision, that I’m going to start Plant power diet at the very instant of our return back to UK. Now, me and my wife have stopped eating meat few months ago. Even though we experienced setbacks, like going to a party and eating odd slice of chicken or pork, we still kept eating fish and dairy. It wasn’t until I started to do my research and came across a book by Rich Roll, titled ‘Finding Ultra’, that made me consider and really deeply think to go all the way. Give up meat, fish, dairy and anything that was produced or came as a by-product from animals.
I’m three weeks in and feel amazing! I feel having more energy, recover faster after physical activities and being more productive. Plus, being completely honest, I find it very satisfying to know that my money do not support this chaos and atrocious actions by producers farming on the LARGE scale. Exploiting not only us, but more importantly our environment. On the contrary, I rather support small, sustainable farms and businesses, which control all the produce from the seed to the plant. What goes into to soil to feed the plants and therefore the quality of the final product.
What do you think about replacing meat produce and diary with plants? Do you agree that we can shift the consequences of industrial actions as well as ours by simply becoming conscious consumers and choose, where we spend our money and what we get in return?
Cheers & Love
Spring 2017 was an amazing part of a last year. It had also been a time when I started to feel pains and heaviness in my legs, particularly in the right one. After thorough examination conducted by myself and my wife Julia, I came to conclusion that it’s nothing and she pronounced it to be varicose veins. ‘Varicose what?!’ I said. After listening to a story about Julia’s mom and her struggle with this condition, I started to do my research and came to the conclusion that it’s nothing more than just a couple of bulging veins making me look more manly. And the odd pain now and then? I can manage, right!? My naivete blended with denial were suddenly purified by intensified pain and profound hurt starting in my thigh, making it’s way down through calf, ending the journey in my heel. Splendid. The first night when this experience kept me from sleeping, I realized that something has to change. I need to do something.
Now, I always say that everything happens for a reason. Therefore there must have been an offset for my condition. Something that I was doing and I knew pretty well what it was. In my late teens and early twenties I was very much discovering the beautiful and the ugly of the world as well as myself. I was looking for who I am and what I want to do with my life. Unaware and lost. So as you do in such situations, I laced all my adventures with alcohol and experimentation with other various substances, hoping that I will discover “Holy Grail” which will miraculously point me in a right direction. So far from truth. I didn’t eat nutritious meals other than processed stuff such as pizzas, cheeseburgers, ready meals, chicken nuggets, crisps, indestructible french fries from the ‘freaky clown’s restaurants’ washed down with sodas, chocolate milkshakes and other crap. Add no real physical exercise except going to work and a pack of cigarettes every other day and you’re aiming for disaster.
Lesson learned. Our body is an amazing machine that can endure all sort of possible ordeals for a certain period of time. I am 32 and roughly ten years later a few years of such a vicious practices made its mark. I am grateful that I am pass that. I just need to deal with consequences. It’s been at least a couple of years since I have immersed myself into studying nutrition and elementary components in our bodies and it’s impact on the quality of our lives. I quit smoking and stopped to abuse myself with alcohol. And after dietary experiments and insights from many people and top athletes I’m ready to build a bridge and go Plant Power all the way. (On this topic in another post)
In few months I’m going to get operated on my legs. I’m so looking forward to this because I cannot wait for not being in constant discomfort and pain. Having said that I know that there are many people out there who are sitting quite not making themselves heard because they may feel the same as I did, or they may be embarrassed or being neglected by National Health Services. It is said that varicose veins are more cosmetic issue rather than anything else. Well, I beg to differ. In a worst case scenario, if left untreated, one is at risk of blood clots, blood thrombosis or ulcers. So I would love to bring awareness to this condition as well as promote well being based on fueling ourselves with needed nutrition physically and of course mentally. To do so, I’m going to be preparing(post op) for a Trial Run, taking place in Slovakia in may 2019. It is 144 km/ 89 miles during 24 hours. I’ll do my best to document as much as possible over various platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat, and of course, this blog.
Until then my friends,
Peace & Love
Today marks four weeks since me and my wife have decided to reduce meat from our diet and eat only plant based food, diary and fish. I can’t believe that I actually say that, but the results are incredible! I used to be a huge ‘meat eater’ – chicken, beef, pork – the complete shebang. If there wasn’t meat on my plate than it wasn’t a proper meal. However, being able to work closely with nutrition and dietary specialists helping my clients to better their health and general well being made me rethink many aspects of my own life. That, and Julia – my wife – has a great impact.
First of all, most of my clients have had serious health complications such as thyroid disorder, issues with metabolism, weak immune system, diabetes etc. Through elementary hair analysis we are able to asses the nutrition levels of organism based on quantity and ratio of elements in hair. This modern diagnostic tests the level of the most important elements in the human body – 24 bio-elements and 5 toxic elements. Based on the results, we are able to draw up an appropriate supplementation and diet program.
When I have done my own elementary analysis, and suited my diet to the nutritional needs of my organism, it helped me tremendously. However, it’s now when I fully control what I eat, that makes me more fulfilled and happy. The realization that the gut is a second brain was crucial. Our brain is actually constantly communicating with the gut by countless chemical reactions. Our decision not to eat meat is based on difficulty to obtain quality and high standard. The process and sustainability of farming, mainly thanks to the supermarkets, is very close to non existent. Add martyrdom which animals go through by being overfed with compound feed, little movement and being slaughtered in a mechanical fashion just to satisfy the demand which have been created and you have a perfect outcome for disaster.
Secondly, it was the knowledge gained by my wife, which didn’t make me hesitate to apply these changes. Her creativity with recipes is astounding me every day. I mean how can you pimp up vegetables into a something comparable to fine dining?! As I mentioned earlier, we still consume fish and dairy, but we certainly choose where it comes from and the way it had been produced. The same regards supplements and many other factors which surround us as a consumers and are a necessity for ones being. If it’s well or bad being, that’s all down to us.
I would have never said that one day I’ll be writing and talking about such topic, which can easily develop into cause, but I take it as my responsibility to share something that had put a spring into my step. And if it’s a ONE person, who is going to take something away from it, and finds it helpful in one way or another, then that’s what makes me buzz.
Cheers & Love
The air started to get crisp yet again, as I walked our daughter Olivia from her Taekwondo lesson. While being immersed into conversation with Livi, I had noticed one of the moms giving a pep talk to her child about what he was doing wrong and why he should improve. It kind of dawned on me, that we are all trying to motivate and teach. We live in the age where everybody is a motivator. We adore motivation and even more we love the feeling of being motivated. Countless hours are spent by people searching you tube channel for motivational videos. I personally attend a business development seminars every month, at least three conferences during a year and I can guarantee that I will do so even more frequently in the future. However, there is one little difference. I do not search for motivation, because I’m self motivated. I know why I’m doing what I’m doing. All I need, and where the difference lays is inspiration. Let me explain the fine line between the three elements.
Vast majority of people is going mindlessly day in and day out in the same rhythm of waking up, going to work, coming home, eat, watch TV, sleep and back to the beginning of the loop. The only distraction of this pattern is the weekend, where we load ourselves with alcoholic beverages, watch even more TV and tell ourselves that overall it is not that bad. Until Monday comes. We feel tired and it is a beginning of the week! How long can you stay in such a state? We cannot be surprised that mental health problems are growing public health concern. Mixed anxiety and depression being the most common mental health disorder in Britain. These are consequences, which we should’t ignore by only supplying antidepressants, pills and tablets. Medications tend to help instantaneously, but can be disastrous in a long run as they do not tackle the root of the problem. Therefore motivation, online coaches, mentors are being so high in demand as we are looking for ways to get out of the rat race and improve our well being. Having said that, I do not believe that motivation is purposeful, if it is portrayed onto people rather that inspiring them to develop self motivation within them in order to take action. It feels great to be fired up by someone, but the motivation tends to fizzle out in couple of days and if we don’t take action straight away we go back to square one. Don’t get me wrong, it is a completely different scenario in sports, where ignited motivation by a head coach, manager or players can be all the difference as it is instantaneous strive for result. On the other hand it doesn’t work in same measures long term as in improving ones life for example.
Most important key to taking control of our life is in self awareness. Realize who you are – what are your strengths and double, triple, quadruple into developing them to create and fuel your passion. Comprehend your weaknesses, but do not dwell into them, because most of the people around you are going to do that for you.
The moment we gain clarity about our personal nature and what we are passionate about, we become clear on our self motivation – our drive and desire. That’s exactly the ingredients, that is going to get us up early in the morning and do what needs to be done till late in the night. When we surround ourselves with people, who are successful by making a huge impact in sector or industry that we want to make our mark in, we can consume the information that they share and apply it. Practicality is the main difference between being motivated and being initiator. We have our desire and we are inspired to act by someone who is walking the walk, not only talking the talk. That’s the reason for me to advocate inspiration. When we add desire, altogether, it transcend any kind of motivation.
As Milton Berle, an American comedian and actor, whose career spanned for incredible 80 years once said, ‘If opportunity doesn’t knock, build a door.’ So don’t look for motivation. Be inspired instead. Be practical and act upon your ambitions. Let’s do what we need to do.
Cheers & Love
I have just recently returned from a conference in Nuland, Netherlands. The journey itself had been a tad treacherous as we traveled by car and due to snowing conditions there was a lot of surprises along the roads – accidents, burned cars, traffic jams, rough seas – basically almost everything one would expect from proper adventure. It took us roughly 10 hours one way, not counting 2 hours spent on ferry from Dover to Dunkirk. Plenty of time for thought collection and catching up with email, right.
Somewhere on the road in Belgium I got into discussion via Instagram with a friend about change. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.’ The truth is that many of us are living this insanity. It’s ego altogether with comfort, which holds us back from openness towards new experiences and gaining fresh knowledge, which would be applicable and beneficial in order to create desired change. The fact is that it takes strong emotional encounter that breaks the pattern as all of our actions that we do are either to avoid pain or to gain pleasure.
Such a pattern breakers can be illness, loss of a close person, getting fired from a job, bankruptcy, anything that pushes us over the limit to say ‘I won’t live this way anymore!’ At the end of April 2011 my world have changed forever. Our daughter Olivia was born and I decided that I shall not bullshit myself anymore. I realized that I want to be a person who is going to be setting the right example. I want to do what I talk about, which became one of my purposes. We live in the world where most of the people tell others to do what they have never done themselves. Ludicrous hypocrisy, which I do not want to be part of.
Either way it comes down to recognition and complete honesty with ourselves. Be humble enough to admit that we are not perfect. Realize our strengths – triple down on them ; realize weaknesses without dwelling into them, because everybody else is going to do that for us. By starting with us first, we can help others to live better and more fulfilling lives. Making the world a better place small step at the time.
Cheers & Love
Have you ever wondered why in a certain moment you react in a specific way? For example, why some of us are smooth conversationalists and some start to profoundly sweat and mumble, when opportunity to talk to other person presents itself. Are people who go through their lives with positive attitude just simply lucky from those who fill theirs with negativity? Hmm, and might that be the explanation for one to savor it’s finger nails?
The gem which either limits us or makes us expand, isn’t a magical formula which had been cast upon us when we were born, but it’s the powerhouse situated between our ears. Ladies and Gentleman, children of any age – that’s our brain. Human brain is a central organ to our nervous system. It consists of the cerebrum(controls all voluntary actions in the body), the brain-stem(regulates central nervous system and also maintains conciseness) and the cerebellum(contributes to coordination, precision and accurate timing of our motor control). Our brain is extremely complicated, however it’s remarkable how much control we can have over it(therefore control over our lives), when we realize it’s our conscious and subconscious minds, which play crucial part of who we are and what we do.
Consciousness is a state of awareness at the present moment. It means to be able to feel, experience and react to situations occurring right now. Subconsciousness, however, is thousands times more powerful than consciousness, because it never sleeps. It is like a fertile soil where what we sow, we shall reap. Keep in mind that weeds(negativity) is automatic. If we want to reap success or happiness, we just need to plant the right seeds, keep watering them and look after them at all times.
Let me give you an example. A new born child, whose surroundings are going to play crucial part to determine what kind of personality it’s going to become. People around him and the happenings caused are going to create behavioral patterns or habits, which later on in life going to determine it’s values, which are going to be a guidance through life. Simply said, if parents divorce and a child stays with mom who is going to continuously repeat that all men are evil, then there’s pretty big probability that the child is going to grow up with no respect and trust issues towards men. On the other hand, if a we take a child at age of two and start to teach him skiing, I bet you you that it’s almost sure thing that by age of 6, possibly even earlier, it’s going to master that skill, if we keep practicing over and over. The difference is that our subconsciousness doesn’t make difference between good and bad input. It’s going to processes any information given and through conditioning it’s going to produce strength of references for the final outcome.
It is pretty straight forward with children as their mind is being developed from the very moment they come to this world. It’s a bit harder for “grown ups”. As the saying goes that ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’, there’s some truth to the statement. Mainly because in advanced stages of ones life, we need to have a burning desire to develop our mind as most of our habits have already deep roots and it takes more effort and self awareness to replace them with new ones. What helps me tremendously is the statement by Earl Nightingale, ‘We become what we think about.’ If we control our thoughts and input that we feed our mind with, we can set our sails to achieve literally anything.
The state of mind and our mental attitude also play great importance in how we feel physically. What we experience mentally affects us physically and vice versa. The two are in such a great harmony that we can use physical exercises to break our negative emotional patterns or the moments of sudden upsets and we can do the same the other way around. How fantastic!
Do you mind your mind?
Cheers & Love
Hello and welcome to the first post of MindFoodz. My name is Tomas Marak and my goal is to add value into this vast digital ocean called Internet by written word. I remember when I used to browse the Web without any purpose or flick through the channels on TV, the most common message of content and programs were bad news. Especially in the current days, when we have everything literally at the end of our fingertips, change in ways that we communicate and consume has made negativity even louder. There’s complaining and cynicism pouring out of everywhere. Pretending and snobbishness calls for admirers as well as arrogance and ignorance are considered for being step forward.
Therefore, I set myself onto the mission by using various platforms for the counter attack – to make positivity louder! And what gives me the leverage to do so? Simply, my own experience. Life. Living it. Tasting it. Most importantly, evolving and learning along with it.
I’m blessed to have two amazing human beings for parents and friends, who raised me to respect, love and value not only other people, but also myself. They invested tons of hours to show me that anything is possible if only I take action and persevere. Those were beautiful days filled with warmth, laughter and pretty anything one could have possibly wished for being a kid. However, in the second half of my teens all of this plummeted down into big dark hole, which shed exact opposite emotions onto our lives. Guess who was the catalyst for all the happening.
Well, making the long story short ; I emigrated to United Kingdom in the very beginning of my 20’s. I wasted so much time to ponder and to look for what I lost, which was my identity, that evaporated into thin air. Gone. Poof. And as I kept silently stomping around I meet a girl who put a chip back on my shoulder. That very girl eventually became my girlfriend, said ‘yes’ to be my wife and gave birth to our amazing child.
Almost four years ago we have developed into something more. A business partners as we set our sails firmly onto our entrepreneurial journey. Being in progress of personal changes, we have noticed revolving imbalance in our community in the way that we think and how we act. Upon what values and reasoning we raise our children, treat people around us and consequently live our lives. Why do we consciously abuse our health by poor choices of nutrition and physical inactivity. Why are we spiritually hollow, when inner peace and gratitude makes us stronger.
My desire is to create a unity and give hope that anything is possible by sharing inspiration through actions and gained knowledge, because we all can live a live filled with joy and purpose. That is what MindFoodz all about.