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The Protein Noise

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

 

Vegan, Vegetarian, Meat Eater…

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

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CH4NG3

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

 

Mind Your Mind

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

positive-thinking-mind