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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

Turning It Around

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

 

Featured

No need for meat

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