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Why Eat Vegan?

Why Eat Vegan? The choice to revamp your diet to adapt to a all vegan diet is not a decision you should make on a whim. Being vegan now is a trendy choice, however for those who believe in the practice, it is anything but trendy. There are so many reasons why you would want to be a vegan. Several reasons are listed below.

Less Chemicals

Yes, even our meats have chemicals. Cows, chickens, and pigs are injected with hormones and chemicals from birth until they are killed for food. The food they consume is not a natural diet either, which does affect the food source they provide to us. Years ago, cow would eat grass on the pasture. Once it reached the age of not being able to reproduce it was slaughtered. The meat was near perfect because it led a natural life. However, not even organic grass-fed beef have this experience anymore. Finding a small farmer locally would be the only way to find meat like this, and it probably would be very expensive.

No Need to Kill Animals

If you have ever seen a film on the food industry in the USA you will know where this is going. These animals are killed in a way to is not humane at all. They suffer greatly. Many of them, especially chickens never see light in the chicken coop. In fact on the chicken farms they go through and select only the female chickens. They put the males in another container. When asked what they do with the male baby chicks, they said they were destroyed and re purposed as food to the female chickens. The person interviewing the chicken company was left speechless. It seems so wrong.

Plant Based Protein is Enough

Vegan’s claim that plant based proteins are enough to sustain everyone including body builders. They claim you do not need meat to meet your protein needs for the day. You need a diet rich in fruits, veggies, nuts, and beans and you will meet the requirement of .36 per lean body pound you have. So if your lean body mass is 120 pounds. You would multiply 120 times .36 and would need to eat at least 43 grams of protein per day.

Eating vegan is a choice and is not for everyone. Many people love eating meats. However it is very important people start researching where their meats are coming from and looking into cleaner sources. This will save your health and save the animals discomfort and improve their life as well. For every person who avoids eating cow meat at all for one year, they can save 95 cattle per year from being killed. A typical family of four could save nearly 400 cattle every year. That alone is motivating enough to try veganism.

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Vegans versus Vegetarians

Many people use the terms vegan and vegetarian interchangeable. They assume a vegan is just someone who avoids eating meats, which is only partly true. The differences between vegans and vegetarians huge especially if you are vegan.

Vegans Only Eat Plants

Vegans only eat plants like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and beans. They will eat meat substitutes however strict vegans will likely avoid them because they are processed, heavily processed. They typically will not count calories. They will feast on all the fruit and veggies they wish using nuts and beans as their protein source. Vegan do need to take a B12 supplement since B12 is in meat.

A vegetarian will eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans, cheese, eggs, and sometimes milk. They are usually less strict. They will consume animal product by products or food items that did not kill the animal like milk, cheese, and eggs.

Vegans Don’t Use Honey

Vegans do not use honey because it is made by an animal making it an animal by product. Getting the honey out for us to enjoy actually kills many bees, so vegans have decided it is not worth the pleasure. They do not eat it. They eat pure sugar cane instead.

Vegan: Vitamins

When a vegan buys vitamins they must compare the vitamin contents. Many vitamins contain milk. This would not be a big concern for a vegetarian since they can drink milk, but a vegan, that may upset them greatly. Hair products and other household item need to be analyzed before purchasing to make sure they do not contain any animal by-products.

The main difference between a vegan and a vegetarian is a vegetarian does not eat any animal that has been killed, and a vegan does not eat any animal kill or any product the animal may produce. Vegans promote a full plant based diet for health healing and prosperity.

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Dangers of Eating too Few Calories

Many people fall victim of eating too few calories. They think it is the right thing to do to lose weight. After all, less calories in have to be a weight loss on the scale, right?  They reduce the calories to around 1000 a day. Then, when they see results they think if 1000 calories mean I will lose four pounds a week, then 500 means eight a week. Then, when reducing to 500-600 a day, they plateau. This is known in the fitness community as the Starvation mode. Some claim it is a myth others swear it is true.

Not debating if starvation mode is a myth or true, one thing is true, and that is when you eat to few calories, you will have a difficult time losing weight. Many people will notice once they increase their calories, even by 100-200 calories per day, they will start to see a loss.

Experts suggest the best method to determine just how many calories one needs to eat in order to build muscle yet lose weight is to use your basal metabolic rate(BMR). To find this number, one can find a calculator online.

Once you find your BMR number, you can either eat this many calories a day plus your activity calories or you can eat you BMR plus 10% for sedentary activity or 20% for active lifestyles. You should eat the same amount of calories each and every day.

The nutrition ratios should be 40% protein, 40% carbohydrate and 20% fats. This is also known as the zone. This macro nutrients ratios allow you to have a clear mind, yet reduce the carbs and increase protein to keep you full and satisfied.

Many people who claim they have been plateaued for one, two or even six months with no weight change, the answer is either to few calories or not enough activity. It takes some experimenting to get that perfect calories for your body. All it takes it a starting point and increasing or decreasing from there until you lose weight well.

Losing weight can be a frustrating, yet rewarding experience. You will learn things about yourself you never knew. You will learn that you are so much stronger than you ever thought you were. One thing is certain, if you truly change your diet, you will never go back to eating poorly again.

Snack Ideas on Gluten Free Lifestyle

It may be challenging at first to find good wheat free snack but, it won’t take you long to be a pro in finding a good nutritious wheat free snack. It is important first to make sure you are not dehydrated so be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day. It is easy to mistake thirst for hunger pangs. It is a good idea to aim for eight to ten glasses of water a day. If you live in a hot climate, drink a few more glasses to make sure you do not get dehydrated.

A good snack idea is sweet potato fries. Alexia brand makes gluten free sweet potato fry. They are delicious. I have used them myself in the past. Even my picky eating husband loves them. They are good with organic gluten free catsup.

Another good snack idea is frozen grapes. I first saw this idea on Big Brother a few seasons back. One of the contestants loved frozen grapes. She swore it helped you not eat so much junk food, and it works. They are crunchy and sweet. It’s the perfect treat.

One of my personal favorites is peanut butter on celery. I personally am a peanut butter addict. I even add it to my almond milk shakes. The celery with the peanut butter is a great snack because peanut butter is pack with protein and celery is great for lower blood pressure naturally.

My last snack idea is one I use for myself: hardboiled eggs. I love a good hardboiled egg. It’s low carb and so low on calories for the nutrition it provides. I typically boil on Sunday nine hardboiled eggs.  All week I have those eggs at easy reach and peeled already. I have no excuses then not to eat well.

The ideas for snack ideas are endless. You are only limited by your imagination. Other good ideas are natural almonds or fresh peeled fruits. It is important for you when eating wheat free to incorporate snacks every day to keep your metabolism running well. Also, when you eat healthy whole foods, you feel better.

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What is Wheat and is it Bad for Me?

Wheat that is grown in the United States falls into two main groups: spring and winter wheat. Winter wheat is planted in the late autumn months and harvested in the summer and spring wheat is planted in after the danger of the frost is over and harvested in the summer.  The appearance of wheat harvested is deep golden brown much like the pictures and artwork most Americans have seen.

Once the wheat plant is harvested, the farmers separate the stalk from the wheat kernels. The stalk is then used for construction uses, animal bedding and mulch. The kernels are then ground into flour. The kernels have three parts, the small germ, the large endosperm, and the outer casing.  The outer casing of the wheat kernel is known as bran.

Flour made with the endosperm becomes white flour. Wheat flour is made from grinding the whole wheat kernel. Pasta is made from the hard wheat.  Wheat flour, white flour, germ flour and bran are four separate flours made from the wheat plant.

Wheat is a probably the most important plant American’s produce. Much of our diet is centered on wheat in one way or another.  It is a nutritious source of vitamins, minerals and fats. Wheat is easily grown in the United States.  It’s easy to see why wheat is the American staple grain.

In certain groups, especially weight loss and fitness groups, wheat is considered one of the worst things to eat after sugar. Many people are surprised to know that wheat is a problem in the American diet. We all know sugar is a big problem our diets, but wheat is bad for you too?

Wheat is has more gluten in it than any other food we consume.  Consuming to much gluten in your diet can lead to celiac disease. Much of the population is believed to be sensitive to gluten. Gluten and wheat is not the same thing. Wheat contains gluten.  In healthy people, eating too much wheat can cause gas, bloating, lethargy and damage to your intestinal lining.

Wheat is a food that is high on the glycemic index. Its rating is higher than sugar, ice cream or cake.  When you consume wheat, your blood sugar rises quickly, bring your insulin levels up quickly. Then your blood sugar will drop low causing you to be hungry again. This is known as blood sugar roller coaster.

There is some speculation that wheat is an appetite stimulant and could be addictive. Have you ever had a craving for pizza and not even are not truly hungry? Studies suggest the reason why wheat is addictive.  The studies say that gluten when broken down forms peptides that are able to stimulate our opioid receptors much like morphine does.

Wheat consumption also has increased cholesterol in a recent study.  In a study, they compared two groups one eating whole oat cereal another eating wheat cereal. The results were the group in the study that consumed wheat cereal’s cholesterol (LDL) increased by sixty percent.

After learning all of this, I cannot possible think wheat is good for you. Maybe it is better for you than other substances, but not healthy. It is like comparing an alcohol with a soda. Neither is good for you, one is just slighter better than the other. Wheat can cause celiac disease, bloating, tiredness, and may be addictive.  It also affected the cholesterol of the participants in the study.  As an item that is considered to be one of the most important staples of American diet, it has the potential to being the worst thing we consume.

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Why go wheat free?

When wanting a definite diagnosis of a wheat sensitivity, your doctor will first do an in depth physical examination. There are five other tests they many perform to get an accurate diagnosis for you. These tests are blood test, skin allergy testing, food journals, and food testing in the hospital and the elimination diet.

A blood test would tell the doctor if you produce any antibodies that indicate an allergy to gluten. Doctors often use this test when they cannot do a skin test because of a skin infection or other skin disorder present. It is not the preferred test for a diagnosis.

When doctors perform a skin test on a patient they put tiny allergen extracts including the wheat extract on the top and pricked in your skin.   The usual location of the skin test is the forearm but it can be done on your upper back. The doctor and nurse watch your skin for fifteen minutes. If you are allergic to wheat, your skin will get red and raised. The most common side effect of this test is rash and itchiness.

A food diary is when the doctor instructs you to write everything you eat for a period of time. In this diary, you would also note how you felt after eating and any reactions you experienced.

An elimination diet is when you omit wheat from your diet. This is a common way to test for the allergy. If you remove the offending item (wheat), it is likely you will improve.  Then under your physician’s direction, you would add these items back into your diet, and making note of any discomfort.

The food challenge test is when they give you in a hospital setting usually capsules of the food item you suspect you are allergic to.  You continue to eat food in small qualities of the food suspected you are sensitive to, while making note of any reactions. This is for extreme allergies usually.

In today’s high medical technology field, it’s amazing to me that we can pinpoint our allergies to blood tests and skin testing. It is so useful as knowing your allergies for your comfort and your health.  If you are suffering or feel you may be allergic to gluten or wheat, it would be wise to contact your doctor for testing.

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Reasons to Avoid Wheat

There are so many reasons to avoid eating wheat. Wheat is a grass like plant that produces kernels we grind to make flour and cereal. Wheat can cause such illness as celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. It can cause us to feel tired, bloated and damage our intestinal lining. If that is not bad enough, there are other reasons to avoid eating wheat.

Even before farmers plant the wheat seed the seeding companies they purchase the seeds from give the seeds an application of insecticide and fungicide. The fungicide is applied to help control the diseases from the seedling. The insecticide is used to control the pest while the seed is maturing. The insecticide contains hormones, derives of estrogen. It can cause a hormone imbalance to those who consume it. This hormone imbalance is suggested to be the reason girls and boys are entering into puberty much sooner today than they did fifty years ago. They also have linked this hormone imbalance to breast cancer and endometriosis.

After the grain is harvested, they are treated again with an insecticide. First they spray the storage bins inside and out. Then they transfer the new harvested wheat in the storage bin and are sprayed on the top again to 4 inches in the container. The reason they do this is while the container sit and wait to be packaged and sent to stores, they are in danger to be feasted on by pest.

The alternative to wheat bread is sprouted bread. It is flourless bread. Another alternative is to make your own with whole wheat berries. This is the best way to consume bread. The wheat available to us is not the wheat that Hippocrates suggested we consume in the ancient times. It is full of pesticides, insecticides, hormones and GMO’s. A GMO is a genetically modified organism. Wheat is one of the most popular GMO out there next to corn. GMO are said to be a contributing greatly to the obesity epidemic.

I know after learning all of this, I will be not eating wheat. I will figure out what alternatives are suitable for my family. I think the hormone problem alone is grounds for us to be careful with consuming wheat. Wheat, which was so good for us at one point, has turned into something that is bad for us yet marketed still as being a sound nutrition.

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Foods to Avoid on a Gluten Free Diet

When adapting to a wheat free diet, it is understandable for you not to know what foods to eat. It is confusing to making the change from something that is marketed as a healthy white flour alternative to wheat is causing me harm. It will get easier with time. It will be helpful to know which foods to avoid. The general rule of thumb should be if you are in doubt about a food, it is best to avoid it until you clear that food with your doctor.

Generally, it is best to avoid bread and cereals. This is when you have to really examine the food label. Any ingredients on the food label that are farina, barley, malted milk, bran, durum, spelt or any ingredient with the name wheat should be avoided. Wheat is always to be avoided.

Baked goods should as a general rule is avoided. Unless the item is labeled wheat freeor gluten free,  it likely has wheat in it. This includes cookies, crackers, chips and pie crust. Baked goods are probably the hardest food item to avoid. Everyone loves to eat cookies, cupcakes and pies, but in order to get gluten out of your system you must not consuming any baked goods.  It is also important for you to abstain from eating them so your wheat allergy symptoms do not return.

Other foods that according to the experts it is best to avoid are fried foods, gravies and salad dressing. If the item says gluten free than it is safe to eat otherwise it is best to refrain from eating it. Fried foods are often fried with a flour batter, which is  full of gluten.  Chocolate and other candies often have wheat in them so it is best to be avoid if at all possible.

I know the list seems overwhelming. Eating gluten free  will get easier in time. In time, it will be like second nature in knowing what to eat. And you will feel so much better for making the change.  Taking charge of your health is like having a superpower. Become the health person you were meant to be.

Beginners guide to eating clean

Eating clean is a term that is used to describe eating little to no processed foods. A big part of America’s obesity epidemic is directly related to the fact that we eat so much processed foods. A general rule to follow is if you cook your meals from whole food items, you are eating clean.  If your diet is filled with fast foods, microwave dinners or candy then your diet is full of processed foods.

The first step to eating clean is to not consume chemicals, sugar, artificial flavor and preservatives. To quote the celebrity trainer Jillian Michaels ‘If it did not come from the ground or have a mother, don’t eat it’. If we eat mostly clean whole foods, the calories we consume are good calories generally, and do not have to worry about counting so many calories.

The next step of eating clean is to figure out how much food you need to consume daily. It may not be necessary to count calories when eating whole foods, but be mindful of calories. For example, an avocado grown in Florida has 470 calories if you eat the whole avocado. For an average sized person that needs approximately 2000 calories a day, nearly 500 calorie is quite a bit.  If you keep in mind each meal should be about 500 calories and snacks about 250(2 of them), you will do great.

Lastly, the kinds of calories you eat do matter. It is important to make sure you get enough carbohydrates, protein and fat throughout the day. Cheese, nuts and beans are not considered to be high quality protein sources. High quality protein sources are meat, chicken, turkey, egg and protein shakes to name a few.

These steps will help you get on the way to a healthier you. Eating a clean whole fresh diet is vital to being a healthy, fit and mentally alert person.  Eating whole natural foods are the building blocks of a fit healthy person.

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How to Begin a Gluten-Free Lifestyle

Beginning a new way of eat will seem overwhelming at first. Rest assured after eating wheat free, it will only take you a few weeks and you will be a professional at it. It would be helpful to you first to have a list of which grains are safe for you to eat. Those grains are rice, corn, quinoa, soy, buckwheat and montina.

Fruits, vegetables, corn, rice, fish, meats and legumes are all part of the wheat free diet. It is generally not advised when eating wheat free to consume oats. Oats have cross contamination from the factories until labeled gluten free. They have also concerns of cross contamination in the fields of wheat.

At your local grocery store, there are many types of bread and cakes now offered that are gluten free. Sprouted bread is a safe bread alterative. In the baking section of the grocery store, they showcase many cakes and cookie boxes that are advertised to be gluten-free  The most important part of living the wheat free lifestyle is reading food labels. Checking label to make sure you do not have an adverse reaction to the wheat product is very important.

For cooking ideas, gluten free cookbooks are readily available. An internet search will show many gluten free recipes that will likely not taste any different than you are used to. Cooking gluten free will just take some meal planning and research. There are many apps now available both free and paid in Iphone and Andriod platforms.

As overwhelming as it is now to eat gluten free, it is so rewarding when you take your health back. Once you start to feel better, eating gluten free will be easier and easier as time goes on. Remember that something that is challenging now will be easy and effortless later.