In Fitness, Health, Holistic, Lifestyle, Nutrition, Wellness by Marja

Vegan, Raw Vegan Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Fruitatarian, Paleo, Cavemen, Atkins, Ketogenic there are so many different ways to eat! We are all biochemically unique, therefore one individual may thrive on a specific way of eating, while another individual may experience low energy, digestive upset or possibly develop food sensitivities or allergies.

As of Monday July 3rd 2017 I decided to adapt a vegan diet. I put it out to the universe, threw it down on all my social media, and told all my family members and friends this was a journey I was going to embark on. I have done a vegan diet 2x but not with the intent of  becoming a full on vegan, but to see how my energy and digestion was affected, as well as my performance at the gym.

In “Labeling” myself as adapting a vegan diet I received a lot of supportive comments but some negative and attacking comments via social media. With so many different ways of eating people can become almost “Culty” believing there way is the “right way” and can slam other ways of eating.

I received a comment from a random person on instagram saying, “You are not a TRUE vegan you own designer handbags!” I am not going to argue this, as I understand leather comes from cows, and I do have a car that has leather seats, and I do own a few leather jackets. In adapting a vegan diet I wasn’t going to sell all my bags and car that is just a little bit to extreme. If I am wanting improve my health and not support animal cruelty why all the negativity?

To be honest I am not educated on how cows are raised for leather, but i am educated on how:

1). Animals are treated in factory farms
2). How mono cropping and CAFOS are affecting our environment
3). The affects of factory raised animals on our biology

I am not forcing anyone to become a full thrown vegan as I understand it can be challenging for many, what I am supporting is people becoming EDUCATED and aware of how meat is produced, how it affects our environment and YOUR health. I encourage people to watch some of the documentaries below, which are all available on netflix:

*Food Matters
*Forks Over Knives
*Fat Sick & Nearly Dead
*Earthlings (I wasn’t able to watch more then the trailer without breaking into tears)

WHY Watch these documentaries?

You will become aware of how unethical agriculture and meat production is and the effects it has on our environment, climate change and your health! The methane gas cows breathe out and waste lagoons our ultimately destroying our precious earth.

Animals are massively produced and treated as meaningless objects. Their lives amount to nothing, being raised in the most horrific environments and  pumped with hormones. while fed a genetically modified diet (GMO). I cry every single time I see an animal being abused… even the thought of it makes me emotional

Food is medicine, when you eat, you are either nourishing your body or causing havoc…it really is that simple. Causing inflammation or reducing inflammation, causing disease or preventing disease.

If you eat meat, try your best to consume grass fed organic meat, less is more. It is far better to have a little bit of a good quality meat, then a lot of a poor quality meat. As a whole I believe people are consuming more protein then actually needed.. and what makes it worse is the QUALITY of the meat. Nowadays, It really isn’t the meat mother nature intended humans to consume.

No matter if you eat beef, pork, fish, turkey or chicken I hope we all can agree that eating MORE PLANTS is beneficial for health and longevity.

All the magic in nutrition is found in the micronutrients with polyphenols, antioxidants and not to mention the enzymatic properties in raw food. Plants are nutrient rich and calorie poor, meaning you can load up with these amazing foods!

60-70% of my diet now comes from plants. The majority of my meals are based around kale, broccoli, bok choy, cauliflower, cabbage, green beans, romaine, spinach, celery, daikon, cucumber. I consume yams, sweet potato, and all types of squash for my carbohydrate intake. For Protein content chickpeas and lentils, are my two favorite beans, and I have quinoa, millet, buckwheat and rice once in while. I basically eat a whole foods diet 95% of the time.

Seeds such as chia, flax, hemp, and pumpkin are staples in my diet as they are high in fiber and when combined they create a good amount of protein!

Supplements for a vegan diet: If you are considering a vegan diet these are the supplements that are important to prevent deficiencies:

*I Injected myself 1-2 times a week in my stomach or glutes.

2) Iron
*High in molasses, lentils, chickpeas, sesame seeds, fair trade organic cocoa 70-90%
I also took a multi vitamin which contained iron and zinc to make sure I was not deficient

3) EPA/DHA (Omega 3)
*Plant source are known as ALA -Found in chia, flax, walnut have to be converted into EPA/DHA. I also supplemented with Algae which is a better source.

4) Calcium
*Sesame seeds, broccoli, kale, almonds are all high sources in cal/mag these were consumed daily but I supplements with a cal/mag every other day.
5) Zinc
*I consume pumpkin seeds and raw cocoa daily (also zinc was in my multi).

6) Vitamin D
*I supplement with vitamin D year round up to 5000IU a day (more in winter )

7) Vegan Protein Powder
* I used Garden of Life and Iron Vegan – however I have a sensitive digestive system that I noticed my body was not responding well to the pea protein, so I had to recently remove the iron vegan.

Will I stay vegan? 

I am ALWAYS an optimist and have tendencies of OCD whenever I start a new journey or goal!  At the beginning of this journey I was 100 percent all in for the vegan lifestyle. I was pretty much obsessed! I did eat at  a lot of cool vegan/vegetarian restaurants  some which I have been to before and some that were new to me such as: Acrorn, Meet on Main, Heriloom, The Naam, Chua, Toa.  These places were sooooooo delicious and it was shocking how good, meat free meals could taste!

I cannot support the suffering animals face in factory farms. I have not consumed beef or pork for over 10 years for personal reasons, and I only would eat organic chicken/turkey, as I don’t believe animals from life to death should live in fear and pain.

I will be transitioning into a vegetarian/pescatarian (consumes fish and shellfish) diet. I will see how I feel on that, and If my body is wanting chicken or turkey then I may add it back in.

Nutriton is always evolving and allowing yourself to be open to change is important, as well as finding what is right for YOU! I accomplished another 30 days of a vegan diet and reminded myself how plants should be the foundation of your meals.

Why am I transitioning into a Vegetarain/Pescatarian diet?
After a lot of research and trail and error with my own body I feel as if my brain and gut health will function more optimally by adding particular food/supplements to the diet which are not acceptable on a “vegan diet” I do not need the title of a “vegan” if it will affect my well-being. I want to function at optimal health and have my brain sharp and body y0uthful and STRONG. I consider myself plant based (as I eat a shit ton of plants)…but at the end of the day who cares F*CK THE LABELS

As a vegan you cannot consume fish oils. The brain is composed of 60% fat, therefore the brain functions better with DHA being consumed daily. Plant source are known as ALA -Found in chia, flax, walnut have to be converted into EPA/DHA. The conversion rate is VERY low in vegetarian source compared in fish. Algae would be a better option but fish oil such as krill, salmon, or pasteurized eggs (yolk) will contain far more DHA/EPA. To be honest I am missing my poached eggs!

Also ghee which is clarified butter contains butyrate acid, which is beneficial for the brain, reduces inflammation, and supports gut health. Why wouldn’t I want my brain to function better, reduce inflammation in my body and improve gut health (immune system basically is your gut) to fit a certain label of eating? Thats why I say AGAIN, F*CK the LABELS and eat to benefit YOUR HEALTH AND ETHICS. I will ONLY consume as I have for the last 10 years animal products from ethically raised organic farms, and wild caught seafood. B-pollen, Bee propolis, honey, collagen (from fish & grassfed cows) are also staples I am excited to be adding back into my diet.

I  think everyone should be adding MORE plants to there diet no matter what there “eating style is.” Whether it be 1 day a week you remove meat from the diet, or you try a week or two meatless!  Adding more plants to your plate will only benefit your health and reset your palette removing meat.

Fuel and nourish your body, how you intuitively feel best. Foods shouldn’t make you feel tired of bogged down. Don’t be afraid to try new ways of eating and experience new types of food.  EDUCATE yourself on how the meat industry is ran and the affects it can have on your health.  If you want to make a positive change in your life, or someone you knows wants to alter their diet PLEASE SUPPORT THEM!