Meatless Monday

 
vegan.jpg

A plant-based diet is a diet based on foods derived from plants, including vegetables, whole grains, nuts, seeds, legumes and fruits, but with few or no animal products. I have been doing #meatlessmonday for 6 months in this year. Every Monday, I become a complete vegan. This is not because I try to be a vegan. I think consuming less animal proteins is great thing we can do for general health and environmental issue on the Mother Earth. 

One of the primary advantages cited by the plant-based diet community is the acid-forming properties of meat and dairy products, compared to the relatively non-acidic, or “alkaline” forming whole plant-based foods. The logic is that an excessively acidic blood pH could result in inflammation, and thus impair recovery.

The reason for the increased acidity of a meat-based diet is that animal protein is rich in sulfur-containing amino acids that increase production and excretion of sulfuric acid during their metabolism. In TB12 method, Tom Brady suggest his high alcaline diet for better recovery. Many vegan and vegetarian diets include large amounts of juicing and blending, primarily due to the nutritional density and ease of digestion of a blended slurry of vegetables, fruits or nuts. Since these foods are easily digested and absorbed, they consume less energy to produce more energy, and this may allow for a healthier gastrointestinal state in the exercising athlete. Indeed, many athletes who switch to a plant-based diet feel an immediate surge in energy. I am one of them. However, it all depends on how much plant based diet followers are familiar with human nutrition and physiology. Plant based diet sometimes provide us with unhealthy states such as insulin spike and too much anti nutrients if know nothing about human nutrition and physiology.The most cited disadvantage of a vegan or vegetarian diet is the potential for deficits. Vegan and vegetarian diets can be beneficial for your health, but completely cutting animal products might make you question where you’re getting certain nutrients. Many people assume that getting enough protein on a plant-based diet will be a problem, however, I think protein intake won’t be a problem, but main problems would be lack of effort for other important nutrients, such as not eating a wide variety of colors in whole plant food, not eating enough calories when initiating a whole plant food lifestyle, not supplementing deficient nutrients such as Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Zinc, and not finding adequate sources of iodine, riboflavin, or omega-3 fatty acids.

If an athlete in aerobic sports is eating primarily pasta, bread, white rice, soy, processed meat substitutes, conventional, non-organic eggs and dairy, and drinking a high amount of fruit juice, not only could they be consuming excessive and unnecessary carbohydrate that they are not actually burning for their sport, but they may also be increasing risk for deficiencies in essential fatty acids, amino acids, vitamin D, iron, B-12 and minerals.

Here is what I do for my plant based lifestyle.

Kion Coffee

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is the sunshine vitamin! Along with calcium, it plays an essential role in maintaining bone health. Vitamin D is easily obtained from sun exposure. But remember to limit your time in direct sun, it doesn’t take much to get your vitamin D. For those with less outdoor time, such as individuals living through winter in northern climates, supplementation is also available. Vitamin D comes in two forms, Vitamin D2 – ergocalciferol, and Vitamin D3 – cholecalciferol. The main difference between them is where they come from and how they are made.

Vitamin D2 is produced by plants, whereas Vitamin D3 is most commonly found in humans and animals. It’s the biologically active version of the vitamin, produced in our skin when exposed to sunlight.

Although you need both types, Vitamin D3 is considered as a higher quality source of vitamin D and more important to our wellbeing. However, because it is almost always found in animal products, it can be difficult for vegans to ensure they maintain adequate levels in their diets. I splash Onnit’s Vitamin D splay on my big bowl of salad for extra oiliness.

The easiest supplementation? You know it. Just go outside and get lots of sun light!

Vitamin B12

This particular vitamin is created by a bacteria and found primarily in animal products such as dairy, meat, insects, and eggs. However, many plant foods are fortified with B-12 (like nutritional yeast and some plant milks) and supplementing with a B-12 vitamin is a viable option.

Very low B-12 intakes can cause anemia and nervous system damage. The only reliable vegan sources of B-12 are foods fortified with B-12 (including some plant milks, some soy products and some breakfast cereals) and B-12 supplements. Vitamin B-12, whether in supplements, fortified foods, or animal products, comes from micro-organisms. 

There are specific foods, including spirulina, nori, tempeh, and barley grass, as suitable non-animal sources of B-12. My favorite is nutritional yeast.

I put nutritional yeast on everything because love cheesy flavor, and it is a main ingredient for vegan cheese. If supplementation is your choice, you can inject B-12 or even smoke it too. Wow thats sounds awesome.

Zinc

Zinc can be found in many beans, legumes, and whole grains. But it is important to note that phytic acid, which is one of anti nutrients mentioned above, found in these plants can hinder zinc absorption. However, by soaking or sprouting grains and beans before cooking, the phytic acid is reduced. It is tough for me to just say “eat oysters! Boston is the place to enjoy!” to vegan/vegetarian friends. Sources of zinc include beans, chickpeas, lentils, tofu, walnuts, cashew nuts, chia seeds, ground linseed, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, wholemeal bread and quinoa. Ensure that your daily diet contains plenty of zinc-rich foods.

Iron

Even though iron from plants is not as easily absorbed, eating a varied diet rich in whole plant foods should ensure iron. You can find iron in leafy green vegetables, whole grains, lentils, peas, and dried fruits. There are lots of factors that affect the amount of iron your body can absorb from your diet. The most important factor is your body’s need for iron: more is absorbed when your body is short of iron, and less is absorbed when your stores are full. Tea, coffee and some substances in plant foods may make it difficult for your body to absorb iron. On the other hand, vitamin C increases iron absorption. Good sources of vitamin C include pepper, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kiwifruit, oranges, strawberries, pineapple, and grapefruit.

Iodine

If you love Japanese food, I don’t really worry about iodine intake because our soul food, wakame, kaisou, Nori, these seaweeds are great sauce, but make sure seaweed provide too much iodine. There is no easy way of knowing how much iodine is in plant foods. Plant foods may contain a low amount of iodine. The amount of iodine in a plant food varies depending on how much is in the soil the plant is grown in. Algae supplementation is great way to support iodine intake. Onnit has a great algae supplement. Spirulina is high in calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium and zinc. It contains varying levels of iodine also. However, excess iodine is linked to thyroid cancer and hyperthyroidism, which is when your thyroid produces too much hormone.

Eat like a GOAT

These main concerns above are points you keep in mind if you are interested in plant based diet.Eating more plants, especially veggies and fresh fruit, in place of things like processed meats and packaged products is said to be one of the most valuable things we can do for our health anyway. I am not saying you must study to be a vegan or vegetarian.

There are many different types of plant-based diets eaten around the world today, however most have in common limiting animal foods in favor of eating  more fruits, vegetables, tubers, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats. This is exactly same as traditional Japanese food culture.

    Benefits of eating more plants, along with eating less meat, dairy products, packaged foods and sugary snacks, include protection against obesity, weight gain, heart disease, diabetes, autoimmune disorders and metabolic syndrome. Therefore, switching modern convenience oriented dieters start  naturally feeing good in my opinion.

      Once again, everyone’s definition would be different. My thought for plant-based diets is different from vegan diets, and even vegetarian diets, because they often include some high-quality animal products eaten in moderate amounts. This is why I am particular about animal proteins, such as where they come from, and how they are raised.

       

      Would you be interested in meatless Monday? I am with you.

      Kion Coffee
       
       
      Embed Block
      Add an embed URL or code. Learn more