Saturday, 28 September 2013

Plant Based Diet vs Fad Diets


There have been so many different diets that have come along from low carb, no carb, all carb, low protein, high protein, no protein, blue protein, single food only diets, miracle diets, scam diets, no fat, low fat, fat burning pills, low carbs mixed with more carbs and no protein, 500 lb bull sitting on the sidewalk picking daisies diet. You get the picture. All these fad diets are based on 1 thing. To help you lose weight BUT not get you healthy. They use the same formula, cut your calories and lose weight. In other words, starve yourself. But once you go
off the diet, you'll most likely gain all the weight back. 

As I stated, these fad diets will not get you healthy. Here's a perfect example. Years ago, I tried the Atkins diet. The Atkins diet suggests you cut out most of the carbohydrates from your diet. I was allowed to eat meat, butter, eggs, oils, and everyone's favorite low carb snack pork rinds. The philosophy behind this diet was that it's okay to load up on meat and cheese but not breads, pasta, or even fruits and vegetables. I see now how ridiculous this is. I remember losing weight but not feeling good at all. I remember getting headaches every day. And I gained all the weight back when I decided to stop following the diet. It is my belief that this diet will also raise your cholesterol, blood pressure, steer you towards heart disease, and cause other complications. This diet will make your doctor and pharmaceutical companies very happy as it will most likely lead you to becoming a monthly money spending pill popper. And you DON'T want to go there.

The diet that is a sure fire bet to work is the plant based diet. It's more of a lifestyle change really. The Plant Based Diet is not about starving yourself, or limiting carbs, increasing proteins
or a miracle pill. It's about eating nutrient dense whole plant based foods and as much as you'd like to eat! Go ahead and fill your plate with as many fruits, vegetables, whole grains, or legumes as you'd like. You have so many options to choose from! So many people think it's hard to give up their beloved meat or cheese but it's not that hard at all. It's quite easy. Remember, eating animal based foods will only promote high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, cancer cell growth. It's a proven fact that people who adopt a whole food plant based diet reverse their ailments, lower their cholesterol, lose weight safely, and drastically reduce their risk of heart disease. 

So forget about all the fad diets. They don't work as there are always going to be new ones popping up becoming the latest "craze". I am waiting for someone to come out with the martian diet. Eat like a martian does on their home planet! All kidding aside, the plant based diet is the only diet, in my opinion, that will cover all the bases. You will lose weight, you don't have to starve yourself, you WILL get healthier, and you will feel great! 

Friday, 20 September 2013

What was I thinking? The common thought of a overtraining runner

Some lessons are never learned. Two weeks ago I ran 10 miles and felt great about the accomplishment. I set out to do ten and I did it. I should've rested the next day but thinking I was superman, I ran another 4 miles. I felt okay as well! My legs were tired, so that meant rest the following day, right? Nope! I put on my running attire and pushed myself to knocked off another 10 miles. That was 24 miles in three days. 

Rewind a few years back when I first started running and thought I could be an ultra marathon runner. I ran distances I was not ready to run and it led to a serious injury.

The same principle applies here. I ran more miles than my body was ready for. I know this because for the next few days my knees hurt and my right calf was tight. I definitely fell into the category of an overtraining runner. Thankfully, I let myself rest for a few days to let my achy knees and calf heal. 

As I am on a plant based diet, my recovery time has, without a doubt, reduced. I was okay after only a few days. If I was still eating animal based and processed foods, I would have been in recovery mode a lot longer. Eating nutrient dense whole plant based foods has made a huge difference in my running and recovery. 

I want to get to marathon level and I know will. I just need to do it right. Running 24 miles in three days is not going to get me there. Following a marathon training plan, listening to my body for subtle warning signs to prevent injuries and continue eating nutrient dense plant based foods will get me there.

My goals - two marathons in 2014 

And yes- I want to run an ultra in 2015.

I know I can get there. I just have to be smart about it! 

Sunday, 15 September 2013

McDonalds messes up the veggie wrap!

Recently, in an obvious effort to offer "healthier" options at its obesity contributing restaurant, McDonald's introduced 2 new veggie wraps to it's menu. The Santa Fe and Mediterranean veggie wrap. One might say its about time McDonald's offered some "healthy" food. Some adults may relish in the fact that now when their kids are eating "happy meals" they can eat a "good for you" veggie wrap. I mean it must be good for us right? It's a veggie wrap for crying out loud!! But McDonald's is just making an effort to fool people into thinking their veggie wrap is a healthy option.

Lets make a comparison between the Santa Fe Veggie wrap and Big Mac:

The Santa Fe Veggie Wrap has 490 calories, 24 grams of fat (!), and 980 mg of sodium.

The Artery clogging, heart disease, and obesity contributing Big Mac has 540 calories, 29 grams of fat, and 1020 mg of sodium. 

As you can see, the veggie wrap made at McDonald's is just as unhealthy as the Big Mac! McDonald's loads up each veggie wrap with high fat cheese and gobs of high fat sauces! The veggie wrap at McDonald's is not a healthy option at all! 

And to add insult to injury, you can order this veggie wrap as a combo with fries and a drink. Way to go Ronald McDonald!!

Congratulations McDonald's in succeeding in screwing up a veggie wrap. I feel they had a real chance here to offer a very healthy option to people. I feel they could have made these two veggie wraps into items that people can purchase from them and really feel good about eating knowing they were getting actual benefits of eating a plant based wrap. But it's McDonald's. 'Nuff said.

If you feel you need to try one of these, order it without or a small amount of the dressing and please tell them to keep the cheese off! 

Or better yet, stay home and make your own wrap! Make it your way! With tons of fresh plant based ingredients such as kale, red peppers, black beans, hummus, sweet potatoes, broccoli, and red onions. Mmmmmm. 

Stay home and make your own fast food!  Healthy fast food! Healthy plant based fast food. 

And stay away from McDonald's. They don't care about your health. That's up to you. 

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

Medication or Food?

Now that I am 43 pounds lighter and much healthier than I was 10 months ago, I was thinking back to that fateful day when my doctor was explaining how high my cholesterol was, how high my blood pressure was, and how extremely high my chances were of getting heart disease or even a heart attack. I remember the doctor pulling out her prescription pad and writing prescriptions for my ailments. She wanted me to start taking 3 different kinds of medication. Thankfully, I pulled a Dr Mcdougall and said no. There had to be a better way and as I found out there was. A complete change in my diet changed everything. Out went the bad food (Animal based foods and processed foods)and in came the good food (All plant based foods). With that came my full time return to running. And here I am 10 months later, 43 pounds lighter, normal cholesterol levels, optimal blood pressure, healthy heart, and of course no need for medication.

One thing that really bothers me is why my doctor was so quick to write a prescription as opposed to talking to me about proper nutrition. I did a bit of research and found out that most doctors have inadequate nutritional education which may be leading many people to an early grave. If someone is suffering from high cholesterol, a pill is basically only a band aid for the issue. It's not going to to cure the ailment. Proper food and diet will cure the ailment. I am
living proof of that. When I went on a plant based diet and cut my cholesterol level in half, my doctor was amazed. I actually had to explain to her what a plant based diet was. She told me- "Whatever you are doing, just keep doing it". The only problem with that is I wished she had told me how to cure my ailments as opposed to writing a prescription.

In her waiting room she does have nutritional advice in the form of pamphlets. This pamphlet recommended you have 3-5 servings of dairy products everyday. It was also complete with cartoon pictures of milk, cheese, and happy cows. First of all, there is no such thing as a happy dairy cow who is imprisoned in a factory farm. And second, I checked the back of the pamphlet to see who funded this study. Guess who? The Dairy Farmers of Canada. I was appalled that biased nutritional advice was available in my doctors office. Dairy products have been linked to promoting certain cancers. Dairy products are high in cholesterol which can lead to heart disease. What's next? A study funded by McDonald's that claims we should be eating 3-5 Big Macs a day to maintain good health?

Give up the animal based foods which promote heart disease, high cholesterol, certain cancers, and eat plant based foods which promote healthy living. Plain and simple. Again, I'm living proof!