Why I’ve switched to vegan protein

When I switched to brown rice/pea protein I nearly vomited at the taste. And to think that some vegan advocates can describe such a taste as earthy, as if to make it sound somewhat inviting. While it takes preparation time to make my new pre-gym vegan shake, I’ve found it all to be worth it and I’m sticking to it. So why did I even bother with the switch? Trust me, it’s not because I’ve turned into a ranting vegan.

I do kind of miss the convenience of my dairy protein (WPI). Before I used to head to the gym, I simply measured out a spoonful into a protein shaker, added some water, threw in the ball whisk and away I went. These days it takes only a few more minutes to prepare my shake, but that’s a lot for a busy girl itching to get into the gym!

So it all began when I was researching for a client’s health article on hormonal issues cacaorecently. I stumbled across a pretty disturbing study. I get the whole thing about how humans are the only ones drinking milk from another species, and how it’s a pretty crappy life to be continually milked, and to have your offspring continually snatched from you. However, with my other non-meat eating habits, I feel not too bad about continuing to consume dairy. Until I found that study.

Dairy and milk products contain 70% of animal estrogen.  That is the figure that made me stop in my tracks and think, do I really want that high level of weird hormones floating around in my system? Some other concerns from that same study include:

  • Increasing body of evidence indicating possible effect of dairy food’s estrogens in tumour provoking or initiation and such evidence being a great concern
  • Intensive veterinary drugs, especially growth promoting hormones utilized in veterinary medicine results in an increase of the residues in milk and other dairy foods.

Basically, steroid hormones are incredibly potent in dairy and leaves profound biological effects in humans, even at low doses. Now don’t get me wrong, I love my cheese and dairy products. Mostly my cheese though. But over the last month I’ve found myself veering away from most dairy products simply for health reasons, which drives my decision to pick up a dairy-free option instead.

Hormones affect so many processes in your body

You’ve probably heard of mood as being most closely linked to hormones, especially withswitch to vegan protein all the jokes about “oh she’s just being hormonal” around a women’s time of the month. But did you know that your hormones also affect multiple other processes in the body including:

  • Metabolism
  • Fertility
  • Development of brain tissue
  • Immunity
  • Body temperate
  • Digestion

Therefore, any interruption in your levels of hormones at even subtle levels, may have profound effects on how any of the above processes are carried out. Hormones are after all, our chemical messengers, so I wonder what they would be sending out when animal estrogens are thrown into the mix?

To me it’s no surprise that hormonal issues are becoming increasingly common in both men and women. I can think of a handful of friends that are battling with infertility or thyroid complications.

Dairy industry giants

You might wonder why you don’t hear about these kind of studies too often? Unless you’re working directly in a role where you’re exposed to medical research, you probably will never hear word of the negative implications of dairy. That’s because the global net worth of the dairy industry was recorded at 335.8 billion USD in 2014.

Why I chose brown rice/pea combo protein

In avoiding my use of a WPI protein, I wanted to make sure I was going to find a non-dairy substitute that was fairly fast absorbing, and also provided a strong nutritional content and amino acid profile. After reading an article on Bodybuilding.com here I was convinced to give brown rice/pea protein a go.

In reading the article, you’ll note that while one of the proteins on its own might lack in a particular amino acid, the other protein will have its back and make up for that shortfall. While it’s not digested as fast as WPI, the author points out that it falls between the absorption levels of WPI (fast absorbing) and casein (super slow absorbing) and I’m pretty happy with that.

Getting past that earthy taste

You’ll never find me describing the rice/pea combo protein as earthy. It is simply revolting and you’ll likely struggle to down a glass, unless you have some major issues with your taste buds! I experimented with a few different recipes and found this one to be pretty damn delicious.

Recipe

  • One 30g scoop of pure rice/pea protein (24g protein)
  • Half banana
  • One TBS natural peanut butter
  • 1 heaped tsp of raw cacao
  • One squirt of honey
  • Half cup of coconut milk or other nut milk
  • Half cup of water

Blend together in a blender until combined.

Last of all, make sure you’re purchasing a 100% pure protein. Your body doesn’t need all that synthetic crap in it, and there’s simply no need for artificial sweeteners when you’re making a tasty recipe out of the protein powder anyway.

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On-The-Go Natural Hand Sanitiser

It seems in recent years the market has been flooded with pocket-size hand sanitisers. Big sanitiser pump bottles can also be found in businesses such as banks and retail outlets at the front counter.

I remember growing up I only ever saw this in places that made sense to have them, such as pet stores, hospitals and kindergartens. As with most things in life, it’s all about balance and we most certainly need some bacteria and germs to support and protect our immune systems.

If we live in an environment where there is no kind of bacteria, then we step outside and come into contact with the smallest hint of bacteria then we are going to react radically to that exposure. Sure we want to kill harmful bacteria but we don’t want to wipe out bacteria all together. Overuse of “convenient” hand hand sanitisersanitisers can see both good and bad bacteria being stripped from the skin and it dramatically upsets our skin’s antimicrobial defenses.

We need some bad bacteria residing on the skin in order to make the transmission of disease harder to break through! The fact of the matter is we can’t always be “sterile”. With the use of hand sanitisers, we are not improving our immune systems but rather weakening it, by living in neurotically clean environments where any trace of bacteria that “could lead to a cold” needs to be exterminated.

Harmful chemicals found within hand sanitisers

The problem is we have no idea what chemicals are used to make up the sanitiser formulas as manufacturers aren’t required to list them. However, one chemical that is often listed on the ingredient panel and most commonly found in the majority of hand sanitisers is “triclosan”.

It is a known hormone disruptor as found in studies carried out on lab rats. It further interrupts proper muscle function and in one experiment in particular where rats were exposed to triclosan, it was found that their heart muscle function was reduced by 25% and their gripping strength reduced by 18%.

In fact triclosan was first used as a pesticide and still is widely used in agriculture- so how on earth did it end up in the majority of our every day skin care products?  As with most harmful chemicals that you should avoid, it’s simply a matter of large scale companies producing low cost, yet popular products that they know will sell, with zero care for our health and well being.

The stripping of natural oils from the skin

Hand sanitisers contain large quantities of alcohol in order to be effective and therefore very easily dry out your skin and strip away natural oils by dehydrating the skin cells. The protective layer of oil coated on our skin exists as a natural barrier for protection against bacteria. The process of smothering hand sanitiser on our skin is then removing that barrier completely! Therefore we are actually increasing the risk of germs and bacteria making their way into our bodies!

Try my safe alternative 

I use tea-tree oil for anything bacteria related and always have a small 100% pure tea tree oil bottle sitting in my bag or bathroom cabinet. When travelling I carry a small spray antibacterial soapsbottle of water with about 20 drops of tea tree oil and this is what I use as a hand sanitiser. I know that it’s 100% natural and don’t have to worry about exposing myself to nasty chemicals. The spray bottle is also great to use as a deodorant if you forgot to put any on before your long trip!

Depending on how often you feel you need to “sanitise” yourself, it may seem like small exposure to chemicals via hand sanitisers-in particular triclosan.

However, you might want to pay attention to just how many other every day bathroom products contain this chemical. You also want to take into consideration the exposure of chemicals in your every day life whether through the foods you consume, cleaning products you exposure yourself to or use of skincare products. It all adds up and increases the risk of nasty side effects and especially the many variations of cancers more commonly being diagnosed.

Resources:

FDA proposing rule to determine safety and effectiveness of antibacterial soaps: http://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm378542.htm

Triclosan: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2012/08/29/triclosan-in-personal-care-products.aspx

The Truth on Cancer

After billions of dollars spent and decades of research, scientists are finally giving into the fact that the prevalence of cancer has a very low percentage as being linked to genetics. Scientific focus has gradually turned to environmental factors and diet. However, this switch of focus is still relatively undercover, which unfortunately leaves the majority of us in the dark and uneducated on new discoveries and the dangers of the lifestyles many of us choose to continue living.

The cold, hard stats

A recent study carried out by US National Institute of Health, reveals an alarming 10 million people worldwide as expected to be diagnosed with cancer this year. In Australia alone, 126,800 people were diagnosed in 2015 (reported), with a projected number of deaths as being 46,570 in that same year. The US study finds 90-95% of cancer as being attributed to environmental and lifestyle factors with a measly 5-10% only as being linked to genetic factors.

Why I’m getting involved in the topic

Aside from hearing of many friends of friends, ex-work colleagues and extensions of family as having cancer, this topic has been particularly close to my heart this week. After driving back from a surf with a couple of mates, one had answered a phone call from his mum which changed the whole energy in the car. His mum had a bit of non-suspicious back pain around Christmas time and attended her chiropractor who suggested she get some scans done, as he suspected something more serious was going on.

The following week it was revealed that within a six-week time frame, her sacrum and L1 10922759_10152752834710168_354924373375184868_nto L5 had rapidly deteriorated due to bone cancer, with the cancer quickly spreading up her spine and already eating through the bone in her skull.

I hate the thought that the cancer was entirely asymptomatic up until the point of Christmas. Some simple back pain very quickly turned into a life-altering and shocking life chapter for her and all close family and friends involved.

She remains in hospital with her condition rapidly deteriorating and she heartbreakingly refuses to even take visits from loved ones.

My personal beliefs 

From what I believe to be true, as per the figures, cancer will soon be not only 90-95% linked to environmental and lifestyle factors but 100% responsible. I was never of the belief that genetics played any factor whatsoever in cancer-but what would I know?

I’m sure that scientists are now on the correct path and even further studies will be carried out into the type of foods we are consuming, and everyday chemicals we are exposing ourselves to that will be directly linked to cancer.

What really needs to be out in the open is that the majority of big named corporate companies that manufacture and produce the foods we consume daily from the supermarket, don’t have one ounce of care for our healthgo organic but simply for their own self-satisfying profit and greed.

Their aim is to manufacture their product in the most cost-effective fashion, to make their product taste good (by the use of artificial additives) and to leave the consumer coming back for more, with a conclusive aim to take over the market in their specific area.

This means they will happily use animal fats, chemical by-products, artificial additives, emulsifiers and MSG to name a few. Even Colgate were busted recently for using a chemical in their toothpaste that has been linked to cancer.

The profit driven concept also applies to cleaning products, laundry liquids, car washes, cosmetics, toiletries and any other every-day product that passes through your hand.

However, it’s a lot more frightening just what kind of chemicals are being put into these products, many of which are endocrine disruptors, carcinogens, reproductive toxicants and basically a plethora of chemicals which will wreck havoc on your body over a period of time when you continually expose yourself to them.

All it takes is the most minimal of research online on the product ingredients to discover what is really contained within.

The problem is the body is not built to naturally take on foreign man-made chemicals, therefore toxins unknowingly build within the body and start to attack cells and organs. If organic livingyou continue to feed your body with the wrong types of foods, and expose yourself to multiple chemical products-then this is the perfect breeding ground for the formation of cancer and other serious disease.

Foods rich in antioxidants are a start to combating free-radical damage within the body, but I don’t believe it’s ever enough to balance out the toxins, given the level we are taking in, but it certainly is a start to getting on top of damage already done.

It is the topic for a whole other article as to the cancerous environmental pollutants we expose ourselves to- wifi radiation, mercury and lead offsets from mining, agricultural offsets, industrial waste waters and greenhouse gases. I myself haven’t really researched the full effects of these pollutants.

The generation prior

My old boss is in his 60s and used to always poke fun at me bringing “all organic” food to work and snacking on “rabbit food” all the time. It’s funny because the generation before us never had to worry about the food in the supermarket or local fresh produce market. Food used to be just food.

It wasn’t mass produced like it is today, with manufacturers  attempting to keep up with the ever-expanding population. It’s hard for me to explain to him just what our generation has to worry about in regards to food as it’s an entirely different era.

Corners of the globe with very low incidences of cancer

After chatting with my friend that was also in the car when the phone call was taken, I waspreserved cultures
curious which countries in the world have been able to remain clear of cancer and found a website that set out some interesting figures.

The Hopi Indians of Arizona have an incidence rate of 1 in 1000 compared to America’s baffling 1 in 4 as being affected by cancer. Another finding was the Pueblo Indians, also of Arizona had more or less the same incidence as the Hopi Indians until supermarkets were installed in the area. Today the Pueblo Indians are hit by cancer at the very same rate as Americans.Go figure.

I have seen the exact same detrimental effects of corporate supermarkets in French Polynesia after spending two months in the region.

Where to start on minimising your risk of cancer?

How do you do this without taking the enjoyment out of life and in particular eating the foods you love and using products “known and trusted” without turning into a complete paranoid mess about the topic of cancer?

One of the best things I believe is putting yourself in the right frame of mind about it all. Educate yourself and then learn to make more conscious decisions the next time you do your grocery shopping. Begin reading labels and running quick searches online on the safety of the product ingredients.

Get to know the biggest culprits and the top ingredients, additives or preservatives to avoid entirely- then ask yourself if it’s really worth buying. It’s a tall mountain to climb if you try to make drastic lifestyle changes overnight, so begin step by step. On that note, it’s taken me around two years to switch the majority of my cosmetics, cleaning products, and diet to one that is largely organic and chemical-free.

However, I know that I will never reach the point of being completely chemical-free, regimented and restricted as similar to a religion in this area. I enjoy an alcoholic drink now and then, I enjoy greasy, fatty, unhealthy food options from time to time, but I’m conscious of the effect of those personal choices on my body and work hard to ensure the majority of my diet is based on healthy options.

The cost of organic 

With the cost of buying organic products being a lot higher than non-organic, this can be a real turn-off for many people, and understandably so. Personally I don’t mind spending a bit more on products I know are clear of chemicals and made from companies that care for the health and well-being of its consumers.

The way I see it is some people are happy to spend lots of money on drinking every weekend or purchasing the latest technology, but will buy the cheapest foods at the supermarket to meet their budget.

I find a recognisable value in growing your own organic vegetables, fruits and herbs at home. You can do this even in the smallest of city units- just choose pots that can sit on windowsills or pavers if you don’t have any space for a garden.

It is a real asset in this day and age as even those consumers that make seemingly healthy food choices in the fruit & vegetable section of supermarkets are not going to be left untouched from cancer, as multiple pesticides and fungicides are used to develop a healthy crop that meets high supermarket standard. It’s just a matter of trial and error on how to grow your own garden at home without the use of chemicals.

Remember at home you can also very easily control the level of nutrients in the soil when you turn over your crop. Soil depletion is an ever growing issue in large-scale crops, with supermarket produce stripped of many vitamins and minerals that would otherwise be traceable in the fruit or vegetable, due to poor soil quality.

The future of supermarkets and organic living

Fortunately there has been a lot of growth in this area over the past few years with many organic options being available at restaurants and cafes. This is a great sign that people are beginning to take notice of what’s really going on.

As far as supermarkets are concerned, one big-named supermarket “Aldi” is taking a stand on manufacturing affordable organic foods (http://www.businessinsider.com.au/aldi-is-fixing-is-biggest-weakness-and-that-should-terrify-whole-foods-2016-1?r=US&IR=T ) and hopefully this will in-turn have a domino effect on all other chain supermarkets.

It is my aim that this article, along with many other articles and information available on the internet will raise more awareness into cancer and its true origins. Let’s not be blasé about it all, stop wondering what the hell is causing it and investigate for yourself on how not to stand in the way of its destructive path.

home grown vegetables

Resources: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2515569/

https://canceraustralia.gov.au/affected-cancer/what-cancer/cancer-australia-statistics

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2722289/Chemical-used-Colgate-Total-toothpaste-linked-cancer.html

http://www.cancer-coverup.com/brewer/brewer-05.html