Posts Tagged ‘ Health ’

Daddy, We Should Pour Soda Over The Heads Of The Bad Guys

Sunday, March 9th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

Friday morning as we were on our way to school, sitting at the red light, you looked over and saw what you assumed was a tanker truck delivering gas to the gas station.

“Actually, that’s a soda truck. Soda makes people sick. It’s not healthy for people to drink it,” your health nut dad explained.

Your immediate response:

“Daddy, we should pour soda over the heads of the bad guys.”

Now, maybe if an outsider somehow heard that conversation, they might suggest it’s a prime example of a parent brainwashing their child.

I don’t know, though. I don’t know if it’s common knowledge that drinking soda leads to diabetes (type 2), like it is common knowledge in our family. Fortunately, Diabetes.org recognizes this on their website:

“The American Diabetes Association recommends that people should limit their intake of sugar-sweetened beverages to help prevent diabetes. Sugar-sweetened beverages include beverages like: regular soda, fruit punch, fruit drinks, energy drinks, sports drinks, sweet tea, and other sugary drinks.”

Plus, I don’t know if this is common knowledge either, like it is for our family, that diet sodas are no better for a person who is trying to avoid cancer or disease. Even WebMD doesn’t outright deny or dismiss these claims:

“The most recent headlines have raised concerns that diet sodas boost stroke risk. Diet and regular sodas have both been linked to obesitykidney damage, and certain cancers. Regular soft drinks have been linked to elevated blood pressure… Observational studies like these can point to possible concerns, but they can’t prove that sodas do, or don’t, pose a health risk.”

But over time, like smoking cigarettes, regularly drinking soda is the sort of like playing Russian roulette.

The way I see it, it would be an act of mercy to pour soda over the heads of the bad guys. Better on them, than in them.

Honestly, I would be very upset if I found out that someone let you drink soda when I wasn’t around. That would be extremely offensive to me; even if you only had a few sips.

Aside from the overdose of sugar, and the mysterious chemicals, there’s also the caffeine to take into consideration.

Caffeine is the most unregulated, psychoactive drug in the world; not to mention it’s addictive. An article from The Journal Of Young Investigors: The Premier Ungraduate Science Journal puts it this way:

“According to a study conducted by New Scientist magazine, 90% of North American adults consume some form of caffeine on a daily basis, making this legal, psychoactive substance the world’s most widely used drug.”

As for you, you just drink water all day, then almond milk with dinner.

Soda is not for drinking. It’s for pouring over the heads of bad guys; at least, according to you it is.

You’re nicer than I am, though. Again, I think making the bad guys drink that stuff would be a lot worse.

 

Love,

(Your health nut) Daddy

 

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

Top image: Shutterstock, Evil Soda.

Bottom image: Shutterstock, Soda Cans- Sugar and Caffeine.

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I Survived A Year Of Being A Vegan, Part 2

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Continued from Part 1

Dear Jack,

A few weeks ago, I pitched an idea to an infographics company about creating an infographic regarding the the rise of veganism; specifically explaining how Netflix documentaries have contributed to this movement in America.

My goal was to have something to back up this letter, in advance, for my one year vegan anniversary; which is obviously today. To my surprise, they actually used my idea!

Even better, before I could even type this letter, I found that this “Rise Of Veganism” infograph that I pitched and contributed to, was already showing up on my Facebook feed from other people.

I take that as a major compliment that I could be involved in creating something that people are sharing right now on Facebook and Twitter.

(Good word gets around, before I can even get the chance to spread it myself, in this case.)

So I finally took a minute to actually check out the findings of this infographic.

Son, it turns out, I’m one in a million after all… literally.

There are now about one million vegans in America, or 2.5% of the population. This infographic shows that only 21% of us vegans are male, only 11% of us follow a major religion, only 33% are not political, and only 10% of us are raising our children to be vegan.

Those findings tell me that I’m the minority among the minority: Of that 2.5% of American vegans, I am a non-political, religious male parent who is raising his son as a vegan… or at least mostly vegan.

Clearly, I do not fit the stereotype. I realize now, that makes my veganism stand out even more in the crowd. Oh well, I’ve been living outside the box my whole life; I’m used to it.

Like I’ve been saying this whole time, I have no desire to convert anyone else; nor did anyone pressure me into it a year ago.

Yet, the conversions are still happening. That’s obvious, considering that the number of vegans in America has more than doubled in the past 3 years. There’s something that’s contagious about the “vegan gospel” and, for lack of a better phrase, the alternative lifestyle that accompanies it.

It has nothing to do with social pressure. In fact, it’s the opposite of social pressure. In my opinion, being a vegan is one of the most outright rebellious things a person can do in our society.

Especially if you’re a guy, who is supposed to like meat and potatoes. (Or specifically in my case, as a Southerner, of Italian and Mexican heritage… then it would be fried chicken, pepperoni, and queso.)

Your daddy is a non-politcal, religious vegan. Yep, that’s me all right, the perfect rebel.

 

Love,

Daddy

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.

 

Veganism
Source: TopRNtoBSN.com

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I Survived A Year Of Being A Vegan, Part 1

Saturday, March 8th, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

A year and a half ago, if I would have read a letter like this on the Internet, I would have read it only out of curiousity, but I would have instantly scoffed at the absurdity of it. In fact, about a month before I become a vegan, I remember saying this to a co-worker:

“Vegans are idiots. They are crazy because they are deprived of protein and vitamin B12. They’re not healthy.”

Interestingly, here is what has happened to me in the past 365 days since I have become a vegan, on March 8, 2013.

My severe eczema (dyshidrosis) is forever gone. Not one sign of it even coming back. That’s the biggest thing, but wait, there’s more…

I no longer produce any white or yellow mucus, which now I realize, was the cause of the several sinus infections I got each year from 1992 to 2013.

Similarly, the constant sinus pressure I had for those 21 years also vanished… just two days after I became a vegan. My allergies to animals have completely disappeared as well.

Here’s another grandiose claim for skeptics: My eye doctor was amazed a few months ago when I went in for a check-up.

“How in the world have you been wearing these glasses?! These are way too strong for your eyes. Way too strong. Have you undergone any major lifestyle changes?” she asked.

After explaining that I had become a vegan, she was not surprised. It was not the first case of this she had seen: Eye sight actually improving, after a person becomes a vegan. At age 32, your eyesight typically doesn’t just get better on its own like that; it gets worse.

The absense of animal products in my bloodstream, or as I’ve pointed out before, consuming more than 0% cholestrol but less than 1%, because in my findings, it’s basically impossible to consume more than 1% of your daily cholestrol with plant-based fats alone, causes my body to feel more… balanced.

It wasn’t long before I had no desire to drink alcohol anymore. I’m not saying we don’t have a bottle of red wine in our pantry, but I am saying it’s interesting how it just sits there in the corner, all alone and neglected. I guess Mommy uses it for cooking now.

Similarly, I completely gave up caffeine as well; realizing that it is the world’s most unregulated addictive drug in world. Life is great without coffee, actually.

I realize now the only reason I ever needed coffee to wake up every morning was because I was addicted to coffee: Circular reasoning is all it ever was.

However it’s not only my life that has changed because of my decision. I’ve never pressured you or Mommy to be like me in my “plants only” decision. But I’ve noticed Mommy stopped buying cow’s milk, period. (You two were both already vegetarians before my vegan conversion.)

She now gives you almond milk with dinner, instead of cow’s milk; and uses almond milk to make your mac-and-cheese.

So while you and her aren’t completely vegan, an ounce or two of cheese per week is about the only thing keeping the two of you from being 100% like me.

I will always respect your choice in regards to whether you ever decide to eat animal products. Granted, this is all you know.

By now, I’ve written several letters to you about veganism already, explaining what our family eats to get proper amounts of protein, fat, and nutrients.

A few examples include The Difference Between Vegan And Plant-Based, Part 1… and Part 2… and The Benefits Of Quitting Dairy… and Best Advice For Jay Z On Going Vegan For 22 Days.

Well, I’ve got more to say about this. In fact, I’ve got something pretty cool I want to show you. Make sure you read the 2nd part of this letter.

Click here to read the rest.

 

Love,

Daddy

Note: This is an opinion piece of the author and does not reflect Parents magazine or the medical establishment.
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Are M&M’s Petroleum-Based Food Dyes Really “The Finest Ingredients”?

Saturday, February 22nd, 2014

3 years, 3 months.

Dear Jack,

I want to show you something funny.

For Valentine’s Day, you received a bag of M&M’s. On the bag, Mars makes a point to say they only use “the finest ingredients.”

Um… are petroleum-based artificial food dyes honestly “the finest ingredients” they could find? Because, I’m thinking, what about using plant-based ingredients, like Kroger’s brand, Simple Truth, uses?

I would think plant-based coloring would be better than petroleum-based dyes, but maybe that’s just me.

Or maybe it’s not…

Actually, petroleum-based artificial food dyes are banned in other parts of the world, because people are more aware of the health problems these dyes can cause for children.

I wonder if the petroleum melts in your stomach, not in your hands?

By now, you’ve accepted the fact that you’ve got the male-version of Food Babe for a dad.

By the way, Food Babe is the mom and food blogger who is known for calling out companies for the unnatural ingredients they put in their food- especially when it’s food that is aimed for kids.

She was the one who started the petition to try to get Kraft to stop putting petroleum-based dyes in their macaroni and cheese; pointing out that the European version of Kraft mac-and-cheese does not contain these dyes, which are linked to hyperactivity in children.

Food Babe has also called out General Mills for using GMOs in their cereals, while they claim their product is “natural.” GMOs are not natural.

Another thing she did was highlight the fact that artificial vanilla flavors are made from a certain gross part of a beaver. Back when I first pointed this out two years ago, people questioned it. Of course, now, that post of mine has received over 2600 “likes” on Facebook.

Especially with Food Babe’s credibility on the subject, people are starting to believe it as fact, not urban legend.

Oh, and I can’t forget about Subway with the “yoga mat” chemical (azodicarbonamide) in their “fresh” breads…

So because I follow her blog, she has basically trained me to point out peculiar wording on food products.

She had a pretty cool blog post for Valentine’s Day. She used out the same concept I am showing you here today about M&M’s, but with another candy company that leads people to think that their product is truly worth paying premium price.

Food Babe clearly shows that Godiva’s ingredients are not better, in the areas it should matter.

The point isn’t that you should never eat M&M’s or Godiva chocolate. The point is, I am teaching you to question where your food comes from.

It might keep you from wasting money on “the finest ingredients.”

 

Love,

Daddy

 

Food Babe Photo and Chocolate Chart, courtesy of Food Babe.

 

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No-Bake Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls… Jealous Much?

Friday, February 7th, 2014

3 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I think I might be over cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, now that Mommy has introduced our family to “no-bake vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls.”

She found them on a website called, Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl, which is apparently orchestrated by an 18 year-old girl from Norway.

(That’s the country where your great-grandfather on Mommy’s side was adopted from, by the way.)

So, it’s official: These no-bake vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls are awesome!

Not only are they pretty easy to make, considering you don’t even cook them, but they taste so good that they are extremely addictive.

However, the ingredients are healthy and simple: 

  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 3/4 cup dates
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • a pinch of maldon salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped 70+% dark vegan chocolate (or use vegan chocolate chips)

So I kind of think these might be our new family favorite treat.

They’re mainly sweetened from the dates and “fattened” by the cashews; which provide less than 1% of the daily recommended amount of cholesterol.

Remember my theory on consuming more than 0% but less than 1% cholesterol?

“Being a vegan means your cholesterol intake is more than 0% (from good fats, like avocados, cashews, coconuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, etc.) but less than 1% (because of no animal fats). I think part of the reason vegans feel so much better after nixing animals products is because they are no longer experiencing another living (at one time) animal’s cholesterol and fat running through their veins.”

Like most food that Mommy and I approve of for our family, these no-bake vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls are better when made by us… not bought pre-made and packaged from a store.

Having a fun (and delicious!) recipe like this makes it even more fun and special to be a plant-based family. Like I’ve said before, it’s not about what we can’t eat, but about what we can!

We get to enjoy this secret dessert snack recipe that hardly anybody else knows about. It’s not the kind of thing a person would normally think to make or eat, but when you rule out animal products from your diet, you (are forced to) discover new foods that you actually like better than what you were eating before.

I’m contrasting this recipe against any token grocery store cake, or boxed cake mix, made with food dye from petroleum and/or bugs, along with a whole paragraph of unpronounceable ingredients.

Yeah, that’s not food.

This is!

I’ll take no-bake vegan chocolate chip cookie dough balls anyday! But, shhhh… we’re adopting them as a secret family recipe now- thanks to an 18 year-old girl in Norway named Solveig Berg Vollan!

 

 

Love,

Daddy

 

P.S. Click right here for the full recipe featured on Gluten-Free-Vegan-Girl!

Or check out other vegan recipe reviews I have written.

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