Posts Tagged ‘ healthy ’

Ask A Vegan Anything: Is Dairy Related To Allergies & Sinus Problems?

Sunday, June 8th, 2014

3 years, 6 months.

Dear Jack,

You probably don’t remember the version of me that weighed about 35 pounds more.

That would be the version that also had chronic sinus pressure and allergy issues, as well as a rare, “uncurable” skin condition known as dyshidrosis.

The version of your Daddy that you know is the healthy version- the one that no longer has allergies or sinus issues, or that awful version of eczema.

Of course, the unpopular (and annoying) thing about my improved version of my life is that it had nothing to do with prescription medicine.

It had to do with me “going plant-based.” In other words, like Bill Clinton, I became a vegan. Here’s a relevant, recent conversation about it on Facebook:

Like ·  · Promote · Share
  • Crystal Brisendine Was it you that posted about changing your diet helped your allergies?
  • Nick Shell Yes, I’m no longer allergic to animals, nor do I get sinus infections, or really even produce mucus anymore, nor do I get sinus pressure, nor does my skin break out; not to mention, I had to get a weaker prescription for my glasses because my eyes improved. Most of these changes for the better occurred after only 48 hours after nixing dairy and eggs.
    9 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Nick Shell Ben Wilder, tell her about your experience, after I corrupted you with my crazy 48 hour vegan challenge…
  • Crystal Brisendine Ok great! Thanks! My allergies and asthma are so bad, I will try anything. I think all the medications I am getting are making it worse.
  • Nick Shell I will be glad to be your guide. Ask me anything. Also, just go to The Dadabase and search “vegan”. I’ve written a library of tips for you already.
    9 hours ago · Like · 1
  • Ben Wilder Thanks Nick. Hi everyone my name is Ben. If you told me a year ago I wouldn’t be drinking dairy milk and eating cheese, I would’ve said you’re the next big comedian. But it’s true. Going on 3 months now, I’ve eliminated dairy from my diet and my allergies are gone… so far. I was taking a Zyrtec pill every day. Not a few times a week or here and there… it was every single day. I can’t speak to the long term benefits of this change… yet. But you can sure as heck bet that I’m a firm believer already.

As you can see from this Facebook discussion, I am passionate about casually making it common knowledge that sinus and allergy issues are related to consuming dairy and eggs.

I want it to become common knowledge in the way, that finally, mainstream America is beginning to accept the connection between sugar and meat consumption with (preventable) Type 2 Diabetes.

Thanks to my many mentions here on The Dababase about my victorious battle with dyshidrosis and sinus & allergy problems, random sufferers of the same issues I once had are now taking me up on my offer to “Ask A Vegan Anything.”

Maybe one day, it will be considered ridiculous that junior high and high school sporting events are sponsored by soda companies.

Or that McDonald’s is a huge sponsor of the Olympics.

Ultimately, it all comes down to getting people to question what’s actually in their food. You wouldn’t normally eat weird chemicals that are linked to cancer.

But with processed foods, that’s unavoidable.

Some of the guys at work like to joke that the 2011 version of me looked “a lot heathier.”

I guess that depends on a person’s definition of healthy.

All I can say is that life without processed sugar, artificial sweeteners, meat, eggs, or dairy is a life without eczema, sinus pressure, or allergies.

This is the version of me you will always know. I have no motivation to ever go back.

 

Love,

Daddy

 

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

Poison Food
Source: TopMastersInHealthcare.com

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5% Of The World (America) Eats 16.6% Of The World’s Meat

Friday, March 21st, 2014

3 years, 4 months.

Dear Jack,

There’s this familiar cliché in which a child doesn’t finish all their food at dinner so one of their parents tells them, “What a shame… there are starving children in China right now.”

The implied concept is that by taking more than we need, it means someone else on the other side of the world (or down the street) will suffer a deficiency of that same commodity.

So if you don’t finish your fruit here in America, in theory, a starving child in China will go without a piece of fruit that he desperately needed for nutrition. Yet somehow, if you don’t waste that piece of fruit, the kid in China doesn’t go without.

I think it is important is to live a lifestyle in which we are constantly asking ourselves, “Am I consuming more here than I actually need? Or do I have enough?”

From food, to water, to clothing, to toys.

As I recently pointed out in an infographic, which I have included again at the bottom of this letter, isn’t it peculiar that Americans consume 1/6th (or 16.6%) of the total meat consumed worldwide even though Americans make up less than 1/20th (or 5%) of the total population?

(That’s more than 3 times our share.)

Nutritionists recommend consuming around 3 ounces of meat per day, for those who choose to consume meat, yet the average American eats about ½ pound of meat (8 ounces) per day; that is nearly 3 times the amount that is recommended for nutrition purposes.

Simply put, America consumes around 3 times more than our share of consumed meat; not only in terms of ratio by population, but also by nutritionists’ standards.

Not to mention, the top leading causes of death in America tend to include heart disease, stroke, Diabetes, and cancer.

So I checked out the website for the Physicians For Social Responsibility, who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1985. Here’s what they have to say:

“In the U.S. we are faced with an unprecedented amount of diet related disease including obesity, heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. There are many different contributing factors to these illnesses and over consumption of meat produced in unsustainable manners is certainly one of them.

Diets high in red and processed meat have been found to be associated with greater mortality from cardiovascular disease and cancer. Additionally, such a diet is connected to higher rates of Type 2 Diabetes. Red meats are often high in saturated fats which increase cholesterol levels leading to greater risk of heart disease and stroke

Most Americans eat far more than the serving size recommended by the USDA Dietary Guidelines adding to overweight and obesity rates and the other health problems associated with these conditions. By reducing meat consumption and opting for a more balanced diet high in whole grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables, these diet-related diseases can be mitigated.”

I believe that with the right mindset, America could begin to learn how to consume enough.

That is a hard word to process, “enough,” because it’s not often easy to know the difference between actual needs and wants versus perceived needs and wants.

Once we begin recognizing when we are taking more than we need, we can begin to figure out how to give that excess to others who actually need our surplus.

Mommy and I recently watched a relevant documentary on Netflix, called I Am, which is about what happens when we as humans take more than we need:

“There is one fundamental law that all of nature obeys that mankind breaks everyday: Nothing in nature takes more than it needs, and when it does, it becomes subject to this law and it dies off… We have a term for something in the human body when it takes more than its share. We call it cancer.”

How can we love our neighbors as ourselves if we have too much while they don’t have enough? Like I said a couple of weeks ago, there is no law that can force people to love each other.

I’m not saying I’ve got it figured out myself, but in teaching you these important lessons in life, I am able to teach myself this lesson on a daily basis.

So when I mutter to you something about kids in a 3rd world country (or in a poverty situation in the next neighborhood over), this is where it’s really coming from.

No, we’re not going to scrape your leftovers into a container and send them to the other kid. Instead, we’re going to put them in the fridge to give you a few days from now.

How can we keep from wasting in our house? My initial thought is that if we have enough to waste, we have too much to begin with.

 

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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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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Children’s Yogurt That Is All Natural, Vegetarian, Kosher, and Affordable

Sunday, February 3rd, 2013

2 years, 2 months.

Dear Jack,

I have trust issues with major yogurt brands. They have a nasty habit of throwing in mysterious ingredients that I can’t feel good about you consuming, as your health freak dad.

Like I mentioned yesterday in “Buying The Family’s Groceries Based On Ingredients, Not Calories,” I’m a stickler for finding out what’s in food, then researching the ingredients I’m unsure of:

“When we’re buying groceries, the first thing we look for on the front of the package is ‘No artificial flavors, artificial colors, artificial sweeteners, or high fructose corn syrup.’”

This past weekend I did my homework. I went to different grocery stores comparing their yogurt brands.

Here’s what I learned:

Even aside from all the fake red food dye which is derived from their petroleum or bugs, the well-known yogurt brands put gelatin in their product.

That means that their yogurt contains a mixture of the skin, cartilage, horns, and bones from animals like pigs and cows; or fish, if it’s labeled “kosher gelatin.”

Interestingly, the more expensive organic brands of yogurt, often aimed at babies and young children, do not contain gelatin.

It’s not just because we’re vegetarians that we avoid ground up animal bi-products in our foods. The way I see it, a hundred years ago when people ate yogurt, they probably didn’t go through the efforts to sprinkle their yogurt with gelatin.

Since I’m very deliberate that our family avoids processed foods as much as possible, I feel that a non-meat food product that requires ground up animal bi-products to taste or look right is too processed for us.

What is the alternative to gelatin in yogurt? Locust bean gum, which is derived from the seeds of trees; I assume they cost more than the animal bi-products that gelatin comes from.

However, there was one brand of yogurt that met all my strict qualifications: It had to be all natural, healthy, vegetarian, kosher, and yet still as affordable as the competition.

The winner… Chobani Greek Yogurt!

So I bought you an 8 pack of their Champions Tubes, which are portable pouches of their Greek Yogurt.

You had no hesitation in trying it. In fact, your immediate response after your first taste was, “I can like it!”

Then I grabbed a tube myself and realized just how good it was. I’ve never tasted yogurt that was so pure and “unchemically,” which is a word I just made up.

You immediately got upset that I ate one of your Chobani Champions Tubes.

Jack, just realize how epic that is. You got upset with me because I took from you the only all natural, vegetarian, kosher, and yet still affordable yogurt on the mainstream market.

We both win.

My congrats to Chobani Greek Yogurt, who I’m sure have no idea who I am, for earning my trust and becoming the only yogurt brand that shares my same high standard and beliefs in what good food should be.

I can like it.

 

Love,

Daddy

Chobani Champions® quick facts featured on their website:

  • Only natural ingredients
  • No synthetic growth hormones, preservatives, or artificial sweeteners
  • A good source of protein
  • An excellent source of vitamin D
  • A good source of bone-building calcium
  • Five live and active cultures, including three strains of probiotics
  • Gluten-free and Kosher certified
  • Free of nut, soy, wheat, and shellfish allergens
  • Available in four delicious flavors that kids will love. (Verry Berry, Honey-Nana, Orange Vanilla and Vanilla Chocolate Chunk)

 

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Why I’m Weird About My Kid Drinking Juice

Wednesday, July 11th, 2012

19 months.

“Jewish?” asks my son Jack every Saturday and Sunday morning. His pronunciation of the word “juice” is still a little off.

Be glad you’re not my kid. In the economy of food at our house, juice is just one notch down from holy and sanctified.

Or liquor.

When can Jack have juice? Only on the weekends, in the kitchen. And it’s 100% organic juice, which we water down greatly.

(He can drink a little bit of  juice when he’s sick, like right now.)

Why am I so weird about my letting my kid drink juice? At least it’s not soda, right? Or some sugary, food-dyed cocktail.

People across the world and throughout time have wondered why we’re all here; as in, what’s the meaning of life?

Similarly, everyday thousands of people are looking for an answer to help get rid of their kid’s eczema.

Well, I have an answer.

For nearly a decade, I suffered from excruciating eczema; in particular, dyshidrosis.

Mine is completely in remission now, but only because I radically changed my diet and lifestyle. About three years ago when I starting experimenting with ways to get my “Freddy Krueger hands” to stop oozing, I discovered that if I stopped drinking juice for a couple of days, my skin condition improved.

So I stopped drinking juice all together.

While my son may look nothing like me, he did inherit my sensitive skin condition and he is prone to eczema.

And sure enough, if he drinks more than one serving of juice for more than one day in a row, the back of his neck and his thighs break out.

This didn’t happen just one time. It happens every time. In fact, I’m pretty sure his eczema will bad tomorrow with how much juice I’ve let him drink since he got sick a few days ago.

But why does 100% organic juice make eczema worse?

Because it’s a processed food.

The vitamin-packed juice of the fruit is separated from the healthy fiber of the fruit. Together, the juice and fiber digest properly in our bodies.

But apart, it’s messin’ with nature and stuff.

That’s why we feed Jack actual fruits and veggies, even if we have to puree them and mix them together. So he gets all the nutrition he needs from the whole fruit or veggie.

And that’s why he thinks prunes and broccoli taste good.

Jack’s dentist, Dr. Snodgrass, even warns against giving kids juice regularly, in his brochures. The high consistency of sugar in juice, especially when the child sleeps with a sippy cup full of juice, can lead to cavities.

This is taken from the guidelines of The American Academy of Pediatrics in regards to the subject:

  • Babies and toddlers should not drink fruit juice at bedtime.
  • For children ages 1 to 6, intake of fruit juice should be limited to 4 to 6 ounces per day (about a half to three-quarters of a cup).
  • Drinking too much juice can lead to poor nutrition, diarrhea, gas, abdominal pain, bloating, and tooth decay.
  • All children should be encouraged to eat whole fruits.

So am I really that weird after all when it comes to being extremely conservative about my kid drinking juice?

I invite you to read a blog by Lisa Leake, who is not okay with juice either. Her blog is 100 Days of Real Food.

Here’s what she had to say today on her Facebook wall:

“A few readers have asked what my kids drink besides milk and water…and I hate to say it, but the answer is not much! They occasionally have juice (which is usually store-bought 1-ingredient organic apple juice) and by occasional I mean 1 – 2 cups per week on average and it’s diluted with water.”

The way I see it, a kid drinking juice is like an adult drinking alcohol. It is to be consumed in moderation.

So that’s how it’s treated in our house:

Juice is “baby booze.”

 

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