Posts Tagged ‘ vegetarian ’

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:

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  • 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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The Peculiar Public Demand For Non-GMO, Plant-Based Restaurants

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

3 years, 5 months.

Dear Jack,

I get it that “plant-based families” like us live a much different lifestyle than mainstream America, but I know we can still have fun and “be normal.”

And hopefully, these letters I write to you each day demonstrate that.

Granted, we don’t really go to restaurants, and I suppose that’s not normal.

One of the main reasons is we’re too cheap; which I plan to write more about later…

But the biggest reason we don’t go out to eat is because we can’t/don’t trust what’s in the food at most places.

It’s one thing to avoid all animal products (including butter, cheese, eggs, lard, etc.) but for our family, it’s more than that.

We care about avoiding foods with GMOs. We don’t trust foods that have been compromised by Monsanto because we believe they are a science experiment on the human body.

In 2013, one million Americans idenitified themselves as vegan (that’s 2.5% of the population), while another 7.3 million identified as vegetarians. That’s a lot of people, actually.

Well, I would have to assume we’re not the only plant-based Americans who hardly ever visit restaurants anymore…

Mainstream American restaurants like Red Lobster and Abblebee’s have lost us as customers as we’ve began watching documentaries like Forks Over Knives, which clearly spell out the connection between getting cancer and the consumption of animal products; as well as what to eat instead, to still get the nutrition we need- perhaps even getting much more than we were getting before!

So if we’re not spending our money at places like those anymore, where are we spending it instead?

Well, as for our family, at least… we’re not.

In other words, I see a largely untapped market: Non-GMO, plant-based, organic restaurants.

I think there’s a lot of money not being made off of people like us.

But that can be tricky for businesses trying to legitimately invite us in.

I know I wouldn’t take a restaurant seriously if they served soda, which is full of GMOs, chemicals, artificial colors and processed sugar; all of which are ingredients I run from. (Diet soda contains even more chemicals I don’t trust.)

It would sort of be an insult if the place was trying to present itself as not simply just “vegan friendly,” but a Non-GMO, plant-based, organic restaurant.

Perhaps my motto, as a vegan, is a quote from Hippocrates:

“Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food.”

What that means is that if a businessman was clever enough to start a franchise of restaurants that only sold food that was non-GMO, plant-based, organic, and free of artificial flavors, and colors… and avoided oils and gluten… and didn’t use microwaves

Then I think that businessman could make money off of people like us.

I say that because that’s exactly what happened this past weekend. Mommy found a Groupon for a place called Greens Cafe at Symmetry, here in Nashville.

We loved it so much that we ended up completely missing the Vanderbilt scrimmage game we were so excited about. We showed up as everyone was leaving. Oops.

But it was really nice for the three of us just to hang out at a café for brunch on a Saturday morning and not have to worry about anything; mainly the food, but for me, I was happy that I had no dishes to clean up.

(I may talk about this too much to you in these letters, but I do a lot of dishes. Living the plant-base life means extra dishes, like the food-processor, for example.)

I do predict within the next decade, more places like this vegan café will be springing up; especially in the mainstream franchises.

Did you know I am a prophet?

Not really. I just know there’s money not being made out there and there’s men with slicked-back hair, wearing nice suits, who are eager to start making that money off of families like us.

And I wouldn’t be insulted if they tried.

 

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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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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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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Daddy, Is Ice Cream Healthy? And Cookies, Too?

Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

3 years, 1 month.

Dear Jack,

Last week your teacher at school introduced you and your classmates to a new concept: that not all food is healthy.

Since then, you have been asking me if every single food item you can think of is healthy or not.

“Is ice cream healthy, Daddy?” you genuinely asked me.

The same happened about cookies, too.

You later asked me about cheesy crackers, though you didn’t bother to ask about cake. However, for some reason, you’ve yet to ask me if vegetables, like broccoli and carrots, are healthy.

I snapped a few shots of your health-related project at school.

You had to decide which pictures, cut out from magazines, best resembled the kinds of foods we regularly buy each week when we get groceries, by placing the cut-outs in a paper sack.

I had to laugh at yours, compared to your friends.

Yours was so… politically correct, as the token vegetarian kid of the class:

Bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, and apples. That’s it and that’s all.

What I learned from this is that you are definitely paying attention when Mommy and I pick out the fruits and veggies at Whole Foods. Beyond that? Not so much.

You didn’t choose pasta, bread, beans, or rice, which are all staples in your diet. Just bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, and apples.

I’m pretty sure you were the only kid to not include meat in your brown grocery sack.

But with your selection, you made it look like our family is a bunch of fruitarians.

(Yes, that’s a real thing! And yes, technically, bell peppers and tomatoes are considered fruits, depending on who you ask.)

One day you’ll fully understand what meat is. All you know is that the other kids at school eat it but you don’t- you either get soy butter or veggie patties instead- which you love, by the way.

You always think I’m joking when I try to explain what the butchered meat is at Whole Foods. You ask me each week, ‘Daddy, what’s that red stuff?”

But hey… as long as we’ve got bell peppers, blueberries, tomatoes, and apples, though; that’s apparently all we need anyway.

 

Love,

Daddy

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