Tag Archives: health

30 Day Vegan Challenge – Day 27 – Eat Less, Move More

Understanding Weight Loss: Calorie Reduction and Calorie Expenditure 

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2feI don’t see veganism as a diet.

If we don’t have time to be sick, we have to make time to be healthy.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge

Day 27 is about weight loss and its relationship to veganism. While it is not a topic I am particularly interested in, I get that it is important. Personally, I am overweight and should pay my weight more attention. Yet, I have lost on a mostly wholefood plant-based diet without even really trying; no idea how much, but I did have to buy new pants for work that were a couple of sizes smaller, because the trousers I had were starting to look clownish – not the professional look I am going for!

Colleen emphasises on Day 27 that going vegan does not in and of itself mean anything in relation to weight loss. As she points out, there are “a million ways to be vegan”. It still matters what you eat and how much you exercise.

Choose to get your fat and calories from wholefood nutrient rich sources rather than high calorie nutrient 'empty' ones.
Choose to get your fat and calories from wholefood nutrient rich sources rather than high calorie nutrient ’empty’ ones.

The reason people like myself lose weight on a (mostly) wholefood, plant-based diet is because we are now eating less fat or fewer calories, For the most part we eat a lot more vegetables and whole grains which just happen to have fewer calories than things like cheese, eggs, meat etc. However, if a plant-based diet is high in fat from nuts, avocados, oil, deep-fried or calorie dense processed food don’t expect to be lean. While it is infinity better to get your calories from nuts rather than deep-fried chips from a nutrient point-of-view, if you are playing the numbers game, calories are still calories.

Colleen’s advice, which I agree with, is to get your calories from the best nutrition rich roods you can. Plants have more nutrients and fibre than commercial potato chips, plus they also come with additives and the types of fats that cause damage.  As well, you usually have to eat a lot more of some foods to get the same number of calories. For example, 100 grams of avocado has 160 calories, 10 grams of fat and 6 grams of fibre. Meanwhile, 100 grams of salted potato chips has 542 calories, 36 grams of fat and 4.4 grams of fibre. Your average avocado weights about 170 grams, and your average bags of chips is around 150 grams.

Day 27 also reminds me that I really do need to get more physical activity into my day. I am very sedentary, so in my off hours I should be out there getting some exercise. A sedentary lifestyle like mine is not a good long-term health plan, no matter how great my diet is.

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30 Day Vegan Challenge – Day 20 – Get Omega 3 from Plants

Skipping the Middle Fish: Getting our Omega 3s Directly From the Source

4bc98b7c9d24d2de8293f3ac731abf98-994cfb48456e223324103b0d6d76f2feWe can stop going through the fish to get to the nutrients that the fish get from eating plants.

Colleen Patrick-Goudreau, 30 Day Vegan Challenge

You would have to be living under a rock these days not to have heard about omega-3 and that we are supposed to be eating it. But what exactly is it, why do we need it, and where does it come from?

According to Wikipedia, omega-3s are “polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) with a double bond (C=C) at the third carbon atom from the end of the carbon chain,” and there are three types involved in human physiology: ALA, EPA, DHA.  While the Wikipedia article is falling over itself to promote animal consumption, the information supporting Colleen’s contention that you don’t need to consume fish to get omega-3 requirements is in there, it just requires a less superficial reading.  Some examples are given below.

Continue reading 30 Day Vegan Challenge – Day 20 – Get Omega 3 from Plants

It had to happen eventually …

Vegan diets a "terrible idea"? Not for us.
Vegan diets a “terrible idea”? Not for us.

Someone I know sent me an article from the Waikato Times – Five Reasons Why Vegan Diets are Terrible  (dated September).

Knowing that the next time I see them in person I’m going to get a somewhat smug, “Did you read that article I sent you?”, I would like to be able to counterpoint this dick move with a little self-righteous smugness of my own.

Not only did I read your article, I also traced it back to its source, and then some.

Continue reading It had to happen eventually …

Nice Plan, but What About the Water?

Image on the front of the Hamilton City River Plan. Great marketing - the implication is that the river will be safe for swimming. But will it?
Image on the front of the Hamilton City River Plan. Great marketing – the implication is that the river will be safe for swimming. But will it?

The Hamilton City Council’s monthly update arrived in the letter box and most of it is about the new Hamilton City River Plan. It’s a lovely plan, mostly about upgrading parks, further development of pedestrian walkways, and at Hayes Paddock they are even going to build a swimming hole …

… wait … what?

Continue reading Nice Plan, but What About the Water?

Reading the Fine Print

When I made the decision to go vegan, I decided that I would aim to make it a healthy change.  If I was going to put in the effort to change habits I might as well replace my old ‘bad’ habits with healthy new ones.  I don’t want to replace one unhealthy lifestyle that includes the use of animals as products with another unhealthy vegan one.

Along with working to live a cruelty-free life for the sake of my fellow earthlings, I want to live a healthy life – for me.  I have started with my diet.

Continue reading Reading the Fine Print