Tag Archives: vegan

NBA star JaVale McGee promotes vegan lifestyle

JaVale McGee shoots for the hoop
JaVale McGee

NBA star JaVale McGee plays center for the Denver Nuggets.  He is using his passion for vegan food and his star power to help promote vegan food products and a foundation called JUGLIFE, which provides clean, safe drinking water in underdeveloped areas of the world.

McGee went vegan in 2016, and credits his plant-based diet with helping him “get up and down the court.” In 2018, McGee helped his team, then the Golden State Warriors, win an NBA championship title, which he credited in part to his plant-based diet.  He actively promotes plant-based brands to athletes and fans.  McGee was one of the investors, alongside legendary musician Snoop Dogg, to help Outstanding Foods close a $5 million financing round last year. 

In addition to his support of Outstanding Foods, McGee has been an athlete ambassador for vegan brand Beyond Meat since 2019 after he and a group of 13 other professional athletes invested in the brand—which also counts Snoop Dogg as an investor. “Shifting to a plant-based diet has been a literal game changer,” McGee said at the time. “And I’m excited to have my two favorite LA brands partnering to make plant-based eating not only delicious, but accessible.” 

Vegetarian Living – Going to Parties

Say No to Meat book coverWith the resumption of life after Covid-19, many are enjoying the opportunity to socialize and go to parties again. But if eating vegetarian or vegan is new for you, you may have some anxiety around how to maintain your food choices at parties.  This answer may be helpful to reassure you.

The following is an excerpt from our book “Say No to Meat“, by Amanda Strombom and Stewart Rose, published by Healthy Living Publications.  This book includes answers to all the questions you may have about becoming a vegetarian, and is invaluable to new and existing vegetarians alike!

What do you recommend when going out with friends or to parties?

Research beforehand and come prepared. When going out with friends to a restaurant, encourage them to choose a restaurant that you know has some veggie options you can choose. If you aren’t able to influence the choice of restaurant, it may help to look online beforehand to see from their menu what options are available to you. You may need to ask for something special to be made, if you can’t find a suitable menu item. Most chefs and restaurants don’t mind special orders, so it’s important to speak up. Another alternative is to eat beforehand, and just go along to enjoy the company.

Know before you go. At a catered dinner, ask beforehand if possible, whether the caterer has any vegetarian options. When going to a private party, it’s a good idea to mention to the host that you are vegetarian, so that they can cater for your needs if food is to be provided. Alternatively, you can just ask which dishes include meat when you arrive, so that you can be sure to avoid them, rather than putting your host to any special trouble.

Some people just need a little help. You may wish to offer to bring some food, so that you know you’ll have something to eat. At a barbecue, bring a package of veggie burgers or veggie hot dogs for the grill. A potluck is a great opportunity to show others how delicious vegetarian food can be, so it’s worth making a special effort to bring a particularly appetizing dish or two. You can pick something up from a natural foods deli section if you don’t wish to cook. Be sure to eat when you first arrive, since others may like your food so much they eat it all before you get any!

Marked for better health

Several studies have now shown that vegetarians, and especially vegans, have better biomarkers than meat eaters. OK, great, but what the heck is a biomarker?

A biomarker is a chemical substance found in blood, other body fluids, or tissues that is a sign of either disease or health. The good news is that vegetarians and vegans have more of the biomarkers that indicate good health and less of the ones that indicate a disease process.

Studies have shown that vegans and vegetarians have lower levels of biomarkers that indicate inflammation, heart disease, diabetes, kidney disease and other diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis than meat eaters. This puts them at a lower risk of getting these diseases.

Even more impressive is a recent study that showed that vegetarians appear to have a healthier biomarker profile than meat-eaters for adults of any age and weight, and is also unaffected by smoking and alcohol consumption. Now this does not mean vegetarians can go out and start smoking and abusing alcohol, but it does show the power of a plant- based diet and that the greater positive health impact of a vegetarian diet can even outweigh the negative effect of smoking and alcohol consumption.

Do vegan labels matter?

Book cover for shopping guide

Millennials and Gen Z-ers make shopping decisions that largely depend on certifications and labels, a recent survey shows. A survey of more than 23,000 consumers internationally found that 91% prefer products provided with an independent stamp guaranteeing the product is really vegan, without having to read all ingredients list or spend time comparing and looking for alternatives.

While there is no one standard label in use in the US, the various symbols designating a product as vegan can be an aide for shoppers and we have found them to be reliable. We have also found products that don’t have a symbol but merely state “vegan” on the package somewhere, to be reliably vegan. However, there are also many great products that neither have a symbol nor the word vegan on the package. Perhaps these may even be the majority of vegan products, so reading the ingredients label is important. The ingredients on the product label are mandated by law and hence are the most reliable source of product information.

In fact, there is no legal definition of vegan. Our definition of vegan would be food that has no meat, poultry, fish, dairy, eggs and anything else that came from an animal. Vegan products that are not overly processed carry additional health advantages, so we recommend a whole-food plant-based diet. Packaged foods can be minimally processed and considered a whole food, but it’s important to check the ingredients.

Therefore, we still encourage nutrition and ingredient label reading. It takes only a moment but it’s worth the effort and will help keep you from unnecessarily limiting your purchasing decisions. These labels can also provide extras such as what vitamins and minerals and how much fiber the food contains. It can tell you how much salt, sugar and fat is in the product and a long list of unrecognizable ingredients may indicate that it is overly processed.

Considering how important our food is to our health, the animals and the environment, food shopping is a skill well worth cultivating and we can help! We have a handy take-to-the-grocery-store shopping guide, In Pursuit of Great Food, that includes how to understand the nutrition facts label, some labels to look out for and lists of ingredients to avoid, along with an invaluable description of all the foods you might want to keep in your kitchen so that you can make delicious meals at short notice!

Miss Universe is plant-powered

Andrea Meza, Miss Universe

Twenty-six year-old Andrea Meza is one high-powered lady.  In addition to being crowned Miss Mexico in 2017, she was recently crowned the 69th Miss Universe, based not only on her looks, but also on her outstanding achievements.  

Born and raised in Chihuahua City, Mexico, she has demonstrated a wide variety of skills and expertise. She holds a degree in Software Engineering and is pursuing entrepreneurial ventures by launching her own activewear brand.  She is passionate about living an active, healthy lifestyle, including sports and CrossFit workouts. She’s also a certified makeup artist, model, and the official Tourism Brand Ambassador for her hometown of Chihuahua!

Meza believes that a vegan ethic is central to the well-being of all animals – human and non-human, and for our environment. She has a mission to make the world a better, happier place for all living beings, and her veganism is inherent to that.

She uses her Instagram to spread her love of plant-based foods, sharing several vegan recipes including vegetables with quinoa and tofu as well as a watermelon ceviche to her 1.7 million followers. The vegan model encourages her fans to adopt a plant-based diet for individual and environmental health and wellness. Her crowning as Miss Universe will no doubt bring her message to many more around the world.

Veg Diet doesn’t protect against Covid 19

A recent article from a study in India found an association between nonvegetarian diets and an increased risk of getting the virus that causes the current pandemic. Unfortunately, this study lacks the specificity to draw any reliable conclusions. It also only showed a relative effect that is not even in the same galaxy as immunity from the virus!

However, some people are falsely claiming that this study shows that vegetarian and vegan diets confer protection from the virus. Don’t fall for this false notion.  R.V. Asokan, secretary general of the Indian Medical Association, told AFP that there is “absolutely no truth” in the claim.

It is vitally important to understand that a plant-based diet is NOT a substitute for the vaccine for Covid-19. While we have written and spoken on the many different health benefits of a plant-based diet, protection from getting the Covid-19 disease is not one of them!

The vaccines that are approved for use in the United States have proven safety and effectiveness with minimal side effects, and while nothing in medicine is 100%, the degree of protection is very high. To protect yourself and your friends and family, we recommend that all adults get the Covid-19 vaccine as soon as possible, even if you’ve already had the disease.

The only exception is where specific individuals have been advised by their doctor not to do so, such as those who are immunocompromised. Even if you think that you’re unlikely to get sick yourself, please consider the possibility that you could transmit the virus to others who are more vulnerable and unable to get the vaccine because of their health status. By having a high percentage of the population vaccinated, we help reduce the amount of virus circulating and thus the number of people getting sick. The sooner this happens, the sooner we can all get our lives back to normal.

Actor Ludi Lin – vegan

Mortal Kombat actor and model, Ludi Lin, needs to keep fit for his role as the popular hero, Liu Kang.  The 33 year-old Chinese-Canadian actor is proficient in the martial arts and works out daily to maintain his fitness and skills.

He also been following a vegan diet for the past 5 years. He’s noticed how nutrition is important for him to stay healthy, although he’s been interested in the idea of a vegan diet since he was a youth. He explained his philosophy in a recent Men’s Health article:

“Eating plant-based and staying away from animal products is something I think is inevitable because it’s good for the Earth, it’s good for my body. I feel good about it because animals are cute and also it’s the only thing that’s sustainable.”

He eats his largest meal of the day after his workout. He is fortunate to have a personal chef who creates full meals including mushrooms, pasta, vegetables, and dessert.  High protein snacks are often based on hemp protein powder with peanut butter, sweetened with stevia, though he also likes to have a lot of vegetables, with a particular liking for roasted pumpkin.

Soil Erosion – the Silent Crisis

Soil erosionThere’s a silent crisis that threatens us all. It’s much more serious than most people realize and if we don’t do something about it we’re all in trouble. This crisis is soil erosion.

As with many other environmental problems, it’s caused by raising farm animals for meat. It turns out that 85% of all the soil erosion in the United States, and 55% around the world, is caused directly by the livestock, and by growing the fantastic amount of feed the 60 billion farm animals around the world consume. Unfortunately, most environmental organizations aren’t paying too much attention to it and the media almost completely ignores it. After all, it’s hard to get excited about dirt!

We need to take it more seriously. Soil is where food begins. Humanity depends upon the soil for its food, and if enough of the soil goes, humanity will go with it. Without soil, not only will the crops we plant not grow, but other vegetation will die as well. Read more

Katy Perry and Orlando Bloom are “almost vegan”!

First celebrity singer-songwriter Katy Perry announced that she was 95% ready to go 100% vegan!  After having 9 Hot 100 Billboard number one singles, awards too numerous to mention, and now as a judge on American Idol, Katy Perry is one of the highest earning women in music. During her 2020 pregnancy (she gave birth to daughter Daisy Dove Bloom in August 2020), Perry revealed she was ‘grossed out’ by beef and that she wasn’t ‘really into red meat’.  She told followers that she loved the Impossible Burger so much that she invested in the company.

Now her husband, actor Orlando Bloom, has announced that he too is 90% plant-based. He says “I sometimes look at a cow and think, that’s the most beautiful thing ever!” and claims to only eat a piece of red meat once a month.  The Pirates of The Caribbean star added: “At some point in time, we’ll look back and not be able to believe we used to eat meat.” For breakfast, the star says he eats porridge with hazelnut milk, vegan protein powder, and goji berries. Additionally, lunch is ‘mostly plant-based’, consisting of vegetables.

We hope that they both keep transitioning their diets, and decide to raise their daughter Daisy vegan as well.

The pain that won’t go away

It’s called Diabetic Peripheral Neuropathy and it really hurts. Ouch!

Many type 2 diabetic patients experience persistent pain in their legs and feet. Later the pain can come from the arms and hands. The pain can come out of nowhere or come from a bump or bruise. It’s often described as burning, pins and needles, shooting, aching, jabbing, sharp, cramping, tingling, or cold.

It’s very hard to treat. No single drug exists to prevent or reverse neuropathic changes or to provide total pain relief. Partial pain relief is often the best that can be hoped for. Sometimes, the pain is so severe that opiates are needed, but they carry the risk of addiction.

Now for the good news. It turns out that a vegan diet, also known as a plant-based diet, can really help.

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