By Rachel Wolde
For all you meat eaters, I beg you the question, from where does your protein get its protein? Most people who eat meat don't ever think about this. Most "experts" say to eat meat for protein, and the general public blindly follows their advice. They are "experts" so they have to know what they are talking about, right? Maybe, maybe not; so let's take a further look into this claim.
Generally, all of the animals that we consume for protein are herbivores, meaning they eat a plant-based diet. These animals include cows, chickens, and deer. Even those animals that are not consumed for protein but are some of the biggest and strongest mammals consume plant-based diets. Some of these animals are gorillas, giraffes, and hippos.
Cows for starters don't eat meat at all. According to any source, one can look up on google or any other reference; a cows diet consist of grass, various forms of hay, grains and sometimes soy. The same goes for chickens as far as eating a plant-based diet. Chickens eat anything from fruits and vegetables to grains and seeds. They also consume flowers, grass and sometimes insects if found on the ground. A deer is no different than a cow or chicken. They generally eat nuts, acorns, plants, and fruits. In certain months when fruits and nuts are more scarce, deer will resort to grass, evergreen plants, twigs and other woody plants.
Gorillas are herbivores as well as giraffes, and hippos. Gorillas eat fruits, plants, bamboo shoots and sometimes ants and termites. Gorillas are much stronger than humans by a long shot. Giraffes consume mostly plants and occasionally various fruits. A giraffe can run faster than a human, and their kick is strong enough to kill you with one blow. Hippos eat mostly grass but will consume other plants from time to time. Hippos have been reported to eat meat, but this is not natural and is usually due to nutritional stress and aberrant or abnormal behavior. Hippos can run 19-25 mph and with records of 30 mph. They can swim about 5mph. Both of these speeds are faster than your average human.
This begs the question when consuming animal meat for protein, are you getting the protein from the animal's meat, or from the source of protein from which the animal received their protein? This question is part of the reason why I have journeyed into not consuming meat; especially for acquiring protein. I decided to cut out the middleman and go straight to the source.
Don't get me wrong; there are plenty of carnivorous animals that are stronger and faster than humans. The most significant difference between them and us is that as humans, we pick and choose what part of an animal we consume. True carnivores eat their prey in its entirety. That is how they acquire protein. This begs another question. By not consuming the entire animal we eat to gain protein, are we really getting a complete source of protein from it?
Our bodies are designed in such a way to break down plant protein better and faster than meat protein, to make it readily available for use. Our intestines are not designed to process and digest meat as true carnivores. True carnivores have much shorter intestines, in which meat processes much quicker. Our jaws and the way we chew are also not designed like a true carnivore. Their jaws move up and down as ours move side to side. Ours are designed more similarly to herbivores. All of this begs the biggest question of all; are we carnivores or herbivores by nature?
By Dr. Ron Hirschberg
Annually, on May 16, the United Nations celebrates the International Day of Light. This ensures that we may, at least once a year, appreciate the importance of this often taken for granted resource. Though agriculture, technology, communication and education are all highly dependent, there is no field in which light will play as critical of role as in the future of medicine.
The field of Veterinary Medicine has been a leader in adapting Photobiomodulation (PBM), previously known as Low Level Laser/Light Therapy (LLLT), to treat a variety of diseases. This science uses relatively low intensity energy from light emitting diodes (LEDs) and low power lasers to improve the quality of life of animals that suffer from many of the same diseases as humans. It is estimated that upwards of twenty percent of all veterinary practices now have access to PBM though it is often referred to as Light Therapy.
PBM uses light of a specific wavelength, intensity and frequency to enhance activity within the cells that comprise all tissues. Although muscles and joints have a different cellular makeup than kidneys or nerves, all are dependent on mitochondria. These microscopic structures manufacture energy in the form of ATP upon which all bodily processes are dependent. We cannot breathe, digest, think or move without ATP.
Disease, injury, cancer or even side effects from medications, cause our cells to become stressed. This so called “oxidative stress” interferes with the production of ATP, without which our body cannot function properly. Light absorption into cells and subsequently mitochondria, is one of the only known processes by which cellular energy production can be restored.
Though initially used for its anti-inflammatory properties to treat aches, pains and injuries in soft tissues, bones and joints, the past ten years has seen an explosion in the pathologies to which Photobiomodulation has been applied. Chronic Kidney Disease, Pancreatitis, Traumatic Brain Injury and Intervertebral Disc Disease are only a few of previously elusive diseases that were lacking in proactive treatment. Light Therapy has dramatically changed the approach as well as the dialogue that ensues when facing these conditions. As these treatments have become more well known in Veterinary Medicine, the crossover to human patients has become inevitable. Frequently when pet owners see the improvement in the quality of life of their four-legged companions, the first question becomes; “where I can get treated?”.
On Wednesday, May 16, 2018, the International Day of Light will be upon us. For the tens of thousands of patients, pet owners and families that have witnessed the dramatic benefits of Photobiomodulation, let’s all remind ourselves that this energy, derived from sunlight, should not be taken for granted. It is as much our lifeblood as the fluids that flow through our veins. Without light………there can be no life.
[Dr. Ron Hirschberg is a veterinarian with over 41 years in practice and fifteen years using light therapy to save the lives of animals. His treatment protocols are used by the World Association of Laser Therapy and the North American Association of Laser Therapy.]
By Rachel Wolde
Before I stopped eating animals and their by-products, one of my favorite dishes was chicken and broccoli alfredo. Pasta, chicken, and cheese were a few of my favorite things, so what better way to combine them? When I made the transition to an all plant diet, the cheese was probably the most difficult to give up. Naturally, I looked for ways to reinvent pasta, so I didn't have to give up the more exciting dishes; rather than just eating your typical spaghetti. Chicken was probably the easiest to stop eating.
There are plenty of cheese substitutes, but some of the ones I have gotten comfortable with don't have the best ingredients so when I need my "fix," I might indulge, but try I to keep it to a minimum. Unless egg noodles are considered, the majority of pasta is, in fact, vegan, so that leaves me with plenty of options. When you start adding spices to the mix, the possibilities can be endless. There are chicken substitutes, as well, most refer to as mock meats. A lot of mock meats consist of soy, which in my opinion is not the healthiest, and wheat gluten. Both are labeled as one of the eight major allergens.
At one point for a couple of months, my children were completely vegan. But, old habits die hard, and they have had quite a bit of relapse, some instances have been beyond their control and some not. They are children who were used to eating a certain way before I changed their diet and I realized it might not be as easy for them to change as it was for me. I understood this though; I made the change and never looked back, but it's something they are still working on to perfect.
As mentioned in one of my previous articles, the combination of ginger and turmeric is one of my favorites. I am also a coconut fanatic. I was always a pina-colada-over-every-other-flavor type of individual. From coconut water, to milk, to oil, I love it in every form. When making the final decision to start eating healthier, I started mixing the few things I really enjoyed and came up with simple dishes that left me extremely satisfied. Then these simple dishes began to grow on my children. As this happened, I knew I was onto something. Depending on what our base dish is, we just refer to it as coconut veggies or pasta. By mixing coconut milk with ginger and turmeric, we came up with something we could throw on anything and enjoy it.
One of our favorites is coconut pasta or as I've come to call it, "rainbow pasta," as it has a variety of colors and tastes. We typically use whatever vegetables we have on hand which is usually quite a lot, as of course by now you can conclude, fruits and vegetables are all I really eat. So, when my youngest daughter personally asked me to make rainbow pasta for dinner, I figured it would be the perfect time for me to start measuring and writing. I say this due to the fact I never measure anything. Unless I'm following someone else's recipe the first time or two, but after that, I just cook. Don't be afraid to go out on a limb and use whatever vegetables you like. The more you use, the better and flavorful your dish will be.
The ingredient list is as follows:
* Half a bag frozen broccoli
* Half a bag frozen cauliflower
* Half an onion sliced
* Two mini sweet peppers sliced
* Half a bag of frozen corn
* 3 medium potatoes
* 6-8 leaves of collard greens or kale
* Can of coconut milk
* 1 cup Oil of choice (I use grapeseed oil)
* Sea salt
* Box of noodles (I used linguine this go round)
1. Put sliced onions and peppers in a skillet.
2. Skin and dice potatoes while peppers and onions become translucent.
3. Mix ½ cup of coconut milk and ½ cup of oil together with 20 shakes each of ginger and turmeric.
4. Add mixture to skillet and after a minute or two add potatoes. Be sure to stir occasionally.
5. While this is cooking, add coconut milk to ½ cup oil and 15 shakes each of ginger and turmeric to create a sauce.
6. Add broccoli and cauliflower to skillet. Continue to stir occasionally, so everything cooks evenly, and nothing sticks to the skillet.
7. In a separate pan, boil pasta according to package instructions.
8. Add corn and collards to skillet once other vegetables are soft.
9. When noodles are done, drain and set to the side.
10. Once corn and collards are done, add all vegetables to the pot of noodles.
11. Add the sauce.
12. Stir together to coat all pasta with sauce.
13. Salt and pepper to taste.
14. Refrigerate any leftovers.
Pasta can dry out from being refrigerated, and I try to keep my microwave usage to a minimum. So, when I reheat leftovers, I simply add my pasta to a pot, throw in some oil and cook it that way. Cook, eat and most importantly ENJOY!