Is there STILL a problem with the VEGA line of protein powder? Many of you have written in our prior article about VEGA to us expressing your concerns about the issues that you were continuing to have with their products.
While many of you have mentioned unpleasant experiences, Jane and I never had a physical reaction to the product; we just didn't care for it.
Today we stopped by the Whole Foods on Arroyo Pkwy in Pasadena to buy a case of Field Roast sausages. The folks at VEGA were doing a promotion for their products right in the middle of the checkout area. They were giving away free samples. For the reasons mentioned above, we didn't partake.
Have any of you been using their products? Have you had any issues?
You'll likely need a B12 supplement.ShutterstockVitamin B12 occurs naturally only in animal foods, so you'll want to stock up on a variety of B12-fortified foods as well as a B12 supplement. B12 keeps the body's nerve and blood cells healthy and helps make DNA, so deficiencies can lead to tiredness, weakness, constipation, loss of appetite, weight loss (the bad kind), nerve problems, and depression. To find out if you need to up your intake, ask your doctor for a simple blood draw.
...And maybe an iron supplement, too.Iron comes in two forms: heme and non-heme. Heme, which makes up about 40 percent of the iron in animal foods, is easily absorbed by the body. Vegan diets contain only non-heme, which is less readily absorbed, so you may need to ingest more iron if you want to get the same benefit, says New York City nutritionist Christian Henderson, RD. Good vegan iron sources include legumes, sunflower seeds, dried raisins and dark, leafy greens. Vitamin C-rich foods (think: red peppers, citrus and broccoli) aid iron absorption.
You'll have to find new protein sources.ShutterstockEvery meal should contain protein, says vegan dietitian Valerie Rosser, RD. Proteins are the building blocks of life: they break down into amino acids that promote cell growth and repair. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get at least 0.8 grams of protein daily for every kilogram of body mass -- that's about 54 grams for a 150-pound woman. The best sources of vegan protein include natural soy, lentils, beans, quinoa and seitan, Rosser says.
You shouldn't replace animal products with junk.Swapping out meat for white bread, pasta and other packaged foods sets you up for failure on the vegan diet, says Rosser. "It's not a good idea to trade in animal products, which contain protein, vitamins and minerals, for processed foods that provide little nutritional value other than calories." The result: hunger, weight gain and a grumpier mood.
Take it easy on soy-based products.In general, critics overstate the dangers of soy and the promoters exaggerate its benefits. Though scientists are still arguing over the effects of soy on cancer and heart health, one thing is for certain: "Consuming too much soy-based vegan 'meat' is arguably worse than consuming high-quality animal products," says Henderson. Meat substitutes are often highly processed and loaded with sodium and preservatives, so read labels carefully. The healthiest sources of soy are miso, tempeh, tofu, soy milk and edamame.
You don't have to make the switch at once.You won't just wake up one morning magically vegan. It takes work, so it should also take time, Henderson says. "Start by adding more plant-based foods to your diet, while at the same time cutting back on animal products, especially those that are non-organic, and more importantly processed, refined foods. Making gradual changes and assessing how you are feeling along the way is key," she says.
Be prepared to read food labels.ShutterstockIf you're serious about being vegan, checking food labels and verifying ingredients is a must. "Just because a food product is not glaringly non-vegan doesn't mean that it's suitable for a vegan diet," Rosser says. Casein and whey, which come from milk, are present in many cereal bars, breads and granolas, while gelatin and tallow (also known as suet) are derived from meat. Then there's Natural Red 4 (also known as carmine, cochineal or cochineal extract), which is a food coloring derived from the dried bodies of female beetles. Head spinning yet? The Vegetarian Resource Group's list of common food ingredients can help.
You may feel happier.Animals won't be the only ones happy with your vegan move. So will you. One reason why: Compared to vegetarian diets, omnivorous ones contain more arachidonic acid, which can spur neurological changes that drag down mood, according to a 2012 Nutrition Journal study.
You won't have to ditch your favorite restaurants.ShutterstockJust as veganism is becoming more popular, so are vegan options on just about every restaurant's menu. Word to the wise: Even if your item of choice looks vegan, tell your waiter about your dietary restriction to ensure that no animal products are used to make your meal (think hidden butter or chicken stock), Henderson advises. And if you are up for trying an all-vegan restaurant, check out veganrestaurantfinder.com.
It doesn't have to cost more.ShutterstockAt $3 or more per pound, meat is one of the most expensive items in the grocery store, so saving big can be easy -- even if you are buying more produce than ever. Save even more by swapping some of your fresh produce for frozen.
Plants might cover your calcium needs.The NIH recommends that adults between the ages of 19 and 50 get a minimum of 1,000 mg of calcium a day, but preliminary research shows vegans may be able to get away with less than that. A European Journal study found that when vegans consumed at least 525 mg per day of calcium, their risk of bone fracture was no different than that of non-vegetarians with similar calcium intakes. The key is eating a variety of naturally calcium-rich foods such as kale, bok choy, almonds, soy beans, figs and navel oranges as well as calcium-fortified foods such as cereals, plant-based milks and tofu made with calcium sulfate, Henderson says. Bonus: soy, leafy greens and most fortified foods are also high in vitamin D, which helps your body absorb calcium.
source: HUFFINGTON POST
Former Vice President Al Gore has taken up a vegan diet.
A Forbes article published on Saturday offhandedly mentioned that the "newly turned vegan" was considering an investment in Hampton Creek Foods, a startup working to replace eggs with a plant-based formula. The Washington Post followed up, learning from "an individual familiar with Gore's decision" that the climate activist resolved several months ago to give up animal products and embrace a vegan diet.
Gore, winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize for sounding the alarm about climate change, has faced criticism over the years for eating meat while fingering the meat industry as a global warming contributor. Gore's 2006 film, "An Inconvenient Truth," touched on the issue.
"I'm not a vegetarian, but I have cut back sharply on the meat that I eat," Gore said in a 2009 ABC interview. "And it's absolutely correct that the growing meat intensity of diets across the world is one of the issues connected to this global crisis -- not only because of the [carbon dioxide] involved, but also because of the water consumed in the process."
Some media reports wondered whether Gore had made the switch in February, when he requested a vegan meal be prepared by Local Harvest Cafe & Catering at a book event in St. Louis. At the time, the owner of Local Harvest said a member of Gore's staff contacted him with "fairly precise dietary restrictions," but didn't divulge whether the former vice president had totally gone vegan.
Former President Bill Clinton, with whom Gore served in the White House, has been a vegan for more than three years. Clinton said he switched after a scathing email from his doctor after his 2004 quadruple-bypass heart surgery.
"I just decided that I was the high-risk person, and I didn't want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather," Clinton said. "So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."
source: Huffington Post
Here are a couple of stories from around the internet that might be interesting to you...
Woody Harrelson has just opened an organic beer garden in Culver City, CA - His new organic beer garden Sage Plant Based Bistro and Beer Garden offers live music, Kind Kreme (that’s a brand of premium dairy-free ice cream for the uninitiated), a menu of vegan comfort food and, of course, a selection of organic beers.
How do you know when veganism has gone mainstream? When Fox Business news runs a segment about it. See here:
source: Fox Business
Ex-heavyweight champion Mike Tyson credits his vegan diet with helping him lose 140 pounds. Ellen DeGeneres went vegan after watching a documentary about the cruelty of factory farming. Former president Bill Clinton has dined vegan-style for more than three years to protect his heart. These are just a few of the many Americans barring all animal products from their diets, including meat, fish, eggs, dairy and even honey.
They're making the switch for a variety of reasons. Some seek to help the planet or improve animal welfare. Others are convinced the change will help them live a longer, healthier life.
Are they right? Would a vegan diet be a healthy choice for you?
There's a growing body of research on the benefits and potential risks of vegan diets and more studies will surely be done as the regimen gains in popularity.
We've learned from recent diet studies that a vegan diet benefits those with diabetes and heart disease. In fact, it appears that eschewing animal products not only helps alleviate the effects of these diseases, but may prevent the conditions entirely.
The Science Behind the Diet
Cleveland Clinic cardiologist Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr. has published numerous reports on how plant-based eating helps eradicate or ward off heart disease. His most eye-opening study, released back in 1995, found that a plant-based diet, specifically one deriving less than 10 percent of its calories from fat, not only dramatically lowers one's cholesterol levels, but can also reverse atherosclerosis.
"The world's advanced countries have easy access to plentiful high-fat food; ironically, it is this rich diet that produces atherosclerosis," Esselstyn wrote in a 2001 report. "To treat coronary heart disease, a century of scientific investigation has produced a device-driven, risk factor-oriented strategy. Nevertheless, many patients treated with this approach experience progressive disability and death. This strategy is a rear-guard defensive one. In contrast, compelling data from nutritional studies, population surveys and interventional studies support the effectiveness of a plant-based diet and aggressive lipid lowering to arrest, prevent and selectively reverse heart disease. In essence, this is an offensive strategy. The single biggest step toward adopting this strategy would be to have United States dietary guidelines support a plant-based diet."
Clinton has credited advice from Esselstyn and Dr. Dean Ornish, with whom he has consulted on his health since 1993, for his shift to veganism and the dramatic weight loss he achieved in 2010. "I just decided that I was the high-risk person [for heart problems], and I didn't want to fool with this anymore. And I wanted to live to be a grandfather," Clinton recently told AARP. "So I decided to pick the diet that I thought would maximize my chances of long-term survival."
More recent studies have explored how a vegan diet might affect, or help prevent, type 2 diabetes. A 2009 report published in the journal Nutrition Reviews summed up several discoveries. For example, researchers found that vegetarians and vegans were about half as likely to develop type 2 diabetes as other adults. Further, in clinical trials of diabetics, a low-fat vegan regimen actually improved blood-sugar control better than the diets traditionally prescribed to patients.
Researchers believe these results may be primarily a result of the generally higher weight loss participants experienced on vegan diets. But other elements of veganism — such as more fiber, less saturated fat and lower consumption of highly processed carbohydrates — also appeared to play a role.
Making it Work
Like any diet that leaves out major food groups — in the case of veganism, that includes meat, fish and dairy — nutrient deficiencies are a risk for those who don't pay close attention to what they eat or don't make smart choices.
There are plenty of vegan "junk" foods, for example, that offer little in the way of good nutrition, starting with crackers and cookies. Yet dietitians say eating vegan — whether every day, once a week, or just in the daytime, as food writer Mark Bittman recommends in his popular Vegan Before 6 diet — can be healthy, if you place an emphasis on variety.
Incorporating lots of different vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts, seeds and dried beans, soy and lentils is key to ensuring you get sufficient protein and nutrients. It pays to be especially mindful of sources of vitamin B12, calcium, iodine, iron, zinc, vitamin D and omega-3 fats, according to the Mayo Clinic. All of these nutrients can be part of a vegan diet, whether through the consumption of fortified foods or vitamin supplements, or through smart choices, such as eating flaxseed, soybeans and walnuts for omega-3; dark green vegetables for calcium; and foods high in vitamin C to boost iron absorption.
A crucial question remains: Can a plant-based diet satisfy your appetite? If you give it a chance, sure. Most of us eat plenty of grains, fruits and vegetables already; a shift to veganism simply requires moving them to the center of the plate.
Going vegan may not be the only path to good health, but there's no doubt that incorporating more plants into your diet is a wise move.
Paul McCartney may have proclaimed that Austin is the most vegan friendly city. Well, another Paul, Paul Graham has written an e-book that describes how to be vegan in Las Vegas. I've had reasonable success finding vegan eats in Las Vegas. Mr. Graham gave himself the challenge of eating one vegan meal in a restaurant every day for a whole year.
I haven't read the book. Here's a link to it: http://sullivanstpress.com/shop/ebooks/eating-vegan-in-vegas/
Sullivan Street's blurb states that you can "...Join Paul as he tours Las Vegas, eating one vegan meal after another and talking with those who prepare the food and/or care about a plant-based way of life. In what most people refer to as Sin City, Paul has found another place to admire and love. In Paul’s story, Las Vegas comes alive as one of the most compassionate and humane places to live or visit...."
Here's an article about the book:
Paul Graham’s e-book, “Eating Vegan in Vegas: If It Can Happen Here, It Can Happen Anywhere,” showcases a year of vegan meals at local Las Vegas eateries. The book represents 365 days of dining, and can be used as a tool to assist those looking for a vegan meal in Las Vegas.
Graham was inspired by the book and movie “Julie and Julia,” which featured Julie Powell cooking all 524 recipes in Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking” over the course of 365 days.
“While it (‘Julie and Julia’) is a foodie book, it has nothing to do with plant-based eating. It did show someone who made the determination to do something for an entire year and then blog about it,” Graham explained. “I thought this would be a great formula for building this bridge by going out and enjoying a different plant-based meal in Las Vegas each day for a year and blog about it each day.”
With this inspiration, “Eating Vegan in Vegas” was born.
Graham’s goal with the blog was to highlight a different meal every day. In the year he spent on the blog, he dined in approximately 150 restaurants, featuring 365 meals.
“It was not difficult finding 365 different meals during the first year,” Graham stated. “It was actually harder not going back and enjoying some of the things that I really, really liked.”
“At the end of the first year, I actually realized that there were so many more restaurants and available meals that I was not able to try and I am slowly working my way to them all and trying to keep up with all of the new restaurant openings as well,” Graham added.
Graham is planning on releasing an updated e-book this fall that will have over 200 restaurants featured in it.
Some of the places in the e-book have become favorites of Graham.
“Las Vegas really only has a few 100 percent vegan restaurants. There is Pura Vida, Sweet Mama and the two Go Raw Cafes. Pura Vida would be a favorite out of that group,” Graham stated. “What Las Vegas is really becoming known for nationally and internationally is the number of established restaurants that have expanded their menus to include plant-based options.”
Some of Graham’s other favorites include Lakeside in the Wynn, The Bronze Cafe downtown at The Center, Veggie House in Chinatown and Slice of Vegas Pizza in the Mandalay Place.
“If I had to pick one (favorite), though, it would have to be Panevino,” Graham added. “The combination of atmosphere, view, service, and now a full page of vegan options makes it one of the best places to dine…period.”
The e-book had a launch event in April at Slice of Vegas Pizza.
“It was not a normal book-signing event because it was an e-book, but I wanted to have a party to celebrate with so many people that have been increasingly important to me over the past couple of years in particular,” Graham explained.
“The people that were there truly made the night all that it was and I felt very blessed to feel the love from so many wonderful people and were all, in one way or another, very much a part of this book project,” Graham stated.
“The love and support was palpable. There were also well-wishes from so many others locally and from around the world who were not able to be there for the event but wanted to communicate their support and encouragement,” Graham added. “I continue to feel very fortunate about it all.”
Some of the supporters at the event included Panevino’s general manager Vincenzo Granata, Danielle Russo from Sweet Tooth Bakery and her husband Gianni. Gianni is Graham’s “vegan tattoo artist.”
The attendees were too numerous to mention them all, but Graham appreciates the support along the way.
“The one thing that they (the attendees) had in common was that they had all participated in this project by having shared meals with me along with encouragement, contributing thoughts and ideas, and by reading, following and sharing the blog with others,” Graham explained.
“It is not really about the food, it is about the people and sharing a common passion for physical and spiritual health, justice for animals and the healing of our environment,” Graham added.
Here's his Facebook page:
Bullying is never OK. When I saw the words "vegan bullying," I just assumed it was about meat-eaters giving non-meat eaters a hard time. But it wasn't about that. In fact, it's the opposite. vegans being bullies?! Apparently, at a high school in Northern California, vegans are "bullying" other students; calling them names like carcass crunchers.
The "carcass crunchers" are students involved in an Ag program at the high school. These students in this Ag program are growing and slaughtering animals at the high school. Apparently, there's been a fair amount of social buzz about this of late.
Here's a news report on this topic from the local area Fox TV affiliate:
Have people been actually calling others' carcass crunchers? Who knows? But the article indicates: "...One of the vegan students involved spoke with FOX40 but declined to go on camera. She said that no vegan Elk Grove student has used the “carcass cruncher” term and that she has not passed out any fliers..."