Tag Archives: ecology

Comparing Different Proteins

Protein is of primary importance.  While no one who eats regularly is really deficient in protein, the more you eat protein, the stronger and more energetic you feel.  In this essay, I will try to give my view on the best protein.

Beans, peas, and lentils, and other legumes like peanut, are actually really good.  They’re vegan, so no one was injured in their production, they’re cheap, and they’re easy to store.  The downsides are the gasiness one might get from eating too much of them, and the general boredom from getting all your protein from them.

Seeds are a good source of vegetarian protein, but it’s not wise to eat more than a small amount per day, since they’re loaded with fat and calories too.

Quinoa is a pseudo-grain that is actually a flower seed but cooked and eaten like rice.  Quinoa is the best plant protein, containing an optimal balance of all 8 essential amino acids.  The problem is it doesn’t taste like anything.

Then you have the mighty chicken egg.  This is the optimal protein, the best one for human nutrition.  Even vegans sometimes don’t mind compromising their standards and eating an egg or two.  They’re that good.

Then you have dairy, like milk, cheese, and yogurt.  I find that these aren’t the best proteins in the world for a slew of reasons.  For starters, cheese is loaded with salt and fat.  Milk has lactose in it, a sugar that causes digestive discomfort and diarrhea.  Yogurt is good protein, can be found in low fat versions, and has less sugar in it because the fermenting bacteria have eaten away most of the lactose.  But i’ve come to the conclusion that the egg is superior to the dairy product in most respects.  There’s no downside to eating eggs, besides animal rights you might say, but there are tremendous downsides to eating milk/cheese/yogurt.  Some science indicates cheese has opiate effects and is therefore addictive.  Other scientists say that the protein in milk is inflammatory and can lead to autoimmune disease.

The fish is the best animal to eat.  I’ve never seen an old fish.  The reason why fish never get fat, old, and wrinkly, is because they are constantly swimming, eat a sea vegetable and smaller fish diet, and the fat underneath their skin is fluid, not solid like lard.  That makes for a healthy animal and a healthy dinner.

Then you have meat, and it doesn’t matter if it’s chicken, duck, cow, pig, sheep, or goat, or anything else.  Meat can be really good or really bad depending on how the animal lived and how strong and healthy it was.

So really, there’s no point in writing this essay, it’s all common information.  My suggestion is to always go lower down on the food chain rather than higher up.  This is better for everyone, you included.  Animals are above birds, birds are above fish, fish are above unfertilized eggs, eggs are above beans and seeds and quinoa and so on.  The lower down it is, the less toxic it is.  The most toxic animal is the human being, because we are the apex predator.

Human beings in the western world often have a choice about what they’re eating.  With a proper education, one can live quite well.

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Philosophy, Religion, and Diet

In this era, anything goes.  But some people still adhere to dietary laws as entailed by their religious views.  Observant Jews don’t eat pork, shellfish, or meat and dairy together.  Muslims don’t eat pork or drink alcohol.  And most of the religious traditions of the Indian subcontinent advocate a lactovegetarian diet.

Veganism is growing in the USA.  The biggest reason people do it is because of sympathy for the animals and also environmental concerns.  Veganism is not a religion.   But if one examines history, it is the Ancient Hebrews who first considered vegetarianism a lifestyle choice.

Kosher vegetarianism is a very sane, moderate view of diet.  Meat symbolizes death and decay, while milk and dairy products symbolizes life and growth.  Fish and Eggs are considered Parve, or spiritually neutral.  A kosher vegetarian eats plant foods, dairy products, and is not against eating fish or egg.

In the east, amongst people like the Buddhists, Sikhs, Hindus, and Jains, lactovegetarian is reccomended.  Some Bengali vegetarians consider fish and seafood to be ‘fruit of the sea’ and therefore still eat it.

And amongst the Taoists, no food is taboo.  It’s about eating the right portions and proportions of food relative to each other.  Christians too say any food is clean to eat.

My view is to do what is best for yourself.  Don’t tell people about your eating habits and don’t bore them with your list of abstentions.  I like dairy products, so I’m not giving them up.  I do what is best for myself.

I believe meat, fish, and eggs was originally natural and good, but capitalism, consumerism, and overpopulation ruined everything.  Applying the factory line production method to agriculture was a grave mistake by humanity.  Animals are not machines, every animal, from insect, to cow, to dog, to monkey, to man has sentience.

In this era, it’s not hard to go to a supermarket and get anything you need, all year round.  I live in a part of the USA where there are few natural disasters.   Veganism and Vegetarianism is a vote for the environment, for animal rights, and reverses many diseases.  Only in this country is it easier to get restaurant food with animal foods in it than without.  I’ve decided to stop going to restaurants, unless its for a slice of pizza or vegetarian sushi.

I think kosher vegetarianism is the most sane way to go as far as diet.  Dairy is very nourishing, in some cases too nourishing, and fish and eggs should be an option for people who don’t have the time or inclination to prepare their own food.  The main thing is to eat what’s available and not obsess about diet.  But in this crazy society, even the nutrition textbooks are wrong, let alone the media and public perception.

At the end of the day, gaining or losing weight is about calories in and calories out.  But also at the end of the day, looks and weight don’t matter so much.  You don’t need the body of a bodybuilder to be healthy.  And a six pack of abs means nothing.  Judge your health by how you feel, how long you live, and the state of health you’re in.

As an aside, remember that years upon years of weight fluctuation on the atkins/paleo/ketogenic diet causes insulin resistance and liver derangement.  A doctor can’t invent a crash diet that violates everything we know about nutrition and get away with it.  Bodybuilders and boxers use the low carb approach before contest because it causes a rapid decrease in water weight.  Don’t think the atkins diet is a lifelong diet.  No one in Asia, Africa, or South America is adhering to this philosophy, because they have no obesity problem.  They eat a lot of fiber and walk a lot.

 

Worst of the Worst

There’s a lot of bad, unhealthy, low-quality foods out there.  There’s hydrogenated fat, there’s high fructose corn syrup.  There’s refined wheat flour.  The list can be quite long depending on your beliefs about nutrition.

But one of the worst foods for you is dairy products.  Of course, everyone likes creamy, milky, sweet, bland food.  But I’ve been hearing the anti-dairy facts since 1998, when I began studying Traditional Chinese Medicine.  And the facts are clear.

Dairy products are the worst foods out there.  Milk, Cheese, Cream, Ice Cream, etc… are all mucous-forming and yin-tonics in a yin-heavy world.  There are dairy products that aren’t that bad, like plain yogurt and clarified butter, but even they aren’t good for everyone.  There’s a lot of merit in going dairy-free.

The alternatives are so much better for you.  That includes rice milk, coconut milk, and almond milk.  There’s no question that the milk of a different species should not be consumed, especially after weening off your mother’s milk in infancy.  People who drink cow’s milk are the minority around the world, not the majority.

There are other things one should avoid in dieting.  Things like excessive sugar, which is acidifying, and also gluten, which brings with it a lot of toxicity.  Even starch can be bad, depending on what food you eat.  But dairy is all the way junk and should not be seen as essential to the human diet.  Because it isn’t.

And this goes without mentioning farmed meat, everything from beef to lamb to chicken to whatever barnyard animal you slaughter.  There was a time when people lived on family farms and slaughtered their own animals.  These were active people who lived on the land and healthy animals that lived somewhat normal lives.

There’s so much toxic food out there, and it’s easy to make bad decisions.  But one basic decision that can influence your life for the better is to go dairy-free.  Find substitutes in your cooking that taste similar, and you will get acclimated to the substitutes and not cow udder secretions.  Almond milk is good in coffee.  Tofu is good in stir-fry.  Tempeh makes a good meat substitute.  And coconut milk is good in curries and smoothies.

You’ll be better off if you go dairy-free.  So do it.  Even if you indulge in cheese or ice cream once in a while after going dairy-free, your taste buds will change eventually and you will notice what dairy really is.  The baby-food of a bovine, not essential nutrition of an adult human.

 

On Ethics

Veganism is not for everyone.  This should seem obvious.  While animals do have sentience, all of them do, we simply can’t avoid killing in order to continue our own existence.  That is the nature of life on earth, it is kill or be killed.

People need high protein diets to function optimally.  The low carb, high fat diet has been proven effective for weight loss and health goals, and there’s no way around it.  We started out frugivores but became omnivores.  The best diet is one of lean, low salt protein and low starch vegetables.  That is how athletes and bodybuilders get in shape, abs are made in the kitchen.

It seems that the western man overdoes everything.  Instead of increasing the lifespan and quality of life of all people, the industrial revolution just increased disparity between people in the affluent countries and the poor countries.  Factory farms are heinous exploitation of the natural world and of sentient creatures.  This is a cause everyone should fight for, since everyone eats.

As an ordinary human being, one can say, this doesn’t affect me, I can just go on doing whatever I do.  But it does affect you, and you vote all day with the way you spend your money.

The native americans could live on the land and hunt their own food without depleting the environment.  They understood animals have souls and feelings too.  They still needed protein and vegetables to live a full life.  They honored the spirit of the animals and acknowledged their importance in the ecosystem.  Why is western man so callous?

Capitalism really appeals to lowest common denominator.  Appealing to man’s lowest most selfish inclinations works, because man is fallen and corrupt.  Europeans have higher standards of food purity because they are more traditional.  Greed is not good.

America is really living high and mighty at the expense of the rest of the world, and poor third world nations are following our lead.  It seems like this is all one con artist’s scheme to depopulate the human race.  There has to be a moral consciousness if anything is going to change.  We shouldn’t let the top 1% win and live like a leech of our suffering hides.  Educate the masses, especially the young, and there will be less people suffering and dying young.  Life seems to be problematic to begin with, let’s not make it worse.

If people demanded higher food quality, they’d get it, because merchants want to do whats best for business.  If people really stood up for the rights of animals, they’d be treated better.  It’s unsettling that primitive aborigines could live without ruining their environment but the american man can’t.  It starts with education, and I feel people should care more about health (of themselves and their planet) and less about profit margins.

Fruit is for People

No matter what dietary approach you take, and there are a lot of them, fruit is good for you and should not be omitted from the human diet.  We’re supposed to eat fruit.  Fruit is good.

You see, fruit contains seeds in it, that’s kind of the definition of the term.  A lot of vegetables we eat every day are actually fruits, such as tomato, cucumber, eggplant, and hot pepper.  Not just that, but actually high sugar, low sugar, and starchy fruits such as orange, blackberries, and banana are good for men and dogs alike to eat.  The tree or plant that produces the fruit wants you to eat the fruit, so in nature, the bird or reptile or mammal or whatever later drops the seed of the plant through the feces.  I know, not pleasant to talk about on a nutrition blog but the facts are the facts.

All these low carb diets and their variants are telling people to restrict fruit intake and it’s just not right and not a long-term solution.  Whole fruit has fiber in it as well as sugar, so the glycemic load is mitigated.  Not only that, but fruit is a natural, unprocessed food that is sweet so it’s easy even for people who don’t usually eat healthy to incorporate into their diets.

There are other foods that are essential in the diet, like whole grains and an adequate amount of protein, but the point of this post is that fruit is human food and it’s not wise to avoid any of them on purpose.

Anatomy of a Hamburger

What’s so bad about a hamburger?  Allow me to explain, ingredient by ingredient.  You see, it’s not all bad, it’s just the means of getting your beef addiction met that causes problems.

First of all, there’s the bun.  It’s made from wheat, so it contains gluten.  Gluten, the protein found in wheat, is allergenic to some, but not all.  If you have problems with your intestines, don’t eat bread regularly.

Then there’s the sauce, which is usually ketchup and mayo combined.  Ketchup has tomatoes in it, but it also has a lot of sugar and salt in it.  Sugar and salt is what makes food taste good, but it also makes you retain water and be flabby.  Mayonnaise is usually made with low quality soybean oil.

Then there’s the pickle and onion, or lettuce and tomato, or whatever other ‘vegetable’ you put on a hamburger.  They’re not so bad, but there are tremendous ranges of quality between brands.

And finally there is the beef.  Beef can be good, if you go to a fancy hamburger place and get high quality beef, and only eat from time to time.  But low end, factory farmed, corn-fed beef is nasty and one of the big problems in America.  It is an environmental hazard to raise so many cows for meat and milk, they deplete our land’s resources and sully the earth with gas, feces, and other not-so-nice things.

I suggest beef is ok from time to time, but get the high quality grass fed kind and eat it with brown rice and/or salad.  It’s necessary to eat both plant and animal foods, and remember, quality of the food you consume is important, just like the octane of the fuel you use in your car affects its longevity.

So if you feel like eating a hamburger from time to time, se la vi, but remember American cuisine has many flaws in it, and there are other ways to eat that are much more sensible.

What I Learned In Acupuncture School…

I learned a lot, because I was actually paying attention and had my full mental faculties about me.  The major thing is that the American people are sick and dying largely because of ignorance of the basics.

People in other countries don’t need a nutrition lesson, because they eat a lot of fiber and walk more than we do.  They have to.  Grain and vegetables is easier to procure and requires less resources than meat and milk, so these poor people eat more fiber and don’t eat as often as we do.  They also have to hustle to make ends meet, there’s no welfare nation in other countries, so they get more movement in during the course of the day.

While socialism is basic human civility, and medicine and education should be given to every citizen free of charge, America is a capitalist society, where all actions are motivated by self interest and the government and media appeals to this inclination in man’s nature.

Joseph Goebbels, the master of propaganda for the Nazi Party once said, ‘think of the media as a keyboard, on which the government can play.’  That is exactly what has happened to America, a nation led by capitalism and competition.  People, even educated people, are largely ignorant of what people are supposed to eat.

The food industry is focused on profit, not health, and thus advertises its junk food on tv and other media.  Not only that, but commercial food has become a type of merchandise, altered in both taste and appearance to be addictive to the consumer.  Add on top of the fictional ideas that people need more than 100g a protein a day or should avoid cholesterol completely, and you have a recipe for disaster.

The main food should be whole grains and vegetables, cooked over low heat for a long time.  It doesn’t matter where you get your protein, most people are getting too much, and the food manufacturers put sugar in everything not only to make it taste better, but to make you addicted to the food.

Meat and milk should not be daily food, it should be a rarity, and in the past it was.  It is only with the progress in agricultural technology in the 1950’s that the beef and dairy industries began confusing the common people with propaganda.

So in essence, ignorance of children’s knowledge has made the American people the most miserable of all, and people are actually digging their own graves without basic tools to live.

 

The Healing Power….of animal foods?

We all should know that every natural, unprocessed plant food has healing power, even sucrose (white sugar).  But did you know that not all animal foods are bad?  In fact, some are even healthy and good for you, and this is a big argument against veganism.

For starters, the hard boiled egg is a powerhouse of nutrition, and people should eat both the white and the yolk if they want to be healthy.  The white contains most of the protein, but the yolk contains most of the fat, which happens to be good fat.  Egg yolks support healthy cholesterol production by the liver, which is needed for every cell membrane in your body.

Fish and seafood is another biggie.  As long as its wild caught and not farm raised, the fattier the fish the better it is for you, the complete opposite of land animals, where one should only choose the lean cuts.  Fish oil is a medicine, a medicine I take since it is anti-inflammatory, but the easiest way to get fish fat is to eat a fatty fish.

Also, not all dairy products are garbage.  Butter and Ghee make fine cooking fats as an occasional alternative to olive oil and coconut oil (which is plantbased saturated fat).  Also, yogurt can be tolerated by many because most of the sugar has been digested away by the fermenting bacteria.  It is also probiotic.

Even lean chicken and beef isn’t so heinous.  Get lean meat from healthy animals, not tortured factory farmed animals.  I read in a taoist nutrition book that beef is warm and tonifying, and strengthens the loin and increases sperm count.  It is definitely a high testoterone food.

Honey is the best animal food, and perhaps, the best food in general.  While technically not meat, dairy, or egg, it is the mana that the queen bee eats and thus lives ten times longer than her drones.  Instead of worrying about cruelty to bees, one should aspire to create as many bee colonies as possible, as they pollinate most of our food crops naturally.

So don’t be convinced that all animal food is bad, there are empirically proven health benefits to eating certain lean, unprocessed animal foods.  Being vegan is a lifestyle choice, but then again, so is being a compassionate omnivore.

Departing from Vegetarianism

The thing I noticed about high protein, low sugar diets is that they work.  There’s no underestimating the effects of sugar restriction on your bodyweight, it actually works.  I guess high fiber, high starch diets are eaten in third world countries by necessity, not by choice.

While animal agriculture is ruining the environment, the underlying truth is that overpopulation is ruining the human race’s lifestyle, and all people basically need the same things.  I don’t suggest the entire human population become vegan, it’s just not natural, and it’s probably not sustainable.

The answer to the protein dilemma is variety.  Don’t get all your protein from one food source all the time.  Nobody in the western world (this may be a blanket statement) is suffering from protein deficiency.  It is probably the most overconsumed nutrient next to sugar.

There’s no reason for the western man to be vegetarian or vegan unless he is Buddhist, and is against killing.  I find myself being practical and utilitarian in that I choose the soup that I like based on what is available, not by some pretentious ideal.

Eat what is natural, simple, and easy based on the circumstances.  It is only in a world ruled by the media that people don’t know the basics.  Obesity is a crime upon yourself, and you have your own self to blame.  Don’t blame genetics or the authorities.

But the answer to killing or not killing animals is do what though will.  We’re not the only species that eats both plants and animals, so don’t take sides.  Obviously a diet of hot dogs and hamburgers will lead to diseases both mental and physical, but the real trick to being sane and healthy is moderation.  And this is a discipline that can be learned, but cannot be taught.

 

The Deal With Dairy

Most dairy products are terrible foods that are awful for your health.  When I was in Chinese Medicine school, the one thing they kept harping on was dairy is unnatural and bad for you.

Eating dairy on a regular, lifetime basis actually shortens your life and weakens your bones.  That being said, there are exceptions and limitations to this statement.

Butter is the best dairy product because it contains no milk sugar (lactose) which is not amiable to most people’s digestive system, and no milk protein, which is highly allergenic and the root cause of many autoimmune diseases.

Butter or Ghee are ideal cooking fats, so don’t throw away all dairy products.  But remember, buying dairy directly feeds the veal calf industry.  Young calves are ripped away from their mothers when they are still babes, a terribly traumatic act.  The mother becomes a milk cow and the baby becomes you’re next order of veal after a torturous existence.

Cheese and Yogurt is healthier than milk, but even these foods should be seen as drugs, not foods, and should be used in moderation, not on a daily basis.  Believe me, this insight is a lifesaver.

So my suggestion to you is to get off the cow’s udder and get protein and calcium from other sources.