Vegans sometimes get a bad rep - and sometimes they happen to bring it upon themselves. For one reason or another, stereotypes have really started to dictate how your average person views the vegan lifestyle - and they can be powerful. For vegans who don't fit the mold, it can be increasingly difficult to have a conversation about veganism, healthy eating, and lifestyle politics (such as environment preservation and animal cruelty).
I came across a great little story about William the Conqueror, an 11th century military commander and king that is known for bringing England under Norman reign during this time period, and his unique creation of what is often considered "the first fad diet." Apparently, he faced some weight loss struggles like the best of us, and decided to take matters into his own hands - in the form of a liquid, alcohol-based, diet. Inevitably, practical starvation led to some weight loss, but it had other health consequences. Supposedly, when he got on his horse one day, he didn't have the strength to stay on and fell off - and soon died from complications of the fall.
This little snippet of history is special because it shows us a few things - how human beings have used diets in one way or another to try and resolve some of our physical (and probably mental) challenges, and not always to great success. To some extent, there was some degree of experimentation required in the early days of dieting, after all these diets had no real potential to be grounded in the scientific method.
Things are different today, though, and if you do your research you can find a diet that can benefit your health, help you shed pounds, and still be healthy at the end of the day - instead of ready to fall off your proverbial horse!
Quaker Instant Oatmeal is likely one of the most popular oatmeal products in the United States. When your average person thinks about oatmeal, they probably have a vision of that handsome gentleman that adorns Quaker oats products. You have likely at least tried one or two flavors yourself at some point in your life. I thought it would be fun to do some small reviews of each flavor currently available in the US.
Keep in mind, Quaker Instant Oatmeal, while often tasty, is not the best option for your health. They do tend to come equipped with higher than average levels of sugar and some added preservatives. In general, I tend to preference steel cut oats. With this said, for some, instant oatmeal is preferable just because of the convenience - and this is difficult to ignore.
For these tests, I have tried each of the instant oatmeal flavors both in "instant" fashion (just add warm water and stir) and with use of the microwave. They both produce different taste experiences, but ultimately are much shorter cooking times than preparing a 30 minute bowl of oats the old fashioned way.
While doing some reading on Dr. John McDougall's website, I came across a list of 10 recommended dietary changes that can help to reduce cancer risk and reverse cancer in patients already feeling the effects. This is some seriously powerful stuff, and goes to show how a whole foods, plant-based diet can really have a positive impact on our bodies. In this specific case, reducing the risk of cancer (or effects of cancer) is powerful given how many of us have lost important people in our lives to the cancer battle. It is great to know that it is, for many, avoidable and treatable by changing our dietary core.
In a detailed piece posted by The Washington Post regarding research originally published by the National Center for Health Statistics, it is made evident that the life expectancy in the United States is on the decline for the first time in two decades. It is a fundamentally powerful article because it speaks to every individual in the USA and the innate desire we all have to live – and not just live, but live in a fashion that is healthy, productive, and satisfying.
What an incredibly episode for Planet Earth II. After the relatively quiet and almost somber 2nd episode "Mountains," "Jungles" picks up by taking us to explore some of the densest areas of the world. A key statistic is thrown out early on - jungles make up only 6% of the world, but over 50% of animals on the planet inhabit them. They are dense ecosystems, and as a result this episode is extremely dense with the number of creatures on display - some for just brief momentary glimpses, while others are on screen and followed with David Attenborough's signature narration and humanization.
Preparing pressure cooker meals is becoming huge within the plant-based community. A good quality pressure cooker, like the reliable Instant Pot, provides easy access to meal variety and, for once, simple meal preparation. Often, one of the biggest struggles for people adopting a whole food, plant-based diet is not only learning how to cook, but increasingly the frequency of meals cooked. For people who are retired, this may not to a problem, but for those of us working full-time jobs and handling other responsibilities (like raising children), making time to cook if it is not a hobby or passion can be tough.
To help you jump start your pressure cooking, I thought I would put together a small list of vegan-friendly pressure cooker recipe books. I have not used all of these, but have read a number of reviews and can see the great response to many of them online like in conversation with some members of the McDougall Friend's Facebook group. Maybe you have some different cookbooks that you would suggest? We'd love to hear your input in the comments at the end of this article!
One of my favorite breakfast foods is steel cut oatmeal. I think many individuals who subscribe to a plant-based diet would agree that it is a great way to kickstart the day given that it calorie dense (so...filling), provides a good deal of carbohydrate energy, and a good deal of fiber too to keep you regular. Of course, all this sounds kind of bland, until you remember that oatmeal actually tastes good, too.
My favorite aspect of oatmeal is how simple it can be to make adjustments so that it tastes radically different each time. While some companies sell artificially flavored oatmeal, often in "instant packets," you can have the same success with organic and natural plant-based diet friendly ingredients.