Beginning of the End

The beginning of the end...of toxic living that is:)
 July 2011 
Why I chose to become a non-Dairy eating Pesceterian

What is a Pesceterian?

A pescetarian diet excludes land animals and birds, but includes fish, mollusks, and crustaceans in addition to fruits, vegetables, plants, legumes, nuts, and grainsEggs and dairy may or may not be present in the pescetarian's diet. In my case I will eat eggs but no dairy.  However I do consume whey protein made from milk but only Whey Concentrates that come from raw unpasteurized organic milk from grass fed cows.   My only opposition to dairy is what it contains when not in its raw organic state from truly healthy cows.  I used to Love skim milk until I educated myself about what I was really drinking and how it can affect my body and health.

The origin of the term "pescetarian" is dated to 1993 and defines it to mean: "one whose diet includes fish but no meat.” 

Why I decided to try this new lifestyle
Eating a healthy vegetarian diet is one of the best things you can do for your short-term and long-term health.  As a pesceterian, I will lower my cholesterol and have a greatly reduced risk for colon cancer, heart disease and high blood pressure.  During my last annual doctor check up, only 2 months ago, I had my cholesterol checked and to my surprise it was slightly elevated!  Here I thought I was in near perfect health, I was mistaken.  My good cholesterol was super high (thanks to my daily intake of cod liver oil) but my bad cholesterol was slightly elevated over the normal recommended levels, and even though my good cholesterol balanced my total cholesterol out to be only 3 points over, I want to do everything possible to reach optimal health.  My doctor recommended that I could take niacin (a natural supplement commonly known as vitamin B3) that will help speed up the lowering of the bad cholesterol, and although I was hesitant at first, after thorough research I decided it Was something I wanted to take.  In fact, that is how I came to make this lifestyle change! One thing lead to another...ah the butterfly effect ^_^   

As I was telling a very good friend of mine how crazy it was the first time I took Niacin (driving 20 minutes to the mall with just a small smoothie for the road, to not have a completely empty stomach…as it says take with a full stomach) to help with flushing (which is natural and a totally harmless side effect which is proof it is doing what it’s meant to do, flushing the bad cholesterol out of your blood...but it’s a weird feeling!) I started to feel tingly all over, then I felt like my ears and arms were on fire and it even made me gasp for my breath a little and my first thought was "What on Earth is in this smoothie!?" (it was a store bought smoothie).  My doctor prescribed 250mg-750mg 1-2 times a day, but she should have recommended I work up to that dose...which the pharmacist Did mention, but I just didn't do it. She also mentioned I could take an aspirin half an hr before, but I didn't have any at home.  So the large dose hit me like a tun of skin was so red I looked like a lobster.

Long story short, while explaining this to my friend I wanted to explain more clearly what a niacin flush was, so like I do with everything I need more info on, I googled it, and came across a youtube video by facelessfatloss demonstrating a niacin flush.  He’s now someone I highly look up to for health advice and I have obtained an invaluable amount of knowledge through him.  From there I started following his recommendations, watching all his many, many youtube videos.  It wasn’t hard for me to decide to change my health habits, because he tells the ugly truth about things, and it only takes a mention for me to research a topic to death and if I’m convinced something is unhealthy I steer clear, and search for healthier alternatives.   

From there, one thing lead to another and I filled pages and pages of documents with new found knowledge of every day toxins we’re exposed to in our foods, to super foods, to healthier option products, to dangerous ingredients in products I used every day, to anything that had to do with living a healthier, non-toxic, greener life…which brings me to where I am now.  I then decided to start a blog to not only share my new found knowledge to help others get educated about living a safer and healthier life, but to also have somewhere where I could put all this information in one place for my own reference…not to mention it keeps me highly motivated to continue living a healthier lifestyle, and the constant research keeps me well educated.   It’s not true that what you don’t know can’t hurt you…what you don’t know is most likely what Will harm you. Knowledge is power.

Adopting this new lifestyle, I needed to learn how to stay well balanced nutritionally.  One big concern in vegetarianism is protein (although I’m a pescetarian so do get protein from fish), Iron and calcium.

Vegetarian Protein- The little known truth about protein is that most of us get too much, not too little of it. Women need about 45 grams per day and men need around 55 grams. One cup of tofu contains about 20 grams of protein, so if you’re a woman and eat some tofu you’re almost halfway there! Lots of foods contain protein and if you’re eating a well-balanced diet, you’re probably consuming more than enough protein without even thinking about it. Even though it’s quite easy to get plenty of protein on a vegetarian diet, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re eating a variety of protein-rich foods.  If someone is vegan, here are a few examples of high protein vegan foods they can include in your diet: tofu, seitan, veggie burgers, lentils, chickpeas, nuts and seeds, brown rice and whole grains.  

Iron- For an iron boost, some good sources come through eating tofu, lentils, spinach, chickpeas and hummus.

Calcium- You certainly don’t need milk to get plenty of calcium. Here’s some calcium-rich foods: spinach, collard greens, kale, almond milk (my new favorite find...I get the unsweetened vanilla), fortified orange juice, sesame seeds, tahini, broccoli, almonds, carrots, and rice milk.

Changing your eating habits can do more than trim your waistline. With the right ingredients you can lower your cancer risk and potentially increase your lifespan.  Soon after deciding to become a pesceterian I came across an episode of Dr. Oz who had Dr. Weil as a guest on his show.  Fortunately for me, his food pyramid was exactly what my new eating plan consists of!  So I now follow a lot of his diet recommendation.  Here is the video clip from the show showing Dr. Andrew Weil's ultimate health eating plan.  I have adopted many of Dr. Weil’s health advice tips and will provide some health recommendations he shares below.

As I mentioned the eating plan I chose for my new lifestyle almost exactly falls into place with Dr. Weil’s food pyramid…apart from the optional “red wine” It even includes dark chocolate at the top!  Something my life definitely cannot do without.  I make this another exception to my no-dairy…until my quest for the perfect healthy vegan chocolate is complete.

Dr. Weil’s Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid

Click on this link above to read more about the food pyramid and anti-inflammatory diet.

The 5 Foods for Better Health according to Dr. Weil

1. Cooked Asian Mushrooms (Serving size: Unlimited) 
Mushrooms contain immune system boosting compounds, helping to prevent illness. At less than 100 calories per cup, they’re good for your diet too. But be careful, you’ll lose the benefits if they’re not cooked well. Here are some varieties to try: shitake, maitake, oyster and enoki.  I didn’t know that raw mushrooms weren’t as nutritious as cooked! I would put raw mushrooms on salads, but no longer do this.

2. Whole Soy Foods (Serving size: 1-2 servings a day)
When you’re shopping, look for whole soy foods over isolated soy protein powders like fake meats with soy isolate. Try eating tofu, tempeh, miso, edamame and soy nuts. They’re good sources of protein and help guard against hormonally driven cancers, such as prostate cancer and breast cancer. However from what I have researched, I choose not to consume soy that is not fermented.

3. Cruciferous Vegetables (Serving size: Unlimited)
Cruciferous vegetables belong to the cabbage family. What’s great about these greens is that they protect against cancer. Look for cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, kale and brussels sprouts.  I have adapted to eat some of these every day.

4. Healthy Fats (5-7 serving a day; 1 serving is equal to 1 teaspoon of oil)
Not all fats are bad for you – some types actually protect your heart, like omega-3 fatty acids. If you’re looking to increase your intake of good fats and cut out the bad ones, make sure you add these to your grocery list: hemp seeds, flaxseeds, walnut oil, olive oil, hazelnut oil and omega-3 eggs. I have hemp protein shake daily, with flaxseeds, and olive oil daily. However I haven’t tried hemp seeds yet.  

5. Whole and Cracked Grains (3-5 servings a day; 1 serving is 1/2 cup cooked)
The good types of whole grain products are ones where you can actually see the grain or large chunks of grain. These foods won’t raise blood sugar the way products made with flour and sugar do. Stock up on basmati rice, wild rice, brown rice, buckwheat, barley, groats and quinoa.  I now only eat brown rice, and love my whole grain angel hair pasta! Dr. Weil recommends cooking it al dente so it doesn’t spike glucose levels.

For healthy Lungs he recommends

Eat Beta-Carotene rich foods such as squash, carrots, mangos, musk melon, pumpkin, dark leafy greens.  Protect lungs from environmental hazards.  
He also recommends Zhu ling (supplement) a medicinal mushroom to help with lung problems, and promote lung health.

For a healthy Heart he recommends

Garlic- About 1-2 garlic cloves daily. It’s a super herb, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol, powerful infection and cancer fighter.  It’s a natural antibiotic. As much as I love garlic and garlic powder in pretty much all my cooking, I take a garlic supplement. Allicin is what gives us the health benefits of garlic.

CoQ10 (supplement) is a natural compound made in the body that increases the use of oxygen in cells, especially in heart muscle cells and other muscle cells. You want to take it with a fat to be absorbed, so take with a large meal, preferably a soft gel for absorption.  I learned from Dr. Mercola that CoQ10 by itself is also known as ubiquinone. To benefit from the form of the nutrient needed to produce cellular energy and help you reduce the typical signs of aging, your body must convert the ubiquinone to ubiquinol. Your body naturally makes this conversion, but after the age of 40 or sooner depending on your health your body’s ability finds it harder to do, so already converted ubiquinol is then recommended in older people.

Natural Antibiotics he recommends 

Menuka Honey- Helps with cuts or wounds.  Apply on cut or wound and bandage over.

Goldenseal- Helps with sore throats. Prevents bacteria from adhering to cells walls.  Take a teaspoon of Goldenseal and pinch of salt in water and gargle. 

Andrographis-  A Powerful anti-inflammatory and antibiotic; especially for repertory infections.  Have as hot tea.   Also comes in capsules.

Recommended Proteins and ones to Avoid 
Vegetarians of any kind need to make sure they’re getting enough protein in their daily diet. Here are a few tips from Dr. Mercola in choosing alternative protein sources apart from natural whole foods.  

NO- Protein bars and shakes made with Soy Protein Isolate.  Soy protein isolate contains antinutrients that can actually delay your body's ability to digest food and absorb nutrients into the blood stream.

YES- What Is safe regarding Soy- Only fermented soy should be eaten such as tempeh, miso, tamari and natto.  Un-fermented soy contains toxins.  People who have low thyroid function or disease should not eat soy products.  Men should use soy in moderation unless they need to lower their testosterone levels.  Always buy organic soy products, not GMO (genetically modified organisms) or genetically modified soy.  Eat soy products in moderation...more is not necessarily better, but could be toxic to your health.

YES- Protein bars and shakes with protein sources coming from Whey Concentrates that comes from raw unpasteurized organic milk from grass fed cows.   A great healthy product is Dr. Mercola’s Whey Bar which has 15 grams of protein made with premium dark chocolate that is sugar free.  I would love to try this sometime, but it’s a little pricy.

NO- You don’t want to use Whey Isolates (cause long term complications).  They are acid processed and difficult to dissolve in water.  Protein isolates are proteins stripped away from their nutritional cofactors.

YES- You want to use non-denatured whey protein Concentrate.   It needs to be water soluble. 

NO- you don’t want protein bars of shakes that contain sugar alcohols, glycerin, or gluten, and some even use high fructose corn syrup.  Choose naturally sweetened ones.  Completely avoid the use of synthetic preservative chemicals.

YES- Only use 100% natural and non-GMO ingredients.   I get SOURCE NATURALS True Whey Premium Protein Powder because I can’t afford to buy Dr. Mercola’s at this time.

"As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world -- that is the myth of the atomic age -- as in being able to remake ourselves".