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James Coppola

Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian and the Conventional Diet...

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Suzanna McGee
14 hours ago, Jasper Shin said:

Do any of the vegan members here do anything in particular that helps them adhere to the diet especially when family members are against it? Or when meat products and the like are around, any strategies which help avoid consumption?

Jesper, I have been plant-based/vegan for maybe 6 years (after being vegetarian for a few). I reached a point that I do not care what other people think about what I eat. I got many great benefits from my eating habits, and because I look really strong and healthy, and younger than my chronological age, people often ask what I am doing… that's my moment of telling them about my ways to eat, and often I motivate them to eat more fruits and veggies (that is always a good start). You could ask your family members to please respect your dietary choices because they make you feel really great and you just want to eat this way. Often, they accept it. Sooner or later :) Especially when they see how great you are doing. 

When the animal products are around, I do not have ANY temptations or cravings or anything like that anymore. You have a few options during the transition when you still may feel it's hard to be around animal products:

1) bring your own vegan dish, if possible 

2) make a delicious vegan dish to share with others. They may be surprised how delicious it tastes, they will understand you better, and who knows, maybe try making more such dishes themselves. Or for you in the future. 

3) If nothing of the above works, and you still want to participate, I would eat my full vegan meal at home, so I am full and satisfied. Maybe bring some vegan snacks with me, or just have some vegetables or beverages that I find there. 

Eventually, you don't find animal products appealing to your taste buds, as the buds get used to the new flavors. If you ever turn into being ethical vegan (and that can happen) then you definitely won't have any temptations to eat animal products.

 

14 hours ago, Jasper Shin said:

are there any recommendations for eating whole-food plant-based protein and fat intake? I've been feeling drowsiness in the afternoons and noticing I feel a bit more tired recently but I'm not sure why. I

There are so many versions of plant-proteins out there… in whole foods, you have all the legumes (lentils, beans, peas, garbanzos, etc), grains, veggies, nuts and seeds have some… so it adds on during the day if you eat whole foods. You also have many plant protein powders, that you can add into your smoothies, or oatmeal, etc. So you can pretty much construct your diet and the macronutrients like all the other animal diets. Same with the fats. 

Now the next step is for you to figure on what ratios you feel and perform the best. It can take some tweaking and experimenting. For me, my (many) last years, my staples are carbohydrates, 70-80%. Mostly from fruits, dried fruits, vegetables, and some grains (oatmeal, etc). Very very very few processed foods (like a healthy full grain cracker, or a rice cake, etc). My protein is 10-15% and fat 10-15%. It varies from day to day. When you get in touch with your body and how you feel and what it needs, you will choose the foods that support your training. For me, eating all those fresh carbs, doesn't make me tired at all. I chew slow, the fruits and veggies have a lot of fiber, so they get into my blood stream slowly. No huge blood sugar pikes nor drops. This has been working for me really well, because also I have my "sweet tooth" satisfied with all the fruits, so I don't have any cravings. 

Keep experimenting, keep writing down what you eat and how you feel, so you can adjust. (I have a few simple articles on my website about plant-based nutrition basics, if you want to read more). If all this sounds good, feel free to contact me with more questions, if you have in the future. 

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Suzanna McGee
1 hour ago, Alex Pisaturo said:

I am curious on your thoughts on Omega 3s from the flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc.  In all that I've read, the benefit of the Omega 3s is the conversion of them into EPA and DHA.  However, in an omnivoric human diet, about 3% or less is converted from Omega 3 to EPA and 0-0.1% converted to DHA.  In pure vegans, the conversions can raise to about 5% -> 3% respectively.  With regard to DHA being a definitive for neuro tissue health (definitely worth a look into for prenatal reasons as well as Alzheimers, etc), I would assume the main reason to ingest Omega3s is to get to this molecule.  That said, there is probably some researched amount of DHA humans require for optimal neuro function, but I am not aware of it, nor do I know if the 3% or less conversion from EPA to DHA is adequate.  

In addition, I would submit that Omega3s in themselves are not necessarily a good idea to increase because of the 6:3 ratio with respect to anti inflammatory, but that lowering the 6s to adjust that ratio is optimal.  Increasing a fatty acid (in adding Omega 3s) inherently raise the oxidation and metabolic burden on the human system. 

Alex, you are right about the 6:3s ratios, and that we should try to decrease the 6s that can be terribly high in our western diet 25-30:1 instead of 1:1… I think it is much better in the plant-based diet, though. I have not been very obsessive about adding the Omega-3s too much. Some flax/chia seeds, maybe one or two servings here and there… some days yes, some days not. I cannot really speak about the conversion into DHA, however, I have a personal anecdote that adding DHA may be possibly necessary… a few months ago my nails became very brittle and soft and peeling. Only on my hands so I thought maybe it's nothing systemic, and my skin was fine, hair too… but I did a little experiment and I added extra DHA (in a pill, vegan ones) and after several weeks/months, my nails got stronger again… maybe this was a little proof that more DHA is needed in the diet. Maybe I was not just eating enough flax/chia seeds some more of it could be converted. I don't know. I am still adding the DHA (randomly, not daily) into my diet and just paying attention to what my body is doing. I think all these things depend also on so many other factors, how hard I am training (always training) , stressing (I try not to :) ), sleeping (I try always enough) and other small little diet changes… Curious to hear if you have similar observations? 

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Piotr Ochocki
4 hours ago, Alex Pisaturo said:

Ma'am,

I am curious on your thoughts on Omega 3s from the flaxseeds, chia seeds, etc.  In all that I've read, the benefit of the Omega 3s is the conversion of them into EPA and DHA.  However, in an omnivoric human diet, about 3% or less is converted from Omega 3 to EPA and 0-0.1% converted to DHA.  In pure vegans, the conversions can raise to about 5% -> 3% respectively.  With regard to DHA being a definitive for neuro tissue health (definitely worth a look into for prenatal reasons as well as Alzheimers, etc), I would assume the main reason to ingest Omega3s is to get to this molecule.  That said, there is probably some researched amount of DHA humans require for optimal neuro function, but I am not aware of it, nor do I know if the 3% or less conversion from EPA to DHA is adequate. 

That subject is not very well researched I think, some research was done on rats, what may not be fully applicable to humans.

Still, LA, ALA are named essential fatty acids. One of their role indicated is influencing prostaglandins (of different series, by different fatty acids created in the conversion chain towards more unsaturated derivatives).

For example, see this:

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/health-disease/skin-health/essential-fatty-acids

http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/mic/other-nutrients/essential-fatty-acids

On the conversion to EPA, lets say a body has 5% rate, tablespoon (14 gram?) of quality flaxseed oil - 50% ALA, purely theoretical could give 350mg of EPA - many crappy omega-3 supplements have less of EPA/DPA and I suspect it could be completely rancid/oxidized/spoiled anyway.

In the meantime, I'm off for a few days of family Easter with eating a lot, including a lot of cakes, so temporarily onto eat way too much diet ;).

 

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Ivan Pomarico
On 9/29/2016 at 6:33 AM, Suzanna McGee said:

I am a vegan… actually, I want to call it plant-based… because even vegans can actually eat "unhealthy" as long as the food is not animal products… a vegan can theoretically eat processed foods, muffins, ice creams… name it… as long as it is free of animal product. 

I think a whole-foods plant-based diet is better than vegan. 

I mostly eat fresh fruits, vegetables, some sprouted legumes, some nuts and seeds. No processed, no packaged… everything is close to the nature, sort of. I also eat the majority of my foods raw (uncooked). 

I feel like I have a lot of energy, no mood/energy swings, I recover really well from my training (7 days a week). I stay lean and muscular. I feel light all the time, even though I eat 3,000+ calories. I am 51 years, feeling 20 years younger. 

@Malik Blasingame regarding your ice cream cravings, there are yummy vegan ones… or also my favorite is frozen blueberries (or any other berries), and I pour over a "banana milk" — a banana blended with water… the blueberries defrost in that "milk" and the "milk" freezes. So it is a delicious ice cream consistency, yet super healthy and great for you :) 

Same experience here, Suzanne. Plant based since 2014 and never felt better. Since then I am stable at 76 kg for 174 cm. Six packs are there each of the 365 day. Plenty of energy. So much so that I started body weight training and acrobatics right away. I do occasionally eat meat, fish and cheese on social events. Based on my personal experience, I highly recommend a whole food plant based regime. It also seems that it doesn't have to be 100% to reap the benefits.

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