Whole Food Plant Based | twelfth month

Suddenly you’re here.
Les Miserables

This escalated quickly!

It started as an experiment over a year ago? Wow, time flies. Alot has happened in these months. My mother died of lung cancer in combination with stroke on 26.12.2015, my mother-in-law got a cardiac pacemaker in early 2016 and my father-in-law is struggling with prostate cancer.

In October 2015 the World Health Organization declared red meat a carcenogenic group 2A and processed meat a carcenogenic group 1 – that’s the group smoking cigarettes, asbestos and nuclear waste is in. And what do these stubborn old farts do? Bacon for breakfast, Schnitzel for lunch and Leberwurst for dinner!

I’m baffled how hard it is for some people to adapt to new concepts and change their old ways accordingly. The research is there, in plain sight for everyone with internet-access and knowledge of basic English. This must be Big Broccoli having their way with us, right?!

My mother, who told me to eat my veggies when I was little, died early from a diet of yoghurt, Müllermilch and laxatives. How weird is that? But it all fits together so perfectly. Free radicals, antioxidants, colesterol, degenerative deseases, human jaws and intestines … everything.

Darth Oliver in “The Egg Board Strikes Back”

The American Egg Board recently tried to quash the rise of Hampton Creek’s egg alternative “Just Mayo”. The thing is that the Egg Board is a tax funded organisation commissioned to protect the american egg industry. But they can not simply lie about the benefits of eating eggs. How inconvenient is that?!

If you can not do your job properly by just stating false claims, use a ventriloquist’s dummy! Chefs and food-bloggers do have the freedom of “being wrong” in their “beliefs”. You just need to hand them some (tax)money, and they will tell whatever you want them to. Worked like a charm with Jamie Oliver who is eagerly telling us how healthy eggs are:

eggs are healthy

And he is by far not the only one telling what he has been paid for. It is a common part of the marketing mix of companies and industries by now to have bloggers and youtubers advertising products. So we better think twice before accepting an opinion as genuine, no matter how uncommercial the source seems.

 

All Calories Are Equal

Everyone has heard multiple times in their lives that vegatables are healthy, colesterol is bad and how “an apple a day keeps the doctor away”, right?

Common sense is though, that it doesn’t really matter what we put into our mouths. Yeah, yeah, if we eat too much we get fat and if we don’t eat enough we starve but besides that: as long as it tastes good it should be OK.

This is weird because we accept that these little pills our doctor has put us on do make a difference to our health. But those 35 tons of food we eat during our lifetimes do not?

A presentation by Dr. Neal Barnard addresses in depth how food-choice is linked to degenerative disease in western societies.

The Paleo Diet

We need to eat like our ancestors of the Paleolithic Period did because this is how we have evolved!
Paleotitian

Seems legit at first glance, doesn’t it? Let’s give it a little more thought. Our ancestors goal, 2.5 million years ago, was to get into their late thirties without starving. Ours is not. We’d rather live into our eighties without degenerative deseases these days.

But let’s just assume it would be a good idea to mimic their behaviour for the sake of argument, shall we? Imagine wandering a Savannah with wood spear and stone knife in hand. You are also equipped with the knowledge of sparking a fire and identifying edible plants. Medical treatment consists of a Shaman dancing and chanting. Would you rather plug berries and dig up roots or hunt animals?

Maybe there has been a drought so no berries to plug and no roots to dig up. Because starving isn’t an option either, you grumpily decide to hunt that gazelle over there. You run after the poor beast until it collapses from heat. This is called Persistence Hunting and works because we can regulate our body temperature by sweating. Gazelles can not. Unfortunately that whole running burns a lot of calories and is quite dangerous (broken ankles, stirred up lions, etc.). If only there had been no drought 🙁

You now loom above a collapsed gazelle. Luckily you got your tools at hand, your body alone is neither capable of carving nor digesting the animal. After you have eaten the roasted meat you sit at the fire, musing about how desperate and bloody that hole endeavour had been.

Considering the risk/reward ratio, hunting must have been a rare and frantic act in the beginning. As our tools and techniques evolved over the centuries, this ratio shifted to the better. The big game-changer had been the invention of agriculture around 11,500 years ago. From then on we had carbohydrates without foraging and animal produce without risk.

This is what a Doctor of Medicine has to say about Paleo:

The human body | Master Of Utilization

Everything you put into your mouth is either carbohydrate (carbs), fat or protein – a macronutrient. Ideally, brains run on carbs (glucose), while muscles run on carbs for high intensity (anaerobic), and fats on low intesity (aerobic) activities. But what if things are less than perfect? Your body will metabolize subpar energy sources in order to function. Even the protein your muscles are built from can be consumed for energy in a starvation-scenario. You can also run on fat alone if the preferred carbohydrates are unavailable. This is called Ketogenesis and smells pretty bad.

“Paleo” is a low-carb, high-protein diet. It works really well for weight loss, because you force your body into an adverse situation, where the preferred energy source (carbs) is scarce. I went down to 10% bodyfat on this kind of diet over two years, vast amounts of sports involved.

Paleo as a lifestyle

If your single goal is weight loss, it might work out for you. For me it didn’t and here is why:

Strain

My body did send a clear message after those two years: stop that, it hurts! I had an inflammation built up in my right shoulder and elbow. Now, eight years later, my shoulder is not back to normal.

Doubt

As mentioned above I no longer believe that we are born to eat diets high in fat and protein. When I look into the mirror I see a primate, not the teeth/claws of a carnivore.

Mood

You’re Not You When You’re Hungry
Snickers

On a low-carb diet I’d been pretty much hungry all the time because my body lacked the carbs to burn comfortably. Again: this works well for weight loss, but it’s not a feel-good lifestyle to me. Even a friend of mine noticed that “I am not the fun guy I used to be.”

Have you experienced a Paleo or low-carb diet yet? How did it work out for you?

The Vegan Menace

According to the German Vegetarian Association we had around 10% vegatarians and 1.1% vegans by January 2015. So refusing animal products can safely be considered “not normal”.

But are these vegans a menace to society, as some claim, ready to overthrow economies by force and plunge us all into a dark age of minimalism? Or are they just delusional but harmless individuals fond of yoga?

I will provide intel by gathering vital information from the battlefield of vegan nutrition to aid you in your quest for wisdom. Yes, I am that heroic.