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What is a Pegan Diet?

vegetables-1620558_1920

Much to the delight of many people who changed their diets to Vegan or Paleo, the so-called Pegan Diet has now taken the world by storm and provides sensitive souls with options that are healthy, natural and ethical.

But what is it? Well, it’s a blend of Vegan (no animal products at all) and Paleo (no grains). Many vegans find they have issues with eating grains, causing all sorts of health problems.

Even some doctors say it’s the best diet

Dr Mark Hyman explains why you should go Pegan in this brilliant article: http://www.alternet.org/food/why-i-am-pegan-or-paleo-vegan-and-why-you-should-be-too

Some Pegan enthusiasts, including Dr Hyman, believe that adding sustainable, organic meat, fish and eggs as a condiment is also fine, though this blog prefers to stick to no animal products.

As discussed in this blog, eating animal products is not good for you or the planet, and definitely not good for the animals. Also, eating grains can cause all sorts of health problems because humans are not suited to eating grain.

Eat ten-a-day

The UK is pushing for people to eat ten-a-day now, meaning ten portions of fresh fruit and vegetables, which is a vast improvement on the meagre five-a-day that people were previously advised was sufficient for good  health (1).

Eating ten-a-day will not only keep you healthy, but will also improve your health and help alleviate symptoms of illness, if not reverse illness altogether.

Providing veg and fruit is organic or at least spray-free (start growing your own) and you remove meat, dairy and grains from your diet, you will be amazed at how your health improves. And you will most likely lose weight if you are overweight. Try it!

What do Pegans eat?

It’s not all that difficult to eat Pegan. Think about fruit salads, fresh green salads, veggie soups, veggie stews, potato rosti, ratatouille, veggie curries, baked potatoes, chili-beans, veggie stir-fry, foods that everyone is already familiar with.

potatoes-637370_1920

The foods that aspiring Pegans think they will miss the most, though, are cheese, mayonnaise, and of course, bread, cakes and biscuits. But, there are Pegan alternatives to these. You can get Vegan cheese and mayo, and you can make delicious sweet treats without grains.

So, go Pegan and be good to the planet and to you.

 

  1. https://www.newscientist.com/article/2122064-you-should-be-eating-10-pieces-of-fruit-or-veg-every-day-not-5

 

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The natural ethical alkaline diet

Even if you don’t have any major desire to save the planet, you may still be concerned with your health, and you may even have stumbled upon the excellent and very natural alkaline diet.

salad-791891_1280

The alkaline diet advocates eating food that creates a slightly alkaline environment in the body, which is then conducive to perfect health. Some people even believe that keeping the body within an optimal pH range is a matter of life or death.(1)

I am one of those people and I base it on the fact that an organism that is acid is advertising to various decomposition elements that it is dying, or is dead.

Soon after the heart stops beating, cells become deprived of oxygen, and their acidity increases as the toxic by-products of chemical reactions begin to accumulate inside them.
https://www.theguardian.com/science/neurophilosophy/2015/may/05/life-after-death

What happens when your body becomes acid?

When the body becomes acid, enzymes already present in the body start to digest cells. These enzymes only go into action when the body becomes acid, because it is the only environment in which it can function.

The same can be said for huge quantities of bacteria present in the body. The immune system keeps these in check while the body is slightly alkaline, but as soon as it becomes acid, the bacteria thrive and start to digest the flesh.

Normal metabolic function creates acid as a toxic byproduct and this is safely dealt with by the kidneys in a body that is at a healthy pH level – sightly alkaline. But, if the body is too acid, the kidneys can’t cope so the excess acid gets stored in the blood, ready for disposal later. (2)

If the acid continues to accumulate, though, it runs out of safe storage areas and the corrosive acid permeates the cells in the body. The enzymes and bacteria can’t tell the difference between a highly acid live body or an acid dead one, so they get started. The process creates diseases.

When our pH level is unbalanced, almost any area of our bodies can be negatively affected creating results such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, weight problems, allergies, fatigue and premature aging as well as problems with our nervous system, cardiovascular system and muscles.

http://www.shapefit.com/health/body-acidity-problems.html

So, whether it’s a matter of life or death, or a matter of having a healthy pain-free, disease-free body, it makes sense to keep the body within the optimal pH range.

How to check your acidity level

But what does this mean? The first thing is to find out what the acidity level is in the body and the second thing is to understand what the figure means.

It’s easy to do. You can use pH strips specially created for the purpose. Some pharmacies stock them, or you can get them on Amazon.

You just spit on them or pee on them, and within 15 seconds they turn to a colour that you test against the colour indicator.

This is what they look like:

1-pH

As you can see, the pH values range from 4.5 through to 9.0. 4.5 is very acid and 9.0 is very alkaline. In comparison, vinegar is 3.0 while baking soda is 9.0. 7 is neutral and good water has a pH of 7. The ideal body pH is 7.3 to 7.45. That is quite a narrow range so it does mean that one should take great care to keep within it.

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How to alkalise your body

The best way to alkalise your body is to get lots of oxygen into it, from exercising and even deep breathing – or singing. Also, one should avoid certain acid forming foods and drinks in favour of alkaline forming foods and drinks.

For a detailed list of which foods you should eat, and which to avoid, you can download an excellent pdf chart from http://www.energiseforlife.com/

You will see from that chart that the alkaline diet is also a natural and ethical diet. I’m going to show this by inserting our chart of natural ethical foods with an added column – alkaline/acid range.

Natural ethical food list with pH

Copyright Natural Ethical Food

 

The alkaline diet is a natural ethical diet

You can see that, on the whole, the alkaline diet is a natural ethical diet, and is therefore wholly endorsed by this blog.

Have any of you tried the alkaline diet? Has it done anything good for you? I have two friends who have recently gone on to this diet. They both lost 6 kg in a month without counting calories and never feeling hungry. They also both report increased health and energy – and happiness.  I’ve eaten like this for many years and my health problems never returned. It’s obviously worth a try. Let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

 

 

  1. http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-6243/How-to-Balance-Your-pH-to-Heal-Your-Body.html
  2. 2. http://www.shapefit.com/health/body-acidity-problems.html

 

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I’m moving

Hello to all the wonderful followers of my blog.

I made a decision recently to move from WordPress to my own blog, and I hope you will all be happy to follow me there. I will move you across anyway, and you will be able to unsubscribe if you would rather not follow me there.

But, I hope you stay because I will be offering you some more interesting articles soon 🙂

All the articles that were on the old site are now on:

naturalethicalfood.com

Bless you for staying with me and for trying to make the world a better place.

Best wishes

Jennie

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2015 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2015 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 17,000 times in 2015. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 6 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

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25. Is food combining natural and ethical?

What is food combining?

Food combining as a dietary discipline came out first with the so-called Hay diet in the 1920s, which advocated eating vegetables with either carbohydrates, or meat and fat, and eating fruit in separate meals. This format has been advocated in various forms since then.

File:Food Combining Chart.png

By Qwesar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

However, the question arises, based on other posts in this blog: is food combing natural and ethical?

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Is food combining natural?

This post is a follow-up on my previous high-protein or high-carb diet post

The reason why these two posts are part of the same argument is because what emerged from that post is the fact that certain animal species have certain body types and lifestyles that govern which foods can be captured, eaten and digested, and these foods tend to be found in certain combinations of food components.

For example, take a lion. It has the build, power, speed, claws and teeth to be able to catch, kill, tear open and eat a large animal. Further, its digestive system is suited to eating a high protein (animal muscle) high-fat diet as it has a short digestive tract ensuring that rotting meat does not stay in the system too long. The nature of the difficulty of capturing animals ensures that lions don’t eat too often, so they don’t get fat despite the high fat intake and relative laziness they appear to display much of the time.

However, what arises from this observation is the list of food components eaten by a lion. It will consume meat, fat, blood, skin, hair, bones, digestive tract contents (fermenting vegetable foods normally) and possibly some soil. They may look for certain herbs or grasses to swallow to aid digestion. They may even eat berries if they are about. They don’t rush off and eat grains or dairy.

Here you can see what it takes to be a true carnivore in close up view (note the size and shape of the teeth and the lack of utensils, romantic music and wine):

On the other end of the scale is the herbivore: horses, cattle, deer, rabbits etc. On the whole they graze much of every day on grasses and any grains that come with them. A little soil may also be consumed. They don’t rush off looking for meat or fish to eat. They don’t make bread out of the grains. Certainly, dairy doesn’t interest them once they have stopped suckling from their mothers.

Their digestive tracts are suited to holding grains long enough to enable them to ferment, as this is the only way grains can be thoroughly digested if they haven’t been sprouted. This is because grains and seeds contain proteins and lectins that are difficult to digest, such as gluten in wheat, which can cause bowel inflammation, ulcers and insulin problems (http://paleoleap.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/)  The reason why grains and seeds have these difficult to digest compounds is to protect the seeds long enough for them to germinate. Upon germination, most of the protective devices disappear, making sprouts a healthy alternative. Herbivores have digestive tracts that help ferment grains.

Here you can see a close view of a cow chewing the cud  (note the flat teeth):

Finally, we come to omnivores which eat some or all of these food groups: plants, fungi, algae, seeds, fruit, insects, eggs and small animals and birds that they can easily catch without tools or weapons. They do not consume milk beyond babyhood. Primates (like us) fall within this category (see https://naturalethicalfood.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/the-human-primates-natural-food/) together with bears, squirrels and birds.

Here you can watch a monkey eating fruit (note the use of the hand to hold the fruit – carnivores and herbivores don’t do this):

There are three natural types of food combining

What this comes down to is that in nature there are three types of food combining:

  1. Carnivorous (mainly meat, fat, skin, bones and fermented digestive tract material)
  2. Herbivorous (mainly grasses and herbs)
  3. Omnivorous (a variety of herbs, fruit, nuts, seeds, algae, fungi, insects, eggs, small animals)

What is notable is that while animals eat combinations of foods suited to their species and makeup, they don’t suffer from obesity or disease. As soon as their diets are changed, their bodies come under stress. This can be seen with some proprietary dog and cat foods that contain mostly grains (often GM). These animals often have to be put on anti-inflammatory drugs from middle-age onward. Another notable is that not one of these groups consumes dairy foods beyond suckling age.

So this tells us that to eat naturally, one should consider which of the three groups one’s body belongs to, and eat accordingly. Also, consider that dairy should not be consumed by any of the groups, past babyhood. Ethically, the omnivorous diet covers humans who choose not to kill, or cause, or be party to pain or suffering of any creature. This could mean taking up a fruitarian diet or a vegan diet.

Which type of food combining is natural and ethical?

The way to decide it to compare a human’s dental make-up with that of other apes. To short-cut this process, the human dental makeup is closest to that of the Bonobo ape. You can see this in this interesting video:

Interestingly, what emerges from this is that the Bonobos with their flat canine teeth do not kill each other or any other creature, while chimpanzees will kill and eat each other and any other creature that they can catch. This means that you, as a conscious human, can choose to eat as a chimpanzee or as a Bonobo. Choosing the Bonobo way ensures that you can eat ethically without any danger of your dying of hunger or malnutrition.

This video carries this message of choice across very clearly:

So, is food combining natural? Yes, definitely, providing the eater is eating foods that fall within the range of foods suited to their species and digestive makeup.

Is food combining ethical? For omnivores, it can be, should they choose foods that do not necessitate killing, pain or suffering.

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Is food combining natural and ethical?

What is food combining?

Food combining as a dietary discipline came out first with the so-called Hay diet in the 1920s, which advocated eating vegetables with either carbohydrates or meat and fat, and eating fruit in separate meals. This format has been advocated in various forms since then.

File:Food Combining Chart.png

By Qwesar (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons

However, the question arises, based on other posts in this blog: is food combing natural and ethical? See these posts for some background:

https://naturalethicalfood.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/seeds-is-it-natural-and-ethical-to-eat-them/

https://naturalethicalfood.wordpress.com/2014/03/28/dairy-products-are-they-natural-and-ethical-food/

Is food combining natural?

This post is a follow-up on my previous high-protein or high-carb diet post

https://naturalethicalfood.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/high-protein-or-high-carb-diet/.

The reason why these two posts are part of the same argument is because what emerged from that post is the fact that certain animal species have certain body types that restrict what foods can be captured, eaten and digested, and these foods tend to be found in certain combinations of food components.

For example, take a lion. It has the build, power, speed, claws and teeth to be able to catch, kill, tear open and eat a large animal. Further, its digestive system is suited to eating a high protein (animal muscle) high-fat diet as it has a short digestive tract ensuring that rotting meat does not stay in the system too long. The nature of the difficulty of capturing animals ensures that lions don’t eat too often, so they don’t get fat despite the high fat intake and relative laziness they appear to display much of the time.

However, what arises from this observation is the list of food components eaten by a lion. It will consume meat, fat, blood, skin, hair, bones, digestive tract contents (fermenting vegetable foods normally) and possibly some soil. They may look for certain herbs or grasses to swallow to aid digestion. They may even eat berries if they are about. They don’t rush off and eat grains or dairy.

Here you can see what it takes to be a true carnivore in close up view (note the size and shape of the teeth and the lack of utensils, romantic music and wine):

On the other end of the scale is the herbivore: horses, cattle, deer, rabbits etc. On the whole they graze much of every day on grasses and any grains that come with them. A little soil may also be consumed. They don’t rush off looking for meat or fish to eat. They don’t make bread out of the grains. Certainly, dairy doesn’t interest them once they have stopped suckling from their mothers.

Their digestive tracts are suited to holding grains long enough to enable them to ferment, as this is the only way grains can be thoroughly digested if they haven’t been sprouted. This is because grains and seeds contain proteins and lectins that are difficult to digest, such as gluten in wheat, which can cause bowel inflammation, ulcers and insulin problems (http://paleoleap.com/11-ways-gluten-and-wheat-can-damage-your-health/)  The reason why grains and seeds have these difficult to digest compounds is to protect the seeds long enough for them to germinate. Upon germination, most of the protective devices disappear, making sprouts a healthy alternative. Herbivores have digestive tracts that help ferment grains.

Here you can see a close view of a cow chewing the cud  (note the flat teeth):

Finally, we come to omnivores which eat some or all of these food groups: plants, fungi, algae, seeds, fruit, insects, eggs and small animals and birds that they can easily catch without tools or weapons. They do not eat dairy beyond babyhood. Primates (like us) fall within this category (see https://naturalethicalfood.wordpress.com/2013/12/24/the-human-primates-natural-food/) together with bears, squirrels and birds.

Here you can watch a monkey eating fruit (note the use of the hand to hold the fruit – carnivores and herbivores don’t do this):

There are three natural types of food combining

What this comes down to is that in nature there are three types of food combining:

  1. Carnivorous (mainly meat, fat, skin, bones and fermented digestive tract material)
  2. Herbivorous (mainly grasses and herbs)
  3. Omnivorous (a variety of herbs, fruit, nuts, seeds, algae, fungi, insects, eggs, small animals)

What is notable is that while animals eat combinations of foods suited to their species and makeup, they don’t suffer from obesity or disease. As soon as their diets are changed, their bodies come under stress. This can be seen with some proprietary dog and cat foods that contain mostly grains (often GM). These animals often have to be put on anti-inflammatory drugs from middle age onwards.Another notable is that not one of these groups consumes dairy foods beyond suckling age.

So this tells us that to eat naturally, one should consider which of the three groups one’s body belongs to, and eat accordingly. Also, consider that dairy should not be consumed by any of the groups, past babyhood. Ethically, the omnivorous diet covers humans who choose not to kill, or cause, or be party to pain or suffering of any creature. This could mean taking up a fruitarian diet or a vegan diet.

Which type of food combining is natural and ethical?

The way to decide it to compare a human’s dental make-up with that of other apes. To short-cut this process, the human dental makeup is closest to that of the Bonobo ape. You can see this in this interesting video:

Interestingly, what emerges from this is that the Bonobos with their flat canine teeth do not kill each other or any other creature, while chimpanzees will kill and eat each other and any other creature that they can catch. This means that you, as a conscious human, can choose to eat as a chimpanzee or as a Bonobo.  Choosing the Bonobo way ensures that you can eat ethically without any danger of your dying of hunger or malnutrition.

This video carries this message of choice across very clearly:

So, is food combining natural? Yes, definitely, providing the eater is eating foods that fall within the range of foods suited to their species and digestive makeup.

Is food combining ethical? For omnivores, it can be, should they choose foods that do not necessitate killing, pain or suffering.

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24. High protein or high carb diet?

Why do people follow a high-protein diet?

In order to lose weight, many people are following either a high-protein/medium-fat/low-carb diet, or a raw-vegan diet (high-carb/low-protein/low-fat). The high-protein diets (Paleo/Atkins/Harcombe etc) are very popular as they almost guarantee weight loss without having to count calories or restrict portions. How does this work? We need to look at what happens to food when it’s digested.

Very simply:

  • When carbohydrates are eaten and digested, glucose is created, which goes into the bloodstream as an energy source. If there is too much glucose in the bloodstream at any one time, the pancreas injects insulin into the bloodstream. This allows the liver to turn the glucose into glycogen and store it for later use (in the liver and muscles). When blood sugar levels drop, the liver converts the glycogen into glucose and pushes it in to the blood stream. Glucose from carbohydrates can only be stored as glycogen in limited quantities.
  • When protein is eaten it is broken down into bits called amino acids, ready to be reconstructed as the body needs these building blocks. Stored protein can be used as fuel in lean times, when it is broken down into glucose.
  • When fats are eaten they are broken down into fatty acids that travel about in the blood and get used by cells that need the energy. Fatty acids that don’t get used quickly get stored in fat cells (that have unlimited capacity), and when blood sugar is low, the pancreas produces a hormone called lipase which breaks the stored fat into fatty acids and puts them in to the bloodstream, ready to be used for fuel.

In summary: both carbohydrates and fats provide the body with energy, and if there is too much glucose or fatty acids in the bloodstream, these are stored as glycogen and fat for later use.

What this means is that if you sit down and eat a meal of carbohydrates and fat (bread and butter, potato with sour cream, fish and chips) the energy from the carbohydrates will be used first as this is immediately available as glucose, and the energy from the fats will be stored.baked-potato-522482_640

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If you eat a high-protein/low-carb-medium-fat diet , you have very little glucose in the bloodstream for energy, so the fats you eat provide the energy you need.

If you keep your fat intake fairly low, at some stage you will have burned up the fatty acids in your bloodstream, so your body breaks down the fats stored in your fat cells, and you lose weight.

But, before you rush off and buy a leg of beef, be warned – there are inherent dangers in this type of diet:

  • You can increase your risk of osteoporosis as high amounts of protein require high amounts of calcium to digest it, and if you don’t eat enough calcium-rich foods, your body will leach the calcium from your bones.
  • Your kidneys are responsible for filtering protein from the blood, so they can take strain if faced with having to filter high quantities of protein as well as the waste products created when protein is processed.
  • When your body turns fat into energy (whether this is fat you have just eaten or fat in your cells), this creates ketones. Some ketones are used by the brain and heart and other organs as energy. This is why it is important to eat some good-quality fat. However, the ketone acetone can be dangerous.  This normally gets expelled in the breath or urine, but too much in the system can cause death.
  • If your carbs and fat intake are low, your body will break down protein in your tissues, as well as fat in your fat cells, for energy.

Which is natural: high protein or high carb?

First, let’s look at this in a general natural sense. I will show you how animals tend to eat either a high-carb/low-protein/low-fat diet , a high-protein/low-carb/medium-fat diet, or a medium-protein/medium-carb/medium-fat diet, and what they eat has everything to do with their lifestyles and how much energy they expend in daily living and in getting food.

Lions, tigers, leopards, cheetahs, wild cats, panthers, wild dogs, foxes, wolves etc will hunt an animal to eat, taking some time ans spending lots of energy over the process and not being successful each time they try. They may go for days without food. When they do catch an animal, they eat huge quantities at one time, and they eat the muscles, fat, skin, hair, blood, intestinal matter (which helps digest the food) and bones (which supplies them with calcium and prevents bone density loss as explained above). Their diet is high-protein/medium-fat/low-carb, and when they eat, which is not often, they gorge on food. They exercise vigorously when hunting, but spend the rest of the time being fairly sedentary. Here is a video of lions with their kill:

Horses, bison, elephants, cattle and  some species of baboon eat mainly grass and leaves and any grains and seeds that come with this. This is a high-carb/low-protein/low-fat diet and these animals keep on the move, eating often, yet taking time to rest and digest food. They don’t run unless they need to, or in play or courtship. This is a video of wild horses grazing:

Monkeys, mice, birds, squirrels and rodents graze all day on fruits, grasses, grains, insects, eggs, nuts and anything else they find edible as suited to their species. They are constantly on the move, and they move quickly, and they eat almost continuously as they find food. This is a video of a Spider monkey eating fruit:

Gorillas and orang-utans eat leaves, fruits, roots and insects. Chimpanzees and baboons eat anything, including small mammals and birds, if they can catch them. They keep fairly active, though spend quality time resting. They tend to eat regularly but not constantly.

So this shows that high-protein and high-carb diets are natural, and that the respective animal types’s energy expenditure balances out the calories they gain from the food they eat.

Match the type of food you eat to your lifestyle and exercise regime

Orang-outang up a tree eating leaves

Orang-outang eating leaves

In nature, if food is easy to get, it probably has a low energy value, so animals need to eat a lot of it and often. Foods with higher energy values take either a lot of time or a lot of energy (or both) to get hold of, so less of it is eaten (they are not eating all day as do fruit eaters) ensuring that in the natural world, animals don’t eat more food than their bodies need.

This is how nature keeps a perfect balance. Think about it: you don’t see obese monkeys, lions or squirrels, yet they don’t diet. Nature makes sure that the amount of effort and time they are prepared to put into finding food is related to the energy value of the food.

Humans have bypassed this formula, though, and many people who rarely do any vigorous exercise have easy access to high calorie value foods, causing weight problems.

Which is the most ethical diet?

Our ethics, as we have seen, involve not killing, especially not killing animals. So, this makes it very difficult to eat an ethical high-protein/low-carb diet, since there is no low-carb plant food available. Thus, we are left with:

  • Raw foods (fruits and greens) (high-carb/low-fat/low-protein) for those who donlt exercise too hard.
  • Grains/legumes/roots/starchy fruits and greens (high-carb/low-fat/low-protein) for those who go tot he gym or play sport.
  • All of the above plus oils, nuts and seeds (high-carb/medium-fat/medium-protein) for those who do sport that burns lots of energy.

And here is some inspiration for those are still considering going vegan (or natural/ethical):

How do you plan your meals as a vegan? Do you struggle with ill-health or weight problems? I would love to hear from you.

Next post: Is food combining natural?

 

Bibliography:

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/5-negative-high-protein-diet-effects.html#b

http://www.diabetesforecast.org/2011/mar/how-the-body-uses-carbohydrates-proteins-and-fats.html

Image credits:

Hairy Orangutan Eating by papaija2008