Vegetarian vs Meat Eater : What you should know about the age-old debate

“What are you talking about!? humans are supposed to eat meat. Clearly, our bodies aren’t meant to eat only fruits and vegetables. Plus, what do you think our canine teeth are for?”


How many of you have heard this age-old debate one time or another?

You’re at a party.

You’re at work.

You’re somewhere.

2 people are having a debate about what humans are meant to eat.

It’s a classic.

Right up there with religion and politics.

“In the red corner, we have Meat Eater!”

“In the blue: Plant-eater!”

Most times (in my experience), the meat eater uses protein Canine teeth debatable evidence of meat eating in humansand canine teeth as their primary weapons of argument.

On the other side, plant food person cites and quotes information they have just learned about. Often from a new vegan raw foods documentary, they just watched on Netflix.

The battle rages, phones are whipped out, Google is used, questions are answered, but to no avail. Neither person wins. Both are left without a clear. answer.

I’m not here to tell you who is right, what I am here to do is give you some pointers for whichever way you lean, democrat or rep…I mean, meat eater or plant eater.

Let’s get into it.


People’s diet likes/dislikes can be unique to their bodies physiology

This isn’t to say some of us are strictly built to consume meat, or strictly built to consume fruits and vegetables. Our bodies have many traits that would like us to herbivores, although humans clearly have a great fondness for meat. Our bodies digest both, yet some of us love broccoli and bananas, while others love a 24 oz T-bone steak. Then what is the defining factor that leads someone to like one type of food over the other?

The answer may be in our genetics

Researchers at Cornell University have found a genetic variation they said appears to have evolved in populations that favored vegetarian diets over hundreds of years, according to the Washington Post.

Meaning, people of certain cultures are genetically programmed to like a vegetarian diet over the traditional western diet (high in red meat, dairy products, and refined foods).

The same way our genes decide our hair color, they may also be deciding our nutritional choices.

The Washington Post article goes on to state, This genetic variation might actually be detrimental to people’s health if they are to stray from a vegetarian diet. Claiming, straying from a vegetarian can make these individuals more susceptible to things such as inflammation because their bodies were optimized for a different mix of inputs.

So, what if you are one of the many without this genetic variation? Lucky you. Your diet retains its freedom. Meaning, eat what you prefer and you will not feel the same consequences because your body isn’t adapted to eat only vegetarian.


On the flip side, many people crave meat

Your body may urge you to turn into the hamburger joint more often than most. This unexpected meat craving you often experience can sometimes be attributed to our body’s state of being.

People with iron deficiencies often crave red meat

Red meat contains high amounts of iron. Iron helps the body transfer oxygen in the form of red blood cells. WomenIron helps red blood cells carry oxygen throughout your body have sometimes experienced red meat cravings prior to, or during their menstrual cycles. Similarly, your body may crave meat when it is not receiving adequate amounts of protein. Protein helps the body build and repair tissue, as well as helping construct other important body substances.

At the end of the day, your body has a big say in what you crave, and what you consume. So, no matter how much of it you attribute to free will or moral choices, sometimes your body itself overrides your autonomy, and silently manipulates your food choices.


From a health perspective, eating vegetarian has an edge

Fruits and veggies seem to be healthier alternatives than meat

When it comes to our anatomy humans are perplexing. Going back to the argument above, our bodies do little to sway the debate in either sides favor.

In the meat eaters defense :

  • Humans have sharp canines (Which could be a lonely anatomical carry over from our ancestors of old and indicative of a heavy meat diet in our misty past)
  • Highly complex bodies that need the abundance of complete proteins found readily available in meat
  • An insatiable craving for meat (Mcdonalds, Burger King, Wendys, Carls Jr, etc!!)
  • Evidence supporting the consumption of meat as a key factor in humans evolutionary growth (Science says humans were scavengers early in our evolutionary development)

On the contrary,

Vegetarians credit :

  • Flat molar teeth as evidence supporting the consumption of fruits and vegetables. Molars help grind and smash fruits and vegetables
  • Our elongated intestinal tract to help digest fruits and vegetables
  • Humans non-predatory early life disposition
  • The plethora of health benefits accompanied by consuming fruits and vegetables

As you can see, both sides offer valid points. So, who’s correct? Well, technically they both are. Humans are technically classified as omnivores. similarly, there are nutritional benefits to eating fruits, vegetables, and meat.

BUT, if there is one factor that can be used as a deal breaker it’d have to be the overall health benefits from either respective diet.


Fruits and vegetables contain far more beneficial nutrients

Meat does provide people with some beneficial nutrients. Iron, B complex vitamins, and complete proteins (to name a few).

These all provide the body with much-needed nutrients that help the body with its daily functions. On top of that, I think most of us can agree that meat tastes pretty damn good. However, when looking at the complete nutritional composition between the two fruits and vegetables clearly take the cake.

Fruits and vegetables are full of advantageous vitamins and minerals your body needs to perform at an optimal function

Many people do not ingest enough vitamins and minerals to meet the daily recommended level.

Failure to do so can lead to a long list of problems with your health.

Diets rich in fruits and vegetables can lower the risk of heart disease and stroke, lower blood pressure, and decrease chances of cancer, according to Harvard chan school of health. Diets complete with fruits and vegetables also help aid the body in digestion and vision.

Consuming fruits and vegetables regularly gives your body what it needs to operate effectively. Consequently, avoiding debilitating problems that arise when not enough of them are consumed.

The high level of vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables perform different duties throughout your body.

A good diet does include a wide range of foods. Different foods provide the body with different forms of nourishment. At the end of the day, fruits and vegetables provide your body with more helpful things than hurtful things, the same can’t be said for meat.


High meat diets are high in other things too

High meat diets have been shown to correlate with high amounts of saturated fat, trans fat, and elevated levels of cholesterol.

NASTY.

Although, not all meat is created equal

Chicken and turkey contain fewer saturated fats than beef and pork. This is because their muscle is external to their fat. Meaning, the muscle (meat) and the fat are separated. This allows the fat to remain out of the meat.

(Not to mention fish! Fish is a wonderful source of lean protein and omega 3 fatty acids. Wild fatty salmon, tuna, and cod to name a few)

Beef and pork contain higher amounts of saturated fats because beef and pork muscle is marbled with fat

Meaning, fat seeps into their meat. So when a piece of meat is cut from a cow or pig, pockets of fat are present in the meat as well. Hence, when you eat this meat you are consuming fat as well.


Cuts of meat marbled with fat are said to taste better than there non-marbled counterparts.

Among the fattiest cuts of meat you have:

  • New York strip (up to 59% of its calories from fat)New york strip has one of the highest fat percentages of any cut of meat
  • Skirt steak (up to 55% of its calories from fat)
  • Pork spare ribs (up to 69% of its calories from fat!)

Consequently, these cuts are also some of the most flavorful.

My stomach growls when writing about them.

On the flip side, skinless white meat chicken breast and turkey breast are known to be healthy alternatives in the meat department. Albeit, less tasty.

My stomach growls have ceased.


Skinless white meat chicken breast contains up to around 10% of its calories from fat. Turkey meat has a relatively low fat percentage

Skinless turkey breast contains about 11% of its calories from fat.

The calorie differential between poultry and red meat is staggering whilst, the taste (to some people) is as well. As a result, people tend to choose the fattier cuts of red meat due to taste.

Although,

If you would like to be more health conscious I’d recommend you start eating poultry instead. If white meat poultry isn’t necessarily your thing, I get it. I’ve met dozens of people who don’t like the taste of white meat chicken or turkey.

But come on people, it is 2019 and food recipes are everywhere!

There are hundreds of recipes out there to get started. Recipes that can turn your chicken breast into a culinary masterpiece.

Eat it all

So, which path should you choose?

The answer really is up to you. Look at your preferences, look at your bodies needs, and choose accordingly. Although, I believe a good balance creates the optimal diet.

Fruits and vegetables should make up the bulk of your diet. The high vitamin and mineral content keeps your body performing ideally, as well as protects you from the debilitating ailments that can occur when not enough is consumed.

Fruits and veggies are free from saturated fats, and low in calories. The high fiber content helps with your digestion by keeping your intestinal tract clean and running smoothly.

When it comes to meat.

Try to stick with skinless white meat poultry and fish.

And, try to limit your intake of red meat.

Occasional splurging is okay. Red meat tastes fantastic when cooked right. Also, devouring a double-double cheeseburger from In-n-Out is just so satisfying, Splurging on your diet once in a while is okayand…American.

But, don’t make this a habit. There is just too much evidence that red meat is unhealthy when consumed in excess.

Although, at the end of the day I do believe we are humans and not robots. I think life should be enjoyed, and this means eating things that tickle your tastebuds. Just try to remain health conscious at the same time.

Red meat should be consumed as a reward, a rarity. If made into an everyday thing it loses its luster.

All the things you consume should be in moderation. Even too much of a good thing can be bad.

So, next time you hear people debating about whether humans are carnivores or herbivores get in the middle and scream, “YOU’RE BOTH CORRECT” and go on your merry way.

5 Overlooked Tips : How to Start a Day Off Right

The morning is where you make or break your day


Set a good foundation and flourish. Lack  the fundamentals and diminish.

Your bed can be beckoning, your stomach growling and your morning breathe spewing.

We can solve that.

Exhausted in the morning? Yea him too


Here are 5 healthy morning rituals to practice if you want to build the best morning routine for health.

Wake up earlier

I know, I know waking up early when you have no obligations is difficult. The siren song emitting from your bed can be irresistible, and the snooze button can be your best friend.

Although, I promise you falling for these pitfalls no matter how enticing, are one sure way of starting your day off on the wrong foot.

Waking up earlier will have a positive impact on your day

By all means, get your 7-8 hours of beauty sleep

But there is no need for more. Waking up early allows for more time to be productive. There is only so much time in the day. By waking up earlier you reward yourself with more time.

Time is an invaluable asset.

Even waking up 1 hour earlier than normal gives you a big advantage. In addition to productiveness, waking up early builds your charisma and self-esteem for the day. It motivates you because you feel accomplished. You resisted your warm beds’ temptations and had the strength and willpower to overcome it. As a result of your conquest, you now get to go show the world who is boss.


Make your bed

I recently talked to someone who told me their thoughts on bed making. She told me :

“yea, I don’t see the point in making your bed. You’re just going to come back at the end of the day and sleep in it anyway, and it’s going to get messy again. So why make it?”

Making your bed helps you feel accomplished

Honestly, I see her point.

Logically she’s right. It will become messy again, so why waste the time making it nice in the first place right?

Wrong.

There’s something more to making your bed. Subconsciously it proves to yourself that you accomplished something. Your conscious mind might not think much of it, but I promise you it has an impact.

Making your bed in the morning has a couple of benefits.

First, it helps you start your day with an achievement.

I know you’re probably laughing at me because I just called making your bed an “achievement”

But hear me out.

By making your bed, you accomplish a task. It’s something you don’t REALLY want to do but you do it anyways. In doing so it helps encourage you to do more tasks. Think of it as the first domino in a line.

Making your bed pushes this domino into the next task and that task into the next. Therefore setting off a sequence of events, resulting in tasks getting done, and accomplishments being made. 


Drink 2 glasses of water first thing in the morning

I’ve realized a lot of people don’t drink enough water throughout their day.

Many people I talk to admit to only drinking a couple of glasses of water a day.

That’s crazy!

Water is critical to your well being. You don’t need me to tell you that. So start drinking. It doesn’t taste bad, what’s stopping you?

Drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning is a healthy jumpstart for your body

Jump start your metabolism

Your metabolism doesn’t stop completely when you sleep, but it does slow down. Dumping 2 glasses of water into your body immediately in the morning kick starts it. Similarly to warming up your car before a long road trip.

Flush your body of toxins

The water you drink first thing in the morning acts like a cleanse or rinse. Any residue in your system will be washed away and excreted. Simply drinking 2 glasses of water in the morning can help raise energy levels, fight disease and sickness, and flush out any malignant toxins.

Would you go for 8 hours without water?

Your answer should be no. If you were to go 8 hours without water you would probably start feeling the effects of dehydration.  Dry mouth, dizziness, fatigue, and the like.Dehydration can lead to uncomfortable side effects

When you sleep you are essentially restricting your body of water.

A healthy adult should be getting 7-8 hours of sleep, and during this time the body isn’t getting any water. Drinking those 2 glasses of water in the morning help replenish your body with the necessary fluids it needs.

Also, this early morning hydration helps the body resist the symptoms of dehydration. Clearing your early morning fuzzies, and giving you the boost you need to start your day off on the right foot.


Brush your teeth

Morning breathe. I could stop there.

But I won’t

Brushing your teeth in the morning helps defend your teeth from the foods of your day

Brushing your teeth in the morning BEFORE breakfast is what you should be doing.

Contrary to popular belief, brushing your teeth before breakfast is actually the correct way to go about it.

My dad is 62. He drinks A LOT of coffee. He’s been drinking A LOT of coffee his whole life. He’s also been brushing his teeth AFTER he drinks his coffee in the morning. I’ve been telling him not too, but he doesn’t seem to listen. I’ll explain why he should in a second.

Essentially, toothpaste contains abrasives that help clear your teeth of food residue, as well as containing agents that protect and strengthen tooth enamel.

Tooth enamel is the protective surface layer of your tooth that helps fight tooth decay. In addition, tooth enamel is the hardest existing material (tissue) found in the human body!Protect your tooth enamel by brushing before eating in the morning

So, why brush before food and drinks? Here’s why.

Ever used a toothpick?

What were you using the toothpick for?

Food residue perhaps. Or maybe just to look cool. I don’t know. I know I use a toothpick because after eating we leave food residue behind in our teeth. Whether it be big pieces or small, the food we eat gets left behind in our chompers. As well as the food itself, the food we eat leaves behind acids that can attack and damage tooth enamel.

This can happen from beverages also.

Coffee, soda, and alcohol are very bad for your teeth. Coffee is heavily acidic. After drinking coffee you leave behind its acids in your teeth. Hence why I have advised my dad to brush his teeth BEFORE drinking coffee.Brush your teeth before drinking coffee

Brushing your teeth before drinking coffee will reinforce the protective shield across your enamel, in turn, fighting and resisting the acids attempts at attacking your enamel. Meaning, your teeth stay protected and healthy.


Drink a fruit smoothie

Smoothies are fun because you can be so creative with them.

You can throw almost anything in there, push blend, and boom. An easily drinkable beverage full of healthy ingredients.

At least you SHOULD put healthy ingredients in there. I make a smoothie every morning. Maybe it doesn’t always taste great, although that’s not what I’m going for when I make mine. I try to pack as many healthy ingredients in my smoothie as I can.

Drink a fruit smoothie a nice way to start your day

Smoothies are easy to drink.

They don’t require the same labor that’s required when chewing solid food. In addition, they don’t require as much time. For these two reasons I like to put as much healthy stuff as I can into my smoothies and throw it back.

Start the morning off with a healthy dose of nutrients.

When you can supply your body with a good nutritious meal first thing in the morning, it gives your body a great foundation for the rest of your day.

Likewise, it allows for you to have a couple of slip ups in your diet throughout the day. That cookie you have at lunch won’t weigh down on your consciousness as much when you already drank a super nutrient dense smoothie at breakfast. Think of it as a diet buffer.

This isn’t to say you shouldn’t try to maintain a healthy, well-balanced diet throughout the day. Just because you had a healthy smoothie, it’s not okay to eat a whole cake…and ice cream…and whipped cream…moderation is key.

Smoothies can taste delicious and be super healthy

I have acquired a taste for my “throw everything in the blender and drink” smoothie. I like the way my smoothies taste. My body also reacts well to the ingredients.

Give it a try. Find some healthy fruits, veggies, or whatever it may be and throw it in your blender. You’ll be surprised how tasty a bunch of healthy ingredients can be.

Here’s a recipe for a smoothie that I think you can’t go wrong with. I think this is a good foundation, you can modify at your liking.

  • 2 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 whole banana
  • 3/4 cup frozen organic blueberriesBlueberries a healthy smoothie ingredient
  • 1/2  cup frozen organic mangoes
  • 1 TBSP chia seeds
  • 1 TBSP peanut butter (with no hydrogenated vegetable oils) (optional)
  • 1 scoop protein powder (optional)

Make the habit

Do these habits seem rudimentary to you?

If you answered yes, you may be right.

Although, nobody should take them lightly.

We can look at these morning rituals as fundamentals that are pivotal to your day. These basic routines if established correctly, can lead to much greater things. Knocking out these healthy exercises in the morning set you up for success and better health.

Furthermore, all of them combined take less than 20 minutes.


They give me the motivation to wake up and start my day.

I knock out my morning routine and feel propelled to tackle my next task. Whether that be going to the gym, going to class, going to work, or even running errands. This morning ritual motivates me to keep succeeding in my day. As a result, more things get done, and my health prospers.

Give it a try. If you’re able to accomplish only a couple of these habits that’s still a win. Success starts with fundamentals, nail your’s down.

Healthy Alternatives for Fast Food? Yes, it’s Possible. Here’s Where

When it comes to eating healthy many questions likely come to mind.


Eating healthy raises many questions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taste?

Affordability?

Convenience?

and what about options?

Any of those come to mind?


Many people will avert the healthy option. Therefore, settling for the more viable, practical fast food approach.

I’ll admit this option does solve many questions.

For instance, Fast food restaurants now have value menus and BOGO (buy one get one) options. The drive-thrus are relatively quick, and they keep their promise on taste. For example, when you order a big mac you know it’s going to taste like a big mac.

These three things alone are enough to get the eater to steer into a drive thru instead of a supermarket.

BUT lucky for you, I have found an alternative. So, if you ever find yourself asking, “is healthy fast food possible?”

I will tell you the answer is yes, yes it is.


First, let us define the meaning of “fast food”

Drive thru

Fast food is :

  • Food that can be ordered quickly and with ease. You can count on your food being ready in less than 10 minutes, and more than likely there is a drive-thru option available.

Okay, pretty good definition right?

Well, that was my definition.

Let’s ask the big dogs (google) and see what they have to say.

According to google fast food is defined as,food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out.”

If we run with this premise it’s safe to say that any food that can be prepared easily and taken out can be labeled as “fast food”. 

This means whether you or somebody else is preparing the food, it’s still fast food. Granted it’s ready in a short amount of time.

Buffet is fast food

Buffet

SO if you think of a buffet…

A buffet qualifies as fast food, right?

1) The food is already prepared

2) The food is ready to be eaten or taken out in less than 10 minutes.

(What I’m trying to do here is change your outlook on fast food)

NO, I am not saying to start eating traditional fast food, I am not advocating that.

What I am saying is that there are other options available which can be credited as fast food.

Okay, now that I have hopefully piqued your interest let me share with you my fantastic fast food alternative.

Usher in, Whole Foods.

Whole foods your new healthy fast food alternative

Yes, Whole Foods.

Whole Foods contains within its walls a comprehensive buffet and salad bar. A perfect alternative.

“But that’s not fast food!”

Let’s take a look at that google definition of fast food one more time (I promise) :

food that can be prepared quickly and easily and is sold in restaurants and snack bars as a quick meal or to be taken out.”

How does Whole Foods qualify you ask? Here’s how :

1) A trip through the Whole Foods buffet takes less than 10 minutes.

2) Whole Foods provides you with to go containers to put your food in. A perfect way to take your buffet and salad bar findings with you when you are on the run.

3) The price isn’t too bad. Yes, it is a little more expensive than traditional fast food but you are eating a far healthier meal for a few extra bucks. Worthy trade in my eyes.

Have I convinced you yet? No? Maybe this picture can help :

A picture doesn’t do it justice either?

Sheesh, you’re hard to please.

Well, since I can’t offer you a bite I’ll explain some of the things that the buffet at Whole Foods offers :

  • Easily accessibility: Hardly any traffic or waits. Grabbing what you want in a matter of minutes should provide no hassle at all.
  • Variety: Whole foods buffet and salad bar offer a wide variety of greens, vegetables, fruits, grains, and even a hot foods section that offers anything from mac and cheese to chicken tikka masala.
  • Healthy options: You can find anything from extra virgin olive oil to walnuts (Both fantastic sources of good fat). Arugula to spinach (Great sources of micro-nutrients and high in iron and calcium). Quinoa to lentils (Both great sources of protein and both provide long sustainable energy due to their complex carbohydrate characteristics). The buffet is packed with healthy options that taste great.
  • Price: At $8.99 /lb you can easily stack your buffet box and not spend a fortune, especially if you are eating mostly greens and veggies that don’t weigh much. The average eater spends anywhere between $5 and $15 at a drive-thru. Why not spend the same amount on food that impacts your body in a positive way.
  • Experience: Trying new food for some people is hard. You may have heard about a food that is healthy for you but you may not know where to buy it or how to prepare it. Whole foods makes that easy for you. It allows the eater to casually try new foods without the pressure of buying and cooking. Many Whole foods also offer a cafeteria area where people can eat. I myself like to skip the cafeteria and wander outside. As well as a cafeteria many Whole Foods have nice outdoor seating, where one can sit in the sun, feel the breeze, and enjoy their food in peace. Like this :


Give it a try

Next time you’re in the mood for a quick meal, give this alternative a try. Search “nearest whole foods” and take a little drive.

While you’re at it, make sure not to pull into any drive-thrus.

Stay the course, and get to the buffet. I guarantee you will find something that pleases your taste buds.

Develop the habit

Replacing just one fast food meal a week with a healthier alternative can make great strides in your diet. If you make this a habit, you can build from there.

One day becomes two, two becomes three, and so on and so forth. I know, I know, I make it sound easy. But nothing worth working for is ever easy, and changing your diet habits is a tough road.

Countless options await at your nearest Whole Foods

Let Whole Foods buffet help you with your segue to a healthier diet. I guarantee you will find something pleasing and healthy among its walls.