This Is What A Vegan Diet Will Really Do To Your Energy Levels

Our energy levels depend on a few factors, two of which are what foods we eat, and how much we consume. Food is fuel regardless if you lead a plant-based lifestyle or were born, bred, and continue to be omnivorous. Sure, whole foods like vegetables and fruits are recognizably better sources of energy as opposed to animal products, but do vegans have more energy? The answer to that is circumstantial.

Every body requires a certain amount of vitamins and nutrients be consumed daily for optimal performance. It’s true that, in general, eating fruits, vegetables, and more earth-grown foods over processed items is healthier for you, but you can be considered vegan even if your diet were to consist of Oreos and soda. Calling yourself plant-based doesn’t automatically make you healthy, and how your body feels following a vegan diet heavily depends on the nutritional value of each meal.

Vegans aren’t granted a free-for-all pass just because they eat mainly plants. Plant- and meat-eaters alike both have nutritional requirements, and each individual has a set number or percentage of macro and micro nutrients to meet in order for their bodies to thrive properly. It’s not a matter of how easy it is to incorporate more whole foods into your diet. The tricky part is making sure you’re eating enough of them.

By eating less animal meat, your body doesn’t have to use as much energy to digest your food.

Have you ever experienced the rock-in-your-stomach feeling after you’ve eaten a huge plate of steak or a juicy cheeseburger? Animal protein is very dense and takes a lot of time and energy to break down, which is why you may have trouble sleeping if you eat these products close to bedtime.

Plant-based proteins from leafy greens, legumes, and seeds are easily digestible, packed with fiber and energizing properties that can make you feel more alert. Unlike animal meats, these sources of protein offer a punch of energy without the crash effect, which is why vegans often feel lively for longer periods of time.

On the other hand, a lack of protein can negatively affect your energy levels, so plant-based or not, it’s essential that gets the recommended amount.

To put it bluntly, everyone would have more energy if they ate more of the good stuff, and less of the sweet stuff.

I cannot stress enough that, especially for vegans, it is not only you eat, but you eat that counts. Because fruits and vegetables are typically low in calories, it’s important to be aware of how much of what you’re eating is necessary to meet the recommended amount of vitamins, macro, and micro nutrients.

For plant-based eaters specifically, Purple Carrot head chef Andrea Nordby tells Elite Daily that, because a plant-based diet “introduces vitamins and minerals in heavily concentrated amounts, without including a lot of the garbage, fillers, and preservatives that processed foods have,” the absence of added sugars, saturated fats, and simple carbohydrates gives your body more energy.

Getting enough fiber in your diet is also important.

The idea of “fueling” your body with processed meats and refined sugars is an oxymoron. Food items like red meats and junky treats will sit in your stomach like a ton of bricks, take forever to digest, and lead to constipation.

Fiber is a key component to a well-balanced diet, as it encourages consistent bowel movements. To put it simply, the more you poop, the less lethargic and sloth-like you’ll feel, and the more motivated you’ll be throughout the day to do anything but sit and laze around.

According to Nordby, because plant-based diets are incredibly rich in fiber, these foods are “processed slowly throughout the day, stabilizing glucose levels so you have steady energy rather than that 3 p.m. crash and burn feeling.”

Of course, this goes for diet. It’s assumed that vegans have the upper hand when it comes to bathroom behaviors, but this is something can put into practice to ensure easy regularity.

So, do vegans really have more energy? Yes and no. But when it comes to the ones who do, they don’t necessarily have more energy than meat-eaters naturally do. Making sure your body is nourished with the proper amount of vitamins and nutrients is essential for lifestyle, but it’s easy for anyone to make mistakes, plant-based or not.

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Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths, global disease study reveals

Study compiling data from every country finds people are living longer but millions are eating wrong foods for their health

Poor diet is a factor in one in five deaths around the world, according to the most comprehensive study ever carried out on the subject.

Millions of people are eating the wrong sorts of food for good health. Eating a diet that is low in whole grains, fruit, nuts and seeds and fish oils and high in salt raises the risk of an early death, according to the huge and ongoing study Global Burden of Disease.

The study, based at the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, compiles data from every country in the world and makes informed estimates where there are gaps. Five papers on life expectancy and the causes and risk factors of death and ill health have been published by the Lancet medical journal.

It finds that people are living longer. Life expectancy in 2016 worldwide was 75.3 years for women and 69.8 for men. Japan has the highest life expectancy at 84 years and the Central African Republic has the lowest at just over 50. In the UK, life expectancy for a man born in 2016 is 79, and for a woman 82.9.

Diet is the second highest risk factor for early death after smoking. Other high risks are high blood glucose which can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, high body mass index (BMI) which is a measure of obesity, and high total cholesterol. All of these can be related to eating the wrong foods, although there are also other causes.

causes of death graphic

This is really large, Dr Christopher Murray, IHMEs director, told the Guardian. It is amongst the really big problems in the world. It is a cluster that is getting worse. While obesity gets attention, he was not sure policymakers were as focused on the area of diet and health as they needed to be. That constellation is a really, really big challenge for health and health systems, he said.

The problem is often seen as the spread of western diets, taking over from traditional foods in the developing world. But it is not that simple, says Murray. Take fruit. It has lots of health benefits but only very wealthy people eat a lot of fruit, with some exceptions.

Sugary drinks are harmful to health but eating a lot of red meat, the study finds, is not as big a risk to health as failing to eat whole grains. We need to look really carefully at what are the healthy compounds in diets that provide protection, he said.

undernourishment graphic

Prof John Newton, director of health improvement at Public Health England, said the studies show how quickly diet and obesity-related disease is spreading around the world. I dont think people realise how quickly the focus is shifting towards non-communicable disease [such as cancer, heart disease and stroke] and diseases that come with development, in particular related to poor diet. The numbers are quite shocking in my view, he said.

The UK tracks childhood obesity through the school measurement programme and has brought in measures to try to tackle it. But no country in the world has been able to solve the problem and it is a concern that we really need to think about tackling globally, he said.

Today, 72% of deaths are from non-communicable diseases for which obesity and diet are among the risk factors, with ischaemic heart disease as the leading cause worldwide of early deaths, including in the UK. Lung cancer, stroke, lung disease (chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder) and Alzheimers are the other main causes in the UK.

The success story is children under five. In 2016, for the first time in modern history, fewer than 5 million children under five died in one year a significant fall compared with 1990, when 11 million died. Increased education for women, less poverty, having fewer children, vaccinations, anti-malaria bed-nets, improved water and sanitation are among the changes in low-income countries that have brought the death rate down, thanks to development aid.

People are living longer but spending more years in ill health. Obesity is one of the major reasons. More than a billion people worldwide are living with mental health and substance misuse disorders. Depression features in the top 10 causes of ill health in all but four countries.

Our findings indicate people are living longer and, over the past decade, we identified substantial progress in driving down death rates from some of the worlds most pernicious diseases and conditions, such as under age-five mortality and malaria, said Murray Yet, despite this progress, we are facing a triad of trouble holding back many nations and communities obesity, conflict, and mental illness, including substance use disorders.

In the UK, the concern is particularly about the increase in ill-health that prevents people from working or having a fulfilling life, said Newton. A man in the UK born in 2016 can expect only 69 years in good health and a woman 71 years.

This is yet another reminder that while were living longer, much of that extra time is spent in ill-health. It underlines the importance of preventing the conditions that keep people out of work and put their long term health in jeopardy, like musculoskeletal problems, poor hearing and mental ill health. Our priority is to help people, including during the crucial early years of life and in middle age, to give them the best chance of a long and healthy later life, he said.

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What Do Models Actually Eat During Fashion Week? An Investigation

Seeing a model during NYFW is like seeing a dog walk on its hind legs sparks a lot of questions. Is she hungry? What did she eat this morning? Is she vegan or is she just blessed from the gods of genetics? I mean, let’s be real—it’s no surprise that being 5’11” and 90 pounds takes a shit ton of dietary discipline, but we wanted to know what exactly these models are eating. Like, we’re not planning on giving up our hangover bagels or anything, but we’re just curious. So, we did some research and found out the truth. Here are some staples in models’ diets during fashion week.

1. Breakfast Omelets

Apparently models really value breakfast during fashion week. This might be because breakfast has been proven to give you a ton of energy for the day, or it might be because it’s literally their only chance to sit down and have a meal all day. Either way, we respect the omelet diet. Eggs have protein and healthy fats, so they’ll keep you full without making you look bloated or giving you a carb crash before lunch. Makes sense.

2. A TON Of Water

What a shock. This zero-calorie beverage is a staple in a model’s diet. It’s no secret that drinking water is super healthy for you, and it’s probably one of the reasons these models can keep up with their strict diets. Water fills you up in between meals, in addition to clearing your skin and flushing toxins out of your body. Models chug water all day long and they swear by it. They probably have to pee on the runway, though. #WorthIt

3. Homemade Chia Pudding

Chia pudding is basically a combination of chia seeds, almond milk, and sometimes some vanilla or cinnamon to sweeten it up. Models like Karlie Kloss swear by chia pudding because it’s super healthy and super easy to make. Chia seeds have protein and fiber in them, and you can make the whole concoction in a few minutes. Karlie uses a pinch of sea salt and stevia in hers to add some flavor. Sounds kinda weird, but whatever works.

4. Avocado Slices

I highly doubt these models are downing a huge slice of avocado toast before walking down the runway, but they claim to love avocados during fashion week, which makes sense because avocados are filling and low-carb. People hate on avocados because they’re naturally high in fat, but that fat is actually necessary for your body to function properly. A lot of them actually drizzle some olive oil on avocado slices to make it even more filling. Emphasis on the “drizzle,” though.

5. Matcha

You’d think models need a ton of caffeine for energy, but they don’t tend to pound coffee like a college student during finals. Most models opt for matcha during fashion week because it has enough caffeine while being a more sustainable option. Plus, people believe it actually helps give your metabolism a boost, which can never hurt. In fact, the founder of ModelFIT recommends matcha to the models she trains, so there’s gotta be something real there.

6. Nuts

Models usually carry some nuts with them to snack on throughout the day, including pistachios, walnuts, and almonds. Apparently Alessandra Ambrosio avoids carbs and sugar and swears by nuts to avoid sugar cravings. It sounds like it sucks, but then again, a lot of models only eat this way to prepare for shows and then treat themselves after. Like, Gigi Hadid ends Fashion Week with a burger and fries…. or so she claims.

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Tackling the canine obesity crisis – BBC News

Image caption Could a genetic mutation explain some dog’s insatiable appetite?

When it comes man’s best friend, science may finally have solved the mystery of their gluttony – some Labradors, it seems, are genetically predisposed to being hungry.

That’s according to scientists who were discussing their ongoing mission to improve our favourite pets’ health at the British Science Association Festival in Brighton this week.

Several research teams in the UK are on a mission to improve canine health.

Researchers at the University of Cambridge have studied the appetite of Britain’s favourite dog breed, and suggest Labradors are genetically at risk of becoming overweight.

Roughly a quarter of British households own a pet dog, and Labrador retrievers remain our most popular canine companion.

However, this stereotypically ‘greedy’ breed often suffer size-related health problems.

Blame the owners?

“Obesity is a serious issue for our dog population,” says Dr Eleanor Raffan from the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science.

“It has the potential to have a massive impact on pet welfare”.

In research supported by the Dogs Trust, Dr Raffan and her colleagues have analysed DNA from the saliva of Labradors across the UK. They found that particularly greedy individuals possess a gene mutation responsible for increasing their appetite.

“We found around a quarter of pet Labradors have at least copy of this mutation in the gene,” Dr Raffan explains. Their increased appetite manifests itself as a “food obsession”, familiar to dog-owners as begging or scavenging for food.

In the past, the onus has been on owners to restrict the diet of their pets to prevent excessive weight gain.

But Dr Raffan’s research suggests the propensity for large appetites, and hence potential obesity, is hardwired into some individuals.

“We hope to shift the paradigm away from owner-blaming” says Dr Raffan. “It’s a bit more nuanced than just owners needing to be careful.”

Freedom from hunger

Dr Raffan cautions against any attempt to breed this “greedy mutation” out of Labrador lines. While it might predispose the dogs to obesity, a strong focus on food may also explain why Labradors are so easy to train and are such loyal human companions.

“If we try to get rid of the mutation, we might find we change the personality of the breed, and that would be a real shame,” she explains.

Yet their results raise an ethical conundrum. Owners and veterinary surgeons are responsible for providing five core so-called freedoms to animals in their care, including freedom from pain and disease, and freedom from hunger.

Obesity is a disease, and negatively impacts upon canine quality of life. “But equally, being hungry is a welfare issue,” says Dr Raffan. “And these dogs are genetically hungry.”

Dr Raffan hopes future research will improve the satiety of their diets, allowing a feeling of ‘fullness’ without the potential for excessive weight gain.

Bearing the weight

Being overweight undoubtedly reduces a dog’s quality of life, and can also affect their ability to cope with arthritis and other underlying joint disorders.

At the University of Liverpool, scientists are using state-of-the-art imaging technology to study diseases affecting the knee joints of Labradors.

Damage to the canine cruciate ligament, similar to the injuries commonly suffered by professional human athletes, is the most common orthopaedic problem seen in veterinary practices. Injury of the knee ligaments is also more common in heavier dog breeds

“We’re trying to understand how the shape of the Labrador body and the way they walk might contribute to knee problems,” says Prof Eithne Comerford, a specialist in musculoskeletal biology.

Using high-speed x-ray cameras, the researchers film their canine patients walking through the lab, and watch their knee bones slide and twist in real-time.

The team hope to understand how walking contributes to the risk of ligament injury and rupture in Labradors, with the ultimate goal of reducing lameness and suffering within the breed.

“This data will also help veterinary surgeons and engineers design better treatments for ligament damage in Labradors, like customised knee implants,” explains biomechanist Dr Karl Bates from the University of Liverpool.

Both research groups rely heavily on the good will of Labrador owners, both for collecting samples and entering their pets into experimental trials.

In addition to tackling diagnosed health issues, researchers hope to change the public’s perception of what “desirable” traits should characterise our favourite breeds.

“There is a real danger when we breed dogs to be cuddlier and cuter,” warns Dr Raffan. “I think people have seen so many overweight Labradors, they start to assume it’s normal”.

Dr Charlotte Brassey is a BBSRC Future Leader Fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University, and British Science Association Media Fellow 2017. Twitter: @cbrassey

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8 Foolproof Ways To Still Get Your Protein When You Switch To A Plant-Based Diet

Most, if not all, people who follow a plant-based diet have heard (and are probably sick of) the question, “where do you get your protein?” For those of us who have followed a predominantly traditional western diet for most of our lives, protein is pretty much always associated with animal meat. Subtract chicken and beef from that style of eating, and it can be challenging to fill in the blanks. If you’re wondering how to get protein as a vegan, allow me to count the ways for you.

Contrary to the ridiculous misconception, animal protein is the end-all-be-all when it comes to protein sources for the human body. In fact, most of what you eat contains some form of protein — it just depends whether or not these food items are rich in the macronutrient. For example, one cup of broccoli contains roughly three grams of protein, while one cup of black beans boasts 16 grams.

Plant-based diets can absolutely offer the same vitamins and nutrients as a carnivorous lifestyle. The key is to simply do your food-focused research and implement your findings into everyday meals. Here are just a few foolproof sources of protein that vegans can confidently rely on.

1. Pumpkin Seeds

You’re in luck if you’ve decided to switch to a plant-based diet this season.

Pumpkin seeds are an excellent, quick source of protein you can toss into a baggie and snack on all day long. Half a cup will give you six grams of the macronutrient, so be sure to add at least a handful to homemade trail mix or on top of a salad.

2. Nutritional Yeast

Certain plant-based diets also negate dairy products, which makes nutritional yeast a saving grace for those craving that irresistible cheesy flavor.

Two tablespoons of the yellow flakes contain an impressive nine grams of protein and four grams of fiber. If that isn’t reason enough to buy a bag, you can easily add it to almost any meal or snack.

Personally, I love adding a sprinkle to my pasta, but you can also sneak it into mashed potatoes, tofu scrambles, popcorn, soup, and much more.

3. Lentils

One night, my husband set a bowl of lentils and rice in front of me, and I looked at him as though he had sprouted nine heads. These miniature green pellets could not make a sufficient meal, I thought.

Boy was I wrong. One cup of lentils adds up to 10 grams of protein, and the best part about this legume is that it’s low-cal, high-fiber, and can be molded into burgers, hummus, or even a solo side dish.

4. Edamame

One of the best parts about a plant-based diet is eating food that actually feels good for your body and leaves you feeling satiated. And when it comes to edamame, one cooked cup equals an entire serving.

This midday snack, appetizer, or side dish weighs in at a whopping 18 grams of protein, so eat up if you’re struggling to find consistent sources of protein.

5. Beans

Black, white, red, chickpea — whichever flavor you prefer, beans pack a huge punch of protein, averaging at least seven grams per serving.

If you have digestive issues, you may want to do your research, as they can trigger inflammation in weak stomachs. Otherwise, bean burritos, tacos, dips, and mashes are all delicious, simple ways to up your protein count throughout the day.

6. Nut Butter

Unless you’re eating eggs or protein shakes every morning, I personally think that breakfast is the trickiest time of day to get a decent amount of protein in if you favor carb-heavy options like cereal and toast. Luckily, there’s an incredibly appetizing way around this.

Peanut butter, almond butter, and cashew butters are full of protein and healthy fats. Spread your favorite over toast, in between pancakes, or add a dollop to oatmeal or yogurt for a nutritious boost before the day even starts.

7. Spirulina

Friends, get on that spirulina smoothie trend ASAP.

Plant-based or not, this blue-green algae is one to add to your smoothies, oats, and whatever else you can include it in because two tablespoons of spirulina adds up to eight grams of protein alone.

8. Hemp Seed

I love hemp seeds because of a) their nutty taste and b) the 10 grams of protein found in just two tablespoons.

You can sprinkle a handful into smoothies, oats, yogurt, on a peanut butter and banana sandwich (my personal favorite), or even DIY your own hemp milk for delectable lattes.

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These Are The 7 Foods To Eat If You’re Looking To Ease Your PCOS Symptoms

One of the greatest things about food, besides eating it, is that it’s multipurpose. We’ve all heard the phrase “food is fuel,” but food is also therapy, and, above all, food is medicine. For example, food and wellness bloggers on YouTube and Instagram are beginning to open up about their polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) diagnoses, and how their diets can positively affect the condition. It turns out, there are specific PCOS foods to eat that can not only ease symptoms, but encourage a healthier lifestyle overall.

Before jumping into the diet of a PCOS patient, it’s important to note that there is a difference between PCOS and having ovarian cysts. Women who are diagnosed with PCOS have a sex hormone (both estrogen and progesterone) imbalance, causing irregular menstrual cycles, fertility complications, and weight fluctuation, among other physical qualities.

Research dietitian and PCOS expert Lisa Moran, Ph.D., of the University of Adelaide and Monash University, told Huffington Postthat when it comes to finding one specific diet every PCOS patient should follow, there really is none:

Different approaches have been studied in clinical trials, including higher protein, lower carbohydrate, higher unsaturated fat, or lower glycemic index.

The majority of evidence indicates no differences between dietary approaches, although some small trials report benefits of a low glycemic index/glycemic load approach or increasing omega 3 fatty acid intake.

Of course, when it comes to  matter of the body, it’s always a good idea to speak to your doctor and figure out a treatment regimen that will work best for you.

In the meantime, while there may not be one end-all-be-all diet or medicine to cure PCOS, there are a few golden rules to follow closely when it comes to what you put in your body, and these seven foods may just help keep symptoms at bay.

1. Leafy Greens

Loading up on kale and spinach is a great way to ease PCOS symptoms through your diet.

Because these greens are so rich in vitamin B and minerals like calcium and potassium, they play a key role in regulating sugar, hormones, thyroid function, and fat metabolism.

A quick and easy way to implement more veggies is by adding them as a side to every meal.

2. Lean Meats

This is true for all diets, but it’s critical that you make 100 percent sure your meat is being sourced from pasture-fed animals, and to buy organic if you have the finances to do so.

According to the official PCOS Diet Support webpage,

Grass-fed meat tends to be leaner and contain less hormones than standard meat.

Grass-fed is also important because livestock is often fed grain and feed that has been genetically modified or contains pesticides which are unhelpful for hormone balance and PCOS.

3. Eggs

There’s a lot of back-and-forth babble over whether or not eggs are actually good for us, but hear me out.

Not only do eggs just taste damn good, they also have some good-for-you benefits. Because egg whites contain a decent serving of protein, while the yolk holds omega 3 fatty acids, iron, folate, thiamin, and essential vitamins, an egg or two a day can actually improve PCOS symptoms.

5. Healthy Fats

Healthy fats like nut butters and avocado, and even olive oil all play a key role in a PCOS diet.

According to the Nutritionist Resource archive, healthy fats are especially vital under these circumstances, as they “help maintain the cell wall, which absorbs the nutrients we need.”

Fatty acids also balance hormones, manage weight, and can encourage fertility.

4. Fish

Fish check off two of the essential requirements to a PCOS diet.

Oily fish like salmon and tuna are prime sources of protein and fatty acid, so it’s important to make sure you’re implementing these oceanic delicacies into your daily meals.

Egg yolk and salmon, for instance, is a combination that is honestly to die for.

5. Fruit

It’s understandable why women who have been diagnosed with PCOS would want to stay away from fruit in order to keep their blood sugar leveled, but fruit in moderation is an essential part of any well-balanced diet.

The trick is to a) stick to fruits that contain a low glycemic index such as cherries, apples, coconut, and kiwi and b) balance your fruit intake with a handful of seeds or nuts to regulate your blood sugar.

6. Legumes

Another food item that boasts a variety of health benefits, the legume class umbrellas beans, peas, and lentils which are low-fat, high-fiber, and contain essential vitamins and minerals like potassium, iron, folate, and magnesium.

7. Spices

Spices are an excellent food additive for women who suffer from PCOS, so you definitely want to re-organize your rack to implement a few key seasonings.

According to a 2007 pilot study, cinnamon was proven to significantly reduce insulin resistance. Similarly, turmeric has also been found to be a fertility-enhancer, as the herbal anti-inflammatory seasoning enhances the body’s ability to fight off inflammation.

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Just So You Know, Theres No Such Thing As The Perfect Body

Becca Matimba

This is a topic I have wanted to write about for quite some time now, but every time I went to put pen to paper, I found something holding me back.

Maybe it’s the vulnerability that has to be present to write about this topic, maybe it’s because I am far from perfect when it comes to this, or maybe I wasn’t fully ready to admit where I have been and how far I’ve come with loving my body.

Growing up I was never the kid who had a fast metabolism and was stick thin. I started comparing my body to Disney Channel stars and images in the media when I was 11, and immediately the idea that my body was not good enough was engrained in me.

I remember getting in the lunch line in middle school and choosing to fill my plate up with salad, hoping that this would prove to myself and to others that I could change. From a young age I obsessed over fad diets, exercising excessively, and clumping on makeup hoping that it would change the way I felt about myself.

It didn’t.

Even when my body would change, it would only be for a brief amount of time and the changes I would see were never enough. I could never compare to the beautiful women out there. I would never be enough.

Oh, how I wish I could visit that young girl and tell her how wrong she was.

Here I am, 20 something, and still affected by the media, still wondering what others think, but also fully connected to the beauty of my body. Many years ago, I hit a very dark point in my life and was either under or overweight. No matter what I did, I felt like I couldn’t win the battle that was “my perfect body”. Years later I know that the reason was because it does not exist.

When I entered the fitness world I remember thinking that my body wasn’t like the other trainers I saw. I felt less than, I felt that the impact I wanted to have on my clients would be subpar because I didn’t have a six pack.

I was wrong.

I remember the moment when I realized that it didn’t matter. I was teaching and out of my mouth came this statement that I didn’t even know was in me:

I swear I don’t know where that statement came from, but from that point on, my vision changed. My body is strong. It is powerful. It moves me every single day. It allows me to do what I love every single morning when I wake up. It allows me to move and release the shit that no longer serves me. It allows me to feel everything. It allows me to be active.

It allows me to be who I am.

Once I started viewing my body as a vessel of love. I started my mornings with gratitude. I am grateful that I have legs that spin on a bike and walk me around every day. I am grateful that I have a core that allows me to connect to my breath. I am grateful for a body that moves.

Some mornings, I wake up and I am feelin’ myself. I am loving what I see in the mirror. Other mornings, I want to hide and wear a sweatshirt in 90 degree weather. And some days I am just okay. In the days that are harder than others, I remember to stay grateful for the body that my soul lives in. As long as I’m comparing myself to anyone else, I will never be enough. But if I remember that my body is a vessel, it is beautiful, because it has a purpose.

All of our bodies are different. But I know when I am fueling my body with food that feels good, when I am moving my body, and presenting myself to the world as I truly am, I am staying true to myself. It’s okay to eat the ice cream. It’s okay to stick to a meal plan. All of these things are okay!

Your body is just that. It’s yours. It’s special. It was created for you to live out your purpose. So take a moment and before you start judging your body. Start finding the gratitude. Start trusting that your body is perfect just the way it is. Love it. Love it hard. Love what it can do. Love its imperfections. Love everything about it. It’s the only body you’ve got. So love it. On bad days. On good days.

Love the body you’ve got. Love it hard.

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This PETA Advert Has Caused Outrage For Obvious Reasons

There are a lot of bogus claims about autism out there on the Internet. Countless quacks and angry Internet commenters will tell you that vaccines cause autism, despite a lack of scientific evidence to back them up.

Unhelpfully, PETA have also made claims about autism. In a campaign that has recently resurfaced to widespread criticism, PETA linked drinking milk to autism. The campaign has received criticism from a prominent vegan chef, as well as other commentators, both for the unscientific nature of their claims and the negative way it portrays people who have autism. 

The campaign features a sad emoticon made from cereal, which many people have taken offense at. The actual campaign on their site is even worse. PETA.

In a post that’s still on their site, despite numerous people debunking it, PETA say that drinking milk “worsens” autism.

“It isn’t surprising that dairy products may worsen this condition,” they write on their site. “Considering that milk has already been strongly linked to cancer, Crohn’s disease, and other serious health problems. Anyone who wants to alleviate the effects of autism should try giving cow’s milk the boot and switch to healthy vegan alternatives instead.”

PETA cite a study as well as anecdotal evidence in their post. “More research is needed, but scientific studies have shown that many autistic kids improve dramatically when put on a diet free of dairy ‘products’. One study of 20 children found a major reduction in autistic behavior in kids who were put on a casein-free diet (casein is a component of cow’s milk).”

They then say that the reason why dairy “worsens autism” is up for debate, but that “some suggest that the gastrointestinal problems so often caused by dairy products cause distress and thus worsen behavior in children with autism.”

The problem is that this isn’t the case. PETA cites a study that has just 20 participants, which isn’t enough to be recommending dietary changes for anyone. More than that, it’s a study that has been discredited by two independent overviews.

The University of Texas looked at 14 other studies that investigated the efffects of casein and gluten-free diets on people with autism, and found that “overall the study quality was poor,” and only the least scientific studies said that the diet improved behavior, The Atlantic report.

In short, their campaign linking autism to drinking milk was unscientific, and yet PETA have not taken it down, even after years of being told this.

The campaign resurfaced this week, after food writer Jack Monroe asked PETA to remove recipes from their website because of the campaign. In a brilliant twitter thread (which you should read in full), Monroe outlines why their campaign is offensive and why their claims are bogus.

If you Google keywords such as “milk and autism”, their website is one of the first results that show up. It’s time for PETA to remove this post, or at least admit the science is dodgy. 

There may be plenty of benefits to drinking milk alternatives. PETA should talk about these if they want people to stop drinking milk. Don’t play on the fears of parents who are looking for advice on how to raise a child with autism.

Whilst you’re at it…

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This Is The Crucial Difference Between A Vegan And A Plant-Based Lifestyle

You know how every thumb is a finger, but not every finger is a thumb? Every vegan is plant-based, but not every plant-based diet can be considered vegan. Now, you may be wondering what’s the difference between a vegan and plant based diet, because they all just eat plants, right? Wrong. In fact, there are a few major differences between the two because. While plant-based speaks to a form of diet, veganism embodies a lifestyle.

A huge part of veganism involves cutting out all animal products from your diet, but the key word here is “part.” I think the reason why most people shy away from a vegan lifestyle is because it is just that: a lifestyle. By committing to vegan culture, you’re committing to a strict set of guidelines that not only affect what goes into your body, but the clothes and makeup you wear, and even how you decorate your house. It’s part food, all ethics, and it’s totally understandable why it can be intimidating to outsiders looking in.

As demanding as it seems, abiding by the rules of veganism can offer you a ton of health benefits, as well as do some good for our planet. Going plant-based is a fantastic start, but not eating animals and actively trying to save them in all aspects of your life are two very different things.

Vegans do not eat any animal products.

It’s also important to distinguish here the difference between vegetarianism and veganism. The official Vegetarian Society defines vegetarianism as someone who “does not eat foods that consist of, or have been produced with the aid of products consisting of or created from, any part of the body of a living or dead animal. This includes meat, poultry, fish, shellfish.”

A lot of vegetarians commit to not eating any part of an animal’s body, but will allow themselves fish, dairy products, eggs, or any combination of these, whereas true vegans avoid animal and animal-derived food items. Basically, it’s the strictest form of plant-based you can be.

Vegans also don’t wear clothes, makeup, shoes, or own furnishings that are made with animal products.

Vegan culture has gained a ton of converts over the last few years, and clothing and other product brands are paying attention. While a lot of plant-based lifestyles are more lax when it comes to animal-made goods like leather belts, shoes, and animal-skin materials, vegans do not wear or purchase anything made with the skins, hair, or feathers of animals. Instead, vegans buy garments made with plant fabrics and man-made materials.

Rest assured, vegan’s have also done their extensive research into the skincare and makeup brands they use as well. The beauty industry is one that has progressively become more vegan-friendly, with name brands like Kat Von D, Urban Decay, Too Faced, Lush, and Marc Jacobs advertising themselves as cruelty-free.

The culture has a lot to do with food, and everything to do with ethics.

The main reason why my husband and I made the decision to change our diets was to hopefully see a change in our digestive issues. However, between the many documentaries we watched and the countless research we consumed online, we are now not only vegetarian for the health benefits, but we’re also doing it for the animals.

It’s no secret that meat and dairy farms use intensive breeding methods, and animal abuse happens in these vicinities. Of course, this affects animals as well as the environment. But it also raises a general question of ethics: what’s wrong, and what’s not? Vegans are animal rights activists speaking up and out against the cruelty done to animals. Of course vegans appreciate and enjoy the health benefits of a plant-based diet, but the bigger picture is less about the food and more about the fight against causing suffering, harm, or death to innocent animals.

Making the switch to a plant-based diet is an excellent way to show your support for animal rights, but while vegetarianism is a form of veganism, there is a clear difference between the two cultures.

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7 Tasty Snacks To Add To Your Grocery List If You Want To Start Eating Gluten-Free

It’s not uncommon to hear someone’s gone gluten-free these days. With plant-based diets on the rise, as well as documentaries detailing the many downside of grains, it’s a popular topic circulating the health and wellness realm for those with, and without, gluten sensitivities. To the typical grain-grubber, it can sound almost impossible to make the switch, but when you really stop and think about how to eat gluten-free, there are a ton of food items that make the transition an easy one.

Before you decide whether or not gluten-free is what’s best for your individual dietary needs, you have to understand a) what the diet actually is, and b) what it does to your body. Gluten is a protein found in grains like wheat and barley that gives food an elastic quality. The issue is that gluten is an indigestible protein, and consuming it may cause inflammation or, in extreme cases, irritable bowel syndrome or celiac disease.

If you feel as though you may be experiencing a gluten intolerance, it may be in your best interest to cut back. Swap out your staple snacks for any of the following gluten-free alternatives to give your body the break it deserves.

1. Popcorn


Annie’s Organic Butter & Sea Salt Popcorn, $3, Amazon

Here’s a snack you can always snag once you’ve gone gluten-free. Because corn is a whole grain, and all corn is gluten-free, popcorn is an easy answer if you’re feeling the midday munchies.

I personally love this Annie’s blend because it’s lightly seasoned with butter, salt, and is 100 percent organic.

2. Energy Bars




RX Bar

RX Bar Box of 12 Mixed Berry, $25, RX Bar

Looking for something nutritious and delicious? RX bars tell you straight off the bat, this brand is all about no bullsh*t.

Made with whole ingredients always, this berry flavor is packed with cranberries, raspberries, and strawberries for a naturally sweet treat that’s high in both protein and fiber.

3. Plant-Based Protein Sources


thinkThin Plant Based High Protein Bar Pack of 10 in Chocolate Mint, $17, thinkThin

Having recently gone plant-based myself, I definitely had my reservations at first on veg-approved bars.

However, thinkThin’s new protein snack isn’t just plant-based, and it doesn’t merely boast 13 grams of protein — it tastes like a freaking Girl Scout cookie. .

Take it on-the-go as a snack in between classes, or save for later for a tasty dessert.

4. Gluten-Free Cookies


Immaculate Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, $5, Target

The gluten-free life was a mystery to me until my mother-in-law eliminated the grainy element from her own diet.

Browsing the shelves to find a dessert she could actually eat, I came across this Immaculate box and whipped up a batch. I know a lot of people say you can totally distinguish between gluten-free and gluten-full, but with this boxed mix, I couldn’t taste the difference one bit.

5. Pressed Fruit


Pressed by KIND Pineapple Banana Kale Spinach, $14, Amazon

Obviously you could grab an apple or banana on your way out the door, but let’s add some sass to snack time.

This pressed bar from KIND offers its snack not one, but servings of fruit, two grams of fiber, and the ingredients list is a mere five whole food items.

A balanced mixture of veggies and fruit, it’s an easy, super yummy addition to breakfast, lunch, or the perfect after-dinner treat.

6. Oatmeal On-the-Go

Munk Pack

Munk Pack Apple Quinoa Cinnamon Oatmeal Fruit Squeeze, $10, Amazon

Implement this Munk Pack as a midday snack, or down two as a meal replacement on a busy morning. One squeeze packs a whopping three grams of fiber per serving.

Available in apple quinoa cinnamon, maple pear quinoa, peach chia vanilla, and raspberry coconut, sipping oatmeal has honestly never been cooler.

7. Almond Flour Alternatives

Simple Mills

Simple Mills Farmhouse Cheddar Almond Flour Crackers, $5, Simple Mills

Did anyone else love the orange cheddar cracker sandwiches stuffed with peanut butter that your mom or dad would toss into your lunchbox as a kid? Thanks to Simple Mills, you can totally recreate that classic snack with these tasty cheddar crackers.

These gluten-made snacks were made with almond flour, organic sunflower oil, and organic cheddar cheese to pack a ton of flavor sans wheat additives. Smear a layer of natural peanut butter in the middle for an adult-meets-elementary snack your taste buds will go nostalgic for.

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