Why don’t you eat eggs?

I was reminded why I don’t eat eggs when I saw a truck that was hauling plastic crates that were absolutely packed with what looked to be some very unhealthy and sad chickens. I think they were egg laying hens whose worn out bodies could no longer continue laying enough eggs to justify their existence and were off to slaughter and I want absolutely no part in any of that abuse. Just imagine being treated like that, living in your own feces in a crowded dark barn or in a cage so small that you’re not even able to stretch out your arms let alone go for a walk.

I used to eat eggs from sources I could verify were free range and organic thus did not equate to me supporting big agricultural companies that seek to control as much of the food supply as they can by patenting seeds and the pesticides they are genetically engineered to grow with. However I’m often asked about what I eat and when I used to say “I eat eggs that I can verify are free range and organic.” what that translated to for most of the people asking me is “Mr. ethical and healthy diet and lifestyle man eats eggs, eggs are good, and even he admits that you need to eat animals or at least their milk and/or eggs in order to be healthy.”.

Since I don’t in any way want to condone the abuse that occurs during the production of the vast majority of eggs destined for human consumption I essentially stopped eating eggs over 5 years ago. I say “essentially” because since then I’ve probably had about a dozen eggs which I knew were from happy health chickens but I’ve had none this year and I don’t intend on eating any in the future. If you enjoy eggs then eat them, just make sure they come from an ethical source rather than turning a blind eye when you eat out or buy things made with eggs because you can be sure that those aren’t eggs anyone remotely concerned with animal rights and dietary ethics wants to be eating.

What’s so bad about eating eggs?

Poultry and Eggs: Industries That Abuse Chickens

NFL Warns Players Not To Eat Meat In Mexico After It Caused A Failed Drug Test

Kids and Candy

I just saw a video featuring a little girl freaking out as her blood sugar spiked on her first dose of cotton candy similar to the way a person might freak out upon snorting their first line of coke. How is this cute or funny? Sure the kid is cute but all kids are cute because evolution made them that way so annoyed parents wouldn’t beat or abandon them, but how is feeding a kid sugar, not cereal or some other legitimate food with sugar in it, but straight up sugar, food coloring, and artificial flavor anything other than irresponsible and disgusting?

Please don’t use candy and soft drinks to reward or bribe children or elevate such “foods” to be some kind of a special treat. Instead make them out to be what they are which is garbage disguised as food by setting a good example and encouraging kids to eat healthy. Fresh fruit might not give the same jolt as pure sugar but it’s a much better option. Also before recommending or putting kids on drugs to calm them down after they’ve been fed garbage why not recommend or change their diets first by adding more fruits and vegetables and eliminating the sugar and oil along with any processed and/or factory farmed meats and dairy.

Childhood Obesity Facts

Three-quarters of people don’t know about the link between obesity and cancer

Sweetened Beverage Tax

It’s difficult to tax unhealthy food because it’s difficult to determine where exactly to the draw the line. A hotdog stuffed with cheese isn’t the healthiest option for the consumer, the consumed, or the planet but it’s still food that provides anyone who dares to eat it with essential nutrients… and perhaps an increased risk of having a heart attack or developing colon cancer among other diseases. However with beverages it’s easy to determine where to draw the line: anything with an added sweetener.

In terms of public health sweetened beverages are more like alcohol and cigarettes than they are “cheesedogs” therefore they should be subjected to the same types of sin tax in order to dissuade people from consuming them. Taxes should be used as a tool to incentivize behavior conducive to the health of individuals, society, and the environment and I’d say a sweetened beverage tax clearly falls into this category so if you’re city, state, or country is considering placing a tax on sweetened beverages please consider supporting it.

Berkeley vs. Big Soda

Berkeley’s Soda Tax Is Working And That Could Be A Game Changer

crazywalmart5-2

Papaya: Where Do You Get Your Calcium?

I had a nice tree ripened papaya for breakfast today which is great for your teeth particularly if you have eaten something too acidic the day before. It weighed 2700g and after I cut it in half lengthwise and scraped it clean with my papaya shovel it yielded around 2200g of pulp. Papaya shovels aka stainless steel Chinese spoons are the perfect tool for eating papaya, melons, or any other fruit that’s soft enough to be scooped out of it’s peel and I highly recommend them.

Today’s papaya provided around 880 calories which is less than half of what I’d need to eat on an inactive day like today however it provided more than half of the calcium I’ll need for the day. I’m not sure exactly how much calcium I need, I’ve never tested low for it in any of my blood tests, but I’m pretty sure it’s not too much more than 530mg especially when that 530mg comes from such an easily digested and absorbed source.

khake dam papayakhake dam papaya cut

P.S. Months later I made another trip to the morning market in search of breakfast and as usual I walked through to see what was available in the front, center, and back before I decided on what to eat. Early in I spotted two nice papayas which were not one of the commonly available cultivars so I made a mental note and continued on. After confirming there wasn’t anything better up ahead I went back to buy the papayas only to find that the seller had covered up his goods and left at lightening speed. I knew those papayas were still under that tarp so I asked the guy in the next stall to sell them to me and tell his friend the next day.

As he opened the tarp I saw that the papayas were gone, bummer. However as I let my head down in disappointment I noticed a garbage basket and at the top of the heap of decaying plant matter and random market garbage were the two papayas, hooooooo! So I took them both and got a free breakfast. I guess the guy figured they were already ripe and since most Thai people aren’t into ripe fruit and prefer what are often sweeter yet less tasty fruit cultivars over the often less sweet but more fragrant and tasty heirloom, nameless, and unidentifiable varieties he figured they weren’t worth holding onto and having take up prime table space.

How Long Did You Fast Today?

I advise anyone who asks me about diet or health in general to fast for at least 12 hours a day. Personally I aim for 16 hours and although I sometimes fall short I couldn’t imagine not fasting for at least 12 hours in a day especially when considering I’m asleep for about 8 of them. It seems my personal experimentation and the conclusion it has led me to also has some research behind it.

BBC News article on fasting

Palm Oil

I don’t eat palm oil, or any oil for that matter, nor do I use products made with palm oil. However you probably do so please consider contacting the companies that use palm oil to make the processed foods and other products you consume and insist they use only Certified Sustainable Palm Oil in their products.

We can’t all be personally responsible for every problem in the world but we are definitely responsible for the problems that we create via our purchases. The good thing is many of the things we enjoy can be provided to us in more ethical and sustainable ways provided we make our support for such better practices known to the companies that seek our business.

WWF Palm Oil

Immoral Cooking Tricks

As humanity strives to feed itself without destroying the environment it’s outrageous that some people are actually taking pills and preparing their precious food in ways they hope will reduce their bodies ability to absorb it. Whether it’s food, water, or any other natural resource I hope you also feel that waste is bad, really bad, and will do your best to reduce it by not doing things like reducing your bodies ability to digest the precious food you eat. If you’re a researcher in the field of nutrition please don’t waste your time pursuing things as idiotic and immoral as finding ways to prevent people from digesting their food.

Common Sense Science

Common sense tells me that putting a bunch of dead fish of questionable freshness into a grinder, separating out the oil, and placing it into gel capsules which will sit in a bottle for a week, month, year, or more before it’s consumed is not the healthiest thing a person could be spending their money and our environmental resources on. Common sense also tells me that among many other things eating leafy green vegetables is also good for keeping ones mental abilities sharp. However even common sense should be questioned, tested, and verified so it’s nice to often see studies like these in the news.

Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

Eating green leafy vegetables keeps mental abilities sharp

Zoonotic Diseases

What zoonotic diseases are, and how to stop them

A good article on an important topic except although it told readers what zoonotic diseases are it didn’t tell us how to stop them. Disease surveillance in other animals in addition to humans is great, but what we really need to focus on is keeping humans away from animals. This could be done by working harder to protect the world’s remaining forests. For example, by not consuming palm oil or purchasing wood unless you know where it came. If you are unable to confirm where something came from or how it got to you then always assume the worst.

Second we can advocate to end the pet trade whether it’s with domesticated or wild animals by persuading people to opt for human friends rather than some animal they can dominate and won’t call them out for being wrong and challenge them to better themselves. Finally if we really want to stop or at least slow the emergence of new and potentially devastating diseases making the leap from animals to humans we can stop eating animals starting with the ones most likely to cause us problems, e.g. those which are raised on a diet of antibiotics and genetically engineered feed in filthy factory farms.

5 Tips for Improving Digestion

These tips were written to be applicable to everyone regardless of what they eat, however I hope everyone considers eating more or all plants and less or no animals.

1.) Don’t overeat and realize that if you have a significant amount of excess body fat you are overeating. Perhaps not today or even recently but definitely over the long run because no animal can produce body fat without an excess of energy. Therefore eat as your body requires and try to stay as close to hungry as comfortably possible provided that allows you to maintain your ideal body composition. If it doesn’t you’ll have to slightly increase or reduce your energy intake.

2.) Keep hydrated because digestion is one of the first bodily functions to be negatively affected by dehydration as your body struggles to hang on to all the water in your stools which will slow them down and make their eventual expulsion much more difficult. Therefore drink enough water and eat enough water rich foods to ensure that your urine is clear or almost clear because the darker your urine is the clearer sign it is that you’re dehydrated.

3.) Stay active because physical activity helps keep our bodies in good working order especially our digestion. All types of physical activity are good for digestion especially walking and knee raises. The amount of physical activity we require for optimal health is far too much to allocate to an exercise session so it must be incorporated into our day and become habitual, e.g., walking or biking instead of driving and taking the stairs instead of elevators and escalators.

4.) Some foods and food combinations digest poorly for some people and the best way to figure out which foods and food combinations to avoid is by living a healthy lifestyle, simplifying meals, and spacing them out so you can accurately observe their effects because even if you ate only one type of a food at a meal if you ate another meal an hour or two after the last one it may be difficult to determine whether it was the first meal that caused you an issue, the second, or the combination of the two.

5.) When going to the bathroom rather than sitting consider squatting. Sitting is an unnatural position to be in when having or trying to have a bowel movement so consider squatting or at least raising your knees with a small stool. However regardless of whether you’re sitting or squatting never try to force a bowel movement and instead when you are constipated consider alternating walking with squatting while continually swallowing small amounts of water until you’ve had enough or are ready to go to the bathroom.

Feeding the World vs Feeding the Worlds Livestock

Current food production is sufficient to feed the over 7 billion of us here now and it will even be sufficient to feed the over 9 billion who will be here in the near future… provided the arable land we use and the food we grow is used to feed people rather than livestock and provided we stop wasting so much of the food that is produced. The reason why so many people on this planet are without access to adequate food isn’t because there isn’t enough to go around it’s because they don’t have the money to buy it. Therefore in addition to making better use of the food that’s already being grown and the land that has already been cleared to grow it eliminating extreme poverty should be the primary goal of anyone serious about feeding the world. Not cutting down more forests and using more toxic chemicals to produce more food that the people who need it most can’t afford to buy all while continuing to waste so much of it by feeding it to livestock and placing much of the food that is produced into plastic bags and sending it off to landfills.

Probiotics and Prebiotics

A healthy gut microbiome is essential for good digestion and good health in general however this doesn’t mean we should be taking supplements of beneficial bacteria or eating yoghurt. For most people the problem isn’t that they’re missing a species of beneficial bacteria but that they don’t have optimal amounts of it. So instead of going out of ones way to consume such bacteria only to have them die off as soon as they reach the unhealthy gut home that awaits them it’s best to first create an environment conducive to the survival of these bacteria which will allow them to reach and maintain optimal numbers on their own. The way to do this is to live a healthy lifestyle with adequate sleep, sunlight, and physical activity; and to eat a plant based diet abundant in healthy prebiotics, e.g., fresh fruits and vegetables, which provide the raw materials needed for your beneficial bacteria to thrive.

Five Tips for Better Blood Sugar Control and Introduction to a Near-vegan Diet

These tips were written to be applicable to everyone regardless of what they eat, however I hope this article encourages everyone reading it to consider eating more plants and less animals because doing so is not only likely to reduce ones risk for developing diabetes it will also reduce deforestation rates, biodiversity losses, greenhouse gas emissions, and the chance of new antibiotic resistant pathogens developing along with the risk of more animal pathogens making the jump to humans by way of mistreatment and/or consumption of animals carrying these diseases.

Just remember it’s not all or none and that a near-vegan diet can also be a healthy and environmentally responsible alternative to eating animals everyday. As for non-vegan foods I’d say the best options are insects, invasive species, and eggs provided they’re from animals allowed to live in accordance with their natural needs and not from animals fed unnatural diets and drug regimens designed to keep sick animals alive and able to endure the abuse of not living in accordance with their natural needs long enough for them to be slaughtered.

Once people get the hang of eating more plants and began experiencing the benefits of a near-vegan diet they can then decide if they want to eliminate animal foods from their diet or continue to eat them once or twice a week, or month, rather than once or twice a day. I can not emphasize the importance of this issue and the lack of attention it gets. Most people know how bad it is to cut down rainforests, burn fossil fuels, and waste water, but few people have the knowledge and/or courage to link these issues to the way they choose to eat. Sharing this article can help change that:   http://dpage.org/?p=914

1.) Always be hungry before a meal.

Access to appealing food and some room in ones stomach is not a valid qualification for eating, only hunger is.

2.) Always be physically active just before a meal.

Pre-meal bursts of moderate to intense physical activity help prepare our bodies and particularly our muscles to absorb the energy we’re about to provide via our food.

3.) Never rush a meal no matter how eager you are to refuel.

Chew well and eat as slowly as comfortably possible perhaps turning what could be 10 or 20 minute meals into 20 or 40 minute meals and consider eating while walking or standing and swaying rather than sitting because sitting is probably the most dangerous thing you’ll do today.

4.) Never eat more than you need to at any single meal.

Eating a big meal so you can skip or skimp on the next one hardly ever works and finishing a meal slightly less than satisfied is always better than walking away regretting those last few bites. As for not finishing a meal most of us have access to reusable food boxes and refrigerators for that.

5.) Always do some light physical activity after your meal.

Walking, biking, or running some errands after a meal will help your blood sugar return to pre-meal levels much sooner than will sitting in a chair and should seem like the natural thing to do provided you’re eating a healthy diet which gives you energy rather than take it away.

In just one month by applying the above tips while eating a vegan diet of over 85% carbohydrate with most of it in the form of sugar via ripe sweet fruits, eating a little less than usual while maintaining a moderate level of physical activity, and reducing my total fat intake to below 10% of total calories I was able to drop my fasting blood sugar from 100mg/dL (pre-diabetic) to 76mg/dL (great) and HbA1C from 6.2% (pre-diabetic) to 5.1% which is surprisingly good considering that it had only been a month since the last test

While some people such as those with type I diabetes do have serious issues with their pancreas even they can greatly improve their blood sugar control by improving their diet and lifestyle. So for those of you who’ve been told you have pre-diabetes or type II diabetes, which is simply medical jargon for high blood sugar, don’t panic. While high blood sugar can be dangerous and even moderately elevated blood sugar can be detrimental for most it’s easy to bring down by eating a little less, keeping active throughout the day, and perhaps trying a low fat vegan or near-vegan diet.