Category Archives: FUD

Who’s Down to Sign Up For Veganuary 2018?

Who’s with me for 31 days of abject vegan dining, starting Jan 1, 2018?  If you’re down, sign up at veganuary.com.

It’s only for a month – plus – there are so many reasons to try eating a vegan diet:

Health  . . .  Environment  . . .  Ethics  . . .  Comedy

Pick one motivation, or all four.  Whatever your reasons, sweeten the deal by promising to donate $ to my charity www.rohingyafund.com. You know, on the off-chance you fail to live up to your pledge.

Why you should  sign up for Veganuary with me:

Whole-food plant-based diet is HEALTHY

While making ‘FUD’ videos about food and my insane-frickin’ allergies, I learned how stupid-healthy it is to adopt a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) Diet.  Compelling info:

WFPB-Vegan: 3-10x more SUSTAINABLE

The CO2 ‘footprint’ of standard western diet (SWD) for a single adult in Silicon Valley California  is ~3x more damaging to the environment than that of a vegan diet:

  • SWD:  ~2.8 tons CO2/yr
  • Vegan: ~1 ton CO2/yr

In terms of land use, the difference is more like10x.

A UN report, Livestock’s Long Shadow, shares one particularly jaw-dropping finding: animal agriculture beats out the transportation sector as the largest contributor to human-caused global warming. Consider some stats:

  • Global livestock accounts for 14.5 % of all anthropogenic GHG emissions. (7.1 GT of Co2-equiv/yr)
  • Cattle (beef and dairy) = 65% of livestock sector emissions
  • About 44 % of livestock emissions are methane (CH4)

Yikes. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer, but if we don’t cut our GHG emissions, as in, pronto, we’re kinda cooked.

. . . You know, as a species.

. . . Like, I’m not kidding.

. . . Srsly, tho.

WFPB-Vegan is FUN – No, Seriously

WFPB-Vegan is ETHICAL

It wasn’t long ago that I believed “Happy cow farms” might be  the norm. At least I hoped that was the case. Turns out – Nope. While “Happy Family Farms” exist, they account for a tiny fraction of the animal products we consume.

Why everyone knows a nice little farm where things aren’t so bad, but eats factory farmed meat from vegan

In the US, upwards of 96% of meat and 86% of dairy come from factory farms (source: USDA).  If you’re buying milk in a grocery store, or gnawing a chicken wing in a restaurant, those animal products came from industrial factory farms.

Besides abusing antibiotics, polluting the environment,  and producing unhealthy meat, industrial livestock factories are brutal. Watch any documentary on the topic, and look at the equipment. Gestation cages, maceration machines, I could go on. But I’ll leave further investigation to you.  Here are some compelling sources:

Vegan dishes yummy, easy, delicious

Going vegan for a month can be an exploration new foods and recipes. There’s Indian, Ethiopian, Vietnamese, etc.

I hear the Thug Kitchen recipe book – kindle edition – is free for prime members on amazon. And there’s a ton of recipes online. Just last night, we made vegan butternut squash Mac-n-cheese casserole style:

Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheeze: Two Ways

 

There’s lots of vegan food to eat. Googulate it.

If you take this pledge with me:

I highly suggest you use either of these:

  • Daily Dozen‘ app : a check-list to make sure you’re getting the 12 daily foods needed to be healthy.
  • Cronometer‘: a food tracking app that shows you exactly the vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, fats and various micronutrients you’re consuming.

Most people – carnists and vegans alike – can be deficient in both of the following vitamins. So you may want to supplement:

  • Vitamin B12 – A 5000 microgram pill 1x a week and you’re set. (B12 is made by bacteria).
  • Vitamin D – Especially if you live in the north in January (D is a hormone made by your skin when in direct sunlight).

SO – JOIN ME!

Let’s be vegan for a month this January: for our health, for the perpetuation of our species, for the animals, and/or for the lulz.

If you’re in, reply to the post that got you here (from linkedin or facebook or mrmoneymustache, or DM), or reply directly to this post.

Now then, who’s up for Veganuary 2018?

Am I a total wheezer cuz of my food? Elimination Diet Day 1

Some days, I use my ventolin inhaler dozens of times … maybe up to forty puffs a day. I’ve had asthma and allergies for years, starting in childhood. As I’ve grown older, the allergies have held steady, while the asthma has become chronic.

I’ve used all kinds of drugs: monolukast (singulair), loratadine, prednisone, albuterol, symbicort, xopanex, and more. In general, these have helped. But my asthma is still there.

We moved to Verona, Italy nearly a year ago. In our first apartment, my asthma was the worst I’ve ever had. I went on high powered steroids and recovered. But that’s not a good long term solution.

My symptoms are up and down. I use my rescue inhaler at least three times a day, and up to thirty or forty times. The other night I woke up with such acute asthma that I came out to the living room at 3am and lied on the marble floor. If there was any trigger in the bedsheets I wanted to get away from them. Over the course of an hour I must have used my rescue inhaler forty times at least before I finally felt I could breathe.

It’s been years since I’ve done any serious running. The reason is that even just the thought of it makes me wheeze. I used to love finding that balance between comfort and fatigue, and running for miles. These days, though, within a few steps I’d start wheezing. The other day we rode a little loop over the bridges of the Adige river on our unicycles. I forgot my inhaler. Half way out on our loop – of course it’s the point furthes from the house, I knew I was in trouble. I focused on breathing smoothly, and barely made it home to my ventolin. I nearly passed out as I fell to the floor, then inhaled multiple  puffs.

Until now I’ve assumed my asthma was caused by the same things that caused my allergies. Scratch tests revealed that I was highly allergic to grass, tree pollens, dust mites, mold, dander (cats and dogs), and hay. I’ve since learned I’m allergic to aspirin and ibuprofen.

But what about diet? While I’m keenly tuned into environmental triggers, I’ve never paid much attention to how my symptoms present themselves after various meals. Recently, a friend loaned me a book by Dr. J.S. Bland called The Disease Delusion. As I read about how powerful various foods are at turning genes off and on, I wondered if perhaps, these food triggers might be to blame for my increasingly chronic asthma.

cruciferous yum (will I still think so in two months?)

The best way to identify food allergies, is by doing an elimination diet. So here I am. Today is day one. I just brewed a batch of ‘Ultrabroth’, and rather than throwing away the veggies, I’m eating them. I’m reminded of how much I like winter squashes, mushrooms and cruciferous veggies as I chow down on this mushy broth mix. Why don’t I cook with them more? Well, over the next three weeks, I will be. Here’s my plan:

Foods I’m cutting out:  (note: these will be added back one at a time after at least a week of the elimination diet).

NO: wheat / gluten, dairy, soy, all added sugar, peanuts, corn, eggs, processed foods, hydrogenated oils, tomatoes, lentils, legumes, citrus, bananas, apples.

Foods I’m gonna harf:

YES: cruciferous veggies, squashes, root veggies, avocados, brown rice, pear, mango, berries, turkey, lamb, olive oil, ginger.

I’m adding a vitamin regime:  vitamin c, fish oil, gut flora supplements, and a daily multi-vitamin .

Week #1: most restrictive diet. Everything on the eliminate list is verboten.  Sticking to medicine routine including symbicort, monolukast, and loratadine.  Emergency inhaler as needed (obviously).

Week #2: If things seem to be going okay, stop taking my daily symbicort.

Week #3: Consider dropping the monolukast

Week #4: Add back in eggs. I suspect eggs as a culprit.  Toward end of week, add back in almonds. I don’t suspect them as an allergen, but I love them and want to start eating them asap.

Week #5: Add back in whole fat yogurt with beneficial gut flora.

Week #6: Add in various fruits including tomatoes. Try lentils and other legumes.

Week #7: Add in wheat, peanuts and corn.

So that’s the plan. I’ll report in every few days on my progress and observations.