Author Archives: dbell@divingbellcreative.com

Parents and Vegetarianism

Parents and Vegetarianism

During adolescents a teenager faces large amount of pressure concerning a variety of issues. From academics to social issues, teenagers are often finding themselves feeling the weight of demands from the world around them. The decision to become a vegetarian should not be one of these pressures. Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice that should be up to an individual, and a parent’s role involving the decision of a teenager should only involve sentiments of love and support.

A Difficult Transition for the Family

A major complication may arise if your son and daughter choose to be the only vegetarian in the household. Firstly, if there is no communication about this transition, then tensions may arise over food choices that are stocked and prepared in the home. Teenage vegetarians are often faced pressures from parents concerned about their vegetarian lifestyle impact on their health. A teen that shows a strong commitment to preparing their own foods can make parents more willing to purchase vegetarian food. If one has trouble convincing their parents that a vegetarian lifestyle can be a good choice, read this statement made by the American Dietetic Association:

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle”

It is important, that once your child conveys to you his or her desire to become a vegetarian that you discuss how this food choice change may impact the entire family. As a parent you should take the time to educate yourself about vegetarianism and some of the alternatives to eating meat as protein. Talk to your child and the rest of the family to decide how you can work together to accommodate everyone’s eating habits. Try to avoid criticizing your teen’s decision in front of everyone, which may cause an uncomfortable rift to develop in your relationship when he or she decides to become a vegetarian regardless of your opinion. Include your child in making the grocery shopping list, or come up with certain compromises on which meals he or she will prepare for him/herself. You could also create a sample diet with your teen over the course of a week or month. Select vegetarian books and recipes to find vegetarian dishes that will appeal to your teen, using ingredients that he or she already likes.

Eating Disorders and Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism definitely has many healthy benefits; however some studies have suggested that teens that have image problems and eating disorders may be more likely to turn to vegetarianism in order to lose weight. It seems that a significant number of kids experiment with a vegetarian diet as a way to mask an eating disorder, since it’s a socially acceptable way to avoid eating many foods and one that parents tend not to oppose. A study, led by nutritionist  Ramona Robinson-O’Brien, an assistant professor at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota, found that while adolescent and young adult vegetarians were less likely than meat eaters to be overweight and more likely to eat a relatively healthful diet, they were also more likely to binge eat. Although most teens in Robinson-O’Brien’s study claimed to choose vegetarianism to be healthier, save the environment, and the world’s animals, the research suggests they may be more interested in losing weight than protecting cattle or swine. The authors of the study suggest that parents and doctors should be extra attentive when teens suddenly become vegetarians. Although teens may say they’re trying to protect animals, they may actually be trying to camouflage some unhealthy eating behaviors.

Resources

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Reasons to Go Vegetarian

Reasons to Go Vegetarian

The decision to become a vegetarian requires a major change in lifestyle. With this in consideration, it is important to identify the reasoning behind making such a life altering choice. There are many reasons one may decide to become a vegetarian. A desire for a change in diet or a shift in moral or ethical values may trigger such a choice. Regardless, a variety of common reasons carry validity and it is important to understand the facts behind why such decisions are made. The following gives an overview of the different reasons as to why one would choose to become a vegetarian.

Live a Healthier Life

Vegetarian diets tend to be healthier than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing certain illnesses such as heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is one of the most effective ways to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. A vegetarian diet is innately healthier than diets containing meat, as vegetarians tend to consume foods rich in fruits and vegetables, high in fiber and low in saturated fat.  In contrast, the general population of meat eaters consumes an excess of saturated fat, salt and sugar, with intakes of vitamins and minerals below recommended levels. As a result, vegetarians also may be able to maintain a healthier weight.

Save the Environment

Some people choose to become vegetarians because they believe that animal production is environmentally unsustainable. This is based off the idea that the manufacturing of animal products increase pollution, and consume an overabundant amount of resources such as fossil fuels, water, and land. Livestock farming produces huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and thus choosing to become a vegetarian could reduce your carbon footprint. It takes thousands more liters of water to produce a kilo of beef than to grow the same quantity of grains, vegetables or pulses. Additionally, manure, antibiotics and hormones from livestock farms seep into water systems, while fish farms release chemicals and parasites that threaten wildlife. Forest destruction is also a main concern with regards to eating meat, as many are being bulldozed to create space for factory farms and feed crops to feed farmed animals. Forest demolition also causes soil erosion and contributes to species extinction and habitat loss.

Stop Animal Cruelty

A main motivation for being a vegetarian derives from a person’s compassion for animal life. Many vegetarians feel that killing animals for food is an inhumane act. While methods exist which kill animals for food in painless ways, many farms continue to hold animals in unsanitary living conditions and engage slaughter practices which are not considerate of the pain an animal may feel. On many pig and bird farms, these animals are often forced to live entirely indoors, in over-crowded sheds that do not provide the adequate space for give birth and raise their young. On cow farms, many of these animals endure castration, disbudding and dehorning. Increasing numbers of beef cattle are also housed in pens on concrete or slats without bedding.

Resources

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Organic Produce: How to Save Money on Fruits and Vegetables

Organic Produce: How to Save Money on Fruits and Vegetables

There is one simple solution to save money on organic produce. Learn the fruits and vegetables that test the highest in pesticide levels. Whatever is highest in pesticides is the produce to purchase with the organic label. The rest of the produce is fairly safe to purchase without the organic label. Following this simple rule saves money plus you still get the benefit of healthy produce.

Produce with Highest Pesticide Levels, Always Buy Organic AKA as The Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (esp. imported)
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

Produce with Lowest Pesticide Levels, Purchase Without Organic Label and Wash

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet Corn (frozen)
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)

 

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Always wash produce whether it’s organic or not. It has been handled by a large number of people. And organic produce is subject to drift from crops that are sprayed nearby. So always keep a pesticide wash on hand for all your produce. Most health food stores carry a variety of washes. Be sure to follow the directions on your product.

As we bring groceries in from a shopping trip, we fill the kitchen sink with water and add a few drops of our produce wash. As we unload the groceries, we put produce in the sink to soak. We keep the same containers the produce came in by the sink. When the produce has soaked long enough, we place it on clean towels to dry. By this time, we usually have the rest of the groceries unloaded and put away. Then, we just plop the produce in the containers, put it in the refrigerator and it’s ready for use. Watch for an article we have coming soon on produce washes.

Organic Produce: How to Save Money

We have also heard that coconuts and avocados can not grow if pesticides are used on them. With the hard shell around the coconut, it does seem that would make it difficult for pesticides to penetrate it. The avocado skin is also pretty thick so the same could apply. A rule of thumb is if produce needs peeling, it’s probably safe to skip the organic label.

Another point to remember is that imported fruits and vegetables do not have the same regulations as USDA. So even if they are organic, they usually have more pesticides than American organic produce. Just remember that the highest pesticide loads usually come from imported produce whether it’s organic or not.

This is also true with produce that is out of season. When produce is out of season, it tests with more pesticide load than produce that is in season. So, the safest produce is:

1) in season
2) grown in your region
3) USDA Organic

If purchasing all organic produce is beyond your budget, then purchase fruits and vegetables that are lowest in pesticides from the list above. This saves money and yet gives you safe produce. It’s almost like having your cake and eating it too.

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Vegetarian diet and skin

Vegetarian diet and skin

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Its foundation is to protect the body from infection and bacteria. It also aids in regulating the body temperature and allows us to feel the sensation of cold, heat and touch.

Our skin is largely affected by environmental factors such as UV rays, cigarettes smoke, automobile exhaust and pesticides. Our lifestyle such as lack of sleep, bad or inadequate dietary choices and daily stressors also affect our skin. A combination of these free radicals can cause premature aging, wrinkles, dryness, sensitivity or over production of sebum which results in acne.

We can have radiant and youthful skin by improving our lifestyle and one way to do this is to adapt a vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism is the practice of choosing products of plant kingdom with or without the use of eggs and dairy products. Vegetarians eliminate the consumption of any animals. This includes chicken, fish and seafood.

As sited in Peta, vegetarians consume more fruits and vegetables which are low in pore clogging fats found in animal products. The fibre from fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain products help the body eliminate toxins, which result in clear skin.

Our body needs powerful antioxidants and minerals to combat free radicals. These antioxidants and minerals are found in vegetarian meals that are rich in vitamin C and E. Vitamin C and E neutralise skin damaging free radicals and aide in fighting wrinkles and brown spots and promote youthful appearance and radiant skin. Nuts, legumes, seeds and oatmeal are great sources of vitamins and Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that assist with tissue growth, repair and inflammation. It also helps keep your skin healthy and can heal acne.

According to Healthliciousness, foods rich in Vitamin C are kidney beans, blackcurrants, blue berries, broccoli, kiwi fruit, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweets potatoes. Vitamin C is responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin.

Vitamin E rich foods include almonds, avocados, tofu, spinach, sunflower seeds, plant oils and hazel nuts.

Vegetarianism promotes the consumption of above foods which means that a vegetarian diet assists in having healthy, youthful and radiant skin. Combined with facials and body wraps at your local beauty therapist like those offered at North Brisbane based Beauty On Travorten will give you perfect skin.

 

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Best Vegetarian Foods for Breastfeeding and Lactation – Vegie World

Best Vegetarian Foods for Breastfeeding and Lactation

Many women (regardless of their dietary choices) have issues with breastfeeding and or lactation. It can be a cause of great concern for a mother when her newborn is unable to feed, or if her breast milk does not supply enough milk for the baby.

Many parents will immediately turn to either bottle feeding with formula, or start using a  breast pump to increase breast milk production.

I personally feel that mothers should try to use breast milk as a first option, and only move to formula if she or the child is having lots of difficulties with breastfeeding. There are plenty of articles online stating the benefits of breastfeeding over bottle feeding, which is why using a breast pump can be a good alternative.

Anyway, now that everyone knows my thoughts on breastfeeding over bottle feeding, let’s get down to business and look at the best vegetarian foods for increasing your milk supply.

 

1. Water

cocktail-585315_640OK, so while not technically a food, having more water is the best way to increase your milk supply, that is other than ensuring you drain your breasts after every feed.

Make sure you drink around 10 glasses a day. At first it will seem like a lot, but after a while you will get used to it.

 

2 . Oatmeal

blueberries-531209_640I remember someone telling me that oatmeal was good for breast milk when I had my first, and I thought they must be high on something, but I researched it and it’s true. Not only that, but I tried it myself and it worked (well, it seemed to).

 

Remember to use Almond milk when making your oatmeal.

 

 

3.  Garlic

garlic-545223_640

So this doesn’t actually increase your milk supply as much as it entices your baby to drink more – this in turn entices your breasts to produce more milk. Apparently babies like the taste of garlic. So tuck in ladies.

Note: It also has the added advantage of keeping vampires away :p

 

4. Sesame Seeds

sesame-315502_640Sesame seeds are well regarded when it comes to increasing breast milk, but you have to remember to eat the seeds in their husks (crushed of course). They are also crazy good for your calcium intake, so get into them.

 

5. Spinach

green-422995_640It’s not just Popeye that gets a buzz out of spinach, but breastfeeding moms can also get in on the action too. Spinach is also a great source of calcium, folic acid and vitamins  A & K.

In fact, you should try to eat spinach the entire way though your pregnancy as folic acid is well known to aid in the development of your baby.

 

6. Papaya

papaya-331273_640It’s not all vegetables, there are also some fruits that will help you to increase lactation. Papaya’s have been used (mainly in Asia) for quite a long time as a way to increase milk supply in breastfeeding mothers.

The science is still out on why papaya works, but some believe it is due to the natural sedative power that Papaya has, which in turn helps you to relax and thus enable the milk to flow more readily.

 

If none of these help you then it might be time to see your doctor, or a lactation specialist. Remember, the most important thing is that you are relaxed and that your child is being well feed. If you aren’t able to breastfeed, it isn’t the end of the world – there is plenty of support available.

 

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Vegetarian diet and skin – Vegie World

Vegetarian diet and skin

Our skin is the largest organ of our body. Its foundation is to protect the body from infection and bacteria. It also aids in regulating the body temperature and allows us to feel the sensation of cold, heat and touch.

Our skin is largely affected by environmental factors such as UV rays, cigarettes smoke, automobile exhaust and pesticides. Our lifestyle such as lack of sleep, bad or inadequate dietary choices and daily stressors also affect our skin. A combination of these free radicals can cause premature aging, wrinkles, dryness, sensitivity or over production of sebum which results in acne.

We can have radiant and youthful skin by improving our lifestyle and one way to do this is to adapt a vegetarian diet. Vegetarianism is the practice of choosing products of plant kingdom with or without the use of eggs and dairy products. Vegetarians eliminate the consumption of any animals. This includes chicken, fish and seafood.

As sited in Peta, vegetarians consume more fruits and vegetables which are low in pore clogging fats found in animal products. The fibre from fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grain products help the body eliminate toxins, which result in clear skin.

Our body needs powerful antioxidants and minerals to combat free radicals. These antioxidants and minerals are found in vegetarian meals that are rich in vitamin C and E. Vitamin C and E neutralise skin damaging free radicals and aide in fighting wrinkles and brown spots and promote youthful appearance and radiant skin. Nuts, legumes, seeds and oatmeal are great sources of vitamins and Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that assist with tissue growth, repair and inflammation. It also helps keep your skin healthy and can heal acne.

According to Healthliciousness, foods rich in Vitamin C are kidney beans, blackcurrants, blue berries, broccoli, kiwi fruit, oranges, papaya, strawberries and sweets potatoes. Vitamin C is responsible for the firmness and elasticity of the skin.

Vitamin E rich foods include almonds, avocados, tofu, spinach, sunflower seeds, plant oils and hazel nuts.

Vegetarianism promotes the consumption of above foods which means that a vegetarian diet assists in having healthy, youthful and radiant skin. Combined with facials and body wraps at your local beauty therapist like those offered at North Brisbane based Beauty On Travorten will give you perfect skin.

 

← Previous post

 

Next post →

 

Organic Produce: How to Save Money on Fruits and Vegetables – Vegie World

Organic Produce: How to Save Money on Fruits and Vegetables

There is one simple solution to save money on organic produce. Learn the fruits and vegetables that test the highest in pesticide levels. Whatever is highest in pesticides is the produce to purchase with the organic label. The rest of the produce is fairly safe to purchase without the organic label. Following this simple rule saves money plus you still get the benefit of healthy produce.

Produce with Highest Pesticide Levels, Always Buy Organic AKA as The Dirty Dozen

  • Apples
  • Celery
  • Cherries
  • Grapes (esp. imported)
  • Lettuce
  • Nectarines
  • Peaches
  • Pears
  • Potatoes
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet Bell Peppers

Produce with Lowest Pesticide Levels, Purchase Without Organic Label and Wash

  • Asparagus
  • Avocados
  • Bananas
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage
  • Eggplant
  • Kiwi
  • Mangoes
  • Onions
  • Pineapples
  • Sweet Corn (frozen)
  • Sweet Peas (frozen)

 

Fruit and Vegetable Wash

Always wash produce whether it’s organic or not. It has been handled by a large number of people. And organic produce is subject to drift from crops that are sprayed nearby. So always keep a pesticide wash on hand for all your produce. Most health food stores carry a variety of washes. Be sure to follow the directions on your product.

As we bring groceries in from a shopping trip, we fill the kitchen sink with water and add a few drops of our produce wash. As we unload the groceries, we put produce in the sink to soak. We keep the same containers the produce came in by the sink. When the produce has soaked long enough, we place it on clean towels to dry. By this time, we usually have the rest of the groceries unloaded and put away. Then, we just plop the produce in the containers, put it in the refrigerator and it’s ready for use. Watch for an article we have coming soon on produce washes.

Organic Produce: How to Save Money

We have also heard that coconuts and avocados can not grow if pesticides are used on them. With the hard shell around the coconut, it does seem that would make it difficult for pesticides to penetrate it. The avocado skin is also pretty thick so the same could apply. A rule of thumb is if produce needs peeling, it’s probably safe to skip the organic label.

Another point to remember is that imported fruits and vegetables do not have the same regulations as USDA. So even if they are organic, they usually have more pesticides than American organic produce. Just remember that the highest pesticide loads usually come from imported produce whether it’s organic or not.

This is also true with produce that is out of season. When produce is out of season, it tests with more pesticide load than produce that is in season. So, the safest produce is:

1) in season
2) grown in your region
3) USDA Organic

If purchasing all organic produce is beyond your budget, then purchase fruits and vegetables that are lowest in pesticides from the list above. This saves money and yet gives you safe produce. It’s almost like having your cake and eating it too.

← Previous post

Next post →

Reasons to Go Vegetarian – Vegie World

Reasons to Go Vegetarian

The decision to become a vegetarian requires a major change in lifestyle. With this in consideration, it is important to identify the reasoning behind making such a life altering choice. There are many reasons one may decide to become a vegetarian. A desire for a change in diet or a shift in moral or ethical values may trigger such a choice. Regardless, a variety of common reasons carry validity and it is important to understand the facts behind why such decisions are made. The following gives an overview of the different reasons as to why one would choose to become a vegetarian.

Live a Healthier Life

Vegetarian diets tend to be healthier than the average American diet, particularly in preventing, treating or reversing certain illnesses such as heart disease and reducing the risk of cancer. A low-fat vegetarian diet is one of the most effective ways to stop the progression of coronary artery disease or prevent it entirely. A vegetarian diet is innately healthier than diets containing meat, as vegetarians tend to consume foods rich in fruits and vegetables, high in fiber and low in saturated fat.  In contrast, the general population of meat eaters consumes an excess of saturated fat, salt and sugar, with intakes of vitamins and minerals below recommended levels. As a result, vegetarians also may be able to maintain a healthier weight.

Save the Environment

Some people choose to become vegetarians because they believe that animal production is environmentally unsustainable. This is based off the idea that the manufacturing of animal products increase pollution, and consume an overabundant amount of resources such as fossil fuels, water, and land. Livestock farming produces huge amounts of greenhouse gas emissions, and thus choosing to become a vegetarian could reduce your carbon footprint. It takes thousands more liters of water to produce a kilo of beef than to grow the same quantity of grains, vegetables or pulses. Additionally, manure, antibiotics and hormones from livestock farms seep into water systems, while fish farms release chemicals and parasites that threaten wildlife. Forest destruction is also a main concern with regards to eating meat, as many are being bulldozed to create space for factory farms and feed crops to feed farmed animals. Forest demolition also causes soil erosion and contributes to species extinction and habitat loss.

Stop Animal Cruelty

A main motivation for being a vegetarian derives from a person’s compassion for animal life. Many vegetarians feel that killing animals for food is an inhumane act. While methods exist which kill animals for food in painless ways, many farms continue to hold animals in unsanitary living conditions and engage slaughter practices which are not considerate of the pain an animal may feel. On many pig and bird farms, these animals are often forced to live entirely indoors, in over-crowded sheds that do not provide the adequate space for give birth and raise their young. On cow farms, many of these animals endure castration, disbudding and dehorning. Increasing numbers of beef cattle are also housed in pens on concrete or slats without bedding.

Resources

← Previous post

Next post →

Comments are closed.

Parents and Vegetarianism – Vegie World

Parents and Vegetarianism

During adolescents a teenager faces large amount of pressure concerning a variety of issues. From academics to social issues, teenagers are often finding themselves feeling the weight of demands from the world around them. The decision to become a vegetarian should not be one of these pressures. Vegetarianism is a lifestyle choice that should be up to an individual, and a parent’s role involving the decision of a teenager should only involve sentiments of love and support.

A Difficult Transition for the Family

A major complication may arise if your son and daughter choose to be the only vegetarian in the household. Firstly, if there is no communication about this transition, then tensions may arise over food choices that are stocked and prepared in the home. Teenage vegetarians are often faced pressures from parents concerned about their vegetarian lifestyle impact on their health. A teen that shows a strong commitment to preparing their own foods can make parents more willing to purchase vegetarian food. If one has trouble convincing their parents that a vegetarian lifestyle can be a good choice, read this statement made by the American Dietetic Association:

“It is the position of the American Dietetic Association that appropriately planned vegetarian diets, including total vegetarian or vegan diets, are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases. Well-planned vegetarian diets are appropriate for individuals during all stages of the lifecycle”

It is important, that once your child conveys to you his or her desire to become a vegetarian that you discuss how this food choice change may impact the entire family. As a parent you should take the time to educate yourself about vegetarianism and some of the alternatives to eating meat as protein. Talk to your child and the rest of the family to decide how you can work together to accommodate everyone’s eating habits. Try to avoid criticizing your teen’s decision in front of everyone, which may cause an uncomfortable rift to develop in your relationship when he or she decides to become a vegetarian regardless of your opinion. Include your child in making the grocery shopping list, or come up with certain compromises on which meals he or she will prepare for him/herself. You could also create a sample diet with your teen over the course of a week or month. Select vegetarian books and recipes to find vegetarian dishes that will appeal to your teen, using ingredients that he or she already likes.

Eating Disorders and Vegetarianism

Vegetarianism definitely has many healthy benefits; however some studies have suggested that teens that have image problems and eating disorders may be more likely to turn to vegetarianism in order to lose weight. It seems that a significant number of kids experiment with a vegetarian diet as a way to mask an eating disorder, since it’s a socially acceptable way to avoid eating many foods and one that parents tend not to oppose. A study, led by nutritionist  Ramona Robinson-O’Brien, an assistant professor at the College of Saint Benedict and Saint John’s University in Minnesota, found that while adolescent and young adult vegetarians were less likely than meat eaters to be overweight and more likely to eat a relatively healthful diet, they were also more likely to binge eat. Although most teens in Robinson-O’Brien’s study claimed to choose vegetarianism to be healthier, save the environment, and the world’s animals, the research suggests they may be more interested in losing weight than protecting cattle or swine. The authors of the study suggest that parents and doctors should be extra attentive when teens suddenly become vegetarians. Although teens may say they’re trying to protect animals, they may actually be trying to camouflage some unhealthy eating behaviors.

Resources

Next post →

Comments are closed.