How is Coconut Oil Good For You? The Unbelievable Health Benefits

Coconuts have been used as a major food source for thousands of years by millions of people in Asia, the Pacific Islands, Africa, and Central America. Before these people were introduced to western and modern day foods from across the world, they relied heavily on the coconut plant to sustain life. What is amazing to think about is that they didn’t suffer from heart disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and other modern degenerative diseases. However, when they started incorporating modern western foods into their diet and abandoned their traditional, coconut based diets, these diseases started to show up. This transition was noted by many researches that the more ‘westernized’ the people came in regards to their diet, the more their health deteriorated. Their diet did include other nutrient-rich foods that did contribute to their overall health but they were not the ‘secret’ to their underlying absence of disease and illness. What researches had found was that the most common and staple food used in all of these countries was the coconut plant.

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The ‘Fat’ in Coconut Oil

We are constantly being told in our society to avoid fat, and it makes sense, its called fat for a reason right? This is where the misconceptions arise. There are ‘good’ fats and ‘bad’ fats that we need to be aware of, which you can learn more about here. To be healthy and free of disease we need essential fatty acids which come in the form of Omega 3 and Omega 6. Medium-chain fatty acids like those found in the Coconut plant, are also important and are considered conditionally essential.  This means that under certain circumstances, they are just as important as other essential fatty acids. 

Coconut oil was thought of as a food to avoid due to its high saturated fat content among other food groups as well such as meat, margarines and fried foods. However with the Coconut plant, the saturated fat it contains is made up of small and medium chain triglycerides as oppose to other saturated fats like animal fats which are long chain triglycerides.

We are told that if we reduce our fat intake by 30% of our total calorie intake, then it will help reduce our risk of heart disease. This may be true for some fats but coconut oil is another story. Look at the Polynesian people for example, they consume coconut oil daily and in large quantities, in fact, their fat intake can contribute to 60% of their total calorie intake which is twice the recommended amount.  

Additionally, Coconut oil is better for our health because it is burned in the body easily whereas long chain triglycerides goes to the circulatory system before it is finally used as energy.

What is Virgin Coconut Oil?

The difference between Commercial coconut oil and Virgin coconut oil is dependent on the way it is processed. Commercial coconut oil is produced from dried coconut ‘meat’ and then undergoes refining processes to make the oil edible. Once it has been refined, it is called Refined, Bleached, and Deodorized Coconut oil. This is the most commonly used coconut oil when cooking.

Virgin oil, on the other hand, does not undergo the refining process because the oil produced is already edible.

The chemical properties are the same in both Commercial and Virgin so the health benefits remain the same because they have the same medium chain fatty acid composition, it is just the process they undergo that the name changes.

In regards to health, Virgin Coconut oil is better for you due to the biologically active substances which are normally lost in the refining process remain intact in the oil.

Disease Prevention

Coconut oil is highly respected in many cultures of the world and not only as a valuable and diverse food source but for medicinial purposes as well. For example, in Central America of Panama, people are known to drink coconut oil by the cup, which they found to help overcome sickness faster. Additionally in Nigeria, palm kernal oil (which is similar to coconut) is their most trusted remedy for all types of illnesses, and because it has been used there for so long, it is their most commonly administered traditional remedy.

Coconuts are disease fighters due to their antibacterial, antiviral, anti-parasitic and antioxidant properties. It is even used in baby formula because it provides many of the same nutrients as human breast milk! Additionally, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has deemed the consumption of coconut oil as not only safe, but can be used to treat a number of common illnesses.

People use to think that coconut was something that contributed to diseases such as heart disease or other cardiovascualr diseases but what studies are showing is that coconut actually helps prevent these diseases.

Coconut oil has also been mentioned in cancer prevention studies. This is because Coconut oil does not affect blood lipids and will not cause an increase in cholesterol or cause cardiovascular disease.  It even increased the High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or the so-called “good cholesterol”, reducing the risk of coronary heart disease.

Additionally, Blackburn et al (1988) stated that Coconut oil is, at worst, neutral in regards to an atherogenicity of fats and oils and can be beneficial to prevent and treat some heart diseases.

At the start of this article I said the Coconut plant is a Nutraceutical substance. That is a substance that offers nutritional value as well as pharmacological effects. It is a nutraceutical due to its biologically active substances.  There are studies that are still trying to understand the effects of these substances on human health and the interest is going big worldwide!

How do I use coconut oil? 

Regular usage of coconut oil can really improve your overall health and help prevent diseases. If you are overweight, it can help you to loose weight; if you have digestive problems it can help with that as well.

You can incorporate coconut oil in your daily life by:

(1) Using it for cooking and replace it with your other oils,

(2) Eat coconut or coconut products (coconut yoghurt, coconut cream, coconut milk, coconut water) or,

(3) Apply coconut oil directly to your skin and hair in order to recieve its health and healing properties into your body.

(4) Coconut oil can also be used in a toothpaste, which inhibits the growth of Streptococcus mutans, an acid-producing bacterium that is a major cause of tooth decay and they are usually natural toothpastes that will be free of harmful ingredients like fluoride, triclosan, and sodium laureth sulfate (SLS). 

==>You can purchase your own Coconut-based toothpaste here <== 

Thank You!

Thanks for having a read and trying to better your health through healthy and safe alternatives to medicines. I hope you learnt a thing or two and are ready to replace your vegetable oils with coconut oil! I know I am!

What are your thoughts about coconut oil and its health benefits? Please feel free to share your thoughts below, I am excited to chat about this amazing plant!

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

References:

Fife, B., 2013. The coconut oil miracle. Penguin.

Enig, M.G., 1996. A new look at coconut oil. The Weston A. Price Foundation. http://www. westonaprice. org/health.

Carandang, E.V., 2008. Health benefits of virgin coconut oil. INDIAN COCONUT JOURNAL-COCHIN-, 38(9), p.8.

Chow, C.K., 2007. Fatty acids in foods and their health implications. CRC press.

 

 

 

 

 

Why is BPA Bad for you? Or is it just a Crazy Conspiracy?

What is BPA?

BPA is an abbreviation for bisphenol A, a plastic monomer and plasticizer and is one of the most produced chemicals in the world.

BPA is used in the production of polycarbonate plastics and epoxy resins used in many consumer goods. BPA is used so much because of its unique and beneficial characteristics, such as it is very clear, lightweight, heat-resistant and shatter resistant. These characteristics make it an optimal material for a large variety of products, such as food packaging (cans, bottles), food containers, beverage bottles, tableware, storage containers, eyewear, lenses, sports safety equipment, electronics, and medical equipment.

Due to its large usage globally, BPA has been studied extensively. While studying this product, numerous concerns have arisen about its safety to our health and thus its continued use is questionable. The media started and has continued to cover this issue since 2008, and has focused particular attention onto BPA’s contact with fetuses, infants and young children.

The most common way BPA gets into our system is through oral intake and skin contact sources which are likely from canned foods with lined epoxy resins, water in polycarbonate bottles or cosmetics where it is used as an antioxidant.

In developed nations, almost all individuals are exposed to BPA continuously through the products we use and the foods we eat. Welshons et al, after measuring BPA levels in human blood and urine is concerned about two things:

(1) that BPA intake may be higher then what has been suggested and,

(2) the concern about long-term, daily intake which can lead to bioaccumulation of BPA. This can potentially lead to a steady-state level which has not been represented by any of the current models for BPA metabolism on single, acute administration.

Does BPA affect our health?

Most of the hazards from BPA have been found from studies that deduced their results from testing on rats and mice which already tells us their results may not be 100% accurate about its effects on humans; however one of the potential health impacts that can occur is to do with BPA’s estrogenicity which was discovered in the 1930’s, but it was not until 1997 that the adverse effects of low dose exposure on laboratory animals were first reported. Below is a list of concerning effects BPA exposure had on the animals and these results are from several studies done between 1997 and 2009.

  • Permanent changes to genital tract
  • Changes in breast tissue that predispose cells to hormones and carcinogens
  • Long-term adverse reproductive and carcinogenic effects
  • Increased prostate weight 30%
  • Lower body weight, increase of anogenital distance in both genders, signs of early puberty and longer estrus
  • A decline in testicular testosterone
  • Breast cells predisposed to cancer
  • Prostate cells more sensitive to hormones and cancer
  • Decreased maternal behaviors
  • Reversed the normal sex differences in brain structure and behavior
  • Adverse neurological effects occur in non-human primates
  • Disrupts ovarian development

This range of detrimental health impacts provides a worthy amount of concern about our continued and varied use of BPA products.

Can BPA Really Affect Men’s Testosterone Levels?

 

BPA is an endocrine disruptor, which means it has the ability to mimic the bodies’ hormones and once it enters the body, it can cause problems with our cell functioning by acting as an estrogen and androgen agonist which can affect our health. This can be in the form of affecting a human’s development throughout the fetal period and may be carcinogenic, potentially leading to precursors of breast cancer (European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, 2006).

Additionally, due to BPA’s estrogenic behavior, it has been shown to reduce sperm count and their activity, be toxic to the liver and may be linked to obesity by affecting fat-cell activity (European Food Safety Authority, EFSA, 2006).

Supporting this theory, there are two studies that have shown that men have a larger BPA exposure than women, and this may have to do with BPA’s correlation with higher testosterone compared with normal women, indeed serum BPA concentrations were significantly higher in normal men and in women with polycystic ovary syndrome then ‘normal’ women.

See More: Things That Lower Testosterone – Plastic Product Alternatives

Food packaging with BPA going into our food/liquids

Food cans were shown in two studies to be a major contributor to our intake of BPA. The food cans that are lacquer-coated with a plastic lining are the ones to watch out for because the foods within these cans were shown to be contaminated by substantial amounts of BPA. In one study, they used plastic flasks which still contain BPA and are made by the same canning industry and found the liquid contents of the plastic flasks had BPA contents between 2-4 ug, whereas the original food cans had contents ranging between 4 and 23 ug. Almost all of the estrogenicity was due to BPA, based upon the results of the E-Screen.

 

What About Pregnant Women?

There have been several human studies that have found associations between maternal BPA exposure during gestation and endpoints in the offspring. In these studies, there was a clear representation between maternal exposure and stronger associations of adverse outcomes of the developing fetus.

It is dependent on the timing of the maternal exposure to BPA and thus results in stronger associations of adverse outcomes of the offspring. This indicates that there are sensitive times as to when BPA can have an impact on the developing fetus.  There were also several studies that found effects when following-up on postnatal BPA exposures and outcomes in young children, indicating that the critical windows of BPA exposure may persist postnatally into childhood.

Does BPA Affect the Environment?

 

The presence of BPA in the environment is due to man-made activities as it is not produced naturally. BPA traces are found in water bodies and the atmosphere from polycarbonate and epoxy resin manufacturing facilities. Fortunately, BPA is readily biodegradable and breaks down rapidly in the environment, in fact, approximately 92-98% is removed by microorganisms. The trace amounts left in water bodies can continue to biodegrade for about 1-4 days in receiving waters and downstream of treatments plants.

However,  there are other studies who state that BPA’s exposure in aquatic and terrestrial environments can be harmful to wildlife including annelids (both aquatic and terrestrial), mollusks, crustaceans, insects, fish, and amphibians, as well as on the embryonic development and the induction of genetic aberrations in crustaceans and amphibians.

Although there is a suspicion that the environmental exposure is not adequate to cause serious effects, except in unique situations where a large local contamination occurs, the potential hazards are too important, and more investigation is certainly recommended.

 

How do we Manage this Issue?

From reading all of the potential health implications BPA can have, you would assume its continued use would not be allowed. However, the adverse health effects still remain uncertain due to the tests being done on animals or the tests on humans were done with low dosages and do not know what the long-term with small doses of BPA can have over the course of someone’s life.

In 2010, an expert consultation was organized by WHO in 2010 and that expert recommended that public health officials should hold off on regulations limiting or banning the use of BPA. He states, ‘“initiation of public health measures would be premature”. On the other hand, in March 2010 the USEPA declared BPA as a chemical concern, though the USA Presidents Cancer Panel argued for a precautionary approach on BPA in April 2010. The European Union had prohibited the manufacture of BPA in infant baby bottles since 1 March 2011 and will ban their import and sale by 1 June 2011.

This information shows that though BPA has a large variety of potential health hazards, there is a lack of concrete evidence to make enough of an impact to stop the production and usage of BPA. BPA’s advantages in creating highly functional products outweigh the potential health hazards it may cause to humans in the long run.

What does a BPA website have to say?

The BPA website states that polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resins have been safely used in consumer products for over 40 years.

Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) stated that “a consumer would have to ingest more than 1,300 pounds of food and beverages in contact with polycarbonate plastic every day for an entire lifetime to exceed the safe level of BPA”.

What do we do?

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What we can deduce from all this information is that you should not be too overwhelmed about using BPA products or buying canned foods, but if you can avoid the use of a BPA product, it is recommended that you use the alternative.

Additionally, plastic is not biodegradable and is overwhelming our oceans and wildlife.

By choosing plastic-free products, you are not only reducing your risk of potential health issues but you are also doing a world of good by helping the environment!

 

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

References

https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0890623807002377

http://www.efsa.europa.eu/en/press/news/161013

https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/endo/article/138/5/1777/2987307

https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0890623807002377#bib2

https://www-sciencedirect-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/science/article/pii/S0160412011001206

 

 

 

 

Plant Protein Versus Whey Protein – Making the Right Choice

I decided to write about this topic because I was thinking about whether whey protein powder was better than plant-based protein powder. Though whey protein can be harder to digest for some people, there is not too much to worry about in my opinion.

The real concern that came to me was the harm the production of whey and other dairy products causes to cows, the environment, and our health.

There are so many questions and controversies that come up on this topic, which is totally fair. We have been brought up with milk and dairy products from when we were born, why question it?

Choosing to remove dairy and similar products from your diet such as protein powder, more so, depends on your ethics and if you want a protein powder or a diet that is ethical.

This is why I chose to live on a plant-based diet and so consequently use a plant-based protein powder because it does not require any harm to animals, specifical to cows.

 

 

 

The Elephant in the Room

Surprisingly to many people, cows are mistreated in the dairy industry in a variety of ways. Firstly, I should point out, because you will be surprised at how many people do not think about this, is that…

A cow has to be pregnant before it is able to produce milk

This, of course, is the same with all mammals in the world, including humans.

Women don’t produce milk all the time; it only occurs when women are pregnant and have given birth so they can feed their babies. Nothing is different with cows.

Harsh Truths About the Dairy Industry

To get pregnant, the cow must be artificially inseminated which can be a painful process, especially because most farmers are inexperienced arm workers whom often constrain them in a cattle crusher as it is known in the industry and use a metal rod to forcefully inseminate them. This can be very distressing for the cow especially when they are separated from the rest of the herd in the process.

This image illustrates the process of artificial insemination. One arm is inserted into the rectum of the animal to position the uterus. The other hand inserts an instrument containing the semen and injects into the uterus.

 

 

 

A Mother Cow and her Calf

What I consider one of the most saddening processes in the dairy industry is that when the mother cow gives birth to her calf, their baby is taken away from the mother in a matter of hours, depending on the dairy farm, which is a horrible process for the mother cow and her calf, as this bond is so strong.

It is no different to a human mother and her baby. Imagine your baby being taken away from you after giving birth. I cannot even imagine, and I am not even a mum! (1)

Bobby Calves

Additional to that, if the calf born is a male, also known as a ‘Bobby calf’, they are considered a ‘waste product’ for the dairy industry. Therefore, they are sent to the slaughterhouse to be made into veal, dog meat or beef. Veal, if you do not know how it is made, is one of the cruelest meats to buy.

It requires the calf to remain standing or sitting for months in a small crate to reduce muscle growth, which softens the meat as well as to produce the classic white-color that veal has by denying the calf access to iron. They are slaughtered after only 18-20 weeks of age.

Fortunately, in Australia, the UK and Europe, the use of solid wooden crates that do not allow the calf to turn around or express normal behaviors, has been made illegal since 2007, but still remains in other countries. The calves in Australia, however, are still put in small pens, together in small spaces which do not allow much movement. (2, 3)

Knowing this was enough to make me switch from eating animal products to a plant-based lifestyle in an instant.

 

Is Milk Natural?

What we need to remember is that milk is not natural for humans, we, just like animals, only need milk when we are a baby and then that is it.

Not only that, but we are the only species on earth that not only drink milk in adulthood but also drinks the milk of another species.

A famous physician, Michael Greger M.D. and NYT Best Selling author, states that ‘Milk is a cocktail of growth hormones, to make a little animal that’s susceptible to predation to put on a few hundred pounds in a few months because they don’t want to get eaten by a lion. So it is engineered for this growing food to ensure rapid growth which is great if you are a little baby cow but if you are an adult human, those extra growth hormones are not a good thing’.

 

Isn’t Milk Needed For Strong Bones?

It has become so natural and normal for us to drink cow milk, due to the influx of advertisements telling us that we need cow milk to have strong and, healthy bones.

When we think of calcium, we can’t help but think of milk.

Interestingly, calcium is also present in other foods too! When I was learning about all of this I was so shocked to realize that broccoli has calcium in it…who knew!

Another food that I was unable to comprehend that had calcium in it was an orange!

It has 100ml of calcium and daily we need approximately 500ml, so that is a pretty good dosage from one fruit!

 

What I also found concerning was a study that was published in 1984 had found positive correlations between fatal prostate cancer and the consumption of milk, cheese, eggs, and meat. In fact, the relative risk of fatal prostate cancer was 3.6 times more likely for those who heavily consumed all four animal products (4).

The results of this study and others show that animal product consumption along with obesity may be fatal factors for prostate cancer.

This study was published 34 years ago! The fact that this has only come to light this past couple of years is insane to think that this information has not been talked about enough to those that are struggling with these issues.

Pus in Milk?!

What is also quite disturbing is that there is pus in your bottled dairy milk…

Yes, pus!

Although professionally it is known as somatic pus cells and by law, you cannot have any more than 750,000 somatic cells per CC of milk. Because, you know, we don’t want too much pus in our milk.

 

Dairy Alternatives

At the end of the day, we don’t need to drink cow milk and cause unnecessary harm to cows and risk our health, there are so many alternatives!

 

Read More: Sunwarrior Review: A Health Plant-Based Protein Powder

My favorite plant-based kinds of milk are soy and almond milk, but you can choose from many more!

Here are some options:

  • Oat milk
  • Macadamia milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Rice milk
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Soy milk

If you want to know more about this topic I recommend watching ‘What the Health‘ or ‘Food Choices‘ on Netflix as they provide you with a wealth of information about this topic.

 

Thank You For Caring!

I hope I have shone a light on some information you may not have known before and are intrigued about this topic and want to find out where you can do more to help 🙂

Please feel free to comment your thoughts below as I know this is a hard tablet to swallow, but I encourage you to do further research on this topic as there really is so much to learn.

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

 

References:

(1) USDA. (2016). Dairt 2014: Dairy Cattle Management Practices in the United States. [online] Available at: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahms/dairy/downloads/dairy14/Dairy14_dr_PartI.pdf [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

(2) Kb.rspca.org.au. (2011). What is veal? – RSPCA Australia knowledgebase. [online] Available at: http://kb.rspca.org.au/What-is-veal_273.html [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

(3) Australianbutchersguild. (2014). Veal | Australian Butchers’ Guild. [online] Available at: http://www.australianbutchersguild.com.au/farming/veal [Accessed 23 Aug. 2018].

(5) Snowdon, D., Phillips, R. and Choi, W. (1984). Diet, obesity, and risk of fatal prostate cancer. American Journal of Epidemology, [online] 120(2), pp.244-250. Available at: https://academic-oup-com.ezproxy.uws.edu.au/aje/article/120/2/244/124466 [Accessed 24 Aug. 2018].

 

 

 

 

 

What Is The Big Deal With Fluoride? – Fluoride-Free Toothpaste Brands

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the impacts fluoride has on our health. It is used in and most commonly known to be in our toothpaste, and other dental products such as mouthwash. This is a product which most of the world population uses on a daily basis!

How is there a product we use so frequently but there is no major coverage on what it could potentially be doing to our health, especially in children?

I have heard many theories about fluoride and its potential health implications but I wanted to know more about what it actually is, how much is actually in the products we use and is it a safe dosage?

What is Fluoride?

Fluoride is an ion derived from the element fluorine, a gas that cannot be found in its elemental state in nature. Fluoride is sufficient in the environment but exists only in combination with other elements, as Fluoride compounds are elements of minerals in rock and soil. Accordingly, Fluoride is commonly found and/or associated with volcanic activity.

We use fluoride in toothpaste to prevent and control dental cavities. Fluoride works through enhancing the remineralization of early stages of caries and by inhibiting demineralization, which would lead to dental caries (1).

What Sources Are Fluoride Found In?

Fluoride is naturally found in groundwater which is contaminated by geological sources such as soils and sediments; it would, however, be at a maximum concentration of 30-50mg/l.

It is also found in natural foods such as fruits and vegetables but these have VERY low amounts such as 0.01 – 0.03mg/l. So these types of foods are not of concern for our health.

Common sources we use fluoride include:

  • Dental products
  • Processed foods made with fluoridated water
  • Fluorinated pharmaceuticals
  • Fluoride-containing pesticides
  • Bottled tea
  • Nonstick Pans

How Much Fluoride is in our Toothpaste?

The single piece of toothpaste we put on the length of our toothbrush contains approximately, 0.75 to 1.5 mg of fluoride. This is over the recommended amount of fluoride that is allowed in most prescription fluoride supplements (0.25 to 1.0 mg).

That is already quite concerning!

Additional to that, it is very common for children to have more toothpaste ingested then this, especially if the toothpaste is flavored.

Research has shown that some children swallow more fluoride from toothpaste alone than is recommended from all sources combined even though dentist recommend a pea-sized amount of fluoride per brush.

As stated in the Journal of Public Health Dentistry:

“Virtually all authors have noted that some children could ingest more fluoride from [toothpaste] alone than is recommended as a total daily fluoride ingestion.” (Levy 1999).

In fact, the FDA in the US has to have a poison warning on all toothpaste products. It states, ‘”If you accidentally swallow more than used for brushing, seek professional help or contact a poison control center immediately.”

How Much Fluoride is Safe To Consume?

According to the University of Maryland Medical Center:

  • Adult men can safely consume 4 milligrams of fluoride per day
  • Adult women can safely consume 3 milligrams per day
  • Children can safely consume no more than 2-3 mg/day. 

More information about this can be found here

Is Fluoride Harmful to Our Health?

Excessive consumption of fluoride over a long period of time can cause serious public health concerns such as Fluorosis.

This is dental mottling and involves skeletal manifestations such as deformities, osteoporosis, and osteosclerosis. However, this only occurs during tooth formation, during our early years between the ages of 0-8 (2).

The severity of dental fluorosis depends on factors such as the dose, timing, and duration of fluoride consumption. In its mild forms, dental fluorosis presents as cloudy white splotches and streaks on the teeth, while in its moderate and severe forms, fluorosis can cause extensive brown and black staining along with pitting and crumbling of the enamel (3). 

Effects on the Brain

Fluorosis is one of many examples of the potential risks excessive fluoride intake can cause.

Astoundingly there have been many studies showing a relationship between fluoride and human intelligence, more specifically, affecting our memory.

How many studies do you ask? Well, I’ll be sure to shock you, 60 studies investigated this relationship!

40 of them were using the memory of animals. Out of these studies, 53 were positive in showing a direct link between elevated fluoride exposure and reduced IQ in humans. In the animal studies trial, 45 of them found that fluoride exposure decreased their learning and memory capacity.

In regards to the human studies, which were focused on IQ
examinations were done with over 15,000 children who provided outstanding evidence that fluoride exposure to a child, can damage their developing brain.

Biome Eco Stores - Zero Waste, Toxin Free, Ethical Choices

A team of Harvard scientists reviewed 27 of the human IQ studies and concluded that fluorides impact on young children’s brains should be of a high priority (4).  The National Research Council and scientists in the Neurotoxicology Division of the Environmental Protection Agency also reviewed the studies and reached similar conclusions that this was a very serious matter (5).

Additionally, a recent study concerning the link between fluoride and ADHD reports a large relationship between fluoride exposure and ADHD symptoms/diagnosis, even across six different years.

The authors of the study noted that states who received the most fluoridated water had more ADHD diagnoses even after controlling for socioeconomic status.

 

My Review

After researching this information I have come to the conclusion that for adults it is OKAY to have some fluoride but is not 100% necessary and looks as if it isn’t AMAZING for our teeth and mental health.

Children, however, it sounds like it is very dangerous for them especially because they do eat a lot of toothpaste, I know I did as a child!

I, personally am steering away from fluoride toothpaste as it does not seem natural and even if it has some benefits to ridding cavities, why not use other sources to prevent cavities and be safer especially if you have children?

Swapping Fluoride For…?

We do not need fluoride to maintain healthy teeth and prevent dental cavities. Cavities are formed from excess bacteria. The bacteria sticks to our teeth via plaque and then the bacteria eats away at your teeth from inside the plaque.

The protective coating over our teeth is called enamel and protects the insides of our teeth from external elements. Enamel lasts our whole life but can be worn down.

To avoid bacteria growth and avoid using fluoride to get rid of the bacteria and risk health implications, you can steer away from excess consumption of acidic foods and sugar, because they encourage bacteria growth in our mouths so avoiding these foods will avoid a bacteria thriving environment.

Brushing your teeth regularly twice a day is also crucial to removing  plaque off  our teeth and alkalizing the mouth as well as to deprive us of a bacteria prone environment

You can always make a homemade toothpaste but not all of us have the time and interest to do this, I’ll put my hand up now and say I am not that motivated!

Otherwise, there are other toothpaste options to try out that do not contain fluoride.

CocoClean is one I have been using and really enjoying not only because of the taste but the refreshing feeling afterward. The creator is a dentist herself, and a mother of 3.

I really recommend this toothpaste or other fluoride-free brands to anyone who wants to reduce their use or their children’s use of fluoride, so you can avoid consequences ranging from fluorosis to impacting their IQ and memory function.

You can trust Cococlean as it is fluoride free, sulfite free, healthy, vegan and supports women in crisis.

There is no baking soda, charcoal or salt used in Cococlean which can be too harsh on the teeth.

The creator of Cococlean does not use fluoride because she believes it should only be used in small doses when required.

Ingredients:  Deionised water, Calcium Carbonate, Glycerin (plant derived), Methyl Cellulose, Silica, Lauryl Glucoside, Fractionated Coconut Oil, Spearmint Oil, Stevia, Xanthum gum, Xylitol, Sodium Benzoate, Potassium Sorbate

If you want a more personal outlook on her product and what she is all about, you can check her Instagram out here. 

Thanks, Everyone!

I hope this has cleared up some misconceptions about fluoride and its potential impacts on our health and give you somewhere to start in terms of looking for a new toothpaste brand!

Please feel free to comment below your thoughts on this topic, I am interested in what everyone has to say 🙂

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

 

References:

(1) J, M, Cate, 2013 ‘A contemporary perspective on the use of fluoride products in caries prevention’, British Dental Journal, pp. 161-167, Available at: https://www.nature.com/articles/sj.bdj.2013.162

(2) Denbeston, P, 2011 Fluoride and the Natural Environment, Karger, vol. 22, pp 81, Available at: https://www.karger.com/Article/Abstract/327028

(3) Fluoridealert.org, n.d. Fluoride Action Network | Toothpastes, Available at http://fluoridealert.org/issues/dental-products/toothpastes/

(4) Choi, A. L., Sun, G., Zhang, Y., & Grandjean, P. (2012). Developmental fluoride neurotoxicity: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Environmental health perspectives, 120(10), 1362.

(5)Fluoride.org, n.d. Fluoride Action Network, Fluoride & IQ: The 53 Studies, Available at: http://fluoridealert.org/issues/dental-products/toothpastes/

(6) Betterman, E, 2017, New Study Reveals Link Between Fluoride and ADHD, Dr Eddy Betterman MD, Available at: https://dreddymd.com/2017/09/22/new-study-reveals-link-between-fluoride-and-adhd/

 

 

Sunwarrior Review – A Healthy Plant-Based Protein Powder

Product: Sunwarrior Classic Plus

Price: $39.00 for 30 servings

The Place to Buy: Sunwarrior Classic Plus Website

Size of Container: 500 Grams

My Rating: 9.8/10

Overview

We want the best protein powder worth our precious dollars and not only for our health but also for taste. So I am going to help you out!

I have been using plant-based protein powders for many years now and during that time have used a variety of brands. I use them to make a healthy shake after my work out as well as use them in my oats for breakfast!

In choosing a protein powder, I have come to realize the importance of reading the nutrition information on not only protein powder but all processed products. I understand what to look for now.

The ingredients!

It is actually imperative to know how to read and understand what food you are putting into your body if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and to lose weight.

Some protein powder brands, for example, have unnecessary ingredients in them that are processed and unnatural. Some examples include preservatives, refined sugars, and thickeners; these foods in excess can influence your health and fitness goals.

 

Pea Protein

First off, most plant-based protein powder is made from pea protein, so let’s find out about the basics of this common ingredient in plant-based protein.

  • It is made from the yellow pea, Pisum Sativum
  • It is not a complete protein – it has all amino acids but is low in methionine and cystine
  • Therefore it should be used as a supplement and not a replacement
  • It is tasteless so can be mixed with any foods and will not alter the taste
  • It is great for anyone who is a Vegan or a Vegetarian
  • It is easily digestible so it is great for those who have digestive issues or are lactose intolerant

There are 9 amino acids which compromise a complete protein, as recommended by the Institute of Medicine’s Food and Nutrition Board.

These include Tryptophan, Threonine, Isoleucine, Leucine, Lysine, Methionine + Cystine, Phenylaline + Tyrosine, Valine, and Histidine.

 

 

 

 

Ingredient List in Sunwarrior Protein:

So I have told you how important ingredients are in regards to your health and well-being, so let’s have a look at what is inside the Sunwarrior Classic Plus.

1.  Proprietary protein blend:

  • Organic Brown Rice
  • Organic Pea
  • Organic Quinoa
  • Organic Chia seed
  • Organic Amaranth

2.  Organic Vanilla flavor

3.  Unrefined sea salt

4.  Stabiliser (Organic Guar Fibre)

5.  Natural Sweetener (Organic Stevia Extract)

I definitely approve of the ingredients in Sunwarrior Protein because all of them are raw and pure. Additionally, they don’t just use one type of protein, (usually brands only use pea protein) they use 5! This is great because each ingredient provides us additional amino’s and nutrients to achieve a complete protein package and a nutrient explosion!

Sunwarrior Classic Plus has 18 grams of protein per serving, to find more information about protein intake on a plant-based diet click here.

(No GMO’s and Gluten-free)

 

Health Benefits of Foods You May Not Have Heard Of

 Amaranth

Amaranth is a seed of a plant and is naturally gluten-free. It has lysine which means it contains all amino acids so that makes it a complete protein.

Interestingly, to get an idea of the nutrient density and use of Amaranth, it was very popular among the Aztecs (1300 to 1521) and actually made up 80% of their diet!

In terms of nutrition, Amaranth contains 26 grams of protein per cup which is much higher than most grains like wheat and rice.

It is a great source of fiber with 13 grams per uncooked cup compared to 2 grams in white rice.

 

Chia Seeds

Chia seeds are a very nutrient dense food.

It is especially great because you consume a load of nutrients in just a small dose!

Chia seeds also contain Fibre, Protein, Healthy fats (5 of which are Omega – 3’s), Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Manganese. They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2. What a truckload!

 

Quinoa

Quinoa is a popular ingredient used on a plant-based diet due to its healthy carbohydrate and protein quantity. It is also high in dietary fiber, B vitamins and dietary minerals in rich amounts.

 

 

Guar Gum

Guar Gum is extracted from guar beans and used as a thickening and stabilizing agent due to its appropriate properties.

 

 

 

 

Stevia

Stevia is a shrub from the tropical and subtropical America. The leaves of the shrub are used as a sugar substitute; it is popular because of its calorie-free makeup.

 

 

The Taste of Sunwarrior Protein

The taste is an important thing in a protein powder. I know many people that can’t seem to find a brand that has a tasty flavor and pleasantly used with just water. There are other ways to use a protein powder that can make it taste better, but sometimes it can just be easier to mix it with water straight after the gym. Sunwarrior protein has a subtle vanilla flavor (if choosing the vanilla flavor, there is also chocolate and natural) but it is not too intense as some brands have it.

 

 

 

 

When I do use it in other ways such as in my oatmeal, it makes it taste especially great. It actually helps me to use less sweet ingredients such as maple syrup because the protein powder gives it a nice vanilla and sweet flavor already.

Read More: How To Make Protein Powder Taste Better

The Cons

I can’t really think of any cons, to be honest with you, the ingredients are raw and healthy, the flavor is delicious, and the price is reasonable. I suppose the only con I can think of would be the amount of protein powder in the tub, it is ¾ full but not 100% full but let’s be honest, most packaged foods are like that anyways.

Overall Impression

There are many great plant-based protein powders out there and I believe this is one of them, the benefits are tremendous and are exactly what we need on a health and fitness journey, not only that but it is enjoyable and affordable!

Another take-home message is to remember to look at the ingredient list of any processed food product as that is where we really find out if a product is healthy or not.

If you are just starting out in your health and fitness journey, you can check out the following link to learn basic but crucial tips for starting a healthy lifestyle.

Read More: How To Start Eating Healthy For Beginners – 11 Crucial Lessons 

Thank you so much for reading this review and I hope you found it informative!

Please feel free to comment below your experiences with protein powder or anything you like, I would love to hear from you all.

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

The Earth Co.

How to Start Eating Healthy For Beginners – 11 Crucial Lessons

There is so much information out there when it comes to losing weight. I am one to put my hand up and say yep I am over the confusing and misleading messages, diet trends or quick fix diets.

You have come to a place that promotes all things eco-friendly, cruelty-free and health pro. This means that I am not going to suggest the consumption of meat, dairy or eggs in this healthy eating information. If you do eat meat, dairy and eggs do not fret! You can still learn from these effective healthy lessons because they apply to all lifestyles.

These lessons are the basics that everyone should know when starting a healthy lifestyle for the sake of your body and your well being.

Let’s get started!

 

1. Cut out Processed Sugar

Sugar is a big no, no when it comes to health and weight loss gains. Sugar provides little to no nutritional benefit and in excess causes easy weight gain.

Foods that are high in processed sugar are soft drinks, packaged juice, commercial ice coffee, lollies, chocolate, cereals, snack bars and yogurt.

Now you may be thinking, what! Cereal, yogurt, juice!?

This comes down to the brand of these food types. It is important you start looking at the nutritional information on the package before deciding what to buy. Look at the sugar content. You may not know what a high level or low level of sugar is, so here is something to help you get the idea.

4 grams = 1 tsp of sugar

Ideally, go for foods that show to be no more than 5 grams of sugar, otherwise at the most, no more than 9 grams.

Also, look at the ingredient list, and a good lesson to know is that the order of ingredients shown on the package, is the order of the highest to the lowest amount of each ingredient. So if sugar, for example, is the first or second ingredient, that means that most of the product is sugar (sometimes they give you a percentage).

Natural sugar, on the other hand, is great. It is found in foods such as fruit, honey, rice malt syrup, and vegetables.

 

2. Eat More Greens

This is something, deep down we all know is the truth when it comes to health. When you see vegetables and fruits and nuts for example in their natural form, you KNOW it is good for you.

So stick with the basics and get into your trolley anything you like that is in its natural form.

We really do need more greens in our systems but a lot of the time we are very busy and do not have time to prepare a green filled meal.

I recommend getting your hands on a greens powder. They are sometimes (depending on the brand) more beneficial to your health because they can contain green superfoods like Spirulina, wheat grass, alfalfa or ginger which are amazing at giving you a load of nutrients in just a small tbsp!

Life Grip Greens Powder is a brand I have been using to get my greens in, and it has no taste! So I put it with my smoothie which is usually a simple one like the following:

Mix these ingredients into a blender!

 

Smoothie, healthy

 

3. Limit Junk Food

Yep, I know you know it! But if you want to lose weight, it is best you avoid buying these obvious food groups that are not good for you.

Once you have established a healthy relationship with food, you can treat yourself to buying one of the above in your weekly shopping trips.

A balanced diet is 80:20

This allows you to be healthy most of the time but then allows you to enjoy your favorite treats 20% of the time and not have them affect your health or your waistline.

 

4. Find Healthy Alternatives That You Will Love

If you are a beginner in the health world, I am sure you are assuming that everything you are now going to eat will not be tasty. But I assure you this is not the case.

In fact, there are so many healthy delicious meal ideas out there, it is just about learning what you like and learning different ways to make once unhealthy meals into healthy meals.

One example would be your typical burger.

From a plant-based perspective, this would mean using bread that is brown (rye, wholegrain or multigrain), peri-peri sauce or mustard for the sauce, hummus or avocado for a spread and for extra flavor, stacking up on veggies such as tomato, beetroot, lettuce or shredded carrot (whatever you prefer) and using a Veggie Pattie instead of a beef pattie.

Vegan Burger Healthy

For me, this is heaven. The difference in how you feel after eating it is also amazing. You will find that you will be full but also feel great! There is no gross or sluggish feeling afterward.

And you can do this for a number of meals!

Yogurt, for example, can be swapped with coconut yogurt. The sugar difference is astonishing. While normal yogurt has approximately 15-25 grams of sugar, coconut yogurt has 3 grams!

 

5. Swap White Bread for Brown Bread

healthy breadBread is fine in moderation.

2 pieces servings of bread a day is sufficient. However, the bread needs to be whole grain, rye or multigrain. White bread and white pastries, for example, are not good for you when trying to lose weight and live a healthy lifestyle.

They may not have a high sugar content but interestingly when you consume white bread and pastries, because they are simple carbohydrates, our bodies turn these nutrients into glucose, which is a sugar used for energy. So if it is not burned off quickly, they are stored as fat and in turn, cause weight gain.

 

6. Eat When You Are Hungry

Eating when you are not hungry is something I personally struggle with. Of course, if you are eating healthy meals, it will not affect your body as much if you were eating unhealthy meals. However, anything in excess can cause weight gain.

Try to use smaller bowls when cooking food. I have a habit of finishing everything on my plate even if I am stuffed! So I have been using smaller bowls so I give myself smaller servings, a serving I can finish easily without stuffing myself.

 

7. Keep Healthy Snacks in Your Pantry

It is important to have snacks in your pantry that are healthy. That way if you are craving a late night snack, you won’t go for the chips or the chocolate and end up feeling bad.

Some ideas are as follows:

  • Rice crackers with peanut butter, chopped banana, and cinnamon on top
  • Fruit
  • Coconut yogurt
  • Fruit and Nut mix
  • A piece of toast with avocado. Lemon, salt, and pepper on top for flavor.
  • 1 piece of dark chocolate
  • Cut up carrots and hummus for dip
  • Make some protein balls and keep them for snacks

Protein Balls

8. Don’t Fall For Product Advertising

It is so easy to grab a packaged meal that states it is healthy and the brand is called weight watchers or something of the sort and just put your trust in that without having a good look at what is actually IN the meal.

Marketing can be very misleading. Before you grab that packaged meal that states it has low calories or has less fat or less sugar or whatever they are trying to market their product as; look at the ingredient list and have a look for yourself what is actually in that product.

I recommend primarily looking at the ingredient list. The foods in there should be whole foods and not filled with things like preservatives, additives, sugar, thickeners or artificial flavors. Pretty much, any word you don’t understand is usually something that isn’t good for you and should be avoided.

 

9. Utilise Herbs for Flavour

Flavour is super important for us to enjoy our meals but usually if using a dressing, sauce or dip, they can be deceivingly unhealthy and limit us to reach our health and weight goals. Things like dressing, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, barbeque sauce, and aioli are not very good for us. They are either high in fat healthy dressing(not the good fat) or sugar.

Instead of these sauces, try to use things like herbs such as cinnamon, curry, turmeric, cumin or garlic powders.

You can also use lemon, lime, olive oil, apple cider vinegar (great for salads) or salt and pepper to add flavor your meals.

If you really want to use a packaged dressing for a salad, for example, make sure you look at the ingredient list like we talked about before, and only get one if the ingredients are raw foods. A health food store is a great place to look.

10. Limit Your Alcohol Intake

I know, I know. It’s going to be hard! But alcohol especially mixed with sugary drinks is a big factor when it comes to weight gain and of course, it is horrible for your health.

Calories are not the issue. They are not the same as your normal energy sources like your carbohydrates. The body cannot store the calories derived from alcohol so it must immediately use them for energy, rather than storing them.

Sound good? Well if you don’t eat at all during your night out, then yes, I suppose it would. But usually we do eat, and when we do, because our body is focused on breaking down those alcohol calories, our metabolism effectively stops and stores our meal on as fat.

If you do want to go out with friends for a drink, which I am sure is going to happen. This is life! We still want to have fun and be healthy!

I would recommend having a couple of drinks and use soda water instead of soft-drink to mix your alcohol. This is at least healthier than your normal night out.

11. Move that Booty!

Yes! It is not all about diet. Exercise is very important for living a healthy lifestyle and helping you to lose weight.

If you are new to exercise, you may be used to sitting at a desk all day and I understand how it can be hard to find time to motivate yourself to exercise in between work and home duties.

But if you want to live a healthy lifestyle and see weight loss results, you need to discipline yourself to get up and work! Even if you just go for a simple walk for 30 minutes, you are still improving your health and weight loss goals.

If you want to do more than walking, there are many ways to exercise, you can go to a park and do some simple exercises, you can get a gym membership, you can swim or you can work out in your living room or backyard.

 

A Positive Beginning

Overall, starting a healthy lifestyle can be overwhelming at first, but the best advice I can give you, in summary, is to simplify it. Stick to whole foods, vegetables, fruits, nuts, the foods you KNOW are good for you. You can’t go wrong. Additionally, practice reading labels on packaged food. You will be surprised at how easily you can be misled by packaged advertising.

Additionally, any type of exercise is better than no exercise, so don’t think you’re not doing enough or there is no point unless you go to the gym 7 times a week. Anything that involves moving your body is a great way to start and improve your body and health.

Good luck with it all and if you have any questions, please comment below! I will be more than happy to help you out in any way I can.

 

Yours truly,

 

Danielle Packer

Founder of The Earth Co.

References:

Staughton, J. (2016). Does Drinking Alcohol Make You Gain Weight?. [online] Scienceabc.com. Available at: https://www.scienceabc.com/humans/does-drinking-alcohol-make-you-gain-weight.html [Accessed 24 Jul. 2018].

Active Lifestyle

Life Grip 5 Greens Powder Review – A Raw and Plant Based Product

Life Grip 5 Greens PowderLife Crip 5 Greens Powder

  • Product: Life Grip 5 Greens Powder Review
  • Price: RRP $69.95
  • Size of Product: 400g tub – 40 serves per tub (5 weeks)
  • Guarantee: 30 Day Money Back Guarantee
  • My Rating: 4.8 out of 5

Overview

Greens, which are full of essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants are vital for a healthy lifestyle but it is so hard sometimes to remember to incorporate them into your diet on a regular basis. Greens Powders however are an easy and effective way to do this.

I put 1 tbsp. of greens powder into my protein smoothie every morning after I have been out to the gym. This means every day I am getting the necessary nutrients into my system for me to live a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

What I hear a lot from people is that they do not want to use greens powder because they don’t fancy the taste of some brands and I can agree to that! But Life Grip 5 Greens powder has no taste to it so if you added it to a smoothie for example, you can still enjoy your smoothie ingredients without ‘wrecking’ the taste.

Additional to that is that some greens powder brand’s are not 100% raw because they have additives thrown in or they do not have a range of super foods in their mix which is so much better for us as we don’t usually eat super foods in our everyday meals, why not get the maximum benefits?

Product Description:

Life Grip has only 5 ingredients; that is it! No messing around with these guys, the ingredients are as follows:

  • Wheat Grass
  • Barley Grass
  • Alfalfa
  • Oat grass
  • Spelt Grass

Because there are only 5 ingredients, every 10 gram serve you consume, you are getting a larger dose per ingredient. The reason why there are only 5 is that there is a large amount per ingredient per serve. While in comparison to other brand’s who put in a lot of different ingredients into their product and so you would be getting a smaller amount of each ingredient per serve.

These 5 ingredients are all 100% Australian grown sprouted greens. No additives, no nasties and nothing artificial! Not only are there no additives but the ingredients themselves are FULL of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants which are especially useful for people who are starting a plant based lifestyle and do not know what foods to starts with to get all the nutrients they require.

5 Greens Nutrition Table

Health Benefits

These 5 ingredients were picked together very well because all of them have such a range of similar health benefits due to their nutrient content. Here are just a few of them:

  1. Regulates Blood Pressure
  2. Improves Digestion
  3. Controls Cholesterol Levels
  4. Boosts Immunity

Their Message

The brand’s message is all about using a healthy diet, an active lifestyle and meditation to combat mental health and prevent diseases. This is a message we should all want to support and be engaged in because there is reoccurring evidence that suggests a strong link between mental health including depression and anxiety symptoms; and with people that live an unhealthy and inactive lifestyle.

Active Lifestyle“Improve Mental Health and Prevent Disease through Nutrition Meditation and Active Lifestyles” Adam Phillips, Founder of Life Grip

Stronger beliefs about the ability to engage in healthy lifestyles are related to healthier living attitudes and healthier lifestyle choices. This is what this brand supports and wants to preach to the world, so it is a brand I trust.

Cons

Honestly the only con I can think of would be the up front cost of the product. Although in saying that, greens powders are usually always quite expensive and Life Grip provides a large package so the price fits the value and quantity given. What is also handy is if you are unsatisfied with the product they provide a 30 day money back guarantee, so ultimately there is no downfall when investing into your health with Life Grip.

 

References:

LIFE GRIP. (n.d.). Products – LIFE GRIP. [online] Available at: https://lifegrip.com.au/products/ [Accessed 8 Jul. 2018].

Melnyk, Bernadette Mazurek, et al. “Mental health correlates of healthy lifestyle attitudes, beliefs, choices, and behaviors in overweight adolescents.” Journal of Pediatric Health Care 20.6 (2006): 401-406.

Sucheta Sharma, Rahul Gupta, D. Singh. (2016) Variation in Selenium Tolerance,
Accumulation, and Growth Parameters of Different Wheat Cultivars
. Communications
in Soil Science and Plant Analysis
47:2, pages 203-212.

Stallknecht, G. F., K. M. Gilbertson, and
J. E. Ranney. “Alternative wheat cereals as food grains: Einkorn, emmer,
spelt, kamut, and triticale.” Progress in new crops (1996): 156-170.

 

 

 

 

Oats

Plant Based Diet Breakfast Ideas – 9 Healthy and Simple Recipes

One of the most popular questions that people ask Vegan’s is ‘What do you eat?’ This is a fair question as we are used to eating things like eggs on toast, using dairy milk with our cereal or eating our famous bacon and egg roll for breakfast.

But what they do not realize is a large number of options available to Vegans for breakfast and although there are many more, I wanted to show you some simple, less time consuming and inexpensive ideas 🙂

1.       Tofu Scramble on Toast

This is an easy but tasty way to get some protein in the morning!

I have mine in a variety of ways but the usual is using the following ingredients:

  • 100 grams of tofu
  • 1/2 an onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A handful of mushrooms
    A handful of spinach
  • 1/2 a tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. of Soy Sauce
  • 1 tsp. of curry paste or powder
  • 1 x toast
  • An avocado or hummus for the spread

Method:

  1. Stir fry the onion and garlic
  2. Scramble up your tofu to make it into a curried egg like texture
  3. Add in mushrooms and tomatoes and let them cook for a minute or two
  4. Toast 1 piece of bread
  5. Add in curry paste and soy sauce to the dish
  6. Finally, add in spinach on low heat as it shrivels up very quickly
  7. Spread hummus or avocado on toast
  8. Pour some of the stir-fry mixtures onto the toast and the rest on to the side

Bon appetite!

2.       Oats – So Many Varieties

Oats are a very simple but effective way to fill you up for a long time, add all sorts of additives for taste and nutrient value and to enjoy your first meal of the day.

Some examples include (using plant-based milk with the following options):

  • Berries and Banana
  • Peanut butter, Banana, and Honey or Rice Malt Syrup
  • Cinnamon, Banana, Berries, Honey or Rice Malt Syrup
  • Coconut Yoghurt, Banana & Cinnamon
  • Protein Powder mixed with the above variations

Mix and Match these variations to your preference!

 

3.       Avocado on Toast

Just as it says! So simple but delicious, great for those who enjoy a light breakfast.

Just add some salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice and you are in for a lovely breakfast.

 

4.       Fresh Juice

You can make your own juice if you have a juicer using a variety of fruits such as orange juice, watermelon or carrot with ginger!

Another option is to purchase your own packaged juice.

I would recommend buying a juice that has all natural ingredients and is cold pressed not reconstituted (which is labeled in the ingredient section of the packaging).

Reconstituted juice means that it is pressed in a juicer but has all the water removed so it is left with solely the flavor concentrate. Manufacturers do this for the long transportation of the product but add more water to the juice when it arrives at the given location.

Unfortunately, the reconstituted juice is not as nutritious unlike freshly squeezed juice because the enzymes required for food metabolism and the immune system are destroyed through the heating and reconstitution processes.

Cold Pressed Juices are ideal because they do not use these methods but instead use a hydraulic pressure to press the fruit or vegetable. They are generally more expensive because they are stored for a shorter period of time but it is also because they contain purely natural ingredients and no additives, which is what we want!

5.       Hot Breakfast
Plant Based Breakfast Idea

If you want to have a hot breakfast (café style) then you can cook up some veggie sausages, grill a tomato and some mushrooms, get some beans on toast and have avocado and spinach on the side.

This plate is very healthy as there is a range of nutrients presented. Superb!

 

6.       Fruit Salad

Super easy to make and versatile! Chop up your favorite fruits and top it off with some coconut yogurt and chopped nuts!

7.      Blue Berry Smoothie

Smoothie, healthyThis is a great way to start your day with a light breakfast and get some healthy foods into you first thing in the morning.

One idea is blending together the below ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 tbsp. of chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp. of Greens Powder
  • 2 tbsp. of protein powder
  • A handful of berries (your choice)
  • 1 cup of Coconut water or your choice of plant-based milk

For more ideas on smoothies check out this video! 🙂

8.       Protein Pancakes

Visit this post for a delicious protein, plant-based pancake recipe that I mentioned earlier in ‘How to Make Protein Powder Taste Better’.

Vegan Protein Pancakes - Easy Recipe

9.       Banana on Toast

Banana on Toast, plant based breakfastThis is one of my favorites and not even for breakfast, I have this for morning or afternoon tea too!

Simply have toast with peanut butter, chopped banana and a sprinkle of cinnamon on top. If you have coconut flakes, you can sprinkle that on top too which is also a favorite of mine 🙂

You can even mix it up by having a hazelnut spread or some dark chocolate liquid on top of the bananas. The options are so versatile!

 

So there you go!

Some simple, cost and time effective ideas to help you out in your plant-based lifestyle!

I hope this article helped you find some breakfast options you like, and if so let me know in the comment section below, I would love to hear your thoughts.

 

Yours truly,

Danielle Packer

The Founder of The Earth Co.

Protein Balls

How To Make Protein Powder Taste Better – Vegan Style

Today I am going to give you some ideas on how to use your protein powder instead of using only water and protein powder. Definitely not fun!

I use my protein powder in various ways and half the time you can’t even taste it or when you can, it tastes great.

There are so many variations to protein shakes, but my Go To is as follows:

My Go To Shake

The main way I drink protein powder is via a shake! It is the most common way to consume protein powder especially after you work out.

  • 1 Banana
  • 1/2 cup of your choice of dairy-free milk (mine is usually almond unsweetened)
  • 2 tbsp of protein powder (mine is vanilla flavor)
  • 1 tbsp of Chia seeds for extra nutrients
  • And 2 tbsp of your choice of berries (blueberries/strawberries/mixed berries)

Add all these ingredients in a blender and Bon Appetit!

Protein Shakes

My Go To Breakfast

I am so glad I found this recipe, it just makes eating ordinary oats so much more delicious, it adds a nice flavor and sweetness to it, that way it doesn’t make you want to put sugar or honey on top.

  • 1 cup of oats
  • 1 banana (chopped)
  • 2 tbsp protein powder (your desired flavor, mine is vanilla)
  • 1-2 tbsp of LSA mix (linseed and sunflower mix, adds a nice texture and has plant-based raw protein and fiber)
  • 1/2 cup of your choice of dairy-free milk (I use soy milk for my breakfast)
  • Add your choice of berries (I use whatever I have at the time)
  • Sprinkle some cinnamon on top!

Oats

My Go To Pancake Mix

So my boyfriend made this recipe up! Go him, they are amazing and so simple to make, plus you’re getting in your protein!

  • 1 cup of Flour (spelt/wholemeal/almond flour are easier to digest than regular flour)
  • 1/4 cup of protein powder (vanilla might be best if you don’t want it changing your pancake flavor too much)
  • 2 tbsp of rice malt syrup or maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp of baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp of sea salt
  • 1 cup of water
  • A bunch of berries

Method:

  1. Mix in the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.
  2. Add the maple or rice malt syrup. Mix together.
  3. Add water slowly to the mix, stirring as you go.
  4. Add a bunch of berries to your liking to the mix.
  5. Pour on to a hot pan and flip once bubbles start showing.

Serves 2 people.

Vegan Protein Pancakes - Easy Recipe

My Go To Treat

I love this recipe, it is super easy and just great for a healthy dessert-like snack. It can crave that sweet tooth anytime!

  • 2 frozen bananas
  • 2 tbsp of protein powder (your choice of flavor)
  • A Handful of Berries (I chose blueberries)

Method:

  • Mix these ingredients together in a blender.
  • To top it off, I put some cut up nuts and shredded coconut!

Vegan Proten Dish

My Go To Healthy Snack

This is a little recipe I like to call The Backwards Breakfast! It is really the first recipe mentioned in this article but backward! So you use the toppings as your mains and the main ingredient as the toppings.

The ingredients/method is as follows:

  • Add 1-2 chopped banana’s
  • Add a handful of berries
  • Add 1 tbsp of protein powder
  • Add 1 tbsp of LSA (linseed, sunflower, and almond meal)
  • Add a handful of muesli or granola to sprinkle over
  • Pour in a bit of plant-based milk
  • Top it off with coconut sprinkles!

Mix it all up and enjoy!

It is a delicious and nutritious snack I eat any time of the day! Enjoy the video below where I show you how to make it.

  

My Go To Protein Balls

These are a new thing I have been trying and loving! Buying Protein Balls by themselves is just too expensive, and when you can make so many of them this easy, who would!

  • 1 ½ cup of cashews (you can use other types of nuts)
  • 1 cup of dates
  • 1 tsp of coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp of cacao powder
  • 1 tbsp of your choice of protein powder
  • 1 tbsp of chia seeds

Method:

  • Blend ingredients together in a blender.
  • Scrape mixture into a bowl and add a little bit of water to make them sticky.
  • Use your hands to roll them into small balls.
  • Put them in the fridge to set.
  • And Enjoy!

Protein Balls

 

So with all of these recipes, you can understand the versatile use of protein powder.

Of course, you can switch and mix up a few of the ingredients to suit your taste buds, but overall it is great for anyone!

Thanks again for reading and please feel free to comment below if you have any questions or some more ideas about how to use protein powder! 😀

Yours Truly,

Danielle Packer

THE EARTH CO.

What is a Plant Based Low Carb Diet? – Weight Loss and A Reduction in Cholesterol Levels

A lot of people are trying to find the perfect diet to lose weight, be healthy or both, and a plant-based diet is becoming increasingly popular over the past few years for these reasons.

Additional to that is the low carbohydrate diet, which is formally created by Mr. Atkins who called it the Atkins Diet. His diet entails that the consumption of high fat and low carbohydrate foods. Normally this would mean a lot of animal products to be consumed such as meat, eggs, and fish as a replacement to carbohydrate foods such as bread, pasta, fruit, and rice.

On a plant-based low carb diet, you are not only reducing animal products but also high carb foods like I mentioned above. Below I will discuss what foods you can eat for this dietary strategy and reveal from a study published in 2009 if a plant-based low carb diet can help you lose weight.

Usually, it is not common to eat a low carbohydrate diet, because when you eliminate the animal products, you need to eat more plant-based foods to meet your calorie daily intake. To do this, eating high carbohydrate foods is a way to meet this requirement.

However, it does depend on what you want to achieve. If losing weight is your priority and not gaining muscle, then this diet may be ideal for cutting calories.

What do Carbohydrates do? Carbohydrates provide us with energy! The necessary energy we use every day to breathe, function, walk and work out, everything! So restricting your carbohydrates will reduce calories and you will burn more when you move around and/or work out each day.

What Do You Eat on a Plant-Based Low Carb Diet?

Berries, Low Carb

If you were to do this, I would recommend that you fixate on eating vegetables and making smoothies. Smoothies are a great way to get more nutrients in your body by adding in greens powders, spinach leaves, pea protein powder, and berries, is just one example. These are all low carbohydrate sources of food but are packed with nutrients.

You would also eat low carbohydrate fruits such as berries, oranges, coconut, rockmelon, peaches, and mandarins. These are all below 10 carbohydrates per serving.

Additionally, you could eat nuts and seeds which are low in carbohydrates and high in healthy fats among other nutrients, which will help you stay fuller for longer.

Tofu is a great way to get some protein and also reduce carbohydrate intake, it would be great to make a stir-fry with tofu and veggies, with a light sauce for taste.

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What NOT to eat?

Unfortunately, most legumes are high in carbohydrates so they would be avoided on this diet plan despite their health benefits.

Wheat and rice would not be consumed either as they are very high in carbohydrates, even if they are brown (brown/black rice or wholegrain bread for example).

So How Many Carbohydrates Should You Consume Daily?

There are levels of extremity that you can use to get quicker results. If you are a disciplined eater and think you can eat 20-50 carbohydrates a day than this would be optimum for faster weight loss.

The second level that would help you lose body fat is 50-100 grams a day which is a bit more realistic and not so restrictive, but would still help you lose body fat.

I would recommend eating 50-100 grams a day for 2 reasons:

  1. The first reason is that this number won’t make you go crazy. It is important to make realistic goals and sometimes if we push ourselves too much, we can easily give up and end up binging on unhealthy foods, which will inhibit reaching your fat loss goals.
  2. Secondly, it will not impact your energy needs too much for daily function and working out.

Study Shows the Health Benefits of a Plant-Based Low Carb Diet

There was a study done in 2009 to test whether a plant-based low carb diet would reduce body fat and lower lipid concentrations in hyperlipidemic subjects. They used 44 subjects. Some consumed a low carb plant based diet, and others a high carb plant based diet. They did this for 4 weeks. The results showed that weight loss was similar in both teams. 

But reductions in lipid concentration and total cholesterol ratios were greater for the low carb diet than the high carb diet. Reductions in blood pressure were also seen.

Overall, a plant-based low carb diet has lipid-lowering advantages over a plant-based high carb diet. This is ideal for people that have high cholesterol levels and are at risk of cardiovascular diseases.

The experiment also discovered that the common low-fat weight loss diet in improving heart disease risk factors was not seen with conventional low-fat diets with animal products.

This causes debate as to what proportion and source of fat, protein, and carbohydrates help people lose weight and lower cholesterol. New dietary approaches state that to prevent or to treat chronic diseases you need to increase vegetable intake and reduce meat consumption. But against this advice has been the promotion of a low carb diet with the increase in meat consumption to reduce body weight and prevent diabetes and coronary heart diseases.

This causes a lot of confusion among consumers.

What we do know however is that the higher meat diets tend to increase cholesterol levels, except when vegetarian sources of fat and protein were included. This diet does not control low-density lipoprotein cholesterol which is a major disadvantage when using this diet for those who are already at increased risk of Coronary heart disease.

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Should I go for the Plant-Based Low Carb Diet Plan?

So overall, if your goal is to lose weight, according to the study done in 2009, it states that you can lose the same amount of weight if you were on a low or a high carb diet. There would not be much different.

However, if you wanted to reduce your cholesterol levels, then a plant-based low carb diet is the best choice for you.

It is okay if you still want to try out a plant-based low carb diet, it does make sense that if you reduce more calories that are found in high-calorie foods like bread, pasta, and rice, you will likely lose more weight than if you were on a plan- based high carb diet.

Ultimately, the most important thing to any diet is that you make sure you are getting all the necessary nutrients your body needs to function to be healthy. That in itself, if you restrict obvious unhealthy foods like sugar and processed foods, then you will lose your desired weight goal eventually.

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Thank you!

Thanks so much for reading and I hope I have given you some clarity in who a plant-based low carb diet is ideal for and how to go about implementing it.

Please feel free to comment and ask any questions you may have!

 

Yours Truly,

 

Danielle Packer

THE EARTH CO.

 

References

Jenkins, D. J., Wong, J. M., Kendall, C. W., Esfahani, A., Ng,
V. W., Leong, T. C., … & Singer, W. (2009). The effect of a plant-based low-carbohydrate (“Eco-Atkins”) diet on body weight and blood lipid concentrations in hyperlipidemic subjects. Archives of internal medicine, 169(11), 1046-1054.