It’s been almost 4 months since I’ve decided to eat a more plant-based, vegan (mostly) lifestyle … and so far, so good!  I’ve lost about 3 pounds (my husband who I’d describe as “vegan-ish”, has lost over 15 pounds!).  Both of us feel the reduction in aches and pains (inflammation).  Since I never really liked meat, and after watching documentaries, such as What the Health, I’m quite happy to be modifying our diet.  I am eating very little gluten products and the only dairy is some sheep cheese (nothing from cows or chickens).  And I’m happy to say that I am not suffering from protein deficiencies!

I do get a lot of questions about what I eat and do I get enough protein.  Interesting.

How Do You Get Protein on a Vegan Diet cartoon





How Do You Get Protein On a Vegan Diet? was posted on by Ella, May 2017. 

She says, ” So check this out… I‘m in the line at Whole Foods, and the lady behind me asks, “Wow, I want to know what you do to have legs like that!” (yes, this type of scenario happens quite frequently!) I reply, “Well thank you! Besides kickboxing & the variety of workouts I do, I am vegan and eat a plant-based diet which keeps me in the best possible shape!”

The lady immediately asks, “But you have great muscle definition… being vegan, how do you get protein?” To which I answer, “Its simple! I get plenty of the top quality protein found in vegetables, fruit, nuts, seeds, peas, beans, quinoa, and other whole grains. By cutting out animal products that are so harmful to our health (not to mention animals, and environment), I am full of energy and look and feel better than ever!”

The point of this silly little story is that it’s really important not only to learn for yourself about getting protein on a vegan diet, but also to help spread the word and let other people know how you get protein from plants. Its a good deed to say the least, and necessary to spread awareness and actually ultimately saving people’s lives!

Read more: How Do You Get Protein On a Vegan Diet?


And from the Wall Street Journal, Is a Vegan Diet Good for Your Heart? was written by Lucette Lagnado, 5 December 2017.  Conclusion:A vegan diet did better than an American Heart Association regimen in reducing inflammation during a clinical trial but doctors say more research is needed!

Results from the NYU Langone trial, which were presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association, found that a vegan diet was better at lowering one risk factor for heart attacks than the meal plan recommended by the AHA itself. 100 patients who took part in the randomized clinical trial that divided patients with heart disease into two groups: One observed a vegan diet and the other followed the diet of the American Heart Association, viewed by some as the gold standard.

Vegans typically embrace plant-based nutrition. They don’t eat animal-based foods such as meat or fish, and shun eggs and dairy products such as milk or cheese. The AHA diet allows modest amounts of lean meat, including sirloin and pork chops, chicken and fish, along with eggs and low-fat dairy products.

James Slater, the senior NYU Langone interventional cardiologist who helped oversee the trial, said he wanted it to help demonstrate that a vegan diet might be “a powerful form of therapy” for people with coronary artery disease. But when he and his colleagues launched the diet trial three years ago, they found few takers. Clinical staff reached out to more than 700 people to get the needed 100 for the trial. “It had absolutely no risk, we give you the food, what have you got to lose?” he recalled thinking. “And we only got 14% [saying yes], which was unbelievable to me.”

The trial, which was supposed to take two years, ended up running three years, because of the difficulty in enrolling patients, says Binita Shah, the interventional cardiologist who was the principal investigator. Begun in March 2014 it ended in February 2017. Some patients refused for fear they would be assigned to the vegan regimen. “If I don’t have meat,” one declared, “I will die.”

Then there were objections raised by purists, who spotted graham crackers and other processed foods on sample menus of what was labeled a vegan and whole-foods diet. Dr. Shah didn’t waver. “A graham cracker was allowed,” she says, as were waffles and pretzels. Organizers dropped the claim that it was a whole-foods diet.

There were other rough patches. One patient on the vegan diet withdrew because he was hungry at night and kept raiding the refrigerator. Still, there were only two dropouts from the 100, Dr. Shah says, both from the vegan group.

She unveiled the results at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions in November. The NYU Langone team stated that “a vegan diet significantly reduced systemic inflammation and improved lipid profiles in patients” with coronary artery disease while “an AHA recommended diet did not.”

Read more: Is a Vegan Diet Good for Your Heart?


From Dr. Gabe Mirkin’s Fitness and Health e-Zine, 17 December 2017, Exercise Promotes Good Gut Bacteria

Good bacteria that live in your gut can help to keep you healthy, while the bad colon bacteria increase your risk for heart attacks, strokes, diabetes, certain cancers and autoimmune diseases. Researchers have focused mainly on how diet affects the growth of good and bad gut bacteria, but now two new studies–one in humans and one in mice–show that exercise encourages the growth of good bacteria in your colon and reduces the number of bad ones. These studies suggest that exercise can do this without any changes in diet.

Exercise and Gut Bacteria in Humans

Researchers had 18 lean and 14 obese subjects exercise for 30 to 60 minutes, three days per week for six weeks (Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Nov 11, 2017). Then they were told not to exercise for six weeks. All subjects were told not to change their diets. After the six weeks of exercise, all of the subjects, both obese and lean, had an increase in the good colon bacteria that make short chain fatty acids (butyrate) and suppress inflammation. The lean subjects had the greatest increase in the good bacteria after exercising and the obese subjects had a more modest increase in the good bacteria.

When the same subjects were checked after six weeks of not exercising, all had a marked drop in these good colon bacteria. This study shows that exercise appears to increase the number of good colon bacteria without any dietary change whatever, that lean people have a greater increase than obese people, and that the potential benefit does not last if exercise is stopped.

Mitochondria and Gut Bacteria Work Together for More Endurance

Mitochondria are tiny organelles within cells that provide energy for all cell functions. Six weeks of endurance training in humans and mammals has been shown to increase mitochondrial content from 30 to 100 percent and volume density up to 40 percent (Front Physiol, May 19, 2017;8:319). This fascinating study shows that the exercise-induced increase in available energy markedly increases the growth of the types of good bacteria in the colon that need more energy. These good bacteria have enzymes that break down foods that you cannot absorb by yourself. For example, all foods from plants have soluble fiber. Since you cannot break down soluble fiber, it passes through your intestines to your colon, where the good bacteria break down the soluble fiber and convert it to short chain fatty acids that are absorbed into your bloodstream and travel to your liver to help lower blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol. The short chain fatty acids also dampen inflammation, which reduces risk for heart attacks, cancers, strokes and diabetes. A diagram from this study illustrates how mitochondria and gut bacteria (microbiota) work with each other.

Read more: Mitochondria and Gut Bacteria Work Together


Unlocking the Secrets of the Microbiome was reported in the Health Section of The New York Times by Jane E. Brody, 6 November 2017.

Modern technology is making it possible for medical scientists to analyze inhabitants of our innards that most people probably would rather not know about. But the resulting information could one day save your health or even your life.

I’m referring to the trillions of bacteria, viruses and fungi that inhabit virtually every body part, including those tissues once thought to be sterile. Together, they make up the human microbiome and represent what is perhaps the most promising yet challenging task of modern medicine: Determining the normal microscopic inhabitants of every organ and knowing how to restore the proper balance of organisms when it is disrupted.

Read more: Unlocking the Secrets of the Microbiome





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