How Your Diet is Slowly Killing You (And All of Us) Part 3

Hello!

So today is Sunday–I don’t know about you but growing up in my family that meant a big breakfast full of the typical staples like toast, pancakes or waffles, maybe some processed meat like sausage or bacon, and eggs. Now obviously everyone knows that pancakes or waffles can’t be considered a health food (although I make mean vegan pancake to boot)–they are full of processed flour and sugars. And bacon and sausage are full of fat and cholesterol that you can SEE oozing out of it as you cook it. Arguable, the only nutritious item at the table in this scenario is the toast. Make it whole wheat, throw some peanut butter or low-sugar jam on that and you’ve got a decent meal. But wait a minute—what about the eggs? Aren’t they a lean protein full of nutrients? The fact of the matter is that they are nowhere near considered safe and healthy to eat.

Did you know that eggs cannot be legally referred to in ads as “healthy” or “nutritious”? This is because of the high amount of fat and cholesterol each egg contains. The American Egg Board, a promotional marketing board appointed by the U.S. government, has a mission to increase demand for egg and egg products on behalf of U.S. egg producers. However, if an egg corporation wants to be able to use the funds provided by the American Egg Board, they are not allowed to lie. If an individual egg producer wants to advertise their product on their own with their own funds, they can say whatever they want. But the American Egg Board is so aggressive with their advertising that we don’t even notice these key words being left out. They have been successful at decreasing consumers’ concerns over eggs and heart health even without being able to call them healthy or nutritious. Check out the quick video below by NutritionFacts.org that explains why eggs are not healthy or safe.

The sheer amount of cholesterol in eggs is startling. They are the most concentrated source of cholesterol in the Standard American Diet (SAD). In fact, the Egg Nutrition Center (created by the American Egg Board in order to downplay the risks of the cholesterol found in eggs) has fought with the American Heart Association on whether one egg everyday can be included in the diet. The American Heart Association explains that 300mg of cholesterol is the daily limit. Yes, one egg does fit under that limit. HOWEVER, every other animal product must be eliminated for the day or you would exceed that limit. Even just having coffee with dairy creamer and a skinless turkey breast on the same day effectively doubles your cholesterol intake. Based on these guidelines, you also wouldn’t be able to have any baked goods with egg or dairy milk in it either because that would also increase your daily cholesterol above the limit.

The Harvard Nurses Health Study found that consuming one egg a day cut a woman’s life shorter equivalent to smoking 25,000 cigarettes (5 cigarettes a day for 15 years)! Even 3 eggs a week was associated with artery clogging plaque build up in the carotid arteries going to the brain according to this study published in the Journal of Atherosclerosis. This plaque build up is a strong predictor of stroke, heart attack, and death.

And if that isn’t enough, who wants to smell like dead fish? Yes, eggs are high in Choline, a compound that can make bodily secretions (breath, saliva, sweat, urine, and non-mentionables) smell like rotting fish and may increase the risk of heart disease due to conversion in the gut to trimethylamine found in this study from the Cleveland Clinic.

Tiptoe to Health Tip #3

Alright, so what can you do for that big Sunday breakfast instead? Well, you could make my awesome vegan pancakes (recipe to come!) OR what about some hearty oatmeal topped with some fresh fruit, cinnamon, and maple syrup?
hearty oatmeal

Oatmeal is so versatile and can be tailored to your tastes. And you get that good soluble fiber that’s known to improve heart health by reducing the bad cholesterol. It’s also full of vitamins and minerals, and is antioxidant rich.

Here’s a list of what I add to mine:

  • 1 Tsp Cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp Ground Flax Seed
  • 1 Tsp Maple Syrup
  • A hand-full of fresh fruit

For more ideas you can check out this previous post on All the Oatmeals of My Kitchen.

Enjoy! xoxo

P.S. You can check out Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Day Five ~ Vegan Challenge

Day 5
Eat Drink
Wake Up 8 oz of water
Breakfast Oatmeal with a variety of toppings OR 2 pieces of whole wheat toast topped with a nut butter of your choosing and a side of fruit (apple orange or banana) 8 oz of water
Morning 8 oz of water before lunch (I always keep a water bottle handy)
Lunch Leftover Sweet Potato Veggie Burgers with an avocado or ketchup and a side of fresh veggies with 2 TBsp hummus 8 oz of water
Afternoon For a snack make a fruit smoothie 8 oz of water before dinner
Dinner Spinach Salad with slices of cucumber; yellow squash; diced Roma tomatoes; black olives and balsamic vinaigrette 8 oz of water
Exercise At least 16 oz of water after exercise to rehydrate

I chose oatmeal for my breakfast and topped it with cinnamon, strawberries, and pecans. Oatmeal never gets old for me. And it’s so filling!

I had another sweet potato veggie burger for lunch today. This time with 1/2 Tbsp ketchup. I actually liked that more than the avocado. Must be the corn syrup 😛

For dinner I went with a simple classic: salad. Admittedly, having no feta just seemed wrong, but it was still full of flavor. Plus, I needed an easy way to use up more of my tomatoes.

I continued my workout trend with the next segment of the Five Day Workout Plan.

Day Four Five Day Workout Plan

I used those 10 lb weights again except for the Reverse Fly. The link above has descriptions for some of the exercises. I didn’t do the reverse pushup because I was too lazy to get under the table to do it, which is really the only place in my apartment that it will work. If you’re at the gym, the bar that goes over benches is the easiest for reverse pushups, or just simply do pull-ups (if you can!).

After my workout, I indulged in a smoothie for my snack. I blended up a banana, 5 strawberries, a handful of fresh spinach, half a cup of almond milk and half a cup of orange juice.

fruit smoothie

All the Oatmeals of My Kitchen

Welcome to my kitchen of oatmeals! I used to hate oatmeal as a kid unless it was the Quaker Instant Oatmeal with all of the added sugars. As an adult, my love of oatmeal has blossomed and become a more healthy relationship (pun intended). Making it at home gives me the opportunity to make it healthy and flavorful without having to eat the same thing every day (unless you were the cool kid with the variety pack).

Here’s my current favorite: Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal!

cinnamon apple oatmeal

I make mine quick and easy, no boiling necessary!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup oats (I use the quick 1-minute oats from Quaker)
1 cup milk (soy or almond)
1/2 Tbsp chia seeds
Cinnamon to taste (usually several dashes to evenly cover the top)
Nutmeg to taste (usually a generous dash)
Generous pinch of brown sugar (for non-vegans)
Half an apple, chopped

Place everything except the apples into a microwavable bowl and mix it all up, then microwave for 1.5 to 2 minutes

Stir well, then top with apples and a dash of cinnamon.

cinnamon apple oatmeal

It’s so darn good. I say brown sugar for non-vegans because it turns out, most sugar is filtered with bone char from animals. However, there are some brands that don’t. The Vegan Products Guide has a list of those companies that are bone char free. I may have to invest in some of those sugars, because I can’t live without something sweet!

Now for some other oatmeal topping options. The three basics (oatmeal, milk, chia seeds) are still the same, but I like to throw in other options every once in a while. Here’s a list:

Chopped pecans, walnuts
Sliced almonds
Macadamias
Dried fruit (raisins, cranberries,etc)
Chocolate chips (non-vegans)
Honey (non-vegans)
Fresh fruit (strawberries, blueberries, banana, raspberries, blackberries, pear, peach, apple)
Jam, jelly, fruit preserves
Nut butters
Shredded coconut
Coconut butter (I’ve been dying to buy some of this)

There are really endless possibilities! Top your oatmeal with any toppings that suite your taste. Enjoy!