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Last week I scooted into my local supermarket to quickly grab some organic tofu and vegan burgers.
On auto-pilot I arrived at the normal spot and was confronted with meat and cheese laden pizza and other easy meals. A sign clarified: Health food moved to aisle 16. WOW, was that a Freudian slip or what? The real health food section is else where and I frequent it for my chia seeds, tahini and spirulina however the slip did get me thinking…
Are innovative vegan “fake meat” products like the impossible and beyond burgers healthy?
Before we dig in with the details on meat-free burgers I should share todays show is a Month In Review show. We’ll chat a little food, exercise, mindset plus I’ll share what’s been rockin this past month and what’s been a tad more struggle street. Above all, my intention is to make this content applicable to YOU and creating and keeping a fit, healthy plant strong body.
Let’s first talk FOOD and those vegan meat alternatives that I’m sure are popping up in your supermarkets too.
They’re certainly healthier for the animals and the environment. In fact, Beyond meat commissioned a study with the Centre for Sustainable Systems at the University of Michigan. A life cycle assessment of its best-selling burger, made with pea protein, canola oil, coconut oil, and beat juice extract. Researchers analysed greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, water consumed, land use, and even packaging, then compared it to that of an uncooked quarter-pound beef burger delivered to retail outlets. The study then underwent a third-party review process.
The Beyond Burger generates:
- 90% less greenhouse gas emissions
- 46% less energy
- 99% less impact on water scarcity
- 93% less impact on land use than a quarter pound of U.S. beef.
That means a 41-square-foot plot of land can produce just one beef burger for every 15 Beyond Burgers.
To the matter of health. On the plus side you get to skip the cholesterol, antibiotics, and hormones and that’s huge.
I still wouldn’t call them healthy. They are a useful transitional food or something to enjoy in moderation. However they are still a processed food with so much more in them (like excessive salt, processed oils and preservatives) than your home-made black bean and beetroot burgers.
With that in mind here are a few tips to up the nutritional value of vegan “fake meat” products like burgers:
- Serve with cos leaves, or portobello caps, or sweet potato rounds rather than burger buns.You can even turn your meal into a burger bowl.
- Make your own whole food based sauces: such as dairy free pesto, hummus and guacamole. The more herbs the better as gram for gram herbs are among the most nutritious greens you can find.
- Amp up the fibrous love with a generous side of green veg or kale-slaw rather than fries. While we’re talking “frying” there’s no need for oil in cooking your vegan burger either. A BBQ, microwave or baked on baking paper is just fine.
Let’s manoeuvre away from food and towards the matter of MINDSET.
I’m not exactly sure Why, however the power and potential for self-induced misery (!) of Expectations has been on my mind recently. It’s also been a really long time since I got my acronym on! So, if you can relate to sometimes feeling suffocated by expectations – your own, others, society’s – then I hope this section is of value to you.
The first point is so BIG it covers the first two letters!
E.X.pect the positive. It’s without doubt a more enjoyable way to live. Beyond that, what you focus on expands so if you’re expecting the positive you’ll attract more of it into your life. That’s not a recommendation to blindly rely on The Law Of Attraction. It’s rather an acknowledgement that if you’re expecting the positive you’re better placed to automatically filter those opportunities IN-to (not OUT-of) your life.
It really can be as simple as expecting a positive interaction with those humans you’re passing on your walk into work and noticing those interactions!
P.repare for what might turn up instead. It’s possible and advisable to both expect the best and also have a solid general idea of how you might handle the rest.
The best might be an amazing selection of vegan food on your next flight or at your next work do. The rest might be when instead you’re served rice and steamed greens but at least you can jazz that sad meal up with assorted seeds and nuts you keep in your handbag for such occasions.
E.nsure high personal expectations so far as the things that allow you to succeed. Whatever your definition of success is.
Perhaps values like integrity and also your work ethic. I would also say absolutely have high personal expectations for: sleep, exercise and nutritious food.
C.ultivate low personal expectations for those states you’d like to enjoy most often like: joy and happiness. Another way to put this is have easy to meet rules / requirements to feel joy and happiness.
Possibly you feel joy at your first coffee and your first interaction of the day. Perhaps happiness is a warm, safe bed and 10 minutes reading whatever you want before drifting off to sleep.
T.ake care not to enforce your personal expectations on others. Yes, I recognise this could sound like the pot calling the kettle black coming from a vegan animal rights activist! However, this list is for my benefit as much as yours. So it’s certainly a note to self and something I’m committed to getting better at.
Equally, as Carnism is the dominant belief system in our current society it could be argued (and I do) that expecting vegans to keep their mouths shut while Carnists merrily go about their animal eating ways is also the enforcing of personal expectations. It’s an expectation that I pretend to be cool with something I see as undeniably cruel and unnecessary. It’s an expectation that I pretend something I feel to be an urgent moral imperative to change is instead just “how we’ve always done things.”
The work around I’m testing, is trying to understand what has led someone with different personal expectations to where they are, what motivates them to stay that way and what might possibly compel them to consider alternatives.
A.void an attitude of expectation without effort. Or entitlement. However equally…
T.ime out from chasing perfection and working your body like it’s a machine. This seems to be a reoccurring theme with my dear clients right now. If you expect your body to work like it used to 20 years ago. Or like it did when you had significantly less responsibilities and significantly better sleep. Or maybe like those online influencers who either don’t show you how hard they really work or how much support they have and how little they really work… You’re setting yourself up for both disappointment and burn out.
I’m a huge advocate for hard work. It’s one of the many things I LOVE about health and fitness. You have to work hard consistently to create a fit, strong, healthy body and you can’t just buy it! However equally you have to treat your body with respect not like a machine that can power on endlessly with cheap fuel and minimal downtime.
I.gnore unreasonable expectations placed on you by society at large. Isn’t it curious that for such self-interested creatures we care so much about what everyone else thinks of us? I find my happiness expands aligned with how little I consider outside expectations (especially of those I don’t know) and also with how little time and energy I let social media suck from my days.
I’m genuinely tempted to let go of all social media. I’m yet to settle on a suitable work around / out-sourcing solution however 100% if I didn’t use it for business I’d have been outta there long ago.
O.ngoing assessment of your expectations. Are they bringing you joy and contentment? Or are they making you feel inadequate and anxious?
As a little consistency queen I’m prone to locking and loading something and then continuing it well beyond it’s time of being an efficient, effective or JOYFUL use of my time. It’s worth considering are the expectations you place on yourself still serving you?
N.otice the expectations of those you respect and maybe those you don’t. This is utilising the mentor or the anti-mentor.
Shout out to my little brother here! To any new’ish listeners, my little brother – Sir Thomas – the golden child, is incredibly cute and beautiful. He expects you to love him on sight and generally you do. Of course lil bro, is a cat. Thomas has easy to meet expectations that let him maximise joy every day. A patch of sun, a teaspoon of disgusting cat food, a 30 second comb, a toe to rub against are all joyful to golden boy.
Equally I know you’ve met the anti-mentor with such impossible expectations they couldn’t scrape the tiniest bit of joy out of their day if it pranced over and wound it’s long tail lovingly around their leg.
S.et boundaries and be ok with disappointing people with unrealistic / unaligned expectations of you. As important as managing your own expectations is managing (or ignoring) other peoples expectations.
This does not mean you’re selfish. It just means you’re selective. As they say, if you say Yes to everyone you end up saying No to you. The alternative is to meet the expectations that are important to you and also those that are important to those you love.
Let’s talk EXERCISE. My clients often ask me: “Will it ever get easier?”
The bad news first! Not really. As you get fitter and stronger you’ll be able to work at a higher intensity so it’ll still seem challenging. At least it should if you’re progressing your program as you’re able to. So it’ll still be hard and yet you’ll be achieving so much more and you’ll also be much more comfortable feeling uncomfortable.
The great news! Getting started will get easier. If you set and stick to a training plan you’ll form a habit and won’t need to waste energy considering: “Do I, or don’t I?” You’ll also be so much more aware of the mind games that work best for YOU to help you get it done. Simple things like:
- Focusing on how you’re going to feel after you exercise rather than before or during.
- Acknowledging the power in the law of recency.If you skip exercise today it’ll be so much easier to skip it again tomorrow and equally, if you train today you’ll find it so much easier on training again tomorrow.
- Perhaps most compellingly, it’ll get easier when you have RESULTS you want to maintain or build on. Whether those are strength, fitness, body competition results or perhaps just less aches and pains – when you get those results you’ll get protective of them. Equally, it is easier to maintain a result than it is to get that result initially. There’s still no room for complacency however it is heartening to know the hardest bit is always just starting. Accordingly, the hardest approach to your exercise is to stop and start as it means all you ever do is repeat that toughest initial part of your exercise routine.
I have a couple of recommendations this month and they’re both podcasts.
First: The Nutrition Facts podcast with Dr Michael Greger. I’m a fan of anything Dr Greger! The podcast is a really easy to consume supplement to his website nutritionfacts.org and book: How Not To Die. Recent episodes include: Wary of Dairy and A Longer Life.
Second: The PETA podcast. I did a bit of a deep dive into the PETA podcast this week in preparation for my chat with Theodora Capaldo in E622 where we cover among other things: Why Non-animal Testing Methods Are Superior On All Fronts.
In fact Theodora Capaldo is top of mind when I consider who’s Inspiring me right now.
For 4 decades she’s waged a war against animal testing and she’s been at the helm of organisations that have had serious wins for animals. I learnt a lot in prepping for my chat with Theodore, most hearteningly that science is indeed on the side of compassion. Not only is animal testing cruel and unnecessary it’s also so deeply intrenched and such a lucrative business that the opportunity cost of continuing to test on animals is ALL THE MONEY, time and scientific expertise that doesn’t go to the more effective non-animal testing methods instead.
I’m excited to share my chat with Theodora with you. I thought it might be heavy and hard to listen to though Theodora is such a genuine sweet-heart who brings her background as a psychologist to the conversation to help explain why otherwise compassionate humans can support and perpetuate such horrors on animals that it’s actually one of my favourite chats.
Finally, to the matter of what’s been a little UN-fun this past month and happily I’m struggling to find a Struggle-street again!
It’s probably the reoccurring theme of not being able to un-know. The more amazing and diverse guests I get to chat to the more atrocities I learn of. From animal agriculture to vivisection to plastic in our oceans, as an upcoming guest shared: “There are times when I wish I was less informed, just so I could sleep better at night.” Actually I sleep ok, however I do get what he means. Sometimes it’d be fab to not see dead bodies when you walk through the supermarket. Or to not lose a little respect for someone because they share how much they LOVE chicken. Or to not google 6 eye liners before you buy one to check they are vegan.
Basically, it’d be fab to live in a vegan world. We’re not yet there, not by a long shot however I’m hopeful. The commitment I see from my relentlessly focused guests and the feedback I get from loyal listeners keeps me hopeful. So thank you. Whether you’ve taken the time to leave an iTunes review, or to mention this little podcast to someone close to you. Or whether you support me on Patreon at https://www.patreon.com/KateGalli which is beyond amazing. Or even if you listen in silence I appreciate hugely that you trust me with your time and attention. It means a lot.
That’s it for today in Healthification.
The Healthification podcast is proudly bought to you by my FREE ‘Easy Vegan’ plan, running LIVE again this month! It took me 25 years to transition from a meat eater to a happy, healthy Vegan! You can do it in just 3 days with my simplified ‘easy vegan’ plan! Get the fit, strong, and healthy plant based body you deserve… while avoiding ALL the mistakes I made along the way!
Till next time, remember Creating a body and life you love is Freedom. (If this ex-carb queen, non genetically gifted, naturally uncoordinated vegan chick can do it – so can YOU!!!)
If you liked “Are innovative vegan “fake meat” products like the impossible and beyond burgers healthy?” you’ll also like The Ultimate Vegan Food Pyramid For Getting and Staying Lean
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