A Discerning Woman

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What a discerning woman I would be the second time around. In retrospect ‎everything becomes ever so simple. Frequently it is the spills, the mess-ups and ‎the blows that build us up to our extraordinary selves. I’ve got bushels of advice ‎for sale, but I am afraid it’s worthless on the open market. Nobody wants my ‎hand me downs…‎

Next time around I would do things differently…‎

Aware that ambiguity lurks beyond the certainty of the badge, I would heed less ‎and inquire more. I wouldn’t tell you to drink your milk and finish the P’s on ‎your plate merely because I was told that they were good for you.‎

Protein Protein Protein

It is not an easy feat to understand how it came to be that protein, specifically ‎animal based protein, is so revered. ‎

The root of the word protein is found in the Greek “proteios” or of highest ‎importance.

There are any number of reasons why animal based protein has ‎become “The Ultimate Protein”. These include but are not limited to:‎

The Complete Protein
Misinformation
Erroneous Publications
Disproportionate Power

The Complete Protein

Protein, one of the three macronutrients required (protein, fat, carbohydrate) by ‎our body, is composed of twenty different amino acid chains (compounds of ‎carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen atoms). Eight of these twenty are ‎essential and must be obtained via food sources as the human body is incapable ‎of synthesizing them. The remaining fourteen are nonessential and can be ‎synthesized within our bodies.‎

As all animal based proteins contain each of the twenty different amino acid ‎chains, both the essential and the nonessential ones, they are known as ‎complete proteins. Animal based protein closely resembles our own such that it ‎is traditionally revered as the king of all proteins. That being said, there are ‎complete proteins within the plant kingdom including: quinoa, buckwheat, ‎hemp, chia seeds, soy, chlorella, spirulina, bee pollen, maca, and goji berries. ‎

Although most of the plant based protein is incomplete, a well-rounded whole ‎food plant based diet will provide the essential amino acids and our body will ‎synthesize the rest.‎

Within the animal based protein, the egg is considered to be the gold standard ‎or of the highest quality with milk coming in second place.‎

The biological value is the standard by which the quality of the protein is ‎measured. Its value measures the efficiency of the rate of growth or how much ‎of the protein is utilized by the body. For comparison, the biological value of ‎an egg is 0.99, milk 0.85 and rice 0.70.‎

But is a high biological value necessarily a good thing?‎

A baby calf doubles its size in just 45 days while a human baby doubles its size ‎in 180 days. The gap in years between the onset of maturity in cattle and ‎humans is just as wide. ‎

A calf thrives on its mother’s milk. Could it be that the magnificent biological ‎value of cow’s milk may not be so magnificent for a human?‎

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When I grow up I want to be a cow…

On second thought, perhaps this superb ‎biological efficiency is not for me: no supersizing for me please…‎‎

An efficient rate of growth provides extremely fertile soil for the growth of ‎cancerous cells. It is not a pretty picture we are painting…‎

A Love Affair with Protein

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Since the discovery of protein in 1838 by Gerardus Mulder, much effort has ‎been invested to discover the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of protein. ‎Carl von Voit, a German physiologist, found the average intake of German ‎workers to be 3100 calories and recommended a daily intake of 118 grams of ‎protein. At the same time European and American authorities conducted their ‎own research and made recommendations of upwards of 100 grams of protein ‎per day.‎

All studies were conducted amongst the relatively affluent working classes. ‎None were conducted within the less affluent communities, nor did the research ‎venture further than Europe and North America to areas where traditionally ‎there was markedly less consumption of animal based protein. Thus it came to ‎pass that the RDA for protein was set at a level considerably higher than the ‎body’s true needs.‎

Misinformation

More than one hundred years ago, Professor Russell Chittenden at Yale ‎University had a hunch that the RDA for protein was too high. He believed that ‎our high intake of protein was more a reflection of our affluence rather a ‎specific biological need. Furthermore, he was convinced that a high protein diet ‎was unhealthy: excess protein would create toxic crystal build up in the liver ‎and the kidneys.‎

Professor Chittenden decided to do some studies of his own. He began by ‎making alterations to his diet. He cut his protein intake by ⅔. He ate but 40 ‎grams of protein per day.‎

During his nine month experiment, he continued with his normal activity level. ‎His weight dropped from 65 to 58 kilograms. His arthritis ridden knees gave him ‎no more pain; he had fewer headaches and his stomachaches had all but ‎disappeared.‎

To further test his theories he set up three separate studies. These studies ‎encompassed a group of university employees, a group of soldiers and a group of ‎athletes. While all the test groups aided in validating his theory, the results ‎amongst the sportsmen were most impressive. The sportsmen lowered their ‎protein intake to just 64 grams and were able to improve their athletic prowess ‎by a whopping 35%! Chittenden concluded that a daily intake of just 35-50 ‎grams of protein would more than suffice our needs.‎

Erroneous Publications

Frances Moore Lappe’ published her popular book Diet for a Small Planet in ‎‎1971. In her book, she promoted the idea of food combining: as a solution to ‎create a complete source of protein for a vegan diet. Thus, for example, ‎combining rice with lentils at one meal would compensate for the incomplete ‎proteins being served.‎

As it would be, this was incorrect information. A diverse whole foods plant-‎based diet ‎providing all of the eight essential amino acids will suffice. Our ‎bodies will have the building blocks to create any of the fourteen nonessential ‎amino acids on their own. Her advice implied that one had to have extensive ‎scientific knowledge in order to create a vegan meal plan which would supply ‎all of one’s protein needs. Even today, the daunting concept of food combining ‎continues to inhibit many from adopting a vegan diet.‎

Our body, in its infinite knowledge, can ‎combine the different amino acids ‎chains to synthesize exactly the ‎proteins needed at any given moment. While it ‎is true that the amino ‎acid design of animal based proteins is the most similar to ‎those found within the human body, consumption of animal ‎based proteins will ‎exceed by far the RDA for protein. This can lead to excessive body growth as ‎well as the promotion of a fertile turf ‎for cancer growth. While consuming a ‎whole foods plant ‎based diet, it is impossible to stray from the RDA protein rate ‎of ‎‎8%-10% ‎

Disproportionate Power

Giant corporations control huge advertising budgets. In many countries ‎governments heavily subsidize the producers of various animal based proteins. ‎Simply by supporting these industries and creating an artificially low price for ‎animal products, the demand for plant based foods decreases. Ultimately it is ‎our health which pays the price. The power of these industries is all ‎encompassing and at times filters down into our lives within publications, ‎research studies and as lobbyists operating within various official committees.‎

Our culture is rooted with an emphasis in animal protein. From the bacon and ‎eggs starter via the milk ‎‎“pushing” mother, to the “meat and potatoes” father, ‎animal protein is seen as perhaps “THE” essential ‎nutrient at our meals. ‎Moreover, the animal protein industries are conglomerates with a vested ‎interest ‎in remaining a permanent fixture on our plates. ‎

Who shall challenge any core thread of our ‎cultural fabric meets fierce ‎opposition. Changing our core beliefs is challenging to say the least! ‎

Big and Strong!‎

Have you ever considered where an elephant finds its protein…???‎

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I must say that in theory I love surprises. I especially enjoy creating and ‎organizing the perfect surprise for my family and loved ones. Honestly, when it ‎comes to being on the receiving end of a surprise, I am frequently disappointed.‎

On Friday, hubby researched and orchestrated a surprise birthday meal for me. ‎Before making the final arrangements he checked in with me. He asked if I was ‎capable of attending a surprise dinner with an open mind…‎

I must say that I smelled a conspiracy brewing…‎
‎ ‎
Off we went to the big city of Tel Aviv. Next stop the Nanuchka restaurant; the ‎first 100% vegan Georgian restaurant in Tel Aviv and in the World!‎

We parked close to the 30 Lilienblum Street address and discovered a roadworks ‎front close to blocking a completely unpretentious building. The magic was not ‎long in coming. There was no imagining what awaited inside…‎

Surprise! Gourmet Vegan Delights Ahead!‎

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Nanuchka is an eclectic delight on many fronts. ‎

The interior design of the restaurant is a delightful mix of furnishings and wall ‎and table decorations. There is no set style; each table and chairs different from ‎the next nor is there any connection between one art piece and another. ‎

The menu selection was plentiful with mostly out of the ordinary surprises ‎exclaiming “Pick Me!” The waiters’ recommendations were well received and ‎were always spot on! In a word it was a delight: both the food and the ‎atmosphere. Of course the crème de la crème was having my family close to ‎enjoy my birthday surprise.‎

I am so deeply honored and grateful for the sweet efforts of hubby to find the ‎perfect party table.

Todah Raba – Thank you ♥‎

‎“Stronger Stronger Stronger”‎

When our first born learn to ride a bike, Hubby would run alongside singing: ‎‎“Stronger Stronger Stronger!” He never could carry a tune but, till this day, this ‎cheer remains ingrained in our memory.‎

Saturday it was my turn to sing our cheer: “Stronger Stronger Stronger!” In ‎preparation for our morning bike ride, I made my morning green shake using ‎kale leaves and flax seed as excellent pre-ride protein energy sources. ‎

The crème de la crème of the pre-ride energy the fresh spirulina shot.‎

Of course I was also armed with my trusty green steed!

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How fortunate we were ‎that it was not hot… More precisely how fortunate were we to have yet another ‎desert oasis with cool cool water to break intensity of the summers’ heat. ‎

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When the heat became truly unbearable, the cool waters of the Zipporti Stream ‎were calling us in to play once again. I am not sure that without this oasis I ‎would have been able to complete our morning ride…‎

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We came home to a hot crock pot meal. What a wonderful way to top of a great ‎ride with our ecliptic group from Alon Hagalil Mercaz Shetach! ‎

I would like to thank you for your patience in reading this post to its end.‎

If you liked what you read and you are not on my mailing list, you can sign up ‎here.‎

Finally I would like to request that you please share my post which precedes the ‎release of my animated clip (soon, I promise). I am so excited! Please share this ‎post…

Thank you and have a great week!‎

HBNE

You tell your future! The power is ours!

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Hila Gozani
Guest
Hila Gozani

Hi Lorraine! Always great to hear from you! I believe that as a rule in life we tend to make things a lot more complicated than they actually are. I love a good adventure and it would appear that you are off to a great start. What a better adventure than a discovery of all of the beautiful colors that you can put together on your plate. And, of course, the biggest one of them all: your meals can look great, taste better, energize you with joy and nourish your body, soul and mind to boot! May we all continue… Read more »

Lorraine
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Lorraine

Happy Belated Birthday Helene! You are so right that for a novice the whole vegan, whole foods thing is a bit daunting. Right combination or mismanagement of proteins. My curiosity is piqued and am an adventurous eater, always ready to try new things and learning along the way. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and insights! You have a wonderful family and I am so happy to have met most of them.