Processed Meats Cause Cancer… Really, That’s News? (7 Reasons We Still Meat)

“Doesn’t anyone notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

I admit I was pretty baffled when a “news story” went viral yesterday, referring to the new report that shows processed meats are linked to causing cancer.

Sorry, but I have to reference Mugatu from Zoolander on this one:

“Doesn’t anyone notice this? I feel like I’m taking crazy pills!”

How is this a news story? How is it not common sense that eating processed meats leads to cancer?

It’s this simple: There is good fat and there is bad fat. Good fats prevents cancer, bad fats cause cancer.

(Your homework assignment is to watch Forks Over Knives, on Netflix; which is where I first learned this.)

Good fats come from plants, like cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, chia seeds, and coconuts. Good fats contain zero percentage of your daily cholesterol allowance. Good fats are good for you.

While there is a microscopic amount of cholesterol in good fats (plant fats), it’s impossible to reach even just 1% of your daily intake of cholesterol from those alone.

Meanwhile, bad fats come from animals. Animal fat contains a bare minimum of 1% of your daily cholesterol.

But it’s not just meat that’s the problem. One regular size chicken egg contains about 68% of your daily cholesterol allowance. And that’s just one egg. Nobody eats just one egg.

So imagine if you eat 2 eggs for breakfast, you’ve already more than maxed out on your cholesterol for the daily allowance, and that’s not even considering the cholesterol in any cheese or meats for the rest of the day.

Yes, I know… I’m the crazy vegan here. But I am really all that crazy? 

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2015/10/13/surviving-2-5-years-as-a-vegan-10-frequently-asked-questions-faqs/

At this point, people deflect by making a lousy and unscientific claim that vegans don’t get enough protein.

The thing is, when you nix animal products from your diet, you are forced to eat from six food groups: veggies, fruits, grains, seeds, nuts, and seeds.

They all contain protein.

And I am healthy, living proof that a human being can exist as a vegan (without the dependence on any animal products) for the past 2 and a half years; not to mention I have been a vegetarian for the past 4 years.

The best I can figure, we as a nation continue to consume meat (and all other animal products; including eggs and dairy) for these reasons:

1) It’s more convenient.

2) It’s the social norm.

3) We are emotional connected to consuming animal products.

4) We think it’s necessary for our nutrition.

5) We think it’s cheaper than eating “health food”.

6) We haven’t been properly educated on the subject.

7) We don’t know specifically what to eat instead.

Let me address those personally from my own journey…

https://familyfriendlydaddyblog.com/2015/10/13/surviving-2-5-years-as-a-vegan-10-frequently-asked-questions-faqs/

1) To be fair, I agree that eating animal products and other processed foods is more convenient. But to me the convenience isn’t worth me being unhealthy again, like I used to be when I ate that way.

2) Being a vegan makes me a minority (only about 2.5% of the American population), but I never minded being “the weird one” in the group. My “alternative lifestyle” is not really socially acceptable, but that doesn’t change anything for me.

3) The emotional connection I had to eating animal products was the hardest part for me to psychologically overcome. But that’s all it is… just emotions. I am stronger than that. I control my emotions; they don’t control me.

4) I’m living proof that a vegan can easily be healthy, and my personal doctor agrees.

5) Is it cheaper to eat meat? Well, I save money by not buying meat or dairy or eggs, for one. Plus, I’m pretty much unable to eat out at restaurants, so that saves money. According to my wife, our grocery bill is about the same as when we did eat meat. Not to mention, I require no medications either.

6) Thanks to scientifically based documentaries like Forks Over Knives on Netflix, we all can learn the truth.

7) Read vegan recipe blogs like Oh She Glows to learn quick and easy vegan meals. That’s how our family got our recipe library.

Please let me know if you have any questions. I am here to enlighten anyone who is curious!

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What If Susan G. Komen’s Sponsors Actually Helped Cause Cancer Instead Of Find A Cure?

I’ve been saying this for years, but there is good reason to question why it is that so quickly so many major brands paint themselves pink in the name of finding a cure for breast cancer.

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Sure, we all want to there to be an easy medical cure for breast cancer and we all personally know someone who has been affected by breast cancer.

It’s a deeply emotional subject. Therefore, it’s natural to want to show our support to find a cure for breast cancer.

However, what I want to point out about our society is that we’re much, much, much more concerned with finding a cure, having been throwing money at Susan G. Komen since 1984, than we are concerned with actually preventing breast cancer.

I subscribe to the philosophy of Albert Einstein: “Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them.”

The thing is, the cure for cancer was discovered decades ago. Just watch the documentary Forks Over Knives on Netflix. You’ll see testimonials from women who diagnosed with terminal cancer back in the 1980s and 1990s.

You will be able to learn the reality that “the cancer switch can be turned on and off” through a plant based diet:

They switched to a plant-based lifestyle (they stopped eating animal products and artificial flavors and colors). Turns out, they are still alive and as of the taping of the documentary were still cancer free!

The overwhelming evidence is there.

However, this truth is annoying. It requires a person to change their lifestyle in order to not get cancer.

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Our society instead places a higher value on fixing the preventable problem after it has already happened.

Just take a look at the infographic at the very bottom of this post, which illustrates which health issues we raise the most money to find a cure for, versus which health issues are actually killing us.

What you see is that the diseases that kill us the most are the most easily preventable; through proper diet and exercise; yet our passion is in “finding the cure” for the more disease that kills the lower number of us.

As for the Susan G. Komen “find a cure” movement, I’m apparently not the own one picking up on the fact that the marketable passion to find a cure is actually overshadowing the importance of actually finding a cure, and most importantly, it distracts from the fact cancer is largely preventable with a plant-based lifestyle.

Just check out this recent satirical Onion article: Susan G. Komen Foundation Launches Deep Space Probe To Bring Breast Cancer Awareness To Rest Of Galaxy

It points out the fact that lack of awareness, or raising money to find a cure for breast cancer, aren’t the problems. They are the symptoms of the problem.

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The actual problem is people are dying of a largely preventable cancer.

I think it’s important to consider the fact that countries that consume little to no dairy also happen to have the least occurrence of breast cancer.

So it seems the actual problem is the lack of awareness of how to eat in a way to prevent cancer from forming in the body in the first place.

There’s also this one featured on The Huggington Post, “Susan G. Komen Partners With Fracking Firm, Despite Possible Cancer Links“, which points out Susan G. Komen is turning a blind eye to the fact so many of brands that raise money for them (as a sales tactic, of course) actually have products that are known to cause cancer, not prevent it.

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But it’s not just with companies who wave the pink flag to increase profits, or with Susan G. Komen turning a blind eye to sponsored products actually being linked to cancer.

The annoying truth is that it’s also our society’s tendency to keep literally buying into the concept that “finding a cure” for cancer is more important or relevant than preventing it.

If you’re familiar with my blog and my life, you know that I’ve been a vegan for more than a year and a half, a vegetarian for 3 years, and kosher (no pork, shellfish, etc.) for 6 years.

I am happy to answer any questions you have about this “extreme” lifestyle. Just leave a comment below.

What If Susan Komen’s Sponsors Actually Cause Cancer Instead Of Find A Cure?

Why Do We Associate Masculinity With Eating Red Meat And Bacon?

Today makes 3 years I’ve been a vegetarian and more than a year and a half since I’ve been a vegan, so I figured it would be a relevant time to ask the question, “Why do we associate masculinity with eating red meat and bacon?”

Why Do We Associate Masculinity With Eating Red Meat And Bacon?

There’s no question: Eating big, fat, juicy burgers with bacon (and cheese) is manly. It’s even more masculine to be the one grilling those burgers.

Why, though? How is it that meat consumption, especially particular red meat and bacon, is associated with masculinity?

The familiar stereotype I have in my head is of a man and woman on a date. The man orders a big steak. The woman orders a salad.

But what if you reverse that? The woman orders a big steak and the man orders a salad. It would seem ironic, somehow.

I suppose a lot of the reason that eating red meat and bacon is associated with masculinity is because it used to be that more men were actually involved in raising and hunting the meat, then providing for their families with it.

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However, times have changed. It’s not really that way anymore.

Even the phrase “bringing home the bacon” is losing relevance. My wife makes more money than I do. In fact, all of the men that I work with in my office actually make less money than their wives do. Part of that is that our wives all have Master’s degrees and we just have 4 year degrees…

So, is it particularly manly to go to the grocery store and buy meat? Or the drive-thru at a fast food joint?

Not really. But it still is manly to cook the meat (especially outdoors) and to eat it. We have carried over these ideas that eating meat is manly, though the validity and relevance of that concept is fleeting.

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In fact, the over-consumption of meat is literally thinning out the herd. Consuming more than 4 ounces of meat per day (which is very little, actually) is undeniably linked to cancer, diabetes, and heart disease; all of which are some of the main killers of American men.

Let me also point out the fact that many athletes are sure to refrain from consuming much meat. They shy away from red meat and pork, instead focusing on apparently “less manly” options like chicken and fish.

So even men who are famous (and rich) for their strength and agility aren’t consuming red meat and pork at the same rate as most men.

With that being said, can you still be perceived as masculine yet not eat meat?

Something I see in “Facebook culture” is “real women have curves.” So… does that mean that women who don’t have curves are not real women?

Similarly, can you still be considered masculine and be a vegan?

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As I’ve pointed out before, most vegans are actually women; most of them not being religious.

I think society is particularly confused by male vegans, especially if they are Christian. Growing up in the South like I did, it was nearly a sin to not eat meat.

Trust me, I’m not questioning my masculinity. I realize that the new modern version of masculinity has more to do with being a faithful husband and an involved father.

Today makes 3 years since I’ve eaten any meat; it’s been more than a year and a half since I’ve had dairy or eggs in addition to that.

Speaking for myself, at least, I feel plenty enough masculine.

If nothing else, I can drive a stick shift vehicle. That’s got to count for something.

Veganism

New Infographic: Where We Donate Vs. Diseases That Kill Us

I can’t tell you in confidence that it’s socially accectable to be disinterested in participating in the phenomenon of the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. But I am willing to admit, when something is that amazingly popular, I’m the guy who asks questions.

To be honest, I highly considered just quietly publishing this without promoting it on Facebook. I figured it might be a fairly dangerous thing for a guy like me to do… to express any doubts about the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

Yes, it does appear that most of your friends, as well as relevant celebrities, are all particating. It’s dominating your Facebook feed.

As for me, I’ve simply been a spectator. And until now, I’m given no personal opinion on the subject.

But for years now, I have publically questioned where all the money really goes and what good it’s really doing when it’s donated to breast cancer research.

 

Turns out, I wasn’t the only one wondering this. They made a documentary called Pink Ribbons, Inc. that does a great job of asking and attempting to answer those same questions.

Could it be that we tend to donate more money to the causes that are killing us the least? Or that we’re donating money to the causes that have less of a global impact, but more of a regional one?

Could it be that perhaps the #1 disease in America is fairly preventable through proper exercise and diet? And if it wasn’t, shouldn’t we be donating the most money to that cause?

Let me direct your attention to an article by Julia Belluz, featuring on Vox: The Truth About The Ice Bucket Challenge: Viral Memes Shouldn’t Dictate Our Charitable Giving.

I highly recommend reading it. The article contains this eye-opening infographic, which I believe, clearly speaks for itself.

Sure, I’m sincerely happy for charities getting money donated to them. I wouldn’t want to get in the way. But I do think it’s important to see this infographic with an open mind. So here it is, for better or worse:

New Infographic: Differences Between Diseases We Donate To, And The Diseases That Kill Us

 

The Unimaginable Thought of Losing Your Child

November 12, 2011 at 8:47 am , by 

Eleven months.

Yesterday I had to leave work about an hour early to pick up my son Jack from KinderCare: He had a temperature of 103. I knew that because he was still playful, still eating, and not showing any other signs of distress, this would be a “give him fever reducer” solution and not a “take him to the doctor” kind of thing.

But still, there’s something about knowing your child is not well that is undeniably unnerving; the thought that saving your child is not immediately up to you.

Sure, I can protect him from certain things. Admittedly, perhaps I’m overprotective: I won’t let the little guy watch TV or even drink juice. (Yeah, I one of those kind of parents!)

I’ve tried to imagine what I would do if something ever happened to him. How would I psychologically deal with that? Would I be the kind of dad that literally loses his mind if he lost his son? I want to believe that my son will outlive me. It’s both morbid and realistic to think about these dark situations, but occasionally, when I catch myself off guard, I do.

However, the world is full of parents who literally have had to lose their child, including Ruthe and Michael Rosen, whose 14-year old daughter, Karla, was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor.

But they decided to turn their pain into purpose.

They transformed Karla’s courage and solid optimism into a legacy of community service when they founded The Let It Be Foundation. It’s a nonprofit organization that helps families with children who have been diagnosed with life-threatening illnesses.

The Let It Be Foundation provides services including opportunities for family recreation, housekeeping, grocery shopping and meals, and help in meeting the needs of the child’s siblings. This assistance enables the children and their families to maintain a sense of normalcy at home as they battle the most serious illnesses. So far, The Let It Be Foundation has brought comfort, hope, and joy to families throughout Southern California, and is now in the process of expanding its presence nationwide.

To pass on the meaningful lessons she learned from living with Karla’s cancer, Ruthe also wrote Never Give Up: How to Find Hope and Purpose in Adversity (Cypress House, Sept. 2011), a brave story of faith, hope, and joy in the face of the unimaginable. The book follows Karla’s cancer journey and her unwavering optimism, inspiring readers to turn pain into purpose. Proceeds will benefit families served by The Let It Be Foundation.

 

The Dadabase Healthy Parents: The Marketing Strategy of “Cancer Sells”

October 21, 2011 at 9:52 pm , by 

Eleven months.

Here at Parents.com, the motto is “Healthy Kids, Happy Families.” As the daddy blogger, I want to extend the “healthy” part to parents, too. Because our kids learn their dietary habits from us, the parents.

Two years ago, I was 25 pounds heavier, but I have drastically changed my lifestyle since then to get to where I am now. So for those who are interested in heading down the straight and narrow with me as a parent, with this post I am debuting the first post of my “Healthy Parents” series.

We live in a consumer culture where it is acceptable (yet not ironic) for junk foods to come labeled in packaging telling us they are donating a portion of the proceeds to cancer research. Granted, I’m not against the occasional sandwich cookie or chocolate candy, nor am I against finding a cure for cancer or other diseases.

But am I the only one who thinks there’s something obviously illegitimate about an organization doing an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast benefiting research for Diabetes? (I actually saw that on Jay Leno’s “Headlines” one time.)

I am willing to go so far as to say that we are all fighting cancer in some way. For some of us, our parents or grandparents have been diagnosed by this serious disease and are actively fighting it.

For the rest of us who are younger, the risk may be further down the road. I want to help lead the fight through a lifestyle of prevention, alongside outspoken role models like Dr. Oz and celebrity chef, Jamie Oliver.

Why don’t brands of fresh produce (fruits and veggies) feel obligated to give a portion of the proceeds to help the fight against cancer? Interestingly, those are the foods that actually fight cancer in our bodies.

I feel in our culture, it’s taboo to address the issue that collectively we are gung ho about donating money for and raising awareness of, but don’t spend nearly the same effort to prevent those diseases as individuals by our own lifestyles.

But instead of complaining about that paradox, I’m simply going to write about ways we can focus some energy on having healthy families.

Ultimately, it’s about balance; that’s the message I’m trying to convey. It reminds me of what James, the half-brother of Jesus, said about religion: “Even so faith, if it has no works, is dead, being by itself.”

No one deserves to get cancer or any disease. But we all deserve to know how to prevent our lives from being further affected by it.

We should fight, we should hope, we should pray. We should also use our awareness of cancer (and other diseases) for being deliberate about what we feed our families; whether or not the proceeds of our groceries go to cancer research.

Passing the Mic:

Does our culture suffer a double standard of not focusing enough on healthy eating and living an active lifestyle, while over-emphasizing on researching for a cure?

The Shell Diet: Fresh- Forget about Processed Foods and Replace Sugar with Whole Fruits

Cut out all processed foods.


1) The worst thing about processed foods is that they are typically loaded with “bad sugars” and “bad fats”, not to mention too much sodium. This means all fast food, fried food, candy, snack cakes, sodas, coffee bought at a coffee shop, even yogurt (loaded with sugar!) just to name a few examples.  “Good sugars” are whole fruits and “good fats” are nuts- they’re good and necessary as part of the Shell Diet.

How do you know if a food is processed?  Any kind of food you wouldn’t have been able to find 200 years ago, if it contains more than 7 ingredients, and/or if it comes sealed in a box or bag sent from a factory, there is a good chance it is processed.  And that means you shouldn’t eat it because it has too much fatsugar, and or sodium.  Those three things are some of the rarest elements found in food, yet in today’s culture, a lot of our food choices are based on those things, and those are the things making us unhealthy.  Jesus didn’t eat Hot Pockets.  Abraham Lincoln didn’t eat Twinkies.  So neither will I.

2) So if you’re not eating junk food, or even “healthy” processed snacks (made with soy or tofu), what can you eat? Eat anything that is a plant, as a snack. Fruits, vegetables, nuts, and even whole grain cereal as long as no sugar has been added (admittedly, there aren’t a whole lot of cereals that fit that description, so unless I am having plain oatmeal with fruit, I buy plain shredded wheat and add honey, which is natural and healthy to eat).

3) Drinking your calories is just as bad, if not worse, than eating them. Soda is what I call “diabetes juice”.  Sugary coffee and sweat tea are “liquid cigarettes”.  And 100% fruit juice?  Still processed.  I call it “vitamin infused Kool Aid”.  We’re supposed to be eating fruit on a daily basis, not drinking it.  Because unless we’re eating the fiber with the fruit, we’re cheating ourselves and just drinking the vitamins and sugar from the fruit, wasting its fiber.

I don’t buy into the advertising ploy of V-8 and other “healthy juices” advertising that if you buy drinking their product, you’re getting the proper number of servings of fruits and veggies.  You may be getting the vitamins, but you’re getting too much sugar, and not enough fiber.  Sure, it’s better than soda, or not eating any fruits or veggies at all, but you’re still cheating yourself out of a healthy thing.

Acknowledgement: This far into reading about the “Shell Diet”, you have every reason to feel discouraged at how demanding of a lifestyle change it is.  But this is the price you pay to be healthy now, and to prevent Diabetes, cancer, and all that other bad stuff.  And there’s no way around it.  Even if you’re thin, it doesn’t mean you’re necessary healthy.

4) So what does Nick Shell drink, the creator of the Shell Diet, drink? Because obviously there isn’t much left to choose from. Mainly water– no less than two liters (ideally 3 liters) per day.  A little bit of milk with cereal or coffee (but no processed creamer or sugar).  Certain select fruit juices like carrot juice or Bolthouse Farms’ Green Goodness- they are the only exceptions to my “no fruit juice rule” because they both contain a power house of nutrients that are difficult to get a hold of and are more of a puree than a juice.

And lastly, one alcoholic beverage per day. Yes, it may sound like I’m going against everything I’ve established so far, but it’s a key factor of the Shell Diet being successful.  Almost every day, I either have a classy beer (like Leinenhugel’s, Fat Tire, Blue Moon, Shock Top, etc., but never Bud Light or anything people use to get drunk on during sports events or that underage teens with fake I.D.’s are drawn to) or a glass of wine (my favorite brand is actually Macaroni Grille).

If you have any religious reservations about this, read this, and if that doesn’t help (or you’re a recovering alcoholic or think you might become one), I have to admit you are at a disadvantage regarding the Shell Diet, but I don’t want to be responsible for you feeling like you are sinning against God (or lead you back into a lifestyle of abuse if you have a history of alcoholism).  If the Southern-small-town-Baptist restriction applies to you, I of all people completely understand where you’re coming from: I never had any alcohol until after high school and college.  It wasn’t until age 24 (right after moving to Nashville; the official crossroads of the Bible Belt and honky tonks) that I was able to process how I truly felt about Jesus Juice (wine) and Baptist Brew (beer).  Ironically, when I abandoned my “drinking is wrong” theology, for me, it was one of the most spiritually maturing times in my life.

Why do I strongly endorse daily consumption of one alcoholic drink per day?  Aside from the abundant health benefits mentioned here, it is a filling and healthy rival (again, in small amounts, not abundance) to sugar.  Plus, at the end of the day, with dinner, it is relaxing.   And that is a good thing.  It’s important to relax, because stress causes cancer.

*But wait, there’s more…Go back to the main page of the The Shell Diet by clicking right here.