We hope these tips, link and bits of advice will help you on your 30 Day Go Vegan Challenge! 
Hi <<First Name>>! 

WELCOME TO DAY TWENTY-THREE!



 Clare's advice for day twenty-three: 
TYPICAL COMMENT: A question you may come across is "What’s wrong with eating animals? In the wild, animals eat each other all the time?"

ISSUE: Presumably this is an attempt at justifying meat eating as normal and yet the argument ignores the fact that we are not living ‘in the wild’ and also that our intensive farming methods are far from ‘normal’ and linked to engineering the need for greater consumption. There are myths to dispel about how many animals actually eat each other in the wild and the assumption that if certain animals eat other animals, then it must be normal for humans to do so.

RESPONSE: ‘The ‘normal’ argument is an interesting one because it assumes some things are evolutionary or natural because they occur in the wild. The reality is that we are not ‘in the wild’, nor are we obtaining animals under natural conditions. The vast majority of animals for food are kept in totally unnatural conditions and humans consume them at far greater rates than would ever be possible if they had to obtain them ‘naturally’ in the wild. The fact that we cause them so much pain and suffering, fill them with antibiotics because of the unnatural conditions we breed them in and give them growth hormones to speed their growth is argument enough that it is not ‘natural’ to eat animals as we do. I think there is also a myth about how many animals are carnivores. A great new book by author Jeffrey Masson entitled ‘Beasts: What they tell us about the roots of good and evil’ (2014) would be a great source to consult to dispel these myths that it is natural to eat meat and therefore justifies our modern diet’.

TIP: Whenever you are talking about a concept, clarify that you and other person are talking about the same thing. In this example, identify what is considered ‘natural’. Modern farming methods are far from natural and so we can’t say that meat eating in modern society is natural. Always offer the other person the opportunity to be given more information. Don’t think you have to have all the answers – just provide people with information so they can make informed choices. Do however share your opinion with them.


Robyn's advice for day twenty-three:
Get blood tests annually to check your nutritional status.
Getting an annual blood test to check your levels of important nutrients is a good ‘’insurance policy”.
I recommend the following tests:
* 25-hydroxyvitamin D (aim for > 75 nmol/L)
* Full blood count, paying particular attention to haemoglobin, haematocrit and MCV (mean corpuscular volume – a good indicator of your iron, folate and vitamin B12 status)
* Iron studies including ferritin (aim for ferritin of 20-80 ng/mL)
* Serum vitamin B12 (aim for > 400 pg/mL)
* Serum and red cell folate (aim for the top of the reference ranges, or even higher)
* Plasma zinc (aim for > 12 mmol/L)
* Urinary spot iodine excretion (aim for > 100 mcg/L)

It’s also a good idea to test your plasma lipids (cholesterol and triglycerides) and fasting glucose level at least every few years. Your cholesterol level should drop substantially on a vegan diet; but poorly-planned vegan diets that rely too heavily on refined carbohydrates may bump up your triglycerides and/or glucose level.
My clients find that seeing their blood test results is highly motivating – their dedication to healthy eating pays off in improved results, while a not-so-good result gives them a wake-up call that they can’t overindulge in vegan junk food without compromising their health!
 

Cassies' recipe idea for day twenty-three: 

Raw Fudge
Makes 24 Mini Cups
Ingredients
½ cup shredded coconut
120g blanched almonds
1 tbsp maple syrup
¼ cup coconut oil, melted
2 tbsp rice bran syrup
1 tbsp agave
½ cup dark cocoa powder
  1. Place mini patty pans into 24 mini muffin trays and set aside to fill.
  2. Using a food processor, place the coconut, almonds, rice bran syrup, maple syrup and 1 1/2 tbsp of coconut oil into the processor bowl and process until completely ground. Evenly distribute the mixture over 24 mini muffin trays, approximately 1 1/2 tsp of mixture into each one. Press firmly to pack down.
  3. To make the chocolate mix, combine 3 tbsp coconut oil, agave and cocoa powder and whisk until just combined. Place a teaspoon onto each patty pan and spread evenly using a pallet knife. Cover with plastic wrap and place into the refrigerator to set.
     

 
Kym's advice for day twenty-three:
"May contain traces of nuts or milk". Many labels on products in supermarkets will state this. Does this mean that these products are still vegan? 

The answer is yes - its still vegan. The reason companies use this labelling is twofold - for their own benefit - to protect themselves from litigation by someone who gets a trace amount of nuts or dairy in their food and gets an allergic reaction, and secondly to protect people who have food allergies from harm. 'Traces of nuts or dairy' simply means that the food is processed on a line that is also used to process food containing food with nuts or milk in it. We are talking about microscopic amounts that might cause a reaction in those who are hypersensitive to nuts or dairy. If we buy more vegan products from these companies, hopefully they will eventually stop making their other lines that contain animal products in them. Theres not need to boycott companies that make vegan as well as non-vegan products, just stick to the vegan options which will thereby encourage them to do more vegan lines.  Go vegan, but don't go nuts! :-)

TODAYS ASSIGNMENT: Educate your friends about how common lactose-intollerance is - and how it effects the health of those who suffer from this and still consume dairy. Invite them to a plant-milk tasting session at your place and serve them five or six brands of plant milk in shot glasses! They may discover a new level of personal health that they have never experienced before! 

WANT MORE INFO ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN? 
Go to this page and check out some short videos about the benefits of eating more beans!

CAN'T BE BOTHERED COOKING TONIGHT?
Check out our directory of over 100 eateries in Sydney with vegan options!  --> click here 

QUOTE FOR THE DAY:



Congratulations making it through DAY TWENTY-THREE of your 30 Day Go Vegan Challenge! 
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