Hi <<First Name>>!
WELCOME TO DAY EIGHTEEN!
Clare's advice for day eighteen:
If you ask any vegan, ‘What’s the question you are most asked? They’ll say, ‘Where do you get your protein?’ Then you will hear chuckles with saying ‘Why do people still hold the myth that vegans find it hard to get sufficient protein?’ The fact is that people hold lots of myths about the content and value of foods but rarely challenge them or seek evidence that support their assumptions. How do you answer the inevitable question in a way that informs and makes the person feel curious to find out more?
TYPICAL COMMENT: ‘The problem with a vegan diet is that it is deficient in protein. Where are you going to get your protein?’
ISSUE: There is a stated belief that a vegan diet lacks sufficient protein. The person presumably holds several myths (unquestioned assumptions) about how much protein is needed and that animal sources are preferable (or else they would be asking everyone the question). It is likely that they have never thought to question their assumptions and have accepted (through media and indoctrination from several industries) that protein deficiency in veganism is sufficiently prevalent to warrant the belief.
NOTE: First, comment on the question and avoid becoming critical of their assumptions. Do this by generalising and asking questions e.g. ‘It’s interesting you say that a vegan diet is deficient in protein, because a lot of people assume this. What makes you assume a vegan diet is deficient in protein?’ You put the onus on the other person to defend their position. You also invite them to give your more information and tell you whether they have in-depth knowledge of nutrition, have believed what they have been told without questioning or have a personal experience of vegans and their diets.
RESPONSE: a) If they are just making assumptions, then answer: ‘There are a lot of assumptions about how much protein people need and that a vegan diet just can’t provide the amount or type of protein the body needs. Apparently we don’t need as much protein as we are encouraged to eat by food manufacturers, nor do we have to get it from animal sources. We can get more than enough protein from plant-based sources but have to ensure that we have plenty of fresh wholefoods and not eat processed junk food. However, that’s the same for non-vegans too. One interesting thing I found out was that there isn’t a name for protein deficiency. That tells me that it’s probably so rare in even the average diet, that it doesn’t even warrant a specific term. If you are interested, I can send you some links to find out more’. (The latter removes the need for you to be the nutritional advisor – unless that’s your profession). b) If they know a vegan that wasn’t healthy, you can say almost the same thing but refer to their experience e.g. ‘It’s very easy to make the assumption from your friend’s experience of not being well, that the problem was the vegan diet. Some people adopt a vegan diet but don’t do their homework and just stop eating traditional sources of protein and instead eat a lot more processed foods. Over time they probably became unwell but it’s probably not to vitamin deficiency maybe. I am not a nutritionist but I do know people can be deficient in iron or certain vitamins if they don’t eat a vegan wholefood diet. It’s the same with non-vegan diets of course too. The best thing is to do ask an expert nutritionist who is open-minded about veganism. I say this because even professionals can dismiss certain things without looking any further’.
TIP: Highlight that there are a lot of myths and unquestioned assumptions about diet. Don’t try to be a nutritional expert and think you have to have in-depth knowledge of protein values in foods. Refer the person to a good vegan nutritionist and encourage them to consider that certain industries have might have a vested interest in people consuming more protein from sources they sell, because it sells products. By encouraging them to ask questions about these things, we encourage them to think about many other things they may have been hoodwinked about.
Robyn's advice for day eighteen:
Get enough iodine
Iodine, as most people know, is crucial for thyroid function. It is actually a key component of thyroid hormones. These hormones are critical for normal growth and development of the central nervous system (brain and spinal cord), and are also necessary for the maturation of the body as a whole. Probably the best-known function of thyroid hormones is that they maintain your metabolic rate, or the number of kilojoules/calories you burn at rest.
Iodine is also important for breast health, helping to prevent and treat fibrocystic breast disease, and possibly reduce the risk of breast cancer.
Average intake of iodine is quite low in Australia by world standards, and studies have shown that vegans have a lower intake than either vegetarians or omnivores.
The consequences of iodine deficiency include goitre (enlarged thyroid gland), hypothyroidism (note that iodine deficiency is NOT the major cause of hypothyroidism in Australia – that dubious honour falls to Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, an autoimmune condition that can be triggered by excess iodine intake) and impaired mental and physical development. Severe iodine deficiency in pregnancy can cause miscarriage or stillbirth, congenital anomalies, increased perinatal and infant mortality, cretinism (mental retardation) or mental deficiency with deaf mutism, spastic diplegia and squint, dwarfism and psychomotor effects.
Studies in Australian and New Zealand school children have found that correcting even a mild iodine deficiency with iodine supplements, leads to improved scores on tests of cognitive performance and memory.
The best food source of iodine for vegans is unquestionably seaweeds such as wakame, dulse, kombu (kelp) and nori (the pressed seaweed used in sushi). Nori is relatively low in iodine compared to other seaweeds and a sheet or two can safely be eaten every day, either in traditional rice-filled sushi (choose brown or red rice for maximum nutritional benefit) or as a wrap for salad vegetables. Wakame, dulse and kombu are extremely high in iodine, and intake should be restricted to a pinch, 2-3 times per week. I like to grind wakame with sesame seeds and nutritional yeast to make a delightful Parmesan substitute.
Cassies' recipe idea for day sixteen:
Kym's advice for day eighteen:
What about spiders and other insects?
3 brown onions, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tbsp tikka masala paste
½ tsp ground turmeric
2 tbsp coriander, finely shredded
juice of ½ lemon
1 tsp salt
150ml water (may need less)
200g chickpea (besan) flour
3 litres vegetable oil (for deep frying)
200g vegan sour cream
½ bunch mint, leaves only, minced
½ tsp salt
juice of ½ lemon
- Fill with oil and preheat a 3 litre deep fryer to 180C.
- In a large bowl, combine the onions, garlic, tikka masala paste, turmeric, coriander, lemon and salt and stir well.
- Alternately add the water and flour until the mixture forms a runny dough. You want them to hold their shape quite well for deep frying. Spooning consistency!
- Place the basket into the deep fryer and drop heaped tablespoon sized balls of batter into the hot oil. Approximately 4 at a time. Cook for 1 minute or until deep golden brown and then place onto absorbant paper towel to drain. Repeat until all bhajis are cooked.
- To make the raita, place the raita ingredients into a small bowl and stir well to combine. Serve with bhajis.
Many people consider insects as something like tiny hardwired robots, not intelligent, not adaptive and not conscious. Research over the last few decades however has shown that insects are capable of performing amazing intellectual feats; from recognising individuals to employing symbolic language to communicate with other insects. They are crucial to our global ecosystem. For all of these reasons they deserve to be left alone and protected if they are not causing any danger to us. When it comes to roaches, prevention is the best cure. For mozzies, there are cruelty-free insect repellants available. For spiders in the home its a simple matter of being brave and using a glass and a piece of paper to catch it and release outside.
Read this fascinating article about insects and sentience
Check out this article about how to prevent cockroaches:
WANT MORE INFO ABOUT THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GOING VEGAN?
Watch this excellent talk by Dr Neal Barnard 'Kickstart Your Health' (10 mins)
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 EIGHTEEN of your 30 Day Go Vegan Challenge!