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Do Gorillas Eat Meat?

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Do Gorillas Eat Meat?

As originally posted at: https://www.arespectfullife.com/2017/06/07/gorillas-eat-meat/

A Silverback Gorilla is a mature male Mountain Gorilla weighing between 300 and 400 pounds. He is incredibly strong and lean and has massive canines (teeth). Females gorillas are 150 to 250 pounds. The gorilla diet consists of eating 40 plus pounds of vegetation and fruit daily. Gorillas are Herbivores and snack on termites, ants, and termite larvae but gorillas DO NOT eat meat or the flesh of other animals.

Chances are that you are reading this article because you are considering a vegetarian or vegan diet. Gorillas have a similar digestive system as a human. There are, however some major differences in what humans should consume versus a gorilla.

First, it should be noted that gorillas derive much of their Vitamin B12 from eating plants that are not washed in chlorinated water! Vitamin B12 is found in bacteria in soil. In addition, they eat termites and ants that are covered in nutrient rich soil. Humans wash much of their produce and the produce you buy is washed with chlorinated or purified water thus losing much of the nutrients that you might have otherwise derived from ingesting soil. It is also important to note that much of the agricultural products produced for humans are produced in soil that is mostly depleted of nutrients. It is paramount that humans have adequate amounts of Vitamin B12 and is highly recommended for vegans to take a Vitamin B12 supplement.

Humans have a smaller colon and a larger small intestine than gorillas and other primates. As a result, we require softer, less fibrous, and more nutrient and energy dense foods. It would be difficult for a human to digest much of the stems, leaves and seeds that are part of the diet of other primates. Thus the reason we crush, chop, and cook much of our produce and fibrous foods. It is believed that this is a result of the human agriculture revolution and human adaptation.

Since gorillas have larger colons, they ferment much of their plant fibers in their gut. The gorilla has six times the absorption available from the colon than a human does, which means they have many times the amount of bacteria available for digestion of plant cellulose. Humans pass most of the plant cellulose and are unable to digest it, and human capacity to convert plant fiber to fatty acid is quite limited. Fatty acids (Omega 3 and Omega 6) are essential to human health.

Another big difference between humans and other primates and most other animals is the amount of amylase (a digestive enzyme) that we produce. This enzyme helps in the digestion and break down of starches like rice, wheat, maize (corn), and potatoes. It is likely that this is a direct result of adaptation as some studies suggest that cultures with a higher intake of starch (Japan) produce more amylase. In other words, humans are able to easily consume and process starchy foods and thrive on those starches. Some believe that humans are essentially ‘Starchivores’.

It is most likely that early humans lived in warm climates and ate the fruits of the what nature produced naturally. Namely fruits and nuts. As our population has grown, we rely on agriculture and foods that humans plant and produce. What we consume today may not be what early humans ate, but it does show that humans are highly adaptive.

Could we eat like a gorilla? A gorilla diet would allow for our survival but I don’t believe it is the most beneficial diet for a human. At the same time, the diet that most cultures eat today is dangerous to our health and the health of our planet. Obesity rates and chronic diseases have run rampant. Our planet is dying and if we don’t change what we are doing, we are destined for extinction.

If you are considering a vegetarian or vegan diet, I would highly recommend it for the benefit of your health and the benefit of this planet we share. All you have to do is look around you to know that our current course is not healthy. I can tell you from my personal experience that it changed my life! (You can read about that HERE). I would encourage you to do the research to ensure that you are getting the nutrients that you need in your diet and to not just ‘go vegan’ uninformed. I have many resources available in this blog. I would also encourage you to visit NutritionFacts.org

A well balanced diet is important for your health and longevity so please know what you should and should not put in your body! I am very careful about my diet as there is a lot of longevity in my family, but there is also a lot of chronic disease like diabetes and heart disease. I will likely live into my 90’s and I plan to grow old gracefully!

As always, if you have any questions about my posts or content, please feel free to reach out to me directly.

JT

P.S. I have an additional article on this subject titled “What Do Gorilla’s Eat”

‘What The Health’ The Film and Documentary Highlights

As originally posted on: https://www.arespectfullife.com/2017/06/17/health-film-documentary-highlights/
What The Health the film is a groundbreaking documentary that tells you what the health care industry, big pharma, and the American government does not want you to know! It details who supports and is in bed with the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association, and the American Heart Association.

According to the World Health Organization, processed meats like hot dogs, bacon, and sausage, are linked to an increase in cancer and classified as a class one carcinogenic (like cigarettes, asbestos, and plutonium).

Two thirds of American adults are obese, one out of three have diabetes, and over fifty percent have heart disease. Our medical community is not trained to treat the cause of these health issues, OUR NUTRITION. They are trained and schooled to treat medical conditions with medications and surgeries.

The whole low carbohydrate diet movement plain and simple is wrong. We simply don’t need protein from animal products in order to get enough protein in our diets. Sugar is NOT the issue and does not cause diabetes!

We as humans can REVERSE adverse health problems by changing our diet to a whole food, plant based diet. This is documented and there are many doctors and nutrition experts interviewed in this documentary.

This documentary is excellent and is a MUCH WATCH. There is also a paperback available. I am posting the link to the FREE documentary on YouTube here (also below). There are also links to the paperback and the DVD on Amazon below. This documentary is now available on Netflix. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g1nEpMQyhLA

If you would like more information on a plant based diet or need nutritional coaching, please contact me and see my other resources HERE. #GoVegan

As always, if you have any questions concerning this post or any of my content, please feel free to contact me directly.

JT

10 Easy Weight Loss Tips

10 Easy Weight Loss Tips
As originally posted at: https://www.arespectfullife.com/2017/06/15/10-easy-weight-loss-tips/

10 Easy Weight Loss Tips

I have personally lost a lot of weight. It is not because I eat poorly or am malnourished. I have had a full blood work up done twice in the last year and all of my numbers are excellent so I must be doing something right. I also do NOT kill myself in the gym. I have bad knees and any exercise that I do is low impact. I do not do cardio at all. I am also pretty lazy and not consistent in my work out routine. My workout is mostly walking and biking and an occasional swim. I lift a few weights now and again but nothing strenuous – just keeping some muscle tone.

When I say I have lost some weight, hear me clearly: I lost 80 lbs. in 3 months and an additional 40 lbs. In another 5 months. All together it was 120 lbs in 8 months. That is pretty significant! And I know what I did was doing it the right way and I am certain that I will never be overweight like that again.

I will save my rants about fad diets for another post. I have studied them and tried some of them to know what works and what doesn’t. The diets that work usually make it easy for a person (like ready made meals) and have personal support. Also, low carbohydrate diets (Atkins, Paleo, SouthBeach, Zone, Ketogenic, etc.) work to shed some weight, but most people don’t keep the weight off. They are also dangerous as you shed most of your electrolytes and minerals while in ketosis. In addition, anytime that you have restrictions in a diet, you will cut calories. However, restrictions usually cause people to relapse because of the many of the foods they miss and crave.

Here is the primary reason my regimen worked: I addressed the habits and reasons why I overate and made poor food choices, and I changed my lifestyle. I chose a method that could sustain me and that I could enjoy for life. I chose a well balanced vegan diet. I know where my sources of protein, calcium, Vitamin B12, Vitamins C, A, E, D, micro-nutrients, potassium, iron, magnesium and other minerals come from. I also know how many calories and carbohydrates I need to maintain or to loose weight.

I am not a nutrition expert, but I do know a couple of nutritionists and there is a lot of great information (as well as misinformation) on the internet. What I did obviously worked so I hope you find these tips helpful! Without further ado:

10 Easy Tips for Weightloss:

Avoid Alcohol!Alcohol is straight sugar any way you look at it. Most people drink alcohol in the evenings and then it metabolizes while you sleep. If you are going to drink alcohol, stick with a higher quality red wine and keep it to a minimum.
Avoid Processed FoodsMany people out of convenience purchase packaged and processed foods. Many of these off the shelf items contain fillers and tons of sugar and refined grains.
Watch Your Carbohydrate IntakeWhen watching your carb intake, please know that it is dangerous to drop below 40 grams per day. If you are doing a low carb diet, it is recommended that you take potassium supplement to avoid seizures! When counting carbs, I do not count dietary fiber and only count carbs from sugars (or bad carbs). The minimum recommended carbohydrate intake when you are not trying to lose weight is 120 grams daily.
Avoid Refined CarbohydratesIt is best to eat complex carbohydrates. Complex carbs are found in whole grains, beans, nuts, fruits, and vegetables. This means that you avoid things like refined sugar, refined flour, white rice, white potatoes, and pasta. A personal trainer friend of mine once said “If it’s white, it ain’t right”.
Don’t Eat LateOne of the reasons that I gained so much weight is that I got home late from work and was famished by then. I would eat at 11:00PM and usually overeat, and then would go to bed. It is best that you don’t eat within 4 hours of doing to bed.
Snack OftenYes you heard me right. If you are hungry, eat! What you choose to eat will make a big difference. My snack is an apple, a carrot, a glass of soy milk, 2 TBS of peanut butter (my guilty pleasure), or a handful of nuts. If you are hungry, pay attention to your body! If you are not hungry all the time, you will be a lot happier and have more success in your weight loss goals. Avoid sugary or pre-packaged snacks at all costs.
Drink Lemon JuiceI know this sounds strange, but lemons have an amazing effect on weight loss. I’m not talking about sugary lemonade. I am talking about lemon infused water. Personally, I add lemon and lime juice to my water. I buy bottles of 100% pure lemon and lime juice and squirt a little into my water. I chose this because of the potassium and magnesium, and it also tastes great. Sipping on lemon water helps boost your metabolism and aid in digestion. It is rich in antioxidants. Note that the citric acid in lemons can erode the enamel of your teeth so it is best to use a straw (get a reusable straw here).
Get Plenty of AntioxidantsAntioxidants are found in fruits and vegetables. An antioxidant is a molecule that inhibits the oxidation of other molecules. Without going into great detail, antioxidants keep your cells healthy and balanced. A person is supposed to have 5 servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
ExerciseI know, I know, everyone says you have to exercise to loose weight. I am not telling you to kill yourself in the gym! Just get some level of exercise daily or several time per week. Even if that means taking a walk after dinner.
Stop Eating Meat and Dairy ProductsAs I mentioned earlier, I needed to have a lifestyle change. I started my weight-loss journey on a Pescatarian diet (vegetarian but still ate fish, eggs, and dairy). I was concerned about the amount of protein I would get in my diet. As I have done more research, I have found that I do not need any of those things and that there is plenty of healthy protein in beans, nuts, and many vegetables. Meat and dairy also have unnecessary saturated fat. Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the western world and guess what causes heart disease? Plaque build up in your arterial walls from cholesterol, and unhealthy cholesterol comes from meat and dairy. I later found out about casein in dairy (which is cancer causing) and decided to avoid it at all costs.

I could list a lot more reasons to stop consuming animal based products and turning to a plant based diet. You can find more of that information in some of my other blog posts. I will say this though: I needed to find a lifestyle that would sustain me for life in the healthiest way possible. The only diet and lifestyle effective in doing that is vegan. There is a lot of longevity in my family but many of my family members suffered in their old age. I intend to grow old gracefully.

For more information on health and nutrition, I highly recommend Dr. Michael Greger’s book ‘How Not To Die’ and visit his website at NutritionFacts.org

As always, feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions about this post or any other content in my blog.

JT

The 3 Best Things I Did For My Health

As posted on: https://www.arespectfullife.com/2017/05/12/the-3-best-things-i-did-for-my-health/
If you have followed along with my blog posts, I recently posted ‘How I Lost Over 100 Pounds Eating Mindfully’. As a recap, I was a BBQ restaurant owner (smoked meats) and a craft beer drinker. I had gained about 150 pounds in a little over 5 years doing things like eating late after I closed the restaurant, and drinking too much amazing Michigan Craft Beer. My health deteriorated and I ended up in the hospital with a long list of prescriptions.

How could someone gain that much weight? Some of it, as mentioned above, was life circumstance. Part of it was poor discipline and poor choices. Another part of it was that I was on a bit of a destructive path after some devastating events (see blog post here) in my life and just didn’t care. It was all a toxic combination.

Being hospitalized scared me. I didn’t know what was wrong exactly and neither did the doctors. Their answer was to give me a long list of prescriptions. I had severe Edema in my leg, and my hands and wrists were swelling. I also had an allergic reaction to one of the medications my personal physician had prescribed.

When my health deteriorated, I lost everything. I lost my business, my relationship with my girlfriend, and my income. I could hardly walk. I couldn’t work. I could barely function. I am very fortunate to have a supportive and loving family. They helped get me back on my feet.

After being hospitalized, I spent several weeks doing some intense research about healthy eating and an anti-inflammatory diet. I realized that I needed a mindset change. I needed to re-prioritize my life and my choices. I found out the hard way that if you do not have your health, you do not have ANYTHING.

My research led me many different websites. I did find a lot of conflicting information. There are some very powerful lobby’s and industry advocacy groups in the U.S. that make finding facts difficult. I also found a nutrition website that had a LOT of great information, but they were trying to sell a few certain products and supplements, and it skewed their perspective and their reporting of so-called ‘facts’.

The biggest thing that I found is that FOOD IS MEDICINE. Treating a condition from the inside is the best possible route for your health. I decided to use food AS my medicine.

I have had a couple of serious back injuries. (See previous blog posts). I was an ibuprofen fiend. I would take SEVEN (7) 200mg ibuprofen 2 to 3 times daily! It would only take the edge off. I never wanted to take prescription painkillers as they are highly addictive so this was the route I chose.

Change #1: I stopped taking ibuprofen and started including Turmeric in my diet. I started taking 3 teaspoons of Turmeric powder daily (one teaspoon, 3 times per day). Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory and better than any drug on the market. You can buy the powder in the spice section or you can take a supplement (buy on Amazon by clicking here). More information on the benefits of Turmeric click here.

Change #2: I started hydrating with water that had Lemon and Lime juice in it. This meant that I stopped drinking diet soda (which robs your body of calcium and is full of sodium). Lemons are full of Potassium and Limes are full of Magnesium. Your muscles need Potassium and Magnesium to properly function. When your muscles are ‘spent’ or worn out, they stop receiving blood which also means they stop receiving nutrients. This is the main reason that people experience muscle spasms. As a person with muscle and skeletal issues from injuries, the severe muscle spasms can be debilitating. Lemon juice also helps with weight loss. I am happy to report that I don’t experience muscle spasms any longer. My healthy muscles continue to get stronger every day!

Change #3: As a BBQ restaurant owner, you can imagine that I ate a LOT of meat. In the past when I wanted to lose a few pounds, I would do a low carb diet and drop off 20 pounds in no time. I followed the Adkins Diet years ago and it worked for me. This time was different. I had to lose a lot of weight quickly to regain my health. I STOPPED EATING BEEF AND PORK, rarely ate chicken, but would eat eggs and fish. I also stopped eating dairy products. I went to a primarily plant based vegan diet.

Since making these changes I can tell you that I am a lot happier and healthier. I feel great! I exercise regularly and I have now cut chicken, most fish and eggs out of my diet and am almost entirely plant based. Essentially, I have followed an anti-inflammatory diet. My follow up post on this is here.

As a Vegan, one of my primary concerns was getting enough protein. I will do a follow-up post to this concerning protein and Vegans. In the meantime, here are some decent resources if you are curious about a plant-based diet. Also, check out my Top Amazon Vegan Picks here.

https://www.veganmotivation.com/

http://www.thekindlife.com/

I highly recommend the documentary Forks Over Knives

Suffering From Inflammation?

As Posted on: https://www.arespectfullife.com/2017/05/17/suffering-from-inflammation/

Last year I gave up my thriving restaurant to focus on my health. I had the restaurant for 5 years and everything was going well, except for my health. I had gained a lot of weight. I was having massive back pain and muscle spasms, had a compressed nerve in my foot, and my knees were in severe pain. I had swelling in my hands, arms, feet, and legs and had especially bad Edema in my right leg.

I saw my personal physician several times and had gone to the local urgent care for steroid shots when I could not bear the pain any longer. I had x-rays taken and they found that I had bad arthritis. I was prescribed a pain killer, muscle relaxer, and an anti-inflammatory. None of it worked! In fact, I ended up going to the hospital later with severe stomach pains which ended up being an allergic reaction to one of the medications. The hospital ran several tests and found nothing conclusive. They discharged me with an even longer list of prescriptions.

The day I was released I spoke with my 68-year-old, Vegan, and extremely healthy mother about this. Her reaction was, “No way! Food is Medicine! Do the research and do NOT fill those prescriptions!” So, I did a ton of research. My research led me to believe that I needed to include Turmeric in my daily regimen and to go on an anti-inflammation diet. Within 3 weeks, all the swelling was gone and I started to feel better. I also started rapidly losing weight (You can read about that here).

Did you know that inflammation is the common link between conditions such as Alzheimer’s, heart disease, cancer, and arthritis? Inflammation is your body’s response to stress. If you suffer from back pain, hip pain, joint pain, arthritis, chronic pain, headaches, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), swelling, Edema, or fluid retention, then perhaps an anti-inflammatory diet is for you. If you are depressed and often fatigued, you may have an inflammatory condition and an anti-inflammatory diet may be right for you.

Please note that this is not medical advice. Often inflammation is a sign of a serious underlying condition. If you are concerned about your pain or inflammation, please see your doctor! Inflammatory conditions are not to be taken lightly so I encourage you to seek medical help to diagnose your condition.

Treating conditions and ailments from the inside out with proper nutrition is always the best course of action. If you want to feel better, you must eat better.

My Anti-Inflammatory Diet:

Tip: STAY HYDRATED! Some experts say that over 75% of people are chronically dehydrated which leads to your body becoming too acidic and thus inflamed. Drinking water with lemon and lime in it also has tremendous health benefits. Not only is citrus fruit a great anti-oxidant, the potassium and magnesium will help rejuvenate tired muscles. It is not possible to alkalize and cleanse bodily tissues without proper hydration. Dehydration will also cause pain!

First, I want to list the foods you should absolutely avoid if you have inflammation or an inflammatory condition:

-SALT! And foods high in sodium.

-Soda and other sugary beverages.

-Refined sugar.

-Alcohol.

-Red meat, pork, and processed meats (like hot dogs and sausage).

-Fried foods.

-Refined flour (including white pasta, bread, crackers, and many cereals).

-Margarine, shortening, and lard (saturated fats).

-MSG / Monosodium Glutamate (a flavor enhancer in many foods).

-Casein (ALL dairy products).

-Artificial Sweeteners (like aspartame).

-Processed Foods.

Best Foods for inflammation:

-Green tea.

-Leafy greens, spinach, and kale.

-Olives and olive oil.

-Cherries, pineapple, and blueberries.

-Citrus Fruit.

-Broccoli.

-Tomatoes.

-Celery.

-Whole Grains.

-Nuts.

-Omega 3 fatty acids (found in fatty fish, eggs, walnuts, wild rice, flaxseed, and soybeans).

-Chia Seeds and Flaxseed.

-Beans and legumes.

-Garlic.

-Ginger, Cinnamon, and Cayenne Pepper.

-Turmeric!!!!!!

-Turmeric!!!!!!

-Turmeric!!!!!!

-Turmeric!!!!!!

Did I say Turmeric? Turmeric is the best anti-inflammatory available. Better than ibuprofen or any synthetic medication. You can mix Turmeric powder into water and drink it (although it does not taste great), or you can buy a supplement.

Finally, if you are serious about following an anti-inflammation diet, check the labels on EVERYTHING that you buy. You will be surprised that fat-free often means that they added sugar for flavor and that many foods contain excess sugar, refined flour, and MSG.

As always, please feel free to email me if you have questions.

JT

Other Resources:

This is a great article on the benefits of staying hydrated: https://www.hightly.com/is-dehydration-ruining-your-life-change-your-life-with-the-water-cure/

10 Evidence-Based Benefits of Turmeric: https://authoritynutrition.com/top-10-evidence-based-health-benefits-of-turmeric/