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All You Need To Know About Plant Protein – Because It Builds Muscle The Same, If Not Better, Than Meat

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Related CE Article: Plant Based Protein vs Protein From Meat. Which One Is Better For Your Body? 

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An often cited “fact” is that vegetarians and vegans will struggle to build muscle because they don’t have enough protein in their diet. Non meat eaters are often told that getting sufficient protein is impossible due to the relative lack of plant protein available. Of course this is not true at all; while it is undeniably more difficult to hit your protein targets when abstaining from meat, it is absolutely possible.

In this article we will be talking all things related to plant protein. We will explore the plant-based protein foods you can eat and the plant protein powders you can use to supplement your diet. But first we will take a look at the benefits of protein and how much protein you really should be consuming per day.

The Benefits of Protein

Why is protein such an important macro nutrient? Well it happens to be very useful for people trying to lose weight, maintain weight, or gain weight… which is basically everyone! It can increase your metabolism (due to it being hard to digest compared to carbohydrates and fats), preserve muscle while dieting, help contribute to weight loss, and aid muscle building. It also increases satiety (that feeling of being full after a meal), which helps people to avoid overeating.

Without protein, your body would not be able to maintain muscle mass. This might sound fine to some of you in theory, particularly anyone who “doesn’t want to get too bulky,” but if you desire a toned body, better overall fitness, or ease of movement in your old age, then you would want to avoid losing muscle.

For any vegan bodybuilders out there, protein is even more important. Without sufficient protein, you will never be able to build muscle. That’s because protein is essential for the repair and rebuilding of muscle fibres after a workout. There is a process called muscle protein synthesis, which uses dietary protein to build and repair muscles. If you don’t have sufficient protein, then your muscles will either stay the same or even lose size.

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Recommended Protein Intake

The amount of protein you can take per day is a long-debated issue, but suffice it to say that if you have no long term kidney problems, there is no upper limit to the amount that you can safely take. This doesn’t mean that you can eat 400g a day, it just means the range is quite large. A recent study found that natural bodybuilders benefit from anywhere between 2.3-3.1g of protein per kg of body weight. This doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but for a 100kg person, that could represent an 80g per day difference. Now, most people are not wannabe bodybuilders, so it would make sense to aim for the lower end of the scale. A target of between 1.5-2g per kg of body weight would be perfect. Let’s say you are 60kg; then your protein target would be between 90g and 120g per day.

Protein in Vegetarian & Vegan Diets

Most vegetarians and vegans do not hit their protein intake targets, but then, neither do meat eaters! It is one of the reasons why many people are overweight or not as strong as they should be. It’s hard to make generalizations about vegetarian or vegan diets because they can be so varied, but most protein tends to come from lentils, nuts, beans, or soy. Here are five of the best plant protein sources available:

· Tofu (10g of protein per 1/2 cup)
· Lentils (18g of protein per cup)
· Navy Beans (15g of protein per cup)
· Cashew Nuts (5g of protein per 1/4 cup raw nuts)
· Chia Seeds (4g of protein per 2 tbsp)

Of course, if you have been following a plant-based diet, then you are probably familiar with all five of these excellent protein sources. But what about plant protein powders? In the last few years, lots of vegan protein powders have become available, offering high quality, complete proteins coming from vegan-friendly sources.

Different Types of Plant Protein

There are a lot of plant-based protein powders out at the moment, and we are going to take a look at five of the best around. There’s soy protein, pea protein, hemp protein, rice protein, and pumpkin protein. We are going to be looking at isolate protein powders rather than concentrate, as these are superior (higher protein to calorie ratio).

  1. Soy Protein – Soy is a great source of protein, but tends to be quite high in fat and
    carbohydrates, meaning it can be quite difficult to increase protein without increasing everything else as well. Soy protein powder is made by isolating the protein and removing as much of the fat and carbs as possible. You end up with around 22g of protein per serving, with less than 1g of fat and around 2g of carbohydrates. Soy is often criticized in bodybuilding circles because some believe it increases estrogen in men, but if you are eating a diet high in cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, kale, sprouts, etc.), this should not be an issue.
  2. Pea Protein – A great alternative to whey protein, pea protein can contain up to 28g of protein per serving. It tends to work in a similar way to casein protein, being a slow digesting protein. This can increase satiety (feeling full after a meal) and is perfect for anyone on a diet.
  3. Hemp Protein – This form of protein comes from hemp seeds and is a very easily digested form of protein, similar to whey. Excellent for anyone who finds it difficult to digest certain foods, hemp protein powder is also high in fibre. Hemp protein tends to be a little lower in protein than soy or pea, with an average of 14-18g of protein per serving.
  4. Rice Protein – Rice protein powder comes from brown rice, and it is much higher in protein than help protein, managing to hit 24-30g of protein per serving.
  5. Pumpkin Seed Protein Powder – Probably the least known protein powder on this list, pumpkin protein is a really nice tasting and easily mixed protein powder. It has a wide range of benefits, and a decent protein to calorie ratio. It is around 63% protein, and is also high in fiber, vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids, too.

The Bottom Line

This article has given you five high protein plant-based foods, and five plant-based protein powders. Adding these to a calorie controlled diet will help you to lose weight, build muscle, or just maintain your size in a healthy and sustainable way. Good luck with getting lean and big and let us know if you had awesome results using plant-based protein!

Demmy is a fitness buff who believes in paying it forward by always aiming to inspire other towards achieving their own health and fitness goals.

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Awareness

Fragrance/Perfumes Are Being Labelled As The New ‘Second Hand Smoke’

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Regulation on cosmetics and fragrances, like perfumes, are not quite strong and a host of toxic substances are used in their manufacturing. Over the years, evidence has emerged that these fragrances could be impacting our health in a negative way.

  • Reflect On:

    With awareness growing, the market for non-toxic replacements for perfumes, and other products, has expanded tremendously. If you're concerned, you can do your research and vote with your dollar.

If you have made an effort to remove as many chemicals from your life, be it in your food, cleaning supplies, personal care products and any other items you purchase, then you may have also found that the more you eliminate the more sensitive you seem to become.

Chemicals unfortunately, are all around us and often this is entirely out of our control. Something as simple as someone’s deodorant can be a smack to the face if you are not used to being bombarded with these smells on a regular basis.

You may be surprised to learn that simply by smelling a scent, you are in fact inhaling tiny molecules of the said scent that is giving off the aroma. Yes, sorry to disturb you or gross you out, but this includes everything that drifts across your nostrils, yes – everything. Unfortunately this means that even though you may do your best to avoid as many chemical toxins as possible in your own life, you are still exposed to them every time you step out into the real, chemical laden world.

Fragrances Being Considered The New Second Hand Smoke

If you’re thinking this is a bit extreme, then there’s a good chance that you are still using an array of chemical products and thus you are somewhat desensitized to these smells. You know that strong smell of someone who keeps reapplying cologne, without taking a shower? They don’t realize that they still smell like their cologne from before and fail to realize that they’ve become to be known as, “nose blind,” to the smell and just keep adding on more so they can smell it. The result of this is a very strong-smelling individual that is somewhat offensive to anyone who has to endure a bus ride with this oblivious culprit.

How about walking into a gift store or candle store? That extremely pungent aroma just hits you as soon as you open the door, sure, some consider these smells sweet or nice, but they are for the most part in fact, toxic. Natural essential oils and scents tend to be a lot more mild, smoother and enjoyable, this is likely because they are not created from a bunch of chemicals derived from petroleum in a lab.

It took decades for the workplace to acknowledge the dangers of smoking and to recognize the deadly effects of exposure to second-hand smoke. Once acknowledged, it was a few more years before the workplace became safe for all workers from the dangers of second hand smoke. We propose in this paper that fragrance is following the same trajectory. To date most of the research on fragrance exposure has been localized in the health care profession and has not received the necessary attention it deserves in the management literature for managers to become knowledgeable about the extent of employer liability and what constitutes a good faith effort to protect workers. This paper serves as a much-needed bridge to fill this vital gap in managerial knowledge. Current laws (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act, Workers Compensation, and OSHA regulations) are identified that can be applied to fragrance exposure. The relevant laws and subsequent court cases are analyzed and the legal liability they create for employers with employees exposed to synthetic fragrance in the workplace are clearly identified. We also provide recommendations for organizations who want to demonstrate a good faith effort and be proactive to reduce or limit employees’ fragrance exposure in the workplace, before being sued We present the results of several organizations that have some experience with addressing the issue in their workplaces and identify the lessons learned We conclude by recommending actions employers can take to proactively respond (react) to common situations of exposure that arise for employees with fragrance sensitivity. (source)

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This Is About Much More Than Just Strong Smells & Sensitive Noses

Inhaling these chemicals that are coming from fragrances can cause damaging health effects if we aren’t cautious, but first it’s important that we become aware of the risks. Fragrances or perfumes have been treasured for thousands of years, all the way back to the ancient times, although in those days they were often derived directly from plants as pure, therapeutic essential oils that were sometimes worth more than gold.

Today, many of the chemical based perfumes we are using are still highly regarded as prized possessions, are often a small fortune to purchase, and yet they contain synthetic chemical compounds that have been linked to respiratory issues, diabetes, obesity, ADHD, autism, and hormone disruption.

These synthetic smells come in many forms and aren’t limited to only perfumes or cologne, they are almost always added to scented candles, car and home air fresheners, laundry detergents, personal care products, cleaning products and many more everyday products, many of which you may have not even realized. Even many products that are labeled as “all-natural,” simply aren’t and that word is nothing more than a marketing ploy designed to make you feel like you are purchasing a good, wholesome product for you and your family.

So, What Should We Do?

Of course the first step towards creating any kind of change is by raising awareness. So, getting educated on the matter and sharing it with your friends and family is a great start. Stress the importance of choosing only legitimately natural, pure, products made from organic, therapeutic grade essential oils, or to simplify things and save some money, opt for unscented products. It would still be wise to check these ingredients and opt for plant-based cleaning supplies and personal care products. If you want to take this even a step farther you may want to consider making your own cleaning supplies and personal care products, this way you have absolute control and a complete and thorough understanding about what is actually in said product.

As awareness is growing we have been seeing more and more bans in regards to fragrance, The American Lung Association has created a fragrance-free policy for workplaces and schools in the United States. Also, many Universities and Hospitals are catching on and implementing similar bans.

The most important thing, which almost always is, is to put your money where your mouth is and vote with your dollar. Be sure to check labels, know what you are buying, know what you are using to clean your house and know what you are putting into your body. The less chemicals in your life the better you’re likely to feel and there’s a good chance that you will notice them more, but this is how we create change. We can all do our part.

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Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sues Rep. Adam Schiff For “Censoring Vaccine Debate”

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    The Association of American Physicians & Surgeons are suing Rep. Adam Schiff for "censoring vaccine debate."

  • Reflect On:

    Should information that creates and generates concern among the population about vaccines and vaccine safety be censored, even if it's factual and not actually 'fake news?'

Vaccines are a hot topic right now, and vaccine hesitancy is growing and quickly gaining momentum. The reality of vaccine hesitancy is no longer a secret, as many studies on the matter have been published. And it is no longer simply among concerned parents. This study published in the journal EbioMedicine discusses how practitioners in France are becoming increasingly hesitant to prescribe some controversial vaccines to their patients.

The World Health Organization believes vaccine hesitancy is one of the biggest threats to global health security. Professor Heidi Larson, a Professor of Anthropology and the Risk and Decision Scientist Director at the Vaccine Confidence Project, was one of many academics to speak at the World Health Organization’s recent Global Vaccine Safety Summit, where she explained why this is being considered a major problem:

The other thing that’s a trend, and an issue, is not just confidence in providers but confidence of health care providers. We have a very wobbly health professional frontline that is starting to question vaccines and the safety of vaccines. That’s a huge problem, because to this day any study I’ve seen–and we’re constantly looking on any studies in this space–still, the most trusted person on any study I’ve seen globally is the health care provider. And if we lose that, we’re in trouble.

Dissenting Professionals, Conflicting Statements

This type of hesitancy among health professionals has begun to spawn organizations looking for answers to their questions. ‘The Physicians for Informed Consent’ is one of multiple examples. It’s promising that doctors, scientists and health safety advocates that have come together to share resources about vaccines, and more importantly voice concerns that they have about certain vaccines and their safety.

At the summit, Dr. Martin Howell Friede, Coordinator of Initiative For Vaccine Research at the World Health Organization, brought up the issue of adjuvants, noting some of the problems with using adjuvants that do not have a proven track record of safety. Many people at the conference also emphasized the need for more safety testing and studies to address the concerns that are being made by vaccine safety advocates. Personally, I think this is encouraging. Science should never cease to question, and who wouldn’t want more safety studies and testing on medications that are being administered worldwide?

As this issue becomes more scrutinized by the public as well as health care professionals, more and more conflicting statements made by high-ranking health authorities are being uncovered, which in themselves may lead to a breakdown of confidence in vaccines. For example, Soumya Swaminathan, MD and Chief Scientist at the World Health Organization, stated at the conference,

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I don’t think we can overemphasize the fact that we really don’t have very good safety monitoring systems in many countries and this adds to the miscommunication and the misapprehensions, because we’re not able to give clear cut answers when people ask questions about deaths that have occurred due to particular vaccines… One should be able to give a very factual account of what exactly is happening, what the cause of deaths are, but in most cases there’s some obfuscation at that level and therefore there’s less and less trust then in the system.

Prior to this statement, the WHO released a promotional video just days before the conference began, where Dr. Swaminathan contradicted her statement above, saying “we have vaccine safety systems, robust vaccine safety systems.”

It would be nice to have answers as to why the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act has paid close to 4 billion dollars to families of vaccine injured children, and what that says about these ‘safety systems’ she is talking about. Clearly, there seems to be a need to make our vaccines safer and more effective. Personally, I believe forced vaccination to be quite unethical given the fact that so many questions remain unanswered.

Read more about the conference here: Scientists Share Facts About Vaccines At World Health Organization Conference For Vaccine Safety

Association of American Physicians & Surgeons Sue Rep. Adam Schiff

The growing vaccine hesitancy has led the pharmaceutical industry and its supporters to a dangerous strategy: mass censorship. For those of you who haven’t heard, politicians and social media outlets are taking action steps to censor information about vaccines that is not aligned with the industry and its regulatory ‘arm,’ the CDC. In other words, just about anyone who is even questioning vaccine safety, let alone providing evidence that vaccines are not safe, is liable to be discredited, de-monitized, or de-platformed from social media.

Leading the charge is Congressman Adam Schiff, an advocate of vaccine safety and friend of the pharmaceutical industry, who has used his power and influence to immediately strengthen censorship efforts. His moves have been seen as unfair, unethical, and even illegal. In fact, on Jan 15, 2020, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, along with Katarina Verrelli, on behalf of herself and others who seek access to vaccine information, filed suit against Adam Schiff in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Plaintiffs allege that Defendant Schiff has abused government power and infringed on their free-speech rights.

Here’s how the association characterizes the situation:

Who appointed Congressman Adam Schiff as Censor-in-Chief?” asks AAPS General Counsel.  “No one did, and he should not be misusing his position to censor speech on the internet.”

In February and March 2019, Rep. Schiff contacted Google, Facebook, and Amazon, to encourage them to de-platform or discredit what Schiff asserted to be inaccurate information on vaccines. He then posted the letters and press release on the House.gov website.

Within 24 hours of Schiff’s letter to Amazon dated Mar 1, 2019, Amazon removed the popular videos Vaxxed and Shoot ’Em Up: the Truth About Vaccines from its platform for streaming videos, depriving members of the public of convenient access.

Under a policy announced in May 2019, Twitter includes a pro-government disclaimer placed above search results for an AAPS article on vaccine mandates: “Know the Facts. To make sure you get the best information on vaccination, resources are available from the US Department of Health and Human Services.” The implication of this disclaimer is that if information is not on a government website, then it is somehow less credible.

On Facebook, a search for an AAPS article on vaccines, which previously would lead directly to the AAPS article, now produces search results containing links to the World Health Organization (WHO), the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Visits to the AAPS website have declined significantly since March 2019, both in absolute terms and relative to the decline that would result from a story’s losing its recency.

“The internet is supposed to provide free access to information to people of different opinions,” stated AAPS Executive Director, Jane Orient, M.D.

Dr. Orient continues, “AAPS is not ‘anti-vaccine,’ but rather supports informed consent, based on an understanding of the full range of medical, legal, and economic considerations relevant to vaccination and any other medical intervention, which inevitably involves risks as well as benefits.”

AAPS argues in the complaint against Rep. Schiff: “The First Amendment protects the rights of free speech and association. Included within the right of free speech is a right to receive information from willing speakers. Under the First Amendment, Americans have the right to hear all sides of every issue and to make their own judgments about those issues without government interference or limitations. Content-based restrictions on speech are presumptively unconstitutional, and courts analyze such restrictions under strict scrutiny.”

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS) is a national organization representing physicians in all specialties since 1943.

The Takeaway

The terms “anti vax” and “pro vax” are really not serving in the best interest of the collective. All they do is divide people when in reality, all of us want the same thing, healthy children, and effective and safe medications if we are going to use them. With all of the concerns that are still being made about vaccines, questioning vaccine safety should not be a problem and in fact, should be welcomed by everybody. Forcing mandatory vaccination policy and censoring information on vaccines, in my opinion, seems to be quite tyrannical and immoral at this stage. I may have a different opinion if vaccines were 100 percent safe and effective for everybody, but they’re not.

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Togo, West Africa Added To A Growing List of Countries That Are Banning Glyphosate

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Togo, a country in West Africa has decided to ban the use of toxic chemical pesticide, glyphosate because of growing health and environmental concerns.

  • Reflect On:

    Togo joins 20 other countries who have decided to ban this pesticide, do you think your country will ever do the same?

Recently, a country in West Africa, Togo has prohibited the ‘import, market or use of glyphosate and any other product containing it.’ This decision was finalized in December of last year by the Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production and Fisheries, Noel Kouerta Bataka.

If you are unfamiliar with glyphosate, it is a chemical pesticide made by none other than agricultural giant, Monsanto, Bayer. Glyphosate can be found in RoundUp and used on crops that have been genetically engineered specifically to resist its toxicity, allowing farmers to kill the weeds and pests without killing their crops. The problem is, it is extremely toxic not only for the consumer of products containing it, but for the land and soil as well where it is grown.

There have been numerous studies, many of which CE has reported on that link it to cancer, liver disease, autism, birth defects, brain damage and more.

“It is commonly believed that Roundup is among the safest pesticides… Despite its reputation, Roundup was by far the most toxic among the herbicides and insecticides tested. This inconsistency between scientific fact and industrial claim may be attributed to huge economic interests, which have been found to falsify health risk assessments and delay health policy decisions.” – R. Mesnage (et al., Biomed Research International, Volume 2014 (2014), article ID 179691)

After 2 years of political discussions in Togo, regarding the worlds most popular herbicide, many are celebrating the decision that was finally made to have it outright banned. Bataka has allowed a 12-month moratorium for all of the current glyphosate supplies to be either used or destroyed.

Ban Of Glyphosate Around The World

As awareness grows regarding the health concerns of glyphosate, so does government level support worldwide. Not only has Key West, Los Angeles, Miami and The University of California banned or restricted the use of this toxic chemical so, have 20 countries around the world. These countries are,

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  • In Africa — Malawi and Togo.
  • In Asia — Thailand, Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Qatar.
  • In Central America — Bermuda, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Costa Rica
  • In Europe — Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Italy, The Netherlands

So we still have yet to see bans in Canada, United States, Mexico and many other countries, but hopefully stories such as these will keep the awareness and momentum going and help others to see that this toxic chemical pesticide should not be anywhere near the food we are eating or on our precious Mother Earth.

It’s a big problem, and it’s now entered into our food supply.

How To Avoid Glyphosate

One might believe that they simply have to avoid genetically engineered foods to avoid glyphosate, and while that is a good start, unfortunately it’s not that black and white. There are many non-GMO foods that are still sprayed with this chemical and thus have high concentrations of it.

In reality your best bet would be to grow all of your own fruits, vegetables and even nuts, but unfortunately in this day and age this is not very plausible for everyone.

The foods that are highest in glyphosate are: soy, wheat, almonds, peas, beetroot (including beet sugar), carrots, sweet potatoes, quinoa, peas, tea, meat and dairy, corn and oats. However, many other unsuspecting foods have also have tested positive for high levels of glyphosate including many fruits and berries such as: apples, apricots, cherries, grapefruit, grapes (wine as well), lemons, olives, peaches, pears and more.

To avoid glyphosate altogether sticking to an all-organic diet is necessary. If this is an obstacle for you, consider locally grown produce where you can talk directly with the farmers about their growing practices. Many farmers grow organically , but cannot afford to obtain the organic certification. You can also wash your produce in baking soda and vinegar click HERE for instructions.

Final Thoughts

While it may seem hopeless at times to even try to avoid environmental toxins like glyphosate, we have to remember that the more we do, and the more we put our money where are mouths are and vote with our dollars, the less these chemicals will be used. We have already seen many big brands step away from using GMO ingredients because of consumer demand, so it may not be as far off as you think.

As countries like Togo step forward and do what is right for their citizens and the planet, awareness will continue to grow and it will assist others in seeing the truth about these chemicals and inspire others to make a change as well. We have more power than we realize and anything can change, with enough awareness.

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