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Top 7 Reasons to Ditch Meat

Top 7 Reasons to Ditch Meat

You might ask yourself "should I eat meat to be healthy?" Well, technically yes, you need meat on your bones to be healthy and to sustain life. 😉 But do you need to EAT meat from animals to have meat on your own bones? Not so much. I get it, I get it. You're thinking... "great, another vegan trying to tell me that I don't need meat." It might drive you crazy to think that! Well, to clarify I'm not speaking about ethics today, regardless of what my personal beliefs are there have been numerous scientific studies to show the effects of eating meat on the human body, and it's not pretty. I'm just going to touch on the surface in this article about what nutrients are in meat and what that can mean for our weight loss goals and overall health. When people hear the word "meat" they instantly think of the words PROTEIN or HEALTHY because our entire lives that is what we have been taught to believe about meat. Sure you can obtain a heavy dose of protein and essential vitamins from meat, and you can even lose weight by restricting sugar, calories, and other processed foods while on a meat-based diet. Yes, I am actually a vegan who can think outside the box!  I have seen plenty of fit meat-eaters and it would be wrong of me to say that meat makes everyone fat.

Discover the Top 7 Reasons to Ditch Meat by Kelly Gibson, PN Level 1 Coach of Arizona

Take a look at the top 7 reasons to ditch meat and you may reconsider your meat-eating habits...

Time to answer your question about whether or not you should eat meat.  Here's what I have discovered about that 4-letter word:

  1. Cholesterol: Meat is high in cholesterol, and not the good kind. One steak (308g) constitutes 278mg of cholesterol.  High LDL cholesterol can cause increase blood pressure and cause atherosclerosis which leads to heart disease. The truth is, cholesterol is not an essential dietary nutrient because our bodies produce healthy levels of cholesterol without food. Has your doctor ever told you to raise their cholesterol? Doubtful, so don’t worry about it being too low.  Vegans average an overall cholesterol level of 133, while omnivores have levels of 200+.
  2. Fats: Meat is extremely high in saturated fats, which are different than plant fats (or oils) because animal fat becomes solid at room temperature. These types of fat can increase cholesterol in the blood and increase risk of stroke and heart disease.  Studies show that vegans are 33% less likely than omnivores to have a heart attack.
  3. Calories: Meat is very dense in calories, meaning there is a smaller volume of food per 100 grams (~3.5oz).  So one serving of meat is roughly 142 calories, but  which makes it quite easy to overeat.  Typically it takes the brain 20 minutes to send signals to your body that indicate you are full and satiated.  If it takes 5 minutes to eat a 250 calorie beef dog or burger, you might be in trouble and have enough time to eat up to 4X as many calories as your body needs before you start to “feel” full. If this isn't enough reason to ditch meat, keep reading.
  4. Carbohydrates: Meat contains minimal carbs, and that’s a bummer because carbs fuel our brains!  Ever feel groggy or tired after a meaty meal?  You could benefit from plant-based carbs for energy.
  5. Proteins: The amount of protein in meat is much higher than our bodies can handle in the longrun.  Extra protein builds up and causes kidney stones.  If left untreated then it can result in kidney failure. 
  6. Fiber: Meat contains no fiber, I mean a whopping ZERO grams per million calories, which means you’ll probably get constipated if you don’t eat loads of fibrous vegetables or take psyllium husk supplements to make up for it. Eating a high-fiber diet of at least 25g for women and 38g for men is recommended for proper digestion and overall health.  Too little fiber can cause constipation and chronic diseases.
  7. Digestion: Meat grows bacteria, which can cause e. coli infections and awful digestive issues. When is the last time you got excited about diarrhea? Right. Just say NO to meat.  

What you could ask yourself is, "is it worth it to put your health at risk in order to keep eating meat?" Despite what the Paleo or Keto diet trends have been saying, there is plenty of evidence that has debunked the myth that eating meat is healthy and essential for our survival.  Despite popular belief, meat does not convert to meat on your bones. Protein breaks down into amino acids before converted to muscle and can also be converted to fat, excreted in the urine, or build up to form kidney stones. So, unless you are working out and strength training, protein is not going to convert to muscle! I'll say it again - protein breaks down into amino acids before ever becoming muscle. "Muscles are built in the gym, and FAT is built in the kitchen" is a good way to look at it. 😉

Muscle is Built in the Gym, Fat is Built in the Kitchen. Gym Meme by Kelly Athletics.

Now that you know at least 7 reasons to ditch meat, will you?  You might be thinking “but it tastes so good!” and “I need my protein!”  Don’t worry, there are plenty of delicious plant-based proteins you can have instead.  In fact, most plant-based foods contain at least 8% of its calories from protein. Fruits have the lowest protein content (between 5-8% usually), while green leafy vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds have up to 50% protein content (like spinach and mushrooms).  There is a wide variety of plant based proteins, even high-protein plant-based foods, which gives more than enough reasons to ditch meat. So if you've been wondering "do I need meat to survive?" The answer is a big fat NO.  I hope you enjoyed this post. Please share and send me a message if you have any questions about it.


1. Certified Level 1 Nutrition Coach by Precision Nutrition. The Essentials of Sports & Fitness Nutrition: Certification Manual, 2nd Edition. by John Berardi PhD and Ryan Andrews MS
2. American Heart Association
3. MyFitnessPal
5. Health & Medicine

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How Do I Get Rid of Sugar Cravings?

How Do I Get Rid of Sugar Cravings?

Getting to the Bottom of This Common Craving

Find out if you have the hidden condition that causes sugar cravings and endless health problems. Get answers to your questions "Why do I have sugar cravings?" and "How Do I get Rid of Sugar Cravings?" with a vegan candida diet. The health issue I am going to talk about today is the leading cause of sugar cravings.

Do you have sugar cravings? Read this blog to find out why!

Here is a list of symptoms that you may have this condition:

·         Nail fungus or athlete’s foot
·         Craving alcohol or sugar
·         Bloating, constipation, diarrhea, IBS, gas, leaky gut, or other digestive issues
·         Having an autoimmune disease
·         Having symptoms of ADHD/ADD
·         brain fog upon waking up
·         poor memory
·         irritability, mood swings, anxiety, depression
·         seborrheic dermatitis, eczema, skin rashes
·         vaginal or prostate infections; itching
·         severe skin allergies to fabrics, seasonal allergies
·         hormone imbalances
·         thrush

Do you have brain fog? This might be why. Click the article to read the #1 reason why people get foggy brains in the morning. #brainfog #symptoms

If any of those symptoms apply to you, then you might be suffering from Candida Yeast Overgrowth! That's right, Candida Albicans is a naturally occurring yeast in the human body  - not just for women, but men, too.  You may think of Candida as a female problem, but yeast infections are only one of the many attributes of Candida Yeast Overgrowth.  It’s a good idea to try a candida elimination diet if you have symptoms. Here are some risk factors that can lead to this nasty condition:

·         being treated with antibiotics on multiple occasions, or long-term use of antibiotics
·         consuming dairy products or meats derived from animals treated with antibiotics
·         eating a high-sugar diet or highly processed carbohydrates
·         having a high stress lifestyle
·         taking oral contraceptives
·         binge drinking or regular alcohol consumption
·         being exposed to molds or chemicals
·         consuming toxic metals like Mercury, food chemicals like MSG, or tap water.

Dieting for Candida isn’t something that people typically talk about, and is not something that medical doctors typically will test for either.  It might be something for you to bring up to your doctor and ask for testing.  Before you follow through with testing, there is a questionnaire you can take to see how likely it is that you do in fact have Candida Albicans.

Most of the information you find online about candida elimination base their foods around meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and even supplements not suitable for vegans or vegetarians.  Unfortunately, vegans are given the least flexibility with Candida Elimination diets because we don’t eat animal products and most of us base our meals around starches or fruits, which can give yeast an environment to thrive. So, I’ve decided to put some time into sharing my experience with candida elimination on a plant-based diet.  I’ve broken the vegan candida diet / plant-based candida diet into a few phases. If you've been wondering how do I get rid of sugar cravings, then here is how.

First, kill off as much candida as possible within the first week on the diet.  The initial phase of this diet is a Candida Cleanse.  It includes meals based upon whole grains, nuts, seeds, vegetables, legumes, and low-sugar fruit.  The first week can feel terrible, as there are Candida die-off symptoms (known as the Herxheimer reaction).  As miserable as it may feel in the beginning, the more symptoms you experience, the more likely you are actually making progress with eliminating candida.

Do you have unexplained joint pain? It might be caused by the #hexheimer reaction. Click to read more.

Here is a list of Herxheimer Reaction symptoms:

·         Nausea or vomiting
·         Headache, fatigue, dizziness,
·         Swollen glands
·         Increased joint or muscle pain
·         Elevated heart rate (tachycardia)
·         irregular heart beats (heart palpitations)
·         sweating, fever, or chills
·         sinus infections
·         hypotension
·         anxiety

Surprisingly, a major sign of die-off is worsening symptoms of your typical candida overgrowth:

  • stronger sugar cravings
  • skin rashes or lesions
  • digestive issues
  • vaginal or prostate infections

It can be tricky to tell whether or not you are making progress or getting worse, because everyone has different symptoms.  The good news is, I can help!  Contact me for Nutrition Coaching or stay updated with my blog and you could find more info on a candida elimination cleanse, recipes for fighting candida, and more information on how to combat Candida Albicans while maintaining a plant-based diet for optimal health.

Written by Kelly Gibson

*Disclaimer: I am not a licensed medical professional and am not diagnosing, prescribing a diet, or claiming to treat any illnesses. See my Terms and Conditions for more info.

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5 Easy Ways to Be Accountable Like Never Before

5 Easy Ways to Be Accountable to Your Workouts

Like Never Before

5 EASY ways to be accountable. Little effort to plan, Lots of results! #accountable #beaccountable #accountability #stayaccountable

You may have been hitting the gym day in and day out for a few months, but then all of a sudden something came up and you stopped going. It's not for a lack of motivation, but life keeps getting in the way and you're not satisfied with the way you look.  Even if you feel like you are eating healthy, but you're not tracking your food into myfitnesspal.  You might think about doing a workout and might even have a workout plan ready to go, but you don’t have time to workout. Sometimes you want to, and you're motivated internally, but externally you can't seem to make it happen. The result? Your jeans are getting snug. The reality is that without having easy ways to be accountable, it's hard to get around to your workouts.

Before you find yourself in the fitting room trying on a bigger pant size, make a commitment.  To get the results you are so desperate to find, you have to work on both your nutrition and exercise. It's a hard reality to face, but even a little bit of gradual change per week can make huge changes in your body fat. You could be exercising to your best ability, but eating back your calories. Or you could be eating a totally healthy diet, but your metabolism isn’t working hard enough to burn fat because you are sedentary.

If you're not doing your workouts consistently, or eating within your calorie budget, you are sacrificing your metabolism. To put it in perspective, your resting metabolic rate (RMR) accounts for 70% of your total energy expenditure (TEE) for the day.  The thermic effect of food (TEF) accounts for 6-10% of your TEE - this is the energy you use to process & digest food.  The other 20% of your TEE depends on your physical activity level.  Roughtly 20% of your weight is dependent on exercise and 70% of your weight is dependent on your diet, leaving about 10% depending somewhat on genetics, medication, age, and/or other factors.

Losing weight is NOT easy.  Staying fit is NOT easy.  But staying accountable to your workouts is NOT easy either.  You'll constantly be disappointed in your health if you don't act now. It is important for my Personal Training clients to eat properly during an exercise program. And I stress to my Nutrition clients that they need to stay on top of their workouts.   It is a two-way street and you can't accomplish much unless you focus on both.  So you're probably not sure what you need to do to be accountable to your workouts and diet. That's why I put together these lists.


Top 3 Ways to Fail at Being Accountable

  1. Rely on a Friend to Be Your Diet & Workout Buddy.  You might think having a new workout partner is the next best thing to date night. Chances are, your friend is on her own journey and doesn't have the expertise to be anymore accountable than you are. In fact, I find that when people are self-reliant they are more likely to succeed than the ones who rely on a friend to show up to the workouts with them. When your friend fails, you fail. Do not fall dependent upon someone else to keep you accountable to your weight loss plan. (Read on for a better solution.)
  2. Prioritize your Work and Social Life over your Fitness. It sure is easy to say YES when someone invites you to a dinner date. It's almost impossible to say NO when your boss requests a lunch meeting at the least healthy chain restaurant in town. Remember - no matter what happens in the world around you, your health is #1. If you want to go out to dinner, plan ahead on what to order before your appetite chooses for you. If you have a mandatory lunch, bring your own food or eat an early lunch only leaving room for the side salad at your meeting.  A work meeting is about work and food is secondary.
  3. Overbook yourself with Extracurricular Activities. Whether its for your kids, school, or for fun it doesn't take much to have too much on your plate.  Three hours of extra activities per week could mean three less hours of exercise if you put them first. Not to mention all the driving time it takes to commit to other activities, you might even forget to pack a meal and stop for fast food on an empty tummy.
Accountability is the Glue that sticks your goal to your mind. #mindful #accountable


5 Easy Ways to Be Accountable to Your Workouts and Diet

  1. Join a Group: Is working out and dieting alone not something you are comfortable with? Find a social group that isn't going to bail on you. A good example would be Weight Watchers or a group fitness class at a popular gym.  By choosing one of these well-known environments with larger groups, chances are slim that the entire class will bail. Even if your instructor for the day calls in sick, there's a good chance someone can fill in for her. With this type of no-excuse policy, you can stay accountable to your diet and exercise plan no matter what!
  2. Hire a Coach: Many people think hiring a Personal Trainer is the answer to being accountable. In many cases this is true, but if your Personal Trainer is not a Certified Coach in Nutrition or Wellness, they might have no formal education in coaching.  It's tough to be accountable to your workouts when showing up is a recurring issue.
  3. Schedule it in: Having a generic plan in mind like "I'm going to work out 5 times this week" is not a clear enough plan to stay accountable. Be very specific and intentional about scheduling in your workouts and meal prep. Schedule things at the same time each day and every week to keep it consistent and develop a habit.  Example: Workouts - Daily at 7:15-7:45pm, Morning Meal Prep - Tues Thurs 6-6:20am.
  4. Set multiple reminders: Reminders, reminders, reminders. Set your reminders EVERY single day, MANY times a day, in MANY ways.  For some people, post-its do the trick. For others, alarms. In some instances, an email or web browser pop-up would help you remember things better. This isn't to say that we only skip our workouts because we "forget". However, having a constant reminder certainly helps keep us on track. You can make the workouts, meal prep, grocery shopping, and food tracking much more of a priority with a daily reminder.
  5. Put a reward system in place: Chances are, if you're on a new diet or exercise plan, you don't have intrinsic motivation to stick to the plan (i.e. enjoying how it feels to be healthy).  Most people seek external rewards for doing the things they don't particularly enjoy but feel like they have to do anyway.  Extrinsic motivation for going to your day-to-day job would be earning money. If you didn't earn money and didn't like your job, you probably would stop going. A similar concept applies for eating healthy and exercising. You may need to reward yourself with something immediately after finishing your workout or eating a healthy meal to feel good about it. An extrinsic reward for healthy habits would be putting money in a jar for a vacation, going to a spa, going to a music concert, or simply relaxing in front of the TV.