On my journey from running marathons to bodybuilding, there were some big changes I had to make in order to get ready for my first show. I could no longer eat mounds of carbs and run 60 miles a week. I had to scale that back just a bit. Although I had a lot of help from my trainers, friends, books and a ton of youtube videos, there was one book that really helped me out a lot with the proper diet and training. Robert Cheeke who is also the author of Vegan Bodybuilding and Fitness (which I also have) has been vegan sense 1995 (age 15) and in the fitness industry for decades. He has competed and won at bodybuilding shows and is well respected in the industry. This book has taught me meal plans and how to train in bodybuilding. It includes 75 recipes and step by step fitness plans. It has helped me and I learned a great deal from it. It is a must read even if you want to learn more about transforming your body to being healthier.
Even though this movie was released in 2008, it is worth mentioning and a must see for anyone who has not yet. This is the documentary that started me on my vegan journey. I watched how the food industry operates behind the scenes and it changed my life. This film takes you on a disturbing tour into slaugher houses and factory farms (CAFO's, Concentrated animal feeding operation). How animals and workers are treated. How these farms affect the animals, environment, resources, and human health.
Vegan Health & Fitness Magazine
This Magazine is an excellent source for all your vegan althetic needs. Brenda Carey is the Editor in chief and creator. Her and her staff works very hard to make sure their is reliable and credible information for you. She does many interviews with vegan athletes from all over the country and features them in the magazine to show and educate others that, yes you can be succesful on a plant based diet and excel in a sport. She also interviews professional athletic and nutrition educators. Also included are delicious recipes, food information on proteins and suppliments, exercise tips and the latest athetic gear. I look forward to the new issue arriving in my mailbox every quarter!
I worked as a volunteer editor for Brenda for a year or so and I was featured in her magazine a few times. She is a wonderful person to work for and I am honored to know her and consider her a friend. So get out there and purchase your magazine! Check out the website to find a locaton near you and you can purchase a subscribe to the downloaded version. I promise you wont be disappointed!
The China Study and Whole
Both of these books are a must read. T. Colin Campbell PHD has done more than 40 years research and over 300 research papers on plant based nutrition. He is a professor at Cornell University which is where I took his certification course on plant based nutrition. The china study is based on a long 20 year study on nutrition and health and the impact on animal based foods including dairy on our health including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and obsesity. He goes into depth on how a plant based diet can avoid and eliminate disease and illness. It is an amazing eye opening study that will really get you thinking on your eating habits. For more information check out these websites.
This documentary is another one of my many must see movies. Being vegan can be a bit vague. It basically means that a person does not eat any type of animal products, no meat, dairy, cheese, fish or eggs. Sense these things can be linked to causing sickness and illness, a person believes all they have to do is cut these foods out. However, sense more people are becoming vegan, the food industry is jumping on the band wagon. There are thousands of processed foods on the market now that are considered "vegan" and will have the label that says so. But, some of these foods are far from healthy. Oreo cookies are considered vegan and so are some Doritoes flavors. Some vegan "bugers" that are bean and soy based are worse than the actual real meet burger. These products are loaded with chemicals, preservatives, GMO's, colors, pesticides and are not even considered real food.
This documentary takes a look at how chronic and degenerative diseases are skyrocketing today. Heart Disease is the number one killer, 1 out of 3 males and 1 out of 2 females will have some form of Cancer in their life time (that is a pretty scary statistic). Type 2 diabetes which used to be found in adults are now diagnosed in children. There is no question sickness is on the rise dispite all the media attention on the war on cancer, diabetes ect. This book / documetary shows how a whole food, plant based diet can prevent and even reverse these diseases. It focuses on the personal journey of Dr. T. Colin Campbel and Dr. Cadwell Esselstyn. They discuss indepth research and investigations on this lifesytle.
There is also a fabulous cookbook that they created with over 300 delicious plant based recipes (which I own). Also check out the website where you can also purchase these books and documentaries as well as many articles and other information.
The fake breakfast cereal
Just saw this great article by Food babe.com. This is a great example on how the food industry wants you to believe that something is healthy and it has to be the furthest from the truth. All of these are loaded with sugars, GMO's, additives, preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and they even contain chemcials that are known carcinogens. Read the article!
Now we all know that processed junk food is bad for us. But, we eat it anyway. Why is that? Is there some gravitational force that pulls us to the supermarket shelves and makes us throw in those Oreo cookies, or the frozen pizza, Box pre made meals, and soft drinks and the list goes on to over 65,000 food times on the shelves that are processed. Even the foods that seemingly look healthy on the package is indeed just the opposite. You know the labels that say, high in protein, low in fats, No trans fats, hearth healthy, all natural, cereals with the check mark on them, 100 calorie packs, whole grains, no added sugar, low sodium and on and on. TV ads that lore kids in with fun characters telling them sugar coated, artificial colors, GMO ingredients, processed to death foods are good for them. The commercials where Sugar granola bars are made out to be the ultimate food with all natural ingredients that will provide you with energy through the day. I could go on for hours.
This book by Marion Nestle gives you a behind the scenes look on what food manufactures are doing to get you to buy their product. There is a fierce battle of the foods out there and companies who want the most profit. They have no interest at all in a person health and who are “they”? The Food manufacture giants like Nestle, Tyson, and Kraft to name a few who have big powered layers, lobbyists and scientists who find the cheapest way to produce “food” for you. The governments influence in school lunches and vending machines with soda and snacks offered to grade school kids. The revolving door of people who work for companies then go to work for the FDA, USDA and other government agencies. How the Dairy, agribusiness, chemical companies like Monsanto, Dow, Dupont and Proctor and Gamble all control the food industry and our buying choices. The influence and pressure on manufactures to produce the cheapest food with the highest profit is an enormous pressure. This is a real eye opener into what truly goes on behind the scenes.
This is a powerful film that shows how one man went from being very sick and overweight to becoming healthy and getting rid of all his illnesses through diet and exercise. Joe Cross was 100 lbs overweight weighing in at 310 lbs which contributed to his many medications he was taking for illnesses including steroids for his autoimmune desease he suffered from. He was at his witts end with one leg in the grave and his doctors were unable to help him long term. He decided it was time to take his health into his own hands. His goal was to lose the weight and get off all his meds and he did this through diet and let his body heal itself. He began a journey traveling accross the country with a juicer and a generator in tow. He only drank fresh vegetable and fruit juices for 60 days. He talks to more than 500 people along the way asking them health questions and has them try his juices. He meets a man who has the same disease he does and weighed in at 429 lbs. and decides to help him on becoming healthy. Joe lost his weight and is now medication free. This is just another story that proves food heals the body. This is a must watch!