3 BIG Reasons to Avoid Casein

3 BIG Reasons to Avoid Casein. Health Matters. Life Matters. AlexisMathews.com

Casein is a protein found in cow’s milk and all dairy products made from cow’s milk. Casein is the primary protein found in milk and dairy products. Research shows that there can be serious health concerns from consuming milk and subsequently casein from bovine sources. As with any change in your diet, please consult with your doctor or naturopath for definitive advice.

The 3 BIG reasons to avoid casein 

Cancer

I first learned about the link between cancer and casein when I read The China Study by T Colin. Campbell. In his book, Campbell explains that through his research he proved that casein promotes every stage of cancer. Furthermore, the rate of cancer growth could be controlled directly by the amount of casein given to lab animals. Campbell’s extensive research indicates that cancer can be avoided by removing dairy from our diets. Fortunately, plant based protein is free of casein and therefore does not contribute to our risk of developing cancer.

Respiratory Issues

Casein is a strong mucous forming substance. It is also used to form a very strong glue. These two properties together create the perfect storm for respiratory issues including asthma and other upper respiratory conditions. 

One the rare accidental instances when I’ve consumed something made with cow’s milk I can immediately notice a difference in my body’s mucous levels. The back of my throat feels congested and my body feels sluggish from the effects on my respiratory system.

Allergies

Allergies can go hand in hand with respiratory issues when the culprit is casein. If the respiratory system is not functioning at it’s best your body will be more susceptible to respiratory allergic reactions including hay fever, asthma, bronchitis, sinusitis, colds, runny noses, and ear infections.

If you suffer from any other these allergic reactions it might be worth your time and health to eliminate dairy from your diet to test if this decreases your suffering.

On a side note, some research shows that dairy and subsequently casein leads to ADHD. I’d like to encourage you to do your own research on this connection if you are struggling help a family member with ADD Or ADHD. Personally, I’ve seen a huge improvement with my own children and my husband in their attention spans after eliminating dairy and other animal protein sources. 

 This post linked up at Wellness Wednesday

Healthy Living Tip #6: Plant Based Diet

Healthy living tip, plants based diet. 5 benefits of living a vegan lifestyle. Health Matters. Life Matters. AlexisMathews.Com

A plant based diet, otherwise more commonly known as a vegan lifestyle is incredibly near and dear to my heart. If you’ve read my blog for any time you know that my recipes are only vegan and one of my missions and passions behind pouring so much time and effort into this blog is to encourage each and every one of you to adapt a plant based diet.

For years and years my mother-in-law encouraged all of her children to reduce their meat consumption and lead a more plant based diet-like lifestyle. Typical of children we all brushed her off and continued eating our steaks, seafood, and dairy products. It wasn’t until my father-in-law and cardiologist uncle-in-law decided to make the switch to a vegan lifestyle cold turkey did the rest of the family take notice.

Now that my husband, seven children, and I have been vegan for quite some time and have experienced the health benefits first hand there is no way we can in good conscience go back to our omnivorous lifestyle.

Unlike my other articles in this series, I am going to focus on our personal experiences rather than hard scientific facts.

Health Benefits of a Plant Based Diet (aka Vegan Lifestyle)

1. Diabetes

My husband was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes 8 years ago just before our oldest daughter was born. It was a shock and an enormous adjustment for our family to change our eating habits and lifestyle to help him lower his blood sugar. Being that he is insulin dependent, unless his body heals itself he will never be free of the daily need for insulin injections. Prior to adapting a vegan lifestyle my husband took approximately 25-30 insulin units every day. Some diabetic patients take 25-30 units of insulin at every meal because their health and food choices are so poor. Since changing our diet to a strictly plant based diet my husband has lowered his total insulin units per day by over half. On an average day my husband takes 6-15 units and more often than not is able to skip 1 meal per day because his sugar levels are incredibly consistent. 

In reading T. Colin Campbell’s books The China Study and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition, he clearly warns diabetics to closely monitor their sugar levels after adapting a plant based diet because of the positive effects it has on their insulin levels. My husband undoubtedly experienced this positive effect and because of his increased health and decreased need for supplemented insulin we can not in good conscience ever go back to consuming animal products.

2. Sleep

I am a notoriously horrible sleeper. Even as a child I can not remember waking up from a night of 8-10 hours of sleep feeling refreshed or rejuvenated. I was always tired in the mornings getting ready for school and took forever to get dressed because I’d fall asleep on the floor outside of my closet. Even as an adult and new parent I relied heavily on cream and sugar ladened coffee to wake up enough to get out the door for work or to wake up enough to care for my children. Needless too say sleep has never been my strong suit.

Until I became vegan that is. I can distinctly remember about 4 weeks after removing animal products from our diet I woke up one morning feeling awake, alert, and incredibly well rested. I had honestly never felt that before in my nearly 40 years. Nothing else had changed, only my diet. I knew I was now sleeping deeper and getting more rejuvenating and healing rest because my diet was clean and whole.

You will remember in my healthy living tip #2 that sleep is incredibly important for our overall health. I am so happy that I am finally getting the sleep that my body needs to heal and rejuvenate for optimal health.

3. Energy

Sleep and energy almost go hand in hand. You definitely need sleep to have more energy the following day. I definitely have more energy throughout my day and no longer experience the 3pm afternoon energy crash that sends you running for a sugar or caffeine pick-me-up. Those days are gone, my energy is consistent throughout the day because of my clean diet that is based on plants and the foods that fuel my body.

4. Digestion

I know this is not a topic any of us want to talk about but it is incredibly important for our overall health and well being. If you are not digesting and evacuating your bowels multiple times everyday your body is storing toxins and food waste that is detrimental to your health.

Trust me I know, this topic is one we could all easily ignore. I used to use the bathroom 2-4 times per week to clear my bowels before being vegan. I thought this was my normal. I always shrugged off suggestions from others, including my husband, that it was not indeed a normal schedule. What else was I supposed to do? I didn’t need to go so I didn’t.

Then I began feeding my body what it was designed to digest, plants and plant products rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Then everything changed. 2-4 times per week turned into 2-4 times per day. I felt cleaner, leaner, and healthier. No longer was I bloated or constipated. Finally my digestive system was working properly and ridding my body of the energy draining toxins that were poisoning my body.

5. Weight Loss

Weight loss was not one of my goals or purposes when we removed animal products from our diet. We did it for health reasons not for vain weight reasons. After a few weeks however, I noticed that my love handles were gone and I could fit into jeans that I hadn’t even thought about trying on for years. These jeans by the way fit perfectly, no squishing or jumping around to get the button and zipper closed. I hadn’t started exercising, the only change I had made was the food and drink I put in my mouth. Nothing more nothing less.

I’ll take the weight loss, especially as I march closer and closer to the big 4-0. My metabolism is naturally starting to slow down as I age but eating a plant based diet is counter acting the slower metabolism and my weight is holding steady at where I was 15 years ago.

Honestly, I could go on an on about the health benefits of living a plant based diet lifestyle. The advantages are health reasons are nearly limitless. Please, if you have nay questions please do not hesitate to contact me regarding a plant based diet lifestyle.

Thank you for joining me for day 6 of my 31 Days of Healthy Living Tips.

The Case Against Drinking Milk

The Case Against Drinking Milk. Long-term ill health effects from dairy.

It has long been accepted that milk, particularly from cows or even goats is a necessary part of our everyday diet. Milk has long been promoted, dare I say overly promoted, as a crucial source of calcium. An enormous portion of our population still believes that calcium is needed to build strong bones and that milk is the only source to obtain these necessary levels of calcium. There is just one problem with this propaganda that has been thrown down our throats, cow’s milk is nutritionally perfect for baby cows (calfs) and likewise goat’s milk is intended for baby goats (kids).

Why would humans want to consume something designed and nutritionally perfected for another animal?

I won’t argue that we need calcium. My background in biology has proven to me time and time again that our bones do in fact need the mineral calcium for bone health, strength, and growth. However, we should not be obtaining this calcium from dairy products.

You may remember a recent post in which I discussed the health effects from eating and drinking animal sources, including why we should not be drinking milk. 

In addition to not being designed for our digestive systems, according to this article and numerous related articles like it there are numerous other hazardous effects from consuming dairy. These ill effects include cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, lactose intolerance, and harmful effects on infants and children. Why would you willingly consume something that causes all of these health related issues? 

Milk is not making you healthier, it is making you sick and costing you your health.

In order to obtain the calcium your body needs try these non-dairy alternatives:

  • Non-dairy milk; sources such as almond milk, hemp milk, oat milk, rice milk, and coconut milk are wonderful and delicious options for your morning breakfast cereal or to use in recipes calling for milk. If the source does not naturally contain calcium, commercial sources will often be supplemented with calcium.
  • Vegetables; yes fresh veggies are an excellent source of calcium. As you can see from this info graphic there are plenty of excellent sources of calcium in a plant-based dairy-free lifestyle.

vegan calcium sources infographicSource: USDA Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 24, 2011 and manufacturers’ information.

  •  Figs; 8 ounces of figs contain 79-100mg of calcium which is excellent for fruit sources.

With so many amazing plant-based non-dairy sauces readily available for your daily calcium intake and considering the horrendous health effects dairy has on your body, why are you still drinking milk, eating cheese and yogurt? I’d like to encourage you to ditch the dairy and choose plant-based sources for your daily calcium.

10 Reasons to Avoid and Animal Based Diet

10 Reasons to Avoid an Animal Based Diet. AlexisMathews.com

It is no secret, my family and I are vegans. Although for a shorter time than some, we’ve seen the health benefits and in good conscience never go back to eating animal protein. Casein, the main health culprit in dairy and animal proteins do nasty stuff to our bodies.

I have over simplified the following 10 points with the hope that you will be spurred on to do your own reading and your own research. Please don’t take my word for any of this, take this article for what it is worth and do you own fact finding. Vegan research and health benefits are not hard to find. Popular books suck as The China Study and Whole: Rethinking the Science of Nutrition are packed with more scientific research and information than the average person can possibly wrap their heads around in a single reading.

10 Reasons to Avoid Animal Protein

  1. Reduce incidence of auto-immune disease
    • When the animal protein casein is broken down in your digestive tract they form chunks or fragments that can be mis-read by your body and cause an immune system response. This immune response causes inflammation and a whole host of auto-immune diseases such as arthritis, asthma, psoriasis, eczema, and migraines.
  2. Lower blood sugar levels in diabetics
    • The China Study discusses this point extensively and my husband has first hand experience with the immediate results a plant based diet can have on insulin levels. My husband has reduced his average daily insulin a dramatic amount and is even able to skip insulin at meals if he chooses his food wisely. Not only that, but unlike most diabetics he has experienced a drop in his blood sugar numbers over night rather than the typical dramatic increase overnight experienced by most diabetics.
  3. Reduce cancer risk
    • T. Colin Campbell in The China Study concluded through his research that casein, the protein in milk promotes cancer growth at all stages. 
  4. Increase bowel regularity and function
    • A plant based diet is the most efficient way to clean out your digestive system and keep it functioning at it’s best. If you are not regular with your bowel movements that is a sign that your body is not functioning properly and you are storing toxins. A plant based diet will remedy that situation and get your body functioning properly.
  5. More energy
    • As mentioned in the point above, when you body is functioning at it’s best and is free of energy sapping toxins you will feel more energized. Our bodies are not designed to consume meat simply by the length of our intestines. When you feed your body the correct plant based diet you will feel like a new person.
  6. Sleep better
    • When you switch to a plant based diet no longer will your body be full of animal protein toxins. Toxins coupled with a sluggish digestive system will cause sleep issues. I got my first good night sleep after I started living a plant based lifestyle.
  7. Lower risk of heart disease
    • Animal protein contributes to heart disease, this fact has been known for years. Research this fact for yourself, the evidence is everywhere.
  8. Simple economics
    • If you are struggling to make ends meet, the simple economics of buying food will tell you to steer clear of meat and dairy. Meat, milk, and cheese are expensive there is no denying that. So when you cut these high priced items from your monthly food budget you will suddenly have more money to purchase organic fruits and veggies dense in vitamins and minerals.
  9. Clearer complexion
    • The fats in meat coupled with the immune response from casein wreck havoc on your skin cells, the largest organ in your body. Reduce inflammation and fat content in your body immediately when you remove animal protein and dairy.
  10. Increased average life span
    • This point could go without saying but I think it is important enough to include on this list. As pointed out above reducing immune response and inflammation, lowering bolos sugar levels, reducing cancer and heart disease will all lead to a longer average life span. Which for you means you have a greater likely hood of living a long and healthy life when you remove animal protein from your diet.

If you are ready to reduce or eliminate animal protein from your daily diet I have a whole host of delicious family friendly vegan recipes including, Incredible Indian Pancakes, Ginger & Tumeric Carrot Soup, and Colorful Raw Quinoa Salad

Have questions about a vegan lifestyle free of animal proteins? Please don’t hesitate to contact me, I’d love to chat with you.