Digestion, Plant Protein and Easy, Guilt-free Pizza

I recently read Kimberly Snyder’s amazing book The Beauty Detox Solution. If anti-aging interests you, I highly recommend you read it. While in my previous article I assured you that I am not trying to convert anyone from eating meat, I really enjoyed Kimberly’s description of how the human body is designed and how our design affects our diet and digestive processes.   Had I not been already been committed to not eating meat her arguments would have swayed me.

In short, Kimberly looked to the animal kingdom to discover which animals we are most closely related to… As you may have guessed, those animals are primates – monkeys, chimps and gorillas.   Our flat nails, flexible fingers, opposable thumbs and flattened teeth (made for grinding plant matter) are very similar (primates’ front canines are sharp and used for cracking open nuts). Primates use their fingers to pick fruits, nuts and leaves and pull them apart. Both humans and primates have a complex intestine. The human intestine is around thirty feet long and a gorilla has an intestine eight to twelve times its torso length. The human liver has a low tolerance for uric acid, a by-product of digesting animal protein.

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By contrast, a true carnivore – such as a tiger – has short, inflexible fingers that have retractable claws – meant to rip through the flesh of their prey. Even the back molar teeth of tigers are sharp and designed as the prefect utensil for devouring flesh. The stomach acids of carnivores have high concentrations of acid for digesting meat – ten times more concentrated than that of humans. The liver of a tiger contains uricase – an enzyme used to break down uric acid. Uricase gives the tiger fifteen times the capacity to break down uric acid from animal protein than humans. The tiger has a short intestinal tract – only three times the length of its torso and is designed for quickly eliminating the acidic waste of animal protein.

tiger_eating_calf

The gorilla is a vegetarian and gets all of its proteins, vitamins and minerals from plants. And, remarkably to some, it is one of the strongest animals is the world.   Other large animals that get all they need from a plant based diet? The elephant, giraffe, rhinoceros, hippopotamus, giraffe, wild horse and buffalo.

So what does all this this mean for beauty and aging?

beauty_women

Eating too much animal protein actually puts you at risk for aging, sickness and degeneration because human digestion of these proteins produces toxins in the body.   The human intestine is so long that it takes an extended time for animal protein to pass through it. Because it takes so long, it can start to putrefy – producing more toxins and bacteria. By-products of digesting animal protein are uric acid and ammonia which create acidity throughout the body when it is passed into our blood stream and circulates. When the blood is full of so many toxins, it is less efficient about transporting minerals and vitamins. In addition, with the intestine so pre-occupied with breaking down animal protein, your energy levels drop because so much energy is being used to break down something unnatural to our system. The value of the good food in our intestine at this time can be compromised.

intestine

Besides aging, a diet focused on cooked, pasteurized animal protein versus raw, living plants and enzyme rich foods can lead to so much acidity in the body that diseases like cancer are a natural side effect. I like Kimberly’s side story about how near-vegetarianism was imposed on the Danes during World War I. Cut off from food imports, the grain for livestock was fed to the people. During the period when food restrictions were the most severe, the death rate in Copenhagen from disease was the lowest in recorded history.   During World War II when Norway was occupied by Germany, Norway had to reduce and eliminate meat distribution to the people. Deaths from circulatory disease dropped rapidly – but climbed back again once the people returned to a meat diet.

That said, if meat is something you don’t want to give up, make a note to buy meat directly from a farm where antibiotics and hormones are not used.  Limit consumption of meat to once a week or twice a month.  My super carnivorous friends always ask “but what else can I eat that makes me feel full and satisfied?”

Below, I have listed some plant proteins but my best advice to you is to cruise the internet for recipes or buy cookbooks.  Commit to trying something new a few days a week!

index

  1. Vegetables
  • 1 avocado – 10 grams
    • 1 cup broccoli – 5 grams
    • 1 cup spinach – 5 grams
    • 2 cups cooked kale – 5 grams
    • 1 cup boiled peas – 9 grams
    • 1 cup cooked sweet potato – 5 grams
  1. Legumes – lentils and beans
  • • 1 cup lentils – 18 grams
    • 1 cup refried beans – 15.5 grams
    • 1 cup garbanzo beans (and hummus) – 14.5 grams
    • 1 cup pinto, kidney, black beans – 13-15 grams
  1. Grains
  • Quinoa is versatile and delicious. 1 cup – 9 grams.
    • Amaranth, bulgur, brown rice, wheat germ, oat bran are other grains with a high protein content.
    • Oatmeal – 1 cup = 6 grams.
    • Sprouted grain bread products – buns, tortillas, bread. Pack a sandwich or a wrap and you’ll get 7-10 grams from the bread alone.
  1. Nuts and Seeds
  • 1 oz. cashews – 4.4 grams
    • 1 oz. sesame seeds 6.5 grams, 3 tablespoons of tahini – 8 grams
    • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) walnuts – 5 grams
    • 1 oz. pistachios – 5.8 grams
    • 2 tbsp almonds – 4 grams
    • Nut butters – peanut butter, almond butter, cashew butter – 2 tablespoons has about 8 grams of protein
  1. Non-Dairy Milk
  • almond, ancient grain. 1 cup gets you 7-9 grams of protein.
  1. Supplements
  • spirulina and chlorella are used often by vegetarians and vegans for their rich nutrient content, and protein content.
  • Hemp – 30 grams of hemp powder in your smoothie gives you 11 grams of protein.

 

Quinoa Crust Pizzapizza

I am including herein an amazing quinoa pizza recipe from a great site, http://www.deliciouslyella.com that has all kinds of amazing and yes, filling, plant-based meals! All great for your digestion, energy, skin and health!

I now make this once a week now and experiment wildly with the toppings! Note, I advise you to put the dough on parchment paper as it can stick to the pan.  Also, Ella does not use cheese but I add raw goat cheese to mine… Remember raw goat and sheep cheeses are easier on the digestive system.  Be sure to get hormone free cheese if you live in the U.S.!

Deliciously Ella:

Everyone loves pizza, it’s one of those deliciously comforting foods that always makes people happy. It’s actually one of the only foods that still sometimes instills food envy in me. You know when you see someone eating a beautifully crispy slice that’s covered in juicy tomato sauce, fresh basil and mozzarella. Mmmm, it looks so good. Unfortunately, despite looking and smelling so good, the vast majority of pizza is anything but healthy and they’re never refined gluten, dairy & sugar free! So as with so many things, it’s best to make your own. I’ve experimented with so many different bases over the last few years, and this one, together with my cauliflower crust, is my favourite. It’s really, really delicious and so wonderfully simple. The dough doesn’t need rolling or kneading or anything complicated, all you have to do is simply soak the quinoa overnight and then blend it with salt and dried herbs. It’s awesome.

The base comes out nice and thin too, so it’s crunchy but still doughy enough in the middle, which for me is the perfect pizza crust formula. I love mine layered with tomato puree, chopped cherry tomatoes and fresh basil and then topped with artichoke hearts, black olives and rocket (arugula). Wow it tastes so insanely good! You truly feel like you’re eating ‘normal’ pizza! Of course it’s also pretty fun to gobble up a whole pizza without having to think of the potentially negative consequences, either for your waist line or for your health, as you’re just eating a bowl of quinoa! Quinoa is so easy to digest, so energising and so healthy. It’s a complete protein, just like chicken, beef etc, so is a wonderful addition to any vegan or vegetarian diet as it contains all the essential amino acids needed for a healthy body. It also contains almost twice the amount of fibre as other grains, as well as being high in iron, magnesium and calcium. So now you can eat insanely delicious pizza and feel like a goddess, how amazing is that?!

Makes one 8 inch pizza:

– 3/4 of a cup of quinoa (soaked for about eight hours)

– 1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar

– 2 teaspoons of mixed herbs, I used herbs de provence and oregano

– a sprinkling of chilli flakes

– salt

For toppings I used:

– 2 tablespoons of organic tomato puree

– a dozen cherry tomatoes

– a handful of artichokes

– a handful of pitted black olives

– a handful of rocket (arugula)

Soak the quinoa overnight or for about eight hours in water . The best way to do this is put the quinoa in a larger bowl and cover it in water, make sure that it’s covered by a few cm’s. Then leave this to one side.

Once you’re ready to make the pizza, pre-heat the oven to 190C. Then drain any water left in the quinoa bowl, before putting the quinoa into a food processor with the apple cider vinegar, herb, chilli flakes and salt. Blend for a few minutes until a smooth dough forms, it should look a bit like pancake mix.

Line the bottom of a pizza dish or cake pan with olive oil and pour the mix in, then bake for about 15- 20 minutes, until the base is firm – it cooks really pretty quickly though.

Remove and add your topping, either place it back in the oven for a few minutes to warm them or enjoy your toppings raw! I like my tomatoes and tomato puree heated and the rest of my ingredients raw. Delicious!

 

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