The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #132 – Vegan Cookbooks for Athletes, Poop Pills To Fix Your Gut and Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie


I missed my regular update last week, but It’s been such a busy couple of weeks that I just haven’t had time to read. We had a baby shower last weekend which required finally painting the house the way my wife has wanted it to look for years, cleaning EVERYTHING (the carpet, bathrooms, etc.), decorating the house for the baby shower, and preparing food. I’m so happy the baby shower is over with. Hopefully I can get back to a more relaxed schedule again. I guess this hectic lifestyle is something I should get used to though, with a baby coming in just a couple more months.

On to the update. Here’s what I’ve been reading lately.

Best Vegan Cookbooks for Athletes

Another post from No Meat Athlete this week. This one is awesome because it has a whole bunch of books that are both vegan and really healthy. There are lots of vegan cookbooks out there, but a lot of them require using junk like seitan and other processed foods. There are at least four books here that I want.

Harmful or Harmless: Magnesium Stearate

I’ve noticed that magnesium stearate is in a ton of supplements. I’ve always avoided it just because I didn’t know what it was and I would never remember to look it up. Chris Kresser did all the hard work for me and explained it all!

Pills made from poop cure serious gut infections

The fecal transplant procedure is becoming so popular that someone has already created a way to give a “fecal transplant” simply by swallowing a pill. Dr. Thomas Louie devised a method to extract bacteria and remove waste from donor stool and pack it into gel capsules. The patient needs to take 24-34 capsules in one sitting, but they have no taste and don’t result in nasty burps since they don’t dissolve until they are past the stomach.

The Healthy (But Practical) Plant-Based Diet — A Typical Day

It’s cool to see what other vegans eat in a typical day, especially fit vegans who have different dietary needs to support an active lifestyle.

Gotu kola | University of Maryland Medical Center

I found out about gotu kola while reading an article about how to get better sleep (my wife is having trouble sleeping during her pregnancy, which is common). It sounds like an interesting plant with a lot of different uses – speeds up wound healing, treatment for stretch marks, reducing anxiety, decreasing joint pain and treating insomnia – but it also sounds like there’s not enough research to show that it’s completely safe.

The “Promised” 18 Week Protocol

I’m a huge fan of minimalist training. There was a time when I felt like I was doing myself a disservice if I wasn’t working out 5 days a week but after starting Stronglifts 5×5 a couple years ago, I’ve completely change my line of thinking, especially after seeing more progress with minimal training than I ever did with 5+ days per week training. And now with a baby on the way, minimalist training is going to be even more important.

Recipe: Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie with Sweet Potato Topping

This sounds awesome! I’m definitely making this soon.

Simple Hacks to Fix Your Sleep

We already turn our phones and tablets to Airplane Mode every night but we still keep things plugged in near our beds. I can’t say for sure if it has helped me sleep better but I feel better a out doing it just because I know of the potential harmful issues. I might have to try moving the clock next.

The Best Health and Fitness Articles of the Week #131 – 30 Day Raw Food Meal Plans, A “Healthier” Candy Company, and The Negative Side Effects of Kale


30 DAY R.E.A.L. Food Meal Plans

I’ve used a service very similar to this called The Vegan Menu, which I love. I signed up for six months but didn’t end up using the meal plans every week, so I saved them up and cancelled my service until I get caught up. I’m still using those menus most of the time and it’s awesome because they give you five days worth of dinner recipes and an ingredient list that keeps all of those recipes in mind, that way you don’t have to buy a ton of stuff every week. This “30 DAY R.E.A.L. Food” service actually looks the same, but better because all meals are free of soy, gluten, corn and dairy, and they provide three meals per day as opposed to The Vegan Menu’s one meal per day. The Vegan Menu is $60 for a year and the 30 DAY R.E.A.L. Food plan is $30 one time. I already signed up to the R.E.A.L. program and there’s only one menu so far. I’m not totally sure if there’s a new menu every month, but I sure hope so. It looks awesome.

Drop And Give Me Ten

I know exactly how Tamara Reynolds feels. There are times when I stray from my workout routine and become lazy and I get really upset at myself for letting myself slip. Nick Horton’s advice to her is to do 10 pushups. It doesn’t matter if you’re skipping leg day, do 10 pushups anyway, because 10 pushups is better than nothing. Scientifically, I don’t know if that’s true, but psychologically, I can see how it would be beneficial. If I stopped and did 10 pushups, I can imagine myself getting motivated enough to just set aside some time to go ahead and do those squats I skipped.

Healthy Whole Grains? Part II

To quickly sum up this monster of an article, don’t believe the hype that whole grains are better for you, because they contain anti-nutrients that have terrible health effects on the body. The studies that are used by supporters of whole grains don’t prove anything, which is explained in this post as well. If you have 30 minutes to spare, sit down and read this. It pretty much dissects everything we think we know about whole grains.

Morbidly Obese Toddler Gets Weight-Loss Surgery

I don’t even understand how it’s possible for a toddler to get this big. It’s really sad.

Male Chef Is Food Porn’s Worst Nightmare

Don’t look here if you’re eating because you’re not going to want to finish your meal. I really like this quote from the interview. It makes sense – “I feel like “Male Chef” erodes the idea of food photography and helps to demolish the idea that food bloggers and food photographers can get peripheral success based off of the efforts and ideas of others.” Check out his Tumbler blog.

Unreal Candy

I learned about Unreal Candy from The Unconventionals podcast. The idea behind UNREAL Candy started a long time ago when Nicky Bronner’s dad took away his Halloween candy because of how unhealthy it was. Nicky was upset and set out to prove his Dad wrong but he quickly discovered how unhealthy it really was – partially hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, GMO’s and chemical preservatives – so when he got older, Nicky and his brother Michael founded UNREAL Candy with a mission to “unjunk the world.” I can’t eat any of their candy yet because none of it’s vegan, but they’re working on dark chocolate version of their candies which they have stated will be vegan.

The Dangers of Kale and How to Fix It

I was listening to the Joe Rogan podcast and his guest Dave Asprey started talking about the dangers of kale (I’ve linked to the video. Starts at 45:13). Basically, raw kale is full of oxalic acid (the plant’s defense mechanism), which can cause kidney stones and GI issues, is a potential contributor to autism, and is also linked to vulvodynia (extreme sensitivity of the vagina). To remove oxalic acid, start by eating only dinosaur kale, which cuts oxalic acid by half compared to other kales. Then steam the kale for 5-7 minutes and dump water. The water absorbs much of the oxalic acid. You lose some vitamins, but not a lot. Toss the kale in the blender, add protein (hemp, whey, etc.), MCT oil, calcium carbonate and magnesium oxide and you’re good to go.