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Zel in France

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Everything posted by Zel in France

  1. Wait a minute… is blood-doping vegan? Armstrong used to train in the Côte d'Azur (for many months of the year, every year)… eventually, I think they will still name a street after him.
  2. Tofu depends a great deal on the method, but I would encourage you to compare it to the different methods of cooking a potato: If you cut a potato into thin strips, and then put it in a deep-fryer, you can cook it thoroughly in circa 5 minutes (and yeah, if you're vegan, owning a deep fryer at home won't result in gaining much weight... I recommend it thoroughly). By contrast, baking a whole potato in the oven takes quite a long time, and pan-frying (without boiling first) can be unpredictable. If you want to make rapid stir-fry use of tofu, I would encourage you to boil it first (this also works with potatos, BTW).
  3. Yeah, veering way off topic here, the last time I was in Glasgow the city was full of "post-industrial ruins" that would be suitable for filming any number of post-apocalypse scenarios. The Glaswegians I've met (by happenstance) since then all insist to me that the city has been completely transformed, and I now wouldn't recognize it, etc. etc. Back on topic, most of the canned beans that people (foolishly) eat raw aren't cooked before they go into the can: they're dehydrated (in the sun, etc.) and then get re-hydrated in the cannery. This is also why you should rinse off the guck/ooze that they're seeped in (when they come out of the can). There are some pre-made "canned chili bean" type dishes that do contain cooked beans, but they're often balefully undercooked in my experience. The contrast to meat is also instructive, BTW: our grandparents' generation were accustomed to buying tough meat, and boiling it for hours, but, today, most meat-eaters don't have experience with this type of cooking, nor even this type of ingredient. So to say, "cooking beans is more like cooking meat" would be misleading to many people, as they're accustomed to saute/pan-frying meat for only a few minutes, etc. In Canada, if your grandparents worked on a logging camp, they were used to boiling white beans in tomato sauce until both turned brown --that's what Canadians call "deep brown beans", but none of the ingredients are brown when they go into the pot. The tradition in both Canada and the northern U.S. was actually to bury the pot (of cast iron) with the coals overnight --so you're talking about a cooking process of more than 12 hours. Almost nobody cooks anything that way anymore --but much of the traditional cuisine of the world (carnivore or not) relied on long, slow cooking processes, that have disappeared from both homes and restaurants.
  4. I've talked about this with a number of other new vegans under other headings on this board… …many of them mistakenly think they have a bean-allergy, but they're really just not accustomed to cooking beans. Beans of any kind require much more cooking than meat: chickpeas boil for a full hour before making hummus (whereas, yes, I realize that some people make hummus with the beans raw out of the can... and that is a formula for terrible indigestion). Beans with a thinner "skin" can be boiled more rapidly than beans with a thick "skin" (this "skin" is the part that has evolved to resist insect-predation, and that is hard to digest). Black beans break down rapidly, whereas fava beans are extremely difficult to make digestible at all. Never eat beans raw out of a can; never eat tofu raw out of a packet; never eat soaked beans raw out of whatever you've been soaking them in. They all require very significant cooking times. If you're accustomed to cooking meat and potatoes, this may be unfamiliar. To try something radically different for a while, you can switch to a non-bean source of protein such as Job's Tears [Coix lacryma jobi] --and I assume you'd supplement that with vegan protein powder, as you're evidently into a pretty heavy lifting schedule. There's really nothing wrong with soybeans, and there's nothing wrong with Tofu --but there is a cultural misconception that these foods can be eaten uncooked. I have been to "Asian" restaurants in the western world that serve some of these ingredients in a format that would be scoffed at in Asia. Canada is pretty much the worst place on earth for this. In Canada, I have seen kidney beans and chickpeas served straight out of the can, and tofu spooned straight out of the plastic packet, etc. --as these beans were equivalent to a piece of lettuce (that restaurants could serve without even rinsing!). To offer a very different example, I don't think that anyone even tries to digest uncooked Okra or Leeks --but these are, simply, more culturally-familiar foods for most of 21st century western civilization. We know that you can't eat leeks the same way that you eat lettuce --but we apparently don't know this about something as tough to digest as kidney beans (etc. etc.). Job's Tears, what the plant itself looks like: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/de/Coix_lacryma-jobi1.jpg/220px-Coix_lacryma-jobi1.jpg Kidney beans, by contrast: http://image.marginup.com/u/u136/medium_31.jpg
  5. The main thing I think of under the heading of "getting older" is simply lack of time. From an unrelated thread, I'm now aware that Forklift is busy raising two kids. I've never struggled with lack of motivation or lack of self-discipline --but lack of time has always been a huge problem, along with lack of access to equipment. I can remember a period of my life in which I rode a bicycle 15 km each way, to and from the gym. Sounds like a great warm-up and cool-down, right? The problem is, simply: how many hours have you got in a day? There was one guy who was something like a bodybuilder and/or olympic athlete who was at that same gym for extremely long hours, and his wife would bring his kid to visit him at the gym. At first, I thought that was really strange and inappropriate --but as I saw more of what the guy's schedule was, I realized that his kid probably didn't see him during daylight hours much, aside from those gym-visits. Sadly (apropos the title of this thread) I really just expect to get weaker and weaker as the years go on --due to lack of time, and other sources of stress in my life. :-/
  6. I've got both here now (Sunwarrior & Vega)… …I think the obvious solution for most people is to try them both, and decide what works best for them (mentally, physically, and gastronomically, so to speak). I really waiting for the day when the Taiwanese start producing something competitive at half the price; but, until then…
  7. Hi Mika, I'm now (sigh) dependent on Vega Sport once again (imported from Canada!). The price is okay: I order in large quantities (etc.). A very small percentage of men here in the South of France are in "good health" at all --and I find that women here are desperate to talk to me (and/or stare longingly at me) even when I look like shit (and am exhausted, don't want to flirt, etc.). I really think that this part of the world is still trapped in a "diet" and "lifestyle" from the 1930s: cigarettes, alcohol, meat, etc. --and most people look withered and sickly at a remarkably early age.
  8. Re: "I have never met a french vegan before!" One of my websites was recently added to an international listing of vegans online, and while they had a huge number listed from places like Australia, I pointed out to them that I was apparently the first listed from France --and they wrote back to confirm that this was apparently true. France is several steps behind Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, etc. --and the few places where veganism seems to be understood as a concept are basically cultural borderlands, where they have some exposure to what's going on in Germany, or one of those other places.
  9. Yeah, that is (generally) the great thing about the internet: you can find someone to talk to who has some kind of shared history with you (most often on the other side of the world). It seems that most people actually prefer to do that with total strangers, rather than people they have to deal with in real life. Conversely, I had a casual conversation with somebody online recently, and found out that she had been revived from a suicide attempt (in hospital, etc. etc.) more or less one day thereafter (she didn't discuss whatever her problems were with me --it was really a casual conversation). It is what it is.
  10. Here in Europe, the basic problem is that EVERYTHING IS MADE IN CHINA... ...and stacks of heavy weights do not export cheaply over long distances... ...whereas, obviously, electronics and plastic shoes do. In terms of the real disc-weights, everything here is eye-wateringly expensive. I've ended up with a curly bar that I'm satisfied with, and a pseudo-Olympic bar that I'm pseudo-satisfied with... ...but I'm still looking around for more of the actual discs. Hey, I eat fruit imported from South America (at low, low prices) but solid steel (or pig-iron, etc.) is still expensive around here. Interestingly, too, I haven't seen vinyl (and/or recycled plastic) disc-weights for sale (those seemed to be increasingly fashionable in the U.S. and Canada?).
  11. In reply to the original question: why don't you switch to Sunwarrior? Sunwarrior has raw hemp protein in the mix. Personally, I strongly prefer Vega, and I prefer to avoid hemp products of any kind... ...but, if you're of the opposite preference, why not try Sunwarrior?
  12. Hi Jaakko, As you may have guessed from my name, I'm also in France. I'm in the South of France --where it is too hot for Siberian Husky Dogs. I am also planning to do all of my weight-lifting at home: I'm putting together a power-lifting kit (so that I never need to go to a gym again, etc.). I am currently dealing with getting the equipment delivered (etc.) --this type of thing is neither simple nor easy here. There are very few vegans in France --and I'm highly motivated to connect to any vegans within 1000 km of where I'm now living. The members of this forum will not kick you out for owning dogs: they are remakably polite and supportive even toward people who eat meat (!) so I don't think they'll attack you for feeding meat to dogs. In general, of course, it would be easier for a vegan to have a (grass-eating) mountain goat for a pet, rather than a (meat eating) dog sled team. You're probably aware that small numbers of highly-motivated vegans manage to feed their dogs a vegan diet (...yeah, they have websites). It seems like a lot of work (but, in general, owning a dog is a lot of work!).
  13. [in reply to Camilla:] Yes, protein powder is useful; I also live in Europe (in France, on the mediterranean coast) and I order my vegan protein-powder to be delivered from Canada and the U.S.A. I resent this fact, but, currently, the best options for protein powder are imported from the U.S. and Canada (i.e., "Vega Sport" is Canadian). [in reply to OldLunk:] Yes, protein deficiency is very real. I've done humanitarian work and "field research" of various kinds, and I've met people at various stages of life who have endured malnutrition of different kinds. Lack of protein has many different negative effects at different stages of life --including the _in utero_ stage (i.e., pregnant mothers eating insufficient protein prior to the birth of the child). [in reply to general concerns about soy:] Please remember that soy-beans are not the only beans on this earth. All kinds of beans are great sources of protein: check the label on the back of a can of black beans and you'll see that the ratio of grams of protein to grams of fat is astounding. If you learn how to cook them well, chickpeas are also full of protein, etc. etc. So if you're worried about getting "too much of a good thing" with over-reliance on soybeans, look at other types of beans as sources of protein.
  14. Re: "Well the truth is that if you were very skinny as a child or in your teens, you won't get fat as an adult either" No, this is not science. You can meet plenty of folks who survived long-term famine during their entire teenage/childhood years, and who are now fat (Cambodia is an easy place to meet such folks) --after having grown up with real malnutrition and emaciation. If this guy was "very skinny" but not living in a refugee camp, there would be no medical/scientific basis for any connection to his current "problem" gaining fat (although, we all agree, there are worse problems to have, given that the guy is in amazing shape, etc.). Most of the myths about skinny people gaining weight more slowly than people who are (i) already fat, or (ii) recently-were-fat (but lost weight for a short period of time), actually relate to "the flora and fauna" of the digestive tract (i.e., what bacteria you've got, and how well-adjusted the whole system is to converting food into fat on that basis). Your "flora and fauna" really do adapt to your diet --and they can change significantly within weeks and months (i.e., not requiring years). Aside from bacteria, most of the other issues are unlikely to impact vegans. If you eat a huge quantity of really greasy food (simultaneously, and with the right consistency, etc.), you can have food (literally) slide through your intestines without being digested properly. Given that you're vegan, this is unlikely to be your experience unless you've got a very peculiar mode of binge-eating going on. Alcohol is another strange exception, but, again, given the photographs, it's unlikely that this guy has destroyed his ability to digest properly with hard liquor, etc. All of the research that went into debunking "The Atkins Diet" (known under many other names as well) re-enforced the already-well-established scientific equation of subtracting calories burned from calories eaten. With few exceptions, the other factors mentioned are pretty minor and only slightly modify the equation (the state of the bacteria in your digestive tract, etc., nudge you a few percentage points around --although this effect has now been studied and measured, and is apparently significant in some cases of "bouncing back" after flunking out of a diet, and rapidly re-gaining weight, etc.).
  15. Looking over the discussion as a whole (now at 5 pages) it is really interesting to see the way that issues of philosophy, depression, etc., are dealt with here --interwoven with both practical tips on bodybuilding and (understandable) exclamations of "Wow, you're amazingly beautiful!" This is something I really think you wouldn't encounter on any other bodybuilding/fitness forum. I've seen online philosophy discussion forums that were a lot less philosophical, too. I was surprised, also, to see the brief comment from Mini-Forklift, that he has a history with anorexia, suicide, and so on. Fundamentally, it's amazing that veganism provides the crossroads for these issues to come together (and for a bunch of athletic people to really share these kinds of intensely private thoughts).
  16. VFIE, It's cool: the jocular screenshot will make other vegans aware of the site, and the joke isn't on you (it just reflects the fact that we have nearly zero vegans in the South of France, etc.). I don't think the VFIE website is "bad" --I think it's still in beta-testing. Those are two completely different things, and I wish you well with it. As you're probably aware, some of your competition are working the opposite angle, of getting data directly from the resturants that want to list/market themselves, and make that available on the internet, through handheld devices, etc., to various kinds of people with special diets (diabetics, and gluten-avoiders, etc., not just vegans). It is what it is: websites like Yelp only thrive because people are motivated to provide reviews (sometimes simply motivated by "revenge" against bad restaurants, sometimes by a desire to hook up with other people who use Yelp, etc.). Vegans do want to meet other vegans, so your website could be a big success. Or, it could fizzle out like a dozen other Veg*n social networks I could name (including veg*n dating websites, BTW... an interesting comparative case-study for you guys to glance at). Fundamentally, there's a big difference between using a telephone book, and writing your own telephone book. Inviting users to line up to write their own listings (in a virtual telephone book)... is going to be about as popular as selling copies of a blank telelphone book.
  17. Wow, thanks Lunk, really interesting. I wouldn't end up doing research/experiments of the type you're doing, because I normally treat the protein powder as a meal substitute (i.e., I eat the powder precisely when I'm NOT cooking) --but I think you've got a really cool approach to trying to integrate the powder into your normal meals.
  18. Yeti, (1) It looks great as it is. Move to the tropics, and you'll never need to wear a shirt. (2) The model-actor set ALWAYS gain fat through avocados... as it is a relatively healthy way to eat way too much fat. Yeah, doughnuts also work... and vegan doughnuts exist... but avocados are the shortcut. (3) Unlike the model-actor set, Sumo wrestlers use another trick: going to sleep immediately after eating that fat. Your body will convert more energy to fat if you eat just before sleeping (and this is why people advise you NOT to do this). Looking to Sumo wrestlers for health advice = bad idea. However, the science behind this method seems solid. (4) "Cellar Yeti" itself is such a compelling name, that I really wonder if it was already used as the title of a song, or as the name of a rock band or something like that.
  19. Response to oldlunk: I find vega sport (powders) very easy to digest --and I have tons of experience with them (I've had periods of time surviving on almost nothing else). The reasons why those protein powders are expensive is precisely that they give you pea protein in a form that's reasonably good-tasting and easy to digest. If you just buy baker's pea protein (i.e., not intended to be eaten raw, but used in baking muffins, etc.) you take your chances on those issues --but, yeah, it's dramatically cheaper in that format. I'm going through hell right now trying to sort out the options for ordering protein in Europe.
  20. Acne is a symptom: it can be symptomatic of more than one thing. In most cases (not all) one component of the condition is infection (or repeated infection) of the glands that excrete oil between the layers of your skin. Obviously, factors such as how you wash your face, etc., really do matter (not a sarcastic question: are you using vegan soap yet?). If you're eating a type of oil that you can't digest well (i.e., without actually being allergic to it) that will/can cause/exacerbate acne. Although most people don't want to deal with it, issues such as how often you change your pillow-case, and how often you touch your own face (e.g., during periods of the day when you haven't washed your hands) really do matter. This is stuff that (normally) only actors and models pay attention to --and they normally do get made fun of for it by their friends. However, it gets results. I hope that you became vegan for ethical reasons, and that you'll return to it for ethical reasons (i.e., not eat eggs again). I don't know if you'll ever be able to speak to a dermatologist. If not, you can get books out of the library on the subject for free. The science of skin isn't any simpler than (e.g.) the science of teeth --but we're taught to regard dermatology as "D.I.Y." (i.e., "just buy this magic skin-cream…") whereas dentistry is the domain of specialized professionals. That's a cultural perception, not a scientific attitude toward the facts. In many cases, Acne is a real health problem, and it may be an infect that needs to be treated medically --or, at least, that would benefit from medical treatment. You can read up on it, and you can (indeed) join forums on the subject.
  21. The ultimate scarcity is not protein, but time: * Time to cook, * Time to eat, and, * Time to digest. Protein powder saves time under all three headings.
  22. (1) There is a superfood called (in English) "Job's Tears". It is somewhat annoying that this is the only name we've got for the plant in question, and if people at the health food store don't know what you're talking about, they'll be confused. However, it is high in protein, and it is NOT a legume (and it is gluten-free). They were eaten in medieval Europe (i.e., they are not an exotic/foreign food) but have dropped out of the modern diet in most of the western world. They continue to be eaten in Asia, but they are a "low status" food there (i.e., not associated with wealth). This is what they look like before they are boiled (i.e., in their dried-out state, as commonly sold). http://www.homemade-chinese-soups.com/image-files/barley-compared.jpg The top half of that image shows Job's Tears, in contrast to a type of barley they're often confused with. When they're boiled sufficiently, they're soft, puffy and white. They are used in some soups, but if you're eating this as a source of proetin, you'll want to eat whole bowls of it (as if it were rice). (2) In terms of self-diagnosis, there's a huge leap of inference being made in what's causing your condition. In your situation, I would not be comfortable assuming that the link to legumes was one of causation rather than correlation. There is absolutely no way that the same health effect would be caused by foods as diverse as lentils and eggs. So, you've already started to produce evidence that contradicts your own initial theory.
  23. I think it takes many adults years (if not decades) to figure out what they can digest rapidly and what they can't (often with a list of caveats). Many westerners (to be blunt: white people) tell me that they can't digest various types of beans, but the truth is that they've never had them properly cooked. A lot of people of "western" background really do not understand that beans can't be consumed like salad leaves: they require cooking, and a lot of it. Even a "prepared" bean like a storebought tofu (in a plastic container) will generally need to be cooked very thoroughly to be easily digestible. There is also variation that largely corresponds to the thickness of the "skin" on the outer layer of the bean (the part evolved to avoid predation, etc.). High-protein black beans are RELATIVELY easy to cook to the point of digestibility, whereas the thicker skin on chickpeas increases the workload, no matter what format you're eating them in (warning, e.g., raw chickpeas put through a food processor are hard as hell on your guts, even if they look the same as beans that were thoroughly cooked). Rendering fava beans (a.k.a. "broad beans") digestible is an unbelivably difficult task (made easier by removing the "skin" entirely). Most western people don't have direct experience cooking raw soybeans, so they tend to think of soy-ingredients as if they didn't require cooking to the same extent as any other bean. There's a similar illusion surrounding some types of canned beans, canned chili, etc., simply because the beans in those cans have already been cooked extensively --and then people imagine that this is the natural state of beans as an ingredient. It isn't. Getting familiar with what tofu really "is" will remove some of the mystery as to why SOME soy products will SOMETIMES be really difficult to digest (and not others, etc.) --assuming you don't have an underlying allergy to legumes. There was an Asian woman working behind the counter at a university dining hall, and I asked her directly: "These chickpeas are raw, aren't they? I can see that you added them to this salad directly out of the can without cooking them. You wouldn't serve them to your own children that way, would you?" She was nice about it (I had talked to her before) but the whole conversation reflected the strange disconnect between western culture and beans as an ingredient: many beans require MORE cooking than an equivalent meat ingredient, but westerners generally think of them as a fresh vegetable (akin to lettuce, etc.) that can be added to a salad without cooking. However, back to the particular case at hand: If you really can't digest soy, you may have a more fundamental problem with all legumes, and you can look into it (I have met just one person alive who was allergic to ALL legumes, a really scary condition, actually). However, you might want to observe if you have the same problem when soy is part of a mixed meal (involving rice and vegetables, etc.) as this presents a different challenge for your stomach than ingesting soy protein powder (etc.). In the short term, this is more important before a workout than after. If you're just using peanut butter to fill up, consider eating (dare I say it?) chocolate instead, if you can digest chocolate. As you probably know, "Soy-free vegan protein" is a whole industry unto itself (largely based on powdered peas, etc.).
  24. http://media.tumblr.com/3d693c724ccf79950aa4730fca961f74/tumblr_inline_mjq4xfbOgM1qz4rgp.jpg
  25. Thanks again, Desertom: I will take a look at these options. I currently survive on Soy-milk --but I really need a dedicated protein-powder. The dominant sports here in the "deep South" of France seem to be (1) cycling, (2) jogging, (3) hiking, and (4) hunting. People here watch Rugby, but you can see from the gyms that almost nobody is really training for high-impact sports of that kind around here. The majority of space within the gyms is devoted to step classes, stationary bikes, etc. Anything related to weight-lifting is rare to see (including even protein for carnivores). I'm assuming this is not true even in other parts of France. The South is a strange mix, because so many people choose to retire here (and because such a large percentage of the population (under age 60) is unemployed). :-/
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