Vegetarian Eating Video & Articles by Réza Ganjavi
Other videos meat eaters should watch
Tips For Eating Healthy & Meat-free - What A Vegetarian Should Eat - Essential Diet For A Vegetarian
By Reza Ganjavi
I've been wanting to write an article for a long time on what are the essential things a vegetarian should eat from the standpoint of a non-expert as I am not a certified nutritional consultant so what I say should not be considered as expert advice but merely how I run my life when it comes to awareness to food
These are the basic things I try to pay attention to every day:
Things to eat:
Some raw food (the larger the % the better)
Vegetarians need B-12 but I don't pay attention to it because I eat enough dairy products (yogurt, cheese, egg, etc.)
Complete Protein -- soy products are the easiest way -- e.g., tofu, soy milk, tempeh (the latter is fermented and is supposed to be better for men) -- wheat protein (seiten) -- beans, grains, nuts, seeds and dairy products etc. all have protein. It's important to get the right balance so we get all amino acids. This comes from either soy products alone, or combination of e.g., rice and beans, or dairy products (I heard yogurt is complete protein - some say cheese is also - and egg is also).
Grains, nuts, seeds, and other food groups are also good. I usually don't buy bread except a lot of to-go bread in switzerland, organic (bio) gipfelis, etc.
Essential fatty acids -- olive oil, some other oils, that are cold-pressed (extra virgin). I grind flax seeds and put it in the salad.
Enzyme bank can get depleted if not enough raw food is eaten. Cooking kills enzymes. Enzymes are very important as anti-inflammatory and for digesting proteins.
Things to pay attention to:
Proper "food combining" really helps (not mixing carbohydrates with proteins).
Read all labels of every food you buy.
Try top buy organic (bio) as much as possible.
Things to avoid
Added sugar. This includes high fructose corn syrup, sucrose, saccharose, evaporated cane juice (and other fancy words food manufacturers use to avoid saying sugar). Sugar is cheap and it's addictive so it's very good for food manufacturers. It reduces vitamins, disrupts blood sugar, disrupts energy level, disrupts hormonal system, and a host of other problems (see www.rezamusic.com 's health section for more info and articles). Natural sugar as it occurs in foods naturally is necessary for the brain/body.
Artificial ingredients, colors, E-numbers, flavors, preservatives (this in English means conservatives not condoms like in German).
Caffeine, alcohol and other stimulants and depressants. A bit of caffeine may be ok as anti-oxidant effect, e.g. in dark chocolate but in general I don't like caffeine and its chemical rush.
“Why Don’t You Eat Meat” -- "On Diet and Health"
By Reza Ganjavi
I started writing the following a couple of months ago in California. On the way back from Grand Canyon, a Swiss girl asked me: "Why don't you eat meat". Here's a long answer to a short question. I am not trying to preach; just sharing something I think is important. I have to admit, when it comes to food, like when it comes to the Beatles, I am a purist – perhaps a fanatic – but I have lived unhealthily before so I know the other side, and I believe taking good care of the body is really essential in having a good quality of life. Persians have a saying: a healthy mind is in a healthy body. Health doesn't mean not being sick, it means having a subtle body. Subtle food makes subtle body. There is more to total health than just physical health, but that would make this another 10 pager. I'll just include a paragraph I wrote in a recent attempt:
It is really important to solve our psychological problems so that we can go on with a fresh, untainted mind. The beautiful and exciting thing is that most psychological problems which do not have a biological root can resolve when I fully observe them (must note that the observer, the "I", is the observed). And this art of looking is an act of emptying and gaining insight into "what is". What is, what I am, how I feel, my problem, can radically change, transform, trans-mute, when fully understood. This seems to be a natural law. For example, writing or talking to a good friend can be acts of emptying, observation, and insight. Thinking can be like a prison and if we do not - if itself does not - understand its limitations: where it belongs and where it does not be long, and how it is timebound - it creates sorrow, creates confusion, and when its limitation is understood, it remains silent when it is not necessary for it to work - and it stops being the ironbars which keep freedom out.
As a baby I used to hate meat but they forced me to eat it because it was supposed to be fortifying (a British Beefeater conditioning). Then I turned into a total meat-lover. I stopped eating meat (first red meat and subsequently all meat) on March 31, 1980. I abstained for a month and then I could taste the awful taste of blood in meat (iron-like taste), which was a major turn-off. My taste sense had changed. I ate fish recently after the longest time in order to not let down my friend's mother who went out of her way to make me fish, but I am happier without it. To keep it short I think there are various classes of reasons: ethical, health, environmental.
1) To survive, we must kill. Killing has various degrees (criminal justice agrees with this statement). I want to kill as little as possible, so I kill a pear, and not a sheep (can you imagine how awful it is to kill for fun as hunters do?). Also, there is a lot of crime, brutality, suffering, and pain that goes on behind the scenes, but it is presented to us with a happy face of McDonald's packaging. Most people are not ruthless enough to be a butcher, but if someone else does it they eat it - isn't that hypocrisy? Nature rewards us for not killing higher forms of life for food, as a meat-free diet is much healthier. Have you ever seen a helpless animal being killed under a butcher's knife? If you had, and had a heart, you'd not eat that animal and all the pain it went through.
2) Many health reasons exist for not eating meat. Human's intestines and colon least resemble those of carnivores who have a very short intestine so the meat stays in their system for only a short period - otherwise it would decay and cause e.g. colon cancer which is the second most common cause of cancer in America, but in China where meat consumption rate is very low, colon cancer is very rare (Cornell university study). There are many other health reasons for not eating meat which I won't go into now. The difference is in the quality of the energy produced: you are what you eat (including the antibiotics and growth hormones in meat, and even the fear the animal went through when facing execution!
3) There are many arguments that industrial cattle-farming is horrible for the environment: water pollution, etc.. I won't try to reproduce the volumes written on the subject. One interesting fact is that it takes 10 kilos of grain to feed a cow to get 1 kilo of meat. You can feed many more people with 10 kilos of grain than with 1 kilo of meat, etc. etc.
What about protein? It is easy to get complete protein (8 essential amino acids) if we eat a balanced diet. I read recently that you don't even need to eat complementary amino acids together: the body uses its stored amino acids to complete the eaten protein. Many foods have protein, legumes, nuts, grains, dairy products…
Other tips on diet: refined sugar is bad news - it disrupts the working of the hormonal system, depletes the cells from B vitamins, and as in Caffeine it alters the blood sugar which causes mood swings: high energy followed by lows (and you wake up in the morning down) - I like the high, but I can live without the lows, so best place to be is in the center: stable energy level throughout the day. The body needs sugar, but natural sugar which is found e.g. in fruits. So, when you think you crave for sugar, you could munch on dates or raisins, or apple… but I never get such cravings. A craving is the body's signal that something is lacking. Without understanding the body and nutrition, such a signal can be misinterpreted.
It is important to have a balanced diet, eating greens, fruits, grains, legumes, etc. (I like dairy products too), but also to eat "essential fatty acids" which are contained in all nuts, cold-pressed oils (e.g. extra-virgin olive oil), avocado, etc.. Fatty acids are needed for hormonal balance.
To live a super life - not a mediocre life - and this has nothing to do with wealth or circumstance - one has to have a good diet. Otherwise, one is at the mercy of blood sugar fluctuations and petty little addictions and the stress of various uppers and downers, generally respected in our society, such as Coca Cola. Can we live without stimulations? For most people, medically, stimulants such as caffeine and teine mean stress. Alcohol puts me to sleep and too much of it kills brain cells specially in older age. Many people drink to get happy and uninhibited. Others might smoke to get high. Healthy, happy, is naturally drunk and high… I get drunk from the smell of honeysuckle trees these beautiful summer evenings...
Food manufacturers don't care about your health, so it is a good practice to read the package labels. I avoid anything which contains artificial flavor and colors, and preservatives. (in German "preservative" means condom!). There’s controversy about white vs. whole grain bread. There also what’s called half-white bread. I always try to eat whole-grain bread. It has more fiber and so is better for the digestive system, and it is more nutritious. Some doctors prefer white bread for strange reasons. If you put a bag of white and a bag of whole-wheat flour in the garage, which one do you think the ants will go for first? Obviously, the whole-wheat one – they’re smart! In the USA there’s a bread called Wonderbread – white – and the wonder must be that you can roll it up to a little ball because it’s all air! And they advertise it as "enriched". First they wash off all the nutrients then enrich it – I guess because as the old Persian saying goes, "people’s minds are in their eyes". I’ve read that some of the elements in whole-wheat prevents the absorption of calcium so it is better, for this reason, it may be advisable to not to take it simultaneously with dairy products.
I like to take supplements: a few grams of vitamin C every day (if 'buffered' or 'time-release' it doesn't upset the stomach). Dr. Pauling, winner of 2 Noble prizes took 18 grams of vitamin C a day. I also pop other supplements sometimes: vitamin E and selenium, multi-vitamin, B-comples, B-12. Other supplements I like are Spirulina (algae), Kelp, Alfalfa, and Royal Jelly. Supplements are not necessary if you eat a balanced diet. But in today's polluted world, vitamin C supplement is helpful. Unlike many animals the human body does not make vitamin C.
Everything we eat leaves a residue of certain PH level. The blood’s natural PH is high (the blood is alkaline). And It is healthiest for us to eat food that leaves an alkaline effect – e.g. all raw fruits and vegetables. Almonds, millet, and dried figs are specially high alkaline. All animal products leave acid residue. I actually feel it in the body when acidity is high (e.g when I have too much cheese).
Food combining: There’s a school of thought on diet which advises against eating carbohydrates (e.g bread, potato) and proteins (dairy products, nuts) together. (Vegetables are neutral). I have experimented with this quite a bit. There’s definitely some truth to it but there are also many exceptions based on genetics, etc.. As a general rule, I try to avoid combining complex carbohydrates with complex proteins as much as possible. Being a guitarist and a computer user, this is very important with me because lack of proper combining leads to fermentation (because proteins and acid fruits requires a higher PH for digestion, and carbos’ and sweet fruits require lower PH and eating the two together causes mal-digestion). And fermentation increases the body’s acidity and leads to inflammation. Inflammation of tendons (tendonitis) is a guitarist and typist’s worst enemy. Hands stiffen because of tendon’s inflammation and because the veins in the hands are very small so the circulation is not very good, so, the residue of acidity of the fermentation does not circulate very well. This is my understanding based on what I’ve read and years of struggling with hand problems. Talking about hands and use of the body and problems associated with the modern life’s abuse of the body, I found the Feldenkrais method and Alexander Technique to be very very useful. Also *gentle* yoga is helpful. Shoulderstand is NOT recommended as it tends to strain shoulder nerves which effect the hands. Extra vitamin-C with Bioflavinoids help to contain free-radicals and inflammation (and other supplements against inflammation and free radical control such as odorless garlic maybe helpful. Enzymes are known to help with inflammation - as far as I experienced both tendinitis and carpel tunnel are related to inflammation and "wrong use of the self" as FM Alexander puts it). Walking is the best exercize... [re: hands: when brain is well rested it is quiet (good sleep), when 4 hour sleep in a night brain is agitatd, easier for hands which occupy large part of brain to be agitated]
I know many who lose their hair. I knew a doctor who said best thing for hair is to stand on your head everyday (in yoga it's called headstand). Many other things help, e.g. silica gel, vitamins, and reduction of stress. The amazing thing I have observed in myself with regards to white hair is that white hair comes with stress, and actually reverses itself if the being is well taken care of subsequent to the distress. Of course, the course of time and aging is a fact, and hair eventually whites – one doctor explained its purpose as distinguishing older ones from younger ones for various reasons – respect, etc. - who knows?! Talking about the head, a recent medical study showed brain of men shrink in size with age. No wonder "grumpy old men" are well known. I think yoga helps with that. I really love yoga postures. They really tune the body up, message the glands, reverse gravity, release tension and stress (a tense person usually doesn't know he is tense), and keep the body flexible – doctors know well that a flexible spine is a key to a healthy body.
Some people say, why live so healthy, since you could die any day anyway, but the point is quality not quantity. Healthy go happy go lucky…
Please also see various health article
CHICKEN AND FIS
"Is eating chicken okay?"
Kel, when I stopped eating red meat I still ate chicken and fish for some time and didn't need those either. I suppose some scientists would argue that white meat is better for you than red meat but I haven't done enough research to tell. Presently I don't eat any meat but "when I was younger so much younger than today" I could handle eating chicken because it didn't have that irony blood taste which red meat has which I could no longer handle after not eating blooded meat for some time. Same with fish. But I had strange dreams when I was eating fish and chicken.
This was after I quit read meat ... some time later:
With regards to chicken I noticed that everytime I had chicken I had fearful dreams. I was doing yoga stretches - also quit eating added sugar - and was getting more sensitive ... a few times I woke up in the middle of night during these fear episodes which correlated strongly with eating chicken (statistically). And I had an insight: there was no psychological basis for fear - there was no fearful dreams - but it was the body itself that was in a state I would call fear.
I continued experimenting with this.
And came to the very clear conclusion that there was something in the chicken meat I was eating that was making my body feel "fear" and the natural conclusion was a theory that many have that when the animal is being killed it's afraid and the "fear hormones" etc. is there in the meat and transfer to the consumer.
I stopped it and never had that physical fear any more.
Fish is a different episode. I had fish for a long time - but then I needed it less and less and was turned off the the gruesome animalistic bones and etc. and stopped -- then on rare occasion I had it - and everytime I dreamed about fish being killed -- this could have been psychological but funny that at isolated points the same exact type of dream was there everytime I had fish and I don't believe it was psychological but I'm not sure.
Anyway I'm perfectly happy not eating any animals. I like cheese yogurt eggs etc... and there's plenty of other ways to get all amino acids and vitamins...
He was a raw-eater for 2 years which saved him from a hip infection. He read a lot, learned that in morning for some hours it's best to just drink water as the body is cleansing off yesterday's food.
In Singapore, in luxurious parties, they bring baby monkey, alive, with its hands and eyes and mouth tied and cut its brain open on the dinner table and eat the brain raw! and meanwhile the animal is screaming with its mouth shut, then it shivers and dies. How aweful creatures we are. Killing cows and eating sheep eyes and brains, or veal, is not much less cruel. They also serve marinated bees which my friend had to eat but was very disgusted.
Panthetonic Acid (B5) is needed for Paba absorption and is found in nuts & molases. For allergies, take a gram of B5 and a gram of C in the morning.Vit C increases excertion of Folic Acid (vitamin M). If taking over 2 gram of C a day, take extra Folic Acid. For hair graying these 3 work good - can try taking 1 mg of paba 6 days a week. Can take 1 to 5 gram of C. It has no toxicity, it is water soluble. Paba also prevents wrinkles.
Cinnamon (Zimt) is good for kidney. together with Lavender. Cinemmonn is warm and Lavender not cold but fresh provides good ying/yang balance. Either as tea or aromatherapy. Ginger is the best stomach tea.
However, I met a lady who did her master's thesis on cinnamon and she said it's not good and it's toxic etc. but that only Ceylon Cinnamon is good.
From a conversation:
Do you know how much cruelty goes behind the scenes to put that plate of baby-back-ribs on the table?
"Does our cruelty towards the baby back ribs is any worse than the cruelty of the lioness or the cheetah towards the zebra and the springbok? don't you think these ugly vicious predators should be taught a lesson once and for all? how dare they, when there is all this fresh savanah grass to eat?"
Are you a cheetah or a lion? Their intestines are much shorter. Meat goes in and out. Your intestine/colon is much longer - that's why colon cancer is one of the biggest causes of death in USA: meat stays in the system for long time and decays. [Cornell study]
SOME SICK KILLING STORIES
"I am in favor of feeding all livestock beer before their time comes. Let them get real drunk first, then they will not suffer."
"We used to slaughter lambs by talk softly and petting them to keep them calm and then blowing their brains out. If they are nervous the adrenaline taints the meat"
"Reza, you made me feel real bad. I was thinking about all those live oysters, mussels and lobsters not including the fish, eel, shellfish and frogs I've murdered. Particularly the oysters I ate while still alive. They were screaming for mercy but I didn't care. They were burning from Tabasco sauce I dumped on them, I put salt in their wounds. The only thing I can say in my defense, I did try and anesthetize them with drinks on the way down. I am surly going to Hell. The last Maine lobster I dropped into boiling water called me a S.O.B ( Salt On the Brain) as he began to turn red."
"Lobster is better broiled than boiled. You have to split them from stem to stern while they are still alive. They do not like this. After you split them you pour lemon juice and butter onto the flesh. Since they haven't figured out that they are dead they do not take this well. The first time I prepared 100+ lobster this way in one evening I dreamed of being attacked by Giant Lobsters (ala the old SNL skit). If the food chain were reversed, they would gladly split me and pour lemon on my flesh."
"Unlike carbohydrates and fat, protein contains large amounts of nitrogen, which the body cannot store. It must either use it immediately as a source of amino acids or jettison the excess by converting it into urea, then peeing it away. If you consistently get more that 35 percent of your calories from protein, the liver can't produce enough urea, and nitrogen builds up in the blood as ammonia. Death follows.... livestock on modern, intensive farms usually eat a diet enriched with nourishing grain that could otherwise feed human mouths..." From New Scientist March 2000
Halileh, an Indian spice, is good for eyes – some guy with thick glasses no longer wears glasses after eating it every day. Supposedly good for keeping hair from going white too.
Tom: Katie said: Reza says we eat dead animals. "well, we do honey". she was surprisd. Even adults don't want to think what it is (prefer to ignore).
Sugar function as an immunosuppressant in a number of ways. It :
1. lessons the germ-killing ability of white blood cells for up to five hours
2. interferes with the production of antibodies, which attack invaders in the bloodstream
3. disrupts the distribution of vitamin C
4. causes mineral imbalances that weaken the immune system and are sometimes responsible for allergic reactions.
5. makes cell walls more permeable and therefore easier for invaders to penetrate by neutralizing the action of essential fatty acids.
Starting a meal with raw foods is good since raw foods have enzymes. The diet in general should include an ample supply of raw foods for replenishing the body's enzymes reserves. Cooking destroys enzimes.
GOOD TO EAt salty ad protein food in the morning to get going and sweeter food in evening
To restore colon bacteria, take: RIPE FRUIT, GREEN VEG, PLAIN WATER
She said good to take molke (milk serum) powder one spoon in water at night for 2-3 months
Also, please see http://www.ivu.org/news/2006/evu.html -- published a book that quotes Reza Ganjavi as well.
[reprinted with kind permission of Schweizerische Vereinigung für Vegetarismus --www.vegetarismus.ch]
242 million tons of meat were produced. Only for Switzerland, this figure amounts to 600’000 tons. In Switzerland, the quantitative consumption of meat has already surpassed the one of bread (this has probably happened in other countries as well). This fact has enormous ecological as well as economical consequences worldwide. Unfortunately, these consequences do not receive much attention.
Nitrogen, actually an essential nutrient for meadows, forests and life in the water, can lead to over-fertilization if available in excess. This was noticed too late because forests would first grow faster with high nitrogen supply and react with first damages only when the soil was over-saturated with nitrogen.
«Nitrate from liquid manure being released as ammonia into the air is an environmental poison which causes so-called acid rain and other deposits containing acid. In Holland, most part of the precipitation comes from ammonia gases out of cow barns - they cause more damage to the country than all of the automobiles and factories.»
Approximately 100 liters of water are needed to grow 1 kg of grain, the production of 1 kg of meat, however, takes 2’000 to 3’000 liters of water.
Nevertheless, in Switzerland 57% of the grain are still being fed to animals. In the USA, 80% of the grain harvest are being fed to about 8 billion slaughter animals. Regarding soya beans, this amounts to even 90% worldwide. About half of the worldwide produced grain is being fed to animals in order to eat their meat. If e.g. Americans would eat 10% less meat, the quantity of the grain thus saved could save about one billion people from starvation. About 1’200’000 tons of concentrated feed are being fed to livestock in Switzerland only, mostly grain. Switzerland can afford this waste, however, it hardly looks any better with developing countries: As FAO reports, in 1981 75% of the grain imports into the Third World were used for fodder. But also domestic cultivation of foodstuff is competing with worldwide cultivation of fodder: In Egypt e.g., over the last 25 years, cultivation of corn as fodder has taken over fields that used to produce wheat, rice and millet as staple food. The margin of grain used for fodder has increased from 10% to 36%. A similar thing happened to other countries that increased their meat consumption. During 1950, 170 kg of grain per head were adequate to nourish the population of Taiwan. Until 1990, meat as well as egg consumption had multiplied sixfold. Grain requirement per head has increased to 390 kg because of this extension of the food chain. Taiwan can only meet this rising demand by imports, despite steadily increasing harvests. While Taiwan was exporting grain in 1950, in 1990 it had to import its needed quantity from abroad, mostly as fodder. Similar numbers apply to the former Soviet Union: Meat consumption has tripled since 1950, the demand for fodder has quadrupled. In 1990 the cattle of the former Soviet Union consumed three times as much grain as the people. Imports of grain used as fodder reflect this: They increased from almost zero in 1970 to 25 million tons per year in 1990. The Soviet Union became the world’s second largest importer of fodder.
Some good books
Further reasons for a vegetarian way of life can be asked for at the office of the Swiss Union for Vegetarianism (Schweizerische Vereinigung für Vegetarismus):
Vegi-Büro Schweiz, Bahnhofstr. 52, CH-9315 Neukirch-Egnach
Tel.: 041 / 477 33 77, Fax: 071 / 477 33 78, PC-Konto 90-21299-7.