The Cheeseburger Footprint

 

Last year, one of my best friends went Vegan. At first I was worried, what was her intention? Was she trying to lose weight? Then I actually asked her, and was very interested by her answer.

It’s safe to say that until last year, I didn’t quite realise quite how bad meat consumption is for the environment. Nor, did I know that this was a lot of people’s motivations for going Vegan. My friend gave me a short lesson into why we should all be eating less meat, or preferably no meat and I was left with the information resonating in my mind for a while. Eating meat is a huge burden on the environment; the average cheeseburger consumption in America (1-3 a week) has the same carbon footprint as 6.5 to 19.6 million SUVs. The Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) also estimates that meat consumption is one of the two or three most significant contributors to local and global environmental issues. Is this cheeseburger footprint really worth it?

Last week I decided to limit my meat intake to three to four portions of meat per week (i.e. one packet of sainsbury chicken breast or beef mince). A lot of people may read this and think this is still a lot of meat, but when you think about how much impact each serving has on the environment, cutting down from seven to three is a good start.

Because I am already dairy-free I have started to experiment with a lot of vegan recipes that make great packed lunches. I will post some of my favourites over the next few weeks to help people who may be inspired to go meat free more often, make some delicious foods.

Also even though I did not choose to be dairy-free, the more I read about the dairy industry, the more I’m glad I can’t eat it. It’s worth taking a look online at some articles which explain how your milks and cheeses make it to your fridge and you may decide to opt for an alternative (almond milk is a winner).

So really, this post is just to get everyone thinking about what impact their diets may have on the world around them. By all means, eat what you want and enjoy iIMG_2570t but maybe just try to go meat free at least one or two days a week? It will also help save you a nice bit of
money!

Look out for some blog posts to come with some great Vegan recipes and make sure to visit my instagram @whygowithout for some inspiration! Also there is a nice selection of Vegan recipes (like the delicious Nutella cookies pictured here) in my Ebook which you can get by clicking here.

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Chocolate Protein Pancakes

So it’s pancake day today! So here is a recipe for one of my favourite pancakes:

Ingredients:

  • 15g chocolate soy protein isolate (from myprotein)IMG_1223
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 small/medium banana, mashed
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1tsp coconut oil

Method:

  • Mix all of the ingredients together with a whisk or a fork.
  • Heat the coconut oil in a pan.
  • Pour the mixture into the pan (in a large pan this will make one large, thick pancake).
  • Leave it on the pan for 1 minute and then flip the pancake and cook it for a further 40-50s. If you have trouble flipping it, you can always place it under the grill for a minute instead!

Enjoy!

Why do we overeat?

A lot of people appear to hold the belief that if you eat your food of smaller plates, you will feel fuller for longer. But is this really true?

Articles are constantly being published in attempt to explain the ‘obesity epidemic’ in the Westernised world. 280,000 deaths are attributable to obesity alone in the US per annum, so it makes sense as to why everyone is trying to figure out what it is that is causing the population to eat in excess. If the government made everyone throw out their plates for smaller plates would this help? The easy answer is no.

In fact it seems that a key driving force behind overconsumption is portion size. Our portion sizes have increased over the past few decades, with higher proportions of our plates containing fat, which is less satiating. Hence, people will eat more as they don’t feel as full. Studies have found that people will actually eat 30% more food in when offered a larger portion (vs. a smaller portion, half of its size). OFullSizeRender-2n the whole, individuals also do not seem to notice that they have eaten a significantly larger amount, and do not report greater fullness. Similarly, people don’t seem to rate the differing amounts of foods (100g vs. 500g) as different in their appropriateness of size. This has been found across a multitude of studies that have taken place over the last decade.

Interestingly, those exposed to a larger portion size will also judge larger portions as more appropriate after being given one once
. So it appears there is a sort of ‘carry-on’ effect. If you were to eat more in one sitting, you may be more likely to eat more later on as you see the size as more ‘appropriate’ and ‘manageable’.

Therefore perhaps key to a good and healthy diet and weight maintenance, is ensuring that we eat an appropriate portion size. Educating people that a ‘happy meal’, although it may not seem so inappropriate, is actually nearly ones’ recommended daily calorie intake. Making people aware that what you eat in a restaurant and may buy for yourself to cook at home (e.g. pizza), may actually be an inappropriate portion size that we are so used to seeing, we cannot judge as such.

Research is still inconclusive as to why portion size has such a large effect on our energy intake. However, I hope that from this little snippet of information, you can take away that perhaps something needs to be done in order to stop overconsumption which may result from portion sizes that are ‘too large’.

 

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/76/6/1207.short

http://ajcn.nutrition.org/content/82/1/236S.short