gotproteinA conversation was initiated by my sister the other day when she commented via Facebook Messenger regarding a reply I posted to one of her foodie pictures, “I sure did eat that chicken.” This after she had viewed Forks Over Knives and said she was considering a plant based lifestyle. Needless to say I was ecstatic to see her taking control of her health. Positive changes were on the horizon, much like my experiences, she would see weight loss, a decrease in aches/pains and an increase in energy and overall glow. These changes would benefit her when it comes to her passion, participating in Spartan Races throughout the year. I was thrilled at what the future would hold for her.

Last Monday the topic turned to protein. “Proteins are made up of amino acids. Think of amino acids as the building blocks. There are 20 different amino acids that join together to make all types of protein. Some of these amino acids can’t be made by our bodies, so these are known as essential amino acids. It’s essential that our diet provide these. 1” Eight of these amino acids the body cannot produce and require a source. Many Americans link protein with meat, prior to changing to a plant based lifestyle meat was always part of my diet. Recommendations from the USDA as “commonly eaten protein foods” list “Meats” as the top protein source, but nowhere are vegetables mentioned 2.

My sister was taken back by my answer as it related to the amount of protein I eat, “30?!?!? That’s really low. For you.” In reality that number was actually higher, 45-50 grams, as I was reciting it from memory, when I was tracking my daily food intake for nearly 2 years. I can guarantee that level would have elicited a similar surprised response. When I made the decision to stop eating “animal byproducts,” dairy and added oil I also tackled the challenge to learn nutrition. I was under many misconceptions I had been fed since I was a child learning about the food pyramid and nutrition through school.

gr-totalmeatconsumption-462All the nutritional information I have gained is supported by science and research from well known individuals like Dr. John McDougall, T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn. My opinions were not formed based on “broscience” gleaned from weightlifting forums, Paleo enthusiasts or crossfitters. Nor were they taken from the USDA, supported by powerful meat trade and lobbying organizations: the American Meat Institute, the National Meat Association, and the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, all of whom have a powerful pull in Washington D.C. 3

While meat still tops the list as the primary source of protein, there are other, healthier options available, yet they go against the conventional norm. Take quinoa as example,  8 grams of protein per cup. “While no single food can supply all the essential life sustaining nutrients, quinoa comes as close as any other in the plant or animal kingdom. 4” Other foods that get shunned include; rice and beans, soy, chia, buckwheat, seitan and vegetables.

Brussel sprouts, spinach and broccoli each contain 6 grams of protein per 1 cup . Matt Frazier of has a comprehensive chart of Vegetarian Protein Foods, listing the amino acid, recommended daily amounts from WHO (World Health Organization) and the best vegan sources.

The amount of misinformation continues to promote meat as the top source for protein. Wrong statements from experts include:

Although plant proteins form a large part of the human diet, most are deficient in 1 or more essential amino acids and are therefore regarded as incomplete proteins. (American Heart Association)

Single plant protein foods usually are lower in protein quality than most animal proteins because they lack significant amounts of various essential amino acids. (Tufts University Medical School)

Other protein sources lack one or more amino acids that the body can’t make from scratch or create by modifying another amino acid. Called incomplete proteins, these usually come from fruits, vegetables, grains, and nuts. (Harvard School of Public Health)

These are a sampling of quotes compiled by Dr. John McDougall from his monthly newsletter, the article is titled, “When Friends Ask: Where Do You Get Your Protein?

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that men and women obtain 5% of their calories as protein. This would mean 38 grams of protein for a man burning 3000 calories a day and 29 grams for a woman using 2300 calories a day. This quantity of protein is impossible to avoid when daily calorie needs are met by unrefined starches and vegetables. For example, rice alone would provide 71 grams of highly useable protein and white potatoes would provide 64 grams of protein 5.

protein-fight-club-logoSo where does the confusion comes in? What is the recommended daily allowance? Why is more suddenly better? Since when are non-meat proteins “not as good?” Worse, what are the repercussions of too much protein on the body? In America, protein usually begins and ends with meat, recently we have seen the dairy industry promoting milk as a source of “high quality protein” in their ads. Unfortunately many Americans won’t question what is being promoted by the dairy and meat industry with their agendas.

Just how much protein does the body need daily? In the words of Jeff Novick, MS, RD, “I don’t know.” He goes on to say, “The only way to know the actual protein needs of any one person on any given day is to do a nitrogen balance study on that person on that day. But, realize that whatever your needs where today, they may be different tomorrow.6

Based on the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine, “The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for both men and women is 0.80 g of good quality protein/kg body weight/d and is based on careful analysis of available nitrogen balance studies. 7” Using my body weight of 175 lbs (79.37 kg) that equates to 63 grams of protein daily.

In 1905 Russell Henry Chittenden published his findings on protein in Physiological Economy in Nutrition. These findings contradicted what German physiologist, Dr. Carl Voit concluded that protein intake for people should be 118 grams per day, which became known as the “Voit” standard. One hundred years ago he wrote, “We are all creatures of habit, and our palates are pleasantly excited by the rich animal foods with their high content of proteid (protein), and we may well question whether our dietetic habits are not based more upon the dictates of our palates than upon scientific reasoning or true physiological needs.7

Through experiments on himself, trials conducted at Yale University and scientific research on protein, Chittenden in 1904 concluded that 35–50 g of protein a day was adequate for adults, and individuals could maintain their health and fitness on this amount.  Studies over the past century have consistently confirmed Professor Chittenden’s findings, yet you would hardly know it with the present day popularity of high protein diets 7.

Suvée,_Joseph-Benoit_-_Milo_of_CrotonThe role of protein can be linked back to Milo of Kroton, Olympic wrestler in the sixth century B.C. said to be one of the strongest men in ancient Greece. Olympians came from the upper social strata in Greece, these families could afford to feed on more protein-rich legumes and meats to build muscle and did not have to rely on mostly breads, fruits and vegetables 8.

In the 1960s and 1970s, many people thought protein was a miracle food because muscle magazines hyped it so much. Bodybuilders and other athletes would follow diets made up mostly of meat, milk and eggs. The raw-egg milk shake was particularly popular, thanks to Rocky Balboa. Why would anyone swill such a concoction? The answer is simple: misinformation. Articles and advertising from those days falsely communicated the notion that protein from raw foods, particularly eggs, is more available to the body for building muscle than protein from cooked foods is 9.

Since the 1990s we have seen protein supplements and powders promoted. Muscle magazines ads and commercials. Misinformation regarding protein continues to fuel debate with a whirlwind of misinformation. One fact still remains, the RDA for protein intake is 8 grams per kilogram.

“Incomplete amino acids” is a term I heard constantly when I was registered at Stronglifts Forum as it relates to my plant based diet and being successful while lifting weights. This myth regarding as it relates to veganism was disproved years ago, says Jeff Novick.

The “incomplete protein” myth was inadvertently promoted and popularized in the 1971 book, Diet for a Small Planet, by Frances Moore Lappé. In it, the author stated that plant foods are deficient in some of the essential amino acids, so in order to be a healthy vegetarian, you needed to eat a combination of certain plant foods at the same time in order to get all of the essential amino acids in the right amounts. It was called the theory of “protein complementing. 10

Lappé certainly meant no harm, and her mistake was somewhat understandable. She was not a nutritionist, physiologist, or medical doctor; she was a sociologist trying to end world hunger. She realized that converting vegetable protein into animal protein involved a lot of waste, and she calculated that if people ate just the plant protein, many more could be fed. In the tenth anniversary edition of her book (1981), she retracted her statement and basically said that in trying to end one myth—the inevitability of world hunger—she had created a second one, the myth of the need for “protein complementing. 10

As the health of Americans continues to decline and obesity continues to rise when will we realize our diet is the root of the problem. “The healthy active lives of hundreds of millions of people laboring in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America on diets with less than half the amount of protein eaten by Americans and Europeans prove that the popular understanding of our protein needs is seriously flawed. 11” Since the early 1930s, meat consumption in the U.S. has risen dramatically. In 2012 an estimated 52.5 billion pounds of meat were consumed! “Though meat consumption in the U.S. has dropped off slightly in recent years, at 270.7 pounds per person a year, we still eat more meat per person here than in almost any other country on the planet. 12” On average American men consider 6.9 ounces of meat a day or 50.6 grams of protein. Women eat 4.4 ounces or 32.2 grams. 13

Health issues start and end with food on your plate. As Dr. McDougall says, “Misinformation leads to disastrous outcomes. People have serious health problems like heart disease, type-2 diabetes, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory arthritis that can be easily resolved by a diet based solely on plant foods. However, advice to make this dietary change may be withheld from you or a family member because of the erroneous fear that such a diet will result in a greater catastrophe, like a nutritional collapse from protein deficiency.” My awareness on how and what I eat has increased after 3 years of following a plant based diet. I am more aware of the inaccuracies that continue rear their ugly head as it relates to this lifestyle, especially protein. Yet no one can deny the health benefits I have experienced. Still with proof (me) standing in front of them, many won’t accept this lifestyle as an alternative in order to promote their health.

1. “Nutrition for Everyone: Protein.”, CDC, Web. 4 October, 2012.
2. “What Are Protein Foods?”, UDSA, Web. n.d.
3. “The Politics of Meat.” Steve Johnson, n.d. Web.
4. “Quinoa: March Grain of the Month.”, Whole Grains Council, n.d. Web.
5. Bowes & Church’s Food Values of Portions Commonly Used. J Pennington. 17th Ed. Lippincott. Philadelphia- New York. 1998.
6. “Protein Requirements”, Jeff Novick, Web. 11 February, 2012
7. The McDougall Newsletter December 2003: Protein,, Dr. John McDougall, Web. December 2003
8. “Diets of Athletes at the Ancient Olympics.”, Web. n.d.
9. Kleiner, Susan and Maggie Greenwood-Robinson. Power Eating-4th Edition. Mercer Island. 1998. Print
10. “The Myth of Complementary Protein.”, Jeff Novick, Web. 3 June, 2013
11. “When Friends Ask: Where Do You Get Your Protein?”, Dr. John McDougall. Web. April, 2007
12. “A Nation Of Meat Eaters: See How It All Adds Up.”, Eliza Barclay, Web. 27 June 2012.
13. “The United States Meat Industry at a Glance.”, Web. March 2011.

Food Funk

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am calling it a food funk, that is what I have been in recently with the news of a triple bypass heart surgery for my dad about 12 days ago. Much of the anger, frustration, confusion and stress has subsided, but I question if what I am doing is good enough for my health and goals I have set? Many already view my way of eating as extreme, which is fine. I don’t have an issue with what or how much eat. No longer am I overweight or suffering from an increasing cholesterol number, a testament that changes to my lifestyle have resulted in a healthier being.

Much of my nutritional rebirth started with Dr. John McDougall and expanded to others; Dr. Caldwell B Esselsytn, Dr. T. Colin Campbell, Jeff Novick MS RD,  along with many celebrated Internet cooks and educators who share their knowledge, experience and recipes. I won’t say what I have learned is correct, although I would like to think that, there will always be an opposing group who present information against a plant based lifestyle. That’s fine, as what works for me might not work for you.

There are also a number of people I communicated with on a daily basis via Facebook who’s opinions I respect when it comes to promoting a healthy way of eating. Many of these individuals, at one time were sicklier or heavier than I was and turned around their lifestyle. I am still amazed at the results I accomplished and that I now control my health, not the industrial medical complex or big pharma, who continually pushes pills to make you feel better.

I have been described as orthorexic, which (in my opinion) is a made up disease by Stephen Bratman, M.D. “Orthorexia nervosa (also known as orthorexia) is a proposed eating disorder or mental disorder characterized by an extreme or excessive preoccupation with avoiding foods perceived to be unhealthy” (source). Taking that ridiculous statement into consideration, I feel I am making better decisions when it comes to foods I want to ingest, as well as foods I want to avoid. “Bratman proposes an initial self-test composed of two direct questions: “Do you care more about the virtue of what you eat than the pleasure you receive from eating it?…Does your diet socially isolate you?

Does my diet socially isolate me? Within my circle of coworkers and friends, yes, it probably does, but I don’t have a problem with it. I can find an acceptable and pleasurable meal nearly anywhere. Yet, people I talk to feel my way of eating is “too restrictive.” On the contrary I am probably eating a wider variety of food now than I was 2 years ago. Most everything I eat is better for me promoting my health to where it is now. No longer do I need to eat animal products (meat and dairy) in order to thrive. Yet that continues to be an uphill battle, even if you have just suffered two heart attacks and successfully had bypass surgery.

Every meal I eat is pleasurable, my motto now is “live to eat” rather than “eat to live”, which is what I was doing 2 years ago. Popular opinion or that of individuals doesn’t phase my strong convictions when it comes to how I have chosen to eat. I am happy to have cut the animals products and dramatically reduced the oils, sugars and sodium. I still have my vices, but continually monitor what I am eating, in hopes of further refining what I fuel my body with.

If those refinements see a further change in what foods I eat, in the name of health, so be it. Nothing is permanent and change can be beneficial. During my previous 2 years, I took 30 days to see how I would feel while going gluten free. While I didn’t feel any different that doesn’t mean wheat or gluten would be something to remove in the future. GMO or genetically modified organisms has been a hot topic when it comes to our food supply, which include corn and soy. These two foods are currently in my “healthy” way of eating. Some claim wheat could be damaging to your health. Chances are wheat will be the next food to be reduced or cut out. There are many other options for grains; barley, brown rice, spelt, kamut and quinoa just to name a few.

Plant-Strong: Year 1

Hard to believe it has been 1 year since I decided to change my diet and take control of my health. Today marks my first anniversary since giving up meat, dairy and oil and eating plant-strong. It has been an amazing start on the road to health and believe it of not it does seem to get easier. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would I could do this. Ask me a few years ago and I would say I could “never go vegan.” Not only have I done so, I have gone an extra step and I have been rewarded with excellent health based on my doctor’s opinion, more importantly based on the numbers.

I don’t focus on what I chose NOT to eat, rather all the choices I do get to eat. It wasn’t easy at times and I struggled, but I never strayed too far from what Dr. John McDougall teaches. I learned of him in the documentary, Forks Over Knives. I was also introduced to T. Colin Campbell and Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn. These three gentlemen are my found on which I have built a strong pillar of health. Without their research, studies and teaching I would continue to eat poorly and rely on big pharma and the medication establishment to care for me as I age.

Now at age 42 I am in the best shape of my life and it will only improve. While re-learning nutrition is continuing, it was interesting to see just how jaded the government and big business were in regards to our health. Special interests and profits are the main goals of industries like meat and dairy. They don’t care about YOUR health. They will feed you lies, as long you continue to buy and support their product. Many fallacies surrounding milk as well, does it really do a body good? Research it for yourself.

Now, 12 month later I don’t miss that slice of cheese or that steak on a special occasion. I have found a heart healthy way to enjoy food and thrive on a plant-based, whole foods diet. But I am not here to push this lifestyle on anyone. I would much rather push good nutrition so well intended individuals can make their own decisions. I like being in the 1%, the small minority that make up the group who base their diets around plants. I have gotten comfortable with people looking at me with a queer stare and saying, “You don’t eat meat? Or dairy? Or oil? But olive oil is healthy for you…”

You can read just how far I have come in my latest addition under McDougall titled, 1 Year Review. It provides a run down of the last 6 months and the steps I took to achieve goals I had set, including the last 10 pounds I wanted to shed, along with lowering my cholesterol under 150. I also layout some of my future goals to accomplish in the next year. That actually started today with a new weight lifting program called Stronglifts 5×5. More on that tomorrow.

Understanding of Nutrition

I don’t profess to “knowing it all” when it comes to nutrition. In 10 months I have only scratched the surface but would like to dig deeper and gain a better understanding of nutrition and the role food plays in our diet. For my discussion today, diet does not imply restricted eating to lose weight (although that is a result), but rather the food and drink regularly consumed by an individual. When it comes to nutrition, people are not sure what to believe as there is a world of misinformation being disseminated by special interest groups, industry, government, authors, doctors and other sources that it can mind boggling. Just who can you trust to give you a straight answer as it relates to food and you health?

While I don’t have a good answer for you, I do believe in the research conducted by T. Colin Campbell, PhD. Campbell “is an American biochemist who specializes in the effects of nutrition on long-term health. He is the Jacob Gould Schurman Professor Emeritus of Nutritional Biochemistry at Cornell University, the author of over 300 research papers, and the co-author of The China Study (2004), one of America’s best-selling books about nutrition (source).”

I learned about The China Study when I viewed the documentary Forks Over Knives last September, but it wasn’t until April of this year I purchased the book (read my review) and read it for the first time. It was an eye opening experience. The numbers alone are staggering! The research is presented in an easy to read and understand format. Yet millions are unaware of this book or worse won’t subscribe to the plan outlined in order to improve health.

Individuals are resistant to change. Many believe what they were taught in school about nutrition was correct, eating from the basic food groups or following a food pyramid will keep them healthy. But is that really the case? “Overweight Americans now significantly outnumber those who maintain a healthy diet…almost a third of the adults twenty years and over in this country are obese.” This cited from The China Study and the outlook is even worse as American eat out more and spend more time in a sedentary position, watching TV, playing video games and on computers.

Heart disease will kill one out of every three Americans. According to the American Heart Association, over 60 million Americans currently suffer from some form of cardiovascular disease.” Yet many turn to the medical establishment to “cure” them of this disease. The U.S. spends more money for health care than any other country in the world (over 1 trillion dollars in 1997), yet the U.S. is ranked 37th best in health care system performance. All this money. As I have experienced, my doctor seems to be motivated by money more than the health of his patient.

As of the writing of The China Study, the third leading cause of death behind heart disease and cancer was medical care. This from a nation that spends more money on health care than any other nation in the world. How can that be? It doesn’t need to be this way, but people must “shift thinking toward a broader perspective on health, one that includes a proper understanding and use of good nutrition.”

Many people are under the misconception that foods such as meat and dairy must be included in their “healthy diet” or they will miss out on key nutrients that we need as humans. Principle #3 from The China Study: There are virtually no nutrients in animal-based foods that are not better provided by plants. Case in point, the chart to the right comparing foods (500 calories of energy). Which would you rather eat for your health? Food A provides more antioxidants, fiber and minerals, which marginally less in protein. It’s no surprise to reveal Food A (equal parts of tomatoes, spinach, lima beans, peas, potatoes) is plant-based, while Food B (equal parts of beef, pork, chicken, whole milk) is animal based. Why wouldn’t you chose to eat the healthier option?

Moderation is no longer a way of eating I subscribe to because many American’s can’t limit their intake of “bad food.” Dr. Campbell cites, “the lower the percentage of animal-based foods that are consumed, the greater the health benefits.” While eliminating all animal-based products is the goal, Dr. Campbell says not to stress over it. For me and my health, it was all or nothing but I did give myself transition period that helped me cut back and cut out foods that I did not want to eat, namely meat, dairy and oil. Was it easy? No, but “moderation, even with the best intentions sometimes makes it more difficult to succeed.”

Many individuals I talk to regarding food, nutrition, diet and health always include “I can’t” or “I won’t” when I bring up a plant-based diet (lifestyle). Their reasons vary as to why they won’t try something different to improve their health or lose weight. I challenge many to give it 30 days following a plant-based diet, but to date, no takers. I even bring up the 12 day program that Dr. McDougall promotes on his site, but many feel as if they will be hungry.

My goals when I started were to improve my blood numbers by lowering my cholesterol and get healthy. Never did I believe I would have such radical results inside a year that my doctor couldn’t find anything wrong me during my last physical in August. The key, learning nutrition and thinking outside the box when it comes to what I ate.

Unfortunately this is very hard for some individuals. I overheard a gal at work say, “Ask Roberta, she has tried all the diets.” Again, it comes back to nutrition and learning what is should be consumed and what should be avoided and why. No need to count calories or subtract points or even be hungry. In ten months, if I was hungry it was because I was not eating enough good food daily. People will look at what they CAN’T eat as opposed to what they CAN eat.

As I have started to get a better feel for cooking without oil, meat and dairy, you can now toss in sugar and salt. None of these ingredients need to be in food to make it taste good or satiate you. I do continue to provide samples of my cooking to some of the women who are looking for a “healthy alternative.” Unfortunately I don’t think any of them will take me up on diet I follow. No longer is my goal to convince people that what I am doing is right. I am more focused on getting people to realize what is healthy and what isn’t.

I use work as an example again, another co-worker, Michelle says “I work out all the time, but I can’t lose weight.” Then she tells me how she cooks and eats. I give her some options and the first thing I mention, cut out the added oil to your cooking. No sooner do I say that and she seems lost as to how to cook without oil. It’s a teaching moment. She was given some other information this week from a low-carb follower, “don’t eat oatmeal or bananas” for breakfast. Huh? When did these foods suddenly become not good for you? When you need to limit the amount of carbohydrates you consume for fear these will make you fat, that is when. I reiterate, some people need to re-learn nutrition in order to take control of their health.

I know I won’t change the world when it comes to how I eat. I am very thankful to finding a healthy solution that works for me. Sure I give up a few foods, but I do believe I have become a better cook the past 11 months. My wife would probably agree with me, even though she won’t eat everything I prepare. That’s fair enough. More than following a plant-strong lifestyle, if people would pay more attention to what they eat and how some of the bad foods affect your health they would be better off in the end. It is my hope to plant a seed in people to understand nutrition.

Plant-Based & Kid Friendly

While deciding on what to comment on today, I found a Facebook entry from Dr. John McDougall regarding an article in the New York Times that exploits “the tragedy of a family and to spread commonly held, but scientifically incorrect, information on human nutrition.” Back in 2007, Dr. McDougall responded to Nina Planck’s story, Death by Veganism in a letter to the editor, as well as addressing individual points on his website.

This time around, Ms. Panck continues her misinformed ways in a story titled, A Choice With Definite Risks. Again, without much scientific citation, she continues to support her 2007 position, in which a vegan diet is inadequate for babies and children. Unfortunately this is an op-ed piece that fit for the circular file. I find it rather appalling that the NYT fish wrap allows for this sort of piece to be printed. Again without citation and based on her credentials, which include “farmers’ daughter, food writer, farmers’ market entrepreneur, local foodist, and advocate for traditional foods” she continues to push and promote the standard American diet.

Articles like this should no longer come as a surprise, yet they do. When books like The China Study by T. Colin Campbell and Preventing and Reversing Heart Disease by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn are citing scientific data promoting a plant-based diet, some hack submits a pro-SAD piece and suddenly the American public reaffirms it’s eating “healthy” with all the meat, dairy and fats in their daily diet.

I had intended writing about trying to cook plant-based meals for my son. Guess I should no longer consider this since this lifestyle isn’t “adequate” for babies and children. I disagree with her, citing Dr. McDougall’s comments from 2007.

My son has expanded his palette over the course of nearly 6 months. Thankfully he, unlike me at his age, does like vegetables and fruit. Still, we have quite a bit of “bad food” as I call it, in the pantry. He is aware, but doesn’t understand why I consider it bad food. I am attempting to teach him nutrition, since I know his schooling won’t provide him a chance to learn there are other ways to eat and grow up healthy.

Many sites I find seem to tout their foods, “kid friendly” but looking at what is offered I find it hard to believe that picky kids eat many of these recipes. I could be wrong and probably am. My son is now eating more of what I make, but at times I do find myself falling back to the old habits and feeding a pizza or chicken nuggets. I have started making him sliders using Morningstar Sausage Patties. We does enjoy a hearty meal of rice and beans, as well as bean burritos. Last night he ate nearly half a sweet potato! So the changes, while slow are coming.

I make a real effort to leave the sugar out of his school lunch. After looking at what some of his classmates are eating as a snack, it’s quite surprising to see all the sugary snacks and drinks parents are sending to school. I usually end up making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich or a cheese sandwich. Much like dinner, there are times the processed foods end up in the lunch box. His snacks usually consist of a banana or strawberries, with a small bottle of water.

So while he isn’t McDougall compliant, there are changes happening. It’s more of a matter of getting rid of the “bad” and unhealthy snack foods. Since nutritional labels are so misleading, it’s easy to give your kids foods are appear healthy, but aren’t. Fruit snacks are a prime example! The first 3 ingredients, “Fruit Juice, Corn Syrup, Sugar” and a bit further down “Dextrose.” Yet the nutritional facts will show ZERO fat with 12 grams of sugar in 1 serving.

It’s more a matter of parents educating their children and not buying those types of foods. It can be difficult and easier to reach for something processed and toss it in the microwave. In my opinion, you are doing your child a disservice when it comes to their nutrition. I feel bad when I nuke my son’s processed meal. I want him to grow up healthy and strong and not have to wait 42 years to make the right decision as is relates to his health.