Online lectures week 2 – Happy Heart

I was naughty last week and didn’t watch the Happy Heart Happy Pear online lectures for week two.  Could my lack of engagement with the plan be one of the reasons why I didn’t lose any weight this week?  I am a very all or nothing kind of a person so I’m sure it’s not a coincidence that because I knew I had loads of social engagements this week I didn’t follow the course materials.

I have rectified that and spent some time this afternoon watching the lectures and answering the quiz questions.  This weeks’ lectures were as follows:

  • Knife skills – different kinds of knives and how to cut different types of veggies.  I cook a lot, and always have, so I don’t feel I really needed this video but this is an example of how different this course is to your standard weight loss plan.
  • Eating out/Cooking for friends – I fell foul of this last week, it’s near impossible to eat fat free unless you are preparing your food at home.  Stephen and David’s main advice was ‘don’t go out hungry’ and ‘bring a meal you’ve prepared yourself’ which isn’t really advice for eating out in my opinion!  If you are only following the plan for four weeks I agree that you could eschew eating out, but if this is going to be your lifestyle forever I would have liked some better advice or the freedom to indulgence occasionally.
  • Do we really need fish? – discussing omega 3 and fish and the pollutants found in fish.  As a lifelong vegetarian (and now two years plus as a vegan) this wasn’t really relevant to me, but interesting nevertheless, with some good information on vegan omega 3.
  • Keep calm and don’t use olive oil – olive oil is a junk food!  It is highly processed and provides no fibre, vitamins, minerals or antioxidants but is very high in calories (according to the Happy Pear twins).
  • Whole fats – certain types of wholefoods contain fats, i.e. nuts, seeds, avocados and olives.  Although higher in fat than most plant based foods these are lower in fats than processed fats.  However, eat in moderation if you want to lose weight.
  • Refined fats – refined processed oils, trans fats, saturated fats in baked and processed foods, giving us a propensity for weight gain and obesity.  Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated, whole fats helps to reduce blood cholesterol and lower the risk of heart disease and stroke.  Trans fats are shown to have an even worse effect on blood cholesterol levels than saturates.
  • Calorific density – caloric or energy density is defined as the amount of calories per unit weight of food or beverage.  For a healthy heart try to eat foods that are lower in calories, such as green vegetables, starches and fresh foods, avoid the higher fat wholefoods or consume in small quantities.
  • Protein – how much do we really need? – whilst protein is a vital nutrient, it is very rare for people not to eat enough protein.  Whereas the majority of the people in the West do not get enough fibre.  Have you ever heard of anyone with a protein deficiency?
  • Refined carbohydrates – 90% of the carbohydrates eaten in the West are refined carbohydrates, eat whole carbs to get your fibre.  The good news is carbohydrates are not the enemy, the bad news is lovely fluffy white bread is!
  • Fibre – fibre plays a central role in multiple health issues such as heart disease, diabetes, weight gain and some cancers, as well as improving digestive health.  Soluble fibre dissolves in the water of our digestive system. It may help to reduce the amount of cholesterol in our blood because we can eliminate it more efficiently.  Insoluble fibre does not dissolve in water. It passes through our gut without being broken down and helps other foods move through our digestive system more easily. Insoluble fibre helps to keep your bowels healthy and helps prevent digestive issues.  Glad we cleared that up!
  • Inflammation – a natural bodily function where the body tries to heal itself after injury, it is caused by smoking, alcohol, stress, animal foods and processed foods.  Inflammation is considered to be one of the causes of most diseases, particularly cardiovascular disease.  The good news – a wholefood plant based diet is high in antioxidants and can help reduce inflammation.
  • Dr. Michael Gregor – Stephen and David’s ‘hero’ who found that he could reverse cardiovascular disease with plant based wholefoods, it became his life’s work.

Some very interesting stuff, some I knew already and some I didn’t.  If I’m honest I find Stephen and David’s enthusiasm a bit annoying at times (sorry boys) and sometimes I wonder if the science is a bit off (this is a hunch on my part only) but it is good to see people so passionate about veganism.


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