26 December 2015

Whey Protein Expensive? Try Pea Protein

Many bodybuilders drink whey protein to increase their calorie and protein intake.

The problem is that the price of dairy products (including whey protein) is rising. It is getting more and more expensive.

Rather than pay more and more for whey protein, my suggestion is that bodybuilders (or anyone wanting cheaper protein in their diet) instead switch to pea protein.

At many websites, a comparison of pea protein against whey protein shows that pea protein is much cheaper.

At bulknutrients.com.au, whey protein concentrate is $540 for 30kg = $18 per kg whereas pea protein isolate is $319 for 20kg = $15.95 per kg. Furthermore, pea protein isolate is 82.4% protein compared to whey protein concentrate, which is only 76.5% protein. To make the comparison fairer, pea protein isolate needs to be compared to whey protein isolate, which contains 87.7% protein. However, WPI costs $810 for 30 kg = $27 per kg, almost double the price of the pea protein.

Bottom line is that WPC is 13% more expensive than PPI but contains less protein.

Bulk Nutrients is an Australian company shipping protein to Australians. Those outside Australia should look at local retailers or look for pea protein from websites that ship internationally, e.g. pea protein from iHerb.

Some people will claim that pea protein is lower quality than whey protein, but this is not the case. The study below shows that for increasing muscle mass, pea protein works just as well as whey protein.

If you can get the same quality protein for lower cost (and not support the dairy industry), then why not opt for pea protein?

RESULTS: Results showed a significant time effect for biceps brachii muscle thickness (P < 0.0001). Thickness increased from 24.9 ± 3.8 mm to 26.9 ± 4.1 mm and 27.3 ± 4.4 mm at D0, D42 and D84, respectively, with only a trend toward significant differences between groups (P = 0.09). Performing a sensitivity study on the weakest participants (with regards to strength at inclusion), thickness increases were significantly different between groups (+20.2 ± 12.3%, +15.6 ± 13.5% and +8.6 ± 7.3% for Pea, Whey and Placebo, respectively; P < 0.05). Increases in thickness were significantly greater in the Pea group as compared to Placebo whereas there was no difference between Whey and the two other conditions. Muscle strength also increased with time with no statistical difference between groups.

CONCLUSIONS: In addition to an appropriate training, the supplementation with pea protein promoted a greater increase of muscle thickness as compared to Placebo and especially for people starting or returning to a muscular strengthening. Since no difference was obtained between the two protein groups, vegetable pea proteins could be used as an alternative to Whey-based dietary products.


18 December 2015

How a Vegan Diet Motivates You to be Healthy

I've been a vegan for probably one year now. When I started, I remember going on the diet in secret. I was a covert vegan. I didn't tell anyone because I was concerned they might freak out.

I remember finding the vegan diet difficult because I lived with my family and my mother cooks my meals. Furthermore, when I am at work, I was too lazy to cook, so I always ate out at restaurants with coworkers or friends.

Rather than eat out with coworkers, for lunch I would instead purchase vegan food and eat at my desk. Now I make my own sandwich at home and bring it to work. Then I told my mother that I didn't want to eat meat, cheese, and egg. She didn't seem to like this at first, and my dad had a word with me about my behaviour, but I stuck with my position. After all, I wasn't a child but a fully grown adult. If non-vegan food was served to me, I simply didn't eat it, and I could easily blend my own green smoothie if I needed to fill myself up.

I am now mostly vegan. Some animal products probably slip in here and there. Sometimes I am vegetarian when eating out or travelling.

A few days ago, I was at a family gathering. My brother was there. Everyone was surprised at how skinny my brother was. His bones and ribs were showing. My concerned grandmother told my brother he needed to eat more. One family member joked that my brother was even smaller than me, which was surprising to him because I was a vegan.

Supposedly the stereotype of a vegan is that they are skinny and malnourished.

That night, while I was lying in bed, I thought about the incident. Before I was vegan, I often tried to be healthy. I tried to exercise a lot. I tried to eat healthy food. But often I would just fail. It was too tempting to eat hamburgers and bacon, so I would binge on the McDonald's and KFC. I think the reasoning is because I figured that you only live once, so why not enjoy your life eating what you enjoy eating?

However, as soon as turned vegan, I found that the motivation to eat healthy and exercise was rock solid.

My dad used to be a smoker. He'd smoke several packs of cigarettes per day. However, when I was a baby, I accidentally crawled and fell into a cigarette ashtray. There was ash all over my face. My father realized suddenly that if he wanted to set a good example for his children, he needed to quit smoking. How could he recommend his children not smoke when he himself smoked? So he quit completely the next day.

Sometimes when faced with fulfilling a cause greater than himself, a man will act. When it comes to addiction, many of us are happy to feed the addiction, even if it costs us our health, but if it is another being who you're hurting (e.g. your own child through passive smoking) then that is completely different.

The same applies to veganism. When I went on a vegan diet, I knew instantly that I would be judged. If I ended up looking unhealthy, if I ended up looking skinny and malnourished, people will shake their heads and blame the vegan diet regardless of whether the vegan diet was to blame or not. If someone is thinking of cutting down meat, dairy, and eggs, and they see a vegan who is skinny, pale, and malnourished, they will automatically conclude that the vegan diet is unhealthy and they will continue to eat animal products, and hundreds of thousands of extra animals will be slaughtered. Cows will be raped, pigs will be electrocuted, and chicken will be macerated.

If I don't eat healthy and go to the gym, I will become unhealthy, and as a result I will represent veganism badly, people will increase their animal intake, and therefore hundreds of thousands of animals will be slaughtered, and there will be blood on my hands.

This was what motivated me. It's easy to chow down on KFC and McDonald's when it's just your own health at stake, but when your decisions affect the lives of other innocent beings, that is a powerful motivator.

11 December 2015

Oral HPV?

When I went to the dentist last week, I told him that I had ulcers on my gums. They told me to rinse the mouth out with salt water. The ulcers went away but unfortunately they have reappeared on another part of my gums. I am a little bit concerned because maybe I have HPV. I’ve been reading about oral HPV on the internet. I’m really reluctant to go to the doctor because the last time I went (about a month ago) I told him that I thought I had chlamydia because of acne-like spots on my face, and he thought I was completely hypochondriac. He took a blood test and took swabs and urine samples. I was found to be completely clean. Maybe I should go to another doctor, but maybe I should just chill out. Supposedly there is no cure to HPV and even if I have it it is pretty minor, similar to cold sores.

Generalizations - Donald Trump Wants to Ban Muslims

What Donald Trump is doing is just blatant generalisation. Just because there are male criminals, doesn't mean all men are criminals. Just because there are Muslim terrorists, doesn't mean all Muslims are terrorists. There's even a logical fallacy webpage on generalization proving that it is faulty logic: http://www.logicalfallacies.info/presumption/hasty-generalisation/

05 December 2015

What to Do When Someone Gives You A Non-Vegan Gift

I went to the dentist today to clean my teeth. I hated it. At the end of the session, I complimented the girl on how slim she looked and she decided to give me about ten free toothpastes. Flattery gets you far!

Anyway, I didn't want to be rude, so I accepted the gift, but I then wondered if Colgate toothpastes were vegan. I already use a vegan toothpaste that contains no animal products and is not tested on animals.

If I kept the Colgate toothpaste, I would end up using them, which means I buy fewer vegan products.

What I eventually did was give away the toothpaste to a family member. This family member is not vegan in any way. They were very happy to receive the toothpaste. By receiving the toothpaste, it means that they won't need to buy toothpaste for a while, which reduces the demand for animal products.

The moral of the story is that if someone gives you a non-vegan gift, simply give it away to a non-vegan.

Note that after I have given away the toothpaste, I have discovered that most Colgate toothpastes are in fact vegan in that they don't have any animal-derived ingredients. It should be noted that Colgate still tests its products on animals. However, according to Peta's assessment of the Colgate-Palmolive Co, "This company is working toward regulatory changes to reduce the number of animals used for testing. This company DOES test on animals." It is unclear then if Colgate tests on animals because it has to, and if Colgate is lobbying for regulatory change to reduce the amount of animal testing it is required to do by legislation, that is only a good thing. Nevertheless, there are many fully vegan toothpastes out there that not only have zero animal ingredients but also don't test on animals.


26 November 2015

Marmite Has Vitamin B12

I went to the supermarket and purchased Marmite today.


Marmite is fortified with vitamin B12 as well as iron.


It's important that vegans get vitamin B12 from supplements or fortified food because there is no vitamin B12 in plant food.

If taking supplements, aim to take between 100 to 300 micrograms of vitamin B12 per day.

Although plant food can provide vitamin B12 if it has been contaminated with bacteria from soil, plant food nowadays is washed clean thereby removing vitamin B12.

Meat from grass-fed animals contain vitamin B12 as the bacteria that produces vitamin B12 from the dirt on grass is consumed by the animal. However, nowadays livestock is fed with processed grains, and meat from factory farms typically do not have vitamin B12. As such, 90% of vitamin B12 supplements are fed to livestock, not humans.


21 November 2015

Only Passive Income Can Break the Shackles of the 9-to-5

I am trying not to feel any emotion at work. I just need to remember that I am there only to make money. All I need to do is survive. I just need to do what they say. It will only be about five more years and then I think I will retire. My manager doesn’t seem to speak to me much, but this is nothing unusual. He is that sort of person. It doesn’t really bother me that much. If I get no work, I can always find things to do.

I don't want a promotion. It's more effort than it's worth. For the same reason, I won't try to change jobs. Going to interviews and writing up a resume is just too much for me. I will just go to work and avoid trouble. I will move where they move me. I will dedicate the rest of my years in this job trying to risk manage everything. That is, I will imagine every possible way things can go wrong and I will take action to make sure it doesn't happen. That's what everyone else seems to do anyway. There is definitely a risk-averse culture in my workplace.

For about a year now, I’ve been saving up cash because I figure I’d want to buy a house or maybe I’d want to run an online business. However, I’ve found recently that an online business is just hard. I think it’s because I work all full-time and when I’m not working I’m just tired, so it’s difficult. I will keep trying to find a way to make money online, but so far the only thing that has proven itself is investments in ETFs, so this week plowed about $35,000 into ETFs. In particular, I am investing in ETFs that pay very high income. I am going all in on passive income. I see passive income as the only reliable route to freedom, and there is nothing I want more than freedom right now. I have even borrowed money from my margin loan account into order to invest into these ETFs. I am not concerned about borrowing money to invest in ETFs. I figure that I have so much money in my superannuation fund (retirement fund) now that I can afford to carry around debt until I am sixty or whenever I get access to my superannuation. When I do get this superannuation money, it should be over $1 million, which will easily pay the $50k or so worth of margin loan debt I will have.

The bottom line is to keep doing what I’ve always been doing, which is to go to work, to work hard and avoid trouble. I will be thrifty. I have allowed myself to spend my passive income and a little bit of my salary (about 15%), but that is it. It will not be too hard now because I am producing quite a bit of passive income. Over time, as my passive income increases, it will get easier. I really have little to be concerned about. Everything will take care of itself if I follow the system.

If there is anything wrong with me it is that I am too polite, and I will need to be careful I don’t give away my money to others. I must not allow myself to be manipulated. I will need to be strong. I love to talk about investing. It really is my only passion. Of course, talking about money is dangerous.

Anyway, I have a purpose and a system now. I go all in passive income. As time goes by, my passive income rises and my life gets more comfortable. Once it starts getting really comfortable, then after about 2020 I will start to semi-retire, which I suppose will mean I will take longer holidays off from work. I will not be afraid of taking leave with half pay. Maybe by then I will hate my job so much I will just quit. I don’t know. We will see.

How to Stop Annoying People Calling You

For some reason, someone from the Australian Stock Report rang me trying to sell me investment advice. The investment advice costs about $1000 per year, which is a rip off. Anyway, I tried to argue with this guy, but he didn't really address what I said. He just talked about a bunch of unrelated things. I suppose the logical thing for me to do would be to just hang up, but I suppose one of my personality flaws is that I am too polite. He said he was going to call me in a few days.

I have an app on my phone called Truecaller that I used to block his number. This is a great app. The problem is that marketers can easily turn off caller ID thereby making the caller show up as "private number." The Truecaller app has an option to block all private numbers, which I activated for a while.

The only problem is that my mother's phone, when she calls me, shows up as a private number. I've tried very hard to turn this off on my mother's phone, but nothing has worked, so unless I want to block my mother, I need to accept private calls, which means I am vulnerable to spammers and marketers.

What I will do when I receive a private number is simply pick up the phone but say nothing. I will wait for the other person to speak. If it's a voice I recognise, I'll keep talking. If it's a voice I don't recognise, I'll just hang up.

20 November 2015

Linda McCartney Vegetarian Sausages from Woolworths

I was browsing through the local Woolworths one day and noticed vegan sausages on sale. These are made by Linda McCartney and these sausages are suitable for vegans, meaning they have no meat, no dairy, no eggs.

Six sausages cost about $6, so that is about $1 per sausage. This strikes me as expensive, but I'm not too sure what the market price of sausages are given I don't normally buy or eat sausages.


I checked the ingredients and noticed it was mostly made from wheat protein. It is also soy free. The protein percentage at 22% is quite high. As a comparison, chicken is 27% protein.


I had the sausages cooked up with a salad. When I first saw the sausages, I was concerned about how rough the surface of the sausages were. Normally sausages are smooth.


Even since I became vegan, I've never had sausages, so this was a big moment for me! In fact, when I was a meat eater, sausages were my favourite food. If there is anything I hated about meat, it's bone. Fish was the worst because often fish is laced with small bones. I'd have nightmares about getting small bits of bone lodged in my throat and I'd need to get my neck cut open in a hospital to remove the bone. Lamb or beef was usually too hard for my teeth to tear. Chicken was usually dry. Sausages, on the other hand, were uniform and because they were packed with herbs and maybe some other questionable chemicals (such as ammonia and nitrates) they tasted good.


When I tasted the vegan sausages, I was surprised at how good they were. If I were to serve this to most people, I'd be sure most of then would not know that it is meatless.

The texture was very nice. It has a very nice sausage-like taste.



Eating a salad with vegan meat was very nice. I think there is something very satisfying about having something warm (sausages) mixed with something cold (salads).

Most people, in my opinion, do not want animals to suffer. This is why slaughterhouses are hidden. People do not want to look at the atrocities that occur in these factories. However, people often want warm food that is high in calories and meat is the cheapest, tastiest, and most convenient product for that.

However, vegan meat, in my opinion, is now tasty enough that most people would switch if the product were more widely available, if it were marketed better, and if it were cheap enough.

One reason why vegan meat is not cheap is because few of it is sold. For companies to make back their expenses on low quantity sold, they need to raise prices. Vegans should support vegan meat producers because more demand for their product should increase competition, lower prices, and bring vegan meats into the mainstream.

Another problem vegan meat faces is the fact that the meat and dairy industries in many countries are heavily subsidised by governments. A significantly amount of taxpayer money goes towards propping up the meat and dairy industry ($38 billion in America alone). This is a problem that needs to be fixed at the political level. When you vote, think of the animals.

08 November 2015

Debt Seen By Most as Harmless

There has been a study done that shows a correlation between a person's credit score and his or her ability to be in a committed relationship.

I have no idea what my credit score is, but I am fascinated by how many people are obsessed over the number as if their ability to pay a debt is very important.

I believe the reason why so many people believe they must get a good credit score is because they believe that it is inevitable that they will go into debt in their lives, and if they are going to go into debt anyway, why not pay a lower interest rate by having a good credit score?

All this underlines how successful banks are in duping people into believing that they absolutely must go into debt. Most people today see debt as a normal part of living.

I see it different. Debt is a promise by you to pay someone in the future. You are binding or enslaving your future self. It is an act that goes against personal freedom.

Of course, you consent to debt, but think about how you thought and behaved ten or twenty years ago. Chances are it is nothing like how you behave today. As humans we change. When you think about who you are today and who you will be decades into the future, we may as well be talking about completely different people.

The credit score is a measure of how good of a slave you are, how well you can submit and grovel at the feet of the powerful. A high credit score is nothing to be proud of, in my opinion.

Supercharger Emporium

I was feeling hungry for lunch and so decided to try eating at Supercharger in the Emporium food court in Melbourne.

This was the first time I'd been to this place. The menu looked complicated. They presented two pieces of paper. One allowed you to make your own meal. Another piece of paper had four different set meals. However, the set menu was set up in a way that was very unclear. When it was all explained to me, I understood it. I actually thought that the menu was referring to many different meals when really they were just referring to different aspects of each meal (did that make sense?). Have a look at Supercharger's menu at Zomato to see for yourself.

Anyway, for newbies, I recommend you get a set meal. They have names like "immunity" or "strength" depending on what you want the food to do to you. I assume the "immunity" meal makes you immune to sickness.

You pay around $14 and you get a number. After waiting around a bit, you receive a tray usually with three bowls. There is usually a soup, some creamy mixture, and a big main bowl with salads, edamame, noodles, and all sorts of other things that I don't know the name of (luckily I took a photo).

All in all, it was very tasty and definitely very filling! I highly recommend it.


03 November 2015

The Positives of YouTube Brawl Videos

There's a guilty pleasure in watching a brawl on YouTube. Maybe there is something inherent in us humans to pay close attention to conflict.

Nowadays, whenever there is a brawl, people take out their smartphones and start recording, and at first I thought this was a sign that people were so keen to put up videos or pictures on their Facebook or Twitter feeds that they forget to actually do something to stop the fight. However, people suddenly filming brawls may actually be a good thing.

In the old days, fights were like rapes in that it was one person's word against another. Now because many fights are filmed with smartphones, it helps the police and maybe even judges in a courtroom. The cop who recently shot a black man in the back probably would have gotten away with it were it not for him being filmed (not via a smartphone). He is now indicted for murder.

With wearables technology such as Google Glass and the Narrative Clip allowing people to record anything at all times, privacy may be a thing of the past. We must assume that there will always be a camera on us. This can be seen as a negative, but it may also be seen as a positive. It means we will all be accountable for our actions because what we do will be watched by the world. Whether the world will judge us fairly is another issue.

31 October 2015

Avoid the Apple Cult

A co-worker at work today was shopping for an iPhone 6 or iPhone 6s. He was browsing the internet, looking for prices. He was upset by the cost of an iPhone, especially when looking at an iPhone 6s with reasonable internal storage (over 32 GB) and finding it costs more than A$1000.

Of course, there is the option to go on a phone plan, but he pays about $15 per month on calls and data using a pre-paid SIM (I pay around $10 to $15). It's cheaper to simply buy a phone outright rather than go on a phone plan, which locks you in and effectively puts you into debt. A phone plan also obscures you from the true cost of the phone. Rather than see the $1000 cost, you see a $80 per month cost, and you are tempted to think to yourself "I can afford $80 per month!" when really you are just spreading out the cost over time, allowing marketers to take advantage of a human psychological weakness called hyperbolic discounting.

What was interesting was that my friend already had an old iPhone 4 (which was quite slow by now) and he was automatically looking for new iPhones. He didn't even think about other brands. This shows how strong the Apple brand is in people's mind. He was mainly keen on getting a faster phone with a bigger screen.

I hovered over his shoulder and asked him if he was wedded to the Apple brand or whether he was willing to look at other brands. He said that he was certainly not wedded to iPhones and was willing to switch, but he had some uncertainty about transferring data from one operating system to another. In particular he asked about transferring his photos. I told him that if he purchased an Android phone, he'd be using Google Photos. I showed him the website and he seemed reassured.

I also recommended that he buy the Nexus 5X because it is a new phone with fairly good specs but only costs about A$700 or so, which will save him a few hundred dollars. I already have the Nexus 5 (2013) and believe it is a great phone. It is two years old now, but it's still running well. I'm sure the Nexus 5X will be great.

17 October 2015

My Experience Trying to Date a Prostitute

On Monday, after work, I felt tired and lonely again, so I succumbed to temptation and visited a brothel. Three girls were presented to me, and I selected a young girl from Korea named Sarah. She was very pretty, and I fell in love with her when I saw her. She told me she was visiting for one year on a working holiday visa. She asked me if I had a girlfriend or wife, and I told her I didn’t. She asked me why I was single, so I told her I was still looking for the right girl. I then asked her if she wanted to be my girlfriend and she actually said yes.

Anyway, because I felt like we both loved each other, the sex seemed more special and enjoyable. It was like she was my girlfriend. After it was over, we exchanged numbers, and I told her I would message her.

Two days later, I messaged her while I was at work, but she didn’t seem too keen. I asked her if she wanted to see me over the weekend, but she told me she was busy working. I asked about any other days, but she effectively said she was too busy working, so I told her I’d message her later. This kind of bummed me because I figure if she really wanted to see me she would make time for me.

Giving all these excuses suggests she doesn’t really care about me, which I suppose makes sense now that I think about it. She was probably pretending to like me when she was with me because that was part of the service. If this is indeed the case, I don’t have anything against her.

When I speak to people about the topic of intimate relationships with prostitutes, they always say it’s a bad idea because the prostitute only pretends to like you. She doesn’t genuinely care about you. But is this really a bad thing? If I go to a bakery and buy bread, is it a problem that the baker doesn’t love me? No, I just care about the bread.

Some people may say that they want others to love them, which is fine, but I don’t really think it matters that much what others think of you. Many people say that they don't care what others think, and they say this with pride. However, even though many people say they don't care about what others believe, in the context of marriage they typically say they want their wives or girlfriends to love them, and they care greatly about what members of the opposite sex think.

Nine-to-Five Workers Are Free-Range Slaves

Man, I hate my job. It really is painful. The main problem is that I am just bored. I also hate the idea of being tied down to something for the rest of my life. I feel like my whole life is being taken away from me. I thought at first maybe I need to get a new job. Maybe I need to do extra study and start applying for another job, but the more I think about it the more I realize that doing this will only push me deeper into the nine-to-five world that I hate. I need to escape. I know for sure now that my dream is to become a digital nomad. I am happy to work but I want to work from my laptop, and I want to be able to work from anywhere where there is internet connection.

The pain I’ve been suffering at work seems to be ramping up. I seem to be getting more work, but for some reason I just feel really unmotivated. People I work with are also just plain annoying, and the fact that I’m stuck with them makes my life even more difficult.

At work today I was thinking about financial ratios. For example, there is the price-earnings ratio, which is the price of, say, a business divide by its earnings. If someone wants to buy this business, they can quickly assess whether the price it is selling for is worth it.

Another ratio or index I thought about was what I call the “freedom index,” which is the ratio of passive or semi-passive income to "active income." I'm not too sure if "active income" is a real term, but it is the opposite of "passive income," that is, you have to work for active income whereas passive income is income you don't have to work for e.g. a savings account pays you interest without you doing any work.

Suppose currently I earn about $10,000 per year in passive income and I earn $75,000 per year from my job. This means the ratio of passive income to active income is 13% The higher the number, the freer you are. The lower the number, the more you are subject to wage slavery.

The more I think about it, the more I realize that we are not free. At least, most of us are not. Many slaves in the past were confined and exploited like today's cows, chicken, and pigs in CAFOs. However, slaves revolted. As a result of this slave rebellion, most of us think we are free when in fact we are merely free-range slaves. We think we are free, but with the mortgage, car payments, and other debt, we have little room to move.

I need to replace my active income with passive income or at least semi-passive income that can be earned on a laptop so that I can become location independent.

I don't know exactly how I will become a digital nomad, but I know I will need to move gradually. I don't think I can just quit my job tomorrow. I am currently doing further study, but I am thinking of just quitting. I have an exam soon. I'll finish that off and rethink. I feel now that studying is really just a waste of time, so after this exam I might just put further study on hold. I will continue to save up and invest, but I will focus on build up my knowledge of ecommerce. I will slowly transition so that I move away from my nine-to-five and towards a location independent lifestyle.

02 October 2015

High Protein Vegan Hot Chocolate

If you ask the average person on the street about the vegan diet, they will likely believe a vegan or vegetarian diet is deficient in protein. This is not true. Protein deficiency is very low, even among vegans or vegetarians. We require a minimum of 42 grams of protein per day, and vegans and vegetarians on average get 70% more protein than required (1). There should not be too much fuss about protein deficiency when 97% of Americans are deficient in fiber (2) and 98% of Americans are deficient in potassium (3).

That being said, although I don't worry too much about death from protein deficiency, I go to the gym about two or three times a week to lift weights, build muscle, stretch, and cycle. I am keen on preserving my muscles by drinking vegan protein shakes. On a day I go to the gym, I drink protein shakes three times: in the morning, after a workout, and before going to bed. Each serving of protein shake contains about 20 grams of protein.

From what I've read, the need to drink protein at certain times during the day is a myth because the body can efficiently store protein throughout the day (4). If you have enough protein for the day in one sitting, you are fine. You don't need to eat protein in every single meal (although just about all food contains some protein).

That being said, often when I have not gone without food for some time (e.g. in the morning) I can feel a slight ache in my muscles, which I am wildly guessing is my body craving protein after being deprived of food for so long. This is when a protein shake can help.

I don't have too much time to spend on cooking, so I like to keep my food and drinks simple. For a quick dose of protein, I normally just mix protein powder in water and drink it. I often do this in place of breakfast when I need to rush out.

When I am home and have slightly more time on my hands, I have lately been making vegan hot chocolate with protein powder mixed in.


Vegan drinking chocolate powder (I use Du Chocolat or 100% pure cocoa)

Vegan protein powder (I use chocolate-flavoured Earth Protein)

Coconut milk (e.g. Pureharvest Coco Quench Coconut Milk)


Mix half a cup of boiling water and drinking chocolate powder (or pure cocoa) into a mug.

Fill the remaining half of the mug with coconut milk.

Add two teaspoons of protein powder and mix.


It is important that the protein is added after the milk to ensure that protein is added to a warm solution rather than a boiling solution. This helps to mitigate any denaturation of protein due to extreme heat.

The commercial drinking chocolate brand I use contains natural sweeteners including stevia. However, if pure cocoa is used, the hot chocolate will not taste sweet. This is why I recommend using coconut milk rather than rice milk, oat milk, or almond milk. Coconut has a natural sweetness that complements with the cocoa powder to give the hot chocolate a sweet taste.


(1) http://nutritionfacts.org/2015/09/29/where-do-you-get-your-fiber/

(2) http://www.ars.usda.gov/SP2UserFiles/Place/12355000/pdf/0102/usualintaketables2001-02.pdf

(3) http://nutritionfacts.org/video/98-of-american-diets-potassium-deficient/

(4) http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10867039

27 September 2015

Vitamin D2 vs Vitamin D3

Your body will produce vitamin D if your skin is exposed to enough sunlight. However, exposing yourself to too much sunlight may increase the risk of cancer. Because vitamin D is low is most food, supplements are often the answer.

Vitamin D3 can be vegan, for example, if it is derived from lichen. However, usually vitamin D3 is derived from sheep and therefore is not vegan.

Vitamin D2 is always vegan.

There are many people who claim that vitamin D3 is better than vitamin D2.

The study below shows that vitamin D3 is only more effective than vitamin D2 when users take megadoses of more than 50,000 IU at a time. The Vitamin D Council recommends that healthy adults take 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily. At this level, there is no difference in the effectiveness of vitamin D2 and vitamin D3.


22 September 2015

Carbs at Night Make You Fat?

There is a misconception out there that eating carbs at night will make you fat because at night the body typically burns fat, but if you consume carbs, the body will stop burning fat and start burning carbs instead.

The truth is that it doesn't matter whether you eat carbs, protein, or fat. You gain weight if the calories you consume is more than the amount you burn.

Most people burn approximately 2000 calories per day without exercise. For the sake of this example, let's say this equates to roughly 1000 calories burnt at night while you sleep.

If you eat 900 calories before you sleep, you will burn all the 900 calories eaten and then burn 100 calories of stored fat, which will result in weight loss. It doesn't matter whether you ear carbs or fats as they will both be burnt.

However, if you eat 1100 calories before bed, you will gain weight as there is a surplus of 100 calories. If you ate carbs before bed, this 100 calorie surplus will be converted to fat and stored. If you ate fats before bed, the 100 surplus calories of fats will be stored as fat.

20 September 2015

Peace Between Paleo and Vegan Diets

There are many assumptions about the Paleo diet. The biggest is that it is a low-carb diet similar to the Atkins diet. For those who don't know, the Atkins diet consists of eating fatty food such as meat, butter, lard, etc.

The Paleo diet is nothing like this. A Paleo diet instead tries to mimic the diet that our Palaeolithic ancestors ate. It includes not only certified organic grass-fed meat but also vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

Another myth is that the Paleo diet consists of high proportions of meat and is entirely at odds with the vegan diet. However, I don't see this.

Even though our Palaeolithic ancestors did eat meat, there were no KFC restaurants available during the Palaeolithic era where they could conveniently order a bucket of fried chicken. However, fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds were widely and easily available, which meant a true Paleo diet is mostly plant based.

Furthermore, our Paleo ancestors didn't have access during the Palaeolithic era to meat produced from factory farms (CAFO meat). In factory farms, animals are confined and are injected with antibiotics, hormones, and painkillers. To mimic the sort of meat Palaeolithic ancestors ate, a Paleo dieter would either buy certified organic grass-fed meat or consume game meat. Both these meats, in my opinion, are far more sustainable and humane than meat from factory farms.

Furthermore, because game meat takes tremendous effort to prepare and certified organic grass-fed meat is expensive, this high cost helps to moderate the quantity consumed. It is as if there is a meat tax imposed.

The Paleo diet, in my opinion, is similar to a moderate vegan diet and is much more palatable and easier to understand when presented to the public.

There is no war between Paleos and vegans, in my opinion, because the two diets are very similar. A Paleo diet minus the meat and plus vitamin B12 pills equals a vegan diet.

19 September 2015

The Dangers of Overcooked and Undercooked Meat

The most dangerous type of meat is meat from factory farms. This type of meat is often described as coming from confined animal feeding operations (CAFO). Animals in factory farms have high levels of pesticides, hormones, arsenic, and antibiotics (1).

If you do get meat, a major issue comes from cooking meat. Any time you cook meat at high temperatures, whether you’re grilling, frying, or broiling, dangerous chemicals are created (2, 3, 4), for example:

  • heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) are linked to cancer, and

  • advanced glycation end products (AGEs) cause oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

That being said, undercooking meat is also dangerous because cooking destroys bad bacteria (such as E. coli) and worms (such as Trichinellosis) (5, 6).

The bottom line is if you're going to buy meat, it's best to get organic grass-fed meat to avoid antibiotics, hormones, and pesticides. You also need to cook the meat at just the right temperature, not too much that it produces HCAs, PBHs, and AGEs that cause cancer, inflammation, and heart disease, but not too little that bad bacteria and worms may still be present in the meat.

15 September 2015

Can Vegans Make a Difference?

Yes they can.

Although there are many who go vegan to lose weight or get more fiber or antioxidants in their diet, those who are vegan for ethical reasons should see the decision to go vegan as a form of boycott.

I hate to see animals suffering and being slaughtered in factory farms. A boycott is an effective way for the average person to really make a difference in the world.

Boycotts work because money talks.

12 September 2015

Soy-Free Vegan Coffee in the Melbourne CBD

Melbourne is renowned for its coffee. In just about all coffee shops, vegans can pay about 50 cents extra for soymilk rather than dairy milk.

I personally avoid both soymilk and dairy milk as soymilk contains high concentrations of phytoestrogens and dairy milk contains high concentrations of estrone and estradiol, which are cow estrogens. In the study below, men who drank dairy milk regularly suffered from a significant drop in serum testosterone.


As easy way to avoid soy and dairy is to order pure espresso or a long black. A long black is similar to a latte except the espresso coffee is mixed with water rather than milk. The benefit or ordering a long black is you usually get double the amount of espresso coffee, which means double the amount of antioxidants.

The problem with the long black is that the taste of coffee by itself is strong. Another problem is that pure espresso or a long black has virtually zero calories (good for those losing weight but I personally want more calories).

This is when you need to get coffee mixed with a plant-based milk. My personal favourites are coconut milk and almond milk.

For lattes with coconut milk (that is, coconut lattes), I recommend Oli and Levi. There are two Oli and Levi cafes in Melbourne. There is an Oli and Levi on Coromandel Place and an Oli and Levi on Collins Street.

If you are concerned with the cost of coconut milk or the saturated fat content, I recommend almond milk. While just about any brand of coconut milk seems to taste good in coffee, coffee with almond milk only seems to taste good if certain brands are used. Personally I like to go to Little Bean Blue on Little Collins Street. The almond latte that this cafe prepares uses a brand of almond milk that is specially designed for coffee, meaning it tastes smooth and frothy.

05 September 2015

Do Carbs Make You Fat?

bread being cut up with a knife

Do carbs make you fat?

Not necessarily.

You gain weight when you eat more calories than you burn. It doesn't matter whether those calories come from carbs, protein, or fat.

However, most food that are high in carbohydrates (e.g. fruit) tend to have lower calorie densities than fatty foods (e.g. butter, oil, nuts, and meat). Fruits generally are not high in calories.

100g of blueberries has 57 calories.
100g of mango has 60 calories.
100g of banana has 89 calories.
100g of beef has 250 calories.
100g of mixed nuts has 607 calories.
100g of butter has 717 calories.

19 August 2015

Raw C Protein and Cacao

I had this Raw C Protein and Cacao drink after a workout when I didn't have a protein shake on hand. I liked the fact this uses pea protein rather than whey, but even though I shook it before drinking, a large chunk of clumped powder remained in the bottle even after I drank the liquid. I am not sure if I didn't shake it enough or whether this is what happens when you buy a natural and organic product.

03 April 2015

Sony Xperia Z1 Compact vs Nexus 5

I purchased a Sony Xperia Z1 Compact for my girlfriend. I was going to give it to her for her birthday. Unfortunately we broke up, so I decided to just start using the phone rather than use my Nexus 5. It was exciting to return to Sony. I love the appearance of the Z1 Compact. In fact, I love the appearance of all the Z phones from Sony. They look very sleek and elegant. They also look very symmetrical. The biggest problem with the  Z1 Compact is the screen size. Going from a bright and vibrant full HD 1080p five inch screen to an HD 720p 4.3 inch screen is a massive let down. More pixels matter. That being said, the small 720p screen on the Z1 Compact isn't bad. I found typing on a small keyboard to be much harder as well. I also miss stock Android, which just feels better than the Sony skin. These cons are quite small compared to pros of going with Sony. Firstly, I now have microSD support, so I have 16GB internal memory and a 32GB microSD card in there. This means I am not concerned about running out of space. My Nexus 5 only has 16GB internal memory and that is it.

Another advantage of the Sony phone is that it is waterproof. This means there is no fear of dropping it in water or getting rainwater on it.

One issue with the Sony phone is that it has no wireless charging. However, this is not as big a deal as I thought it would be because the battery life on the Sony is spectacular. Today I used the phone quite heavily and even though it is night now is the battery is half full. When I come home from work, the battery is often 75% full. Compare this to my Nexus 5 which would be dead by afternoon. This is why I must always charge the Nexus 5 at work. I have now taken my charger away from work because I am confident that I will not need it. The phone will last the whole day no matter how much I use it.

The reason why Sony's phone lasts so long I think is a combination of the small and low resolution screen as well as Sony's software that turns of apps and data when the phone is turned off. This means that when the phone is off, almost no power is being consumed. Most other phones would consume power even when the phone is on. Stuff would just run in the background.

10 January 2015

The Problem with Paleo: Natural Food is Not Healthy

Friends have been trying to convince me to go on a paleo diet, which effectively is the idea that you should eat natural food that cavemen would normally have eaten. This means you eat things that you may have picked off a plant, e.g. nuts. It also includes minimally cooked grass-fed meat.

The theory is that processed food today is filled with so much crap that we must get back to basics. We must get back to the food that we were designed by evolution to eat, food that is untouched.

The problem with this idea is that this is a fantasy. Clean food untouched by mankind is virtually impossible to find.

The world we live in today is nothing like the world our ancestors lived in. Today our oceans and farmland are all contaminated with heavy metals. There is mercury in your fish and there is arsenic in your vegetables. The meat we eat is highly processed with growth hormones and antibiotics.

As such, processing food can be seen as a good thing because it allows food to be cleaned. It allows the toxic chemicals to be removed.

For example, rather than eat fish and get mercury poisoning, fish oil pills, which are highly processed, are often tested for mercury. Cavemen would not have taken fish oil pills, but I'd rather rely on a fish oil pill for my omega 3 fatty acid than rely on fish. This is because the processing removes toxic mercury.

03 January 2015

Coles Sweetened Almond Milk

I have a strange vegan diet in that when I spend my own money, I tend to buy vegan products. However, if other people offer me meat, I feel it is too rude to turn it down, so I eat it anyway. This issue came up when I was recently at a New Years barbecue that served only meat.

My vegan diet is quite simple. When I eat out, there is usually a vegetarian or vegan option, so I choose that. Today I ate out at an Indian restaurant and had a number of vegetarian options.

The topic of nutritional deficiency is never an issue with me. Even when I was an omnivore I always took a multivitamin pill and fish oil pill at night. I will continue to do this. Once my supplies of multivitamin and fish oil run out, I'll just need to purchase vegan multivitamin and vegan omega 3 pills.

Before I got serious about being a vegan, I went to the gym and found myself trying to get protein from meat, milk, and whey. But now I simply replace all this with a vegan protein powder.

One vegan product I've been drinking is almond milk, which is an excellent replacement for cows milk. I purchase my almond milk from Coles. It tends to cost $2.50 per litre, which is more expensive than cows milk at $1.00 per litre. I buy sweetened almond milk because it tastes better. I know it has added sugar in it, but each glass of almond milk only contains 3 grams of sugar in it compared to cows milk, which contains 9 grams per glass, so sweetened almond milk is already low in sugar. The unsweetened almond milk has less than one gram of sugar per glass and, in my opinion, doesn't taste nice. I figure 3 grams of sugar per glass is worth it.

I have tried the Coles brand rice milk, which is cheaper at $2 per litre. However, rice milk has a sugar content similar to that of cows milk. Rice milk also doesn't taste nice.

Soy milk is even cheaper than rice milk, around $1.50 per litre, but soy does not taste as good as almonds, and soy is a very controversial plant that is thought to disrupt hormones. The science on this is very fuzzy. There are thousands of medical studies that show soy is harmful, but there are also thousands of medical studies that show soy is harmless. It is sad that science is not free from corruption, but we need to do the best we can in this imperfect world. I drink soy milk whenever I order a coffee, but otherwise I avoid it.