Archive for the ‘Malaysian vegetarian’ tag
“Since 1986, 82% people who have gone on plant-based diet, no dairy, no meat of any kind, no chicken, no turkey, eat very little fish, have begun to heal themselves. Their arterial blockage cleans up, the calcium deposit around their heart breaks up.” ~BILL CLINTON
Since Bill Clinton blew everyone away today,
I cannot NOT share this
Please don’t give me heart time about not eating meat anymore (6 years this October, woo hoo!),
I did it to live longer
I am healthy, compassionate and prosperous as I only allow clean, cruelty-free and organic food to build every fibre in my being.
Since I shared my interview with Natural Health mag, I have been showered with these questions:
- What’s wrong with eating meat?
- What is organic diet?
- I also want to not fall sick in years! How do I start?
This entry is strictly for those who asked..
And those who wish to initiate change in your body, our community and this country.
What’s wrong with eating meat?
Before you start with me on ‘eating meat is not a sin / haram in Islam’, let me just stop you there. In the Islam I know and believe in, NOT eating meat is also NOT a sin in Islam if you avoid eating them to live longer.
Forget about (if you have the heart to ) animal suffering and that worldwide livestock farming generates 18% of planet’s carbon footprint (by comparison – ALL the world’s cars + trains + plaves and boats account to a combined of 13% of gas emissions),
..meat is simply:
(summarized from What’s Wrong With Eating Meat book)
1. Full of chemicals
Animals that you eat, eat at fields that are treated with poisonous chemical (pestisides and fertilisers). When you eat meat, you consume higher concentration of chemicals that accumulated during the animal’s lifetime.
2. Full of diseases
To produce meat at highest profit, animals are force-fed, injected with hormones to stimulate growth, given stimulants, antibiotics and sedatives that cause cancer. Animals with undetected tumours and cancers will pass them to their meat-eaters. That simple.
3. Full of decay
Meat passes very slowly in human digestive system, it takes at least 5 days to pass out of human body as opposed to vegetarian food which only takes 24 to 36 hours maximum. During this time, decaying meat are in constant contact with the digestive organs and the habit of eating animal flesh in its state of decomposition creates a poisonous state in the colon and wears out human’s sensitive intestinal tract prematurely.
4. Full of bacteria
Beef, poultry, lamb and pork, even when untainted with disease, contain massive amounts of saturated fats and cholestrol that fasten clogging of arteries, hospitals and cemetaries worldwide. That is why all studies proved that meat-eaters live shorter lives.
5. Main cause of cancer, heart disease, hypertension, obesity, gallstones, kidney disease, gout, arthritis, constipation, diabetes, ulcers..
I could go on if you want.
What are ‘bad’ foods?
Bad foods are chemical-laden food with additives and preservatives (MSG, colourings, bulking agents, hormones, etc) to mimic natural flavours, to colour food to make them look more ‘natural’ or ‘fresh’ and to preserve foods for longer shelf life.
Why manufacturers make ‘bad’ food anyway?
(summarized from Avoid Chemical In Your Food book)
Manufactured ingredients are cheaper that natural ones so synthetic foods generate more profits from natural foods. Fruit flavourings are cheaper than real fruits, most artificial sweeteners are cheaper than real sugar.
2. Product life
Preservatives and antioxidants are used to prevent product decaying in the natural way (this is important to retailers and possibly consumers who may expect the products to last an unrealistic length of time).
3. Physical stability
- Emulsifiers are used to stop ingredients from clumping
- Anti-caking agents ensure lump-free powders
- Bulking-agents add to product weight without increasing nutritional value
Products may be dyed, coloured or glazed to fulfill visual demands and expectations of certain consumers.
Flavourings are used to provide a taste corresponding to product’s description when food ingredients cannot provide it sufficiently.
6. Convenience factors
Certain so called ‘convenience foods’ require additives to allow for their method of preparation (includes products to which hot water is added to serve and products that are to be heated in microwave ovens).
All the books I referred to above are available at Justlife (my favourite local organic, vegan / vegetarian and fair-trade shop) nationwide
What are organic foods?
Organic foods are foods that are produced using methods that do not involve modern synthetic inputs such as synthetic pesticides and chemical fertilizers, do not contain genetically modified organisms, and are not processed using irradiation, industrial solvents, or chemical food additives.
Organic VS ‘Natural’
(From Nature’s Path)
While both ‘natural’ & ‘organic’ mean no artificial flavours, colours or preservatives, only certified organic foods guarantee no fertilizers, toxic pesticides, irradiation, GMOs and hormones were used.
What’s in my kitchen / fridge?
What I ban in my kitchen / fridge
1. Any products with MSG (‘perencah nasi goreng’, Ajinomoto and the likes)
2. Any form of poultry, meat and shellfish
3. Instant food (instant noodle, instant porridge, instant pizza)
4. Carbonated drinks
5. Usage of microwave
6. Usage of Teflon / non-stick pans
7. Plastic containers / water bottles especially to store leftover food (generic / brand name: Tupperware. Now you know why I just don’t get advertorials anymore)
8. ‘Vegetable’ cooking oil
Hey, you asked!
Love and long life to all beings everywhere.
Interview: “I don’t know if it’s the daily yoga practice that I do or my vegetarian diet but, I hardly fall sick anymore. I really can’t remember the last time I caught fever or the flu bug, not in the last two or three years.” ~NINIE AHMAD
In celebration of International Vegetarian Week,
October 1 – 7, 2011
NINIE AHMAD-FORGET, 28
Yoga Teacher & Founder of Upward, Saujana Resort
How long have you been a vegetarian?
Almost 4 years now (since November 2007).
Your reason for becoming a vegetarian?
I have always inspired to be a vegetarian since many of my yoga teacher friends and
inspirations are vegetarians and they always carry a different persona and energy
- more calm, collected and compassionate. During Malaysia’s Yoga Conference in
November 2007, I was given the opportunity to interview one of the biggest living
yoga legends in the world – Sri Dharma Mittra on the topic “What makes a good
yoga teacher?” He held my shoulders, looked at me in the eyes and said “You have
to stop killing animals.” He didn’t even know I was a yoga teacher (I interviewed him
as a writer) neither was I a vegetarian at that time!
Everything he said during the interview made perfect sense and I stayed up all
night reading and Googling about vegetarianism and instantly get turned off eating
meat after knowing how the food got in my plate. Not to mention, most living yoga
teachers in their 90’s (and they look no older than 50) say that, the secret to living
longer, looking younger is, stand on your head for an hour a day and to not let
your body be the cemetery for dead animals.
I have not eaten meat nor poultry ever since. Since a year ago, I also don’t wear
leather handbags and footwear anymore.
The benefit you’ve gained since becoming a vegetarian?
I don’t know if it’s the daily yoga practice that I do or my vegetarian diet but, I
hardly fall sick anymore. I really can’t remember the last time I caught fever or the flu
bug, not in the last two or three years. I’d like to believe it is both yoga and by not
consuming animals’ suffering anymore. And believe it or not, just a couple of weeks
after stopping eating meat, I was suddenly able to do super complicated yoga poses
that I never thought I could do with this body in this lifetime!
Was it difficult being a vegetarian when many people around you are not?
People would be surprised that it is not that difficult. Most restaurants in KL now
have vegetarian options or I just opt for a bowl of hearty green salad anyway. Since
I prepare most of my meals for myself and my husband at home (as that’s the only
way I can ensure my meals are not only vegetarian but also, clean, free from cruelty
and prepared with love), it is not that difficult. Whenever I have guests over, they
usually forget that they are not eating meat. With creativity (and Asian spices!), I am
lucky vegetarian food can taste just as good!
Some say that vegetarian diet may lack protein and important nutrients..
I always make sure my big meals (breakfast and lunch) would consist of lots of beans
and grains. I also love hazelnut milk which is way more nutritious (and delicious!)
than cow milk. And do you know that Brad Pitt, Christian Bale and Brandon Boyd (of
Incubus) are all vegetarians?
Many meat eaters say that vegetarians are not active and weak..
I practice Ashtanga yoga which is the most physical form of yoga and vegetarianism
is one of the fundamentals in Ashtanga practice and lifestyle. Most Ashtanga
practitioners (Asthtangis) have the strongest and fittest looking body and they are
the last people on earth to be called inactive and weak as they can stand on their
hands, tuck their legs behind their head, can light up a room with their Ujjaiyi breaths
yet staying so humble about it, compared to most bulky meat-eaters who can be
compared to crabs – hard shell on the outside but empty on the inside. And again,
which part of Brad Pitt screams not-strong?
Many also say becoming vegetarian is expensive..
It can be expensive as when we choose to only consume good food in our body, we
also tend to be aware on investing not only in vegetarian food but also, unprocessed,
organic and macrobiotic. I always say, what’s grocery bill now compared to hospital
bills later. It is a little costly as the demand is not big in our community (compared
to in North America) but I believe as handsome as a plate of organic Greek salad is
nowhere close to how expensive a plate of Foie Gras or Wagyu steak can be.
Will you encourage your friends and family members to become vegetarians?
I am lucky that my husband is also into vegetarianism, organic, macrobiotic and raw
food movement (and he does yoga everyday too!). I have never and will never force
my close friends and family members but I aspire to inspire them by leading a good
example of living a happy, healthy and cruelty-free lifestyle. So one day when I’m 50
but looking 25, I can finally say – do lots of yoga and don’t eat meat!
From NATURAL HEALTH magazine, October 2011
Available at Borders and major newsstands
Yoga instructor Ninie Ahmad offers eating tips to stay healthy and trim
by Anansa Jacob
Have you ever given a thought to what it means to have a balanced breakfast? That is, if at all you take time out to have breakfast. Quite a number of people skip breakfast entirely, either because of time constraints, or because they do not think it is important.
For celebrity yoga instructor Ninie Ahmad, the idea of skipping breakfast is a cardinal sin. Although not a trained nutritionist, the vegetarian has read up a lot about nutrition and healthy living, and firmly believes that we are what we eat.
“I read this saying once: ‘Eat breakfast like a king, eat lunch like a prince and eat dinner like a pauper’,” she said. “It means that we should eat the most at the start of the day, (so) we’ll have the energy to work or be active. At night, we should eat less as our bodies will soon be resting.”
Ninie met us for breakfast at the Pappa Rich restaurant at The Gardens, Kuala Lumpur. On the menu was a selection of Pappa Rich favourites, all traditional Malaysian breakfast dishes.
We had Pappa curry laksa special with foo chok, Pappa char kuey teow, Ipoh kuey teow soup with steamed chicken, chicken porridge, otak-otak, roti bakar and roti stim with butter and kaya, half-boiled eggs and Pappa nasi lemak.
“Someone once asked me if it was healthy to eat nasi lemak, because I was seen having it every morning for breakfast,” she said. “To me, it depends on what you have with the nasi lemak. A simple one, with just boiled egg and sambal is actually okay.
“Nasi lemak is okay for me because I know I’m going to be using up all those calories throughout the day.”
She also thinks people should choose their breakfast meals carefully. “For instance, nasi lemak is a healthier choice than roti canai, because of all the bad oil in roti canai. But I sometimes crave for roti canai, so I do eat it occasionally.”
She explained that a craving is a sign that our bodies lack certain nutrients, “but if you have roti canai every morning, then that’s not a craving!”
She also pointed out the various positive aspects of the other dishes in the restaurant’s breakfast menu.
Half-boiled eggs are a good protein boost, as is otak-otak. The little bit of santan in the laksa is balanced out by the vegetables. As for the only ‘risky’ dish, char kuey teow, Ninie emphasised that moderation is the way to go.
“I’m not saying you should cut it out altogether, just that you need to have it rarely, or in small portions.”
Eating moderately spicy food for breakfast is also a good thing. “Spicy food helps raise our metabolic rate, which also contributes to weight loss,” Ninie said.
She also pointed out that Pappa Rich, which is one of her favourite places to have breakfast, also carries a range of vegetarian pau, ideal for vegetarians like her. “It’s also a healthier option for those who want to watch their diets.”
As much as possible, she tries to prepare her meals at home. She usually has organic cereals or pancakes for breakfast as they are easy to prepare.
“I normally make nasi lemak if I have a long Sunday ahead of me,” she added.
At the very least, she makes sure to have a blended fruit juice to get a burst of vitamins and fibre in the morning.
Ninie also stressed that the best breakfast is a simple, homecooked meal with a balanced list of ingredients.
“Everyone should make the effort to not only make sure to have breakfast, but to make it a healthy one.
“After all, it’s better to take care of our health now than later when we get ill from eating unhealthy food.”
My Petrovsky was more ecstatic than me – to see many many many carts of Halal food on the streets of Manhattan and kept throwing remarks such as, “Finally sayang, there’s something (Halal food) for you to eat here!”, forgetting he’s been feeding me until I gained like 20 pounds, right (I sound much heavier in pound)!
only to get “But it’s kind of oxymoron No, baby? I don’t eat meat let alone kebabs and sausages, duh!” from me.
. . . . . .
So hurrah to a city where I can get healthy snacks, veggie burgers & organic food anywhere!
I came across this very interesting article on The Star today that explains almost every reason I gave up meat and chicken a couple of years ago: health, ethical issues and environment beyond anything else.
Everytime I tried to share the benefits of giving up meat in my previous blog at The Yoga Instructor Diaries, my comment boxes got bombarded by shallow remarks of “Islam doesn’t ban eating meat, why are you making a big fuss out of it?”. For me, it’s as simple as ‘bad food’ like junk food and carbonated drinks; they are not Haram per se but I know it’s not good for me and by not consuming it, I know I will live longer and healthier – it is not rocket science and I live just fine so why not?
For those who still have no idea on the list of diseases meat contributes to human digestive system and how consuming meat shortens the lifespan of our tired mother Earth, read this.
By ALLAN KOAY
WHY is eating meat like driving a car? This may sound like the start of a joke, but it really isn’t. Consider this fact from the British Government’s Climate Change Programme 2006: If everyone in Britain were to abstain from meat one day a week over a year, this would save 13 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. The carbon savings would be greater than taking five million cars off the road.Malaysian Meatless Day campaign chairman Pishu Murli Hassaram: ‘A lot of people come up to me and say: I’m eating less meat now.’We’ve always known that eating meat has impacts on our health, but few of us know that the consequences extend to our environment as well. According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, livestock farming contributes significantly to the major environmental problems we face today. Think about this: a European cow emitting a year’s worth of methane is comparable to a family-size car travelling 70,000km. Cow and pig waste worldwide weighs 5.5 billion tonnes annually. The gas from that and from the millions of tonnes of fertilisers used in the Amazon to grow animal feed, called nitrous oxide, is a greenhouse gas 295 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
All that, plus the fact that land is being deforested for livestock pasture, and you have more than enough reason to go vegetarian. But no, it doesn’t mean you should drop meat from your diet right away. The World Meatless Day campaign aims to get as many people as possible to go meatless for just one day, on Nov 25.
When the International Meatless/Animal Rights Day was started in 1986 by the Sadhu Vaswani Mission in Pune, India, it was borne more out of compassion for living beings and a view towards world peace than anything else. The social service organisation then chose Nov 25 because it was also Sadhu T.L. Vaswani’s birthday.
According to Malaysian Meatless Day campaign chairman Pishu Murli Hassaram, Sadhu Vaswani was a spiritual thinker, philosopher and educationist who also fought for animal rights and vegetarianism, so his devotees decided to celebrate his birthday by abstaining from meat.
As things progressed, they set up a new organisation called Stop All Killing which is the organisation driving the campaign now.
“Reverence for life is the first step towards world peace,” says Penang-based Pishu. “If you respect life, you create an environment where people respect all living things. When you respect all living things, you will have less wars and murders.”
Pishu stresses that the campaign is non-religious and is based more on ethical principles. It is aimed at creating awareness about the cruelties committed against animals, and creating a world of non-violence.
A vegetarian diet also has its bonuses; numerous studies have shown that vegetarians live healthier and longer, and have lower rates of cancer, heart diseases, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, kidney stones and gall stones. Some even argue that humans are not meat-eaters because of our physical features, such as our flat nails and the absence of incisors. Humans also have carbohydrate digestive enzymes in our saliva, which carnivores and omnivores don’t have. Also, our long intestines are designed for a high-fibre diet and ill-equipped for meat digestion.
“We have been conditioned to believe that we cannot survive without meat,” says Pishu. “Using environmental issues to ask people to eat more vegetables would be more effective. When you tell someone to cut down on meat for his health, he would discount it. It’s like how people will smoke even if you tell them it’s bad for them.”
Pishu observes that there is a growing understanding on how meat-eating contributes to pollution and environmental destruction. “There is a town in Belgium called Ghent that goes meatless every Thursday. The whole town takes part. There is a very strong movement now to start Meatless Monday (such a campaign was recently launched in Sao Paulo, Brazil). In Europe, the trend towards a vegetarian diet has increased tremendously.
“The main drivers were not the vegetarians,” says Pishu. “It was the non-vegetarians who wanted to have a change. Sometimes people don’t want to eat meat seven days a week. It’s a growing trend which we want not only the public to know about, but also the food industry.”
But today, in organic farming and biodynamics, there is a growing awareness not just of keeping our food free from chemicals, but also of viewing a farm as a complete living organism consisting of the land, plants and animals. Therefore, shouldn’t a vegetarian diet also mean a chemical-free production that does not damage the land?
“That’s the final destination but, for me, it is sufficient to get people on the road first,” says Pishu. “Once people are on it, that ideal will eventually happen.”
The Malaysian Meatless Day campaign started in 1996, with 800 pledges. Last year, it received 8,563 pledges. The most successful campaign to date is in Indonesia, with about 35,000 pledges.
In Penang, just like in previous years, there will be a charity carnival on the third Sunday in November as part of the promotion of Meatless Day. “Over the years, Meatless Day in the Penang region has become iconic,” said Pishu. “A lot of people come up to me and say, ‘I’m eating less meat now.’ The ethical part of going meatless is a very personal issue, but the environment problems are very important, and they have reached a very critical stage, such that we have to do more,” Pishu adds.
Although I personally don’t see how giving up meat just one day a year is going to be enough to help save the environment, but at least that ONE DAY WITHOUT will give you an idea of how you would still live without eating meat and how good you’d feel the day after.
DO YOU KNOW THAT?
- Because of its complexity, meat and its kind have to rot in our stomach first before they can be digested?
- Energy consumed for A PIECE of meat, lamb or pork to arrive to your plate is enough to light 100 watt lightbulb for three weeks?
- (from documentary film ‘Meat The Truth’) A kilogram of meat contributes 36.4 kilogram of CO2 and emission of CO2 from A COW for a year is equal to energy consumed to move your car for 70,000 km? Livestock farming generates more greenhouse gas emission worldwide than all cars, lorries, trains, boats and planes added together!
- If you don’t eat meat JUST FOR A SINGLE MEAL in a day, you save 7.6 times more and faster than your house’s energy consumption in one year?
Look at most yoga instructors, today’s biggest rockstars and Hollywood actors that are vegetarians: Chris Martin (Coldplay), Thom Yorke (Radiohead), Brandon Boyd (Incubus), Jack Johnson, Brad Pitt, Johnny Depp, Christian Bale, Avril Lavigne, Alanis Morissette, Christy Turlington, Pamela Anderson – they still look good if not better than most other celebrities without eating meat and their bodies are not graveyards for dead animals.
For more reasons and evidence,
- Famous Celebrity Vegetarians, Are You Next?
- Kentucky Fried Cruelty
- Vegetarians Have Better Sex
- Why Red Meat, Cow Milk and Low-Fiber Diet Are Bad For You
- Why You Should Turn Vegetarian (too)
- Would You Still Have The Heart To Eat Meat After Watching This? (sadly this clip has been removed due to evident violence towards animals)
Just imagine the whole process of bringing that piece of steak to your plate and tell me if you are still confident that no cruelty done whatsoever at all during the process.
Love and blessed lives to all living beings.