Ryel Kestano

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About Ryel Kestano

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  • Website URL http://www.ecodater.com
  1. How to Be a Healthy Vegetarian

    Photo credit: woodleywonderworks While certainly a topic of perennial and vehement debate, most nutritionists and studies agree that the human consumption of animal meat is part of a balanced diet. The proteins found in animal meat and fat contain all the essential amino acids the body needs to grow, and are often more easily assimilated by the body than proteins found in a vegetarian diet. Dr Weston Price, a leading researcher of traditional diets who conducted vast studies of indigenous tribes in the 1930s, found that animal meat and fat was the singular most important dietary component among the tribes he studied, inhabiting all extremes of conditions, from the coldest to the warmest regions on earth. However, it is absolutely possible to obtain all the necessary nutritional elements the body needs from a vegetarian diet. The problem is that many people choose to become vegetarians without spending time studying how to be a healthy vegetarian. Because it is harder to obtain all the necessary vitamins, minerals and proteins the body needs from a non-meat diet, it is important that vegetarians have a strong grasp of the right foods they must eat, as well as the quantity and combination of foods, in order to maintain a healthy, balanced nutritional composition. Healthy vegetarians make a daily effort to monitor their nutritional intake, particularly in regard to certain vitamins that are more easily found in animal meat, most notably Vitamin A, Vitamin D, Calcium, Zinc, Riboflavin, Iron and especially Vitamin B-12. The right combination of foods is required so that the vitamins are activated and ingested in the right amounts. From a Chinese medicine perspective, which highly values a nutritional balance among foods that fall across the dietary spectrum, this article is invaluable in learning to become a healthy vegetarian. For a more Western perspective, read this article from the Mayo Clinic, or this excellent list of vegetarian nutrition resources from the Vegetarian Resource Group.
  2. Photo credit: geoftheref New Zealand has long been associated with the eco-travel movement, having implemented a number of eco-friendly practices in their tourist industry over the course of many years. Just about any outdoor activity can be enjoyed in an eco-friendly manner, from whale watching and bird watching to trekking, biking, and caving. There are hundreds of New Zealand guide and outfitting companies that specialize in eco-tourism; most of them care deeply about sustaining their local habitats and work with both local and national conservation organizations to promote sustainability. Black Cat Cruises, an established marine tourism guide company in Lyttelton and Akaroa, is a great example of how conscientious many New Zealand guide companies can be. They use new and efficient engines and energy efficient lighting for their fleet, plan routes that travel the least distance, train all their staff in environmental awareness, and employ locals to reduce commuting times (among a host of other eco-friendly steps that can be found here). New Zealand is renowned for its organic farming industry, with established internship programs for tourists who want to stay awhile and really get to know the local culture. Willing Workers On Organic Farms (WWOOF) is the largest and most established network of organic farming opportunities in New Zealand with hundreds of listings to choose from. The indigenous Maori culture set the tone for properly living within the means of the land many hundreds of years ago and provide a unique opportunity for eco-tourists to see how these practices have influenced New Zealand culture as a whole. Respect Nature Tours is one outfitter that works closely with Maori by hiring them as guides, using Maori-run accommodations and supporting local Maori preservation programs. Tourists can educate themselves on the best eco-friendly programs and outfitters by checking out sites like EcoTours New Zealand and the New Zealand Tourism Guide.