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Why switch to a plant-based diet?

A woman drinking a Jake shake after her run

Why switch to a plant-based diet?

As vegetarian diets have become increasingly popular, a vegan diet has also gained much more recognition as a healthy and potentially therapeutic food choice. The number of people who eat vegan every day has been set at 1.5%. With a population size of 17.4 million, there are 261,000 people. This figure is more than 110,000 higher than previous estimates.

What is a plant-based diet?

A vegan diet means that you only eat foods that come from plants. Those who diet avoid all animal products, including meat, dairy products and eggs. Some people also don’t eat honey. For some, being vegan is a food choice, while for others it is a lifestyle choice.
Vegan diets usually contain a lot of fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and seeds. Eating a variety of these foods provides a wide variety of important vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and proteins.

However, people following this diet must ensure that they are getting important nutrients that humans usually consume in animal products. These nutrients include iron, protein, calcium, vitamin b12 and vitamin D.

Vegan diets usually contain more dietary fiber, magnesium, folic acid, vitamins C and E, iron and phytochemicals, and often these diets are lower in calories, saturated fat, cholesterol, omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, calcium, zinc and vitamin B12. Vegans generally have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and some cancers. A vegan diet appears to be more useful for increasing the intake of protective nutrients and phytochemicals and for minimizing the nutritional factors involved in various chronic diseases.

Health benefits

Vegan diets can provide all the nutrients you need. In addition, they can eliminate some of the potential risks that several studies have associated with negative effects of animal fats. Research has linked the vegan diet to a range of health benefits.

Better heart health

Vegan diets can improve heart health in several ways. In 2019 a large-scale study has linked a higher intake of plant foods and a lower intake of animal foods with a reduced risk of heart disease and death in adults. Animal products, including meat, cheese and butter, are the main dietary sources of saturated fats. According to the American Heart Association (AHA), eating foods containing these fats increases cholesterol levels. High cholesterol increases the risk of heart disease and strokes. Plant foods also contain much more fiber, which the AHA has linked to better heart health. Animal products contain little or no fiber. The main sources of fiber are vegetables and grains. In addition, people on a vegan diet often consume fewer calories than people on a standard Western diet. Moderate calorie intake can lead to a lower body mass index (BMI) and a reduced risk of obesity, a major factor in heart disease.

Lower risk of cancer

According to a 2017 review article, eating a vegan diet can reduce the risk of cancer by 15%. This health benefit may be due to the fact that plant foods are rich in fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals (more biologically active compounds in plants that can protect against cancer). Research on the effects of diet on the risk of specific cancers has produced mixed results. The International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that red meat is “likely to be carcinogenic,” but notes that the research has linked this mainly to colon cancer, but also prostate and pancreatic cancer.

Weight loss

People who follow a vegan diet tend to have a lower body mass index (BMI) than people who follow other diets. The researchers behind a 2015 study reported that vegan diets were more effective for weight loss than omnivores, and semi-vegan diets. In addition, they turned out to be better at delivering the macronutrients. Many animal foods are high in fat and calories, so replacing these with low-calorie plant foods can help people manage their weight. However, it is important to note that eating a lot of processed or high-fat plant foods, which some people call a vegan junk food diet, can lead to unhealthy weight gain.

Lower risk of type 2 diabetes

According to a large review article from 2019, following a plant-based diet can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The research linked this effect to eating healthy plant foods, including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and legumes.

Environmental benefits

A global shift to diets less dependent on meat and more on fruits and vegetables could save up to 8 million lives by 2050, cut greenhouse gas emissions by two-thirds and lead to health care savings, Oxford researchers write. Imbalanced diets, such as diets low in fruits and vegetables, and high in red and processed meat, are responsible for the greatest health burden worldwide and are also responsible for more than a quarter of all greenhouse gas emissions.

The environmental impacts were assessed by the researchers using four different nutritional scenarios conceived for the year 2050: a ‘business as usual’ scenario based on predictions of future diets, a scenario based on global dietary guidelines with minimal amounts of fruits and vegetables, and limits for the amount of red meat, sugar and total calories, and vegetarian and vegan scenarios that both meet the dietary guidelines.

They found that adopting diets in accordance with global dietary guidelines could prevent 5.1 million deaths per year by 2050. Even greater benefits would come from vegetarian diets (avoiding 7.3 million deaths) and vegan diets (avoiding 8.1 million deaths). About half of the deaths avoided were due to a reduction in red meat consumption, the other half to a combination of increased fruit and vegetable intake and a reduction in calories, resulting in fewer overweight or obese people.
The study predicts that by 2050, the food-related exclusion of greenhouse gases could make up half of the emissions the world can afford if global warming is limited to less than 2 ° C. Adopting the global dietary guidelines would reduce food-related emissions by 29%, vegetarian diets by 63% and vegan diets by 70%.

Why switch to a plant-based diet?

Several studies show a variety of health benefits for our body. In addition, it can also help a lot in maintaining your current weight or losing weight if you want to. In addition to health effects, a vegan diet also has a very positive effect on the environment. Read more about how meal replacements can help in your diet

Eating vegetables doesn’t have to be difficult, many essential nutrients can be found in vegetables, whole grains and vegetable oils. Do you find it very difficult to prepare nutritious vegan meals? Or you just don’t want to put a lot of effort into it? All Jake products are completely plant-based and can therefore be consumed without feeling guilty about the current status of the climate. In addition, you can be sure that you will always receive a complete meal.

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Your true health, how’s yours and what could you do about it?

Your true health, how's yours and what could you do about it?

Your true health is not determined by how you feel. You can feel mighty fine while deadly diseases are just around the corner. Think about a high blood pressure or deviating cholesterol values. Neither have real physical complications but can be precursors of deadly illnesses (diabetes, heart issues, cancer, etc.). In order to measure the true health of your body objectively you can use the ‘metabolic health scale’ made by the WHO (World Health Organisation). This scale uses five measurable characteristics: blood pressure, waist circumference, fasting glucose levels and cholesterol values in your blood (glucose, HDL and TG). Is one of 5 diverging from the standard? This makes you metabolically unhealthy. Are three of 5 diverging from the standard? This means you have a metabolic syndrome. 75% of the people in the world, who are older than 40 years of age, are classified as metabolically unhealthy and this’ll only get worse when they get older!

So, what’s the cause of our deteriorating metabolic health? It seems that both our nutrition and our intensity of daily exercise are the bad guys in this story. In our nutrition it’s mostly the overload in carbohydrates and cheap plant-based oils that contain way too many omega-6’s. If you’d ban the carbohydrates, such as sugars, bread, pasta, rice, potatoes and even some fruits – and you’d also ban the cheap plant-based oils, such as sunflower oil, corn oil, peanut oil, etc., from your life and you increase your exercise (in particular: muscle growth), than your metabolic state will soon see better figures.

Changing your food pattern isn’t easy. The best thing would be to completely switch your energy/fuel source of your body. This means switching from a carbohydrate-dependant burn to a full on fats based burn. This fat burning will produce ketones as fuel. When your body is fully powered by ketones, you reach ketosis. Hence the name Keto, for Jake their Keto-shake. This refers to the state of your body when you are in full fat burning mode!

Yes, you can leave your potatoes or replace them with broccoli-rice or mushrooms. However, the trickiest part will be replacing your breakfast, lunch and snacks in between. How do you find tasty products that are low in carbs and have the right omega 3 to 6 ratio? I recommend Jake to all my clients and patients. Their vegan shakes contain very little carbohydrates but still have a solid amount of calories. So the shake contains a lot of energy, delivered through MCT-oils (among others). MCT, or Medium Chain Triglycerides, are a special form of fats that can be immediately used as energy, in contrary to most fats. It can even beat sugar when it comes to the time it needs to be processed by the body. Besides that, the omega 3 and 6 ratio is far beneath the maximum value of 1 to 4 (the ratio in these shakes is currently even 1 to 0,3). And you have a nature-friendly, tasty shake that gives you energy super quickly – without a lot of carbs and unhealthy fats.

Did we awaken your curiosity? Than perhaps a Keto lifestyle could be the solution for you. Discover more about the Keto shakes by Jake to help you get started.

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My personal KETO experiences

My personal KETO experiences

The last 10 years of my life I have devoted my free time to exploring nutrition, lifestyles and its correlation to my weight, energy levels and general wellbeing. It’s a neat process of reading scientific studies, experimenting in the kitchen and slowly but surely discovering nutrition and lifestyles that match my liking. I’ve been eating low carb for about 5 years now and used to eat Jake Light for lunch, as a low carb basis. Then, after a handful of meetings with medical specialists who had developed a lifestyle programme, Keto came back on my radar. I’ve read about this more often, but had never gone in depth with the matter. When 2020 began, I told myself to start the ‘experiment’, under supervision of these medical specialists in order to make a solid and healthy start. To lose weight? No, that wasn’t necessary. I just wanted to experience this Keto diet/lifestyle, and was curious to discover the physical effects: would I maintain muscle mass, would I have sustainable energy sources, etcetera.

March 2020, Good timing

My plan for March 2020 was to switch from a low carb diet, to a Keto diet. This happened to align with the first lockdown in the Netherlands, due to Covid-19. A blessing in disguise. It suddenly became a lot easier to maintain a strict diet, without having to resist pastry at work, another business drink or any other tough health choice. When talking about a healthy to unhealthy ratio, I generally aim for 80 – 20. However, to reach full ketosis and to experience it fully, my body had to follow these strict rules for quite some time.

The hidden carbohydrates

According to the Ketogenic diet (I prefer calling it lifestyle), you need less than 50 gr carbohydrates per day, in order to maintain Ketosis. Ketosis is a metabolic state where the body mainly uses ketones as fuel instead of glucose (blood sugar). More on the background and the basic principles of Keto, here. In order to reach full ketosis, I had set my goal on eating less than 30 gr carbohydrates per day for the next 2 months. That’s a lot of micro managing and to help myself out, I’ve used a few apps. You could for example use FatSecret or MyFitnesspal to keep track of what you eat. Partly using data from the apps, but also adding extra own products, based on the lab-sheets with nutritional values. I noticed that with a lot of products, the apps don’t have their macros right.

It was quite the puzzle in the first few weeks. A lot of vegetables happened to have hidden carbs (netto carbs, after deducting the dietary fibres). I had to cut down on carrots, beets, pumpkin, etc. And yes, Jake was very convenient with my busy lifestyle. I love cooking food and do enjoy it, but the practical idea of having a shake lunch, knowing that was everything your body needed, suddenly was out of option. The result? A lot of weighing, puzzling, measuring… Meal preps every morning!

The first few weeks

People often say they experience a so called Keto Flu when transitioning in to Ketosis, I have not experienced this myself – fortunately. My guess is that my years of low carb experience, together with intermittent fasting (16 – 8 variant) played a big part in this. In other words: my start was quite smooth. I enjoyed my diverse and tasty Keto meals that, despite the effort that goes in, were a great variety to my normal eating habits. With fat being an excellent tastemaker, great opportunities had risen. Pretty soon I noticed the challenge in living a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle in combination with keto. I’m not 100% vegan, but try to do this for at least 60-70% of my meals. Unfortunately, ‘supplementing’ my dietary needs with animal products was inevitable in order to maintain a great nutritional profile.

You measure, you treasure

Next to keeping track of my nutrition, I was keen on learning my body’s response. Once again, not to lose weight, but to notice the effects of ketosis to my body. Within a week, I lost 2 cm waist circumference, where my chest, arms, buttocks and shoulders remained the same. Two weeks in, these numbers went up even more: I lost 5 cm around my waist and the other figures remained steady. The last bit of belly fats and even fat that gathered around the organs, disappeared rather soon. Muscle mass isn’t effected – great!

Besides the visible bodily changes, I was keen on knowing what happened behind the screens. That’s when I started measuring my ketone contents in my body, using a bloodtest. You can read more on this in this article. After circa 8 weeks the test showed 3.5mmol, which is way up there in ketosis.

What else did I notice? A lot of energy! A clear mind! I had no cravings of sweets or carbohydrates in general. Actually, skipping meals was easier than before. I ended up doing a 3-day fasting period to ignite a bodily reset, to clean up the rest of my body. This was in effect quite simple en created a lot of energy, because of my body not spending energy on digesting other foods.

Metabolically flexible

In the present day? I try to stick to a 90% keto diet, but loosened up on the amount of carbohydrates per day. I no longer ‘have to’ stick below a 25 gr carb intake. My new maximum intake of carbs is 40 to 50 gr per day. The other 10%? Dinner with friends, having a nice wine in the evening or having some cake once in a while. I’m in control now, and aware of my body to an extend that when I go out of ketosis for a day, I can come back to it within a few days. I really enjoy the keto meals and snacks I prepare. The moments I do choose the ‘less healthy’ option with more carbs, I ask myself this: do I really want this and is it worth the effort of it all?

Specialists label this as metabolically flexible. Your body, once taught how, is very much capable of switching between burning of fats and burning of carbs, the body can actually choose which energy system to use.

Jake KETO!

The transition in to this lifestyle has become easy and I really enjoyed it. What do I miss? The convenience of a Jake shake or vitaminbar in the afternoon. The ease of eating vegan, but still getting all the nutrients my body needs. I’m not alone in this, Keto has taken flight this past year. A good reason for us, to develop the perfect Keto Shake! After a long period of development and testing, we finished our first Keto Shake, in chocolate-coconut flavour!

There are various Keto meal shakes available on the market as of this day, but they all didn’t meet my needs. What did I notice?

If you start calculating and converting the amount of kcal and carbs per shake to your daily intake, a lot of these shakes will still result in a carb intake greater than 50 gr. The Jake Keto shake contains, based on a 2000 kcal day (5 shakes), only 30 gr carbs per day!

One of the more important things being the fat source, especially for Ketogenic products where it is essentially the primary resource for nutrition. A lot Keto shakes are not vegan, and if they are vegan, they are most likely using sunflower oil as a basis. Although it naturally sounds healthy, this specific type of oil contains a lot of Omega 6, which is linked to inflammation (amongst others). The Jake Keto shake has palmfree MCT powders as a basis of C8 and C10 fat sources.

In summary; I’m proud of the wonderful product we’ve put together. A first step to more flavours and in the long run: more Keto products. I look forward to eating my daily Jake meal shake. 100% vegan, 100% convenience, 100% nutritious!

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A few things you should know before starting your Keto diet!

Watch these things when you're starting Keto!

Starting a Keto diet or transferring to a Keto lifestyle can be challenging. One person handles it better than the other, which often has a lot to do with the way you currently live your life. It also has to do with the (positive or negative) influence of your surroundings and even with your aspirations as a master chef. Once you start changing your dietary patterns, there’s a few things you should keep an eye on.

1. The Keto Sickness; push through!

The Keto diet has many benefits, like weight loss, but also has downsides which you should prepare for. The ‘Keto Flu’ of Keto sickness! Briefly after starting your Keto journey, you’ll notice your body starts to change. You have to adjust to burning fats als primary source for energy, instead of carbohydrates (which used to be your main source of fuel). It depends on your body how heavily you’ll react to this change, but there is a chance you’ll get proper ill.

Primarily the first seven to ten days will wear you down the hardest. You might feel extremely tired, especially in the limbs. Things as simple as walking up the stairs will probably feel like too much effort. And then there’s the brain fog. Fun times? No! But, it’s just your body claiming its time that it needs to adjust to a different pace. Something your body is, biologically speaking, very good at – just not used to anymore: burning fats!

Very practical; do not plan too much “to-do’s”, and take it easy on exercising when starting with a Keto diet. Your body needs to rest whenever you can, just give it time. After that recovery, you’ll be astonished as to how much energy you have, as soon as the transformation is done.

Read more about experiences with the keto diet here. 

2. Drink enough (water)

Once you start with keto, you’ll notice (especially in the beginning) a lot more toilet stops. Reason being is the decrease of carbohydrate storage in your body, which would previously require a lot of water. This is one of the reasons you lose a lot of weight in the beginning: you lose a lot of moisture. The ‘great start’ is however a great incentive to continue.

Prevent dehydration and make sure you at least drink 2 litres a day. Water is the purest source, but green tea, herbal tea, coffee or homemade vitamin water works well too. Just make sure you drink water next to your coffee.

3. Supplement with electrolytes

The moment you reach ketosis, your kidneys will excrete more water and more electrolytes. These minerals are highly important for a ton of bodily functions, such as: conduction of nerve impulses, moisture balancing or pulling and closing muscles altogether. Symptoms of a too low electrolyte presence are headaches, muscle aches (often in the calves) or a numb/tingling feeling in your limbs.

Which makes is extra important for you to keep track of your sodium and potassium intake, to make sure your body functions properly. This can easily be achieved by using tablet- or liquid-supplements. An alternative to this would be adding extra salt to your food or drinking a daily LoSalt mineral salt broth.

4. A bloodtest will give the best results

After a few weeks, you’re probably wondering; did I reach full ketosis or did I not? And if yes, how solid is my ketosis? There’s a few ways to determine if, and how well, your ketosis is. Ketones can be differentiated in to three different ones: acetone, beta-hydroxybutyrate and acetoacetate. They all have a different way of measuring the levels. Your three options are your breath, blood or urine.

Measuring through breath (acetone) can be done with the help of a ketone meter. This is a pretty reliable way to test your ketone levels.

The urine test is the last accurate of the three. You have to pee over a ‘keto-stick’ or you dip the stick into a jar of your urine. De difference in colour (from light pink to purple) tells you about the level of ketones in your body: the darker the colour, the higher the concentration of ketones is.

Measuring through means of blood is done with the help of a blood ketone meter, which in turn works the same as a glucose meter. Place a drop of blood on the measuring strip and within seconds you’ll see the amount of beta-hydroxybutyrate in your blood. This is the most reliable method, but a little more expensive than urine sampling.

Lots of work?

This might sounds as a lot of work and yes, in the beginning that might be the case. Experience teaches us that certain actions will be executed without thinking about it, once they are integrated in your habits. The measuring of your ketose values will become obsolete in the long run, by then you know how your body handles and reacts to it all. In short; push through the less fun stuff and soon you’ll profit from the benefits of your new Keto Lifestyle!

Maintaining a Keto diet and preparing the right meals can be tricky and time consuming. With Jake you can throw your worries out the window. Packed per meal, 100% vegan and a 30 days money-back guarantee.

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How does a meal replacement product help you in your diet?

Photo of shadowed forks on background | Diet and meal replacements

How does a meal replacement product help you in your diet?

Have you developed a curiosity for the Jake products or are you familiar with our products and want to know more about using them most effectively? This article will help you gain insights into meal replacement products, your best match with them and the benefits of consuming them.

What is a meal replacement?

Jake products are meal replacements, in shakes, bars or a soup. They consist of nutrients that, altogether, create a nutritional profile suitable for a complete meal. This means that any of your daily meals; your breakfast yogurt, your lunch sandwich or your dinner, can be replaced with one of the Jake healthy meal replacement shakes – without having to feel guilty about not getting your vitamins, minerals or other nutrients.

Jake products don’t come with a set of rules, this means you can eat and prepare them whenever you want. The biggest benefit being the time and effort you save: stay in bed longer in the morning, stay in your workflow instead of making lunch or dinner. Forget vacuuming your car due to breadcrumbs, vegan meal replacement drinks don’t crumble!

Which product suits you best?

For starters, let’s look at the amount of calories you’d like to consume. You can determine the amount of calories by using a TDEE calculator. TDEE is the total daily energy usage, where the BMR (rested energy expenditure) is multiplied by PAL (daily exercise indicator). 

If you’re trying to lose weight, the easiest way to achieve that goal is by gaining less than you take in. Otherwise, just stick to the amount of calories you use daily. If you are familiar with your daily usage of calories, start off by choosing the meal of the day you wish to replace. You can choose to replace all three of your meals, or just try replacing one of three first. There are no rules to Jake, you decide when, where and what you eat. You can find your best match by using our comparison tool, where you can compare products with ease. To clarify how and when you can replace meals, here are some examples.

What are the benefits?

Of course there are several benefits when replacing one or more meals a day, with Jake products. An important example is the time you save with not having to do grocery shopping or cooking. When replacing every meal in a day with Jake, you can save about an hour a day to do other things.

Here are 14 things you can do in your saved, spare time:

  1. Follow an (online) yoga class
  2. Go for a run
  3. Take a walk in the park
  4. Meditate
  5. Read a book
  6. Go for a bike ride
  7. Put together a playlist of your favourite songs
  8. Read another Jake blog
  9. Read the newspapers
  10. Create a binding of your favourite photos
  11. Complete at least one task out of your to-do list
  12. Solve a puzzle
  13. Learn some new words in a foreign language
  14. Clean your mailbox

Another major advantage is your vitamin intake: without having to think about it, your body gets all the vitamins it needs. Together with the examples above, your intake would be between 103% and 111% of the recommended intake. This means no more extra supplements or vitamins. You don’t have to worry about getting too many vitamins, you’re not close to the daily limit.

Yet another benefit is the grip you get on your energy intake. This means you can regulate your energy levels way better, making you eat just the right amount instead of too much or too little. The danger of eating too little, for example during lunch, is that you get hungry too quickly and end up snacking random bits and bites. However, if the intention is to eat more than usually, you’re still at the right address. Jake is a good way to eat more, and gain weight, while still being in clear control of your nutrition.

There are many benefits to using Jake in your diet.

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Tired after eating – This is how you can prevent an after dinner dip

Burger, fries and a pint | How you can prevent an after dinner dip

Tired after eating - This is how you can prevent an after dinner dip

Feeling tired after dinner, we’ve all been there. You crash down on the couch after dinner, completely exhausted. While you actually want to feel energetic and fit after eating your meal. We’re giving you 4 simple tips so you can beat the after dinner dip, even tonight!

1. Skip quick-carbs and bad sugars

Whenever you eat, your blood sugar rises. That’s not necessarily a bad thing because you do get energy from it, but when you eat fast (refined) sugars, your blood sugar rises very quickly. Following this high peak is a great downfall: this is why you feel so tired all of a sudden. Meanwhile your body is working hard to revert the balance, but that too costs energy. It’s a smart move to avoid the fast sugars, like: fast food, candy, energy drinks, and instead choose to eat slow carbohydrates like whole-wheat products or fruits. Besides, these whole-wheat products will also nourish your body with a ton of fibres, which in turn help smoothen your digestive system. This way you will feel a lot less tired after eating!

2. Don’t eat too much

Your small intestine reacts intensely when eating rather large portions. It has to work really hard to digest your meal. Your heart rate and breathing decrease as more blood starts flowing to your stomach. All of your energy is currently being used to digest: so it makes sense you’re feeling tired. The more you eat, the more energy gets sent to your digestive system. And this works both ways, you now have less energy left that’s being sent to your brain and muscles. Rather than eating large portions of food, go small on rations so you prevent an after dinner dip. The sensible point to stop eating is when you feel 80% full.

3. Eat slower

Besides diminishing your portions you can also try eating slower, to help your battle against the after dinner dip. This is where energy comes around again: the quicker you eat, the quicker your digestive system needs to work and the more energy it costs you. Ever heard of mindful eating? Take your phone off the table and start focussing on each and every bite you take. Taste the flavours and textures, chew thoroughly. This is a good way to force yourself to eat slower and feel less tired after a meal. An additional benefit of eating slower is the time you now have to enjoy your meal to the fullest.

4. Often tired after eating? Try liquid foods

Doctor William Orr, American University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Centre, has proven that the digestion of solid foods costs a tremendous amount of energy, which in turn can make you tired. A big plate of potatoes isn’t so advantageous to your productivity or you feeling fit. Shakes could just be your solution. The vegan meal replacement drink by Jake contain all the nutrients your body needs. Besides, the liquid meal is less intensive on your digestive system than solid foods, making it easier to digest. The result: no after dinner dip! You can go back to what you were doing, and feel fit doing it.

Jake makes complete food, like healthy meal replacement shakes. Our products contain all the nutrients your body needs – easy and quick, in one meal. Want to try Jake? Click here

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A healthy lifestyle – top 5 biggest pitfalls

Photo by Simon Migaj - Serenity and a healthy lifestyle

A healthy lifestyle - top 5 biggest pitfalls

There’s libraries full of literature about it: living a healthy lifestyle. As well as the internet, where there are thousands of lists and tips to living healthy. Even though this information can be very valuable, we have to admit we already know a lot about it. Just like us, you know very well that daily exercise and eating fruit is healthy – whereas smoking and going to the local kebab shop is not. We figured it would be smart to find out where things tend to go wrong. Therefore we created a list of the 5 most common pitfalls to living a healthy life, that way you can prevent falling into them.

Why wait until tomorrow, when you can start today with Jake

1. Getting too ambitious

It’s not a rare occasion that people decide to completely change their lifestyle overnight. They wake up and decide to head to the gym every day from now on, only eat cucumbers and to run 10 kilometres – untrained. After a few weeks they ‘crash’ down on the couch: “It’s impossible to maintain a healthy lifestyle.” If you recognize this part, then you’ve probably – together with many others – planned your lifestyle a little too ambitious. Becoming healthy, fit and strong starts with baby steps.

2. The ‘unhealthy-domino’

When people make one unhealthy decision, there’s often more that follow: it’s a domino effect. You wanted to work out this morning, but did not feel like it at all. In the afternoon one of your colleagues offers you a slice of cake, that you can not say no to. Then when you come home at night, the lights of the local kebab shop shine brightly and you simply can not resist. A lot of people that are experiencing this unhealthy-domino will often use the same excuse: ‘today was a failure anyway’, resulting in one unhealthy choice after another. Rather, after an unhealthy choice – which occasionally is okay – try getting a grip again on your (new) healthy lifestyle.

3. Poor choice of nutrition

Making the right choice when it comes to nutrition is not easy. A common mistake people make is eating too little or eating too little healthy variety foods. In order for your body and mind to stay healthy, you need a lot of different nutrients. If you have trouble doing so, consider trying the meal replacement shakes we make. Our shakes contain the exact amount of nutrients your body needs, like: protein, minerals and essential fats such as omega 3 and 6. And they’re tasty!

4. Taking on more than you can handle

There’s people who are always ‘busy bees’. Of course there is nothing wrong with an active lifestyle, but there are limits. In order to live and maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is of high importance to set and stick to your personal boundaries. And if you don’t? Well, stress is out there looking for you and it will find you. In the long run it can bring you nasty affixes like insomnia, mental health issues, and in the worst case: heart and vascular diseases. So listen to your body, and take a step back when you notice you’re under a lot of stress.

5. Make a routine out of it

A healthy lifestyle is not achieved in a day – and you do not have to. Rather, try going step by step choosing the healthy option in life, whenever you can. Go to work by bike instead of car, grab some fruit during lunch and meet up with a friend every week to do some exercises or work out. When you stick to this routine for a longer period of time, you’ll notice that you start making the healthy choices subconsciously: it’s now part of your routine and lifestyle. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle becomes a lot easier using this approach – even for you!

Jake makes complete food, like healthy meal replacement shakes. Our products contain all the nutrients your body needs – easy and quick, in one meal. Want to try Jake? Click here

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How many carbohydrates per day?

How many carbohydrates per day? Photo of salted fries in basket

How many carbohydrates per day?

We often get the question: “How many carbohydrates do you need to consume a day?”. The somewhat lame answer would be: “It really depends on the person.” Whether it’s lame or not, it is true. The ideal amount of carbohydrates you have to consume per day, depends on a long list of variables: your age, height, gender, weight, body-type, the amount of exercise, and so forth.

Carbohydrate management was never this easy

Okay, so we can’t say anything about the amount of daily carbs? Of Course we can: we’ve listed 3 categories down below, where we discuss the carb intake – from maximal to minimal intake. We also give some pointers on how you can easily manage and measure the amount of carbohydrates you take in.

What are carbohydrates?

Before we dive deeper into the ideal amount of carbohydrates per day, we’d like to briefly explain what carbohydrates are exactly. Carbohydrates, together with protein and fats, are the fuel your body needs. Your body turns carbs into sugar, which you can then burn. Furthermore, it’s good to know that one carb is not the other. There are significant differences between healthy (slow) carbohydrates and less healthy (fast) carbohydrates. The healthy carbs can be found in vegetables and fruit, whereas the less healthy carbs can be found in soda and candy.

Category 1: 120 - 200 grams of carbohydrates per day - normal to high intake

For the average human, who wishes to maintain its weight, an intake of 120 to 200 grams of carbohydrates a day deems normal. An important side-note: scientific evidence shows that taking in more than 200 grams of carbohydrates a day is rather unhealthy. Top athletes who spend hours a day on a racing bike, are an exception to this rule. If you’re not an athlete and exercise very little on a daily basis, you’re better off sticking to the 120 grams of carbs rather than 200 grams. This way you prevent your body from storing excess carbs as fat.

Category 2: 75 - 120 grams of carbohydrates per day - limited intake

In this category we discuss the limited intake of carbohydrates. If you’re trying to lose weight, this is the category you should try sticking to. Especially if you combine this intake with regular, daily exercise, you will lose weight over time. However, the rate at which you lose weight highly depends on the previously stated list of personal characteristics.

Category 3: 50 - 75 grams of carbohydrates per day - minimal intake

Whether there is a true minimum to the carbohydrate intake per day remains a topic of discussion to this day, even among scientists. But it is a healthy choice to make sure your body is not structurally getting too few carbohydrates. If your body receives too little carbs a day, it’ll start burning your muscles instead. Which is bad for your body, when done long-term. If you do decide on sticking to a low-carbohydrate diet, make sure to listen to the signals of your body, like headaches or nausea. When you’re not too sure on what you’re doing, do not hesitate to call in a helpline, like a nutritionist or dietician.

How do we measure the amount of carbohydrates per day?

Neat, we know how many carbs we need per day, but how do you know how many carbohydrates are in your food? Most (consumer) products have it written on the back. However, with a banana for example, it’s a lot more complicated. There’s plenty of information and nutritional tables you can find online, where you can find the amount of carbohydrates per product (like this table). When you keep track of your carbohydrate-intake for a while, you’ll notice that it gets easier over time – even without listing everything.

Jake makes complete food, like healthy meal replacement shakes. Our products contain all the nutrients your body needs – easy and quick, in one meal. Want to try Jake? Click here
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Losing weight with meal replacement shakes

Photo of a fork with a measuring tape

Losing weight with meal replacement shakes

Losing weight isn’t easy and maybe you thought of slimming with a meal replacement shake. This is not a bad idea if the diet shake still contains all the right nutrients you need. Your body still needs the nutrients, vitamins and minerals to keep you up your feet. A deficiency is something that you definitely want to prevent.

For example, it is important to eat enough protein. Protein fills you up and helps you to maintain or grow your muscles. The recommended minimum amount of protein per meal replacement shake is 20g, the Jake Light Shake contains 40g of the best protein powder for weight loss per meal. The Jake Light Shake is not specifically designed as a weight-loss shake, but it can definitely help you lose those extra pounds!

How does a meal replacement shake help you lose weight?

Diet shakes or healthy meal replacement shakes can be very helpful during your diet. It’s easier to keep track of the calories you’re consuming. You know that feeling when you have something delicious for dinner? You’re getting yourself a second plate and suddenly you ate twice the meal that you were supposed to eat. This all adds extra calories to your day, probably without you even noticing it. With a shake you use for your diet, it keeps you from doing that. Because one vegan meal replacement drink is exactly enough for one meal. 

Another thing that makes a meal replacement shake more convenient than other alternatives, is that it’s easy and convenient. There’s no need to spend your whole Sunday afternoon buying tons of groceries and prepping food for the rest of your week. You can put that time to better use, like exercise, but more on that later.

4 Top tips for losing weight in combination with meal replacement shakes

It doesn’t matter how bad we want it, just eating diet shakes, won’t do the trick. You have to change your lifestyle a bit. The four tips below will certainly help you out!

1. Exercising for weight loss

You might love it or hate it, it’s part of the weight loss process. Pick up some exercise routines. For example, lift yourself up from the couch and go for a run, do a work-out either at home or at the gym or go for a long walk if you want to start slowly. Exercising will help boost your metabolism and your mental state of mind, and of course burn calories.

2. Healthy snacks

We all love some good snacks, when working from home, that pantry full of delicious bad snacks is staring at you. Instead of reaching for that bag of crisps you already opened yesterday, try going for a healthy snack. Of course you can eat an apple, but that can get a bit boring. Try some of the following vegan snacks instead:

  • A handful of mixed nuts – Nuts provide a good balance of healthy fats, protein and fibres.
  • (red) Bell pepper – Bell peppers are not only delicious in the meals you have for dinner but when they are raw they are also a great snack. They have a lovely flavour and provide you with a lot of vitamin C.
  • A glass of water – A lot of times when you think you’re hungry, you’re just thirsty and you need to hydrate. 
  • Rice cracker with avocado – The rice cracker is low in calories and the avocado provides you with fibres, potassium and magnesium.
  • Leftovers – If you prepared a healthy meal the night before and still have some left, eat that as a snack.
  • Jake Vitaminbar – It’s a filling snack and provides you with all the vitamins & minerals you need.

3. Keep a food diary

Don’t count the calories every time you eat something, this way you can get obsessed with the calories and that’s not healthy. Instead, keep a food diary. Every time you have a meal, a snack or something to drink, write it down. This gives a clear picture of what you actually eat on a day. 

Afterwards, there is always the possibility of counting the calories. But the main goal of the food diary is to retrieve insights in all the good and bad habits you have regarding consuming food. Once you’ve done this for a week or two, it’s easier to get rid of the bad foods/habits and replace them with a healthier option

4. Drink more water

You can mistake the feeling of being thirsty for the feeling of being hungry. It’s already said before when you feel ‘snackish’ it’s important to drink a glass of water first. Otherwise, you consume unnecessary calories and still won’t feel satisfied. 

Also, replace those sodas you drink from time to time for a glass of water. It quenches your thirst and if you drink a big glass of water before dinner, it fills up your stomach. Which means that there’s less room for food. This makes it easier to eat less and your belly is still filled. 

What if you find the taste of water just plain boring? Add some lime, pick up some mint leaves and add that to your glass to create some flavour. Or make a cup of tea. Try adding some leaves of mint and/or slices of ginger to your glass of hot water and you’re good to go.

Why choose the Jake Light Shake as a meal replacement shake?

One meal of Jake Light packs around 500kcal (depending on the flavour) and keeps you full for about 3-4 hours. This way it’ll keep you from snacking on everything that’s in your pantry, so you avoid eating unnecessary calories. Do you need more than 500kcal per meal? No worries, take a look at our Original shake! It has around 660kcal per shake.

A lot of meal replacements shakes taste too sweet which makes it unpleasant to drink. The flavours in the Jake shakes are more subtle and with all the flavours, it never gets boring. With flavours like Chocolate, Forest Fruit and Banana, it’s almost like you’re on a milkshake diet. And who doesn’t like milkshakes? Just add some ice cold water or even a few ice cubes and your delicious, healthy and vegan meal replacement drink is ready. 

Of course, the tips & tricks mentioned above are just tips & tricks. Use them if they fit into your shake diet, whenever it suits you. 

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Organic is (not) better

Organic is (not) better

It’s a common supermarket dilemma: you’re standing in the aisle between a regular product and its organic version. Your instinct and all marketing signs tell you that organic must be better, but your mind is struggling for a rational reason why. The romantic ‘back-to-nature’ appeal of organic food is strong and difficult to outshout, but for the love of facts and rational supermarket decisions, let’s try. Here’s an overview of what organic food really is and how it compares to its non-organic neighbours on the shelf.

Organic food. What's that again?

Organic food is food produced through organic farming. That means without any synthetic pesticides, fertilisers, genetically modified organisms, antibiotics or growth hormones. Organic farming employs techniques like crop rotation and companion planting, which promote biodiversity and long-term soil quality. That’s the black-and-white definition. To keep it balanced, it’s important to clarify a couple of points.

First of all, not using synthetic pesticides doesn’t mean not using pesticides. Organically farmed or not, crops are vulnerable to predators and diseases, and pesticides are required to protect them. Both organic and conventional farming make use of a combination of natural and synthetic pesticides.

Next to that, although organic farming generally prohibits the use of antibiotics on livestock, it can be allowed with limitations when alternative treatments are inappropriate. Last but not least, crop rotation and other soil-enhancing techniques aren’t exclusively used by organic farmers. Conventional producers also make use of them to improve fertility and crop yield.

Both organic and conventional farming have pros and cons. Yet, public opinion is often more positive towards organically produced foods, with many consumers perceiving them as better for the environment, more nutritious, healthier and safer than conventional foods.

Is that so? Let’s see how organic products actually compare to conventional products.

Nutritional value of organic foods

When it comes to macronutrients, vitamins and minerals, there are generally no meaningful differences between organic and non-organic produce. The available data point out only two exceptional cases: organic meat and cow’s milk.

Organic cow’s milk conclusively shows around 50% higher content of total omega-3 fatty acids than conventional milk. Data about organic meat are less consistent with regard to the size of the effect, but they still demonstrate a significantly higher content of omega-3 fatty acids in beef, lamb and pork as compared to their conventionally-bred counterparts.

Toxic metals in organic and conventional foods

Soil and pesticide composition affect not only the nutrient profile of crops, but also the presence of toxic metals in the produce. Current research finds no difference between organic and conventional crops when it comes to lead, mercury and arsenic concentrations. There is some evidence of significantly higher concentrations of cadmium in conventional crops as compared to organic crops. However, due to inconsistencies in the analyses, the size and significance of these difference are yet to be specified.

Antibiotics-resistant bacteria

A clear difference between organic and conventional farming is the use of antibiotics. Conventional farming uses them both as prevention and as treatment. In organic farming, only treatment use in special cases is allowed. It makes a difference, with up to 4 times less antibiotics used in organic cow breeding and up to 15 times less in organic pig farming versus conventional production.

However, the antibiotics themselves aren’t a potential health hazard for us, because products from animals which have been treated with antibiotics can only be used as human food after a withdrawal period has passed. This means that the animal and, hence, the animal product are free of antibiotics residue at that point.

The issue with using antibiotics in farming has to do with antibiotics-resistant bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter. If antibiotics-resistant bacteria cause an infection in humans, treatment can be very difficult. It’s important to note that not all antibiotic treatments can lead to antibiotic resistance in humans. And also, less use of antibiotics in organic farming doesn’t necessarily mean organic meat is free of antibiotic-resistance bacteria. Comprehensive studies on the topic are limited, but data from the Netherlands and the US show that some retail organic meat also contains resistant bacteria, sometimes in comparable levels to conventional meat.

Pesticides

Safety in the context of organic foods is generally assumed based on the absence of synthetic substances in the production process. However, some organic pesticides, like copper sulphate and pyrethrum, have shown to be at least as high in toxicity as the synthetic chlorpyrifos and chlorothalonil. The point of saying this isn’t to scare you off of every kind of food. But a pesticide is a pesticide. And just because it occurs naturally, doesn’t mean it’s harmless.

It’s true that there are pesticide residues in both organic and non-organic foods. It’s also true that organic food has significantly lower levels of pesticide residue than non-organic foods. However, the pesticide levels in both organic and non-organic foods are well below the established guidelines for what is safe. A study in Denmark estimated that the risk of cumulative negative health effects from pesticide residues in food is comparable to that of having a glass of wine every three months. Developing countries, where food regulations aren’t in place or aren’t strictly enforced may have a different level of risk. However, if you’re living in the West, there’s no need to worry about pesticides from food. Organic or not.

The environment

Organic farming has the potential to benefit the environment by enhancing soil quality and promoting biodiversity. However, environmental impact is a much broader topic.

The amount of data available for a comparison between organic and conventional foods isn’t overwhelming. From what we do know, there’s no clear winner. The most conclusive results are in the area of land and energy use. Organic farming requires considerably more land than conventional farming and much less energy, if you account for the energy required to produce synthetic pesticides and fertilisers. When it comes to other environmental factors such as greenhouse gas emissions, the truth is, it really depends on the type of food.

So, if you’re choosing organic primarily to reduce environmental impact, your best strategy wouldn’t be to go organic across the board. If you’d go for organic pulses and fruits, but pick conventional cereals, vegetables and animal products, you’d end up with lower total greenhouse gas emissions than if you only choose conventional or only organic.

Next to that, certain types of food, specifically beef, mutton and pork have a significantly higher environmental impact than dairy, eggs and plant produce. That’s true regardless of how organically they’re produced. Therefore, what food you pick is essentially more meaningful for the environment than how it was produced.

Organic or conventional?

Back to the supermarket aisle. Before you let your instincts or assumptions push you in any direction, decide what’s important for you when making food choices.

If you’re looking to maximise your nutritional benefit and you’re choosing beef, lamb, pork or cow’s milk, you’d better pick organic – it’ll deliver more omega-3 fatty acids. But if you’re trying to avoid antibiotics-resistant bacteria in your food, an organic label cannot guarantee you that. Are you concerned about the environment? You can buy all things organic and still end up with a worse environmental impact than if you’d pick only conventional food. If you want to make the best environmental choices, what food you pick is more important than how it was produced.

The bottom line is that an ‘organic’ label doesn’t mean ‘healthier’, ‘safer’ or ‘better for the environment’. Not across the board, anyway. So, if you want to make rational food choices, set your priorities straight and decide on a case-by-case basis.

Afraid to miss out on essential nutrients your body needs? You can always take our Jake meal replacement shakes or one of our delicious meal replacement bars.