No, I didnt! I havent eaten meat, except maybe some fish, in over 25 years. I dont have the desire for it at all. I actually dont think I ever did. I was a starchatarian from birth…a potato couldnt walk by me. But when I decided to become a vegetarian (never heard the word vegan till much later) when I was 14, I honestly only knew one thing…..Do not eat any meat! That was it…but I really didnt know about nutrition at all. Since then, I have read tons of books on diet, wellness, healing…and the amount of email I get everyday from all the health guru’s Im connected to is kinda insane! You see I really want to know what is the latest info….its my passion! I love reading about this. I only buy health books…Im not really interested in anything else.
This obsession may have to do with the fact that most people in my family died from health reasons…specifically both of my parents died of Cancer by my 31st birthday. I had to watch my mother wither away for a few years. When things like this happen to you…it is hard to shift gears. Anywho, it is very easy for me to say you REALLY shouldnt eat meat!…but the truth is…I believe…people really like how it tastes. I know people who have told me that they cant live without it. That is serious!
There was one time when I had decided to get off my box and tell people that you know, eating meat is okay…as long as you just eat a little. But when I really analyze it, I have to go back to my radical views….without being too radical about it. Why? Well there are several reasons, which I will mention…but off the top. I feel good eating vegetarian! I mean, I dont know where it comes from, but I just have to say that I feel really amazing at this life choice I have made to become a non-meat eater. It does something to my spirit. Not to mention, that I consider myself a spiritual person. I was raised with dogs and cats…and I connected with them so much, they were my friends. And, recently I was thinking…you know when you watch those videos about the men who raised the lion, they set the lion back out into the wilderness…and then when they went to visit the lion, he remembered his friends who had raised him. I look at it like that. I just think that the animals are our friends. And I just dont believe in eating them. And I really dont even like to think of myself as an animal rights activist, because Im not…well, really I am. But I never wanted to come off that way…or appear to be too, I dont know…nutty about things. I still want to be cool…youknowwhatimsayin?
Well, I found this article that Frederick Patenaude wrote and I though it was fitting to add it here, because he sums up amazingly why eating a vegetarian/vegan diet is the way. Tell me what you think? (I like hearing from you)… And here is a salad I made last night…I grew the sprouts too!
Why are so many vegans unhealthy?
Before I answer this question, I must clarify that I no longer consider myself a “vegan” in the true sense of the word.
The typical vegan is primarily motivated by the welfare of animals and obsessed with only one aspect of healthful living: not eating animal products.
In that sense, I don’t consider myself a vegan.
I have no problem with other people eating meat, if that’s their choice. I don’t complain of the “horrible smell of dead carcasses” when my neighbors barbecue some steak, but I know a lot of vegans who are very vocal about these things.
I also don’t try to make my lifestyle completely vegan. The best underwear I have ever found are made from wool (from ethically raised sheep), and I wouldn’t consider wearing anything else.
I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy a leather jacket, but I wouldn’t also throw away a perfectly good pair of jeans if it has a bit of leather on a tag.
I focus on my overall lifestyle and not just one aspect of my health. I remain convinced that animal products are NOT the answer.
Why are Some Vegans So Sick?
When I was reading “The Vegetarian Myth”, I was surprised at how not convincing the book was at making a case against the vegan diet.
At best, you could consider that book to be a painful therapy session for a tortured author who thinks that the vegan diet destroyed her life. At worst it’s the least convincing “meat” manifesto you’ll ever read.
In my experience, these are the following most common mistakes people make on a vegan diet that bring them to a low state of health and give such bad rap to the vegan diet.
1. Not enough calories
A healthy vegan diet is easily explained: eat enough fruits, vegetables and starch-based foods to maintain your weight and energy, and minimize concentrated foods such as nuts and seeds or oils.
Vegan foods, especially fruits and vegetables, are very nutrient dense, but not calorie-dense. That means you need to eat a lot more of these foods to give you enough energy and maintain your weight and your health.
Many vegans are “weak” and scrawny simply because they don’t eat enough. Not getting enough calories will also mean that you’re not getting enough vitamins, minerals and protein.
If someone is not thriving on their diet and has little energy, the first thing to do is to increase the total amount of calories consumed. But there’s a caveat: these calories must come from whole foods such as fruits and vegetables, and not from oil and fatty foods. Which brings me to my next point.
2. Not enough carbs
It’s funny because most ex-vegans specifically blame the carbs for their health problems, when it’s actually one type of food they were under-eating.
Under-eating carbs means that you’ll eat too much fat, too much protein and that you won’t get enough energy to function.
That is why so many vegans feel tired all the time. It’s important to get enough calories, but also to eat enough calories in the right proportion.
In spite of what is incorrectly claimed in many anti-vegetarian books, carbohydrates are the preferred food for the human body.
How do you know that? The actual research behind this point is very extensive, but you only need to look at one thing: top athletes.
Every single winning marathon runner or Tour de France athlete thrives on a high-carb diet. Why? Because it works, and carbs are the preferred foods for the human body. Top athletes don’t eat a lot of carbs because they are philosophical vegans (most of them are not), but because that’s what they need to eat to win.
For optimal health and energy, your diet should be composed of at least 70% carbohydrates by total calories. Which leaves less than 30% for protein and fat.
3. Too much fat
Most vegans use unhealthy amounts of plant oils and fat. This is the primary reason why some vegans suffer from hypoglycemia and other blood sugar issues. It’s well documented that a high-fat diet has a negative impact on insulin sensitivity.
For optimal health, ALL oils should be avoided. That includes all olive oil, hemp seed oils, and even so-called healthy oils such as flax seed oil.
Instead, you should get all of your fat from whole foods such as nuts, seeds and avocados in minimal quantities. For most people who are not very athletic, a very small handful of nuts OR half an avocado is about the maximum you should eat in one day.
This is the number one way to improve a vegan diet. Get rid of all the fat and learn to prepare foods without fat. At the same time, eat more of the “good” stuff such as fruits and vegetables. Remember that green vegetables have no calories, so as a vegan you will have to get your calories from the following foods:
Root vegetables (potatoes, yams, etc.)
Starches (whole grains, beans, etc.
If you follow a raw approach like I do most of the time, then the majority of your calories will come from fruit.
Getting a significant proportion of your calories from fatty foods such as oils is a big mistake and one that will quickly destroy your health. (A lot of people make large salads every day drenched in olive oil and believe this is part of a healthy diet.)
If you have any weight to lose, you should consider avoiding all fatty foods temporarily until you lose the desired weight.
Why? Fats are stored by the body very easily, requiring less than 3% of the calories consumed to store. On the other hand, carbohydrates need an average of 30% of calories consumed to be turned into body fat.
As author John McDougall likes to say, “The fat you eat is the fat you wear”. So if you don’t want to “wear” any more fat, avoid it.
It’s fairly easy to get used to a low fat diet and it takes 30 to 60 days for your taste buds to fully adapt.
4. Too enough high-quality protein
This is more a problem for vegans who live on junk food, or raw foodists who only eat fruits and vegetables with no nuts and seeds.
Although protein deficiencies are almost non-existent in the Western world, if you lack high quality protein in the diet you could experience lack of energy, decreased muscle mass, lower bone density, and compromised immunity.
Fortunately, we don’t need a lot of protein to do the job. Greens contain high-quality protein, and adding some nuts and seeds in the diet will help. Vegans can eat traditional soy products and beans, while raw foodists should load up on greens and have some nuts and seeds every day. If you need more protein, raw hemp protein is a good addition to smoothies.
5. Too much junk food.
Many vegans also eat too much junk food, and you know what I’m talking about. French fries and potato chips may be vegan, but they are not healthy. Essentially if it comes from a restaurant or a factory, it should be seen as “fun” food and not as healthy sustenance for the human body. So use your judgement and base your diet on fruits and vegetables, not on junk foods.
6. Too much wheat
A lot of people in general, but especially vegans and vegetarians base their diet around wheat and bread products. Sandwiches, burgers, wraps, pizzas, pastas, muffins, cereals, are not necessary for health and are often highly processed with artificial vitamins added which can make it hard for the body to absorb real vitamins from whole fruits and vegetables.
Many people also have a wheat sensitivity or are allergic and can develop celiac disease. If you have frequent colds, breathing problems, stuffy nose, asthma, IBS, digestion issues etc., you could have a gluten sensitivity or intolerance. Cutting wheat out of your diet is fairly easy to do when you eat a diet of fruits and vegetables and non glutenous carbohydrates like potatoes and rice.
7. A Deficient Diet
Many vegans avoid supplementing with vitamin B12, and then run into trouble, thinking that the vegan diet is not healthy. There is no debate among vegan experts that you should absolutely take a vitamin B12 supplement.
Even meat-eaters are at risk, as B12 deficiencies are common. This is of particular concern to vegan mothers and young children.
A vitamin D supplement is also necessary if you live in a Northern climate, but that’s not just a vegan issue.
Too often, people don’t don’t their homework and then “blame” the vegan diet for not working.
Meat is NOT the Answer
It must be a strange fact of human nature that we tend to make the wrong associations based on what we perceive to be a direct cause-reaction relationship.
If you go vegan and your health declines, you’ll naturally believe that the vegan diet was to blame. Because a vegan diet is a diet that excludes animal products, you might be led to believe that not eating them is what caused you to be sick in the first place.
But in reality, a vegan diet can be anything. It can be a diet of fake meat products and oil and french fries, or it can be a healthy diet of fruits and vegetables consumed in sufficient quantity to make you thrive.
The fact that many vegans get sick does NOT mean that animal products are the answer. Some raw foodists are now including raw meat and
raw dairy into their diets and claiming these are the sole reasons they are surviving on a raw diet, because raw plant food alone are not enough to thrive on. This is simply not true. They may be thriving in spite of the raw animal products they are eating.
Animal products are inherently bad for the human body, for very specific reasons:
1- They are very acidic and will drain your calcium reserves as the body uses calcium in your bones to balance the pH of the food in your digestive tract.
2- They contain too much protein. All excess protein has to be eliminated by the body which will wear down your kidneys and liver over time and accelerate the aging process. A diet rich in animal protein is also the number one dietary factor for cancer (see The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell).
3- Most animal products are high in fat. Excess fat is stored as body fat and results in surpluses in the body, leading to insulin-related products and everything related to overweight.
4- Animal products are rich in cholesterol, which accumulates in the body and contributes to vascular diseases.
5- Animal products are a concentrated source of toxins. Being high on the food chain, animals accumulate much more toxins, hormones and pesticides in their tissues. This is not mentioning the possible bacteria-related issues with factory produced animal products and cross contamination in the facilities.
Are some vegans unhealthy? Yes! But animal products are not the answer.<><><>
peace and love
Continue on your journey