Thursday, October 27, 2011

My First Vegan Rant

 I have to rant.. First. Watch this video...

Did you watch it? All of it? I hope you did...and let me start off by saying...that I am really proud of The Doctors on this one for standing their ground...more specifically Dr. Lisa. Jillian kind of got cut off at the end but she is right on track with the grass-fed beef and etc. the look on her face throughout the video kind of lets you know exactly what her opinion is. So here is where my rant begins.

First off..I am sick and tired of diets that are not Vegan being considered as "lacking in nutrients" and vegetables. There are two sides of the spectrum. There are your unhealthy muffin-loving, cake-baking vegans that are addicted to sugar and chex mix, and then there are your vegans that really do eat whole foods and and are truly following a plant based diet. The same goes for a "meat based" ( I don't even like that term. ) diet. There are those who follow the standard American diet filled with processed foods, fast name it--they eat it. Then, there is the "meat based " diets that I would like to rename balanced plant based diets. I think I eat more vegetables than most vegans yet I still eat grass-fed beef, organic free-range chicken, fish, and eggs. Just because you are vegan doesn't mean you are healthy, and it is more than just the Vegan Vs. Meat Eaters debate that we need to look at.. in reality, the people who are the healthiest are those who stick to eating REAL FOOD. Food that is closest to it's original form. 

I had an experience closest to Jillians story. She tried to go vegan but she felt terrible..if you would like to read my story please go here. Dr. Wendy also talked about her experience with becoming anemic on a vegetarian diet. And Dr. Barnard follows up by saying that the milk in her vegetarian diet is the cause of her anemia...however, he is talking about conventional dairy and gives absolutely no mention of raw organic dairy from grass-fed cows.

The second part about this segment I would like to address is that this doctor pulls out a BMI chart study to prove that Veganism is "healthier." If you are even remotely involved in the health and fitness world you will already know that the BMI chart is very unreliable. Here is why: BMI takes in account your height to weight ratio. However, lets say you are a body builder. If you calculate your height to weight ratio using the lovely BMI chart you will most likely be put in the overweight category because you are carrying around extra weight..but that weight is coming in the form of muscle, not fat. The BMI chart does not take this into account. This doctors chart shows that Vegans are most likely to fit into the healthy weight category. BUT in my opinion that is because many vegans are lacking muscle. It seems that this doctor has never heard of the term "skinny fat" and relates health to "thinness". Thin, does not mean healthy Dr. Barnard. Vegans could very well be on the lighter side if they don't exercise and don't carry around much muscle.Then he pulls out the diabetes chart. So here is the chart that proves everything...but not exactly. Vegans are least likely to be diabetic, however, they are more likely to be younger...then count in the vegans that actually follow a true plant based diet and you have yourself proof that a vegan diet is the only way to beat diabetes. Instead of making a comparison between variations of the standard American diet and plant based vegan diet, how about we get a chart comparing followers of a Paleo diet, WAPF diet, Medditeranian diet, the standard American diet, and the junk food vegan diet ( Mmmm boca burgers and vegan french fries ). It makes me want to scream because of the way that these studies are presented on a chart and how it skews information to the public. I want to stress so badly the importance of people not just jumping into a vegan diet without doing their research. And as for dietary recommendations..the first foods out of this doctors mouth is brown rice and spaghetti. Brown rice and spaghetti have next to no nutrients. Good call Doc.

Again, Jillian's comment about going vegan and then feeling terrible. Have you noticed Jillian's physique? She is very muscular, lean, and fit. She needs more protein than your average Joe that might get in a 30 minute walk on their lunch hour. So perhaps, veganism is not well suited for people who strength train or have a mesomorph body type. 

One of the biggest arguments about the Vegan diet is that not getting enough protein is a "myth." Yes, this might very well be a myth but the real myth is that all the protein that you are eating is getting absorbed. Truth is, on paper it might show that your diet consists of enough grams of protein but it might not be getting completely absorbed by the body. Your body has to do a lot more work when your protein is all plant based compared to eating complete proteins from foods such as chicken, or fish. 

I think I am done ranting for now... but please. I beg you. If you are thinking about going vegan..especially for health reasons, I would explore other options. To all the Vegans that might read this...I still love you.


  1. "in reality, the people who are the healthiest are those who stick to eating REAL FOOD. Food that is closest to it's original form. "

    AMEN to that. This is what I believe. This is the diet I am striving for.

  2. When I got Vegan for a week to a month each year, my body loves me. The one thing I know is that I'm not a knowledgeable vegan to know how to up my protein levels that is not beans.

    I believe that we all need to eat more organic (I miss how well my poop smells in Europe), eat more vegetables, lower our meat intake, watch our portions, EXERCISE and cut out the process foods from pop to fast food.

  3. very interesting, thanks for posting this. my husband is a pesco-vegetarian, and I do worry about his protein/iron intake but we make sure to eat a lot of Quinoa, tofu, beans, etc.
    It would be interesting to do a blood test and see what he is lacking. Maybe iron? But generally I think he eats, and is, very healthy.

  4. Oh, and I wanted to add that he/we eat a lot of eggs, greek yogurt, and (when we can afford), wild pacific salmon. These are all such great sources of protein, it leaves no real need for meat, in my opinion

  5. I'm like Jillian I think. I'm mostly vegan but every so often I eat fish or egg when I feel like I need that. Sometimes after really intense bike rides I do need some extra protein. That's what works for me. I don't think people should deal in absolutes. You should just educate yourself and figure out what's best for you.

  6. I love to read your blogs when you know more than the knowledge of so-called experts. You have read and studied so much about diet, fitness, health, calories, harmful additives to food. You have tried both the vegan diet and switched to a grass fed beef and free range chicken diet that includes tons of fresh vegetables. You developed a much healthier eating model for yourself learning so much in the process.