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Vegan "Transformations"--Simply from Cutting The Junk...or?...

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Heth View Post
    It is quite possible that the lady who supposedly fixed her hormone issues was just intolerant to dairy. I certainly felt better when I cut out dairy and went from veg to vegan, and now consider myself to be slightly intolerant to dairy. But then I felt worse again and needed to "advance" to raw vegan to feel that high again. But as that 'Vegans are Cannibals' article articulated it often doesn't last and one quickly goes downhill. At first I was all over everyone trying to help people see the light and increase the raw fruit and veg in their diet and exercise more and such! Then my teeth started decaying, I got B12 deficiencies despite supplementing, sodium deficiencies, extremely underweight (I was diagnosed suspected eating disorder despite eating tonnes, because I was too skinny) and diagnosed depression - I burnt out and got really sick (4 months in hospital anyone?). The hardcore raw vegans will say I didn't drink enough water or the right water or I didn't eat enough fruit or the right fruit etc etc, but really even if you will succeed being 100% perfect as a raw vegan it's just not sustainable for the majority of people who try.

    I could have been used as a success story in my early days of raw vegan when I reached my ideal weight, exercised daily and before my teeth went yellow! But in the raw and vegan worlds I have seen several people who have been used as success stories, but have then come out saying they now eat meat because they didn't feel their best after a while.
    And how different is that from people who are on Paleo and come to this forum, post about not feeling good and the answers are, you don't eat enough fat or not enough protein or your ratios are wrong etc etc. Same thing.

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    • #17
      A few things come to mind in a thread like this:

      1) There is ample anecdotal evidence to support many diets. What this indicates, to me, is just how adaptable we are when it comes to diet. Makes sense, though, that we would be so adaptable - it's part of why we've been able to thrive as a species, I would think.

      2) I feel, at times, that the relative importance of different elements of diet gets overlooked. In other words, I don't think cutting soda and candy out of your diet have the same value as moving from grains to no grains. Both are probably important, but it seems to me that the soda and candy are MORE important than the grains, that cutting wheat is *likely* more important than cutting rice, and so on. In the example the OP gives, and as other posters have mentioned, to move from a more processed diet to a more whole food diet is most likely beneficial, even if the diet moved to (i.e., a vegan diet) isn't the *optimal* human diet.

      3) My own anecdotal evidence is that my vegan friends - I have several - do not look healthy to me. They are thin, but they seem very drawn in the face, with sunken eyes and pale skin. I haven't noticed their teeth. This observation is, admittedly, worth pretty little; I don't know exactly what they eat, what supplements they take, etc., but I am struck, every time I see them, with how unhealthy they look to me. I noticed this even before going primal myself.

      4) Although I wouldn't choose to be vegan myself, I do admire the fact that vegans -- at least the ones I know -- choose the diet and lifestyle for reasons of strong personal conviction (even if there is some valid debate about the relative worth of some of those choices.) I think people who are willing to "walk the walk" in that way should be commended, because I think a) their hearts tend to be in the right place and b) it's a tough way to live, I think, and they tend to be very committed to it, which I admire.
      “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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      • #18
        I think one has to remember all the other factors contributing to wellness, some of the oldest people on the planet are not Paleo & probably don't even know what it means, it is more likely that they had the benefit of other lifestyle factors, so it makes me question all the fuss some individuals go to with their Paleo approach, how much is this actually detracting from their progress, state of mind, stress, lifestyle, relationships etc. etc., how much is Paleo driving your life?
        I do wonder if generally Paleo, relaxed, slightly "cuddly", mixed moderate exercise is not the best kind of direction for an overall personal best in the life stakes.
        My general direction currently is Paleo with a dash of Raw foodies and traditional diet (Weston A Price) overtones, but this is still an evolving process for me.
        On the original question of Vegans, I have done enough research to satisfy myself that this direction is flawed, unless one is fully informed and takes the appropriate supplements with regular checkups, even then there is a risk of malnutrition in my opinion.



        Great contribution there Omni.

        Comment


        • #19
          Originally posted by Rosencrantz1 View Post
          A few things come to mind in a thread like this:

          1) There is ample anecdotal evidence to support many diets. What this indicates, to me, is just how adaptable we are when it comes to diet. Makes sense, though, that we would be so adaptable - it's part of why we've been able to thrive as a species, I would think.

          2) I feel, at times, that the relative importance of different elements of diet gets overlooked. In other words, I don't think cutting soda and candy out of your diet have the same value as moving from grains to no grains. Both are probably important, but it seems to me that the soda and candy are MORE important than the grains, that cutting wheat is *likely* more important than cutting rice, and so on. In the example the OP gives, and as other posters have mentioned, to move from a more processed diet to a more whole food diet is most likely beneficial, even if the diet moved to (i.e., a vegan diet) isn't the *optimal* human diet.

          3) My own anecdotal evidence is that my vegan friends - I have several - do not look healthy to me. They are thin, but they seem very drawn in the face, with sunken eyes and pale skin. I haven't noticed their teeth. This observation is, admittedly, worth pretty little; I don't know exactly what they eat, what supplements they take, etc., but I am struck, every time I see them, with how unhealthy they look to me. I noticed this even before going primal myself.

          4) Although I wouldn't choose to be vegan myself, I do admire the fact that vegans -- at least the ones I know -- choose the diet and lifestyle for reasons of strong personal conviction (even if there is some valid debate about the relative worth of some of those choices.) I think people who are willing to "walk the walk" in that way should be commended, because I think a) their hearts tend to be in the right place and b) it's a tough way to live, I think, and they tend to be very committed to it, which I admire.
          Great post.
          Here is what I think.
          1. No one knows what optimal human diet is, although lots of people would claim they do.
          2. What should a healthy person look like? How do we judge that? What looks healthy to me may not be healthy to you. I go to North America and people tell me I need to eat more because I am too skinny and probably something is wrong with me. I go to EU and I am considered normal. I go to Africa and I get comments that I am sick. This is all cultural in my opinion. Can an obese looking person be healthy but just look obese? Maybe they don't have any health issues?
          3. All the vegans I know are vegans not for health reasons. I am quite aware that there are people who do that for health reasons without fully understanding that there are certain supplementations they may have to take and those are the ones who get in trouble. Having said that there are lots of vegans who thrive on vegan diet, as I have seen many not just by looking at their physical appearance but also seeing their blood work results. But yes I know many people here don't believe in blood result numbers.

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          • #20
            bump

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            • #21
              Originally posted by KathyH View Post
              2. What should a healthy person look like?
              Such a great point, KathyH. I think you're correct in that a lot of what *looks* healthy is cultural, and what might look healthy to one person or one community may not to another person/community.

              Furthermore, I think it's a valid question to ask "What *is* healthy?" -- what do we *mean* when we use that word? Is someone who lives disease-free, but dies at 75 *healthier* than someone who is sickly, but makes it to 90? Is someone who shows more generally-accepted (and I understand the danger in my using that term ;-) ) risk factors (e.g. elevated triglycerides, more body fat) less healthy than someone who doesn't show those factors? What if the person with the better profile has poorer mobility? Worse eye-sight?

              I think we all have something relatively similar in mind when we say "healthy," but there is probably a lot of variation within that.

              Good discussion!
              “If you want to build a ship, don't drum up people together to collect wood and don't assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea” -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by JennaRose View Post
                When I was a veg-head, I came across Alicia Silverstone's blog. I still check it out every now and again for recommendations on beauty products or whatever. Regularly, she posts a testimonial from someone for the vegan diet. Of course, the people in the testimonials praise a vegan diet, that they have no more ailments, they have more energy, they feel amazing. They gave up dairy and their acne went away, blah blah etc! One woman attributes dairy to being the only cause of her female hormonal problems (pcos, etc.), as she had been a vegetarian for most of her life.

                Anyway, my point is, do you think these people benefit because they are cutting out low-quality meats/dairy/eggs and most processed food to become a vegan?(in the ''real'' sense of the vegan word--minimally processed foods) For example, this woman with the hormonal problems--do you think she would have had the same results if she had simply tried switching to raw, organic dairy? (Or, perhaps, it could be possible she just cannot tolerate dairy.)

                When I made the switch from junk fooder to vegan, I felt amazing. But, also, when I made the switch from vegan to primal, I felt amazing! It struck me as interesting to think about.

                Thoughts?
                Specifically targeting Silverstone's diet...if they're going full "Superhero", there's a lot of toxic food getting cut out there, on top of the dairy she may have been reactive to. The "Superhero" version of the diet is essentially macrobiotics. So long as they aren't going crazy with wheat noodles and flour tortillas, they're probably getting a lot of whole, fresh foods.

                That said, I'm willing to bet it's not sustainable. And ultimately, that girl will slide back into old habits as her body craves fat and protein. Unless she's one of the "lucky" outliers.
                Steph
                My Primal Meanderings

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by onalark View Post
                  Specifically targeting Silverstone's diet...if they're going full "Superhero", there's a lot of toxic food getting cut out there, on top of the dairy she may have been reactive to. The "Superhero" version of the diet is essentially macrobiotics. So long as they aren't going crazy with wheat noodles and flour tortillas, they're probably getting a lot of whole, fresh foods.

                  That said, I'm willing to bet it's not sustainable. And ultimately, that girl will slide back into old habits as her body craves fat and protein. Unless she's one of the "lucky" outliers.
                  Are you saying there are no proteins and fats in vegetables? Besides how do you know what her body craves? There are too many generalizations from anecdotal evidence to draw right conclusions. For example, I grew up in a society where there is no pizza in a mainstream diet and I never crave for it never liked it, just an example to prove my point.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by KathyH View Post
                    Are you saying there are no proteins and fats in vegetables? Besides how do you know what her body craves? There are too many generalizations from anecdotal evidence to draw right conclusions. For example, I grew up in a society where there is no pizza in a mainstream diet and I never crave for it never liked it, just an example to prove my point.
                    There just isn't the same nutrition in vegetables that there are in vegetables AND meat. There's no way around that.
                    Durp.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by KathyH View Post
                      Are you saying there are no proteins and fats in vegetables? Besides how do you know what her body craves? There are too many generalizations from anecdotal evidence to draw right conclusions. For example, I grew up in a society where there is no pizza in a mainstream diet and I never crave for it never liked it, just an example to prove my point.
                      Don't think I said that at all. A vegan diet (especially the one Silverstone prescribes) is going to be higher on the carb scale and lower in the things that are most likely to bring satiation to most people: namely, fat and proteins. It will almost certainly be lower in saturated fat and contain zero dietary cholesterol.

                      I am assuming the person JennaRose is talking about is sticking to Silverstone's plan. And her plan is low on protein and fat.

                      Silverstone is notably anti-sat-fat (page 74):

                      "Saturated fats (as well as hydrogenated fats, or trans fats) are the baddies, raising cholesterol and contributing the heart disease....."

                      She also thinks you don't need all that much protein (page 60):

                      "Many people don't need protein more than once a day, but others crave more. It depends on your level of activity and muscle mass. Especially when you're adjusting to a plant-based diet, I recommend you have a bean or some kind of protein product every day."

                      Yeah, once a day! That'll sate ya! (Hint: no, it won't.)

                      She also mentions we get "too much" protein; associating excess protein with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis. So she's scaring you into buying her "facts" that protein is necessary, but too much is bad, so eat it, but don't eat too much.

                      Anyone who's been on a low fat, high carb diet knows what it means to crave fat. You can hold against it for a while, but eventually you give in. Unless, again, you're a "lucky" outlier. Which I mentioned in this case because, as you correctly pointed out, I don't know what the person in question "craves". However, I know what most humans crave, and I know what most of us who have failed at vegan diets eventually succumb to.

                      Most of the people who pick up the Kind Diet are going to still crave pizza. Silverstone and her ghost writer probably knew this; they offer an alternative for it in the book. It is, in fact, the first recipe in the book. An alternative that's extremely high in carbohydrates, has very little protein, and some fat (from a drizzle of truffle oil). As someone who ate it once, I can attest -- it wasn't very filling, and I ate half the pizza.

                      They have a WHOLE SECTION, in fact, for when you want to not be a "Superhero" and "slack off" but still be vegan. This includes a true abomination of a panini made with frozen waffles, fake cheese, veganaise, soysage, and apricot jam. Mmm. Vegan health food! But at least there's no cholesterol, amiright?

                      It's a terrible panini, by the way. And you're encouraged to think of it as a treat. At least it has some fat and crude protein, though. The rest of the recipes all swing toward the sweet, a pattern I've noted often in vegan cookbooks, which are almost always lower in fat and protein. Sugar burners gonna burn sugar.
                      Last edited by onalark; 06-16-2012, 01:03 PM. Reason: Confused my roses (Jenna, not Rita).
                      Steph
                      My Primal Meanderings

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Originally posted by onalark View Post
                        Don't think I said that at all. A vegan diet (especially the one Silverstone prescribes) is going to be higher on the carb scale and lower in the things that are most likely to bring satiation to most people: namely, fat and proteins. It will almost certainly be lower in saturated fat and contain zero dietary cholesterol.

                        I am assuming the person JennaRose is talking about is sticking to Silverstone's plan. And her plan is low on protein and fat.

                        Silverstone is notably anti-sat-fat (page 74):

                        "Saturated fats (as well as hydrogenated fats, or trans fats) are the baddies, raising cholesterol and contributing the heart disease....."

                        She also thinks you don't need all that much protein (page 60):

                        "Many people don't need protein more than once a day, but others crave more. It depends on your level of activity and muscle mass. Especially when you're adjusting to a plant-based diet, I recommend you have a bean or some kind of protein product every day."

                        Yeah, once a day! That'll sate ya! (Hint: no, it won't.)

                        She also mentions we get "too much" protein; associating excess protein with cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and osteoporosis. So she's scaring you into buying her "facts" that protein is necessary, but too much is bad, so eat it, but don't eat too much.

                        Anyone who's been on a low fat, high carb diet knows what it means to crave fat. You can hold against it for a while, but eventually you give in. Unless, again, you're a "lucky" outlier. Which I mentioned in this case because, as you correctly pointed out, I don't know what the person in question "craves". However, I know what most humans crave, and I know what most of us who have failed at vegan diets eventually succumb to.

                        Most of the people who pick up the Kind Diet are going to still crave pizza. Silverstone and her ghost writer probably knew this; they offer an alternative for it in the book. It is, in fact, the first recipe in the book. An alternative that's extremely high in carbohydrates, has very little protein, and some fat (from a drizzle of truffle oil). As someone who ate it once, I can attest -- it wasn't very filling, and I ate half the pizza.

                        They have a WHOLE SECTION, in fact, for when you want to not be a "Superhero" and "slack off" but still be vegan. This includes a true abomination of a panini made with frozen waffles, fake cheese, veganaise, soysage, and apricot jam. Mmm. Vegan health food! But at least there's no cholesterol, amiright?

                        It's a terrible panini, by the way. And you're encouraged to think of it as a treat. At least it has some fat and crude protein, though. The rest of the recipes all swing toward the sweet, a pattern I've noted often in vegan cookbooks, which are almost always lower in fat and protein. Sugar burners gonna burn sugar.
                        I don't know who Silverstone is so can't comment on her and her diet but you are generalizing. You said that a vegan diet (especially the one Silverstone prescribes) is going to be higher on the carb scale and lower in the things that are most likely to bring satiation to most people: namely, fat and proteins.
                        Seriously, you can speak on a behalf of the whole world's population??? Because fat and proteins satisfy you doesn't mean they satisfy the rest of the 7 billion people. Your cultural eating habits might be totally different than other humans. You know what most humans crave??? WOW, I am impressed.

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                          There just isn't the same nutrition in vegetables that there are in vegetables AND meat. There's no way around that.
                          Of course it is not the same nutrition. The question is which one is "optimal" nutrition, which NOONE knows. I know many experts here will claim they do.

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                            There just isn't the same nutrition in vegetables that there are in vegetables AND meat. There's no way around that.
                            Originally posted by KathyH View Post
                            Of course it is not the same nutrition. The question is which one is "optimal" nutrition, which NOONE knows. I know many experts here will claim they do.
                            Let me rephrase it then. There just isn't AS MUCH nutrition in vegetables as there is in vegetables and meat. And there's still no way around that.
                            Last edited by RitaRose; 06-16-2012, 06:02 PM.
                            Durp.

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Originally posted by Rosencrantz1 View Post
                              Such a great point, KathyH. I think you're correct in that a lot of what *looks* healthy is cultural, and what might look healthy to one person or one community may not to another person/community.

                              Furthermore, I think it's a valid question to ask "What *is* healthy?" -- what do we *mean* when we use that word? Is someone who lives disease-free, but dies at 75 *healthier* than someone who is sickly, but makes it to 90? Is someone who shows more generally-accepted (and I understand the danger in my using that term ;-) ) risk factors (e.g. elevated triglycerides, more body fat) less healthy than someone who doesn't show those factors? What if the person with the better profile has poorer mobility? Worse eye-sight?

                              I think we all have something relatively similar in mind when we say "healthy," but there is probably a lot of variation within that.

                              Good discussion!
                              Agreed, good discussion. You raise valid questions to which I don't have answers. These questions indicate that the science of nutrition is very complex, open to long debates.
                              Last edited by KathyH; 06-16-2012, 06:03 PM.

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by RitaRose View Post
                                Let me rephrase it then. There just isn't AS MUCH nutrition in vegetables as there is in vegetables and meat. And there's still no way around that.
                                Are you talking about "good" nutrition or just any nutrition?

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