The Vegetarian Myth

manitoban

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Laura said:
D Rusak said:
I never believed I would say this, but yes, yes, yes! I have been eating a much higher fat/protein breakfast than ever before, and it is amazing to me how much more energy I have.
I've been having: turkey bacon fried in a little ghee, refried beans (made them myself, so not as much scary stuff in them), and mashed avocado or guacamole on top of a buckwheat blini or other "bread" type substitute. It's been years (as in, probably since elementary school) since I remember not having the mid-morning dip in energy I've been accustomed to. That mid-morning dive, incidentally, was a strong reason for my drinking coffee or tea for years.

My two pesos, anyhow.
That's what we are hearing from all over and what we experience ourselves. Who would have ever thought that having your biggest and richest meal of the day at breakfast could be so life-changing? How did we lose this knowledge? Geeze, when you think about it, it is so logical.
Yeah, I can't get over it either. It is totally logical to have a hearty breakfast to give you energy for the day! Thinking back to how I used to eat very little or foods that had no nutrition, no wonder I had that midmorning slump. The whole belief or mind set that most of us were trained in to eat a light grain breakfast for the most part amounts to another program - and as always these programs do us no good at all!
 

Odyssey

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

I've been serving myself big breakfasts lately too. Homemade sausage, sometimes eggs and avocado, with veggies and/or some sweet taters thrown in. All with duck fat and butter. It's really great not to be starving at 9 or 10 o'clock am like I used to when I just had a smoothie for breakfast. I really look forward to breakfast every day.
 

Voyageur

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Very interesting thread; thanks for starting it truth seeker. :)

Have never been a vegetarian, however, this has been within the family to a certain degree, and for a time, felt projections and subtleties of guilt for leanings to a predominantly meat protein diet. There was a time when soy based products were the rage, probably still are for many, but just could not seem to enjoy them; resistance of some type.

Anyway, a couple of things stayed in mind, one that probably created resolve in a strange way. On the radio about ten years ago, there was a woman who apparently; can’t remember her name, was a dyed in the wool vegetarian. She had written a number of best sellers and she recounted the day, after 25 years of vegetarian dedication, that she went home for Christmas and as she walked into her mother’s home, she was overcome by the smell of a roast cooking. At that moment, she knew she would break her vow and eat meat again. She said she never looked back.

More recently, a friend of ours manages a health food store that brings in a fair amount of vegetables. Staying away from the traditional grocers, we buy our vegetables there and one day noticed a freezer full of organic meat raised locally. It was expensive meat, as were the vegetables, so I asked our friend when had they decided to bring in this meat product. Feeling awkward and in hushed tones, she said it was not going over very well at all with their vegetarian clientele. The clientele were so mad that they started saying the meat was polluting their vegetables with its bad Karma. Many refused to come back.

Fortunately, the store kept up with the organic meat and I guess, people like myself, who eat this, started coming to the shop replacing those who left.

It was Belibaste’s post that made me recall this last bit;

Indeed! Sometimes the debate gets hot because it touches a very sacred cow which is the foundation (consciously or not) of a good share of self-importance, sense of spirituality and superiority complex.
 

Ben

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

I don't have much time in the morning (or more to the point I like to maximise my sleeping time!) so I started eating gluten free cereals with rice milk for a while instead of cereal with milk. Now I have changed this to cured meat like parma ham or smoked fish, it's even quicker and I don't get hungry so quickly mid-morning like I used to. In fact I have been eating an incredible amount of meat and fish for the past year, sometimes with huge amounts of fat on it like belly pork, and yet I continue to lose weight as I cut grains out of my diet and add supplements.
 

mb

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Laura said:
That's what we are hearing from all over and what we experience ourselves. Who would have ever thought that having your biggest and richest meal of the day at breakfast could be so life-changing? How did we lose this knowledge? Geeze, when you think about it, it is so logical.
I first heard this idea during a vegan cooking class I took almost 15 years ago. Unfortunately, the vegan diet didn't offer the right breakfast foods to make it work, at least not for me. Breakfast is very good nowadays, though, with no gluten and plenty of fat, animal and vegetable!
 

mb

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Ben said:
I don't have much time in the morning (or more to the point I like to maximise my sleeping time!) so I started eating gluten free cereals with rice milk for a while instead of cereal with milk. Now I have changed this to cured meat like parma ham or smoked fish, it's even quicker and I don't get hungry so quickly mid-morning like I used to. In fact I have been eating an incredible amount of meat and fish for the past year, sometimes with huge amounts of fat on it like belly pork, and yet I continue to lose weight as I cut grains out of my diet and add supplements.
I have had to make time to cook a good breakfast every morning. I also make an Ultrashake (for lunch) if I am going into the office that day, which is quick, and I often find that I am not very hungry in the evening. The time I save making lunch and dinner makes up for the time it takes to make breakfast. I have been avoiding prepared foods for the most part.
 

Laura

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Megan said:
I have had to make time to cook a good breakfast every morning. I also make an Ultrashake (for lunch) if I am going into the office that day, which is quick, and I often find that I am not very hungry in the evening.
Yes, it is really a revelation that when you eat very well - like a king - in the morning, and moderately - like a prince - at noon, you aren't that hungry in the evening and a soup or small meal will satisfy you. Then your body gets to rest well until the following morning.

I used to never feel hunger in the morning, just drank coffee until about noon, and my whole HPA axis was completely off kilter. Now, I'm hungry soon after I wake up, I eat, and go for hours full steam.

Imagine if kids had really good, meaty and fat rich breakfasts in the morning how well they might do at school?
 

Mrs. Peel

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Ben said:
I don't have much time in the morning (or more to the point I like to maximise my sleeping time!) so I started eating gluten free cereals with rice milk for a while instead of cereal with milk. Now I have changed this to cured meat like parma ham or smoked fish, it's even quicker and I don't get hungry so quickly mid-morning like I used to. In fact I have been eating an incredible amount of meat and fish for the past year, sometimes with huge amounts of fat on it like belly pork, and yet I continue to lose weight as I cut grains out of my diet and add supplements.
We were talking about this at lunch today, I brought up the idea of eating a big breakfast, and also of eating a small dinner and trying to not eat anything that needs to be digested after 6 PM. Everyone just laughed. Nobody was willing to get up for work any earlier to be able to cook breakfast (myself included, I'm even thinking of giving my other cat away once the older one dies so I can sleep the extra 20 minutes it takes me to tend to them each morning), and one woman said she doesn't even get home till after 6 PM to start dinner for her family. My own husband doesn't get home till after 8:30 PM and eats his largest meal then. :nuts: We're all screwed up. As for kids getting a healthy meal of good fats before school, today in the majority of families, both parents work, so my guess is those mom's aren't gonna do it either. Give 'em a granola bar and send them out the door more likely. :(
 
Re: The Vegetarian Stance

The best I ever felt was following Atkins guidelines for eating a few years ago, lots of meat, butter eggs and moderate low carb vegies and no sugar. ( rice, potatoes and wheat were a no no because of the high carb count that he explains messes up blood sugar, creating all kinds of problems with insulin levels and so many reprecussions from this.) He was also knowledgeable about yeast overgrowth/gluten intolerance/inflammation and being a cardiologist, I can't imagine his lonely struggle at the height of the low cholestral/eat margarine/low fat saturated fats/eggs are bad craze. And telling all to ignore everything they've ever learned about nutrition and food and fats? Anyways its a win win situation eliminating these foods.
 
Re: The Vegetarian Stance

I did Atkins and lost no weight, then went vegan and lost 16 lbs without even thinking about it. I worked like a dog this summer and lost 5 whole pounds. My sister came to visit this fall for a week and was on the Paleo diet, so I did it with her and lost 5 pounds that week. I also went to the doctor to have my cholesterol checked again- it had been high on both Atkins and the vegan diet. My hemoglobin A1C was 6.1, and he said that was a little higher than he would like, so put me on metformin. The weight has been falling off since, so I was insulin resistant. Have lost 40 lbs total. Am eating organic as much as possible, and staying gluten, dairy, and legume free. Just small amounts of meat, and am conscious of portion control, and have been making sure to stop before full. Have 1 or 2 eggs cooked in olive oil with sliced tomato and OJ in the am, usually have a buckwheat waflle, or piece of fruit or few walnuts with it. Have a salad with flax oil and mixed veggies with a small amount of chicken and a glass of mixed dark juices for lunch, and something small for dinner, similar to lunch, or sometimes just fruit and nuts. And have all the green tea or organic coffee I want. And it's not a religion, I will have a little rice with the veg some days. I have found that a small amount of very high quality food always prepared with the olive or flax oil is very satisfying. Am now cleaning out of the closet another batch of clothes that are too big.
 

shijing

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

monksgirl said:
And have all the green tea or organic coffee I want. And it's not a religion, I will have a little rice with the veg some days. I have found that a small amount of very high quality food always prepared with the olive or flax oil is very satisfying. Am now cleaning out of the closet another batch of clothes that are too big.
Sounds like your diet is generally pretty good, but a few things about the above. First, we discovered that rice (with the exception of wild rice) also contains gluten. You also have to be careful how you use your oils in cooking, specifically in terms of temperature -- you can search the forum for info on that. Also search on green tea and especially coffee, which unfortunately affects insulin levels and strips the body of magnesium. Finally, regarding how concerned to be about cholesterol, that's worth a search as well, and there's one thread that discusses that here.
 

mb

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

monksgirl said:
I did Atkins and lost no weight, then went vegan and lost 16 lbs without even thinking about it...
I agree with Shijing -- your present diet sounds good. I went vegan at the beginning of 1996 and lost 75 lbs. (coming down from 300 lbs. after a surgically-corrected back problem). I didn't test adequately for gluten sensitivity, though -- partly due to lack of information back then on how to go about it -- and I was eating a lot of troublesome "whole grains," and soy.

My diet now (following the modified USD) is similar to what it was back then, but with some natural/organic meat and with no gluten-containing whole grains, rice (other than organic wild rice), or soy. I just completed a second reintroduction of wheat, confirming that I am gluten sensitive.

After some time eating only "agreeable" foods many people seem to find their appetite settling down and telling them when and what to eat. I use it now as a guide as to how much meat to have. When I was vegan, it was telling me to eat a little meat, but I wasn't listening because I had a "vegan stance." What seems to work better than taking a stance is to eliminate foods that measurably do not agree with you and to let your body tell you what to eat among the choices that are left, paying special attention to any cravings.

Speaking of which, I tend to crave tree nuts, at least once I start eating them, and I don't feel as well after eating a lot of them. It doesn't hurt anywhere (as it does 2 days after eating gluten), but my energy level drops. My solution has been to avoid nut milks and salted shelled nuts, and to buy the nuts I like still in the shell so that I only eat a few at a time, until I grow tired of shelling them and my appetite says to stop as well.
 

Aiming

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Very interesting thread, thank you! Like others here, I've also been vegetarian for almost all my life since I was a little child (~ 5 yrs). There were a few short periods where I did have some chicken. A few years ago I started to include fish. I'm blood type AB and whenever I did try to eat meat I felt nauseated and had to spit it out again. So I thought it was just not for me. But I never looked closer. There were the usual reasons of not wanting to eat an animal, which later morphed into feeling 'cleaner/more pure' than meat eating people.

Those rationalisations, or should I say the programming, was running deeper than I would've ever imagined. When it became clear from the diet research done on the forum that meat is essential for optimal health, I was faced with an emotional challenge. I was sure I could never eat meat, so what I did was increase my fish consumption. And by the way, without really admitting it to myself, I postponed reading the actual facts about meat consumption, until very recently. That would've meant to face the fact that I need to change course.

The thing is, especially in recent months my body's longing for meat has been increasing. And when looking back, I always had this longing for meat, but always shoved it away. 'Meat is not for me' -- the programming was definitely running deep. This realization only hit me like a ton of bricks when reading the article Burying The Vegetarian Hypothesis on SOTT (Thank You!!).

Thing is, I often need some mental preparation with many things. I had my first beef a week ago. And boy, do I love it!! That was the first time my body felt really satisfied with the food I gave to it. In those recent months, were the longing for meat was becoming more and more apparent to me, while I was still not ready to actually do eat meat, I ate loads of fish -- and I love fish, but really, it seems fish just doesn't cut it. Body wasn't satisfied -- at all.

My next challenge will be pork. Over the years, I've really been programmed to consider pork as really evil food. Don't exactly know where it's coming from, as I was vegetarian anyway, but it just shows me that the programming aspect definitely applies to me.
 

Mr. Premise

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

I Just wanted to add an update 6 weeks after the post I made below. The results on joint stiffness have been amazing! I can get out of bed in the morning and walk quickly down the stairs with no problem. That had been getting harder and harder. I used to have to walk a bit to loosen up. But now, no problem. I am in my fifties, so that's not something you can take for granted. Any small joint aches, etc. have completely disappeared.

And digesting a high saturated fat diet has gotten easier.

Mr. Premise said:
I have been eating lots of meat the last couple of months as an experiment in increasing anti-inflammation. I have been trying the paleolithic diet and find that, at first it was fun to eat the bacon and beef I haven't had for years (and it was easier to order off of restaurant menus when I travel) but that I tend to overeat the high animal and saturated fat foods and feel somewhat full/too full afterwards. I think it is because when I was a vegan I could eat tons of that kind food and digest it easily and not gain weight. I just need to adjust and eat more vegetables and less bacon and coconut milk chocolates in the morning. Since I am used to eating larger volumes, when the mix is higher in fat, it is harder to digest. But it has been a blast eating bacon guilt-free.

But I have lost a few pounds on this paleolithic diet (and my kids are thrilled that I am eating meat again, they always did). I tell them that it is only healthier if they quit dairy and wheat, but they aren't doing that (nor does my wife). I have some stiffness in my knee which I can use as a gauge of inflammation because other than that, I don't have bad reactions when I go off the diet. I have the quiet cardiovascular effects of inflammation to worry about and I am taking the leap of faith that saturated animal fats is good for me because it goes against a lifetime of programming. I have a family history of heart disease and my mom had Alzheimer's so that is my motivation.

I will say this, though, all this meat eating is WAY more expensive... beans and rice are very cheap!
 

Laura

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Re: The Vegetarian Stance

Mr. Premise said:
I Just wanted to add an update 6 weeks after the post I made below. The results on joint stiffness have been amazing! I can get out of bed in the morning and walk quickly down the stairs with no problem. That had been getting harder and harder. I used to have to walk a bit to loosen up. But now, no problem. I am in my fifties, so that's not something you can take for granted. Any small joint aches, etc. have completely disappeared.

And digesting a high saturated fat diet has gotten easier.
That's been my experience, too. It takes a little while to get the liver kicked back online since most people's livers have gone totally sluggish due to low fat diets. (Hmmm... maybe that's deliberate? If your liver isn't working, you aren't detoxing!) But after awhile of using ox bile and other digestive enzymes, you find that you need them less and less.

Also, the joint pain reduction is marvelous. It sounds silly, but I kind of feel like all the fats I've been eating are lubricating everything, including my joints. Well, it isn't silly because all your cell surfaces are made of fats and when you eat vegetable oils, trans fats, etc, all your cell surfaces turn into hard plastic and don't communicate well with one another. It probably even contributes to insulin resistance. Good fats make good hormones, too! Imagine hormones made up from vegetable oils and trans fats???!!! :scared:

Plus, the added benefits of a constant, steady, easy reduction in weight without any dieting whatsoever. It's like the body is seeking and finding its correct level as it gets the ingredients to repair itself.

Then, of course, there is the factor of the brain needing plenty of good, saturated fats to work well so your thinking naturally improves and brain fog disappears. After a few months, you realize suddenly that everything is working better and only THEN do you realize how bad it had gotten and how hard your body had been working to compensate. All kinds of energy is freed up! Geeze, with the low fat, high veggie diet, we have all been just frogs in a gradually heating pan of water!
 
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