NT vs. Vegan. Need ideas and experiences! - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Please no flames. And no PM flames either.

My family is vegan. I have been vegetarian (almost vegan) for 15 years and completely vegan for 5. I had a vegan pregnancy and 2.5 yo dd is vegan as is dh. I have been completely happy as a vegan and have enjoyed perfect health as has dh and dd. We became vegan for primarily ethical and environmental reasons.

I do a great deal of reading on everything. I have read about every vegan book out there along with countless other nutrition books. I read nutrition books that I know I will disagree with just because I enjoy the subject and like to know what is "out there". I am somewhat of a "nutrition expert" to a large number of friends and family. I was very confident in my vegan diet.

Things have changed.

Dd weaned in December. Dd and I have pretty severe sleep issues. Mine started as a young child. Part of my problems are most definately due to stress. However, the lifelong problem has got to have some underlying issue aside from stress. And seeing as dd is not exactly stressed out, it is clear that our very similar problems (mostly severe, all night, mulit day, insomnia) are either genetically connected or nutritionally connected. I was raise din a meat eating house but was allergic to dairy and did not eat much meat (less than one serving a week). I had trouble chewing it and my mom did not force it. So I have been close to vegan for most of my life.

My insomnia has recently gotten out of control. In an effort to help myself, I have started reading up on causes of insomnia. Over and over I come across nutritional (specifically mineral) defeciencies. I am VERY careful to eat a balanced diet and suppliment when i feel it is necessary. So at first i dismissed it. But after reading more, I am finding that I have other symptoms that suggest mineral defeciencies. I have joint pain, am slow to heal from minor injuries, etc..... More reading, help from posters on MDC and another board, and more soul searching has made me realize that I might be having more problems than I orginally thought. I am only 31 yet feel I have little energy most of the time. I am cold when no one else is. I work out several times a week yet see little progress and still get winded doing simple things like climbing two flights of stairs or walking up the hill I live on.

On a whim, I picked up the NT book by Fallon. Of course it goes against almost all other research i have done. It goes against my ideals, ethics, palatability, etc.... And I have read a great deal of critics saying that she is wrong wrong wrong. Yet, i am somehow drawn to the idea. Just reading the reference section seems to give me energy. I wonder if I would be in much better health if I re-evaluated my diet.

And now that dd is weaned, I am much more concerned with her diet. she is a great eater, looks and seems healthy, and is right on target for height and weight. But I worry. The fact is that we know nothing. The science changes drastically with each decade. One day meat is bad, the next it is good. We only have a tiny understanding of exactly what vits and minerals are necessary, how they are absorbed, how they work together, etc.... I cannot say I trust anyone on these matters. We just do not know. Which makes me worry about not offering entire food groups to dd. My own health is important but I am responsible for it and can live with myself if I went down the wrong path. I couldnot live with myself if I found dd to be even slightly damaged because I let my ideals come before sound nutrition.

But what is sound nutrition? Maybe what we are doing now is "right".

So what I am looking for is some btdt stories. Anyone used to be vegan and had a change of heart? How about the other way around? What has drawn NTers to NT? How do you feel about the science? How do people feel about the ethics of eating animal products? What emotional toll did leaving veganism take on you? And most imprtant to me.....How do you know what science to trust? What helps you make nutrition decisions?
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#2 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 05:29 PM - Thread Starter
 
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OHHH!!!! And one more inportant question for NT people:

If you were in a position in which you could not afford to buy many "clean" animal products or if there was very limited availibility due to location, would you still think it beneficial to introduce small amounts rather than none at all? Fallon claims grains are bad. Legumes are bad. Well, dh is unemployed and we are living solely off of my meager bartending pay. Beans and grains "happens" in our house almost daily. I cannot see that changing much until our financial position changes. Although I am open to better preparation methods. Is there any point to even exploring this in our position?
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#3 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 05:38 PM
 
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I've gone through similar things in the past- first I was an ovo-lacto-pesco vegetarian, then I was vegan for a few months, then I re-introduced meat (after much soul searching) and continued to avoid dairy. I currently eat meat or poultry about once a week. I eat a mostly grain/bean based diet with small amounts of butter, eggs, and goat milk.

It sounds to me like the vegan diet isn't really working for you right now- in my mind, the most important science to trust is our own bodies. I honestly don't think there's one "perfect" diet that works for everybody. I think we all have slightly different body chemistry, and some people thrive on lowfat, high carb diets, others thrive on high protein, low carb diets, others might fare best with low protein, moderate carbs, and relatively high fat diets.

Since you're currently a vegan for ethical reasons, you might want to clarify in your mind what the most important ethics are for you. Which animal products would be the least objectionable to you? Perhaps you'd feel comfortable using dairy products and/or eggs from a local farm, or wild game, or nothing from birds or mammals but fish is OK. What's "morally acceptable" is really something that only you can decide for yourself. The ethics of factory farms are separate from the ethics of consuming animal products when you can personally know the animal that's providing them.

For me, personally, I stopped being a vegetarian around the same time I started keeping Kosher- I figured if G-d gave us rules for Kosher meat, then it really is OK to eat it, and all the environmental reasons for vegatarianism are still valid for "eating less meat" rather than "eating no meat."

Ruth, single mommy to Leah, 19, Hannah, 18, and Jack, 12
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#4 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 06:52 PM
 
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My dh was vegan for about 10 yrs. When I met him I was vegetarian and soon after being together started eating vegan. I ate mostly vegan for about 2 yrs. My dh didn't worry too much about his nutrition while being vegan. When we met he survived on pastas, beans and rice, and PB&J sandwiches (for the most part) I became interested in eating without dairy because I had a lot of digestive problems growing up and at one time thought I might be allergic to dairy. I did a lot of experimenting with vegan cooking and enjoyed all the alternatives I found for cooking. In the long run I went back to dairy because the soy products I replaced for dairy became very tough on me. I thought I had helped my digestive problems but they returned after a year and a half or so after eating vegan. I also developed cronic hives for six months. I worked with a Naturopath to heal my digestive system and the hives cleared up almost immediately. I eventually brought back a little dairy and eggs and it has been good for me.
My dh was completely vegan until about a year ago. We lived on a ranch wich raised laying hens and goats for cheese and milk. Since my passion is to have a small scale organic farm with similar animals and products, dh caved and introduced organic dairy. He has always had excellent health. He is rarely sick. When he is sick he heals and gets well very quickly. He has more energy and stamina than anyone I know. Well he is still in good health today with dairy, but......We do have a baby now which may not accurately portray were his health is deteriorating from. Lack of sleep and exercise due to baby --or-- Change to diet. He has put on quite a bit more weight eating dairy and definately seems more tired. We still eat vegan meals quite often, but we do drink milk and I cook more often with cheese. I also cook more with eggs. I stopped being completely vegetarian around the same time dh introduced dairy. I eat chicken on occasion, maybe only once every two weeks or so. I went all out when I was pregnant and ate red meat. But now I'm back to occasional organic or free range chicken. We really can't afford it anyway and so our protein definately comes mainly from lentils, beans, and tofu. I have found that for me dairy and occasional chicken is good for me. I have less digestive problems than I ever did and feel like I sleep better and have more energy. We plan on raising ds pretty much as a vegetarian, but probably with a little meat like I eat. I know dh feels like maybe he'd rather go back to being vegan, but with finances as they are, we can't afford some of the products he'd prefer to eat. We get milk, eggs, and cheese on WIC right now. So until we get off of it, dh's love of soymilk will have to wait.
It's tough I worry about ds's health because of my nutritional problems. I also have a sister and a nephew who have similar battles to mine. I would say that fitting in alternate diets in our family has not been a problem. I eat meat as a side dish and cook tofu patties or something protein related for dh. It sound like since you are so well informed and your paying attention to your own health. I do believe that some people may not be able to eat completely vegan. But I think there are alternative ecological and ethical practices out there that are worth supporting. Organic dairy and meat are more expensive, but I think they are worth it. I think of it as supporting an industry which is trying to be more ethical towards animals. Someone I met recently said they were an "Ethical eater". I guess that is what I try to do. Be conscious of where and how my food was raised or grown.
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#5 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 06:53 PM
 
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you sound like you may have some deficiencies going on-mineral to be specific. There are other far more wise than I who may chime in here to help. I have some significant deficiencies, but am just learning.
I was vegan and have just switched to a NT style of eating, but without many grains at all-and actually I am going to be eliminating them all together. I feel FAR better when there are no grains in my diet. I think the proof is in the pudding. As much as I loved being vegan, I feel better now. I was good then, just better now. I only eat pasture fed meats and I personally feel that it's necessary *for me* They are different nutritionally (higher in omega 3's) and treated better, allowed to live and graze as they should. There are many places you can order from online if you can't get them locally. We are very poor, so we do alot of organic, free range eggs, and bone broths. We just can't afford the meat all the time. When we can, it's just ground beef from a pastured herd because it's so darn cheap.
I DEFINITELY don't agree with Fallon on alot of things. I'm somewhat of a nutrition junkie myself! However, I repect Weston Prices writings. I am currently awaiting the arrival of my Nutrition and Physical Degeration. I suspect I'll like that alot more than NT.
Good luck! Nutrition is a changing thing. You can't trust most of what you read. We need to rely on history to see how things have evolved and what our health looked like at various stages. I guess what got me was when a wise mama pointed out that NO traditional diets were vegan. She was right, and I wasn't consuming insects. I'm learning...slowly.
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#6 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 07:00 PM
 
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I highly suggest checking out The Garden of Eating: A Produce Dominated Diet. It's based on Price's research as well but is pretty different than Fallon and WAPF's approach.

I would say that if you can find "clean" meat and dairy, forego it all together. I manage to get what I can from local farmers but I am pretty limited. I've learned to be okay with it.
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#7 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 07:09 PM
 
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Actually that's one of my favorites as well. It's set up really well and it's pretty easy to follow.
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#8 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 07:18 PM
 
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I do not know what kind of bar you are working in, but is possible that aspects of your job are wearing you out... all bars around here are pretty smokey and that is why I ask. I would also say cut yourself some slack. You are working, caring for a child and yourself- you should be tired.

As for the sleep issues, they can be a time where allow our minds to understand the world around us and it may be totally unrelated to food. On monday npr did a segment on how the "necessary" 8 hours of sleep is a recent invention the coincided with electricity. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5225305

If you really think you are tired because you might be mineral deficient you should consult a doctor and get screened because it is possible to o.d. on vitamins. It could be a sign of other potential problems, such as thyriod or anemia.
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#9 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 07:28 PM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s
As for the sleep issues, they can be a time where allow our minds to understand the world around us and it may be totally unrelated to food. On monday npr did a segment on how the "necessary" 8 hours of sleep is a recent invention the coincided with electricity. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5225305
Interesting! I am listening now.

I am actually reading this book now and it gives a different analysis all together, mainly because I think it takes on a paleo perspective.
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#10 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 09:02 PM
 
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Jordan Rubin addresses the "circadian rhythm" sleep thing in the Maker's Diet. Actually, many people have been talking about it recently. It is not really new information and makes complete sense when you think about it....we used to go to sleep when the sun set and wake with it again in the morning. The farther we get from nature, the more trouble we get in to. Shocking, right?
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#11 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 09:17 PM
 
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Where did you get the idea that NT or Fallon thinks grains and beans are bad? There are several grains and beans recipes in NT. It is absolutely possible to be mostly vegetarian, NT isn't all about meat.
If you don't want to do a drastic change right now, I would just consider trying out the sourdough/soaking/sprouting of grains and beans and nuts to make them more digestable. Keep eating all the fruits and veggies that you do, and add cod liver oil and pastured eggs to your diet. If you don't find a good enough difference with that, then you might need to add more, like bone broths or pastured beef. I would also consider adding raw(if possible) yogurt or kefir. Even just adding that you might see a considerable difference.
If you are feeling led to this, I would listen and follow those promptings. You can do it slowly just starting with one change and see how you feel.

Good luck!
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#12 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 09:28 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s
I do not know what kind of bar you are working in, but is possible that aspects of your job are wearing you out... all bars around here are pretty smokey and that is why I ask. I would also say cut yourself some slack. You are working, caring for a child and yourself- you should be tired.

As for the sleep issues, they can be a time where allow our minds to understand the world around us and it may be totally unrelated to food. On monday npr did a segment on how the "necessary" 8 hours of sleep is a recent invention the coincided with electricity. http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...toryId=5225305

If you really think you are tired because you might be mineral deficient you should consult a doctor and get screened because it is possible to o.d. on vitamins. It could be a sign of other potential problems, such as thyriod or anemia.
Hi. Luckily I work in a brewery that has a non-smoking side. I only am forced to work on the smoking side about one shift every two weeks. However, I just quit smoking myself as a New Year's resolution (after 15 years!). So if anything, no longer smoking might be contributing to my insomnia. And while I know it is healthier to not smoke, I do not feel better at all. Not that I am going back! Can't afford to even if I wanted to.

You are right in that there are a million different things that could be causing the insomnia and I am naive to that. It just seems a bit suspicious that the specific mineral defeciencies that cause insomnia are also famous for lacking in vegan diets which is what lead me to look into it more.

Unfortunately we have no health insurance and are barely making our mortgage payment at this time. There is no slush in the finances for any kind of doc visit, let alone any expensive testing.

Thanks for the link! I will check it out.
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#13 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 09:31 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by tweetybirds2
Where did you get the idea that NT or Fallon thinks grains and beans are bad? There are several grains and beans recipes in NT. It is absolutely possible to be mostly vegetarian, NT isn't all about meat.
If you don't want to do a drastic change right now, I would just consider trying out the sourdough/soaking/sprouting of grains and beans and nuts to make them more digestable. Keep eating all the fruits and veggies that you do, and add cod liver oil and pastured eggs to your diet. If you don't find a good enough difference with that, then you might need to add more, like bone broths or pastured beef. I would also consider adding raw(if possible) yogurt or kefir. Even just adding that you might see a considerable difference.
If you are feeling led to this, I would listen and follow those promptings. You can do it slowly just starting with one change and see how you feel.

Good luck!
That is sort of my plan if I decide to let go of veganism. I am having a lot of emotional issues with that idea right now. I know veganism is famous for "hiding" eating disorders. And while I do not think I have one, being vegan is so much of my identity that the idea of letting go is really really hard. A few people have suggested just trying it, I can always change my mind. My rational brain knows this but emotionally, it is much more complicated.
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Originally Posted by Selu Gigage
I highly suggest checking out The Garden of Eating: A Produce Dominated Diet. It's based on Price's research as well but is pretty different than Fallon and WAPF's approach.

I would say that if you can find "clean" meat and dairy, forego it all together. I manage to get what I can from local farmers but I am pretty limited. I've learned to be okay with it.
That has been suggested before. I need to find a way to get a copy without paying through the teeth. No money. Must go talk to the library......
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#15 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 09:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the replies everyone! Keep them coming
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#16 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:01 PM
 
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That is sort of my plan if I decide to let go of veganism. I am having a lot of emotional issues with that idea right now. I know veganism is famous for "hiding" eating disorders. And while I do not think I have one, being vegan is so much of my identity that the idea of letting go is really really hard. A few people have suggested just trying it, I can always change my mind. My rational brain knows this but emotionally, it is much more complicated.
I wanted to address this first... it hit a chord with me. It was a big part of my identity, how I controlled my weight and even how I set myself apart from others. I didn't do it for ethical reasons, I did it for health... but in fact it ended up causing or exacerbating massive gut problems, metal toxicities and anxiety and insomnia. I had to overcome being repulsed by meat when I started eating it again, but since I grew up omni, I started with dishes I liked from childhood. I still don't eat a lot of meat and I go for the best quality, (free range grass fed) that I can.

For me, the state of my gut and the yeast/bacterial issues caused the insomnia. Whole grains that are not fully digested ferment in the intestines and feed intestinal flora imbalance. This is quite common in veterinary literature... strange how human doctors do not recognize it. The yeast/bacteria produce neurotoxins.

I was mostly vegan for almost 6 years: whole grains, pulses, vegetable oils, produce, soy and only a few servings of dairy or eggs/week. Maybe fish once a month or less.

What really came clear to me reading NT was not the protein aspect of eating according to native diets, but the minerals, the raw and fermented foods and the fats! If you can get these three things in top shape, (plus as someone mentioned, soak your grains, beans and nuts) I don't think a lot of meat proteins really are that necessary OR prescribed by NT.

NT does indeed recommend whole grains, not refined, b/c whole is higher in minerals... but it's essential to soak them (or make sourdough bread) to remove phytates, which bind to minerals in the body, prevent their absorbtion and cause defiencies. Phytates which are not only in grains but also nuts and soy, also inhibit digestive enzymes which leads to damaged guts (and whole grains certainly led to mine).
http://www.westonaprice.org/foodfeatures/be_kind.html

When you read Weston Price's book of research into native diets that Firefaery mentions "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration", the types of foods he recommends as testing highest in body building materials are bone broths, cod liver oil, and raw grass fed dairy. And fish and organ meats for the vitamin A and minerals, not the protein aspects.

The Vegetarian Tour at WAPF is very instructive. Eating the correct fats and vitamin A are also key to absorbing minerals:
http://www.westonaprice.org/tour/vegtourindex.html

I think you certainly could construct a modified diet with very little meat or fish if at all, and still be true to NT and the principles of eating native diets. But including raw dairy, pastured eggs, cod liver oil and bone broths.

I will say the cows on the lovely little farm in Western MA that I get my grass fed raw dairy from seem very happy roaming around freely and have wonderful people to care for them. I also get raw cheese, butter and pastured eggs from other farms in our co-op. I feel really good supporting local farms. I think eating local and from a small farm certainly speaks to the ethical nature of responsible eating. You can eat completely vegan and still support horrible farming practices that do a great deal of damage to human health and livelihood: genetic engineering, herbicides/pesticides/fungicides, soil decimation, Agri-business, etc.

And like Firefaery, I am eating according to the SCD right now to heal my gut but including the essential foods and practices I've learned from NT. The combination has been incredible for my health. I've cured myself of 2 autoimmune disorders: irritable bowel syndrome and interstitital cystitis. My skin is beautiful now and I used to have a lot of hormonal breakouts (I used to blame hormones in dairy and meat yet didn't see much help with vegan diet). And of course not to mention, the energy, mood and sleep improvements.

P.S. Firefaery
I'm SO excited you are reading N&PD! Can't wait for your comments!
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#17 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:03 PM
 
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I'm not sure that Fallon is anti-grains and legumes, simply by the number of those recipes that are in NT and Eat Fat Lose Fat. Second, I agree that you should really evaluate your ethical reasons and what that means to your food choices. If milk is OK, that could open up a lot of options for you. Also, perhaps study Weston A Price and his research more. He concluded that every society had animal products. Even raw products. That doesn't mean they all ate raw meat (though some did). That means some had raw dairy. Or fish/shellfish, but no meat. Some cultures had fat and oil as a big staple. Others had blood and milk. There was a variety out there. He focused on the similarities, but obviously the cultures had differences in what they actually consumed. Maybe if you read more on what he found, it would help you find what would work for you. Good luck!

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#18 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:11 PM
 
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You'll be so proud of me, Jane! I bit the bullet and called it my "pregnancy splurge." Should be here this week...and you better believe I'll be asking lotsa questions.
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#19 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:12 PM
 
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And to give a plug again to my favorite book: "Nutrition and Physical Degeneration" I don't think you can read it and stay vegan because the evidence is so extraordinarily powerful at how crucial it is to eat well, especially if you are conceiving and raising children. Native peoples knew this instinctively and obtained certain foods that provided many more times the fat soluble vitamins than current modern recs (such as 50,000 IU of vitamin A on average...the RDA is only 5,000).

No other book so graphically and systematically lays out how our diets construct healthy bodies or make degenerative ones. It was life changing for me.

http://www.westonaprice.org/traditio...ry_wisdom.html
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#20 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by firefaery
You'll be so proud of me, Jane! I bit the bullet and called it my "pregnancy splurge." Should be here this week...and you better believe I'll be asking lotsa questions.
Bring them on, I'd love a good discussion! You will never look at food, or people's faces and nostrils the same again.
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#21 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:20 PM
 
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Yes... and see how I cannot stay away from this topic... Yitlan makes a good point, every culture had raw proteins and raw fats.

These foods are very beneficial to the body in providing digestive enzymes and easily absorbed amino acids. For example, Eskimos ate only meat and fat. And did not go into ketosis because their bodies completely digested them with no waste. And this is what kept them warm by burning huge amounts off. Really fascinating.

This is why raw dairy is so recommended because to the Western palate, consuming raw milk/cream/cheese/butter is a much easier way to get your recommended allowance of raw proteins and fats than lets say

(I was going to mention the favorite dish of Eskimos but thought better of it on a vegan thread! )

NT recommends that you aim for half of your food per day to be raw or fermented.
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#22 of 64 Old 02-22-2006, 11:41 PM
 
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I have been a vegetarian my ENTIRE life. Recently I read Eat to Live and decided to go vegan and concentrate on raw fruits and veggies. I did it for a week and felt WONDERFUL! Then I fell off the wagon and started eating dairy again and instant felt like garbage. It was totally obvious to me that the E2L vegan diet was sooooo much better for me so I am working on getting back on it.

I don't really know what's causing your problem but if I were you I wouldn't discount the role that stress can play. Sounds like you are in a bad financial situation right now and that can be enough to cause anyone sleep problems. And if you quit smoking less than 2 months ago I'd think your body is still getting over that addiction and healing itself. I wouldn't necessarily expect to see a huge difference right away, your body needs time to heal. I really noticed the difference in my health/breathing about 6 months after I quit. It just takes time.

In an effort to be completely upfront I will tell you that I haven't read NT and could never start eating meat. My Mom would tell you if I were trapped on an island with only a side of beef to eat, I'd starve That's the perspective I'm coming from
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#23 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 12:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by yoopervegan
And while I do not think I have one, being vegan is so much of my identity that the idea of letting go is really really hard.
This is my story exactly. Add to that the fact that my religious community are mostly practicing vegetarians or vegan and the issue becomes even more complicated.

I do hope you find what works for you. I'm also searching so I know it's not an easy road.

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#24 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 12:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by alybeans
I have been a vegetarian my ENTIRE life. Recently I read Eat to Live and decided to go vegan and concentrate on raw fruits and veggies. I did it for a week and felt WONDERFUL! Then I fell off the wagon and started eating dairy again and instant felt like garbage. It was totally obvious to me that the E2L vegan diet was sooooo much better for me so I am working on getting back on it.
E2L is amazing. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to be a very healthy vegan.

I have been vegetarian for 17 years, pure vegan some of those years, and pesco-vegetarian off and on for 5 years before returning to veganism. I think it is possible to be a very unhealthy vegan, especially if the diet includes refined grains (and is mostly grain-based). Sure, you can make a delicious vegan chocolate cake with ganache frosting, but it isn't going to be good for you. You can make vegan French fries, onion rings, etc.

E2L is different (if you follow the vegan version). The focus is on fruit, raw greens and vegetables, and cooked non-starchy vegetables, with beans, raw nuts, flax seed, and avocado. Whole grains and starchy veggies are allowed, but limited.

When you make a dish like steamed kale with cannellini beans and cashew cream sauce (raw cashews, water, onion powder, nutritional yeast), and serve it with quinoa and a side of steamed broccoli, you are serving a nutritional powerhouse. That one serving of kale will send your vitamin A through the roof! The good fats in the cashews help you assimilate the vitamins in the vegetables.

I am healthier than ever, I have tons of energy, I am happy. I don't sleep. I come from a long line of insomniacs. My grandmother grew up on a farm, eating organic foods, pastured animal products, etc. and she still couldn't sleep. I don't believe for a minute that eating animal products (even pastured, organic, raw, etc.) would help me sleep. DH and my boys eat the way I do, and they all sleep fine. The dog is vegan, and she sleeps fine (and I think you'd have a better chance of convincing me that she should eat meat than that I should!). I couldn't live with myself if I had eaten a cow, lamb, etc. The times I did eat fish I had to push it from my mind, and snorkeling in Hawaii made it clear to me that I wouldn't be able to do that anymore. I can't swim with fish and admire their beauty and agility and then eat their dead flesh.

I would suggest thinking about this for awhile. You can go back to being vegan, but you might always carry some guilt. When you are vegan for ethical reasons it does become part of who you are.

I think hidden allergies could be a problem. It turns out DS#2 is sensitive to wheat/gluten, and since nearly eliminating it from my diet I feel better too. I know I am dairy allergic and sensitive to nightshades. Heck, I have a whole list of foods I can't eat.

Don't discount calcium/magnesium deficiency, either, especially magnesium.

I do agree with NT that soaking beans and grains is beneficial. I soak almonds for nut milk as well. We also eat sprouts.

Kimberly
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#25 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 01:01 AM
 
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If you have any kind of damage to your gut it is much harder to be vegan. The vitamin A from veggies (which isn't vitamin A incidentally, it's carotenoids that need to be converted into A) simply isn't enough. Help me out here Jane. It's a 6:1 conversion rate they're saying now under optimal conditions? If you have food allergies/intolerances you don't have optimal conditions. I read Eat to Live when it came out. I've done the program (as a vegan) I have seen Fuhrman speak. I love the man-but he missed several crucial points. I think after a couple of years on it I would have had issues. That said he has great principles and adding eggs and CLO to the diet would be okay.

Magnesium deficiency is a big problem, and you can always supplement with it. The problem is for optimal absorption you need other minerals as well. It's a difficult thing to figure out. You can try a balanced supplement of just minerals which everyone should be taking anyway.
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#26 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 01:11 AM
 
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Originally Posted by firefaery
If you have any kind of damage to your gut it is much harder to be vegan.
What are some symptoms of damage to your gut??

Stay-at-home mom to 2 beautiful.busy.boisterous boys b. 08.17.05 & 12.29.08
Nirvana is . . . the living happiness of a soul which is conscious of itself and conscious of having found its own abode in the heart of the Eternal. --Gandhi
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#27 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 01:17 AM
 
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There are oh-so-many. Food allergies/intolerances, yeast overgrowth, constipation and/or diarrhea (chronically), gas, bloating, asthma, eczema, IBS, IBD, neurological problems, ADHD, weak immune system, joint pain-it really just goes on and on. Best to do lots of reading if any apply to you!
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#28 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 02:17 AM
 
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Originally Posted by melissa17s
I do not know what kind of bar you are working in, but is possible that aspects of your job are wearing you out... all bars around here are pretty smokey and that is why I ask. I would also say cut yourself some slack. You are working, caring for a child and yourself- you should be tired.
I was going to say something to this effect. There are many things that could contribute to your health issues besides diet. That doesn't mean it isn't your diet, but there a lots of different ways to go with this. I feel best on a vegan diet, although I cannot call myself vegan now. I like to consider myself a struggling vegan, because trying to be vegan is so hard for me due to social/cultural/religious reasons. I feel most of my small health issues, such as feeling tired, have to do with always giving so much physically and emotionally as a nursing mother, being up at night with my babies often, and not having enough time for myself. I could say it is because of my veggie diet, but since I felt my healthiest and most energetic during the periods of my life when I was most strict with my diet, I don't think it has anything to do with lack of animal products. You say you excercise regularly, but do you have enough time for self-care in other ways? Do you feel emotionally fullfilled and connected?
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#29 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 02:46 AM
 
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Gee, my post doesn't add much to this discussion, mow that some many have posted since I started typing my response several hours ago!
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#30 of 64 Old 02-23-2006, 03:30 AM
 
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I was a vegetarian for 15+ years (vegan for over 7 of those years). I no longer believe it is a healthy diet no matter what principles one follows. Healthy fats and bioavailable minerals are lacking in a vegan diet. I was a healthy vegan. I was aware of good nutrition. Unfortunately it wasn't enough. I just didn't understand the subtle effects of mineral deficiencies. This past Nov. our family started eating meat again. All of us are doing much better. My oldest has ASD and we recovered him through diet. I wish I knew then what I know now, I may have saved my child from life threatening food allergies, a leaky gut, and autism. My younger 2 have health issues as well.

It was a hard choice because I was an ethical vegetarian. My kids and there health are just so much more important. It has taken a lot of maturity and re-evaluation on many of my beliefs to reach this point.

Just MY experience


 

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