Body Image and The Raw Food Diet
September 22, 2011|
What is even worse is that people are adopting a raw food, vegan/plant-based diet to achieve that look. As you’ve often heard me say, I don’t support the vegan diet because the vegan diet doesn’t support the human body. My program is about building up more than you break down. Anyone who has been on a vegan diet for any length of time will be and look broken down. But since a lot of women will go to any extreme to be as thin as possible, this radical diet is gaining traction. There are a number of reasons why the vegan/raw food/plant-based diet is trending:
- To be prison camp thin because this is the current model of beauty
- Eating disorders triggered by veganism keep vegans in an unhealthy loop
- An extreme backlash against the extremely poisonous factory food diet
- Vegan/raw food/plant based diet is supposedly healthiest
- Vegan/vegetarian diets spare animals from being killed
To be prison camp thin because this is the current model of beauty
I’m so happy with my body that when I read fashion magazines and see the skinny bodies I think these girls are adolescent and they’ll grow out of it. I don’t take it as a panicked call to become as thin as possible. Why would that be desirable? Not only is it not sexy for anyone older than twenty, but it takes a lot of effort to achieve that look from twenty on. A lot of hunger and deprivation. And this look does not translate as one ages. You end up rail thin, with no butt or breasts, and fragile.
The smash hit Skinny Bitch was such a mystery to me. First of all, I don’t think skinny is sexy and then, seriously, who wants to be thought of as a bitch? But that book recruited a lot of women to the very unsexy, health- and beauty-damaging vegan diet. For most people a vegan diet will produce a rail thin body. The reason is that the body needs amino acids for constant rebuilding and replenishing. When you don’t eat amino acids, your body will break down lean body mass (muscles and bones) to obtain the necessary supplies.
There is really nothing anyone can say to undo a desired look in another woman’s head. I just want to plant the seed that having a woman’s body is sexy on a woman. I’m not talking about being overweight or obese. I’m just saying go for optimal health and let your body take you were it wants to take you.
Eating disorders triggered by veganism keep vegans in a deathly Catch-22
Recently a vegan posted a comment on my website under a piece I wrote about the dangers of a vegan diet. “You have written the most misleading, uninformed piece of crap I have ever read.” I’ve been warned by all of the people I know in alternative medicine that vegans can be hostile to animal foods advocates. I believe the reason they are so angry is because a vegan diet is devoid of tryptophan—an amino acid in meat and dairy—which is converted into the feel good neurotransmitter serotonin. A severe dip in serotonin in the brain can account for becoming easily annoyed and even frequently angry.
Many vegan women have become inured to their own feelings of hunger. This is caused by a drop in thiamine (vitamin B1). The vegan diet will eventually result in a combination of depleted thiamine, tryptophan (serotonin) and the essential mineral zinc can push girl brains into eating disorders. Then if a girl or a woman starts vomiting, which is an injurious activity that results in a dump of pleasurable neurotransmitter dopamine, it’s a very damaging situation.
An extreme backlash against the extremely poisonous factory food diet
I think one of the reasons the extreme vegan diet is trending is because it’s a backlash against the extremely unnatural factory food diet.
The other reason that people go from factory food to a vegan diet is that the vegan diet and the factory food diet are both high in carbohydrates. The human brain gets adjusted very quickly to that constant reward of serotonin that humans get from eating sugar. So going from one high carb diet to another keeps people in that comfortable sugar rush. Meanwhile your body is swimming in toxic sugar and insulin. Very aging.
Vegan/raw food/plant based diet is supposedly healthy
John Robins was heir to the Baskin Robins fortune, but instead took a detour, writing Diet for a New America, the book that exposed the horrific treatment of animals in concentrated animal feeding operations. He is now a high profile vegan. At the top of his website page is a letter:
My family just made the vegan switch. We are confident in our decision, but have one question. All the vegans we have personally known have in common a thin, frail look and a pallid complexion . . . not exactly the picture of health. Is this "look" normal or simply the result of an improperly planned diet? How can we avoid this for ourselves, and especially for our kids? I appreciate your time in responding to my question.
John Robins’s reply didn’t really answer her question. But I wanted to know too, because if there is a way for vegans to eat an optimal diet, then I could stop my campaign against the vegan/raw/plant-based diet.
I began by asking naturopathic doctor Ron Schmid, author of The Untold Story of
Milksupports eating raw food (including animal foods) what his opinion was of the vegan diet and he replied via Facebook, "If you want to be weak and sickly, be a vegan."
I then emailed my “Naughty Nutritionist” friend Kaayla T. Daniel, Ph.D., who is the author of The Whole Soy Story: The Dark Side of America's Favorite Health Food—the most thoroughly researched book on the dangers of soy. “Is it possible to eat a vegan diet and get all the nutrition your body needs if you really, really try?” She emailed me back, “Theoretically it might be possible, but in practical terms it rarely, if ever, happens. Even if a vegan gets adequate protein from beans and rice, he/she will come up deficient in vitamins, minerals, fatty acids and amino acids. Specifically, when we do lab testing vegans show deficiencies in vitamins A, D, K, B2, B6 and B12; the sulfur-containing amino acids, methionine, cysteine and taurine; DHA and EFA fatty acids; and calcium, zinc, carnitine, and CoQ10. Although the human body is theoretically capable of converting beta carotene into true vitamin A and omega 3 fatty acids into DHA and EPA, few people seem healthy enough to do so.”
Dr. Daniel’s labs on vegans consistently showed that vegans are deficient in numerous nutrients that work synergistically in the body to foster the ongoing repair, rebuilding and remodeling. I emailed her, “But I’ve heard and read about ways to get these nutrients.” Dr. Daniel replied, “Vegans tend to want a magic fix—to discover the one important nutrient that has gone missing in their otherwise perfect diets and which can be easily supplemented. They’re hoping for a silver bullet, and have heard all the hype about this or that green drink, algae snack, brand of dark chocolate or even brand of soy shake that is supposedly different from all the others. Sorry, no miracle fixes. They are not pleased when I tell them to ‘Lose their Veganity!’”
In her book The Vegetarian Myth, Lierre Keith who was a vegan from ages 16 to 36 writes, “I’m also writing this book as a cautionary tale. A vegetarian diet—especially the low-fat version, and most especially a vegan one—is not sufficient nutrition for long-term maintenance and repair of the human body. To put it bluntly, it will damage you. I know. Two years into my veganhood, my health failed, and it failed catastrophically. I developed degenerative joint disease that I will have for the rest of my life. It started that spring as a strange, dull ache deep in a place I didn’t know I could have a sensation. By the end of summer, it felt like shrapnel in my spine.”
Lierre Keith writes in her book about anthropologists distinguishing the healthy bones of the hunter-gatherer from the riddled with diseased bones of the agricultural society.
Eating too many grains and other carbs like fruit causes you to be in a constant state of high sugar and/or high insulin. Both cause cancer, heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes. Too many grains can easily damage your intestinal tract and take you from leaky gut all the way to Crohn’s (inflammatory bowel disease) and Celiac (gluten intolerance) and many other autoimmune conditions. A high carb diet is extremely aging because of the all the free radicals insulin/sugar generate.
People are all excited about the raw food diet and it’s true that raw foods contain enzymes, which are essential for life and lacking in a dead factory food diet. However, human beings have always eaten some foods raw and some cooked. Some nutrients become more bioavailable when cooked, for example in roots, tubers, and grains—which are mostly impossible to eat unless cooked. Bone broth is a healing food. http://www.alwaysnewyou.com/nancy-deville/healing-broth-from-your-kitchen.html. Like anything else, our diet needs to be balanced. In Chinese medicine yin yang are polar opposite forces that interconnect, resulting in balance. Raw foods are yin (cold, damp) and need to be balanced with cooked yang foods (hot, dry).
Vegan/vegetarian diets spare animals from being killed
This is the truly humane position of most vegans and vegetarians. And it is noble and honorable. I love animals and I often think about the fact that animals give their lives so that I can live.
Lierre Keith devotes a lot of pages in her book The Vegetarian Myth to this subject. I think she sums it up well in one paragraph: “This is what agriculture is: you take a piece of land and you clear every living thing off of it, down to the bacteria. Then you plant it to human use with a tiny handful of species, often endless miles of a single plant like corn, soy, wheat. The animals are killed, often into extinction. They simply have nowhere to go.”
Of course historically hunting killed millions of bison and wolves. But she explains that agriculture kills everything from slugs and myriad other insects, to birds, moles, groundhogs, rabbits, rats, mice, deer, fox and anything else it its way. The killing occurs daily in fields across the world. The problem isn’t just the killing of animals, but the ravaging of the land. Turning wetlands, forests, and prairies into wastelands.
Responsible, respectful farming and ranching that rotates crops and animals is the only way for humans to truly respect and honor animals and the planet, while taking the very best care of their own health. Mark McAfee owner of the raw milk dairy farm Organic Pastures in Fresno knows what he’s talking about. I’ve seen his farm and the acres of foot thick dark green carpet of grass that his dairy cows graze on. I asked Mark what makes for sustainable agriculture (the best for humans, animals, and the planet) and he emailed,“Successful sustainable organic farms need the energy and biological active nutrients created by animal manure and its fertility.”
Animals don’t belong in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations but out grazing to contribute to the sustainability of land. Having factory farms and factory ranches side by side is killing the land. The fix isn’t eating vegan, because it doesn’t spare living beings.
What to do
- Avoid images and messages that seek to damage your body image, and start loving your body
- Stop hanging out with people who obsess about their body, talk about weight or body all the time.
- Hang with other women with healthy body images
- You are not evil or a bad person if you eat animal foods. The Dalai Lama eats meat The human body is designed to operate on a diet of animal foods.
- Eat a balanced diet of real, whole, living food, including humanely raised animal foods.
Food will heal you
Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures emailed me, “Just as soils need living manure for growing plant life, human bodies require good animal based grass fed or fish based proteins and fats, a broad diversity of bacteria to support immune function, and active enzymes. These are the unprocessed, fermented whole food diets of our great grandparents. These are the foods that support the humans who thrive.”
Dr. Daniel agrees, “I recommend only organic, free-range, pastured, grass fed products, preferably from local farmers.”
Dr. Schmid emailed, “If you want to be healthy and live long, eat tons of quality, sea and grass based animal foods rich in fat. Meat and fowl, eggs, wild fish, raw butter and cream. Plus some salads and greens. Period! Very low carbs, high fats. Add the right animal based supplements. A ton of research backs this up. Ignore at your peril!”
So what would you like to have, the drawn, sinewy skinny bitch body, or the sexy, healthy body?
Peace, Fun, Love.
Your girlfriend in health,