Saturday, December 5, 2009

Life changing diet review

I've been reading several books this fall and winter on becoming vegan or vegetarian. After Andrew's parents took the plunge into this lifestyle its intrigued me so I figured I'd ask his mom to borrow the books. Trust me, this isn't something I've EVER considered doing before. Yes we all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, but why would we want to never have meat or dairy again. You're talking to the girl who's father made a living on sausage sales for 27 years and who has a freezer almost full of beef. There is a lot in these books that I don't believe is true, even though both of them have their good points I think a lot if it is crap.

This is the first book that I read and to me almost the whole thing is crap. Some of the stuff that they tell you just seems to have no evidence to back it up what so ever. Basically if you don't follow the diet in this book for the rest of your life you're going to die. He also says there is no such thing as being too skinny (unless you have an eating disorder) and that your Body Mass Index or BMI should be 10% less than what they tell you in the medical charts. So basically since I am 5'7" and 24 years old, I should weigh 105lbs according to him....psh YEAH RIGHT! I'd be happy with 130 or even 135 at this point! His basic meal plan is a pound of veggies a day (he also states that 100% fruit juice is bad for you and does not count as fruit intake) and some whole grains and nuts. No meat at all, not even fish, you know since the mercury in it will kill you. He also spends a lot of the book attacking other diet plans. I know the Adkins Diet is not good for you, but I've had success with South Beach and Weight Watchers before and so have millions of other people. I pushed this book to the side and moved onto the next. A lot of people I've talked to in the medical field since reading this told me that Dr. Fuhrman is a quack and that many people don't believe what he has to say. This isn't a diet per-say it changing your entire life and never looking back. No meat, no chocolate, no cheese or any other dairy and certainly no alcohol, juice or soda.

This is the book I am 3/4 of the way through now and I have been enjoying it a lot more. There is more scientific evidence to back up the claims of these doctors, but its a lot harder to read. All of that jargon is hard to understand and I've had to go over some sections more than once. But just like Dr. Fuhrman, there are things in here that I don't believe either. The major one being that food is what brings out our genetic dispositions to get certain diseases. Like by eating meat and fried foods your whole life, the gene that pre-dispositions you to get breast cancer will become dominant, but had you spend your whole life as a vegetarian this wouldn't happen. The book also suggests that children who are not breast fed have a predisposition for Type I diabetes (just as a side note, my brother and I were not breast fed and we don't have diabetes). But along those same lines, it is the formula and the cow's milk that bring out the gene that causes this to occur. This book makes better points about the vitamins that can be found in veggies and when enough of them are eaten there is no need to take supplements (that's something I actually believed and understood), but on the same token they try to tell you that changing your diet can reverse a disease you already have, like a heart condition.

I have a hard time believing that Andrew's parents really think that everything these books say is true. If that was the case, they would both stop taking all of their Dr. Fuhrman suggests, once you are Vegan, all of your illnesses will be cured! So technically his mom shouldn't have Asthma anymore or Thyroid issues, but yet that's not the case. Yes they have lost weight, his mom says that in general she feels better but the weight loss has stopped. When his sister started the diet she lost a lot of weight but her weight loss is at a standstill now too.

I'm considering doing this for one month (they do tell you that this diet is not for everyone) to see how my body will handle it and to see if its something I could even do at all. What are some diets that have worked for you? Do you know anyone who is a vegetarian or vegan?


Anonymous said...

You should really talk with my friend Anne! I know she recommends the China Study book, but she is vegetarian (not vegan) and talks a lot about the science behind being a vegetarian on her blog. Her blog is:

Also, check out this entry: At the top of the page she lists her other 4 articles on healthy eating, including one article all about which books to read. If you want her email let me know!

Amanda said...

Thank you so much! I am going to look over her blog for sure!!!!

Amanda said...

I was vegetarian for 6 years. In the past 2 years, I have begun to 'cheat' and will eat lean meat (no beef) on occasion. Vegetarianism allowed me to really expand my palate and experiment with vegetables and foods I had no idea existed and probably wouldn't have eaten otherwise. I say try it! Maybe I will again, too. But I just HAD to have turkey!

Amanda said...

Its been interesting to try new foods since my boyfriends parents became vegan. His sister makes some awesome stuff, that can often taste like cheese or meat but really is just a nice blend of seasonings that tastes really well!

Queen of Feisty said...

Try the book "Skinny Bitch" it's good. It will shit talk to you about what you eat. Like they read your mind!

There's a bit of vegan talk in there too. Lot's of good points, LOTS of references as to where they got there info from.

I have a 2010 plan. And it's to drop 30 lbs. A bit of yoga, Giaim ball work outs, P90X work out, and some portion control. I want to give up pop, but NEVER coffee. We will see!

Good luck!

Queen of FEisty