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Are you a Vegetarian?

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Mar 10, 2009
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Am I now, or have I ever been a vegetarian?
I tried for 6 months to abstain from all meat, poultry, and fish. Couldn't seem to give up eggs or cheese. Felt protein deprived and sluggish despite food combining. Hated to attend family barbecues - a grilled artichoke is nice, so is a grilled portobella mushroom, but they will always pale in comparison to a lovely filet mignon.
So, in short, hell no.
 
May 13, 2009
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I'm curious how people can feel protein deprived?

If one were to give out capsules of either protein or carbs, i seriously doubt anyone could tell one from the other...which to me says that you can't really 'feel' protein deprived. It's easy to not get enough calories when eating plant-based foods, due to the fiber, which would have a much bigger impact on energy levels...and protein doesn't really provide energy, so if one is feeling sluggish, it's likely due to a lack of calories, unrelated to protein.

My two cents..
 
lostintime said:
When my parents were in the hospital..... many times they got cans of Ensure. Ensure?...... are you kidding? The "real" food consisted of sandwiches of lunch meat and white bread, and canned juice. The Dietitian's view of food is still from the 50's .... archaic. They know nothing of the value eating WHOLE foods.

Same experience. My father suffered a massive stroke and is stuck in a nursing facility. But there, the hospital, everywhere served food exactly as you state. After some research I found out why: Simple and cheap. The health care industry in the United States is a for-profit industry aiming to make as much money as possible. I'm sure most of the physicians and dietitians there would love to have them on a whole food, health food diet, but they aren't the ones controlling the purse strings. That's in the hands of managers, administrators, and share holders, held to standards by not primarily by the AMA, but by the insurance industry (and their share holders, CEO's that demand billion dollar salaries, etc.).

Do you know who James McDougall is? He's a cardiologist who has railed against this saying that it's abysmal that hospitals feed you the same food that gave them heart problems in the first place.

I have a friend who is a physician and he said it very aptly: The best diet is a balanced one in whole foods. Unfortunately that doesn't sell books.

I'm sure people can get plenty of protein, Vitamin B, etc. in a vegan diet with a little work. Lots of people do it. I just can't eat that way without a lot of stress (though I am 99% lacto-ovo vegetarian, and can go vegan for a day or so here and there).
 
Mar 18, 2009
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vegan and endurance sport

i'm a vegan for ~30yrs. Lifelong involvement in endurance sport/XC ski racing, road/mtbike racing, numerous 7 day stage races etc. It's a philosophy for some but i just gravitated to it out of preference. Whole foods are best for nutrition every time. Some supplements are fine but not necessary. Processed soy, like all processed foods, should be avoided. Most but not all tofu is good. It is very tricky eating in other countries as a vegan and to be racing. Europe is bad, eastern europe/Russia particularly difficult. China/India/Nepal are easy.
 
Mar 19, 2009
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Alpe brings up a good point about the hospitals. You could almost call it a self-serving industry . . . keep feeding them the same things that got them there and you're guaranteed to grow the "industry". I don't know what to call it .. .. . it is what it is I guess. The whole system is ***-backwards. They say they're trying to reduce health care costs, yet the subject of food is put in the closet and locked away. Drugs, Surgery and diagnostic machines rule the day, and food budgets get cut to pay for more machines, bigger physician salaries and more clinics. They are blind to the benefits of eating whole food.

I wonder if the cycle of eating bad food, having kids and feeding them bad food, and repeating it over and over . . . will ever end. That takes a conscious effort though. . some sort of self awareness, and frankly most people are living on the unconscious autopilot flight to who-knows where.

I found in my own life, as I became more conscious of my body, I realized how bad I felt from eating processed, salty and often overcooked food. Can you teach that? I don't know know. . . maybe all you can do is be an example. As they say .. . you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Culture, as noted by notadoc, also has a huge influence on what and how we eat. I can imagine going to some small city in Russia and asking for a Veg burger. Or go to India and try telling them drinking milk from their sacred cows is bad. Then you also have religious, spiritual and familial influences that play a large part in what we eat. As a teen, I tried getting my parents to eat some Veggie burgers I grilled, and was promptly shot down in flames. My Mother was polite, but my Father had "you've got to be kidding me" written all over his face! Roast beef, canned string beans and mashed potatoes for him.

As stated, eating a balanced diet of whole foods is a good practice. The body's wisdom lets you know what it needs, the ego does not.
 
Jun 25, 2009
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No i am not. But its because my body repairs itself better and i have better strength
when I eat meat and dairy. I am also very slender and after trying the vegan way my friends thought I appeared to be the walking dead and I felt like it!
Meat and dairy might not be needed and many would do better with less, its just not for me.
 
May 18, 2009
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Been veg for 6 years or so. eat dairy and egg, but no fish etc.
I've never had any problems. I train alot (600 -800km weeks) and have never had any problems. I have blood tests everynow and then (iron, b12 etc) and all my results have been good. I do put down abit of protein shake but this isn't because i'm lacking in anything, just sometimes it is better to have more when you train lots.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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works for me

I've been vegan for about 18 years now. I made my decision on ethical reasons but it seems to work for me performance wise. I've occupied podium spots at a decent number of 24hr MTB events (solo male open) and aren't that shabby a road hill climber. I don't know how much of that is latent talent, genetic make-up and good old hard work, but I'd suspect that my diet has contributed at least a little bit to my successes.

Each to their own I reckon, but a high-carb low-saturated fat diet never hurt a hill climber.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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no not me its not the best choice for overall health lean meats and dairy are very important for various reasons also animal sourced saturated fat is critical for hormone production cholesterol production etc... in endurance athletes its even more important considering many cyclists are anemic and have very low testosterone not good for performance. most people who have not studied nutrition are quite confused about what constitutes a balanced diet. basically lean meats dairy whole grains and a large amount of fruits and vegetables is the way to go for the majority of humans both for athlete and sedentary individuals.
 
Jul 6, 2009
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also though there are complete proteins in the plant world such as soy or hemp seed or by combining rice beans etc... none have an amino acid complex as good as meats its simply not the same plant source protein has lower amounts of branch chain aminos no creatine lower glutamine and on and on. animal proteins are more bio available as well humans are omnivorous hunter gatherers we are built to consume meat are eyes face forward for a reason hunting game. if you had to human clones at the same body weight with the same training the meat eater will have more muscle strength and higher blood iron levels among many other things. as a vegetarian you can do pretty well as eggs and milk are great complete animal sourced proteins so i dont knock that if its your choice. but veganism im sorry is just foolish and does not benefit human health. if your vegan for reasons other than health thats your choice but to say plant and animal proteins are identical is simply false.
 
titan_90 said:
On a slightly different subject, does anybody know if there are any current or recent pro riders that are vegetarians?
Levi Leipheimer is on some sort of whole food health diet, but I don't think that includes no meat or dairy. I believe his wife is a vegan, or veg, and people have thought he is, but he's not. I think he just eats no processed food, and no additives (that means nothing in a package, and he won't add salt, sugar, pepper, etc. to anything). People who eat this kind of diet will often eat meat, but it has to be free range, and from a butcher, or from animals on organic diets, etc. I could be wrong though. There's been a lot of debate on Levi's diet across the web, but I've never quite nailed it down.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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forty four said:
...if you had to human clones at the same body weight with the same training the meat eater will have more muscle strength and higher blood iron levels among many other things..

A highly subjective statement and not necessarily correct. It would depend on what ELSE was being eaten.

FWIW, there have been very successful body builders that are vegetarian.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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lostintime said:
I find it ironic that anti-meat vegetarians who speak of the inhumane killing of animals forget that plants are alive too, they have energy and consciousness. Think about that the next time your harvesting your vegetables. Ayurveda regards the giving of milk by the cows one of the most sacred gifts of the animal kingdom. The only pure way to know how your food was cared for in growing and harvesting is to grow it all yourself, otherwise it's a paper protest.

.

I really enjoyed your post, my family farms and this view reflects my values & beliefs. I have stood in a large field of wheat and there is an "energy" there for lack of a better word that you can really feel. You see how the plants respond, some days they feel good, some are hard on them. To me it is humbling when i need to chop down a tree, but i give thanks when i harvest the bounty provided by our apple tree that has been producing since my grandfather was a little boy.

I understand why some people are against meat & i sympathize with them but at the same time i guess it is nice to be so far removed from the process of life & death in all things that you can make that choice. It is also nice to forget about the animal by products that are used to save peoples lives.

Our cows are raised naturally, no steriods or hormones, we have a thousand acres of grass & timber for 160 cows, plenty of room to roam and fresh spring water to drink. I have risked my life on several occasions in order to save an animal, not because of the monetary factor but because you never let anything suffer if you can prevent it. My grandfather & mother almost died in a blizzard trying to save the neighbors cows from smothering to death.

It s nice to see people on both sides of the meat issue having a respectful discussion. Too bad this doesn't happen more often.:)
 
Jul 21, 2009
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I find it ironic that anti-meat vegetarians who speak of the inhumane killing of animals forget that plants are alive too, they have energy and consciousness. Think about that the next time your harvesting your vegetables. Ayurveda regards the giving of milk by the cows one of the most sacred gifts of the animal kingdom. The only pure way to know how your food was cared for in growing and harvesting is to grow it all yourself, otherwise it's a paper protest.

runninboy said:
I really enjoyed your post, my family farms and this view reflects my values & beliefs. I have stood in a large field of wheat and there is an "energy" there for lack of a better word that you can really feel. You see how the plants respond, some days they feel good, some are hard on them. To me it is humbling when i need to chop down a tree, but i give thanks when i harvest the bounty provided by our apple tree that has been producing since my grandfather was a little boy.

I understand why some people are against meat & i sympathize with them but at the same time i guess it is nice to be so far removed from the process of life & death in all things that you can make that choice. It is also nice to forget about the animal by products that are used to save peoples lives.

Our cows are raised naturally, no steriods or hormones, we have a thousand acres of grass & timber for 160 cows, plenty of room to roam and fresh spring water to drink. I have risked my life on several occasions in order to save an animal, not because of the monetary factor but because you never let anything suffer if you can prevent it. My grandfather & mother almost died in a blizzard trying to save the neighbors cows from smothering to death.

It s nice to see people on both sides of the meat issue having a respectful discussion. Too bad this doesn't happen more often.:)

From what scientific research has told us plants do not have the ability to feel pain. Plants do not have a central nervous system. From nature they were not given a means to "escape." Have you ever seen a tree running away from the guy with a chain saw as to avoid the pain that will be inflicted on it? WE KNOW ANIMALS FEEL PAIN! I think we can all agree on that. I just want to know what is the purpose of having dominion over 160 cows? You're gaining some profit by exploited them correct? Are they all given the chance to live out their 20-25 year natural life span? Giving of cow milk sacred?? Do you think the cows think it's sacred? Of course not, cow's milk is for calfs. Human breast milk for babies, etc... I could go on and on but I'll end it here....
 
Jul 27, 2009
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Alpe d'Huez said:
Are you a vegetarian? Or have you ever been one? How do you feel it affected your training and athletic performance?

Nope, never have been one either, I couldn't live without meat...Im new to this but wouldn't meat be good for training? Since meat contains the necessary proteins for muscle buildup. I have never taken those protein "shakes" that people tend to drink at the gym. Unsure wether it is just as important when training endurance rather than strength etc..
 
Jul 24, 2009
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So much misinformation

I'm also a vegan (10 years, and for pragmatic rather than ideological reasons), didn't even start cycling+racing until I became vege (because I felt heaps better, more energy).

In animal studies, rats given a low-protein diet (5%) voluntarily exercise more than those on a high-protein diet (20%). As an aside, the low-protein rats also got no cancer when exposed to a known carcinogen while 100% of the high-protein rats got cancer at the same dose.

The idea of `protein combining' is old-fashioned too, unnecessary unless you're a moron and your diet really sucks.

And most people who try to go vege eat the wrong foods. While trying to figure out what works for you, don't subtract foods, keep adding foods to your existing diet that make you feel good (and I reckon that if you do you'll end up vegan).

And many vegans claim increased VO2max. Heaps of anecdotal evidence, plus there is atleast one paper on PubMed that shows nitrates (like from green leafy vegetables) increase VO2max.

If you're eating too many calories from meat, then your eating less of the nutrients that make you faster and recover more quickly. (Plant food has upto 10 times the amount of nutrients, for the equivalent number of calories, except for protein, plants even have more iron too, but not 10 times).

P.S. Good comments Vegan Dave.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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veganomics said:
I just want to know what is the purpose of having dominion over 160 cows? You're gaining some profit by exploited them correct? Are they all given the chance to live out their 20-25 year natural life span? Giving of cow milk sacred?? Do you think the cows think it's sacred?



Just a quick answer, No we make no profit on the cows. Hope that doesn't offend you. My family does not raise the cattle to make money, they actually are more like a natural weed control system to eliminate the use of pesticide. Kind of hard to keep the weeds down on 1000 acres but 160 cows do it just fine, in case you don't know in rural areas there is a weed commissionar and if your land is not managed properly you will be fined heavily. To answer the question you haven't asked, we make money on the land itself which has appreciated over time, and we rent as well.
The natural life span of cattle is closer to 17 years and yes all our cows live out their entire lives(bovine lawnmower remember?) It is sad when they pass on, but they have been well cared for, much better than if left to their own devices. Pink eye would render many blind, the young calves & heifers have to be seperated otherwise too much inbreeding & disease would result. As well as proper breeding techniques, we have never had a cow die giving birth, in over 30 years! But it is quite prevalent in the wild, the dominant bull breeds more, he is usually bigger which means his calves are bigger and heifers would die trying to give birth to his calves.

I could go on and on and i already have. I am sorry you are blinded by so much misinformation. I have heard alot of strange things about vegetarians as well. One thing that always puzzled me, when they are so repulsed by the thought of eating flesh and yet they spend so much time trying to replicate it artificially with vegetables.
Why try to shape tofu into something that is so vile, like a hamburger?
crazy:D

Oh btw I have a "don't ask don't tell" religious policy with the cattle so i have no idea what they consider sacred.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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Vegan Dave said:
I'm curious how people can feel protein deprived?

If one were to give out capsules of either protein or carbs, i seriously doubt anyone could tell one from the other...which to me says that you can't really 'feel' protein deprived. It's easy to not get enough calories when eating plant-based foods, due to the fiber, which would have a much bigger impact on energy levels...and protein doesn't really provide energy, so if one is feeling sluggish, it's likely due to a lack of calories, unrelated to protein.

My two cents..

Just wanted to weigh in on some of your comments.
Your analogy i think is flawed in that people say "protein" when maybe they mean meat. How much of that need for protein might actually be psychological, who knows? However the person perceives a "need" something is not right in their body & many times this is an efficient mechanism for maintaining health. physiological & psychological needs can overlap.

And as you state it is easy to not get enough calories when eating plant-based foods. As man is constructed not as a pure carnivore or a pure herbivore it makes sense that we were designed or evolved to process amounts of both but neither exclusively. Just from a basic design standpoint.

You can argue ethics but the science of the body clearly favours a balanced diet that includes rather than excludes animal based protein for optimum operation.
 
Jul 24, 2009
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Science says go Vege!

runninboy said:
And as you state it is easy to not get enough calories when eating plant-based foods. As man is constructed not as a pure carnivore or a pure herbivore it makes sense that we were designed or evolved to process amounts of both but neither exclusively. Just from a basic design standpoint.

You can argue ethics but the science of the body clearly favours a balanced diet that includes rather than excludes animal based protein for optimum operation.
Eh? Firstly, we definitely evolved from herbivores. Secondly, societies eating mostly plant-based diets don't suffer from the diseases of affluence that we suffer from. AFAIK there has yet to be a single case of coronary heart disease in a person with a blood cholesterol below 150 . Such a value is easy to achieve on a plant-based diet.

People eat meat because they like eating it. Even in Plato's time they knew that eating meat leads to a society with a lot of doctors and lawyers. It is simply rationalisation to pretend it is somehow `balanced', or whatever.

And all this `balanced diet' BS is foolish. What is balanced? I say 80/10/10 (Carb/Protein/Fat) since this is closer to what the species we evolved from eats, has shown to be healthier (the China Study), and also is what the other primates eat too.

If you have cravings, try eating more fresh fruit+vege, refined carbs are not healthy.

Even Carmichael, hardly a revolutionary dietitian, says that a vege diet is pretty close to the optimum cycling diet. Apparently some of the athletes he trains do quite well.
 
Mar 12, 2009
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runninboy said:
Just wanted to weigh in on some of your comments.
Your analogy i think is flawed in that people say "protein" when maybe they mean meat. How much of that need for protein might actually be psychological, who knows? However the person perceives a "need" something is not right in their body & many times this is an efficient mechanism for maintaining health. physiological & psychological needs can overlap.

And as you state it is easy to not get enough calories when eating plant-based foods. As man is constructed not as a pure carnivore or a pure herbivore it makes sense that we were designed or evolved to process amounts of both but neither exclusively. Just from a basic design standpoint.

You can argue ethics but the science of the body clearly favours a balanced diet that includes rather than excludes animal based protein for optimum operation.

A few points:-
1. If you had never eaten meat would you ever get a craving for it? (I know I haven't, lifelong vege here, n=1 so far)

2. Calorie intake from non-meat sources is actually one of the key points to rising obesity levels etc, highly refined sources such as high fructose corn syrup etc. So a claim that is hard to meet calorific intake is incorrect. Try getting enough carbs from meat alone!

3. Yes a balanced diet is best. Its just that is doens't HAVE to include meat or animal products. But if it does then so be it.
 
Jun 16, 2009
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ihavenolimbs said:
Eh? Firstly, we definitely evolved from herbivores.
QUOTE]



I said we are neither one or the other currently, As I look at your statement i would say the operative word should be Evolved.
yup Definitely evolved
definitely.
and i cant comment on Carmichael without the d word