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Do U Vegan?

I'm trying to switch to a healthier diet and I ran across this so-called vegan movement that seems to be creeping its way into the mainstream.

Don't get me wrong, I eat almost everything that is tasty, but it seems to me it's about past time to take a close look at what I put in my mouth and where it comes from. So I've decided to start a little experiment and see where it will take me.

Anyone else doing this? Any pointers or suggestions? ;-)

Comments

  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    Can't help you with that, but I have been doing on and off the so-called 5-2 diet. 5 days of eating normally, with 2 non-consecutive days of ~600 calories. It can be very hard going on the diet days, but I did lose about 3-4kg in 4 weeks, and that's without doing any exercise.
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    If by vegan you mean no animal products, its been around for quite a while (then again I live in Portland OR which tends to be a hotbed of this sort of thing). The general advice I offer for people who are looking to eat better is, at least in US supermarkets, only shop on the outside edges of the grocery store. This is where all the fresh produce, meats, breads, and dairy is. This comes at a cost -- expect to spend time preparing meals as nothing will be in a box.

    Avoid fad diets like adkins, paleo, even vegan/vegetarianism (unless you have moral reasons) as it is real easy to not get required nutrients. And they have no scientific evidence that they improve health over just simply eating better.

    If you are looking for just body fat control then calorie tracking is really the only way to go. Weight watchers is a good streamline version of it (and was the only "diet" that actually improve weight control in a large study of assorted fad diets.). Do not go below 1700ish calories on a consistent basis as your metabolisms will switch from primarily burning lipids (fats) to proteins (muscle).
  • While I'm not a vegetarian, I do believe that Americans in general eat way more meat than they should, both for environmental reasons and for health reasons. So cutting back on meat is probably a good thing, but don't discount it altogether.

    And yes, veganism has been around along time, but yeah, this is Portland after all ;)
  • WORFWORF The Burninator
    Being vegan won't give you psychic powers though.
  • You have to be a 12th level vegan for that Worf.

    Seriously though, no meat? Yeah, that's not gonna work for me.
  • CanavandriveCanavandrive Registered User
    I had a debate with a woman who was a total vegan no animal or animal by product.
    My argument was that if you don't make use of the cow's milk, as well as cheese, then you're reducing the value of the livestock to simply a source of meat.
    Which easily contradicts the statement of doing it for the sake of the animal.
    While I do enjoy greens because of the fiber and the taste with a little bleu cheese you still need to get protein from somewhere else other then substitutes and nuts.
  • To be fair, the whole "you need meat for your protein" thing is a myth. Granted meats are the easiest way to get proteins, you can still get all your proteins from non-meat sources.
  • you say that, but I've now known 4 different vegetarians who had their body stop processing non-meat proteins. There's a reason its the easiest way to get what we need. We're omnivores, and we're designed to be omnivores.
  • We evolved to be omnivores, you mean. Whose to say we can't evolve to be herbivores?
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    It would take several tens if not hundered of thousands of years for that to work, that and there is no evolutionary pressure for that sort of change.

    Also my brother is correct that all protein (which really means amino acids) can be obtained from non animal sources and processed just fine, but dietary care needs to be taken
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Well, the vegan philosophy seems to be a little bit of both, dealing with health and moral issues. I can understand that the moral dilemma of nutrition and killing living creatures for it, does not constitute a priority for everyone. We are but the result of our ancestors, our culture and our environment. Old habits die hard. In periods of hardship, those questions simply don’t arise. I could be drinking water and scarfing down protein shakes until the rest of my days, but my digestive system won’t play along.

    Does the human body really care where it gets its calories from? In essence the vegans put moral aspects before food. Again, this seems to be purely a human conundrum (I finally get to use this word in a sentence!!). Good versus evil. The point the vegans are also trying to make is that most chronic diseases that cause the most victims (cardio-vascular issues, cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease, etc.) are linked to excessive consumption of meats, dairy products (milk, cheese, yoghurt) and eggs.

    I don't quite follow their rationale about honey, as honey does have some health benefits (against allergies for instance) that cannot be denied and bee keepers usually work towards the preservation of bees (considering the recent decline in bee populations, human action is rather critical). In their view, bees are being exploited and that is somehow on an equal level as human slavery. I don’t quite see it like this. If we followed that logic, keeping any animals as pets could also be considered wrong. I’m fairly sure, many animals would have disappeared from the face of our planet were it not for our fondness for them. Animal species go extinct all the time if left alone. Nature does not care whether we/they live or die.

    It seems like the vegans may just be in it to feel good about themselves. I will give it a try, for my health sake. I’m currently in a transitional phase, as I do still have some food items that include meats, fish, milk and eggs. I’m not going to throw that stuff out just because of some moral concerns. The dark deed is done anyway.

    That said, I’ve never been a big meat eater… I’m more into fish, seafood, cheeses, yoghurt and eggs. I’m doing some research right now for alternative ways of baking pies to get similar results without eggs, butter and milk. So far the results are mixed to put it mildly. lol
  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    My housemate is very allergic to eggs, and he finds cooking/buying anything beyond staples a big hassle. Everything tasty seems to have egg in heh
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
    It has been somewhat established that the Mediterranean diet and the diet of many parts of Asia, both of which feature a lot of fish and not much fat, are healthier. They don't throw out the meat and eggs and so on completely, though. They just eat them in apparently better proportions. It is also probable that many societies currently eat more meat and eggs and dairy products than humans used to (it's definitely true in Japan). Whether we're eating [b]too[/b] much more is something I don't know if anyone has shown incontrovertibly. It can be hard to judge something like this from historical data because you have to balance changing diets with other changing factors, such as the fact that people used to die from even a simple infection not too long ago.

    If you're doing it for the moral reasons, then vegan might be what you're looking for. But if you're looking to change your diet to reduce weight and improve health, then just reducing the amount of meat you consume and ensuring that you eat only as many calories as you need is a good way to go.
  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    To be honest, if you closely follow a calorie controlled diet you can't really go wrong
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    There is also environmental footprint. 500 calories of meat requires more land/water/resources/energy than 500 calories of produce (general rule mind you, distance from farm/ranch to table, in season, appropriate for climate grown, etc is also a factor)
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
    Something the NZ government promotes quite heavily, but which is already a part of the food culture anyway, is eating lean, low-fat meat. Don't eat the skin of the chicken, don't eat beef with lots of marbling (in NZ, the most expensive beef has absolutely no fat), and so on. If you couple this with reducing the overall amount of meat that you eat, then you will probably be eating a healthier diet.
  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    Whats the problem with the skin of a chicken?


    ...sounds like the start of a joke!
  • croxiscroxis I am the walrus
    High in fat
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