Sep 6, 2010

part three: misconceptions on plant-based diets.

happy labor day to my american friends!

i tried to google a good picture to celebrate, but all the image results were either pictures of hamburgers or skanky myspace girl pictures... strange. so just imagine my post looks festive!

i hope no matter where you are in the world, y'all have an awesome day today!

part three: common misconceptions about animal products.

funny pictures-Please... You've GOT to help mee...

can everyone thrive on a plant-based diet?

to answer simply, yes it's possible. will everyone? maybe.

i've talked with many friends who feel like their bodies "just don't work" without meat. but logically, let's examine animal products for what they are: nutrients, just like any other food. anything you can get from animal products, you can get elsewhere. there's nothing magic about them - animals get their vitamins from the same places we do: plants!

however, you must be conscious of what you're doing. research very thoroughly! being a vegan does not equal being healthy - it's not a free pass to go all willy-nilly at the supermarket! it's simpler and requires less effort to eat meat, eggs, and dairy, but it is entirely possible for everyone to thrive without them. your success and health are largely determined by whether you're willing to make the effort responsibly (like so many things in life!).

what about vegans who "go back" to eating animal products?

people give up eating animal-free for many different reasons. mostly, i meet people that don't feel "right" eating vegan, or just don't feel like themselves (like i said earlier). i've felt the same way myself!

the reason they feel off isn't because of an absense of meat - it's the absense of something meat delivered to their diets. remember, meat isn't mysterious, or magical. it could be the fat, the protein, or the nutrients they're missing, but if they add those missing elements back into their diets to regain that balance, they should see dramatic improvements.

whether you eat meat or not, we all have specific needs to help us feel our best. eating meat is not a free pass to thoughtlessness, and neither is veganism. like any life change, it takes your body a while to adjust.

it's also worth saying that veganism is not a trendy diet. it won't solve all your problems, or make you fit in your skinny jeans. it won't move mountains or single-handedly save your life (but maybe!). it's not a religion, and it shouldn't be a source of guilt. people adjust to things at their own pace, and what's on your dinner plate should never be used as a weapon against you to belittle you or humiliate you.

what about supplements?

if you guys are familiar with my story, you know i am a big fan of nutritional supplements. i also believe that since we've become so intent on destroying our environment (thank you pollution/factory farming/BP!), our soil quality has been depleted tremendously. i honestly don't know that even the most "perfect" diet could provide what we need nutritionally anymore, and i think living the lifestyles we do in that environment has only made our nutrient requirements increase.

because of this, i would recommend everyone take a high-quality multi-vitamin. just find the best one you can and be consistent - that's the key. also, if you don't want cancer, please start taking an anti-oxidant supplement.

everyone is quick to point out vegans need b-12, and that's true... but so does everyone else! if you got a good multi-v, it should provide most everything you need, but be sure to double-check. most cereals and breads come fortified these days, so that makes it simple as well.

anything else you may be missing can easily be found in nature. even pain relivers originally came from plants :) all in all, don't take yourself too seriously, and remember the point in all this - achieving your best health!

questions that i forgot?
how do you feel about animal products?
how have you felt about this vegan post series?


  1. We will have to agree to disagree :D You know I love you but...

    I don't believe that everyone is built to live on a plant based diet. According to what I've learned in school, some people, particularly type o blood type don't metabolize plant based food in the same way as they do animal food. So, some people don't absorb nutrients as easily in plant based food.

    For me, I can take iron supplements all day long and eat spinach and other leafy greens until I am green in the face and my blood iron is still low unless I eat meat. Time and time again my body has proven that this be the case.

    We are not one size fits all when it comes to diet. We each have our own needs and we all have to find a balance that works for us. It may work wonderfully for you, and I am happy you have found a way of eating that makes you feel your best but as I have said before, research proves nothing when it comes to our bodies.

    I do, however, believe that we can live on much less meat, significantly less, and I think that it is important that people are educated about where their food comes from. I think that people have become addicted to eating meat and don't know how to live with out it but I think that that is because we, as a culture, don't know how to eat vegetables. And a major shift in our mentality needs to change in order to change that.

    So, rock on with trying to change the world, I could squeeze you I love you so much but I don't think that everyone, or even most, can thrive as vegans. Vegetarians, more so but not even still.

  2. thank you for your well-thought out comment!

    i appreciate your perspective and see your logic, but i think it's fairly obvious we aren't thriving on an omnivore's diet, either!

  3. Even though I am no vegetarian, I do find these posts very interesting. You have a way of making important information understandable for people, and you are right in that we deserve to make concious choices when we visit the grocery store.

    As I said, meat is a part of my diet. Mostly due to the fact that I am still recovering from anorexia, and feel like this is not the right time to make drastic changes in my diet. My number one priority is to nourish my body, and by doing so gain weight and health. That does not mean I don't care about our planet, and animals. For ethical and environmental reasons my meat intake has been reduced compared to pre-ED, and eating meat is not something that I take pride in. There is problematic aspects related to meat eating, which is why my family tries to buy as sustainable as possible, and keep meat for dinner time.

    Keep enlighten us Rebekah - your posts are very much appreciated. You do not point fingers at anyone, you simply expand our knowledge.
    Thank you.

  4. Hey Rebecca-
    I'm enjoying the info you're sharing. MOSt of it I already knew-I'm quite the fan of Michael Pollan,Marion Nestle,and other authors of the same persuasion. I've also seen Food, Inc.
    I think God's ideal dietary plan for us, which DID include meat, (but with guidelines and boundaries) has been tainted and therefore a vegetarian-based diet in today's society would be more ideal to maintain health. That was a long sentence!
    Anyway, my perspective is that of someone who tries to look at things from God's perspective. He created some animals as sustenance, some for pets, and some for simply enjoying from afar.
    The ones He created for sustenance he wanted His children to enjoy in a kosher way-no meat and dairy together. No pigs, etc.
    He knew that overconsumption of animals was not healthy, too.
    In the book of Daniel, he goes on a plant-based diet after gorging on the "rich" foods of meat, dairy,etc. He regains his strength and health after eating the plant based diet :)
    Anyway, my point is that because of the way animals are raised, fed, slaughtered, and processed in today's society (which is FAR from how it originally was), it's just wiser to stick to mostly an organic plant based diet....for our health and for the environment's health.
    But, I think there is room in one's diet for some meat, if it's raised,fed, slaughtered, and processed and close to natural as possibe :)

  5. I agree completely, which is why I said that next to the last paragraph. I think there is middle ground in the way our country eats now and everyone can be vegan if they just tried harder. Which, is in essence the message I take from the post.

  6. I love this vegan post series!! I have read every one start to finish, and can say I am honestly going to be putting muuuuch more thought into my food choices. And I'm really tempted to send them to my momma :P
    I don't like the excuse "I need meat!" either. You don't need it - you WANT it. I mean, I don't care if people do want it, I just don't think needing it is a valid reason! haha
    and really interesting point about our soil not being as good as it used to be. Another thing I'd never thought about. I wonder if you'd be interested in doing a post about some of the supplements you take and/or recommend? I used to be of the belief that I get what I need through food - but my mindset has changed lately and I'm giving some new ones a try :) Never looked into an antioxidant supplement - but the ocassional acai powder/drink and such.

  7. jess - no, you are amazing! you opened me up to a whole new world in cooking! thank YOU! and i will put a supplements post on my calendar :)

    christie - i didn't mean to sound judgemental at all - please know that, truly. i don't think it's that people aren't trying hard enough, but that they get discouraged too easily (story of my life).

    lots of people think they need meat to get enough ______, but how can you possibly eliminate all other options? and who's to say meat is the only answer? just because we try some things and they don't work, doesn't mean there aren't countless other ideas to try.

    my point? i'm not sure we can ever confidently say we exhausted all our resources.

    thanks again to everyone for your thoughts!

  8. Hi Rebecca! I'm loving these posts on veganism. I have to say, I'm beginning to think that vegan diets don't suit everyone (including me). I have been a strict vegan for a year and thoroughly researched the diet before committing to it. However, my digestive system just does not love a lot of the foods that are essential to thriving on a vegan diet. For example, pulses and nuts don't sit well.

    Furthermore, I'm with Heather in so far as God blessed us with animals to eat so I don't think it's morally wrong to eat animals. I do, however, believe it's morally wrong to abuse them and consume them in greedy quantities. Like you said,we don't need anywhere near as much meat as we think we do.

    Essentially I think it's about listening to your body, conscience, heart and head; and trying to live as thoughtfully and truthfully as possible to ourselves and to our God :) xxx

  9. I'm just going to leave a quick comment because it's finals weeks and I have a lot to do and study for, but let me just say first that I am a vegan and loving it, and I;m very excited to have found your blog Rebekah! I'm 21 too by the way :D

    I do not believe God gave us certain animals to eat. In Genesis, the world was "good" when humans and animals and the environment lived in harmony, and God gave all creatures plants as food. This was the ideal situation, and eating animals only came after the flood. Breaking the harmonious bond between humans and nature (having to work for crops) is a curse, just as the fear animals have of humans and any mistreatment of animals by humans is a curse. It is not the way the world is supposed to be.

    Sorry, I just saw some comments here that said God had given us some animals to eat and I just had to get my thoughts out there.

    Be blessed! Like I said, I'm excited to have found your blog and I'm looking forward to reading more!

  10. veggie christian - thanks for stopping by! i appreciate your thoughts, and looking forward to your blog as well!

    i should say, though, that i feel the Bible is fairly clear in the New Testament that all foods God made are for consumption. you should check out MARK 7:18 and ACTS 10:10... it's explained there more! after Christ's death, we are held to the New Covenant, under which we are no longer responsible to Levitical Jewish law.

    again, thank you for stopping by!

  11. Oh of course! I know we are not bound by any Jewish laws, but that wasn't what I was getting at. I was just pointing out that in God's perfect plan humans, animals, and nature live in harmony with no violence or mistreatment. We are free now to enjoy all foods as clean and without judgment, yes, but that doesn't mean that it's the ideal situation that God has planned for us. I believe in the new earth, in the new creation, things will be as they should be, but for now, you're right, there is no condemnation for not following Jewish law. We are free in Christ.


questions or comments about my thoughts?
feel free to share, and thanks for stopping by!