Month: September 2019

01/09/2019

Back off, Vegan Warriors!

How can you tell if someone is a vegan?

There was a rare but companionable lull in the conversation between my friend and I as we sat having lunch one sunny day. Both of us love people watching and we soaked up the opportunity for a bit of observation, until suddenly she said, “How can you tell if someone is a vegan?”

Ooh, this was interesting, I thought. I scanned the crowd, looking for signs that someone might be a vegan, but other than the obvious (and highly stereotypical) signs from their clothing, i.e. women wearing long, flowing, purple skirts adorned with tiny mirrors and bells or men with wild beards & hair sporting highly patterned shirts unbuttoned to the waist, I had no clue. There were no physical differences that I could see, so I was really intrigued as to how I could spot it. “I don’t know”, I responded.

“They’ll tell you.” she replied, “Loudly.”

I’ve written a couple of articles on intolerance from people who believe that they’re the ones with the only true beliefs or knowledge and that the rest of the world needs to acknowledge their superiority and align themselves with their beliefs. And I hate to say it, but there are a fair number of Vegans who fall into that category.

Vegan vs Keto

A case in point: I go over to the UK to find that my brother, Alan, is pretty close to morbidly obese. He needs to lose weight fast and I suggest that he goes on a Keto diet. For those of you who don’t know, the keto diet consists mainly of meat and veg and is pretty much zero carbs. According to WedMD, “Ketosis is a normal process that happens when your body doesn’t have enough carbs to burn for energy. Instead, it burns fat and makes substances called ketones, which it can use for fuel.” Keto is about retraining your body to use fat for energy rather than carbs, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s ideal for my brother.

Alan put up a post on Facebook, declaring his weight loss & lifestyle intentions, accompanied by photos of the food he’s just prepped (see photo: it looked amazing), openly sharing his journey with the world, something that takes a lot of courage. A Vegan Jedi friend of his (that’s what he calls himself, so don’t assume I’m name calling here), comments that Alan is going to kill himself, that Keto causes heart disease and stroke, that it increases his diabetes risk and suggests to Alan that he check that the person who’s told him about the Keto diet isn’t just trying to sell a book.

I’m not.

And, let’s face it, if Alan doesn’t lose weight quickly, he’s a prime candidate for all those things anyway.

What works and what doesn’t

Here’s where my advice came from: 56 years of listening to my body, trying every lifestyle diet that there is and finding out what works and doesn’t work for me and my body. Since Alan and I are related, it’s likely that at least some of the things I’ve found are applicable to him.

But the first thing he needs to do is DETOX to find out what his body does and doesn’t like.

In other words, he needs to go on an elimination diet and cut out all but the most basic foods (i.e. meat & veg) eaten with the minimum preparation, then slowly reintroduce things to see what is causing his body aggravation. The most obvious way of doing that in a simple word accompanied by easy-to-find recipes: Keto.

In my opinion, and from my personal experience, the worst thing he could do is go vegan. The reason? Soy products have some serious side effects and soy is one of the things that causes me the most problems.

Unleash the power within

A few years ago, we attended Anthony Robbins’ Unleash The Power Within weekend, including doing the firewalk. The whole weekend was amazing. Tony Robbins recommends a raw vegan diet, so of course, after a weekend like that and always being keen on feeling better, I put the entire family on a vegan diet. After six or eight months, I had to stop because my hair was falling out, my skin was awful, I was putting on weight, I was permanently on iron tablets, my sleep patterns were shot, and I felt weak and lifeless. If it was doing that to me, god only knows what it was doing to the kids.

I thought I’d be okay on a vegan diet because I’ve gone years at a time without eating meat since being young. Not because of any moral reason but because I didn’t feel I needed to eat meat, it wasn’t what my body required at that time. But somehow, after several months or years, I always ended up eating meat again.

Intolerances

Twelve months ago, after spending years trying to figure out why my digestion wasn’t working too well, why I put on weight after eating certain foods, why I couldn’t sleep, why I had no energy, I went on an elimination diet. It had some surprising (and devastating) results. My body doesn’t like/can’t process:

  1. Gluten – which is really annoying because I love baking and I love bread.
  2. Legumes (beans & peas), particularly soy products
  3. Nuts – particularly cashews & brazils (no more Chocolate Brazil Nuts!)
  4. Some seeds – for heaven’s sake.
  5. Fructose – I can tolerate fructose in small amounts, but more than 2 pieces of fruit a day and I pile on the pounds
  6. Mushrooms – the only thing I’m actually allergic to is mould and all things mould-related, up to and including penecillin.
  7. Lactose – again, I can tolerate it in small amounts
  8. Nightshades – potatoes, capsicum, tomatoes, aubergine/eggplant (I get joint pain when I eat these)
  9. Canola/Rapeseed
  10. Sugar – obviously
  11. Low fat/oil – My joints seize up and my skin dries out so I look like a prune if I don’t ingest enough oil

It’s no wonder a vegan diet didn’t suit me really, is it? Despite what Vegans will tell you (loudly), it’s not for everyone. There is no One-Diet-Fits-All because we’re all different. I believe that we all need to find out what does and doesn’t suit our body and go with that. If we’re eating what works for us, we’ll naturally be fit and healthy.

The goals and outcomes

The whole point with my brother (or anyone else) is not that he goes on a diet to lose weight, but that he changes his lifestyle and eating habits to support his body and feel the best that he can, and that’s what he’s doing.

This is what I recommended to Alan for his new lifestyle (to be reviewed at some point in the future):
  1. Cut out all processed foods including sugar
  2. Cut out pre-prepared foods, particularly snacks
  3. Eliminate grains and legumes
  4. Minimise dairy
  5. Max 2 pieces of fruit a day
  6. Use butter/ghee or Avocado oil for cooking, Olive oil at a pinch.
  7. Drink the juice of a freshly squeezed lemon in 400ml of water every morning before you eat or drink anything else

This article and website by Joelene of Yummy Inspirations explains ketosis and has some fantastic recipes for both ‘strict’ and ‘lazy’ keto recipes (‘lazy’ keto is when you don’t count the carbs, you just eliminate them as much as possible without obsessing about it, which seems like a much better idea to me!).

I generally follow an Auto Immune Protocol diet (you can find out more about AIP here) because that’s what suits my body, but I’m not obsessive about it. I’ll go and eat pizza or rice occasionally and then I go back to my diet to give my body time to readjust. Alan may or may not end up eating the same way, but his focus right now is to get the weight off and get into a healthier state.

Follow the journey

You can follow Alan’s journey on his Facebook page, our website and our YouTube channel.

What are your thoughts on this?

K xxx

[maxbutton id="1"]

More fabulous articles and podcasts

Psychosexual Alignment method and the Inner Vaginal Flush Technique Ups and downs in our desire for and enjoyment of sex are all part of a

Read More »
7 Steps To Style for Over 45's

What if all the menopause symptoms that most Western women experience are common, but they’re not normal? What if there’s a way to get rid

Read More »
7 Steps To Style for Over 45's

Why is it that as we hit midlife, all those little things that we’ve put up with for years suddenly become intolerable? Why is it

Read More »
Stephen Spencer - Emotional and Mental Trauma

Despite the fact that it seems like young people today have life easier and better than any generation before them, there is a growing incidence

Read More »
Liz Ward - Health Nutrition

Why is it, when we reach menopause, all of a sudden the food we’ve eaten for the previous forty-odd years makes us feel bloated? One

Read More »
Terri Vincent - Business Coaching

When life throws you a curveball, it tends not to stop at one; you tend to get a whole bag of curveballs coming at you

Read More »
Two Shakes Of A Lamb’s Tail

Meet Danielle Hawkins, a country vet who also runs a cattle & sheep farm with her husband, all while bringing up two kids and writing

Read More »
Abusive Relationship Part 2

Part 2 of my conversation with Dr Erica Bowen. You can access Part 1 here.  All around the world, domestic violence rates have skyrocketed where

Read More »
Abusive Relationship

Part 1 of my conversation with Dr Erica Bowen. Part 2 will be released next week.  All around the world, domestic violence rates have skyrocketed

Read More »
Permanent Brain Injury

Back in 2015, my eldest daughter, Kira, was really into her horse riding. Training for 4-5 hours a day, she lived, breathed and existed all

Read More »
Menopause Women with Wendy Sweet

Part 2 of my conversation with Dr Wendy Sweet. You’ll find Part 1 – How To Avoid Weight Gain In Menopause here   If you head

Read More »
Avoid Weight Gain with Wendy Sweet

The consensus of opinion is that once you go into peri-menopause, you’ll: 1) put on weight, and 2) probably not sleep for the next 10

Read More »

I had a brainwave: wouldn’t it be cool to ask my kids what they thought of my parenting style and how it’s affected them, what

Read More »

I don’t know about you, but by the time I reached my fifties, I was an absolute MASTER at feeling guilty and being sad about

Read More »

Menopause isn’t something that’s openly discussed… at least, not until it happens, and even then, only among close friends. Which means that it’s actually very

Read More »
[maxbutton id="9"]
Scroll to top