My Juicing Journey

Look What the ‘Net Dragged In

I was doing some searching today and ran across a couple of very interesting articles that I thought may be of interest to those of you who are juicing to supplement your diet or to those of you who may be on or back to solid foods.

If you are working to gain health or lose weight, restaurants are always a particularly tricky landmine to navigate. Between foods that we have been “programmed” by Pavlovian responses to crave and the work of clever marketers there are numerous diet bombs waiting to be uncovered.  Take a look at some of the biggest offenders.

Also this article explores the differences between vegan and plant based diets.  It is a repost of an article by Joe Cross and his buddies at www.jointhereboot.com.

Now for my thoughts.  I, too, frequently get “that” look when I tell people I am juicing.  If you have ever told anyone that you are living strictly off juice, then you know the look. For those who are intrigued, “The Look” is followed by the questions.  Which honestly, I enjoy as long as they are truly inquisitive and trying to learn. One of the questions I get is, “So are you a vegetarian (vegan) now, or what?”

My answer. “No, but I am eating a plant based diet and probably will for the rest of my life.”

My distinction between the two is slightly different than the one in the reblog (linked above). 

First, “vegetarian” and “vegan” absolutely rules out the use of animal products to one degree or another.  There is, imo, room in the diet of most healthy people for animal products. Beyond being room for them, there is need for them.

Look at the way your body was designed.  You really have to look no further than your teeth. True herbivores only have teeth for crushing and grinding. (Think camels, horses, elephants, deer, etc.)  True carnivores have razor sharp teeth designed for cutting, tearing, and ripping.  (Think tigers, sharks, falcons – not strictly a tooth but a razor sharp beak and talons -, alligators, etc.)  You and I, on the other hand, have a mixture of cutters and rippers, grinders and crushers.  God gave us the ability to eat a broad spectrum of foods and bodies that need the mixture. While you can live on a vegan diet, and some live quite well – even professional athletes – why not follow the design and the owner’s manual.  I could drive a nail with a screw driver, a brick, or the back of a thick book but using a hammer sure is preferrable. Different tools have different purposes and I get the best results when I use them as intended.  If we were supposed to get all of our nutrition from plants dont you think we would have been given four stomachs ruminant animals so that we could get the most nutrition possible from every meal?

Secondly, “vegan” and “vegetarian” have become designations that are less and less about diet and more and more about ideologies, politics, and agendas.  I just happen to disagree with them, especially the more strident among them. Even if I ever do completely move to an exclusively plant diet, I will never wear the label because I do not wish to be associated with the agenda.  Similarly, in politics, I probably would declare that I am a libertarian if it were not for all of the conspiracy theorists, doomsday preppers, militia members, free love and free drugs, and other assorted unstable people in the midst.

I also find some of the arguments used by the most ardent vegans to be full of logical gaps and errors.  For example, there is the claim that we are all animals and to eat another animal is cruel and is speciesist.  Have you watched other animals?  Cheetahs feel no remorse about stalking the sick and weak in a herd. In fact, it actually helps the overall antelope population by removing them from the gene pool.  Nature is cruel, from weather to the way animals treat each other. Don’t belive me. Have you ever watched a documentary on baboons?

Secondarily, many of the vegans tend to be evolutionists.  I am not.  If I were, though, I would have to be honest about my position.  I feel that most vegans and other  psuedo-evolutionists are not consistent in their beliefs.

Example: One of the main tenets of evolutionary biology and understanding is the concept of “Survival of the Fittest.”  Well guess what…if I have opposable thumbs, an enlarged frontal cortex, the ability to write and pass down information to my descendants, to learn, and the ability to design projectiles, guns, and black powder…game over; I win.  I am the “fittest” in the evolutionary chain and I get to choose, through natural selection, which of the other species live, which ones don’t, and which ones become my supper.  Sure, I may be a “naked ape” but I am a naked ape that learned how to fashion clothes so I can survive any climate and have adapted tools for the creation of shelter and the subduing of my immediate environment.  And this adaptation I can put to use in hours or days not in millenia.

My last reason for not being a vegan or vegetarian is easily summed up in one five letter word. BACON.  ’nuff said.  😉

Defining myself as consuming  a plant-based diet allows me to do just that.  BASE my diet on plant sources without limiting myself to exclusively one thing or another.  Plants will always be the BASE of my diet but I will still have the ability to have the occasional BLT or the grilled steak, baked wild salmon, or an egg from my backyard chickens. 

A school that said it would start using a math- and science-based curriculum is not saying that reading is no longer important or that Shakespeare is worthless.  They are just stating that in today’s society Math and Science are critically important and should be emphasized. Similarly, by stating that I am consuming a plant-based diet, I am simply acknowledging the myriad health benefits of this lifestyle choice. 

I do not have to limit myself to one position or the other to receive the benefit available to me through the consumption of plants.  The evidence is clear we consume far too many meats, processed foods, and foods that otherwise are unhealthy.  I do not have to wear a label to reverse that trend.

My position, post juicing, is clear, concise, easy to maintain, and allows flexibility.

  • Make the majority of my calories consumed from nutrient rich plant sources
  • Go by my own “rule of threes” – do my best to abstain from foods with more than three ingredients, that have had more than three steps to process them, or that have any words in the ingredient list longer than three syllables.
  • Eat six small meals per day rather than the traditional “American” way of eating.
  • Avoid fast food.
  • Limit restaurants.
  • Keep food in its proper perspective and place.  It is neither comfort, entertainment, or a reward.  It is nutrition and fuel for my machine.  Poor fuel = poor performance.
  • Allow for the reality that all of this may be impossible to maintain perfectly but as kimtri told me early on in my journey, “it’s not about perfection, its about direction.”

By following these simple guidelines, by juicing as a part of my strategy each day, and by quarterly going through a 7-15 day juice “reboot”, I can continue to move towards wellness and toward my goal weight of 225.

No labels, no defense necessary, and no obsessing over every thing that enters my mouth.  That sounds like a diet with a capital “D” and one that I can maintain.

Juice On; Join the Journey.

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This entry was published on February 28, 2012 at 11:17 am. It’s filed under Juicing, Vegetables, weight loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post.

2 thoughts on “Look What the ‘Net Dragged In

  1. Interesting thoughts, but I have some cotmenms of my own. I should also note that I have been a vegan for nearly 2 years now. Also I think the activists’ in your article are rather misguided in their attempts, as many strong activists can be.Your article (and Mrs. Kingsolver) makes one supposition which I feel is inaccurate. Veganism is not a lifestyle which claims to eliminate the suffering of all animals. In fact, vegans that live the life of purposeful ignorance that Mrs. Kingsolver describes are, in my experience, few and far between. Vegans only seek to damage life as little as possible, not eliminate all death from the world. This would be an absurd cause. Tennyson described nature well, red in tooth and claw. But the entire purpose of veganism is to move beyond our animalistic nature. We focus on reducing the harm to other species because our species has caused so much harm already. A lion kills because it has no choice. Must we live at the lion’s level, or can we evolve beyond voluntary killing? We are the highest order animal on this planet, and the only species with the capability of affecting major change in the world. Why destroy other life when that destruction is not only purposeless, it’s against the very nature of our evolving moral code. Humanity has been guilty of many crimes’ throughout it’s lifespan, from genocide and murder all the way to denying the rights of others based solely on gender or color or sexual orientation. As our species has evolved, our thoughts on these issues have changed, and I believe our opinions of animal rights will change as well. We make a distinction between purposeful murder of a human and accidental, yet your article refuses to make the same distinction when it comes to other species. Yes, life must destroy other life in order to thrive, but why make that destruction purposeful? I feel I should end here. Although I have many other thoughts on this issue, I would like to present a quote from the website of Prof. Gary Francione, an animal rights activist, and a person I highly regard. He can probably give a stronger argument than I can. Take care,Dax Question 12: If we become vegetarians, animals will inevitably be harmed when we plant vegetables, and what is the difference between raising and killing animals for food and unintentionally killing them as part of a plant-based agriculture?Answer: If we shift from a meat-based agriculture to a plant-based agriculture, we will inevitably displace and possibly kill sentient animals when we plant vegetables. Surely, however, there is a significant difference between raising and killing animals for food and unintentionally doing them harm in the course of planting vegetables, an activity that is itself intended to prevent the killing of sentient beings.In order to understand this point, consider the following example. We build roads. We allow people to drive automobiles. We know as a statistical matter that when we build a road, some humans–we do not know who they are beforehand–will be harmed as the result of automobile accidents. Yet there is a fundamental moral difference between activity that has human harm as an inevitable but unintended consequence and the intentional killing of particular humans. Similarly, the fact that animals may be harmed as an unintended consequence of planting vegetables, even if we do not use toxic chemicals and even if we exercise great care to avoid harming animals, does not mean that it is morally acceptable to kill animals intentionally.A related question is: why don’t plants have rights given that they are alive? This is the question that every vegetarian gets in the company of meat eater. These meat eaters may be otherwise rational and intelligent beings, but when confronted with a vegetarian, their discomfort with their diet often rises to the surface in the form of defensiveness.No one really thinks that plants are the same as sentient nonhumans. If I ate your tomato and your dog, you would not regard those as similar acts. As far as we know, plants are not sentient. They are not conscious and able to experience pain. Plants do not have central nervous systems, endorphins, receptors for benzodiazepines, or any of the other indicia of sentience. Plants do no have interests; animals do.

    • Thank you for your thoughtful response. We will agree to disagree. I am not in favor of the wanton destruction of life, any life. But the harvesting of animals for meat for food I believe to not only be a good thing, but a necessary one. Killing for sport or pleasure I alos would decry. But we are omnivores. that is the way our system was designed. If you take a diesel engine and run gasoline through it you will destroy it and visa versa. If we are to eat only meat, or primarily meat, as many americans do you will harm the machine (the body), but similarly if you eliminate all meat entirely, forever. I belive there is also harm in that.

      The gist of my argument is this, there are ditches on both sides of the road. Neither ditch is less harmful and both ditches will impeded progress toward the ultimate destination. Scripture teaches me in the book of Ecclesiates that “The Man who fears God will avoid all extremes.” I have been for the last 60+ days on a diet consisting of solely plant foods. When I transition back to a more sustainable, long term diet, I will remain plant-based but not plant exclusive. My consumption of allmeats will be reduced to less than once a day and red meat to once or twice a week.

      The difference in our two positions likely comes down to a difference in objectives or focus. Yours, from what I can tell, is aimed at ending the suffering of sentient animals. Mine is on my overall health and long-term well-being. We ahve different goals so our methods may be different. Thank you though for sharing your thoughts and good luck on your journey. Be well.

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