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.