Dangers of the Paleo Diet (Part 2)

Today we will continue exploring the Danger and the Mad Science of Paleo diet.  Make sure to read Part 1. Before we do, however, I would like to address what seemed to be a MAJOR issue with my introduction to the first part.

While I was expecting hail and brimstone from the Paleo proponents, was I wrong! I got whiplashed for stating that I do not believe in evolution.   My, oh, my! So, let me tell you a little story before you dive into Part 2 and quickly become turned off by it, and trust me, if you got turned off by my statement, this might send you into another fit of rage ;).

I Stand My Ground and Won’t be Bullied

I grew up in a Communist country (former USSR).  The country, once it became Communist, denounced all religion–atheism was the only accepted “religion” (yes, I my eyes, it takes even more faith to believe in it, than believe what I do) and approved way of living.  Evolution was the only approved “science” in the country, and those who dared to disagree were punished–some by death, some by imprisonment and even losing parental rights, since the government did not want the parents to “brainwash” their children to believe in God. My father happened to be one of those who spent time in prison and later was sent to Siberia into exile. My mother, with kids and elderly parents in tow, when she was allowed, followed him into the depth of the icy land. Even in exile, away from most people and civilization, they were harassed by spies and frequent interrogations, to make sure they had no contraband (Bibles and hymnals) in their house. They held onto each other, they held onto God, their faith in him, and live or die, their RIGHT to believe what they knew to be true, and not be ashamed of it.

They raised us, their kids, including me, to have the same unwavering principles. They taught us not to give up on what we hold true to please men (humanity), their opinions or to even to save our lives. I was raised to be a tough cookie. I suffered persecution at a tender age of 8 from my school teachers and classmates.  You cannot bully me easily.

When my parents had a chance to leave our homeland, in hopes of finding a better life for their kids, and, most importantly, freedom to practice their faith without being bullied, imprisoned or killed, they took it and brought our family to the US, a country which claims to have been built on religious freedoms.  Interestingly, the longer I live in the US, the more I find that there is freedom to do almost everything else, but freedom to have faith in God and his word (the Bible)… well, it is simple so archaic and out of style, only the “uneducated”, the “ignorant”… people like me, would practice it, and just because of that faith, we could not possibly be “credible” sources for any scientific research. So, yes, there is freedom, but sounds like freedom FROM religion (although I simply call mine FAITH).

I am sorry, folks, that I am so out of style, but if history serves me right, most scientists only 100-150 years ago were Christians, and did believe in creation as opposed to evolution, yet, they were the building blocks of modern science. Most universities started as Christian colleges, although now they are not.

So, see, your mean spirited, arrogant, bullying remarks, although irritating and inconsiderate, have no ill effect on me–they roll off my back like water rolls off a goose’s feathers.  This blog is who I am and to hide a part of me just to gain more readership would be nothing more than being dishonest and a lie–that is not who I am, even if I lose a few readers. If I swayed with every opinion out there, then I probably would have never married my husband, since some still would consider our marriage an abomination!

Interestingly, when I first began to practice vegan lifestyle and blogged about it, it was the Christian community who rejected me, with the same fervor. I stuck it out. I might have grown on them ;). I reached out to readers who needed to hear my message.  Now there is a turnaround and more and more believers see true benefits of plant based living and become readers of this blog.  Who knew that only a few years later some in the secular community would put me through another ringer due to my convictions.

One more thing, I personally do not agree with the theory of evolution, but have learned, in spite of it, to read through research and articles done by those who claim it, and glean what I need from them, without throwing out the proverbial “baby with the bath water”. It’s a sign of maturity and feeling secure in my own faith and beliefs.  If my statement deters someone from reading this series, oh, well, I feel for them (you) and not for myself. In large, however, I think that MOST people are more open minded than that, and would not consider me a “quack”, as one of the comments stated.  Take it or leave it, dearies! This is me. If you want to, please stick around, but do me a favor and shake the religious bigotry off your feet (typing fingers) before commenting, check yourself, or feel free to click off. 

This part will take you about 10 minutes to read. 

Tandi Hartle received her Bachelors degree in Natural Health Science from the University of Natural Medicine and then went on to get a certificate in plant-based nutrition from Cornell University.  Tandi has also received certificates in Nutritional Herbology, Aromatherapy, and Raw Culinary Arts.  She is the author of “America’s Health Crisis” and her work has been published in Natural News.  She is a highly sought after lecturer and speaker and has presented for Utah Valley University, New Mexico Midwives Association, Balance Wellness Center, and Vitality Natural Foods.   Her research is focused on how plant based foods affect the physiological aspects of healing. 

www.thepeacefulkitchen.blogspot.com

We are Starchivores

image source: beyond-paleo.com

I will state here that I am not a believer in evolution, as in I do not believe humans “evolved” from apes.  However, physiologically we are similar and therefore looking at the dietary patterns of apes in that regard does give us a good insight into what our diet should look like.

Keep in mind, there is one significant difference between humans and apes that is critical in understanding our dietary differences.  An article published in Nature Genetics detailed these differences.  Apes cannot digest starches, but humans digest starches very easily and, in fact our, saliva is perfectly designed to do so.  Apes have only two copies of the amylase gene and therefore cannot digest starches; they must get their energy from simple carbohydrates in fruit.  In contrast, humans have between 6 and 16 copies of the amylase gene and have amylase, the complex carbohydrate digesting enzyme in our saliva and digestive tract.  We are completely designed to digest complex carbohydrates… we have amylase right in our saliva! It is interesting that so many nutrition books fail to even detail our physiology properly and tell us to avoid carbohydrates.

In reality, most highly respected anthropologists such as Nathanial Dominy, PhD from Dartmouth College explain: “That’s a myth.  Hunter-gatherers, get the majority of their calories from plant foods… meat is just too unpredictable.”

Dr. Dominy goes on to explain that through his entire career as a biological anthropologist evidence suggests: “Humans might be more appropriately described as ‘starchivores’.”  This claim is supported by our physiology including the fact that we have starch digesting enzymes in our saliva, along with our long, sacculated digestive tract, opposable thumbs, very dull canine teeth, molars for grinding  etc.

To add another voice to this, aside from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition and Dr. Dominy of Dartmouth, researchers from the University of California Santa Ana have also made a statement supporting the argument that the human diet should be and was predominantly plant based.

“According to researchers from the University of California Santa Ana, even when we look at most modern hunter gatherers meat is a minimal part of their diet.”3

At the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences presented in 2011 researchers concluded: “Here we report direct evidence for Neanderthal consumption of a variety of plant foods, in the form of phytoliths and starch grains recovered from dental calculus of Neanderthal skeletons from Shanidar Cave, Iraq, and Spy Cave, Belgium… Our results indicate that in both warm eastern Mediterranean and cold northwestern European climates, and across their latitudinal range, Neanderthals made use of the diverse plant foods available in their local environment and transformed them into more easily digestible foodstuffs in part through cooking them, suggesting an overall sophistication in Neanderthal dietary regimes.”4

It is important to realize that a large body of current evidence suggests that most populations of the world, no matter what timeframe they are from, have subsisted on a predominantly plant-based diet that included whole grains and legumes.  There have been small, isolated populations that have existed on high meat based diets, but these were never large, long-lived, or successful populations.

Do High Meat Eating Societies Thrive?

image source: alaska-in-pictures.com

We have two modern examples of populations that exist on a high-meat centered diet that is not based upon factory farming practices and we still see the worst longevity in the modern world among these populations.  The first example is the Inuit Eskimos, which have very limited access to fruits and vegetables because of the extreme climate they live in. They are used as a “model” people for low-carb diet promoters but what they fail to tell you is that the Inuit Eskimos have the worst longevity statistics in North America and die about 10 years younger than the average Canadian and have a higher rate of cancer as well.5

Not only do the Inuit’s have a short lifespan, they also suffer from osteoporosis far greater than white populations.  According to an article published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, “After age 40 the Eskimos of both sexes had a deficit from 10 to 15% relative to white standards.  Aging bone loss, which occurs in many populations has an earlier onset and greater intensity in the Eskimos.”  The article goes on to implicate the nutritional factors of high protein, high nitrogen, and high phosphorus intake.6

The Inuit Eskimos eat to survive, not to thrive.  They live in extremely undesirable conditions and, of course, they make do with what they have but I would not consider their diet, nor their living conditions anything close to ideal.

image source: amanshotel.com

The next example of a high meat eating society is the Maasai population in Kenya.  They eat a diet high in wild hunted meats, eat organs, and drink animal blood, which, for the most part, is exactly what the Paleo promoters preach to their unsuspecting followers.  How do the Maasai stack up in longevity?

Well we said that the Inuit have the worst longevity in North America.  The Maasai have the worst life expectancy in the Modern WorldLife expectancy is 45 years for women and 42 years of age for men.  The average life expectancy for all of Kenya is 62.5 (!), so this isn’t just because of high rates of infectious disease or infant mortality because of where they live compared to industrialized nations, because the life expectancy on average for their country of origin is much higher.

Many cite Weston A. Price and his visit to the Maasai, but one must realize he had no way of truly assessing health other than dental health and appearanceNo blood tests or medical tests were conducted! Price was a dentist not a medical doctor and had no training to evaluate heart disease, osteoporosis, inflammation or any other health condition that may result from their high meat diet.  While Weston A. Price did contribute to the understanding that processed foods are not healthy, his evaluations just do not hold up in quality to current research protocols.

The Maasai DO develop atherosclerosis, they just don’t live long enough to die from it! 

The reality is modern autopsy studies on Maasai men have actually shown atherosclerosis, they do not escape the damaging effects of their high meat diets, even though they eat wild game, but researchers say that their highly active lifestyle may offer some protection from the atherosclerosis that they do develop.  Many low carb diet promoters wrongly assume that because they have a lower heart attack rate than the Western world that they don’t develop cardiovascular disease, this however is not true, they DO develop atherosclerosis! It is very uncommon for an individual in the U.S. under the age of 45 to die from heart disease, the Maasai simply don’t live long enough to have the same statistics as those in industrialized nations, and as researchers pointed out, their extreme workload and physical activity provides some benefit (realize this isn’t just an hour at the gym every morning either).7

I will never understand why people romanticize a strongly violent, savage, patriarchal society that promotes violence against young girls in the form of ritualistic female circumcision, drinks animal blood, and lives a very poverty stricken life.  They are one of the most impoverished people in Kenya with an extremely short life span and struggle with heavy workloads that may protect their health to some degree, but I can’t imagine any American actually desiring to eat or live in the way that these people do. How does this violent little culture has become a romanticized model for dietary lifestyles? I personally have no desire to move backward to violent, savage living conditions.  We need to move forward and live according to a higher level consciousness.8,9

Is the Paleo diet really good at managing blood sugar levels of Type II diabetics?

image source: www.tissuerecovery.com

There seems to be a claim that the Paleo diet is good at managing blood sugar levels. Does that mean it is a “cure” or “treatment” for diabetes?  No!  The reason the Paleo diet does so well at balancing blood sugar is that it deals with the symptoms, not the cause.  We are physiologically designed to digest, assimilate, and use carbohydrates.  When the body become sick and unable to digest carbohydrates, do we just remove the carbohydrates and say, “You are cured!”?  That is like saying I can cure you of a peanut allergy by telling you “Don’t eat peanuts!” That isn’t a cure at all.  Neither is a low-carb or Paleo diet for diabetes.

In the New England Journal of Medicine, Yale University researchers tested young adults whose grandparents were diabetic.  Some of these young adults already had insulin resistance as well as higher levels of intra-myocellular lipids within the muscle cells.  When intra-myocellular lipids accumulate within the cell this interferes with insulin’s intracellular signaling process preventing insulin from attaching to a receptor site allowing glucose into the cell causing high circulating blood glucose levels.10 Intra-myocellular lipids begin to build up in muscle cells due to a diet too high in fat.  These fats inhibit the insulin receptor on the cell from binding with insulin and allowing glucose into the cell, resulting in insulin resistance.  Several studies have shown that when a low-fat diet comprised of only whole food fats is adopted these intra-myocellular lipids clear from the cells and the insulin receptors become sensitive to insulin again.

Researchers at Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge studied 10 young men who were in their 20’s, were healthy and of normal weight.  They put these men on a high fat diet comprising 50% of its calories from fat and after only 3 days on the diet these men had built up significantly more intramyocellular lipids.  These lipids build up very rapidly, but with the right diet, they can also decrease rapidly.11 

image source: http://commons.wikimedia.org

We say that eating carbs like those found in donuts, potato chips, cookies, cakes, pastry’s etc., makes us fat and causes diabetes; but did you know that ALL of these foods are actually FAT dominant foods?  

They are either fried in fat or contain the majority of their calories in the form of butter or oils!  They are not carbs! This is the big mistake that people make when implicating carbs in diabetes and weight gain.  Fat is 9 calories per gram, where carbohydrates are 4 calories per gram, so adding a stick or two of butter in cookies or pastries or frying in oil actually adds more calories from fat than from carbohydrate and this is where we run into problems. It is when we isolate fat from its whole food such as olive oil from olives, sunflower oil from sunflower seeds etc., concentrating it into pure fat and adding it to sugar that we really run into problems.  This is NOT the same thing as consuming brown rice or fruit! 

What happens when a diabetic goes on a low-carb or paleo style diet?

They become more diabetic! 

They remove or severely restrict carbohydrates forcing the body to utilize fat stores for fuel and their blood sugar stabilizes and they get really excited.  All seems to be going perfectly, and then the temptations and cravings start to set in—those mashed potatoes look really good, cookies, cake or maybe even just some fruit.  They eventually give in and, let’s say they just ate some brown rice, what happens?  Their blood sugar spikes sky high, they feel horrible and then they say, “The low carb diet was working and carbohydrates are bad for me.” Not so fast!

Now that they have been eating a high-protein, high fat diet their body is even less able to handle carbohydrates than it was before. Why?  Because intramyocellular lipids continue to increase on this high fat diet and so now their blood sugar levels are even more unstable when consuming carbohydrates.  They didn’t “cure” their diabetes! They made it worse!

Want to test this out?  Ask any diabetic who has gone on a low carb diet what started to happen when they ate a carbohydrate food after being on a low carb diet for a while.  They will tell you their blood sugar levels sky rocketed worse than ever before. EXACTLY!  It happens every time.

If we are physiologically designed to consume carbohydrates, as our saliva and physiology show that we are, a healthy human being should be able to consume them without negative effects.  In order to be healthy we need to find a way to carbs without negative effects, then we can consider that being cured. Merely removing carbohydrates is not the answer.  The Paleo answer to diabetes is not a cure; it is a band aid that will not hold up over a lifetime of diabetes!

Part 3

Stay tuned for the conclusion of this series in the next post, as Tandi debunks the false promises of the Paleo diet.

Bibliography

3. http://news.ucsc.edu/2007/09/1553.html

4. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21187393

5. Iburg KM, Bronnum-Hansen H, Bjerregaard P. Health expectancy in Greenland. Scand J Public Health 2001;29(1):5-12. Choinere R. Mortality among the Baffin Inuit in the mid-80s. Arctive Med Res 1992;51 (2):87-93.

6. http://www.ajcn.org/content/27/9/916.short

7. http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/95/1/26.abstract

8. http://www.maasaigirlseducation.org/the-need/the-life-of-a-maasai-woman

9. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_life_expectancy

10. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/14960743

11. Dr. Barnard, Reversing Diabetes Pg. 25

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  • Tina

    I support a whole foods, plant based diet. Everything I have read about the Paleo diet suggests eating an abundance of organic fruits and vegetables – including sweet potatoes – found in nature along with wild game and meats that are not from factory farms. Also, the pro-paleo articles I have read tell people to avoid dairy. If people would just eat whole foods in their natural state, fill up on vegetables and fruits, and eat the amount of grains (doesn’t have to be wheat, I have a sensitivity to wheat myself) and even animal protein that is needed instead of the gluttonous amounts consumed by the majority, I think they could live healthy lives. I believe dairy should be avoided. There is no reason for us to drink the breast milk from another species or eat the curd from it. There are other sources of calcium which don’t have such a strong inflammatory effect on the body. Dairy is a highly inflammatory food. Meat is not needed daily to get the benefits of the nutrients it provides. Two servings per week would probably suffice. In my own nutrition class we were taught that the most meat/animal protein a person needs is 5 oz per day – the most. The average American eats more than that at each meal. Just think about the positive environmental impact that would come about from everyone adopting a primarily whole foods, plant based diet and dropping their meat consumption to a maximum of 20 oz per week, not to mention the impact on health care cost and disease

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Tina, while I am a fully plant-food diet supporter, I could not agree with you more. Based on what you said, most people can have optimal health. Unfortunately most Paleo promoters endorse a much larger meat consumption, along with a lot of fat (oil) consumptions, which has really poor health affects. Based on what you are saying, however, you have the mindset that could save millions from poor health in our country; not to mention saving our planet. For those who do not want to commit to a fully vegan diet, just like you said, no dairy, no junk, abundance of plant foods, and 2-3 small servings of flesh foods a week is still a great way to live and avoid chronic illnesses.

      Thank you for your thoughtful comment.

  • NevadaSmith

    What I found is: “In 1991, life expectancy in the Inuit-inhabited areas was about 68 years, 10 years less than for Canada as a whole.” This is not a surprise but this is referring to the modern Innuits who do eat refined foods. I doubt if anyone knows what the life expectancy of the Innuit natives was over a hundred years ago before they started eating the white man’s food.
    Of couse it’s good for them that God said they could eat meat or they would have died off.

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Nevada, as you mentioned, sometimes people must eat whatever they have to survive, line the Inuits, but it does not mean that it is optimal for them.

  • Jackie

    I am sooooooo impressed! You rock it, girl and I am proud to be amoung your readers and am one of your biggest fans now! Funny…I have been criticized for my religion (which happens to be Wicca) and while I do beleive in evolution I would fight to the the death your right to beleive otherwise! My daughter is a Christian and our conversations have led us both to a deeper and more respected position with regards to each others path. We must fight for each other! If you loose your rights…then I loose mine! Keep it up! I admire you!

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Thank you :)

  • Christinehas6

    Wow. You.Are.Amazing. I have only just begun to read through the depth of information here and I already love it. Thanks for being true to your convictions and for being down to earth about who you are. My family and I are not vegan, or even vegetarian all of the time, but as I seek more knowledge about health and longevity, this appeals to me more and more. I’m looking forward to delving into your website and finding out more about how to truly nourish my family. There is so much conflicting information out there and so many different approaches, not to mention how our food supply is being messed with on so many levels…but as always, one must never stop learning and striving for betterment. Love your site, love your strength and inspiration. I am looking into further schooling and find that the education you have is almost identical to what I have been pursuing. Really and truly inspiring.

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Welcome to Vegaliciuos! I hope you will love it here. Vegan or not, we all need to start taking steps toward better health. I was not always vegan and never planned on it, until i had to do something drastic and whole foods, plant based diet made all the sense.

  • Pingback: Dangers of the Paleo Diet (Part 3)

  • Steve

    I love the information in your blogs. I’ve learned a lot and I’m on a path to a healthier life because it. Believe what you want. Remember “Darwin Loves You”

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      LOL… thanks! Little love is needed from a dead man :)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=781604044 Rochelle Larsen

    It’s been a while since I’ve read your post, but I agree wholeheartedly with your article and beliefs and opinion on sharing your beliefs! I recently was un-friended on Facebook due to a difference of opinion based on an issue I didn’t imagine would cause that much division, but “Se la vie” as the French say! I’ve also learned it’s best to let things roll off your back and focus on what is important, which is getting people back on track with proper nutrition! I am eager to read part three, and actually had a question. I know the author of “The Maker’s Diet” (can’t remember his name for some reason) switched to a Paleo diet from what I understood. I haven’t read into his reasons, but he now owns a cattle ranch in Colorado, I believe, and sells his meats, etc. I think he mostly sells beef, which ironically ..I’ve been finding myself avoiding more and more lately, but I’ve heard others talk about keeping your protein intake to some fish and chicken (organic of course) and eat whole grains, lots of organic fruits and veggies, etc. too. I’m just stuck when I read of Jesus feeding the people with fish and bread, and many other meat eating references found in scripture. You might have answered this before too, so please direct me to where I need to read, but isn’t it possible for us to be healthy and live a long life by reducing our meat intake and eat whole grains, lost of greens and organic fruits, etc? I completely agree our meat intake is way out of control and cruel (especially considering how the animals are treated). But, isn’t there a way to go back to that structure of life as it was?? I guess that’s where my thoughts take me with meat!!

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Rochelle, I totally hear you. So, let’s get through your concerns quickly. Let’s start from the beginning and get to the end.

      Genesis 1:29 “Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.” Genesis 3:18 “And you shall eat the herb of the field.” Revelation 22:2 “In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. ”

      This was God’s original, perfect plan for human diet.

      You do see a permission (permissive will) to eat animals after the flood; Genesis 9: 3 “Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. ” But you will see immediately after that the human lifespan from the original plan (eternal in the garden), to about 1000 yrs after the all (average about 800) goes to about 120 yrs. :)

      So, if someone were to argue that they could eat animals–sure thing, you probably won’t go to hell for it ;). You will, however, shorter your days, thus also you should be ready to spend the time and money you could use to enjoy your family and friends on doctors and medical care.

      When I first learned about us having NO NEED to eat meat, I asked myself a question: “then WHY would I?” instead of “why not?”

      Now, although I do not pretend to have a perfect answer for everything Jesus did, I do have an opinion I do not mind sharing. See, he has already given laws from the beginning–the perfect law, which Adam and Eve broke, the permissive law, which the whole humanity broke. He gave 10 commandments, and yet, to this day we break them. When He came, remember that he said: “I came to fulfill the law”? Well, he basically did everything he asked us to do when it comes to righteousness, love, etc. I personally do not think that he came to change dietary laws–since they were clearly already in place… and even if he did say something about it, do you think we (humanity) would have really listened? He said: “do not kill”, yet we do. He said: “do not steal,” yet we do. He said, “do not cheat on your spouse,” yet over 50% of marriages fall apart… Do you think if he said: “do not eat meat” we would have listened? Probably not ;).

      I know that a lot of the times (and I do not mean you) people fall back on the fact that Jesus ate fish and served fish, and here is my response: He also walked on water, healed the sick, raised the dead. Why do not we line up to mimic those deeds as much and care about what he did, but we do care about what he ate? Just a thought ;)

      Now, to the last part, is is possible to eat some meat and still have a healthful lifestyle?! You bet! Studies have shown that if you keep your animal food intake under 10% of your daily diet (think of having a piece of meat only the size of a deck of cards… but who eats that way anymore?!) then we can still have decent health. My only comment on that is: if we do not need it to survive, then why would I want to eat deceased flesh? I am straight shooter, so, if I don’t need it to survive, I do not want it in my body.

      And, since you mentioned protein, do read my protein articles:

      Where do You Get Protein? Part 1 (http://www.vega-licious.com/2011/01/where-do-you-get-protein-vegan-part-i/)
      Where do You Get Protein? Part 2 (http://www.vega-licious.com/2011/01/where-do-you-get-protein-vegan-part-ii/)
      They will show you exactly why plant protein is better ;).

      Hope this helps.

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=781604044 Rochelle Larsen

        Oh, I fully agree about plant protein!! I actually truly have been cringing a lot about meat, especially beef lately…but eggs, chicken and fish (well…tilapia doesn’t really seem to be fish in my recent opinion) I find myself craving. I also crave avocados, legumes, quinoa (Absolute favorite!!!) and my green (well…kind of green…we add lots of fruit :-)) smoothies are tugging within me to consume!! I feel so much better with them and actually have been noticing my body has wanted to reject coffee (gasp!?!?!) I notice these food cravings, not so much the meat, but others when I eliminate any source of food additives, but have a hard time convincing my family to be more veggie conscious! *Sigh* I think you have great points about the meat though and I will be sharing! I have been increasingly becoming more vegan conscious and for sure notice the difference in my body when more of those foods are consumed! Thank you so much for taking the time to respond!! Much respect, love and hugs your way!!!
        -Rochelle ;-)

        • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

          Yes, the more you do vegan (the right way) the more your body will reject even fish and eggs. Trust me. I came from all those foods and know how i craved them and missed in the beginning, but not anymore.

          We will be in Longview next week :). Hope to see you.

  • Steave

    Elena, although I’m not a vegan or vegetarian, I subscribed to your site since I was interested in the good articles that you write, and the health tips.

    I love how you think! People shouldn’t be afraid to show their faith in this increasingly irreligious society. I am a Christian too, and I always notice how people, and especially the media, always put Christians down. Any chance to take a swipe at organized religion is taken. You don’t see this kind of vitriol coming from Christians and people of other religions against atheists. I’m not saying religious people don’t ever say anything against atheists (there are crazies out there making bad demonstrations), but atheists have been showing a different level of bitterness towards the religious. Thanks again for standing your ground! We need some respect around here! :)

    Steve

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Steve, glad to have you around. I do not expect for the whole world to go vegan, but I think that even non-vegans can highly benefit from better eating and learning a few things :). So, thank you for support! And, while America is still a free country, we have the freedom to express ourselves–it was not so for me growing up, so I am living up my freedom of religious expression, while I can :).

  • Emily Brooks

    Can you hear my standing ovation. Everything, from the beginning of the last article, to you standing up for your beliefs to the conclusion of the post, is great. I have had my suspicions of the paleo diet since I first heard of it; from the start the philosophy behind it and the justification for what is included/excluded didn’t sit right with me. I’ve also never liked atkins or even south beach (know several people that complained of headaches from doing the south beach). I felt my best when I was pregnant with my fourth, I went completely vegan and at least 50% raw. I felt so healthy and had more energy than any other pregnancy, and even more energy than when I wasn’t pregnant. In my religion we have a law of health (we call it the Word of Wisdom) that we follow, it states, “All grain is ordained for the use of man and of beasts, to be the staff of life…All grain is good for the food of man.” Adhering to this and the other parts of the law of health which encourages eating a diet primarily composed of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and grains, I have found great health.

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      I like that law of health! Wish everyone accepted it. It can be found in the Bible, the very first chapter, as well, but people overlook it :(.

      I am so happy that you are on the healthy track, and that your pregnancy went great!

  • Nina

    Elena, I don’t believe in God, any God! I wasn’t raised this way, I am not missing anything and I strongly believe in evolution. I don’t mind other people beliving in a higher power and I expect other people to let me my freedom by NOT believing in a higher power. I come to your site for your knowledge on nutrition and I value the information I get fom you very much. I have learnt a lot from you and it almost feels like I know you. The other day I was eating something that you wouldn’t approve of and I had to think of you immediately :-) almost felt like cheating. Anyhow, now I feel like telling you of your reader that agrees with you on so many things, yet disagrees on somehting that seems to be so important to you- knowing your family background I understand why. Believing or not believing for that matter isn’t something that is a big deal for me. When you do mention HIM in some posts I just keep on reading without judging as it usually doesn’t change the facts you are writing about. I hope you respect my believes and don’t mind me being your online friend- despite our different believes.

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      Nina, I appreciate that! I have friends who are atheists, Muslims Jews, and never do I discredit them for their knowledge based on their faith–that would be simply ridiculous and wrong. Like you, I skip over the parts I do not agree with, and keep up our communication based on our common ground. Thank you for being open minded!

  • Devona

    Thank you for telling us your story and for standing your ground, you are an encouragement to me. We live in a country that demands tolerance and acceptance of other peoples beliefs but practices “religious bigotry” openly towards Christians. I have also felt ostracized by fellow Christians for my health beliefs and I find it hard to understand why my brothers and sister in Christ would mock me instead of lifting me up, as we have been instructed to do. As far as the health aspect goes, I was told that I was borderline diabetic, and did have gestational diabetes with my youngest child. I had blood work done last month and my blood sugar was 86! Woohoo! I eat lots of fruit, moderate amounts of dried fruit, some legumes but little grains. My body is still healing and at this time does not do well on grains but maybe it will one day soon. Have you read “Why Christian Get Sick?” It was life changing for me.

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      I am so excited that your health is improving! I have not read the book… but I am guessing that constant pot-lucks and parties have something do to with it (just joking). Food did, however, become and acceptable and an approved drug in Christianity. Overweight and obesity plague the church, and, instead of changing ourselves, we either get into healing lines, or say: “It must be God’s will.” Sad, sad, sad.

  • http://www.facebook.com/maria.w.dixon Maria Weinberg Dixon

    Elena, thank you for sharing part of your testimony. Your parents did well! :) We live in a world that states the truth is a lie and that a lie is the truth. We have to stand up for what is right and we have to stand by our faith or we will become as wishy washy as the rest of the world. As for me and my house; We will serve the Lord!

    • http://www.vega-licious.com/ Elena

      True that :)! No matter what, we owe Him more than our lives :)