Death by Kale–Vegan Diet Side Effects

A few days ago I was busy in the kitchen.  Since I am a chronic multitasker, in addition to cleaning, cooking and playing with Sprout, it was time to catch up on some shows, especially since I never have time to watch TV (I do not even have cable!). I googled the show I wanted to watch (yes, the only way I watch TV is on my PC ;)), which happened to be on and went to doing my chores.  Suddenly I noticed that Sprout, who was rolling around in her walker, stopped. I followed her gaze to see what got her attention.  It turned out to be an animated commercial… for an antidepressant. Oh, no! What is my kiddo seeing at her tender 12 months of age?!  Worse yet, what was she hearing?

While “sad-to-happy, miracle drug” story unfolded in front of our eyes, I paid attention to the babbled off disclaimers of possible side effects. The voice-over was going through them so quickly, I thought I was hearing  an auctioneer chant: “Going once, going twice… sold to that lady with a sad face… Lady, you bought yourself happiness, but you have to know that as happy as you will get, you might also end up with some severe side effects, including death, more depression, or even commit a suicide. But lady, don’t you worry about it, because you have a chance of feeling normal.”

pill cocktail

image courtesy of

If you’ve been here long enough you must guess what I did next… yes, I actually pulled up a complete list of side effects for THIS DRUG. I will not bore you with all details, since it is not the point of today’s article (and neither is discussing the cause of depression in everyone ;)), but I will give you a quick list:

  • Suicidal thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults
  • Patients being treated should be observed closely for clinical worsening, suicidality, and unusual changes in behavior. Worsening symptoms include symptoms of anxiety, agitation, panic attacks, insomnia, irritability, hostility, aggressiveness, impulsivity, akathisia (psychomotor restlessness), hypomania, mania, andsuicidality.
  • Hepatic failure, sometimes fatal, has been reported in patients treated with THIS DRUG.
  • THIS DRUG should be discontinued in patients who develop jaundice or other evidence of clinically significant liver dysfunction.
  • Orthostatic hypotension and syncope have been reported with therapeutic doses of THIS DRUG.
  • Development of a potentially life-threatening serotonin syndrome has been reported. Serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., agitation, hallucinations, delirium, coma), autonomic instability (e.g., tachycardia, labile blood pressure, dizziness, diaphoresis, flushing, hyperthermia), neuromuscular symptoms (e.g., tremor, rigidity, myoclonus, hyperreflexia, incoordination), seizures, and/or gastrointestinal symptoms (e.g., nausea, vomiting, diarrhea). Monitor patients for the emergence of serotonin syndrome. 
  • THIS DRUG may increase the risk of bleeding events. 
  • Severe skin reactions, including erythema multiforme and Stevens-Johnson Syndrome, can occur with THIS DRUG.
  • In clinical trials THIS DRUG was associated with mean increases in systolic blood pressure and in diastolic blood pressure.
  • THIS DRUG has been associated with cases of clinically significant hyponatremia that appeared to be reversible when THIS DRUG was discontinued.
  • Elderly patients may be at greater risk of developing hyponatremia THIS DRUG.
  • THIS DRUG is in a class of drugs known to affect urethral resistance (urinary hesitation).

Ok, so if you are not dead, feeling worse than you did before taking the drug; if you are not more impulsive, aggressive  agitated, sleepless, irritable, your body is failing, your liver is shutting down; if your blood pressure in not sky rocketing; if you are not dizzy, having tremors, seizures; if you are not vomiting, suffering with diarrhea; if you are not bleeding; if your skin is not freaking out on you, if you can still pee without assistance, then by all means, THIS DRUG is for you and you really should feel safe taking it, because, well, what are the chances of you having any or all of these symptoms? Don’t you want to feel better?

*I highly recommend watching this documentary about psychiatric drugs. 

Death by Kale

And then I thought about all of the commercials and articles I have come across regarding addressing depression with lifestyle and dietary changes. They too had the DRUG (treatment) of choice–KALE! And the announcer, ever so quickly, also went through a quick list of possible adverse side effects and symptoms.

vegan diet kale

image courtesy of

  • Happy thoughts and behaviors in adolescents and young adults are not only possible, they are probable
  • Patients being treated should be observed closely for uncontrollable outbursts and shouts of joy, smiles and hugs
  • Clinical improvement and unusual positive changes in behavior are likely to occur.
  • Improvement symptoms include better mood, bowel movements, digestion, happiness, better sleep, friendliness, impulsivity to eat even more kale.
  • Kale should be discontinued in patients who get way too happy and have too good of gastrointestinal health.
  • Kale should be discontinued in patients whose skin becomes too glowing, because the might provoke others to jealousy.
  • Kale should be discontinued in patients whose liver is suddenly functioning exceptionally.
  • Development of a potentially life-giving serotonin levels has been reported. Healthy serotonin syndrome symptoms may include mental status changes (e.g., clarity, happy thoughts, better sleep), autonomic stability (e.g., great blood pressure, desire to fly and float, rosy cheeks), neuromuscular symptoms might include–better coordination, flexibility and occasional tremors from joy.  Monitor patients for the emergence of happy serotonin levels. We would not want them to be too happy!
  • Kale is known to increase vitamin, mineral and nutrient profile in patients.
  • Elderly patients may be at greater risk feeling youthful eating kale.
  • Patients, taking kale at least twice a day might suffer from possible outburst of anger at the fact that they did not know about all of these side effects sooner.

Oh, wait! That would never happen! Farmers growing kale do not have mutil-billion budgets to get on ABC, CBS, NBC or any other alphabet soup networks. No!

Vegan Diet Side Effects?


Instead, however, more and more dumb articles about the possible dangers of a vegan diet are surfacing, in spite of more studies and educational material available to show otherwise. This morning alone, while searching for THIS DRUG’s side effects, I came across at least 10 uneducated, poorly, but convincingly presented articles about possible side effects of eating vegan. Some of dangers listed are: not enough calcium, zinc, B12 and… protein! I rolled my eyes, and, while I normally do not even click through to “the land of ignorance”, today I could not hold back and actually left a couple of comments. What can I say? I was simply suffering from the side effects of the kale smoothie I had this morning. It provoked me to reasonable thinking and made me more alert to stupidity.

Kale (and the plethora of greens, fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts–too many to list each one by name for anyone on a SAD diet to even know what each one is) induced rational thinking in my brain. My eyes were opened about 7 years ago and I knew that vegan diet is anything but dangerous. Within ONE month of going vegan Hubby was taken off statin meds by his doctor; as we continued our vegan voyage I reversed hypothyroidism, anterior knee condition, dry eye syndrome, B12 deficiency, which I developed while on SAD (Standard American Diet, although in my case it was MUCH better than SAD, even my doctor told me that I am doing everything I could to be healthy) [thankfully going vegan educated me about the importance of B12!]; my hair stopped falling out, my skin is glowing, depression, which plagued me for years before that, was gone without medication (!)and, oh, yes, I was finally able to conceive and have a baby.  Yes, I see how dangerous a well rounded vegan diet can be! It is absolutely threatening to bad health, poor mental clarity, infertility, nutritional ignorance, or thinking that vegan diet is low in quality proteins.  Somehow eating too much kale, chard, beets and spinach made me all too aware of where truth lies, and I am that much better off for it.

New to Vegan?

If you are new to the whole idea of plant based living, do not fret, do not worry! You will have plenty of protein, healthy fats (not oils!), vitamins, nutrients and minerals to keep you abnormally healthy.  You should only ask one of my Boot Campers, who was able to come off 10+ prescription medications (including antidepressants!) since going plant strong. If you hang around here long enough, you will see just how simple it is to be a healthy vegan (we follow common sense nutrition rules here ;)). My site, and many others on the web, are filled with health and life giving, joy inducing, taste bud dancing recipes. You can also check out BODY  BY PLANTS program, which offers not only 130+ recipes, menu planners, group support and personal accountability on the vegan-learning journey, but also education on nutrition topics needed for healthful vegan living.

To prevent death by ignorance, I also highly suggest you stop reading biased, poorly researched and even worse written articles, trashing plant based living–most, if not all, lack proper research, scientific backing, and common sense. Authors, who write such articles, have never done vegan, or done it right. They are not authority to speak on the topic!

Have a Cup of Kale on Me

It is sure to make you feel much happier this morning!

Creamy Kale Green Smoothie Recipe

Makes ~ 50 oz



  1. 2 cups water
  2. 2 bananas
  3. 1 cup fresh/frozen blueberries
  4. 2 tbsp hemp seeds
  5. 2 tbsp dulse flakes
  6. 1 bunch of kale, remove thicker part of the stem
  7. 2 cups fresh/frozen strawberries
  8. 2 tbsp raw honey or 4 dates, if needed for sweetness

Blend ingredients 1-6 until smooth (use a high speed blender when possible), then add ingredients 7-8 and blend. Enjoy!

Read about Kale Benefits in this post.

What’s Your Take?

You know I am going to ask you a question now ;).  What is your take on vegan vs. the world? Did a plant based diet help you improve your health? What symptoms were you able to cure with healthy living? If you are just starting out on your vegan path, what do you hope to address by eating and living better?

C’mon over and tell me all about it on the blog. Share your wisdom with other health seekers.


If you are on Twitter, here are a couple of tweetables you can share with your followers:

  • Click this link to tweet: Is kale more dangerous than antidepressants? Read Death by Kale–Vegan Diet Side Effects to find out. 
  • Click this link to tweet: Is #vegan diet dangerous? How can kale cause side effects. 

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  • jodi

    LOL I have been a kale smoothie for 2 years. i feel very healthy

    • That’s awesome, Jodi!

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  • KaleGuy85

    Hi, Just found this webpage. Very cool. I have question Elena. I am a 28 year old male who went full blown vegan about 7 days ago. I ate so much meat, eggs, dairy in one day..then just went vegan. I feel crappy…my muscle ache, tired, ect. Is this normal and is my body in detox mode. I am eating 4,000 calories a day, taking multivitamins, eating, kale, spinach, beans, sprout bread..tons of food. I can deal with the aches and pains..just wondered if this is something normal while my body is changing. Thanks so much and Thanks for all the awesome info on your page!

  • Diane

    Hello Elena

    It’s fantastic that you are promoting a healthy plant-diet which you refer to as vegan. Unfortunately, your kale smoothie recipe isn’t vegan. Honey is not vegan.
    Best wishes,

    • Totally aware of all of the ingredients, Diane. Thank you.

    • Marusia

      haha! you are soo right.
      i don’t understand vegans who will not eat lobster because it is an animal, but are perfectly ok with dismissing other arthropods, such as bees, off as not animals

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  • SimplyDarlene

    miss E –

    i’m so blessed to have unlimited access to three different types of kale at the farm where i work in trade for produce.

    oohhlala, have you tried the black kale yet? yumm.

    (miss you and yours)


    • We miss you too.

      Black kale? Never heard of it!

  • Suz

    I’m confused that you were able to consume raw kale even though all the experts say it has a goitrogenic effect and can lead to suppressed thyroid function in people with low thyroid. Any ideas on that?

    • Suz, a lot actually. Who are the experts? And what research do they have to back it up? I will soon be doing a post on this very topic to show just how ridiculous and unfounded these claims are. In short, the studies which have been done a LONG time ago, showed problem with SEEDS, not the plants to come out of them, and only some extracted compounds when used concentrated. In reality, we eat whole PLANTS (not their seeds) and we do not extract anything or eat enough of it to be concerned about. Unless you have a food allergy or an existing goiter that you know is truly affected by some foods, these claims do not apply to you–clean diet, eating some plants (sea weeds) with iodine in them, and rotating your foods (greens and others) will ensure maximum success.

  • foot patches

    foot patches Good post man, just
    looking around some blogs, seems a pretty nice platform you are using.

  • nikita napitupulu

    I had a severe allergy for 25 years (from age 15 years old); had to take pills and steroid spray everyday. Shoulder pain for 2 ½ years; my orthopedic doctor already scheduled a
    surgery but cancelled because it got better all the time as I eat better. Severe back pain for 10 years. Severe hemorrhoid for 20 years. masses of pimples for 25 years. Hair falling out badly. Restless Leg Syndrome for 15 years and more other symptoms. Today, ALL THESE SYMPTOMS DISAPPRED just by EATING ORGANIC FRUIT & VEGETABLE. (If we just follow the manual book (Genesis 1: 29) of what edible for humans, physical suffering would’ve been unnecessary. –My people suffer from lack of knowledge.—Thank you for
    the work you do to educate people. God bless you.

    • Nikita, thank you for adding your comment. Yes, you are right, we do suffer from the lack of knowledge. You know the saying: What you don’t know won’t hurt you? Well, I think it is pretty dumb, since it is exactly the opposite. What we do not know WILL hurt us.

      I am grateful to the Lord you are well now!!!

  • Allison

    I lost a massive amount of weight going raw vegan, but when I started having health problems, I reverted back to eating animal products for a while. My health issues escalated, and so I returned back to veganism a while back, armed with more knowledge. I am hoping to heal my hypothyroidism (great to read your links on that!), thyroid nodule, and premenopausal hormone issues.
    A couple of questions:
    1. Do you know anyone who has healed a thyroid nodule through diet?
    2. Do you know anything about bioidentical hormone therapy as it relates to thyroid?
    3. What is your opinion of vegan protein powder?

    • Allison, I highly recommend for people NOT going ALL RAW: You also have to make sure to supplement with B12 to ensure health.

      1. I personally have not met anyone with that issue, but my educated guess would be that if you did not always have it, you should be able to address it. Make sure to add sea weeds to your diet for iodine.

      2. I have heard of it. I had to take biodentical progesterone for a while, but for pituitary gland. It was a temporary solution and my body did not take to it too well. I was able to stop taking it by getting on B12 treatment.

      3. I think protein powders are not necessary, since we can get our protein through all of the foods we eat. That many can be used to buy organic foods instead:

      I hope this helps you 🙂

    • Paul W

      Both of you would be happy to know that my mother has reversed it. You’d think it would have taken a lot of bother and convincing.. but when you present irrefutable facts.. I don’t know.. she just believed me and gave it a try. It’s irrefutable to say we as Americans have ever been taught proper health and nutrition.. be honest with yourself. I don’t care how well you think you’re doing it. We can always be doing it better. And as for my mother– after feeling better *in general* in less than a week, why would she have reason to doubt or stray? You have NOTHING to lose by wanting to better yourself. How is that mentality itself not healthy? I wish there were more motivation for people to educate themselves and learn the real facts about what “healthy” eating really is. What a different world we would live in. But instead, we live in a world full of empathy or pity. Where wonderful people like Elena find the current state of our world so bothersome, she invested a lot of time and effort, discovered comfort in knowing she is helping people more than they will ever know, and now devotes herself to continually changing the lives of others. At least Elena looks like a saint from all this 😛 Someone making an important impact in a world of sycophants and hedonists. Unlock the potential within.. <3

      Oh and thanks personally, Elena. As you can tell, I have much respect for what you do.

      • Paul, thank you for your kind words and your support.

        I could not have said it better myself–empathy alone, and pity, have no value–empathy and action (telling someone to take responsibility for their actions) turn the world upside down.

        I am so happy you got through to your Mom. Even with all the success I have had my Mom is still too stubborn to do everything I am asking her, so she too could feel better. In fact, I am flying out to see her for 2 weeks, and I plan to take over her kitchen and over her diet completely. My siblings have spoiled her with calorie rich/nutrient poor foods (because she is in her 80s and “deserves to enjoy life”). This brought on more problems than I care to recount. I am hoping to change it all with some empathy and a lot of tough love this week :).

  • Susan Oliver Polimeni

    I had a bumper crop of kale this year. I didn’t get the winter blues as I normally do. Kale – it does a body good!

    • Kale chips are still my fav way to eat kale 😉