Vegan is Not for Everyone: 4 Types of People Who Should NOT Be Vegan

“Vegan diet is not for everyone,” a heard times and again. In the beginning I wanted to disagree and show just how wrong those who think that way are, but with time, experience and reflection, I realized that they are right… in my kind of way. While they meant that vegan lifestyle is not truly optimal for everyone, or that our physiology is not designed to be vegan, I disagree, but I do agree that not everyone can or will do vegan and do it right. Today you will learn about people who should and should not follow a vegan dietary lifestyle. Let’s start with 4 types of people who should be vegan.

Before we start, however, let’s’ define vegan for this post.  When I say vegan, I am talking about people who eat a whole foods (no junk, no processed foods, including oils, sugars and too much salt), plant based (eat no animal flesh or byproducts) diet and practice a kind (compassionate) living.

One more term you will read in this article and might wonder about is vegangelizing. Vegengelizing, defined as a verb, is:

  1. Convert or seek to convert (someone) to vegan lifestyle.
  2. Preach and spread the vegan “good news” :).

With that said… onward!

vegan-is-not-for-everyone

4 Types of People Who Should Be Vegan

1. The Kind Type

Unfortunately it was not me in the beginning.  Some people become vegan for ethical reasons, i.e., they respect all life enough not to want eat other living, breathing creatures.  I applaud them! Sometimes I hear of some, as young as 6-8 years of age, naturally shying away from animal flesh. I call this lucky bunch the “natural” vegans.  They instinctively know that eating animals is wrong.

The only one possible drawback I find with the exclusively ethical crowd is that some, while loving animals, forget to love their bodies the same way, ending up consuming too much processed, sugary, salty and oily vegan foods.  Thankfully, with all of the plant education these days more and more end up becoming not only ethical but also health minded vegans.

2. The Desperate Type

That was totally Hubby and I in the beginning. We started out as health vegans. I personally never even heard or had known about vegan lifestyle until I started to research how I could save my Husband’s life, and, eventually, reverse my ailments too.  We were DESPERATE and willing to do whatever it took to get healthy, including cutting out all flesh foods (meat, dairy, eggs, etc.) so that we could survive and not depend on medications for the rest of our lives.

The desperate type are the people who are in dire need of a miracle and need to save their lives.  They are the cholesterol, coronary, cancer and other ailment ridden population of our society.  If it takes going vegan to save their lives–just like us, they will do it. They simply need someone to show them the way and they will become faithful followers.

There is a faction in this movement that, having regained their health, will slide back into their old ways or continue to use animal products, having grown a little too certain that they are now invincible, or they succumb to their old food addictions and societal pressures.

3. The Smart Type

 These are the people who might not be sick yet, however, they might have seen enough evidence to know that plant based living is the way to go to prevent serious health issues and to save our planet as well; it makes sense to them, so they become vegan. Horray to all of you who fall into this camp–mind over traditions!

4. The Smart and Kindly Desperate Type

While we (Hubby and I) did not start in this category, we certainly fall into it now.  Having become educated on the benefits of a whole foods, plant based diet we know that it is the smart thing to do, and would not want to go back to our old eating ways.  We are desperate to keep our health, which we regained as a results of us going vegan. Having grasped the fact that no one needs to die to keep us alive, we grew compassionate to all things living, so we are now kind (ethical) vegans too.

This is the type of people who have embraced the best of all worlds, which means they will be rooted in their healthy, vegan, kind ways. Their new convictions will keep them from backsliding, the science behind their reasoning will keep them strong, the compassion they grew for animal friends will keep them from temptations, and they become the best advocates (vegangelists) of a whole foods, plant based, conscious living.

Having covered our basis of who vegan lifestyle and diet is for, let’s move onto those who will qualify under “Vegan is not for everyone”.

vegan humor

image source unknown

4 Types of People Who Should NOT Be Vegan

1. The Ignorant

That was me! You cannot desire something you do not know about. 10 years ago I did not even know the word vegan, let alone what it meant. Before someone could desire a certain lifestyle, one needs to know that such lifestyle is possible.  Some of such people, once introduced to options, gladly choose the right ones! I get a lot of folks, who fit into this category, in my BODY BY PLANTS Boot Camp program. Most, once they see just how easy and fulfilling vegan living is, become full-time committed health super heroes.

2. The Addicted

In our information age less and less people can fit into the latter “ignorant” category–we simply know and hear too much to not know.  The addicted type might know the truth and might even agree that a vegan lifestyle is beneficial for our health, but they cannot commit themselves to making a change. You can normally tell these people apart when you hear them say:

  • “I would rather die than give up my meat!”
  • “I would rather have another knee surgery than live without steak!”
  • “I want to eat healthier, but I cannot live without “real” butter and eggs.”

Or just, “I cannot live without…” (fill in the blank).

I’ve had a few going through my program, who really wanted to change, but came up with every excuse possible as to why they cannot succeed:

  • their friends take them out to places without vegan offerings
  • their in-laws are in town and they have to make meat meals for them
  • their kids won’t eat healthy
  • their spouses are not supportive
  • their cat died and now they are grieving, so, they eat the foods they love to cope with the loss :)

Sounds too funny to be true? Believe me, I heard about every excuse in the book! The truth is, THESE FOLKS ARE ADDICTED (!), and, unless they deal with the core of the problem, they will NEVER succeed with a vegan (or simply any healthier) lifestyle.  A lot of the times food addictions are tied to much deeper, often emotional, issues that need to be resolved.

My suggestion, which I ALWAYS practice in my life, to have this problems fixed–suck it up! Rip off the band-aid!  Go cold turkey! You are a grown up, so think and act like one! You are stronger than the foods you eat!

Now, don’t get offended! I know that not everyone is like me, so, in my program, I do take a gentler approach ;), and  work with such folks, who are willing to change, in a gradual approach manner. But those who are not willing to commit to the process, should NOT try to do it, because they will fail! Their health will continue to spiral down and the next thing you know, they will be blogging about how VEGAN LIFESTYLE RUINED THEIR HEALTH…

3. The Weak

Very similar to the last group, these folks are willing to change, and, with the right support, could make the switch, but, in bad company, they are simply too weak to say no to family and peer pressure.  They do not like confrontations, they do not like being questioned about their decisions, they want to be left alone and go with the flow.  They must stay away from going vegan for sure! If they do, because of their constant backsliding, which is bound to happen, they will experience enormous guilt and self-loathing issues; they will also show their friends and family that “vegan does not work” and is “too hard for a regular human to follow.”

My advice? Grow a back bone! Stand up to the world! Everyone does not have to love you, neither will they, no matter how hard you try.  If your friends are not supportive,  make new friends! If your family criticizes you… well, we cannot divorce our family, so lay down the law of limits–what they can or cannot talk to you about. You will be amazed at how great it feels to be the captain of your own fate for once! After all, if someone holds you back and you let them, they might end up dying a miserable  unhealthy death, and will take you right along with them.  At the end of the day, it is your life, so you need to decide if your health is more important than the next “feel good, please my friends” junk fest.

Someone said once: “I prefer to live long, not die long,” so, think which way you will end up existing when you make your choices.

4. The “In Denial” Type

That is the Paleo Diet, Weston Price, Atkins, Saturated Fats are Great for You, You CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT ANIMAL PROTEIN, etc., crowd. (Yes, go ahead, hate me for saying this, before you read the end of the post. Click off, unsubscribe–I won’t apologize for saying this!) Regardless of all of the independently done research and studies (studies not funded by interest groups), which point to the benefits of plant-strong living, they rain brimstone and fire on everyone who dares to think for themselves.  They are the ones who will give you “5 REASONS FOR WHY YOU SHOULD NOT BE VEGAN”, tell you how “VEGAN DIET CAUSES BRAIN SHRINKAGE” or “POOR PHYSICAL DEVELOPMENT IN CHILDREN”. etc.  They will overlook and deny all facts pointing otherwise.

If you run into these folks, do not waste your breath on talking vegan to them! They are not going to listen! You will get frustrated and, possibly, angry.  You will be provoked, disheartened, and, if you are new to the vegan living, without knowing all the whys and the hows of it, they will shake you up, leaving you questioning your decisions.  Let them be!

I know, I know, you might have a friend, a parent or a child, who is nearly dying from some ailment and you know that going vegan (the way we do it here) could save their lives, just like it did yours, but they simply do not listen! You want to shake them, yell at them, and MAKE them eat right, but the truth is–you cannot make someone want to be healthy! It does not matter how close they are to you and how hard you try. My 80+ yrs young Mom has had two bone replacement surgeries (knee and hip), and I know that going vegan could save her, and get her off her high blood pressure meds, but, regardless of what I say, she does not want to change. My heart bleeds every time I think about losing her to some health problem, but I had come to peace with the fact that I cannot make her be healthy–she has to want it for herself first. It is painful, but I had to learn to let go, and so will you. Remember–you simply cannot save everyone!

Can You be Healthy and Not be Vegan?

If you were hating me up to this point for what I said, you will be glad you stuck around to hear me say: “Yes!” to this question.

As much as I do want EVERYONE to go 100% vegan (whole foods, plant based) the studies have shown that as long as dairy and junk (sugar, oils, processed foods and too much salt) are eliminated from our diets and animal foods intake is reduced to less than 5% of our diets (to about 2-3 times a week, and only about the size of a deck of playing cards), it is possible to reap great health benefits still. Hard truth to admit to, but, I am a grown up and I have to tell you the truth.  It is not a kind way to live, but is can still be healthy. So, if you know of someone who is hard core set against an all vegan lifestyle, teach them this one thing–you can eat a dead animal every now and then, and still live a healthful life*.  Maybe they will never go vegan, but if you stop over-vegangelizing them, take a soft and patient approach, they might listen and cut down on flesh foods intake, cut out junk, cut down on their salt intake, dump sugars and oils, and will still be here, keeping you company for years to come.

*Certain people who have already experience serious health ailments (coronary, cancer, etc.), should stay away from all animal foods and saturated fats to ensure longevity and avoid further complications. 

Now that you know why vegan is not for everyone, make sure to subscribe  to receive future posts in which I will tell you how vegan can be for anyone wanting to give it a try. 

Want to go Vegan but Don’t Know How?

If you do not eat a fully vegan (whole foods, plant based, no junk or nonsense) diet yet, but want to give it a try, and simply do not know how to, I have a solution!  You must enroll in the Vegalicious Online Boot Camp program: Body by Plants! I created it for people just like you! Since its inception just over a year ago, hundreds have gone through the program and reaped great benefits. I provide you with vegan meal plans, vegan recipes, accountability, calls and email support and teach you how to do vegan right and get the health and the body you deserve in 30 days! Make sure to check out the program and hear what program graduates had to say about it.

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Which Type are You?

  1. Which type do you fit into? The enlightened “YOU HAVE TO GO VEGAN” crowd or “VEGAN IS NOT FOR YOU” crowd?
  2. Did you have any unpleasant, unsuccessful vegangelizing experiences? How did you deal with them?

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  • Teri White

    OMG. Rude. Some people really can’t eat this way. Really.

  • Common Sense

    This is such an intolerant article and way to live. How does it feel to judge others 24/7? Probably not so good. The first sign of disordered eating is saying the word ‘ONLY’. Such as, “my diet is so superior, it’s the ONLY way to eat.” Please tell that to the indigenous eskimos who survive solely off whale blubber and are some of the healthiest people alive. I’m not saying going vegan is “dangerous” or “bad” – you wanna do it, do it! I’m saying that telling people that a vegan diet is the ONLY way to eat is irresponsible and childish. You need to learn about Metabolic Typing – http://educate-yourself.org/cancer/kellysmetabolictherapy.shtml. You should also read the hundreds of testimonials online from people who were former vegans and vegetarians for 20+ years. It takes a toll on your body after time. (http://kristensraw.com/blog/2013/03/17/my-vegan-diet-caused-health-problems-would-primal-paleo-or-real-food-be-better/) & (http://www.theblondevegan.com/2014/06/23/why-im-transitioning-away-from-veganism/) & (http://www.carrieonliving.com/2014/06/14/why-i-am-no-longer-vegan/). It also should be a red flag that when these people express their honest emotions and opinions about leaving “veganism” they get DEATH THREATS & attacked. This is not a “compassionate” lifestyle, it is a dangerous dogma and LABEL that is really starting to make people crazy – thus the privilege and ignorance in this article. It’s cool that you’re vegan, but don’t go around telling everyone it’s the ONLY way to live. Talk about the benefits and what it has done for YOU. Drop the entitlement in terms of EVERYONE ELSE. And also, wait 20 years and see how you feel then. I’m not even going to go into the benefits of GAPS, SCD, ketogenic eating, and saturated animal fats for autoimmune disorders, Alzheimers, epilepsy, MS, ALS, etc. because you are obviously not open to anyone’s opinion but your own. A closed mind is a dangerous thing None of us “KNOW” anything for sure, so I’ll repeat one last time how irresponsible this is. You would reach a lot more people if you practiced tolerances for all lifestyles.

  • mija

    Hi. I have decided to go vegan today but have a few concerns. I have gluten sensitivities, and do not like consuming any wheat, i have, however noticed that I also get weaker , agitated, can’t concentrate on studies and become emotional once I have eliminated processed foods and animal products from my diet. Is this because my body is struggling to adapt to whole foods(dependant on animal products & some processed foods)? Is this normal ?and how long will it last. I really dont want to give in this time. Which foods should I eat more on my vegan diet to gain strength and energy ( also to help my muscles repair after gym) .
    Thanks ;-)

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

      Mija, congrats!

      When you first change your diet your body is not struggling to adapt, rather it might be going through a detox and readjusting. After a week or two, for most people, those physical symptoms should resolve themselves.

      I would highly recommend that you do my 30 day program. so I can further guide you on this wonderful journey. http://www.vega-licious.com/services/body-by-plants/

      • Teri White

        Love God but hate non-vegans. OMG

  • Lily

    I tried to be vegan. I ended up so weak and ill to where I was fainting 5 weeks after cutting out meat, and did have to stay at the hospital for a few days because of it. I can’t cut meat out of my diet, unless I wish to end up weak and ill to where I end up in the hospital and can barely hold my own weight. What people say, a vegan diet isn’t for everyone, is true. It’s not. Not everyone can cut out meat and stay perfectly healthy. Everyones body is different. Some can live without meat, some literally can’t.

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

      Lily, sorry to hear about that. I suspect that there were other things at play. When going vegan we have to make sure to 1. eat a well balanced diet of legumes, grains, vegetables and fruit, and 2. to supplement with B12.

      I hope you are doing better now.

      • OO

        You REALLY need to learn about metabolic typing and bioindividuality before you give such dangerous nutrition advice. Sad.

  • Tony F

    I belong in the type that does not want to see the mass extermination of cows, chickens and pigs.

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

      Me too. While I started out as a health vegan, I cannot wait until we realize just how horrible animal factory farming practices are and stop the insanity.

  • Olga

    I guess I fall into the weak category. I am a vegetarian trying to be vegan, and I avoid animal foods as much as I can. It’s easy when I’m on my own. But I just feel like I’m being a pain whenever we go out eating with my friends. Where I live, there’s plenty of vegetarian options, but vegan ones are limited. However, avoiding meat and fish already puts me in a special position. So I’d rather not make a fuss of it and have some dairy. Maybe I’ll grow a backbone one day. Going vegetarian was a similar kind of transition for me.

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

      I hear you. I think it is about figuring out WHY you should go fully plant-based. Once that is done, the HOW becomes much easier. I went from an omnivore to vegan overnight and have not looked back. I simply did not care about anything else, since I knew that I had to do it for me.

      Let me know when you finally make the big change.

  • Katherine

    Interesting article, I like your list of people who should be vegan. I have a bit of trouble with the idea that all non-vegans are either weak, addicted, in denial or ignorant. Trying to categorize a very large amount of people into four tiny boxes is making some assumptions. I have lots of ethically minded and extremely healthy friends and family members who (unlike myself) are not vegan or vegetarian. Many people I know don’t fall into any of these categories. While I agree that being vegan can be extremely healthy and lifesaving for some, it’s not for everybody (and not everybody who attempts a vegan diet is going to be their healthiest on it, even if they do everything right). Eating meat doesn’t make them automatically unhealthy or uncaring. I haven’t eaten meat since I was 11 years old (17 years ago) and gave up dairy and eggs about 2 years ago. I choose this diet only because I love animals. To be honest, if I was choosing a diet for optimal health, vegan would not be the one I’d go with.

    • Anna R

      Nice reply.

    • OO

      Thank you for the wonderful reply to this ludicrous article.

  • amwells

    I’ve been vegetarian for about 5 years and vegan for a few months. I don’t have any issues not eating animal products, but I am having an issue with weight gain. I’ve gained 20 lbs over the last year, 15 of it just over the last few months. I work out 4-5 times a week and I am not a “junk food vegan”. I am starting to wonder if this just isn’t working for my body. I have gained weight all over and around my stomach (where I NEVER would gain weight before)…I’m really struggling with this and seriously contemplating adding animal protein back in my diet even though I would prefer not to. I am not intolerant or allergic to anything that I know of. I’ve never had any issues before. I’m not a drinker, except maybe one on occasion, don’t drink soda or eat sugar…so I’m a little baffled.

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

      Amwells, I have yet to meet anyone who could not make it work with a plant-based diet if done right. I almost feels like there is something else at play. Is there a possibility of any thyroid issues? Food sensitivities/allergies (like gluten)? How is your diet structured? If you consume oils or sugars, for example, or even too many nuts or dates, that would cause weight gain. So, to pass a full judgement (and you really need things evaluated before you give up on something that can be so wonderful for you–would hate for you not to get all of the benefits), I would really suggest to have your bloodwork and daily diet evaluated completely. Does any of this ring a bell?

      • amwells

        No thyroid and no sensitivities that I know of. But yes, the oils and nuts could be the culprit I guess. Thank you

  • Russ

    This is an interesting article. I must say that I’ve generally changed my lifestyle and eat clean most times, along with regular exercise and strength training. I’m not sure if going vegan is the ONLY way to be healthy, etc. I’ve been trying to lose body fat and put on muscle for the past several months. I’d say I’ve had pretty good success (though still have a lot of work left). I no longer eat fast food and mostly avoid processed foods since many people are over eating, yet nutritionally starved. To me, I wonder if giving up eating lean proteins (chicken and fish) and eggs, is absolutely necessary to be healthy overall. My daily protein intake needs to be around 150-200g. How is this possible, just by being vegan (I know there are soy proteins, etc. but do they give your muscles what they need i.e. bcaa’s etc). I take whey protein everyday post-workout, along with eating non-fat greek yogurt. I’d like to know though (since you seem to be “in the know”) why whey protein and especially dairy products are so bad for you. I’ve heard some evidence of dairy producing some kind of mucus in your gut, which could be detrimental, I’m not sure. Is consuming animal proteins really that bad for you (at least in moderation)? There are studies that suggest regularly consuming red meat in particular, can shorten your life span, so I tend to avoid eating that type of protein.

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

      Russ, there is scientific evidence that you can consume some meat/fish/eggs (avoiding dairy) and still be healthy. I would never reject that. The evidence points to the fact that the intake amount should be low, and only about 2-3 times a week. That way you can still get all of the benefits of whole plant foods.

      There is also evidence (that is something that we covered during my fitness certification training, so, non-vegan sources), that we do not really need that much protein. What happens is that when we workout, we need more calories, and with more calories we will get more protein by default, since it is in all plant foods. WHO recommends protein intake to be 5-10% of our diet (10% being max), so, at 150-200 g you are on overkill.

      It is very easy to get protein from plants–there are more and more athletes going this route, and a very robust vegan body building community. Shakes are not necessary, even vegan. (in fact, soon I will be blogging about just why they are not a good idea). My husband is a pretty big muscular guy (you can see him in this post) and he does not supplement (he is whole foods vegan too). http://www.vega-licious.com/where-do-you-get-protein-vegan-part-ii/

      The reason dairy is bad for us (and especially in extracted form, such as supplements) is because it is cancer promoting when consumed by humans, and other species than cows. Basically, the cow milk is designed to grow a little half to a huge cow/bull in only a year (they grow by hundreds of pounds during that time). So, imagine the effect it has on humans, trying to turn on the same chemical reaction as it does in cows? It also messes with hormone health, among other things. Casein, one of the major proteins in the dairy, is especially problematic in human health. It gets more concentrated in fat-reduced milks and becomes even more dangerous.

      Dairy is also acidic. To deal with acidity, our bodies must buffer it, so they pull calcium from our bones (it is a great buffering agent), to bring us back to alkalinity. Once used, that calcium cannot be re-absrobed, so it is dumped through urine, thus it damages our bone health.

      When it comes to red meat or not–they are all the same. So, if you do choose to keep it in your diet, cut down to 2-3 small size portions a week and you will be better off either way.

      Glad you stopped by here!

      • Russ

        Thanks for the reply. You’ve provided a lot of useful information. You mentioned that WHO recommends 5-10% daily, but what if you’re trying to build muscle? Don’t you need more than that? When it comes to strength training, I’ve always been under the impression that a fast absorbing protein (like whey) within the first 2 hours following a workout, helps to promote muscle tissue growth, along with providing bcaa’s. But even if I didn’t use whey, what about soy or hemp protein, for post workout recovery?

        I remember watching a documentary about casein protein and rats, showing some link between turning a liver causing cancer agent on or off, based on feeding them either a 5% or 20% casein diet. Would that really happen in humans though? When I browse for info about whey, I can’t always find negative articles about using it and why.

        I was wondering about what you mentioned concerning dairy being acidic. You said that our bodies pull calcium from our bones to buffer it. With respect to acidity, would that be any different if I were to eat a lemon or tomatoes, or any other acidic food? Do our bodies buffer the acidity from dairy, only with dairy products? Sorry to grill you with all these questions, but I’m trying to expand my knowledge about foods and learn new things.

        Lastly, while I can’t say that I’ll become vegan, I certainly like some of the lifestyle habits and foods the encompass this way of living. I’m sure you have bean and rice recipes somewhere on this website lol, so I’ll browse around and check things out. I’m all about whole foods and trying some new things, since our current “processed” ways account for far too much disease. Thanks again!

        • Russ

          I forgot to mention that I was originally “steered” to this website because I was researching maca root powder. I heard it’s a great superfood that’s been used for a few millennia. I read your article and a few others, and think I might give it a try.

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

          Russ, when you are building muscle you do not need more isolated protein. You need more calories, and with more calories, when you consume whole foods, will come more protein as well–they go hand in hand. You will find a movement, and a very successful one, in the vegan body building community these days that follow 80/10/10 rule–80% carbs (talking about healthy carbs), 10% protein, 10% fat (coming from whole sources as well, not isolated fats).

          The myth that is going around muscle building and protein intake is a greatly designed marketing campaign, which has achieved what it set out to do–convinced people to spend money on something they do not need. Whey is dangerous–it leads to coronary problems, so, I would stay away for sure. While protein is important, the 5-10% we get from whole foods sources, is more than sufficient to do the job, the rest falls on the shoulders of whole carbohydrates.

          You do not need soy or any other isolated protein–listen to this interview to hear what too much of even vegan protein can do to your body: http://www.vega-licious.com/food-over-medicine-interview/

          As for casein and rats–yes, that would and does happen to humans all the time. I personally have worked with and know people who were able to halt and even reverse cancers by eliminating animal foods and adapting a whole foods plant based diet–so that is true.

          As for acidity–you mention foods that are high in vitamin C, so they taste acidic, however, even if you take lemon, one of the most sour fruits we have, once in the body, plants become alkaline forming–so, whole, unprocessed plants, are never acid forming (while too much of extracted plant protein can act that way!). When it comes to buffering acidity–that would include acidic foods, such as animal foods (flesh, eggs, dairly), caffeine, dairy, alcohol, and processed foods. Whole plant foods do not solicit this reaction from our bodies.

          Whether you become 100% vegan or not is up to you, however, if you do not, here are a couple of things to consider: if eating meat, it should only be organic, only about 2-3 (max) a week, and only a small portion (about the size of a deck of cards). Same goes for eggs and fish. Avoid dairy altogether, including any dairy isolates, including whey–dairy is bad news. If you do not have current coronary issues, and the rest of your diet is whole foods, plant based, you should enjoy a very healthful life!

          If you become a vegan, or give it a go for at least a month, follow the same principles, and do add B12 to your regimen–it helps your body heal, recover and function well, allowing better energy levels (so, you can work out even more :))!

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  • Kiz Carter

    I used to be vegan and fell off the wagon for a number of reasons, listed above!!! I am growing a backbone and I seeing that I need to be healthy for me regardless of others. I am 28 and I will like to start next year off healthy, vegan and pregnant! God willing!! So I am changing today!!!

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

      Kiz, kuddos to you! You can do it! Not for anyone else, but for your, starting now! And you can have the best pregnancy ever !

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  • Jenna

    I’ve been mostly vegan for about 2 years. My hubby is not vegan, but he eats vegan 2-3 days a week and he is SLOWLY coming around. Neither of us have any health conditions. In fact, I had my blood work done a few months ago and I was in the “ideal” range for everything (I am 31). I switched to a vegan diet after my half-brother was diagnosed with cancer and his oncologist put him on a vegan diet. I read The China Study and I haven’t looked back. He has been in remission for 6 years and still eats vegan. My Dad’s side of the family is not vegan, but they are very supportive of the vegan lifestyle because they saw how well it worked for my brother. I say I am “mostly” vegan because I do succumb to peer pressure during the holidays from my Mom’s side of the family, who all think I should be in a loony bin. I know you say “suck it up” but I am just not that type of person. I decided that, for now, I am content with cheating a few days a year. But, I am working on them! I think one day they will come around. I want other people like me to know that it doesn’t have to be an all or nothing situation. I am still reaping the health benefits…but I am always working on improving. :)

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

      Jenna, I hope you truly are in perfect health. Unfortunately in the US, since everyone is so unwell, what used to be bad (like high cholesterol) is now normal, because everyone is in the “bad” range, so it was redefined. I am glad you went vegan, and kuddos to the smart oncologist!

      I can see that if your personality is not like mine, you would need to go gentler. Just like I said in the post, when I run my boot camp program, I am much more gentle with the participants than I would ever be with myself ;). I do take all personalities into consideration. A few days (not weeks) out of the year is not bad after all, so you are doing great!

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  • http://twitter.com/AnaisL15o Anais Conde

    What about people dealing with eating disorders can they be vegan??
    i heard a lot that they shouldn’t , i’ve been dealing with binge eating ,

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

      Anais, hi! I am not sure who you heard that from, but I think it is the opposite. Eating disorders very rarely have anything to do with food, but most frequently have to do with emotional/mental issues you are facing. The food only becomes the medium, but it is not the trigger itself–something else is, and that is why people with ED see professional counseling and accountability.

      Some of Vegalicious readers are recovering EDs and are doing great on a vegan diet. I have some who go through my program who said that plant foods and accountability help them realize what food really is for. And remember, those with EDs develop health issues along the way, depleting some of most valuable minerals and vitamins in their bodies. When they decide on a path to recovery, whole foods help them to replenish what they lost.

  • Jessica Knutson

    I wanted to know your opinion about pediatricians and “well checks.” My son is unvaccinated, which seems to be the main reason for the appointments for those 2 years old and under. Is it necessary to do these otherwise? I’d love to see a post about this.

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

      Since you want an opinion ;), I can give it to you. My baby is turning 12 mos in a few days and I have not take her to see a doctor at all. My policy–if my child is WELL, why would I see a doctor. If there were any known issues, it would make sense and I am for it. WELL visits are scheduled so you can get vaccines, which we do not do, so there is no need for them. I see it as nothing more than “marketing/sales” campaign–you go in, they give you shots… the child will get sicker because of them, so you can come in again, and again. Not for me, thank you!

      When my little one had a cold, we watched her and got through it without meds. In case of an emergency, I would have gone to see a doctor or to the hospital; but with a healthy lifestyle and understanding how our body is able to handle such bugs on its own, I am at peace to do it the way we were raised–at home.

  • Tooskinny

    Elena, your article came just at the right time. I have been eating mainly vegan (very healthy, no junk) for the past 7 months. Initially I started it to loose post- baby weight. It did wonders but now that I have my weight back I can’t keep it. I am down to 46kg and my height is 165cm. Frankly I was always skinny and thought that once I am back on my natural weight (48) it will stop but it seems a bit out of control now. So I asked myself if veganism is for me. I have no desire to go back to eating meat and definitely no more dairy products. I would be ok with eating a bit of junk from time to time (salty potato wedges, now and then a vegan paistry) but i wasn’t planning on relying on unhealthy foods to keep my weight in a normal range. I am a bit at a loss right now. Had home made muesli with nuts, chia seeds, cashew milk and coconut shreds for breaktfast, followed by a banana for mid morning snack, and wild rice salad with veggies and dried tomatoes in oil for lunch together with a banana, peanutbutter, cashewmilk, maca powder smoothie. Planning on having salad with veggie, mushroom stew for dinner. What am I doing wrong? Unfortunately I am not even exercising at the moment ( ther than chasing after two young kids and running a company).

    • Ashley Young

      Buy some extra virgin cold pressed coconut oil and start adding a couple of extra tablespoons to your meals, soups and smoothies each day. It’s made from very healthy medium-chain fatty acids that are easy for your liver to process and have neuroprotective effects as well as proven ability to enhance cognitive function (even in alzheimer’s patients!). This will give you more calories and more energy to run after your kids since medium-chain fatty acids don’t take as much work for your body to digest and put to work and you will find that it’s easier to maintain your ideal weight.

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

      I would be looking for underlying health issues, if your concerned. First, start keeping a food journal, to see if something can be improved one–some people have a naturally higher metabolism and are thinner by nature. Do you have symptoms and health issues, besides being thin?

      That would be a good starting place.

      I personally would totally advice AGAINST using oils–they are not health foods! http://www.vega-licious.com/health-nutrition/is-controversy-healthy-why-there-are-no-healthy-oils-olive-oil-coconut-oil-or-otherwise

      If your diet is a lot of raw veggies and fruit, perhaps adding more cooked grains, legumes and root veggies could be the way to go. First, however, I would highly recommend to rule out any underlying health issues.

      • Tooskinny

        Thanks Elena. Yes, I eat mainly raw veggies and fruits. Hardly anything cooked or grains. Other than that I feel fine besides that my life is more stressful right now, which will probably be solved in a couple of weeks or so. Thanks so much for your quick advice. Also, respect for how calm and professional you reply to some of the rather disrespectful, rude and simply wrong posts on YOUR site.

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

          Nah, that does not bother me ;)

          So, here is my suggestion then–add cooked grains and legumes (up to 40% of your diet for now), you can throw in some nuts. If you want to gain weight faster, eat closer to bed time sometime ;)–our bodies will hold on to more stuff if we eat before bed. Once you get to the weight you desire, simply maintain and you should be fine.

  • Dana

    Wow! I feel that I have been every single one of those types at some time throughout my 38 years on this wonderful earth. I have been vegan for almost 2 years, have lost weight and am no longer diabetic. I can understand where Steave is coming from regarding meat but I see the other side, too. There are days when I fix my beautiful children a hamburger, etc. and my former lifestyle wants me to take a big bite out of the burger I just made but I sniff it and go on. I remember how I used to feel after eating meat and I don’t want to feel that way again. My life is too precious and too short to waste feeling bad and I want to do everything in my power to be totally there for my family. While some people can eat meat and have no visible side effects, there are those of us who do and are doing something about it. I have rec’d a lot of teasing about being a vegan in this southern town that I live in where many people hunt. I think the way that I handle the teasing proves that I’m committed to being a healthier person so I can take care of my loved ones for years to come.
    Elena, thank you for all the information that you provide. keep up the good work!

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

      Dana, congratulations! You are right–temptations do come, but the longer you maintain your lifestyle, the less and the less people will bother you. All in all, benefits outweigh any perceived sacrifices we make–you are a testament to that!

  • Steave

    I disagree with the message that this article is trying to convey. You are basically calling people who are not Vegan ignorant, addicted, weak, and in denial. Good luck trying to convert people to vegan-ism like that. Reminds me of PETA’s tactics.

    Anyways, Meat provides essential nutrients that you can’t get with a plant only diet.

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

      Steave, totally your right to disagree. Ignorant in this case (since I put myself into that category) does not mean stupid–simply means someone who does not know about other options. There are food addicts and you have to admit to it–vegan and non-vegan alike; there are those who will not make changes because they are cave to peer pressure–also a fact of life. No PETA tactics here, perhaps you missed the part where I said that you do not have to eat vegan to be healthy? It is there ;).

      As for nutrients, no, unfortunately it has no nutrients that plants cannot give us. After all, the cows humans eat are herbivorous and get their nutrients (or at least supposed to) from plants to, so we simply cut out the “middle man” and get to the source.

      • Steave

        Actually, vegan diets cause more health problems and may cause cancers. It is known that excess estrogens and bad nutrition in women cause breast cancer. Vegans tend to eat a lot of soy based products, and soy contains a lot of plant estrogens that mess with our natural hormonal balance. Also, you need certain fats in meat to help absorb various nutrients from both plants and meat. The plant-based estrogens, and the lack of nutrition in a vegan diet can cause thyroid problems in men and women, can cause low testosterone in men, and a whole slew of other hormonal disruptions. Any any endocrinologist.

        Cows have completely different physiology than humans. Cows are ruminants. They are made to digest plants only. Humans are omnivores, we can digest both plants and animals.

        Every animal is different, for example, some monkeys can get all the nutrition they needs from only fruit (Frugivore). If a human only eats fruit, I’m sure a lot of health problems will kick in.

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

          Oh, ROFL! Really?! Where do you get your statistics from?

          1. Soy DOES NOT cause cancers! Phyto estrogen is different than human estrogen. If it did, half of Asia would be dead from cancers, but they are not, and they consume larger quantities of soy than anyone else.

          2. How do animals absorb nutrients without animal fats? Just fine and so do we. IF you are talking about Omega fatty acids, they can be found in seeds in abundance, not to mention nuts.

          3. I was hypothyroid before going vegan and vegan (non junk, whole foods) is how I, and now many going through my program, REVERSED thyroid issues.

          If you are going to make outlandish statements like these, better back it up with TRUE scientific research, not fairy tales, Steave :). My family, and millions of others, are proof of everything contrary to what you just said.

          • Steave

            Adult ovarian function can be affected by high levels of soy. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3139237/ (Excerpt: consuming soy protein in excess (>100 mg soy isoflavones/d) can lead to reduced ovarian function as determined by lower circulating levels of hormones, with the most prevalent finding being lowered gonadotropin levels. This is particularly true in premenopausal women during their reproductive years when these decreases could have the greatest effect.)

            I’m not saying soy is a direct cause of cancer. But soy does mess with the hormone levels, and the human body sees phytoestrogens and can treat it as human estrogen. And bad hormone levels and bad nutrition are contributors to inflammation in the body which cause cancers. The similarities, at molecular level, of estrogens and phytoestrogens allow them to mildly mimic and sometimes act as antagonists of estrogen. (Yildiz, Fatih (2005). Phytoestrogens in Functional Foods. Taylor & Francis Ltd. pp. 3–5, 210–211.)

            Thyroid problems are not just dietary issues. There are genetic markers that can increase risk, and for different people the effects are mild or worse. Hypothyroidism can come and go. Various factors can also fluctuate your hormonal levels including stress.

            Regarding the other points & health in general, please read the book, “Nourishing Traditions” by Sally Fallon. It will open your eyes a little & tell you why we need animal fats. :)

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

              Thanks, but I will pass on reading any books propagating the false belief that we need animal anything. Remember, I am a former omnivorous (had a HEALTHY diet by all standards, yet suffered). It was when we went all plant based that we saw IMMEDIATE improvements. I am in no way, shape or form ever planning to go backwards ;). You have got to experience perfect health to fully appreciate it.

            • Harper33

              sally fallon is overweight. why take health and dietary advice from her?

  • Maria

    I’ve been vegan for almost 6 months now; I can’t even go into a meat section without getting a little nauseated. The more plants I eat, the more plants I like. It is all about feeding your body the correct foods and respecting not only God, but yourself and the earth.

    • Steave

      You can eat meat and respect God. God gave us every living animal to eat as food.

      Genesis 9:1-4

      1 So God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth. 2 And the fear of you and the dread of you shall be on every beast of the earth, on every bird of the air, on all that move on the earth, and on all the fish of the sea. They are given into your hand. 3 Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. I have given you all things, even as the green herbs. 4 But you shall not eat flesh with its life, that is, its blood.

      • Maria

        Steave,

        I didn’t mean by saying respecting God not to eat meat. I have no problem with people who do eat meat. I believe, that before God, meat is not what He intended for me. So, I am respecting God as He leads me. Your walk with God is just that, your walk. My statement was not meant to offend :)

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

          Maria, same for me, it was optimal for my family to go vegan ALL the way to get our health. And we were ok with that.

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

        Steave, I think that this is a non-argument in this case.

        There is certainly some meat eating going on in the Bible:), I do not dispute that, however,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.

        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. :)

        • Steave

          Here, you are speculating that non-veganism causes the shortened lifespans. Why aren’t current vegans living to 1000 years if that is the case?

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

            That would be a question to ask God for sure, Steave ;)! However, the question is, why aren’t non-vegans not living up to 120 years as a general rule? Mostly, if you will look into statistics, it is due to poor dietary lifestyle choices. Now, does it mean that all vegans will live to 120? NAH! We will die too, and some might make it to 120 or so, but our goal is to die in peace rather than being plagued by sicknesses and diseases which CAN be prevented (not all, but most can!).

            If you look into the area has the most living centarians, it is Okinawa http://www.okicent.org/. The studies have shown that is due to their healthier, largely plant driven (and especially the consumption of yams ;)) diet. The city is one of the most polluted in the world, yet, a cleaner diet helps them beat the odds and their bodies work better than those of the Americans due to that.

            Sounds like we could have a great conversation on this topic over a cup of tea, Steave! I love the points you are bringing up!!!

      • Guest

        That’s assuming the bible can be taken as truth. It blows my mind that we continue to go to the bible for answers to these types of situations. Narrow…narrow…minds. How about looking within yourself for answers instead of a piece of literature we know nothing about because it’s simply too old to prove any of it’s claims as real in existence. You probably believe when you die a big tall white haired gentleman will be waiting for you at the gates either accepting people into heaven or damning them to hell also. Your comment is a prime example of how things like the bible have been manipulated by old governments and churches into something that can be used against us. If you believe we should be eating animals, you must be somebody who also does not have a hard time killing, gutting and mutilating their bodies right? Or do you simply find it more pleasing to run to the meat market and pick yourself up a few t-bones instead? Get my point…look inside yourself for the answers. All answers come from within and we are all ONE. When you realize we are all part of god and we are all one, you immediately find a connection with that in which you are killing, mutilating and digesting. It’s a terrible feeling. But when you continue to look outside of yourself for answers (to places like the bible) you lose true connection to REAL god and life energy, that being a spiritual energy in which links us all, you know…that one thing that all religions actually have in common when they forget for five minutes to argue over who’s belief system is to be accepted as truth.

  • Jenay Hallickson

    I love your candor in this article – you’re right – we’re all grown ups and should be able to handle the truth!

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

      Jenay, thanks! :) So true.

      • Jenay Hallickson

        Now I need to put on my big girl pants and just dive in, rather than one toe at a time! I found your site originally when we did a Daniel Fast at my church and was amazed at the amount of natural energy I had. I think I was also the most regular I’ve ever been, I felt good on the outside and the inside. This article may just be the push I need to jump into the deep end – thank you!