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Why Elementary Schools Going Vegetarian Will Be an Increasing Trend (Money)

Saw this today: Elementary School Cafeteria Goes Vegetarian.

A New York City elementary school cafeteria is one of the first in the nation to go meatless.

Students at P.S. 244 , the Active Learning Elementary School, are being treated to eclectic fare, including black bean and cheese quesadillas, falafel and tofu in an Asian sesame sauce.

"It's been a really great response from the kids, but they also understand it's about what is the healthiest option for them," principal Bob Groff told ABCNews.com. "Because we teach them throughout our curriculum to make healthy choices, they understand what is happening and believe in what we're doing too."

Well, in a truly rational world, principal Bob Groff would not be able to talk out of his toothless mouth, anymore, given that he would already have been beaten to a bloody pulp.

All meals have to adhere to USDA standards, he said, making sure students get plenty of nutrients, including protein, for their growing bodies.

He wouldn't know a nutrient if it knocked his teeth out.

The sort of brain rot infecting the general population nowadays (like this...do take a quick glance) is just the quotidien norm. It's like everyone is in a mad rush to be demonstrably more stupid, more led by the nose, more conforming, more "team moron" than the next guy.

But it's a simple thing, easy to understrand. This is about money. It's all and only about money. It's combined with the sort of 1984, NewSpeak ignorance where War = Peace, and so bankrupt food conglomerate nutrition = Healthy!!! ...Real, fresh, quality food—meat, fish, fowl, vegetable, fruit, nuts—is comparatively far more expensive than the cheap, packaged, multi-year-shelf-life industrial EXCREMENT that Bob Groff is feeding the children of that school.

And the derelict parents are probably lining up to applaud because they get to be as stupid as they want to be.

Guess how this would go over in France? No, really; just guess. And that's just France. Here, you can see that just about every country on Earth cares far more about the nutrition of children than here is good ol' Merca, land of the perpetually moronic, a veritable Idiocracy.

Here's but one quote of many.

This spring I joined the International Exchange Forum on Children, Obesity, Food Choice, and the Environment in France’s Loire Valley, where 16 of us met first with each other, then with our French counterparts working in diet and health, and finally in the lunchrooms of two schools. The school lunches we ate were meals I’d be proud to serve.

At one school, students were served a choice of salads — mâche with smoked duck and fava beans, or mâche with smoked salmon and asparagus — followed by guinea fowl with roasted potatoes and carrots and steamed broccoli. For dessert, there was a choice of ripe, red-throughout strawberries or clafoutis. A pungent washed-rind cheese was offered, along with French bread and water. Yes, the kids took and ate the cheese.

French schoolchildren eat in brightly colored lunchrooms. Lunch hour includes exercise and lasts for two hours.

Our second meal was a little simpler, but then, the kids were younger, too. Children served themselves a butter lettuce salad from a bowl set on the table. The main dish was mashed potatoes with a sauce of ground beef (delicious!). Bread and water again were offered as well as the pungent cheese, and a choice of fresh strawberries or a little pastry.

In addition to the goodness of the food, there were other good things about these school lunches. First of all, they weren’t rushed. About two hours are given for lunch, a portion of which is used for very loud and active exercise. Second, they were civilized. Food was served on heated plates; real silverware and glasses — not plastic — were used; and the lunchrooms were pretty and comfortable for the kids.

I think it's wonderful for America to be so dreadfully shamed by the French in this regard. There is no other word for it. Hey, Americans: stick your "Freedom Fries" up your pathetic asses. You can't carry France's bread, or water. Fact.

Another:

"The food is very good, Madame. The meat is 100% French," the official said, picking up a brochure from her desk. I knew this brochure well, having e-mailed it to friends in the U.S. last year as a this-could-only-happen-in-France conversation piece. It lists in great detail the lunch menu for each school day over a two-month period. On Mondays, the menus are also posted on the wall outside every school in the country. The variety on the menus is astonishing: no single meal is repeated over the 32 school days in the period, and every meal includes an hors d'oeuvre, salad, main course, cheese plate and dessert.

There is more: the final column in the brochure carries the title "Suggestions for the evening." That, too, changes daily. If your child has eaten turkey, ratatouille and a raspberry-filled crepe for lunch, the city of Paris suggests pasta, green beans and a fruit salad for dinner.

I finally saw the system in action earlier this month. Caught short by a sick nanny, my son, who was accustomed to eating leftovers from the refrigerator, sat in silence with his 25 classmates at tables in the nursery-school cafeteria, while city workers served a leisurely, five-course meal. One day, when I arrived to collect him, a server whispered for me to wait until the dessert course was over. Out in the hall, one of the staff shouted for "total quiet" to a crowd of 4-year-olds awaiting the next lunch seating. "I will now read you today's menu," he told them. "First, you will begin with a salad."

"4-year-olds." This country is pathetic in this regard, and principals like Bob Groff are too ignorant to even understand the depth of their stupidity (it's why it's hard to fix stupid: ignorance gets in the way).

In other news, a mother emails in to let me know that in an annual 5th grade state study project, part of it is the "foods of..." and the kids always look forward to the various regional specialties that get served. Not this year, though. Doesn't conform to the USDA guidelines for cheap-ass crap, so the kids have to be content with pictures of food.

Oh, well, it's just another day in "The Land of the Free."

Two Success Stories: Rescued from Vegetarian and Back to High School Weight

It's always great to stop and realize that eating an evolutionarily appropriate diet for human animals actually helps human animals improve their lives. Yep, there's a point to this after all and it goes far beyond any drama or nit-picking minutiae anyone can bother to conjure up.

The first is a story from The Independent that I think reads real well: From vegetarian to confirmed carnivore. And, he has a book out: The Meat Fix: How a Lifetime of Healthy Living Nearly Killed Me!

Some excerpts.

John Nicholson was a strict vegetarian for more than 20 years. But when he and his partner became ill, they had a carnivorous conversion.

Growing up as a working-class kid in the North in the Sixties, food was incredibly limited. It wasn’t like today, where everyone has groaning cupboards of unused goods; we had just enough food to get through each week. Meals were plain and boring, but everything was wholesome and home-cooked. [...]

...By 1982, I was living in the North of Scotland in a sort of croft with my partner, Dawn. Two years later, we decided to stop eating meat because we used to see all the cattle taken away to the slaughterhouse and we were growing a lot of our own food anyway. That’s where the adventure into vegetarianism, wholefoods and healthy eating started. [...]

...With things such as salmonella in eggs, BSE in beef and the rest of it, the diet we’d chosen based on wholegrains­, lentils, pulses, fruit and veg, and all that other groovy stuff, made us seem like we’d been ahead of the curve.

We were very smug about our lifestyle, which we thought was both healthy and morally correct. But after about six or seven years of being vegetarian, we both started to get slowly and progressively more ill.

The first thing was I started to develop what was later defined as irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS. It began as a vague digestive discomfort but within a couple of years had developed into a situation where whenever I ate anything my gut would stick out and it felt like there was a lead weight in it.

...By 1998, it was absolutely chronic. I went to doctors but nobody had a clue what to do about it. [...] But not one doctor suggested it might be my diet. As well as my condition getting worse, I was actually putting on weight – despite the IBS – and I became clinically obese.

I would take food diaries to the doctor, who would tell me everything was fantastic, and congratulate me on not eating butter, cream and cholesterol. [...] Dawn was developing very depressive moods and suffering mood swings. I was also experiencing a lot of headaches, which occurred pretty much every day. I was also knackered and would have to have a sleep in the afternoon. I was just falling apart. By the time I got to 40 I felt 60.

...Dawn suggested that perhaps it wasn’t what we were eating that was making us feel that way but what we were not eating.

...The first thing I ate as part of my new diet was ox liver, so I really threw myself in at the deep end. [...] The second thing I ate that day was a rare steak. That was when I had a transformative experience. It felt like my body was immediately telling me that was what I was supposed to be eating. It sounds really naff but that’s the nearest I can sum it up as. It was quite a profound thing, really. After 24 hours, I never had another IBS episode again. It went overnight.

After 17 years of having something you get used to it, you just think it’s always going to be with you, and then, suddenly, it’s not. I stopped filling my entire meals with carbohydrates – wheat, rice and potatoes – and introduced all meats, butter, cream, lard and goose fat. But it was pure food, nothing processed. And I thrived on it.

I dropped three and a half stone within the first six months. And it wasn’t just weight; what was really freaky about it was that I dropped loads of body fat, going from 28 per cent to 13-14 per cent. In fact, the entire composition of my body changed so I went from being apple-shaped to triangular. And this wasn’t doing a new fitness regime, it was just a change in diet.

My new diet went against all the health advice at the time...

As he and others can attest, that speaks to the quality of health and nutrition advice in general. The comment thread where the article was published stands at 463 and John Nicholson is active in the thread.

~~~

Here's a great email I got yesterday afternoon. Love getting these. Just so you don't get a bit confused as I did when reading it the firs time, I take it to mean that the girlfriend is a friend or former GF from high school that's now Paleo, and his fiancé is [still] vegetarian—at least until she reads the first testimonial, above. :)

My name is [W]. I was introduced to this way of life by a girlfriend from high school about 10 months ago. To make a long story short, had she not reached out to me, I would be on a path of self destruction via SAD. A little over year and a half ago, I tipped the scales at 230+ pounds and I was extremely hypertensive. To be exact, my BP was 191/100 when I saw my doctor. I was in denial about it, but when my girlfriend contacted me and shared her experience, I made a choice to try it out. And I did it with a passion and started working out….religiously. That was September 17, 2012. Now, I am high school skinny and I wear a size 34, down from a size 38 and I’m not done. I’m still hitting the gym and my physique is improving with each passing day. I look and feel great thanks to this way of life. And, my girlfriend has benefitted greatly too. She looks and feels amazing. I’ll say it again, if it wasn’t for her, I would be in a sad and sorry state.

The hardest part for me was ridding myself of grains and sugars. I still struggle because my fiancé is a vegetarian which doesn’t leave her a lot of options in terms of protein. So, as a result, there is still a lot of grain and carbs around the house. But, that’s OK. I’m still disciplined enough that I stick to my new way of living and enjoy every moment of my life now. I was sick – literally – of being sick and tired.

For what it is worth, a lot of folks don’t get what I’m doing. They think it’s odd that I don’t eat bread and pasta like I used to among other foods. They think I’m starving myself when in fact I’m not (although I will confess that my appetite has gotten a little out of hand. I think it’s because of the exercise I’ve been doing and the muscle mass I’m building). And, saying no to bad food is lot easier now than it used to be.

I appreciate what you’re doing. I hope more folks get with it and see the light. This has really changed my life and I’m really fortunate that an old friend took the time to find me and eventually share this way of life with me.

What's left to say? Eating real food most of the time, to the exclusion of cheap junk food just works.

Low Carb Critiquing and Constructive Criticism vs. Slamming and Tearing Down Values

Looks like my post yesterday about deciding for yourself, and 13 Low Carb Resources was well received. Thanks for all the Facebook Likes!

I received an email about it.

I'm at work but I've been mulling over your 13 low-carb post...

Is there going to be a 13 Pretty Good Churches post at some point? :)

I'm being a dick, but there is a built in deterrent to commenting on that post, since most disagreements are nit picky (especially among one's own readers). We can find the good in almost anything. But, the problem with a lot of those low-carb sites is that:

  1. they employ religious thinking
  2. they are married to low-carb at the identity level, which means they are totally closed to information and research showing that low-carb isn't necessarily ideal
  3. sometimes people set themselves up as gurus, manipulate their followers, and use despicable marketing tactics to sell total crap

It's worth pointing those things out. If anything there is less disagreement than agreement, anyway. The people who disagree are shunned or humiliated. Same kind of shit that got us the low-fat nonsense.

I began tapping out a reply from my perspective and when it began getting long, I said 'aww, what the hell—let's just put it out there.'

First, it serves to take a bird's eye view of the whole thing and in general, my view and judgment tells me that the LC community, for all its warts, is a net value and helps a lot of people. Everyone I've ever known of on LC...

  1. loses fat
  2. tends more toward real foods more of the time
  3. improves health, vitality and energy

A big percentage stall at some point, but losing 40 instead of the 60 you wanted is still a huge net benefit, in my judgment.

Now that we have Paleo, that's a next logical step for LC folks to try, and because of the underling religiosity of society (not just LC), Paleo can be a tough nut to crack right off the bat. So, another way to look at Jimmy Moore, for example, is that he serves the value—as a religious man whom religious people trust—of telling people: "Paleo is OK, even if it has an evolutionary foundation." So, ironically, the religious thinking that Jimmy subscribes to (and, I think, does a very good job of not wearing on his sleeve constantly) is responsible for getting more religious people interested in a Paleo approach—where they're going to be exposed to the science of evolution—than you or I ever could.

This is a good thing. So you have people out there saying "Jimmy's just trying to horn in on Paleo; I mean, look how religious the guy is," when in reality, he's to be commended for leading people to a more Paleo, Real Food way rather than saying "don't go there, stay away, they believe in evolution."

As to the other points, well, that's the realities of business and self-help in general and so that's why you check out a bunch of sources and find the one(s) you're most comfortable with. Some people really get into the promotions, contests, challenges, giveaways and such that guys like Jimmy Moore and Mark Sisson engage in. That's great. Doesn't interest me—either as a participant or doing any such thing myself—but clearly there's a lot of people who, for whatever reason(s), get into it and it helps keep them in the game. I see no reason to criticize or bemoan that. Different strokes.

Here's what I am all for:

  1. General critiques. This post itself is a bit of an overall critique of the LC community and I've done it in the past for Paleo as well. It recognizes the overall net value and either explicitly or implicitly suggests improvements to the value. The way to make errors and the bad stuff less and less relevant is simply to increase the value.
  2. Constructive criticism. Same as (1) but typically directed at one person or organization. I have constructively criticized Jimmy a few times. He's taken my criticism well, has blogged about it, even had me on his podcast. What more could one want? So, he exposes his own readers to my criticisms of him, but what exposure to those criticisms would his readers get if I, like so many, attacked him personally or suggested that everything he does amounts to a pile of crap?

So to summarize, step one is to get the macro, bird's eye view and make a judgment call: net value or net disvalue? Everyone knows my judgment in the matter. LC and Paleo are strong net values in many ways for, among other things, educating people about good Real Food, dispensing with the myth that saturated fat will harm you, that cholesterol will kill you, that you need your X servings of hearthealthywholegrains per day...etc., etc.

Conversely, most of the conventional wisdom is a net disvalue (just look around you). I put "vegetarinism" (that allows dairy and eggs) about in the middle because you can get adequate nutrition and there's a strong Real Food thread to it. Veganism, the rest of the conventional wisdom catechism, fat & cholesterol phobia, processed food pushers, et al, I put at net disvalues and as such, am happy to contribute to their complete, merciless, utter destruction...and eventual grave peeing.

For LC and Paleo, it's as easy as not tossing out the baby with the bathwater. Dry that baby off and get more good Real Food in it—and ignore the dirty water.

...Oh, yes, I do have a PGC (Pretty Good Church) idea. Check out the Unitarian Universalists. Any church that welcomes atheists and secular humanists is A-OK in my book. I blogged a bit about them here.

Forgetting to Die

I've had this NYT article open in a browser tab for days and just couldn't close it.

The Island Where People Forget to Die

28Ikaria3 articleLarge v2
97 yr-old Stamatis Moraitis tending his vineyard and olive grove on Ikaria, Greece

It's by Dan Buettner, the The Blue Zones guy. In spite of his clear bias for plant based and vegetarian-esqe diets, I think the importance of his work is in finding those populations or zones for whom longevity is clearly multi-factoral.

Nope, it's probably not all about a Paleo diet and Crossfit WODs.

I think I'll leave it at that, for once. You really ought to just read the article and see how many likely factors for a nice long life you can uncover...other than a pretty reasonable diet of whole food, and in spite of the fact that it includes some "evil" things.

I've been to Greece a number of times, hit the countryside and have spent time on a small island. This all makes perfect sense to me.

Grains, Vegetarians, Vegans and Nutritional Density

Yesterday I posted about how well it's going with the book and its 2nd Edition. Here's an excerpt from Chapter 3 on grains, vegetarianism, veganism and a bunch of nutritional comparisons. This is first draft stuff, so it has yet to go to the editor or proofreading. Those who read the first edition will notice this section as being tremendously expanded.

~~~

Even when not considering the problems with grains in terms of gluten, and other lectins, be aware that they are not very nutritious.

Listen, everyone, and listen closely: if you eat grains as a significant part of your diet, you are getting CRAP nutrition as compared to a Paleo-like diet. It's simply a fact, the "healthy-whole" fraud notwithstanding. And if that’s not enough to convince you, then ask yourself why virtually all grain products have the word "fortified" stamped on the package. Good nutritional sources need never be "fortified."

How about a visual representation? What if we compared the nutrition in an average loaf of bread (about 1,400 calories) to say, the same number of calories of beef liver and salmon?

Bread

Screen Shot 2011 09 26 at 2 43 09 PM
 

Beef Liver

Screen Shot 2011 09 26 at 2 43 28 PM
 

Salmon

Screen Shot 2011 09 26 at 2 45 13 PM
 

Don’t look just at the height of the bars, but at the numbers at the top of the bars. A bar at the top means “off the scale.” Examining the numbers gives you an idea of how proportionally off the scale each nutrient is relative to the same nutrient in ”fortified” bread. For most micronutrients, a Paleo diet outstrips a standard, grain-based diet by 100–300% in terms of nutritional content. The livers of all animals and fish are nature’s true “multi-vitamin.” For a more thorough look, see my post at Free the Animal that incorporates these images.

Let’s run the actual numbers above, comparing 1,400 calories of bread to the same amount of beef liver for the 21 different nutrients listed. On average, for bread—adding up all the numbers at the tops of the bars— you get average nutrition across the 21 nutrients of 85% (1,777 / 21). That is, if you eat the entire loaf in a day, you’re still 15% under the government’s established recommendations.

Now let’s have some fun with the liver: 2,640%! No, that’s not a typo: Two Thousand Six-Hundred Forty Percent! (55,403 / 21), almost 25 times as much nutrition as the bread. Think of that the next time you hear nonsense about “superfoods”—and it’s always some silly berry, or leaf, or something else that while decent, never holds a candle to animal foods in terms of nutrition. When is that last time you heard of any animal food being referred to as a superfood in any mainstream outlet? Probably never. That’s how backwards everything is and just another example of what you’re up against.

Want another example? How about raw oysters on the half shell, which I happen to love. Thing is, it’ll be tough for you to get 1,400 calories worth. In fact, 24 raw oysters, a large serving indeed, has only 230 calories, 1/6th of that 1,400 calorie loaf of “fortified” bread. But guess what? in that 230 calories you’ll find 400% of the USRDA for those same 21 nutrients in our comparison. So, one-sixth the caloric energy, almost five times the nutrition!

So how about if we compare a relatively nutritious plant food to bread? Potatoes are just such a thing. Sweet potatoes are slightly more nutritious than plain white potatoes, so let’s use those. Another thing about potatoes in general is that they’re gluten free, unlike bread, but—depending on the variety—can have 10—13% protein and it’s a quality amino acid profile; whereas, the tiny protein in bread is virtually all gluten, a big problem for increasing numbers of people. One large sweet potato (excluding any garnishes like butter and not eating the skin) will provide you with 200 calories, one-seventh of that loaf of bread. But the nutrition over those 21 nutrients is 25% of your USRDA. Yes, one potato per day gets you 25% of your nutrition. If you were to eat seven of them—in order to match the caloric energy of the bread—you’d get 175% of your USRDA, or exactly two times the “nutrition” in the loaf of bread. ...For centuries, potatoes have been considered a poor man’s food, yet their nutritional density is such that eating only half of an average male’s daily caloric requirements gets you twice your recommended allowance in vitamin and mineral nutrition! Bread is the true poor man’s food.

[...]

What About Vegetarianism and Veganism?

First, it's important to draw a clear distinction between vegetarianism and veganism: vegetarians traditionally consume nutritionally-dense animal nutrition in the form of eggs and dairy. Vegans do not. Nutritionally, this makes a world of difference. Either you consume animal products or you don’t, and that’s the real distinction to understand.

Some vegetarian societies, such as India, have thrived for millenia, but there has never been any such thing as a vegan society. A fruit-based, raw vegan diet that excludes all animal nutrition is only theoretically possible in narrow, niche environments, such as a rain forest. I say "theoretical," because even supposed primate herbivores are omnivorous. They eat bugs, worms, grubs and termites, and sometimes turn to actual predation and eating of other primates.

You’re already familiar with the nutritional comparison of bread versus animal nutrition and even potatoes. But how about fruit? While fruit is indeed a Paleo food, is it suitable as your only food? Some people think so. So let’s see.

The blog post in question was the result of a live Internet debate I had with a raw fruitarian vegan in April of 2011, with 1,000 people listening in on phone lines and many others streaming live over the internet. During that debate, I issued a challenge to vegans: compare a meal of just fruit to a meal of just beef liver, nutritionally. One vegan took up the challenge and this was the result: Nutrition Density Challenge: Fruit vs. Beef Liver. The comparison took place in two parts. The first part sought to find out how much raw fruit (various, mixed) would be required to roughly equal the vitamin and mineral profile for only 4 ounces of beef liver. The answer is that it took 5 pounds and 850 calories of fruit to roughly equal the nutrition of 4 ounces and 150 calories of beef liver!

But who eats only 150 calories for breakfast? What happens if, in addition to the liver, we add a sweet potato, some eggs, and a little fruit, in order to get up to equivalent 850 calorie meals?

The charts below represent the overall nutrition over 21 nutrients with the vegan, raw fruit meal on top and the omnivorous meal on bottom.

850 Calorie Comparison
850 Calorie Comparison

Again, look at the numbers at the tops of the bars that are off the chart in order to judge the real relative comparison. As with our other nutritional comparisons, here’s how these meals stack up:

  • 850 Cal Mixed Raw Fruit: 127% USRDA (4 of 21 nutrients over 100%)
  • 850 Cal Omivorous Meal: 440% USRDA (12 of 21 nutrients over 100%)

Yes, indeed, in the fruit meal there are only 4 of the 21 nutrients that provide 100% or more of the RDA, but 3 of those 4, just barely (vitamin C being the only one off the scale). So in essence, a single nutrient at 1,500% of the RDA skews the whole analysis pretty badly. If we were to take vitamin C out of the equation and just average the other 20 nutrients, the fruit meal provides only 57% of the RDA. As you can see, however, we do not have nearly this same problem with the omnivorous meal, because 12 of the 21 nutrients are over 100% and of those, 5 are off the scale. Just removing vitamin C as we did in the fruit meal changes nothing at all, because the general nutrition is excellent and widespread.

This is a very, very sad reality for vegans.

Vegans are experimenting with their lives to a profound degree, far beyond just tweaking a variable or two. Rather than eliminating the most egregious neolithic agents, like wheat, sugar and high-omega-6 industrial oils, they eliminate everything our ancestors ate going back more than 4 million years. The vegan diet requires the massive destruction of habitat for “fields of grain,” modern processing techniques, and delivery to markets far far away. Vegans hardly live in the pristine natural paradise they try to sell you on.

Veganism in general, and raw veganism in particular, is a recent human phenomenon that constitutes a mass nutritional experiment with its basis more in ideology, feeling, and myth than in biology, physiology, and nutrition. Vegans begin, as do many Western religions, with their own version of the doctrine of Original Sin.

They try to make you believe that you're guilty by nature. You love the taste and smell of grilling animal flesh, and that makes you a bad person. Vegans sacrifice their desire to eat flesh in favor of "higher ideals"—as if there was any ideal higher than to live the life of a human animal on Earth as nature has suited.

Those listening to the “experts” or buying into fundamentalist vegan ideals are getting fatter and sicker. If you forget what you’ve learned from the ADA and mainstream nutritionists, self-experiment with the lifestyle you were born to live, and follow your instincts to eat real food, the pounds will start melting away and your health will improve immensely.

Additional Resources

  • The Bible of the vegetarian and vegan zealots is, of course, The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell. For an exhaustive series of critiques of the book using Campbell’s methods to statistically analyze the Actual China Study Monograph data, see Raw Food SOS, blogged by statistics geek Denise Minger.
  • Want more proof that a diet with any significant grain content is nutritionally inferior, and woefully so? See this post at Free the Animal comparing an average day’s nutrition for a SAD eater with that of a Paleo eater.

See also:

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A 100% Raw Vegan Success Story

Well, I tweeted this story a couple of hours ago, it got immediate traction in terms of mentions and retweets, then Robb Wolf retweeted it and things really took off. So, based on that, I figured I better just blog it. This is about a tragedy, not ridicule -- except for those so deserving.

This morning I got a WTF? email from reader Clarice with a link to this raw vegan "success" story over at 30 Bananas a Day. It comes complete with before and after photos. Here's some highlights of 17-yr-old Harout's story.

I first got introduced to a better diet of mostly vegetarian foods with the occasion of some fish here and there by my high school assistant basketball coach for the Varsity team. i stuck to that for the course of my basketball season and stuck to it ever since i came to this site and moved on to the raw food movement. I was feeling so good on a vegetarian diet and looking so good that i believed that going on a raw food low fat raw vegan would make things even better for me with all the success stories.

So, he went from a diet that included cooked animal products to one that excluded them completely and...

I never jumped to high fat raw first. I barely tried being vegan for the time in transition. I just jumped straight in and have been 100% ever since mid September and have only had cooked plain brown rice pasta a couple times down the line. Every time i ate the cooked food though im like why am i eating it? It gives me energy yeah, but it doesnt taste good.

After 5 months of living this lifestyle i reversed my diagnosis of hypothyroidism. I took the pills for the first week and after that left it, on the verge of wanting to cure it myself. It worked, i shared with family my success stories and have influenced my households to go vegan and my brother a raw vegan as well. Its truely an amazing thing once you get into it. Its not just about diet anymore , i really realise the true aspects of this lifestyle and its NATURES GIFT. It really is, i wouldnt do anything nor let anybody do anything to change my insight on the way i live and my diet.

Well, so far so good, I guess. Or is it?

I have received great benefits and realise the only downfall is that i have gained a significany amount of fat, but i accept the fact of my body storing up what its been missing for a few years now and i respect it. I put my body through hell now its my price to pay for recovery. ...

A few cons that ive been going through lately and like i said respect for the time being of going through the struggles. I cant expect to become the hulk right away. It takes time to feel good , 8 months is just a drop in the ocean to my 16 years of abuse. Another con is slight acne on the forehead, being someone who never had acne in the past.

Like i said these are all little things that take time to recover frrom and im not going to whine about it. I believe in nature and this is as natural as it gets. Ive given up cosmetics as well.

Another thing i'd like to mention is that i used to be the fastest player on my basketball team. Played on A division for my traveling team while i was in high school and thats a good level. Now i play B cause i cannot keep up and even though i am in the starting five, i am not the top player of my team. I cant train as hard as i used to, the gained percentage of fat slows me down a bit. For the meantime i suppose. ...

Even though this last paragraph may be quite negative, i want to share my emotions one way or another, cause things arent perfect and i must share that. I think there is a big difference to feeling good and being able to perform good. I feel good , there is no question about that , but i suppose i am in the process of regaining where i cant perform as well yet. It really puts me down sometimes but i know there is no other option of just picking myself up and aiming for the best i can be day in and day out. Basketball has always been my true love and it just gets me how i let it get to me. Not being able to perform the same ways. It seems its a drag for me moving my feet up , down , slides on defense. I dont know, i hope i see in the light on the other end cause its just a tough time for me right now, still being in high school and ruining my hopes of college ball has been a tough sacrifice. It's not the fact that the lifestyle isnt the answer to health. Its not that at all. But we all go through cleansing and elimination at some point. And fininshing my high school career very poorly in regionals ,being one of the best players. Is really dissapointing to me , it really is. Once again , i dont blame the lifestlye. Its just a sacrifice of present success VS. future health. As much as i think its the wrong thing to do morally , i shouldve waited and stuck with cooked vegan so i didnt do dramatic change to my body right away with basketball in the picture. My bodys foreign to this and thats the only issue. Every day im doing something better and better for myself. It just draws me out of success in what i love doing temporarily. For the time being i guess.

[emphasis added to highlight denial and self delusion]

Well, there you have it. And now, here's the dramatic, 8-month anti-transformation of a poor, ambitious 17-yr-old young man. On the left, you have Harout as he looked on a diet that he called "vegetarian," but included fish and whatever other animal sources, and his food was cooked. To the right you have his 8-month results after being 100% raw, plant based, excluding all animal sources of nutrition. You can click for the full-size image, where the acne problem is more apparent.

Before After
Before (left) and After (right)

Now, this would certainly remain a tragedy, especially given his passion of being a top basketball player on his HS team, with serious aspirations for a college scholarship, but he's only 17 and this condition could be reversed just as quickly as it progressed. So not to worry, right? ...because the 30 Bananas a Day crowd are there for him, there to help him for his sake; to point him in the right direction.

Let's take a look at some of the comments.

Maybe this is that adjustment period for you.

Perhaps your body is just 'rehydrating' after so many years of being dehydrated. I betcha it's all water! ... look at all of the muscle you've put on!

So your super flexing in the top shot and 'letting it go' in the bottom shot. You gotta compare flex shots with flex shots otherwise its like comparing a limp banana to an erect banana! lol! [Durianrider]

THIS IS WHAT IS MOST IMPORTANT!! You are still YOU, no matter your physical appearance! You are loved!

...and then its BANG! CRASH BOOM! and we come back to earth and people around us blame the fruit. ... ITS NEVER THE FRUITS FAULT LOL! [Durianrider]

...how old are you in that top shot? You have the body of a 40 year old gym rat. [Durianrider]

Like I said HM, your on the right track now and just gotta let your body 'do its thing' as you do your thing. Keep eating right, eating lots, staying hydrated, GETTING EARLY NIGHTS and get on them b12 shots. [Durianrider]

In the above shot you look like your taking drugs. ... In the below shot, you look like an off season Tour De France rider that is not taking drugs. Still look like you are super fit, just not drug fit. Somewhere in the middle is the more sustainable range. ;) THEN again, you confuse me cos your flexing hardcore in the top shot and are 'letting it go' in the bottom one. [Durianrider]

I think you look much healthier in the second photo.

Well, so there you have it. In case you think I may have selected only the comments that offered no help, only encouraging him to keep to his delusion, his self-destructive path, then feel free to read through all of the comments. As of 18 hours ago, the last comment, there is not a single one that even hints or suggests that he's doing something seriously wrong to himself.

Not a single one of those mutherfuckers is willing for one second to even entertain a whiff of a notion that something just may be rotten in The Garden of Eden.

If this is not the hallmark of a cultish religion, then there's no such thing as cultish religion. This just pisses me off. For the sake of being "right," they are literally willing to toss away the aspirations of a young kid who clearly doesn't know any better.

So, folks, assuming Harout may get wind of this post, anyone out there want to offer him some real help and guidance? Some real love? Please take a moment to do so. And also take a moment to share this with Facebook Friends and Twitter Followers. You never know who you might save from embarking on a similar path of self destruction; one that's enforced by denial & delusion and encouraged by cultists.

And for any vegans who do stop by with an open mind, here's what real results look like. Kit Perkins is the most recent success. Check out Tim. Or, this "Sterling" transformation. Who hasn't heard of Super Mike? And Chris? He's singing a different tune. Murray to this day constitutes one of the most amazing transformations ever. Anyone remember how Austin in Singapore turned his life around? And how about Michelle and Timothy? And then there's Mel, a PhD biology researcher. All of the resources at her disposal and yet, she had to come to some guy's blog to find a sound path for living and looking the way a human animal is supposed to look.

Good thing none of the above sought dietary and health advice from a fruit cult.

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A Little Mercy

I'm not sure I would consider mercy anywhere near a top virtue, maybe not even a virtue at all. A value, sure, but in the right context, and that swings both ways. It can be just as inappropriate to grant mercy in some situations as it is appropriate to grant it in others.

But certainly, I've never been a fan of mercy for mercy's sake.

So the back story, for those who don't know is that I just removed a hit piece I did last night focussing on an individual self-described as a vegetarian and a journalist. This person said some silly things in comments on another post, was rebuffed by another commenter and ultimately emailed me threatening legal action.

So I did my hit piece with lots of my typical invective and there were lots of comments. 90%+ positive here, but three or so highly negative comments on the FTA Facebook page (I deleted the post there, too). These were your typical, "I'm not going to read you any more" and, "I wish your wife well," the latter being of the form that always cracks me up -- like my wife is some prisoner who would otherwise bolt if I didn't have her chained down, or something.

Funny shit.

The comments I like the best are those who recognize that I'm not and am never going to be the paleo / primal blog that attempts to appeal to everyone all the time, never offend anyone, never ruffle feathers, play paleo politics... Screw that.

And as for the "you're giving the paleo community a bad name" sort of stuff, listen: if I can give the paleo community a bad name, then it's definitely not worth a shit anyway.

So I suppose you want to know why I removed the post. Well, I got an email from the individual. Then another and another, all very open, all contrite, all apologetic; all demonstrating a sort of anguish over the whole thing.

I'm direct and I can be an asshole, but I'm not going to be cruel. So I removed it.