The Lifestyle

A few words about what all this vegan and raw food stuff is, anyway.

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What is veganism?

Veganism is a lifestyle that avoids the consumption of animal products–be they foods, clothing or accessories.

What are raw foods?

Raw foods are foods that have not been heated above
115-118 degrees (different raw foodists have different ideas about which temperature is right; I tend to not be too nitpicky about that).

Why should I eat raw  and plant based foods?

Ethics

Our animal neighbors are sentient, self-aware, and capable of experiencing both pleasure and pain. They deserve our respect, and they deserve freedom. Animal agriculture is responsible for the death of over 56 billion animals worldwide each year–not counting fish, who have also been shown to possess sentience and a capacity for suffering. Even animals raised under the most “humane” circumstances–which is to say, even some of the cows that are grass fed, and chickens that are “free range”–suffer tremendously to become or provide human food.

We all have the power to opt out of a system in which animal life is devalued and exploited by choosing the vegan lifestyle. Vegan diets are healthy, flavorful, and fun; vegan clothing and accessories are increasingly accessible to consumers. With every grocery, restaurant, and clothing purchase you make, you have the power to object to animal cruelty and support a compassionate world view. And you can do it all without sacrificing taste or pleasure.

The Environment

Using crops like wheat, soy, and corn to feed animals on factory farms is grossly inefficient. It takes 16 pounds of grain and soy to produce one pound of beef and 3 pounds to produce 1 pound of chicken or egg. More than 70% of grain and cereal grown domestically is fed to farmed animals, in spite of our own human hunger crisis. Various advocates suggest that we can remedy this problem with small farming models, which is true to an extent, but of course that solution doesn’t take into account the issue of animal sentience and suffering.

It takes between 20 and 50 gallons of water to produce a pound of vegetables or fruit; it takes 2,500 gallons to produce a pound of meat and almost 1,000 gallons of water to produce one gallon of milk. An exclusively plant-based diet requires only 300 gallons of water per day, while an average omnivorous diet requires more than 4,000 gallons of water per day. In a world with increasingly limited supplies of clean water, this feels criminally wasteful.

Meanwhile, the UN estimates that approximately 30% of the earth’s entire land mass is devoted to animal agriculture. The cost is enormous: it takes 3.25 acres of land to feed a meat-eating person on a continuing basis, while only a sixth of an acre is needed to feed a plant-based eater. The UN has also stated that agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases to our atmosphere yearly than do the fossil fuels from cars.

Animal agriculture is economically and environmentally ruinous. But none of us are powerless against the system: we can all choose to protest and remedy the damage of factory farming three times a day: by putting plant-based meals on our plates.

What About Health?

Nutrients

Many foods lose natural vitamin and phytonutrient content in the cooking process: water-soluble vitamins (including B vitamins and vitamin C) are especially susceptible to depletion via heating. Other nutrients are made more bioavailable through the cooking process, so it’s wise to eat a balance of both raw and cooked vegetables. That said, learning how to prepare raw food can be a fascinating lesson in eating food that’s a little bit closer to nature, and relying less on packaged ingredients.

Digestive Health

Plant based food (vegetables, fruits, juices, nuts, seeds, and grains) is rich in fiber, which helps to keep our digestive tracts healthy and regular. Though it’s important to ease into eating a vegan diet gradually, so as not to disrupt your digestion too much, you may find that eating more vegan meals helps your elimination, digestion, and energy.

Overall Health Advantages

Vegetarians may have a lower risk of obesity, coronary heart disease (which causes heart attack), high blood pressure, diabetes mellitus and some forms of cancer, according to the American Heart Association. The American Dietetic Association has stated that, “the results of an evidence-based review showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with a lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease. Vegetarians also appear to have lower low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension and type 2 diabetes than nonvegetarians. Furthermore, vegetarians tend to have a lower body mass index and lower overall cancer rates. Features of a vegetarian diet that may reduce risk of chronic disease include lower intakes of saturated fat and cholesterol and higher intakes of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, soy products, fiber, and phytochemicals.”

Learning More

Vegan Starter Kits / Aid

These online, free starter kits will help you take the first big step toward plant based living:

Information About Vegan Nutrition

Books on vegan and raw diet nutrition:

Brenda Davis, Becoming Vegan

Brenda Davis, Becoming Raw

Ginny Messina, Vegan For Life

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{ 49 comments… read them below or add one }

Insurance China September 1, 2011 at 11:11 pm

Love this conceptions! Hope that more people will decide to keep these healthy lifestyle after reading yoru blog!

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Sarah E September 12, 2011 at 7:29 pm

This is such a wonderful list of resources. I appreciate that you have compiled all of this for your readers. We can all learn something from exploring the links and ideas you share. Thank you!

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Tanya September 14, 2011 at 3:12 pm

Ha! How times have changed. I find myself returning to the raw food lifestyle after 4 winters of exceptional illness. I am 55, and I remember many moons ago as a nursing student reading in a book on nutrition that “vegetarianism” was considered a “radical”, and that eating raw foods was detrimental to your health, as the enzymes in many raw foods were not meant to be digested by the human stomach. What a load of you know what! I have never felt better than when my diet is filled with raw foods, beans and fresh vegetable juices. I am so glad to be back to this. It is OK to accept that we are meant to feel good and not be sick. Sad that I am still in a tiny minority with the folks that I know, but at least the online presence is supportive and growing. Rather than go to Sizzlers the other day, I suggested to my family that we go to a Raw Food restaurant in our neighborhood (Rawtopia in Salt Lake City). The food was remarkable, and so delicious, and my 7 year old son who never eats salad said “Mom, this is really good”. I decided not to tell him that the “noodles” he was eating were made from zucchini. Why spoil a good day?! I turned to my husband and said “That’s it! We’re making the change AND we are getting an RO water system.” (The water they served was phenomenally tasty). No problems with him, as he also was enjoying the food that he was eating. Thank you for your site and all the helpful information. Got you bookmarked for easy referral!

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elizabeth tigani November 17, 2011 at 9:59 am

Hi Gena,
I love your site, thank you for all the wonderful info! If you don’t mind sharing, I was wondering where you did your nutrition training? I’m on the nutrition counseling path myself and deciding what the best option is for me. I went to IIN and am currently taking some nutrition classes at Columbia, and I plan on getting the CNS but not the RD. I’ve also considered going the naturopathic doctor route but for now I’m working on the nutrition piece. Would love to hear about your path!

Thanks so much-
Best,
Elizabeth

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Gena November 17, 2011 at 8:24 pm

Hi Elizabeth!

I have a CN degree (which is actually a holistic degree) from NHI. This is not a sufficient degree for a full time career (my food coaching was always a side business). I would urge you to get the RD if you do want to practice nutrition full time! It’s what I intend to do if I don’t ultimately get accepted to med school.

As for the MD: I have had a lot of exposure to naturopathic doctoring, and I must confess (much to the chagrin of some of my readers, I’m sure) that I have a lot of problems with it. I wanted the hard science route without the insistence on many holistic practices I don’t have faith in, which is what the MD offers me. Ultimately, I can practice in an integrative fashion and incorporate the holistic practices that I *do* value.

Gena

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Judy April 25, 2013 at 9:21 am

Do hope you get your MD. from what I’ve read on this website you would make an AWESOME physician. Also look into functional medicine.

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Gena August 5, 2013 at 8:05 pm

Thanks Judy :) I plan to!

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elizabeth tigani November 19, 2011 at 12:48 pm

Hey Gena, thanks so much for getting back! Sounds like a good plan to go with the traditional MD route, as you said you can always add in holistic practices. I’m on the path to get my RD and figure I can make a decision either way once I get to the point where I need to apply for the internship. I totally agree that the RD is necessary if you want to practice nutrition full time, I’m just conflicted b/c I already have a license in social work/counseling…so trying to navigate the system and see what makes the most sense.
Talk soon!
E
ps-I went to Georgetown undergrad :) I’m sure you’ll get into the med school, you seem very motivated and passionate about health and healing

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Gena November 19, 2011 at 2:11 pm

You are so kind, Elizabeth! I love GU, for what it’s worth, and though I’d like to be back in NYC for grad school, I’d also love to stay in the program. I’m not sure whether or not I’ll get in to any schools, but your confidence means a lot to me.

I think that, with your MSW (or other license) plus an RD, you would be unstoppable. Half of nutrition work is really psychotherapy.

Email me with Q’s if you ever need to.

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ashlie winner December 19, 2011 at 11:49 am

Lovely site. I serendipitously found it while searching how to make Rawlmond Milk :)

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Gena December 19, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Thank you so much!

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Laura March 4, 2012 at 4:37 pm

Love your site!

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Mary Ellen Bowen March 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

COOKING VEGAN

Just released, COOKING VEGAN is both a primer on vegan nutrition and a collection of fantastic recipes. Readers will discover that a vegan diet is not only healthful and easy to implement, but inspirational to prepare, and completely satisfying to eat. Taking care of your health has never been so pleasurable.
Best selling Author, Vesanto Melina–Becoming Vegan, Becoming Raw–is a
nutritional expert known around the world.

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Megan March 29, 2012 at 7:39 pm

Love the information and recipes you are sharing!!! Thank u!! :)

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Ceinie Grudnoff April 24, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Thankyou for opening my eyes and taking the “mystery” out of Veganism. Great info and much food for thought xo

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Gilberto Gaulding May 1, 2012 at 11:05 am

I’m a bit hesitant about the vegan thing due to my workout schedule requiring me 5 meals a day. However, the insight regarding raw food seems to be convincing. Might just consider it. Thanks!

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B June 5, 2012 at 7:01 pm

I have in the past followed a vegan diet but I became quite sick. Years later I learnt that I cannot tolerate legumes, lentils etc. I’m very interested in returning to a vegetarian, possible vegan lifestyle but do worry about whether a vego diet without beans etc can cover all my needs. I tolerate rice milk well, but not soy or almond. Most of my protein comes from quinoa, nut butters, tahini and chia or flax seeds, I also use nutritional yeast from time to time. I would love to hear your thoughts on a vego diet without legumes. I’m currently eating eggs and fish occasionally. I eat a high amount of vegetables and love brown rice and quinoa, where I live us very cold and I don’t think I’m ready for raw foods. I did try it once many years ago for 12 months and to be honest it didn’t work well then but I can understand the benefits of it and may try again oneday. Im also interested in any thoughts you have on eating a high amount of vegetables. Many thanks.

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Francesca Burgess June 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

I live in Brooklyn, NY. Are there any schools in the area or distance learning options that offer R.D programs that you would recommend? Thanks.

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Gena August 5, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Francesca,

CUNY at Hunter has a great RD program, and I believe city college in Brooklyn has one as well. Look into it! I highly recommend it.

Gena

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Kelly June 13, 2012 at 5:12 pm

Hi Gena,

I love your website. I fell in love with Sarma Mengailis’ recent cookbook and find myself having a hard time NOT being almost 100% vegan and 80% raw. I feel great too and this is coming from someone with zero medical issues who used to live in a Paleo Diet common to athletes. The Paleo diet is a meat based diet but you know what they advocate very similar plant fats, abstinance from refined carbs and fruits for “dessert”. It also advocates a non-dairy stance. So in some ways, going “vegan/raw” has been so easy for me- since I have long since given up dairy, refined/packaged foods and now really love plant fats and healthy natural sweeteners. I don’t miss not having to buy and cook meat! Thanks to YOU I am the kitchen queen when it comes to salads/slaws and addictive delicious home-made Gina dressings. This plus fresh fruit and daily juicing (beet, carrot, apple & orange) is keeping me Highly Energized- something I definitely lacked while on the meat based Paleo Diet. Thanks again, Gina!

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Lucy Bollings June 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

I love this website. I’ve been eating raw for almost a year and it’s the best decision I ever made. I can’t believe how out of tune I was with my body for so many years, I made a promise to myself that I would get educated and really focus on what I need to be the best “me” possible. For those DIYers out there I highly recommend A Beautiful Medicine by author David Mercier. I was attracted initially to the subtitle, “A Radical Look at the Essence of Health and Healing”, and it’s been a fantastic book. If anyone wants to see what it’s all about you can check out http://www.abeautifulmedicine.com. Thanks Gena for another great post!

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Buzz July 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm

Your blog was recommended to me by my niece. This puts me further in debt to her. Ninety percent of the items in my fridge are either fresh from the ground or fressh offa tree. I love eating raw. My question: does steaming veggies considered eating raw?

I would like to add one comment. Please remove the ‘Evidence of Animal Cruelty’ videos. I am an animal lover. As you know, there are people who enjoy abusing and mistreating animals and you are providing entertainment for them. Obviously, I would never watch the videos and I think it is disgusting that you would make them available to be viewed. SHAME ON YOU!!!!!

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AMM July 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm

I stumbled across your website and as I was reading through the information you posted regarding nutrient requirements, I wanted to see your references. The WHO has a lot of research regarding protein requirments, and I cannot find anything that states eating only 5% of total kcal from protein is acceptable. I am a Registered Dietitian, and current research indicates that an average, healthy adult needs either 0.8g/kg or 10-35% total kcal from protein (USDA 2010 Dietary Guidelines, Institute of Medicine) and 10% is a very low estimation. It’s great that you want to promote health, and perhaps I misunderstood your post, but I just wanted to point this out since you seem to have a significant following. Especially if teenagers are following this lifestyle, they are still growing and definitely need protein–it’s essential for the metabolic process. Please do not misquote literature to support your lifestyle.

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Gena July 31, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Hey AMM,

I’m really grateful to you for this comment, as you reminded me to update information I’ve been meaning to update for some time. I got that figure, I’m afraid, from a vegan book. It was written by a a culinary expert, but not an RD or MD, and it’s high time I researched the figure in detail. At the time I got it, I was quick to cite lay-sources. Right now I’m a post-bacc, pre-med student at the moment, and the last 2 years have taught me quite a bit about citations, nutrition research, and searching for reliable, peer reviewed and published work. In any case, because of my class schedule, I’m painfully slow to do blog updates, and you caught a figure that I’m now aware may not be right.

This post contains more up to date thoughts: http://www.choosingraw.com/quinoa-protein-bowl/

But I’ll update this page soon. Again, thanks for your reminder, and for the close reading!

Gena

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VeganOlie August 6, 2012 at 3:02 pm

Something else for AMM to keep in mind – the RDA for protein has been around since the 1940s despite being reviewed for accuracy every 5-10 years. The Recommended Dietary Allowance continues to be only 0.8 g/kg of protein – that is all that our bodies need for 98% of people. This usually equates out to about 8-10% of our diet as protein. Very few people need more than that. The 5% figure is actually a more realistic figure for most based on nitrogen studies (seeing how much nitrogen we actually need that we get only from protein), but when they calculated the RDA they built in a buffer zone to ensure that everyone was getting enough protein. The upper level of 35% that is usually given was heavily influenced by industry like the beef and dairy marketing boards. They have a lot of power and can’t be trusted for their nutritional advice since they are more concerned with money than health. Protein intake above 10% may lead to cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and many other diseases of affluence. It’s not difficult to get enough protein from whole plant foods as long as you’re eating a varied diet – Gena’s recipes can certainly help with that!

For more on this, check out the Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition from eCornell at http://www.ecornell.com/certificate-programs/plant-based-nutrition-training/certificate-in-plant-based-nutrition/crt/TCCC01/. I’ve just completed this certificate and it was eye-opening! And well supported with peer-reviewed research.

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Emily August 13, 2012 at 4:35 pm

Thank you SO much for this info! I initially gave up dairy and sugar to help clear my skin, and recently decided to go vegetarian because of the inhumane way animals are treated. I was considering going completely vegan but I wanted a good reason, and this has convinced me. Great info!

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Dr. Litvin December 11, 2012 at 6:52 pm

“In addition, there are dangers from eating too much animal protein has been linked to cholesterol and heart disease, and kidney damage.”

Very misleading and ignorant. I respect vegan’s choice, but do not respect their misleading lies. Perhaps if more vegans were more educated professionals of nutrition and medicine, they’d see that veganism is not the best choice, and living a 100% organic life is preposterous, impossible and ridiculous. Your knowledge is quite basic.

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Gena December 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm

Dear Dr. Litvin,

My knowledge is very basic, which is why I am currently a pre-medical, post-baccalaureate student at Georgetown. I agree that there is a greater need for vegan voices in medicine and nutrition, which is precisely why I have altered the course of my life–at the age of 30 and at quite a steep personal cost, I should add–to enter the medical field.

The quote you just quoted is out of date on my site (evidenced in the poor grammar, to say nothing of the content), for which I apologize sincerely. I’ve been hoping to update all of my tabs for some time now, but it has been hard with my post-bacc. Forgive the incompleteness of that statement; instead, I have amended it to reflect official statements by the ADA and the American Heart Association.

It is hard for me to understand the acrimony and spite of your comment; other commenters have asked me to examine statements more closely in a kind, patient way, and because I care very deeply about sharing only fact-based information, I have always amended properly. I am learning, and I am doing my best to have high standards and correct information. I should also add that there are at least a few vegan nutritionists and doctors who are absolutely vigilant about the information they share. These include Ginny Messina, RD, and Jack Norris, RD, Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn, and Dr. Joel Fuhrman. So while you are right that the number of vegan professionals is small, there are some, and I hope their ranks are growing.

Best,

Gena

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David February 3, 2013 at 9:36 pm

Lol, I’d be careful paying heed to anything Jack Norris says. He’s not exactly the most honest man. A couple other points you may want to look into: 1) the increase in the bioavailability of Lycopene from cooking tomatoes is basically moot, since sun-drying tomatoes increases the bioavailability of Lycopene almost 2-fold over cooking. 2) Cooking broccoli may increase the concentration of glucosinolates in the broccoli, but it destroys an enzyme in the broccoli called Myrosinase, which is needed for the transformation of glucosinolates into the anti-cancer Sulforaphane. One study found the absorption of Sulforaphane to be 3 times greater from raw broccoli than from steamed broccoli. Another more recent study found the absorption of Sulforaphane from broccoli soup made from raw broccoli to be a whopping 10 times greater than broccoli soup made from commercial frozen broccoli, due to the blanching of the latter (before being frozen) destroying Myrosinase.

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monika January 7, 2013 at 9:19 am

I don’t think I saw it on the list…but Food Matters was really inspirational…and although doesn’t exclusively talk about veganism, it has pushed me towards a more plant-based diet.

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Gabbi January 24, 2013 at 4:53 am

Hi! i enjoy reading your website often, i love it!
I’m only 19 but I’m just so fascinated with raw veganism and what plants (and herbs, seeds, etc) can really do for us. I don’t know anyone in person who practices veganism too or is genuinely interested, and most people automatically assume i’m going to be a “downer” or “kill-joy” when it comes to food. These sites and blogs are my safe haven in a way :) but what do i say to those people? either way, thank you, and i hope you have a great day!

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rachel March 15, 2013 at 8:39 am

the other week i checked a book out of the library on raw diets. the woman who wrote it was 70 years old but looked no older than 45/50 years old. i’ve been vegetarian for over a year now, with a goal towards being completely vegan (my weakness is dairy and sometimes when choices are limited at restaurants i must admit i indulge.) after bringing that book home though, now my omni husband is getting more curious about vegetarianism. he remarked at how great the author looked (no surprise to me) and how he wish he were disciplined enough to eat that healthy. i told him that anyone can be – it’s all about what choices you make. since then he has been getting the veggie option when we go out to eat (and since i cook vegetarian at home, going out to eat is his chance to get anything he wants). as he starts making more and more choices based on health, i hope to incorporate more and more raw recipes. thanks you for this website as a great learning resource.

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Jen Brice May 6, 2013 at 10:42 pm

In the spring of 2008, my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. After surgery to remove her right breast and many lymph nodes, my mom has been dealing with lymphedema the past five years. On a recent CAT scan, a few small tumors were found where her lymph nodes used to be and they are slowly growing and causing my moms lymphedema to be even worse causing her constant pain on top of the stress of the news. My mom has decided to take an all natural path to healing with Dr. Keith Nemec at Total Health Institute in Wheaton, IL. The treatment plan is very thorough, my mom is completely changing her diet to eat an all vegetarian diet that avoids all sugars, meats, dairy, and processed foods. The treatments with Dr. Nemec are all natural and will take the next six months to cure my mom of cancer. Due to the high success rate and insurance not covering any of the treatments, my parents are facing a very large medical bill of which they’ve had to take a huge loan out to pay for it. I’ve set up a free fundraiser website so that I can help my parents pay for my moms medical bills. Any amount helps. Your story and website provides inspiration and information for my mom as she translates into a raw vegan lifestyle. Thank you for your awesome website!

https://www.youcaring.com/helplaurabeatcancer

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Diana May 8, 2013 at 4:12 pm

Great article, however you’re missing a prime, fundamental component to the raw food movement: Enzymes. Cooking food above 118 degrees kills enzymes, the LIFE FORCE in foods. Not just vitamins. I suggest you check out the book Enzyme Nutrition by Dr. Edward Howell. Any nutritionist should definitely read this classic.

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Step July 20, 2013 at 10:39 am

Hello, I love your site.
I am vegan (20yrs). I am an average person. I am 113 lbs. not heavy and not over athletic. Just average.

I worry about my nutrition, amino acid balance, such as that.
I am not worried about vegan diet as I know human beings can get all they need from veggies and I am not feeling need to eat animal products.

My situation is, I am a very light eater, I sometimes skip meals simply because I am not hungary. And food choices are just poor. Food is not healthy anymore, processing, pesticides, genetic altering (eg. strawberries are not giant in the wild). Unless you grow it yourself (then you can’t be sure that seed hasn’t come from genetically altered “mom” plant). There is no way to know.
Available food today is so processed there are no nutrients in it at all, so why bother to eat it. (I know I sound paranoid, but these are the facts)

I was hoping to maybe find a good organic vegan nutrition drink or powder or capsule that I can drink everyday to give my body the nutrients it needs, not just protein but the vitamins/nutrition also.
Thank you

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Joe Bigelow July 28, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Hey, Gena!
As a Food52 foodie, I’ve admired your recipes and your vegan/raw ingenuity for quite a while now, but this is the first time I have visited your website. I was wondering if you could give me some of the source material from where you got your facts under the section entitled, “The Environment.” I have been a vegan for over a year and a half now (for environmental reasons), and I was hoping you could direct me to the studies where you got your info so I can read them and pass them along. Love your website already! :)

Joe

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Gena July 28, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Thank you so, so much Joe! It’s a fact sheet I downloaded ages ago, as I was starting my blog. Let me get you some updated studies — I’ll be checking back in here!

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Ericka August 14, 2013 at 12:39 pm

I love this post. I wish I could print this out and wear it on a T-shirt. It seems there is always an opportunity to educate and spread awareness. The truth is, this whole raw vegan lifestyle comes down to a very simple concept for me. Of course, my health is the most important thing in my life. I eat a raw, plant-based diet so I never have to spend my life in a hospital or doctors office. But aside from myself, I do this for others. I do this for our animals. I don’t believe animals were created so they can be tortured and live a life full of suffering. When you think about it, they are living on this earth for a short time just like we are. Shouldn’t they be able to enjoy this earth like we do? Soak in the sun, breathe clean air, and take care of their young. It’s hypocritical that we protect our cat and dog friends from this kind of suffering but turn a blind eye to it when it is for our taste buds. I hope more people will take a stand against this kind of cruelty. Thanks for doing your part and spreading awareness Gena.

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Sauna Bro October 11, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I am considering going Vegan. But I am concerned about whether I can make the switch or not. Do you know of any more resources I can read up on what to expect?

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Elissa October 21, 2013 at 11:12 am

So with the housekeeping items out of the oil window and 15%
to 20% per year. Diatomaceous diatomaceous earth benefits earth helps in rejuvenating your body, especially
your skin. In fact, it is prudent to think of every day
as Earth Day. Again, diatomaceous earth has also been effective as a
supplement and a detoxing agent.

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Karl October 27, 2013 at 7:46 pm

First off I want to say excellent blog! I had a
quick question that I’d like to ask if you do not mind.

I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts
prior to writing. I have had difficulty clearing my mind
in getting my thoughts out. I do take pleasure in writing but it just seems like
the first 10 to 15 minutes tend to be wasted just trying
to figure out how to begin. Any recommendations or tips?
Thanks!

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Minh November 8, 2013 at 2:52 pm

Really glad to have found your blog,
because I’m seeking for like-minded people who share raw and vegan food :)
Although I’m not vegan, I really enjoy vegan food and whenever I can, I’ll go for it.
Thanks and keep it up ;-)

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zosia December 8, 2013 at 9:38 am
Gena December 8, 2013 at 2:10 pm

Zosia,

What this argument (which is very common, especially on blogs written by ex-vegans) overlooks is that the vast, VAST majority of wheat, soy and corn grown around the world is grown to be fed to farm animals. Not to mention the vast acreage of land cleared to house those animals. There is no way to crow crops enough to feed a planet of 8 billion and growing without land use that will ultimately cause destruction. But if people ate vegan or at least more vegan diets, all of the land being used (and sentient beings who are killed) as feed for farm animals could be put toward feeding hungry populations of people (rather than animals who are bred to be killed), and possibly reduced, as the exigencies of animal farming would no longer exist. This would also lessen carbon emissions, methane emissions, and–most importantly–ensure that animals were not bred to be killed as create food that human beings do not need in this day and age.

G

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zosia December 8, 2013 at 3:17 pm

READ the rebuttals. Don’t simply rely on past arguments that once served you, Gena. I do appreciate your blog and all that you do, but when push comes to shove…the research shows that your argument doesn’t hold.

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Gena December 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

I did read both posts, Zosia. And I have read the arguments — contemporary as well as ones I’ve read before. I still disagree with you. And to respond to your comment, below, because I disagree, I don’t think that sharing veganism is irresponsible.

Just the way you appreciate my blog, I appreciate your reading it. And I respect your right to disagree with me, of course. Difference of opinion is part of any culture, any community. But I believe very much in the arguments for veganism, not just out of habit but because I think they continue to be sound, and so long as I believe them, it’s my right to share them in this space.

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zosia December 8, 2013 at 3:18 pm

It’s irresponsible to be promoting the mainstream and false notion that veganism is healthier and better for the environment.

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Angela Robey December 10, 2013 at 5:10 pm

I agree with you against factory farming, which is horrendously cruel and unneeded, but hunting is the way of nature, and the highly aware animals you speak of have no problem with it. Animals kill and eat other animals. It’s what they do.

You said, “Even animals raised under the most “humane” circumstances–which is to say, even some of the cows that are grass fed, and chickens that are “free range”–suffer tremendously to become or provide human food”

….although this may be true in some rare circumstances, this is an assumption about grass fed animals which you have improperly lumped together with “free ranged chickens”…which is usually just factory farming minus the cages and is unhealthy. Truly healthy chickens and grass fed animals are in an entirely different category, and rather than enforce veganism, perhaps people should be educated about the truth so they can make wise choices. Propaganda such as yours comes from a hidden agenda to enforce your views on everyone else. If that’s not true, then you wouldn’t be so sneaky with your words.

Although far healthier than the SAD diet, vegan diets are not healthy. When you are old enough to experience the results thereof, you will find yourself aging rapidly. Raw meats and lots of raw fats are needed to retain youth.

All the water that you claim it takes to produce milk and meat is based on factory farming methods of growing and feeding animals gmo grains. Those grains must be watered. Grass fed animals do not use a fraction of this amount of water to produce, and please…

…don’t bring up the lie that grass fed isn’t sustainable because every cow/steer is grass fed up until it goes to the dairy or the feedlot. And by the way…

…desert land is restored by grazing animals on it. It’s a natural system.

You speak of the reduced land needed to grow vegetation as opposed to that needed to grow animal products which is irrelevant if you consider the human digestive system which is short about 60,000 enzymes and 2 stomachs needed to process and assimilate the nutrition available in whole raw fibrous veg matter. Only about 35% of the nutrition available is digested, not to mention that all that fiber causes digestive upset….yes it does. The only reason people ever need fiber is to scrape out all the sludge from all the cooked foods they eat. And speaking of cooking, it creates toxins that far outweigh any and all benefits of cooking.

Basically, summed up, you are full of parroted bullshit that will become evident to you one day. I don’t expect you to actually publish this comment, but if you at least read it that’s all I care about. Please be honest and do some more research.

And, please don’t judge my site it’s brand new and has only just started.

Best wishes,
Angela

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Nathan February 26, 2014 at 7:42 pm

Angela. Outstanding article. My wife eats 100% organic food and as an elite marathon runner this is something I have to consider doing (changing my diet). I have considered switching my diet to vegan and implementing more organic food as well. We have so much processed food on grocery stores it really is unbelievable. I take a mental note of when I walk into gas stations and see that 99.99% of the items in them are filled with junk and sugar laden items. Appreciate your feedback and will be coming back.

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