The Perfect American Diet...
Over the past few years I've researched and participated in several "diets" in search of what really works and honestly I think what I've found might surprise and probably make me a little unpopular with some people. My quest started with chest pains and couple bad test results, and my moms cancer diagnosis. So my reasons are very personal. I decided for my new years resolution that I was going to get back into shape, I was 5'10 198 lbs at the time and really didn't think I was really that bad but it seemed like I could stand to lose a few pounds. While running on the tread mill one morning I started having chest pains and well I ended up spending the day in the hospital hooked up to machines. I remember having a conversation with my mom about it and how it wasn't that big a deal I could get it under control. My relationship with my mom was like that we were always honest and we treated everything like it wasn't that serious and my research began.
I want to be honest here, when you google for information or use social media or any online source please keep in mind that a lot of what you read and the people who write it have an agenda. I've personally read hundreds of sites saying that a certain diet is best because .... and then two minutes later read another hundred that state the opposite. These sites are pro or anti this or that and trying to sell products and use half truths to "prove" their points so be warned. I try to keep my opinions as unbiased as possible and I more want to give you information for you to research and decide for yourself.
My personal starting point was to go vegetarian and eventually vegan because I did some googling and watch a show on Netflix. Like most people I didn't do any real research, I just stopped eating meat. I used all the soy and bean based substitutes, and filled the house with fruits and vegetables. I ate as much as I could raw and still do, here is my opinion on plants. Plants respond the stimulus, and based on how they co exist with other plants and produce chemicals that can attract beneficial insects and other chemicals that keep non beneficial insects and animals away you could argue that they have an "intelligence". Plants to me are alive and have energy, the same as anything else on this planet (you see where this might be another topic for a future blog?) With all that said, I try to eat the most fresh and least amount of processed food possible to get the most benefits from my food. To sum that all up, in my opinion, cooking fruits and vegetables kills all or most of the benefits of them. I would highly recommend if your going vegan, eat raw. Be warned though when you are eating raw, a very common side effect is stomach cramps and issues until your body gets used to this new diet. Another potential problem and one I didn't know until I researched was over 90 percent of the corn and soy planted in the U.S. is genetically modified. This is a stat I'll let you all look into and decide on your own, I am personally against gmo food for very obvious reasons. If your going vegetarian or vegan I would recommend sticking with organic, non gmo foods. Your body is capable of getting rid of some toxins such as pesticides but why stress your liver if you don't have to. The last and final strike for me was the much debated b12 issue. There isn't a substantial plant source of b12, so in my opinion its an incomplete diet, again my personal opinion. Do your own research and decide for yourself but if you are going vegan get a good organic multi vitamin and look for foods with b12 added. I am in no way picking a side between the herbivores and the carnivores I am only trying to educate so you can avoid the mistakes I've already made. I also would recommend a good multi vitamin to the meat eaters, the reason is sadly our farming methods have left our soil depleted and our food just doesn't have the vitamin content anymore its not a prejudice.
For me going vegan left me tired and hungry all the time no matter how much I ate and I ended up with a b12 and iron deficiency. After 6 months I decided to do more research. I am in no way telling anyone that a vegan diet wont work because it can for some people if you are educated. The information available is out there but never ever trust one opinion or one site. I've stated this before and will say it again, even your doctor unless they are also a nutritionist has very little nutrition based knowledge, take control of your health regardless of what you decide is right for you. Until next week....prevention is the best cure.