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Trying to rescue a vegetarian from veganism

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 13, 2012 at 10:38 PM

Okay, that title might be a bit hyperbolic, but it's correct in principle. I've got a friend who is currently vegetarian (didn't know that) who is convinced that giving up meat is why she's feeling better. She does admit that it hasn't helped with her weight (which is an issue for her). She's considering going vegan, which in my opinion is a bit dangerous for anyone to really consider, and I'd like to offer her a way into Paleo. I've seen mentions of the "n" protocol; anyone got a link or can offer a summation?

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on November 14, 2012
at 04:52 PM

And more importantly, how damaging it is, esp the GMO varieties due to the excess pesticides.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:52 PM

I've never met a healthy vegan. Maybe they're out there, I'm not sure. The vegan body builders live on supplements and protein shakes and such.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on November 14, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Strict adherence to any diet (including paleo) requires some pretty substantial cognitive dissonance considering the magnitude of conflicting studies. Diet is personal, like relationships. Some work, some don't, and most are worth a shot.

12358894be02c2da1862ea3f4422c195

(319)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:20 AM

It's not so much 'messing' with her as helping her see beyond some of the fluff. She wants to "do what her body tells her" but going vegan (without, for example, trying to go off grains, sugar, and legumes) is akin to asking the wrong question - or at least not asking enough questions.

12358894be02c2da1862ea3f4422c195

(319)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:18 AM

Wow, tough crowd. I was hoping for techniques I could use to help her explore a more balanced approach to nutrition.

153c4e4a22734ded15bf4eb35b448e85

(762)

on November 13, 2012
at 11:35 PM

Well, some people don't do well with meat, I was covered in eczema, couldn't sleep, and gained weight when I ate meat everyday. Veganism is not dangerous in the short term, and a vegetarian (pescatarian for those who love to split hairs on paleohacks) diet with some fish, and shellfish is ok. The good part with veganism is that she'll find out if dairy is a problem for her.

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8 Answers

best answer

1
9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

on November 14, 2012
at 01:55 PM

If she's doing it for ethical or moral reasons, you're never going to convince her of anything. You could let her try it and see how she's doing in 4-6 weeks. That is usually long enough for the malnutrition to kick in. She'll be complaining of bloating, lack of energy, bad hair and skin, etc. and looking for supplements that will help. Then it'll be a cycle of finding supplements and highly processed foods (i.e. protein shakes, etc) that give her a decent diet. Maybe after a while of this she'll give it up and decide to just eat real food instead.

I was vegetarian for 3 years when I was younger and vegan for a couple of months. I got a lot of "feedback" from people about the diet, which only hardened my resolve to make the diet work. It wasn't until over a year of feeling like crap and giving into the temptation of eating beef and then feeling 1000% better that I realized the diet wasn't good for me.

At the same time, before I went vegetarian my diet was horrible, so it was probably a step up from where I was. For me, being vegetarian for a while was a gateway to a much better diet, but I had to do it first.

4
089dd41b18fbb95ebb5347cded708d98

(5635)

on November 13, 2012
at 11:03 PM

i think you should let her do what she wants. she'll be annoyed if you send her links and studies about why she shouldn't. she'll just send you one back on why she should. and hey, there are a lot of healthy vegans out there so it's not a terrible diet.

9a5e2da94ad63ea3186dfa494e16a8d1

(15833)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:52 PM

I've never met a healthy vegan. Maybe they're out there, I'm not sure. The vegan body builders live on supplements and protein shakes and such.

3bad4b0b105bf44d7650e7fdfbe15cbd

(860)

on November 14, 2012
at 03:57 AM

Strict adherence to any diet (including paleo) requires some pretty substantial cognitive dissonance considering the magnitude of conflicting studies. Diet is personal, like relationships. Some work, some don't, and most are worth a shot.

3
B6c16d850e7305aad0507ad079ecf1d4

(232)

on November 13, 2012
at 11:50 PM

I'd mention something about soy and how prominent it is in a vegan diet...

96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19473)

on November 14, 2012
at 04:52 PM

And more importantly, how damaging it is, esp the GMO varieties due to the excess pesticides.

2
8d6390b3b8991a9cb653a3d13c1cbf6a

(543)

on November 14, 2012
at 12:00 AM

I'd say we need a bit more modesty. I'm fairly hardcore into carnivory: only animal products, most of them raw. My sister and her family are vegan (shudder) and...we're both a lot healthier than before we started our various adventures. Maybe being vegan or vegetarian isn't a bad path for your friend. If you see her struggling, or having severe health issues you might want to point out that there are a lot of former vegans around, and perhaps there are good reasons.

If she's happy, loses weight, and is healthy, why mess with her? We've both looked into the data and think paleo makes sense, but I'm not 100% sure that we're right by any stretch.

12358894be02c2da1862ea3f4422c195

(319)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:20 AM

It's not so much 'messing' with her as helping her see beyond some of the fluff. She wants to "do what her body tells her" but going vegan (without, for example, trying to go off grains, sugar, and legumes) is akin to asking the wrong question - or at least not asking enough questions.

1
2e777bbcd49262eb31a24f821abec6bc

(1974)

on November 14, 2012
at 01:33 PM

I was a vegan for a while and actually felt great on it. My body does not do well with much meat. I now do eat meat but probably a quarter of what most people on here eat. I feel horrible if I eat more than that. I also eat yogurt now. I think that some meat is important and I would encourage her to keep a few animal products such as fish and eggs at least. Cutting sugar and gluten grains is also very important. If she could keep her diet fruits, veg, rice, beans, potatoes, eggs, and fish, then I think that could be a healthy diet.

1
32f5749fa6cf7adbeb0b0b031ba82b46

(41747)

on November 14, 2012
at 04:22 AM

If she's set on being a vegan, at least do it smartly: http://rawfoodsos.com/for-vegans/

1
Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25482)

on November 14, 2012
at 03:20 AM

Humans have adapted to many environments on Earth over the last 6 million years, but modern man currently is not concerned about what we can do in adaptation; rather they are testing how long we can live healthily within our own current dietary edicts.......The results and outcomes of modern healthcare offers and deep insight to the many flaws our current dogma holds on nutrition.

A vegan or vegetarian will find his or her ultimate answer in their result eventually just like the eater of a SAD does.

0
977d98d9ee4a3edba0141c0b3aa018a7

on November 14, 2012
at 09:16 PM

Man, the first chapter of Rob Wolfe's book pretty much turned me off from even considering a Vegetarian/Vegan diet... I mean, I wouldn't anyway, but it definitely gets to the point. The first like... 80 pages are available in the Amazon preview: http://www.amazon.com/Paleo-Solution-Original-Human-Diet/dp/0982565844

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