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Old 12-31-2008, 08:20 AM   #76
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Corpses can't make derogatory comments about other people, life wouldn't be worth living.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:01 AM   #77
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Can you name some of the athletes you are referring to? The biggest name that recently turned to a vegetarian diet that I can think of is Prince Fielder. What other athletes of note are out there no eating meat? I'm genuinely curious.
Here are a few of the better known names. It's by no means a comprehensive list because I know of several pro cyclists who aren't on this list. The point is, it's possible to do.
Summary list of vegan/vegetarian athletes


If anyone here wants to learn more about eating healthy, and I mean really wants to learn, I recommend the book Eat to Live by Dr Joel Fuhrman (another vegan olympic athlete). The book is packed full of source references, including the rather comprehensive China Project. It's an excellent book, and following the advice within even moderately can really help you feel better.

Dr. Fuhrman routinely gets patients off of high blood pressure medication, insulin, etc by simply altering their diets. Following the advice in this book completely erased my IBS problems, which I'd been told by doctor after doctor were permanent and could not be treated.

My cycling has also improved and I don't get colds anymore. Of course, my case is likely drastic because just a few years ago I existed on a 50% meat, 50% starch diet with almost no vegetables, and very little fruit. So switching to 90% vegetables and 8-10 pieces of fruit per day was likely to make at least some difference.

Unfortunately, most people do not want to learn more. They enjoy meat, have grown up eating meat, and immediately scoff at the notion that it might be bad for them. They will go to great lengths to defend their bad eating habits, and will cherrypick research studies that support their prior habits (with a little help from the meat and dairy industries).

But even without giving up meat totally, it's helpful to balance the remainder of one's diet. If a person's diet is packed full of green vegetables, beans, fruit, and nuts, the health risks from their meat consumption are probably going to be reduced. But a diet like my old one - full of frozen pizza, cold cuts, dairy products, and starches as the only vegetable - was a death sentence.
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Old 12-31-2008, 11:23 AM   #78
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So there are vegetarian athletes, but is their life expectancy or quality of life better or worse than carnivorous ones? Unless it is then your argument is poorly grounded.

You cite your drastic changes in your diet producing benefits in quality of life, but doesn't that bias your outcome? Going from a shitty diet to a healthy diet will have positive impacts, but you can't declare that a vegetarian diet is better on the basis of your anecdotal evidence.

Cramming down mountains of processed meat probably isn't good for anyones health, but a varied diet with moderation seems like a reasonable proposition.

I have octagenarian relatives who have eaten beef and lamb with plenty of salt their entire lives, now that is a useless anecdote from an epidemiological standpoint, but it's far from clear that the benefits from vegetarianism outweigh the costs.
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Old 12-31-2008, 12:07 PM   #79
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I eat meat maybe a couple of times a week as I said. But I do eat fish a lot, at least 2 days a week. I also work out 5-6 days a week. I haven't had a single cold this winter, I have the cholesterol levels of a vegan, I have an extremely low body fat % due to the amount of weight training I do, etc. I don't believe I could be any healthier if I was a vegetarian, to be honest.

I don't eat any dairy, and I haven't had eggs in months, and when I do have them, I have only egg white omelets. That is another big thing.

A_W, if you're looking for vegetarian dishes, I really recommend lentils, which are terrific, cheap and versatile. If you like Indian food, then you can easily learn to make a good daal which also keeps well the next day. I personally love beans as well so I eat a lot of veggie chili, and that gets better a day or two later. I'm a big fan of taking leftovers to work, so I always look to make stuff that will keep well.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:44 PM   #80
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it seems quite odd that your nutritionist has somehow never seen a healthy vegetarian.
That's not what I said. I shared my experience, I have excellent health care, and am doing just fine the way I eat, and I'm sure you are, too.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:37 PM   #81
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I've said my piece. Some people are receptive to change and others are not. I'm certainly not interested in spending time trying to convince people that they should eat more healthfully when they have no interest in doing so. For those who are interested, the book I linked above is a good start.

Beyond that, there's no point in going back and forth with this.
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:51 PM   #82
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I've said my piece. Some people are receptive to change and others are not. I'm certainly not interested in spending time trying to convince people that they should eat more healthfully when they have no interest in doing so.
I agree with you 100%. I'm glad I was not resistant to changing my diet since I am now healthier than I've ever been in my adult life.

Eat meat, or don't eat meat, according to one's individual needs - but everyone would benefit by avoiding (I really want to say eliminating) transfats, reducing refined sugar, and including more raw food in their diet.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:42 AM   #83
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And for those with allergies or migraines or other unexplained issues, try reducing all types of processed foods that have artificial additives and add more organic fresh foods. Or not. You can always spend the extra money on antihistamines and other meds.
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Old 01-01-2009, 10:49 AM   #84
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How is a migraine caused by processed food?

Do you have some decent evidence to back up the assertion, I checked google scholar and couldn't find any, the pages I did find were "alternative medicine" ones.

Treating diet as a panacea without solid evidence is really bad advice, why should your organic food be any different than me using regular vegetables which I wash thoroughly?

It really strikes me as an abandon of reason to declare all artifical additives bad (for instance I am happy to use artificial sweeteners instead of natural corn syrup in my soft drinks).

Organic food really seems like bullshit to me, a marketing ploy to protect western farmers against competition from the third world.
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Old 01-01-2009, 11:35 AM   #85
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A_W, you can try all you want to push me into an extremist corner, and although I don't post often to know me better, I don't support extremist views on any topic.

Google scholar? Seriously?? Well that settles it then. You win! Yay!

Others who find traditional medicine, doctors and preventions haven't helped (and migraine is often one of these mysterious ailments) often turn to alternative therapies and find their solutions.

You're thoroughly entitled to think it's bullshit.

I'm sure those who are living easier lives due to the placebo effect of a conspiratal 'marketing ploy' couldn't care less.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:54 PM   #86
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I've never, ever heard of a vegetarian top level gymnast, but then again I'm not inclined to believe that anyone at a top level of any sport is necessarily the healthiest example of a person. I think health is often found in balance/moderation of things. So maybe a top athlete who is a vegetarian might have 0 body fat, but what about their joints?

I guess I'm not sold that I'm going to die 13 years younger. I've never, ever had a doctor, coach, or my wellness director tell me I need to be a vegan or I'm shaving years off my life. I have bloodwork done and let qualified people read those numbers and tell me what it means, so far no one has even asked me if I eat meat.
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Old 01-01-2009, 12:54 PM   #87
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How is a migraine caused by processed food?

Do you have some decent evidence to back up the assertion, I checked google scholar and couldn't find any,
Frequently Asked Questions About Food Triggers, Migraines, and Headaches

This is the first hit on a regular google search on "migraine and food additives".

I doubt the Cleveland Clinic would support this publication without clinical evidence.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:16 PM   #88
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I guess I'm not sold that I'm going to die 13 years younger.
Neither is the research in this area.
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:21 PM   #89
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why do vegetarians (women, especially) tend to lose their hair?
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Old 01-01-2009, 01:58 PM   #90
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Are you being serious? I've never heard of that being a characteristic problem of vegetarians in particular, but I do know that if you're undernourished (shortages of iron, B12 or folic acid, or more generally just inadequate caloric intake) then that can definitely cause noticeable hair loss. I wasn't a vegetarian, but I experienced this myself in college when due to a combination of too much stress (working fulltime plus a full class load) and frankly not being able to afford enough to eat, I not only lost quite a bit of weight but also huge amounts of hair, to the point of having some bald spots. I think what basically causes this is that the body, in an attempt to conserve energy, shifts a much larger number of hair follicles than usual into the dormant phase, so heavy shedding kicks in and much of it isn't immediately replaced. (Something similar usually happens to the nails around the same time.) This effect usually plateaus after several months though, even if your diet or stress levels are still pretty bad, and eventually your hair returns to normal thickness. If it doesn't, then probably something more serious is wrong.
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