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    • I was surprised to see Kevin Smith looking healthier and also that he's now vegan. Maybe if i'd heard the news about him being vegan I would have been less surprised :)

      Anyone else come across public figures who have changed their life going vegan? I'm not vegan (yet) but certainly inspired by these stories.

    • He discovered the unfortunate side effect being obese and then losing massive weight.

      He has large amounts of skin that won't go away without (dangerous?) surgery. He'll never have a six pack.

    • Are there weight loss strategies to combat that? IE would losing weight more slowly be better?

      I have to imagine his wife and daughter can live with the excess skin vs. living without him at all :)

    • Chris MacAskill

      I can't begin to tell you how emotionally charged veganism has been in my life for the past 12 years. It has helped my wife & I build the greatest of friendships and yet it has brought awkward tension into very important relationships, such as with our brothers and sisters.

      I believe that a diet of whole plants (brown rice, not white; apples, not apple juice) is the only dietary protocol that has been shown to reliably reverse type II diabetes and heart disease. It dramatically reduces our carbon footprint and the environmental and moral disasters of removing animals from pastures and onto industrial farms.

      When someone close to us gets heart disease or diabetes, we torture ourselves over whether to say anything. On the one hand, we have 6 friends who had heart attacks, were lucky enough to survive them, went on whole plants diets, no longer have any symptoms and are off all meds. They are so glad we spoke up. Two of our friends were not lucky enough to survive their heart attacks and died at 38, and another a few weeks ago at 46. 😢

      On the other hand, some of our friends either think we're crazy, misinformed, or judgemental and should be worried about lack of protein in our diets. And anyway, bacon is delicious.

      Food is so incredibly emotional.

      📷: Popsugar

    • Interesting. Especially the radical departure from any meat. Is it proven it's that evil for one's body and do all people have same impact on them from meat?

      A little story. My grandparents from mother's side lived all their lives in a hamlet in the Carpathian hills, few families, rarely if ever interacting with the "civilized world". Money to them was something nice, but not critical for survival or happiness. They had 18 children all born without any medical assistance and lived healthy and happy until several more years past 80 both of them.

      Their diet consisted of seasonal fare they grew, legumes, beans, corn, fruits, and alot of milk and cheese products from the collective sheep herd and few cows. A little dark red grape vineyard too. They also had pigs. and plenty of free roaming chickens which they raised and slaughtered judiciously and nothing went to waste. I still envision my grandmother cooking over coals on that heavy cast iron sizzling with lard and pork meat with eggs and polenta to die for. And gently shooing the cats away.. There was no refrigeration and no electricity for that matter but she was able to preserve meat in lard for extended periods of time. It was also darn tasty, am not ashamed to admit. But the best part was my grandfather singing from his voice and shepherd's flute, under the starlit sky to his grandchildren (usually a dozen or so of us visiting). They were never neither fat nor too skinny.

    • That's the thing, we all know people who lived long lives and loved bacon, or smoked, or were bad drivers but never got in an accident. Or the slender runner who died of a sudden heart attack.

      It's a bit of a lottery because often the first sign of heart disease is a heart attack, so you don't know if you're getting away with the bacon until the worst thing happens. I think your grandparents got away with it more because most of them didn't consume as much fast food, and the average weight of people was lower.

      I take risks like rock climbing and motorcycling, so I don't mind people taking risks with food. I just think everyone should know that there is a dietary protocol that is almost 100% effective for heart disease, type II diabetes, and blood pressure in case they want to remove risk, medications, weight, etc.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Unfortunately, the food scientists inside major brands like Nabisco have figured out what makes food irresistible, like combining the right combination of sugar, fat and salt.

      We mainly like the foods we grew up with in our native countries, but taste buds can change over a period of months. When I ditch a food like glazed donuts, I long for them and wonder if a donutless life is worth living. Now I don't miss them but I love cherries.

      Tastebuds level 2 unlocked.

    • I love cherries! Eat them daily (the frozen ones) with my morning porridge made out of Bob's 10 grain cereal, ( https://www.bobsredmill.com/ ) and one spoon of coconut oil. I add a chopped banana and blueberries and it's heavenly!

      Edit:cake didn't like the first picture after few minutes (pop up message that image is not supported or some such) although initially it seemed ok. Smart filters or just a fluke?

    • The thing is, we have a saying - for every learning there is an unlearning. Our brain can be rewired quite amazingly, by it's own self! For example, after few failed attempts, I was able to quit smoking cold turkey after a life of two packs a day. Hardest thing I ever did, but so worth it. Still have a pack in the house but never lit up another one since four years ago.

    • That sounds amazing! The only thing is I attended a lecture at Stanford given by the dean of cardiology, who said he was dismayed to see that coconut oil is being marketed as healthy. He said in his 35 years of research into heart disease, he and all the researchers he knows use coconut oil to induce heart disease in herbivores—monkeys, rabbits, antelopes, etc. He said it's at least as effective as hydrogenated oils. Whole coconut is fine, however, because it hasn't been stripped of fiber.

      Coconut oil even took famed Biggest Loser trainer Bob Harper down with a heart attack. He used to stir a tablespoon of it in his coffee each morning.

    • That information on coconut oil is scary. Thank you for sharing that and your views on the food topic, it's an eye opener for me. For what is worth, I always use the virgin unrefined type of coconut oils - though based on your remark am not sure that's any better and that I should stay away from them? And yet another reason sometimes I simply throw hands in the air and give up on the search for healthy diets. I thought I was doing good, since started few months ago I was able to shed 15 lbs with this "diet" which really isn't very elaborate, rather a self concocted menu of what I feel it's good enough and actually feasible in terms of daily effort to procure, avoiding processed foods, no bread, pizza, etc. I do eat meat and fish. And daily exercise around 30 ~ 40 minutes.

    • Speaking of smoking, cold turkey is the way to go, in my opinion. Because once past that physiological nicotine withdrawal & craving period, which varies from person to person, it's all in our mind to dislike tobacco and not crave it ever again. As they say it's not quitting that's hard, it's not starting it all over again. Although never be discouraged of failed attempts, and don't give up trying! Find a strong mental trigger thought and work on making that stronger than the desire to smoke, until it wins. For me that thought was of not being able to ride my motorcycle due to health issues and losing all my teeth, losing my breath over any physical effort, I was literally seeing and feeling my health falling apart and decided it's not worth giving up on life just yet. And that the pleasure of nicotine needed to be discarded! I am not going to describe the huge amount of justifications and occasions that made smoking so dear to me.. you don't need that, but that's what you need - to really know how to fight your enemy within. Some say Allen Carr's "Easy Way to Stop Smoking" book helped them but after buying it I never actually read it. What I did finally understand was that it's all in my mind - the power to renounce the addition, the habit, the pleasure, whatever IT was.. Please feel free to ask me any question if you feel that may help.
      Edit (2) lol. I see that you are wondering if balanced consumption is a good step towards successfully cutting altogether using dairy. I don't know how much similar the topic is, but again in my opinion, think it should be allot easier to just stop using an aliment that you no longer wish to. After the fight with tobacco addiction, I consider now easy changing anything regarding my food once I am convinced of its benefit.

    • I had nothing like Dracula's smoking habit. But I quit cold turkey too. Just willed myself to stop. I felt lonely, had emotions identical to when I was homesick after feeling abandoned in a boarding school as a kid, plus nothing to do with my hands anymore and also habits like always lighting up in certain situations.

      IOW, my battles were more psychological than physical. Again, though, this wasn't after a lifetime of smoking.

      I still had dreams of having a smoke, then waking feeling guilty and briefly wondering if I'd fallen off the wagon.

      I quit alcohol cold turkey too. Much easier. Same dreams, though.

      I think personality plays a big role in one's ability to consume in moderation. I'm bad at it. For me, it's better to stop completely. Others have better self control and discipline.

    • Chris MacAskill

      Dracula, it sounds like you're in the top 2% of people living in places like America, so I think you can feel great about that.

      The simplest guide is if the food is a plant and part of it hasn't been removed, it's healthy. So cherries, not cherry juice, corn, not corn syrup, coconut, not coconut oil. Removing the fiber is what changes it from healthy to not.

      The profit motive is what creates the confusion. There is money to be made selling coconut oil because it makes food moist. The fat is solid at room temp so it doesn't leave oil stains or have an oily mouth feel.

      Once the public caught on that lard and hydrogenated oils weren't healthy, the food companies had to turn to coconut and palm oils to get solid fat for baking. They revved their marketing machines and convinced celebrities; everyone knows Angelina Jolie adds coconut oil to her breakfast. But I'm not aware of them convincing any credible health scientists.

    • Thank you Chris. No more coconut oil for me. I was going to say, probably the majority of folks know or have at least once heard about how food companies are sometimes doing harm. Yet because of all the smoking mirrors, the average people go on with their lives and do the best they can to stay healthy, while still being bombarded with infomercials, and consuming what's sold in supermarkets, for lack of better choices and no understanding. Interestingly for me, just as there is good advice out there, there is also bad advice that's hard to distinguish when not educated enough. I find things like below example very confusing. https://www.news24.com/SouthAfrica/News/tim-noakes-found-not-guilty-20170421

    • This is a hard one. I've thought about Dr. Noakes for years and have a point of view.

      My perspective is he's an exercise physiologist with an outstanding book on running performance, and what is good for running (stuff like Gatorade) during a race is often not good for health. As he has demonstrated, runners who eat a fair amount of fat can do pretty well in events like the South Africa-based Comrades Marathon, which is 56 miles. Fat has a lot of calories, which you need at that distance.

      And he's right, carbs are harmful, if by carbs you mean pizza crust, donuts, candy... But you have to explain why the world's indisputably healthiest foods—vegetables, fruit and beans—are 50% carbs. Fiber is indisputably healthy and it's a carb.

      So what do you do if you think a reasonably informed scientist is incorrect? One way is for his fellow scientists to publish an open letter, as they did (from Wikipedia):

      In an open letter[16] (dated 22 August 2014) to the Cape Times, fellow University of Cape Town (UCT) academics argued against Noakes's dietary ideas. The letter was signed by Wim de Villiers (Dean, Faculty of Health Sciences), Bongani Mayosi (Head, Department of Medicine), Lionel Opie (Hatter Institute of Cardiology, Department of Medicine) and Marjanne Senekal (Head, Division of Human Nutrition). The letter was copied to Noakes and several others. In the letter the academics expressed, among others, "...serious concern that Professor Timothy Noakes, a colleague respected for his research in sports science, is aggressively promoting this diet as a ‘revolution’, making outrageous unproven claims about disease prevention, and maligning the integrity and credibility of peers who criticise his diet for being evidence-deficient and not conforming to the tenets of good and responsible science. This goes against the University of Cape Town’s commitment to academic freedom as the prerequisite to fostering responsible and respectful intellectual debate and free enquiry."

    • Btw, high-fat diets keep getting re-branded and re-introduced as something new. The Keto diet is essentially the Atkins diet (which was discredited) and the Paleo diet is a close relative.

      A lot of money is behind marketing high-fat foods. There is an evolutionary theory that we're attracted to foods with the highest calorie density because for most of our existence hunger was a big thing. So we love the Cheetos, donuts, meat, cheese, ice cream, and french fries because fat has the highest caloric density.

    • I’m no fan of added oils and I limit them in my diet, which features mostly whole plants. However I’ve some curiosity about why a tablespoon of olive oil in the context of a salad (which contains lots of fiber and other nutrients) is signficantly different than a handful of olives in that same salad. You miss out on the amount of fiber in that handful of olives (1g? They really are mostly fat) and the small amount of nutrients in that same handful (small relative to what’s found in your awesome kale and goji berry salad).

      So are we talking about a missed opportunity to squeeze in more nutrients into that 100 calorie corner of your diet? Or is there something inherently dangerous about coconut oil that is rendered innocuous by the coconut-specific fiber it accompanies when eaten in a whole food.

      Your comment implied that the single tablespoon of coconut oil gave Bob Harper a heart attack but my understanding is that he ate a paleo diet so that oil was not the only thing that veered outside of science supported eating.

      I shoot for 90% whole plant foods in my diet and view the other 10% whether it be part of a donut or a tablespoon of oil or a piece of candy more or less “empty calories” and not my potential downfall.

      I do think it’s important not to market oil as a health food(!) but I’m not sure olive oil is toxic compared to olives (in the context of a vegan diet) either.

    • 👆 That’s a very good question. My understanding is there is a breed of hamster that researchers favor most when testing heart medication because their sensitivity to dietary fat is closest to humans. The question is how much coconut oil to give them to induce heart disease? And the answer seems to be 10% of calories can give them atherosclerosis in about 10 weeks.

      You can speed that up to 4 weeks by supplementing with cholesterol (only found in animal foods) in very low amounts, <.1%. Here’s some research.

      As far as potency goes in humans, another report that seemed well done indicated that coconut oil is far more effective at generating heart disease than olive oil, but butter tops it. I wonder if that’s the boost from cholesterol.

      Anthony Bourdain said the #1 ingredient restaurant chefs love is butter. It makes everything better and they use it heavily.

    • Is it just me getting the wrong impression that most food related conversations eventually degenerate in extreme views, of one kind or another? But to me since the majority seem based on empirical and statistics, I wonder why isn't one state of being - how the person feels when using such diet - more of a topic of relevance. I may definitely be wrong (not like I am some kind of expert lol) but my uneducated intuition seems to say that if something harmed my body, I'd feel warning signs, one way or another eventually (not the heart attack mind you). And that a balanced diet would contain a little bit of many things.. such as this summer treat I really love.

    • That's the thing, it feels so good to lay on the couch and eat a bag of Cheetos and it feels so bad to do pushups, situps, and eat vegetables. I don't know why that is because it's so counterintuitive and the evidence is on the side of veggies and exercise.

    • I agree with you when it comes to what feels good to eat, but still am very convinced - at least for myself - that tastes can easily be unlearned once we understand a certain food is unhealthy. My biggest challenge is knowing what is it. I also noticed how I changed over years in those regards, and now try changing back. I mean, in my youth I was avid for exercise and sports, could not let a single day pass without running an hour and exercising, push-ups, etc. It was part of the wrestling training and few other sports I practiced at various times back then. I loved bicycling for very long distances and also used it as mode of transport. Exercise (to my perception) if properly selected, actually does feel great once one gets it into their system. But then, with married life and entourage I somehow started drifting from it, becoming more and more distracted from actually living an active lifestyle that I used to love. I am now aiming to reverse all that and get back to a better state. I find this conversation quite useful in that regard. Thank you!

    You've been invited!