Sunday, March 30, 2014

Cave Girl Gone Vegan?

(Preface: I’m going to ask for people to keep their comments to themselves on this post. If you’re an asshole hillbilly who doesn’t respect other people’s life choices, then please hit the back button and continue scrolling through Facebook. Thank you.)
                For the past two years, I’ve known nothing besides eating like a caveman. High protein, high fat, low carb. Eating basically endless amounts of animal protein and healthy fats. Paleo changed my life. It opened up the gates to the world of whole foods, however; since going Paleo, I’ve done a ton of research. I’ve educated myself on just about every diet out there. Low carb, high carb, low fat, high fat, weight watchers, paleo, 80/10/10, vegetarian and vegan.
The past few months have been extremely rough on me. Starting with an emotional downfall in October then soon worsened by my seasonal depression, it’s safe to say I wasn’t feeling too well and all those pounds I worked so hard to lose eventually found their way back to my mid-section. Around January was when I’d finally had enough. I felt like shit. The crazy thing was that I changed absolutely NOTHING in my diet and workout routine. The pounds just kept creeping back up on me. I was so frustrated and so upset I didn’t know what to do with myself. On top of all of that, my naturopath encouraged me to drop my birth control which was the only thing that I felt was making me stable.  I was an unstable, emotional wreck. And I was fat again which in turn made me more unhappy and the cycle continued on down.
That’s when I found 80/10/10 diet. These are crazy fruitarians who eat literally nothing but fruit. 80% carbs (from fruit), 10% fat (which most of them cut out totally) and 10% protein (from plant based foods). I was fascinated with this lifestyle. I mean 10 bananas for breakfast? 6 mangos for lunch? 1lb of greens and more fruit for dinner? Yes please! I of course read the book cover to cover soaking up information on a low fat vegan lifestyle. Since the 80/10/10 diet was a bit extreme for me, I started exploring Veganism. I started doing my research. For me, it wasn’t about animal rights, it’s about what our bodies are physiologically made to process and break down.  
We have very little evidence of Paleolithic days. We have little to no evidence that Paleolithic man ate a wholly mammoth every day. Chances are they were probably gathering more than they were hunting. Here’s a few reason why humans aren’t made to chow down on a cow:
Walking: All carnivores walk on four feet. We walked erect on two feet.
Claws: Take a look at your hands… Could you rip through tough animal flesh with those things? Probably not.
Opposable thumbs: We have thumbs that make us well equipped to do things like pick up fruits and pick vegetables. We could no more catch and rip the skin or tough flesh of a deer or bear barehanded than a lion could pick mangos or bananas.
Colon formation: We have 26 feet of intestines. If you were to lay it all out, it would cover an entire tennis court. Carnivores have a very, very short intestinal tract. Meaning that it breaks down the food and shortly after, eliminates it. What happens to it in our colon? It takes hours to break down, then it stays in your intestines rotting away for a day or two until it is finally eliminated. Ummm, I don’t know about you, but I would rather not have rotting meat and cheese in my gut.
Vitamin C: Carnivores manufacture their own vitamin C, humans need vitamin C from the food we ingest.
Teeth: Take a look at your teeth. Could you rip through flesh with those things? No way.
Stomach Acid: The pH of a carnivore’s stomach acid is roughly 10x more acidic than a humans. The acidity levels help break down flesh.
Basically, our physiology is way different than a carnivore’s. What makes us think we can eat the flesh of other animals without backlash? Truth is we are getting some serious back lash from it. Heart disease, diabetes, cancers, strokes, clogged arteries, Kidney disease and the list goes on and on. These are all risks of a diet so high in animal protein and byproducts. And don’t even get me started on milk! At what age do mothers stop breastfeeding their child? 5 months? A year? It can vary, but it’s abnormal and downright weird to see a child older than 4 breastfeeding. That’s because we no longer need that nutrition anymore. We stop producing the enzyme Lactate to break down lactose. It’s estimated that 75% of the population is lactose intolerant. Isn’t it a bit weird that we stop drinking our mother’s milk, but continue to drink milk from another animal…? Is that just me?
It didn’t take much convincing for me to get on board the vegan train. I was 100% vegan for a month and had finally taken off some weight again. However, I was still feeling bogged down. That’s when I found the 28 Day Fast Metabolism Diet. This diet is supposed to heal your metabolism, adrenal glands and thyroid. It’s no different than how I was eating before. It’s simply whole foods. The only difference is that I have to eat certain foods on certain days at specific times. Crazy enough, I’m just starting my last week of this diet and I’ve dropped 18 pounds. Everything that I gained back and more. I feel like 75% better and am looking forward to getting back on the Vegan lifestyle as soon as this diet is over and I can go eat some sushi.
I guess the whole point of this post was to show that setbacks happen. For me, it was my hormones that screwed me over. I’m hoping that this year I can heal my mind and my body through a healthy lifestyle and meditation so that when winter comes, the depression doesn’t come with it. I truly believe that a Vegan lifestyle is the way human beings were supposed to eat. We are supposed to eat whole foods that come from the earth and are given to us to nourish and heal our bodies. Your body is your temple. Treat it with respect. The more I research, the more I learn. Nutrition is my passion and I will continue to go through life trying to find the ideal diet. I may have just found it.

I know I have a lot of readers from Pendleton. Since I grew up in Pendleton, I turned my nose up at any animal rights bullshit. Who cares if cows are slaughtered? I get a nice juicy steak and that’s all I care about! Trust me, I had that exact mindset. I know all you Pendletonians will give me hell for my change of lifestyle. Go ahead; call me a hippy or a hipster or whatever. Just take a look at this before you judge me for my choices. Maybe the next time you bite into a steak or hot dog, you’ll think twice.