Friday, December 21, 2012

The Vegan Experiment

     I recently met with a friend I hadn’t seen in several months.  He dropped 45 pounds and looked and felt great.  He told me that the movie “Forks Over Knives” had introduced him to a vegan diet that led him to a healthy meatless existence.  I watched the movie and read over the Engine 2 diet.  These guys link the consumption of meat to just about every health problem known to man, much like the “Wheat Belly” folks demonize wheat products.    They approached it from a nutrition standpoint with no mention of animal rights or anything on that avenue.  After discussing his diet, I told him I believed the weight loss came from reducing “white” carbohydrates and junk food, not the elimination of meat.  I decided it was time to prove a point.

     I read up on Engine 2’s 28 Day Challenge, in which the diet’s creator, Rip Esselstyn, promotes a plant-based diet that fueled him through his career as a professional triathlete.   Go ahead, read the last two words again.  Got it?  That’s right, PRO triathlete.  I haven’t done any endurance racing in a while, so I decided to brush up on distance running during the 28 day experiment since I’m between fencing tournaments for a while.
     Boring diets are no stranger to me.  It’s the price you pay to lose weight, and I used to tip the scales at 250 plus pounds.  At the end of the 28 day period, I was up five pounds and couldn’t wait to get back to an omnivore lifestyle.  I’d like to share my observations with you:
1.        I’m pretty sure even God hates kale. 

2.       I have no problem with tofu as its creators intended.  It is an abomination to attempt to pass it off as anything else. 

3.       It was easier to stay hydrated

4.        I actually had dreams about eating meat.
5.       I added three additional workouts (weights and treadmill) per week in addition to my regular fencing regimen and still gained weight. I watched caloric intake to make sure I was eating enough- failure to do so can cause weight gain.

6.       A wheat-based breakfast left me fighting for consciousness by 10:00am. 

7.       A little fiber in your diet will make you regular.  An all-fiber diet will make you unstoppable. 

8.       The veggie version of any meat product should be against federal law. 

9.       I slept better and never had any heartburn or indigestion. 

10.   I now know why I don’t like most vegans.  It’s not their fault they don’t socialize well.  They spend most of their lives eating horrible food while staying hungry the whole time, they can’t eat any food commonly found at restaurants or parties, they’re broke from buying food from niche stores, they have a constant ringing headache and can’t be more than five minutes away from a bathroom. 

     I ended the diet by taking down a 12 pack of tacos.  I did gain some skill in making vegetables more interesting.  I’m still a believer that meats in moderation are important and vegetables are more than just a side dish.  I’ve added more whole foods to the mix.  Most importantly, I proved to myself that wheat is my personal dietary greatest evil.  I can say I gave Engine 2 a solid try and it failed for me.  I’m firmly convinced that we are products of our individual evolutions and there’s no one perfect diet for anyone. 

1 comment:

  1. If God didn't want us to eat animals, he would not have made them out of meat.