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My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 3:33 pm
by KjKranz

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 6:35 pm
by fredrikw
Interesting read, although I do think there's a bit of a contradiction when you state that one of the reasons of failure is becoming vegan for health reasons, and then your reasoning against grains and junk food. If you're vegan for ethical reasons, why would veganism fail just because you substitute non-vegan junk food with vegan junk food?

Otherwise, I think it's a good writeup.

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 9:19 pm
by Konstantin
Interesting. What's the thinking behind grains? I tend to think of them as a good source of carbs and fibre.

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:30 pm
by DC Runner
I agree with the above comments. I really don't understand the junk food or grain arguments. While I don't necessarily think humans were meant to consume grains, I certainly don't think it has anything to do with sticking to a diet. I eat a ton of grains and I've got a serious sweet tooth.

I think your post has some good information in it, and agree with your thoughts about people that go vegan for health reasons, with a few exceptions. Some people are able to reverse diabetes or heart disease after converting to a vegan diet. I'm not saying that a vegan diet was indeed the cure for either of those, but if the person believes it is, there is a good chance they will remain vegan.

I should state that I went vegan for performance reasons, after reading Brendan Brazier's book. I have since changed my views and now remain vegan for ethical reasons. I know several people that went vegan for one reason or another but remain vegan for ethical reasons.

What are your thoughts on sprouted grains?

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Mon Apr 11, 2011 11:25 pm
by KjKranz
Grains are a great source of carbs. But I look at them as a incredibly fast way too get way to many calories in a rather high energy dense and low nutrient form. They are also a source of fibre, but so are many many much more nutrient dense and lower calorie items.

I do agree with the stance that we are not meant/designed/evolved to eat grain (maybe more then I believe we are not meant to eat meat) for the many reasons often cited by Paleo diet practicioners. If you are unfamiliar:
Gluten Intolerance
Grains are inflammatory
We have not been eating them for a long period of time
Grains may inhibit mineral absorption
etc

I suppose veganism would not fail if you are a vegan for ethical reasons, but eat a higher grain or junk diet. The health aspect of the diet would fail, but like you guys said, has nothing to do with sticking to the diet. Good point, I'll go back and edit.

About your comment on diabetes or heart disease. I have a friend who survived esophageal cancer, he credits his survival to becoming a vegan and additing in cardiovascular exercise instead of chemo. However I am more inclined to believe it was the increased intake of fruit and vegetables and not the decrease in animal products that so often results in preventing/curing diseases such as we have mentioned. Being vegan did likely lower his fat intake, which likely helps.

I used to do sprouted grains. If I eat bread, it will sometimes be Ezekiel bread. I often eat quinoa which is technically not a grain.

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:56 am
by JS
I hear a lot of ethical veggies say cheese is the reason they fail to be vegan as there's no substitue that beats the real thing but it would be interesting to see if they would turn vegan if there was a good substitute or it's just an excuse as being vegan can be more of a challenge but well worth it I reckon :)

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 7:06 pm
by KjKranz
I just overload everything with hummus instead of cheese now :p

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 10:15 pm
by xrodolfox
Grains saved me when I was playing H2O polo in college.
High density calories is what I needed.

I don't think that blanket statements about why vegans fails is helpful. If I would've followed your advice when I needed to eat twice as much as an average omnivore to maintain weight, then I would've failed at veganism. Pasta allowed me to make a thriving transition to veganism. I don't eat as much now... but instead of saying grains are universally bad, it makes more sense to say that grains aren't always great for a person. The absolutes, IMO, reads too much like ideology rather than reason.

But the rest of it sounded fine to me.

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:02 pm
by runrevolt
I'm with Rodolfo on this....I think your statements are mostly sound, but the whole anti-grain perspective seems to be the new absolute moralist flavor of the month in food activist circles. I certainly agree that some people have issues with grains, but you can't extend that to everyone. I eat grains...a good deal of them, and perform quite well, not to mention get all the sufficient nutrients I need...a lot of them from the grains. Then there are those damn Kenyans....also doing quite well on a diet consisting primarily of grains.

Whether we have adapted (be careful saying what we are "meant" to eat) to eating grains across the board is certainly a valuable discussion, but it's pretty safe to say a lot of us can eat grains, get nutrients and perform at a high level.

I don't see any reason to dissuade vegan curious individuals from eating grains, unless they have a specific problem eating them, which I have yet to see enough people struggling to make that an issue.

I really feel like the grain issue has been blown out of proportion by those continually seeking that magical dietary bullet that becomes the cure-all to disease or secret formula for athletic performance (No processed foods! Chia seeds! Pinole! Barefoot running! Agave! etc. etc.).

To summarize, I just want people to stop contributing to the suffering of animals through their diet and I don't feel like eliminating grains or mock meats or whatever is going to help save animals or make someone a superhuman example of healthy living.

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2011 1:07 am
by KjKranz
Thanks guys,

My issue with grains lies with the standard inactive American. It is how grain products are so high in calories (1 slice of bread, 100 cals!) and mostly air so they do not fill people up. Similar arguments can be said about added sugar.

We are a different sort, us athletes, compared to the average person. With individuals who need to actually work to consume enough energy grains can be more beneficial.

Re: My thoughts on why vegans fail, and my training log

PostPosted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:29 pm
by Querfeldein
Hi,

Just to be clear, your headline should really be understood as "why some vegans fail", not "why vegans fail in general". Because, clearly, not all vegans do. I always ate a large fraction of grains, when I was an omnivore, vegetarian, and now as a vegan. It's all a question of proportion, and not eating more (or less) than your body needs.

To be honest, I think the pursuit of a "low energy density" diet is quite absurd. I realize that people would pay a fortune for "zero calorie food", but the very notion has always struck me as perverse, in a world where there are still people starving. If people get too fat by eating too much, they probably shouldn't try to find ways to trick their bodies (and most research shows that it doesn't work), but rather look for something other than food to satisfy their cravings. Physical activity is actually a pretty good substitute.