Today I was told that I "look 25 years younger than the calendar says and still have boundless energy."
Well, I do typically get my age estimated to be 12-15 years younger than my age, but not 25. That wasn't (and isn't) always the case. Staring at a computer, getting inadequate sleep, and drinking tea or coffee can depress the muscles in the eyes and face. But I think that proper nourishment is important, and merely eating vegan-compliant diets may not do that. Avoiding the animal-based inputs is important, but ensuring the plant-based inputs is just as important for health.
In the dispute between John McDougall* (vegan diet except for holidays), and Joel Fuhrman (vegan nutritarian all the time)
(but tolerant of others because they publicly say that their principles apply to everyone, but that meat eaters should not eat much meat or dairy - and McDougall tells them to swear off the dairy first - Fuhrman says that dairy is entirely unnecessary - and shows them how to nourish themselves),
- the Fuhrman "nutritarian" emphasis is on the nutrient-rich diet and fat-burning (which I strongly advocate - selecting foods for nutrient value, not for taste or satiety. I think that satiety and satisfaction follow from getting the nutrients in one's daily diet (one MUST exercise** IN ORDER TO build muscle and burn fat - Fuhrman photos show that, despite his foot injury, he hasn't stopped exercising after he left competitive figure skating);
- the McDougall "starchitarian" emphasis seems to be on a "starchitarian" weight loss by "no added fat" - and that means no nuts or oils.
*One of my long-time vegan friends in Boston has FLIPPED his loyalties from the vegan diet of Dr. Joel Fuhrman ("His diet is a good diet") to the vegan diet of Dr. John McDougall on the basis of the emphasis non weight loss (we all have problems with piling on extra weight; Steve lost "mucho" weight when he stopped eating a handful of nuts each day)
** All right - so, to START exercising, one walks around as much as possible; gently move and exercise each of the joints (yoga has ways to do this); in bed before rising, something called "a crunch" is stretching your chest UP toward your abdomen as much as possible - about 8-10 times - that's a set of 'reps' or 'repetitions' - and the goal is to build the muscles one has by exercising each muscle group, including the muscles in the abdomen. On can also stand up and rotate around the waste, then slowly bend forward, back, sideways, and stretch up and down until one aches.
Everyone can do crunches each day.
The nuance seems to be on the definitions of a 'starch
' and a 'carb' or carbohydrate
(few of us have the sophistication, but we ought to understand the differences between starches and sugars - particularly simple sugars. A starch is a carbohydrate; fiber is a carbohydrate.
McDougall likes COMPLEX carbohydrates but not simple carbohydrates; Fuhrman likes the carbohydrates bound in vegetables, beans, and whole fruits, but not those carbs that are ground up into grains and then made into breads. However, what about whole grain cereals (oatmeal, not instant oatmeal)?
- As I seem to recall it, McDougall was trying to help us understand how we would educate all of South and Central American about plant-based vegan diets. No one wanted to do that EXCEPT for Victor Forsythe, who inherited the California Vegetarian Association from Blanche Leonardo, then moved to Colorado and joined the Colorado Green Party. South American root vegetables are SUFFICIENTLY rich in proteins to provide all the human requirements for protein, according to the WHO. Therefore, one could live entirely on tubers and root vegetables grown in the South American mountains without supplementing with nuts, beans, or soy. "Protein is not an issue" in a plant-based whole foods diet based on real foods, not prepared and packaged foods. The indigenous diet is sufficient; in America, the (SAD/MAD) diet isn't mainly whole foods. When I talk with inquirers, I tell them that many Americans like to "eat out" - eat out of a package, out of a drive-in-window, eat out of a tragically conceived restaurant menu, etc.
- Fuhrman began as 'a natural hygienist' an told me in person, when we flew together in mid-August 1995 from the 8th International Vegan Festival in San Diego to Boston, that he was 'more vegan' than hygienist - then he said, 'just vegan' with an emphasis on the nutrients in whole fresh vegetables - more vegetables than fruits.
They agree, but they substantially disagree - and they settled on agreeing to the notion that they "agree about 90% of the time..."
Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in many staple foods. The major sources of starch intake worldwide are thecereals (rice, wheat, and maize) and the root vegetables (potatoes and cassava). Many other starchy foods are grown, some only in specific climates, including acorns, arrowroot, arracacha, bananas, barley, breadfruit, buckwheat, canna, colacasia, katakuri, kudzu, malanga, millet, oats, oca, polynesian arrowroot, sago, sorghum, sweet potatoes, rye, taro, chestnuts, water chestnuts and yams, and many kinds of beans, such as favas, lentils, mung beans,peas, and chickpeas.
If we ate fewer starches, might we fart less frequently?
Digestive enzymes have problems digesting crystalline structures. Raw starch will digest poorly in the duodenum and small intestine, while bacterial degradation will take place mainly in the colon.
Some of us have celebrated the WIDE VARIETY of available foods of plant origin Vance Lehmkuhl even sings about it.
I still think that erring on the side of nutrient-density is good, but affordability and refrigeration can be issues. Therefore, whole vegetables (grow your own, like the Obama family does at the White House); farmers' markets; regular grocery store (shop produce aisle first), etc. Eat them as you need them (and share the rest). Further, when talking with students, other singles, and general inquirers, buying vegetables in the grocery is ALWAYS cheaper than dining out. But college students have overpriced dining hall meal plans.
I need to credit my boss who raised the rhetorical question: "Why do so many Americans NOT want to be thin and attractive?" Nudging from many sources - my boss, my vegan friends, and my doctor - pushed me to search for how as a vegan I could lose weight on an evidence-based program.
And to credit Michelle Obama, though she and her program are not my specific reason for 'daily motions' throughout my day, every one of us ought to get up and get out there and 'start moving' around...
I'm concerned to live by just principles. Vegans CAN do that with evidence-based strategies that are built from the growing bodies of knowledge relevant to that project in human history. Others seem to live, but that may not be justice, simply because they are able to live in health, if they do great damage and harm to other persons - simply because they only ways they know to feed themselves involve the destruction of others.