The Winter of Their Discontent
I realize it’s currently summer. But someone forwarded to me the post of yet another ex-vegan food blogger who divulged to the world this past winter that she was giving up the vegan diet. This time it was Kristen of KristenRaw.com in her post of March 17, 2013, My Vegan Diet Caused Health Problems. Would Primal, Paleo, Or “Real Food” Be Better?
A few paragraphs in, Kristen lists a couple of common threads that she has noticed among the meat-curious vegans:
“We were vegan, some quite smugly, thinking it was the human ideal of a smart-n-healthy diet, but then, only after several years, started to experience health problems, and then switched back to omnivore, and the health problems disappeared….What we also have in common — made somewhat easy no doubt due to having adapted to a strict (vegan) diet for many years — are the strict kinds of omnivore foods we eat now vs what we were eating pre-vegan….Even more so for former raw fooders, whose restrictions (such as avoiding grains) make some vegans’ diets look like junk food.”
Kristen’s story is the typical one – she became vegan for animal rights reasons and at first she did great on the vegan diet and got into raw foodism, etc. After a few years she started to not feel so well, she tried everything to make it better, she went back to eating animal products and within hours she started to have a miraculous turn around in her health.
She originally tried to counter her health problems with, “superfoods, fancy juicers, superherbs, tonic herbs, prepping foods various ways to optimize nutrients, following rules for combining or not combining certain foods like having vitamin c with iron rich plants – just to name a few….”
Although there isn’t much to indicate that Kristen was suffering from iron deficiency, I’m impressed with her attempt to add vitamin C to meals with iron rich plants which is scientifically based. In terms of the rest of her attempts to reclaim her health, if only she knew about all the vegans who are not failing, who she might describe as “junk food vegans.”
At one point, Kristen’s cholesterol was measured at 95 mg/dl. Her animal food cravings started out with “dreams of eggs.” Craving eggs seems to be a common theme, and I take the egg cravings as a possible sign of nutrient deficiency for a few reasons. One, eggs are fairly disgusting, especially if you haven’t eaten them in a long time and don’t happen to be craving them. If someone said they were craving Häagen-Dazs, I’d be skeptical of a nutritional basis. KFC? Might be the 11 herbs and spices. But eggs? Something must going on here.
To sum up the situation, we have someone with very low cholesterol at 95 mg/dl craving one of the main sources of cholesterol, eggs. And after eating animal products, she quickly started to feel better. Following Occam’s razor, it seems to me a safe bet that she was craving eggs because her body needed cholesterol and she improved so quickly because she got an immediate boost from it.
Admittedly, I don’t know for certain if this is what is going on. Eggs are also high in choline and sulfur. And perhaps people just cannot crave what they need and these cravings are the brain misfiring. But, in my humble opinion, the evidence is mounting to implicate low cholesterol in many of these cases of failed raw foods/whole foods vegans.
Here are links to the previous posts on ex-vegans: