How to become vegetarian, vegetalian or vegan
By Richard Trigaux, December 24, 2021
Table of content
Why to become vege?
The vege transition ---
Even if you are still slender, you need to read this part on obesity
Phobias, intolerances, allergies: the real, the fake and the crook
Yummy recipes, original or adapted
Write to the author
Support this site
This page answers several urgent needs:
1) the ecological transition, which calls for a sharp reduction in meat, and the new ethical deal, which calls for stopping it altogether,
2) the need for objective information on food, diets, vegetarianism, organic farming, etc. Especially, there are recent scientific advances in dietetics, which everyone should know about,
3) to propose transition methods which are safe, proven and accessible to all.
It is not based on fad diets or dogmas, but on science, placed in the appropriate social and spiritual context.
(Permalink) Given the rapid evolution of today society, and the growing awareness of the validity of vegetarian or vegan practices, it is needed to gather all the knowledge on this topic, in order:
- That vege candidates can successfully accomplish their transition, while avoiding problems (which would happen if the diet was not conducted properly). We also need to consider the economic and psychological aspects of a personal or social transition of this magnitude.
- To fight ignorant prejudices and anti-vege racism.
- Especially, dietetics is not a kind of astrology where anybody could create «his system» or make «his choice». Dietetics is a science, and ignoring its rules can result in years of lost life expectancy. This page is based on the exact scientific knowledge, updated with the latest discoveries in 2021 (and kept to date since).
- Dietetics is not a «debate topic» neither a matter of «personal choice». 21 billions of meals every day have strong implications that nobody can ignore, on society, economy, ecology, climate, ethics, spirituality. This page clearly answers these questions, instead of limiting the debate to the digestive problems of a few purposeless thinkers.
There is an earlier version of this page, dating from around 2005, which needed a serious update. I left it in place, with a link for this version.
Vege: In this page, I use the abbreviation «vege», which refers to any of the following three, so that nobody feels excluded:
A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, fish, deli meats, insects, etc.
A vegetalian is a person who also does not eat animal by-products: butter, dairy products, eggs, etc.
A vegan is a person whom also does not use meat or animal by-products in food, clothing, construction, medicine, etc. So no leather, fur, wool, feather, tallow, whales oil, vivisection, etc. (There are various interpretations on honey and some other products).
An anti-speciesist views animals as conscious beings with sensitivity and rights. He is therefore often vegan, in order to oppose the exploitation and killing of animals. But he also opposes backward sadistic games such as hunting, bullfighting, brutality, confinement, deleterious genetic selection, vivisection, etc. Some are active militants, but all are more or less targeted by repression.
Transition is the process of freeing oneself from meat-related habits, to become vegetarian, vegan, etc. There are dietary aspects, but also psychological, spiritual or social aspects, which will be dealt with further.
Organic food avoids various types of food pollution, both in farming and in food processing.
Regenerative farming aims at preserving the natural fertility of the soil, while minimizing the dependence of agriculture on industry.
Eco-responsible and sustainable are not election labels, but practices aimed at minimizing the impact of our activities on the ecology of the place, or on the planet.
Socially responsible and fair trade are methods aimed at mitigating the exploitation of workers or the deleterious effects of certain economic practices on society.
The climatarian diet checks for the minimum climate impact of our food: choice of cultivations, transportation, etc. For instance soy is good, while meat is the worse.
Many religions or spiritual practices include vege practices: some Christians, some Jews, Rastafarians (Ital died), Hinduism, most Buddhist traditions, etc.
Some countries such as India and the Far East are predominantly vegetarian. Veganism and anti-speciesism also are ancient and well anchored traditions.
Why to become vege?
(Permalink) Various vege practices have existed, some for thousands of years, and have developed in various settings. However, their current rapid expansion is due to new scientific knowledge, and to new social, ecological or spiritual stakes.
(Permalink) This is the oldest and most common motivation: not to harm animals. It is advocated by most Asian religions, and by some Christians and Jews. In the 20th and 21st centuries, this motivation is taken up by many social movements, ecologists or humanists, aiming at non-violence or at a better society. Most of this activity happens silently in daily life, but there is a recent vegan and anti-speciesism activism. However, most politicians and medias are still letting themselves marginalized from these important society transformations.
Sciences and health.
(Permalink) That vegetarians are healthier has been known for centuries. However, modern times have brought scientific evidence, showing that anti-vege prejudices are totally false.
⚗️ The China study, the site and the book
⚗️ The adventist studies
For vegans, strictly speaking no scientific investigations have yet been carried out. However we can validly extrapolate these results. We shall see later that being vegan is possible, but requires more attention and specific food resources.
⚗️ Concentration camps for animals are the main sources of recombinant viruses, dangerous epidemics, and antibiotic resistance.
⚗️ Organic regulars have 25% fewer cancers. (Study by Julia Baudry, Karen E. Assmann and MathildeTouvier. JAMA Intern Med. Published online October 22, 2018. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2018.4357
(Permalink) A recent study shows less colorectal cancer if we abstain of red meat, and less prostate cancer if we eat whole grain with vegetables. However those benefits are lost for veges who eat processed food.
(Permalink) Meat production is interposed in the economic circuits, between the farming soil and our plate. It therefore requires additional non-productive and often unpleasant work (in violence, excrement...). Moreover, it represents an enormous waste, since the yield of transformation of vegetable proteins into animal proteins is only about 20%. Thus, abandoning these practices is in line with modern social and economic conceptions, where working time is reduced, especially for non-creative and non-fulfilling work.
For meat farming, the right thing to do is to convert it to healthy food, and to energy crops. Subsidies must all go to such conversions, instead of maintaining dangerous archaisms.
Hunger in the world
(Permalink) To read, an article in Science Alert explaining how meat and junk food are finally the ONLY cause of hunger in the world.
(Permalink) The suppression of the pervert moral example of the «necessary evil» or «acceptable evil» of meat contributes to the pacification of society: violence, delinquency, wars, can no longer be justified by this bad moral example of the treatment of animals.
Simpler, shorter and more local economic circuits promote the appropriation of the economy by the citizens.
(Permalink) Today, agriculture is exerting an enormous pressure on the natural environment, taking up most of the land (Study on Phys.org). The much higher yield of an entirely plant-based agriculture would allow to restore places to wildlife and biodiversity. Provided, of course, that we regulate our population, otherwise this advantage will soon be canceled out.
Some land is suitable for animal exploitation but not for plant agriculture. It is therefore these lands which should be given back to nature as a priority. A process which already began in mountainous regions.
(Permalink) It has recently been realized that meat, and supplementary agriculture it needs, contributes substantially to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and pollution of springs, rivers and oceans. In the context of the current severe climate crisis, there is therefore an urgent need to greatly reduce meat.
(Permalink) No longer feeding on the death of our animal brothers brings us into a world of peace and communion with life and with the universe. We stop creating suffering for others and for ourselves.
Beware of wrong motives
(Permalink) Doing a good thing with bad motives can be worse than not doing it at all:
- To reject science is to reject the truth... so it is useless to pretend to hold it.
And in more it is extremely dangerous.
- Egotistical attitudes and self-centered motivations cancel out non-violent or social motivations.
- Feeling superior, belonging to a clan, etc. is sectarianism. It harms the movement, making it look bad.
- To bully or reject the non-vege who did nothing to us is an extremely dangerous attitude: this is how Christianity turned to the inquisition, communism to the gulags, etc. On the contrary, showing nice to them is the best way to spread the movement.
- Rejecting society (sectarianism). On the contrary, it is by accepting it that our ideas penetrate it. Moreover, there is an important non-duality innovation☯stability, between innovators (such as vegetarians) and traditional society. Understanding it allows us to be infinitely more effective than oppositions which generate resentment. (The reverse is also true: with the pace society is now evolving, anti-vege or specist gesticulations just makes fools of the perpetrators.)
We need to be very vigilant, because at any moment these false motivations can appear in our own minds. If this happens, it is urgent to take stock, sometimes even to undertake some spiritual training.
The vege transition
(Permalink) Transition is the set of habit changes needed to qualify as vegetarian, vegan or vegan. We can consider that it starts when we start changing our food, and it is complete and successful when the old tastes are sufficiently attenuated to be mastered effortlessly, and that our decision has become an immovable commitment.
There are many prejudices about the vegan transition: that it would be complicated, dangerous, that it would take time to adapt, that we need to resist temptations, etc. In fact there are simple methods to undertake this transition with good chances of success, without specially strong will and without painful effort.
These tools are:
Get rid of any preconceived notions about food.
(Permalink) Dietetics is a science, not a role-playing game where everyone can make up their own rules. It is not studied on wikipedia, nor on any other amateur site. Even the organic stores convey way too much prejudices, which must be dispelled here.
- Invented diets, such as Dukan, Atkins, paleo, instincto, keto, blood groups, are based on false data. They are often unbalanced, even dangerous. Some are even worse than meat. To be forgotten.
- Soy has no toxicity or negative effects. It can be cultivated in many places, and the soybean used in organic farming is guaranteed to be Eco-responsible, generally local. Only soybeans used massively for meat come from deforestation in the Amazon.
- Gluten was the food of Roman legionnaires and pyramid builders. Presenting such a basic nutrient as dangerous was a brilliant scam, which helped to capture a clientele of naive or ignorant bobos.
- Palm oil is not toxic. Only excess is dangerous (cardiovascular disease). But we come here very fast, since there are incredible quantities of it in pastries.
- Glass wool is not asbestos. Recent industrial versions could even deserve the organic label.
- Pretending that hemp does not burn is a lie.
- CBD Cannabis oil, Tibetan salt, Himalayan toad slime, etc. have no dietetic or medical properties.
Study the basics of dietetics.
(Permalink) True dietetics is not so complicated. It is, basically, a list of necessary nutrients and their right proportions (balance). I dedicate a division of this page to it.
Preparing the transition
(Permalink) Start by a survey of your place: organic stores, their opening hours, the organic sections of supermarkets, sometimes nice small grocery stores, online stores, where you can get organic oils, seitan and others. The Azinc and the B12 can be found in any pharmacy, if needed on order, or even on amazon.
Also take a look at your food pantry and at your habits. See everything that needs to be changed, and how. You may need a few new utensils, but nothing expensive or rare.
Start buying organic, fair-trade, etc. products. Get used to it, think about it. If needed, take notes.
Get in touch with vegetarian groups, in the physical world, or on the Internet.
The principle of the transition:
to think, feel and act as if it had already happened.
(Permalink) On the day you decide, instead of buying meat, cheese, etc., you buy protein-rich foods directly, such as those available in the soy aisle of organic stores: tofu in different forms (galettes, bars, sausages, etc.) flavored in different ways, fake seitan sausage, vegan rolls, falafels, etc. (you can also find some in the supermarket) Then have your first vege meal, totally without meat. You can also replace butter by vegetable butter, preferably omega (in the supermarket).
In the beginning do not buy quantities, only for tasting. Indeed the tastes are varied, and each will make his choice.
The interesting point at this moment is to meditate on your sensations: visualize that you feel well nourished, pure, clean, more morally just. This helps your organism to better accept the change.
At this moment, you still risk giving in to temptations, social pressures, etc. If this happens, don't make it a matter of guilt or failure. Think of a small child learning to walk: he or she will not give up the first fall! Same with you, you will not relinquish YOUR decision by the fault of lame and hostile «buddies»: as soon as you recover, start eating vege again.
Of course as soon as you start, you must also feed yourself in a correct dietetic way, with a complete and balanced diet, in order to satisfy all your needs in the new vege way, without missing of something. Otherwise, you will remain hungry or frustrated.
But most importantly, there is no such thing as a «gradual transition». It is useless, and counterproductive. You need to eat fully complete and balanced vegan meals from day one. Of course you may relapse, but go back at your resolution as soon as you can.
You will then more or less quickly notice the following result:
Meat will appear heavy to you, leaving a dirty vibration in your body. And you will be hungry for cleaner, healthier, more pleasant vege foods that your body itself will ask for! It may take more or less time (from some weeks to some years I think), but from that moment on, you will be free to make an irrevocable decision, without anymore risk of giving in to temptation.
You will have eradicated the desire for meat itself, through the simple natural functioning of your body.
You have made your transition without effort or sacrifice!
How does it work?
Simple: the body does not only ask for quantity, but also for quality. And it will very quickly identify these healthier vege foods. From that moment on, hunger and desire will spontaneously shift to vege foods, and meat will appear disgusting! Only a very indurated ideology can block this process, when it produces a rejection of vegetarian foods.
The social aspect
(Permalink) The right social attitude is a non-duality between:
☯keep a normal social contact with your surroundings
☯protect yourself from hostile or manipulative people.
This point is important because withdrawing from society, cutting oneself off from friends or family, simply because they are not vege, can be considered a sectarian attitude. And it is all the more so, that we precisely are in a period where society is opening up to this kind of thing. It therefore needs witnesses! Witnesses in the strong sense, showing that a better life is possible.
Arrogance, belittling others, making them feel guilty, etc. also are harmful. These attitudes are definitively not what I am advocating here. On the contrary, by keeping in touch, you contribute to the construction of a better society, or to the evolution of the involved people. And this approach pays off: in just a few years, we went from a society hostile to organic food, ecology and spirituality, to a society open to these things. But there is still work to be done, and we need your contribution.
The enthusiasm of the beginner often incites to proselytize, or to bring everything back to your commitment. This is normal, but think that this attitude can quickly become unpleasant for others. So do not trap them with no means of escape. The great ideas or religions which won over the centuries are those which precisely forbid any proselytizing.
On the contrary, make your commitment, or your meals, a joyful and social moment. For example, it is perfectly possible to go to a cafeteria (at least some of them) with family or friends and select vege foods. This leaves everyone free to make their own choices. (And facing his responsibilities)
We are stronger together
(Permalink) If we are surrounded only with indifferent or hostile people, this is dangerous for our sanity, in more of slowly eroding our resolutions. For this reason, it is important to regularly meet with normal or friendly people. You can start on social networks, organic shops, spiritual centers, fairs, organic markets, etc.
There are facebook groups and virtual worlds too. You can keep with online relationship, or seek physical meetings. For instance a novelty is Vegpal, a vegan dating app on cellphones.
We must be aware of several things, though:
- Any movement «questioning» society is used as a fish tank by cults, ideologist and wackos of any fur color. Strictly avoid conspirationists, fake news, covid denial, anti-gluten, free energy, electro-sensitivity, etc. They may look friendly, but they often are bigots very hard to live with. Oppose them science.
- Marxists and dualists regularly do entryism in all the social movements. This is the main cause of the unpleasant and illegal «vegan activism». Flee them, as it is you who will go in jail, not them. Oppose them spirituality.
To justify yourself
(Permalink) Often you will be asked to justify your attitude. The right way to answer varies from one setting or country to another. The main rule is to respond to sincere requests for information, but never let the conversation turn into a polemic. We need to be able to detect this moment, to end the discussion, even against our own pride. A good way to shut down polemicists is to say that you are not sectarian, or that you don't do proselytism.
- In a group, avoid group discussions. Keep your answers brief and change the topic. Indeed, if you start a discussion with people assembled at random, the most arrogant ego in the group will automatically polarize it, disregarding all the other persons present. The discussion then becomes a «television debate» from which no useful conclusions can emerge. In more of irritating people, it can have negative consequences, for example at work.
-An especially dangerous case is when there is a sectarian or intolerant «pro»-vege: take a clear distance from such attitudes, to the eye of the group (yet without going as far as denying your own commitment)
- In the materialistic West, a «short answer» will evoke dietetics, science, health, non-violence. In Asia, China included, it will usually be enough to evoke religion to stop intrusive questions.
- Speaking with one person, or in a situation where you control the discussion (lecture), a more detailed answer can be given, using the arguments on this page.
- In any case discussion must be stopped as soon as an ego attempts to hijack it, block it, distort it. In more of a huge energy drain, we have more interesting things to do than trying to convince egos or hostile persons. Indeed, people who fight vegetarianism are either sociopaths, ideologues, energy thieves, or at best egos which seek attention by pedaling against the others. In no case you have any chance to convince them.
In a couple (or any other group)
(Permalink) A couple relationship operates by exchanging energy, mostly social recognition. As long as people behave normally, this exchange can take place unhindered. And it does happen spontaneously, without we need to specially take care of it. But if one of the partners starts doing idiot things annoying or harming the other, the exchange stops, and the couple is at risk.
In today fast evolving society, with information freely flowing throughout the Internet, people can have all sorts of consciousness taking, on food, on ecology, on spirituality, on society, etc. In a couple, these information and consciousness taking can easily be shared, and they must be. But if one of the partner refuses the change, or acts in hostile ways, then he blocks the energy, and he threatens the couple.
The advancing partner can also make faults like arrogance, sectarianism, and other wrong motives. In this case, it is this partner who blocks the energy.
In a couple with children.
(Permalink) It is paramount to speak with a single voice to children. If one of the partners contradicts or despises the other, he can seriously damage the confidence or the ethic sense of the children. This makes that, facing an hostile partner, we must still preserve the appearance of a consensus and good mood. But this clearly places the children if the situation of hostages, which can compromise the vege transition.
If the problem starts to become visible to the children, we must tell them what is exactly happening, in words appropriate to their understanding.
But especially, we must never stop sending energy to the children. In case things go to the worse, in the end they will be with the parent who gives them energy.
Social workers today are more accepting the vege practice, but they may still be misandric or hostile to spirituality. So in case of a social inquiry, we shall speak of science and dietetics, instead of ethics and vibes.
(Permalink) It is perfectly legit to raise children vege. The only problem is that they will face hostility and attacks. The best is to explain them the situation: despite the society is turning vege, there still are people who don't, and who even are hostile. So that it is better not to reply to these people, or just that you are happy and in good health.
Children can get this pretty fast. It is just as explaining them that Santa Claus does not exist, while some people still believe in him.
Science and Prejudice
(Permalink) Dietetics is not a role-playing scenario, where anybody would come along and invent «his» dietetics, and ad libitum enact lists of taboo or mandatory foods, according to his prejudices. Such fantasy diets are just lucrative businesses, with their mirific false promises and for some real dangers.
In reality, dietetics is a science, and therefore its principles do not depend on any personal taste or commercial interest. And it is precisely the knowledge of scientific dietetics which allows us to adapt our diet to our life choices, such as being vege. In fact, all the essential nutrients can be provided from different sources, and almost all nutrients of animal origin have plant equivalents.
One of the best science sources on dietetics: American Dietetic Association (professional dietitians in the USA, world reference)
This presentation wants to be as simple as possible. Simpler, you die… literally.
Lists of nutrients, as well as the balance between nutrients
(Permalink) We often hear judgments such as «palm oil is bad for your health» or «carbohydrates should be eliminated». These judgments are wrong: these foods are not dangerous, but it is their excess which is. Dietetics therefore has two components:
- The list of mandatory nutrients
- How to harmonize or balance them, i.e. bring the necessary quantities of each, without excess of one or the other.
(Permalink) Proteins, also called nitrogen matters, are the building materials of the body. They are present in almost all foods. However, they often are dispersed, which requires two precautions:
1) to eliminate refined foods (white flour, white bread, white pastries, white dough, etc.) and replace them with wholemeal foods, wholemeal bread (wholemeal or T110 flour), wholemeal dough, wholemeal pastries, etc. Any of these foods which is not labeled wholemeal or T110 or whole grain is to be eliminated.
2) Have protein-rich foods in meals: soy, tofu, seitan, peas, quinoa, etc. For some years now, there are dedicated sections for these foods in organic stores. There are all kinds of flavors, and they naturally take the place of meat during meals.
Eating too much proteins, such as meat-only diets, can led to several diseases, like gout, and others.
Truth and lies whole grain foods
(bread, pastries, pasta, couscous, mueslis, cereals, etc.)
(Permalink) Added February 2022: There are so many serious lies and omissions on bread and grain foods, that it is hard to fathom at which point we have been dispossessed of them. To dispel these lies (Of which the 2021 wikipedia page on flour is a good example), we need to start with knowing the basic structure of grains of wheat, rice, barley, oats, rye, etc:
1) The hull, or chaff or straw, which is the straw covering the grain. It has no nutritive value. In most case, it irritates the intestines, hence the thousands years old custom to sieve the straw part out of the flour. It always is removed from rice grains, but it is soft enough to be kept in maize.
2) A protein layer, which adds a lot of nutritive value with varied proteins, trace elements and vitamins. It is this layer which gives its color to wholegrain bread.
Better not to use the word «bran», as it often conflates or swaps the hull and the protein layer. We find this confusion even in «health» stores!!
3) The kernel, made of white starch (carbohydrates) and a specific protein, called gluten in the case of wheat. It is this elastic gluten which allows to make bread, bearing the formation of bubbles when fermenting the dough.
4) The germ, which contains vitamins, enzymes and oils, strongly increasing the nutritive value of wholegrain food.
With these, a miller can make:
- White flour (weak flour), with a W index between 90 and 160. It contains only the kernel, and is thus of low nutritive value with the worse effect on weight (especially in fat pastries).
- Brown flour (medium strength), with a W index between 160 and 250. It contains the kernel, and part of the protein layer.
- Whole grain flour (Strong flour), with a W index above 300. It contains the kernel, the protein layer and the germ. It has the highest nutritive value, and the lesser effect on weight.
- Integral flour contains the whole grain, including the hull. It also is very nutritive, but for many grains there is a common intolerance, because the straw hull irritates the intestines. So it is important to know the difference between whole or integral, otherwise people believe that they are intolerant to whole bread or to cereals.
Beware of any baker who «does not know» these terms!!!
White rice is made from polished whole grain rice, also considerably impoverishing it.
The most common lie is that white flour or white bread would be better, because they are white (virginal??? At this point of disconnection with reality, we wonder). The real reason for white bread is quite different: cylinder mills can separate the four parts of the grain. This allows to sell them separately, to make… meat! and even… vitamin supplements! This is how meat is made «indispensable», by removing the nutritive value from bread!!! This fraud creates several parasitic economy circuits, which bring more money to their owners, but are strongly detrimental to society, health, animals and ecology.
Instead, traditionnal mills use grind stones, which allow to get a true wholegrain flour, protein layer, germ, and kernel, while efficiently separating and removing the hull. This was the food of the pyramid builders and of the Roman legions.
Another common lie is that we can do whole grain flour with adding «bran» to white flour. This is tampering, and in some cases may be illegal. In the contrary, we do whole grain flour by removing nothing of it.
We also often find integral crushed grains in mueslis, «cereals», granolas etc. Hence the possible intolerance to these, because of the presence of the hull. For this reason it is better to prefer oat-based mueslis and porridges, or husked grains.
What we need to do for becoming organic eater or vege, is to switch to whole grain bread, at once and entirely, and also to whole flours, pasta, couscous, mueslis, etc. This is an important part of the transition: starting with whole foods helps alleviating the hunger for meat.
(Permalink) These are the 21 basic molecules which form all the proteins. There are nine of them, called essential, which means that our body cannot make them from others. Since each food has a different amino acid composition, scientists have simplified by introducing an assimilation coefficient: the percentage of a given food which will actually be assimilated, thanks to the essential amino acids it contains. The highest is meat, with 90%. But plants are not far behind, with 80%. we can even combine a cereal and a leguminous plant at each meal, to reach 90%.
So, contrary to an old animist prejudice, meat proteins have nothing special. Meat is not the only source of protein, nor even the only source of essential amino acids. It can therefore be easily replaced by whole foods, and the precaution of combining a leguminous plant and a cereal with each meal is almost useless.
Oils and fats
(Permalink) Oils and fats can be made up of several dozen different molecules, called fatty acids. However, they can be broadly classified into three categories, each of which is essential. But the precautions are not the same:
1) Saturated fatty acids
These molecules are straight, so they can crystallize easily, so they are usually solid («concrete»). They can be found in meat, animal fats, in small quantities in vegetable oils, and in large quantities in palm, palm kernel, coconut oil, etc. Olive oil also has substantial quantities of them, making of it the most balanced, so that it is the recommended choice in the MIND diet. Saturated fatty acids are indispensable for the building of certain organs.
The excess of saturated fatty acids, not fatty acids themselves, produces cardiovascular diseases. This is (most likely) the reason why meat consumption reduces life expectancy so much, for a miserable old age. However, the same problem can occur with vegetable fats. I am not aware of any studies on this subject, but the massive addition of palm oil in pastries and cookies may make them as dangerous as meat. So it is a known advice to avoid these.
2) Unsaturated fatty acids
These molecules are curved, so they do not crystallize easily, and they are usually liquid. They are found in vegetable oils: olive, sunflower, rapeseed, peanut, etc. These usually are a source of energy.
These oils also are sources of various vitamins, provided they are virgin, this meaning not heated, «purified» or «refined». All these treatments devitalizes them (destroy the vitamins).
3) Omega fatty acids
These molecules are building materials for the nervous system. A lack can therefore create problems at this level. They come from various plant sources, and today we have omega vegetable butters, specially formulated to provide all three categories in a balanced way. In case you are on a fat-free diet (dry or xerophagic fasting) you will take a break from time to time with such vegetable butters.
Hydrogenated oils, margarine.
(Permalink) Until recently, the only sources of saturated fatty acids were meat and animal fats. As the demand for pastry exploded, chemists devised a way to transform liquid oils into concrete oils: hydrogenation. Hydrogenated oils were added to industrial foods on a massive scale, and were also sold to the general public as margarine: a whole generation used it instead of butter on bread (despite its unpleasant taste). Unfortunately, hydrogenation has been shown to produce fatty acids not present in natural foods, which are very dangerous for the heart and arteries. This is the reason why food manufacturers have turned to palm oil, abandoning hydrogenation.
Today, we see the reappearance of «totally hydrogenated oils» in ingredient lists. As the name suggests, these would be totally saturated fatty acids, therefore more safe than margarine. We do not have any hindsight for scientific studies yet, but I guess these ingredients behave like the other saturated fatty acids... minus deforestation. We could hope from chemistry that it creates concrete oils which do not produce cardiovascular diseases... neither deforestation.
I think a much better idea would be to produce more vegetable oils, localy sourced, and to extract the saturated fatty acids by cold processing, to obtain healthy concrete oils, virgin, without devitalizing chemical transformations. The excess liquid oils would then be available as bio-diesel.
(Permalink) It was Greenpeace who warned about the deforestation produced by the massive increase in palm oil crops. Unfortunately, a totally unfounded media lynching ensued, falsely claiming that palm oil is toxic. In reality it is not, only the excess is harmful. A question of balance, as often in dietetics. Some pastries, especially shortcrust, contain astronomical quantities of palm oil. But any alternative to palm oil (palm kernel oil, or coconut oil so fashionable in organic farming) poses the same problems, both dietary and deforestation. The only solution is to give up shortcrust pastries, or to produce this consistency in another way.
It should be noted that it is possible to obtain palm oil which is ecologically responsible, or even organic. There is an RSPO certification (Official website) (Bureau Veritas), supported by the WWF and used for example by Nutella.
Oils, fats, energy, obesity.
(Permalink) The main role of fatty acids, however, is to provide energy to the body. Fats are therefore «burned», when we provide physical or intellectual activity, or simply to keep the body alive (the base metabolism). The body naturally stores a certain amount of fat. The problem, however, is that there is no regulation to this storage, other than satiety at the end of meals. It is the imbalance of this function which leads to obesity, when we have too much attachment to fat, or when we eat too much of it without being aware, for instance in pastries.
Sugars and carbohydrates
(Permalink) Fruits are the main natural source of sugar, to which the modern world added cultivated sugar (table sugar, or sugar added to food).
There is a large variety of sugar molecules. However, only a few are present in food: glucose, saccharose, fructose, maltose, lactose, etc. Practically all of them are converted into glucose by the body. Maltose produces milk intolerance, and others produce diarrhea when eating certain fruits.
Carbohydrates are made up of glucose molecules assembled into larger molecules. The best known carbohydrate is starch, but there are others, such as cellulose. The human body can assimilate starch, but much better if it is cooked, because cooking breaks up the grains. On the other hand, the human body cannot assimilate cellulose at all. Other carbohydrates are pectins (a component of fruits and vegetables, which softens when cooked), or inulin (starch from Jerusalem artichokes, which is indigestible, hence the intolerance of this vegetable).
A small part of the glucose is used as a structural element for certain organs. But the largest part is used as a source of energy:
1) Used immediately
2) Stored as glycogen in the liver, which provides sugar energy between meals, or at night. Glycogen stores are normally about three days.
3) Transformed into fat and stored. This is how an excess of sugars or starchy foods can contribute to obesity, sometimes more efficiently than fats (Sumotoris). Unfortunately, there also is no natural regulation of the desire for sugar, which is why so many people are hooked on it. This is also why unbalanced foods rich in sugar (pastries, sweets, sodas) starch (rice, white bread, white pasta...) and unbalanced diets (potato chips and sodas) cause obesity. Shortcrust pastries, which in addition contain masses of fat, are real bombs to render fat.
There also is a distinction between sugars, immediately assimilable (fast sugars, or high glycemic index) and starches (slow sugars, or low glycemic index), which require time for digestion, even if the final product is the same. But a sugar intake will produce a peak in blood sugar levels, which is higher and faster than a starch intake. Hence the danger of hyper-sugared foods for diabetics. In some people, this spike is followed by a hypoglycemia trough, which produces a state of physical and intellectual weakness, sometimes fainting. These people must therefore also regulate their intake, but in the other direction. My physician advice was nibbling at rusks (low sugar zero fat high starch biscuits)
(Permalink) First of all, we must get into the habit of speaking in kiloJoules instead of calories (which are actually kilocalories). Physicists have good reasons for imposing these changes, and it is best to follow them. Multiply the calories by 4 (More accurately 4.18) to get the kiloJoules. It is therefore customary to indicate the kiloJoules, followed by the calories in parenthesis, for those who are not yet used to it.
The kilojoules describe roughly and indistinctly the amount of fat and carbohydrates absorbed (proteins and fibers do not contribute much). Since only a small part of these nutrients is used to build up the body, the figure fairly well matches what will be used as energy... or accumulated as fat, possibly in obesity. Counting the kiloJoules in our diet therefore gives a precise indication of this risk. Not enough kiloJoules will on the contrary result in a malnourished, skinny, tired person, even if this person has all the nutrients he or she needs.
The main sources of kiloJoules are fats (meat, animal or vegetable butter, cheese, pastries, oils, fatty spreads, nuts, etc.), sugars (pastries, sweets, honey, jam, fruits, dried fruits, sodas, yoghurts, ice creams, etc.) and starches (any food based on cereals or flours, especially white, potatoes and some other vegetables, chips, etc.).
And what do we do with kiloJoules? We control our consumption when we are at risk of obesity (or undernourishment). According to the United Nations, the minimum requirement per person per day is 7500 kiloJoules (1800 calories), which increases with physical or intellectual activity, cold, heat, pregnancy, breast feeding, etc.. If you have any doubts, or if you want to discipline yourself, then count the kiloJoules (calories) on the labels of the food you eat, and add them up. This makes it easy to detect excesses, or to identify imbalances (excess of this or that food) and therefore to correct them.
This is the use of the mandatory display of the kilojoule values on each food, in all civilized countries.
(Permalink) Fibers are essentially the cellulose of fruits and vegetables, along with other constituents such as mucilages, pectins, etc.. They are not properly speaking digested, but they serve as a mass to be kneaded and pushed through the intestines. A low-fiber diet poses various problems, including constipation (the nest of colon cancer). This happens if we eat sweets, fats, etc. without vegetables or fruit.
Vitamins and trace elements
(Permalink) It is a set of substances that the body needs in small quantities, but that it cannot make by itself. Each one has different rules of assimilation, and their study is therefore complicated. Normally deficiencies do not occur with a balanced and varied diet. As a precaution, a vitamin and trace element cure can be taken from time to time. There are many cocktails of this type, the best known being Azinc. If a deficiency is suspected, we should not rely on «websites» or «tests» also available on the internet and in «women's» or «green» magazines. We shall rely on the doctor, who may order tests and prescribe supplements, unless he finds a cause other than what you think.
(Added in March 2022) This phosphorus acid is found in almost all foods. Like most nutrients, it has advantages and disadvantages, such as making the absorption of trace elements more difficult. Its presence in the protein layer of wheat had, in the 1970's, triggered an ukase on wholemeal bread, to the point that 40 years later whole grain bread is still scarce in some organic stores.
As is often the case, science is more nuanced. Phytic acid is only a problem with otherwise deficient diets. In any case, I have been eating wholemeal bread for half a century now, and my analyses are normal.
Calcium and vitamin D.
(Permalink) The propaganda of the dairy lobby created a state of panic, describing a rare and unreliable calcium, with of course the only solution being milk, presented as a miracle food, after the old animist belief. This is a lie, because there are many sources of vegetal, and even mineral calcium. In some organic stores, we find the opposite scam: «homeopathic» calcium supplements, where calcium is in minute quantities, as if it was more expensive than gold. Another common scam says that mineral calcium cannot be assimilated, and it has to be made «organic» by combining it with various snake oils. This is also a lie, and we assimilate very well calcium and other mineral present in vegetables, drinking water, and even in some «chemical» additives.
A calcium deficiency is not visible. If a deficiency is suspected, the best thing to do is to consult a doctor, who will send you to a specialist who will take a special x-ray to measure the density of the bones. He can give calcium supplements and vitamin D. Vitamin D is available only by prescription, as excess is dangerous. But in any case, if you are prescribed D vitamin, don't forget to also take calcium!
Iron, blood, anemia
(Permalink) Anemia can have a variety of causes, only one of which is a lack of iron. Since there are no clear symptoms, it is best to have regular blood tests, especially for children. If there is a deficiency, the doctor will indicate which supplements to take.
Vitamins B6 and B12
(Permalink) Until recently, a purely vegan diet was considered too difficult, even dangerous. Today we know why: these vitamins are not naturally present in plants. This is interesting, because it is precisely this new understanding which unlocked the access to these diets: it is enough to obtain supplements, for example Azinc for B6, and B12 in pharmacies. (tested by myself: my analyses are normal for iron, B6 and B12. And without iron supplements)
So we have an excellent example where a progress in medicine or in scientific dietetics allows for more just or more spiritual lifestyles. Hence the need not to fall into conspiracy or anti-science, which would make us miss such tools.
(Permalink) There is no substitute for water, which needs range from one to two liters per day (including what is in food). If you are not sure if you are drinking enough, keep a water bottle at hand for drinking.
Drinking too much also is dangerous, this is why sodas and even fruit juices should not be of common use. Excess drinking can even kill.
Sodas are very problematic, with massive concentrations of sugar. Fruit juices can also be fortified with sugar. Personally, I use iced tea with sweeteners, but other healthy drinks are possible.
Of course, no alcoholic drinks can be part of a vege or organic diet. There is a famous manipulation on this subject, shamefully repeated by several scientific journals: red wine would protect the heart! With scientific paper and all. «Just» omitting to specify that the protective agent, polyphenols, is also present in red grapes and all red fruits, which color they produce. So there is no need to turn a healthy fruit into a harmful drug. No other useful nutrients are in any alcoholic beverage.
Low sodium salt
These are mixtures of sodium chloride and potassium chloride (usually 50%), which taste like salt. This reduces the sodium intake, but with restrictions for people with certain diseases. This is apparently a recent discovery, which is commercially available under several names: Losalt, Supersalt, etc.
The MIND diet
(Permalink) This new page allows me to present the most recent scientific advice, derived from the Mediterranean diet (Description by Mayo Clinic) (Description by Pfizer), particularly effective against hypertension and Alzheimer's disease. Basically, its recommendations are (Summary according to Pfizer):
- Leafy green vegetables: daily
- Other non-starchy vegetables: daily
- Mixed nuts: daily
- Red fruits: twice a week
- Leguminous plants, soybeans: three times a week
- Whole grains: at every meal
- (I quote) fish: once a week
- (I quote) birds: once a week
- Olive oil: basic in the kitchen
- (I quote) wine: optional, one glass a day.
Well, we can see right away that this is not a vege diet. Especially, the reference to wine is «unexpected», coming from scientific organizations in charge of health. Why not opium? However, this line is an interesting clue: its presence clearly appears as a comcession to Western dietary archaisms (in more of being scientifically false). We can therefore throw it away without remorse. Can we extrapolate to the lines on fish and birds? Yes, but only if we provide the nutrients they bring in a vege way, especially vitamins and fatty acids. (The diet being very well supplied with protein). This gives:
(In bold: vegan additions or increases)
- Leafy green vegetables: daily
- Other non-starchy vegetables: daily
- Various nuts: daily
- Red fruits: twice a week
- Legumes, soybeans: once a day
- Whole grains: at every meal (or less, if you have protein-rich supplements such as soy or seitan)
- Various oils, especially olive and omega vegetable butters
- Vitamin B12
This does not engage the responsibility of the quoted sources, but still is the result of the scientific study of dietetics, implemented in such a way as to allow for the application of the ethical, ecological and spiritual vege principles.
While of course keeping the potential against high blood pressure and Alzheimer's disease.
(Permalink) The opinion of scientistists, unfortunately also present among some scientists, is that Prâna does not exist, because it cannot be measured with a physical device. We even hear crazy stories, for example the belief by wikipedia that there is a movement of people feeding exclusively on Prâna! By Jove, they are smoking strong pot. Well, I took here the endeavor of denouncing anti-science, but sorry, anti-spirituality is even more dangerous. So that it must be even more firmly denounced. In clear, in the 21st Century, we are spiritual, or we even not are scientists.
Let us go back down to Earth: Prâna is a sensation. And nothing else. It is simply the little euphoria we feel when our body is functioning well, and which can be cultivated through beginners' yoga exercises. So no magic, no child-eating sect, no anti-science, no reptilian conspiracy, just something simple, which sportsmen and bodybuilders also know, and call «being fit». The reference on Prâna is the Hatha Yoga of Patanjali, but there are many other equally valid concepts.
What is the relationship with dietetics? It is twofold:
🍑The Prâna is close to the sense of hunger, as well as to the allysthetics sense (a sense which informs us about the state of our body. We see it at work, for instance when we are cold and we like warmth, or when we are hot and we like freshness. Scientists call this interoception). With a little training, we can feel what kind of food we need, instead of just being hungry. We can even feel if a fruit has Prâna (contains vitamins and nutrients, compared to a fruit of lesser quality). Beware, however, that this only works if we have sufficiently eliminated neuroses and ideologies, otherwise we shall feel what they dictate, and even our allysthetics sense can be seriously damaged.
🍒To do of meals a moment of pleasure and living together will help assimilation. This may imply a pleasant place, an aesthetic arrangement of the dishes, no television, no cell phones, no unpleasant discussions, etc. This can also help to fight obesity and bulimia: if the meal is a pleasant moment, there is no need to compensate for the lack of social pleasure with eating too much.
In certain cases, our sense of hunger can also tell us when a food is harmful, with a feeling of repulsion, and various digestive discomfort: this is the intolerance. Follow this link to see the various cases and related issues like phobia.
The intestinal microbiome
(Permalink) It is the set of bacteria which lives in our intestines, and which is paramount for the assimilation of many foods. There are several types of microbiomes, and several ways for it to go wrong. This is interesting, because correcting the microbiome would solve many intestinal diseases, or their repercussions of a bad assimilation on the general state, the brain, etc. One of the proposed remedies is the «poop transplant» 💩!! (in practice, capsules containing bacteria which were «cleaned» beforehand).
Unfortunately, this field is still in the research stage, and a common physician does not yet have the tools to evaluate a person's microbiome.
(Permalink) When we think of deficiency, we think of something that is missing in the diet, for example a vitamin, a trace element, etc. This can be corrected through diet. But it must be understood that a deficiency can be the result of other factors: some people simply cannot assimilate this or that nutrient correctly. This is why it is best to consult your doctor if you have a problem.
Processed food (junk food)
(Permalink) Industrial foods are too often highly denatured, or devitalized: loss of trace elements and vitamins (micro-nutrients), by cooking at high temperatures, chemical transformations, very unbalanced compositions, non-food ingredients, unnecessary or dangerous additives, etc.
It is well known that the effect is generally very negative on physical health. But scientists are accumulating studies proving that these denatured foods are also dangerous for the mood and even for the mental health.
This is also true for foods which are presented as vege, but which are highly unbalanced, which can also cause heart attacks, obesity, etc.
Vege junk food
(Permalink) Yes, it happens: when people get involved with vege food while disputing science, or when big junk food companies try to keep the vege clientele. In fact, we get the whole gamut of junk food problems:
- Hyper-unbalanced foods (too fat, too sweet…)
- devitalized Industrial food
- Simple research of taste or texture, using questionable ingredients
- Finally, the strict imitation of meat can lead to foods with the same dietary problems: too fat, violent taste, devitalized, etc.
(Permalink) Many people live in feeding fear: fear of missing, fear of gaining weight, etc. (curiously, these same people are not afraid of the consequences of meat, wine, pesticides...) These fears are often at the origin of dangerous eating habits: stuffing oneself, depriving oneself, unhealthy or unbalanced food, etc. We therefore need to detect these fears, with a little introspection: to pay attention to what we feel.
Other people's fear, this ignoble fear of the difference, also is very dangerous, when they have the means to influence us. They can cause a relapse of a still fragile vege motivation. These fears may still be present in some educators, doctors, social workers, etc.. And it takes only a minute for them to transmit their fear to us, during an incident which sends us to the hospital, a social investigation related to a divorce, etc. If we feel bad after such a meeting, we must take stock of the situation and revise our scientific and spiritual bases.
Other diets, take it or leave it
(Permalink) Neither the vege movement nor organic food appeared out of nowhere: in the beginning of the 20th century, various diets aimed at a better physical and spiritual health, especially hygienism, naturism, Cartonism, Sheltonism. More recently, we had macrobiotic Zen and Harmonism. These diets were interesting in their time, but today they need updates with modern dietetics. Only macrobiotic Zen deserves to be better known, thanks to its sensitive approach instead of analysis.
More recent diets aim at creating captive markets: Dukan, keto, Atkins, gluten-free, etc. Some are dangerous, and none are useful. Some diets are extreme, and therefore dangerous, such as instinctotherapy, fruit only, or raw only.
Veganism only recently left this status, thanks to the knowledge of the role of vitamins B6, B12, and iron (and also thanks to the abandonment of dogmatism and arbitrary assertions).
Other diets are rather boosting disinformation aimed at spirituality, ecology or vege movements: paleo, blood groups, instinctotherapy, flexitarism, pescitarism, drinking urine, etc. Some of them do not even exist, and are therefore pure inventions of boosting disinformation, such as the inedia (or pranism or respirianism) aimed at discrediting the authentic spiritual practice of Hatha Yoga.
The Ital diet (Rastafarianism) is very close to the vegan diet, with a few exceptions. Therefore it is the interest of its adepts to keep with it.
Halal and Kosher diets are not vege. However, they are not masochistic either: the ritual slaughter has a spiritual component, praying for the animal to have a happy afterlife. It was a compromise with pure vegetarianism, in countries and times when this diet was too difficult. We also find this notion among the American Indians, in Tibet, etc. However, the baseline of the Quran recommendations is to avoid meat, and we also have vegetarian Jews and Christians (Adventists). Most other religions in the world strongly recommend to abstain of meat. The idea is therefore not to abandon your religion, but on the contrary to become vege within the spiritual framework of your religion. Especially in a modern environment where such compromises are no longer necessary. The only difficulty remains with people who are still dependent on meat or milk: Masai, Mongols, Inuits, Lapps, etc. But they will find their solutions.
Flexitarianism is eating sometimes vegetarian, sometimes meat, according to our inspiration. So it is not a diet in itself. But the word induces the fallacy that a really vege diet would be «rigid», sectarian, etc..
Pescitarism refuses meat, but admits fish. The dietary justification is that fish would be less bad for health (Mediterranean diet). But this is not in any way vege, because it is based on the speciesist idea that fish would be «less sensitive» than mammals. In fact we don't know, but it is nevertheless obvious that fishes have behaviors involving consciousness, and even mollusks. Consciousness would have appeared 400 million years ago, when the first brains already developed the structures which in humans carry consciousness.
«Terroir», culinary «traditions», etc.
(Permalink) These words, supposed to describe human communities in a neutral or benevolent way, in fact often announce unhealthy or even disgusting foods, with of course additional animal suffering. In this case, it is better to speak of food archaisms.
Positive communities who want to make themselves known can do so while remaining in step with progress.
Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
(Permalink) They obviously all are out of any healthy diet, positive social project or spiritual work. Pretending otherwise is high hogwash. If you are addicted to any of these, you can do a «all in one» transition process, since the change in food may also help a lot to clear the other unhealthy addictions.
(Permalink) (Added March 2022) The common diabetes, called type 2, literally «cooks» the blood vessels (Maillard reaction), hence the terrible effects of this disease. It is a consequence of obesity, and more generally of a too sedentary lifestyle and a too fatty diet. There is no real treatment other than insulin, as a palliative. Of course, research is underway, with some promising drugs, but not yet ready for routine use.
The only solution today is to lose weight, and to apply the basic dietary principles explained in this page.
It should be noted that methods to measure sugar are being set up, less dissuasive than the prick.
They are useful means to fight diabetes or overweight:
-Sweeteners such as aspartame, acesulfame, sucralose,etc. Scientific studies do not find them dangerous, but they do not inspire confidence, and they are banned in organic food.
-Non-assimilable sugars (polyols), such as xylitol, maltitol, stevia, lactitol (not to be confused with lactose). There even is organic birch juice (Xylitol). However, it is not known whether this production is sustainable on a large scale. Added, test by your servitor: stevia is a good sweetener, despite an unexpected taste. But xylitol would better be sold as a laxative.
-Rapadura. The common sugar, called in France cane sugar, is in fact beet sugar (a scam by napoleon, that nobody corrected since). For some reason (bad taste?) we don't find whole beet sugar. Then, the idea was to use real cane sugar, but whole. After the first disappointing attempts by boiling the juice, the organic artisans had to do as everybody else: use vacuum evaporation. The result is rapadura, a sweet brown powder. It is organic, it is good, but, new disappointment, the cane sugar (glucose) is three times less sweet than the beet sugar (saccharose). Still it can be found in organic shops.
(Permalink) There is no legal forbidding neither any medical contraindication for raising children in a vege way.
However children, the vege ones like the others, require a health monitoring, starting with growth, and the appearance of possible deficiencies.
The problem, however, is the animist anti-vege biases, still widespread in medical and social workers circles. This is a potential source of conflict, especially harmful since it can result in distrust of physicians. It can indeed be tricky to explain to a child that he or she should trust the doctor, while at the same time calling on him or her to be careful with some of them, or not to talk about certain things. But, from painful personal experience, I affirm and insist that this is the least bad solution, if we do not want to seriously damage the child's relationship with society.
If we want to avoid problems, with an unknown or hostile doctor, then the best thing is to simply not say that the child is vege. Thus:
- In case something is going wrong, the doctor is obliged to look for the real cause, instead of automatically defaulting on the vege diet, and not to see a real problem.
- If there is a real nutritional deficiency, the doctor is able to find it, and to propose efficient remedies. Which are easy to adapt to a vege diet.
Well if the doctor starts to say that there is a «lack of animal proteins», change for another. This is a lie, because there is no scientific or medical way to detect the source of the proteins in our body.
Of course, this page assumes that you treat your children normally, especially that you let them have normal social contacts (when available). And of course that you provide them with a balanced diet without deficiency, especially in B12 vitamin.
There are terrifying stories of vegetarian children starving to death. These stories are mostly fake news (if they were true, we would hear them in other places than in the populist rags). Or it happens that there is ordinary abuse, food being just one circumstance among others. We must therefore be careful, before supporting a «vege parent», to find out what is really going on, especially from the other parent. What most often happens is that the vege practice is instrumentalized in a divorce, or by corrupt social services.
Well, I would add that if the children are fed gluten free, palm oil free, soy free, without «chemical» vitamins, only with carrot juice and without ever a smile, then the deficiencies are forced to appear. But in this case it is not the vege diet which is to blame, but sectarianism or anti-science. Please do not pretend to be vege in this case.
The role of social services:
(Permalink) There is no valid reason for social services to discourage or fight the vege practice. On the contrary, everyone knows today that these practices are better, and the role of social services is therefore to encourage them, and to protect children from any repression of these practices.
In case of abuse of any «justification» it can be, one must be able to rely on social services to put an end to it.
Unfortunately, this is not always the case, and I have witnessed appalling things: abuse, pedophilia, Munchhausen syndrome, religious discrimination, etc., with social services which were «seeing nothing»! Fortunately, not everyone is like that, and I cite as examples the French AGOP and the gendarmerie, who did an excellent job.
It is therefore clear that only honest and psychologically balanced people should be hired, whether in the social services, the police or the judiciary. Hiring infantiles, sociopaths, sexists, ideologists necessarily exposes a significant portion of these services to become corrupt.
Do not idealize veges
(Permalink) Discovering the vege practice, organic food or anti-speciesism often gives the impression of having «understood it all». In fact, these realizations, however meritorious they are, are only one among many others, and the whole process of re-appropriating our lives implies accepting them all.
Worse, a frequent mistake is to call ourselves vege, when we have only changed our opinion, without changing our psychological conditioning. Hence the need to understand these psychological processes and to control them, through a process called «spiritual awakening», psychoeducation (or simply becoming psychologically normal).
Not fulfilling these conditions makes that many veges are «like everyone else», and just as likely to go wrong. Especially in situations of dispute, divorce, children custody, etc., where the vege practice becomes a weapon. We must especially be wary of the bobo ecology, of bogus forms of spirituality, anti-science, anti-society, which refuse «chemical contraception», who think themselves superior because they are organic, vegan, etc.
Infants and breastfeeding
(Permalink) Of course, vege parents always breastfeed their child. Weaning is very gradual, over one to two years or more, in order to maintain the tenderness bond.
As long as the infant has no teeth, he needs pureed food. Little jars for babies are very practical, but children do not need any special food, just ordinary pureed food. The different foods should be introduced one by one, so that the child gets used to them. Children sometimes have strange likes and dislikes, which it is not very productive to try to counteract. In particular, avoid bitter tastes (some salads) or violent tastes (grilled, onions, spicy, glutamate, etc.)
Vege formula milks
(Permalink) In case breastfeeding cannot happen, there are vege formula milks, carefully dosed mixtures, in order to provide all the nutrients that the baby needs.
However, it should be noted that no milk made from a single pure vegetable is suitable. This is a common disinformation in «organic» or «vege» circles presenting the case as a «choice».
Another common disinformation claims that «
plant milks are not suitable». In France it is based on a truncated quote from the ANSES, which is widely used in the reactionary press. In fact, while this statement does recall that (I translate, I emphasize)
«... Beverages of common consumption such as vegetable drinks related to milks or milks of non-bovine origin have not been formulated for children under one year old… TRUNCATED HERE
the full quote also makes clear (I emphasize):
«... The Agency recalls that breast milk is the reference food adapted to the needs of the infant, and that outside breastfeeding, only infant formulas and follow-up formulas (first age milk and second age milk), whether formulated from animal or vegetable proteins, allow to cover the needs of the infant»
«... Special attention should be given to women with a vegan or vegetalian diet (not consuming any animal products), who must receive vitamin B12 supplementation during pregnancy and lactation».
So there is no ban on vegan food, but common sense reminders for those who still confuse organic with anti-science (or child protection with repression). It is just a pity that they don't give an address where to get medically certified vegan first or second age milk. Normally, in organic stores. But as it is, I would start by looking in a pharmacy.
Even if you are still slender,
you need to read this part on obesity
1) Because even you the 16 years old sylphid or epheb, already have the bad habits which will turn you into a potato couch.
2) Because there are recent scientific discoveries which allow to better understand the causes and remedies to the compulsive need to eat too much.
This is why everybody must read this part: it is easier to avoid getting fat than to lose weight. And beware, it is not just a question of aesthetics: obesity can easily rob you of twenty to thirty years of life expectancy.
Start with setting a realistic target
(Permalink) To do so, consult the body mass index graph:
This image is based on the WHO data, as a certified source. But I give this more explicit image, derived from the previous, of which I checked it was exact (wikipedia , CC BY-SA 3.0).
Horizontally, your height, vertically, your weight. The result is the area where you are: white, no problem. Blue, too skinny. Yellow, too fat. In both ways, you lose life expectancy, sometimes a lot. Well, there is a bit of adaptation, a slender person can go down a bit in the blue, while a stocky or muscular person can go up a bit in the straw yellow. If you rely on your appearance, the lower limit is when you start to see the ribs, and the upper limit is when the belly or hips start to protrude. I did not found the chart for children, but the appearance criteria (ribs, belly, hips) are still valid.
Some objectives are irrealistic and dangerous, such as having a wasp waist, or having too visible muscles.
So the first thing to do is to set yourself a possible goal: in the white. This still gives you some amount of freedom. You can also decide to go out of the white, but at your own risk.
Any skinny or obese child must be shown to a doctor. Childhood obesity is a serious problem, which almost always has an underlying cause requiring immediate attention, medical, social or psychological.
Tracking down bad habits before they make us gain weight
(Permalink) We get fat because we eat too much (La Palisse & Al). But we still need to understand how we get there, how our sense of hunger is misled or out of order.
- Too large meals dilate the stomach, and therefore increase the feeling of hunger. We can make it smaller again, but it takes from some weeks to some months of frustration. So beware of the «social» meetings and festivities which ruin months of efforts, beware also of people who find you «skinny» because they have taken their own obesity or their fear as the norm.
- Eating at any time (Added Dec 28, 2021) This places the body in a permanent situation of hunger, as if we were fasting. Have three maximun meals a day (add a snack at five for children). If you are hooked to eating at any time, do short fasts to break this addiction.
(Added Dec 28, 2021) To be noted that persons susceptible of hypoglycemia can keep nibbling starchy things at times, like rusks, to avoid the low blood sugar. But symptoms of hypoglycemia are not specific, so that you need to assess with the doctor if you really are in this situation, and follow his advice.
- Generally overeating. It is better to eat frugally. As long as you do not go into the blue, you are safe, and you can easily cut your food budget in half. The reason is that the organism gets used to overabundant food, and it becomes wasteful, not assimilating what it consumes. You do not realize, because «eating well» is a widespread and compelling social norm. Except the day you go on a diet to lose weight: when you stop dieting, you gain back the extra kilogs faster than you lost them! This is the yo-yo effect, and this is the explanation. The only solution is to little by little get used to frugal food, and not to wait until you are stuffed to stop eating. Also limit the number of meals, three maximum. Buddhist monks pass the evening meal, which also allows them for a better sleep.
Unbalanced diet, too rich in fats, sugars, starchy foods (meat, chips, pastries, sweets...). It is the need for protein which creates hunger, so that a fatty or sweet food does not stop hunger.
We often hear things like «pasta makes us fat» or «bread makes us fat». Strictly speaking, it is not intrinsically these foods which make us fat, but their excess: the pasta diet. On the other hand, a very wise precaution is to eliminate white bread, white pastries, white pasta, etc. which them actually make us fat. Indeed, they are artificially unbalanced, enriched in carbohydrates and deprived of the proteins naturally present in whole grain foods. It is therefore imperative to use only the latter.
Other forms of imbalance are meat (too rich in saturated fats), sugar (sodas, pastries, sweets), pastries (white flour, fat, sugar), fats (meat, cold cuts, pastries, butters, cheeses), high-protein diets (paleo). Excess of fat or sugar can cause obesity and cardio-vascular diseases, while excess of proteins can cause painful diseases like gout.
- Meals as a reward or gratification. In psychologically abnormal environments, hatred, harassment, discrimination, hazing, children mistreatment, food is the only pleasure we cannot be deprived of. This can produce excessive attachment to food as a compensation. This is why we must not stay in such environments. If you cannot leave them, be aware that they are abnormal, and that the culprits are sick people. Having a secret inner life helps a lot in this case, and the police as soon as the violence becomes physical or sexual. Children can now report bullies at school.
- Bad example: glorification of obesity, of «good food», guilt reflections, mockery and provocation against diet followers, incitement to «party», to «enjoy life», advertisements, etc., etc. A specially hypocritical novelty here is to pretend that obesity is «being ourselves» or «a new form of aesthetics».
- The fear of being «malnourished» is very contagious, and it can be contracted with a few words, if we receives such reflections in a moment of weakness. I have seen that it is very present in social services, and it can be dangerous is we are subjected to corrupt social services.
There is no miracle solution. Especially, fad diets all are questionable, and there are no miracle «calorie-burning» teas or foods. All these ads are false, including those found in organic stores.
Physical activity is recommended by doctors and by the WHO. (Simple rule: 7000 step per day, that is 6kms.) It is a good advice, but it cannot do miracles: to lose kilos would require a Herculean activity, if it does not simply open the appetite.
Diuretics, either over-the-counter («slimming» herbal teas) or sometimes unfortunately prescribed by some doctors, are not a solution. They will make you lose two or three kilos, which will come back in a single day when you stop them. Moreover, it is not advisable to play with the kidneys, a vital organ which slightest malfunction can have very serious, disabling or fatal consequences.
To actually lose weight
(Permalink) If you are already overweight, and if you cannot correct simply by losing bad habits, it is useless to go around: you need to voluntarily reduce your caloric intake. This meaning eating less.
You unfortunately cannot do without your willpower. Simply the following methods require less than a prolonged fast.
(Permalink) Fasting is the simplest method, but the most unpleasant. If we get used gradually, over longer and longer periods of time, we avoid the nausea of the beginner faster. But after some days you have another more serious problem: when the liver exhausted its glycogen stores, then the body starts to take in its fat reserves. Only at this point fasting become useful!!
But the body cannot convert enough fat into glucose for the brain! The brain must then be idle: we feel weak, tired, and we may be seriously incapacitated. We may even have hypoglycemic episodes, or even fainting. The latter can have serious consequences if we fall, in a public place, while driving, etc.
We must also take vitamins during prolonged fasting, because they are still needed.
Finally, we should not further than 3 to 5 kilogram in the blue zone. Indeed, the resumption of feeding will see a small rebound, when the liver rebuilds its glycogen reserves.
A better solution would be a light fast, with some carbohydrates, like nibbling rusks (one of the advices of my physician).
(Permalink) The following solutions are more affordable (require less willpower, or are less unpleasant):
The xerophagic fast, also known as «dry fast» (or the Lent), known to bodybuilders, which essentially reduces fat to a minimum. So no meat, cheese, animal or vegetable butters, pastries, potato chips, fatty spreads, fried foods, etc.. This diet is almost as effective as complete fasting to lose excess fat, while avoiding nausea and weakness. It is much more sustainable and can be prolonged as long as necessary. We still shall take some omega vegetable butter at times, specially formulated to satisfy all our needs, in order to maintain our nervous system which needs omega fats for its constitution.
We will also be careful not to compensate for the lack of fat by an excess of sugars or starches, which could have worse consequences on weight: the body converts any excess into fat!
It is therefore advisable to weigh yourself regularly: the average weight must decrease (weight from one day to the next is not reliable, because drinks have a greater influence on it than food). Otherwise, you should record your total calories, according to the labels on the food you eat, to see where the excess comes from.
- Reduce the number of meals. Their number first, then their volume. One trick is to eliminate the evening meal, which also allows you to sleep much better.
- A short fasting from time to time. It is even recommended, even if you are not overweight. Of course, first time, we vomit, it is normal. Start small, one meal, then one day, two days, etc. This gets the digestive system used to asking for less. The lesson is learned when you no longer feel nauseated.
- If your religion offers occasional dietary restrictions (Lent, Ramadan, ritual fasts, Nyungne, etc.) follow them. This way you will cultivate your spirituality and your health in the same gesture.
- Avoid the manipulators, since fasting makes you more vulnerable.
At this price, you will be able to regain a weight, if not ideal, but which at least will guarantee you a normal life expectancy. Unfortunately you will not avoid unsightly folds, due to your distended skin.
Finally, a pregnant or breastfeeding woman will not fast in any way.
How to mitigate compulsive hunger
(Permalink) There are a lot of scientific works on hunger hormones, but unfortunately they remain theoretical. (When they are not catastrophic tinkering, as with the Mediator scandal). However, a recent study (Science Alert)(Nature) gives a practical help. The study shows the presence of a glycemia low several hours after a meal, which produces hunger (and in some people hypoglycemia). The method is then simple: if you want to avoid a full meal, you can then take at this time a small meal of carbohydrates (rusks, bread...) which reduces hunger.
Given the stakes, this is an active field of research, which we can hope will lead to easy and safe methods, involving neither effort nor frustration.
Added February 2022: a recent hot track is a microbiome bacteria (and even an epidemics) producing delta-valerobetaine, which blocks carnitine in the mitochondria, preventing the later to burn fat instead of sugar. Hence the common hunger for sugar, while the colateral fat accumulates.
Obesogenic or apidogenic chemicals.
Added in April 2022: Scientists are now making considerable efforts to find the causes of the current obesity epidemic. A recent study published by ACS (explanations in Ecowatch) indicates that the cause could be chemicals in plastics, which diffuse in food, are inhaled in vapours and dusts, etc. Bisphenols and phtalates are already known as metabolic disruptors (MDCs), but tens of thousands of other chemicals are used in the composition of plastics. The one or several culprits have not yet been identified, but they always are found in PVC and polyurethane, and in half of the polystyrenes and polyethylenes.
Phobias, intolerances, allergies:
the real, the fake and the crook
(Permalink) The world today is quite strange: there will soon be more phobias than real diseases. This is due to various propaganda, but also to the (finally positive) fact that people are starting to practice introspection. But introspection without a spiritual purpose only leads to aimless wandering, which makes us more vulnerable to lies and propaganda.
The main source of lies probably is the meat and dairy lobby, which infiltrated organic food and dietetics in the 1990s. In any case, it is easy to verify that the list of arbitrary taboos precisely is about the foods which allow a good vege transition: wheat, soy, whole grain bread, B12 vitamin, etc. Other lobbies have created other phobias serving equally stupid purposes: taboos on blue light, glass wool, contraception, etc.
(Permalink) Gluten intolerance is clearly an invention, without any scientific or observational basis (other than the auto-suggestion of believers). If gluten was so bad, we would not have had pyramids or Roman legions.
I suspect that the origin of this tall story is Guy Claude Burger's instinctotherapy, which banned wheat as early as 1983. The first mention I saw of it was in 1990, in a social investigation (This lie went as far as an intestinal biopsy on the victim, making of it a case of Munchausen syndrome by proxy). So it is not a green or New Age prejudice, but an idea which had a strong support in mainstream society from the beginning.
The motivations of this scam are simple:
-make the vegetarian transition more difficult, by removing one of the basic tools for this transition, even its symbol: whole grain bread.
-To create a captive market for products which we do not needed, or even dangerous. (In the case of instinctotherapy, to make people addicted to the cult)
That the gluten-free fashion is a boosting disinformation specifically targeting veges is quite easy to prove: you can easily find gluten-free alternatives to whole grain bread in organic stores. But you cannot find gluten-free alternatives to croissants or baguettes in regular bakeries, despite both of them are higher in gluten than whole grain bread.
Finally, we note that the symptoms attributed to gluten are similar to the ones of chlorpyrifos. The latter could therefore be the real culprit of those pervasive discomfort (in more of being the main accused for the ADHD and autism).
(Permalink) When we do an Internet search on gluten «intolerance», the rare scientific references point at the celiac disease. In fact there is a blur, which I would call wikipedia science.
In fact, celiac disease would be one of the forms of intestinal disorders caused by an unbalanced intestinal flora. Unfortunately, this is an area where science is still very incomplete, and doctors are at a loss, despite some recent progress.
Of course, the «treatment» by gluten-free diet is «long to produce its effect», ha ha ha ha!
(Permalink) It manifests itself by a disgust of milk, sometimes disabling. The cause is lactose, the sugar of milk: we are not supposed to drink milk past five years old, and we lose the enzyme which allows us to assimilate lactose.
Contrary to imaginary intolerances such as gluten «intolerance», which receives a lot of media attention, real intolerance to milk is still largely ignored, denigrated or censored, due to the action of the milk lobby, whose lies also perverted medicine and social services.
This intolerance can also occur with foods containing lactose, such as certain pastries.
On the other hand, some milk-dependent ethnic groups are protected, by Darwinian selection, which favors the gene which allows them to assimilate lactose. The transformation of milk by fermentation (yoghurts, cheeses) also solves this problem.
Intolerance to Jerusalem artichokes.
(Permalink) The cause is that Jerusalem artichokes do not contain starch, but inulin, which we cannot digest. This is a pity, for a plant which grows so easily in our own garden. (Inulin gives it resistance to cold). This would be a case where a genetic modification of Humanity would be justified, to allow us to digest this plant. Or, in the meantime, a «spice» containing the necessary enzyme.
(Permalink) Here we have a case where multiple lies by omission require a point-by-point discussion:
- Raw soy (soy flakes) produces an intolerance, because it contains an enzyme which blocks digestion. However, this enzyme disappears easily during cooking, in all traditional or modern processes, making prepared soy perfectly bearable.
- Soy contains estrogens. In facts, recent searches showed that they are in too small quantities to have any effect. In any case, to avoid them, the normal preparation of soy is to soak it in water long enough, and to discard this water. Organic soy is supposed to be prepared that way... even if we cannot update the organic specifications to ensure it.
- Soy would produce deforestation. This is true for soybeans massively cultivated in Brazil for meat. On the contrary, soy used in organic farming or in food comes from local, responsible or organic crops. So it is in fact meat which is the main driver of deforestation in the Amazon, if not the only one. If you are still eating meat, you know what you have to do.
In reality, soy is probably the closest approach to a complete food, safe, balanced in amino acids, fatty acids, starches and vitamins, proven by several millennia of experience. It is therefore one of the most important bases of a vege diet.
This very probably is why it attracts so many lies and disinformation. The difference in treatment between milk intolerance and gluten intolerance clearly shows who is at the origin of these lies.
Goitrogenic foods, iodine, hypothyroidism
(Permalink) (Modified on March 15, 2022) As promised, here comes more information on this subject. Where more than ever we have to think in terms of dosage, instead of decreeing arbitrary taboos. For instance I have seen passing by «soy free products» made of... tapioca, which is much more goitrogenic than soy! This is a typical case where prejudices against imaginary dangers expose to very real dangers.
The problem here is that some plants, called goitrogens, decrease the activity of the thyroid gland. The most active are cassava, manioc and tapioca (article in science direct) (Article in Science Direct). In poor countries, regular consumption of these foods results in endemic goiter and cretinism.
However, other foods are also slightly goitrogenic: many plants of the cabbage family, kombu (seaweed), millet, soy, sweet potatoes, etc. This does not mean that everyone should drop them, but that in some people they can reveal an underlying hypothyroidism condition.
Hypothyroidism is a common disorder, especially with age, which can produce fatigue, drowsiness, frilosity, difficulty concentrating, unexplained weight gain, edema, etc. If there is a suspicion, a doctor should be consulted, who will order a TSH (thyroid activity indicator) test. (I think that in some people, a still within limits TSH can indicate a problem, especially if the other symptoms are observed). The only treatment is a hormone, Levothyrox, under medical supervision because excess is dangerous.
So that it is not needed to suppress weakly goitrogenic basic foods like cabbage or soy. The only precaution is, if we take levothyrox, tell the physician, who will adapt the dose.
The «psychosis» on blue light which would destroy the retina
(Permalink) This deliria appeared in France very curiously at the precise moment when the public authorities were about to ban incandescent lamps. We thinks of the lobby of the climate denier nutters... except that in France electricity is mostly nuclear. And the nuclear cult is well known for its incredible lies: the radioactivity of Chernobyl stopping right at the border, uranium hexafluoride lighter than air, nuclear hormesis, harmless small doses, etc.
In fact, incandescent lamps produced as much blue light as LEDs, and the sun a hundred times more. If blue light made us blind, we would… see it.
But lies eventually continue their own life, even when their creators have forgotten them. So now you can find things like blue filters for cell phones, etc. The liars have created a market.
The «psychosis» about carcinogenic glass wool.
(Permalink) This lie plays on the confusion with asbestos, even though glass wool has nothing to do with it, and poses no such danger. Modern products, soluble in the body, would even deserve an organic label.
It is easy to see where this nonsense comes from:
-They propose wool instead: the meat lobby (or the moth lobby, ha ha ha!)
-They propose «incombustible» hemp: the drugs lobby.
(Permalink) A phobia is an emotion, not a biological reaction neither a behavior. It is a fear or a feeling of rejection, which can have multiple causes:
- Genetically programmed, for example the fear of snakes, which is a protection. There is no unhealthy psychoanalytical symbol here.
- Following a trauma (PTSD) or a bad period of our life.
- Resulting from ideologies or psychological disorders: racism, prejudice against organic food, etc.
Phobias can be treated through psychotherapy or spiritual training. We can totally eliminate phobias arising from ideology, and live better with genetically programmed phobias.
(Permalink) An intolerance is a physical sensation, not an emotion. It can be accompanied by various benign but annoying symptoms: nausea, indigestion, disgust, etc. Some intolerances are the same for everybody (Jerusalem artichokes) or different for different people (milk).
Psychotherapy has no effect on an intolerance. The only remedy is generally to abstain from the foods which cause it. Sometimes you have to look for an ingredient in the lists. For example, lactose is found in some cakes, which can lead to digestive discomfort.
(Permalink) An allergy is an active immune reaction of the body to a given substance. They are at least annoying, often disabling, and some can be very serious, such as the very rare but fatal allergy to peanuts.
The important point here is that an allergy is not necessarily «caused by an allergen». Certainly, there are some poisons which can more easily cause allergies, but in most cases an allergy is a personal relationship between an individual and a substance. But especially, what is allergenic to one person is completely harmless to another. For example, if a person is allergic to potatoes, it does not mean that potatoes are bad. It does not mean that everybody else has to abstain from potatoes. The same goes for soy, gluten, etc.
The treatment of allergies is a medical matter. But treatments are not always effective, so it is better to abstain from the foods which bother us. Psychotherapy is not effective, but it can sometimes be an adjuvant treatment.
«Allergies» to gluten, soy, etc. are in fact phobias, as these foods are generally tolerated and very little allergenic. Of course there may be real cases, but with all the disinformation surrounding these foods, the concerned people will have difficulty being recognized by a doctor. This is not the least reason to stop these tomfooleries.
(Permalink) In media gibberish, a psychosis is an unjustified fear, which spreads by hearsay. In fact, most often it is the media themselves which propagates things that we would not hear about otherwise, like the end of the world in 2012, or the rush on toilet paper with the COVID epidemic. Strictly speaking, we should not say psychosis, as this is a serious psychiatric disorder, requiring treatment. It would be more like rumors or panics, which have a life of their own but without being as organized as conspiracy theories.
Simplified and fast Couscous
(Permalink) That is, without the special steam cooking pan, and vegan. But almost as Arab as the traditional one!
- In a large water pan, boil carrots, zucchini (courgettes) and red bell pepper cut into pieces, in roughly equal quantities. Add salt and start the fire.
- Towards the end, add a can of canned chickpeas, without the juice.
- You can keep this in the fridge, and take only what you need.
- A few minutes before serving, in the boiling veggies:
- Add high-protein ingredients: soy sausage, seitan, etc. (can also be served separately, with their sauce)
- Add cumin powder and coriander powder. Other couscous spices are available.
- Add vegetable butter, or oil (olive recommended, but the taste is more unexpected).
- Turn off the fire, and at once:
- Add the couscous, whole grain of course. White couscous becomes pureed with this treatment, this is why it is traditionally steamed.
- By the time it cools down to an acceptable temperature, the couscous swells and absorbs the juice. This is why you need more juice than in the traditional recipe.
- You can add raisins at the last moment, soaked in water some hours before.
- Serve with harissa to each one's taste.
Habun wa salam!