Why Be a Vegan

A little background on me. I was born and reared in the deep South. I ate whatever I could get my hands on. I remember setting and achieving my goal of eating an entire bag of spicy pork rinds in one sitting without any water. As an adult I did little better. In college I once took one of those food challenges at a restaurant. It was three 1/3 pound hamburger patties with bacon and I don’t even remember what else, and a pound of fries. I did it and received the prize. On business trips I would often eat medium rare prime rib, and not a small one mind you.

I want to take some time to encourage you to explore a vegetarian/vegan diet. There are some benefits I have experienced that may interest you.

A few months after I got married I noticed that my pants were quickly not fitting me. My wife and I joined a gym. We lost some weight and I discovered I had a passion for running. I recall a cholesterol screening where they said I needed to exercise more, I think the score was 220. At this point I was running 40 miles per week and when I told the healthcare practitioner this the response was, “Well, just think how bad it would be if you did not exercise.” Not comforting.

This wasn’t comforting, but what was I to do? I put this to the back of my mind, but so was the information of my ancestors’s demise. I saw much cardiovascular disease. Well, all I knew to do was to keep exercising. I even saw where often times cholesterol was hereditary. I pushed all these thought away and just exercised.

About 5 years ago I was researching minimalist footwear. I saw many people with this type of footwear also were vegan or raw vegan. This seemed odd to me. I mean you need to eat meat to get your protein, right? I did some more research and my wife told me about a 7 day green smoothie challenge. Alright, I can do that. I mean the worst that happens is I go back to eating meat and everything else at the end of 7 days, or sooner if the need arises. Well, at the end of the challenge I was sold. I was feeling better than I ever thought I could. I mean, I did not even know I was feeling bad. All that toxic load from years of eating all kinds of things were being corrected. I detoxed and lost a crazy amount of weight. I may post that write-up for a future blog.

I was a low fat raw vegan for about a year. This is the 80/10/10 diet that Dr. Graham wrote about. It did some great things, but the social limitations were tough. So I slowly went to about 40% raw and stayed vegan. Vegan, with some occasional fish and chip just because, is how I have been now for a few years.

My cholesterol was checked a few months ago. It was 162. 162! The studies I read said there is no cases of cardiovascular disease in people with a score of less than 180. I think I achieved a major goal.

So why be a vegetarian or a vegan? Lower cholesterol is one reason. There are others. Meat is calorie dense. Many cultures ate meat primarily in the winter because other foods were not available. Think Eskimos. We have a variety of food and can buy almost anything we want any time of year. This is because most food is industrialized. Most the meat in the industrial food supply is highly toxic. I will be the first to admit that there does exist meat that is good for you. But you would have to find a source like Polyface Farms to achieve that level. It is much easier for most of us to just be a vegetarian or a vegan. I do know people who have family who run a cattle ranch and they realize a high quality of meat. I’ll take this time to plug my other website, Chehalem Permaculture. I’ve met Joel Salatin, see picture on other website, and have some knowledge on how to raise high quality food. Not just animals. When I do get to the point I can create my own food supply I may no longer be a vegan. But until I achieve that utopia, I remain a vegan. Even in that utopia, I would limit my meat to a small amount. That could be another post altogether.

So do some research and strike up a conversation. I truly enjoy discussing diet. If you will bear with me I’ll do one more plug. Nutrition is an important thing to me. This is why I have joined with Beachbody and sing the praises of Shakeology. I’ve studied nutrition for over 10 years. A runner and a vegan need to know a little about food.

If you aren’t satisfied with your wellness, contact me. I know more than Beachbody and would be happy to help you think through options. Let’s get a conversation going so that we can accomplish one of the reason I joined Beachbody, eliminate obesity.

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Joshua Smith

I am the father of six beloved children and a husband to a lovely woman. I am also a follower of Christ, an electrical engineer in the power industry, a cancer fighter and a motorcycle rider

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