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How to become a vegan

How I lost 73 lb - 33 kg

A story about HOW and WHY we – carnivorous predators – turned into ‘Plant-Based Diet’ boosters

The short answer to this question is:
Get a REAL KNOWLEDGE of how to avoid diseases that YOU DO NOT HAVE TO DIE for. (The best start is to read “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell)

And if you have some free time and want to know our story, just start reading:

It all began with the desire to be – simply – free.

When two lonely adult people decide to be together – their energy, their strength and their courage add up in an unbelievable, almost geometric way. We – Natasza and I – decided to free ourselves from everything that so far imprisoned us and start a new life. (Yes, it was June 20 🙂

An important part of everyday life is how you earn a living. We both decided to replace our occupations with a ‘free profession’ that would give us control over our time. We chose to become dietitians. This profession met all the criteria – allows you to decide how you work, when you work, how much you work and who you work with.

And – by the way – the knowledge we were going to acquire was to give us the opportunity not only to finally deal with the overweight that I had struggled with for years, but also to control our health for the rest of our lives.

After finishing “Lodz Academy of Dietetics” and picking up our diplomas – we immediately started to organize our work. We wanted to abandon our old but still-performed professions as quickly as possible (medical manager and business trainer in a corporation). We planned to work remotely without leaving home, contacting clients via the media – which is particularly reasonable when living in the forest – so we started from building our website.

Montignac effect

Delighted by the initial successes (during the acquisition of dietary knowledge and experimenting on myself – I lost 73 lb [33 kg]) – we have produced further recipes of our diet cuisine by adding hundreds of pictures of hundreds of dishes that we personally prepared. (We also tested each of our dishes by measuring the level of glucose in our blood using a glucometer – at various intervals after a meal). Natasha has always loved to cook, I have always loved eating (& photographing), and we both have always loved creating – so our website grew like a yeast cake.

Yes, our first ‘carnivorous’ header looked exactly like this:

It should not come as a surprise that after many experiments on ourselves – we chose the most effective diet. Our wonderful cuisine was – most accurately speaking – something common to the diets of Michel Montignac, Pierre Dukan and Robert Atkins (typical low-carb and high-prot diets) with a large addition of Mediterranean cooking, so everything was more tasty, more colorful and more beautiful on the plate.

Just look at this madness:

carnivorous protein madness

After many months of work – finally came the moment of truth: we found that our website is incomplete. One very important thing was missing: ‘basic content’.

We have never planned to limit our professional activity to the recipes themselves. Our work was to be more educational: we wanted our patients to learn how to prepare their own meals. In order for them to be able to choose food products, they needed elementary knowledge about how particular components act on their body (basics of physiology and biochemistry of nutrition processes).

In our euphoria of success and with great enthusiasm, we started to create a GUIDE – a substantive and serious presentation of the most important issues – the basis on which our diet was constructed.

And then it happened…

Wrapped in textbooks, scripts and tangled in hundreds of web links – I could not find a scientific confirmation of the foundations of the Montignac, Atkins and Dukan theories.

Not only that (!) Whenever I dived into their explanations – I found errors in them. So I started to search and read more and more, and the more I searched and read – it was getting worse: I began to discover errors not only (!) in Atkins, Dukan and Montignac theories, but also huge holes in the whole dietary knowledge we were taught in the academy.

And then we got stuck.

Instead of moving forward and publishing new posts – we began to delete the old ones. Most of the meals that we have been preparing ourselves for months – should never be on the table of someone who would like to eat properly and healthy.

In the end it became clear that we were back to the starting point. And even worse – everything was to start again, not trusting any dietary tips we were taught.

We’ve found that nutritionists cheat.
The greater part of traditional dietetics is a scam.
Pharmacists and doctors do not tell the truth either.
Regardless of whether ordinary dieticians are aware of what they do or not – they lie to their patients, starting with nonsense about calories * and ending with dietary supplements * for which patients MUST PAY (is not this the main way in which dietitians can earn?).

*) This article is not devoted to substantive knowledge, but not to be groundless, I will explain briefly what I meant. (The more that what I wrote looks like iconoclastic blasphemy against science.)

Regarding calories:
Widespread dietary knowledge says that carbohydrates, protein and fat provide us with such amounts of energy: fat: 1g = 9 kcal, protein: 1g = 4 kcal, carbohydrates: 1g = 4 kcal. So the proportions are: 9: 4: 4.
However, it turns out (!) that this is only when we burn carbohydrates, protein and fat in a calorimeter (some kind of an incinerator). Meanwhile, our body is not a furnace or crematory, and energy is obtained through complicated biochemical reactions, each of which has its own “price”. For example, to get 4 kcal of energy from proteins, we have to “pay” (deliver) an energy equal to 3 kcal, and for carbohydrates 1 kcal.
Ultimately: the right ratio is not 9: 4: 4, only 9: 3: 1 (more about energy from proteins)
[Information source: “Human Nutrition”, volume 1, 2012, edited by Jan Gawęcki. Chapter 8. – author: Prof. Janusz Keller]
Someone might ask: so what?
After all, it changes all energy tables of all diets around the world! (And by the way, explains the great effectiveness of protein diets.)

Regarding supplements:
If a diet requires constant replenishment, it means that something is constantly missing in it = the diet is not right; After all, the definition of “proper diet” is a “balanced diet” = one that contains everything we need.
If dieticians and nutritionists decided to tell the truth and promote proper nutrition – no one would need supplements and no one would pay for them.

So we were in a jam. Full stop. And when someone is cornered – he must start from scratch, from… elemental elements.

So we asked ourselves the basic questions: What is a diet? Why should we use it at all? And what’s the matter with this whole nutrition?

Diet is simply a way of eating: what you eat and how much you eat and so on.
But after all, each of us eats something and eats in some way. That means that everyone is always on some diet. From this point of view, the word “diet” is unnecessary – it is a great misunderstanding. (As in mathematics: if any value occurs everywhere, it can be omitted, reduced).

“Nutrition” remains. What is it really about? What is its purpose? Its essence.

Is the purpose of nutrition to weigh less?
No (!) because then – instead of getting tired of the diet – it would be enough to chop off your leg (immediately you weigh 45 lb [20 kg] less). The purpose of nutrition is not to hurt yourself. The fact that by using ‘Montignac’, ‘Atkins’ or ‘Dukan’ – you slowly chop off your liver, pancreas and heart – no one notices.

Is the purpose of nutrition to be slim?
No (!) because – if thinness were enough – slim people would never be sick or die prematurely.

Or maybe… it’s all about living. To be healthy. And keep health as long as possible.

And that’s it.
This is the right answer:

We eat – in a certain way – to stay healthy!

This answer changes the whole life of those who PROPERLY understand its importance.
It also changed our lives.

I do not know why, but obese people often misunderstand it: “If it’s just about being healthy, it means that – as long as I’m healthy – I can not care about anything!”

Can anyone be sure that obese people are healthy?
Well, they are NOT healthy because:
A) Obesity is the first SYMPTOM (!) of hundreds of upcoming misfortunes! Does anyone who already has symptoms of the disease – can be healthy?
B) Obesity itself – as a state of disturbed balance of the organism – entails (evokes from non-being) many diseases that simply can not end well.

“The Lancet” in December 2012 published an interesting statistics. I quote: “Currently, 3 times more people die from obesity than through malnutrition and hunger. On the list of basic life-threatening factors in the last 20 years, obesity has advanced from the 10th to the 6th place (in the world: 3 million deaths annually). “
And that was 7 years ago…

If obese people still think that there is nothing to worry about, I would recommend the British Nutrition Foundation publications, which (based on WHO data), on the list of health problems accompanying obesity mention: type II diabetes, insulin resistance, hypertension, coronary artery disease, cholecystitis, dyslipidemia, shortness of breath, disturbed breathing during sleep, osteoarthritis (knees), increased blood uric acid and gout, neoplastic disease (breast cancer in postmenopausal women, uterine cancer, colorectal cancer), in the secretion of sex hormones, polycystic ovarian system, weakness of fertility, low back pain, increased risk of complications after anesthesia, fetal defects associated with maternal obesity.

A healthy man is never obese.
Obesity is not only a symptom but also a PROOF that something is wrong with our health.

So how to eat – to be healthy?

That is the right question.
And we faced this dilemma – helpless, like most people.

Most people are helpless in this matter, because every day they are overwhelmed with thousands of information about proper feeding – on millions of blogs, commercials on television, radio and all other media, in books on diets, in magazines about healthy cuisine and healthy lifestyle. Everywhere! They do not know how to distinguish between false and truth. How to be sure what is behind this or that recommendation? The truth about nutrition, or simply the interest of a company that wants to sell their product?

But why – the hell – we were helpless – we, dietitians?
Because we already knew that traditional dietetics is a scam. Because we knew that our textbooks are worthless, and that we can not trust even doctors and pharmaceutical companies – especially them: Yes, they do it – they use half-truths, like this beautiful crap about combating osteoporosis with milk and diery products (reminds combating thirst with sea water), which was already ridiculed more than 100 years ago.

How to eat – to be healthy?

Think about it – what would convince you?
We were also considering – what would convince us?
We have found that the real answer to our question can be given by epidemiology, which studies the effects of nutrition on long-term health. Only such evidence can not be challenged or denied, because only such evidence is unmistakable.

What is this epidemiology about?
Let’s play the epidemiologist:
Suppose that – with the help of some super secret services – we would create a Big Nutrition Brother. BNB would spy 1 thousand people for 1 year, but only to study 2 elements: what they eat and how healthy they are.
Let us assume that we have succeeded. Now we analyze: we would choose the healthiest and look at what they eat. Does their nutrition have something in common, and if so – what is it?

What do you think – what would the result be?

Well… it would turn out that THERE IS SUCH A GROUP – a group of the healthiest people, living the longest, who eat very similarly. These are people who:

– eat little or not at all animal products (thus avoid eating fat, because meat and fat are the first nutrition “married couple”)

and

– eat little or not at all processed products (thus avoiding any chemical additives, because the other nutrition “married couple” is processing and chemistry).

Yes. The closest to the ideal are VEGANS

How do I know that?
Because such epidemiological research – really took place!
And not on a group of 1 thousand people, but many, many times greater!
And they have not been studied for 1 year, but for 20 years!

When we were looking for answers to the question of how to eat properly and search all possible sources – Natasha found T. Colin Campbell’s book “The China Study” and bought it for me as a gift.

Title: “The China Study – The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted”
Authors: T. Colin Campbell and Thomas M. Campbell II

Now sometimes I’m ashamed to admit that when I opened it – I had no idea what I had in my hands. I was convinced that this is another crap from the series: “the best, the cheapest, the most wonderful and the healthiest”.

Even when I read that this book changes millions of lives of people who have read it – I still did not believe it.

Only when reading this and his subsequent books – when we in turn found confirmation of our assumptions and answers to all our other questions – at last we understood how simple and easy it is to find the path to health.

If you really care about health, if you want to dramatically reduce your risk of CANCER, HEART DISEASE and DIABETES – just by changing your diet – just read this book!

I guarantee that after reading it you will not have the slightest doubt where the truth about nutrition lies, nor the slightest difficulty in turning bacon into avocado.

**

Ryh - bags.life cofounderIf you want to help us running this HEALTH BLOG – just visit our BAGS.life vegan store. Maybe you’ll like one of our bags, or maybe you’ll just recommend it to someone who loves VEGAN ART-BOHO style.

Peace!

/Ryh Dziewulski/




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