The safest, most effective therapies for optimal health!
by Ellen Landauer
Low fat vegan diet experience: Many who switch to raw plant foods and juices are amazed how much better they feel. Is this way of eating safe and beneficial for you? For the earth?
The description of the good feeling on this regimen is a 'natural high,' which is said to support enhanced spiritual awareness. What is the real truth about this 'instant enlightenment,' and is it sustainable??
The first 6 months to 2 years may be considered a 'Honeymoon period.' Mine lasted around a year.
Anyone who has ever fasted knows that there is a 'natural high' associated with going on a very limited, low-calorie regimen such as a juice fast or cleansing diet.
During this time, I had feelings of being in a rarified 'spiritual' space. I felt more 'enlightened' than all those meat-eaters out there. I became very evangelical, seeing it as my holy mission to talk everyone else into eating only raw plant foods and juices.
This way of eating totally eliminated nutrient-dense foods derived from animals. In place of traditional hunter-gatherer diet, the foods I turned to were mostly carbs - and unless juiced - also loaded with cellulose - which locks the nutrients away from our digestive enzymes.
Humans do not digest cellulose - and a lot of it does NOT get broken up even by thorough chewing. 'Soluble' or not, fiber passes right through us - if we are lucky. In some cases, fiber becomes impacted in the digestive tract, causing bloating, constipation (yes, you read right), trapped gas and pain.
My increasing state of malnutrition combined with high carbohydrates gifted me with what many consider 'out-of-body experiences.' I was sure that my body was not so important and that the most important part of me was a 'spirit' that would live forever.
I embraced celibacy - a common affliction of the plants-only crowd. Not only was this yet another way to feel superior to mere mortals - it was a perfect way to avoid emotional turmoil of intimate relationships. Yikes!!
Thankfully, I was a little more in contact with my physicality than many who pursue low fat vegan diet. I still maintained a demanding exercise program as a long-distance runner and swimmer. That helped me deplete protein, vitamins and minerals at a faster pace! But it also forced me to begin to notice that my body was losing vitality.
Sugar cravings led me to binge on oranges and tangerines - sometimes ten at a time! If you want to dissolve your tooth enamel, this is the perfect way to do that!
Add to that yet more 'spirituality,' thanks to blood sugar spikes! Indeed, I WAS having an 'out-of-body experience!'
I was totally clueless about the fact that when the honeymoon period is over, your body starts to feed on itself - to cannibalize your own flesh!
This is because of severe depletion of amino acids - protein building blocks of every cell and body function. Your body, in its attempt to survive, takes nutrients out of tissues with less essential-to-life functions - and transfers them for more vital functions.
For example, taking minerals out of bones to keep blood from going so out of balance that you could die. Or - taking amino acids needed for neurotransmitters to build heart or lung tissue.
Because I was not eating any food from animals, I felt that this way of eating is cruelty-free. In addition to the commonly reported 'natural high,' there was the good feeling that animals are not being harmed.
Or are they..?
**Who is talking about what happens to baby birds in nests of ground-nesting species when the field is plowed, or how many animals that come to feast on fruit and vegetable crops are shot, trapped and poisoned? Or how many species (including us) are poisoned by sprays intended to keep bugs and blight off the crops?OR how much fuel is used in the machines needed to plow, maintain and harvest crops?**
I was totally convinced I was 'saving the earth' because I did not eat meat, fish or poultry!
How is it that organic pasture-raised animals of all kinds leave nature much more pristine than crops of fruits and vegetables? The ground is not plowed. Land that would be impossible to grow any crop is utilized for producing some of the most nutrient-dense, healthy foods available to us. This is as close to the way the healthiest humans through history nourished themselves.
As anyone who has done some fasting knows, once you get past the initial discomfort, there is a 'natural high' that generally occurs. You feel lighter, often calmer and in a better mood. This is commonly reported by those who have been on a low fat vegan diet for less than two years or so.
HOWEVER - this does not last. My extensive low fat vegan diet experience (2 - 3 years straight!) and that of many other adherents is that the initial high comes crashing down at some point.
THE POINT AT WHICH THE CRASH TAKES PLACE COINCIDES WITH THE POINT AT WHICH CRITICAL NUTRIENTS ARE SEVERELY DEPLETED DUE TO MALNUTRITION. B-12, protein, various minerals, Vitamin A (notice I did not say 'beta-carotene'), and essential fatty acids eventually are depleted from storage organs like the liver, nervous system and subcutaneous fat.
Holistic MD Frank Shallenberger has stated that among hundreds of strict vegans he has treated in all the decades he has practiced, he only found TWO who were healthy.
At around a year, my physical abilities began to fail. I couldn't run more than a mile or so, because of chronic diarrhea. I began to feel depressed. I began to suffer blood sugar imbalance.
NOTE: Neurotransmitter production REQUIRES an abundance of amino acids (protein building blocks) to support mood, cognition, reaction time and mental ability. Raw plants and juices can't supply enough amino acids like Taurine, Tyrosine and Tryptophan - to name just a few. To sustain mood, physical strength, ability to handle stress, and capacity to think critically - Amino Acids are needed in larger amounts than any plant diet could ever supply.
My critical thinking ability was low enough to keep me in denial of the obvious! I stubbornly refused to admit anything could be amiss - just dug my heels in deeper and tried to make my nutritional protocol 'better' - a typical avoidance measure of those hopelessly addicted to a regime / philosophy. As 'spiritual' as I thought I was, I was VERY attached to my new 'religion!'
I was also meditating a lot, which served well to enhance my ability to deny physical reality.
What saved me was meeting a friend who invited me to attend nutrition classes with Dr. Carleton Fredericks. Decades ago, this man was a nutrititional educator, had a wildly popular radio show, and was advisor to some of the original landmark holistic doctors of the time - including the renowned Dr. Warren Levin.
I listened to Dr. Fredericks elucidate the rationale for necessity of including abundant amounts of healthy animal fats and proteins in our diets.
At a dead end on the low fat vegan diet experience, I slowly pulled myself out of depression, physical weakness and mental decline by gradually including more of the high-fat animal foods we humans were meant to eat.
Subsequent to that, I did some brief fasts, but have never gone back to excluding healthy animal foods.
Ellen Landauer is an expert with over 40 years in-depth study and experience of the safe and effective use of nutritional supplements, botanical extracts and detoxification methods.
She is Certified as an Advanced Practitioner of Structural Integration body therapy developed by Dr. Ida P. Rolf - also known as Rolfing. This hands-on therapy is the deepest, most comprehensive body alignment therapy.
Ellen Landauer is also a NEWLY PUBLISHED AUTHOR!
To learn more about Ellen Landauer, see her detailed bio HERE
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