sorry it took me so long to write you back. I hope you are doing well.
It looks like the more I read about ex-vegans and ex-vegetarians, the more similarities I see. I think we should start an ex-vegan-rehab anonymous club with regular mandatory MEATings :)
I really hope that GAPS healing foods helped you stop IBS. Luckily, our gut lining is one the fastest tissues to heal provided that we stop eating all the foods that damage it and introduce anti-inflammatory broths. I too had damaged my digestion pretty badly with all the beans and grains and had to struggle with constant pain, fatigue and indigestion. I never liked soy, but I didn’t ban it either until GAPS, and did eat it occasionally in restaurants as it was part of recipes. All the grains, beans, soy, nuts and even skins of fruit and raw vegetable fibers can be very bad for the gut lining. Gluten, lectins and phytates are very damaging and foods that contain them have to be prepared in a certain way to minimize the damage. Do you know that many vegetarians who do that properly? We were never taught that in childhood. Paleo people honestly believe that grains are evil. Well, they are, if you don’t eat them right. Nobody eats an unpluck raw chicken, right? Grains also have their methods of self-defense, they have all the anti-nutrients. If it hadn't been for GAPS I wouldn't know that grains should be eaten fermented only. If it hadn’t been for GAPS I’s probably still be sick. Broths and healing foods can really heal.
Elevated blood Sugar on vegetarian diet is definitely due to high intake of fruits and grains and they do give a happy high in the beginning. Grains and fruits raise blood Sugar and constantly over-stimulate our pancreas and that’s really like flirting with diabetes, as you mentioned. It is constant stress for our body – to deal with elevated blood sugar, there is always need for more insulin and then there is plummeting of blood Sugar after the insulin was secreted and more need for sugar and so on.
I also think that inflammatory conditions in the gut due to the damaging anti-nutrients in nuts, grains and beans also contribute to blood sugar issues though indirectly. Inflammation is a state of emergency for the body, in all emergency situations our adrenals react by secreting stress hormones and also send a signal for a need for extra boost of sugar. It is a known mechanism that in stress situations our blood sugar has to be elevated in order to provide extra nourishment as metabolic rate increases dramatically. But when inflammation becomes chronic, our adrenals literally get tired from pumping too many secretions and signals and our liver and muscles get depleted of sugar stores (glycogen). That’s how we get adrenal fatigue and blood sugar fluctuations I think.
When I gave up wheat/gluten while being a vegan, my cravings for sweets stopped within about a month and even carrots seemed sweet enough. However, later after gut inflammation persisted for some time, I started having really bad symptoms of low blood sugar and had to snack all the time.
Dr. Campbell-McBride mentioned that unstable blood sugar and exhausted adrenals go hand in hand and can be managed and corrected with frequent high-fat snacks with a little bit of raw honey. True, after a couple months on GAPS anti-inflammatory and high fat foods the low blood sugar symptoms stopped.
I’ve also noticed that fermenting rice and millet, or any non-glutenous grain for a couple of days before cooking (soaking in water and adding 2 Tbsp of home-made kefir in that water and then rinsing before cooking) does not cause any problems with blood sugar fluctuations, or indigestion. I wonder if humans historically ate fermented grains only in order to save themselves from diabetes and inflammatory gut conditions? Does Maker's Diet have any comments on that? I should look into that book since you mentioned it. There have to be some traditional dietary guidelines that worked through centuries but that are less radical than Paleo, right?
I do agree about lobsters and shrimp being cockroaches of the sea. Kosher standards don't allow them, I think for the same reasons that don't allow pork.
However, speaking of seafood, I recently came across the info in an article on Ayurveda mentioning oyster shells being a clean type of bone...whatever it means... Oysters and mussels do not crawl on the bottom of the ocean, they just sit and gulp water and filter out some nutrients dissolved in it, right? Something that makes pearls shouldn't be that bad.. I looked up into their nutrition and it looks like they are the most superior food in nutrition providing tons of B12, copper, zinc, etc.
Fish is really controversial food now, I agree. There are different views on that how much mercury is in it really and whether it maybe exaggerated by meat industry. I honestly don't know what to think of it and since I've learned about GMO-salmon, I am also going to give it a break.
Ah, chelation... Working on it too but taking it slowly now. We should exchange ideas on that.
It is so cute that you have a pet duck. I never thought they could be pets! The only ducks I saw were the ones in a group of other ducks and they were not affectionate or smart. They must behave differently when they communicate with people more than with each other.
What you mentioned about L-arginine promoting replication of the herpes virus is new info for me. I am so glad you found a knowledgeable doc who was able to point this out and get you better as Shingles is a serious and painful condition.
I had a couple of pretty bad cold-sore outbreaks while being a vegan and, of course, thought they were just a healing crisis. The very thought of chocolate, peas, nuts and oats being the foods that support a virus is simply out of our modern pro-vegetarian thinking box. We've been all conditioned to think that plant food heals us and meats make us ill. It took me some time to "re-program" my mind about animal foods.
So if I understand it correctly there has to be a proper ratio of L-lysine to L-arginine in our foods, and eating mostly plants and no animal foods puts us out of balance.
Interesting, that L-lysine has power to help battle the virus and as I read now it also has anxiolytic properties acting as a serotonin antagonist. Which makes the foods high in L-lysine (meat, fish, and cheese) perfect grounding food. So, for Vata types as well as for Vata symptoms in everybody else l-lysine is pretty much critical then.
You are right, as a Vata type you need warm, oily and heavy foods, like soups and meats. You would also respond well to essential oils therapy, soothing music and daily application of warming oils (sesame, olive, safflower or even ghee) as our skins eats too and that's a great way to supplement oils and give some extra nourishment to the whole body.. just a thought, but you probably know that already since you study Ayurveda.
I am Pitta-Kapha type with less than 20% Vata, or simply an angry sloth type :) and according to all logic, I should have been thriving on vegan diet, I should’ve been more energetic and peaceful. But guess what, vegan diet practically put all three doshas out of balance, it made me more aggressive (Pitta) and gave me more brain fog (Kapha) , and raised Vata so badly that I lost my sleep, was cold and tired all the time and became anxious and fearful. I had a chance to learn what it’s like to try calming down Vata. What an experience. It has to be a constant deliberate attempt to be very delicate about everything you eat and do as Vata types are very delicate themselves. By no means should they exhaust themselves or be malnourished.
For Vata types vegetarianism is a way to strive for clean diet as Vatas have a natural tendency to always seek purity in everything. It’s a good thing, but unfortunately, we’ve been conditioned to think that animal foods are something unclean.
For Pittas giving up meat is more like an act of self-discipline and they are the ones who have a lot of ego, aggression and self-righteousness involved… Kaphas are more compassionate and give up meat because they don’t want to hurt animals.
So, for a vegetarian, or vegan with all these moral concepts engraved in their minds about animal products, this diet is pretty much a mental trap. Our society never considers processed food laden with chemicals as dirty, but animal products are somehow unclean, unworthy of eating and guilty foods. Vegetarianism is more a mental thing than dietary, and it makes it much more serious than just an eating disorder.
When I’m done with my Ayurveda certification, I am planning on counseling people, but after my personal experience and reading others people's stories I cannot preach vegetarianism even if it’s part of traditional Ayurveda.
Well, there are different points of view on meat eating even among prominent Ayurvedic practitioners. It theoretically may be applicable in India, where climate is different, or for those who are already super healthy and can go on vegan for some time, or for those who are devoted to spiritual practices only without living a modern hectic demanding life. Theoretically, it sounds good, but realistically, I don’t see how most of us with all our schools, jobs, demanding relationships, environmental toxicities and constant stress can give up animal fats and proteins. Even M. Gandhi called vegans enemies of India. He tried to follow vegan life style for some time and came to pretty much the same conclusions as many of us here and felt that he guided his followers into starvation.
You are right, if humans survived for so long living hunter-gatherers' lifestyle, then they have been doing something right. I agree, modern messing with food and chemicals is the real issue. The more we lean towards traditional ways of living and eating the better are our chances for survival.
And yes, eating should not be based on some ideas. Nature is always wiser than any of our ideas and no matter how logical our ideas may be Nature will always be the one we should listen to.