Any Vegetarians/Vegans out there?

Discussion in 'The Iron Chef' started by LeeJUk, Jan 1, 2010.

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  1. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    The discussions about grains have been really interesting here. I'm going to have to cast my vote on the grains = good side, if we're talking whole grains. Personally, if I had to guess, I'd say modern health problems have more to do with processed sugar, vegetable oil, processed foods, and junk food in general than with any of the major food groups. We don't eat too much meat, grains, dairy, fruits, vegetables, etc. We eat too many chips and twinkies. A good rule of thumb is if God made it (fruits, vegetables, whole grains, meat, beans, dairy, etc.) it's probably good for you in reasonable amounts. The more man has fooled around with it, the worse. An exception would be man cooking our meat instead of eating it raw, but even that was commanded by God from the time we started eating animals (after the Flood).
  2. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    I just read this thread and thought of one thing:


    Seriously, I tried it in my early 20s because of some bad health advice from a Seventh Day Adventist physician. He figured that my low blood sugar and headaches could be cured by a vegetarian diet. As the song goes, "I made it nearly 70 days."

    Then, one day, when I felt real crummy and low, I resolved to go down to the Stockman's Bar and Cafe in Missoula Montana, where I ordered a double cheeseburger and a pint of beer.

    I've felt pretty good ever since. The key for me is whenever I feel out of sorts is to eat well and simply, and then climb a mountain or some serious stairs. So far it has helped more than any diet. Your mileage may vary.
  3. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    I have tried a few different diets on my kids for the sake of my son who has autism. I have thrown up my hands in defeat. All the various ones I tried were just too unrealistic or expensive. Now I just try to take what I learned from each one and so the best I can. I do blame the modern American diet for a lot of things like processed food that is no longer food when they are done with it. I do try to eat 'living' food. No, I don't mean with the heart still beating. :rolleyes: I mean the micro-organisms that are essential to digestion and health. If you saw what was in my purse on the purse/murse thread it had a lot of digestive aids. :rolleyes:
  4. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    One of the things I miss more than anything else as a result of being commissioned to live in an urban/suburban area is REAL food. Not the stuff in the stores that has been hybridised for production, picked green, and shipped around the world. Not the meats that are raised in factories. No, I miss the vegetables, dairy products, eggs, game, and fish that we raised, shot, trapped, or caught. There is a world of difference both in taste and nutritional value.
  5. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Every successful culture in the history of the world, and most of the other ones, has used starches of one sort or another as it's basic food. Grains, potatoes, sweet potatoes, and a couple others. Even today Japanese eat one average almost a pound of rice per day. I would like to see an example of a Mediterranean culture that doesn't have a starch as it's staple.

    People naturally crave a starch as a staple. Fruits and veggies don't satisfy people on an instinctive level.

    There are a zillion places in the Bible where this is taken for granted: Man does not live by bread alone. That assumes bread to be a staple. What are the horticultural sacrifices in the Bible? You offer a sheaf of grain. You eat Passover bread, etc...

    12,000,000,000,000 people or so since the flood, rich and poor, slave and free, and what are the exceptions? Some primitive Bushmen who live til 35 if they're lucky, and a few others. The chance that some unknown fad diet book author is going to discover something that hasn't been verified false through observation over 5000 years is zero, really.

    Some of you are being a bit too quick to discount mountainously heavy amounts of empirical evidence ;-)
  6. au5t1n

    au5t1n Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    "We elves prefer to stick to the four main food groups - candy, candy canes, candy corn, and syrup."
    -Will Ferrel in Elf (paraphrase from memory)
  7. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Indeed, you are correct, on both points. I still think cutting out grains and meat is reckless, but I don't worry much about what people eat: it's more important, in my mind, to avoid the idolization of longevity or health or body image, and to be thankful for God's gifts, and self-controlled in our use of them.
  8. Megan Mozart

    Megan Mozart Puritan Board Junior

    Ugh, that is so important. It's unfortunate that I failed in my loving of God and loved other things before him, but I thank God now and I am "counting it as all joy when meet trials of various kinds, for... the testing of [my] faith produces steadfastness, and let[ting] steadfastness have its full effect, that may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing"

    That is also my prayer for many others who truly morbidly obese and work very hard to get out of it and end up being very healthy, but become more of a son of hell than what they were before, because they don't love God, but being healthy. I know what I went through, but how difficult it must be for the Christian who has to deal with that without making health their idol!
  9. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    Tim is right about most cultures having some bread or bread-like staple. One of the things I learned from the various diets I tried is the reason that so many today have celiacs or wheat intolerance is that they bleach the flour to kill off any micro-organisms so that it will have a longer shelf life. Yeast in the old days came from your own sourdough starter that you made just by harvesting micro organisms from the air. These did a great job of consuming the undigestible elements in the bread during the rising period. With mass production you just don't get that anymore. Therefore, your gut can only stand so much abuse before you can't eat it at all.

    They do this to most things that are on the shelf and not in a freezer or refridgerator. Micro-organisms are why things spoil. If most of your food comes off the shelf then that's not good. If it doesn't spoil for years like say a twinkie, be afraid, be very afraid. :eek:
  10. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    A friend of mine does this: I had never heard of it before she started telling me about it: it's absolutely fascinating.
  11. Adam's Eve

    Adam's Eve Puritan Board Freshman

    We try to eat as healthily as we can (naturally raised meats, fresh vegetables (from the garden if we can get them), etc). But we had an interesting situation recently that I think makes the point. We (my husband and three daughters under the age of 4) had all been struggling with sickness, passing it around, and then around again, etc. We were trying to eat healthily, take our vitamins, get sleep, etc... but we just kept getting sick. We were out one day, running some errands, and it happened to be around suppertime. The closest (and cheapest) place was McDonalds... but, ya know, we couldn't go there... we didn't need anymore sickness! Well, anyway, to make a long story short, we did end up going there, and asking God to bless our food, as normal... and we actually started getting better! We seem to have finally kicked the thing (whatever it was), but it was interesting to us to see that God IS the one who makes food good for us. Not saying you should go out and eat McDonalds every night for supper, but... God is the one who brings us sickness, as well as health, for His own purposes, in His own time.
  12. Idelette

    Idelette Puritan Board Graduate

    Well, I don't have much time to reply to this now, but I just wanted to point something out. If you do enough research you will actually see that the typical American diet today has more "grain" in it then ever before, yet the incidences of colon cancer have increased significantly over the years! We have just as much grain as any other country, however, the difference lies in the PROCESSING of those grains! In the U.S. most grain undergoes extensive processing, and In my humble opinion this is what has led to significant increases in colon cancer, not a lack of grains! (which btw, I have a good friend right now that is undergoing surgery, radiation and chemo for colon cancer, and he's only 27 years old!) Even the USDA recommended food pyramid was recently changed to reflect this. If we were so grain deprived then why did the USDA do this? I would check out Wikipedia really quick and read the portion titled "Controversial" just to give you an idea. Food guide pyramid - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    And, yes, I agree with you that there are many factors that determine health, however, all other things being is the highest factor! I've studied these issues for the past 10 years due to chronic health problems that I USED TO HAVE--which were all eliminated by simply changing one thing and that was my diet! I've researched the history of foods, the agriculture industry, the business of marketing/patenting/ and selling food and the history of cultures etc. When I made the comment above about Medittereanean and Japanese diets it wasn't just a flippant was an educated comment based on 10 years of research! Anyhow, I just wanted to clarify some of these things, if anyone wants some evidence or stats, feel free to contact me! Like I said before, I believe its the processing of foods that is more harmful than anything else! That's just my two cents! :)
  13. Megan Mozart

    Megan Mozart Puritan Board Junior

    I have heard a lot of people in this thread appeal to the bible for including more grains than I think we need in the diet.

    Is this sound? Just like many people like to use the bible as a science book, I don't think we need to use the bible as diet advice.

    I think the ubiquity of grains in the diet mentioned in the bible could be explained by what Yvonne and I have said (grains were a staple simply because they make you feel full, cheap to make and easy to store), not God trying to promote a diet like the food pyramid with grains on the bottom.

    Otherwise, should we just make all of our bread like God tells Ezekiel in Ezekiel 4:9? It involves cooking it over human dung... well, if God gave the recipe it must be holy. ;) (Now I know nobody here would say that.)

    Note: there is actually a whole brand of products called Ezekiel 4:9 which uses the same whole grains in that passage, and I eat it when I want to eat a healthy bread, since it contains many whole grains and it is actually a living bread - it's sprouted. But I doubt they cook it over human dung.
  14. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Megan, I think the Bible's reference to grains is brought in to show that grains are not evil, and that they were obviously considered a staple food -- so we need not have qualms of conscience in eating them as such?

    Yvonne, I'm quite interested: I thought we currently shared some general kinds of health conditions from things you've said recently on other threads? Are all your health issues cleared up now (that would be wonderful -- I've been praying for you).

    In that regard, I've been reluctant to say anything about female health conditions in public :), but it might be good to mention it as soy/tofu products are a staple of some kinds of diets mentioned in the thread -- that they *can* negatively impact some female health conditions: obviously that isn't by and large, and probably other factors go into that than merely having the condition: but they can do something with female hormones and so exacerbate symptoms like pain, bleeding, etc. Just something to be aware of the possibility of.
  15. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    That's one of the examples of something being good or evil just because God says it's good or evil. Genocide is forbidden, but if God says it's good on one occasion, it's good on that one occasion. Or marrying a whore, or cooking over dung. According to Biblical law, human dung has to be buried. The case in Ezekiel is God making an exception that we aren't allowed to. So, cooking over human dung is like the Israelis bulldozing the house of the parents of suicide bombers. It's sinful, since God in the 10 Commandments claims the right to punish the sins of the fathers on the children, but says we humans aren't allowed to.

    There were plenty of veggies in the ANE, including Israel. Several are mentioned, as are fruits. But except for wine during Passover and bitter herbs with the meat I can't think of anything else used in sacrifice. As I said, it's taken for granted that grains are the staple of their diet, even for rich folk. Abraham rushed to prepare lamb and bread for the Angel. Solomon was the richest man who ever lived, and the wisest, and his household's monthly food included
    Rich or poor, educated or ignorant, you will struggle to find any healthy population that doesn't have a starch as a staple.

    Even in the NT, Christ's miracles include wine, fish and bread.

    Yvonne, I agree wholeheartedly with what you say about overly processed grains.
  16. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

    Here is my diet - i just eat whatever is put in front of me. "But Andrew, don't you cook for yourself?!" Sure, in that case, I eat whatever's in the fridge and/or cabinet.
  17. Megan Mozart

    Megan Mozart Puritan Board Junior

    I try to not eat soy that much.

    Soy is really bad for a pregnant woman. Yet another reason to avoid processed grains, since soy is ubiquitous in anything processed.
  18. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Megan, I sometimes wonder though if a lot of the info out there isn't generalised from rare cases like myself: I have a hard time sorting through all the info because so little of it seems to have been tested with fully scientific standards. And in my own experience, though certainly people who generally seem predisposed to allergies etc do very badly with processed foods, the families in my church who eat healthily, don't eat a lot of pre-prepared etc., but eat regular grocery store food through pregnancies etc are healthier overall than families in Mexico who ate very few processed foods -- hygiene is obviously a factor; but processing is surely to some degree part of the hygiene consideration? Also, I wonder if some of the studies re: current health conditions don't take into account that these conditions were not easily diagnosed or kept track of in the past -- you would know more about whether they factor these things in than I do? Certainly we live longer now overall than we did previously, though foods were not processed so heavily.

    I *am* quite sensitive to a number of things other people tolerate without problems, and I can't have soy. I don't know that the problems associated with it are necessarily going to happen, but as they could, it seems good to have some awareness in case they do.
  19. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    I think several different discussions are kind of getting mixed up (which is fine, but can be confusing).

    One is the question of the morality of food. On that point, the Bible is quite clear. Every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving. We are to be grateful for what God gives us, and enjoy good food, while not eating for drunkenness. God gives bread, and wine, and oil; and animals and herbs and fruit. We must be firm on this point against those who would attempt to make us feel guilty for eating.

    Again, the Bible is quite clear that there is no salvation through nutrition. Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats, but God shall destroy both it and them. We can enjoy God's goodness through a grateful use of good food, but eating and drinking are not and never can be the kingdom of God. We must be firm on this point against those who would attempt to make a religion out of diet (or health or longevity: I am not commanded to live long, or to be well, but to be faithful with what I have: a subtle shift of emphasis that may quite radically change the approach).

    The Bible is also clear that for some people their god is their belly, and man does not live by bread alone, and so we are called to discipline, to self-restraint in the matter of food, as in the matter of any other appetite. It doesn't make food bad; but it's no surprise that we are capable of abusing this gift as well.

    That's one discussion, but I don't think there's much disagreement there: we just have to remember these things and try to keep them as fundamental in all our thinking about diet, and diet recommendations.

    Then there is the question of what foods are healthy and what foods are unhealthy. That's a separate issue, and on that score, what is good for some people may not be good for others (allergies are an easy example: peanuts are, in fact, very bad for some people). Now there are hundreds of diets out there, all claiming to be effective for their particular purpose, whether it be weight loss or building muscle mass or improving your health or increasing your longevity or mental agility, or whatever. Here, it's obvious that we can't dictate to one another; that the field is broader than what can be studied, but that the studies probably exceed the grasp of most individuals, and that common sense is your best friend. Some of the diets are dangerous, some are stupid, some are unpalatable, and some are simple variations on a theme: but good and bad diets are marketed aggressively and deceptively, with appeals to self-righteousness and self-indulgence of every form. The thing I would be concerned about here would be making recommendations that, though perhaps intrinsically pretty decent are completely inapplicable to the case of the person receiving the recommendation (see Vic's example above), or through reductive thinking coming to embrace a diet that can be positively dangerous. Take as an example the addition of fiber to yogurt. That fiber is vital for the proper functioning of the human organism, I take it, is not really a controvertible proposition. That the "fiber" in yogurt does any good has yet to be proven. Isolating a nutrient from its proper context, whether as a supplement or through processing or by making it the dominant factor in a diet, seems unlikely to obtain good results. In the same way, isolating diet from exercise habits, sleep patterns, stress levels, etc., is also unhelpful. I take it that all this complexity basically means that we are all reduced to the level of listening to anecdotes and learning by our own experiments what works for us, unless we are in the position to hire a personal consultant to design a lifestyle for our own health - and if that's our case, we probably need to add a personal chaplain to remind us that we will return to dust and that the fashion of this world perishes.

    Another issue is the use of the Bible with regard to diets. Obviously there are people who abuse Scripture ("The Maker's Diet") in order to impose a system of eating that binds the conscience. I haven't seen that on the thread. But inasmuch as the Bible gives reliable historical evidence, it is certainly fair to point out, for instance, that Isaac, who lived far longer than any of us will (and lived longer than his father or his son) was very fond of eating wild game. The Bible does take it for granted that grain will be a fundamental part of the diet: that doesn't make it a prescription, but it does mean that any recommendation to eat primarily vegetables is unhistorical and consequently to be received with quite a fair degree of skepticism. It may be true, as Huxley has suggested, that the ideas of the Biblical people's about what constituted an exciting feast may have been conditioned by the difficulty of acquiring much in the way of fats in their diet; but since they wrote down those things under divine inspiration it seems a reasonable conclusion that meat and bread, butter and cheese and honey are (by and large) objectively good.

    These discussions always get around to the matter of general health, and comparisons with the past. Well, the only golden past that can really be demonstrated is too far away for us to ever return. And I am always skeptical of statistics in this matter. Because rising "levels" of some disease are merely rising levels of reports of a given disease. And people often mistake the meaning of the statistics. Just last month I ran across two separate authors who thought that if average life expectancy was lower in the past that must have meant it was very unusual for anyone to pass 40. But that is nonsense: if 50% of babies die before they are one, and the average life expetancy is 40, then a lot of people were living well beyond that point.

    In summary, don't expect that other people's experience will mirror your own; don't buy marketing campaigns disguised as science, or science that neglects common sense; and keep in mind that Scripture gives us liberty to enjoy food, while reminding us that it is ultimately a matter of very little moment.
  20. Andres

    Andres Puritan Board Doctor

  21. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    (A quick ps re: soy/tofu: these things are of course quite significant in Oriental diets as well as vegetarian, and oriental diets are said to be healthy. The 'purer' the form of soy, the more problems I actually have with it, so I'm pretty sure this is not a problem with processing and that it is also not something necessarily associated with soy -- in general oriental women seem to be healthy.)
  22. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Ruben, I enjoyed your post, as I almost always do, but I'll throw this out there:

    I'm not sure that's exactly true, although the scholar in you has probably thought this through farther than I have. If the Bible says moderation in all things is good, then one could, in my opinion, fairly easily make a case for saying a moderate diet to be beneficial. Paul also says physical exercise helps some (fair paraphrase? Comments?)

    And this may be the theonomist in me creeping out farther than it should, but I had a man tell me when I was a teenager that the Biblical prohibition against eating fat was because it was the best part, and God wanted it for Himself. I thought that through, and even as an arminian baptist resolved not to eat fat from then on based on what I saw as ridiculously faulty logic ;-)

    Too much honey makes you barf. (Another fair paraphrase? Comments?) Bread you are assumed to scarf, more simple carbs you are supposed to restrain yourself (beekeeper here! So I must have that one right?).

    I don't see how anyone can read Proverbs through and doubt that God wants us (generally: Revealed will) to live long and be well. Drink a little wine. Honey is health to the bone. Bread makes a man's heart strong. Olive oil makes his face shine. Goat's milk will sustain your maidens.

    Some of you have seen my kids in person, and others on my website. While I (not just a hypocritical example of humility, but deeply felt) still beat up myself for neglecting my families vastly more important emotional and spiritual needs, I did indeed raise the kids according to Biblical principles of health, and my sons are, to say the least studly, and my daughters exceptional. As in medals whenever they got to MMA tournaments, getting work from people in construction even in this economy, etc...

    The Bible has tons to say about health, including (but in no way most importantly) diet. No road kill, no polar bear liver, no fat or blood sausage, and all the positive things.

    Anyway, just throwin' it out there.

    Megan, I'm so proud of you as a new wife who cares so much about this subject!!! You're a treasure. And Heidi, if you get any more wise, I think I'll just join the CRC and nominate you as an elder :)
  23. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Thanks for your thoughtful post, Ruben. I especially liked the above, mainly because that turns out to be my favorite diet.

    I do add squash and green beans to the list, but only because they are so easy to grow and we have to eat them up. ;)
  24. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Tim, there is no doubt that health is a blessing, and wasting it is foolish. After all, being healthy gives us scope to serve God more extensively than being unhealthy. And so there is the command to take care of your stomach by using wine in preference to water. And far it from me to suggest that following God's commandments is imprudent. So the command of temperance is certainly beneficial to one's health; but you can't ground the command to be temperate on the health benefit. Important though that may be, it is more important not to be brought under the power of something, to be free from all other servitudes to enjoy the servitude of Christ. Diet can influence a child's growth, but Christ still asserts that we can't add a cubit to our stature: and diet can contribute to our longevity, but God is still the one who sets the measure of our days. And so I don't make those things my goal, but rather to be faithful with what I have. Naturally part of that is preserving what I have to be used again tomorrow - but part of that is also a willingness to be spent in the service of God. When health or longevity or prosperity become my goal, instead of a possible fringe benefit of obeying the Lord, it seems to me that I have begun to lose something of my freedom to follow the Lord.

    Vic, if we can swap out the squash for potatoes and replace the green beans with celery we'll have the ingredients for a truly noble feast.
  25. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Actually He said you can't add an inch to your stature by worrying. You can add several inches by good diet, thrift, and a zillion other things. I don't buy that one, brother, but you're still my hero ;-)
  26. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    Tim, you're right about the passage, of course, and I should have qualified. I did point out that we can influence growth, though. I agree that by taking thought, or fretting, we accomplish nothing (except perhaps the opposite of what we intended). But height and longevity are not fundamentally under my control (though I could gain a few inches by having some strategic bones strategically broken), and are not to consume me. By setting my gaze that low, I am moving myself away from the standpoint of (a quite possibly short) Paul for whom death was gain.

    By the way, thanks for your kind words. I have often profited from your knack for odd pieces of information and ability to point out a relevant Biblical text on points that at first seem to be quite unaddressed by Scripture.
  27. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    They are! They are under the (humanly speaking) control of the church, and it's influence on society. The Dutch weren't always, genetically, taller than Chinese. They are since Christianity influenced Holland more than China, at this point in history. And you should know that, having been raised in a largely heathen culture.

    God's law is more valuable than rubies and gold. Christ's resurrection didn't change the way calcium is incorperated into the human body.
  28. py3ak

    py3ak They're stalling and plotting against me Staff Member

    That's a very interesting view. Especially since I don't recall Scripture mentioning any godly giants. Even if it's true, though, which might be hard to demonstrate, you can hardly argue that Saul was responsible for being head and shoulders taller than everyone else, and if you make that admission you have granted the substance of my position.

    Having been raised in a largely heathen culture, and more importantly, having ridden the bus extensively in a largely heathen culture, I have stopped thinking of height as a blessing!
  29. a mere housewife

    a mere housewife Not your cup of tea

    Mr. V you're so kind -- and I agree with you completely about Megan :).

    And I agree with Ruben about riding the bus.
  30. TimV

    TimV Puritanboard Botanist

    Riding a buss? Now that would be an interesting subject, since I've done it to on multiple continents.

    But to the point, the Dutch are taller than those you sat next to on SAmerican buses, and it's due to medical and dietary practices. Please comment if you disagree.
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