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Ask The Old Hippy: Fad Diets and Vegetarianism   (Views: 30,219)

Contributed by skip on January 13th, 2002

Dear Old Hippy,

I was a vegetarian, and practically vegan, for almost 6 years. During this time, my health deteriorated rapidly, and I was in the hospital many, many times. I even was pronounced dead for nearly one minute, the last time around. My illness started when I got Epstein-Barr virus followed by the resulting Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I already had asthma, which became the large Achilles Heel after I got the virus. I had become vegetarian because it seemed that eating meat would drag me down. I would sleep for 3 hours after eating a taco, or chicken burrito!

I was recently allergy tested, and found that I am allergic to beef, shellfish, and chicken.

Then I came across the Eat Right For Your (blood) Type diet, (by Dr. Peter D'Adamo). He and his father have found that only Blood Type A's should be vegetarians! Type O's can die if they don't eat meat, and wheat can actually attack a Type O's heart! I am a Type AB, the rarest form of blood, and newest (only 1000 years old!). I have been on the diet for about a month, and am trying hard to eat the meat that he recommends for my blood type: lamb, turkey and albacore tuna.

I find it is harder on me emotionally, because I want to remain vegetarian, but I am in poor health. When I have recently eaten the meat, my body feels much better. I think this diet can help me to greatly improve my health, and especially increase my fertility. We have been trying for almost 10 months, without luck. I want to have one child with my husband (we are newlyweds. I am 30, he is 42), and want to raise her to be a true hippy-- a person who puts love, compassion and peace above all else.

Every time I eat meat, I say a prayer to the animal's soul, thanking it for its sacrifice that I may live healthier. I also thank the Great Spirit for the knowledge I have gained by finding this book that may help me. I also only eat 4-6 ounces of meat 3 times a week. I don't over do it, and I don't take more than what my body needs.

My husband was vegetarian for 20 years also, and he found out he has to eat beef, buffalo, and venison to get healthier. This has been hard on him as well. However, his health (and possibly fertility) is also improving.

We eat animals that were raised on organic meals only, in the right way (even cage free range free eggs). We don't buy from the evil cattle rancher establishments, but from smaller farms where the cows were raised healthier, with room to run, and don't get hormonal injections, or antibiotics, etc.

My biggest question and concern is: How do I get over judging myself on this issue? I have advocated vegetarianism for years! How can I be a hippy if I eat meat? (I suppose it is the same as taking drugs, it isn't a requirement, but it helps!) How can I live another day to protest the establishment and promote love and peace, if I am not eating the right things to promote my own health? Isn't it more important that I eat meat responsibly, get healthier, and stay alive to enjoy life, and be a hippy in other ways? Also, isn't it true that we are all just made up of atoms? Animals, flowers, vegetables, the air we breathe, is just made up of the same stuff, the same particles, the mind-stuff of our creator, the Divine Mother of all life. Since this is true, could there be another spiritual way to look at eating meat? Also, maybe it is the animal's karma to be eaten. Maybe in the cosmic scheme, an animal has to sacrifice itself now so that it may evolve and advance spiritually later? Maybe we are helping the animal if we have the right mindset?

If you can offer me some wisdom, Dear Old Hippy, and perhaps some consolation, I would be very grateful.

Also, do you know of a natural way to increase fertility in men and women? Children are so precious, and we want one very much!

Thank you very much for your wisdom and advice.

A. Fox

I applaud the degree of consciousness with which you are making your food choices. We all need to be aware of the consequences of our decisions be they what to eat or how to live. Each of us has an impact upon what happens on this planet. As we mature we take more responsibility for our actions. This leads us to the state you're in now, a moral dilemma.

I'm not familiar with this diet you're on. It sounds just like another fad diet. I must say the biggest problem I've found with vegetarians (I know a lot of them) is that some of them don't eat right. That is they favor certain vegetables over everything else and don't get enough protein. That could be your underlying problem and why you feel "good" when you eat one of the meat items recommended.

If what was said in that book were true, then I guess all those vegetarians in India (almost half the population I believe), and in Asia should really be sick! In fact most are far healthier than Americans who eat meat daily, especially those who favor fast food. They are healthier despite the lack of refrigeration, lack of money for medical care, etc, etc. They are also healthier because their lives require them to do a lot of physical labor. Our couch potato society has turned us all soft and now we get "diseases" like Epstein Barr and CFS. I use parenthesis since CFS has still to be proven to have a specific vector that causes it. No offense, as I don't know your particular situation. Perhaps you get lots of physical activity, but not enough protein.

I admire your determination to find an ethical reason to eat meat, despite the pleadings of your conscience. However I don't think you need to go to such extremes to justify your actions. As a good friend of mine says "It's just light going into light". That certainly is one way of looking at it. Of course that friend had excellent health for the many years he was a vegetarian. Then he started eating meat and immediately took sick and has been sick on and off in the years since and continues to eat meat.

I too had the best health ever when I was a vegan. I only stopped because I went traveling and it became difficult to find the protein sources I was used to. The best sources for protein for vegetarians are the combination of legumes and grains which form the complete amino acid chains (like beans and rice together), Tofu and TVP (texturized vegetable protein from soybeans), and dairy products like milk, cheese and yogurt. Some vegetarians eat eggs as well.

The other real important health tip I have is to take megadoses of vitamins B complex and C. Together these help you when you get stressed. CFS seems like a disease where your body is similar to a stressed state where all your vitamins are depleted. If you haven't tried the vitamin therapy, give it a try. I'm just guessing and I know a lot of research has been done in this field without success, which leads me to believe they're looking in the wrong places for the answers.

By the way, I am a type "O", and was never sick during the seven years when I was a vegetarian and took megadoses of those vitamins (not even a cold -unless I forgot to take the vitamins and got stressed).

If you've already tried what I recommend above, then I suggest you vary your diet, and if tuna and chicken makes you feel better (physically), then go for it. I'd avoid the lamb however. Fish is a relatively healthy protein source without hormones (although tuna does have mercury). Chickens can be OK if they're free range, and not produced in a factory (but you know this).

The only way I know to increase fertility reliably is to increase one's level of physical activity. Of course if a person's lifestyle includes things that decrease fertility they should stop doing those things (like drinking and smoking). In other words whatever makes you healthier usually makes you more fertile.

I wish you the best in your endeavor to get well consciously and to conceive a baby.

The Old Hippy

Fad Diets and Vegetarianism
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