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Most people assume that vegan diets fail and cause people to become scrawny, emaciated, asexual, anemic, thin-haired, bloated, and frigid because it lacks animal products.  Or protein.  I’m not so sure.  While we do seem to have a biological need for animal-sourced nutrients like vitamin B-12, and a big deficiency there will certainly cause some issues, my suspicions on why vegan diets (and all diets) so often yield a host of problems and symptoms lie elsewhere…

I have recently had the pleasure of working with a young guy in the vegan vlogging vurld.  Yeah I know, that only narrows it down to several thousand vegans who like to celebrate their awesomeness in video format.  He’s a really good kid, smart, honest, and has had great success with weight loss (obviously, it’s very difficult NOT to lose weight on a vegan diet). 

But, as almost always happens, lots of low metabolism symptoms started to set in.  Low metabolism symptoms are virtually the same as starvation symptoms, because starvation = reduced metabolic rate.  Some of the more common symptoms (he experienced many of these but not all) are…

  • Reduced sex drive and function (impotence, vaginal dryness)
  • Hypogonadism (ball-shrinkage)
  • Reduced body temperature
  • Reduced rate of hair growth, and fingernail growth
  • Dry skin (especially hands and lower legs)
  • Delayed wound healing
  • Hair loss
  • Cold hands and feet
  • Polyuria and nocturia (frequent urination in general, or at night)
  • Dry mouth
  • Gas and bloating
  • Irritable bowel syndrome
  • Low blood pressure
  • Constipation
  • Brain fog
  • Dizziness
  • Light periods or absent periods (amennhorea)
  • Insomnia
  • Loss of strength
  • Loss of muscle mass (sarcopenia)
  • Anemia

But, without eating any animal products at all, Vegan Vloggie-Vlog (V3?) has seen body temperature surge over 98.6, facial hair growth accelerate, sex drive and function return (Tiger Wood?), strength and muscle mass increase considerably, urine frequency decrease, sleep improve, etc. – and just generally feeling warm all over and in the hands and feet as well, even in the dead of winter.  In fact, V3 mentioned cruising around in my co-hometown (A little place where the beer flows like wine. Where beautiful women instinctively flock like the salmon of Capistrano) in January in light clothing and feeling toasty warm.  And it’s well-known that hands can get extremely cold in this locale in winter.

Anywho, I think starvation symptoms often arise on a vegan diet because vegan diets are naturally conducive to a spontaneous reduction in calorie intake, and, also significant, a reduced food to fluid ratio (more water content in proportion to calories).  And, because of the lunacy that is promoted for good nutrition and health these days, all this combined together is a pretty deadly combination for the poor human metabolism. 

A typical vegan will not only avoid all meat and dairy products, which makes the diet less enjoyable and spontaneously reduces calorie consumption, but in addition will often develop religiosity over “nutrients” as well.  Nothing against vitamins and minerals, but by far the most important nutrient we obtain from food is calories – particularly as the metabolic rate and the systems that are influenced by it (all systems are influenced by it, if not flat-out controlled by it) are concerned.   

With this obsession with nutrients comes the consumption of lots of fruits (tentatively – sugar is bad!), vegetables, juices, smoothies, green drinks, magic herbal teas, salads, sprouts, raw foods in general, and other things that are high in water and low in calories.  Water is “good” and “essential” so another couple of liters (or in some cases gallons) get thrown in with that already excessive water intake from watery foods.  This is extremely significant, as calories have to be concentrated enough to keep the metabolism functioning properly.  Eat as much watermelon as you want, but it will progressively lower metabolic rate further and further the more you eat, due to the diluting effect of excess water (this concept is discussed in Eat for Heat).

And “salt” is taboo amongst the health-conscious, vegans and non-vegans alike, which is very significant in the context of excess fluid consumption.       

The net result is usually a low-calorie diet with excess fluid consumption.  Many of the calories that are consumed are in their less-concentrated and less-digestible raw form.  Total Metabolism Suicide (TMS). 

When health problems arise that are clearly attributable to a low metabolism/starvation, the typical course of action is to do a cleanse, fast, or detox protocol that usually depends on an even more extreme decrease of calories and increase in fluids.  TMS Hypercharged! 

If vegans do eat concentrated calories, it usually comes in the form of nuts and seeds rich in metabolism-suppressive linoleic acid.  TMS Bonus. 

While I’m not an advocate of a vegan diet, I could still accept someone eating that way if they managed to get in the appropriate amount of calories and were thriving in the basic areas of physiological competency – metabolic, digestive, sexual/reproductive, sleep, immune, and so forth. 

If you are a vegan and this is all sounding about right to you, and those symptoms made you feel like I had somehow wiretapped your brain, try some dates, maple syrup, some well-salted yams and potatoes, lots of white rice and soy sauce, concentrated foods like chips, cookies, breads, pancakes, chocolate, and muffins (you probably already fight the urge to binge on these daily), calorie-rich fruits like bananas and mangoes, and enough coconut milk and coconut oil to make your food heavenly.  And ditch the tea, water, and low-calorie green drinks.  Have some fruit juice or even some soft drinks instead – but never more than you are thirsty for. 

As your metabolic rate increases dramatically with these very simple changes, you should see the majority of those symptoms improve or disappear altogether.  No cleanses, or heavy metal detoxes, or colonics, or supplements, or superfoods required.  And you can remain vegan.  Although, would it really kill you or the global biosphere to just eat a damn slice of cheese (pizza) every now and then?  While this may feel immoral to you, I think it will bring you closer to God.  Because… Cheese is f’n Christ!