You know the cliché about vegans – Tired, anaemic, and frail. Don’t brush past one in the street, or they might snap.
This is a picture of Mac Danzig (click on it for full size), he’s what’s officially known as a ‘hard nut’ – He’s a cage fighter who’s won a string of tournaments.
And he’s a vegan.
And there are a whole bunch of other world-class vegan athletes, body-builders, martial artists and sports people.
So is a vegan diet really good for you? Are vegans fitter, healthier, happier?
The ultimate question is – what kind of diet is best? (And who’d win a fight, the vegan or the meat-eater?)
The answer (and its not a popular one) is that it depends on a lot of different things that actually have nothing to do with diet!
You see, the goodness or healthiness of a food doesn’t lie just in the food itself, it’s to do with the interaction between food and person.
Or to put it another way, there’s no one diet that’s good for everyone!
Put me in a cage with Mac Danzig and I wouldn’t last a second, no matter how much meat I’d eaten! But that doesn’t mean veganism is necessarily better – for me, and for some others, we do best on meat.
I went as far as 90% vegetarian once, and I have to say it didn’t suit me. I got weak, tired, and depressed. It’s not the best diet for everyone.
Now before the hardcore vegans get in touch, I understand that for many this is a MORAL issue not a HEALTH issue.
I respect that.
In fact, I’ve worked hundreds of vegans, and if sometimes I think their diet is doing their health no favours, I would never dream of trying to ‘convert’ them to meat.
It’s a personal choice. We’re all different. We all need different foods. Some people thrive on a vegan diet, and some don’t.
And it’s not just a choice of meat or no meat, it’s obviously more complex than that. Chinese medicine teaches us that all of our energy (qi) comes ultimately from food, and what and how you eat has a big effect on your overall health and well-being, including your energy levels, immunity, physical strength, endurance and organ functioning.
You are what you eat, and all that 🙂
The take home point? When considering your health, energy and diet, don’t fall for a ‘one size fits all’ approach. Don’t fall for dogma or hype. Listen to your body, trust your gut (literally), experiment, see what YOU need.
And if you need some help, I’m happy to give you some personal pointers to work out what would best for you (click here for more about that)
Oh… and one way or another, don’t get in a fight with Mac Danzig.