Saturday, January 9, 2010

Negative Comments about a Vegan Diet

Dear clients, friends & family:

In the spirit of transparency, I wanted you to all know that not everyone believes a Vegan diet is the healthiest choice. I've received a few emails from people who have reported that they have tried a Vegan diet and suffered issues to their skin, hair etc.

The email below from one of our clients expresses this type of concern. Fortunately, I agree with Erica. I think you have to know your body and try different things to figure out what makes you look and feel your best. That's what I'm doing with the Vegan challenge - trying it out for 30 days and seeing how my body responds and providing tips, resources and reporting my findings to all of you. I've done this in the past with various nutrition approaches. I enjoy reading the material and experimenting - I think of it as part of my nutrition education. For example, the South Beach Nutrition plan is very popular. I tried it and although I lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks, I felt horrible with such a low carb approach to my nutrition. I had no energy for my intense workouts and was dragging my butt so it wasn't the approach for me. But there are numerous other people who swear by this nutrition plan. I'm starting to believe that there isn't a One-Size-Fits-All approach to Nutrition. A Vegan Diet may not be for you or me, but trying it out for 30 days will provide a good assessment of how your body responds to this approach. I've received about 50 emails from people who have told me that a Vegan diet significantly improved their health. Vegans are very passionate about their approach to nutrition and have shared lots of great tips that I will pass on to you.

It's interesting to note that Food Inc. the documentary that started our internal challenge does not promote a Vegan Diet - just a local, organic diet as Erica mentions below.

So I will continue to record my progress with the Vegan Diet - both positives and negatives. So far, I've lost 2 pounds and I feel exactly the same as before which is great because I want to keep my energy high. It's been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I'm definitely eating a lot more vegetables and beans which has to be a good thing. Whether I will continue after the 30 days - well the jury is still out on that one.

Here's Erica's comments. By the way, I love how Erica can express her opinions and concerns in such a loving and respectful way. Thanks for being such a wonderful woman Erica!

Please don't send me anymore information about vegan diets. I don't feel that you should be sending them to anyone unless they expressly ask for it. The way things are today, telling people about your diet is like telling people about your religion. It's fine to believe what you believe and practice what you practice, but it's not for everyone, and it's best to wait until you're asked to start preaching. As for what doctors have to say about nutrition, I encourage you to visit the website below and see what this nutritional therapist/neurofeedback specialist has to say about the matter.

I have my degree in food service & minored in nutrition, and I know very well the implications of a vegan diet. It works for some people, and it can be disastrous for others. Sending out this information as a blanket statement to all people could very well guilt people who need meat to stay healthy into a diet that depletes them of energy and necessary nutrients. As for environmental impacts, the way so many vegans & vegetarians over compensate for the lack of protein with soy & starchy grains is having a crushing effect on the economy, the environment and indigenous cultures who've seen their lands bulldozed for as much for soy & grains as for pastured animals. I know your heart is in the right place, and I work every single day to make conscious choices and reduce my negative impacts on the environment & enhance my health & quality of life. Unfortunately, I am at this point mildly miffed that I turn to your business for improved health, and I'm getting advice that luckily I am smart enough not to take.

I mean no disrespect, I love your gym, and I'm about to have yet a third friend join because I rave about the life changes I've experienced there. Thank you for everything you've done to make it what it is. I just can't handle being challenged to eat a way that goes against everything my body, my naturopath, and my evolutionary history (that I share with you and every woman at the gym) tells me: Eat lots of local plants and local animals that ate the plants they were designed to eat. It's simple enough for me, and that's how I live.

Sincerely & with love,


Erica, thank you so much for your feedback and insight. It gives everyone something to think about. I'm sure there's lot of people cheering you on!

In honor of sticking to the challenge, here was my food intake for the day. To clarify, I'm not suggesting you follow my meal plan for the day. Just giving you an idea of how I'm approaching this...

Breakfast: 2 organic Flax Waffles and an orange

Snack: Apple and Banana

Lunch: Veggies, Chips & Hummus, Dried Fruit

Dinner: Salad, piece of Bread, Gnocci & Tomato Sauce, Vegan cookie (A huge thank you to Derrick's wife for this delicious treat!)

Exercise: 30 minutes of IndoRowing

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Snowshoeing is next Sunday January 17th. Join us if you can. Call 360.574.7292 to reserve your space. We are going to have so much fun!


  1. Preach on, sista! You've been very careful with your wording (letting us know that this is what YOU are doing should we choose to follow along), rather than implying that veganism is for everyone. Thank you for sharing your transparency with us. I'm enjoying hearing about your experience.