Last week Mitch went to his family doctor for a routine exam, right here in “our town”. As part of the exam, he was asked appropriate questions about his lifestyle. When asked about his eating, he answered that he eats pretty healthfully, because he does, after all, live with me, lol. He mentioned that I was a vegan and hence he doesn’t eat a lot of meat, maybe once a week. The response was….and I wish this was a joke…he needs to eat MORE meat (I believe 3 times a week was mentioned) in order to get his vitamin B12. The doctor went on to say meat is the only place we can get vitamin B12 from.
Needless to say, I was really upset, and I still am. For so many reasons. Did his physician not check his chart and see that he works hard to keep his cholesterol at bay so he doesn’t need statins (as she suggested he take years ago, but he deals with his wonderful cardiologist on this issue)? But way, way beyond Mitch’s personal health, does this doctor who is handing out nutritional advice really believe that meat is the only place we can find our vitamin b12? Though it is true that we get our B12 from animal products (fish, seafood, cheese, milk, and more) it is not exclusive to meat, by any means. It’s one thing to confront a vegan about this all important vitamin (which I personally get in a supplement which I probably don’t need because a staple in my kitchen is a product called nutritional yeast (which has a cheese-like taste) and I sprinkle it on veggies, soup, popcorn, and much more–there are also many fortified foods such as cereals and drinks—but to suggest a carnivore would be low in this vitamin is just absurd! Makes me wonder if the doc would like to see more people on statins…just saying.
You may notice that I have not mentioned the doc’s name, or even gender. I would never do that on a public forum because it goes against my soul, and is horrible karma. The truth is this physician has a very good reputation in the community and is well respected. This makes the whole thing even sadder. This doctor could be your doctor or it could be ANY doctor. They get about a semester of schooling on nutrition and that is so, so sad. Time and time again, study after study, we are finding that most of the big diseases can be avoided by leaning into a plant-based diet. Why would anyone in 2012/13 suggest eating more meat?
I am currently considering doing some workshops on why leaning into a plant-based diet might be for YOU. The longer I remain on one, the better I feel and the better my blood work. After donating blood last week, I learned my cholesterol had dropped another 10 points or so since my last donation just a couple of months ago. It was never high and because of my 30 years of teaching exercise, my ratio has always been very good, but now it is down to 176. If you are struggling with your weight, your cholesterol, your blood pressure, stress, your complexion, even your happiness level…or just about any aspect of your well-being…leaning into a plant-based diet might be just what your doctor should be suggesting, but sadly isn’t. Get behind the wheel and drive your own health. While I have done enormous amounts of research on this topic, it is my own evolution that makes me feel so convicted.
Be smart and never assume that just because they have a Dr. in front of their names, they have all or even the correct answers, all the time. There are so many great books out there. The China Study will always be my favorite. I am currently reading the Veganist by Kathy Freston, (thank you Derek and Jolene). I am thankful to Derek, his crazy vegan friends and Kathy Freston for teaching me so much about living on a plant-based diet. It’s time for all of us to realize that our health is directly related to what we eat and our movement…aka diet and exercise.
Yes, my name is Bonni and I am a “veganist,” and it is definitely working for me…and can for you,too. Stay tuned for more and consider, at least on this VFT, a plant-based meal, or even 2 or 3. If you know someone that can benefit from this, please pass it on and make it a great day.