Notes from VVCIII – Preventing Ex-Vegans. 10 Strategies to Maximize Long-Term Success on Vegan Diets – Ginny Messina

Saturday Session – Preventing Ex-Vegans – 10 Strategies to Maximize Long-Term Success on Vegan Diets – Virginia Messina, MPH, RD Reasons People Stop Being Vegan Health concerns Not confident they’re meeting their nutritional needs Lack of social support Lack of convenience Missed taste of animal foods (meat/cheese) Didn’t see diet as part of their identity Found it difficult to reach purity (avocardo) Believed they could reach all of their goals without being veg. Helping People Stay Vegan Promote realistic benefits (relates well with Matt’s talk) There are accurate and legitimate benefits to eating a plant based diet – but some of those claims are exaggerated and many ex-vegans began to doubt the benefits of their vegan Vegans may have lower risk of cancer – but vegans still can and do get cancer, and a vegan diet cannot reverse cancer. A vegan diet is not going to make you look youthful forever – sets people up for disappointment (setting appropriate expectations) Promote ethics and ethical reasons behind following a vegan diet. The ethical and animal rights argument for veganism are unique, universale (or pretty close) and stickier. (because most people like animals – campaigns like Why Love One but Eat the Other?) Makes the diet part of their identity. Humane research council survey Understanding successful behaviour change: the role of intentions, attitudes to the target and motivations and the example of diet. Vegan diet does not automatically equal weight loss. When people don’t achieve their goals, they will pursue other angles or other…

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Notes from VVCIII – Science is Awesome – Matt Rusigno

I wanted to share some of my notes from day one of Vida Vegan Con and some of the talks I attended. On day one – I went to Matt Rusigno’s talk Science is Awesome! – Why we don’t need to exaggerate health claims about veganism.   Matt Rusigno started off by telling us that with everything he says he’s coming from an ethical vegan perspective, but has concerns about  concerns about the positioning of veganism and ridiculous health claims, and will tell us a few things we might not agree with, but things that are based on the current available scientific evidence. Difficult truth: Reality is that there are people that have had great results from paleo. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26003334 Nutr Res. 2015 May 14. pii: S0271-5317(15)00097-4. doi: 10.1016/j.nutres.2015.05.002. [Epub ahead of print] Paleolithic nutrition improves plasma lipid concentrations of hypercholesterolemic adults to a greater extent than traditional heart-healthy dietary recommendations. There is very little research comparing vegan athletes vs non-vegan athletes, and very difficult to design a study showing clear connections (how to define vegan vs non-vegan, starting point in fitness, etc) Looks at The Potato Diet – 60 days of potatoes Result was weight loss. Cholesterol, blood glucose all went down. Other ridiculous diets – like twinkie diet, and more. (also had positive impacts on some basic bio measurements like cholesterol, blood glucose, etc) Dangerous and ridiculous facebook page shares – energy frequency food vibration pyramid (whut?!) We’re very influenced by our own experiences and often actively seek out evidence that supports…

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Austin, TX – I’ve made it to Vida Vegan Con 2015 after all.

For the last few months I’ve been waffling about going to Vida Vegan Con in Austin, Texas. JC and I have been working on a business, and everything was coming together for a launch right around the end of May/beginning of June. That’s all still true and we are still launching a business very soon, but after that happens, I’m sort of hopeful that I’ll be too busy to travel. We’ll see! After expressing my fear of missing out on the final VVC festivities, and watching me plan out a variety of different convoluted and increasingly ridiculous ways of getting to and staying in Austin, and probably some what in response to trying to cheer me up about our foster cat Martha, my sweet human encouraged me to go, and I literally booked the plane ticket the day before leaving. And the hotel gods inexplicably smiled upon me with a room, in not so expensive hotel, within walking distance to the conference center. I wish JC could have come with me, but he’s holding down the fort and doing some business stuff. Yesterday morning, after somewhere under an hour of sleep, JC dropped me off at the airport, and I entered the second longest customs line I’ve been in thus far. But somehow it moved much quicker than expected. I flew in on Delta, which has biscoff cookies, and power napped against the wall between Toronto and Atlanta. Highlights of the Atlanta airport – I was rushing off to my terminal (I got…

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Lawrence Kansas – From Ashes to Immortality

On my way to Portland a few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to visit a friend in Lawrence, Kansas. Now, upon hearing Kansas, I may have wrinkled my nose a bit (even though I shouldn’t have… I mean, I’m from the Canadian Prairies, and the first impression people seem to have is the same erroneous assumption that everyone is conservative and lives on farms) but Lawrence is genuinely an amazing little place (and has been repeatedly rated as one of the top college towns in the USA.) It’s the sixth largest city in the state of Kansas (i.e., it’s not very big!), but it’s full of heart. And I don’t say that to sound hokey, I mean it with complete sincerity. It has  a thriving arts community, and a fascinating history (that you can learn more about here if you want to.) If it wasn’t for the oppressive sun and heat (at least while I was visiting,) Lawrence would almost feel coastal. That languid easygoing atmosphere, where people don’t seem to be in a hurry to get anywhere in particular. But maybe it was just me (because I know I was feeling languid and not in a hurry to go anywhere in particular that day.) We weren’t sure where to go for lunch that day, but after seeing a listing for Local Burger (714 Vermont Street, Lawrence, KS) we decided to go there. I was happy to see such a huge, bright space. The floor to ceiling windows on one…

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