New Year, Same Old (Vegan) Me

The promotional emails flooding my in box promise all kinds of tips and tricks for a “New Year, New You.” I had no idea that I was in such need of a total makeover. But these emails seem to assume that there is considerable room for improvement. And sure, I suppose there is. I could […]

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Will a Vegetarian Diet Make You Depressed?

The recent article in Women’s Health Magazine about the “scary mental health risks” associated with meatless diets has—not surprisingly—received lots of attention. People love to hear bad news about vegetarian and vegan diets, after all. Author Jill Waldbieser pulled the article together from the usual hodgepodge of questionable resources—in this case a few anecdotes plus […]

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Lettuce and Bacon and the Environment: Some Thoughts for Vegan Activists

  Is lettuce really worse for the environment than bacon? That’s what the latest headlines say, based on findings from new research at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh. Allegedly, lettuce produces more greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than unhealthy foods like bacon. The media have gleefully proclaimed, based on this study, that vegetarian diets are bad […]

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Vegan Diets and Orthorexia: How Should Activists Respond?

  I’ve been pretty much MIA from this blog and most of the internet over the past few months. My husband and I packed up our home, offices, and cats and moved 3000 miles from Washington State’s Olympic Peninsula to the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts in early November. Driving across the country with 5 cats […]

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Soyfoods, Olive Oil, Beans, and Omega-3s: A Vegan Plan for Reducing Depression

Some ex-vegans say that they became depressed on a plant-based diet. If they did, it was probably due to poor food choices and maybe a lack of recommended supplements. It’s doubtful that a healthy vegan diet promotes depression. In fact, eating more plant foods may have a few advantages for people who suffer from this […]

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New Vegan Nutrition Primer on Calcium

There is a wide range of calcium intakes among vegans (just as among omnivores) and the evidence shows that some vegan diets fall short of recommendations. As far as we know, vegans need as much calcium as anyone else. And, with just a little bit of knowledge and some attention to food choices, it’s not […]

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Preventing Ex-Vegans: Why Feeling “Normal” Matters

This is my 4th and final (for now) post on tactics for preventing ex-vegans. My thoughts on this topic come from several different types of evidence—including research in vegans and vegetarians as well as research on eating behavior in general. To summarize, what I’ve already written about:  People sometimes leave veganism (or vegetarianism) because they […]

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Preventing Ex-Vegans: Why Nutrition and Nutritionism Matter

Eating healthy whole foods is important—and so is paying attention to individual nutrients. Lately, though, that’s become an unpopular thing to say. It’s what food activists like Michael Pollan refer to as “nutritionism.” That is, he and others say we should stop worrying so much about nutrients and just eat food (or “real” food as […]

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Preventing Ex-Vegans: The Power of Ethics

Helping people go vegan is great. But it’s meaningless if we can’t help them stay vegan. Last week, I wrote about how overhyping the benefits of a vegan diet can result in ex-vegans. One of the reasons people abandon vegan diets is that they lose faith in its benefits. That’s more likely to happen if […]

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Will Going Vegan Make You Look Like Christie Brinkley?

Christie Brinkley turned 61 this year, and she looks pretty great. Incredible in fact. How does she do it? According to some vegan blogs and facebook posts, she credits her vegan diet. That’s funny, because I’m about Christie’s age and have been vegan for some 25 years. And despite my diet, the years haven’t been […]

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