Yearly Archives: 2011

Vegan Non-Profits, and How I’m Spending My Money this Holiday Season

It’s that time of year when my stack of unpaid bills is not the tallest structure on my desk; it’s outranked by the mountain of holiday appeals from non-profits. Most of my end-of-the-year donations go to organizations that work to relieve poverty, promote animal rights and veganism, or help animals in my local community. But with so many groups doing exceptional work, I have to prioritize.

Of the groups that are devoted strictly to promoting vegan diets, I’m pretty picky about where my dollars go. Given my own professional and activist efforts, I’m very disinclined to support those organizations that endorse […]

By |2011-12-17T13:54:38-05:00December 17th, 2011|Tags: , |3 Comments

Vegetarian Diets and Eating Disorders

A study published in the journal Appetite took a new approach to examining the relationship between vegetarian diet patterns and eating disorders. I just wrote it up for the ADA’s vegetarian nutrition newsletter, and it’s such interesting research, that I wanted to share it here, even though Jack has already blogged about it.

Past research has suggested that young women who follow “vegetarian” diets are more likely to have restrained eating habits, or a tendency toward eating disorders—probably because some women with eating disorders adopt a vegetarian diet as a socially acceptable way of controlling food intake.

But these studies […]

By |2011-11-30T13:25:58-05:00November 30th, 2011|Tags: , , |20 Comments

Should You Become a Vegan Nutritionist?

Many readers of this blog have written to me asking about how to become a vegan nutritionist. It’s such a common question—I hear it several times a month—that I’ve created a separate page for my rather lengthy answer. You can read my thoughts and ideas and advice about getting involved in the field of vegan nutrition here.

Jack also has an excellent article on this same topic, covering quite a few additional points, at VeganHealth.

By |2011-11-29T11:49:46-05:00November 29th, 2011|2 Comments

A Vegan Thanksgiving Celebrates Good Food, Activism and Hope

Clove, a rescued turkey at animal place Clove, a rescued turkey at Animal Place

When I sit down with friends to carve the Tofurky on Thanksgiving, it always feels a little bit like lighting a candle in the darkness. People eat meat every day, of course, but somehow a holiday that places such intense focus on the carcass of one particular animal—and is responsible for the slaughter of some 45 million of them—is especially hard for those who care about animals.

Because Thanksgiving feels so heartbreaking to some of us, it can be […]

By |2017-11-23T16:36:29-05:00November 22nd, 2011|Tags: , , |16 Comments

Vegan Nutrition: Sometimes the Devil Really is in the Details

Dietitian Elisa Rodriguez published a great interview with Jack Norris on One Green Planet last week. In talking about our book Vegan for Life, Jack noted that there are benefits to a “holistic” view of nutrition, but that his biggest contribution has most likely been in helping vegans understand that “micronutrients matter.” That’s because “being deficient in vitamin B12, calcium, vitamin D, iodine, omega-3s, iron, or zinc results in real consequences.”

It’s tempting to think that eating a variety of whole plant foods—the big picture or holistic approach—without attention to detail, is good enough for meeting nutrient […]

By |2011-11-15T11:21:04-05:00November 15th, 2011|Tags: , |4 Comments

Countering Claims Against Vegan Diets

Several months ago, I was asked to respond to an article about the “dangers” of vegan diets that had been published in At the Wedge, the newsletter of the Wedge Community Co-op in Minneapolis. It was written by a holistic nutritionist who, among other things, counsels “recovering vegans.”

People abandon vegan diets for all kinds of reasons, but those who are “recovering” from this way of eating obviously believe that being vegan damaged their health and that it may very well damage yours, too.

This isn’t a term that crops up in mainstream nutrition circles. I’ve never heard it from any of […]

By |2011-11-08T13:20:45-05:00November 8th, 2011|Tags: , , , |17 Comments

U.S News Rates Vegan Diets (and Gets a Few Things Wrong)

U.S. News brought together a team of  nutrition experts to rank popular diets commonly used for weight control. According to the report, the best diets were “relatively easy to follow, nutritious, safe, and effective for weight loss and against diabetes and heart disease.”

At the head of their list were the DASH and Mediterranean diets — not too surprising since these are well-studied approaches to eating that have a good track record for protecting against disease. The surprise was that a vegan diet ranked pretty low on the list (below Slimfast and Jenny Craig!) While it seemed that the […]

By |2011-11-03T15:47:44-04:00November 3rd, 2011|Tags: , , |21 Comments

An Essential Resource for Pregnant Vegans

If you aren’t a regular reader of my examiner column, you may have missed my review of a new book for pregnant vegans. The Everything Vegan Pregnancy Book is written by my friend and colleague Reed Mangels, PhD, RD.

Reed is an instructor at the University of Massachusetts, co-author of the ADA’s most recent position paper on vegetarianism, editor of the newsletter for the ADA’s vegetarian group, and also the nutrition expert at the Vegetarian Resource Group. I’ve worked with her over the years on many […]

By |2011-10-31T10:00:53-04:00October 31st, 2011|Tags: , |6 Comments

Supplements and Mortality

New findings from the Iowa Women’s Health Study suggest that supplement use in post-menopausal women is linked to increased mortality.  Jack blogged about this research yesterday, and I want to also mention it here since I’ve had quite a few questions about it.

As Jack noted, the research on supplements and mortality is very conflicting and it would be a mistake to draw firm conclusions from this study alone. Some of the findings are not supported by other research. That doesn’t make them wrong—it just means that they are not the final word on the subject. This is also an […]

By |2011-10-12T13:28:49-04:00October 12th, 2011|Tags: |12 Comments
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