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Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem
Adrienne LaGier harvests lettuce from her new vegetable garden.
May 8th, 2012
01:03 PM ET

Triathlete: No meat, no dairy, no problem

Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This weekend, the team and Dr. Gupta will head to Hawaii for a training trip. LaGier set a personal goal to focus on her diet in the month leading up to the flight.

Four weeks ago, my friend Susan posted in her Facebook group, "The Truth About Exercise," that she had lost 25 pounds since the New Year. While working out had been one of her main focuses, she recently adopted a vegan diet that catapulted her weight loss.

Up until then, I had not been focusing on my diet in this triathlon journey. I would justify going out to eat and eating what I'd like after finishing 2 to 3 hour workouts.

After reading Susan's post, and realizing I had four short weeks until leaving for Kona, I decided to give no meat and no dairy a try. And while I was at it, no caffeine either.

A co-worker recommended the book "Skinny Bitch," and after reading it, I was convinced. Since veggies and fruits have been disproportionately absent from my diet in recent years, I thought over-exaggerating them for at least four weeks wouldn't hurt.

The first week, I got headaches because I had stopped drinking tea with milk & sugar in the morning. I wanted to prove that I didn't need to depend on anything to wake up - that I am in control of my body.

We've built an amazing vegetable garden in our backyard that my girls enjoy working in every day. My fiance Chris built a cedar 6 foot fence to border it and we've already harvested lettuce and fresh broccoli.

My yearbook students have taken notice of my new dietary regime as well. They threw a surprise vegan luncheon for me, each attempting to bring in appropriate food (the gal who brought in the Oreos must not have gotten the memo).

Here's what I've been eating:

Breakfast: Nature's Path Organic Oatmeal; Ezekiel English Muffin with Hazelnut Almond Butter
Snack: Banana
Lunch: Black bean soup with tortilla chips; Salad with slivered almonds & sliced avocado; lentils; leftovers from last night's dinner
Snack: Trail mix; apples with peanut butter; carrots with hummus; guacamole with tortilla chips
Dinner: Veggie burgers; Salads; Pasta; Eggplant Parm with out the Parm; Quinoa Cowboy Chili; Lettuce wraps with tofu, water chesnuts, corn, peas & Ramen noodles with a splash of orange juice and Teriyaki sauce; tofu tacos with sauteed bell peppers and guacamole.

No caffeine. No added sugar. No meat. No dairy.

Results? Down a total of 23 pounds from when I went to the doctor's office on December 28. And I feel great! I notice my skin has cleared up, and I feel energized to work out each day.

This initially was an experiment to prove to myself that I could do it. But I don't see myself stopping now.

Now, I need to expand my vegan recipe repertoire and find more kid-friendly recipes so I'm not always cooking two meals during dinner. Suggestions?

You can follow the CNN Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge on Facebook and Twitter.


soundoff (105 Responses)
  1. Katie

    Oreos actually are vegan!

    Ingredients: SUGAR, ENRICHED FLOUR (WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMINE MONONITRATE {VITAMIN B1}, RIBOFLAVIN {VITAMIN B2}, FOLIC ACID), HIGH OLEIC CANOLA OIL AND/OR PALM OIL AND/OR CANOLA OIL, AND/OR SOYBEAN OIL, COCOA (PROCESSED WITH ALKALI), HIGH FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP, CORNSTARCH, LEAVENING (BAKING SODA AND/OR CALCIUM PHOSPHATE), SALT, SOY LECITHIN (EMULSIFIER), VANILLIN – AN ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, CHOCOLATE. CONTAINS: WHEAT, SOY.

    May 8, 2012 at 13:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marissa

      I was about to post the same comment until I saw you beat me to it! πŸ™‚ Late July "oreo's" Vanilla Bean w/Green Tea are even better, though. Less cr@p in them and contain healthier ingredients.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:23 | Report abuse |
    • D

      Well, I thought so too, but she was also trying to give up added sugars.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      I didn't realize if Oreos were or were not vegan – but what did seem a bit odd and out of place was the author complaining about one of the students that was attempting to do something to support her. Hopefully that student didn't get a chance to read this article. Be a little more grateful next time and appreciate the support that you receive.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:04 | Report abuse |
    • VeggieMomof3

      Oreos are dairy free but she had given up sugar – that was the point.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  2. gary

    Found this website that has uncookbooks. raw Vegan brownies, pies, cakes, etc. etc. She teaches too. http://www.livingrawbygrace.com

    May 8, 2012 at 13:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Fifi

    The reason someone who switches from a free-eating diet to a vegan one loses a lot of weight is mostly the reduction of calorie-dense fats (from meat, dairy, eggs). The second reason is it makes the consumption of junk food, fast food, yummy baked goods lik cakes and cookies, many restaurant meals, and take-out very...difficult and limited. Third, a vegan consumes a lot of bulk (fiber), which is very filling. A lot of the positive effects new vegans claim, such as clear skin and more energy, have to do with having a healthier gut from all that fiber, and the weight loss. It's nothing magical about veganism specifically, but more that veganism forces a person to eat in a more disciplined way. I'm a lacto-vegetarian. If I became vegan, I know I would lose weight because I'd have to cut out the butter on my toast, the cheese on my veggie burger, the cake made with eggs and butter, etc. I can eliminate all that from my diet anyway without going vegan. It's a question of discipline, not of specific diet.

    May 8, 2012 at 13:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      I have been close to vegan at times. Basically vegan except small amounts of nonfat dairy, like nonfat yogurt. I think it is a matter of the diet itself rather than the discipline. She is eating fats (avocado, presumably the eggplant "parmesan" is fried in oil, hazelnut almond butter). It is in the quality of the fats used.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:33 | Report abuse |
    • Dawn

      It is about a specific diet – a diet which you must be extremely disciplined to follow. Your argument is pointless.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse |
    • mike

      You are right, it isn't about going on a diet, it is about changing the way you eat and having the disipline to stick to those changes long term. By the way, going vegan has far more health benefits than just weight loss. It is why athletes like Tony Gonzalez and Salim Staudimire have switched to plant strong diets. Low-fat, plant-based diet can prevent, and in many cases reverse cancer, heart disease, and Type II Diabetes. Feel free to research Ruth Heidrch, who cured herself of breast cancer bya eating low-fat, plant based diet, never once using any sort of chemo or radiation therapy.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:36 | Report abuse |
    • Veggiefor40yrs

      I have been a vegan or vegetarian for almost 40 years. At 60 yrs, I am 5'5" and weight 128 lbs, so I could lose a few. I grow most of the veggies I eat and I raise all female chickens for their friendship and their eggs. I do not find it difficult to maintain my weight being a vegetarian. Whipping cream is added to my coffee and it doesn't have any carbs, so no worries. I don't cook with cheese or anything like that. Unless you are running triathlons or something similar, watching the carbs will solve any problems.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:30 | Report abuse |
  4. Lee

    I've been on the Cabana Banana Diet for a month. I haven't lost any weight, but boy, can I climb trees now.

    May 8, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. D

    I have been a near-vegan myself and I will say it definitely improves the skin.

    May 8, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Natalie

    I eat a balanced diet of everything in moderation and I have never been overweight or have problems with blood pressure, cholesterol, or took any medication in my life other than an aspirin here and there. I woudn't go to any extreme, but I do stay away from all artificial crap that is in the processed food.

    May 8, 2012 at 14:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • D

      You can thank your genetics and not necessarily anything that you are doing although I do agree it does not hurt to stay away from processed food. There are people doing what you are doing that have terrible cholesterol numbers though, through no fault of their own.

      May 8, 2012 at 14:35 | Report abuse |
    • voodooganism

      Ah, an omnivore who controls their weight by eating moderately. Science says that this is the best combination for long healthy life. A sensible diet. Congratulations, the reputable scientific data indicates that Omnivores have the longest lifespans. Heavy meat eaters still live longer than vegetarians but vegans have the lowest life expectancy. Heredity is usually the cause of high cholesterol since it tends to run in families, D. However I do agree about the processed foods. Fresh food prepared with proper sanitation is the way to go.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:36 | Report abuse |
  7. Ian

    VegWeb has more vegan recipes (healthy and not) than you can shake a stick at. (http://vegweb.com/)

    May 8, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Scott

      I just tried to go to vegweb.com and it has been flagged by Google as a site that may put malware or a virus on your computer.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
  8. Ian

    Bonus, you save the lives of countless animals!

    May 8, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • t3chsupport

      Nope, the animals that were slated to die still died just the same.

      May 8, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • ADJ

      You obviously have no idea how many animals are killed when farmers grow crops. Eating meat from pasture-raised livestock takes the lives of fewer animals than eating food grown in crops.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
  9. Bren

    Lots of good recipes. http://vegandad.blogspot.com/

    May 8, 2012 at 14:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Glenn

    Congraulation and much love teammate

    May 8, 2012 at 14:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. ed

    There is some really good stuf at this link.

    http://betterlifetv.tv/recipes.php

    May 8, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. ed

    Need to watch the movie "forks over knives." It discusses a plant based diet and shows the amazing benefits.

    May 8, 2012 at 14:44 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ADJ

      How about watching the movie "Fat Head" instead?
      "Forks Over Knives" is just propaganda and bad science, and has been debunked numerous times.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
  13. Kharis

    Be careful with the veggie burgers and with veggie cheese. They often say they are vegan, but if you read the labels, they use casein as their protein source. Casein is the protein from cow's milk. Unless you're reading the ingredient lists carefully, you might be falling into a trap!

    May 8, 2012 at 14:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • VeggieMomof3

      Daiya cheese is dairy/soy free and a nice option if you are missing cheese and are vegan. I am a vegetarian and was on a dairy/soy free diet while nursing my two youngest children. I don't like the taste of meat so it was difficult to basically go vegan without being able to eat soy. Anyway – I found a recommendation for Daiya on a food allergy board and after trying it twice ended up enjoying it for things like Quesadillas as a treat with black beans.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
    • AB

      VeggieMom. I am not sure that Daiya is totally diary free because it is considered dairy in it's kosher labeling I think and not paerve which means it must have some remenant of dairy in it. Unless they made some changes recently.

      May 9, 2012 at 08:15 | Report abuse |
  14. Anon

    Not eating meat is unnatural. It was specifically hunting and the consumption of meat that led to our development of our intelligence. After all, it takes a lot more intelligence to hunt another living creature than it does to eat plants.

    May 8, 2012 at 14:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • VeggieMomof3

      Not really – it takes brute force to hunt and intelligence to know which plants to eat and which are going to kill you.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
    • cm

      actually not true...the digestive system and dental profile of humans classifies us as herbivores.

      May 8, 2012 at 15:59 | Report abuse |
    • c s

      Humans have canine teeth. Chimpanzees in the wild have been observed eating meat. Chimps are human's nearest primate cousin. Humans have been also eating meat for a very long time. The reason that humans have been so successful is that they are omnivores and eat almost everything. That said there is nothing wrong with being a vegan if that is your desire. Make sure that you have an adequate source of B12.

      May 8, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse |
    • Shawn L

      I always love when people try to alter reality. Humans have canines and cutting teeth, meant for consuming meat. Our closest primate relatives eat meat. Our digestive tract is closet to that of a pig... another omnivore. Stop making up "facts" to try to support your life style.

      May 8, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse |
    • DDM

      Eyes facing forward = predators. Also being omnivores allows humans better survival.

      May 8, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse |
    • ADJ

      VeggieMomof3, Actually, it takes brain power to hunt: strategy, cunning, problem-solving, etc. All it takes to eat plants is trying them and seeing if they make you sick or not. Which is more intelligent, a cow or a dog? (Answer: Dog)

      May 9, 2012 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
  15. Anon

    The high protein content of meat allowed our bodies to grow increasingly bigger and stronger. The use and prevalence of refridgeration and faster transportation options that made meat more available to the masses is responsible for a 4 inch increase in the average height of humans in the last 200 years.

    May 8, 2012 at 15:00 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Marko

      Another myth. Mountain gorillas subsist on a diet of fruit and leaves. And a gorilla could rip a man in half. The size and strength of an animal is genetically and evolutionarily determined and has nothing to do with what they eat. Elephants are huge, and did not get that way from hunting for meat.

      May 8, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
    • Hunter P

      The human "brain" grew and developed from eating meat, not the muscles. As for gorillas, they have a very different digestive system than humans allowing them to ferment large amounts of plant fiber in their guts to produce short-chain fats, which they then digest for energy. Humans can do the same but on a much smaller scale, like ~5% total energy needs daily due to the large energy requirements of our larger brains. Hence the reason why humans needs nutrient dense sources of food from other animals.

      Please don't force vegan diets on kids, you're asking for health issues due to malnutrition. If you want to treat your own body like junk because of your beliefs that's one thing but everyone needs healthy sources of naturally raised meats and organs, especially growing children.

      May 8, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse |
    • Primal

      Sorry Marko it's not a myth. It is scientific fact that eating protein from animal products is what allowed our brains to evolve the way they did. This is a undeniable, unarguable, fact, period.

      May 8, 2012 at 18:39 | Report abuse |
    • voodooganism

      We are not gorillas. Vegans & vegetarians now have been proven to have the lowest life expectancy. Even lower than heavy meat eaters. If your life expectancy goes down...You are doing it wrong.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:37 | Report abuse |
  16. karen pfeifer

    When will people who consider themselves literate figure out the difference between regime and regimen?

    May 8, 2012 at 15:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sue

      Never, apparently. They're the same ones who confuse "discrete" with "discreet."

      May 8, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse |
  17. Valentijn

    I hope the author is getting the appropriate supplements needed with a vegan diet. Vitamin B12 will become deficient after using up what is stored in the body after a few months or a few years, and can be a serious problem.

    May 8, 2012 at 15:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. LiqMat

    I like sardines and anchovies. The rest is organic fruits and veggies. Very little packaged food in my life. The best chicken alternative I have found is from a company called Quorn. It tastes like the real thing. Instead of cream in your coffee, vanilla almond milk is awesome. Never did like the taste of soy based fake dairy products even though I love soy in most everything else. Soy cheese is just major gross and I have tried many of the brands.

    May 8, 2012 at 15:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Emma

    Great job! You may be going vegan for the nutritional aspects but there are so many other reasons it is a great choice. If you want to learn more, I am reading Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and it is really awesome.

    May 8, 2012 at 15:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. VeggieMomof3

    One of my favorite vegetarian cookbooks (not strictly vegan but has lots of options). Is Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone by Deborah Madison. What I like about it is that it's not meant to recreate your favorite meat based dishes with some sort of fake meat-like substance but provides good tasty recipes without meat. I've made the Lentil Minestrone in there many times for my family and friends (all meat lovers) and they all love it and ask for the recipe. Good luck with your race and your new vegan diet πŸ™‚

    May 8, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Alison

    I really hope you didn't make that student feel guilty about brining in the oreos – one, because they ARE actually vegan (and make a nice, occasional treat when smeared with peanut butter), and two, because I'd hate to think that girl was made to feel badly about trying to do something special for you.

    May 8, 2012 at 15:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Val

    Great article! Nice to see others discovering how great fruits and veggies taste once processed sugars and fats are removed from the diet. I'm a vegetarian and have been cooking with recipes from a blog called Daily Garnish (www.dailygarnish.com) for almost a year now. The woman who writes it is a vegetarian runner and has a culinary degree from Johnson and Wales. She just had a baby, so a lot of the posts are about her son – so adorable! Anyways, I definitely recommend giving her recipes a try. Congrats and good luck in your journey πŸ™‚

    May 8, 2012 at 16:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Vegan Wife and Auntie

    Kid vegan recipes can include salads, soups, spaghetti, rice and beans, chili, fruit smoothies, veggie sandwiches, potatoes with tomatoes, lemon-garlic potatoes, pb & j, cheeseless veggie pizza, burritos, tacos, and more! my nieces are vegan and love it all, especially fruit.

    May 8, 2012 at 16:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • voodooganism

      Plus you can add a special care plan for the lower IQ.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
  24. bill

    VRG (dot) org Lots of good nutrition and other advice, as well as back issues of the Vegetarian Journal.

    May 8, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Susan

    Adrienne, thank you so much for your great article and I'm so happy to have been an inspiration to you! I am truly humbled by your posting today! As of December 27th, I am down 31 lbs, I'm working out 3-5 days per week, have started running more (hadn't done much since our first 5K together!) and overall simply feel SO MUCH better! My hair and skin are so much healthier, and while I'm thankful that I have no major illness to speak of, Diabetes does run in my family and I knew I had to be careful. Watching Forks Over Knives made such a huge impact on me and I had to think, if I could PREVENT so many diseases simply by eliminating all meat and dairy from my diet, why wouldn't I do that?? Kudo's to you on your journey and we need to get together for a pot luck whole foods-plant based lunch or dinner and share our ideas! Hugs to you!!

    May 8, 2012 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Heather

      Susan, my boyfriend and I just starting eliminating meats, dairy, caffeine, processed foods, and gluten from our diet as well. He has known he is diabetic, but never watched it. Basically thought staying away from a ton of sweets would be ok. Well, his blood sugar was 520 about two months ago. Nutritionist put us on a strict veggie diet, limited meats. I agreed to go on this with him to help him out as I was vegetarian back in high school, and I too have lost 25lbs in about two months. I feel great, more energy, not missing having meat every day. We do have it once in a while, but it's not like we're craving it. I have a thyroid issue and regardless of what I put in my mouth, or how much exercise I got, I still had trouble losing weight. Eating this way and taking some thyroid strenth vitamins have really helped push me along and give me the confidence to continue.
      For anyone looking to change their diet to mostly fruits and veggies, it's really tough to do. We replaced rice with quinoa, pasta with quinoa made pasta, and we use Ezekiel muffins and bread if we have a craving for it. No processed foods. If we want tacos, we do tofu tacos, or ground turkey, and i make my own seasoning for it because the packaged stuff contains MSG.
      Regarding the "humans have to consume meat and have been for a long time" theory. A human digestive tract is about 6 feet long, a tiger (carnivore) has a digestive tract of about 2 feet long, tigers can digest meats faster than humans. Your system cannot break down the proteins as quickly as you think. It leads to many health problems. Look at Dr. Atkins.
      Do I still consume meat occasionally, yes. Maybe once every two weeks. We don't have huge teeth like gorillas to tear and rip pieces of meat apart, our teeth are made for grinding and mascerating food. You're better off getting protein from beans than meat. We all know the effect beans have on our bodies! πŸ˜€

      May 8, 2012 at 18:22 | Report abuse |
    • SLO

      There are so many more things that I eat now than I ever did when I ate meat. Being Vegan isn't simply just eating salads, fruits and vegetables. I don't need MEAT to gain my protein as I get PLENTY of it through beans and nuts, brown rice, and greens. I didn't change to a Vegan diet simply to lose weight or improve my running time as Fifi has implied. I did it because of the abuse to animals but mainly to help prevent disease that could be mostly caused by eating animal proteins. So many doctors are more than happy to give out prescriptions for whatever ails you when most could be reversed thru a plant based diet.

      May 8, 2012 at 19:13 | Report abuse |
    • ADJ

      SLO, that's because you simply weren't an adventurous eater before. You have an even wider variety of flavor combinations to choose from if you include meat in your diet. Becoming vegan doesn't mean you all of a sudden have so many more food options available, you actually have less.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse |
  26. lyzspring

    People people people! Stop worrying about Oreo girl, for cryin' out loud! Listen to the larger message. We in the West are killing ourselves off with crappy, processed food and sitting down all day. This woman is about to do a TRIATHALON on plant-based-nutrition energy. Wake UP, America. Take back your health.

    May 8, 2012 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Fifi

    Apparently, people who think they are vegan ( I had to laugh at the person who mentions vegan friends who "just" eat low fat dairy) are so grouchy the they have to spit at anyone who doesn't bow down and kiss their feet. (Dawn, I'm talking about you, beotch!). I cannot believe how rude some of you are. I am a vegetarian for ethical, moral reasons. That means reasons of COMPASSION, for those of you who don't get it. Adopting a vegan diet to improve your figure or your running time is a selfish pursuit. My dietary choices have to do with the good of others. We might as well live on different planets. I have never met a vegan - real vegan, not a pretend one or an "only when I'm not eating ice cream" one - who cared for anyone more than for him or herself.

    May 8, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • voodooganism

      Guess what? Plants feel pain too. They are alive too. Touch a mimosa & watch it curl up to avoid being eaten. There are experiments that have shown plants have a measurable reaction when a person comes back after breaking off a stem. The plant remembers that particular person too. There is no reaction if a different person goes back in. I would suggest you eat sand... It has no feelings & is not alive. After all you are the ethical guru. Climb down off the high horse you rode in on.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:01 | Report abuse |
    • Steve WaffleBottom

      Moral or ethical vegetarian is a myth. If your diet is based on moral or ethical you'd have to be vegan. Dairy is immoral and unethical. You must hang out with a lot of tools if you've never met a real vegan. If they eat ice cream or ay other dairy, they aren't vegan. Just saying you're something doesn't make you one. Someone who goes on a mass killing rampage can't claim to be a pacifist.

      May 9, 2012 at 01:21 | Report abuse |
  28. Primal

    Poor misguided vegans. Cannot be dome without massive supplementation. Still eating grains which are terrible for humans.

    I enjoy knowing that I will always be healthier and happier than any vegan. Paleo is the superior choice in every possible way.

    May 8, 2012 at 18:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alan

      Why would vegans need supplements? That is total bs. A human body is in no way designed to catch, kill, and consume animals. Animal fats and processed foods are the root cause of obesity, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, and several cancers.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • Veggiefor40yrs

      I am pleased that you are able to express your false opinions. Vegans and vegetarians are usually way ahead of the masses on knowing about which foods are digested by acids versus alkaline and what carbs are good ones versus the bad ones. It's all about health and how one's body reacts to what is digested.
      I, for one, do not want to be guilty of killing anything and, so far, all's good.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
    • Dav1

      What a fools you two are,I just had a great steak,How many plants did you kill today or don't they countas living things.

      May 8, 2012 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • voodooganism

      Over consumption is the root cause of obesity. Look; science has proven vegans have the shortest life spans. If a diet results in a shorter life span there is something wrong with it. Stop kidding yourselves. Vitamin B-12 deficiency makes bad thing happen like anemia & possible nerve damage. Severe cases of nerve damage can lead to dementia. In infants it can result in permanent damage to the entire nervous system. B-12 is also essential for a healthy heart. Primal, it is better to be an omnivore if you do not have any condition to the contrary. An omnivore with a wide variety of foods who exercises has the longest, healthiest lifespan.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:59 | Report abuse |
  29. OnBoard

    I'm not vegan but dairy-free/gluten-free... A new favorite around here: Jicama-wrapped guacamole (like tacos or taquitos). Slice the jicama really thin and use them as you would a tortilla. Enjoy!

    May 8, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. GBfromOhio

    I adopted a similar diet just to feel better and lost 15 pounds in about 6 weeks. My weight was not too bad to begin with, so I was surprised. I do not eat a lot of cheese, but do eat a few checks of free range goat cheese every other day or so.

    May 8, 2012 at 19:23 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GBfromOhio

      "Chunks" that is. πŸ˜›

      May 8, 2012 at 19:24 | Report abuse |
  31. DD

    I'm middle aged & I look & weight the same as I did in high school (thin). I eat whatever I please IN MODERATION. I take responsibility. Because of kids I'm naturally active, that is, I have so much fun doing things that I never needed to exercise "on purpose". I've never dieted. I don't have any health issues that affect weight. I also don't take medication of any kind, nor do I take supplements of any kind. Call me lucky? I don't agree. I simply live & enjoy & I still think there are a lot more people like me than the media is willing to say.

    May 8, 2012 at 19:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. skeptical

    How can any diet that requires supplements and fortified foods as your only way to get an essential vitamin, be complete for you? I am vegetarian but I am not about to jump on the trendy vegan bandwagon as of yet. I still believe good quality eggs are a healthy source of protein for myself and family...

    May 8, 2012 at 19:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Alan

      On a plant based, no oil, diet you do not need any supplements whatsoever. I have done this for 7 years and have no problems at all. I had plenty of health issues before that.

      May 8, 2012 at 20:24 | Report abuse |
    • ADJ

      Alan, where do you get your B-12? Because there are NO VIABLE PLANT SOURCES of B-12. You have to supplement or choose foods that are already artificially supplemented. Even then, supplements are not as good as the real thing, your body uses nutrients from real food better than nutrients from supplements.

      May 9, 2012 at 10:38 | Report abuse |
  33. B.

    Vegan is bad. Eventually the lack of quality protein and the neccesary amino acids that can only be had from animal products will get you. You will lose weight on the vegan diet. I started out that way and lost weight but realized that I was getting headaches and light-headedness from a lack of enough protein. I switched to a paleo diet and have reversed type-2 diabetes in less than a year. Ive' lost nearly 30 pounds – male, over 50, weighed 172, now at 144, 5'9". I routinely run 3-7 miles a day and can do over 35 pullups in about a minute. My resting heart rate is 65, BP 105/65, triglycerides from 300 to 100, near perfect cholesterol ratio. I eat pounds of almonds, cheese, eggs, buffalo, and fish along with organic vegetables and fruit and don't gain a pound. Sugar and carbs (especially grains) are the root of all evil – do the research.

    May 8, 2012 at 19:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. robin fincher

    So proud of my niece ! Vegan is totally awesome.. I get cravings for them sometimes when I haven't had them in a day or so.. I love a platter of veggies and dip... Go Adrienne ! You look good ! Love Aunt Robin

    May 8, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • voodooganism

      Vegan is malnutrition.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:03 | Report abuse |
  35. brad

    eating a clean healthy diet of mainly real food and low in processed crap is great but the vegan diet is dangerous! its impossible to get all the amino acids your body needs in a day with no meat source. Suppliments are nowhere near as efficient as you are led to believe and people usually buy cheap ones anyway which are even less efficient. Amino acid deficiency makes it impossible to absorb important minerals. Unfortunately nobody "feels" osteoporosis happening until its too late. Eat a meat! we wouldnt have teeth like we do if we werent supposed to!

    May 8, 2012 at 21:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Dav1

    What a fool,I just had a great steak,How many plants did you kill today or don't they countas living things.

    May 8, 2012 at 21:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Keely Mullens

    Ms. LaGier you are just plain amazing! And I love all the negativity about being vegan! At first I my self thought you were crazy because I thought about when I was practicing for field hockey 6 days a week 3 hours a day and thought I would have died if I didn't eat meat but you have been doing it for weeks now and you haven't died so I am a believer now! Avegan diet if done right can go hand and hand with a triathlon runner!

    May 8, 2012 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • B

      Ms. LaGier can get away with it for now – she still has plenty of fat reserves, but wait until she gets to a very low body fat level by eating only low-calorie veggies, that's when the trouble will begin. All vegans eventually become very skinny and unhealthy or overweight from all the grain-based carbs they think are healthier than eating a proper balance of high-quality protein, fiber from green vegetables, and good sources of fat. Again, do the research, there is no link to heart disease from eating fats. Your cholesterol can be almost anything as long as your triglyceride levels are good. Adequate cholesterol is needed or else your brain shuts down, triglycerides are linked to strokes and heart attack, as is blood pressure. Avoiding most salt is also a clear way to much improved health.

      May 8, 2012 at 23:41 | Report abuse |
    • voodooganism

      Vegans lower their life expectancy by not consuming certain nutrients that are only found in meats. It weakens the body's organs. Scientific studies now prove vegans & vegetarians have the shortest lifespans. Omnivores who eat a wide variety of different foods have the longest, healthiest lives. Also the studies found that consuming more fats before athletic endeavors increases stamina & endurance. If you are an athlete that is your best option.

      May 9, 2012 at 00:13 | Report abuse |
    • KME

      To voodooganism: What study do you keep referring to that states vegans have a lower life expectancy? It is actually the opposite.

      http://www.ajcn.org/content/78/3/526S.abstract

      "Current prospective cohort data from adults in North America and Europe raise the possibility that a lifestyle pattern that includes a very low meat intake is associated with greater longevity. "

      May 9, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse |
  38. Erin Haskell

    Go Adrienne! I love following your story! I'm sure your oreo student will get a kick out of this if she/he reads it! πŸ™‚

    May 8, 2012 at 21:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Maila

    I started to become a vegan on october 2011, and up to this point, 7 months to this date, I have lost 40 pounds. I gave up meat, fish, dairy and eggs , eating just whole food-vegetables, fruits, tufo,beans and lentils, no precessed fake meat products...I feel healthier, happier, stronger and my skin no longer has blemishes.There is no turning back to eating meat!

    May 9, 2012 at 02:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Phoenix

    God put man in the garden of Eden for a reason....and God knows best!

    May 9, 2012 at 08:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ADJ

      God also told us to eat animals. "Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything." – Genesis 9:3

      May 9, 2012 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
  41. Phoenix

    Genesis 9:3 was written after Adam + Eve were banished from the garden of Eden........if they had stayed in the
    garden there would have been no eating of animals!!

    May 9, 2012 at 11:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ADJ

      "What ifs" mean nothing. What matters is "what is".

      If you believe in the Bible, "what is" is that Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden of Eden.

      And biologically speaking, "what is" is that humans are physiologically omnivores.

      May 9, 2012 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • skeptical

      That is because they were perfect in the garden of Eden. When they lost their right to be there they also lost their perfect health. We are not perfect in health and must utilize foods beyond plants unfortunately.

      May 9, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
  42. squallay

    Do you miss cheese? Galaxy Nutritional Foods has a great variety of vegan cheese to choose from – check it out!!

    May 9, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Susan

    I am once again surprised, though I really shouldn't be, at how hateful some people can be especially under the anonymity of the internet. Vegan is unfortunately a term that, while it means eating no meat or dairy, also means that someone could be eating Oreo's and be within the "guidelines." While I may technically follow a Vegan diet, I also like to refer to it as a whole food-plant based diet. I don't eat the processed junk food that may fall within those guidelines.

    Our bodies are certainly designed to eat meat but it doesn't mean we HAVE to! One of the main reasons I gave up the meat and dairy was to help prevent the plethura of health issues and diseases prevalent in our country today. The beef and chicken available to us now is completely different from what our grandparents had to choose from. The anti-biotics and chemicals fed to these animals now go directly to us when we eat them. And yes, there can be issues with fruits and vegetables as well but at least we have organic options available to us now.

    The question to ask yourself is, If you knew you had or could have a disease or cancer that could be reversed or prevented simply by changing your diet, would you be willing to do that? Would it be worth your time and effort to extend your life and reduce your medical expenses?

    Don't hate something you don't understand. When Adrienne asked for suggestions, it was for recipe options, not a condemnation of her diet changes to help her prepare for the triathlon this fall.

    May 9, 2012 at 13:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Maila

    Adrienne, for great vegan receipes, check out vegetarian times.com. For reading purposes check out The China Study and fork over knives, these will also open your eyes on the danger of meat and meat products to human health and the power of a plant base diet to living healthier and longer..God luck!

    May 9, 2012 at 14:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ADJ

      Too bad you don't realize that "The China Study" and "Forks Over Knives" have both been thoroughly debunked. They are bad science, and the data was cherry-picked. (Example: Leaving out data for over half the countries studied and only using the data that supported their agenda.)

      May 9, 2012 at 15:13 | Report abuse |
    • lyzspring

      Who has "debunked" Forks Over Knives and the China Study? ADJ, cite your sources (other than the Bible – something scientific) or be quiet already.

      May 9, 2012 at 19:21 | Report abuse |
  45. B.

    You should all read "Good Calories, Bad Calories" by Gary Taubs. The scientific facts are irrefutable.

    May 9, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Phoenix

    To ADJ....Do you get paid to tear apart every comment that is posted?

    May 9, 2012 at 17:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Maila

    To ADJ...Leave vegetarians alone, keep eating dead animal's flesh....See if that makes you healthier...

    May 9, 2012 at 19:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Cynthia W.

    No meat for past 16 years. Sixth degree black belt in tae kwon do. Not even a cold since being meatless. High energy and positive, spiritual thinking. No animals purposely slaughtered. Try it, you'll like it.

    May 10, 2012 at 07:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. S

    Same end-state for me (great weight loss, overall health improvement)... except I did the CAVEMAN diet. Fruits, veggies, and meats. No/low carbs (as much as possible). I think the common theme here is: no processed foods, low sugar intake.

    May 10, 2012 at 12:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. happy

    WHAT ARE YOU ? A COW ! ONLY EATTING VEGGIES

    May 10, 2012 at 23:53 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.