No I’m not talking about me but thank you anyhow. The book. I’m talking about the book, people. Don’t pretend that you don’t know what I’m talking about. Posh Spice-Beckham (Is that right? It just feels right to hyphenate that.), among other skinny-starlet types, has been spotted carrying it, although heaven only knows why. If she gets any skinnier she’ll implode and scientists will finally get to study a black hole up close. Score 1 for science!
The book is a short, easy read. Definitely do-able while standing in Barnes & Noble chugging your hot beverage of choice. It’s not rocket science. It’s veganism. With a lot of cursing. And for those of you that know anything about veganism it generally comes with a lot of cursing anyhow.
What I liked about the book: Despite the majority of opinions about this book, I actually liked the vegan thing. It was a little bit surprising – I thought I was reading a diet book. (Some reviewers claim they were betrayed by the authors’ hidden agenda. I say if hidden agendas in the diet industry surprise you then you should probably stay away from haunted houses. And fun houses. And probably friend’s houses as well. Just in case they might inadvertently surprise you.)
I’ve been vegetarian or close to it for most of my post-adolescent life so going vegan wasn’t a big stretch for me. And I liked how the authors emphasized a healthy vegan diet centered around whole grains and fresh produce as opposed to one consisting of highly processed and nutritionally void vegan products. A vegan pizza still has a white-bread crust and is loaded with fat. A vegan cookie is still loaded with sugar (brown rice syrup is sugar, people!!). I also liked how they gave it to you straight about how it’s not going to be easy but then anything worth it isn’t going to be easy so enough with the whiiiiiinnnnning already.
I LOVE that they love carbs. Carbs are not the Great Evil that people make them out to be (and neither is fat, for those of you who came of dieting age in the 90’s). Good, healthy, whole grain, minimally processed carbs are the staff of life. They make you feel great and your body run smoothly.
What I didn’t like: The fruit for breakfast thing. Are they out of their little model-minds?? There is no way I’d make it through my HIIT or 12/8 workouts on nothing but a thick slab of cantaloupe. Still, though, I AM the lab rat so I did try their fruit-for-breakfast for two weeks. I’ll tell you what happened in the results section.
I also didn’t like the condescending tone of the book. I know they did it to get people to listen (and boy did that work!) but I hate being yelled at. I’d get back together with my ex-boyfriend if I still wanted some of that action.
The other downside is they never acknowledge the part that genetics play in their good looks. They make it sound as if they did it all themselves. By the sheer force of their indomitable will power. But they were both in the fashion industry (one of them a high fashion model for heck’s sake) long before their vegan/organic awakening. You are not going to overcome your grandfather’s turkey neck or your mother’s thighs simply by snarfing organic grapes.
They also don’t appreciate the special situation they are in. New York and California are these rarefied bubbles where you can find vegan restaurants and tempeh in your corner grocery store. I live in the midwest. The price of produce out here outpaces the street value of crack. And that’s for a withered bunch of nappa cabbage. Organic produce can easily cost more than gasoline – and we all know how expensive that is these days! It’s hard to get all the ingredients and products they endorse. But not impossible. So I’ll stop with the whiiiiiinnnnng already and get on with the experiment!
The experiment: I went totally vegan for 3 months. I did the fruit-only-for-breakfast thing for 2 weeks. I cut out all sugar & caffeine. (I already don’t drink alcohol, nor have I ever smoked or done drugs. I already only eat whole grains and stay away from processed food).
The claims: The authors’ primary claim is that you will lose weight. To a point. Specifically, you will be a “skinny” bitch, not a “scrawny” bitch (so step away Ms. Beckham). They also claim you will have more energy, clearer thinking, better skin and the universe will send you a Mercedes (oh wait, that last one was The Secret. Sorry, wrong book.)
The results: For me, going vegan was pretty easy. I was already vegetarian so it just meant giving up dairy and eggs. I added a b12 supplement for safety though. Giving up caffeine wasn’t bad either as I didn’t have a daily habit to kick. Sugar was harder. Definitely harder. I’m back on the “white Satan” now. Actually, for me, it’s the chocolate Satan.
The fruit-for-breakfast was a total wash. The first day I was so dizzy I had to leave my kickboxing class and sit down. An old man asked me if I was pregnant. Yeah, not what I was going for. Still, I did it for two weeks. I adapted by eating a huge meal right before bed just so I could have enough energy to workout the next morning. I learned that I don’t sleep well when I eat a huge meal right before bed. So now I’m back to my morning food-fest (seriously, I think I eat 1/2 my daily calories at breakfast).
My weight. I know this is what you are all weighting (see what I did there?? A pun! I’m punny!) for. It… stayed exactly the same. The first couple of weeks I lost about 5 pounds and was actually on the verge of buying new jeans. But then as I adjusted to what I could and couldn’t eat the weight came back on. I lost not a single ounce. I suppose for people that have a really crappy diet, going the S.B. way would probably lead to some lasting weight loss but my diet was already decently clean.
But what about the rest of it? I actually think it did help. Cutting out dairy really did seem to reduce bloating later in the day (just like my meathead weight lifter friends always claimed). Cutting out sugar eliminated my 4 pm daily crash and made my PMS better. My energy levels are great. My mood is fantastic. My skin is clear (but it was before too). And here’s an odd thing: despite not losing any weight my waist is a half inch smaller.
Final Analysis: I like being vegan. Except for eggs. So now I’m a vegan who eats eggs. I’d like to stick with the no-sugar thing as I think it really did help me feel better and have more energy but Halloween kind of hamstrung me. Specifically the sweetarts. Still though, I’ll try and get back on the wagon ASAP. Definitely before Christmas comes around and completely clotheslines me.
However – this diet had NO impact on my weight.
Also, soy ice cream is d-i-s-g-u-s-t-i-n-g. If you have ever had real ice cream no brand of soy out there will make you happy.
I’d love to hear what the rest of you think! Anyone else try this??