Hello world, my name is V Blak and I am a sickly looking vegan (was). I know how sad, poor Monkie.
Let me start with a memory, years ago, I was in New York City working with my friend Jay. My first day in town, he rushes me up to meet his new girl. She was transitioning to a raw food diet and exploring the whole vegan thing. She even had Jay embracing it. Big big change in lifestyle for him. He was so new to it, he really had no clue what being a vegan was. He would say things like, no red meat right, I can’t have steaks anymore? Yeah, Jay that’s it. You got it.
Anyways, back to the introduction. He introduced me, acting all excited, going on about how cool it was, that I had already been a vegan for years. His thinking was that she would be inspired or something. She wasn’t. She turned to me and said, oh yeah I can tell he is a vegan and she didn’t mean it in a good way. She meant yeah, he sticks out like a sore thumb. Pale, thin, gauntly, sunken in, walking skeleton, you know the type. The worst part is that she was dead on right. I was no vegan role model. I was looking pretty bad. Even worse, I wasn’t even concerned. I didn’t think anything was wrong with the way I looked. I didn’t even take in what she was saying. My mind just said, well that is her problem. I look fine, I am just a thin person, she just doesn’t understand.
The reality was, I was too busy working, trying to make a difference, trying to understand the world I was living in, trying to understand myself. Fighting through depression, fighting to just stay. I never stopped and thought about my health or what I looked like. And here is the thing, I was skinny for a long long time, but it wasn’t because I became a vegan, Vegans don’t have to be skinny and most are not. That is just a stereotype. I was skinny because I gave up on myself. I didn’t care about me. I had no balance in my life. I never ate. I would drink espresso, suppressing my appetite, so I could work longer hours, stay up more days. When I did eat, it would be something simple like a salad. A very very light near zero calorie salad. Very little fats or proteins. Worst of all, I sat in my chair day after day and completely gave up on working out. For me even the thought of working out turned my stomach. I would think, oh how boring, what a dull ill thing to do. I hated it. So, I just didn’t do it, ever. The last time I was physically active (until recently) was back in my early 20’s. So, think about it, a good 15 years just blew by as my body withered away. Amazing what we will do to ourselves.
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Photographer: Ron Cadiz
You sometimes must experience what you are not in order to become what you are.
This was a while ago for me, but I remember it well. I struggled immensely with emotional eating. I was living alone, my family was 1500 miles away, and I was in a long distance relationship. That, and the fact that I allowed my diet to exclude me from most social situations left me pretty solitary for many, many months. Sometimes it would just be too much, and I would start to stuff the emotions with junk food. This would make me tired, and so I would cease going to the gym as well. Double negative.
The pictures below were from September 06. I had a bad spell, which lasted about 3 weeks. My body couldn’t handle the barrage at all. I slipped into a mild depression.
Everyone has a breaking point though. I gained about 15 lbs, and that was enough for me.
Anthony Anderson (cc) Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
It seems everywhere a vegetarian, vegan, or raw foodist goes today they’re hit with the big question “Where do you get your protein”. This question usually, at some point, jams the opposing into a corner where they are hit with the cynical golden gloves of life, eventually tapping out and leaving behind only a red muddled stain which is then pointed out by the burly meat eater hell bent on proving a point they never really understand themselves. So what does this mean? It means it’s time to stand up, let go of the ropes and get trained.
I want to first start with an article below which provides a “scientific look” at what’s necessary in respect to human protein intake as expressed by the World Health Organization. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
One of the most common questions I get asked is about the ability to maintain strength and muscle tissue once eating a plant-based diet. Following is a typical question and my response. I’ve recently switched to a plant-based diet am having trouble maintaining muscle mass even though I am constantly eating. What’s wrong?
In today’s hectic, fast-paced world, we are inundated with nutrient-lacking foods. Consumed mostly for convenience sake, processed and refined foods have led us to a decline in health and have elevated medical costs. Having to consume more of them to “fill up” due to their absence of usable nutrients, yet high sugar and calorie counts, we have become an obese, energy-depleted society. Back a few years in my more conventional-thinking days, I would try to gauge my caloric intake requirements based on my activity level and body weight. Eating about 8000 calories on heavy training days, as determined by my calculations, I would usually need a rest day soon after. I realize now, a large part of my need for the extra rest day was not just to recover from the energy expended during training, but primarily from the energy expended digesting all that food!
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