Let’s Talk Vegan
With Health Coach, Mike Menze
LET’S START OFF FIRST BY LEARNING WHY YOU DECIDED VEGAN WAS THE
LIFESTYLE THAT GAVE YOU THE MOST OPTIMAL HEALTH?
I was a meat and dairy eater all my life, and after I married my wife and we had kids I developed an auto immune disease, Ulcerative Colitis just after my son was born. It was a bad case. If you aren’t aware of what that is, it is a chronic disease of the large intestine, otherwise known as the colon. Numerous times my brother in law had mentioned to me to read The China Study, a book by T. Colin Campbell. It’s the most comprehensive study of Nutrition ever conducted. I didn’t read the book at first, and after getting diagnosed with UC, and living through the suffering I had everyday, I finally decided to pick up the book, cut animal protein out of my life, and give this new lifestyle a try. I’ve never looked back.
WHAT BENEFITS DID YOU SEE FROM THE GET GO?
I immediately stopped my 12-15 horse pills that I took everyday. After cutting animal protein out of my life I noticed within days a change in my bowels and symptoms. It was truly amazing.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN VEGAN AND VEGETARIAN?
Being a vegan means you abstain from all use of animal products. A vegetarian is a person who does not eat meat, but will still eat cheese, fish, and sometimes chicken. Yes, crazy I know.
HOW WOULD YOU RECOMMEND A FAMILY TO IMPLEMENT A VEGAN DIET?
I would recommend that you start to add more vegetables, fruits and starches into your diet. Immediately lessen your animal product intake. There are many substitutions to animal protein in the plant based world. Many of which are non-GMO, if not organic. We find these products are helpful in the transition stage, and are quite tasty.
WHAT DO YOU SAY TO PEOPLE WHO WORRY ABOUT NOT GETTING ENOUGH
I tell them that all plants have protein, and then I’ll tell them that beans have more protein than beef, and broccoli is a great source of protein per serving. Every single fruit and vegetable have
IS THERE A WAY TO GO GLUTEN FREE, SOY FREE AND DAIRY FREE WHILE BEING A VEGAN? AS MANY OF THE KIDDOS ON THE AUTISM SPECTRUM
CAN’T TOLERATE GLUTEN, SOY OR DAIRY.
Absolutely. You do not need to eat soy if you are a vegan, there are plenty of other forms of high protein to get by with. I want to point out first that I’m not a nutritionist or doctor, I am a lifestyle coach who does research and shares what I know. I also want to point something out about soy. Everything I say is easily attainable by punching in a few searches in google. Soy is considered a complete protein, meaning it contains all of the amino acids we have to get from food because they can’t be made by the body. Soy also gets confused by people because soy has estrogen in it. It is called a phytoestrogen, which hinder the body’s natural estrogen from attaching to cells. Phyto means “plant.” It does not do the same thing as the estrogen in animal protein. I believe that is why a lot of people turn away from it, where in reality they should be afraid of animal protein.
ANY FAVORITE RECIPES?
Yes, I love a stacked veggie taco or baked potato thats filled and topped with lots of raw veggies, beans, plenty of nutritional yeast, and hot sauce! My wife makes an amazing veggie lasagna that I can almost eat to myself in one sitting. We make a family marinara sauce that my kids help with. Lately my wife and I have been working to reduce our oil intake, so veggie broth has been key in our experience.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE A FAMILY WHO MIGHT BE NERVOUS
TO TRY THIS DIET?
I would say its best to talk to someone who is successfully living this lifestyle. I had my concerns about malnutrition and lack of protein before I took my first step, but I took that step anyway. It has paid off 100 times over. My family could not be healthier and we are striving to create awareness. One last thing, any reason to go Vegan is the right
~ My name is Michael Anthony Menze. I am 39 years young and I have a beautiful wife named Heidi. Together we have two beautiful children, one boy and one girl. We are what you call a Vegan family. My wife has been a vegetarian her whole life, but the type of vegetarian who didn’t eat fish, or cheese, or eggs. She ate basically carbs, fruits and vegetables her whole life since birth. I went vegan almost 5 years ago. My children also maintain a healthy vegan lifestyle, one since birth, one since 5 years ago. Eating vegan is not only the healthiest for you, it keeps away the sickness, allergies, everyday ailments people get. It’s pure medicine that protects your immune system.
Prior to becoming vegan, at age 32, I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, a common auto immune disease, that “had no cause, no cure,” per my doctor. My passion for plant based eating began the second I noticed a significant change in my daily trips to the bathroom. I eliminated most all animal products, I say most because back then I was just diving into this lifestyle, and I didn’t know the tremendous impact it has on our planet, and the helpless animals, but I would indulge and not care about a cupcake, or a piece of cake that contained eggs, or milk. For the past 2 years we have become more active in the animal rights foundations learning each day. That has driven our first passion, food choices, to open our eyes to what else it meant to be a “vegan.” And if I’m going to dedicate myself to supporting animal rights, then I think I shouldn’t be eating them. With the strong support and advocacy of my
wife we have researched into this completely, and it’s our life’s mission to share what we know, and help people understand the need for meat and dairy are what is really hurting us, our planet, and animals. My son was around six months old, and it was not the best time to become ill. My doctor at the time also diagnosed me with pneumonia at the same time, or as he said, a double whammy. By the time I met my G.I. doctor, I was really feeling bad. Lots of stomach issues and sleepless nights. My doctor told me that there is no cause and no cure for ulcerative colitis and that my condition was a precursor to cancer of the colon. He prescribed 12 horse sized pills a day to keep the flare ups at bay, but he was clear to say, that this was just a patch, a bandaid of sorts. So I took the prescription and followed his orders. By the way, he told me it would be a couple weeks before the meds kicked in. So, I didn’t change one thing in my diet, but took all of those pills and the flare ups died out for the most part. When I would feel a flare up coming, I would take extra medication to help. All throughout the illness, my brother in law would whisper “read the China Study”, I would ignore his suggestions and go about with what I normally did, ate tons of animal product and took my pills.
Fast forward about three years and the brother in law, starts chirping away, china study, read the china study. He even walked me into the local library to check the book out. There wasn’t one available, so we put the order in and I got a copy a week or so later. I tried my best to get through the book, but could not do it before the book was due at the library. Strike one. My brother in law finally coughed up the cash and bought us a copy. As he had mentioned before, try to read the first thirty pages or so. I was hooked on the second attempt. I remember, reading the book on my breaks and calling or texting my wife or brother in law regarding my reactions to the facts printed in that book. It was a game changing situation.
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This blog is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. We always recommend consulting with your doctor with any questions or beginning a new protocol.