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Category Archive: Disease

Here are all the SuperVegan blog posts categorized under Disease. XML

  1. I’m not even confident on which end that came out of. –Melissa McCarthy as Megan in Bridesmaids

    Hello! And welcome to the first post in a little series about gluten-free, vegan living. This is for everyone, and most especialiest vegans, going gluten-free for the first time and all those who could possibly benefit from reading about my experience of doing the same in the last three years.

    I’ve learned from desperate private browsing sessions that there is verrry little information out there for people who might have celiac disease or, more amorphously, a gluten intolerance, or, even more amorphously, unexplained “stomach issues.” At the risk of sharing too much information with people who know me and read this blog, I will describe — in the least disgusting way possible! — my experience of discovering that gluten doesn’t agree with me (it’s a long story, actually! and interesting, I swear.), how I removed gluten from my already vegan diet, and what the consequences and rewards have been. Less in spite and more because of how embarrassing it is to talk about some of this stuff, I hope I can answer questions people only want to ask their very close friend, the internet.

    Know that I’m using the Q-and-A format so that people can easily find this; I am not actually conducting sad, lonely interviews with myself.

    How did you find out you have celiac disease?

    Let me begin by saying I haven’t officially earned my celiac disease badge, and I’m just now sewing my gluten-intolerant patch on my vest (which is otherwise occupied by a great big vegan! patch). But more on the official status of my relationship to wheat later.

    Early in the summer of 2009 — May, I think — I started to notice I was bloated, all the time, even when I woke up, having eaten a very early dinner the previous day. My high-waisted skirts suffocated me at the diaphragm, most of all after eating, when the bloating was quite visible, like a high-seated pregnancy in its fifth month. As proof, I wore a lot of tops from Anthropologie that summer. Following the bloating were other GI problems — food moving through my system at an uncomfortably slow pace, a constant feeling of fullness and hunger at the same time, frequent nausea — and general exhaustion (which could have been a result of feeling sick or more directly a result of the gluten itself). That Melissa McCarthy quote kind of sums up my GI state at the time at its worst. Continue Reading…

  2. On Feb. 8, I went to the Tribeca Grand for the first screening of Chow Down, a documentary that shows the turnaround that two men with heart disease achieved by switching to a plant-based diet. (By turnaround I mean that they didn’t die.) If you’re looking for an outreach tool that comes from a health perspective, this is it. Doctors like Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., Neal Barnard and Joel Fuhrman, as well as T. Colin Campbell, lay the facts out on the table, including the discovery that nutrition controls the expression of certain genes, including those that govern disease. The movie also addresses the government’s complicity in Americans’ nutrition-poor diet and the hold big-money interests like the meat and dairy industries have over what we’re told we should eat.

    The editing was a little choppy in places—for example, there were supposed to be three participants, but the third, a woman, dropped out, and no other explanation was given except that she just couldn’t do it right then. But overall the movie delivered its message with simplicity, humor and truth.

    Because it doesn’t address the cruelty issue, it was followed by a screening of Glass Walls, narrated by Paul McCartney. It was at this point that a lot of people left the room, while the rest of us covered our eyes and tried to plug up our ears. Make no mistake: This seven-minute film pulls no punches and is extremely explicit about what happens to the animals we use for food. I’d recommend this as an outreach tool, but most vegans aren’t able to sit through it, so I can’t imagine any guilty omnivores sticking it out. Continue Reading…

  3. Every year, Dr. Michael Greger, the director of public health and animal agriculture for The Humane Society of the United States, peruses untold numbers of medical journals for the newsiest of food news. He then presents the most notable findings in a quiz show format DVD. I dropped the good doctor a line and asked him to explain some of the more curious revelations from his newest releases, the 2009 and 2010 Latest in Clinical Nutrition.

    Roseann Marulli: Hey, Dr. G! Long time no speak. Thanks for chatting with SuperVegan.

    There’s a lot of information jam-packed into your nutrition DVDs. Some of it’s a no-brainer, like the fact that artifical colors are harmful and that having a cat or a dog is protective against cancer. (Well, we all knew companion animals make us happier, anyway.) But there were a few surprises, too. What was the most shocking thing you learned from the medical literature in the last two years? The most yawn-inducing?

    Dr. Michael Greger: I continue to be amazed by our bodies’ ability for self-repair. Like, if you bang your shin on something it gets better—unless you keep banging it in the same place day after day. That’s what smoking does, daily lung injury. But when people stop smoking, their lung cancer risk after enough years approaches that of a nonsmoker! Isn’t that amazing? Our body can get all the crap out of there and heal. Same thing with the lining of our arteries getting injured day after day from unhealthy diets. All you have to do is stop it and your body will heal. Our bodies want to be healthy, if we would just let them. That’s what these new research articles are showing: Even after years of beating yourself up with a horrible diet, your body can reverse the damage, open back up the arteries—even reverse the progression of some cancers. Amazing! So it’s never too late to start exercising, never too late to stop smoking and never too late to start eating healthier.

    The yawns come mostly from the cascade of studies touting the benefits of foods like berries and greens. I don’t even cover them anymore in my DVDs. Been there, done that. Continue Reading…

  4. Too busy replaying the clip of Sacha Baron Cohen swooping into the MTV Movie Awards and landing his bare ass in Eminem’s face to catch this gem? I understand.

    During his acceptance speech for the award for best comedic performance, Jim Carrey told 5.3 million viewers what caused factory farm flu:

    Is Carrey vegetarian? Is this his partner, Jenny McCarthy, rubbing off on him? Is there any experience quite like watching Pet Detective for the eleventh time?

    I don’t really have any answers here.

  5. Doreen the Downer by Mark Fiore

    Doreen the Downer by Mark Fiore

    By this point, everybody’s seen the video of downer cows being abused by Hallmark/Westland Meat Packing employees. And everyone’s read about the massive beef recall that the HSUS video prompted. The upshot is that nonveg*ns everywhere are finally getting to see what we already knew happens to scores of animals in this country every day.

    Well, if any of your omni friends won’t watch the video because it’s too depressing, they have another option: Doreen the Downer by animator Mark Fiore. It does for beef production what The Meatrix did for factory farming, except it’s short and whimsical, like so many of those misguided “educational” videos from the ’50s and ’60s.