franklanguage (franklanguage) wrote,

Sorry I didn't reply right away...

This is for Dee:

Yes, I live in lower Manhattan, and moved to this neighborhood over 20 years ago (actually I first came here in 1980.)

First: you called me on my saying, "Sorry to say it, but..." insisting I wasn't sorry to tell you all my PeTA-inspired pipe dreams. Not true: I'm always sorry to tell people what they don't want to hear; I, for one, would love to live in a wish-fulfillment dream, but life doesn't work like that—for me, at least. When I read you were eating candy at night right before going to sleep, I wondered if you led a charmed life; I couldn't do that. (Maybe you saw my root-canal Halloween mask, posted in my journal here.)

To tell you the truth I don't know of a local nutritionist at all; I've never seen one. Considering how few credits of nutrition doctors are required to take in med school anyway, I don't really listen to them; every doctor I know says I should be eating dairy. Or maybe not me personally, but my sister's G.P. has said to her she should eat all the dairy she can get her hands on. (My G.P., when I was talking about dairy with her a couple of years ago, piped up brightly, "It's a good source of protein and calcium," not mentioning that the calcium in dairy products can't be absorbed without magnesium, which is absent in dairy. It is not bio-available, and most doctors don't know this. Gives me chillls.

As a matter of fact, I am aware that dairy consumption causes osteoporosis, and doesn't prevent it; when humans eat a lot of animal protein in the form of meat or dairy, an acid state is created in the blood and the body compensates for it by leaching calcium from the bones to neutralize it. Ever wonder why osteoporosis has reached epidemic proportions in the U.S., where Asian countries have a tiny fraction of the osteoporosis cases? They don't consume nearly the amount of dairy we do in the U.S.; it's not part of the traditional diet. (For more on this see O is for Osteoporosis.)

[this is my friend beforewisdom talking below:]

"Dr. Neal Barnard of the PCRM has an excellent book on using low fat, whole food vegan diets to treat diabetes. I won it in a charity auction last year and read it. It has a small chapter written for the doctors of the people who read it so that people can work with their doctors AND the book.

"The PCRM is good about being contacted for advice. If Barnard can't talk with your friend he could probably recommend a professional in her area.

"Brenda Davis RD is a vegan nutritionist, author of several books on nutrition and a coauthor of the American Dietetic Association's position paper on vegetarianism. She has a web site that can be found by googling on her name. I would contact her to ask for referrals as well. She also has a good book out on diabetes called
Defeating Diabetes.

"Last she also completed a program she built from the ground up at the request of the government of the Marshall Islands, one of the areas of the world most stricken by type 2 diabetes. It was so bad there that the natives looked at diabetes as a phase of life, like puberty and were terrified of going to the hospital. It usually meant coming home without a limb.

"She went and lived there. Taught the natives nutrition, cooking and taught the government about vegan diets directly."

So I went vegan about six years ago; it wasn't painful, and I found a lot of my health problems disappeared. Plus, my weight is easier to control; I'm still overweight, but not to the degree I was, and I actually weigh about what I did in high school, which is good enough for me. I have a big collection of vegan cookbooks, although lately I don't have time to cook much, except simple stuff. But I do cook, because although I live in a mecca of vegan restaurants, I can't see paying so much for food I can make at home.

If you have any further questions, feel free to ask, and if I come up with the names of any vegan nutritionists locally, I'll let you know.

[P.S.: This is the book: Dr. Neal Barnard’s Program for Reversing Diabetes. Sounds too good to be true; but maybe I'll get it, because I've got issues, too. (paternal grandmother had Type II diabetes, pulled her own teeth, ended up with an enlarged heart and artificial leg. Lived to be 75—if you call that living.)
Tags: diabetes, nutritionist, vegan

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