Day in the Life, MLB Grub, Rip Returns & Make You Beg

• Have you guys checked out the incredible athlete video-series by The Discerning Brute contributor and RD Matt Ruscigno called Day in the Life? If not, sit back and prepare to get inspired and charged. Here’s episode 5 featuring ultramarathoner Donovan Jenkins:

• There is a comprehensive new resource for Major League Baseball fans who are looking to get their grub on. The Venue Vegetarian Guide on VeggieHappy.com lists all MLB teams and what their stadiums offer, from veggie dogs and black bean burgers to salads, guacamole and corn on the cob. Also check out Peta’s top-10 veg friendly ballparks!

• Powerhouse authors Rory Freedman  (Skinny Bitch, Skinny Bastard) and Texas firefighter, Rip Esselstyn (Engine 2 Diet) have some new must-read books out. Beg is a battle-cry with a cover to drool over (yes we’re judging) that jujitsu’s the fascination and love we already have for our best-friend cats and dogs to help all animals. My Beef With Meat is an essential read to give to your dad, your brother – and even that obnoxious uncle who’s always poking fun at your kale chips. There’s a firefighter on the cover, ok? Who’s gonna argue with that?
My Beef with Meat 

Is Veganism Good Enough For Everyone to Critique?

By now you have probably seen the Nina Planck NYT article questioning the safety of veganism for kids. And you are probably, rightfully, outraged. The author, who supposedly once followed a vegan diet, is now an outspoken critique who regularly (too often, if you ask me!) is given a platform to express her so-called concern. It’s too extreme! It’s not natural! Your baby might die! As a Registered Dietitian and as a vegan of 16 years I was so frustrated I could barely finish reading it. But now that I’ve had more time to think about this, her irrational statements may not be an entirely bad thing. Before you excommunicate me from the vegan world, here’s what I think:

Veganism is insanely popular right now
The premise of Planck’s article is that veganism is extreme and a fringe idea. I hate to say this, but when I first went vegan in the 90′s this was somewhat true. But today we have talk show hosts, mixed martial arts fighters, professional athletes and a host of scientists, doctors and dietitians (see list below) that are vegan. The number of strict vegans may still a small percentage of the population, but is growing unbelievably fast. And the number of people who sometimes eat vegan meals is skyrocketing. Veganism has reached a mainstream audience: we have to expect backlash.

The response was immediate, thorough and successful
My colleague Ginny Messina, aka The Vegan RD, easily tore apart Planck’s scare tactics and pseudo-science as did the Vegetarian Resource Group. The LA Times even did a response article that quotes Messina extensively. The Sistah Vegan Project and the Intellectualyst also responded, just to name a few. I was so thoroughly impressed by the response from the vegan community that I had to change what I was originally going to write about here.

Relying on psuedo-science and out-dated studies to critique veganism is becoming harder to do
Articles like this used to appear regularly! Today they are quite rare, which is why I am shocked that the NY Times actually ran it. Vegans have decades of experience justifying their eating habits and have become rather skilled at using research to make their arguments. Every time I see Jack Norris’ veganhealth.org site linked it reminds that vegans are a smart bunch who will use real science to fight psuedo-science. With vegan Registered Dietitians like Jack Norris, Ginny Messina, Reed Mangels, Julianna Heaver, Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina covering the science behind veganism we have the tools to show not only the adequacy of vegan diets, but the benefits of eating plant-based.

Remember this: veganism is a radical idea to many and a threat to more than a few social and economical systems. But compassion and science are on our side. So next time someone brings up one of Nina Planck’s ridiculous articles or statements, take a deep breath and politely ask where the scientific studies backing her ideas are. Meanwhile you can read the Academy of Dietetics and Nutrition’s Position Paper on Vegetarian Diets that says nothing about having to rely on ‘many synthetic supplements.’