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gertvegan
Sep 2nd, 2004, 11:05 AM
The young and the meatless
Teen vegan has all of her nutritional bases covered

By Ron Mikulak
The Courier-Journal

Like many teens, Laura White is a vegetarian. Like many students who choose vegetarianism, Laura is earnest, serious, concerned and committed.

But unlike many of the 1million school-age kids estimated to have sworn off meat, Laura actually likes vegetables and a wide range of food that teens need to be healthy.

Laura, a vegetarian "on and off" since the third grade, takes vegetarianism one more step, avoiding all animal products, including leather. She is a "vegan."

"My sister and I were raised as Unitarians, who do not necessarily accept the biblical assertion that humans have a divine right to be masters over animals," says Laura, a senior at St. Francis High School. "... raising and slaughtering animals for food just strikes me as a wrong way to relate to other living things.

"But I heard that it was easy to become unhealthy on a vegan diet, and I wanted to avoid that. I found a good book, 'Becoming Vegan,' which alerted me to the nutrients often lacking in a vegan diet and what I could do to get protein, calcium and vitamin B-12."

Because teens are growing, parents and health professionals worry when they quit eating nutrient-dense foods such as milk and meat.

Laura has it covered. "I look for calcium-enriched soy milk and orange juice," she explains. "B-12 is a vitamin hard to get from non-meat sources, so I take a multivitamin supplement, which helps with other things, like magnesium." She gets plenty of protein by eating soy products, such as tofu and tempeh, beans and whole grains.

Louisville dietitian Renu Lonial points out a few other nutritional issues to watch for. Too much fiber in the diet can interfere with iron absorption. In addition, she said, Americans often tend to eat more grains, fewer vegetables and legumes, which can leave them nutrient-deficient.

All of that said, however, vegans can easily balance their food intake.

Eating a variety of green, yellow, orange and red vegetables makes for a lovely, lively dinner plate, and provides great nutrition. Whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa and bulgur, along with soy products, are healthy for everyone. A conscientious vegetarian could be healthier than teens subsisting on french fries, popcorn and chips.

For a while, Laura's father went along with her, and she cooked for them both in their Southern Indiana home. "But recently, he went on an Atkins diet, I think in rebellion," Laura laughs. "We sort of go our own way at dinner now."

Article link (http://www.courier-journal.com/features/2004/09/01/teenvegan.html)

Mystic
Sep 2nd, 2004, 11:34 AM
I reckon you can be unhealthy on any diet - even vegan. When I was just learning, all I was eating was spaghetti with sauce from the jar, peanut butter sandwiches, baked beans on toast and snacking on apples. I did take a multi vitamin, but I have to say, that was a very nutrient deprived diet. Not that there is anything wrong with spaghetti with sauce from the jar, peanut butter sandwiches, baked beans on toast or apples, but not when that is pretty much all your diet consists of.
It is really good to be aware of nutrients and how to acquire them, and the more I learn, the more I am realising how interesting and varied a vegan diet can be. I know I eat a lot of dhal coz I am poor, lazy and cant be bothered learning to cook other stuff, but I never knew of vegan restaurants, where to buy vegan cakes, all the intersting dried fruits, like mango and pineapple and cranberries, tempeh, rice milk and soygurt - I eat a more interesting diet then all the omnis/veggies I know. They all are surprised coz they think all we eat are apples, carrots and salad. I have a friend who was shocked I ate peanut butter! She thought because it says 'butter' it is not vegan!

l337_v3g4n_1
Jul 13th, 2005, 02:02 AM
I love it how vegan is often set between "" marks. It just strikes me as very funny.

on topic, getting nurients in a vegan diet isnīt hard at all. I mean, Iīm a teen, going through a huge growing period, and I live in ICELAND!!

the trick is google ;)

ConsciousCuisine
Jul 13th, 2005, 02:54 AM
That's a good article. Glad to see veganism getting positive press coverage. I wish they would have posted what she eats and the results of bloodwork. That is what really tells the whole story, but a shiny mane of hair, smooth skin, good color, regular sleep patterns, healthy teeth, strong bones, the ability to reason, think and enjoy life represents pretty well :)

My soon to be teen daughter is thriving and in perfect health: no cavities, broken bones, skin issues, bowel problems, flus, colds, infections...you get the point. She's the picture of health. I'm off now to go feed her and will post in the "What did" thread afterwards :)

nakaniNumen
Nov 12th, 2005, 02:08 PM
It's nice to see these "vegans" getting exposure. I don't think enough non-"vegan" people know about "vegan" diet. What do you other "people" think?

:D

foxytina_69
Nov 12th, 2005, 02:25 PM
its funny that you said that banana, because when i was in the hospital in october 2004, thats basically all they fed me. they were so stumped on what to feed a vegan. i ate ALOT of peanut butter and beans and whatnot. the doctors were concerned so they sent a dietician to see me. i didnt think much about it at the time, had i been in my right mind i would have been annoyed at the doctors for being 'concerned' but i was so out of it i didnt really realize what was going on. anyways, the dietician asked me a bunch of questions and then was like okay... so i dont understand why the doctors sent me here. u eat very healthy. im like uhm i dont know lol cause theyre idiots. then i found out soon after that my doctor thought i should lose 25 pounds. if so, why didnt they put me on a calorie restriction? many doctors these days dont think very clearly.

foxytina_69
Nov 12th, 2005, 02:28 PM
"We sort of go our own way at dinner now."

i hope they eat dinner together again by now!!!

gert, the link isnt working anymore :)

Mr Flibble
Nov 12th, 2005, 02:39 PM
the doctors were concerned so they sent a dietician to see me. i didnt think much about it at the time, had i been in my right mind i would have been annoyed at the doctors for being 'concerned' but i was so out of it i didnt really realize what was going on. anyways, the dietician asked me a bunch of questions and then was like okay... so i dont understand why the doctors sent me here.

I was feeling very lathargic a lot of the time at uni, which I thought may be due to my diet after getting a clean blood test (the obvious cause would be glandular fever). I asked my doctor to refer me to a nutricianalist. He didn't think there was a problem with my vegan diet, but honoured my request. When I saw the nutricianlist and we'd been through all the things I eat in an average week she concluded that I had one of the healthiest diets she'd seen of anyone in my age range; thinking it highly unlikely that my tiredness was caused by my food. In hindsight, as someone who no longer suffers from it it was most likely caused by the strange hours I kept and drinking too much beer :)

foxytina_69
Nov 12th, 2005, 03:15 PM
it was most likely caused by the strange hours I kept and drinking too much beer :)

that made me laugh :D it seems diet is the easiest to blame first and foremost but its usually something else!