Vegetarianism for Dummies - Facts about Health Negatives

Vegetarianism for Dummies

Understand the Various Options for Dietary Plans Available

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Right off the bat I'd like to state I'm not completely opposed to vegetarianism. It's an excellent dietary regimen against heart disease, stomach cancer and high blood pressure. I certainly don't want all those sandal-wearing granola-crunchers getting mad and attacking me with their spelt noodles. My focus here is how vegetarianism applies to bodybuilding, morphing my body into radiant, sculpted charisma. I have my reasons for not being a fan of the vegetarian lifestyle. Put your feet up and pretend you re watching the Late Show with David Letterman. Here we go with my personal top ten.

B12 Deficiency

Man, you just don't get enough of this valuable vitamin ... not easily anyway. To get it, you need to eat certain seeds, nuts, soy sauce and specific root nodules. (Sounds great - let's go digging.) With a shortage of B12 you can experience fatigue, memory loss, nerve damage and tingling hands and feet. That's not exactly the sensation I want when I'm ramming away with a squat bar on my back. Feet that go to sleep? Yeah, right.

Zinc Deficiency

By constantly consuming grains (which contain phytates), you could incur a zinc deficiency because phytate combines with and carries zinc out of your body. This valuable mineral is involved in testosterone production, recuperation and liver detox. A shortage has been linked to prostate enlargement (peeing skinny streams?), weak muscles, acne, digestion problems, stretch marks and halted muscle growth. No thanks. Who wants to be a scrawny, pimply, pale bodybuilder?


Oxalates, you ask? These dandy substances, found abundantly in vegetables, combine with iron and calcium to form insoluble salt. The body cannot absorb them. Hmm ... let me see. Less iron will give me dizzy spells, and less calcium will make my bones lose density and crack like fortune cookies. Not nifty stuff.


A type of extremism seems to accompany vegetarians. Go eat out with one. They are so bent on getting their order just right - super-picky on details - that you set the impression they think someone is secretly trying to poison their food. That's not my scene. Yes, I consider healthful choices when I order, but I'm not obsessed if a little bit of this or that is in my food. I shnork it all down with pleasure. Some vegetarians suffer this almost quiet agony associated with food, like an undercurrent of fear, and that's not good for the delicate digestive process. Ralph Nader said, "Food is the most intimate consumer product." While I don't "make out" with my food, I certainly make eating it a completely pleasurable experience.

Lack of Consistency

As a group, vegetarians can't seem to get their act together. You've got your vegans, the most restrictive type, who use only foods of plant origin. Many of them won't eat anything you have to kill. (Gee, I wonder why they have no problem wearing leather shoes.) Then you have the lacto-vegetarians, and their diet includes foods of the vegans plus milk products. Taking the selection to another level of calculated risk are the lacto-ovo-vegetarians, who consume all of the above plus eggs. Clearly the two zoomiest groups are the fruitarians, who eat only fruits, nuts, olive oil and honey, and those who follow the macrobiotic diet, which includes seven progressively restrictive diets with the final one consisting only of brown rice. This last group is the hands-down winner for the title of most likely to look like death warmed over. Make no mistake about it. These last two diets are way too restrictive for any bodybuilder wanting an arm that surpasses the 13-inch mark.

Food Combining

Gimme a break. You know ... two specific foods must be eaten together to supply the right mix of essential amino acids. I'll take a monster pass! I would hate to be a slave to nutritional gymnastics just to get my protein. Hey, when I want my protein I want it like now! I'm not interested in any exotic food-combining written about by authors who look as if a two-pound dumbbell would totally stress them out. And what's this "legumes and grains" obsession? Most bodybuilders don't even know what legumes are. If you asked them, they'd probably say, "Oh, you must mean the movie Creature from the Black Legume."

Spiritual Reasons

Many feel vegetarianism elevates you to a higher vibrational level and enhances sensitivity. Yeah, I'll show you higher vibrational levels all right. Invite a vegan to do 5 sets of squats. Believe me, his thighs will vibrate big time! Hey, I believe in God, and I do pray, but I don't need a plate of cucumbers to get closer to my Maker.

Another Missing Nutrient

This time it's taurine, a sub-stance produced in the body by methionine and cysteine, that is found in animal protein but not vegetable protein. Taurine helps influence blood-sugar level, similar in action to insulin. It maintains solubility of cholesterol and keeps the heart muscle strong. Research has found that a developing brain has up to four times more taurine than an adult brain. Scientists also believe a deficiency of taurine leads to epilepsy.

I am a Human Being!

I' m not an animal with funky features designed for crunching and digesting vegetables. Our teeth are not suited for purely vegetable consumption. Our incisors are too short (just look at a rabbit's pearly whites), and our molars aren't wide enough (go open the mouth of a horse or cow and check theirs out). The cow's guts are 20 times its body length, whereas ours are only about four to six times our body length. And last time I checked I didn't have two stomachs.

I Love Beef!

The vegans will be falling over in shock at this point, but I'm a steak girl. I dig big, juicy, rare steaks. I once polished off a 32-ounce T-bone at a restaurant, and they gave me a commemorative T-shirt reading "I am a vegetarian's nightmare!" Another time (next part not for the squeamish) I was competing in Japan for the world championship and my hotel room didn't have a stove. I bought a steak, held it under the hot-water tap for 30 seconds, and scarfed it down! (I placed second the next day.) Beef rocks my world. I grow like a weed on it. As for vegetables ... well, I eat 'em on the side.

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