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Some Questions About Vegetarian Diet

Robin Pan

Q: After being on a vegetarian diet, the body feels very itchy?

A: This is a sign of detoxification as the digestive system is experiencing a lighter burden. Please refer to Dr Chiu-Nan Lai’s book, “Reclaiming Bliss of the Body”, for more methods of speeding up detoxification, for example, a fruit juice fast or do more exercises to enable the person to quickly get through the detoxification stage.

Q: Taking a vegetarian diet, the stool or wind from the bowel is smelly?

A: With more fibre passing through the intestines, intestines loosen up, like smelly drain being cleared. This is temporary.

Q: After being a vegetarian, the body feels cold?

A: If body gets too cold, take less raw food. If body has a cold constitution by nature, take warming Chinese medicine to supplement the body. Also exercise more or take up “qigong” should help. Hua-Tuo, a highly skilled physician in ancient China, developed a set of exercise called Five Animal Frolics (Wu Qin Xi) to teach others to exercise. This shows the importance of exercise. The hand-clapping exercise (Pai-shou Gong) and the 8-step exercise of Wutai Mountain (Wutai Shan Ba Bu Gong) are both very good qigong for improving the body consumption.

Though meat is more difficult to digest by nature, its storage of energy belongs to warm energy, (similar to what Chinese medicine refers to as “yang” energy). Thus, consuming meat would give warm energy. But there is no such thing as a free lunch. Besides having to get rid of the toxins produced out of the animal’s fear and anger when being slaughtered, one also has to bear the results of killing.

Q: A vegetarian meal does not give satisfactory feeling?

A: The body is habitually waiting to burn animal fat and animal protein. The digestive system will gradually change, and one will no longer feel unsatisfied after meal.

Q: What shall we eat for a vegetarian diet?

A: You may refer to vegetarian cookbooks in the market but replace the ingredients by unrefined and unprocessed organic food.

Q: Are the nutrients of a vegetarian diet sufficient?

A: India has a long culture of vegetarian diet, that is why no Indian has this doubt, whereas vegetarian diet is not common in the Chinese culture. Thus, one may meet opposition from family and society. Generally, a balanced diet of vegetables, bean curd, beans, and nuts should produce sufficient nutrients for the body. However, due to different body constitutions, the ability to digest is different, and thus absorption of nutrients is indeed different. For poor digestive systems, Chinese medicine may be used to regulate the body constitution.

In the Indian culture, many spices are used in the diet to regulate the body system. China has that as well; the traditional Chinese herbal combination is a very wise concoction to regulate the body system.

Q: Why do some vegetarians also suffer from diabetes and high blood pressure?

A: Do not consume refined foods (white rice, white flour, white sugar, etc) and processed food. A lot of vegetarian foods contain additives which are not healthy. Consuming these foods once in a while for the taste is alright, but long-term consumption is harmful. Do not use hydrogenated oil which may cause cancer. The best is to consume all organic food.

Q: Is organic food expensive?

A: Usually, there will be an increase of about US$100 per month [editor’s note: this estimate pertains to the US market] for a family to consume organic food. Many people spend more than US$300 per month on cars which only have a lifespan of about 7 years. Is our life worth less than a 7-year lifespan car?

Nowadays, many incurable sicknesses are caused by environmental pollution. Organic consumption is an environmentally friendly deed – no killing of insects, no insecticide or chemical fertilizers protects the environment. Within a short period of 10 years, (using 1990 California Organic Food Action Programme) as an example, the awareness of organic farming and organic consumption have shown effect (more and more organic food can be found in conventional supermarkets). This shows that with everybody’s efforts, we can reverse the common deed of self-killing due to using harmful chemicals.

Q: How can we obtain calcium from a vegetarian diet? Would we suffer from osteoporosis?

A: Vegetarian diet contains much calcium; quantity is not a problem. The book “Diet for a New America” explains in detail that osteoporosis is due to consuming too much protein and fat which further result in calcium loss.