The world has turned upside down – the Vegan writes an Anti-Vegan report!

Hey everyone.

My Inbox is flooded with comments, ideas and tips from all of you. Thank you so much for your insight and I will be sure to share as appropriate! It’s so cool that we’re all just trying to help each live our best lives! There are so many emails though, I don’t know if I’ll be able to get it all in before the month is over – but I will try!

Now, you are not going to believe this…Ted, our in-house Vegan, has written an anti-vegan report. Here it is:

Vegan or not Vegan – the argument can go on and on and I am sure it will.

Many scholars and doctors believe one thing, many believe the other and will argue it to their graves.

Just to show how easy it is I will argue against myself.

Arguments against Veganism by Ted
1. Vitamin B12 is necessary and can not be found in plant foods.
2. Historically there has never been a Strict Vegan society.
3. Saturated fat has been given a bad name. Inuit and Native populations have been shown to live very healthy lives on diets rich in saturated fats.
4. There is a symbiotic relationship between man and domesticated farm animals. We feed them, they provide food for plants and become food themselves.
5. There are very healthy nutrients found in meat and dairy when the animals are treated correctly
6. Dr. Weston Prices studies which took place between 1920-1930 showed that populations drinking whole, raw milk and milk products were essentially healthier than their counterparts.
7. If people suffer from conditions such as anemia, a vegan diet lacks iron and may not be ideal.

I think the real attack should not be on Vegan or Not Vegan. It should be on the Standard American Diet AKA S.A.D

Can a Vegan diet be healthy? I believe so. Can a non-Vegan diet be healthy – I also believe so. If you are a Vegan eating processed food, I do not believe that is a better option than a non-vegan eating whole foods, and vice versa.

We all just need to pay attention to what goes into our bodies and how it is not only effecting our health but the health of our planet. Because ultimately they will cross paths.

Ted, well said! Thank you for taking the time to share!

Okay, team, here was my meal plan for the day:

Breakfast: Organic orange, WW bagel with Soy-nut butter and jam

Lunch: Organic, non-dairy Tomoto soup, Toby’s Tofu Sandwich, Veggies and Hummus

Dinner: Big Salad – Romaine Lettuce, Peppers, Cucumbers, Tofu Shredded Cheese, Red Tortilla chips smashed up to give it some crunchiness. Megan, are you happy?! Megan is one of my clients who suggested that I needed to eat more greens and salads. When does the client get to tell the trainer how to eat?! 😉

Snack: Tofu ice cream sandwich

Exercise: 35 minute run, 3:34 1000 meter row (Kara, read it and weep!)

Seize the day, not the couch!

Sherri McMillan

Read till you get to my rant…

Hey Team.

Tonight’s Blog will get the Anti-Vegans going…notice I’m alternating back and forth between Pro and Anti-Vegan sentiments. Gotta keep it fair! 🙂

Pro-Vegan Input from Ted Schatz:

While I do respect the point of view of anti-Vegans, there are as many holes in their theories as Swiss cheese. HA – pun intended!

1. Junk food is Junk food -Vegan or not.
2. The small percentage of Vegans and Vegetarians could not possibly have a significant negative environmental impact. The majority of soy grown is not for human consumption at all. IT IS TO FEED LIVESTOCK.
3. Primal Diet. If you are eating a Primal Diet, you would not eat cooked food. Where do you draw the line in history that states this is a Primal diet and this is not? Along the same lines, depending on the line in history, Primal man did not drink milk of other animals and current anthropological studies show that Primal man did not consume large amounts of meat. Yes some, but out of necessity not health.
4. There are plenty of Naturopaths that argue a Vegan diet is healthy.
5. There are plenty of current studies showing that a Vegan diet is healthy when done correctly.
6. The studies most quoted by Anti-Vegans are the Weston Price foundation studies. The original study was done by a Dentist around 1911. There is so much more current research out there.
7. Yes small amounts of meat can be part of a healthy diet. But, there is not a single legit study showing a meat based diet is healthier than a plant based diet.
8. If you kill an animal humanely you still kill something and if it is not necessary, then why?

Thanks for the insight Ted! Remember everyone, all of this is to get us thinking and talking and researching…and most importantly considering what we put into our bodies.

Here’s my Food Intake for the Day:

Breakfast: Organic Granola and Almond Cereal & Banana. Plus Bagel with Soynut Butter and Strawberry Jam.

Lunch: Organic Tortilla chips, Organic Black Beans, Tofu Shredded Cheese, Cut up Peppers

Snack: Soy Chocolate Pudding – my new favorite treat

Dinner: Veggies & Hummus, Sandwich (I tried that Toby’s Tofu Spread which wasn’t too bad and kinda reminded me of Egg Salad), Olives

Snack: Tofu Chocolate Fudgcile

It looks like I had a big sweet tooth today huh?!

Exercise: 55 minute run this morning with a girlfriend. Then tonight I drove across the city to take my 90 minute Hot Yoga class and I was 3 minutes late and they wouldn’t let me in. Man, that gets me going! I’m so the opposite in my classes. Hey, if someone makes the effort to get there and they’re late – I don’t care how late – I want to welcome them and help them feel great about their effort and the fact that something is better than nothing! So instead of doing 87 minutes of Yoga, I got none. That just doesn’t make any sense to me. So what if it’s a little disruptive to the class if I’m late. Part of the practice of Yoga is your ability to stay focused no matter what distractions, obstacles, pressures, stressors etc come your way. If someone quickly slips into your Yoga class and it really bugs you, man, life is going to be really hard! Okay, I’m ranting…Breathe Sherri Breathe. Maybe this was a lesson for me to learn to just let it go and to go with the flow.

Gotta go to bed! Sleep is critical to health!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

What does Ted eat?

Dear Clients, Friends and Family,

We thought it would be cool for you to see a Day-in-the-Life of a Vegan, one of our trainers Ted Schatz, who has been living this lifestyle a lot longer than me. I don’t want you to think my Vegan diet is ‘Ideal’ – I’m definitely fumbling along as I try to figure this out and getting tons of great tips from all of you that I want to continue to share over this month. I think it will be very interesting for you to compare the differences in quantity of food intake for Ted compared to me.

So here is Ted’s Food Intake for the day. Note, all fruits and veggies for Ted are usually organic.

Breakfast- 2 cups Natures Path Organic Optimum Performance cereal, 2tbs Macnarthas organic almond butter, 1/2 cup Good Karma organic original Rice milk, 2 cups of organic fair trade coffee 4tbs Good Karma Chocolate Rice milk in coffee

Snack- 2 small apples, 1 bannana and 2 clementine oranges

Lunch- Hummus Light Meal / Jeruselum Cafe (1 cup hummus, 3 peices of Pita Bread, Salsa, Red and Green Cabbage)

Snack 2- Small apple, Banana, Handfull Raw almonds

Dinner- Stir fried veggies (Red peppers, Green peppers, Cauliflower, Broccoli, Carrots) 2 cups cooked Organic Jasmine Rice

Dessert- 1/2 cup Luna and Larry’s coconut milk Dark Chocolate ice cream

Exercise- 1 hour Indo-Row plus various lifting throughout the day

Okay, now here’s my intake for the day:

Breakfast: 1 cup of Organic Granola and Almond Cereal, Rice Milk, Organic banana

Snack: Organic Pear

Lunch: Whole Wheat Burrito – Rice, Beans, Veggies

Snack: Organic Veggies, Organic Tortilla Chips & Hummus

Dinner: Brown Rice, Peppers, Organic Beans and Tofu Cream – This was super simple and actually quite yummy. I got home at 8:15pm and was pretty hungry but I had to get the kids ready for bed so I didn’t have a ton of time. I had purchased those Minute Brown Rice Instant Cups and all I had to do was put it in the microwave for 1 minute..hey, it was only a minute and there’s really not a ton of other stuff in it. Then I warmed up some beans and cut up some peppers. I mixed it together and started eating it but it was pretty boring and bland even for me. So I grabbed a tablespoon of Tofu Sour Cream and mixed it in and it made the world of difference and instantly became super yummy! Took about 2 minutes to prepare. Quick and easy is key for me!

Desert: Soy Chocolate Pudding. This is my new favorite treat. I like it better than normal Chocolate Pudding! Delicious treat!

Exercise: 30 minute run and 1 hour Muscle/Cardio

I love how there are so many options for Organic Fruits and Veggies now. I shop at Fred Meyers and it seems like just recently the variety of Organic options is so much greater. I want to thank all of you who have been eating and demanding organic from the mainstream grocery stores for a long time because you have paved the way and made it easier for the rest of us. Soon everything will be organic and local will be the norm!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Mess-up #2 – Hey, no one is perfect!

One week down, 3 to go to determine whether this will be a longer, more life-time commitment.

I’ve had a few comments regarding my caloric intake and suggesting it might be a little low. Well, put it this way, after one week, I’ve lost 3 pounds so I’m definitely in a deficit. A healthy, long-term weight loss approach is about 1-2 pounds per week so I’m close. One of the ways I gauge appropriate intake is how I feel. And so far I feel great and definitely have the energy for my workouts which is the most important thing for me. Probably where I’m lacking most is my lunches. I’m still trying to figure out what to bring for lunch. Typically I used to eat out most lunches so trying to figure out what to bring from home besides veggies, chips and hummus has been interesting. I’m sure as the month progresses, things will change and I’ll get into more of a routine.

Eating out is the most difficult part of a Vegan challenge. In fact, I found out I messed up again. The BOCA Burger that I ate at Red Robin’s yesterday that I was so proud of, well, I was informed that it’s not a Vegan burger. I even asked and they told me it was Vegan but it’s got some cheese in it. Well, here I am showing again how easy it is to screw up and a true example that no one is perfect! In fact, one of our trainers Derrick who is probably the strictest Vegan that I know told me he was eating this one food for a while and then found out it had eggs in it.

If I were to project where this will all finish for me, my guess is, since I’m more like an 80/20 girl, my diet will probably end up being strict Vegan 80% of the time and then living it up the other 20% of the time. We’ll see…

My Nutrition for the day:

Breakfast: 1 cup of Organic Granola and Almond cereal + Organic Banana

Snack: Pear

Lunch: Veggies (carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, celery) + Tortilla Chips + Hummus

Dinner: 2 Burritos: Whole Wheat shell, Organic Refried Beans, Tofu Shredded Cheese, Tofu Sour Cream and Peppers

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Remember if you are local, we are going snowshoeing this Sunday. It’s going to be a blast and we’d love to get to know you all better.

How do you do Vegan at Red Robins?

Dear clients, friends and family,

I hope you had a fabulous weekend. Here’s the report for the day.

Pre-run: 1/2 a grapefruit

Breakfast: Organic granola and almond cereal with rice milk & Organic banana.

Snack: 1/2 a bagel with tofu cream cheese

Lunch at Red Robins: This was the biggest obstacle to see if I am really able to commit to this Vegan challenge for a whole month. I love a Red Robin Hamburger so I was definitely tempted but I really wanted to stick with it. So I ordered a salad with Italian dressing & a BOCA Veggie Burger. While it wasn’t as good as the normal burger, it definitely provided the same type of sensation of eating a burger and was a great substitute. It was actually a little spicy for me – my mouth was on fire for a while but I’m a little sensitive to spicy foods. I’m not sure if it was the Burger itself or something they put on it. I left Red Robin’s feeling pretty successful – especially because I didn’t even have one Red Robin fry. Now that is quite the accomplishment!

Dinner: Surprisingly I was still full at dinner time from the Veggie burger so I didn’t feel like eating anything substantial. So I ate 2 vegan chocolate/coconut cookies and that satisfied me for the rest of the night. Wasn’t the healthiest dinner but I just wasn’t hungry which is really weird for me.

Exercise: 30 minute run

Monday is the start of a new week. Plan to be successful with whatever your goal is!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Negative Comments about a Vegan Diet

Dear clients, friends & family:

In the spirit of transparency, I wanted you to all know that not everyone believes a Vegan diet is the healthiest choice. I’ve received a few emails from people who have reported that they have tried a Vegan diet and suffered issues to their skin, hair etc.

The email below from one of our clients expresses this type of concern. Fortunately, I agree with Erica. I think you have to know your body and try different things to figure out what makes you look and feel your best. That’s what I’m doing with the Vegan challenge – trying it out for 30 days and seeing how my body responds and providing tips, resources and reporting my findings to all of you. I’ve done this in the past with various nutrition approaches. I enjoy reading the material and experimenting – I think of it as part of my nutrition education. For example, the South Beach Nutrition plan is very popular. I tried it and although I lost 15 pounds in 2 weeks, I felt horrible with such a low carb approach to my nutrition. I had no energy for my intense workouts and was dragging my butt so it wasn’t the approach for me. But there are numerous other people who swear by this nutrition plan. I’m starting to believe that there isn’t a One-Size-Fits-All approach to Nutrition. A Vegan Diet may not be for you or me, but trying it out for 30 days will provide a good assessment of how your body responds to this approach. I’ve received about 50 emails from people who have told me that a Vegan diet significantly improved their health. Vegans are very passionate about their approach to nutrition and have shared lots of great tips that I will pass on to you.

It’s interesting to note that Food Inc. the documentary that started our internal challenge does not promote a Vegan Diet – just a local, organic diet as Erica mentions below.

So I will continue to record my progress with the Vegan Diet – both positives and negatives. So far, I’ve lost 2 pounds and I feel exactly the same as before which is great because I want to keep my energy high. It’s been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I’m definitely eating a lot more vegetables and beans which has to be a good thing. Whether I will continue after the 30 days – well the jury is still out on that one.

Here’s Erica’s comments. By the way, I love how Erica can express her opinions and concerns in such a loving and respectful way. Thanks for being such a wonderful woman Erica!

Please don’t send me anymore information about vegan diets. I don’t feel that you should be sending them to anyone unless they expressly ask for it. The way things are today, telling people about your diet is like telling people about your religion. It’s fine to believe what you believe and practice what you practice, but it’s not for everyone, and it’s best to wait until you’re asked to start preaching. As for what doctors have to say about nutrition, I encourage you to visit the website below and see what this nutritional therapist/neurofeedback specialist has to say about the matter.

I have my degree in food service & minored in nutrition, and I know very well the implications of a vegan diet. It works for some people, and it can be disastrous for others. Sending out this information as a blanket statement to all people could very well guilt people who need meat to stay healthy into a diet that depletes them of energy and necessary nutrients. As for environmental impacts, the way so many vegans & vegetarians over compensate for the lack of protein with soy & starchy grains is having a crushing effect on the economy, the environment and indigenous cultures who’ve seen their lands bulldozed for as much for soy & grains as for pastured animals. I know your heart is in the right place, and I work every single day to make conscious choices and reduce my negative impacts on the environment & enhance my health & quality of life. Unfortunately, I am at this point mildly miffed that I turn to your business for improved health, and I’m getting advice that luckily I am smart enough not to take.

I mean no disrespect, I love your gym, and I’m about to have yet a third friend join because I rave about the life changes I’ve experienced there. Thank you for everything you’ve done to make it what it is. I just can’t handle being challenged to eat a way that goes against everything my body, my naturopath, and my evolutionary history (that I share with you and every woman at the gym) tells me: Eat lots of local plants and local animals that ate the plants they were designed to eat. It’s simple enough for me, and that’s how I live.

Sincerely & with love,


Erica, thank you so much for your feedback and insight. It gives everyone something to think about. I’m sure there’s lot of people cheering you on!

In honor of sticking to the challenge, here was my food intake for the day. To clarify, I’m not suggesting you follow my meal plan for the day. Just giving you an idea of how I’m approaching this…

Breakfast: 2 organic Flax Waffles and an orange

Snack: Apple and Banana

Lunch: Veggies, Chips & Hummus, Dried Fruit

Dinner: Salad, piece of Bread, Gnocci & Tomato Sauce, Vegan cookie (A huge thank you to Derrick’s wife for this delicious treat!)

Exercise: 30 minutes of IndoRowing

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. Snowshoeing is next Sunday January 17th. Join us if you can. Call 360.574.7292 to reserve your space. We are going to have so much fun!

What’s the first thing to put into your body every morning?

Day 5 of the Vegan Challenge

Last night, many of our clients watched Food Inc. and then had a discussion with Alison Ozgur, our registered dietitian and Derrick deLay, one of our trainers. If you haven’t watched it yet, it’s quite eye-opening and definitely makes you really think about what you put into your body.

Since starting this Vegan Challenge, I’ve had many people share various tips and recipes for Vegan dishes that I will share with you over the month. I’ve had a few clients email me about something called “Toby’s Tofu Pate”, a great alternative to Egg salad. It can be found in the health food section of Fred Meyers, New Seasons, and Whole Foods and is a great quick lunch option. I think I’ll pick some up this weekend and try it out.

Here’s my Vegan Meal plan for the day:

One thing I wanted to mention is that every morning before I eat anything, I drink between 16-32 ounces of water. It always makes me feel better and feels like a good flush before I start eating anything.

Breakfast: Orange & Bagel with Tofu Cream Cheese (this was my first time trying the Tofu Cream Cheese – and I swear you can’t tell the difference)

Lunch: Bean, Rice and Veggie Burrito

Dinner: Veggie Nachos – Nacho chips, organic beans, peppers, tomatoes and Tofu shredded cheese

Exercise: 1 hour Step Cardio + 1 hour Pilates/Yoga

Have a great weekend!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

What does Dr. Dean Ornish say about a Vegan Diet?

Day 4 of the Vegan Challenge:

Derrick deLay, one of our Vegan Trainers, sent me the following information from Dr. Dean Ornish, one of the world’s leading medical doctors specializing in health, fitness, nutrition and the positive effects on cardiovascular disease. He provides some fabulous tips and two yummy recipes for Vegetarian Chili and Pancakes. Enjoy!

Here’s my meal plan for Day 4:

Breakfast: Oatmeal, Organic Banana, Strawberries

Snack: Organic Apple

Lunch: Veggies, 2 Rice Cakes, Red Tortilla chips

Snack: Tortilla chips and Soy Cheese

Dinner: Vegetarian Chili – Yummy and very filling!

I’m not hungry so that’s the most important component for me. I need my energy! The only thing I’ve got to figure out is how to get more protein in my lunches but so far, things are feeling great.

Exercise: 40 minute run

Living Life to the Fullest,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you’re local, join us for our Snowshoeing event next Sunday January 17th. Click on the link for more details.

I messed up and it’s only Day 3

Day 3 of the Vegan Challenge

Breakfast – Organic granola and almond cereal, organic banana, strawberries and organic rice milk. Yep, the exact same thing as the last 2 days! Creature of habit.

Snack – Organic Pear

Lunch – Yakisoba noodles and vegetables. This is where I messed up. I was so pleased that I didn’t have the chicken and it still tasted so delicious. I was thinking this Vegan thing was pretty easy. Then I found out Yakisoba noodles are made with eggs. Oops! Well, it was an honest mistake. I can’t believe I messed up though and it’s only Day 3! Next time, I’ll opt for the brown rice.

Dinner – Tomato soup with baked pita chips crumbled up in the soup to give it some consistency (The brand was Imagine and the soup was awesome and non-dairy based) Yummy! Then I had 2 “Enjoy Life” soft chocolate cookies which have no dairy, egg, soy or any other common allergens. They weren’t my sisters’ cookies but they weren’t bad and definitely satisfied the sweet tooth.

Exercise: 50 minute run with a Girlfriend and then a 90 minute Hot Yoga class with a few other girlfriends. Definitely got my girlfriend estrogen fix today which is actually a really important part of a healthy, balanced life!

One of our clients Kim Hash, sent me a link to a number of vegetarian recipes. This would be a great additional resource for those of you who like to be in the kitchen and need a little more variety in your diet.

Hope this is all helping. Whether you go Vegan or not, I think you’ll be able to get some ideas to help you live your best life!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

Day 2 – Important tips regarding Dairy

Okay, you’re going to learn a little bit about me during this month challenge…

I’m super predictable – and when it comes to food some may think super boring! 🙂 It’s interesting to note that I never met my biological dad but I’ve been told by those who knew him that every morning he would work out, then go to the same restaurant, sit in the same booth and order the same breakfast everyday for years! I’m sorta like that. Perhaps there is a predictability gene?!

So what did my Day 2 of the Vegan challenge look like? Well, read yesterday’s blog and today’s meal plan was pretty much identical! I guess if I like something, I stick with it for a while!

So instead of re-reporting exactly what I did yesterday, instead I’ll share some interesting points of information with you.

Those who have issues with eating dairy point to the information in the following link to support their non-dairy stance. It may provide some validation for you. So far I’ve been successful with avoiding dairy by using various substitutes. At the very least, go for organic dairy.

Oh yes, and of course most importantly, I moved my body for 1.5 hours today. There’s nothing like exercise to make you feel amazing!

Yours in health and fitness,

Sherri McMillan

ps. If you’re local, remember to come to our studio this Thursday night from 7:00-9:00pm for Movie Night. Food Inc is playing and it’s FREE!

pps. Call us at 503.287.0655 or 360.574.7292 if you’d like personal coaching to help with your nutrition and/or exercise plan and provide you with the accountability that most people need to stick with a plan long enough to experience fabulous results.