About this site
(Last updated: May 2021)
Many moons ago, I started this blog to combat some of the myths floating around the vegan world whence I came—especially wacky notions about human physiology, evolutionary nutrition, the health effects of animal products, and other issues that tended to get me banned from vegan message boards when I talked about them.
But I soon realized there were more exciting things to write about than hybridized avocados and raw vegans with bad teeth. This site was thus reborn into what it is now: an arena to examine the science behind common nutritional beliefs, the ongoing scuffles between omnivores and vegans, and the emerging evidence for individual variation in human nutritional needs… along with cute animal pictures to make my long-winded blog tomes less insufferable (YOU’RE WELCOME).
This site isn’t low-carb or high-carb, vegan or carnivore, raw food or cooked food, or anything else that could be neatly labeled. I avoid “isms” as a rule. My own experience as a (recovered) raw vegan taught me that dogma allegiance is more harmful than anything we could put in our mouths, so the emphasis here is on finding the truth rather than building an ideology. My goal is to make nutritional science accessible and non-boring to those who really care about their health.
Most importantly, this is a place to question everything—including the very words I pen. Respectful critics are very much welcomed! I’m a lifelong student, not a guru, and I learn as much from y’all as you do from me.
Nutshell version for rapid stereotyping purposes:
- Enneagram 5w4, sx/so
- Taurus sun, Leo moon, Libra rising (chart)
- Only child
- Half Jewish
- Human Design 1/3 manifestor
- Gene Keys stuff here
- Shoe size 8
I’m not going to put my age on here anymore because I always forget to change it when I get older. So I’ll just let you guys know I was born on May 4th, 1987, at 6:11 PM Pacific Standard Time—you do the math. (Birthday emails are gleefully accepted.) I’m a former long-time resident of Portland and Seattle and currently live in Phoenix, Arizona. I like cats, psychedelics/plant medicine, thunderstorms, shadow work, walking everywhere, mysterious things, wrists, Carl Jung, mountains, really old houses, aspen trees, all sorts o’ music, sugar snap peas, grape tomatoes, and the ASL sign for “sea turtle.”
I’ve never owned a car, and still have trouble figuring out left from right.
I’m a researcher both by vocation and by instinct. I may seem like a marginally normal human on the outside, but rest assured, I have enough nerd in me to make Steve Urkel look like the Fonz. In January 2014, I published a book called “Death by Food Pyramid” and truth be told, I’m still recovering from it.
My non-nutrition passions tend towards the esoteric, mystical, and psychological. I spend my free time researching near-death experiences, psychic phenomena, therapeutic potential of psychedelics, astral travel, paranormal stuff, and evidence of post-death consciousness.
My interest in health started at age seven, when I first went vegetarian, and then resurged at the age of 11 when an undiagnosed wheat allergy turned me into a walking zombie for a year. Although cutting out wheat improved my health tremendously, that alone wasn’t enough to keep me feeling big-H Healthy, and over the years I cycled through various versions of cooked vegan, raw vegan, Weston A. Price-ish omnivore, and what could only be described as “How Could Such a Small Human Eat This Much Sushi,” which was my favorite, but not for long, because money. Until I master photosynthesis and become a breatharian, my current diet is some conglomeration of real-food plant-based no-crap fare with smaller amounts of seafood, eggs, and organ meats. I don’t base my identity on anything that goes in my mouth, though, and gladly deviate from the above lineup for purposes of hedonism and curiosity.
I firmly believe we all have the right to be healthy, and that an understanding of nutrition isn’t a privilege reserved for the elite. Speaking of which…
Who do I think I am, running a health blog without a nutrition PhD? Shouldn’t I be flipping burgers at McDonalds like all those other English majors?
I’M SO GLAD YOU ASKED! This question (which has haunted my inbox for time immemorial) speaks volumes about how we view learning, and why we’re chronically confused about what to believe when it comes to health. “We can’t possibly understand nutrition if we haven’t studied it within the walls of an institution! Let’s just trust someone with formal credentials instead of thinking for ourselves.”
First of all, let’s take that argument to its logical conclusion. Say we’ve made peace with our ignorance and have chosen to fully outsource our brains to the published scholars, professors emeriti, and PhD-holders of the health world. What happens when they disagree with each other? When one “expert” says to go vegan and another says low-carb or bust? When one says to eat breakfast, and the other says fast until noon? When they all present compelling arguments for their wildly, irreconcilably different conclusions?
What then, my friends? Do we flip a coin and side with fate’s victor? Do we thrust our arms into the air and deem the whole situation hopeless? Or do we figure out for ourselves what’s true by polishing off our critical thinking skills and diving into the same pool of evidence that those experts use—a pool available to all of us, if only we put a little time into learning the language of science?
I know which strategy I prefer.
Now, don’t get me wrong. Formal education is a must-have for certain vocations (do you really want to get a root canal from someone who learned their trade from How2BDentist.com?), and I have a touch of envy for those who thrive in a traditional school system (my K-12 experience is best summed up as “low-key prison”). Most of my family has worked in higher education (my dad, a former college vice president; my mom, a former biologist who did postgraduate immunology research), and my original aspiration was to teach at the university level. Some awesome stuff happens there.
But I also believe that—for people who are self-motivated, have the time and resources for independent study, and aren’t learning a hands-on trade—that degree-earning is not only nonessential, but can even be a barrier to objective thinking. Teachers, after all, come equipped with their own set of biases—ones students must cater to or even adopt if they want to pass. Ideas become derivative and weirdly incestuous as they breed within the walls of academia. Some have made the claim, which I’m tempted to agree with, that “Higher education is drowning in BS.” Being outside the system can be a great way to see it clearly.
My nutrition education strategy has been simple. I approach the field of health like learning a new language: total immersion-style. You didn’t learn your native tongue by sitting in a classroom following grammar lessons; you learned it by jumping into an initially confusing world and feeling your way around until it all started making sense. Every day, I make a conscious effort to surround myself with learning opportunities and give my brain non-stop material to eat. I read everything I can get my hands on, and PubMed is my internet-home away from home. If I can’t grasp something on my own, I email or call smart people and ask them to help me. My goal is to understand. I don’t stop digging until I’ve plowed to the bottom and broken my shovel trying to go even deeper.
I believe anything can be learned. I believe the entire world is a classroom. I believe the subjects that have personal relevance are the most enticing, intriguing, and fulfilling ones to study. This is why I blog.
I love your blog. I must say that I too have been troubleshooting on the raw diet.
I am in my mid 50’s, which is an interesting stage of life when it comes to
health and well being. Menopause. Metabolism. Exercise.
I removed gluten from my diet about 2 years ago. I felt fine…but not at my
optimum. I went in search of a life style eating plan. But what……?
January 2009 I linked into a website regarding raw foods. I researched, gathered notes, experimented, joined forums, sought answers to my many questions,
made raw recipe after raw recipe, food combining, detox, green smoothies, digestion….etc.
This past August I went 100% raw. As each day past, I felt wonderful. Alert!
(even at 3 in the afternoon). Then, about 4 weeks in….I noticed that my jeans
were loose. What is this?! The scale registered 10 lbs gone!
As of this date I am 21 lbs lighter, feel wonderful, 80-90% raw, my
metabolism is reborn, and I have a ton of energy.
I no longer struggle with fluctuations in my weight. I am alert.
I feel lighter. I feel satisfied. I am truly amazed at this lifestyle of eating.
I don’t preach raw….but anyone that wants to listen. As you can tell, I love to share.
I hope more people find their way to your blog.
hi fran –
i am v overweight and struggling with the 3 m’s. when you say 80 % raw I am intrigued by what the 20 % is made up of ? needing all the help i can get
Hi Denise- So glad to find your website. I have been 80/10/10 more or less for the last 2 years- “cheating” in a way that resembles your diet. I feel so much better eating some of the foods not on the “raw fruits, nuts and veggie” list. I have never been too much for nuts .
Thanks so much for all you research and posting=so appreciate your vision and curiosity!
Love your post..
Words support like bones, I’m on the fence about totally going raw. But I’ve been juicing and I have been mindful in what I put in my one and only wild and precious body.
I’ve lost 18 pounds, and I’m down to my fighting weight to 170lbs. I feel wonderful.
I’m still finding it hard to hang out with others not in the same mindset, and I do partake in eating with them, chicken picatta, with lemon and capers in a white wine sauce. OMG..
But, after I feel guilty the next day I just hop back on track, walk the walk, do the deal. At 61 I still struggle with old habits. But, when people look at me and say I look like I’m in my late forties I get all the warm and fuzzes I need to continue my journey. The thought of eat at McDonalds almost makes me sick.
Keep on keeping on.
Ain’t life bitchin’?
Are you still raw?
Frannie, thank you so much for sharing your story. It really is amazing how many benefits this lifestyle brings—especially regarding the skyrocketing energy. I’m so glad you’re thriving! Leading by example is the best way to show others the changes raw can bring.
Hi to u all.
Just found this blog resently and I think it is amazing. Have been living healthypretty much through all my life.exercise takes part of my every day routine..not a smoker or drinker eather.no wonder I was surprised when my recent blood test showed a low level of white blood cells.am trying to be even more healthy, and started to introduce more and more row food to my body.all my family is concerned and worried of course.they dont realy agree with this type of a diet.being a tall and normal sized girl, they think I am too skinny now.but I feel good!
My question is if I will carry on, could I maintain my blood? Maybe it sounds silly, but I realy dont know who else could I talk to about this…..
Great Blog! ;D) ♥ Xx…
I’m glad you enjoy it!
This is such a fabulous blog, and wonderfully written to! I’m vegan and a low-raw foodist and had a handful of concerns about rawism – most of which you write about and have helped me understand better. Keep up the great work! I’m going to add you to my blogroll on my healthy vegan blog http://nocrapdiet.wordpress.com
Thank you Kate! I’m glad you could find something useful here.
GREAT site…. 🙂 Thanks for all your hard work in obtaining / gaining the knowledge and the effort in sharing it in such great form!
Denise. I love this blog. I have been having a bit of chal;enge in adjusting to a new plan on raw. I have experienced some of the things listed here.
Done the things they all did and have had the end of the honeymoon period. Seeing to amp up and I am not sure what that will be or look like. I am not into meat products or raw eggs or dairy at all so that is not an option.
I tried a bunch of fruit and that was not right. Still seeing where it all will work well for me.
ANd the teeth thing..oh my! I love how you dispel the standard ideas people have and have been applying that just dont work.
Thankx and love,Bette (from the Fu)
do you know of anyone who has reversed transparent teeth? if so what did they do?
Thank you for your blog
Rachel, I’ve talked to a few people whose teeth regained a more “solid” look after making diet or supplement adjustments. One person said raw dairy did the trick, a few others had success supplementing with calcium and vitamin D, and others found that eating more dark leafy greens (especially kale and bok choy) restored density to their teeth. The underlying trend seems to be more calcium, above all else, at least anecdotally.
Thank you so much for replying to my comment. I only read it today.
If you hear of anything else that they did to help their teeth please let me know. I am trying lots of things to reverse my transparet teeth and they only seem to be getting worse.
just a quick one, i fixed my transparent teeth eith a combined mag and calcium supplement at 400mg a day. literally went back to white within days! details on paleo hacks website
What brand mag/calcium supplement did you use?
Try eating a few cahsews in the morning. You may also make
a yogurt of it by grinding, add water stirring to thick paste, leaving on counter until that first bubble, then refrigerate.
class of Jan ’69.
Your comment on calcium and Vit D should be a consideration to all no matter what their diet. However, the body can not absorb just calcium from supplements. Calcium without a “liquifier” will cause stones and calcium deposits and often times women especially just take calcium supplements to keep from getting osteoporosis; not a good idea. You need a balance of Calcium w/magnesium for obsorbability along with organic sodium. Nature has it’s own answer in celery and okra, organic sodium keeps calcium liquified in the body so it can be obsorbed. Juicing is one of the best ways to get enough organic sodium. Try a combination of beets (liver cleanser) celery (organic sodium) carrots (beta carotene) and an apple (pectin for good digestion) as a juice drink. Yummy! Very tasty and soooooo good for you. Mixed green salads with kale, spinach, chard, etc is also good source for calcium as you suggested. The best nut sources for calcium are sesame seed (try it as sesame milk) also almonds are king for calcium and you can make your own almond milk. Very simple to do.
Also, recently read an article quoting a study on prevention of osteoporosis and the one thing found in the study above all else that prevented this condition was weight training. Yup! Whether we like working out or not, better get out those dumb bells (and I don’t mean the boyfriends). Good health to us all.
You are a buffoon, and I am sorry T. Colin Campbell even took the time to respond to you. You remind me of a Valley Girl. Totally self-absorbed and full of anxieties.
I would much prefer to listen to Denise’s original thoughts, than you “rooting” for Campbell. Come out from Colin’s shadow and share your own ideas, instead of insulting someone who demonstrates the courage of her convictions. Had I been a little more circumspect, I wouldn’t have wasted the last year following Campbell’s flawed logic.
yeah I’m an old dude and I’ve read a lot of Minger here and there and she has suffered and is wise and I respect that…
I only see one buffoon here pal, and that’s you. Start using your grey matter for what it was meant to be used – some critical thinking. And if you don’t like your dogmas to be challenged, stick to the like minded bunch and remain ignorant.
CE- please understand that your post tells us a lot about YOU, but not anything about Ms. Minger.
CE Schoonover: I agree with you, though I wouldn’t put it quite so harshly. Ms. Minger’s views on Dr. Campbell’s work are highly suspect and have in fact themselves been debunked (search “minger debunked”). Those who wish to follow her advice on nutrition are putting themselves at risk, which I wouldn’t mind so much, except for three indisputable facts: 1) Humans are biologically herbivorous, and as proof of this, their long-term health suffers as the intake of animal protein rises; this hugely impacts the expense of health care in the U.S. and severely damages our economy. 2) Millions of animals suffer horribly at the hands of humans every second of every day. Humans no longer need their “products,” and continuing to use them is blatantly inhumane. And, 3) Sixty percent of all human-caused greenhouse gasses in the world come from U.S. animal agriculture. The threat of global warming would disappear if we stopped producing animal protein (fish, fowl, meat and dairy) in the industrial quantities that we make.
Denise, I really think this is a great blog. Your writing is clear and you express your ideas very well. You are clearly well read on these subjects and you have experimented yourself and been your own scientist which is always the best science there is. It has certainly got me thinking about many things with a fresh perspective.
I particularly like and admire your objectiveness on many issues which is rare especially in the raw/health/vegan circles. All too often, vegans and health enthusiasts alike prance around on their moral high horse accusing those who haven’t yet adopted some or all of their beliefs and ideas. Many are guilty of their own accusations. I have been like this myself many times in the past, getting too defensive, arrogant, you know how it goes. Insecurity in the end. A smart man once said that an argument is never won or lost because by the time it becomes an argument… Well, I’m getting better.
Our eating and living habits are like a religion for many. The truth is, nobody really knows the hows, whys, whats…for sure. At least yet. I dream of the day when these issues are properly funded and studied without the “vested interests”.
Keep on writing! The world needs you 😀
ok, I apologize if this comment is seen as objectifying in any way…not my intention. (I came for your China Study analysis, which is terrific.)
But holy cow, you are gorgeous.
I agree with anon there but I’d also like to add that if you want to be taken seriously in your to-be profession, you probably ought to stick to one or two professional pics for a public blog.
came here from richard nikoley’s blog. absolutely second the anon comment above, but most of all *Wow!* at the exhaustive analysis. we need more nutrition scientists like you.
Have you tried a regular Paleo diet? I’m curious if you would also be fine eating this way. I’ve been Paleo for about 8 months now and while I feel much better than I did before I still would like some more impovement. Basically Im wondering the benefits of raw Paleo vs Paleo. My issues are mostly mental, depression, anxiety, ADD.
Hi Denise, I’ve found you whole blog and story so inspirational. I just finished my 4 years of nutritional science here in Ireland, although I am seriously starting to doubt my aptitude for it after seeing how you do it without even having studied it! Have you any words of advice on how I can fine tune my mind to the sciencey stuff like you have? I noticed you mentioned medical journals and the likes but are there any specific resources that have really helped you develop such an incredible ability to analyze data like you did for the China study? Or does it just takes years or trawling through studies rather than reading the nice bloggafied versions of studies :0 Any advice or tips would be great.
Thanks in advance
Oh boy, I would love to hear this answer too….how do you do it Neisy??? Love,Bette from Fu
I would highly recommend courses in statistics (university, internet, or self-taught) for anyone going into nutrition, as there is a lot of industry-funded bogus manipulation of statistics in the nutrition field. Denise, I’d recommend more education on regression analysis for you if you’re interested in this kind of thing. I’m not that deep into stats but I love to see your enthusiasm for it– you go, girl! Regression analysis is critical for comparing multiple variables at the same time and seeing which are statistically significant.
LOOOVE your blog!
I too have guinea-pigged myself :p have tried everything and finally met an alternative doctor who discovered I had some serious food allergies.
I ca’t claim I am a Paleo girl, but I call myself a cave girl. Sugars, grains and dairy have been banned from my diet.
I love nuts, fish, poultry loads of veggies and fruits.
Life has been good and at the age of 34, I seem to have found a balance.
keep up the great job.
Your critique of The China Study suddenly became THE most referred text in paleo blogosphere and I think that you probably got hundreds of new readers overnight. Me included. Simply incredible!
Thank you for your thoughtful analysis and objective discourse. I am just diving into dietary lifestyle replacement integrating raw foods, grains, legumes, nuts and fish. I found your site from Dr. Davis’ heartscanblog and appreciate the refreshing read.
The best education often resides beyond the walls of universities.
Denise, welcome to my blogroll!
I’m just getting started on this blog, but your articles seem very well researched and interesting so far. FYI, I found this through Stephan at Wholehealthsource.
And, I agree with Tuplad: you are insanely beautiful.
hi, you are very very beautiful
i didnt know eyes colour changed after eating raw
anyway , love your blog
I love your blog – I don’t eat raw food, but I do like to buy raw milk, grass-fed meat, and pasture-raised poultry. If you ever want any hook ups for meat/dairy sources let me know!
It is amazing how much you look like your mother!!
I also enjoy your writing style, articles, etc.
Keep up the great work,
yer a smartypants.
LOVE your stuff about the China study. It is so thorough and well written! Glad I discovered this blog.
PS: Your eyes are super beautiful!
I thought you might like this – an amazing New Zealand raw food site with the most gorgeous collection / photos of raw food – vegan ideas:
Brilliant blog, superb insights, thank you.
What is the science behind raw food? The anecdotes are compelling, and the theories rampant: acid/base, oxygenation, nutrient availability, etc… but it is hard to find the actual biochemical, physiological explanation for why raw works.
Thank you, again!
The reason raw oraganic food (just veggies/fruits/nuts/legumes/beans/sprouts) are so bioavailable is (1) they come with their own digestive enzyme (2) they are alkaline in nature (3) easily digested and very quick to get into the blood stream. It is the purest form of nutrients available to the body. If you what a scientific basis read “The Chemistry of Man” written by Dr Bernard Jensen. It was based on a $1M study of the entire chemical makeup of every organ and tissue in the human body. You’ll find it on http://www.bernardjensen.org or Amazon. If you go to http://www.bernardjensen.com you can also get illustrative charts on the human body broken down as to what vitamins, minerals and foods support each part. Wonderful way to know how to feed the body.
Anything that is acid such as meats, dairy, cooked, highly processed food are unhealthy because these foods can’t break down by themselves where as anything you can put into a compost that makes healthy fertilizer decomposes quite quickly and goes back into the earth with all of it’s nutrients to create life all over again. There are no digestive enzymes with these acid foods; the human body only comes with so many enzymes over a persons lifetime and we lose enzymes as we age. Therefore, to keep from getting bloated, gases, gurd, etc, you need to take a digestive enzyme before you eat. The stomach ilining is coated with organic sodium and meat especially chicken is very hard to digest pulling the sodium away from the stomach lining trying to turn this acid producing food into something more alkaline. There is also a good book out there called “Alkaline or Die” and I forget the author but it will tell you more on the pH balance of the body than I can do justice here. Enjoy your veggies!
From what I understand the whole “raw foods have enzymes” is a misunderstanding. The enzymes in plant foods have nothing to do with human enzymes that have functions in the human body.
Wow. I’ve just spent the morning scrolling through your site, and I’m in awe. I have one comment and one question.
First, for your readers who are dealing with transparent teeth… I want to share my son’s success at re-mineralization. He’s my fourth and youngest, and when his elder brothers were young, raw milk was available in California. Sadly this was not so for Harry. Whereas the elder three have had no problems, my youngest has suffered with caries since elementary school to the point of having been referred two years ago to an entodontist for a serious root canal.
As it happens, when he returned from that dentist visit, I had just finished reading Nutrition and Physical Degeneration by Weston Price, and made a deal with him to postpone the treatment if he would engage in Dr. Price’s protocol. He agreed, and one year to the month later, he returned from the dentist with a clean bill of health; no sign of the former problem. So what protocol am I referring to? One I devised based on the principles of the healthy people Dr. Price discovered around the world who were free of dental disease; utilizing properly prepared seed foods, fermented/cultured foods, bone stock, organ meats, raw animal food, and plenty of saturated fat and cholesterol.
As an example, every morning I made Harry a raw milk smoothie containing: 1 cup raw milk, 1/4 cup raw kefir, 3-4 scoops raw homemade ice cream, 1-2 raw pastured egg yolks and 1 teaspoon high vitamin butter/fermented cod liver oil blend.
I also gave him a mug of pastured/wild animal bone broth at least once a day; either chicken, fish or beef, flavored with traditionally made soy sauce and a teaspoon of miso, with or without meat and vegetables.
In addition, I made him whole grain sourdough rye toast smeared with pastured chicken liver mousse a couple of times a week, and the same toast smeared with homemade whole raw milk cream cheese and raw pastured butter almost every day. Often the cream cheese would contain smoked wild salmon.
If he was home for dinner, he’d eat the meal I prepared (rare grass-fed lamb chops, wild fish, pastured chicken, etc) but being a teenager he was gone most evenings eating God knows what.
I got him hooked on homemade kombucha, and in addition, was able to convince him to swap his IN N OUT Burger habit for a Burger Lounge habit (grass-fed beef and whole grain/wet yeasted buns… assuming I’d foot the bill for the ‘upgrade’) but I know he ate burritos and other fast food with his friends often. In any event, his fast food forays didn’t seem to affect the dental decay reversal at all, and as a happy side benefit, his acne cleared up completely.
It’s been two years since we began, and he is thrilled to be free of decay for the first time in his life. He’s off to college soon, and I’m gratified that he now has the tools to keep himself healthy as he goes forward.
My question is… as a raw foodist, do you forgo the minerals in bones based on the fact that you don’t eat bone stock, or do you have another way of consuming them?
Thanks, and keep up the good work!
What are you thoughts on Natalia Rose’s nutritional advice?
Coming late to the party here. I found Denise’s criticisms listed some of the same things I wondered about as I read The China Study. However, having a bachelor’s degree in Math and enough science training to recognize the complicated nature of statistical analysis, especially with regard to calculus and multivariate statistics, I pretty much shelved my niggling concerns. After all, Campbell did voice my concerns regarding types of animal proteins vs. casein, and regarding whole foods vs. nutritional elements in his own book, so I knew he had considered these very concerns Denise addresses. I also had done some research on the Internet and found he did not become a vegetarian until well after the China Study was published, and did not convert to veganism for many years after that.
There’s lies, damned lies, and statistics. Concerned scientists could read the epidemiologist’s critique of Denise at http://www.30bananasaday.com/group/debunkingthechinastudycritics/forum/topics/a-cancer-epidemiologist?xg_source=activity. Campbell’s work has been peer-reviewed. Hers has not.
Ah, yes, the famed masked “epidemiologist”. Other than her participation in the witness protection program, what qualifications does the anonymous Vegan aspersion-caster have?
Ah yes, I have been treated by some of his peers for so many, many years of rather unsuccessfully battling cancer (and the results of “treatments” for)-although everyone’s welcome to trim their own path-and by having experienced the nightmares of allopathic (conventional/standard) medicine and the rather entirely arrogant performances of that industry as a whole, and finding remarkable and sustainable solutions to my own catastrophic health dilemmas via food-as-medicine.-and plenty of it as animal food of all types, with the full complements of unbridled, but pastured saturated animal fat (as well as coconut, palm, olive and avocado also)…I can readily qualify for myself and family, that I would as soon dwell in huts with dirt floors (or floors of ice) with old and wise colleagues (but not toothless ones…that means they weren’t in such good understanding of what is best suited to eat) than to so much as pay
a single visit to the office of any of the peers which review Campbell’s bereft works, along with the vast and seemingly endless amounts of
such other excremental works that are either short on genuine curiosity
and balanced observations or simply a rote exercise in which an answer
has been pre-determined, which, in turn, initiated the study…lots of that around, to the saddened reality of so many seeking relief from the nightmares of suffering which the added burden of “treatments” being automatically and worse, carelessly doled out in the factory-line procedures that are the rather pathetic and largely inefficient or ineffectual
vanguard that is characterized by so many of our modern and advanced
treatment protocols. Ladies and gentlemen…I present to you here and now
the results of our now 40-year war on cancer…and over 50 for heart disease (on that last front, the medical-pharma-food conglomerates foisted margarine, that great bastion of heart-healthy fat which is now
unanimously villified as one of the most entirely disastrous selections of food to be made (ie., Trans-Fat)…excuse me, but did the public ever get
any manner of public apology for this “little boo-boo”?…for anyone possibly shocked or wondering why I tossed in the word arrogant with
respect to allopathic doctors and the medical sciences field at large)
….and just where do we stand with heart disease and cancer today? Well
the rates of such incidents are ever escalating, heads are still being scratched, and palms and coffers yet receiving ample donations for the
favor of the rather feeble and feckless attempts at relieving the symptoms
thereof. If one is lucky, they can survive the treatment du jour, and the best of prophylactic measure is handed down to us by an establishment of
toothless twits, who have their poorly-trained minds stuck in the sands
of the desert of dollars with which they are so wedded, ignoring the
needs of those suffering and seeking “benefits” which are actually
bestowed as so much folly–and more suffering, in far too many instances.
These are all academically capable people, for the most part, but there
needs to be art, ethics, and constant curiosity driving anyone so entrusted with our health and very lives. Little of that, currently…but there is some
in sight, and it is being offered up, by lay-people, even, such as the author of this blog–and reviewer of would-be wonks as the likes of Campbell and his vast array of cohorts and fan-boys and girls, to which
I, at any rate would place trust in their care for my well being, as I’d have
so many monkeys watch bunches of bananas for me.
The first thing anyone sincerely needs to consider, when seeking solutions to health-balancing-and the health disorders-that result from the disruption of, is that they are an individual, and that, further, it would
be impossible to anticipate a consistent, sustainable approach to healing absent the understanding of what metabolic dynamics are inherently in
play with regards that individual. Rule Number One: Everyone is different,
with as diverse dietary needs as there are appearances in humans (well, maybe not nearly that diverse…but there’s lots of different ways the cow
can eat the cabbage….). Maybe one does better with predominantly plant-based diet…and another shoots great with a mostly fat-and-protein diet of
animal food (plenty of opportunities for the entire farming community).
Carbs (from suitable sources…long discussion there) for one, very little for another…results are good with both. Without the understanding of the
individual metabolic inclinations–which can be reasonably determined
by methods which undoubtedly could use some help…the nature of all science, which, at it’s best yields the solutions encountered–at that
point in time of encounter–it changes quick, and although this is a bit
tough to monetize, what is the objective here?…the patients’ or the practitioners’ well-being? In the origins of traditional Chinese medicine,
the doctor was never compensated by the patients during times of their
illness, but rather during periods of good health. Get nuts here, that I just
harkened the wonders of Chinese medicine (or Ayurvedic) over Western
methods…’cause I’m not…just the virtues of the sensibilities which have
been abandoned and supplanted by lack of motivation to find genuine and sustainable approaches to healing. BigPharma cannot survive under the strain of demands to trot out each new medicament they cook up…costs a billion for FDA approval, so they need “blockbuster”s…at any cost. With all
sincere apologies….the “Miracle Bus” seems to have departed years ago
…and no more “magic bullets” remians. It would appear that one has to eat
themselves into sustainably healthy states and outcomes. Food is our best medicine…Dr. Henry Bieler used that as a title 50 years or so back, and Drs. Weston Price, Francis Pottenger, William Kelley, Royal Lee, John Beard, Nicholas Gonzalez, Tom Cowan, Steven Sinatra, and many, many others…but not so many that they so significantly impact the over-all
picture of health practitioners and research scientists that are actually
interested in whatever might yield useful and beneficial solutions to the
overwhelming incidences of health-disorders that plague this “modern
society” with all it’s myriad labs and production. We know, all too sadly,
how to enrich ourselves with great wealth…islands and jets if you will,
but, in the great democracy that is diseases, fall into a heap and often perish in prolonged agony…rich folk and poor folk alike…and so often before what ought be our alloted time…
Someone tells you by book or advertisement what is best for you to
eat to achieve optimal health/well-being, and specifically, what classes
of food to avoid or include (other than all of the food be culled from
genuinely healthy sources, free of adulterants, toxins, etc.)…keep them
movin right on by your own horizon…that is, if you really, really, wish
to keep on living, and in reasonably vibrant health. If in your own mind
you consider yourself a generality, I’d certainly be surprised to know.
Amidst all our usual vanities, why is it then, that we succumb to the
cookie-cutter tools employed to treat our illnesses? I’m much more vain
than to any longer submit myself to such incredible lack of insight and
innovation. Please, please, if there is a god who takes active performance (personalized appearances, if you will) in our health…do not let me lose
consciousness when near unto death, that I might wake to my final hours
in a hospital…unless I’ve been hit by a falling safe, struck by a meteor or runaway bus, bullet, or elephant, and could possibly be saved
by a remarkably gifted surgeon…we can sometimes have need for good
surgical mechanics, as it were…just don’t let them be a plastic surgeon,
Wow! That was completely unintelligible.
I came to your site via that of my good friend Mike Eades. His taking you seriously is an important endorsement.
Thanks for doing this important work. Very impressive. I second the others who say you have a future in medical science or epidemiology. Keep up the good work!
Great information about the China Study. My wife came home from work today and started talking about this study, I hopped on line and found your response, and was blown away by the amount of data that you put into your response.
Thank you for providing a great amount of information and website chalk full of information.
Keep up the great work.
My question is that I live in a place where there is no good source of grass fed naything so the Raw milk isnt really optimal, and the fish are from polluted waters and the meat etc are all raised in sheds and fed on grain. My country is very behind in this aspect. I am high raw vegan now, I feel good, but there has always been part of me and still debating inside about what’s really best as a human species. I avoid all the meat and dairy because of the toxicity from pesticides and hormones issue. I feel it’s better to avoid it altogether than to eat poisoned food. Because I cant resolve it, vegan is where I stay.
What say you to someone in such a situation?
Your information has changed my views completely, and I can’t thank you enough. I just wanted to ask you, do you eat the raw animal products “raw” or uncoocked? Also i noticed that you don’t eat dairy, have you found something unhealthful about it or are you not eating dairy because it’s hard to find a good source of unhomogenized and unpasteurized dairy products? Also what are your thoughts about whole grains for humans?
I love your stuff on the China Study. So many bad conclusions drawn from this garbage. Its good to see someone trying to separate the wh… um… sort things out. Also, you are one hot turbo nerd.
Denise: “I currently live in Portland, Oregon and work as a freelance writer, teacher, and web designer.”
Your credentials truly recommend her to discredit someone like dr. Campbell and several other scientists…
I’m sure she did a lot of experimental scientific research as well…. for a number of years (in the childhood perhaps).
Excuse my sarcasm, but… anyone could contradict anything in this manner. Only that you don’t have the expertise to support your claims.
Dr. Campbell and his supporters used the time-honored “Argument from authority” reasoning. When an “expert” has that as their only defense, it’s a deflection from the discussion of the facts.
Thanks so much for your all your hard work. I was in the vegan camp and am finding that it does not work well for me. I’m curious about what raw animal foods you eat?
For those who haven’t read it yet, William Davis, MD’s, “Wheat Belly” may be of interest. Modern wheat yes, a plant-food – is a heavily GM-food that gets into a huge range of the processed foods in today’s SAD. Davis points out that the modifications have given us the wonderful breads and pastries we enjoy today by introducing or enhancing the gluten expressed in the DNA of the wheat. Some other nuggets: gluten is addictive – it’s digested to dipeptides that bind to opiate receptors in the brain; it has a higher glycemic index than refined sugars – provoking the insulin-spike and the storage of the excess blood-glucose as fat-cells which, in turn, produce other hormones that cause inflammation and all the other related pathologies that afflict us.
I am an ancient, omnivore, nerd who has been (ultimately unsuccessfully) battling cancer, using the latest grab-bag of naturopathic and allopathic prescriptions, since diagnosis in 2006. I may still be around 10 years from now but I am not “cured”. The allopathic contingent agrees on that much.
My formal training included PhD-level courses in multiple-multivariate statistical analysis – including writing my own APL routines and using them for data analysis – to support (or discredit) hypotheses. Later professional efforts have included the use of MANOVA and stepwise multiple regression and principal-cpomnents analyses to support research using the SAS (TM) system and other statistical packages.
I find Denise’s challenges to Campbell’s China Study quite credible, although I admit I have not yet read her specific paper(s) on that.
While i believe Dr. Campbell is entitled to be “the voice of authority”, this does not mean that his inferences or methodology should be unchallengeable – even by those who are self-taught in particular areas. The essentials are the willingness and ability to think critically, especially self-critically.
I am considering purchasing the book “Wheat Belly”, as it does appear to present a lot of compelling research, but I’m surprised that the author makes such a small deal out of refined sugar. From the book preview I found this: “Sure, cutting out refined sugar is probably a good idea, as it provides little or no nutritional benefit and will also impact your blood sugar in a negative way. But for the most bang for your buck, eliminating wheat is the easiest and most effective step you can take to safeguard your health and trim your waistline.”
My considerable research to date has led me to believe that, as bad as wheat may be, sugar is definitely worse. See this video for why: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dBnniua6-oM. But maybe reading “Wheat Belly” will change my mind…we’ll see…
BTW, I have also been through cancer treatment (for thyroid cancer) and I feel for you. Best of luck with your recovery. Since you’re following this blog, you’re clearly already getting some great nutrition advice. In addition to other basics like exercise and sleep, if you’re interested in energetic and mind-body treatments, I recommend this wonderful book: http://www.amazon.com/Energy-Psychology-Self-Healing-Practices-Bodymind-ebook/dp/B004ZZN134/ref=sr_1_4?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1411919942&sr=1-4&keywords=energy+psychology
“…gluten is addictive…it has a higher glycemic index than refined sugars…”
It may or may not be addictive, but your claim that it has a higher glycemic index than refined sugars is really peculiar. It is contrary to common sense and all the data I have encountered, so I think you must have misunderstood something you read.
Excellent website! Although I can’t give up grains 100% (social occasions etc) I see a brightness in you I’ve only seen a couple times before in my life. Prob has alot to do with both your diet and having a purpose in life that will benefit all of mankind. I love it when ordinary (though you’re far from ordinary) people figure things out that most experts can’t, then communicate it in a way that experts can’t yet again, because of vested interests and business backlash.
Listening to your Jimmy Moore podcast right now. You did a great job articulating your points. I can totally relate to “not fitting in, liking older people better” (though I’m now one of those older people – not sure how that happened). Hang in there and don’t let the detractors get you down!
You’re confirming our desire to move to Portland too! 🙂 All the cool people live there!
I think it’s very dangerous that you’ve built a blog that gives nutrition advice, without any credentials in nutrition. I understand that because you’ve read a lot of books and studies, you think you know how to interpret them, but just as I wouldn’t take medical advice from someone who has read a lot of studies on medicine, I wouldn’t take nutritional advice from someone who has no experience practicing nutrition on others. But you’re young, you think you know it all, and I understand. I was the same way before getting my degrees in nutrition. But the truth is, there is no such thing as an ideal diet for everyone. Throughout history many civilizations have thrived on a host of different diets. The factors that contributed to the best health were genes, stress level, physical activity, socioeconomic status, and the variety of foods of which they ate. Some societies ate more meat, some more plants, some more cooked, some less cooked. There are too many factors outside of nutrition to advocate raw diet as being the holy grail of nutrition; nor is it backed by the literature. While reductionist science is not the answer to everything, it has accomplished a lot, and we would not have come this far in healthcare without it. If you want to advocate a raw diet, I would back it up with peer reviewed studies, link to them, and let the reader decide if your interpretation of the study matches with yours. Raw diets may work for some (very few actually), but cooked food and grains has many advantages for some people as well.
Brett, have you even read anything Denise has written? I have never seen her dish out nutritional advice and she certainly doesn’t imply that the raw food diet (or any diet) is for appropriate everyone, if you even bothered to look into her backstory you’d know why. I have seen her point out several times that there is no one diet suited to every individual. Also degrees in nutrition? I have one myself and four years was enough for me, I can’t imagine who would need to do a second one! Furthermore some of the most educated people in nutritional science I have met don’t necessarily have a piece of paper to prove their knowledge. I see what game you’re playing and it’s a nasty one, but you should really do your research first or else you just end up looking silly.
“But you’re young, you think you know it all, and I understand. I was the same way before getting my degrees in nutrition.”
So you’re no longer a know-it-all, but you know it all enough to tell someone else how little she knows? Wouldn’t it be easier to just share what you think you know rather than trying to tell others what you think they don’t know?
Personal experience is the best teacher my friend.
Great dismantling of Campbell’s pseudo-science, I appreciated it.
I’ve had numerous run-ins with the vegan crowd myself, so it’s always nice to see some common sense out in surf-land.
But what’s with the pic of the new-age yoga crap on the ocean? You keep doing this stuff and you’ll be back eating granola and tofu in no time. Get out while ya can!
Good to eat raw fruits and vegetables, I can say the same about those. However, I think a very young person like you does not have much right to talk about “I know what is healthy and I have experience”. Let’s wait 30 years or so. And then we will meet and see if you are still alive and if so if you are well.
At your age I also thought I “know it all”, I was health conscious, superbly fit and “tried it all out”. This however did not prevent my body from developing an incurable and very grave disease. Only reading the book by Dr.T.Colin Campbell saved me at the last possible moment from wheelchair, chemotherapy and possible painful death. Only AFTER I stopped all animal proteins in my diet my health started improving radically. My legs, my legs worked finally.
You do NOT know how much a person cries, a former fitness fanatic to boot, when one is suddenly able to walk again. All those years of quasi immobility, and somebody like you – who in fact does NOT know – is here and telling another “truth” which will send more people to painful hell. You do not know what pain means, pain each and every day. I wish you never encounter this fate, but so far you are heading in that direction. I was having plenty of allergies myself during my worst time, this is incomparable to real pains and horrible symptoms day after day after day, when one wishes one would be dead and still has to stand up.
Dr.Campbell is not some saint or superhuman, his book contains as many errors as ANY other fat medical tome. They all contain errors. However, the main thing he shows is as true as can be. My own life and my own mobility are proof of that, each and every day. I am grateful for this person to be this courageous and even to having sacrificed his career and possible wealth to spreading his true findings instead. This man has courage and has knowledge and real experience.
I am not even a vegan or vegetarian, I only omit animal products for the sole sake of saving my life, literally. I always liked the taste of chicken or fish, but the worst breakdown was after an innocent plate of fried chicken. Raw (!) sushi was also a common contributor to my illness.
Now all works, and it very clearly and painfully did not work before. Please do not contribute to the nonsense being told on the net, by all the people who not only wish to die under their steak and bacon mountains, but also want the “scientific proof” that they are “healthy” and “do well” and anybody else is an idiot.
Eating microscopic portions of animal protein will not kill anybody, but eating any more of that is – only – possible under very rare and always secluded (secluded= different evolutionary development) circumstances. Exactly the few Inuit tribes, the ONE Chinese mountain tribe, the ONE African tribe, some Yoga super trained Indian gurus.. they can actually survive on high animal foods. But, it was already proven that those people all have for example extremely enlarged livers, and, they do have such things like arteriosclerosis, only it does not affect them as fast as as the average Homo Sapiens (again: secluded, rare development).
Inuit/Eskimos develop heart attacks and stroke and all the rest as soon as they eat steaks and chicken, not raw seal blood and raw whale anymore. All those “diets” are extremely secluded extreme examples, and yet all the people go bonkers and “I knew meat is good for me”. It may or may not. It most cases rather not, and that is the TRUTH that Dr.Campbell is talking about.
You are – still – healthy because you eat copious amounts of fresh produce. This keeps you healthy. I know many many examples of vegans who lived a long and practically disease free life, no matter if raw or not raw vegan (most notably Donald Watson, the founder of the Vegan Society: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Donald_Watson). I do not know one single example of somebody who ate animal foods – who would be disease free and live long – except mythological urban legends aka “I knew that nephew of the uncle of my great grandpa, he ate what he wanted and lived healthy 200 years” or similar nonsense told usually when drunk.
I prefer the LONG TERM evidence, not the SHORT sound bites from young people or short time “successes”. I landed in your page accidentally searching for raw foods and Dr.Campbell, and it is sad that other people will land here too and then get a large dose of bad information.
So far I am just glad and grateful that people like Dr.Campbell do not give up. His most recent life saved: former president Bill Clinton, who went vegan after reading the book by Dr.Campbell. He lost x pounds and is suddenly fit and lively again (http://edition.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2010/09/21/intv.clinton.blitzer.weight.loss.cnn?hpt=C2)
Actually I am not really sure that your page is real, and that you are not actually a hired model or otherwise substitute, who poses for somebody else. It is VERY strange that an allegedly young girl, who allegedly studies something unrelated to medicine and biology, is able to write endless pages of highly scientific responses to Dr.Campbell. And has such clear access to additional data that was allegedly not posted in the book. I actually think your page here is a scam, set up to spread more nonsense about the “China Study”. God bless you for that and good luck, I hope it ain’t so
“Actually I am not really sure that your page is real, and that you are not actually a hired model or otherwise substitute, who poses for somebody else. It is VERY strange that an allegedly young girl, who allegedly studies something unrelated to medicine and biology, is able to write endless pages of highly scientific responses to Dr.Campbell. And has such clear access to additional data that was allegedly not posted in the book. I actually think your page here is a scam, set up to spread more nonsense about the “China Study”. God bless you for that and good luck, I hope it ain’t so”
Hmmm. As one who knows Denise outside the confines of this blog let me try to translate the above into language I can understand and address some of your concerns:
1) You find the young woman in the photographs above remarkably attractive. (She is.)
2) You are extremely impressed by the quality of the writing in the blog posts, and by the clarity of thought and intellectual prowess they reflect.
(You’re right again.)
3) You doubt the woman pictured in the photographs above actually wrote the blog posts, as this would suggest that Denise possesses a Brando-level combo of inner gifts and outer beauty.
(She did. She does. Life is not fair.)
I’d like to add one tidbit which may not be apparent to you: Denise works very, very hard on the material presented here. She may be able to take little credit for her looks or her smarts, but the time she puts into this blog–both research and writing–and the effort she expends trying to get the finished project “just right” is, in my opinion, worthy of great respect & admiration.
I’m 42 years of age, I’ve ‘been through it all’ diet wise, especially in the raw 811 direction. The best advice is you have to get in tune with what is good for you. It’s a matter of quantity, balance, and quantity. I find animal foods, meat, eggs, milk, butter, are good for me, just as fruits, vegetables, seeds, etc. are good for me, even vodka, whiskey, and beer, and of course water, tea, coffee-chicory…..and the point is with any of these, you consume only what feels right for you to perform well in life. Btw, alcoholic beverages can be very beneficial to peoples’ health in small to moderate amounts without any inebriation or tipsiness. Get in tune, no rules, just right. Reject or reduce what doesn’t work for you, and continue with what does.
Thanks for all the research, time and energy you put into this. I am eating mostly raw now. I have had some amazing results and avoided surgery because of changing my diet to raw fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts. I am not sure how great it is for the long haul though. I would like to know which raw animal products work well for you. I really like what you said about not liking labeling. I am there too. Thank you for using your giftedness to help so many. I live across the river from you in Vancouver. :o)
“I eat too much fruit to fit into the “raw paleo” category and too much animal food to fit into the “raw vegan” category, so I float somewhere between, choosing foods based both on research and on how my body responds to them. I don’t care for labels, and I’m more interested in results…”
Amen sister! If there is one thing I believe when dealing with the complexities of (personal) nutrition is that a cookie cutter approach does not work for everyone. As a competitive club cyclist and amateur athlete I switched over to the principles of Paleo Nutrition last winter in an attempt to zero in my fitness before the 2010 local race season. It was such a success in terms of weight loss, performance and general wellbeing that I am now a firm advocate in a “simple” WOE less the processing and additives found in the modern Western diet.
My challenge is finding an individual dietary niche that supports my active lifestyle and keeps me happy and healthy. As a result I also “float” between categories especially in terms of recovery foods during the competitive seasons. Sometimes I am not sure what is harder…..zooming in the nutrition that works for ME or dealing with preconceptions that athletes can’t eat raw, low carb diets and remain competitive.
Great blog……glad I stumbled upon it. Keep up the good work.
I’m intrigued by your blog!
I eat Primal/ Paleo. While I’ve tried raw paleo before and don’t think it’s sustainable, I’m still oddly drawn to it (must be the prospect of eating sashimi and steak tartar, my two favourite things to eat).
I’m gonna have to subscribe :3
Hmmm, let’s see… should I take the nutritional advice of an English major/writer/teacher/web designer or that of a Cornell Ph.D./M.I.T. – Virginia Tech, nutritional biochemistry researcher.? Hmmm?
I will say, you are hands down infinetly more attractive than Dr. Campbell.
Remember that Bill Gates was just a Harvard college drop-out when he created Microsoft. Mark Zuckerberg was just an undergraduate at Harvard when he created Facebook that has over a 500 million users. Both of them were the youngest billionaires ever.
I should have made it clear that Bill Gates is presently a college drop-out as far as education goes. Also Mark Zuckerberg dropped out of Harvard after creatying Facebook so he is also a college drop-out as far as education goes. I just hope that college does not hurt Denise Minger’s natural awesome intelligence and curiosity. She may someday have a profound influence on the world.
Please address the sustainability and environmental impact of your chosen diet. Thanks.
Please read Meat A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie
Lovely though she may be, this blog would be a lot more credible if the author’s profile wasn’t a narcissistic MySpacesque photo gallery. Definitely turned me off from reading any further.
Denise could probably defend this choice better than I can, but I think it’s pretty important to have such a photo gallery in this blogworld of diet/nutrition. At pretty much every such blog I read, I scrutinize the photos of the authors/ascribers of the blog to see what their faces, skin, and bodies look like. Denise’s photos show that she is lean, clean, vibrant, and healthy and in that sense it’s helpful to have them.
Denise’s photos show that she is lean, clean, vibrant, and healthy and in that sense it’s helpful to have them.
She is clean and vibrant. But she also looks incredibly underweight and emaciated, particularly in the thrid photo. Her bones are sticking out all over. It’s not a look i’d aspire to. It doesn’t look overtly healthy to me.
You are joking, right? If not — you are a very negative, uninformed person (I would love to see your picture . . .). She is absolutely gorgeous and very healthy. Look at how clear her skin and hair are!
good website, its direct and honest. Really like the interviews you are refreshing and full of energy.
Think though raw milk, a bit of meat (only eat special organic grass/herb fed stuff though(kag freiland/demeter) and some wild/sweetwater fish, is very good for my energy and happiness.
Keep up the great work and greetings from Switzerland
Please comment: http://www.cbc.ca/technology/story/2010/12/27/neanderthal-grain-fruit-eaters.html#socialcomments#ixzz19Mo8X8Pl
Why should it surprise anyone that the democratization of knowledge and power of publishing with little censorship on the internet that bypasses traditional gatekeepers should rattle a few chains?
Denise Minger has performed the equivalent of Martin Luther nailing his 95 Theses on the cathedral doors of vegetarian orthodoxy.
Attempts to discredit her criticism of the China Study based on the youthfulness and relative attractiveness displayed in her pictures is stupid and idiotic. Does one discredit Stephen Hawking based on his physical appearance? Surely the veracity of thoughts and ideas are more important than the packaging of the vessel who brings the message?
Those who believe Campbell trumps Minger on the sole basis of peer reviewed studies published better hold on to their hats. I suggest there is work underway that will address that. Peer review however, is not the “be all and end all” of academic integrity. Those who believe peer reviewed papers are selected and published based solely on merit are *extremely* naive. In every field of research publication, there are stakeholders who have competing agendas. Many good ideas never find publication due to the forces involved behind the scenes. This argument of mine however, is an argument from silence.
Albert Einstein said “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” The China Study is not a closed canon of sacred scripture except to people with cult-like tendencies. Minger used the raw data, analyzed it and regraphed it to draw associations. If her analysis does not hold up, the collective voice of the internet will expose her faulty reasoning. She deserves an unequivocal “FAIL!” if that happens.
Right now however, I think the Campbell is looking more like one Ancel Keys from a while ago. The vegetarian myth is going the way of the lipid hypothesis.
Wait, your eye color changed? I find that a very surprising side effect. What’s your opinion on the reason?
“. . .your eye color changed?” I’m not sure of the reason, but I work in the School of Classical Chinese Medicine in Portland, OR and I’ve learned from the Chinese doctors there that this can be a common effect of diet change and also of overall health changes. The study of Iridology examines the reasons.
My guess is the eye color change happened from consuming high levels of glutathione (abundant in many raw foods). Glutathione inhibits melanin production and could conceivably lighten pigmentation on the body. I “lost” a few freckles as well, probably for the same reason. If you Google “eye color change raw food,” you’ll get tons of hits — it’s a pretty common side effect. 🙂
Has the color of your eyes remain the same or has it returned to your normal color since you stopped being a strict raw food diet? I figure having high levels of glutathione is better than having low levels. If eye color changes, so be it as long as there aren’t detrimental side effects.
Wow, I thought – I – was the only person on the planet whose eye colour had changed (without a blow to the head). This is bloody interesting.
My eyes as a kid: Brown
(Standard Australian diet. LOADS of dairy and wheat)
My eyes as a teenager/young adult: Brown/Hazel
(Same as above)
My eyes in my 30s: Changed to Hazel/Green
(very little meat/fat. Lots of grain. LOTS of coffee, little sleep)
My eyes in my late 40s: Green with a slight hazel centre-ring.
(Have been Paleo-ish for 18mths)
Please contact me if interested in writing things together. You can find about me from a search of Siguel and fat, or Google Scholar search or google books (many people cite my research).
This is what I wrote for NYTimes
I invented technology to measure fatty acids in humans and studied the fatty acid composition of thousands of human samples. I reported that most adult Americans have substantial deficiencies of omega-3s, excess of trans. Some have deficiencies of omega-6s. Among others, I lectured to physicians, cardiologists, government officials and nutrition experts in the USA and Canada, and managers of large corporations such as ADM. I explained my opinion, theories and research why the USDA pyramid and nutrition recommendations (current and past) as well as the National Cholesterol program, NIH and AHA guidelines were misleading and incorrect. Briefly, the typical American diet is high in processed carbohydrates, fat and calories. Human biochemistry is such that excessive calories from any source (fat, protein, carbohydrates) are converted and stored as saturated or monounsaturated fatty acids. The major abnormality in the US are deficiencies and imbalances of essential fats. Correcting these abnormalities is very difficult. It is not enough to eat more oils or supplements. The body is an extremely complex machine and it is practically impossible to correct abnormalities by eating too much of selected supplements (even if we carried portable PCs all the time, we can’t do all the calcuations). One would also need to do numerous blood tests, which are difficult to interpret.
Instead, I proposed that we eat a diet close to its natural state. A healthy diet should be rich in cells, because each animal species eats cells. While plants can make many things from scratch, humans exchanged that ability for higher brain power. We eat cells with preformed substances to avoid the need to make then and instead devote resources to make the complex substances needed by the brain.
I proposed that a diet rich in vegetables simplifies body processing, leading to reduced wear and tear and toxic byproducts (and lower risk of cancer, see my published papers). Plants are rich in nutrients, linoleic (w6) and linolenic acid (w3). Plants do not make the complex w3s found in fish such as EPA and DHA. There have been reports that humans need to eat them. To provide them, many supplements are sold with w3s and w6s (and some infant formulas now have these w3s derived, sometimes, from algae). Contrary to some reports, my research, based on the biochemical analysis of blood samples in humans, found that most people can make enough EPA and DHA from plant fatty acids. There are several caveats or requirements, such as the need to have adequate intake of other nutrients, no substantial disease (patients with severe malabsorption, such as Crohn’s Disease, may not be able to live well on an exclussive plant based diet).
Overall, my research found that eating whole foods, meaning foods close to their natural state, with plenty of cells and minimal processing (to eliminate infections or for other reasons) is likely the best way to increase longevity and reduce disease. This diet may need supplements, periodically, with animal foods such as beef and fish (or perhaps insects, but that is rarely practical today).
In discussions about chronic disease, federal, state and local government deficits, trade deficits, and health reform, I propose the following. A HUGE chunk of health expenditures (and a cause of deficits) is the treatment of obesity and its consequences (diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol) with undesirable food and drugs that in my opinion treat the symptoms but not the underlying cause. A major shift to a plant based diet would dramatically improve health outcomes for the majority of people in the US, lower health care costs, reduce government and trade deficits, AND increase employment (reasons are beyond this comment).
We can improve health outcomes, lower costs and reduce deficits if governments implement health plans that reward healthy eating. It is easy to do and would save 100s of billions per year. Michelle Obama organic garden is the step in the right direction. We need more vegetable gardens and fewer imported pills. Unfortunately, the profits and consulting fees from growing vegetables are almost zilch (compared to the 100s of billions from organ transplants and repairs, drug treatment, etc.).
Health care reform that fails to consider these issues is doomed to fail and cause undesirable health outcomes and higher government and trade deficits.
Readers can visit my web site essentialfats.com, read my book (see Siguel at amazon.com), read excerpts from many books that quote me in Google books, find my professional articles at NIH medline or google scholar.
Eduardo Siguel, MD, PhD
great blog! And you are beutiful!
I LOVE your blog! I heard about it while watching a video of Dr. Mercola interviewing Chris Masterjohn, and I will gladly pass it on via my website and my Facebook account.
I delved into vegetarianism in my mid-late 20’s, and it ruined my health (of course, I did it wrong). It has been 14 years, and what I have realized after finally finding a great Naturopathic doctor and doing a ton of research on my own, is that it totally skewed my hormones, rendered me B12 and iron deficient etc. etc. As a result, I lost quite a bit of hair which is finally starting to grow back.
Thanks for publishing easily accessible, relevant and TRUTHFUL information about the vegetarian movement and highlighting the fact that “studies” are often done incorrectly and statistics can be manipulated.
“Too much fruit to be raw paleo”? I didn’t think paleo restricted fruit? I can certainly understand the not bothering with labels thing, though.
I’d be interested at some point in seeing your perspective on the advantages of raw vs. cooked meat and raw vs. cooked vegetables.
So, you are crunching correlation coefficients and giving nutritional advice with your English degree? Ummm, let’s see.
-Girl with English degree, or knighted PHD from Oxford?
-Girl with English degree, or biochemistry professor with 300+ peer reviewed publications?
I think I’m placing my bets on the number crunchers and scientists of the China Study. I have a masters degree in statistics and agree with Campbell. You are not qualified to be crunching numbers. Until you do the training, you will not get taken seriously except, perhaps, by those who have a vested interest or ideological motivation for denying the evidence.
Anyone can crunch numbers–you don’t have to have a degree in statistics. It’s a matter of taking the time to do such an in depth and thorough job like Denise has.
Geyer….are you aware that many people beside Minger have come to the same conclusions as she- that Campbell profoundly misrepresented what was found in the China Study? Including doctors and people with credentials? Are you aware that the researcher working alongside Campbell on the China Study (Richard Peto) does not agree that the study found links between animal foods and disease? Do you think he’s wrong too?
If I always listened to people with credentials, I would be on statins, blood pressure meds, antidepressants and eating grains every day, like those qualified researchers tell us we should do….you can have peer reviewed publications and still be an idiot, trust me….
Have you yourself looked at the China study data and can say definitively that Minger is wrong….or are you a vegan ideologue like the rest.
Actually, my favourite protein is a bone in rib steak grilled over charcoal on my webber.
Do you have a link or reference to Peto’s disagreement with Campbell’s claims?
Anyone can fly a plane too….you just push that thingy until you get up to speed and pull that thingy to make it go up. You don’t need a pilot with training.
Well, perhaps not ‘Anyone’, but Colton A. “Colt” Harris-Moore, a.k.a. the “Barefoot Bandit”, purportedly ‘learned how to fly small planes by reading aircraft manuals and handbooks and playing flight simulator computer games’[*]… sans the ‘eight years of avid research and self-education’, by the way.
After perusing (what seems to be) your lovely website, it appears that you are familiar with the following quote [?] –
‘What spirit is so empty and blind, that it cannot recognize the fact that the foot is more noble than the shoe, and skin more beautiful that [sic] the garment with which it is clothed?”
…and the brain more useful than the degrees we behold?
Did you know that Michael Faraday wasn’t a scientist, had no formal training, never went to school, and yet he is the “father of electromagnetism”.
His valuable contributions to science are unobjectionable.
He is the inventor of the electric motor, he discovered benzene and created an early form of the Bunsen burner.
What about the the Odone family? Augusto and Michaela Odone’s son Lorenzo was diagnosed with ALD (adrenoleukodystrophy) an incurable illness that slowly incapacitates you until you die.
They decided to not give up and even though they had no formal training at all in biochemistry, they fought restlessly against academia by self-learning in libraries and proposing a possible solution. And against all odds, they succeeded creating something revolutionary, which is know known as “Lorenzo’s Oil”.
Although it doesn’t cure it, this is the only treatment possible up to this day, to delay the progression of this illness.
What about Jane Goodall, who without formal scientific training she ended up becoming the prime authority in primatology, ethnology, anthropology.
She is the only woman who was able to get a PhD without college education.
Not enough? Do you want more examples? What about the founder of Hyundai who never ever had formal education, not even elementary school, and yet he created a multinational conglomerate. Or Samsung, Lee Byung Chul is a dropout of the university of Japan.
Or Sohichiro Honda, he only attended to a mechanic class in the University to learn how to build a piston by himself. Then he dropped out to create Honda Motors.
Not enough? What about a kid whose parents thought he was mentally challenged because he started to talk late. A High School dropout. Later frustrated math and physics professor who was working at the Patent Office as a clerk.
This insignificant “nobody” would attempt to defy the paradigms of physics. That average chump was Albert Einstein.
Those who are brilliant don’t need to be baby-fed with information, those who are brilliant crave information, they are highly resourceful and there is never enough.
Restless, chronic curiosity is what drives them and makes them feel fulfilled. These guys and girls are the ones who aren’t understood within the system, can’t take things for granted, and can’t obey a stupid rule.
People like this girl; autodidacts, nonconformists, and rebels are the ones who are building the future for you.
May I add Jean Pierre Fermat? Fermat was schooled in civil law, but he co-developed the theory of probability with Blaise Pascal (The Unfinished Game by Keith Devlin).
Are we to judge by credentials? Or should the works be judged for their merit? Res ipsa loquitur as the Romans would say. I read both the China Study book and this blog. I like the blog better.
I hear what you say, and to a certain extent agree.
But some people (like Denise) seems “talented” in this, and has the passion required for it. Moreover, she has and still is being invited to talks on nutrition (by the experts)
I’m not trying to say ure wrong Geyer… I just think it might not be fully accurate to put a blanket statement as such 😀
I am a scientist and as I love your site I would be happy to hear your comments on my NO (nitric oxide) proposal to be our inside smart communication tool.
Thanks and have a nice weekend, Dina
Aw, this was a very nice post. In idea I wish to put in writing like this additionally – taking time and precise effort to make an excellent article… however what can I say… I procrastinate alot and not at all appear to get something done.
Re: The China Study: Fact or Fallacy?
Have you submitted a paper raising these points about inaccuracies in T. Colin Campbell’s conclusions in “The China Study” to a peer-reviewed journal on nutrition, e.g. the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition?
If only “The China Study” had itself been submitted to peer review first…
Hi, i been a raw vegan on n off for a while, but my friend just started, the only reason she is doing it is because of the eye color changing myth. do you have any before and after so i could show her that is not possible. she wants to go from brown to green which is crazy. I just don’t want her to be disappointed but to do it for the right reasons like better health etc.
The Fallacy of the Paleo/Caveman diet
One of the more popular diets in the media is the Paleolithic diet, that our long ago ancestor’s ate, before the industrial revolution and well before pocket societies were established. This diet has received much attention as of late, following the release of Dr. Loren Cordain’s book ‘The Paleo Diet.’ Many readers use Dr. Cordain’s book as their justification to consume a high meat, high fat diet, despite a mountain of evidence indicating that meat dominate diets are actually the problem and result in premature aging and disease.
Many people have come to the conclusion that our ancestors predominately lived on animal flesh because the bones of animals were discovered near campsites. The remains of plants do not survive in same way that bones do. It would be more plausible that, our ancestors, out of necessity, ate locally growing wild plants and moved about to locate them. They killed and ate animals when they could, but these opportunities were few and far between.
These stone age peoples were not the carnivores that the proponents claim. The reason for this is; hunting and killing animals is not easy and those humans were bipedal beings who were considerably slower than the animals that they were seeking to eat and they had no technology to assist in hunting and killing prey (they had no means of storing food for any period of time either). Visualise yourself chasing down a beast with your bare feet/hands and flat blunt teeth- this would actually be quite amusing!
The main problem with Cordain, one of the leading expert proponents in the use of low grain and natural meat diets, is that the basis of his theory has nothing with science to do as it is impossible to falsify. We will never learn what our ancestors ate in the caves or elsewhere, in particular not how much. Neither will we learn if their diet was beneficial or harmful to their health. Said that, I think it is a good idea to stick to natural food undisturbed by the food industry.
One of her other arguments against Cordain is that paleolithic time was about 2 million years and that there (of course) was an immense variation in these people´s diet. This is also what has been observed among present days´ primitive people. Which of their diets should we choose? Throughout history humans have migrated all over the planet, at times enduring scarcity and famine, conversely experiencing much abundance. Just because humans consumed a particular diet (due to availability or lack thereof) does not mean that following these dietary patterns is optimal or consistent with health longevity. Therefore one cannot extrapolate from the ancestral diet to today’s circumstances.
This is somewhat irrelevant in that we are not hunter/gatherers or cave dwellers anymore and humans are not dying of infectious disease or starvation, but of disease’s of dietary excess, body pollution and poor lifestyle choices. Cave dwellers didn’t live long enough to experience degenerative disease.
In my opinon the main argument against cavemen diet and anti-grain diets is the fact that some of the healthiest cultures around the world consume small amounts animal foods and always have (2-3 serves per week), but the majority of total weekly calories consist of wide variety of unrefined plant based material, with organic animal foods used as condiments. In John Robbins book Healthy at 100, he presents the research on the worlds longest living and healthiest peoples such as, the Hunzan’s, Abkhasians , Okinawans and Vilcabamban’s. The average individual in these cultures lives to 110 years of age, happy, vibrant, active and coherent. They consume low fat plant based diets, with little or no meat. For example, the Vilcabambans enjoy organically-grown fruits and vegetables along with whole grains for plenty of fiber. They eat meat only about once a month, and their diet is low in fat.
In contrast, there is no successful population that lives or has lived on a meat-based diet!!!!!!! For example the Inuit Greenlanders have the worst longevity statistics in North America and this can be due to their high consumption of meat and low consumption of fresh whole foods. Legitimate research shows that these people have higher rates of cancer and die 10 years younger than the average general population of Canada.
Similarly, the Maasai in Kenya are a tribe that hunt and eat a diet rich in meats and wild game and they have the worst life expectancy in the modern world. The average lifespan for a Masai women is 49 and for men it is 45 and if they reach the age of 60 they are considered to be very old. Adult mortality rates figures on the Masai, show that they have 50% chance of dying before the age of 59. Although the Masai’s short life spans is linked to their harsh living conditions, their diets high in meat and low in fresh whole foods still take their toll. Dr. George Mann, who once was an advocate of the Masai diet, went extremely quiet several decades ago when he conducted autopsies on 50 Masai men in their 40’s who had the atherosclerosis of men in their 90’s. If these men hadn’t died so young, they would have had the same degenerative disease that we do in Western countries!!!!!!!
Scientists have now been able to conclusively determine the best diet for ideal health by measuring the diet/lifestyle versus the disease rates of various populations world wide. We now know that greatly increasing the consumption of fruits, vegetables, legumes, raw nuts, seeds and whole grains (and greatly decreasing the consumption of animal products) offers profound increased longevity potential. This is due in part to a broad symphony of life-extending phytochemical nutrients that a vegetable-based diet contains.
Actually, Micalr, there has never been a vegetarian society. But that would be a pesky fact. Who knows? Maybe the Australian Banana-Eating Bicyclists will end that sorry streak of failure.
hunting and killing animals is not easy
Nonsense. Killing animals at unprecedented rates is one thing humans rock at. When we enter new continents, vast species of animals disappear right down our throats. Among the vanished:
* Woolly mammoths
* giant deer
* woolly rhinos
* American mastodons
* North American cheetah
* three types of ground sloths, including one approaching the size of modern-day elephants
* giant armadillos
* several species of horses
* four species of pronghorn antelopes
* three species of camels
* several species of oxen
* giant bison
* seven species of North & South American elephants,
* most of Australia’s large reptiles, birds and mammals, including some early kangaroos.
Be prepared… a new food documentary is coming out Forks over Knives that promotes the China Study as its source & wants all of us on “plant based” diets. You will probably see a huge jump in traffic. I am not linking to the movie since I don’t want to promote it.
I read your blog and find fantastic how you try to sty away from bias about diet, and how you try to figure out what is best for you 🙂
I`m not vegetarian, contrary, I`m strong meat eater mostly low carb. But a try to eat es mach row food as possible and choose wild and pasture fed animals, and row diary product which is luckily easy in Switzerland
What I saw is that you eat row fish.
I read in the “Nutrition Traditions” row fish receipt, but still except herrings and tuna I can`t convince myself to eat white fish.
Have you eat fish like cod, or flounder , what kind it should be, only fresh one or it can be even deep frozen on the ship. Hear is hard to finde wild fresh fish.
And what about fish from lakes?
I am not sure if anyone has asked this yet or if it was answered because I don’t want to read ALL of the comments but I was wondering if the raw food diet really does change your eye color. I am just curious and if so, how?
Never mind I just found the comment where you explained it. Great blog by the way!
Neisy (is it?), That you were an English major explained, in part, my puzzlement at how one so young (I know now you’re a 35-year old woman trapped in the body of a 23-year old…sorry to hear of that…) could fashion concepts and even hum-drum science so succinctly and eloquently as well. Yet, of course, you have learned that when it comes to the perceived attack on one’s core…their beliefs…and, interestingly, with food and diet, no less, that, albeit many fans and admirers present, so do the detractors–and in some instances, what would appear as the very Mongol Hordes themselves.
Your most critically intuitive and sensibly derived impetus–to “remain in your own back-yard”–is perhaps key to those successes which you have thus far managed with regards your own personal health and homeostasis….
nothing so easy for most to encounter, and especially on a (correct me if I’m wrong here) a somewhat independent basis (of course, all ways are the queen’s ways, and we all rely on the wisdom-or folly–passed on from others,
so it is key to remain humble and appreciative). You have my attention, particularly for your mention of the approach to healing and health is best
understood on an individual basis. You are so keen as to observe that there
is no optimal or “perfect” diet for any one individual. As a matter of fact, if
one is so trained or attuned, a good deal of flux might be requisite with one’s food selections, so as to optimize health outcomes.
Accordingly, the only tome I am yet aware of which specifically addresses the issue of individualized dietary insight, is The Metabolic Typing Diet by Wolcott and Fahey, and perhaps you have already read and explored it’s contents. If not, perhaps you will, as I and many others have, find it to be of
significant value in helping to determine that which (from my own experience, anyway) our own intuitive judgments are so often incapable of
beneficially guiding us towards when it comes to nutritional selections. Perhaps we are a tad too removed from our extraordinarily developed–over
say, a million (or two) years, and that our rather sudden shifts in diet–first, with the advent of agriculture and animal herding 8 to 10 thousand years ago, and most dramatically/severely over the past several hundred years with the
rapid advancement of food distribution and processing via industrialization–might have basically eradicated our ability to sense what might be best for us to eat. Further our own hybridization (it ain’t the match, but the mix, more & more…) dictates some novel approaches to determining optimal diet approaches & strategizing. So one of the newest, and hip words in this arena
is Nutrigenomics. Wears well enough for my tastes, at any rate.
Further, I am intrigued by the photo and comment attributed to that photo of
your left eye, it would be? Besides revealing a most fetching and bright character, you make mention of the increase of GSH production having changed your eyes’ previously brown shade to a hazel one. Hell, you could perhaps figure out a way to sell this to the crowds who’ve been troubling with the oft bizarre results evidenced with contact lenses….or not. This is interesting and I shall look further into this notion…or is it a statement of established studies?
I, myself, do considerable amounts of “independent” study/research, as my own health has been more-than-compromised-and-challenged over the past 25 years (if not, indeed, life-long), and I certainly wish that I could as you so
brilliantly do, entail that which has been my experiences. I will probably never get “that book” written…but I certainly look forward to reading one that you will undoubtedly pen…and a most significantly beneficial one as well, such is the focus that you have developed at such an early stage…well, I guess 35 is near mid-life, so that might be a bit too much of a gush, huh?
I was drawn to your own site by the subject of your review/critique of the
boorish “science” –or lack thereof–of Campbell’s study. Truly, the man
is a legend in his own mind, and in the absence of so many minds of others that fight so valiantly?–or mindlessly–in defence of his work, honor, and, no doubt, burgeoning coffers. It was the glowing admiration accorded your (however naively initiated and executed) review on your blog here, by Chris Masterjohn, who is a most gifted young lion in today’s world of nutritional
science…I don’t imagine he is so often so effusive, but he is a most intelligent and expressive writer as well as formidable researcher–his lecturing is exhilarating from my own experience, by content, speed, and
precision. Come to think of it, if you don’t mind, you two ought to meet, if
you haven’t already, other than by internet, of course. Some things can’t be
achieved on the net, y’know (I’ve yet to get good food on the net…although
I do order some for shipment with that resource).
Keep the glutathione in good supply (along with the rest of requisite litany
of macro and micro-nutrients)…or, eat well, and prosper.
All the best, especially inHealth,
Mark Lebovitz, AHFC (Aging Health Food Chef…or Cook, as I’ve no credentials)
There has got to be a connection somewhere in this persons life with the meat or dairy industry- in the first place she went on such a kooky diet from the beginning that she did not really give veing a true vegan -or even a vegetarian- a chance. When man was created he was given a diet that was for him the diet of perfect health. This has never changed. This young person needs to do a lot more research before making some of the statements that she has. I wonder about the other factors in her life which cause her to make some of the statements that she has made There are many influences in this world to keep mankind from being the healthy being that God created, and these will always be at work to prevent man from reflectingGhandiwork.
Denise has been so detailed and transparent about her dietary journey including her reasons, that accusations of corruption can only be coming from your own mind. Since you seem to believe all people say whatever they are paid to say, and not what they have arrived at through independent thought and research, who is paying you? Is it this “Ghandiwork” group?
Would you mind talking more about your eye color change, how long did it take? What did you eat, etc…
This is gonna take a while to dig through here 🙂
Keep up your great work, great blog – thorough, unbiased and yet personal.
Hi! I would like to try the raw food diet to make me feel better! I am 14 years old and for many years I have been eating tons of junk food. I was wondering if it is safe for me to pursue the raw food diet at my age? Also does the eye color really change? My mom is caucasion with light green eyes, but my dad is japanese with brown eyes. It would be great if you could respond!
Your blog is great. I think I’m in love. Thank you for your work. Your thoughtful, unemotional, and yet personable approach to questions of health and nutrition are a breath of fresh air in this ongoing conversation. As a physician, I only wish that more people took this approach toward the care of themselves.
Keep it up.
This is the best news I’ve received in a while! Death by Food Pyramid is going to be published by Mark Sisson! This almost makes up for agonizing wait and mischievous teasing you’ve done us all for your wheat post. Where do I pre-order my copies?
I’m blown away by your site, Denise, and I’m very excited to start reading. Can’t wait until your book comes out. I hope it will be something I can hand to my friends when they critique my primal/paleo WOE. Very glad I found your site!
I am not impressed with this blog, nor with the author’s expertise. Eight years of self-education and anecdote do not take the place of rigorous science.
I read your blog for the first time. I have the nicknames, “Raw Milkman” and “Aquaman” because I have a raw milk/organic milk and dairy foods with farm fresh foods delivery system via a milkman delivery in Fairfield, Connecticut. I have also started a water business for Spring Water and Ionization of waters thru some technology means. I am also a long distance open water ocean swimmer champion and my longest open water swim non-stop was 15 hours. Good Hydration is very essential. Constantly searching for ways to be ‘in the flow” and so I thank you for Blogging. Great fuel for thought. You can be my Little Mermaid. See http://www.themilkmancompany.com. – Ed Hartz
Can you tell me how to win an argument with a cannibal? I usually just get frustrated with them and I say “EAT ME!”
Hi Denise, Just found your site via Mark’s Dailly Apple. Have to say how good your writing is. You make the sometimes difficult science stuff very accessible and readable. Thanks and keep it coming!
Quite the blog here! So much focus on the China Study stats…
Curious to know your thoughts on animal proteins, especially diary, and auto-immune diseases, particularly type 1 diabetes and multiple sclerosis…2 rare cases where there is dietary intervention data showing impact on disease progression.
As someone who has gone through their fair share of self experimentation and paid for it by giving myself a more then a few food allergies/sensitivities. I can appreciate your journey because it seems to very similar to my own. Although it took me a bit longer to do so, I ended up coming to similar conclusions at least when it came to my own health and getting myself back on track by pouring over research and many different types of diets. It’s nice to know that I’m not the only one who takes such interest in experimenting on myself. Most of my friends just think I’m nuts haha. Anyway I enjoy the blog and I’ll be sure to check back from time to time.
nice article me. the foto is good
Hi Denise, I too noticed a distinction in eye colour after increasing my consumption of dark green leafy vegetables – especially kale.
How did you draw a distinction between glutathione and eye colour?
Hi Neisy, I have something kind of off-the-wall I want to discuss with you – can you shoot me an email and I’ll fill you in?
Jini Patel Thompson (google me if you want some background)
I have an intelligent question:
Do I understand it correctly that vegans reject any part of an animal as unnatural, except for dung (fertiliser)?
Death by Food Pyramid is a pretty humorous title . . . Reminds me of the black humor classic by Celine, Death on the Installment Plan.
Have you seen Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human? It’s a very interesting and exhaustively researched review of the role of cooking in human culture and in the evolution of our species. Without spoiling a thought-provoking thesis which deserves its development the conclusions seem pretty clear. We are not well-adapted for a raw diet. Not at all. We are adapted for cooking our food. And there isn’t a single human culture anywhere in the world now or in the record which gets most of its nutrition from raw food.
Everyone, your body responds to anything you consume, you can make the connections. Your body gives results from which you can make connections. Btw, I find a basic human diet, which is omnivorous, including all the basic traditional foods, including plenty of cooked, and some raw, is what works best for me, keeping me well and vital, and apparently is the standard worldwide. Not ‘overeating’ is important. Occasional ‘tonics’ can be helpful such as herbal ‘cleansers’. Alcholic beverages are good for us. All the basics of human traditional diets are generally good. Moderation is key.
Raw veganism whether LFRV or otherwise is extremely insufficient whether plentifully consumed / high caloric consumption, moderate, or low. It’s unbalanced for the body.
You’re an incredible writer. Seriously talented. Thank for engaging this material and providing us with your insights.
Very impressive critiques of Forks Over Knives and China Study. Agree with much, the rest is in an area of grey “IMO zone”, but you’re perspectives are quite well thought out and bottom line: I’m impressed and would appreciate (theoretically, since it’ll likely never happen) any “chance meeting in a cafe over some coffee and having a chat”! Keep up the great and spirited search for truth!
I am extremely impressed by your work… It is absolutely beautiful. I have had a similar struggle with formal education. I am currently finishing a BSc in Plant Science and Neuroscience and Master Gardener training, having come from the arts (BA Philosophy/International Development), having come from an agricultural and carpentry background. I am looking for excellent PharmD programs in the US so that I might eventually practice compounding pharmacognosy. We’re a year apart! Even though I’m the older one, I feel like you’re a decade ahead. All the best to you, and please keep at it! You’re amazing. All the best,
I really like the approach you use to critique stuff…. good job!
Your writing skills are very good. However, I feel though that your free-thinking vs credible degree in science separation is not scientifically mature. Creative thinking is wonderful, but my 10 years of doctoral research taught me how to think clearly, and, as it turned out, invoked more free-thinking. It certainly did not suppress it. There’s more to it than you think and you would benefit by experiencing it. Scientific literature is not a blog. Sometimes taking years to compile it’s then put up against peer review before published. And if it’s not good enough, it’s not accepted, period.
I like your mission, but I think you’d make a greater impact experiencing research methods and not just reviewing them. The people (scientists included) who can make a difference, will immediately dismiss your good ideas simply because of your impression of credibility being just a college degree. Credibility comes from years and years designing experiments, carrying them out, failing miserably over missed points, and starting over. it also comes from working side by side some brilliant people who can teach you a lot….a biochemistry or chemistry PhD would serve you well.
I think you misunderstand Denise’s explanation of her educational background. The argument is not that college degrees are empty credentials, but rather that she is able to construct a valid set of knowledge and critique scientific articles without formal PhD credentials.
While I agree that Denise has the mind to do well in biochemical research, I think that the impact that she’s making by reviewing existing research is immense. The ability to take very technical, vary vast fields of knowledge and coalescing them into understandable and enjoyable-to-read snippets is crucial to exposing more lay-readers to the data behind nutritional theory. So long as her analysis is sound, the so-called “people (scientists included) who can make a difference” would be remiss to dismiss her arguments on any basis other than the virtue of the argument itself.
In your post, you insinuate that those who do not dismiss her ideas due to her impression of credibility are incapable of making a difference. As someone who loves logic and reason, I find this to be deeply offensive. Denise’s work resonates with people who thirst for knowledge amid the static of dietary debate, and the analyses she produces allow them to more objectively evaluate their dietary choices. She IS one of the people who are making a difference.
The idea that helping people understand at an individual level is useless, and that change can and/or should happen from a higher societal station (such as academia or government) is elitist, and I predict will also prove wrong.
You are mistaken about Credibility. It’s a nice idea you’ve got there but it’s wrong. Also, your experience invoked more free-thinking? I’d hate to see where you started from! You can’t seem to accept that someone has done well without spending years pandering to a superior.
This is coming from someone who is following the conventional academic route. It does help, yes, and it does create opportunities, but it’s not the be all end all you seem to be labeling it as.
You don’t need a credential to know how to think.
To do science you just need to follow the scientific method. Period.
Ask to Michael Faraday if he needed a college degree to become the father of electromagnetism. Or maybe ask to the Wright brothers if they needed an engineering degree to build their plane. Or maybe to James Joule, a manager of a brewery, maybe he could tell us how he became the father of modern physics without a degree.
The formal education in institutions might ensure a framework for common people, but it is not necessary for gifted people who are eagerly willing to learn by themselves.
Nothing beats gifted people full of wonder and restless curiosity, passion for knowledge, rationality and logic. Autodidacts are in a whole different category from the rest of the population.
Hello!! I am really interested in raw diet, and all thsi talk about changing your eye colour. Could you be as kind as to show a picture before your eyes changed coulor ? I would be really greatful 🙂
Did you hear that last tuesday congress declared pizza a vegetable?
Great blog. Excellent insights. Just a few questions.
1. Can you point me to some links on how to eat, process raw meat products (mainly meats, pork, chicken, beef, etc.)? Where I live fish is not readily available freshly.
2. Aren’t you worried about clams and shells and hepatis?
3. From sources I have gathered flaxseed oil has close to equivalent omega fats as cod liver oil, is this something you can verify for me? Once again, where I live cod liver oil is not available and expensive, whereas flaxseed oil is cheap and abundant.
4. I know cooking oil is not recommended, but if you do use oil, what is the best you can recommend (coconut oil)? Or what do you recommend for light cooking (fat?)?
Also, if you take a personal opinion into consideration, here it is. You should get a nutritionist degree. You have obviously emerged yourself up to a point, where you are more knowledgable then many nutritionist. However, if you want to really make a change, I am sure this will be bought up against you. Thanks, Ben from Hungary…You can also reply to email@example.com
I think i just fell in love.
I adore your approach to the continual experiment on how to best care for a human, and communicate your views on the research coherently with less bias than most. (I almost put no bias, but really, the best we can do is grow our awareness of what kind of bias we may have and work on being transparent about it…) Let’s see if I can sum up an overview of my relevant ones for instance… then I promise to head straight back to more comments actually for you and your blog my dear! 😉
I had a desire in my teens to figure all that out as soon as humanly possible so I could “help people”… so I started aiming for med school to be a doctor… to be informed, healthy and helpful – and well paid…
Once my post secondary got underway I just couldn’t see myself putting in all that effort of a 4 year degree in anything (that is any degree is actually acceptable to get into med school, provided you can pass the entrance exam), to do that grueling entrance exam, followed by at least 6 more years of study and most likely end up seeing patients for a super brief period, finding an ill and prescribing a pill… my plan b ended up looking for more time with the people, off to nursing classes I went… maybe I’ll even be a diabetes educator… Then I’ll be informed, healthy, helpful and paid decent for sure! right?… right…
Immersed in full time nursing I did pick up a few healthful tips and tricks along the way (most of which was found outside the classroom teachings or official position of the health authorities that oversaw my license)… however I was far from feeling healthy and helpful… and was questioning that informed part a bit between bouts of questioning if I could have less ethical stress dealing street drugs than doctor prescribed drugs… what is truly “informed” consent? why don’t new grads seem to know about things like prune juice?…
Needless to say, feeling like a legal drug pusher for government endorsed health care just isn’t my thing… and after a few post nursing years of attempting to educate myself on how to best care for this human, I still come up feeling like I am a long way off of truly informed consent on everyday nutrition… I do have a bias against “modern medicine” sticking their sticky fingers into diabetic education (which I never did specialize in) or mental health – way too much medication on that scene and a whole rant and rave for another day! If I get hit by a truck, sure as heck I want a medical doctor to piece me back together again… otherwise all the kings horses and all the kings men can go for tea really…. even just the different forms of IV infusions prescribed – I think now I would be much more comfortable with an IV if someone who has studied nutrition and its effects on the body was present to influence what was in that cocktail…
And now my darling, back to you! 😉
Your energy for life and health are infectious! It has been a fun couple hours discovering your blog and the various opinions on it (and some opinions of your writing on 30bananasaday).
I don’t know if I would want to eat the exact same as you, or if your site has all the answers to the question of what food is best for optimal human performance – I do know that I am really enjoying your personality and level headed approach to things. The whole China Study debate is great food for thought! Thanks for not “having an axe to grind” or paid agenda.
I am intrigued by where you are at in your journey and where you may end up later on… I see a few people on your site recommend you firm up your “official” learning in nutrition to go further… well I can’t help but add my 2 cents here and say if you wanna blog and share your story, write articles and books, you are well on your way! Keep up the good work!
I hear you on the free thinking and academic routes! After having seen medicine from a few different angles, I am learning more on nutrition, and health in general, OUTSIDE official channels… Funny though, I’ve had times where I present someone with some health info I learned (after my nursing years) and there is a point of contention – which is no longer debated after I add in my background with nursing…. It may not have any bearing whatsoever, even if there is good stand alone evidence, most people do put more weight on commercialized learning and designations. In general the nursing title tends to lend some weight in a lot of arenas as it is touted as being the most trusted designation in health care… Initials/designations can open doors and minds sometimes…
My official recommendation – have fun and grow with it! Just as there are choices to public school or home school for basic education, we all have choices on where we get our education on how to care for a human.
I think I’ll come back often and hope to grow with you in this sea of information and opinions.
Be well 😉
Oh, and if you have seen a critique of the eat right for your type diets I would love to be pointed in that direction! Could use some intelligent background info on that debate too.
Lovely eyes, Denise. I got the same colour change but in adolescence, from brown to greenish. I am curious about the glutathione cause, Is there any source on that? I could not find it.
Just stumbled onto this blog. Very fun reads (you are an excellent writer) and interesting, well-researched articles! As someone who has recently gone Paleo-ish (and lost about 50lbs of fat while putting on muscle without trying as hard as I should be), I’m always on the lookout for books/websites with recent nutritional research. So, thanks! 🙂
Merry Christmas/Happy Holidays etc!
BTW, let me know if you need a boyfriend. I also like mountains and cats and all that other stuff too, so there’s that. I’m not half as attractive as you, and you would need to fly me out to Hawaii, and probably support me financially for several months. Also, I can’t guarantee that I won’t fall for some other hot blogger. Are you sold yet?
Let me know,
You should look up dr.robert morse on youtube
Love your bio. Especially the part about education and blogging on subjects you don’t have a degree in. 🙂
You are a breath of fresh air in the contaminated indu$try of health.
I greatly appreciated reading your review of “Forks Over Knives” and do hope you continue challenging the establishment with your research. As you, Dr. Mercola, Dr. Burzynski and numerous others keep chipping away at medical dogma in search for the truth, we’ll hopefully see the decline in the medical-govt-food industry corruption that’s centered around the status quo of revenue over health.
I do hope you email your list when your book comes out.
I love all of your stuff! You have a truly great mind and have a wonderful talent in keeping the most involved, usually confusing topics interesting, understandable and humorous.
And, holy crap, I recently noticed that my eyes have changed color from light brown to almost green! I thought I was going bonkers, but read the last line of this post. Guess a whole year of finally eating right has done it!
…, “Death By Food Pyramid,” to be published mid-2012 by Mark Sisson.
heuuu… and in french ??
Very Thanks for sharing your ideas, and a little of your brain! ..in the “paleo” jungle nutrition today …
Great blog, I love your attitude and the tightness of your reasoning, just went through 1000 words or so of your rebuke of the China Study and was frantically nodding in approval, when I realized I wouldn’t finish the whole article before lunchtime I looked up the ‘about’ section and was blown away by your CV, I am extremely impressed and it doesn’t happen very often!
Update time. You don’t live in Kailua anymore.
Fascinated by some of your blog here, but I am still wondering how an English major can make some of the bold medical claims you do. You have no personal clinical research or lab time to back up what you are preaching. You say that the internet has taught you most of what you claim to be medical fact? You claim learning by “total-immersion”, yet you don’t claim ANY examples of those learning resources. Please take some time to think about putting this information out into the real world. Your claims may be mistaken as legitimate science and actually harm some people, who are not willing to do any discovery on their own. Trying my best not to be rude, but please try to be honest with yourself about your qualifications. Also, please no rebuttals about “paying for a degree”. That is the statement that most people lacking data or formal education in a specific area use. Also I am not going to pretend to have any legitimate or empirical data to negate your claims, as I agree with some of them (as far as nutrition), but you are trying to state things as hard fact. Also you are trying to debunk legitimate medical/clinical/laboratory research in most of your blog postings. Your recommendations are unfounded and reckless. Sorry if it stings, but I am sure you will brush it off.
come hang out with us at the raw paleo forum. Google to find. keep up the great work!
I have the credentials to comment on or debunk “legitimate medical/clinical/laboratory research.” But I think it is great that Denise comments on them too. God help this country if the nimrods who have run our government and our medical institutions actually succeed in dismantling the first amendment as it pertains to “health information.” It is certainly your right to think and say that what she is doing is reckless, but it is her absolute right to comment on these studies. We are all losers if we collectively wind up silencing those we disagree with, especially after we judge their pedigree to be deficient. In my opinion, after spending better than 25 years in academia, most of what we see published as “legitimate medical research” is close to worthless. Most of it is preconceived biases packaged as science in order to get published. And the people that do that have impeccable credentials too…………….
Not to be rude but your “academic profile” reeks of arrogance. Perhaps, if you didn’t think you were above the education system, you would have received better grades and had the opportunity to attend a university more challenging than your elementary school.
Denise got straight A’s at the university and received the “Outstanding Senior Award” AND “Outstanding English Major Award” when she graduated. She put herself through college–didn’t spend one cent on tuition–winning writing contests and scholarships.
She couldn’t receive better grades because they don’t give anything higher than A’s.
I love moms!
I have been wondering why vegas are so concerned with a paleo/ raw food / whatever lifestyle.
Then it occured to me.
Wheat is being pounded from all directions.
Off course if they loose their saint wheat, rhey will be in trouble, as they will be left with just vegtables (and fruits).
This would in turn mean, they would need a micribiology diploma just to get enough nutrients.
This must be what pisses them off.
It is also really wierd, hiw they all show signs of mental retardation, i am sorry, but i will just call it as it is.
This has to be the wheat, which has be proven to contribute to this.
Just my 2 cents.
I am a Personal Trainer and have a client that may be of interest to you. She is a retired Colonel (Nurse) and worked on designing the Food Pyramid. She has some great stories!
email me if you are interested:
So very glad I stumbled upon your page. Can’t wait to dive in! Please add me to your newsletter list (if you have one….on my cell and haven’t fully explored 😉
Wow great blog, I could only wish to have the writing ability you have. But I do share that same passion for health! Keep up the great work!
thanks so much, ive recently found you on youtube and listened to your lecture about debating vegetarians. I am so glad someone is offering a different point of view and i really hope you stay on it and keep writing, posting on youtube etc… your awesome, and cute as well:) thanks and dont give up
Just discovered your blog. I love, love, love this part:
“I typically spend about seven hours a day reading and writing about nutrition—voluntarily. I may seem like a normal human being on the outside, but rest assured, I have enough nerd in me to make Steve Urkel look like the Fonz. I’m currently writing my first book, “Death By Food Pyramid,” to be published mid-2012 by Mark Sisson.”
Thank you so much for all the work you have done in this field. I know you aren’t a dietician or a molecular botanist, but I appreciate the work you have done. My brother got taken by Colin T Campbell, but I have hope for him as he is counting the days since he converted(Means it isn’t set in stone yet.)
I found myself watching the movies he pointed out, and not liking the conscript nature of the message, searched out to debunk them, and I found your blog. Want to get your book, like yourself, I am an english lit grad who am actually in military logistics, go figure.
I know since this is like response 2K you wont likely read it, but still thanks all the same.
I hope you send out an email to this address when your book is out as you’re a very talented writer!
Your use of humor makes reading very easy, if not fun!
Love from North Cal,
I like your blog! As someone who was formally trained to be a “lover of wisdom” at the doctoral level (but not in a field related to nutrition, mind you), taught at the university level for a few years, published a couple peer-reviewed scholarly research, and saw how extremely biased and protective of their cherished beliefs many of my colleagues — and I, also — had regarding how to interpret research results, I appreciate your efforts to critically — meaning logically, not necessary vituperatively — challenge the statements and opinions of those who seem to rely on their formal credentials to try to convince the rest of us of the merit of their opinions.
And because many such people — and I speak from experience from being one, as well as working closely with a number of them over the years — tend to consider those without such credentials as wholly unqualified to challenge their opinions, it is not surprising that some folks, as well as their lesser-degreed but passionate admirers, criticize your blog based on the your lack of formal credentials. What those folks do not realize is that logic and reasoning are not limited to only those with such credentials, even if such credentials more easily allow some folks to hold positions at research and/teaching institutions and afford them preferential consideration regarding research funding.
And as you pointed out with your reference to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates, neither of them had even college degrees. And let’s not forget that Albert Einstein got tremendous inspiration for his ideas regarding the photovoltaic effect and special relativity while working at the Swiss patent office, a job he took because he could not find work in a teaching position after graduating from university!
But if those examples don’t convince folks of the merit of a fresh challenge to thinking regarding a paradigm touted by those who are already established (and recognized) in their field, here is the link to a-now MIT Sloan School of Business professor whom I had the opportunity to hear discuss her doctoral dissertation before a small lecture hall of academics, who were in the process of evaluating whether to offer her a teaching position at their well-known-in-their-field school, but judging from the comments I heard them make while attending that presentation as a doctoral student, didn’t seem to like the idea that their dominance in their field would be overshadowed by the next generation of researchers who were not trained to follow the paradigm they adhered to:
And guess what? This person’s ability to challenge herself and others to think more clearly on the issues related to innovation, paradigms and research policy have earned her many credos over the years that I am sure will inspire you to ignore the spurious criticisms of those who place too much weight on the statements of those with credentials in the nutrition field merely because they have them:
Oh, and for those who would like to dig deep into the specific source document that helped me identify this innovator-in-her-field so many years after hearing her talk, you can check it out here, with its numerous references to her early work on the subject of the longevity of faulty paradigms in another particular field in this 800+ page doctoral dissertation on technological innovation in the semiconductor industry:
Click to access schaller_dissertation_2004.pdf
Again, thanks, Neisy! And keep up the good work!
The Tightwire Guy
What is glutathione? And how does it affect your eyes’ color
I am impressed with your blog and your insight, but what struck me most was that you are a stunning beauty! Life must be good!
Enjoyed hearing you on the summit.
❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤ XOXOXOXO
I’m a new, big fan of your blog, Denise.
My wife watched Forks Over Knives and I came home to a fridge full of soy “milk,” quinoa, multitudes of colored produce, and tofu.
While I must say we’re about 80% or so plant based, and pretty much always were, I thought she overreacted. I watched it, and being the engineer I am, questioned the bias and legitimacy of the claims made.
At 30, I’m in the best shape of my life. My athletic ability and form (8% body fat and trending down) is as good as ever. Diet plays, and will play, a huge roll.
I look forward to your book and continuing to learn from your blog how to discern the so called scientific claims around nutrution.
Hey, your blog is great, thank you for putting it up there for us!
I disagree with your Raw Egg consumption. I deeply believe in instinct gut-following…
When you take a raw egg and swish it around your mouth, don’t you just want to puke??? I gag.. x_X
Nope. Some folks have problems with textures. Seems you don’t do slimy. You might be able to remedy this by separating the yolk from the white and just eating the yolk for a while.
Save the whites and add them to chicken soup or something 🙂
Great blog and really loved your comments on why you feel qualified to run a health blog without the formal training. I agree that formal higher education has its place. But I developed interest in many of the areas that I’m most passionate about long after I got my degrees. There is definately a place for the passionate “amateur” in this world who can often bring insights (and in your case, great writing) from a variety of experiences that the dedicated professional lacks.
all i can say is: WOW!
i read your deconstruction of the “red meat will kill you” “study” on sott.net https://www.sott.net/articles/show/243055-Will-Eating-Red-Meat-Kill-You-
and it directed me to this blog. and then i read your academic story – WOW. what a monster brain you are. i’m floored. :-)) and funny, too. and gorgeous! i just love women!
i’m 37, i’ve had late stage chronic lyme disease for around 20 years of my life, i’ve been anti-meat all my life, would never spend my personal money on buying meat but was not a vegetarian (i would never be able to refuse meat when offered), then i started experimenting with various diets since it finally hit me that what i was eating had a major impact on how i felt physically and mentally. so i went from cutting out sugars, sprouting beans and peas, to going raw vegan, not raw but vegan, fishetarian, not vegan but raw and cooked meat and it finally hit me what was making me sick: starches, sugars and dairy. so after around 5 years of trial-and-error i finally arrived at the diet that minimizes my lyme symptoms to the point of near non-existence: meat (all forms and colors and temperatures) and fish, leafy greens, a lot of animal fat (cholesterol), eggs, raw almonds now and then, no dairy, no sugar, no starches, no starchy veggies, no caffeine. i eat meat 2 – 3 times a day. i’ve been on this diet for over 2 years now. the clarity of mind is just awesome :-)). i’m 5’11” and weigh 150lbs, am always being asked whether i used to be a model – just to make clear how trim i am. so after a year of being on that diet i found out that it had a name: paleolithic. and that it had a movement! and that there were food symposiums about that type of diet! and that there were restaurants dedicated to it! and that there were doctors who had cured their late stage multiple sclerosis with it (dr. terry wahls), and people who saved their inflamed colons from being surgically removed (laura knight-jadczyk’s son) and that there were cardiologists with 20+ years of experience (dr. dwight lundell and the author of “wheat belly”) who were completely debunking the idea of cholesterol = heart attack. wowowow. the rabbit hole just kept getting deeper and deeper LOL.
so, yeah so far my diet change has been a phenomenal experience.
a woman who is living with me and who started joining me at meals, so she basically adopted my eating habits, and who started substituting milk with almond milk said that she also started feeling clearer, calmer, lighter, more energy and: she said she’s had a bad vaginal discharge all her life which stopped around 4 weeks ago when she stopped using dairy. the discharge had been especially worrisome for her since she was diagnosed with fibroids in her uterus in her 20’s. she’s 47 now.
so anyways, thanks for sharing your brilliant and entertaining mind with us. it’s a real treat :-))
Thank you for shining a bright light on Forks Over Knives. I’m really impressed with your insight and readable detail. If you ever want to publish a book with a medical oncologist (you do all the work, I act as the figurehead), hit me up.
wow, you are simply awesome!
well written and easily “digestible” hahaha
most of all great energy and great humor
Happy 25, Denise! It’s 3am Seattle time and I coincidentally just noticed your birthday in your bio, so perhaps I’m the first to send greetings. Love your blog, super intelligent and life changing, and was excited to see you excerpted in Wheat Belly. Hope your book is coming along, can’t wait to read it.
I am in love with your blog. I’m a premed student and I’ve bounced around different diets myself. My biggest peeve is bad science, followed closely by adherence to bad science and to correlation=causation. I’m thrilled to be able to read criticisms of bad science written in vivid language… speaking about degrees, I won’t have a degree in science either… I’ll have a Classics B.A. with a minor in chemistry from my med school prerequisites. Useless degrees for the win!
I was linked to your blog after writing a post about my feelings on dietary dogmatism. My latest self-experiment is in the paleo sphere, and in the midst of vegan-bashing I’ve repeated like a scratched CD my sentiment that anyone seeking to return to eating real, whole, sustainable foods–regardless of whether Bessie the Cow is friend or food (or both)–is a comrade-in-arms in the fight for optimum health. It helps to have a low-carbing sister who eats red meat and spinach to manage anemia from thalassemia minor and good friends who are just about 100% raw vegan (except on their birthdays).
I’ll look forward to your book!
Well done! Your critical thinking skills exceed currently accepted “health” and “nutrition” guidelines.
We are on a similar diet discovered by self-experiment which put an end to many physical ailments–and 15+ lost pounds for both my sweet husband and myself.
You are leading the way and we are wildly proud of you.
I came across your blog while searching for information on casein and cancer. You did a great job debunking that, and I feel more informed than I had before about food. I also think you are a beautiful and intelligent woman. Marry me?
Smart idea for a blog site. If it encourages people to change for the better (reduce their fat, sugar, cholesterol, and decrease their footprint, it is good. But, please don’t give em a reason to stay fat and sick. Please consider removing your critique of Forks Over Knives. There are many ways to interpret data and you were not selected for the review board prior to determine the studies publishing. The tone of your review reads very self serving. Please be supportive, and Best Wishes
Francis, I couldn’t disagree more, and don’t understand your remark: How would it make sense for only those officially involved with production of a scientific study, book, or documentary to be the ones to publish analysis, fact-checking, and critique of those? Seems to me that they’d be more likely to be inherently self-serving. Personally, I’m a big fan of independent fact checking and analysis of studies, like this blog, in fact I believe that’s considered the basis of scientific method.
FWIW re: Forks Over Knives, it was a handful of themes and assertions I noticied in that film that didn’t make sense to me (correlation confused with causality, etc.) that drove me to search for independent critques of it online, which is how I came upon Denise’s analysis and found it to jive exactly with the misgivings I had about the film’s claims and conclusions.
Nice blog. Cheers from Brazil. You’ll be hearing from me soon.
I like your writing voice immensely from reading your most recent blog post, and just had to comment that my birthday is May 3rd (I turned 14 the day before you were born) and I have a RED house in Corvallis. 🙂
Yay! So glad to have found you and your brain!!! Keep up the good work!!!!
Hello, Denise. I just learned about your blog and love what I have read so far. Your perspectives on the raw food diet, real/whole foods, and animal foods are exactly what I have believed in for many years. You have a great writing style. I also appreciate your thorough research that you bring into your writings. Looking forward to reading more of your posts and getting your book when it comes out. Thank you and keep up the great work!
I was recommended to read your analysis on the China Study. Sadly, it only confirms my fears. Enough scientists still approach research like a religion, where faith seeks facts. I’m glad people like you exist who have can crunch data and spit wisdom out to shut those idiots up. Keep the bastards down.
Aw! Breath of Fresh Air! Love this woman and her common sense and factual evidence. Thank you!
Pretty face! Sexy bod! Addicted to raw meat and attention! I’ve been following your fight with Colin Campbell. You appear to be the mosquito attacking the elephant. What worries me however, is the raw meat you are consuming with such gusto contains all kinds of added pollutants. Eventually you will pay a high price, and I am sorry about it. Please — give up the raw meat before you really do yourself serious damage.
Denise, I think I love you.
And I’ll admit that it’s in a slightly weird, stalker type of way and I hope you’re okay with that.
I found your site googling Ancel Keys, whom I, as a low carb, plant-avoiding carnivore, viewed as killing more people than Hitler or Stalin, and you restored a more balanced viewpoint of him in my eyes. I’m often (okay, always) accusing the low fat advocates of being blind to good science and healthy critique but your take on Keys was a good reminder that even the most open-minded of us start to close up once we lock in on a belief. The man was just a human who made some mistakes.
I experiment with my diet a lot (and I refuse to get into an argument with someone on the subject of diet and nutrition if they’re not willing to experiment on themselves) and your posts remind me that I need to experiment with the opposite hypothesis too, and be open to whatever results yield.
We can never be together, Denise, but I will always look at you from afar and see “the total package”: uber smart, confident yet humble, funny and articulate. I will look at your photo and think, “I want to eat what she’s eating.” I will wonder about the carpaccio we might have shared.
You hang up.
You hang up.
Okay on three.
I can’t believe you’e still here!
Hello Denise. My name is John M. Raht, and I just self-published a book, called “The Diet Wars! Decisions That Have Harmed the Health of Millions” I know it would not quite be your cup of tea, but I would like to give you a copy, to see how far afield you think I’ve gone.
Let me know where I can send it, and I’ll get it in the mail. Please reply to my email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hope to hear from you.
Denise, I came across your magnificent site while investigating the claims made in Forks Over Knives, and after glancing around the rest of this I have the impression I’ve stumbled into some kind of internet blog wonderland. I am impressed by both the quantity and quality of your words, and I would spend hours more reading tonight if only my time to rise was more than six hours away. Thank you for your investigation into FOK; as an engineer I was a bit skeptical of the arguments made in the film, but I lack the time to follow up the way that you did, nor would I have done the job so well.
Stumbled over your blog while researching claims made in Forks Over Knives. I am a flexatarian and I really felt the movie was pushing for total veganism-that put me off a little. Anyway, I love your blog! Once upon a time I did not know diddly squat about nutrition, but now I am on my way to becoming an expert. I pondered going for a formal education in nutrition but I totally agree with you, there is really no need when you can look up stuff on the Internet, buy the book and besides if you go to any university they can give you guest access to their journal databases!! I look forward to reading your book because you write so eloquently. It is really a breathe of fresh air reading blogs that are free of grammatical errors and also rich in thoughtful writing. Keep blogging, I am hooked on your writing style.
I visited several websites but the audio feature for audio
songs existing at this website is really superb.
Thank you Denise,
You are the mirror of my passionate food soul. I am a nutritionist in Denver with a huge passion and drive to learn as much as I can about food and holistic health. I also ginny pig myself through all the different diets and detox plans, learning and exploring, adjusting and taking in. I struggle with big agg and government agencies and all the politics behind our food system. I trust my intuition to lead me down the correct path, never really trusting all the research and how it is interpreted. I have been in private practice with focus on GI disorders, fertility and pregnancy, as of late epigenetics. I struggle with reaching the masses and where my career is taking me. I feel inspired by your passion, I am not alone! Please keep up the amazing dedicated work.
I hate to dirty up the comment section with such a timely comment/question, but I don’t know where else to put it . . . What about this new study on red meat and early mortality? I’m coming to you because I trust your thoughts/commentary and want hear your input . . .
So where’s the study? I don’t see any link to more information. Without details about the research this is blurb is meaningless.
First of all, if you believe valid education only happens in a classroom setting, I sure hope you aren’t reading this blog on a computer—since both Steve Jobs and Bill Gates were college dropouts without any credentials to work with technology.
when i read your lines , i was blown away . good thinking and its true. you don’t need a piece of certificate sheet to prove who you are . your blog is so cool , have a good one .
The comment about Steve Jobs and Bill Gates-logical fallacy; counting the hits and ignoring the misses.
“Scientific journals make sure that studies are credible and worth publishing by having them reviewed by other researchers qualified to do so. The reviewers can recommend that the study be published or not, based on what they think of the study design and other factors.” from Vegan for Life by Jack Norris and Virginia Messina.
I highly doubt any of Minger’s followers have the qualifications to properly understand the China Study, or how she has analysed it.
This is not to say a lack of qualifications makes someone stupid; but attempting to analyse and be taken seriously criticizing a scientist is like a child with an inflatable sword trying to pick a fight with a soldier; you just don’t have the resources nor the knowledge.
Good stuff, deleting a comment from a cancer epidemiologist; people should really take you seriously eh?
From what I’ve read, Dr Campbell shut you down in his responses.
And you know, your credentials seem even more bare when you unprofessionally post a petty video of animals getting killed, titled “how to win an argument with a vegetarian or vegan”. I know this has attracted a lot of negative comments, but what to you expect when you show you have no compassion for non-human animals?
And science researchers without qualifications, I’m sure you’ll find they are nonexistent.
Might I add, the academic environment for English/arts majors is very different from Science; biases are much harder in a subject where things are objective, solid fact; not someone’s opinion.
What you get from an academic environment is to show “I understand this”-people see that you know what you are talking about, moreover in an academic environment, your evidence is concrete, because of peer reviewing; not flimsy.
Although I have previously had trouble thriving in the academic environment, I learned that it CAN work for me; I must ensure that I can be happy inside an environment which, while the formality of it can sometimes seem time-consuming, is very rewarding. Its not simply about doing whatever research you feel like on a given day or hour; being a researcher is about dedication and passion, and if you can’t give the dedication of showing you understand and can be critiqued by peers who also understand basic nutrition, then you probably shouldn’t be giving advice.
Hi Denise, my wife and I have been looking into various diets. I read your bio and was very impressed with you, so I thought I would ask your opinion. We ran across recent scientific studies both pro and con of meat consumption. I was wondering if you had any thoughts on these 3 fairly recent studies in particular – perhaps you have run across them. As you can see they reach contradictory conclusions:
A review and meta-analysis of red and processed meat consumption and breast cancer.
2. Diet and cancer prevention: Contributions from the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) study.
Meta-analysis of animal fat or animal protein intake and colorectal cancer.
“But I also believe that—for people who are self-motivated, have the time and resources for independent study, and aren’t learning something like dentistry or surgery that requires hands-on training—that a college education can be wildly inefficient and sometimes a barrier to objective thinking.”
Translate – “I’m too lazy to further my education in a classroom setting, so I prefer to Google things for eight hours a day and cherry pick the information that suits my views”
I will give you one thing – You’re a very persuasive writer, which is why you may have so many fooled. But if you want respect as an expert of the science of nutrition, why don’t you try running your own research study? Here are some tips:
1) Pick a question you’re interested in researching – Maybe “The effects of glutathione on eye color”
2) Write a grant to secure funding for your project and make sure to fully outline your protocol. Submit to any interested foundations and/or government agencies.
3) Once funding is secured, make sure your project will be ethically carried out by getting approval from an Institutional Review Board.
4) Secure the resources you will need to carry out your study (research assistants, medical equipment, data collection tools, etc)
5) Recruit your study participants. Randomize them accordingly.
6) Carry out your study.
7) Report your findings.
8) Submit your written findings to peer-reviewed journals and don’t give up until published.
Although simplified, this is what REAL scientists do when they are interested in looking further into a topic. For many it’s their life’s work. I applaud you for attempting to critically pick apart the life’s work of brilliant scientists with your English degree and Google, but you failed miserably, and the fact that anyone takes you seriously has me shaking my head.
One doesn’t have to be a researcher to find flaws in someone analysis of data.
Here’s some interesting discussion about the book on a site dedicated to promoting rigorous science. Personally I found the critics much more convincing than the defenders, but people can decide for themselves.
I was almost killed by 811 diet, I also wrote my story on my blog if ou want to check out to find category vegan to paleo http://www.jolitabrilliant.com
If you read nutrition 7 hours a day but aren’t a student, then I’m assuming that it’s a hobby. What do you do for work? How do you support yourself?
it’s the new generation of “internet autodidacts”, and i have more respect for that than an old dogma view based on something a 60 year old “professor” learned in a 40 year old book…. a while ago i was having a meeting with my psyciatrist, and i mentioned something about serotonin and depression, and he stopped me and almost upset asked “how do you know about serotonin?”, like he is the expect in the room, with an education and he asumed that it’s ONLY possible to know things, if it’s learned in a classroom, and almost “kept secret” for the outside world.. only professors and their students are able to obtain informations, from a book, and only when read out loud by a professor (if you find the book in the library it’s almost like google and “doesn’t count”.. it HAS to be learned in a classroom)
..anyway, whenever someone tries to be a snob about “classroom knowledge” vs “google/library knowledge” i just see it as a desperate atempt at dismissing someones argument or conclusion about something… if Minger had some outdated “nutrition science” education, then they would just find some other excuse ..it’s basicly because she is debunking old professors that others blindly trust, because of emperors new clothes called “PhD” and “Doctor” in front of their names..
Denise- I just discovered your blog today, and am really enjoying it! You have such an absorbing writing style! I am obsessive about nutrition myself (i.e. reading your blog on Saturday night) and was really impressed by the research you put into your articles. I’ve been on a year long knowledge quest since deciding that chronic migraine can’t be normal despite what my doctors have said, currently practicing a low-histamine/ GAPS/ PALEO hybrid with a giant concentration on whole fresh veggies. Just wanted to let you know I’m really enjoying your articles– happy to be a new subscriber 🙂
Ello lady spewed from her mothers uterus. Lol had to, when i read the way you were evicted from her pregnant stomache, it was like an underlying tone set in which to read the rest of this. Anywayys im the underachiever college back of the class “insightful” guy with very little ambition and very huge desire to expand my knowledge and wisdom. Lol maybe im your evil twin. Anyway im thinking maybe going into the raw foods thing, apparently chips drenched in cheese is bad for you.?…so Hmm. things make ya go hmm… and then I stumbled onto your site. Your born like one year before me and really smart and really levelheaded. I for some reason got the urge to write. So yea. Read thru that page and forgot what I was here for. youve inspired me to go raw. Or atleast semi-veggie person, so im gonna jump on the diet page and see whats in store for me. O and your so gorgeuos too, I didnt know what to expect and the BAM. You guys look so happy together. So yea thanks and cool site very informative and refreshingly nice and helpful
Love your blog. Love your smarts! What the hell is wrong with a little olive oil? Jeez. Dr. Esselstyn must be no fun at a dinner party. I’ll never be raw or vegan or fully paleo, but I have been drastically cutting wheat and cutting back even more on processed while still avoiding junk. Life is too short to spend all your time limiting what you eat and drink.
Checking back to see if there are any news about your book.
Waiting here patiently, your supporter and reader!
Book is out. You can order it from Primal Footprint Publishing, Amazon or Barnes and Noble
How long were you raw before your eyes changed color? Were you fully raw? If not what percentage? Just curious. Just found your blog. I like it. Thank you for sharing your personal experiences, knowledge, and for helping others. 🙂
Have you ever looked into, and had an opinion about, Calorie Restriction with Optimal Nutrition (CRON) as described on this website: http://www.crsociety.org/ It also does not specify any particular diet, such as low carb, Atkins, etc. Seems to have quite a bit of science behind it.
You really are an excellent writer–especially for a youngster! And to receive the MDA imprimatur probably imparts more credibility than a silly academic credential. Happy birthday, by the way.
Denise, I am reading Wheat Belly and found your comments on the China Study and decided to check out your blog. I just started reading today (oh, and Happy Birthday!) and I am amazed! I read Nourishing Traditions (and have it on my bookshelf, well used!) better than 10 years ago now. Sally speaks of the Diet Dictocrats and I see that they are still hard at work! Thank you for your blog and your insatiable need for data, and, that you are putting that analysis out there in the Universe for all to learn from! I can’t wait to get your book!
Thank you for being a true original thinker–we need more of you. Cara
The eye color is interesting. When I was very young I had hazel eye color. The brown color came from about age 18 to 22, Then I have been eating a Ketogenic diet combined with a 40 hour modified fast and 8 hour eating window. (87% Fat 8% Protein 5% carbohydrates) for years. My eye color is now hazel to green. (Hum) My lipid profile, IGF-1, glucose etcetera is great. My fat is both animal (Cream abd butter) and vegetable (Olives, avocadoes,nuts, and coconut oil)
Particularly useful look frontward to visiting again.
Denise, I understand this is a blog about food, mostly; but I look at your glowing youthful face and I wonder what you use cosmetics/body care-wise. I have been doing some research on bodycare products and my gosh, the plethora of products!! It is mind numbing. My optometrist told me that she uses nothing – she just washes her face in the morning with the same Dove soap that she uses for her body. Puts on SPF and that is it. And her face is absolutely glowing!! Been thinking of trying it. Looks like it delivers better results than my $100+ Dr. Hauschka stuff. Anyway, would LOVE to get your opinion on all these brands and would LOVE to know what you use. Can’t wait for your book!
hey denise, just wanted to say how did your eye color change? my eyes have always been dark brown and but i want to get more hazel coloured eyes. any tips? reply pleeeeease! thanks
Would you take medical advice from someone who has read a lot about medicine, but has not only never sucessfully treated another patient, but has no accrediting agency making sure their practices aren’t dangerous? What is this girl, 25? How much experience in sucessfully treating people with nutrition can she possibly have?
Research it yourself, friend, and you’ll see that she’s right. The medical system’s broken anyway, and for all the (pharmaceutical) “training” they have, I seriously don’t trust them . . . Personally, I’ll go with what this 20-something year old girl says . . . certainly concerning nutrition, anyway.
No doubt, our healthcare system has its problems, but lol good luck with that. From what I’ve seen on this site, the studies she uses as evidence for her own conclusions are just as weak as the studies she picks apart. This leads me to believe that she doesn’t have a firm grasp on what a study says, and what it doesn’t say compared other studies of a similar topic. While I applaud her attempt to take on studies with academic rigor, she lacks in knowledge and practice in Nutrition, and uses the information to push her own agenda.
BCMSRD, would you mind pointing to some specific examples where Denise’s data, studies, or logic are flawed?
I think a better question would be for you to tell me how they aren’t flawed. I don’t think most people can tell the flaws and/or biases of a study.
To clarify my question: You said Denise uses “weak” studies for evidence, I’m curious which ones you mean, and how do you see them as weak?
What a cop out . . .
Look, I have nothing to prove to any of you and owe you nothing. I sucessfully treat patients daily with nutrition, I know the literature, and I’m confident in my Interpretation of the literature. If you can’t see the glaring flaws in her interpretation, maybe you need to educate yourself. It’s not my job to teach a bunch of lay people on the Internet.
So you’re a troll then? And possibly ‘not’ a health practitioner/nutritionist/dietician etc?
Just SAY what you believe so we know where you’re coming from It’s r-e-a-l-l-y easy. Try it…
Do you think meat is bad/fav? Saturated fat leads to heart disease or happiness? Veganism rocks/sucks? raw is good/steaming is better? STICK YOUR BLOODY NECK OUT!
To REQUIRE someone to have specific qualifications in order to write on a subject is both undergraduate and irrational. It points to a profound misunderstanding, not only of the world of science, but the worlds of journalism, health and nutrition also.
I don’t need a politics degree nor a science degree to comment with legitimacy on the Iranian nuclear programme. Nor do I need to be a doctor (like my dim-witted, ill-informed, generalist GP) to speak legitimately about diet and exercise.
The best science publications aren’t written by scientists (okay, there are SOME scientists who write), they’re written by journalists and researchers with a passion for the subject and an ability to filter the wheat (blech) from the chaff (double blech) and don’t just make stuff up (unlike many nutritionists) they base their pieces on the work of countless professionals.
The content of this blog rings true with the work of incredibly experienced ‘qualified’ professionals. Dr. Lauren Cordaine, Mark Sisson, Robb Wolf, Chris Kresser, and the Weston A. Price Foundation et al would – while perhaps not agreeing with ‘everything’ here – would all laud Denise for her passion, attention to good science AND MOST IMPORTANTLY, her ‘scientist-like flexibility’. By that I mean her willingness to change her position when better evidence comes along. This is the primary difference between faith and science.
By the way I hope you’re not a nutritionist – a field widely known to be the least scientific (and least flexible) of ALL health-related disciplines.
Here’s a great article for everyone to read on the bus home:
Trolls, sheep and nay-sayers. I’ll eat ’em all (as long as they’re grass-fed).
What makes me a troll? And what do my beliefs have to do with the legitimacy of this blog? I am a dietitian who provides medical nutrition therapy to patients with diabetes, hypertension, and end-stage renal disease on dialysis, many of which also have disease-states like cancer. Of course, I’m sure that doesn’t mean much to you since it’s a profession that you don’t understand or respect.
The very questions you ask are flawed and reveal your misunderstanding and lack of experience with nutrition. Furthermore, creating faulty good/bad dichotomies shows the very nature of the people that come to this site. Nothing is inherently good/bad for everyone. But I will humor you by addressing a few of your points so that you can see how far out of your league you are.
Do I think meat is bad? Bad for who? Depending on their disease-state some people need more, some need less. Veganism rocks/sucks? lol! Some people thrive on a vegan diet, some people thrive on a omnivorous diet. Depends on the person. If someone’s health declines on a Vegan diet, it obviously isn’t for them. Can certain people thrive on it? Sure, depending on their situation, where they live, ability to cook, disease-state etc. Is an omnivorous diet inherently more healthy? Obviously, looking at the health of our country, there are a few people doing omnivorism wrong and might benefit from a more plant-based diet. But it is not recommended for everyone. I wouldn’t recommend it for my patients, because most sources of HBV protein come from meat, and plant protein sources are generally high in potassium & phosphorus which is bad for dialysis patients.
If a person doesn’t need to practice, doesn’t need credentials, experience or education to speak on a topic, what’s your standard for what information you’ll read and what you won’t? I’m not saying that authors who have these things are the final word, but it does set a standard that they at least have some of background that has been challenged and scrutinized in their field by other experts. The author of this blog doesn’t have any of that. All this does is use biased information to support her own pre-determined conclusions, much like you are doing. So what does she have? Fighting bad science with more bad science, and a possible eye color change that she cannot prove.
And for that matter, why is eye color change a sign of something inherently positive happening with your health? Would you think that people’s eye color changed because of Fuch’s heterochromic iridocyclitis be a positive thing? How about pigmentary glaucoma, or Horner’s syndrome? If we want to examine health with scientific rigor, how about we ask more questions, rather than spoon feeding people more answers?
You’re out of your league here kid. You can site all the biased research you want, but when you don’t have any sort of education, experience beyond yourself, or credentials awarded by somebody that requires strict scrutiny with standards beyond your own, your opinion is no better anyone else’s. Again, not that people who do have these things are always right, but it at least opens the door for proper criticism.
You might as well reject Michael Faraday and his crazy ideas about field lines going around a line of current.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we have a lot of highly credentialed idiots running the show in numerous sectors of society. As such, I can appreciate the efforts of an amateur who does it for no other reason than she loves it.
Oops, I don’t think she qualifies as that my friend. She has a published book out now, so she has financial motivation to support this blog. I’m not saying that being credentialed automatically makes more knowledgable, but at least you would have some practice behind you beyond yourself, and not benefitting solely on theory-based conclusions.
So if you’re acknowledging that Michael Faraday was a great, why are you rejecting her with the same arguments the elites used to reject Michael Faraday during his time? Saying that she would benefit from doing her own research is a fair point. On the other hand, knowledge of calculus would have been beneficial for Michael Faraday in his line of work. That doesn’t mean he deserved snide comments like “You’re out of your league here kid”. The ideal scientist, rather than sneering, would be thrilled to see regular people trying to look at the actual research and the raw data and ferret out the truth.
Besides, whatever weaknesses she may have, she has one giant strength sorely missing among too many scientists- the ability to overcome confirmation bias. I don’t know if she’s read Richard Feynman’s great talk about cargo-cult science, but she has certainly embraced its meaning more than most. I would take her over, say, an Ivy League science professor who nearly faints upon hearing an idea that offends her narrow and fragile sensibilities.
I’m not sure what you’re talking about when you say “theory-based conclusions”. Are theories supposed to be bad now? A theory is a model of some phenomenon based on observation. As long as her theories are based on empirical evidence found in published studies and not nutrition textbooks or diet books, I don’t see what your criticism is.
Lastly, it’s worth pointing out that she’s been doing this for years before even the prospect of receiving a penny for it simply because she loves it. That’s the very definition of amateur. That she’s now moving onto professional does not change what drives her.
I don’t know enough about Michael Faraday to call him a great, and never said he was one. But at least he conducted his own research and made his own conclusions and discoveries, which is different than one’s only body of work being analyses of others. Because she is not trained in the sciences, she doesn’t know how to conduct a study, or even put together a grant to design one in the first place. All she managed to do is get a publisher’s attention who found her blog compelling enough to make some money off as a book, but somehow her “research” can’t and won’t be found in a publication under scientific and academic scrutiny.
I think though that scientists would be more thrilled with regular people ferreting out more questions, because really, what is “truth”? It is “truth” until it becomes disproven, which in the sciences often happens. So I would be careful in discerning any of her conclusions as “truth”.
Funny you mention confirmation bias, because that is actually my biggest beef with her writings. It’s all riddled with confirmation bias!
It sounds to me that her appeal to her readers is that she is putting ideas out there that challenge what is popular. But from the research that I read, there are hundreds of different ideas out there challenging what is popular. Some are crazy, some sound good on paper, but have no strong evidence supporting it. But for those that aren’t up to date on the literature, all she is, is a voice putting an idea that goes against the grain in a marketable way. Sure there is literature published all the time that also goes against the grain, but maybe it’s not quite as marketable. So novices use her blog, and now her book as a medium to feel like their sticking it to the status quo, and all those boring researchers out there feeding us the same old knowledge and recommendations are nervously wringing their hands that someone is challenging them, and they are going to run and hide. Please.
I’m not sure how much experience you have with research, but I think you’d be surprised how much of her conclusions are not empirically based.
Furthermore, there are plenty of bad published studies out there. Diet books and text books use “published” studies to back up their conclusions all the time. But do you know the different types of bias that make one study better than another? Do you know whether one study design provides stronger data than another? Would you know what a theoretical model of a study says and what it doesn’t? Because this author doesn’t explain any of these things which are vital to understanding research if you are going to say “this research is good” and “this research is bad”. The fact that she doesn’t, makes her book and her blog no better than any of the other “diet” books out there that you are saying suffer from confirmation bias.
Lastly, if she wants to continue to receive subsidies and write another book, she will write what her publisher wants her to write. And I’d say most bloggers have aspirations to be “discovered” so that they can move on to better paying things. So just because she is an amateur that has been doing this for years, doesn’t categorically make her an authority, or more valid.
Usually when someone says “Person A is no Person B”, the implication is the Person B is great in some way. Since you seem unsure, rest assured that Michael Faraday is a great. You don’t get one of Maxwell’s equations and the unit for capacitance named after you if you’re not a great. Of course, the snobs of the day didn’t recognize it and blew him off.
“It is ‘truth’ until it becomes disproven, which in the sciences often happens. So I would be careful in discerning any of her conclusions as ‘truth’.”
You’re talking about perceived truth. I’m talking about actual truth- that which does not depend on our perceptions of it. Besides, if the changing winds of science are reason to be doubtful of any of her conclusions, why should anyone be any more confident in your conclusions?
Of course she has confirmation bias. We all have it. We get a model of how things work in our head and we tend to hold onto it. I cited her ability to overcome it and become disillusioned with everything she thought she knew. That’s what we need more of.
As for all your questions about my understanding of research, why direct them at me? Why not direct them at the peer reviewers who give this apparently shoddy research the green light for publication? Shouldn’t their credentials and training qualify them to see through the bias and poor designs to reject the studies?
Have you ever wondered why someone like her would resonate with people? Perhaps you’ve noticed that your field has a bit of a PR problem. For instance, we hear for decades that we all need to cut down our sodium intake and now the CDC acknowledges that lowering sodium intake actually doesn’t help and may even hurt people. With something as basic as sodium, the experts are dishing out harmful advice for decades. Do you understand how bad stuff like this makes your field look? Then, of course, there’s the constant stream of crap like this in the media coming from credentialed experts: http://parade.condenast.com/122528/paradeeditors/12-whats-healthier-breakfast/ . It’s all enough to make people throw up their hands and say “screw it” or in Denise’s case, just look at the research herself.
So if you’re wondering why your arrogant elitism doesn’t resonate more, that’s why. My suggestion is to embrace people like Denise and use your experience and expertise to help guide her in the right direction, not try to tear her down for being a lowly autodidact.
Of course not, no pressure. But if you ever are inclined to constructively share one or two of those glaring flaws, weak studies, etc. it would be of value to many here to help us learn more and think better on this complex stuff.
Hi Denise! I saw your wonderful website and wanted to get in touch with you…we’re getting in touch with various individuals and organisations in the ‘healthy living’ industry and forming mutually beneficial partnerships to help one another grow 🙂
My name is Sanya from Froothie (www.froothie.co.uk ; http://www.froothie.com.au), one of the fastest growing brands for healthy living, with over 50,000 Facebook followers and growing (www.facebook.com/froothie), and the exclusive distributor of the incredibly successful Optimum blenders (www.optimumblender.com)
I’d like to speak with someone about the possibility of working together in promoting both of our brands or businesses. For example, we will be able to provide you with our product and promote your business on our website and Facebook page (over 50,000 followers), and you could promote us on your site, possibly in reviews and/or YouTube videos. You could also consider selling the Optimum blenders; the company has grown 600% in the past 12 months, and we have a long way to go with warehouses already located in various locations around the world.
Our growth is driven by the new Optimum blenders, currently Australia/New Zealand’s best-selling blender and the fastest growing brand, having expanded into Europe, Asia and soon North America with immense success. Optimum is a 100% Australian Family-Owned company, focusing on quality, working with the world’s most reputable and respected manufacturers to create a truly unique appliance.
Froothie’s goal is simple: Helping people lead a healthier life. We share our knowledge and information for healthy living through workshops, YouTube videos, our new blog and various media outlets. We have recently appeared or been quoted on a range of well-known international media outlets, as well as various blogs and magazines. Having sold many blenders in the past, including Vitamix and Blendtec, we now solely distribute Optimum.
Please send me an email at email@example.com or call us if you wish to discuss this further with either myself or Zane.
Warm regards 🙂
Blenders are not the path to health. Chewing food is far better. And more fun 😉
I have been vegan for 12 years and have been very interested in going raw. Love all the info 🙂 thanks! Oh and I was wondering if you have any before and after pics of your eye color change?
Thank you for your intellectual efforts to help folks better understand food; I could literally write a couple thousand words of compliments about the way you analyze, consider, summarize, refute, and respond.. all so well done! But, that’s been done by your many other fans. I’m a grandma whose daughters are just a bit older than you. I truly am in deep admiration for how you have helped them and me with the information on this site. I look forward to your book and hope to meet you in Portland this coming weekend at the Regional Weston Price gathering. Again, in deep appreciation … claudia ayers
Deeply inspiring. Thank you so much for sharing your story
Could you help me with this? I would like to know if it’s true that some people can experience a change in their eye color by eating raw. I suspect it’s a myth since I’ve not found evidence from people which claim to experience that. The few pictures posted on the internet like “evidence” show hazel eyes. They claim they were dark brown without a video or photo showing how they their eyes look before. Could you post a photograph showing how your eyes look before? Did you have hazel eyes as a kid?
I’m 17 i want to get into raw food and what not, and if my eye color changes , will it be permanent i mean i know at some point i would like to eat something not raw , will that effect the eye color change, lets say i ate raw all week and on Saturday i ate a slice of pizza will the color change back over night? I have amber eyes, i don’t know if they will change or not, but is it permanent if maintained at a certain level? if anyone can answer this please do so thanks.
I also found some usefulness from The China Study. I criticize it and it magically keeps close minded people off my blog and FB page. Methinks I will like reading some of your stuff.
Hi Denise; I just found you and have looked at some of your YouTube videos at various conferences where you have spoken. I love your blog and the “sanity” of where you are coming from. I think your biggest asset is helping all of us think for ourselves. Over the past several years, it has been so very frustrating to hear all of the “experts” and “professionals” fall over themselves in drastic contradictions. Thank you for your encouragement to think critically. I have your new book on order and look forward to reading it this week.
Keep up the good work young lady.
Denise, I’ve been following your stuff for a while. I have been everything from vegetarian to mostly vegan to weston price to paleo (GAPS diet in specific), and I don’t know what the heck is right. I feel sorta good sorta bad on all of them. Anyway, I have read my guts out on these issues – thousands of hours reading each side carefully. But my main question is: what is your blood type? Just curious. Thanks.
Re: “what is your blood type?”
Erin–I don’t believe the blood type diet has any validity to it…see
http://donmatesz.blogspot.com/2010/12/blood-type-diet-primal-perspective.html for a good discussion of why…
That said, people obviously do differ somewhat in terms of what kind of diet they feel best on and their responses as measured objectively by blood tests. While Denise touches on this in her book, other sources of info include Chris Kresser’s new book http://www.amazon.com/Your-Personal-Paleo-Code-Reverse/dp/031632289X and genetic testing such as https://www.23andme.com (when/if it becomes fully operational again [Bad FDA! Bad! Bad!])…
Of course, not all health problems can be solved by improving ones’ diet. If you don’t feel healthy no matter what you eat, perhaps you should consider looking elsewhere for solutions…
Hi i was wondering how long did it take your eyecolor to change while being fully raw?
I think anyone on denise’s blog would have to agree that an article or 2 or 3 or books, even, on a subject with arguments that seem reasonable doesn’t mean they are correct. I read the link, but it left me less than satisfied, to say the least. Not that I’m a die hard blood type diet girl… actually I don’t dollow it at all… but I do think the more info the better in most situations. I love denise and her writing style, but frankly it would be of a little more use knowing her blood type than her elementary school. It’s not like I’m asking her for her social security number.
Well, she is a writer first, not a scientist, doctor or dietitian. So it’s her instinct to spend most of her energy drawing in the reader to her story and only a little bit on research. The product you get is a “research” paper covered in pretty pink bows and the Sunday comics. So while her personal story is not what you asked for in a research article about nutrition, you get it anyway because “like, research is boring, tell me more about how your eye color changed, and your childhood story in a cute and whitty way?”
awesome blog! very very useful!
how long did it take for your eyes to change color?
I love your humour (that was not a spelling mistake….I’m Canadian). You seem to grasp stats, confounders, regression analysis etc. and your BS detector is right on. I just have to get your book. I came to your blog to get another perspective on Wheat Belly (William Davis). Your analysis of the China Study is really quite well done.
If you are as good at teaching as you are at writing, why not get a graduate degree, do some research and get published in the peer-reviewed literature?The nutrition field needs critical minds like yours. Keep up the good work.
Dr. Hardy Limeback, BSc, PhD, DDS
Professor Emeritus, University of Toronto, Faculty of Dentistry
I have just now discovered your blog and I am fascinated. Can you please tell me how long did it take for your eyes to change color . I want this change to happen in my eyes. If you want , I can send you photos of my eyes in order to tell me if it is possible to happen this change if I folllow a raw diet. Thanks in advance and have a nice day!
Oops, I don’t think she qualifies as that my friend. She has a published book out now, so she has financial motivation to support this blog. I’m not saying that being credentialed automatically makes more knowledgable, but at least you would have some practice behind you beyond yourself, and not benefitting solely on theory-based conclusions.
Hi Denise: I am very suspicious of your views about nutrition, especially since you are only an English major college graduate, and not a nutrition scientist, or any kind of doctor or biologist. How can you possibly have a *valid* opinion about a hugely complex field of study such as nutrition? It would be exactly like your having an opinion about how to correctly perform brain surgery. I don’t care how much you’ve studied the subject as an amateur. Without a solid basis in the sciences of anatomy, biology or nutrition – I cannot take seriously any opinion you have on these subjects, because they are not your areas of expertise.
That said, here are a few questions for you: How do you make money to live? What are your sources of income? Do you receive any monies from individuals, groups or industries that would benefit from any doubt cast on the findings of “The China Study,” or about its author? I need to know this in order to evaluate whether there are any problems with conflicts of interest. I hope you don’t claim this information as private, because you are not a private personality, at least with regard to your public views on nutrition.
Oh, and just FYI: I noticed that your articles are no longer available at the Weston A. Price Foundation website. I also noticed that in July of 2013, the WAPF used to list as some of its income sources: cattle, dairy, beef, etc. associations, but has since “cleaned-up” their website to no longer list these, and now euphemistically refers to them as “farmers.”
You have a great blog, and, personally, I really like one common thing on your posts (and very uncommon on the web, as well as in “real life”):
You always try to be objective about the themes which you writing; and furthermore, you study a lot before you started a critical.
I don´t think that because you have not a nutrition degree or something like that, your opinions worth less than if you had one. I am pretty sure who you make a great work on each of your posts.
In fact, I am a scientist, and I am fully conscious that, in science, not exist the “absolute truth”, but, anyway, many times is not necessary to be a scientist for learn and understand some things, as you said yourself some time.
BTW, many of your posts are very, very long, but I think this is good, because you explain in the best posible way who you could, and this improve a lot your work, for sure it is not perfect, but because of it, everyone can judge better your text and learn more.
Thanks for sharing your knowledge with everyone.
And to think, I thought only I was full of loquacious, schizophrenic ramblings about everything and nothing all at once set out in overly long run-on sentences and absent punctuation or signs of an end but containing great meaning and purpose. (Wait, there it is!) Glad your blog is seeing more-frequent updates (or less-frequent sabbaticals?). Your thoroughness and neurotic perfectionism in such a nebulous and untrustworthy area (diet/health/nutrition) is appreciated!
Looking forward to reading the book!
I can’t believe I found you. This blog is what I have been looking for without realizing I’ve been looking for it. I’m about to turn 50 and I wish my passion for the truth about nutrition had hit me when I was your age but I was busy graduating college, taking a job I didn’t want to make my dad happy (which did ultimately lead me to my husband so I guess that whole “everything happens for a reason” thing applies here), geting married, having babies and I’ve spent the last 21 years raising them. It’s been my greatest joy and has been my biggest motivation behind my interest in nutrition. My idea of Health (with a capital H) has been ever evoloving. Your views and ideas in your “About” section speak to me and I can’t wait to explore your blog. Thanks for sharing your passion.
Stacy I’m 59 and feel the same way you do!
Your eyes are raw beauty! 😡
Ok, so if we can assume the raw data in the China study is correct, what then have you been able to conclude after going through it all?
You have a great blog! I am so impressed! I am not vegan or anything, just very interested in nutrition. I have my bachelors degree in it. But now stay at home with my four children, try to stay sane, while figuring out how to get the kids to eat more plants!
I just started reading The China Study. I was skeptical about the shocking results of their rat studies (I usually am skeptical of shocking results). Found your review of the Forks Over Knives documentary… Thank you so much! It was so informative, well-written, and very well researched! There is so much balony about nutrition out there. It was refreshing to find you!
I think you’re awesome 😌
I was just wondering how long did it take for your eyes to change color and do you think that your eye color change is contributed from your parents?
Just found your blog , i love this its like reading a novel but you get so much information out of it , any thoughts of starting a youtube channel ? We’ll be interested in watching . Q- what is glutathione and where does it come from ? And is an increase in it good or bad ? I’m trying to go raw but its hard waking up every day craving cooked food , what should i do ?
I really love the way you look at things. Ure recent talk at AHS2014 was very inspiring. BTW, I’m a diabetic who controls blood sugar quite successfully thru a ketogenic diet… but have since got interested in the raw food vegan style due to the claims that t2diabetes can be totally cured. Your AHS2014 talk made me even more interested to pursue this area. It also helped me dispel some of the cognitive dissonance that I myself have about holding on to things that I myself am not sure is true 😀 Plz keep up ure good work. Looking forward to reading more of your work…
Since I was a little black was the color of the eyes and when I grew up to become a light brown color I want to know the way that has changed the color of the eyes, Christine and Steve Is it possible?
Steinbeck was tossed out of Stanford because he wouldn’t declare a major–he wanted to study what he was interested in and nothing else. Ken Richardson probably comes closest to being an advocate for that kind of education.
Thomas Harris, author of The Silence of the Lambs, told me in a letter once that “If you’re smart enough for an education to do you any good at all, you’re probably smart enough to get one on your own.” He was responding to my question of whether I needed to major in English in order to be a writer. ‘Nuff said.
I love your style, laughed uproariously at the death of the low-protein monkeys (not because I think monkey death is funny, but because it would suck to be a scientist trying to study cancer and your test subjects don’t live long enough to get it… ) and am blown away that you’re so young and so articulate. Happily.
I found your blog looking to debunk ‘Forks Over Knives’ because I’m writing an essay for a university class on the environment. I have a feeling my prof is a relative of your man-hater and that I’ll likely crash and burn in this class because I don’t embrace the dire consequences of continued fossil fuel use. I tend to see the Earth and our relationship to it in a much more holistic way. Like nutrition (I’ve learned), there is no one answer to any single (potential) problem and no predicting the outcome of any single or chain of changes.
Thanks for sharing!
I apologize for thinking you were Chuck Klosterman .. 😘 you are a brilliant word former into image creation. Love you much! only found you TODAY!
Made it half way thru your forks over knives scrutiny.. much to learn there and appreciate it .. clears up a lot .. loved the movie but unhappy about the misinformation. . Hoping it is merely that they know that people often only respond to “an all or nothing selling approach” .. . Anyway. Glad for you and your pristine mind. .for your ability to articulate and navigate thru a world of haters.. lol! I was warned to not bother to read the threads of people who wanna combat you .. so. I will look forward to more of your words and kindness. And not delve into the depths of the viewing elite .. artist vs critic of artist.
This one is not me..
You rock and roll. Both !
Your blog is a piece of “Super Highly Interesting Tales”.
I devote to reading your “full of sense” replies to Dr Campbell’s China Study about 2 days and will never be back.
I regret there are many dummies in the world who follow your “science”, though as Dr Cambell said in his lifetime project – only 1% can digest info and change his life to the better.
Good luck in your “invaluable” work.
Hello! I came across your site as you talk about general tooth help and it’s given me much hope it almost brings me to tears! I’m a vegan not raw but you could say almost, only things I eat cooked are veggies and sweet potatoes. I recently bought a vitamin supplement and a trace mineral bottle , hoping to restore back my enamels, I’m determined to do what it takes, so if you can please shed some light I will be immensely thankful! 🙂 I’m full ears on what you recommend and have to say about remineralizing my enamels or anything I can do! Thank you so much and hope to hear back from you!
I am a health researcher which also includes raw food, superfoods, and all it ian’s type diet.
My thinking is that any person who is dealing with heart and cardiovascular disease, cancer, arthritis, diabetes and many other ailments, then the Forks Over Knives plant based diet would be the best way to go.
Those that are not in such a diseased state can probably do well to eat both raw and cooked food while even those who eat non toxically or organically raised chicken and fish once in a while.
I find vegan’s, both raw and cooked eaters, are not as educated to complementary proteins.
I do not see the health benefits of any dairy products which forks over knives Dr Campbell agrees with.
Cows milk is for cows and has many detrimental effects on humans including the acid ph problem and calcium robbing effects.
The problem as a whole is that only 11% of Americans eat even the MINIMUM daily requirement of vegetables. That leaves 89% of Americans not even eating the minimum requirement of plants in their diet.
Linus Pauling stated a mineral deficiency is the cause of all disease. That makes sense on both a diet perspective as well as a body chemistry perspective. Minerals are involved in every process in our body including the detoxification as well as ph balancing.
Minerals are deficient in our plants and Americans eat few vegetables and fruits so it stands to reason that our sick soils, yield plants which yield sick animals and people.
Any way all people would do well to add more vegetables and low glycemic fruit in our body’s
Refreshing to see such a young woman delve into this. I love that you are willing and obviously very capable to tackle and challenge the authorities with all the letters behind their names from a laypersons perspective.
35 years educating in the health field has shown me that laypeople present some of the best research, as they are not usually tied into some dogma or funding that biases them.
You have a thinking brain, that is capable of looking outside the box! And the medical box we have built for ourselves really requires that at this time in our evolution!
Please take a look at my blog: http://www.NaturalPathRemedies.com/blog
My book, the Paw Paw Program – A “Christopher Columbus” Approach to Cancer, also looks outside the box. Your thoughts on diet seem to be very similar to mine, and I cover this extensively in my book.
I just stumbled upon your blog this evening. I think you are sensational
Diet and SNP discussion. I contacted you on your other site. Sept 16-17 San Diego.
I have no problem with your educational background, anyone can learn… agreed. My problem is with your experience. At 26 or 27 you haven’t lived long enough to know what good nutrition is, you’re like the great line from Good Will Hunting, “anything I can learn from you I can get from a book”.
You chocked on a chicken bone at seven and became a vegan, is that the story? So now you have a new diet? How do you know it works? Because you read it somewhere? And what about all those years you lived with the ‘wrong’ diet, what where you telling people then? How good your diet was? Because you lived with it for quite awhile, didn’t you?
I’m 70 and very healthy, I know my diet works, I take no drugs have a cholesterol of 125 and eat a balanced, mostly organic, diet with very little dairy and no meat. Is it right for everyone? Nope, it’s right for me because I’ve learned over the last 50 years what works for me and that takes time. So my objection with you is time, you don’t know if what you’re doing and prescribing works, you only know what someone told you. I’m sure before you adopted your present diet you were telling everyone about the benefits of of your last diet. Come back in 40 or 50 years healthy and drug free and then maybe what you have to say will have credible value.
What people have to learn is that diet is specific to the individual. Some should eat meat and some shouldn’t ever.
The other thing people have to learn is that health is comprised of physical, nutritional and spiritual. You must eat well, exercise moderately and have inner spiritual balance. Omit one and you’re not healthy no matter what concoction you ingest. It’s a three legged stool, miss one and the stool collapses.
But you haven’t lived long enough to know that.
Have a good life and come back when you have experienced all life has to offer and then tell people what you’ve found because I guarantee it won’t be what you’re telling people now.
Thanks for your comment! “What people have to learn is that diet is specific to the individual” — if you poke around this blog a bit longer, you’ll see that’s exactly my philosophy and message as well. I don’t personally eat dairy or red meat, and work individually with people to help discover what works best for their body. 🙂
I found you site by actually looking for comments of any kind on The China Study. I’m a 70 yr old man with all the results of bad eating and things cause. MEAT eater, trying to change some old bad habits. Most of my life I mainly ate BEEF! Being a slow reader all my life and add to it eye sight that is not as good as it used to be, It takes me a while to read this book. With a handicapped son, a functional, disabled wife , and a 90 yr old mother-in-law, time is percious. My enjoyment is tutoring school children at a couple locations of The Gateway Bible School systems.
If I were to envy someone, it would be someone that can read fast , absorb all they read, and want to know EVERYTHING! A long,long time ago it was so obvious that real learning and education was two almost opposing things.
I always like to see the face of people I’m talking to, Live, if at all possoble. Forgive me, but I am an old male chovenist pig. Your site does NOT look read like it comes from the gbood looking , bright eyed young lady in the picture. I’am sorry. I’m OLD! This seems to be what I was looking for, though I’m not likely to be able to read everything. It has already been very inlightening. Knowledge and wisdom are precious. ,Most of us have a hard time finding out what we have found.
Thank you, and forgive me,
Thomas E. Allen
P.S. I also can’t spell, type, or properly deal while this modern electronic age.
Denise Minger has an undergraduate degree in English, and she is telling people what to eat. Really? How about some expertise in Nutrition and health. Oh, and no studies on this site to support anything she claims. Who needs medical or scientific studies, when you have an English degree?
This young lady is worse than a quack. She actually charges people money, to “teach” them healthy eating. What a fraud! Oh, but I am forgetting, she compares herself to Steve Jobs and Bill Gates . Wow! This a very dangerous person with a HUGE EGO.
She should be ashamed to charge people money. I am going to report this site to the government for defrauding the public, and putting everyone health at risk.
Go back to school, and get a Masters Degree in English, and write Fantasy novels. And stop endangering everyones health. What a bloated ego!
I like your feisty spirit! You think your own thoughts – not the thoughts you’re supposed to think. People like you are rare. Excited to explore your blog. I have a huge amount of respect for self-educated people. That tells me they really care about their message. Paula Begoun – the cosmetics cop, is self-educated with no degree. She does a great job explaining the ingredients in cosmetics, their use and whether she recommends them (She’s no organic hippie type though). I’ve found her advice extremely helpful and I am sure I will find your insights highly useful. Keep it up!
Great blog! Your blog has made you a famous person. Thanks for sharing great information here.
Thank you SO MUCH for your breakdown of Forks Over Knives!
I could see the red flags (especially reading their site and their book, which leaves less room for vagueness) but didn’t have the foundation to understand the science and arguments, in either direction! I deeply appreciate you using your powers for good 😉 and making this accessible to me, so that I can do the same for others. I’m quasi-vegan myself, but I’d rather know what’s tried and true and help others reach the best diet for themselves based on what’s true and/or what makes them feel awesome. Not because of bias and fear tactics.
I look forward to exploring the rest of your blog!
You are one of my favorite people to follow in this sphere. A “thought leader” as they say. Though I hate terms like that, it’s apt.
What’s keeping you away from your site? I’ve gleaned so much great information from your work.
Whatcha doin’, girlfriend?
A collaboration with Sisson?
Give us just a little hint.
OK, enough. I’m sure you have a very full life beyond this place. Know that you are missed.
Just sent you some $ for sashimi.
While it is true that we could learn everything that someone with a degree has on our own, the reason that we have degree and credentialing programs is to assure a well-rounded and thorough education. Something that many are too quick to neglect. While I am new to your site, I find that most people who gloss over the importance of having a degree, or who think they “know better” than those with a degree, are often, well, wrong!
Denise, Just discovered your blog after watching Fork Over Knife and Googling for criticism. It became obvious to me that the film makers went beyond science in their zeal to condemn all animal food sources. It’s a pity, really, because there is sound science to support the many health benefits of eating whole plant foods. But I highly doubt eliminating animals from our food supply will prevent–even cure–cancer, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Converting everyone to the vegan diet won’t end malnutrition and hunger or stop climate change. Their effort would have been better spent explaining the health effects of processed foods of both plant and animal origin. We need to know more about the health effects of pesticides, herbicides, antibiotics, hormones and other contaminants. You fact-checked the hell out of the film and levied an impressive attack on some of its most outrageous claims. Thank you for sharing your research and analysis.
My daughter has very rare leukemia and PCOS. We are new to this and know it can help her health. Can you point us in a few directions to learn what to eat and not eat. It’s so confusing. Watched fork over knives and then read your critique. More confused. Thanks! Appreciate it.
So much data and so much interpretation of that data that I get confused. But I have a dream. Perhaps not as inspirational as Dr. King’s, but a dream never-the-less.
I dream that one day soon, there will be a web site like yours, that pulls together much of the information on diet and nutrition that is informed by long term peer reviewed studies in one place.
In my dream, clusters would be formed, grouping that information in meaningful ways (Pritikin /Esselstyn, etc. belong in the same cluster and Paleo folks belong in a different cluster, etc.)
It would be nice if the raw data and teh original papers based on that data were available at a click. Nice to have, but not essential.
For each cluster for which long-term study data demonstrates significant benefits of that diet for some group, various folks could / would hypothesize WHY that particular combination of nutrients is helpful for that particular group of people.
For folks seeking the right plan for themselves, certain keywords could guide them to the clusters most likely to help them. I imagine this as a place of collaborative exploration (wiki-like) as opposed to a place where disagreement results in snide comments (I told you it was a dream)!
Perhaps such a place already exists. I haven’t found it yet. But I dream that someday I will.
Don’t you think dietary needs are determined by genetics? Or are we forever stuck on this, well I’m 60/20/20 but I’m sooooo thinking about changing to 80/10/10. I mean 60/20/20 is like so last year. REALLY? Do people REALLY still believe all these fads? Your GENETICS determine food needs, NOTHING else. Your hair color, eye color, height, skin color, personality and so many other things depend on genetics. At some point in the future, people are going to get this. PEOPLE! Wake up! This is as obvious as gravity!!!!!!
Thanks, nice site & nice article about your teeth on Mark’s Daily Apple.
I went raw in the mid-1990s, & felt to stop once a certain number of people had asked me if I had AIDS.
Fortunately the paleo diet was beginning to come together by then: there was a mailing list for scientists from the relevant areas, called the PaleoList. (Half the posters are now famous authors.)
Anyway, with the help of Loren Cordain, Art de Vany & others, I started paleo, & have been largely paleo since. I feel I’d be dead by now otherwise.
No axe to grind, just impartial, detailed analysis of the facts. Brilliant. All health blogs should be like this.
I just came across your writing, which is excellent and informative. I am adopting you as grand daughter! You are an explorer I can admire. You give me hope for the future. I should write more myself while I am still able.
Have you checked out “The Truth About Cancer”? Nutrition a Big key…Live symposium recently, excellent keynote speakers.
I like Lifeway plain kefir for the probiotics, etc. Wonder about the diet the cows are fed….possibly GMO grain and corn feed?
Best of health and love and life to you!
Kathy in Kailua Kona
Denise, I have enjoyed thoroughly your critiques, especially of Knives over Forks and Proteinaholic. While it seems obvious that increasing the amount of veggies is good, the converse argument against the bad boys seems more difficult to prove. My grandmother ate bacon everyday for most of her nearly 97 years, so I have always had doubts about the causation, despite correlation. It is easy to fall into a logical fallacy trap. Thanks for marking the traps. Craig Kowald, Mountlake Terrace WA. PS we have a mutual friend in Roger Kaza (a fellow horn player).
I’m on my second reading of your beell-referenced book.
Your approach to this subject is remarkably creative.
You have dared to sidestep creativity-mashing scientific peer-reviewing publication process, slow as Continental Drift.
Good for you.
I am recommending your book to others who I think may benefit from your fresh perspective on a subject filled with emotion and opinion bottomless potholes.
I have tried to do the same thing with a technical book – we might as well be on a literary Kon-Tiki, but there are others.
My respects to you,
I’m on my second reading of your well-referenced book.
Your approach to this subject is remarkably creative.
You have dared to sidestep creativity-mashing scientific peer-reviewing publication process, slow as Continental Drift.
Good for you.
I am recommending your book to others who I think may benefit from your fresh perspective on a subject filled with emotion and opinion bottomless potholes.
I have tried to do the same thing with a technical book – we might as well be on a literary Kon-Tiki, but there are others.
My respects to you,
What do you think of Robert Cassar’s terrain modification protocols in terms of a dietary lifestyle??
my current diet is some conglomeration of real-food plant-based majority-raw Paleo with smaller amounts of seafood, eggs, and organ meats.
very good denise. i’ve come to the exact same conclusion. eat like a chimp, but with a little more animals. the hunting ape. that’s man. the few remaining savages (hunter gatherers) eat more animals than americans and no sign of athero even at advanced age. the important proviso is only eat wild animals. if you’re not a hunter or fisher, that limits you to seafood.
my dad, a former college vice president…
sorry about your dad.
I have deep respect for formal learning, and a touch of envy for those who thrive in a traditional school system.
please tell me that’s a joke.
volunteer for BGI study and lifelong oregonian.
Your analysis of “Forks Over Knives” was incredible. I appreciate all the work you put into it. You’ve converted me back to eating a balanced diet including meat (and just limiting salt and polyunsaturated fats). Seems a lot of the claims are specious and I’m happy to drop a diet which is more like a slow death…I like my meat and dairy.
What’s you explanation of Dr. Esselstyn success with cardiac patients?
Your eye actually indicates you’re lymph system it’s full of junk, according to Dr.Robert Morse, who thinks no human should eat anything but fruit. Oh, and don’t get vaccinations. And tellsparents not to vaccinate their kids because all parents should have the right to give their kids polio, tuburculosis,malaria, sms influenza. Don’t forget scarlet fever, measles, whooping cough, and any number of cripplimg ailments medicine has helped conquer. But according to quacks and conmen who know a sucker is born every minute (and are invested in fruit besring properties on their resort islands), they know people who are sick get desperate, and most people are afraid of death.
Or how about “Dr”Cassar- the chiropractor who fucked up just like “dr” morse is a “dr”of naturopathy iow, not doctors at all – the guy who sells vacation packages to stay at his house and “fast” for thousands of dollars – that has a synthol and cigarettes body (away from the prying eyes of his guests to be sure)…naw, it’s probably just liposuction on his belly side he’s constantly pulling his shirt up to talk about his vibrational abs…he’s actually stolen the AMA food pyramid without anyone looking right at it even realizing it …except for all the rainbow children nonsense
The AMA’s food and exercise + don’t drink, smoke, or take drugs is pretty much what leads to long life…not stsrvation or powders or tinctures or anything else…now if only google could get some balls and ban these very dangerous CONmen using their social media platform to make money and physical harm people, which only makes doctors jobs 10x harder, we’d be doing terrific in our countries health!
What a shock it was to find you, Denise!
I was quite innocently getting into my freshly purchased Kindle book, “Protein Aholic” when an inner voice prompted me to ask Google for reviews. This resulted in me being horrified to find your review and critique! While it is impressively long and complex and way beyond my understanding, your knowledge, depth of research and what you shared, totally blew me away!
So now, I am more confused than ever, especially having read your review while consuming an eggs and brisket breakfast 😉
But thanks for being there, throwing a spanner in the works and reminding me that, indeed, we are all different. Your book just purchased, “Death by Food Pyramid” will, I’m sure, give me a new perspective, especially as I am a budding health coach.
Denise, I haven’t finished reading your article (it’s too long – the one where you throw potatoes at The China Study), but I came to the About page and I had to give you a High Five for your view in education.
You wrote wonderful, thank you
Dear Ms Minger,
I have read your dietary evolution with interest. It appears to me that the main reason you chose to return to being an omnivore is because your previous vegan diet of raw fruits and vegetables was both unbalanced and inadequate to meet your physiological requirements. If you haven’t already run across Dr John McDougall, I suggest you check him out to learn that we are actually starchivores.
Nick Arrizza MD retired
My hat is off to you! I always take any information with a grain of salt. I have a friend that has become a new disciple of the China Study and I was interested in it too. So I have been looking at the information on the web and searched “china study criticism” and this popped up. As a research engineer I can not tell you enough how GRATEFUL I am for your analysis. I do not see it as biased in any way and you deal with the facts even looking for possible other factors that may have affected the data. I find that researchers that are invested in getting some sort of result out of their data tend to overlook or reject other factors that may have had an influence in their data. I’ll never forget a language experiment where a paragraph was made nonsensical and subjects had to infer what meaning there may have been originally in the paragraphs. I made the comment to the researchers that accounting for the subjects knowledge of more than one language may have an effect on what they are able to infer. I was immediately dismissed.
Regardless I think you deserve an award for what you are doing just from the fact of pointing out that the way data is presented may not be the whole story.
Please don’t stop what you are doing!! I look forward to reading more.
Great job on the Forks over Knives movie and good and enjoyable overall writing. Keep it up!
Don’t no if you will get this but just watched your presentation from AHS17 blood type diet I’m a 0rh+ blood type, I have had ulcerative colitis for 5 years went the horrid pharmaceutical way but now I’m doing it naturally I’ve had stool test done etc some very interesting findings I had h plyori and high Candida, I done a vegan diet for 12 months and unfortunately died in the hospital 4 times and developed blood clots on it, I have all my raw data that I could share with you via email if your interested, I’m just finding it hard to put all together and 23and me won’t allow me to enter it. Any chance you could help figure this out with me, I’ve currently changed to a western A price diet and weight has returned as I went from a muscular 15 stone man to 7 stone of bones thinking a raw vegan/fruit base diet would heal me ouch. Hope you see this chris
You had me at “…to its logical conclusion…”
I like the way you write
Agreement with your views on education. I have been diving into the nutrition field, something I thought I had some knowledge about. I had grownup believing in all the diet heart health biases that have now been flipped upside down. I was a vegetarian in my late teens and into my thirty’s. I do not follow any specific diet now but have been understanding that saturated fats and cholesterol are not to be avoided. Sugar, artificial sugar, refined carbs and fruit juice are to be avoided and everything else in moderation. I do not believe there is a perfect diet for all. We are all individuals and so are our dietary needs with some true science based facts about the food we eat. I have enjoyed your lectures and personal perspectives.
Oh no! I am now suffering from blog envy.
I recently starting my own blog because friends and family were beginning to complain of my incessant droning about nutrition and have now found a whole world of likeminded folk to connect with.
I am so impressed by your willingness to question dogma and avoid diet labelling. I will certainly embrace this philosophy.
Love the lighthearted approach to your Ancestral Health presentations by the way
When will your book, Awesome Omnivore be out? I read about it in one of Dr Mercola’s article. I would really like to get a copy.
In 1987 I was suffering from daycare germs, quit my engineering job, stayed home, watched PBS and saw an interview with the author of The McDougall Plan.
I woould pay $1M to not have read that low fat diet book. I gained 40 pounds.
In 2015 I was bike racing with my pot belly and could not lose weight. The other guys said, “cut carbs”. I did and lost 30 pounds. I now avoid wheat, corn, rice, and sugar. I eat meat, fruits, and vegetables. I don’t bike now. I just walk.