Dear Dr. Davis

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The Discerning Brute is excited to welcome Dr. Garth Davis as our medical expert who can answer some serious questions. Dr. Davis is medical director of the Davis Clinic at the Methodist Hospital in Houston, Texas, and starred on the hit TLC show Big Medicine. He is also the author of “Proteinaholic: How Our Obsession with Meat Is Killing Us and What We Can Do About It

 

Today, a letter came from Alex:

I was wondering if you could help me. I have been vegetarian for close to 11 years, 5 of those vegan. I have huge cravings for red meat. Something that I have never had before in my life ( I never really liked the taste even as an omnivore). I take my b12 and my d as recommended and eat plenty of greens with Vitamin c for iron. I take adequate calories and plenty of all variety of whole foods. I am male. Doctors say my blood work is perfect, but I feel very tired all the time regardless of a pretty low stress life and believe I might have adrenal fatigue. I do not drink coffee or tea. Never liked the taste. Anyway, any help would be appreciated.
-Alex

 

Hey Alex,

Funny thing happens when people go vegan.  They get bombarded with a lot of nonsense that can create a nocebo effect, similar to placebo, but negative.

So, people say to you over and over that being vegan is bad for you and will make you weak, and guess what, you feel weak.  Similarly, people tend to blame every possible symptom on the vegan diet.  I had a patient who was hypothyroid and her doctor said it was because of her vegan diet.  Understand how ludicrous this is.  What does the doctor tell all his meat eating patients who are hypothyroid?  There hypothyroidism’s genetic but the vegan’s is because of diet?  Turns out that actual research shows vegan have much lower rates of hypothyroidism.

That is not to say that you may not be low in certain nutrients.  Certainly you need a B12 test and an MMA test is actually more accurate than a B12.  If you need to supplement B12, it is so easy and cheap.  I would also check vitamin D.  I do supplement my patients with vitamin D to get above 50.  I also highly suggest getting 10-15minutes of sun daily, or as often as possible.

Fruits are often avoided by people for some mistaken brief they can make you fat, which is ridiculous.  Fruits are great source of energy.  Apples have quercitin which is great for energy.  I know many people who swear by adding Macca to there smoothies for energy.

Sleep is another area that you really have to look at.  Circadian rhythm is vital to health and energy.  You may want to be checked for sleep apnea.  Make sure you are following good sleep hygiene, and DO NOT use your phone at night in bed!

Finally,  people are working out too hard.  Over training is a real problem.  People don’t realize that growth happens when the body is allowed to recover.  Make sure you are alternating high intensity days with low intensity days and taking days off when necessary.

FOLLOW DR. GARTH DAVIS ON FACEBOOK & TWITTER

13 Vegan Guys on Instagram You Should Be Following

The following 13 guys are creating inspiring and brilliant content on Instagram, and you need to follow them ASAP!

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Luciano Acuno Jr. @luckyluciano112 &  Kenny Wong @Genga31
Co-Founders of Bklyn Beast, Actors, Stuntmen

Ian Thomas @ianthomas
Singer, actor, author

Jona Weinhofen @jonaweinhofen

Musician (I Killed the Prom Queen), activist

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Allex Knight @sirknight_
Model, SelfMade Man

Peter Badenhop @peterbadenhop
Model

Mike Vallely @mikevallely
Skateboarder, Musician, Actor, Pro Wrestler, Stuntman, Hockey Player

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Richie Kul @kulrichie
Actor, model, activist

Jhanelle Castillo @jhanellecastillo
Model, Vegan, Pitbull Advocate

David Carter @the300poundvegan
NFL Defensive Lineman, Animal Rights Activist, Public Speaker

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Dom Thompson @domzthompson
Healthcare Executive, Multi-sport athlete, Mostly raw, ethical vegan.

Nimai Delgado @nimai_delgado
The Hardcore Herbivore, trainer, meal-planner

Fat Tony @fattonybmx
CrossFitter, Photographer/Videographer, BMX 

Best Grooming of Summer 2016

When it comes to keeping our faces clean, our hair neatly in place – or effortlessly tousled, our teeth bright and our skin smooth and moisturized, there aren’t too many grooming companies who meet The Discerning Brute trifecta of standards. The standards are that products should not be tested on animals (cruelty-free), should contain high-quality ingredients (organic or synthesized), and products should contain no animal-derived ingredients commonly found in grooming products like sheep gland secretions (lanolin), or bee gland secretions (beeswax and propolis), or insect larvae gland secretions (silk proteins)… some people sure do like to rub other animals gland juices all over their faces, hair and lips… but I digress. Below you’ll find some of our favorite companies whose grooming arsenal will keep you as shipshape as their production process.

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From the top: Root Science, Schmidt’s, Mr. Bean, Preserve Products, World Wild Men, Demes, Aesop, Le Labo, Thrive, Snapwhite, 66º30, Bulldog, Reverie, DermOrganic, MLR, i + m

Mr. Universe Goes Vegan

Mr. Universe 2014, Barny Du Plessis has announced in a recent interview that he’s now “all about the vegan gains”.Du Plessis won Mr. Universe 2014, and soon transitioned to being a “one-hundred percent, wholehearted, staunch warrior vegan”.

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He was born and raised as a vegetarian until he was 18 years old, but when he first started training, he, like many other athletes, believed that animal protein was something magical that was required to build muscle mass. “When I became a bodybuilder I decided I needed more protein [and] it took quite a bit of work to start eating meat, I didn’t like the idea of it… I became much more dissociated with our environment.” He also says, “I didn’t really care about animals… I didn’t want to address any suffering… I couldn’t empathize”.

People say you can’t be a top athlete as a vegan. Absolute bullocks

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Since going vegan, he has actually gained even more mass, now at 107 Kilos, and he claims that there’s been no negatives. He wakes up with more energy and recovers faster. This is quite an endorsement for a vegan lifestyle from someone who takes his physique very seriously.

Barney is not the first bodybuilder to make waves with veganism – just check out PlantBuilt.com, but he is the reigning Mr. Universe which puts him in a unique position to help combat common myths about veganism. “If you have a good variety of different food…like beans, nuts, pulses, grains, rice…they all have protein in them.”

As for the haters, he exclaims, “People say you can’t be a top athlete as a vegan. Absolute bullocks!”

Follow Barny on Twitter.

Pick a Phobia, any Phobia!

By Sid Garza-Hillman

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A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of meeting The Discerning Brute/Joshua Katcher in person. He had been a guest (via Skype) on my podcast only weeks prior, and just by chance was able to come up to the Stanford Inn during a trip to Northern California. I head up the Stanford Inn’s Wellness Center and am the Nutritionist/Health Coach there.

Joshua, his partner James, and I sat down for dinner, and while we talked about many things (fashion included, though why anyone would wear anything other than rolled up 501’s and white t-shirts is beyond me. Maybe I should be more discerning.), the subject of protein came up. Not because any of us—all plant-based—were concerned with protein in the least, but because working at a vegan resort whose clientele are overwhelmingly NOT vegan, I am constantly asked the big protein question—where do vegans get their protein?

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A couple times a week I hang out and walk through the inn’s restaurant and talk to guests. Almost nightly I get the protein question and am there to hopefully dissipate some of the fear around it. I was relating this to Joshua and James and we all decided it should probably be a phobia. And that’s when, through obviously divine inspiration, it hit: PROTEDEFIPHOBIA—the fear of protein deficiency. I think we nailed it, and now just have to figure out the hoops we have to jump through to make it official. Is there a phobia department of the patent office? Should we ‘tm’ it for now (i.e. protedefiphobia™)? Oh, the possibilities. I’m so excited about it that it must be something that deep down I’ve always wanted and finally got: I’m a co-owner of a beautiful baby phobia!

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And yet, a reality check. Fear of protein deficiency is very real. As a species we are designed to protect ourselves and to survive the best we can. Often times corporations/companies/industries feed on this instinct in order to drive sales. The animal food industry is no exception. They succeed every time they convince someone that he or she will suffer greatly without intense amounts of animal protein. However, there are a few pesky facts that hurt their bottom line: 1) whole plants are full of protein 2) the human body performs best on a higher carbohydrate diet (not refined/processed carbohydrates, but whole plant ones) and finally, 3) more and more professional athletes are actually performing and recovering better after switching to whole plants. In my practice I devote a substantial amount of time and effort minimizing the fear around protein. But that’s one of the best parts of my job—helping people be LESS afraid. Less fear, more happiness and health. Pretty simple equation.

So, to those with protedefiphobia™, rest assured, help is on the way. It’s located in the produce section of groceries stores around the world.