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 Post subject: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 9:04 am 
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Hey there.

So I'm not going to lie. I'm a carnivore. I LOVE meat. But for some time now my conscience doesn't.I don't just view veganism as a healthier approach to food, but as an ideal way of life in that it actually respects life, regardless of race.

But here's the deal. I love budybuilding and am an aspiring bodybuilder. Add to that I'm female. Add to that I lift heavy (not just for a chick but heavy period). Add to that I want to cut and get trimmed ( 8-10% bodyfat) and you have is this:

- a redundance of fat-depositing estrogen

- lack of muscle building hormones (I had my test-levels checked and I'm in the buttom 30 % of low levels for FEMALES)

- lack of essential amino acids

- and on top of all that, a maximum of a 2000 kcal diet, to do good with.


How on this grey earth, would I ever accomplish all of these goals, while effectively getting trimmed and *not* losing more muscle mass than necessary? And subsequently ending up with a higher bodyfat-percent, due to my body having to usurp muscle tissue in order to maintain my training and in the process maybe even damage my ligaments?

Now I get that being female and all- I am naturally unlucky when it comes to muscle building. However during my bulking periods with lots of meat and good carbs I'm very prone to becomming big and gaining strength (despite my naturally low test levels- and NO I don't do juice), so I know that I *am* able to be more than just toned (my calves currently measure 46 cm and this is *without* lower body/leg workouts) if I put in the necessary effort.

I'm just afraid I'll lose the ability to achieve proper hypertrophy and muscle gain once I go vegan.

(And might I add I actually have been vegan/vegetarian before (but back then I didn't bodybuild), which just makes my being a carnivore now somehwat of a disgrace.)


Any ideas on how to put together a good vegan bodybuilding diet for trimming down (2000 kcal)with the necessary amount of essential acids?


Any help would be appreciaated:-)


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:37 pm 
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I overcame my estrogen and got to like 12% body fat and won a comp. For amino acids drink scivation xtend or any other kind of amino acid powder. To lose as little muscle as possible diet slowly. If you look at my journal it shows my diet. Im at 1600 calories. Im jealous that you have 2000 to work with. It should be easy for you to get the protein in. Right now im 42% protein, 35% carbs, 23% fat at 1600 calories. I weigh 120 lbs and compete at 105. But if you are as strong as you say you are, you likely have significantly more lean mass than i do and will have a higher metabolism and should be able to get lean if you dial in your diet, trianing, and cardio. i eat oats, pea protein powder, cous cous, almonds, walnuts, brussell, sprouts, broccoli, seitan, tofu, peanut butter, and olive oil. every day.... so thats how i get the macros to be protein heavy....gotta watch your portions. tghe first time i dieted i lost al ot of muscle but after my second contest i didnt eat that much more and made a lot of strength gains (from 0 pull ups last year to 9 right now, and ive even been in a rather large caloric deficit since jan 1). The last 8 weeks before contest you take a fat burner pill. if you want more specifics message, email, or facebook me. i would love to help more. and you can see my comp pics thru my fb.

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:31 am 
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Hey Jungle!

Thanks for the elaborate answer, very helpful indeed. Wow you went from 0 pull-ups to 9 ON CUT? And a vegan one at that! That's impressive!

I may have more lean mass than you but I'm also at 25 % bodyfat and have considerably more dead-weight to lose than you. I currently have 63.5 kg (ca. 140 lbs) lean mass and 21.5 kg fat ( ca. 47 lbs). Now if I weren't aiming at bodybuilding and just wanted *big but toned* than my current body state would be fine.

But ideally I'd want to reduce to 65-70 kg (143 lbs) at 10 % fat and that's damn near impossible without resorting to "help" because -as a woman- the only way you *naturally* get to have as much lean mass as I do now, is if you've got the fat to support it :-(

This has been my dilemma for quite some time now, because I'm not just in it for the aesthetics- I'm in it for the strength as well and I especially don't want to lose the latter. And now I want to become vegan making matters even more complicated.

I'd love to FB you and have just sent you a PM :-)

Regards.


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:05 am 
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well i started at 151 lbs. its a tough realization to come to but women cant really build that much lean mass at least not quickly you have to go for the leanness first. you are talking about basically dropping 20 lbs of fat which will take you about 4-5 months, and then adding back 20 lbs of muscle which would take a year if you are lucky! but as a natural woman i would highly doubt that. only women on gear walk around that heavy lean.. i would suggest dieting down, maybe competing, and then a clean bulk with a gradual calorie intake. i didnt do the pull ups actually while cutting, it was after wards. my competiton weight was 107 after water weight, a few months later after eating maintenance calories i was doing pull ups and i only got up to 120 lbs, compared to my previous 150. so i would venture to guess u could compete at 105-110 as well. if you wanted to cut up a little slower you could probably keep more strength. im basically at the same strength i was at the top of my dirty bulk now and 30 lbs lighter. it took me a while to get to that point but you dont need the size to have the strength. im much happier being lean and it was worth temporarily sacrificing my big lifts. my form was terrible anyway. so yeah send me a fb message!!

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Tue Feb 19, 2013 7:09 pm 
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I can't really contribute from a competing standpoint, but I think that you and I have similar aesthetic ideals and I've had some of the same questions/concerns myself.

You've definitely already got size and strength on me, but I eat very similarly to what jungleinthefrunk described and it works really well for me. I was only around 145 lbs at my absolute heaviest before going vegan, and I wasn't training at that time. I would second the idea that you'll have to diet down really slowly if you don't want to lose your muscle mass. It's certainly difficult but not impossible to keep your macro ratios right where you want them and get in 2000 kcal/day.

I keep my protein high by having beans at every meal, eating as many cruciferous veggies as I possibly can, and keep my fruit intake to 3-4 pieces a day. I'll sit down and polish off a can of beans and a few cups of steamed broccoli for dinner and that's 43g protein/125g carb/5g fat (689 kcal) after my post-workout shake (another 230 kcal, 34g protein/10g carb/6g fat) to total up to 919 kcal, 33.5% of which is protein. The only thing I've found to work for me is to go really heavy on legumes. This leads to a lot of redundant meals which I'm sure would bore some people, but I keep things really redundant and simple for myself 95% of the time so that the other 5% of the time (when I'm eating with friends, going out, etc) I can just eat anything I want and have fun and not think at all about my macros.

I used to lean heavily on nuts for protein until I realized just exactly how much fat I was intaking at the same time. Now I just have a handful of nuts every day and enjoy a tablespoon or two of peanut butter with my breakfast every now and then. I also tend to juice around 75% of my veggie/fruit intake every morning to extend my night-time fasting until mid-morning and to make sure that I've got all of the proper nutrients swimming around in my bloodstream before I even think about eating solid food. I try to be done eating most of my food for the day by about 8 pm, and if I'm hungry before bed I stick with some veggies or another juice.

Not sure if any of this will work for you, but it's been doing the trick for me. Overall I think the idea is just to eat as clean and fresh as you can, stay away from processed junk, and eat as many legumes and green veggies as you possibly can. Calorie for calorie, broccoli has the same amount of protein as a fat-free chicken breast. You've just gotta eat more of it (which speaks heavily to me, as I am practically always eating hah).

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2013 8:17 pm 
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Eat more. Lift more. Lots of sunshine. Healthy habits.

Applying > Thinking or wishing.

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 2:37 pm 
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BeansNBroccoli wrote:
I can't really contribute from a competing standpoint, but I think that you and I have similar aesthetic ideals and I've had some of the same questions/concerns myself.

You've definitely already got size and strength on me, but I eat very similarly to what jungleinthefrunk described and it works really well for me. I was only around 145 lbs at my absolute heaviest before going vegan, and I wasn't training at that time. I would second the idea that you'll have to diet down really slowly if you don't want to lose your muscle mass. It's certainly difficult but not impossible to keep your macro ratios right where you want them and get in 2000 kcal/day.

I keep my protein high by having beans at every meal, eating as many cruciferous veggies as I possibly can, and keep my fruit intake to 3-4 pieces a day. I'll sit down and polish off a can of beans and a few cups of steamed broccoli for dinner and that's 43g protein/125g carb/5g fat (689 kcal) after my post-workout shake (another 230 kcal, 34g protein/10g carb/6g fat) to total up to 919 kcal, 33.5% of which is protein. The only thing I've found to work for me is to go really heavy on legumes. This leads to a lot of redundant meals which I'm sure would bore some people, but I keep things really redundant and simple for myself 95% of the time so that the other 5% of the time (when I'm eating with friends, going out, etc) I can just eat anything I want and have fun and not think at all about my macros.

I used to lean heavily on nuts for protein until I realized just exactly how much fat I was intaking at the same time. Now I just have a handful of nuts every day and enjoy a tablespoon or two of peanut butter with my breakfast every now and then. I also tend to juice around 75% of my veggie/fruit intake every morning to extend my night-time fasting until mid-morning and to make sure that I've got all of the proper nutrients swimming around in my bloodstream before I even think about eating solid food. I try to be done eating most of my food for the day by about 8 pm, and if I'm hungry before bed I stick with some veggies or another juice.

Not sure if any of this will work for you, but it's been doing the trick for me. Overall I think the idea is just to eat as clean and fresh as you can, stay away from processed junk, and eat as many legumes and green veggies as you possibly can. Calorie for calorie, broccoli has the same amount of protein as a fat-free chicken breast. You've just gotta eat more of it (which speaks heavily to me, as I am practically always eating hah).


Hey Beans

Some interesting points you make there! I think both you and Jungle might be right. I weighed myself the other way (thinking I still weighed what I implied in my original post) and turns out I weigh 203 lbs! That means I've gained 30 + lbs since my leaner days where I still pushed heavy (just not as heavy as now). Of course let me be honest- it's not all muscle gain- I do have an unnatural fondness of sweets, so a lot of it is just undisciplined diet. For the past 8 months or so I've sort of been "bulking" which renders me a perma-bulker (yikes!) and if I'm not careful... FAT!

But still a 2000 kcal cut diet is a little bit unrealistic, seeing as my current calorie maintenance (including training) is 4000 kcal +. I think I might start with a 2500 kcal cut diet with as much clean food as possible and a significantly greater amount of vegetables than what I'm consuming now. And for fast proteins I still have two big spans of whey protein powder I can be creative with, maybe make some good smoothies or protein ice-cream.

Also- while idealistically I'd like to go vegan (again)- I realise this is not something I can do overnight and maybe not even in the future... Maybe vegetarianism might be what I can handle at most. Maybe I'll stay a carnivore. I don't know. But I do know my diet needs to be more lean and green- that's for sure!

I guess the reason I found myself drawn to the notion of vegan body-building, aside from the obvious health and humanitarian aspect to it- is because it's fitness with a more spiritual approach to it.

Anyway definitely some good tips there! Vegan or otherwise everyone could benefit from a more green diet!


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2013 5:32 pm 
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Just curious, how much cardio are you doing in your workouts that your maintenance calories are up at 4,000 kcal? I'm certainly no expert and still consider myself somewhat new when it comes to nutrition, but that sounds like an awful lot to me for maintenance, and even for maintenance + training if you're not running a whole bunch every day. Very intense weight training can burn up to 500 kcal/hour, but "intense" means almost no rest time between sets and keeping your heart rate way up for the whole time. I've read anywhere from 250-350 kcal/hour on average for weight training if one is taking a standard 40 or 60 sec rest in between sets and only getting the heart rate up into that endurance or burning level while actually pushing plates.

If you want to cut down on your animal protein intake, even if you don't stop eating meat maybe you could switch your protein shakes to a plant protein when you've used up your whey protein. Soy and hemp proteins are both naturally occurring complete proteins (so they meet the amino acid requirement you were talking about in your original post) and it's my understanding that a lot of pea protein powders are supplemented to be complete proteins as well (of course you should check the label). It might be easier for you to just start making these switches whenever you can. Say, you're out at the grocery store and you're looking to get burgers for the night - just opt for a black bean burger instead, and do it without any cheese. Just starting to make small substitutions like that could make big differences. 100% veganism just may not be the right path for everyone, but I'd wager a bet that pretty much everyone in the world that currently eats meat could benefit from substituting a few more animal-free choices into their daily nutrition.

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Sun Feb 24, 2013 2:46 pm 
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BeansNBroccoli wrote:
Just curious, how much cardio are you doing in your workouts that your maintenance calories are up at 4,000 kcal? I'm certainly no expert and still consider myself somewhat new when it comes to nutrition, but that sounds like an awful lot to me for maintenance, and even for maintenance + training if you're not running a whole bunch every day. Very intense weight training can burn up to 500 kcal/hour, but "intense" means almost no rest time between sets and keeping your heart rate way up for the whole time. I've read anywhere from 250-350 kcal/hour on average for weight training if one is taking a standard 40 or 60 sec rest in between sets and only getting the heart rate up into that endurance or burning level while actually pushing plates.

If you want to cut down on your animal protein intake, even if you don't stop eating meat maybe you could switch your protein shakes to a plant protein when you've used up your whey protein. Soy and hemp proteins are both naturally occurring complete proteins (so they meet the amino acid requirement you were talking about in your original post) and it's my understanding that a lot of pea protein powders are supplemented to be complete proteins as well (of course you should check the label). It might be easier for you to just start making these switches whenever you can. Say, you're out at the grocery store and you're looking to get burgers for the night - just opt for a black bean burger instead, and do it without any cheese. Just starting to make small substitutions like that could make big differences. 100% veganism just may not be the right path for everyone, but I'd wager a bet that pretty much everyone in the world that currently eats meat could benefit from substituting a few more animal-free choices into their daily nutrition.



Hey Beans

First of all I officially made the transition to vegetarianism a couple of days ago. Like I said in my initial post, I still very much like the taste of meat and have caught myself wondering if this is going to be yet another fad like my last attempt at veganism. When this happens I just try to think that if no meat was readily available in the supermarkets I wouldn't be out killing cows, and chickens and the very thought of shedding blood and murdering a living being with conciousness repulses me on several levels. So I just try to remind myself of how that meat ended up for sale in the first place.

As for your question, then seeing as I joined the green ranks :-p, I decided to share my training journal with you guys. Here have a look, I think you'll find that it answers most of your questions (except diet and currently mine sucks) http://veganbodybuilding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=35018


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:20 pm 
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You definitely came to the right place. Jungle is a perfect example of how your impossible task of being a successful vegan female body builder can be accomplished. There are many other examples of women who are doing it and doing it big on this site as well. Scour the training journals to see what the ladies that are lifting big are eating. Then pick there brains directly, post to their threads. You sound like a motivated person with big goals. I bet you can connect with the right people and info on this forum to help you put together a meal plan game plan that can get you to where you want to be.

Good luck,

-Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 9:20 am 
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Hey C.O. Yes, you're right the accomplishments made by both men and women on a vegan diet are very imressing and indeed envy-worthy. The transition hasn't been easy and every now and then in a moment of weekness I find myself incredibly close to just "having some meat and getting it over with". Yesterday this resulted in me eating some punch rolls that contained eggs. I even felt disgust as I ate it, but continued until I was done. At that point I just started wondering if this transition in reality is just a self-delusion, yet another lifestyle fad or perhaps whether or not this is just a temporary plaster on some ill conscience over being a meat eater. I don't know where this will go and whether or not this is a permanent lifestyle change, but everytime I see joyous animals (like on wild life channels) I feel proud not to be amongst those who shoot and consume these beautiful creatures. Not to mention I get to eat a more green diet which is no doubt necessary if you want to have a fit lifestyle and be somewhat thin lol (munching on some broccoli while I'm typing this).


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 12:14 pm 
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i found watching things that reminded of the good im doing used to help when things were challenging early on.........such as "kfc factory farms" or "earthlings documentary",both on youtube.

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 3:12 pm 
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I think you are in a stage of life where you are learning a lot about yourself. What has been beneficial to me is to soak up as much information as possible. I'm totally on the same page as mr bear. Watching documentaries and reading about new findings health and diet keeps me, well as least I believe that it keeps me, focused on moving in the right direction.

-Dylan


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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Mon Mar 04, 2013 5:42 pm 
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I think it is good you are considering and even trying change but I understand that every person has to follow their own path and go at their own pace. I had to try vegetarianism a few times before it stuck. Then personally, once I made the switch to vegan, my only regret was not doing it sooner. I don't think you are alone in enjoying the taste of meat... most (not all) vegans were at one time omnivores that grew up learning that cultural norm.

Gary Yourofsky's speech turned me from vegetarian to vegan. What he says, for the most part, just made sense to me. (except the part about humans being herbivores).

For the sake of the animals, my goal has been to succeed as a vegan. In the process, I'm eating far healthier than I ever did and I have not experienced any negative effects in my workouts - ie. I don't nor have ever aspired to compete... but my current max squat is 175lb, max deadlift is 245lbs (both up 20 pounds from beginning of January) ... and my weight is 114lb (down 4 pounds since beginning of January).

The one and only study done showed that vegan men have higher testosterone levels than omnivore men (average of 6% more) (sorry, don't have reference for you, but you can google it), so I don't imagine switching to vegan will negatively effect your testosterone levels. Milk has loads of estrogen .... so giving up dairy may benefit if you are looking to avoid added estrogen. And there are vegan proteins supplements if you are worried a vegan diet is not giving you enough protein. I rarely use protein supplements, since I feel pretty confident I'm eating okay and am also in the camp of not believing the 'protein myth' our society sells us. But of course, on the days when I know I'm screwing up badly or don't have time to make a decent meal ... then I might grab a protein bar to make up for that.

Good luck.

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 Post subject: Re: Frustrated carnivore (ex-vegan/vegetarian)
PostPosted: Thu Mar 07, 2013 4:11 am 
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stcalico wrote:
I think it is good you are considering and even trying change but I understand that every person has to follow their own path and go at their own pace. I had to try vegetarianism a few times before it stuck. Then personally, once I made the switch to vegan, my only regret was not doing it sooner. I don't think you are alone in enjoying the taste of meat... most (not all) vegans were at one time omnivores that grew up learning that cultural norm.

Gary Yourofsky's speech turned me from vegetarian to vegan. What he says, for the most part, just made sense to me. (except the part about humans being herbivores).

For the sake of the animals, my goal has been to succeed as a vegan. In the process, I'm eating far healthier than I ever did and I have not experienced any negative effects in my workouts - ie. I don't nor have ever aspired to compete... but my current max squat is 175lb, max deadlift is 245lbs (both up 20 pounds from beginning of January) ... and my weight is 114lb (down 4 pounds since beginning of January).

The one and only study done showed that vegan men have higher testosterone levels than omnivore men (average of 6% more) (sorry, don't have reference for you, but you can google it), so I don't imagine switching to vegan will negatively effect your testosterone levels. Milk has loads of estrogen .... so giving up dairy may benefit if you are looking to avoid added estrogen. And there are vegan proteins supplements if you are worried a vegan diet is not giving you enough protein. I rarely use protein supplements, since I feel pretty confident I'm eating okay and am also in the camp of not believing the 'protein myth' our society sells us. But of course, on the days when I know I'm screwing up badly or don't have time to make a decent meal ... then I might grab a protein bar to make up for that.

Good luck.


Hey Stcalico

You raise some interesting points and I really appreciate the constructive advice in how to go about dealing with carnivore urgings. It's reassuring to hear (or rather read) that other people have tread the same path as me and that there is "redemption" at the end of the road. This is especially good for me to hear because I tend to have a rather absolute approach to things and sometimes neglect the fact that changes are gradual processes and "over the night" type of changes are not necessarily viable because there are certain things you need to get out of your system first (like undoing and re-patterning 27 years of diet socialisation). And when things haven't been properly processed, for instance how to deal with and control urges, you tend to feel like you " are missing out" or are being deprived. Right now I (inadvertently) accept that I am a vegetarian and not vegan. I will still have dairy products every now and then (although I try not to make this a habit) and on morally low days I'll even have food that contains egg and smaller fish (a few days ago I had some shrimp chips with my veggie sushi- even though I didn't order this- it just came with the sushi and I was pretty hungry after work out).

To be honest though I am more repulsed by eggs than (smaller) fish and seafood... Given sufficient time, eggs will develop in to concious beings... But small fish and water-creatures (like shrimp and, oysters, crab etc.) I don't really associate with concious beings and hence don't feel moral apprehension in consuming them. Like how coral are living beings but not concious (well at least not to my knowledge). Of course this might be due to ignorance on my part and I do stand to be corrected. I also realise that this is somewhat of a grey zone and entering this zone will make it easier for me to enter the black zones and consume more questionable things. And I don't really want to be in those zones, so the best thing would obviously be to avoid all sea-food, but yeah it's a process and like Dylan and others have said, the more educated one becomes on the reality of things, the more motivated you become and the easier it is to control your desires. So by all means if you have knowledge/facts that contradict my current stance on sea-food, feel free to correct me.


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