Are Animal Foods Necessary for Optimal Health?

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March 25, 2010

I spend most of my waking hours thinking about, writing about, coaching  people about and living diet and lifestyle practices that promote vibrant health.  Let's just say it's a passion of mine.  The more I learn, the more I find there is to learn…and the more convinced I become that there is no perfect diet prescription that works for everyone. 

Just over a month ago, Whole Foods announced a new program designed to motivate and inspire people to eat more plant foods and less animal based foods and processed foods. To me, this was a big step, and a brave and noble one. After all, they make money selling animal foods and processed foods disguised as health foods. Certainly shifting customer awareness away from processed and animal based foods could cost them sales.

I was shocked and amazed to receive emails forwarded by several friends with the subject line “Whole Foods Promotes Militant Vegetarian Agenda.“ Curious, I sought out the original source of the article, which was from the Weston Price Foundation. I read through the article in it's entirety, as well as the comments the article generated from the Weston Pice Foundation fans. This prompted a 4-hour research activity for me, reading through their articles, and those with opposing views, most notably Joel Fuhrman M.D., author of “Eat to Live” and dozens of other books, articles and audio-video courses on the topic of whole food, primarily plant based nutrition, and John Robbins, would be heir to the Baskin–Robbins fortune, until he wrote the book “Diet for a New America” and was disowned by his family.

Plant Based Diets and Choosing Your Path

While I've been following a strict plant based diet for almost 25 years now, I take the stand, “Live and let live.” By this I mean, each person is entitled to his or her opinion, and must make their diet decisions based on their own research and how they feel in response to various regimes. I find that a 100% plant based, whole foods, high green, mostly raw foods diet works well for me, and that's what I choose. Someone else may choose a diet rich in plant based, whole foods, with a high percentage of raw, green food diet and choose to include some organically raised animal foods and thrive. I am not here to judge or propose that there is one diet plan that works for everyone. While clinically I've seen the best results with plant based nutrition, I don't take the stand that you must be 100% plant based to be healthy. What I do oppose is dogma – the statement of opinion as fact and the lack of respect of other's research and diet practices.

There are many that say, either to me directly or in their writings, that to be healthy you MUST include animal foods. And they get pretty militant about it. I've been at nutrition conferences and had overweight, unfit and less than healthy-looking people tell me, with genuine concern, that they thought I was making a mistake following the diet regime I am on– as they slept in, too tired to get up and exercise, while I got up early to run 6 miles before class. I'm fit and lean, full of energy and experiencing excellent health. How can I take seriously the advice of someone who is unfit, overweight and exhausted when they tell me I need animal products to be healthy.

The choice of whether to include or exclude animal foods from your diet is personal indeed. Religious, ethical, health and cultural beliefs strongly influence the decision.

The goal of this issue of my newsleter is to introduce a little from each side of the issue and spark your thoughts about what's best for you.

I personally have come to the conclusion that animal foods are not a necessary part of the human diet and in fact can be quite dangerous for many people, depending on the quantity and quality consumed.

Read, research and experiment. The decision is yours. To Meat or Not to Meat, that is the question. Only you can determine the answer for you.

With Love and commitment to your Healthy Life,

Dr. Ritamarie

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  • March 27 – Austin Raw Foods Potluck –Are you interested in meeting others who share your enthusiasm about achieving high energy health and vitality by incorporating raw and living foods into their life? Would you like to learn new recipes, share stories, learn valuable health information and get support? Come to our Potlucks to meet others interested in raw foods and health, get support, share a raw meal, and watch a DVD or live speaker related to the raw foods lifestyle and health.
  • April 5 – Green Smoothie Cleanse –Give me just 7 Days and I'll guide you through a process that will jumpstart your dragging body and get you moving on the path to feeling more vibrant and energetic than you even realized was possible.
  • March 31 – WISH Summit – last day to get access to the recordings. It was absolutely incredible! Did you listen to the calls? I haven't heard them all yet, but have downloaded them to my ipod so I can listen while I exercise. Don't miss your chance to own these amazing, thought provoking calls. 
  • March 31 –  Your Raw Food Diet Coaching Program with Nomi Shannon, The Raw Gourmetlast day to register. This step-by-step program will take you by the hand and teach you how to prepare amazing, delicious raw meals in 30 minutes or less. Just visit for details.
  • April 19 –  Global Teleclass  presents Hormone Imbalance, Autoimmune Disease and Stubborn Belly Fat  a f-r-e-e teleclass with Dr. Ritamarie as part of their teleclass series on health, personal growth and business development.  For details and to register, go to: .
  •  April 24 – Austin Raw Foods Potluck  -Dr. Ritamarie will be out of town for this Potluck, so it will be hosted by Karen Osborne, Fresh'n Fun Co-op manager.  She's lined up local Austin musician Karen Mal, a raw foods enthusiast, to do a concert.  Suggested donation $15.  Spae is limited.  To register go to

  • May 7 – Lunch n Learn raw foods preparation class, taught by Karen Osborne and Dr. Ritamarie.  Learn to make a delicious and quick Mexican meal, Living Foods Style, including tortillas, salsa, “beans” and more.  It's over lunch, so you get to learn and eat a full course lunch.   More details to come. If you are interested in signing up, please send an email to [email protected]  and we will send you details.

  • June 3 – Brian Clement  – The Cancer Connection (details to follow)

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To Meat or Not to Meat: That is the Question

Whether it is healthier to forgo animals and their secretions for optimal health or to include them…

We can debate for days, weeks and months.

Each side can come up with studies, biochemical pathways and emotional rationalizations to support their case. The bottom line is, it's a personal decision whether to include or exclude animal foods from your regime.

The following is quoted from the Whole Foods website, Healthy Eating Principles, “Health Starts Here”, the program that prompted the outrage from the Weston Price Foundation:

* No matter what type of diet you follow — including those that incorporate dairy, meat and/or seafood — eat more plants, like raw and cooked vegetables, fruits, legumes and beans, nuts, seeds and whole grains

* Eat a colorful variety of plants to ensure you're getting the best nutrients for your body, which leads to feeling satiated

* Choose foods that are real, fresh, natural, organic, local, seasonal and unprocessed

* Eliminate the consumption of refined, highly processed foods and foods void of nutrients, such as artificial flavors, colors, preservatives, sweeteners and hydrogenated fats

Representatives of the Weston Price Foundation called this a “militant vegetarian agenda.” I, quite frankly, can't see how they come to this opinion, based on what whole foods is saying and doing. To me, everything in the Whole Foods statement is common sense. How can you argue with “eat more plants”? After all, they're loaded with phytochemicals, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. There are potent anti-cancer nutrients found in many plants, not to mention the fiber that keeps the bowels moving. (continue reading article…)

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Inside Out Eating

by Dr. Liz Alexander

It wasn’t just red meat that was served for most meals when I was growing up, but any part of an animal that was remotely edible. Brain, liver, kidney, tripe, tongue—I swear that if my mother had found a recipe for entrails stew she would have served it. I faced so much congealed nastiness, given the rule in our house: If you don’t eat it for dinner, it will be waiting for you at breakfast. I struggled mightily at breakfast times.

As soon as I left home my dietary selections changed to higher end cuts. No more stewing steak with fat and gristle for me; it was to be prime rib steak or nothing. I’d toyed with being a vegetarian at age 15, more as an expression of teenage rebellion than anything else. But in the north of England during the late 60s, early 70s, vegetarian options were few and far between. My mother refused to allow me to think of our home as a “hotel” where I could opt for different meals than the rest of the family, plus there were only so many nut rissoles I could stomach. So the carnivore in me lived on. (continue reading article)

About the author:

Dr. Liz Alexander is the author of ten nonfiction books, including The Magic of Labyrinths: Following Your Path, Finding Your Center (written under her former name of Liz Simpson), published by HarperCollins in 2002. Also known as The Book Doula, she works with would-be authors to creatively conceive, grow, and birth books that help them leave a legacy and use this promotional tool to boost their business, service, or subject-matter expertise.

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Do you have a success story about how changing your diet and removing gluten increased the vibrancy in your life? If so we want to hear from you!  

 To share your story for inclusion in our newsletter? 

Just go to

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 The Ancient Aloe

by Melissa Giesbrecht

The ancient Aloe vera (A. barbadensis) plant with its spear-like, succulent leaves has made its way from native Africa, to your favorite health food store, and even your own home. There are more than 300 types of aloe, but it is Aloe vera that is used most commonly. The Liliaceae family in which Aloe belongs is also home to garlic, asparagus, and onion. What a powerful Family! Aloe has been traditionally used to help treat burns and other wounds, and as a purgative (constipation aid). Yet, over the years, more and more uses for aloe have been discovered. With more active research taking place, the list of incredible healing powers of this herb is sure to lengthen.

Aloe vera contains 75 potentially active constituents who all work synergistically. These include anthraquinones, saccharides, vitamins, non-essential amino acids, essential amino acids, inorganic compounds, and enzymes. It is this powerful combination of molecules that allows the plant to repair itself if the skin becomes damaged. This is visible when you break off a piece of the leaf to use, the next day there is a seal and the plant is protected again. (Continue reading article)

About the Author:

Melissa Giesbrecht is a health fanatic from Vancouver, BC. She loves all aspects of health and tries to implement them into her life. She wants to take her knowledge to the next step and become an ND. She is a vegetarian who incorporates as much raw food into her diet as possible. She really wants to spread the word that being healthy can be fun, affordable, and truly rewarding. She writes about all these topics on her blog

Do you have a great article about a particular food you'd like to share? Submit stories and articles to

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 Pineapple Aloe Vera Green Smoothie 

by Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo


aloe vera

  • 1 cup fresh or frozen pineapple chunks
  • 1 cup of crushed ice
  • 2-3 aloe vera leaves
  • 1 cup of purified water
  • 2 cups spinach


  • Extract aloe vera gel from leave and place into blender along with pineapple, spinach and ice. 
  • Mix until puree is smooth
  • Add water until texture desired


Next Issue…

Do you have a great gluten-free recipe using you'd like to share? Submit your recipe at:

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 Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo has been sharing her passion for raw and living foods for almost than 25 years, lovingly catalyzing others to create joy, success and abundance in their lives by simplifying the concepts of a  healthy lifestyle, and incorporating fun.

As a Doctor of Chiropractic with Certification in Acupuncture, a Diplomat of the American Clinical Nutrition Board, a Certified Clinical Nutritionist, a licensed HeartMath® provider, and soon to be Certified Herbalist, Dr. Ritamarie touches many lives with her message of empowerment.

Are you ready to learn the truth about hormone imbalances, autoimmune disease and that stubborn belly fat? Read on to learn about Dr. Ritamarie's Balance My Body Blueprint. This amazing self-paced program gives you the tools you need to make more informed choices about your health. Read more here…

Have you ever wondered why some people continually fail to improve their health while others make what seems like a miraculous transformation? It's all in their heads. That's right…the difference between success and failure is mindset. Read more here…


 You might have heard many health experts say that it's crucial to begin your day with a meal. What they might have failed to say, though, is how to make your first fuel of the day powerful enough to propel you forward with energy and gusto! Read more here…


 We videotaped the Green For Life talk that Victoria, Sergei and Valya Boutenko did in Austin, Texas so you can watch and learn from the comfort of your own home. There are 3 hours of video, filled with valuable and inspiring information. Read more here…


Periodic cleansing and resting your digestive track is essential for vibrant health and boundless energy.  While going away to a retreat center and fasting on green juices is probably the best way to do this, let's get real.  Who has the time?  And cleansing on your own is just not as effective as having a support group and a mentor with over two decades experience to back you up and cheer you on. Green Smoothies are a great way to cleanse because you're not hungry all the time.  Find out more about how you can feel more energetic, less bloated and stronger andleaner than ever.

If you love your carbs but hate what they do to your body, we have some really good news for you. By learning the ancient art of dehydration, which is, in essence,  “low temperature baking”, you’ll be able to eat guilt-free breads, loaded with veggie goodness, and have them taste similar to your old favorites.  Gluten free raw foods like pizza, enchiladas and tacos will become your favorite staple foods once you discover how easily you can make them at home.  Read More…


The techniques taught in Indulge without the Bulge can be used every day of the year to make hea lthy choices and indulge in self care.  The recipe demos are delicious year round. for help with avoiding the on the cookies and pie, keeping up with your exercise, and keeping your stress low,  Read more here…


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You're welcome to share any of the articles in this newsletter. When you do, please use the article in its entirety and include this complete blurb with it:

“Would you like to learn more simple strategies to achieving vibrant energy, a strong lean body and an extraordinary life? Go to and pick up your free e-book cntaining simple strategies and recipes for increasing energy, decreasing weight and feeling great. For more great articles, visit

Internationally recognized speaker, author and mentor, Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo is the “Woman’s Fatigue Expert and Vibrant Health Mentor.”

Creating Vibrant Health is published by Dr. Ritamarie Loscalzo. If you have any questions or comments, please send them to: [email protected].

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1 Comment

  1. Acupuncture Weight Loss

    Well I found this on Digg, and I like it so I dugg it!


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