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Customer Review

64 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful guide, but please pay attention to protein and calcium intake, January 28, 2011
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This review is from: Crazy Sexy Diet: Eat Your Veggies, Ignite Your Spark, and Live Like You Mean It! (Hardcover)
I will start by saying that I am a huge fan of Kris Carr. I have seen her documentary, read one of her previous books and regularly read her blog. She is truly an inspiration for people who are dealing with serious diseases or for those who are interested in prevention. Prevention is the main reason why I became vegan more than 2 years ago. My diet evolved over time and books like Crazy Sexy Diet encourage me to keep it clean and stick to whole foods.

If you or your loved one suffers from a chronic disease, you may find this book especially useful or even lifesaving. The lifestyle described in this book can help in many situations when a patient finds the course of action suggested by his or her doctor unacceptable. Or in situations where medicine cannot offer any relief.

Although this appears to be a well researched book, I have to point out some factual errors that a Registered Dietitian proofreading this book should have noticed. In her acknowledgments, Kris mentioned that Jennifer Reilly, RD did so; however, that does not appear to be sufficient.

-on page 168, she states that B12 in the form of methylcobalamin is absorbed best. In fact, cyanocobalamin is absorbed better that methylcobalamin. This is significant because 1000 mcg of cyanocobalamin can be taken twice a week, while methylcobalamin in the same dose will have to be taken daily. It is important for vegans to know this distinction to avoid deficiency.

-on pages 73-75, Lilli B. Link, MD suggests that it is not necessary to take 1000 mg of calcium. She invokes a study that looked at raw foodists and another epidemiological study. She also continues to promote the theory that consumption of too much protein is a significant factor in the development of osteoporosis. This theory is slowly being discredited with newer studies that have been coming out and that have analyzed this relationship. She also fails to mention some cross-sectional studies that showed that vegans may be at a higher risk for osteoporosis-related fractures because of lower calcium intake. One of the examples is the EPIC study where vegans had 30% higher fracture rate than vegetarians, fish eaters and meat eaters. Vegan RDs: Jack Norris and Virginia Messina discuss this topic in detail on their blogs and the website veganhealth.org. They conclude that there is no reason to believe that vegan diet prevents osteoporosis or that vegans need less calcium that everybody else. Brenda Davis, RD and Vesanto Melina, RD, both of whom are vegans, agree on this point as demonstrated in their book "Becoming Vegan". So if you are a vegan, it makes sense to pay careful attention to the amount of calcium you consume from food and if you don't get enough, make up the difference in supplements.

-on page 68, Kris discusses the amount of protein that a person needs every day. She states that the USDA daily recommendation is 0.36 g of protein per pound of body weight, which is true. Using an example of a 130 pound woman, she calculates that she would need 47 grams of protein. Then she states that according to experts like Dr. Furhman, this recommendation is too high and that we only need 20 to 35 grams of protein. However, there is very little evidence that this is the case. All four vegan dietitians, whose names I mentioned above, suggest that vegans should not consume an amount of protein lower that what is recommended. They suggest that vegans should eat more than what is recommended. Specifically, in "Becoming Vegan" Davis and Melina say that "for vegans on predominantly whole foods diets [which is what Kris Carr recommends], a figure of 0.9 g protein per kg body weight is suggested" 0.9 g per kg is approximately 0.45 g per pound. This will mean that a person with weight of 130 pounds will need roughly 59 grams of plant protein. It is not that hard to get a proper amount of protein on a vegan diet. However, it is important that vegans understand how much they truly need. Dr. Furhman may be a well meaning person, however, both my husband and I experienced a protein deficiency that resulted in hair loss following my reading his book "Eat to Live," which was one of the first books that I read after becoming vegan.

I don't mean to discourage anyone from becoming vegan. That has been one of the best decisions that I have made in my life. I just want to make sure that readers who have been influenced by this book to change their lifestyle for the better understand how to properly balance their diet and that Kris Carr herself gives solid nutrition advice to her readers and followers.
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Feb 1, 2011 7:19:24 AM PST
L. Thomas says:
Many thanks for your review. Very conscientious, sound advice. I am exploring becoming vegan, but am somewhat hesitant to make the transition out of concern that I would not be able to get enough protein and calcium needed to maintain optimum health given my lifestyle and circumstances. I am a runner and breastfeed twin 12 month-old girls. I am inspired by Kris and her story and am slowly incorporating many of her suggestions into my routine. I'll be waiting until the girls are weaned before completely eliminating animal protein from my diet. In the meantime, I'll make sure it's as lean, clean and green as possible.

Posted on Mar 12, 2012 2:50:42 AM PDT
B.Forstner says:
You said "cyanocobalamin is absorbed better that methylcobalamin". I have always understood it was the exact opposite. I will do some research on that again.

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 12:49:17 PM PDT
Handicapper says:
This article entitled, "The Right Kind of Vitamin B12 is Vital for Treating Deficiency" from the website of naturalnews.com explains the importance of taking methylcobalamin versus cyanocobalamin. AND,"Methylcobalamin is the form found in food and
has much higher bioavailability than the form most widely available in supplements, cyanocobalamin."

Posted on Jun 11, 2012 12:56:57 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jun 11, 2012 12:57:15 PM PDT
Handicapper says:
Who ever this is (Lisa B.) probably believes High Fructose Corn Syrup is SAFE for human consumption.

In reply to an earlier post on Jun 12, 2012 9:09:28 PM PDT
Lisa says:
My advise to watch one's protein and calcium intake has absolutely nothing to do with my beliefs related to High Fructose Corn Syrup, which I did not bring up here.
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