Monday, July 12, 2010

Meatless Monday: Bob Harper Goes Vegan


Recently, an article on VegNews announced that Biggest Loser  trainer, Bob Harper, has gone vegan!  Although I do not watch The Biggest Loser I am inspired by the incredible weight loss that has resulted from the show.  I am delighted that at least one of the trainers is promoting a cruelty-free diet because I know fitness "guru" Jillian Michaels is certainly not.  

I don't know a great deal about Jillian Michaels, aside from the fact that she declares soy to be dangerous for women while having absolutely no educational background in nutrition, chemistry, biology or anything related for that matter.  In the past she tweeted about veganism being unhealthy.  It frustrates me when people with great influence make claims such as these.  People seem to trust Jillian Michaels when it comes to their health but I think they should look deeper into her qualifications before doing so.  Don't get me wrong, I think Jillian has a place in the fitness community but she is not a Registered Dietician and should not be touting false claims.  

On that same note, Bob Harper is also not a dietician, but it will be encouraging to see someone on a mainstream TV show express the benefits of a vegan diet from his own experience, if he decides to do so.  Jenny-O is one of The Biggest Loser sponsors so I won't be surprised if he is tight-lipped about veganism.  I can only hope he has the chance to speak his truth.  

Meat heavy, high protein diets are the recommendation in most commercial gyms.  Bob Harper going vegan is in my opinion, a step in the right direction.  Currently, most personal trainers are expected to bring in revenue through protein supplement sales and most encourage their clients to eat higher protein amounts in order to gain muscle mass.  As many of us know, excess protein is not beneficial in any way.  Hopefully, Bob Harper will educate contestants and viewers about protein needs and vegetarian sources rich in protein.  While protein deficiency is a concern in developing countries, it is practically impossible to find in the United States.  I will delve deeper into the protein issue and shed some light on common protein myths in a future blog post.  

Veganism is a process of learning, making changes and growing.  Bravo Bob!  I hope you continue happily on your vegan journey.  

13 comments:

  1. I just started reading this piece:
    http://www.latimes.com/news/health/la-he-milk-20100712-2,0,3862887.story. I'm back to soy milk, though I wish I could find it in smaller containers so it doesn't go to waste.

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  2. We love the BL (and we're huge Jillian fans only because she is so hot...her diet advice is super frustrating though). I really hope new seasons bring more vegan friendly advice to the show. I recent seasons yogurt and milk have been touted by both trainers in "spots" they do that are supposed to seem like they're part of the show. A critical viewer can see that they are paid spots, but some viewers may take the "advice" to heart. Recently, though, when Bob goes to Subway on the show (another sponsor) he has been ordering the veggie sandwich with no cheese, the only vegan option available. If contract prohibits an out-and-out endorsement of veganism, then I hope he can be subversive about it.

    And how about an openly gay contestant for once?

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  3. I love the fact that Bob's vegan. I think if it weren't for the issue of sponsorship, he'd be more vocal about his personal diet choices on TBL. I do love Jillian very much and find her very inspirational, but I also think her TV persona of heightened self importance is not only transparent but as you've described, dangerous when she is advising on issues she's not educationally qualified in. And to queerveganrunner, I'm sorry if there haven't been any openly gay contestants on the US BL ;( That really sucks given they try to maintain diversity racially...you think they could of extended that diversity a bit... However, from what I remember, there have been four openly gay contestants on the Australian BL. Artie from season one, Courtney and Rachel from season two and Sarah from season six :) The episodes are mostly all on YouTube but only the first season had Bob and Jillian as the trainers before switching to Aussie trainers. Cheers!

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