The Vegetarian’s Big Mistake!


So at some point in your life you decided to make a huge life changing decision “I’m not going to eat meat ever again!”
Bravo! That’s a brave and noble decision that can lead to tremendous health benefits and a happier more fulfilling life.

(by the way, this includes pescetarians and chicken-tarians too)

Assumed Benefits of Vegetarians

The true health benefits of vegetarianism are the following:

1) Eating meat based proteins has been strongly linked to causing illness and cancers (The China Study is a great book on this)

2) A plant based diet requires less processing by the body to assimilate and digest

3) There is less toxic intake due to the removal of the additional level of animal toxic exposure. (e.g. plant has toxic exposure the animal eats plant and absorbs the toxins then we eat the animal and it’s additional toxins)

4) Plants are closer to the original energy source. (sun -> plant -> animal -> human)


This is overly simplified but still essentially the most noteworthy health benefits of a vegetarian. And they are significant!
Everything is fine and good until the big mistake happens… they cook almost all of their food!

Cooking is the Mistake

What’s wrong with cooking, you ask? Well the true benefits of being vegetarian, unequivocally, only occur if the vegetarian keeps the vast majority of their diet raw. That means uncooked fruits and veggies for most of their food intake. Boiling and frying and simmering and baking and sauteing veggies has an negative effect.

In the 1930’s Paul Kouchakoff, M.D. showed that if you eat a diet that is more than 51% cooked food, your body reacts to the food as if it was being invaded by a foreign organism. Think about that: Cooking alters food so much, your body thinks it needs to defend itself! Here’s the save: He further demonstrated that if 51% of your meals were raw, you would have no leukocytosis (no white blood cell reaction), so your immune system would not be activated with a false alarm. Ah ha!


A flaw that is almost always over looked when comparing a vegetable based diet to a meat based diet is the fact that we cook almost all of our meat.

Most studies compare COOKED meat to raw vegetables. Think about that. It’s pretty obvious that a raw carrot has a far different flavor and consistency than a cooked carrot. It stands to reason that the two carrots in question will have different nutritional content too right? It looks, tastes and feels differently for a reason…right?

That raw carrot is alive. It is made of millions and millions of smaller and smaller alive things: Cells, enzymes, bacteria, etc. that make up the thing we call a carrot. Heating that carrot up to 200+ degrees (water boils at 212 degrees) is bound to have an adverse effect on a living creature… right? Imagine someone heating YOU up to 200 degrees! If you were still alive at all you would be pretty darn drained of energy and you certainly wouldn’t be able to do much work.

The trick here is that we don’t often eat raw meat. If we are eating meat it’s assumed that it’s cooked so any scientific comparison to a vegetable based diet (assumed to be raw) will be unfair due to the inherent processing (high heat cooking) of the meat. Meat doesn’t stand a chance in the competition! It’s little wonder why a vegetable based diet will be exponentially more nutritious and healthy than a meat based diet.

Losing the benefits

So the sad fact of the matter is most vegetarians essentially lose almost all of the benefits of a vegetable based diet by cooking the vast majority of the precious energy out of the vegetable and almost (not quite though) reducing it to the same processed and altered state that our cooked meat is. Of course you are still gaining huge amounts of fiber and the body energy required to digest plants is much lower. But boiling and frying and simmering and baking and sauteing (basically overcooking) veggies constantly is lowering the quality of your life decision.

Ways to make it better

So now what? Now that I’ve made you second guess yourself for that past few years of your life… oops! It’s not that bad. You are totally on the right track and gaining benefit and NOW you can make some changes to get the full blown benefit of your awesome lifestyle choice.

9 Rules to Make Your Vegetarian Life More Beneficial:

1) Make sure that at least 60% of your diet is raw and uncooked.

2) Eat more salads. Eat a fruit salad before your breakfast and veggie salads before lunch and dinner.

3) Don’t pre-cook your veggies. If they are needed in a recipe, just add them at the end.

eat less bread
4) STOP EATING all that damn bread and pasta! It’s giving you a belly. Try the No Bread Week Challenge

5) Keep lots of fruits and veggies in your kitchen.

6) Keep fresh food (carrots, nuts, seeds, broccoli, apples, bananas, dried fruit… whatever) with you for snacking during the day

7) Never boil your veggies. Steam them with a steam tray instead.

8) Dip your favorite raw veggies in hummus.

9) Have at least one raw meal per day.

Obviously these 9 tips apply to non-vegetarians as well. Us meat eaters need these benefits the most!

I personally am not a vegetarian (ya never know, I may convert someday…) but I have many vegetarian friends and I know each of you made that decision for different reasons (animal cruelty, toxic poisoning of livestock, etc). I support you all 100% and want to see you gain the full benefits of that decision.

I hope that this was helpful and useful information for you and please feel free to leave a comment below.


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21 Responses to The Vegetarian’s Big Mistake!

  1. Ben Eastman January 12, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Awesome post Terry! Its a great reminder to keep as much of your food intake raw and unprocessed. Viva la veggies and hummus! Cheers

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks Benny

  2. Tara Paustenbach January 12, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Saw the title and immediately thought, “okay, here we go”…lol, but I really enjoyed reading this! Thank you for posting this information, as I don’t believe this is discussed often enough. Vegan raw would be the absolute healthiest diet, though, tough to keep up and do. =). Juicing daily is another great way to increase the raw factor – drink your fruits in the morning and your veggies in the afternoon. Great points and info, TGiv!!

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      Thanks Tara.

  3. mark alford January 12, 2012 at 9:33 am

    The primary reason I don’t eat meat (related to your point #2 above) is that it drags me down and takes away my energy. The fact that I don’t know this animal or how it was treated is the #2 biggest factor.

    I’ve seen vegetarian athletes perform better than omnivores. Whether we can attribute this performance solely to their diet is basically impossible. However, what we can conclude is that meat is NOT required to perform at top physical levels.

    I think the real evaluation here should be how do we get “60%” raw fruits and vegetables in our diet? The government recommends we eat 2 cups fruits and 3 cups veggies ( That’s probably 2-3 times as many vegetables the average American eats cooked or uncooked. My rule of thumb, make sure every time you eat your “plate” includes 1/3 uncooked raw vegetables. Snack on carrots/cucumbers/fruit instead of chips, bars, etc. Choose non-GMO, organic vegetables that are not treated with pesticides.

    I’ve known vegetarians who live off of tofu. They hardly ate raw vegetables. Talk about a double whammy…

    Athletes that are vegetarian need to be sure they eat plenty of legumes and are better off to select grains that are high in protein rather than bleached white flour bread, white rice and tortillas.

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Great feedback Malf. Thanks for the facts!

      • Mack Ralford January 18, 2013 at 5:20 pm

        So I’m thinking about a challenge. Going vegetarian for 30 days and putting on 5-10 lbs of lean muscle and dropping my run pace by at least 8%.

        How would I do this? How do bodybuilders and professional wrestlers and gymnasts maintain their bodymass on a vegetarian or maybe a meat restricted diet?

        Let’s discuss and come up with a plan. I’ll be the guinea pig.

  4. Jane Baek January 12, 2012 at 10:01 am

    Love it! 🙂 The Hippocrates institute has a lot of studies on raw food as well which is always a great resource. Love the chickatarians part lol. There are also spiritual reasons why people decide to go vegetarian but I think for someone who is considering making the change for the first time, this article is fabulous!!!!! Did I ever tell you about my friend Joe who did a test and was a meatatrian for 6 months to test the difference, in 6 months he gained weight and smelled bad lol. Terry this is awesome!!! 🙂

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:52 pm

      Darn Meatatarians! I can totally see those results happening. Thank Jane!

  5. Erin Stafford January 12, 2012 at 10:11 am

    I think the article could also be titled “The Big Mistake Many Vegetarians Make”. This is an excellent point to raise – one that carnivores and herbivores can benefit from reading. Most Vegans, Vegetarians and Pescetarians I know are aware of this and try their best to eat mostly raw and as little or lightly cooked as possible. However, many of those new to the lifestyle choice do take a bit longer to make this realization. So for the newbies, the longrunning veggie lovers and carnivores alike, this was well written and good basic info. Thanks, Terry!

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:51 pm

      I agree 100% Erin. .We all need it…but i needed a catching title. The info means nothing if no one is motivated to see it 😉

  6. Ashley Dawn January 12, 2012 at 10:28 am

    I agree with Tara, when I first read this. I went uhuh Terry. We know how you feel about vegetarianism. We have been eating animals for 1,000 of years. However, your blog was methodical, well written and I enjoyed that even though you dont live a vegetarian lifestyle you did not out right knock it. Instead you gave constructive ways a vegetarian can lead an even healthier lifestyle. Bravo! =)

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Ashley. I believe that there are no new trues. I keep it simple to merely remind us of what we already know.

  7. Abhay Schweitzer January 12, 2012 at 11:35 am


    You mentioned the China research which is quite examplary in making it clear that a diet high in vegetables is much healthier then a diet high in meat. It is a common misconception that meat is a great source of protein as numerous vegetables and grain have a much higher concentration of protein. I think we can all agree that raw vegetables are more nutritious, but cooked vegetables (not cooked to death) are also much more nutritious then meat of any kind. Juicing is great to, but it does not have the fiber that whole vegetables give you. Dairy is also to be avoided as it has been linked to higher cancer rates as well.

    Even though humans have been eating meat for a long time, it is clear by our body (very long intestines) that we are not made to process meat. If we just listen to our body and eat food that is easily processed then we will be much healthier. Forks over Knives is great documentary for those wanting to learn more.

    Great article Terry, especially coming from a meat eater. 🙂

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:48 pm

      Thanks Abhay

  8. Nate Hall January 12, 2012 at 11:44 am

    Great post my friend. It is unfortunate that many people end up eating plates of mush so to speak. That’s why spreading the word is so amazing! Thanks for the tips on Vegetarianism!

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:57 pm

      Thanks Nate

  9. Serena January 12, 2012 at 11:33 pm


  10. Devon Felder January 14, 2012 at 7:27 pm

    Hey TGIV! Sorry for my delay in responding, but I echo the above comments regarding the fact that you seem much more ‘open’ now to looking into the vegan/vegetarian side of life, not only as due diligence for the followers of your blog, but also for YOU possibly.. one day?! This is music to my ears and I hope that transition happens sooner rather than later for you… or at the very least you could just try cutting your meat intake in half. I trust you would be a great spokesperson if you converted. 🙂 Abhay (above) pretty much expressed the majority of comments I would have made, so I will refrain from redundancy…. so yes, I agree w/you Terry; cooked veggies are not as beneficial as raw veggies because cooking kills the enzymes that God marvelously implanted in these foods so our human bodies can digest them! And I will reiterate what was stated above by Abhay, eating cooked veggies will ALWAYS win over eating meat (whether cooked or uncooked). Lastly, I also try when at all possible to practice proper food combining (based on the hygienic diet) and my stomach loves me for it! So rapidly-digesting fruits and veggies are best eaten alone (or at the very least first, before eating slowly-digesting starches or proteins). Have you tried this yet? Lastly, based on research, I do not believe breakfasts are a necessity (this is another ‘industry’ creation) and that the morning time (4am – noon) is when our body’s precious energy should be devoted to ELIMINATION.. not putting even more food in… proper order is key! Keep up the good work you are doing for many people TGIV! 🙂

    • admin January 15, 2012 at 2:45 pm

      Fantastic statements Devon. Time will tell…

  11. Fatema Qassimyar January 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Loved the read Terry! You are fabulous at communicating and making sense out of things. I can eat A LOT… what I love about my eating habits, that always get better after every cleanse, is that I can eat as much raw foods as I want and not feel an ounce of guilt about it… everything (well…maybe not everything) in moderation… except I feel free to splurge on fresh raw fruits and veggies at any time of the day!

    Oh, and lots and lots of water! 🙂

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