Interview with Paul Kerton – The Hench Herbivore
Why did you go vegan?
Initially health. I saw my partner Gemma’s health blossoming so I started researching it. The book “The China Study” and the information given out on Dr. Michael Gregor’s Nutritionfacts.org website alerted me to all the data showing a direct link with animal products and all the top killer diseases of the western world. They are termed diseases of affluence because people living in poorer countries that cannot afford to eat meat and dairy very rarely suffer from them.
Whilst researching recipes and other information for my new dietary outlook I accidentally stumbled on images and videos of the terrible suffering that farmed animals have to go through at our hands. I truly believe that any right-minded person seeing this would not want a part of it and I now dedicate a great deal of my time to promoting the vegan message on the animal’s behalf.
More recently I attended the Vegan Futures event in London and learned of the catastrophic harm being caused to the planet by animal agriculture and that at the way things are going a 5 year old child may not reach retirement age! I urge everyone to watch the film Cowspiracy available on Netflix and Seaspiracy available for free on YouTube. So really I am vegan now for 3 inter-linked reasons!
Do you miss meat?
NO! I was sick of all the dry chicken breasts and smelly eggs and tuna that the fitness industry would have you believe are essential to building muscle!
Also once you’ve been vegan for a while a change happens in your brain. I now don’t see “meat”, I see pieces of dismembered corpses and it sickens me. If I see a pint of milk I get a flash of images of the suffering behind that. The calf being ripped away from it’s grieving mother in order to be killed so that we can drink the milk. The miserable short life of confinement and exploitation of the dairy cow and thousands of day old male chicks on a conveyor belt being fed into a macerator because they are not useful to the egg industry. I could never go back to funding such barbaric acts.
Did you lose muscle mass once you made the switch?
Not in the least. I truly believe that anatomically, psychologically and biochemically humans were NEVER meant to eat animal products. I suppose the number one issue people think of with regards to building muscle is protein. Well those amino acids that make up the protein didn’t magically appear in the animal, they came from the plants it ate! I’m just cutting out the middle man now! Far from being a detriment, I have found it a benefit to my training- faster recovery, less pain from training and much improved energy!
Why did you pick the 80/10/10 diet?
(Technically the true 80/10/10 diet is completely raw but I do subscribe to those macro-caloro ratios)
My diet is best described as high carb, low fat, plant-based wholefoods. Mostly lots of carbs coming from whole fruits, vegetables and sometimes grains with a tiny amount of overt fats coming from nuts, seeds or avocado (chia seeds and flaxseeds are some of the better choices as they are high in essential omega 3 fatty acids.)
This way of eating has been proven to stave off and even reverse disease. Dr’s Caldwell Esselstyne and Dean Ornish have had thousands of success stories reversing heart disease in their patients, Dr Neil Barnard with his diabetic ones. Indeed I myself have doubled the strength of my eye-sight and cured my hayfever and the tendonitis that used to plague me from all the heavy lifting that I do. My clients have enjoyed type 2 diabetes reversal, 20 years of osteoarthritis reversed and one client managed to totally rejuvenate his liver after having it badly damaged by 30 years of disease.
How do make sure all these carbs do not turn to fat?
Contrary to popular belief it is actually really hard for the human body to turn carbohydrate into fat. If you think of all the great rice eating people’s of the world they are typically very slim. Excess carbohydrate can be burned off by way of dietary thermogenisis. Usually the problem with weight gain is the dietary fat that comes along with our carbohydrate sources. Fat is stored as fat if the total calorie intake is too high. And in the same form in which it is ingested! Another thing that most people do not realise is that protein is just as insulinognic as carbohydrate and the most protein that a body can use for muscle synthesis in a day is 40-50g so the need for protein is seriously over-stated by most.
What tips do you have for people starting out as vegans?
You may receive some negativity from the unawakened masses. Arm yourself with info on the health, ethical and environmental aspects of veganism. Great films include Forkes Over Knives, Earthlings and Cowspiracy. I have a YouTube channel that covers all the different topics. Other great channels include The Vegan Activist, Plant Based News, The Friendly Activist & The Vegan Revolution (who also happens to have a great podcast)!
It can be good to join online forums or go to local vegan meet-ups for support on your journey.
I find I am hungry a lot and eating more often is this a problem?
What usually happens when people begin eating HCLF vegan is that they under eat. This is because fruits, veggies and whole grains are calorically dilute relative to animal products, oils and refined sugar. It can potentially take the stomach a little time to stretch back to the size it should be for this species-specific diet