In episode 11 of The Muscle Engineer Podcast I’m joined by Melody Schoenfeld for a science-based, objective analysis of the vegan diet and lifestyle.
Melody Schoenfeld is a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist with the NSCA, Certified Nutrition Specialist, Certified Massage Therapist and a personal trainer with over 20 years of experience in the field.
Melody holds a master's degree in health psychology and writes and speaks both nationally and internationally on a wide variety of health and fitness subjects. She has held state and American records in all three lifts in powerlifting (squat, bench press, deadlift), and competes in powerlifting and strongman.
In addition to these feats, she is a heavy metal musician and a vegan for over 20 years, and the recent author of the book “Pleasure Not Meating You: A Science-Based Approach to the Vegan Lifestyle (And Some Recipes, Too) “.
During our conversation we both express our dislike for the most common “emotional blackmailing” approach vegans take when trying to convince meat eaters to abandon animal foods and offer a better approach, discuss some of the most common misconceptions about vegan diets and adress the most common nutrients vegans can be deficient in, plus much, much more.
Make sure to stick around until the end if you want to hear what were my top 3 take-aways from this episode.
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Topics discussed with time stamps:
1:57 When and how did Melody get involved with fitness
5:48 When did she decide to adopt a meat free diet and does she eat any animal products at all?
9:23 What does she think about trying to convince people of abandoning animal products by the common “emotional blackmailing” approach. And what would be a better approach?
13:52 The difference between vegans, vegetarian etc
16:12 The distinction between “plant based diets” vs “vegan diets”
17:33 What are the ethical, economic, and environmental considerations associated with the vegan diet?
22:42 Does Melody thinks that false claims (such as the ones being made in What the Health, The China Study etc) and false infographics are actively harming the community?
26:17 What are the most common misconceptions about vegan diets and what are some of the primary nutritional concerns to adress in order to be able to follow a vegan diet without nutrient deficiencies?
39:08 What are Melody’s thoughts on meat substitutes (textured vegetable protein, seitan, mycoprotein, soy etc. ) ? Is soy bad due to it’s phytoestrogen content?
42:30 Does she buy food that is grown locally and does she favor organic or conventional farming when purchasing produce and why?
44:25 Melody’s thoughts on lab-grown meat and other non-conventional protein sources, such as insects
47:22 Melody’s final message with regards to this topic
48:18 “Pleasure Not Meating You”, and why Melody decided to write her book
50:36 Melody’s definition of success
52:43 My closing thoughts and key take-aways