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When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" -- Crashing on the Vegan Diet

Review by Chet Day
Originally published in Health & Beyond Weekly No. 186
October 23, 2002

Intro to Crashing on the Genesis 1:29 Diet

In this special edition of Health & Beyond Weekly, I review Greg Westbrookís new book about Biblical nutrition, an important volume entitled When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" -- Crashing on the Vegan Diet.

For those who donít recognize Gregís name, he and his wife Judie created the popular Weigh of Wisdom Workshop that Christians are using throughout the U.S. to lose weight on a Biblical diet. This was a program that was endorsed and sold by Hallelujah Acres to health ministers.

Keeping the Westbrookís credentials in mind, in todayís H&B Weekly I offer you the most important issue on Biblical nutrition since I first wrote about moving away from strict veganism and the Hallelujah Diet in these pages back in January of 1999. After much email correspondence, research, and personal experience, I fully detailed my reasons for rejecting strict veganism on July 14, 2000, in an article in this newsletter. You can always read the most recent version of that article by clicking here.

As long-time readers know, in mid-January of 1999 I resigned my position as website manager, newsletter editor, and writer at a Biblical health organization called Hallelujah Acres, where, for 18 months, I had helped the owner of that business promote his popular 85% raw vegan diet, a program named the "Hallelujah Diet," also known as the "Genesis 1:29 Diet."

During the years between resigning my position and the present day I have continued to warn people Ė especially expectant mothers, nursing mothers, and mothers with babies and growing children -- about the long-term dangers of strict adherence to vegan diets like the Hallelujah Diet, programs which all-too-often prove to be deficient for most people after various periods of time.

In telling the truth as I understood it about Biblical nutrition, Iíve been called everything from a vindictive, disgruntled liar and thief to a greedy New Age agnostic because I chose to warn people about the dangers of "Godís Original Diet" in particular and raw food veganism in general.

Well, with todayís issue of H&B Weekly youíll find in Greg Westbrookís book undeniable, corroborating evidence that the Genesis 1:29 Diet as currently presented is indeed deficient and dangerous in the long-term.

So, letís get to my review of this "must read" book, which you can order right now at:

Click here to order Greg Westbrook's When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" so you can overcome the health and deficiency problems you may well be generating or experiencing on a Genesis 1:29 vegan diet.

Review:

When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?"

Greg Westbrook, his wife Judie, and their children talked the talk and walked the walk with raw food veganism, having spent three years on an all-raw vegan diet and then another three years on the Hallelujah Diet.

A self-admitted perfectionist, Greg didnít "cheat" on these programs, choosing to follow them as written by those who promoted raw foodism and veganism with such zeal. Typically, for a time at least, Westbrook and his family thrived on these restrictive diets.

But then the inevitable health crashes occurred.

As Westbrook puts it in the introduction to When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" -- Crashing on the Vegan Diet:

It can be devastating to realize that "Godís perfect diet" has run out of gas. When we transitioned to an all-raw vegan diet in 1994 and then to the Hallelujah Diet (an 85% raw vegan diet) in 1997, we were so pleased with the results that we never dreamed our diet would one day let us down.

We did not have the vision to realize that we were on a deficient diet barreling down a road to nowhere, and that we would one day have to stop the car and back up a very, very long way.

The details of the deficiency symptoms and health problems the Westbrooks encountered with the Genesis 1:29 Diet reveal a sad story Iíve heard (and shared in this newsletter) all too often the past several years.

Regarding his own symptoms, Greg writes, "My weight had dropped to 120 pounds, and I was only a ghost of my normal weight of 155 pounds. We heard from the grapevine that people were talking about how old and tired Judie and I were looking. I had also lost almost all my digestive power as well as five teeth to decay on the Genesis 1:29 Diet. And I was always cold, the result of slowing metabolism."

Click here to read Gregís full account of his symptoms and the health problems experienced by his family while on the Gen 1:29 Diet.

Believe me, once you see what happened to the Westbrooks, a family dedicated to achieving ultimate health, youíll never again view the Gen 1:29 Diet with the wide-eyed, idealistic enthusiasm that just about all of us former vegans originally brought to it.

After the opening section of When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" Ė- which, in entertaining and informative prose -- recounts the family health story and reasons for writing the book -- Westbrook offers detailed commentary and advice in twenty-two chapters and five appendices, includingÖ

  • Long-Term Deficiency Symptoms of Genesis 1:29 Diet
  • The Gen 1:29 Life Cycle
  • Lock Down: Why the Gen 1:29 Diet Plays Out
  • Creeping Back to the Meat Counter
  • God Didnít Make a Mistake with Meat
  • Foundation of the Plan B Diet
  • The Plan B Diet Explained
  • Plan B vs. Standard American Diet
  • Intelligent Recovery Ė Going from Plan A to Plan B
  • Teeth Can Get You Down
  • Distilled Water, Too Cleansing
  • For the Inveterate Vegetarian
  • Godís Good Food by J.A. Dennis

You know, for years now, one of my main criticisms of the Biblical nutrition movement (as well as the natural health movement in general) involves the always-sunny presentation of short-term testimonies as "proof" of a given diet or health programís long-term effectiveness.

Granted, many scientific studies can be considered questionable for various reasons, but at least traditional studies track long-term results and patterns.

Well, to their everlasting credit, the Westbrooks have done the same thing, and they prove their case for Gen 1:29 deficiencies by sharing the results of a survey that, as of this writing, has been taken by more than 120 men and women who have been practicing the Gen 1:29 Diet long enough for the deficiency problems to become painfully obvious.

Westbrook writes of their survey,

Since the early days of our ministry, we've had our share of emails and phone calls reporting hair loss, muscle loss, slowing metabolism, dry skin and a host of other problems. In those days we just recommended Udo's Oil or vitamin B-12 and sent them on their way with admonitions to be more faithful to the diet, eat more raw food, bigger salads, etc.

But, as our own health problems became overwhelming, we began to sit up and take notice. Being a scientist at heart (an electrical engineer for 30+ years), I wanted to get a handle on the scope of the problem. So, we created a survey.

So far, we have identified the most common fifty-four health problems people have developed on the Genesis 1:29 Diet, and have incorporated these symptoms into the survey. The survey is an invaluable tool because it lays out all these long-term symptoms on two pages and enables people to really understand how much health they've lost. We've been keeping track of data from the surveys, and continue to update the database as new surveys come in.

We have been absolutely shocked at the survey results. Here are just a few examples:

  • 55% reported loss of muscle and muscle tone on the diet.
  • 55% also report difficulty staying warm, a thyroid problem.
  • 59% are plagued with food cravings.
  • A whopping 67% report scattered thinking.
  • 46% feel they are looking older than they should.
  • 54% feel run down, chronically tired.
  • 59% don't feel like exercising or working on the diet.

As you can see, these numbers are too significant to be ignored.

The results of the survey are persuasive, and the case against the Gen 1:29 Diet should only get stronger as other people take the survey and honestly share their results. Other symptoms not mentioned in the above short list but discussed within Gregís book include losing oneís teeth, headaches, and depression.

To take this survey and perhaps get a wake up call about your own state of health on the Gen 1:29 Diet, you can download and/or print off copies by clicking right here.

The results of the Westbrook survey dramatically reveal the dark side of the glowing short-term testimonies that have been so effectively used to sell "Godís Diet" as the best answer to human disease and suffering.

As the Westbrooks continue to document the long-term health problems associated with the Gen 1:29 Diet, itís my hope that the unnecessary and dangerous deceptions in the Biblical health movement will come to full light.

But you may be wondering why Greg Westbrook wrote this book.

I mean, seriously, he and his family have invested their life savings and hundreds of hours into developing their Weigh of Wisdom Workshop, and now theyíre saying, in effect, "Weíre sorry, but what weíve been teaching has some serious errors."

Read Gregís reason for telling the truth as he now understands it, a statement that reflects true integrity:

There is always a temptation to sweep truth under the carpet and just continue to belt out the same teaching as if we knew no better. I know several leaders in the Gen 1:29 movement who have done just that. But my Mother always taught me to tell the truth. In our house, truth was kingÖ This guidance has always served me well, and I know that in spite of the risks involved in writing this book, telling the truth is the only thing to do. Like my son Tim said: "Dad, if we donít tell people the truth, we might as well find a grave somewhere and crawl in it because we have just died."

A few more points to cover and then you should surf off and get your own copy of "When Hallelujah Becomes ĎWhat Happened?í Ė Crashing on the Vegan Diet" at

Click here to order Greg Westbrook's When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" so you can overcome the health and deficiency problems you may well be generating or experiencing on a Genesis 1:29 vegan diet.

A question I have been asked many times over the years has been "If the Genesis 1:29 Diet is deficient, why havenít I heard about it? Why are the people teaching it not telling the whole truth about it?"

Greg has a good answer for this important question:

New converts to the diet either totally ignore what the veteran dropouts are saying, or else they scorn the veteran dropouts as being malcontents. Iím afraid when I stepped into the Gen 1:29 Diet revolving door back in 1997 as a new convert, I was guilty of both of these errors. Now that Iím a dropout, Iím subject to the scorn of new people stepping into the door, and those still in the door.

Greg then goes on to list five reasons why the truth about the dietís deficiencies hasnít been aired:

    • People who donít do well on the diet simply quit the diet and quietly drop out of sightÖ and their story never gets told.

    • People who donít do well on the diet have such a strong belief in the diet that they tend to blame themselves if they donít fare well, rather than suspecting the diet itselfÖ they keep their story under their hat and just keep trudging along.

    • People who donít do well on the diet continue to teach and advocate the diet but privately stray into supplementation and foods outside the Gen 1:29 diet in an attempt to solve their personal health problems. Since they still believe the Gen 1:29 diet is "Godís ideal diet," they continue teaching it but donít admit to their students that they are experimenting. Their story never gets told because they would have to admit to "cheating" on the diet.

    • When health falters on the Gen 1:29 diet, most people simply feel they arenít applying the diet correctly. They just keep feeling that if they could really do the diet correctly, all their problems would go away. So they donít say much about their own personal ailments.

    • People are afraid to speak up, particularly leaders in the field. Once the ball is rolling on a ministry, it is very difficult to tell people you have changed your diet. I can tell you from personal conversations with leaders, many are not 100% on the diet, many have strayed into supplementation, and yes, many are eating animal products. But again, their stories donít get told. Silence is the only viable option for them.

Well, with the "Plan B Diet" developed by the Westbrooks, now there exists a viable and intelligent option that allows Biblical health teachers to share a diet that is not only healthy in the short and long-terms but also Scripturally sound.

Greg devotes seven detailed "how to do it" chapters to the "Plan B Diet" in When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" He covers such important topics as:

  • What Meat Can Be Safely Eaten?
  • What Fowl Can Be Safely Eaten?
  • What Fish Can Be Safely Eaten?
  • What Eggs Can Be Safely Eaten?
  • What Dairy Can Be Safely Eaten?
  • Plan B Vs. Standard American Diet
  • Intelligent Recovery Ė Going from Plan A to Plan B 

With this book Christians who have long been seeking answers about Biblical nutrition have an honest, solid, and from-the-heart resource.

Although I admit to some satisfaction in finally sharing with you indisputable confirmation of my long-held concerns about the deficiencies of the Genesis 1:29 Diet, Iím not entirely happy about it because I know this review and endorsement of Gregís book will stir up yet another nasty fire storm in certain Biblical health circles.

I predict that those who have chosen to hide the deficiencies of the Gen 1:29 Diet will once again pull out their brushes and do everything in their power to paint me, the Westbrooks, and the other health ministers airing the flaws of the Gen 1:29 Diet as greedy, lying, unChristian scoundrels who care for nothing but money.

But, in time, as more and more frustrated Gen 1:29 Dieters and teachers step forward to tell their stories honestly, the full picture should emerge.

Until then, those of us who have chosen to tell the truth as we understand it may have to weather a storm of protests, misrepresentations, half-truths, threats, and lies directed at us by people upset by our warnings.

But thatís okay.

Telling the truth is worth any battering in a storm when the other option involves the potential injury of innocent children and adults.

Click here to order Greg Westbrook's When Hallelujah Becomes "What Happened?" so you can overcome the health and deficiency problems you may well be generating or experiencing on a Genesis 1:29 vegan diet.

 
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