Healthy Decisions for the Love of Health

  Hallelujah Acres Research Indicates Some Weaknesses in Vegetarian Diets  Greg Westbrook

  If you are a newcomer to the Gen 1:29 Diet, this article may not make much sense right now.  Newcomers to the diet often feel like a frisky colt in the early going.  Some even overcome serious disease on the diet.

But if you’ve been on the diet for several years like we were, this article may be a godsend.  After only three years on the diet, we sadly admitted to ourselves that we were losing ground; going backwards in our health, not forward.  If you’ve experienced new and troubling symptoms in your health on the Gen 1:29 Diet, take heart.  You haven’t failed the diet.  The diet has probably failed you.

The Gen 1:29 Biblical Health movement is built on one single verse in the Bible. 

In this paper, we will closely examine a research paper by Michael Donaldson, PhD and highlight the nutritional deficiencies he found in 141 Hallelujah vegetarian dieters.   

 It is:

  • Too high in carbohydrates
  • Too low in protein
  • Low in energy (calories)
  • Completely missing two essential micronutrients and low in seven others
  • Requires eating voluminous amounts of vegetables (over a gallon per day) if properly done.

In spite of all the rhetoric from vegan diet teachers, there has never been a civilization in the entire world that has been able to entirely survive on the vegan diet.  Every culture depends on some type of animal products to a degree, be it eggs, milk, cheese, or meat (even insects in third world countries).  This includes the Hunza people who are often falsely represented as vegan even though they eat dairy and some meat. [1]

This paper is a bit lengthy, but it is filled with priceless information.  I hope you read it in its entirety and print it out to use as a reference document.  

Sounding the Alarm

For almost a year now, we have been sounding the alarm:  The Gen 1:29 Diet (a vegan diet) is a good short-term healing diet, but inadequate for long-term use.  We have been collecting Health Surveys [2] from long-term dieters this past year that show a large percentage of people developing health problems on the Gen 1:29 Diet.  Many find that short-term health gains often give way to long-term loss of vitality on the diet.

Because of potential problems with the Gen 1:29 Diet, we have switched to a whole-Bible diet called the Plan B DietTM. [3]   We call it Plan B because it is the second diet given to mankind in Gen 9:3 in the context of blessing Noah.  Also, it is based on three B’s: Basic foods, the full spectrum of Bible teaching, and is a Balanced diet including clean animal products.  None of the junk food and junk meats in the Standard American Diet is included in the Plan B Diet T

As I point out in my book: When Hallelujah Becomes “What Happened?” it is not wholesome meat, dairy and eggs that has been making people sick, but the junk foods, junk meats, junk dairy, and junk eggs in the Standard American Diet.  God did NOT give us meat to make us sick and die an early death.  When people clean up their diet, get the sugar and processed foods out, and eat only “clean”, properly grown animal products, the results can be explosive!  

We are seeing the same short-term testimonies on the Plan B DietTM that we used to see on the vegan Hallelujah DietSM [4] !  However, we now have no fear that our students will hit the wall of deficiency down the road a year or two as they did on the Hallelujah DietSM.

All that being said, why do people crash on the vegan diet after several years?  A new (2001) research paper coming from Hallelujah Acres Foundation gives us some great new clues.  Even though this study was not designed to uncover problems with the diet, surprisingly, deficiencies were identified.  

Michael Donaldson, PhD, Exposes Deficiencies In Hallelujah Vegetarians

In his 10-page article entitled Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians [5] , Michael Donaldson, PhD, explains the results of a study he did on 141 people on the Hallelujah DietSM (84 women and 54 men).  Dr. Donaldson is the director of the Hallelujah Acres Foundation.

After evaluating the 7-day food diaries of these Hallelujah vegetarians, Dr. Donaldson sounds an ominous note of alarm:

“Some modifications of this dietary pattern to provide vitamins B12 and D, and higher intakes of iron, selenium, zinc and protein may be necessary for successful long-term health.” [6]   (emphasis added)

In stark contrast to Dr. Donaldson’s warning above, the following summary of his findings was found on Hallelujah Acres’ website:

“What this study reveals is that intakes of most vitamins and minerals are adequate while following The Hallelujah DietSM.

“Only vitamins B12 and D were extremely low. Hallelujah Acres recommends a vitamin B12 supplement and sunshine, the natural source of vitamin D, to make up for these low intakes. 

Unfortunately, Hallelujah Acres makes no mention that calcium, iron, selenium, biotin, zinc, pantothenic acid, iron and protein were also found deficient in Dr. Donaldson’s study.

Of the 24 vitamins and minerals tracked by Dr. Donaldson, there were significant shortages in 9 of them: calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, biotin, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin and iron.  It was also low in protein, fats and energy. 

When our body fails to get 9 of the essential nutrients, it is only a matter of time until deficiencies mount up.

Dr. Donaldson agrees that vitamins B12 and D are the “most critical” deficiencies [7] , but he voices serious concerns about other deficiencies as well: [8]

“Protein intake was very low in this population.” Page 297

“Further studies are planned to evaluate the long-term effects of this low protein diet.” Page 300

“Further studies are needed to ensure that a positive calcium balance is achieved following this dietary pattern.” Page 300

“Further studies are required to determine if zinc status is compromised following the diet surveyed here.” Page 300

“Iron utilization could be impaired by sub-optimal vitamin B12 status.” Page 300

“Vitamin D status of this population has not yet been investigated.” Page 301

“On low energy diets, great care must be taken to ensure adequate nutrition; if energy intake is too low (<50% of DRI [Daily Recommended Intake], one is at risk of seriously compromising their health.” Page 301

How serious are these deficiencies?  We examined these deficiencies in detail below and show how our own Health Surveys surprisingly confirm these deficiencies.

One more topic in this article involves the inability to stick to the diet (frequent cheating on the diet).  Again, from the Hallelujah Acres web site comes this statement:

“Many times a diet that is lower in calories will result in widespread deficiencies, causing hunger and inability to stick to the diet.” Source: 

If we did nothing but focus on the protein deficit, this alone is staggering.  Dr. Donaldson found that protein intake of the 141 Hallelujah vegetarians (at .66 grams/day/kg body weight) was only slightly above the minimum physiological requirement for protein. [9]

This should be considered a glaring red flag.  How can a pregnant mother or growing child or athlete expect to thrive on a protein intake barely above minimum physiological requirement?

Not surprisingly, Dr. Donaldson found that most of the Hallelujah vegetarians actually ate animal products during the week.  A whopping 58% of the Hallelujah vegetarians (82 out of 141) ate animal products.  While they probably felt guilt and failure over eating animal products, the lack of protein in the diet may have been a major factor in driving them to cheat.

Let’s take an in-depth look at the deficiencies on the Hallelujah DietSM.

The Tank Is 27% Empty!

Low caloric intake by definition means low energy.  Dr. Donaldson found the diet on average only supplied 73% of RDI (Recommended Daily Intake) for energy. [10]   This means the energy tank is 27% empty, just over ¼ tank low!

If you cut 27% out of your caloric intake, it will have a severe impact on your energy level. 

The Gen 1:29 Diet is often presented as a high-energy diet, but there is a triple whammy working against the typical Hallelujah vegetarian. 

First of all, the diet is inherently low in energy intake (calories) at 73% of RDI.  Secondly, as we shall see, deficiencies of zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin, and iron are common on the diet.  Each of these deficiencies can lead to fatigue in itself.  Finally, with protein quite low at only 9% of calories, [11] there is too little protein to build muscle.  (Note:  Nutritionists commonly recommend a 15% protein diet)

Perhaps this triple whammy is why we see a high percentage of people reporting poor energy and lack of strength on our own WOW Health Surveys: [12]

  • Don’t feel like exercising or working: 63%
  • Lack of stamina, endurance and strength: 64%

On top of the above triple whammy comes another blow:  The dieter is told the diet isn’t working because he isn’t exercising enough.  Unfortunately, exercise is not the silver bullet to correct a deficient diet, and it will only drive a person further down the deficiency curve, leading to worse problems.

Vegetarian athletes are often cited as “proof” of high energy on the vegetarian diet.  This is very misleading, because vegetarian athletes invariably eat dairy and eggs and/or large amounts of soy isolated protein powders (a highly processed food).  Yes, they are lacto-ovo vegetarians eating milk and eggs, but they are absolutely NOT vegan athletes.  To imply that a vegan can do athletic sports at a world class level is misleading at best and dishonest at worst.

Lacto-ovo vegetarian athletes are highly competitive, but a vegan athlete is not, simply because of the low energy in his diet and inability to get enough protein.  A popular vegetarian website warns that vegans will lose weight if they expend more than 1000 calories in sports activity (roughly the amount of energy to play a round of golf if you carry your clubs).  Source:

Protein Deficiency

As already noted, protein intake was very low, barely above minimum physiological need for these 141 dieters.  On average, men ate an average of only 47.2 grams per day (Table IV). [13]   But the average dieter is not the one that loses his health; it’s the dieters on the lower end of the scale.  How much protein did those on the lower end of the scale eat?

From Table IV, we can estimate that 9 men (16% of the men) consumed less than 33.8 grams per day (based on standard deviation) [14] .  This is extremely low!

At 55 years of age and 153 pounds, my protein need is approximately 55-73 grams per day [15] depending on physical activity level.  If I were only getting 33.8 grams per day like some of the Hallelujah vegetarians, I would likely suffer serious long-term problems on the diet including muscle wasting and lost vitality. 

Before my years on the Gen 1:29 Diet, I always had several building and repair projects going on around the house and farm, but after a few years on the Gen 1:29 Diet, they all came to a grinding halt for lack of energy.  Eventually, I became so weak and feeble that I couldn’t even operate some of our equipment, such as our trencher.  Work around the house became limited to very light work: changing light bulbs, taking out the trash, sweeping out the garage, and picking oranges from the orchard.

Muscle loss is a big concern on the Gen 1:29 Diet.  A separate study by Dr. Donaldson: Fibromyalgia syndrome improved using a mostly raw vegetarian diet: An observational study seems to confirm muscle loss after just 7 months on the diet.  In this study, subjects reported that hand strength was down significantly (by 23%) in the right hand, and down by 17% in the left hand. [16]   With this much muscle loss after only seven months, one can only wonder how much muscle wasting would occur after several years on the diet.  (Details are in note 16 at the end.)

I have a friend who is very meticulous in recording his workout weights and repetitions.  After a few months on the Gen 1:29 Diet, he realized that he was losing strength since he could no longer perform at his previous level.  Now that he is no longer on the Gen 1:29 Diet, his strength is coming back in force, and his muscular build (noticeably absent in long-term Gen 1:29 dieters) is also returning.

Since the data in Dr. Donaldson’s study lumps 59 vegans in with the 82 non-vegans who ate animal products, we can only wonder how little protein the vegans were receiving.  It is most disappointing that Dr. Donaldson did not separate the data for the 59 vegans who participated in the study, as this surely would have painted a more accurate (probably more grim) picture of the vegan diet.

Signs of Protein Deficiency

Early signs of protein deficiency include: [17]

  • Increased secretion from nose and mouth
  • Edema of hands and feet
  • Muscle cramps and/or menstrual cramps
  • Low tolerance for exercise
  • Bleeding gums

Severe long-term protein deficiency with low carbohydrate intake can lead to a condition called Failure to Thrive.  Symptoms include: [18]

  • Extreme hunger
  • Gross weight loss
  • Growth retardation (in infants)
  • Wasting of subcutaneous fat
  • Muscle wasting
  • Reduced insulin secretion
  • Reduced thyroid function
  • Recurring persistent infections

On the other hand, if dietary protein is low, but carbohydrate intake is relatively high (much like the diet of the 141 subjects), symptoms are somewhat different: 

  • Edema (water retention, swelling).  Edema is much more common in women than men because of the effect of female hormones on the body's metabolism and circulation.  Edema is deceptive because it gives the appearance of being “chubby”, making a person appear fully nourished. [19]
  • Chubbiness from overeating on carbohydrates with low protein
  • "Flaky paint" dermatosis (skin flakes off like bad paint) [20]
  • Thinning, decoloration, and reddening of the hair
  • Enlarged fatty liver
  • Petulant apathy (bad-tempered, cantankerous, cranky)
  • Retarded growth (in infants)
  • Impaired immune response
  • Recurring persistent infections

A number of the symptoms above are fairly common on the Gen 1:29 Diet.  Fortunately, most people begin to cheat on the diet out of necessity as they slip into deficiency.  Those who cheat by eating animal products will tend to pull out of the deficiency, whereas those who cheat with more fruit will only fall further into protein deficiency.

Few Gen 1:29 dieters reach this point, but severe prolonged protein deficiency in a low-energy diet can lead to a serious medical problem called Protein-Energy Malnutrition (PEM).  This condition is common in developing countries due to deficient diets, but can also be self-inflicted by adherence to deficient diets.

Food Sources of Protein

Animal products including beef, chicken, turkey, fish, eggs and milk are the primary source of protein although small amounts can be obtained from fruit and vegetables.  Protein is relatively abundant in nuts, but nuts also contain large amounts of fat, making them a less desirable source of protein.  For example, almonds are approximately 13% protein, but they are 74% fat.  Walnuts are even higher in fat at 81% with only 8% protein. 

Grains and legumes, if properly combined, are the best source of protein for vegans, although they are not a significant part of the Hallelujah DietSM.  

Additional information not included in the article is listed here: 

Proteins from animal sources are vastly oversupplied in traditional Western diets. Initially this causes stimulation - you feel energetic and even aggressive - but later in life it leads to enzyme exhaustion, putrefaction of bowel contents, toxemia, breakdown of the immune system, gout and cancer. Protein deficiency, on the other hand, causes slow growth, fatigue and debility.

Good sources of protein are hemp, wheatgrass juice, fresh or dried, pollen, spirulina, chlorella, almonds, lentils and other legumes, traditionally fermented soy products, sunflower and sesame seeds (tahini), raw egg yolk, naturally fermented and unpasteurized goat cheese and yogurt, fish, (organic) liver and other organ meats.

Use red meat and predatory species of fish in small amounts only. Nuts are generally difficult to digest, except if soaked. Soybeans and broad beans should not be eaten raw except if sprouted or fermented. Cooked soybeans may cause indigestion, except if discarding the soaking and cooking water. Also processed soy products are not recommend because of their high content of anti-nutrients and genetic engineering, although traditionally fermented or sprouted soy foods are fine.

The best sources of protein are hemp, wheatgrass juice fresh or dried, sprouted seeds, pollen, spirulina and chlorella or other edible algae. Individual protein requirements differ. More is needed during pregnancy, in childhood and during convalescence. With advancing age and degenerative diseases use any flesh food in an easily digestible form, such as broth of fish, liver or meat. It is good to combine legumes with starches as for example, lentils with brown rice. However, mixing different proteins to obtain improved amino-acid compositions is generally not required. Preferably have flesh foods no more than once a day and avoid products from feedlots or containing growth promoters.

The anti-cancer fat

Linoleic acid is one of the essential fatty acids that our bodies need but cannot synthesise. We must eat some to survive. Fortunately there is one form of linoleic acid that is beneficial. Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) differs from the normal form of linoleic acid only in the position of two of the bonds that join its atoms. But this small difference has been shown to give it powerful anti-cancer properties. Scientists at the Department of Surgical Oncology, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, New York (16) and the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, New Jersey Medical School, (17) showed that even at concentrations of less than one percent, CLA in the diet is protective against several cancers including breast cancer, colorectal cancer and malignant melanoma.

Conjugated linoleic acid has one other difference from the usual form – it is not found in vegetables but in the fat of ruminant animals. The best sources are dairy products and the fat on red meat, principally beef. (18)

It has been suggested that the consumption of red meat increases the risk of colon cancer, yet in Britain there is no evidence to support this. (19) It is interesting that all the evidence implicating red meat in cancer comes from the USA – where they cut the fat off.

Go to Polyunsaturated Fat to read more

Now back to the article:-

Note:  As we shall see later, the Hallelujah Diet is not precisely defined in some areas, yet followers are encouraged to do the diet 100%. Grains and legumes are somewhat ambiguous since they do not appear at all in the ideal diet column on page 65 of Recipes For Life [21] , but they do appear in the food pyramid on page 63 of Recipes For Life in tiny amounts.  This, of course, leaves the dieter without clear direction.

Vegetarians (not to be confused with vegans) commonly eat eggs and dairy to help get enough protein. Without eggs and dairy, vegans have no significant source of protein except for soy products.  We do not eat soy products since they are highly processed, far from a basic whole food. Click here to learn more

Vitamin And Mineral Deficiency

Several serious deficiencies were identified in the diet of the Hallelujah Vegetarians.  Table 1 shows all the deficient nutrients along with the approximate daily need for each nutrient.  High-risk individuals are highlighted in yellow, and Extreme-risk are highlighted in red.  It is recommended that you read this table thoroughly and understand the risks of the vegan diet.


Referring to Table 1, note that all 87 Hallelujah women were low in calcium intake.  On average, daily calcium intake for the Hallelujah women was 577 mg; about half of normal daily need depending on age. However, some women received as little calcium as 421 mg per day, placing them at extreme risk. 

Calcium deficiencies can lead to brittle nails, cramps, delusions, depression, insomnia, irritability, osteoporosis, palpitations, periodontal disease, rickets (can lead to permanent bone deformities in children), and tooth decay.

**Warning**  Pregnant or lactating woman need 1200-1300 mg per day of calcium and should be highly cautioned to consider the risks in light of the scant calcium available on the Gen 1:29 Diet.

Vitamin B12

Looking again at Table 1, we see an extreme risk for women for vitamin B12, even more so if pregnant.  The average intake of vitamin B12 was 0.51 mcg/day; however, this is due to the fact that over half of the Hallelujah vegetarians ate animal products.  Those who ate no animal products and did not supplement received no vitamin B12 whatsoever, a nightmare scenario for repeat vegan pregnancies.

Vitamin B12 deficiencies can lead to anemia, constipation, depression, dizziness, fatigue, intestinal disturbances, headaches, irritability, loss of vibration sensation, low stomach acid, mental disturbances, moodiness, mouth lesions, numbness and spinal cord degeneration.

**Warning**  Pregnant women need 2.6 mcg per day of calcium and should be highly cautioned to consider the risks in light of the scant B12 available on the Gen 1:29 Diet.

Of all the essential vitamins, B12 is the most interesting one because it can only be obtained in appreciable amounts from animal products, not plant sources.  Yet it is an essential vitamin!  Without B12, we become host to a number of deficiency symptoms.

The fact that this vitamin is missing altogether in the vegan Hallelujah DietSM is evidence that the diet is neither “ideal”, nor viable for long-term health maintenance.  Of course, the simple “fix” is to take a synthetic vitamin B12 supplement manufactured in a laboratory.  Would God give us an “ideal” diet that depends upon the existence of laboratories to manufacture substances that are missing altogether in the diet?



Diets Deficient In This Element [22]

Daily Requirement [23]

Daily Intake At Or Below: [24]

Daily Intake (on average) [25]


All 87 women

Adult Women **

1000 mg

421 mg

577 mg

Women over 50 ***

1200 mg

Pregnant / Lactating ***

1300 mg

Vitamin B12

84 out of 87 women

Adult Women ***

2.4 mcg

0.0 mcg

.51 mcg

Pregnant ***

2.6 mcg


64 out of 87 women

Adult Women ***

55 mcg

0.0 mcg

67 mcg

Pregnant ***

60 mcg

Lactating ***

70 mcg


56 out of 87 women

Adult Women*

30 mcg

19 mcg

29 mcg

Lactating **

35 mcg


49 out of 87 women

Adult Women *

11 mg

4.9 mg

6.7 mg

Pregnant **

13 mg

Lactating **


Pantothenic Acid

44 out of 87 women

Adult Women *

5 mg

3.33 mg

5.19 mg

Pregnant **

6 mg

Lactating **

7 mg


20 out of 87 women

Adult Women *

14 mg

7.91 mg

14.8 mg

Pregnant **

18 mg

Lactating **

17 mg


19 out of 87 women

Adult Women ***


10.2 mg

14 mg

Women over 50 *

14.4 mg

Pregnant ***




Diets Deficient In This Element

Daily Requirement


Daily Intake At Or Below:

Daily Intake (on average)


52 out of 54 men

Adult Men **

1000 mg

478 mg

687 mg

Men over 50 **

1200 mg

Vitamin B12

50 out of 54 men

Adult Men **

2.4 mcg

0.0 mcg

0.65 mcg


18 out of 54 men

Adult Men

55 mcg

29.4 mcg

54.3 mcg


14 out of 54 men

Adult Men

30 mcg

25.2 mcg



39 out of 54 men

Adult Men *

11 mg

5.8 mg

8.3 mg

Pantothenic Acid

16 out of 54 men

Adult Men

5 mg

4.21 mg

6.35 mg


8 out of 54 men

Adult Men *

16 mg

10.6 mg

18 mg


2 out of 54 men

Adult Men

14.4 mg

12 mg

17 mg


Table 1: Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah
Vegetarians Compared To Daily Need

* Moderate risk    **High risk    ***Extreme Risk        Note:  Vitamin D deficiencies not shown, as they are easily satisfied with adequate sunshine.

There is nothing wrong with taking a man-made vitamin B12 substitute. 

Another question we should ask ourselves about synthetic vitamin B12:  How can a chemical substance manufactured in a laboratory totally and completely replace something found in nature?

Vitamin B12 is not a trivial substance.  It has the largest and most complex molecular structure of all the vitamins.  It is unique among vitamins in that it contains a metal ion, cobalt. For this reason cobalamin is the term used to refer to compounds having B-12 activity. [26]

We must understand that chemical approximations of vitamin B12 are not the same as the real vitamin B12 provided in animal products.  Another thing science cannot duplicate is the delicate, synergistic balance of vitamins and minerals as they are packaged in real foods.

Note:  An article entitled: Vitamin B12 and the Hallelujah DietSM is posted on Hallelujah Acres web site that contains clear warnings about B12 deficiency. 

(Source: )

Women on a vegan diet can easily suffer vitamin B12 deficiency, especially pregnant and lactating women.  Some develop a false sense of security thinking they are on an ideal diet, and don’t realize the need for supplementation.  This accentuates the need for a clear warning on vitamin B12. 


A full 64 of the 87 Hallelujah women were low in selenium intake.  While the average selenium intake was sufficient at 67 mcg per day, some women apparently received none at all.  If so, they would be at extreme risk.

Selenium deficiencies can lead to growth impairment, high cholesterol levels, increased incidence of cancer, pancreatic insufficiency (inability to secrete adequate amounts of digestive enzymes), immune impairment, liver impairment, and sterility in males.


Iron found in plant sources is non-heme iron and is less absorbable than the heme iron found in animal foods.  For this reason the RDA for iron from plant foods would be 1.8 times the normal RDA for iron. [27] Therefore the RDA for iron is: (1.8) times (8 mg/day) = 14.4 mg/day for adult men and women for iron from plant sources.

Hallelujah vegetarian women ate as little as 10.2 mg per day, satisfying just 71% of the RDA for iron for vegetarians. 

**WARNING**  There is a huge red flag for pregnant women.  Pregnant women need MUCH MORE iron than the average person - up to 48.6 mg/day (plant-source iron).  Some Hallelujah vegetarian woman ate as little as 10.2 mg/day of iron.  Please read and beware if you are a pregnant woman on a vegan diet!

Iron deficiency can lead to anemia, brittle nails, confusion, constipation, depression, dizziness, fatigue, headaches, inflamed tongue and mouth lesions.

Vitamin D:

Vitamin D is seriously lacking in the Gen 1:29 Diet but I have not included it in Table 1 because it is easily obtained from sunlight in a normal healthy person.  However, if a person lives in an area where sunshine is not abundant, vitamin D will be lacking in the diet.  A significant number of people cannot get adequate absorption from the sunlight, especially dark skinned people in a northern climate during winter.

Biotin, Zinc, Pantothenic Acid, Niacin:

Women appeared at risk for deficiencies in these elements, especially if pregnant or lactating.

Biotin Deficiencies can lead to dermatitis, eye inflammation (burning eyes), hair loss, loss of muscle control, insomnia and muscle weakness.

Zinc Deficiencies can lead to acne, amnesia, apathy, brittle nails, delayed sexual maturity, depression, diarrhea, eczema, fatigue, growth impairment, hair loss, high cholesterol levels, immune impairment, impotence, irritability, lethargy, loss of appetite, loss of sense of taste, low stomach acid, male infertility, memory impairment, night blindness, paranoia, white spots on nails and wound healing impairment.

Pantothenic Acid Deficiencies can lead to abdominal pains, burning feet, depression, eczema, fatigue, hair loss, immune impairment, insomnia, irritability, low blood pressure, muscle spasms, nausea and poor coordination.

Niacin Deficiencies can lead to bad breath, canker sores, confusion, depression dermatitis, diarrhea, emotional instability, fatigue, irritability, loss of appetite, memory impairment, muscle weakness, nausea, skin eruptions and inflammation.

Red Flags From Table 1: 

Table 1 shows extreme risk for certain Hallelujah vegetarian women for calcium, vitamin B12, selenium and iron.  If pregnant or lactating, the risks appear even worse.  And we must remember that the risk is not only to the mother, but also to the child.

Women are at high risk for all other elements, depending on age and whether pregnant or lactating.

Men are at high risk for calcium and vitamin B12.  If men ate more animal products than women, this may explain why men appeared at lower risk than women in general.

Again, it is surprising that nutrient deficiencies of this magnitude have been identified by Dr. Donaldson, particularly in a research program undertaken to highlight the benefits of the diet.  Since 58% of the dieters ate animal products, we can be certain that those that did not eat animal products were very low in nutrients.  It would be most interesting if Dr. Donaldson would isolate the vegan dieters from the non-vegan so we could have a more accurate reading on vegan diet nutrients.

Do these findings mean that nobody can thrive long-term on the Gen 1:29 Diet?  Not at all.  Some people appear to be able to thrive.  But these folks must not think that just because they thrive, everybody can thrive. Remember one mans food is another mans poison.

Deficiencies Always Lead To Health Problems

Why the Difference?

Our findings regarding long-term health problems developed on the Gen 1:29 Diet are not in agreement with Dr. Donaldson’s study of 141 Hallelujah vegetarians.  He collected questionnaires regarding quality of life and health assessment from the 141 dieters, noting that there was a dramatic improvement in all markers including physical functioning, vitality and mental health. [28]   Why did these 141 dieters record such improvements in their health, yet our WOW Health Surveys show severe long-term health issues with the diet?  There are several reasons for this disparity:

· The 141 Hallelujah vegetarians were not a cross section of the average dieter.  They were an elite group, many of whom were health ministers, who are very enthusiastic about promoting the Gen 1:29 diet.  These were obviously people for whom the diet was working well; otherwise they would have already dropped out of this elite group.

·  The average time on the diet was 28 months.  While 28 months is plenty of time to develop problems on the diet, it usually is not enough time for people to realize that the diet is the source of their newly developing health problems.  

With this in mind, let’s look at several long-term health issues that are tied to deficiencies in the diet:

Mental / Emotional Problems

A deficiency in any of the vitamins or minerals in Table 1 creates its own health problems in the long-term.  For example, it is commonly known that low calcium leads to osteopenia and osteoporosis.  But a deficient diet will normally produce several deficiency problems.  Over half of the Hallelujah vegetarian women ate a diet deficient in seven elements:  calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, biotin, zinc and pantothenic acid.  What happens when several of these deficiencies “gang up” on our unsuspecting dieter?

Let’s assume that a person is low in calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin and iron; all common deficiencies on the Gen 1:29 Diet.  If we just look at the symptoms related to mental and emotional stability for these elements, we can see that the mind is probably going to be affected to some degree:

Calcium: Delusions, depression, irritability.

Vitamin D: Nervousness.

Vitamin B12: Depression, irritability, mental disturbances, moodiness.

Zinc: Amnesia, apathy, depression, irritability, memory impairment.

Pantothenic Acid: Depression, irritability.

Niacin: Confusion, depression, emotional instability, irritability, memory impairment.

Iron: Confusion, depression.

Depression appears on the list above six times, irritability appears five times, memory impairment appears twice and confusion appears twice.   What are the the cumulative effect of deficiencies in all these nutrients?

We were surprised ourselves when mental issues surfaced as the number one problem in our own WOW Health Surveys.

Table 2 shows that mental issues were commonly reported on our WOW Health Surveys of long-term Gen 1:29 dieters.

Fatigue, Lethargy

Mental problems are by no means the only long-term problems people have with the diet.  As you can see from Table 2, 64% of the people reported: “Lack of stamina, endurance, and strength”.  Nearly two thirds (63%) reported:  “Don’t feel like exercising or working.”  Again, fatigue and lethargy are caused by a host of various deficiencies: vitamin B12, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin and iron.

Physical Problems

Lack of sufficient protein coupled with various vitamin and mineral deficiencies stack up to cause a host of physical breakdown problems as Table 2 shows.  Loss of muscle and muscle tone is the most often reported problem.  All these problems are what happen to a person who does not provide his body with the building blocks he needs to regenerate the body.  

Poor Digestion

On the vegan diet, the digestive system becomes more finicky and less robust as the years go by.  Eventually, every meal and snack becomes an event that requires careful thought.  As shown in Table 2, 43% of the people reported “Trouble coping with food combinations” and 39% reported “Unable to digest food quickly.”

Symptom Developed On Gen 1:29 Diet - From WOW Health Surveys [30]

Percent Experiencing This Symptom

Possible Missing or Deficient Element [31]


Scattered or foggy thinking


Vitamin B12, niacin, iron

Inability to concentrate




Calcium, vitamin B12, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin

Low tolerance to stress


Negative thinking


Memory loss


Zinc, niacin

Lack of motivation for daily tasks



Mood swings


Vitamin B12, niacin



Calcium, vitamins D, B12, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron

Panic attacks, paranoia



Lack of stamina, endurance and strength


Vitamin B12, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin, iron

Don't feel like exercising or working


Run down, chronically tired


Diminished sex drive


Selenium, zinc


Loss of muscle and muscle tone


Biotin, protein, niacin

Fingernails rigged or thin


Calcium, zinc, iron

Pale skin, dull hair and eyes



Slumping posture


Calcium, vitamin D

Hair Loss


Biotin, zinc, pantothenic acid

Dry, burning eyes



Headaches, neck aches, shoulder pain


Vitamin B12, iron

Leg or foot cramps



Heart palpitations



Tooth decay



Bleeding gums




Trouble coping with food combinations



Unable to digest food quickly


Vitamin B12, Selenium, Zinc

Table 2  Health Problems/Deficiencies
Confirmed By WOW Health Surveys

Shoring Up The Diet

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms in Table 2, you may be tempted to start taking a spectrum of vitamin and mineral supplements.  Before you do that, remember: supplements fall far short of God’s plan for our dinner tables.

Rather than loading up on bottles of pills from the local health food store, why not consider eating God-given foods that contain an abundance of these missing nutrients.  

Supplements are no match for real foods.  We are tracking several Gen 1:29 dieters who are galloping down the supplement trail, and they are not getting results like those who are turning to the Plan B DietTM (balanced whole foods diet including clean animal products)!  

If your beliefs don’t allow you to partake of animal products, then you must supplement with vitamin B12, and you may also need other supplements to address deficiencies.  You will need to work hard at eating the foods that provide the missing nutrients, and may also need to pursue a supplementation regimen under the care of a knowledgeable physician.  Some may also need thyroid medication and digestive enzymes to maintain long-term health.

Food Sources Of Missing Nutrients [33]
(highest concentration listed first in bold letters)

Calcium: Milk, yogurt, cheese, Chinese cabbage, rhubarb, spinach, white beans, bok choy and kale.  Other veggies and fruits contain calcium, but in far lesser amounts than the above foods.

Vitamin D: Cod liver oil, herring, salmon, and sardines, egg yolks.

Vitamin B12: Salmon, beef, milk, cheese (esp. Brie), eggs, chicken, turkey

Selenium: Brazil nuts, salmon, halibut, chicken, beef, whole wheat bread

Biotin: Liver, eggs, yeast, wheat bran, whole wheat bread, cheese, avocado

Zinc: Beef, turkey (dark meat), chicken (dark meat), yogurt, baked beans, cashews

Pantothenic acid: Avocado, yogurt, chicken, milk, sweet potato, lentils, eggs, split peas

Niacin: Tuna, chicken, salmon, turkey, cereal, peanuts, beef

Iron: Lentils, beef, potatoes, kidney beans, prune juice, cashews, tuna, prunes

Why Did Hallelujah Vegetarians in the Study Cheat?

Several factors stack up to make this diet very difficult to stay on in the long-term.  The diet is:

  • Low in calories.
  • High in carbohydrates.
  • Low in protein.
  • Missing or low in several essential nutrients including calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, selenium, biotin, zinc, pantothenic acid, niacin and iron.

The body can cope for a short time with a deficient diet, but eventually it begins to cry out for nutrition.  Unless we have tremendous self-discipline, we will eventually give in to eating some of the foods we’re missing in our diet.

As we shall see, most of our 141 dieters did begin to cheat, fudging the diet in several ways: [34]

  • They ate more fruit than is advised.  Fruit constituted 25.7% of the total energy (calorie) intake.  This is much higher than the 15% advised on the Hallelujah DietSM
  • They ate 55% raw (unheated), much less than the 85% raw advised by the Hallelujah DietSM. [35]
  • They ate more grain products than advised (18.6% of total caloric intake).  Grain input is not clearly defined for the diet.  The food pyramid for the Hallelujah DietSM has a “Bread and cooked grains” component showing approximately 6% grains and bread, but the food chart of page 65 of Recipes for Life [36] shows no grains at all on the ideal diet.  Either way these 141 dieters felt the need to eat more grain than the “ideal” diet prescribes.
  • Most people (58% of them) ate animal products [37] , strictly forbidden on the Hallelujah DietSM.  Of the 141 dietary logs Dr. Donaldson collected, 82 of these included animal products during the week.

Those who ate animal products consumed an average of 29.3 grams per day (just over one ounce per day).  How much is one ounce per day?

  • 1 egg per day or
  • A 7-oz steak every week or
  • Two hamburgers per week or
  • One ounce of cheese per day or
  • A stick of butter every four days or
  • Two dishes of cottage cheese per week

Why do people cheat on this diet?  They cheat because their bodies are crying out for nutrition, and they have powerful food cravings.

Food cravings appeared to be a severe problem judging from WOW Health Survey results:

  • 59% reported cravings for cheese, dairy, nuts
  • 58% reported to be plagued by food cravings
  • 55% were constantly snacking
  • 35% reported salt cravings    
  • 26% reported cravings for meat
Note: Some of the problems seen here are probably due to the wrong ratios of protein to carb to fat.  This is address by the Metabolic Bio Typing program that HealthSmart Nutrition offers.  These cravings are easily controlled when they eat the proper ratios.

Mustering Willpower

What would happen if these 141 dieters had mustered the willpower to do the diet 100%?   They would cut back on their fruit intake to 15% fruit (vs. actual 25.7%), they would eliminate most grains (which provided 18.6% of their calories), and they would eliminate animal products.  

They would have just eliminated nearly one-third (29.3%) of their caloric intake!  Add this to the fact that their diets are already approximately 27% low in calories already, and you end up with a ravenously hungry person.  How can they make up these calories?  The only thing left is vegetables. 

If you’ve developed health problems on the Gen 1:29 Diet, and shared your struggles with fellow Gen 1:29 dieters, you’ve probably had plenty of advice from your friends. They’ll probably tell you:

  • “You must be detoxing.”
  • “We’ve never seen this problem before. You’re the only one.”
  • “All your problems will clear up if you stick with the diet long enough.”
  • “You’re under too much stress.  Even a perfect diet can’t compensate for extreme stress.”
  • “It only works 90% of the time.  There are no guarantees.”
  • “You need to get more raw food in your diet.”
  • “You need to get more cooked food in your diet.” (a recent addition to the litany)
  • “Are you taking enough Udo’s Oil?”
  • “You’re eating too much fruit.”
  • “You’re not exercising enough.”
  • This is most unfortunate for the struggling dieter. 

    Doing the Diet 100% - Chasing the Mirage

    Let’s take a closer look at why the Hallelujah DietSM is impossible to do 100%.  We’ll look at the diet recommendations two different ways:

    1. The typical day on the Hallelujah DietSM recommendations.
    1. The food pyramid in Recipes For Life, page 63.

    Typical Day Guidelines

    According to George Malkmus’ typical day, the food recommended for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks includes:

    • 3 teaspoons of green powder
    • 16 oz carrot juice
    • A large salad (3 cup salad – my definition of a large salad)
    • Some fruit (not over 15% of the total diet)
    • A cooked portion at dinner (not over 15% of the total diet)
    • A tablespoon of Udo’s Choice Perfected Oil Blend (mentioned in other teachings)

    Using a nutritional computer program, he entered these exact foods into the database, selecting a baked potato for the cooked portion, and added a tablespoon of Udo’s Choice Perfected Oil Blend. 

    Fruit must be limited to less than one banana (2/3 banana) to keep the fruit portion to 15% of total calories.  The potato had to be limited to a tiny 3-ounce size to keep the cooked portion of the diet to 15%.  Amazingly, the total calories amounted to only 603 calories, hardly enough to sustain life.

    The astute dieter soon realizes that he cannot survive on 603 calories and will add larger portions.  He will also likely add nuts, avocados, and grains even though none are mentioned in George Malkmus’ typical day.  But as you can see this diet “by the book” is woefully insufficient in calories.

    Food Pyramid Guidelines

    Since we can’t use George Malkmus’ “typical day” to clearly represent the diet, let’s look at the diet using the food pyramid on page 63 in Recipes For Life.

    Using simple geometry to figure out area of each food type on the pyramid, Greg Westbrook calculated the following percentages:

    • Raw vegetables are 28% of the diet calories
    • Fruit is 21% of the diet
    • Fresh vegetable juices are 12.3%
    • Green Barley Powder is 9.6% of the diet
    • Raw nuts and seeds are 7.3%
    • Cooked vegetables are 10%
    • Bread and cooked grains are 5.7%
    • Olive oil, flax seed oil, butter, beans, and honey are 6.1% of the diet

    Using these percentages, he again entered food into the computer program to calculate portions assuming a 2000-calorie diet. Here is the food that corresponds to the food pyramid:

    • Over one full gallon (20 cups – five quarts) of raw chopped mixed vegetables and salad including (560 calories):
    • 3 1/3 cups broccoli
    • 3 1/3 cups shredded carrots
    • 2 2/3 cups summer squash
    • 5 1/3 cups spinach
    • 1 1/3 cup beets
    • 4 cups dinner salad
    • Two bananas and two oranges (440 calories)
    • 12 tablespoons barley powder
    • 19 almonds
    • 21 oz. carrot juice
    • 8 oz potato
    • 1 1/3 slice bread
    • One tablespoon Udo’s Choice Perfected Oil Blend

    The above diet is as close as he could approximate “doing the diet 100%” according to the food pyramid.  Granted, the fruit percentage is a little higher than the 15% stated in the “typical day”, but it very closely approximates the food pyramid.

    Exactly what nutrients does the above diet contain?  Placing all the above food into the computer program, the ideal model of the diet looks pretty good; certainly a lot better than the 141 Hallelujah Vegetarians, but still has some problems:


  • Selenium and zinc are only slightly deficient.
  • Most (90%) of my protein needs are met (13% of diet is protein)
  • It has enough calories to meet my needs (2000 calories)
  • Cons 

  • Vitamin B12 and vitamin D are still non-existent
  • Diet is 72% carbohydrate (way too high)·
  • Fats are low at 15%* HS note should never be less than 20%. Ask your advisor why.
  • The fact that the diet now supplies almost all his micronutrients and needs (except for vitamins B12 and D) is impressive.  But there is still one insurmountable problem.  Who can eat 5 quarts of chopped vegetables and salad?  It is virtually impossible.  This diet, if done 100% by the book, is highly improbable.

    Most people usually reach the point of being full at about three cups of food.  It doesn't seem possible to eat 5 quarts of vegetables every day.  Even someone who needs 1500 calories would need to eat nearly a whole gallon (15 cups) of vegetables and salad.

    As we might suspect, our Hallelujah vegetarians in the survey only received 8.2% of their calories from vegetables and salads [39] , corresponding roughly to about one quart (four cups) a day.  Not bad!  But still a far cry from the 25% to 28% normally called for on the “ideal diet.”

    Undoubtedly there was a day in the garden of Eden when man could eat a pint or so of vegetables and receive plenty of nutrition.  But it appears those days are gone.

    Could it be that God’s wisdom is higher than man’s wisdom regarding what we should eat?  Perhaps Genesis 9:3 is not a curse:

    “Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.” Genesis 9:3

    A Word On Meat

    It is most unfortunate that people believe that all meat is a killer food and is the cause of 90% of mankind’s health woes.  Granted, much of the meat available in the grocery stores these days is in fact junk meat.  Animals are often fed a contaminated diet, and meat is often processed using harmful preservatives and chemicals; but this is no reason to assail “clean” meats freely given to us by God.  To claim that God gave us meat to shorten our days, make us sick, and kill us betrays the true character of God.

    As we explained in our “FAQ’s About Meat and Your Health” videos·, virtually every single study “proving” the harmful effects of meat eating is flawed for at least two reasons:

    • No study has ever been done on people who were eating Biblically approved meats from animals that were properly grown and fed.  All studies have either used highly modified “protein” such as milk casein OR standard junk meats including luncheon meats, hot dogs and the like.

    • In virtually every study, including The China Project, the people who ate meat also ate junk food.  We call this the missing junk-food co-factor.  For example, more affluent Chinese urban dwellers had more health problems than their counterparts living in rural China, supposedly because they ate more meat.  However, it is well known that Chinese urban dwellers also eat more junk foods including soft drinks, white flour products and processed foods than rural Chinese.

    Meat, dairy and eggs are gifts to mankind that we need.  


    The diet practiced by 141 Hallelujah Vegetarians was deficient in protein, energy and nine essential micronutrients.  Women appeared to be at extreme risk for deficiencies in calcium, vitamin B12, selenium and iron, and at high risk for deficiencies in biotin, zinc, pantothenic acid and niacin.  Men appeared to be at high risk for deficiencies in vitamin B12 and calcium.  Over an extended period of time, deficiencies can lead to a host of health problems, as confirmed by WOW Health Surveys. 

    The fact that 58% of the Hallelujah vegetarians ate animal products, and that food cravings appear to be quite severe on the diet suggest that cheating is being driven by the deficient nature of the diet.  

    If practiced “by the book” according to the food pyramid, a person would have to eat a gallon or more of chopped, mixed vegetables and salad every day, making this diet practically impossible for anyone to follow.  

    · Note:  As we pointed out in our video Rethinking the Gen 1:29 Diet, a high carbohydrate diet can lead to insulin resistance, plaque in the arteries, diabetes, cancer and stroke if carried on long enough


    [1] Hunzas eat dairy and meat: 

    “The butter-milk or lassi that is left they drink. They also drink whole milk. They sour milk and butter-milk, which keep better when soured.”

    ”The Hunza, with the exception of their occasional meat, are lacto-vegetarian...” The Wheel Of Health , Chapter 9:  Hunza Food and Its Civilization, G. T. Wrench, M. D. 1938.  Available on the web at:

    [2] WOW (Weigh of Wisdom Workshop) Health Survey lists the most 54 most commonly mentioned health problems that are developed on the Gen 1:29 Diet in the long term.

    [3] Plan B DietTM is a diet of organic fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, seeds and clean animal products.  It is free of all junk food, and is based upon the full spectrum of Biblical teaching. More information in my book.

    [4] Hallelujah DietSM  is a service mark of Hallelujah Acres.  As advocated, it is a vegan diet of 85% raw food and carrot juice and 15% cooked foods.

    [5] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Michael Donaldson, Nutrition and Food Science, 2001, Volume 31, Number 6, pages 294-303 MCB University Press

    [6] Ibid, page 301

    [7] Ibid, page 301  “The use of supplemental vitamin B12 and supplemental vitamin D during the winter at high latitudes would cover the most critical deficiencies of this diet” (emphasis added)

    [8] Ibid, page 297, 300, 301

    [9] Ibid, page 299

    [10] Ibid, page 297

    [11] Ibid, page 297.  Protein intake percent was not clearly stated in the paper, but can be calculated from the information given.  Carbohydrate intake was given as 67% of total calories and fat intake is at approximately 24% of total calories.  Protein intake is then calculated at 100% less 67% less 24% = 9%. 

    [12] Survey results in Greg Westbrook's book.

    [13] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Table IV, page 298

    [14] For men, standard deviation for protein was 13.36 grams (from Table V).  This means that 68% of the men consumed between 33.8 grams per day and 60.6 grams of protein.  It also means that roughly 16% of the men (about 9 men) consumed less than 33.8 grams per day.  (Without the actual data, this is as close as I can estimate the low end of protein intake for men.) 

    [16] Fibromyalgia syndrome improved using a mostly raw vegetarian diet: An observational study Michael S Donaldson, Neal Speight, Stephen Loomis, BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2001.  Available on the web at:

    In this study, data was collected on 26 people eating the Hallelujah DietSM.  Dietary intake was on par with the 141 Hallelujah vegetarians:

  • Carbohydrate intake at 65%
  • Protein intake at 11%
  • Fat intake at 24%
  • This was a short-term experiment (7 months).  Out of 27 people, 19 (70%) improved on the diet although 8 (30%) did not improve, which falls far short of health claims commonly applied to this diet.  I would expect positive results since these people cleaned up their diet, ate large amounts of healthful fruits and vegetables, carrot juice and BarleyGreen.  This clearly demonstrates the benefit of the cleansing diet for the short term.

    Items tracked were pain, range of motion, rotation, flexibility, endurance (six minute walk and stand up/sit down chair test) and hand strength.  Respondents reported much less strength than before after only seven months on the diet. 

    Strength in the right hand was down by 23%, and left hand down by nearly 17% (see Table 2, page 5).  While they had better flexibility in their movements, their actual strength was down significantly.  Could this be the beginning stage of muscle loss on the vegan diet?  Bone strength was not measured.  Perhaps more studies should be done to track muscle strength and bone strength over a longer period of time.

    [21] Recipes For Life, Rhonda Malkmus, 1998, Hallelujah Acres Publishing, Shelby, NC.

    [22] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Table VI, page301

    [23] Source of daily nutrient level recommendations:

    [24] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Table V, page 299.  This column is calculated by subtracting the standard deviation from the mean intake for each element.  Approx 16% of the dieters will be at or below these intake values.

    [25] Ibid, Table V, page 299.  Mean values from table used for this column.

    [27] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, page 300

    [28] Ibid Table 1, page 295

    [29] SF-36 Survey

    [30] WOW (Weigh of Wisdom Workshop) Health Survey lists the most 54 most commonly mentioned health problems that are developed on the Gen 1:29 Diet in the long term. 

    [31] Source of health problems caused by deficiencies:  Total Wellness, Joseph Pizzorno, Pima Publishing, 1998

    [32] Lick the Sugar Habit, Nancy Appleton, 1996, Avery Publishing Group

    [33] Food sources of vitamins/minerals: Note:  Shellfish and pork were omitted since they are not included in the Plan B DietTM.  Tofu was omitted since it is not a basic whole food.  Fortified foods were not listed since the nutrients were artificially added to the whole food itself.

    [34] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Table III, page 296

    [35] Ibid, page 296.

    [36] Recipes For Life, Rhonda Malkmus, 1998, Hallelujah Acres Publishing, Shelby, NC

    [37] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, page 298

    [38] Food and Nutrient Intake of Hallelujah Vegetarians, Table III, page 296.



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