Wellness

Why I stopped being Vegan for 3 years…

I was contemplating on sharing this because of how big veganism has grown… But yes, after two years of being vegetarian, one year of pescatarian, and three full years of veganism, I finally had to quit… and I didn’t want to.

I was one of those kids who grew up eating meat, seafood, dairy, etc. For some reason the thought of eating meat always irked me, especially chicken and pork. I didn’t love the taste to begin with. I heard about the vegetarian lifestyle when I was a sophomore in high school. It was becoming a lot bigger on youtube and instagram. More and more people started joining the lifestyle, so I thought why not? At the time I wanted to do it for my health. I got a lot of annoying comments from people, but it was what I was passionate about. I continued to eat fish and dairy the first few months. I went back and forth from cutting it out, because it was hard to give up food I was used to eating all the time. Towards the end of my junior year of HS I decided to finally go vegan. Im one of those people that have always been conscious of my health, and really thought this would help me look better, feel better, etc… And it did! Only for those first two years…

At first I was eating a lot of fruits, pastas, veggies, and legumes. I felt good, and lost weight pretty quickly if I’m being honest. I became so in love with the idea, that I changed all products that I was using on my body to; cruelty free, chemical free, and organic. My parents thought I was crazy for doing all of this, but I was really set on joining this lifestyle. The first two years were great, I felt good for the most part, and thought I could eat as much food as I wanted, sounds amazing right?

Then, during my sophomore year of college, I started to lose a lot of energy. I would have terrible stomach issues on and off for almost a year, and my skin wasn’t doing the best. I ended up going to the doctor multiple times and getting blood tests done to figure out what the heck was going on. At the time I thought I was eating enough. However, I was taking in a lot of fiber, if anything too much fiber. I was always bloated and uncomfortable. Everyday I woke up fatigued, brain fogged, and pretty miserable, due to all of the issues with my stomach. I never thought for a second It could be the way I was eating. I ate really clean, sometimes almost too clean to where it became an obsession. Mentally and physically I was drained from becoming so obsessed with what I was putting into, and on to my body. After I found out nothing serious was going on from multiple doctors, I decided to take a step back and realize that it could be from the food I was eating, or not eating…

I was vegan for the animals, the environment, and most importantly my health. And because I was doing it for so long, I never wanted to give it up. I tried everything from supplements, to different types of vegan diets, and anything else that could of helped, but nothing did. I talked to a few people about what I was going through, and many said I wasn’t getting enough nutrients or wasn’t eating enough of the right foods. My gut health was crap, and I was constantly getting infections, and other sicknesses. At that point I would of done anything.

Last summer I made the decision to start adding eggs and fish back into my diet. I wasn’t vegan anymore, and I felt extremely guilty for the first few months. I didn’t tell anyone because I felt so ashamed, especially because of how many people decided to carry on the same lifestyle. This doesn’t mean I added burgers, dairy, and all of that garbage back into my diet. I only eat pasteurized organic eggs, and freshly caught fish, and sushi on the occasion! I knew making this post I would be judged, but I know theres others that have gone through the same thing. And guess what I feel better then I have in a long time. And its okay to not be vegan, everyone is different. It doesn’t work for everyone, and as long as you are healthy and feel good, then thats what matters most. This doesn’t mean I don’t care for our environment or the animals, because I do. My health comes before anything, and ever since I stopped being vegan, I haven’t been obsessed with everything I’ve been eating. Yes, I still eat vegan food, I actually prefer eating vegan treats over the ones with dairy and eggs. I now eat all seafood, the occasional organic turkey and very rarely cheese. Its about eating the right foods, and making sure your getting enough vitamins. You should eat foods that make you feel good, give you energy, and all of that other good stuff. I’m writing this a year later, and I feel incredible.

Its okay to not be vegan, and its okay to be vegan. Its not the end of the world if you can’t cut out foods you are used to eating. Not here to judge! But I’m no doctor, so just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. Unfortunately my body just couldn’t adapt to it, and kudos to anyone thats able to stick with it and feel great!

I GAVE UP SUGAR

I never thought the day would come where I finally decided to give up one of my favorite things… Sugar.

Im not talking about candy, soda, or ice-cream, because I don’t usually eat that stuff anyways (my body would full on reject those in minutes). This is more towards the sugar that creeps into Starbucks lattes, super tasty protein bars, and even my favorite chocolate almond milk. Since 2016 Ive been eating a somewhat clean diet, but never thought to cut out the one thing my body is most addicted to. I didn’t realize how much sugar I was consuming until I started to track my macros and write down everything I was eating. This is also a new thing for me… I recently studied abroad in Italy and gained several pounds (not a surprise) And when I got home, I could barely button my favorite pair of Levi shorts, which honestly irritated me to a whole new level. I was constantly eating pastas, pastries, and gelato. Even before my trip I was consuming an unhealthy amount of sugar without realizing it. Once I got home, I did some research, and decided to do short detox that eliminated processed sugars, breads, and dairy. My body had enough, and I was becoming more and more brain fogged and fatigued, and something needed to change. The first few days weren’t easy…at all. Im so used to throwing in a few splashes of creamer into my morning coffee and consuming a huge amount of processed snacks because I’m always on the go. Its crazy that most condiments, bars, and cereals have so much added sugar. This detox made me read more labels, and made me more interested in cooking real food. I switched all of my sweetened almond milks to unsweet, and completely stopped eating bars. I ditched the Yerba Mattes and Starbucks lattes, and decided to use a few squirts of raw honey for my coffee instead. I also stopped eating out these past few weeks, and focused more on making my own meals at home. Ive been including a lot of smoothies, oatmeal, grilled fish, pasteurized eggs, and lots of greens. The MyFitnessPal app makes it really easy to track everything your eating, and it allows you to scan labels as well. Im on week three and have already dropped a few pounds. I haven’t been bloated once, and I can finally think clearly! The downside is that Ive been breaking out quite a bit, but I think thats part of the detox process. I stopped craving sweets after the first week, and I’ve never felt better. Theres a lot of research out there that proves sugar is addicting to humans. This detox was far from easy, but very needed.