Why I am No Longer Vegan
So guys, I am no longer vegan. I’m an Ex-Vegan.
I’m going down in the books with every other non vegan who failed at veganism. Actually, I am a liar, I was never vegan because I still consumed honey.
I was actually just doing a 2 week vegan challenge, which I kind of decided I wanted to do a bit longer once the challenge was over. I took in all the info and knowledge I could about veganism and decided it was the only option that made sense to me. I could solve world suffering and my own suffering(get healthier) all at once! I really do understand why people go vegan and the environment and yeah I get it, I really really get it.
The first month I felt great! I figured I could do this forever and eat all my favourite foods like pasta(gluten free) and rice. I have dabbled on and off for a while with the vegan lifestyle. I used to enjoy watching Freelea the banana girls video’s until I realized she’s absolutely crazy. If she is even doing it for the right reasons(spreading veganism) then her approach is all wrong. She bashes people for their diets and shows no compassion at all. She actually said in one video meat eaters should not be allowed to live and everyone should be forced to go vegan. She’s like the vegan Hitler. I do not think her body is ideal even though she looks fine you can tell she is lacking nutrition. Her face is worn out and she is getting more mean and critical. I think that is a sure sign of vitamin deficiency. Anyways her Raw til 4 diet was what caught me at first. I did that on and off and sometimes felt really great doing it. But those diets I find are more of a cleanse to reset your body and then you must add healthy more nutrient dense foods into your diet. Basically you could eat large amounts of fruit all day til 4 and then a huge dinner of rice and potatoes for dinner. But no fat. Its all very low fat and high carb and Freelea actually calls avocados the devil, because they are an evil fat! Like seriously? Avocados are so good for you and so yummy! These extreme forms of dieting reminded me of eating disorders and I know how crazy you can drive yourself being a food nazi. I understand, I have to be a gluten nazi unwillingly.
So yeah to me that lifestyle seemed too restrictive. And long term most people cannot sustain it and I read many stories from ex raw foodists about certain health ailments.
I knew that was not for me but I still wanted to be vegan. I decided I would go on a logical vegan diet that included carbs, fats and protein. I like to workout, so I definetly needed a protein source. Perfect I thought, I can get my protein from beans, nuts and tofu. So like I said, first month was great. I went from eating a lot of animal products to eating none. I had replaced a lot of meals with salads and fruits and whole grains. My tummy felt lighter and things seemed to be working smoothly. Right now, Life is Good.
Fast forward to month 2 and my skin started breaking out like crazy. What the hell I thought. Note: After being diagnosed celiac in December I had been gluten free for once month before I decided to go vegan.
I gave up gluten, dairy, and animal products and my skin was getting worse? Detox I told myself. I know a lot about detox and toxins leaving the body and so on. Even though I got through a month with no skin issues I figured month 2 must have been my body doing some real cleaning. And a few more weeks went by. I suspected a soy intolerance, so I cut back on it.
Well my skin got worse and I started getting white spots on my nails. This used to happen to me when I was younger, it always meant my body was low in zinc. Skin issues usually have to do with zinc too so it clicked. Okay I just need to buy a zinc supplement. I tried to first incorporate more zinc into my diet, but I couldn’t figure out how as I was already eating zinc rich foods daily. I followed a very well balanced vegan diet to make sure I got all the nutrients. I had flax, hemp or chia everyday too for Omega 3’s. More on that after.
So I go get my zinc supplement, and a D3 and K2 supp, and b12, and b100 and a multi. I thought jeeze that is alot of supplements I seem to need to fill in nutritional gaps.. but oh well you do what you gotta do.
I feel like the zinc supplements helped a little bit, but something still felt off. My body was breaking out too and that really made me wonder whats going on. I have always struggled with yeast issues and I started getting the feeling it was getting irritated with the high amounts of fruits and carbs in my diet. Even though I was eating balanced, it is hard not to get an excess of carbs on a vegan diet. Especially when you are trying to gain muscle. You want the extra calories but you don’t want excess carbs, as these spike your insulin, making your body hold onto fat. Well yeast also feeds on your blood sugars so when you spike your insulin, the microbomes have a feast.
Yuck, I know. But the reality is we live amongst microbes. They outnumber us 10 to 1. We are actually more a micro-organism than a human. Lol, I know. Freaky right.
Anyways so I always like to have a diet based on feeding the microbiome. You want to feed the good bacteria, not the bad ones like yeast that thrive on sugar. I am a fruit advocate, but you still can’t have too much and same with rice and potatoes. You will overwork your pancreas excreting that much insulin to control your blood sugar levels.
A vegan diet is a really great way to feed your microbiome! Fruits and veggies do feed the healthy bacteria you just cannot overdo fruits. It is still fuel for yeast. High glycemic foods also spike your insulin and cause the same problem. One problem I had with the vegan diet were the insulin spikes. I could try to limit my carbs but then I was always hungry! Which just means your suppose to eat more carbs right, well I can’t do it. I am insulin sensitive like many and not everyone does very well on grains. If you workout, then you also need more calories, and I did not want those coming from carbs.
One thing I will point out is that I have Celiac disease. What this means if you do not know is that my body cannot tolerate gluten in wheat rye or barley in any form. If i ingest these substances even the smallest bit, it sends off an autoimmune reaction that tells the immune system to attack the small intestine and damage the villi. The villi absorb all of our nutrients. Damaged villi=nutrient malabsorption. With the exclusion of gluten from the diet, many people heal the villi within a year and sometimes sooner. What some have noted, it that damage is more rapid when grains are excluded from the diet. Corn for instance, has such a similar protein structure to gluten as do oats. Both these foods make me very sick. One man’s food is another man’s poison.
Grains also contain phytic acid and lectins. These are anti nutrients which further block the absorption of vitamins and minerals. So something you thought was healthy was actually blocking the goodness from your system. Doing things like soaking and sprouting your grains(and nuts and legumes) will help with easier digestibility and absorption.
I still eat rice in moderation. I always make sure I soak it overnight with some apple cider vinegar to help pull out the lectins and phytic acid.
Also, my mother is a Celiac. She is Irish. Grains have only been in the irish diet about 3000 years. European and asian cultures, around 9000. So genetics do play a role, grains are tolerated easier by the people who have 3 times the amount of time to evolve with them. I dunno about you guys, but I am probabaly not going to live another 6000 years.
Okay so since I started rambling and got off topic, lets continue onto why I stopped the vegan diet. So between the white spots on my nails, my worsening skin and highly sensitive emotional state, I started looking for more answers. I stumbled upon some ex vegan stories, and things just started clicking. After years people were having a hard time admitting their diets were causing them to be really sick. Uh oh, I don’t want this to be me one day I thought. I have been dealing with countless nutritional deficiencies as an undiagnosed celiac for most of my life.
The doctors kept telling them a little bit of eggs and some fish would fix everything right up. But the ideology of ethics meant more to them than their health. I understand too, I believe on a spiritual level, were all vegan. But on a human level which happens to be the way we inhabit this planet, we’ve evolved eating meat.
I am not saying this is true for everyone. If you are one of the people who can thrive long term on a vegan diet, that is amazing! I would never tell anyone to give something up that works for them. And if animal products work better with your biochemistry so be it. I have a malabsorption condition. Proteins and vitamins from meat are more bio available to me than from plants and definetly not from grains. I have always looked at grains as more of a filler food than a nutritional one. I started looking into co-factors such as taurine and carnosine ect. Taurine for instance is only found in animals. It is what helps transport vitamins like magnesium. So you could be eating lots of heavy rich magnesium foods, but not absorbing much of it!
So once I realized i’m more the type to do better on meats than grains, I decided to adjust my diet a bit. I am not going to become a savage or something. But some locally raised, organic eggs doesn’t seem too bad to me. Or the odd chicken or fish. As long as the meat is clean I do not believe it to be unhealthy.
My stand on the ethical part of all of this. Well. I did have to rewire my beliefs a bit and understand something called LIFE a little better. No matter whether you eat the fish or the plants, something had to die. All these extra supplements I bought, small rodents had to die in their production. The harvesting of grains and modern farming practices cause thousands of animals to die each year in the process(mice, pheasants, rabbits, snakes etc) The way I see it is 1 cow could feed a family for one year. That is one life sacrificed. To feed a family grains and plants for one years, thousands will die in the production. So which lifestyle really does the least harm? We can’t escape suffering in this life no matter how hard we try. Its a natural cycle of life and death, and you could walk out your door and get hit by a car. It happens right. I do not believe in permanent death anyways so it should not be too scary. I wanted to end all the suffering on the planet if I could help it, until I realized thats not even what I was doing. I felt very hypocritical one day sitting in my car realizing that my whole car is made of leather. Fuck. I am a shitty ass vegan I thought. Then I realized the clothes I wear probably support child slavery in China and the car I drive is also a part of the environmental concerns we face. I didn’t want to act like my choice of diet was better than anyone elses, because according to who? Our lifestyles period are a source of suffering all around us. Once I accepted that fact, I actually felt better. We should still do the least harm but now I actually do not know what is the “least harm”.
At the end of the day, factory farming is despicable. The suffering, the disease, the treatments of these animals is completely inhumane. But I do not agree with the statement that all killing is inhumane. We are humans who evolved a certain way and maybe hundreds of years down the line we can figure out ways to reduce suffering and still get the required nutrients to do so. I will repeat, bioavailability issues. On that note, I think all meat should be local, organic and no overconsumed! The real problems with meat is that we overconsume unclean sources. Even the fruits and vegetables are not ideal. Local farms would be the best place to buy produce.
So there you have it, just my opinion and why I ended my “vegan/plant based diet”. I challenged myself for 2 weeks and ended up doing 8 so I am happy about that! I will definetly include more plant based dishes in my diet and consume less animal products. Mostly just eggs to be honest.
Sorry if anyone takes offence, you really shouldn’t. People got to figure out what works for them and we have to respect each others differences. We can love the animals all we want, but if we first do not love and respect each other, nothing will ever be accomplished.