5 things I’ve learnt since going vegan. The good and bad

I have been vegan now since September 19th, Yep. I’ve been counting.

Eating Korean, Asian and Mexican is just a staple in my diet. Noodles pasta and carbs are my new best friend and I don’t care who knows it. – God-love Paleo, You know I do. The results were incredible -I toned up and my energy sky rocketed but that was paleo, which is a very limiting diet for refined carbohydrates. With my new Vegan diet, without noodles, I really would start to struggle to be a creative vegan who enjoys their food.

I’ve been writing notes on “what I’ve learnt since becoming Vegan” and It’s been very, revealing.

It’s not as hard as it sounds or first seems.

Being vegan isn’t really about how easy or how hard it is to do so. It’s more about why you’re getting into it in the first place.

Whether that’s to save animals or to save the environment (emissions from animal agriculture etc) or for health. There are hundreds of reasons to go vegan, but noone talks about how hard it is. The first 2 weeks, for me and for most, were just learning what was available to the new diet, In terms of ready meals or meat alternatives. After those weeks you get into a routine of what you can eat, you can get creative.

I had no idea there were so many different tasting foods out there. It sounds stupid, I know. I’ve walked down the fresh food section a thousand times before but I get stuck in a loop. Only buying what you’re used to. Since going vegan I need more variety in my diet, it has opened my eyes to new grains, seeds, fruits and vegetables and boy..I have found some incredible ones!

I think the idea of not knowing what you can and can’t eat is what puts people off trying a new and more positive way of living.

The community is insane – so supportive

Within my first week of ‘announcing’ my veganism I was having tweets of support, Instagram followers and so much positivity around me. It was insane, like I’d joined a group of old friends who were excited to see me. There was, of course, a lot of negativity around me too. People who eat animals ( I won’t say meat anymore- It’s not meat, it’s an animal) tend to get very personal about it. I can imagine I did too, whether it was due to lack of understanding or just habit, animals were for dinner and that’s just the way it was.

The community has been so over whelmingly supportive, even when I make mistakes or buy the wrong products they have advice on the best food places around. The best products to buy and accounts to follow. It’s been an amazing experience.

People around you think you’re going to be argumentative

Within the first 3 weeks I wanted to quit.Pack it in and jump back on the wagon. It was purely my own stubbornness and disgust (quite frankly) that I couldn’t go back to eating animals. I had family and friends cut me down and personally attack me for making this choice. Not because I had confronted them but because they felt bad about their own choices.

I never openly talk about my diet, afterall, I believe a diet is personal. If I am offered food at a party I kindly decline but if someone asks me why…then ofcouse I want to share why. “I don’t eat animals, Just veggies and fruit for me!” I would say with a smile. Ofcourse, a smile doesn’t count for anything and I have been victim to countless name calling sessions and speeches of ‘diet’ advice. 

Each to their own. – I will never dissaprove of others diet choices, but why do they do so for me?

Never in my life has my mother told me I need to eat ‘more meat’. All of a sudden I cut out animal ‘products’ and I need meat to survive?  – Before Vegan I was only eating chicken, minced beef and eggs for the past 12 years. It’s not too much of a diet change everyone. Calm down.

*I understand that most people who are upset and lecturing me about why I am vegan are doing so in the 3rd person. They’re telling themselves these things to convince themselves that their diet is the right one, which for me makes it easier to deal with their hurtful words against my diet.

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It’s not the healthiest of diets

Veganism is often called the ‘health’ diet. I’ve seen countless people start and give up because they think it’s the cure to all diseases and all problems. It’s not.

Veganism is about doing what is right for you morally. It’s not about getting healthy, not at all. Ofcourse, you can find a way of eating on a vegan diet and just eating low calorie vegetation but will you get the best sustinace out of it? Probably not, a low calorie diet is never inclusive of the right minerals and vitamins, which means you’ll need to add fat and a variety of different foods. That kind of diet could be healthy and great for your skin and body but you’ll still have to spend a fair amount of your day eating. If not for eating all day then the majority of your calories will come from processed or refined foods, something else that’s not so healthy.

For me, Veganism is not healthy at all. I am unable to eat certain foods and products as they make me either ill or very uncomfortable. I have struggled to get enough Essential amino acids, foods that are high in these are obviously animal products or; vegetables, lentils, and pulses.My issue is that there are alot of pulses, legumes and other starchy sources of these quality proteins that I just can’t digest. I have struggled over the last 3 months to find the right combination of food that will give me all of the sources of protein and vitamins I needed to feel ‘right’. Leading to personal issues with my skin, hair loss and weight.

It’s all about what you’re willing to do to feel better about your way of eating and living.

Which leads me to my last big thought…

Veganism is not for me

Not entirely anyway.

I knew I had issues with my diet, I struggle with IBS and have done since my late teens. Along with that I have regular issues with anaemia and absorption of fat and sugar – lucky me. Paleo was a god send for me, as I’ve said before. It enabled me to cut out all of my issues and increase foods that improved my problems. Vegan, is a very different diet indeed.

So I’ve made some changes…

Not because it’s restrictive, it’s not at all,  but there is not enough food on the market that make it easy & safe for me, to do. After my issues with hair loss and inflamation I can’t deem it safe or healthy for me to sustain a 100% vegan diet.The past few months, and few weeks, has really changed my opinion on how and why I eat. From eating to fuel my body to eating to stop animal cruelty and now eating just to get my body back on track. It’s really come full circle and I’m ashamed to have let my body suffer so badly.

So the last 3 weeks I have been incorporating dairy products back into my diet and using ‘stock’ replacements. which carry more amino chains then any other foods that aren’t directly linked to an animal sitting on my plate, in soups and gravies once a week. Those tiny changes have meant my blood work has improved. Only slightly, but it feels a lot better and I’m able to exercise again. 

The more exercise I do, the healthier I feel and perhaps that’s just how veganism has to be for me. I guess I’m more 80/20 vegan and vegetarian now but that’s what feels best for me.

Afterall, can a health blogger take a diet on knowing it’s not healthy for them? I can’t sit here and talk about the foods you need to eat during winter when I’m not eating the right foods myself. I do have nutritional knowledge so taking these big signs into consideration this is what I need to do and I hope other vegans understand that this isn’t a ‘cop-out’ but a step towards being healthier at this moment in time.

So why still do it?

because it’s the right thing to do. There are negatives in everything we do but the positives have to outweight the negatives and with animal cruelty and global environmental issues there aren’t enough negatives to tilt the scale.Thank you for reading, please leave a comment below, either supporting or offering advice. I love to hear your stories, especially when you’ve read mine.

Have a great week,

Amylogo

 

 

9 Comments

  1. 09/01/2017 / 11:49 pm

    This is such an interesting read, especially related to health – I think people do tend to think this would be an healthy choice, so I was really surprised by the side effects and issues.

  2. 06/01/2017 / 6:04 pm

    I don’t think anyone has the right to comment on what you eat. I am not a vegetarian although I have tried this way of life a few years ago. It seems like you have found a diet that works for you now. Would you take a vitamin supplement if your blood results are showing a deficiency?

    • 06/01/2017 / 6:19 pm

      I’ve been taking Iron and B12 tablets for the past 4 weeks (this post is older relating to my diet). I had no idea I needed B12 suppliments so I’ve felt much better recently šŸ™‚

  3. 06/01/2017 / 5:54 pm

    I actually found being vegetarian really easy, but I don’t think I could ever be vegan, although I agree with it for moral reasons I have so many allergies I think it wouldn’t be healthy for me!

  4. 06/01/2017 / 4:30 pm

    I like this post, good on you for really trying your best and not give up. I’m doing Veganuary for the second time running and agree with a lot of points you’ve made here. It is super hard at first, but once you fall into a routine and get used to checking product ingredients and such, it goes get easier x

  5. Jennifer durrans
    06/01/2017 / 4:27 pm

    This is exactly me!! I can totally relate 100%!!! Also yes a lot of people don’t understand or make jokes. I try and make it work for me the best I can!

    • 06/01/2017 / 5:56 pm

      Oh good! It was super tough for the first few months in all honesty but I’ve just gotten used to it now šŸ™‚
      Thank you Jennifer x

  6. 06/01/2017 / 3:00 pm

    You’re entirely right that it isn’t always unhealthy. I’ve done a few months of being vegan to try and kick start weight loss and there’s still so many naughty vegan items out there x

  7. 06/01/2017 / 1:07 pm

    Very interesting read. I’m not vegan or vegetarian but do understand the draw and do flit with the idea, but I don’t think it would be good for my health. It’s good to see a non preachy approach to animal product education.

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