Goodbye Healthy Veganism

Basic Green Thickie Recipe

Goodbye Healthy Veganism

This is a post I hoped I’d never have to write.

And now that I am writing this, it makes me very sad.

As you know, I used to co-host a blog hop called Healthy Vegan Fridays.  My co-hosts and I have decided we are no longer going to continue with this blog hop for various reasons.

Personally, I have many reasons for not continuing with the blog hop.  But first and foremost, (confession time) the reason is that I am no longer a vegan.

People feel strongly about veganism – both for and against.  I have never preached to people about veganism and rarely brought it up myself.  But I remember the time when I had gone out for a Christmas lunch with some Mums from a local baby group, and I was being served a vegan meal by the waiter.  The girl opposite me started shouting at me, telling me I was completely wrong, that the cows needed to be milked so I was actually being cruel to cows by being a vegan!  I don’t like to get into arguments with people so it’s hard for me to have a label like this.

I became a vegan for health reasons.  I was extremely ill and had to give up my job.  The doctors didn’t know what was wrong with me so I had to do my own research.  My research led me down the path of veganism and I managed to completely heal myself by changing my diet.  I later learned about the ethical side of things and I deeply care about every living thing on this earth so it was easy for me to go down that path.

Since I became a vegan 4 years ago I’ve had 2 babies, 2 long, very hard pregnancies where I felt extremely ill with both of them.  During both pregnancies my body led me away from veganism.  I ate only real vegan food for most of my second pregnancy but I was so ill I just knew it wasn’t right for me at that time.

I’m a great believer in the body telling us what it needs at a particular time.  My raw food vegan diet really helped to give me a detox when I did it, and that was fine for then, but I soon felt my body telling me I needed some other types of food when as I fell pregnant.  During both pregnancies I also went off green smoothies.  I think green smoothies are great for our health but I think during pregnancy our bodies are trying to tell us what our babies do and don’t need.

Healthy Veganism

I know a lot of people who are healthy and thriving on a vegan diet.  I was healthy and thriving on this diet too until very recently and now my body needs other things.  We are all different and at different seasons of our lives we all need different things.

The thing about the word vegan is that it’s not just associated with food, it’s all about ethics.  Most vegans I know have become vegans for ethical rather than health reasons.  I care deeply about animals and strive to make ethical choices.  But I feel I have to put my own health first so that I can be well enough to look after my children.  Sometimes life brings us tough choices and sacrifices have to be made for those we love.

I’m not saying this is forever, but it’s certainly for now.  And all I can be is honest about what I’m doing right now and why I’m doing it.  I want to help you with your own health and that means I have to be honest about what’s working for me, how long things have worked for me and why things have changed.

In case you are wondering, all my recipes are vegan and this won’t change in the future.  I am still drinking my gorgeous  Green Thickies and have no plans to change this.  All the recipes on my blog are healthy, I believe they’re healthy and has not – and will not – change.

I really wish I still could have been a healthy vegan, so I’m sad to have to write this post.

Another reason I hoped I would never have to write this post is because, just like that time in the restaurant, I don’t like negativity.  I have seen a lot of negativity towards other people who write posts like this (and there have been a few) so on my blog and Facebook page I will delete any hurtful comments.  I respect your opinion and if you can word your comment respectfully I’ll publish it, even if you have a different view to mine.

Thank you for reading and for being open minded.  I welcome your honest reflections on your own similar struggles with diet and health.  Please comment below.

Please pin this by clicking this link

Goodbye Healthy Veganism

p.s. if you are a blogger who is interested in hosting Healthy Vegan Fridays – please get in contact with Carrie at CarrieOnVegan.com

I would love it if you could click + at the bottom to share it thank you.

Katherine Kyle @ Green Thickies

Founder at Green Thickies
Katherine lost 56 pounds and recovered from Chronic Fatigue Syndrome with Green Thickies.
Read Katherine's inspiring comeback story, From Fat and Fatigued To Lean and Loving Life In 4 Months.
Send Katherine a message on Instagram, Facebook, Google+, or email here.

Latest posts by Katherine Kyle @ Green Thickies (see all)

Download Blend Me Cleanse MeBrand New Cleanse: Blend Me Cleanse Me!

Get your copy FREE!

The ultimate no hunger one week smoothie cleanse. Previously sold for $19.00. Only available FREE for a limited time... Give your body a much needed detox, eliminate the harmful toxins from your body so your body finally has a chance to heal… This free cleanse is like no other cleanse you’ve ever seen. It is simple, easy to follow, you won’t go hungry and hey - you’ll even enjoy it! Plus you are going to see results - and fast! Like as soon as tomorrow morning if you can get started today. Click here to download your copy.

Download Blend Me Cleanse Me

Comments

  1. I heart you!!!!!!!! Hugs!

    • Awww – thanks Stephanie!!

      • You were never a real vegan anyway. In the end you put yourself above animals and the environment, and i’m sure you’ll take a lot of comfort in these shallow sympathies.

        • We are made to eat meat. Can’t really argue with teeth. If you chose not to, that is fine-and sometimes the best way to clean our bodies and achieve optimum health, but personally I believe we ARE above animals. I love animals, but I don’t think twice about eating my chicken’s eggs, nor do I think it hurts them in any way. To eat meat in a clean, sympathetic, humane way is possible, and if that is what your body wants/needs, what right do you have to stand in judgement?
          Not for nothing, but if your body is lying in the woods somewhere, animals are not going to think twice about eating YOU.

          • CKitson, I love that comment. That is the natural order of life. If we were to die in the woods, animals would be munching on our limbs before we even got cold. Love that counterpoint! You rock.

            Now on to Katherine. Girl, I hear you! I’ve struggled with trying to be vegan since 1998. And you know what I realized?

            Food is a lifestyle choice, not a religion.

            People get too wound up and dogmatic about choices other’s make with their lives. We are all created equal and endowed with free will. If that’s the choice your body tells you to make, then you make that choice. You don’t owe any of us an explanation for what you put in your own mouth.

            I wish you continued health and happiness. Thanks for introducing me to Green Thickies. I look forward to trying them.

            Shanen

            • Thank you Shanen

              I just want to be honest with people about what’s working for me so they might listen to their own bodies and see what’s working for them too. I loved that comment too about the natural order of things. I’m so glad you’re going to try Green Thickies – let me know if you like them!

          • How are we made to eat meat? Can you discuss this further? And if you are lying somehwere and you were eating by animal, do you consider the motive? Defensive? Fear, nature? But at least animals dont kill indscriminately like humans. We kill other living things in millions for our consumption, that is sad especially when there are healthier options. And if we were made to eat meat, why do we get so many diseases from eating meat?

            • I’m still struggling with this myself, but I do believe it’s not healthy to eat factory meat which does cause disease.

            • Gaius Edartin says:

              Eat how evolution designed us. Teeth for eating meat and for grazing,but its the type of meat.
              Think of the first man ,what he could catch,overpower,pick or scavage. We have natural chemicals in us that also require certain aminos to function and aide other parts of the body.
              As for processed,its not even real anymore once fillers and preservatives are added.
              To end this note,bottom line,survival of the fittest.

          • exactly: “if your body is lying in the woods somewhere, animals are not going to think twice about eating YOU”…
            There is a difference between this AND being (badly) raised and (badly) fed in order to be (badly) tortured and killed in order to feed other (FAT) living beings. I wouldn’t think twice eiher, should I be starving and find any lying body in the Woods somewhere… But it’s not the same, is it?

          • CKitson – your comment made me think (and a few other people said the same) I’d never thought of it like that before than animals wouldn’t hesitate to eat us! We’ve gone so far away from what is natural that these kind of things don’t even cross our minds anymore. I found that very helpful

            • laura harwood says:

              Well, of course an animal wouldn’t think twice about eating your dead body. And that is no problem for you – you dont need it any more. Even if a lion were to take you alive, its different. It is hungry and has little choice.

              Its a bit different to the organised slaughter of millions of animals than humans do every day though? We have an obscene amount of choice. When it comes to food, taking life is optional.

          • Can’t argue with teeth? Our teeth are much more consistent with the dentition of predominate herbivores. Carnivores do not exhibit flat teeth for grinding. Refer to your pet dog or cats mouth for further inquiry.

        • James, People should always come be before animals and the environment. Your aggressive and shallow comment displays the opposite. There are ethical ways of raising and consuming animal products. Veganism is sadly, your god.

          The intelligent choice is to listen to your body! We have different needs. One size doesn’t fit all.

          • Kathryn Phillips says:

            Why should people come before animals? I support everyone’s right to follow their own path, but I don’t agree with the assumption that humans are more intrinsically important in this world.

            • Let me question your disagreement. How many animals have created culture? Hospitals? Libraries, etc….

              • You’re looking through an anthropocentric lens. Different orca pods use completely unique strategies for hunting their individual types of prey. They often use unique calls – aka languages. Could you illustrate a better example of “culture” than this? Just because we cannot partake or fully appreciate societal structures of animals does not make them less worthy.

                Furthermore, no animal has so negatively impacted its environment. We’re literally killing the planet we live on. What other animal does this? If we are so elite, why ruin the one place our offspring can live?

                If, indeed, we are somehow intrinsically more important than other animals, shouldn’t we be honor bound to protect them and prevent their suffering, not creating it for the purpose of our often pointless experimentation or our endless gluttony?

            • Kathryn I agree with you 100%, this is the most balanced comment of all, here, respectful of others’ choices and also of the environment :)

            • God put us before animals. We are to manage them and the earth. We are made in God’s image and have a soul. That is why we are above animals. They eat each other all the time. Better they be raised healthy on a farm and slaughtered quickly than be torn apart by another animal. The animal world is cruel and harsh and bloody.

              • Interesting – I’d never thought about it like that before. Yes the world can be a very cruel place that’s for sure!

              • laura harwood says:

                The animal world is nowhere near as cruel, harsh and bloody as the human one!

                Animals do not destroy hectares and hectares of rainforest along with hundreds of peoples homes, and much plant and animal life…all for money.

                Animals do not knowingly pollute rivers and streams with poison chemicals for material gain.

                Animals do not torture each other to death or inflict emotional cruelty upon each other.

                I could go on. There are so many examples of the utter horrors that mankind has used his ‘superiority’ to inflict upon the world. Man IS capable of great things, but many times, most times he just works hard to destroy our beautiful planet to line his pockets with more money than he could ever use.

                Man is not superior in any way to any animal. Perhaps he could have been, but we will never know. He is just an animal, and pretty base and low one at that.

            • I think once I had my own children, I totally understood what it was like to put them before anything else in the entire world including myself. I have to be well enough to look after them so I’m going to try and eat food that I hate to see if it makes me well. I don’t see any other options that I could try to recover my health at the moment.

              • If you really hate meat that much, raw milk, butter, cheese, and pastured eggs are great things to start with! Many of the benefits without having to eat the meat! (But I really do love meat!) :)

              • Have you gotten blood tests to see if you may be deficient in some areas? I’m sorry to hear that you are feeling so badly. Even more sorry that you may have to eat what you dislike to fix it. Food should be a pleasure! Here is hoping your health imporves!

            • laura harwood says:

              I dont quite understand why you need to go from Vegan all the way to meat if you having issues?

              Ex vegans always seem to do this….Why not go for minimal harm? Eat some really good quality eggs, they are a nutritional powerhouse and can really help with tiredness and loss of muscle power. You may need to go no further. You can always add a little grass fed butter and the occasional piece of sustainably caught fish if you need further sustenance.

          • Mark Whittington says:

            Hear, hear.

        • James, I’m sorry you feel the need to be so judgmental. We are all so different and for you to be so snarky about Katherine’s choices is rude. It’s not about you. I hope that you will learn tolerance.

        • Wow James. You’re astonishingly ignorant and rude, and I rarely say that.

          If you don’t understand that it’s a natural instinct of survival for any species to put itself and his/her off-springs first and do whatever it takes in order for their genes to survive then read up as you’re confused and sound uneducated.
          For that reason I would recommend restraining from commenting on this subject before you get some more awareness.

          p.s. maybe have a steak- it’s good for brain :)

        • I believe and logically conclude our bodies are designed to consume meat and plants. Our bodies need nutrients that only come from animals, the lack of which will cause developmental problems in growing infants & children, and disease in general for the human body.

          To me, I think meat is ethical IF:
          1) You use the entire animal. This means consuming the muscle meat, but also the organ meats like liver, kidney, and heart, and using bones to extract the marrow. As well, using leftovers like any furs, down feathers, and skin for clothing, etc.
          2) The animal is raised in a manner that mimics nature. I am sorry, but endless corn and soybean fields is not natural. Grasslands that herbivores graze upon and fertilize is natural. The landscape in it’s natural state is better for carbon emissions, biodiversity, and soil erosion. This means I am against “Confined Animal Feeding Operations”, for multiple reasons beyond this.
          3) You kill based out of necessity, to feed yourself, family, and wider community; killing should not be done in malice. Culturally, we were taught to say grace for our meal, one reason being a life was taken away to extend our life.

          Bottom-line, it takes life to make life, whether or not you eat plants, animals, or both. I have also been reading how many plants of the same and similar species connect to each other via bacteria & fungi connected to the plants roots. I wonder if many many plants are just as aware of themselves like we are aware of ourselves. Who am I to decide what life is worthy or not if I may not understand a different conception of intelligence?

          That said, I do not push my beliefs on those who eat and believe in veganism, just like I do not want them to push their beliefs on me. I respect your choice and listening to your own body is a smart move.

          • Thanks Josh. I completely agree with all your points. I’m not up to using a whole animal yet, but I think all of it should be used. I’ve also been reading about how animal manure is needed for healthy soil to grow plants – so I agree with the whole cycle of life. It’s just going to take me some time to get used to it. I also agree about showing respect to people based on their decisions. Thank you!

        • Obviously James you are a very opinionated person and think the world should revolve around your beliefs, most of the world is like you. In reality we are all individuals and get to think for ourselves. We don’t all think alike or act alike or look alike so why should we all believe alike. I applaud you Katherine for being yourself and standing up for yourself. Your life is yours live it to the best of your ability.

        • You are a jerk. There is no need to talk to anyone like that, ever. Rude…

        • I’ve heard that some vegans and vegetarians have a starved brain: lack of healthy fats and other important stuff. That’s why they can act really black and white, harsh, judgmental and rude (also the reason why many vegetarian moms get a child with ADHD, autism, etc. It has something to do with brain starvation). It’s not their fault, it’s just their brain in survival mode. So James, it’s not your fault.

          • I also read this. I’m currently suffering from depression and extreme negativity so this makes a lot of sense!

            • I find this point of view to be very offensive. I’m a vegetarian mum on the spectrum, with a vegetarian son with Autism and ADHD. I also have meat eating members of my family with Autism. It has nothing to do with our diets and everything to do with genetics. To say that a child’s ASD/ADHD is a result of the parental diet is to blame people who are living with struggles for their own situation which is factually wrong and completely unfair. I agree that diet can impact on mental illness, but that is not the same issue. It’s confusing psychology and neurology,

              I have had severe M.E. for 20 years now and I’m considering a raw food diet. Nothing else has helped. I really don’t think you need to eat meat to get what you need. Perhaps a visit to the docs to see if you are deficient in B12 would suffice, you can then take supplements. Other than B12 you can get ALL of the nutrients you need on a vegan diet. If, on the other hand, you simply want to eat meat then that is a valid and personal decision, but maybe you need to have a think about your motivations. Is it that you’ve missed a gap in your nutritional needs which you could make up for by making changes whilst still on a vegan diet, is it that you simply need B12 injections, or is it just that you miss the taste of meat? I think it’s important to be honest with yourself here. Other than the ethical implications of eating meat, it causes cancer amongst other problems. If you can overcome the reasons why you’re wanting to eat meat whilst remaining on a vegan diet it will be better for you.

        • You’re right James. I was never a real vegan. I never got rid of my leather sofas. Yes I put myself and my children above animals even though it was a hard decision for me to make. I don’t like eating meat but when you have kids and you’re not well enough to look after them you will do anything to change that. I didn’t see any other options that I could try to improve my health so this is what I’m trying now. Life is cruel and our decisions often cause suffering in other people or animals even though we’re not aware of it. I do take a lot of comfort in these comments yes and I’m so thankful that there was only one other negative comment that I couldn’t publish because it was prejudice and insulting but I could respond to yours. Merry Christmas!

        • Guest-Current Vegetarian says:

          I hope to led a partial vegan life in the near future!!! For health and environmental reasons

          But I keep seeing this question “how are we made to eat meat”
          How do you think individuals survived before us?
          Solely on vegetation….
          People have hunted since forever.

          Now what I do not like is “factory farms” environment. I do not agree with how they are raised and the things that are pumped into them, but back in the day that was not even an issues. Somehow along the way we had the developed the mind set of “quick and in a hurry” and that is what the producers gave to us consumers. Quick and in a hurry meat!!!

          No need for bashing individuals views. I personally am not a big fan of meat and before I became a vegetarian I only ate select few meats.

          Another things (lol). I consider myself of christian faith and believe earlier someone posted about us putting ourselves above animals. According to my personal faith views God did give us dominion over the animals. I often have this discussion with my family about how we have abused that power. I believe earth including animals of the sea and land were given to us by God to use sparingly and with care and to truly understand the sacrifice that is being made.

          I recall some being an ambassador to some Muslim students for a summer here in the US. They became temp vegetarians in here because of how our meat is keep, raised and prepared. They also said a special prayer I believe of thanks for the sacrifice!!

          • Guest-Current Vegetarian says:

            Please excuse spelling and ramblings in this post and previous as well. I am running on no sleep LOL

            Also I did not bring up my personal faith practices to turn this into a “religious” subject. This is just how I personally worship.

            I also wanted to add, that I plan on having my own small farm one day, including chicken eggs.
            If I had a husband who wanted to raise his own meat as well, I MIGHT be up to it. think about it: I am in control of their conditions (roaming, feeding, quality care). Even how they are slaughtered.
            Now could I actually do the killing when its time to eat, not sure about all of that lol. This is still something i think about.

            I am freely giving my children the choice of their diets, but I do want them to understand the sacrifice. I think once people appreciate the sacrifice we could see a decline in the horrific living conditions

        • when animals die their remains are eventually absorbed by other animals and plants for nutrition. no matter if u eat plants or animals, as long as you are an consumer, you are eating both animals and plants no matter what diet you choose. so in reality no one is truly vegan. and the circle of life still continues on.

      • I <3 that you admitted to be not totally Vegan… I love my smoothies and sometimes have 2-3 a day…. I eat mostly raw foods (don't like to cook) but if my family is eating chicken or a burger, I'm not going to pass up a bite or two…. I don't feel you have to be ALL or NOT at all… Healthy is the only thing that I feel should drive a person to eat one way or another!!
        Thank YOU Thank YOU for giving us the options and showing us the way to a healthier lifestyle!!

    • Honey, it is your choice and your decision. I applaud your honesty, but an explanation is not necessary.

      What is right for you will be different from your friends, and different from the strangers you pass on the street. We are a world of differences: different skin colours; hair colours; religions; sexual preferences; educational/professional qualifications – it is what makes our world exciting and wonderful.

      My own household is made up of a mix of different people. My mother (a Catholic suffering from dementia); my husband (meat eater and businessman); my son (vegan, nearly completed his doctorate of veterinary science); my daughter (vegan/suffering from diabulima/studying to be a park ranger); and me (vegetarian/Anglican/primary school teacher). We live harmoniously (or as harmonious as any family can), despite our differences. Love, respect, compassion, integrity, and all the other virtues people are capable of sharing with others are what should define us as human beings…not what we eat.

      Good luck

      • Thanks Dayle. I wrote this post as I write about health and I want to be completely honest with people about what’s working for me. My path is not the right one for everyone, but I’m being led that way now as I’m willing to try anything to get my health and life back. Thanks for sharing that.

  2. Roxanne Rit says:

    Thank you for heartfelt honesty. We need more moderate voices and judging each other on degrees of Veganism and/or health paths is not useful. It is a personal journey. Thank you for being authentic and remember how many people you have helped with your blog. I too strive to be mostly vegan but listening to your body at times is key (but not my unhealthy mental cravings. LOL).

    • Thanks so much Roxanne. I couldn’t have put it better myself! I originally started the post with ‘I’m not 100% vegan anymore’ but changed it to I’m not vegan anymore. Veganism is one of those things you seem to have to do 100% according to a lot of people. I find it hard putting myself in boxes like that and seemed to fall into it on the path to finding good health.

  3. Beautiful post, Katherine. I think you show tremendous integrity by listening to your body. I think it’s so amazing the various paths we all take and how often they cross paths we never considered only to find that they are all connected. Health is personal and I’m sure your readers are happy you are doing what is best for YOU. Big hug.

    • Thanks so much for that Robin. Tell me about it! I thought I’d always be a vegan as I felt so good eating that way. I had no need to go searching for other solutions as I felt healthy. Now I feel like I’ve started from scratch again, but thanks to blogs like yours I can easily find information that will help me recover again. I know a lot of my readers aren’t vegan, some are – but thankfully we all share a love of green smoothies!

  4. Kudos to you for writing this! I grew up in a culture of vegetarianism and I know how judgmental people can be about food choices – it’s especially odd to me when I hear my family that calls themselves strict vegetarians be judgemental of vegans! I have always told people that I am not of any one religion because I don’t want a label on me. And that should go for our dietary habits as well! You are not here to make others happy – you are here to make yourself and those that depend on you happy and healthy. Who cares if that means not being a vegan? Everyone should be passionate about their beliefs but no need to impose them on others. I will not judge someone that eats McDonald’s every day nor will I judge the person that is following a macrobiotic diet. I am so happy you wrote this post!! Thank you!

  5. I commend you for this post. I am not vegan I stumbled across this posting on Pinterest! Lol. I just want to say too many people get militant about what they eat and refuse to adapt even when their bodies might be telling them that however they are eating is no longer working. It makes it easier to listen if you haven’t been judgemental of other’s habits to begin with – that whole egg on your face thing ;-) I too have health issues and really struggle to find the best way of eating for ME. I’m working on it. Good luck on your path.

  6. In a way I was actually really relieved to read this from someone else. I went down this journey myself after 7 years a vegan and getting pregnant. I was so miserable at first and even after trying different supplements and tricks I simply did not feel better until I started to supplement my diet with other things.

    It caused me to lose some very close friends, but I have to do what is best for me and my family.

  7. Well – I’m sorry to see the blog hop go, but am subscribed to your blog either way – I like seeing what you write – and seeing your adorable kids! : )

    I’m mostly-vegan myself, not super strict. If they serve cookies at Church – I might eat one without asking questions : ) I like saying “Vegan” because when I go to a restaurant and ask for Vegan food, I’m much less likely to be offered the cheese quiche – and I DON’T want to eat a whole meal of cheese & eggs.

    In the long run, what matters is our relationship with God & with others – not whether we eat a perfect diet. No matter how well we nourish this physical body, its importance pales in comparison to the Eternal.

    • Anna, I agree whole-heartedly with your comment and want to thank you for what you said. I too am realizing that focusing on my walk and relationship with God should far outweigh my time focusing on every morsel that touches my lips and if I happen to have a slice of cheese on my bread or not. Focusing less on self and more on serving others as His hands and feet is by far a better choice for me to live by but, that is my opinion :) That’s not to say I would live on cake all day, but let’s scale all this food obsession back and quit judging others so much

    • Anna – thanks so much for your lovely comment. I’m so glad you follow my blog and appreciate your comments. I’ll try and post more pics of my kids! You really got me thinking about God – this life can be cruel and can never be perfect but we have better things to come! Happy Christmas to you!

  8. Thank you for sharing your story! Mine is similar to yours, and I think I can understand a little of how you are feeling. I worked so hard to be a “responsible vegan”– not just eschewing all animal products, but supplementing, eating 100% whole foods, lots of proteins, etc. It ruined my health in the long run, despite doing everything as perfectly as I could. I know a lot of people do thrive on a vegetarian/ vegan diet, but I did not, and like you, felt responsible for allowing my body to be strong enough to be able to be an active mother and community member! No judgement is needed– I believe we’re all doing our best in this world.

    • Hi..I so relate..When I became pregnant I has was a vegan and for awhile raw vegan.. I became terribly sick..I couldn’t eat anything .. Literallly one night I was on my knees praying for an answer to my all day sickness and I got the message to go buy some ice-cream.. I did and that was the beginning of my understanding that I was protein deficient and that this was not going to be a vegan pregnancy ..I have had my baby now but I have found in order to produce breast milk , I have to eat animal protein..I am not sure why but it’s just the facts for me. I have struggled with this huge change in my life and it is so refreshing to find someone willing to talk about it. Thank you!!

      • Thanks so much for sharing that Milena. I’m so glad you listening to your body and were able to produce enough milk. Ha ha – I wish I got the call to go and buy some ice cream! I’m currently on a healing diet – but looking forward to indulging in some healthy treats once I feel well again.

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment Ariana. I have loved reading your blog and this http://andhereweare.net/2013/02/shakshukah-edible-morning-sunshine.html is now one of my new favourite recipes. I tried to comment but think it must have gone to your junk folder.

  9. Well said! I was a vegan or vegetarian for about 18 months a while ago. When some health issues arose, I felt like a failure for craving meat. Realize now it was my body communicating what it needed to heal.
    As a general comment, I enjoy your posts but really wish you would date them. Whenever I look at “health” posts I always factor how recent the info is… yes the dated comments give clues but really would love to see the date you posted that particular item… just a suggestion.

  10. I applaud you friend for listening to your bodies voice!!! Bravo! Hugs!!

  11. Katherine, I can see why you have made this decision and support you in it. I have been greatly helped by introducing Green Thickies into my diet and remain very thankful for what you offer on your website. it does concern me how militant people get about being 100% vegan. I think there is a lot to be said for eating more veggies and less meat but to commit to being 100% vegan is not the road I have ever walked.

    I look forward to enjoying your ongoing contributions on Green Thickies.

    Thanks Katherine.

  12. Virginia P. says:

    Hi Katherine, I admire the integrity you have shown in writing this post. Kudos to you for being true to yourself and listening to your body. I have been ‘mostly’ vegan for several months now. I did finally give up meat about three months ago, and eggs (the last holdout), one month ago. I have transitioned to a whole foods plant based diet over the past year or so, and I have lost a lot of weight and my health is great! I no longer have to take any blood pressure or cholesterol meds. I am 65 years old and probably the healthiest I have ever been. Each and every day I strive to stay true to my vegan code. I am doing all of this for weight loss and health by the way, (although I have felt ethical stirrings in there as well). I do have to admit that I look longingly at the hard boiled eggs on some salad bars at restaurants. Sometimes I just feel like I need something to EAT, if you know what I mean! I do find that if I eat beans everyday and some whole wheat pita then I feel satisfied.
    I empathize with you entirely and I enjoy your blog. Keep up the good work and I wish all the best for you and your family. Regards, Virginia.

    • That’s great Virginia, I’m so glad you’re feeling healthy. I felt the same when I became a vegan too. It’s funny that meals don’t satisfy you in the same way – but it’s a great way to detox the body, I think the best thing is to listen to your body when it comes to unprocessed foods anyway.

  13. I know firsthand how dogmatic some people can be about diet choices, so it can be very hard to come out and be honest like this, but I think it’s very refreshing to find out that most people are very understanding. Kudos to you for listening to your body and doing what’s right for you and your family Katherine!

  14. God designed our bodies and you have been listening to yours and answering its needs. Staying healthy, whether vegan, vegetarian or omnivore is very important. I love the Green Thickies and will be using them more to help lose weight (healthy, delicious way to go). An acquaintance of many years ago was vegan and eventually advised by Dr. to consume some meat, so he changed for health. There is no “one size fits all” perfect diet. The choice is up to the individual who knows their own body better than anyone else.

  15. I think you are doing the right thing. I am not vegetarian though we do have many veggie only meals. one of our daughters was vegan for a few years and is veggie now and her family is very healthy. she makes adjustments as necessary as should you. as for the gal in the restaurant, she was just rude. I enjoy my green smoothies and thickies and will continue. now if only I could lose the weight you did! hang in there; you lifted a weight off your shoulders so just go ahead and post your new journey to a healthier you.

  16. Bravo! You must listen to your body…

  17. Wow, you are courageous and honest. I was a vegetarian for ten years, and then I got pregnant. About three months into my pregnancy, I discovered I was anemic, and the doctor said I had to start eating meat. I’ve been eating meat ever since … mostly pastured, grass fed. (We all do the best we can.) When I discovered green thickies, I happily made many delicious jarfuls for about three weeks. Then I realized I was having blood sugar issues, so I had to get back to meat and good fats. But I still love the green thickies! :)

  18. Very well said! I think sometimes we get so passionate about something, it’s hard to see the forest for the trees. So often we do not listen to our bodies, whether it be vegan on one side or total junk and processed food on the other! I also hate the negativity involved with passionate people. Our personal choices of what we put in or on our bodies should be our own. Those of us who blog are more than happy to educate people on why we feel and act the way we do…it’s everyone’s choice to unfollow or delete if you don’t feel the same on the page you’re on. Rather than insert negative comments on something you’re reading, educate yourself on your OWN beliefs and go write your OWN page.

    Keep on keeping on, I love your page and the information you give me!

    • Thank you so much Anne! Yes I will keep sharing my experiences about what is working for me. I really truly want to help people and not just keep on doing something because I’ve ‘read’ it’s the right thing to do or because it’s the easiest way for me to eat.

  19. I once told somebody on an online forum that I prefer to keep my hair short and her reply was ‘well, I have long hair and what’s wrong with that’? I think we sometimes assume that somebody who makes a different choice from us is somehow passing a negative judgement on our choice and I think this is where some people’s aversion to vegetarianism and veganism comes in – they’re feeling judged. That’s just my take on it.
    Katherine, you don’t have to explain yourself to anybody so obviously you’ll do what is best for you and your family and good luck with that.

    • I agree. Viva la difference!

    • Thank you Reinette – yes people always feel judged when you do something different from them. I guess it’s human nature as we all worry we’re not doing the right thing. I just wanted to be honest with people as I write about health and what’s working for me. I did expect some negativity and didn’t get much so I’m very glad about that!

  20. Yes. i was vegan for seven years. For reasons like being a traveler in non-Western countries, learning about fertility health, and listening to my body intuitively, I gradually began eating animal products. My energy level has increased. I’m now dealing with a general autoimmune disease, I’m 25. I actually feel I’m growing younger in many ways! But I stil have some health conundrums to unravel. Certainly veganism is not entirely to blame for my health issues now. It taught me a LOT of valuable health wisdom. I still meet people who swear by it, and who am I to tell them its wrong if they enjoy it so much? However I’m not afraid to share my story. No need to be extremely for or against. but I have my experience, and its important people realize veganism is NOT the only ethical option. We must be ethical towrds ourselves if we are ot be ehthical to anyone else.

  21. I have enjoyed your blog for some time now. Thank you! I will continue to follow as every one is on a different journey! I do get confused about where my journey will go. I have digestion issues so this was my primary reason for going mostly raw and vegan. I am open and like watching other people’s journeys and glean from them. I know you are committed to health! I look forward the your future blog! :)

    • Thank you Pam. Yes we’re all an experiment and nobody has the ‘perfect diet’ that will work for everyone. Listen to your own body, try something different and give it a few months to see how you feel. It took me a few months to go through a detox with a raw food diet to feel amazing at the other end of it – but I couldn’t eat that way forever unfortunately!

  22. This post is perfect as Is your body’s ability to tell you what you really need. We need more people being honest and spreading the word about listening to our bodies. Sure, agribusiness has made an ethical mess of our food system but that does not change the fact that our bodies need certain foods to survive. My body tells me about once or twice a week to drink a glass of raw grass fed milk or have a little organic grass fed yogurt with local raw honey. My body tells me sometimes, especially when I was pregnant with my twins, to eat a nice big steak! (organic, grass fed, local, humanely raised/slaughtered)Bravo for listening to your needs! I know that individuals who label themselves will want to lash out. But I pray for them because I know that deep down inside their ailing bodies, they are afraid of similar treatment and they are very likely upset at the fact that YOU have the courage to stand up for yourself and your health. I know what that feels like and I know how very hard it is to swallow your pride. But it is worth it, your are worth it, and your children are most certainly worth it. Heres to listening to your body and just plain Real Food!

    • Thank you Corina! Yes I wonder how many vegans are scared to change their diets as they are worried about backlash. My children are more important than anything – so even if I have to come out and say what I was doing wasn’t right for me – I’m willing to do anything so that I can protect and look after my children.

  23. Hi Katherine thanks for your honesty. I was vegan for 10 months and recently decided to go back to being vegetarian. I will still eat predominately vegan and throw in the occasional dairy here and there. The main reason is I became too rigid in my thinking towards food and the thought of never having pizza or ice cream again in my life was painful. I also got sick being a raw vegan – adrenal fatigue & hormone imbalance.

  24. Lucildinska says:

    I’m glad you are listening to your body to sustain yourself and be healthy. And I’m also glad that we’re going to continue to get beautiful green thickie recipes :)

  25. Thank you for your bravery. To do what you needed for yourself, your family and your readers. I believe this type of article, one full of love and honour and experience needs to be shown more often, not only online but in our every day lives. I tried to share this on my facebook but within an hour, I had to take it down. I hope one day that everyone’s humble honesty will be well received. Namaste, in light and darkness, Ryyn.

  26. Life is all about change. I’ve been through all kinds of eating styles, diet has to be what fits your body best. And since the body is in constant change, it would be impossible and silly to keep the same diet. We all have to do what is right for us and who gives a crap about what others think, right?

  27. Don’t feel bad. Different people thrive on different diets. And, sometimes what works for now doesn’t work later, as you have experienced. I think it’s sad that some people would shame you for listening to your body, regardless of which way you go. Best wishes.

  28. Thank you! I too became vegan for health reasons, but we changed the label to “dietary vegan” and then “flexitarian with a plant based focus”, as both my husband and I experienced the same with our bodies letting us know what we need. I appreciate your honesty and am only dad that you had to actually apologize for your own personal experience. My answer has always been (to another’s judgement), “why is your personal experience a one-size fits all? You may want to re-think your approach to _____, if you want to make a positive impact.” Then I delete their messages, haha. In any case- it was a beautiful note, I enjoy your recipes, and I am glad you’re still being healthy- the health that your body needs! And Merry Christmas :-) (I hope that didn’t offend you, that’s just the holiday I celebrate unabashedly) and Happy New Year!

    • *glad not dad, haha

    • Thanks so much Melody – such an encouraging comment! I am celebrating Christmas YES! I am not celebrating with food though as I’m healing but I’ll try and remember the meaning behind Christmas. Merry Christmas to you too!

      • I missed the part about healing – are you doing a fast? I’ve been sick with sinusitis, laryngitis, bronchitis for the last two weeks, and have been focusing on whole healing foods, probiotics, etc since then. I’m curious what you are doing, since after a round of very necessary antibiotics (and I NEVER say that, which should give you an indication of how bad it was), my body is screaming for some healing.

  29. I went through my pregnancy vegan with eggs ( lol i know not vegan) i wasnt getting enough protein and myself and my gorgeous baby were suffering. I was not going to loose my vegan stance!!! Someone said hey im a hippie to but i jad cancet and let the chemo heal me and got right back on my hippie ways, do what you need to! My baby is five months old right now, we are both seemingly healthy….except for stress. Feeding a family of seven on all organic. Homemade vegan food is so expensive my hisband had to get a night job, and we rarely see him also my six year old hasnt liked and meal for over a year and doesnt eat dinner most nights. . Some happy family huh? I just made the decision to eat the best we can and still have quality family time. I love all beautiful animals amd the mother earth. And i cried when i picked groceries last week in the store. I realize though that that stress is just not healthy, i am thankful for having the experience and for the knowledge i have gained about the destruction of our world for meat farming, i am grateful my babe and i made it through pregnancy, and my family is healthy. I am mot forgetting the earth and all its creatures, but i am taking a step for our family, thank you so much for your post. It will help me get through this transistion and the guilt that i need to release.

    • Tare – that sounds so tough! I read somewhere that if you have to choose which organic food to eat it’s better to choose organic animal products and eat conventional fruit and veg as more of the toxins are stored in the animal fat. I hope things improve for you soon.

  30. bless your heart; never feel badly for what you must do for yourself; life is tough enough without self challenging self.

  31. My pregnancies were very rough and postpartum (sp?) brought severe illness. In order to deal with these many issues, I chose a raw, vegan diet. It was amazing. Most of my health issues went away, some never to return. Even though I didn’t like the controversy it stirred up along the way, I kept going. Over time, however, my body began telling me I was done; detox worked, move on.

    Every few months I do a detox if needed, but what works for me best is to integrate the healthful foods INTO my diet and not so much MAKING it my diet. I still make sure I am eating whole, organic foods when possible, but I don’t make it my every thought. That is the balance that works for me. And, as a really nice side benefit, it doesn’t stir up concern with loved ones that I’m a fanatic.

    • I totally agree with you Dodi. I think a healthy vegan diet is great for a detox. I have also just added animal products to my organic veg with some fruit, nuts and seeds and I’m feeling so much better already. I’ll definitely listen to my body when I need another detox!

  32. What we eat isn’t the only factor in being healthy. Letting go of guilt and other people’s idea of what is right for you, can really contribute to a healthy lifestyle also. It’s all about balance, and we’re all on the same quest. I enjoy your posts, your Green Thickies recipes, and the variety of tips, humour and information you pass along.

  33. Kudos to you! People can be so dogmatic about diets – Paleo, grain free, this free, that free – they become kindness-free and manners-free. It never ceases to amaze me – criticize someone’s dietary choices and they turn on you like a raging mad dog! Some people need desperately to grow up!

  34. Thank you for sharing. I know how hurtful some people can be when you put yourself out there like that. I try to not judge the people that will make rude comments – I try to remember that they are very passionate about their choices and where their learning has led them, even if they still lack wisdom and compassion with their responses. I’m glad that you’re deleting the negative comments too – they won’t bother me all day now. I wanted to say that I was vegetarian for awhile, then went vegan for awhile also. When I started it felt wonderful, but it didn’t last and I knew my body required animal products for proper nourishment. Over the years I’ve developed my own theories about how we are all different when it come to digestion. We know there are many types of digestive enzymes and everyone’s digestive tract is a reflection of their life and genetics, hence they will all be different. That digestive tract is how we receive our nourishment. I found that my body has a hard time digesting plant foods. Because of that I know I’m not receiving all the nutrients from the vegetables that I could be getting. I’m hoping to further heal my digestive tract so that I can get better nutrition from plant foods, but until then, meat and dairy make me feel the best. We have to meet the needs of our bodies – and our families. No apologies needed. Thank you.

  35. Pregnancy and breastfeeding also led me to have to sacrifice veganism, for a time, at least. At least being vegan for a time means fewer animals suffered, and the impact you had on the environment was reduced for that time too. I empathize with you completely.

  36. My pregnancy cravings were bacon butties and fizzy juice. I just accepted it as the baby’s needs,, after having been a vegetarian for so long. Now 4 chicken-and-fish years later I am (naturally) allowing the body to tell me it wants to be meat free again, although I feel dairy is on the way out too

    Good for you for listening to yourself and BOO to everyone else who jusges ….I think we have all had it.

    Love Lxxxx

  37. It takes a lot of courage and thoughtful insight to make a post like this. Your body knows what’s best for you, and following its lead makes all the difference, but you already know that. I’m not vegan or even vegetarian, but your blog has inspired me and given me great info. I wish you all the best and will still follow your blog because it has already given me so much and can only imagine it will continue to do so.

  38. The answer is all through your post: our bodies need different diets at different times for different needs. I have always heard of the incredible healing properties of a raw and / or vegan diet. I have also heard of the healing properties of a raw milk diet. My take on ethics: is it unethical when the lion takes down the gazelle? There are insane practices in the food-for-humans industry developing over the last century or so that are absolutely inhumane and unethical. But you all know that. :-) Bless you!

  39. I was a vegetarian when I was 20. I watched everything I put in my mouth and thought I was balancing my proteins. It was the sickest period of my entire life. I caught ever cold and flu virus. Once I started eating animal protein again, I got much better. I (thought I) was doing it mostly for health reasons.

  40. It does take courage to write this. Thank you. The thing is, sooner or later, almost everyone will find themselves at this junction. If you look at it holistically, it makes perfect sense. A vegan diet (especially a raw one) is a cleansing diet. You can only cleanse for so long before you need to build up again. Otherwise you end up depleted, weak, and prone to illness.

    I’ve aspired to a vegan diet my whole life. Unfortunately, it leaves me anemic and weak after not very long. I was vegetarian from the age of 12 through 29 when everything EXCEPT for meat made me nauseous in pregnancy. Obviously my body was trying to tell me something. It’s hard to change. My son is 3, and I gradually noticed my meat cravings diminishing. I try to eat it at least once a week now.

    Everyone’s body is different and so is the amount of nourishment they can glean from certain foods. You need a very strong constitution with a lot of digestive power to be able to break down raw foods!

    • Thanks Dana, I am wondering the same thing myself. I do know people who have been vegans for a very long time with OK ish health. I have awful health but I want to have really good health so I’m willing to do what it takes to be as healthy as I can. It’s funny as the thought of meat makes me feel sick as I’ve never liked the thought of eating flesh – but even though my mind didn’t crave it, my body probably did I just didn’t know it!

  41. I’ve never been vegan…..probably never will. I’ve thought about it and not from the animals viewpoint. It sounds healthy……raw foods, veggies and fruits…….I love them all. But……..I crave meat. No, scratch that……..my body craves meat. It needs meat. I get weak, headaches, low energy, etc., when I go without it. I listen to my body. I have no problem with people being vegan……….I have to admit I kinda laugh when they talk about the animal’s viewpoint……..they don’t have one. They are animals. Before I get slaughtered with that statement…….pun there…….they don’t “think” about stuff. Yes, they can feel pain but they don’t stand and ponder their life situation, how they got there or where they’re going.

    I salute you on your choice. Doing what’s best for your body so you can care for your family it top priority. God Bless

  42. Great article, thanks for sharing and for being honest. I think the best we can do is whatever we find is truly best for our health whatever food choices that may be at any given time.

  43. I have been Vegan for around 6 months or so now. I don’t intend on eating meat, dairy or eggs again but If I went to the doctor and they could prove to me that I was dying because I need animal products in my diet, I would incorporate some. I have children, and it would be even MORE selfish of me to not be here for them. Since when did the definition of Veganism become “self sacrificing”. Also, my immediate family still consume dairy and eggs, and my children eat meat when they visit their grandparents. I have not forced my diet change on them. It is my choice. Just like I don’t believe you should force your religious views on others. If one of my children was becoming ill from not consuming animal products I would not hesitate to give it to them, after researching it thoroughly. I may feel guilty over it, but they are my babies and in a survival setting, it’s eat or be eaten. People need to lighten up. I advocate for people to try a Vegan lifestyle but I don’t judge people who have a hard time with it. Just like some people can stop smoking the next day and never go back, some people have less will powe and “fall off the wagon”. We need to learn acceptance for all. What I can say I DO love about this article is the fact that you admit that a Vegan diet is still a healthy choice, even if you could not stay on it. There is something to be said for your honesty in admitting that their is no right or wrong, but right or wrong for you. And for the people on here who are cheering on eating meat, this is not a confirmation that what you are doing is right, just that it wasn’t right for this particular person. I will continue on my Vegan diet but I commend you for having the bravery to admit that you could not.

    • Thank you for your respectful comment Hailey. I felt extremely healthy for the first couple of years on a vegan diet (but not during my pregnancy) and a lot of people say the same. We have to do what works for us and what we believe is right. The hard part comes when we have children – deciding what to feed them. My daughter was a vegan for a short time before like you I decided to let her have a diet including animal products. I constantly worry about what my children eat and whether I’m doing the right thing, but then I look at other parents that live locally who feed their kids all kinds of junk and don’t even give health a second thought. That stops me feeling bad!

  44. I am a HUGE believer of listening to our bodies. They know what we need to heal and what we need to maintain our health. I am living proof of that! I try my best not to judge anyone else’s lifestyle. You chose to listen to your body (again).

    You should be applauded not judged….

  45. In my opinion, Vegans can be very mean especially when it comes to their idea of ethics. The thing is, grass fed cows and animals will be the only thing that can replenish the soil once we are done ruining the land, its ethical and responsible if you purchase and support a local farm. Possibly vegans are so dang angry because of the lack of animal products in the diet. *Hello animal fat*

    So, don’t let the crazy comments tell you what you are or have been..Im sorry..Who are you the Vegan Police!!!

    And more importantly, don’t beat yourself up. Geez, you didn’t fail anyone…especially yourself. You listened to your body and that is VERY important.

    Great post, hopefully it inspires others!!

    • Thanks so much Leslie! I think there’s something in that. I’ve been feeling more and more angry and depressed myself – I think lack of nutrients can have a horrible affect on so many areas of your health. I totally agree about the soil, I read the same thing myself. It’s so encouraging reading all these comments – thank you!

  46. I was a real vegan. I was a real annoying vegan. Super fun at parties. Super fun to go to restaurants with. Majorly ethical vegan. Vegan for all the reasons someone could ever be vegan.

    Got pregnant then GOT SICK! Autoimmune disease. I am so lucky my body had enough to give my pregnancy a healthy start. It could have gone another way.

    My least favorite people weren’t the ones who were all annoyingly waving bacon in my face and telling me that god put us here to have dominion over the animals but they were pretty bad… my least favorite were the exvegans, the vegans who got sick. I only met a couple and I just really really did not like hearing their stories. I was absolutely sure they weren’t doing it right and that is why they got sick.

    If you are gonna be one of those hardheaded vegans, I really really really hope you never have to eat as much crow as this one right here.

  47. I like how you said your body tells you what it needs. Takes wisdom to listen sometimes. Life is all about balance, not all or nothing. I think you can care for animals without being fully vegan , especially if being one is not helping your health. :)

  48. Good for you, let me say that first because I mean it. Personally I don’t care what a person eats, and your story about someone yelling at you because the cows need milked is stupid. And one of the only times I have heard it go that way normally it’s the vegans that are doing the yelling. That is my problem with vegans, they seem to care a whole lot what I eat, when they should care about themselves and leave me along to eat my steak. This brings me to my point, and the reason I decided to write a response to your post. You talked about ethics, how you care for all living things, I assume while you were a vegan this included not killing anything for food, and that gave you some moral and ethical comfort. But now you are eating animal products, and are squaring it by saying you are doing whatever it takes to take care of your kids. So how can it be ethical now because you are taking care of your kids but the very same act was not before?

    You see the vegan world is turned upside down where natural acts are not ethical, and a person that goes against the very nature of humanity is ethical. Maybe you understand this now, maybe you don’t, maybe you are just trying to still justify what you consider unethical acts. Anyhow, good for you for listening to your body.

    • Hi Tim

      I totally agree with you. We can’t be completely ethical about anything in this life. Whatever we do will affect someone else and often in a negative way without even knowing it. I wasn’t a political vegan. I just thought it was the healthiest diet for me. I also didn’t like the thought of killing animals and I hated eating meat anyway. It seemed perfect for me at the time. I agree that to put myself and my kids first I have to do things that cause pain. I hate that, but that’s the cruel world we live in. It will never be perfect so I’m not going to strive for perfection.

  49. Good for you to bravely come out about the ways you are following your own body’s needs. I had a similar experience. It took me a while to get over the guilt of eating animal products. Spending time in nature and on humane farms was a big help for me. Good luck!

  50. DEAR KATHERINE, i just want to say i respect you being honest and true to yourself and to the needs of your body. I don’t believe there is one way of eating for everyone nor that a person should eat the same way all their life. i do feel that it takes people like you to be able to show others that it is about making the best choices for yourself and honoring your body and its wisdom. so thank you for sharing and for your courage.

  51. So now you’ll be a healthy non-vegan. You have to do what is best for your health and only you know what that is! Good for you for listening!

  52. Hi Katherine! I’ve never been vegan, “just” a vegetarian but sometimes wish I was still a meat-eater, especially when there is literally nothing on the menu but burgers and fries (I make stops at hole-in-the-wall places in the middle of nowhere and my lunch consists of iceburg lettuce and a tomato slice that was meant to garnish a burger). But, I have a mental block about consuming meat. I do miss meatball subs though (I’m full-blooded Italian so….it’s in my DNA to crave those!)

    You do what you feel is right!!! :) Truthfully speaking, you didn’t owe ANYONE an explanation (but it was courageous of you to have put yourself out there like that!). You be true to you and for those that give you grief about it – that’s their “stuff” – it has nothing to do with you (and seriously, who cares if people stand in judgement – their opinion is worth absolutely nothing….zero, zilch, nada!) So, if you’d please make yourself a meatball sub and tell me about it in great detail, that’d be great. :)
    Hugs,
    Lisa
    Phoenix, AZ

    • Lol thanks Lisa. I wanted to be honest with people as I write about health and what’s working for me, and didn’t want to lead anyone down a path that isn’t right for everyone. Yes I found it so hard travelling as a vegan too, but I am trying to just eat organic pasture raised animals so think I’d struggle with anything else, so if I was travelling I might have to go back to being vegan!

  53. About this time last year I decided to take my health seriously and started by becoming a vegetarian. Within a few months I was 99% vegan, losing weight and feeling great. I really enjoyed my new diet but something just didn’t sit right with it. I began to crave yogurt and upon doing some heavy research into dairy and meat I decided based on my research that vegetarianism/veganism was not the healthiest choice for me (or really anyone). I’ve only added small amounts of animal products (beef, salmon and dairy at this point) and I was fortunate enough to find a local co op that I can obtain ethically farmed meat and raw dairy. From my research I found that most people that go vegan feel great, but not for long. Basically for most it acts as a detox, cleansing the body of years of garbage. I have continued to lose weight and feel great and am convinced I’ve made the right decision. It was also an ethically tough decision but I do believe that we were given dominion over animals and they are ours for food. The Weston A. Price Foundation and blogs like Holistic Squid and GNOWFGLINS have really helped me on my journey. Thank you for sharing. I believe many others struggle with this same issue.

    • Thanks so much Jeannie. Yes I agree – having a vegan detox was great for my health to start with – but after a 4 year long detox with 2 babies taking all my nutrients, there is nothing left! I wish I had done this sooner, but it’s because of reading blogs that I have also learned about other ways of being healthy. Thank you for sharing

  54. Congratulations for listening to your body. I tried to go vegan last year, and then got sick. I later discovered that I have candida overgrowth, and all the food I was eating was just triggering my candida. I feel much better when I eat meat, especially beef and lamb. I am sadly disturbed that veganism has become so political. Everyone is different and to say one diet fits all is just not true.

  55. Hello, Katherine. People are so silly. We are omnivores. Created or evolved that way. You must do what you feel is right for you. So, ignore the nay sayers and take care of yourself.

  56. I respect you sharing your transition. I’ve never understood why vegans and vegetarians get so rabid about everyone having to see the world their way. I grew up on a farm and I eat meat. I don’t eat big agra meat because I like knowing the things nourishing and sustaining my body were created, raised, and processed ethically. That said, I never have been able to understand how vegans can justify eating produce. It’s well documented that if you rip a carrot out of the ground, it sends distress signals to the other plants. Trees do the same. So why is it ok to eat broccoli or carrots or cauliflower that has been ripped away and is in distress but not eat meat that has been humanely processed and probably didn’t even know what was happening. If it is done right, they don’t know. So, my point is I hope your post will help tear apart some of the ‘us vs them’ that surrounds the vegan non vegan arena. I love vegetables and I eat a lot of them and I’m interested in new recipes and new smoothies and just…….learning. It’s easier to learn from people who are open than from people who are all but shunning you and sitting in judgment. Hope things work out for your highest and best good.

    • Thank you Karen. I guess I always struggled with animals being killed because it’s obvious that they’re in pain and can communicate with you. It’s very easy to love animals. A lot of people get very attached to their pets and animals and treat them as a member of the family. It’s been very hard for me to turn my diet around as eating meat still makes me feel sick and I have to just put it out of my mind when I’m eating or I can’t finish my meal. It’s helpful for me to read all these comments though as it’s putting things in perspective for me. Thank you!

  57. I respect your decision. As a yoga instructor and with a whole host of health issues myself, I believe strongly in listening to your body. I also wanted to mention that I too became very ill after my pregnancies, and when my daughter was turning one, I was diagnosed with Advanced Lyme Disease. I had likely had it since I was 10. I am 39 now, diagnosed two years ago. It is a highly controversial disease, and the testing is complete crap, so if you suspect Lyme, it is imperative that you find a Lyme-literate M.D. You can find them by contacting lymedisease.org or ilads.org. I have come along way since my diagnosis and have had several friends diagnosed since as well. I hope you find whatever the culprit is. Healthy eating is a big part of healing, but it is important to also tackle the underlying source. Best of luck to you.

    • Thank you Melissa. What type of diet do you follow? That’s a real shame you’re so ill. Yes you’re right – diet is only part of the puzzle. I don’t get enough sun (winter in Scotland) or sleep (babies wake me) so diet is something I can control and so far I’m feeling a bit better. I have so many symptoms of illness that I could have so many different health problems but I will definitely keep that in mind and if I don’t improve I’ll get a test. Thank you!

  58. At the age of 20 I became a vegan for health reasons and animal rights reasons. About 6 months in I changed to vegetarian as I could not seem to give up cheese (I would not eat it for weeks and then binge on it – it was terrible!).

    20 years later at the age of 40 my health was terrible, I did a lot of research and have realized more of a low grain/paleo-ish diet is better for me so I started eating meat again. Vegetarianism was not the correct diet for me. There are still things I can’t eat or cook for myself (things on the bone, veal) and may never get back to eating those things, and that’s fine!

    You’re listening to your body and doing what it needs. Don’t listen to what anyone else has to say, they don’t live in your body, you have to make the choice that is best for you. It’s difficult to lose something that was a big part of your identity, but it makes for great conversation when people find out you “used to be.” lol Best of luck!

  59. HI, im not sure what your reason is for changing back from being a vegan? i did however have a look at your blog and noticed you saying that your smoothies were used as meal replacements… This is definitely not a great idea in my opinion. One of the biggest mistakes people make when going vegan is not eating enough. I have been off meat a dairy for almost 10 years and people cant believe how much i eat. I have a green smoothie for breakfast as i believe we shouldnt eat a big breakfast before 12 noon, but i never have it as a meal. i do snack through out the morning and then i have a huge lunch. i eat lots of fruit eg 1kg of cherries in one sitting.
    I think its great that you have this blog and i think you are awesome for incouraging healthy living, i dont believe you HAVE to be a vegan to be healthy. I think there are a lot of healthy people who eat meat occationally. its a shame you wont continue with this blog, its a shame i only just came accross it now. Good luck with where you are going :)

    • Hi VJ

      Thanks for visiting my website. I AM continuing it – definitely! That’s why I need to be honest with people about my diet as I share what’s working and what’s not working for me.

      My meal replacement smoothies are high in calories – the same as a proper meal. They are extremely filling so you’d definitely eat enough if you drank one of these. I think it’s a great nourishing breakfast for those who like to eat a big breakfast and it’s good for busy people as they can take it to work with them. They can have their other meals as normal. Much healthier than cereal, toast or standard pancakes!

      My reason for switching from a vegan diet is that I’m not feeling well at all despite eating loads of healthy unprocessed foods. I’ve been ill on and off all my life so I’m ready to try something else to get well now.

  60. Oh Mama,

    I hope you feel okay about choosing the path that’s best for your body and your babies. I too was a vegan for 28 years- born and raised. After my Mom died, I rethought who I was and what I was doing and how I was eating. It was very, very difficult but it’s been ten years now and I know that being an ethical meat omnivore is what’s best for my body. I feel different, I act different and I look different. I’m healthier both physically and psychologically. I really believe that being a vegan my brain wasn’t getting enough protein and I suffered depression, anxiety and brain fog. My whole way of seeing the world and being in the world changed for the better. I had more focus and more ability to concentrate and pay attention. I only wish I’d been a meat eater my whole life. School would have been a lot easier for me.

    • Thanks Laney. That sounds exactly like me. I’ve been a vegetarian for most of my life and a vegan for 4 years and I’ve had a lot of depression, anxiety and brain fog with the last few months being unbearable. I’ve barely been functioning! I also wish I had been eating good quality animal products my whole life – but I’m not used to them so it’s very hard for me to eat them. It makes me feel sick but I’m already feeling better so I’m going to carry on. I’m so glad you were able to turn your health around.

  61. thank you for this post. I am having a really hard time with the same issue. After years of being vegan I am now…ketogenic. and my body has responded so positively. I eat ONLY meat, eggs, cheese, green vegetables, seeds and coconut oil (I’m extremely allergic to nuts and now gluten). and as much as my body has responded positively I find it so hard to not be vegan. I love how I feel as a “vegan” even though I’m tired, heavier, and have developed over the years very serious allergies and low iron/thyroid. I don’t know if this is because I was vegan or if I just ate wrong and there’s a part of me that holds out hope that I just did it wrong and I can find a way to be vegan again – without hurting my body. but until then I am eating this way and it’s hard to believe that my body would respond like this if this is against nature…

    • Thanks Crista. I feel exactly the same way. I’m currently eating Primal and feeling a lot better. I did avoid processed foods and tried to eat a very balanced vegan diet with loads of fruit and veg, nuts and seeds – but it wasn’t enough for me. I might go vegan again for a detox from time to time but I don’t think I’ll be eating that way all the time. My body has a lot of healing to do now. I’ve been on a detox for 4 years!

  62. I hear you, sister! I lasted a lot longer than you, but perhaps more to my detriment? 14 years vegan and another 4 with fish. I got so weak I had to accept that healthy is not black and white, nor a particular food. It IS listening to self. In food choices, rest, play, singing, loving… The whole problem with labels is they can be painful. Judgements for or against are still judgments. I just came out of the vegan closet this year from running a vegan restaurant and cooking business for the last 18 years. What keeps me strong is knowing that I hear my inner wisdom and it is more powerful than anyone’s philosophy. Experience speaks. Being “healthy” vegan created an autoimmune condition as well as hypoglycemia for me. Both of which no longer effect me if I avoid grains, and sweeteners. I realize now that I was called to be vegan for that long and it was right for me … until it wasn’t. I’m inspired to hear your love for self. Keep it up. It may lead you to enlightenment… where everything is healthy.

    • Thank you Mici. That must have been tough to run vegan businesses and change from being a vegan yourself. Do you still run your businesses? Do your customers mind that you aren’t a vegan? That makes those kind of decisions even harder – so well done for sticking with what you knew was right. I’ve also given up grains recently and I just have raw honey now. I’m feeling better already.

  63. I fully understand and sympathise – I was veggie for 18 months and vegan for 6 months after that. It was purely an ethical choice. Sadly my body didn’t agree with my ethics and I was gently advised by my very sympathetic Doctor to eat fish and meat. It took months to gradually add these back into my diet. I now eat – as far as is possible – organic, free range (pasture fed) meat and non farmed fish. I go without a great deal to be able to afford this. Becoming a vegan merely sidesteps the issue of animal welfare. Engaging in the food chain in as ethical way as possible at least creates the demand for better treated animals. I also donate to animal welfare charities. I do the best I can with what I’ve got. As do we all x

  64. I think this is fabulous! Hats off to you for speaking your truth and being brave enough to do so…. I have encountered many of the same feelings but for different reasons. On a food/health note ~ it is always best to listen to our bodies, our needs change throughout our lifetime.

    I’m very happy you wrote this :)

    Blessings ~

  65. Thank you for a very intelligent post about listening to your body. I highly respect you for the changes you are making for the benefit of your health, and for your future. I have never been able to maintain a vegetarian diet, or a vegan diet, and now eat paleo. It seems to work best with my body..

  66. Kudos! I am excited for your new journeys and proud of you for listening to your body.

    xoxo

  67. It’s a good post , I am not vegan I raise animals and plants as a organic farmer. I have had vegan mothers that have been sick during pregnancy like yourself buy grass fed meat, soy free free range eggs, and raw goat cheese and milk from me to help them through their pregnancy and lactations. The went back later on and it worked . Your doing the right thing by listening to your body. Vegans and vegetarians have many times attacked me for eating meat and raising animals for meat and milk . I don’t share their sentiments and I raise my animals with kindness, appreciation , love and compassion and make sure their lives are happy and healthy before they are transitioned. I don’t see a problem with how we raise our food plant or animal. Thank you again for the post, and honesty

  68. This entire post and all the comments are a sad excuse for human and humane thinking. There is NO way to consume animal products humanly. Murder, cruelty, and torture are the reality in your food.
    Eating the cold, tortured, murdered flesh of another being is NOT going to make a human healthier. No one NEEDS cheese. No one NEEDS gelatin. No one NEEDS eggs.
    As for listening to your body. Well, let’s get real people. All addicts bodies tell them they NEED substance. Cigarettes, alchohol, drugs, sex with children! All NEEDS a body is screaming for. However, anyone who listens to their body and full fills these needs is a pariah a society.
    The reality is, Americans join together in the stance of consuming dead flesh in a selfish act of solidarity. No one on this blog is living a compromised life in which ” living off the land” is essential to survival.
    Here are some facts. Animal fur and skin keeps humans warm. Animal flesh is tasty.
    Here are a few more facts. Animal flesh is almost always factory farmed. Factory farms are cruel, overcrowded, hotbeds of torture. Most of the cold dead animal flesh you consume has been living in shit, piss, puke and vomit until death, when it is processed and treated with chemicals to keep selfish, arrogant, uneducated, misguided, excuse making humans from getting sick in an over indulgent world.
    Fact, bleach, steroids, and antibiotics are what you are eating and very possibly what you are craving.
    Instead of preaching and teaching this misguided approach to living. Instead of being arrogant and indulgent. Instead of being a supremesist over other beings. Instead of guiding future humans into this same way of thinking. Consider being an educated, informed and compassionate consumer.
    If you feel like crap, it is not because you NEED a cheeseburger. And for the record, your farm fresh, organically raised, humane flesh, is still flesh! It comes from a being who was scared, confused, and murdered for your self righteous first world, white people way of thinking.
    Way to go humans!! Your advanced intellect and superior way of thinking has you eating the menstruated, unfertilized children of fowl.
    Maybe you can have your way and we can out the Japanese back into segregated camps, seperate the “coloreds”, and suppress fags back into submission.
    After all, you are a superior thinking, feeling, being and MUST consume dead flesh of what you have deamed to be inferior being in order to have a fulfilling life.
    Get over yourselves humans!!! You are fooling yourselves and teaching a misguided way of thinking. Just because you have the backing of millions of other selfish, indulgent, supremesists backing you, it doesn’t make it right. Enjoy your shut, piss, vomit, and puss! Enjoy the cruelty, torture, and murder that you NEED to stay alive.

    • I agree with a lot of what you said. I don’t eat any processed food and have been eating healthy vegan food for about 4 years but I’m not well and I have to try something else. I don’t like the taste of meat and the thought of eating it makes me feel sick – but I have to try it because I’m not well enough to look after my children. I agree with you about the factory farming and the thought of killing an animal makes me very upset – but I always put my children first. If after this experiment with my diet, it doesn’t make any difference I’ll go back to being a very ill vegan.

  69. Good for you! So many accounts of people whose health improved at first – because of the junk removed from their diet – but could not sustain that improvement. There are necessary nutrients we can only get from the animal world. Our bodies need them! God bless and good health!

  70. I’ve done the same thing. I was vegetarian for 7 years and vegan the last 3 but found I was getting more and more signals that it wasn’t working for me. I now follow the Weston A Price diet and I feel at thirty years younger. Like you, I will continue to juice or make smoothies, but I had no clue how depleted my body was until I started eating nutrient dense foods. Some of my ethical concerns over meat are met by buying farm raised animals that are grass fed and grass finished, meaning they live full lives on farms with farmers I know and don’t come from industrial farms where they have no real life at all.
    Kudos to you and I hope you are feeling phsyically the same incredible effects I am from having made the choice 3 months ago.

    • Wow that’s amazing Deborah! It’s only been 3 months and you feel so much better! I’ve been mostly vegetarian all my life but now am forcing myself to eat meat even though I don’t like it. I’m already feeling better! Thanks so much for your comment.

  71. Thank you for having the courage to write this and understand that you can still be a compassionate person, care for the animals we eat, by some who husband and care for them. If you understand the cycle of life made possible by the beasts of a thousand hills, now mainly manifested in modern cattle, together with the synergies and symbiotic relationships we as humans have formed, you will understand the truth, both literally and figuratively. ‘all flesh is grass and the goodliness thereof is as the flower of the field’ (Isiah some 8,000 years ago). It is not by accident that grass fattened beef, including organ meats such as heart and liver are a complete, nutrient dense food for optimum human health, full of the essential nutrients needed to sustain healthy life before, during and after pregnancy. These ruminants are also necessary for the very cycle of life and soil fertility.
    As a grass fattening beef producer, marketing my families beef direct to consumers, I can personally attest to the health giving life force of such beef with many health challenged customer/consumers. A number of these are former vegetarians who have realised the truth. In fact today, one very intelligent lady, who I had not seen for several months, but argued with me for years against eating meat, bought liver and ground beef. A vegetarian friend of this lady had been buying liver for her in recent weeks and I wrongly assumed it was for her dog until she explained it was to help her friend recover from a very serious stomach operation.
    I often tell my customers one serving of liver is equal to about 100 cups of blue berries for health. This lady, who looked much healthier than in the past, was explaining similar to another customer and relating that she was now forcing herself to have at least three servings of our grass fed beef liver per week. The truth will out, if sought.

    • Thank you so much for your thoughful comment. I’ve been hearing similar things about liver lately too. That sounds similar to me. I’m forcing myself to eat grass fed meat even though I don’t like it. I’m already feeling a bit better!

      • Thanks for your reply. You have obviously touched the emotions of many and are not alone. The more we become distanced from the natural world to the benefit of many from the duty, understanding and responsibility of those in crop and animal husbandry, the more unbalanced society becomes. Anyone with their feet on the ground in nature understands the contribution of the bovine , even where they are not eaten and worshiped for the fertility they provide in what passes through them. The least amount of living entities are sacrificed for food by using them. For example one beef will feed a family of five for one to two years. This has largely been replaced by industrial model grain agriculture and their derivatives in the form of chicken and pork with high, out of balance, Omega 6 essential fatty acids which science now indicates to be the subliminal cause of all inflammatory diseases, such as heart, cancers, auto-immune, MS, arthritis, dementia’s etc.
        It takes literally thousands of chickens and millions of other living entities, now dependent on fossil fuel industrial systems to replace a sustainable system dependent on the bovine. India is an example often cited by vegetarians where the opposite is the ‘whole truth’. There on less than 2% of the worlds land mass, resides about 20% of humanity and 20% of the worlds cattle. In fact, counting in Buffalo which are not sacred, India has recently become the worlds largest beef or red meat producer and exporter.
        Finally if it helps, regular use of liver and marrow/knuckle bone beef broths have been used as an antidote for ailments throughout recorded history. They contain all the nutrients essential for human health in body ,bone and brain. Modern science is now verifying these ancient truths. All the relevant evidence is now accessible on line. Chris Kresser et al. ‘Red meat does a body good’ and many other posts contain links to the scientific, evidence based truths and double blind studies. Anyone who cares to seek the truth with an open mind now can.
        Good luck in your life’s journey. In my 72nd year with very good health in a very stressful situation for being ‘against the grain’, I am satisfied with the truth as I know it, having cured myself of arthritis through weekly bone broths several years ago. I am not ‘paleo’ but did cut back on sugar and grain based carbs. The proof is definitely in the eating thereof and not the pudding from the babies of countless plants. Sorry but could not resist in light of some of the posts.

  72. Good for you, Katherine! I support you 100%. And after a transition period, I hope you will consider sharing ALL your eats with us here on your blog – no need to hide the non-veg stuff. :)

    • Thanks so much Amber. I was thinking of you when I wrote this post so it’s lovely to hear from you! I am so sad that you gave up blogging and that you received such negativity. I was dreading a similar thing happening to me, and I had tried to mentally prepare for it. My smoothies are generally vegan so my website will naturally be a vegan site but if I do change them I’ll think about posting them! Thanks so much for your support. How are you feeling now? I hope you are feeling better and Merry Christmas!

  73. Life changes sometimes, and we have to with it. I’m behind you all the way!

  74. I think sometimes we get sick and our bodies just need to heal and vegan or vegetarian is a good way to heal. Then once you’re body heals, it may feel depleted of certain vitamins, minerals and/or proteins or may be healthier and able to take in more. It makes sense to me that people may find they need a change TO vegan living or FROM vegan living. I am not an expert at all, I just know my body has needed different things at difference times and I have been surprised by changes I have taken over the years. I don’t have any regrets, I truly believe what I was doing was what I needed at that particular time. It’s a personal journey that is so individual that none of us should try to decide for others what is best nutritionally or even ethically many times. Thanks for sharing your journey with us!

  75. Thank you for your honesty. Go with what feels right and ignore what anyone else may say about it. I was a vegetarian for 16 years myself, and then raw vegan for almost 2. I never once during all that time thought that I wouldn’t be vegetarian/vegan forever, but eventually I did a lot of damage to my thyroid, reproductive, immune and digestive systems. I thought I had the perfect diet, and refused to pay attention to the evidence to the contrary until it was really, really undeniable. The decision to change was slow and painful, because I too made it a matter of ethics.

    However, the realization that plants do have a consciousness (read “Primary Perception”, for example) helped me understand that the idea that one’s life doesn’t require the death of a living or even conscious being is an illusion… We just don’t hear the “scream” of plants, so we fool ourselves into thinking we can live without hurting sentient beings.

    With this said, I only eat meat and dairy from local, traditional farms where the cows and goats spend their lives in pastures and are milked by hand, and the eggs from hens that likewise spend their time outside eating and doing whatever they like. There is no need to hurt and disrespect animals needlessly.

    I sometimes help harvest some of the animals I eat… It’s extremely hard to feel a life living a body… I cry every time, and tell myself “This suffering and death is what your life is causing and requiring. Be grateful for every minute of your life and don’t waste it, or you’ll waste and disrespect the life you took from this animal”. And I think the same when I pick a fruit or vegetable.

    Are we unethical for choosing our life over the one of other living beings? I don’t think so. Animals choose their own life over the one of their prey or fodder, and I don’t think human beings are special or different. However, I do think that it is unethical to exploit animals and plants and make them suffer for profit (i.e. CAFO animals, large dairies, industrial agriculture, etc.).

    There is no perfect diet that works for everyone. I know healthy, vibrant people who are vegans and healthy, vibrant people who are paleo and everything in between, as well as sick people in all camps. Each one of us is a unique combination of factors (heritage, environment, stress and more) and our dietary choices should take it all into consideration. Raw food veganism saved the life of some of my friends, yet landed me in a hospital… There is no one-size fits all: it’s not a dogma, it’s your life.

  76. I’ve noticed a few patterns with people who have problems staying vegan. I’m listing them because I think they may help someone who wants to keep at it, especially those motivated by the ethics of a plant-based diet:

    1) Conditioning, society, and peer-pressure: Whether we grow up in a meat-eating family or a vegetarian / vegan family, today we all live in societies with economies based on animal exploitation. This creates a tremendous drive in people to justify eating animals & to dismiss arguments against this as “extremist”, “fanatical”, “unnatural” etc. Some vegans feel tremendously excluded from society, especially when they go public (eg business or blog). Consciously or subconsciously, they may start to doubt the health & utility of a vegan diet, and seek articles & research to justify the eating of animal products as necessary. The mind always affects the body, & if one begins to believe, consciously & especially subconsciously, that a vegan diet is making them sick, depressed, poor, etc, then they will feel and experience these problems and attribute them to their diet.

    2) Perfectionism over ethics: I’ve noticed that those who quit being vegan were usually attracted to veganism as part of a raw food weight loss / detox diet, rather than primarily for ethical reasons. Both “health vegans” and “ethical vegans” generally wish to be healthy, and the former usually have ethical impulses along with their health goals. But their is always a primary goal and influence. The “ethical vegans” concern was replacing animal products from their diet, and that priority governed their transition to, or maintenance of, veganism. In other words, if they felt they needed more protein, calories, etc, they didnt hesitate to eat cooked foods, larger quantities, etc, as long as they are eating a plant-based diet. The result is that such vegans create more grounded, versatile, practical, & nourishing diets that will carry them through life & changing circumstances (pregnancy, athletics, seasonal change, etc). Maybe they will go through phases where they eat too many starches and put on a few pounds. Maybe they will find they eat one too many vegan cupcakes. So they respond and make changes. They find a way to live by their ethics regardless of outer circumstances, and they succeed.

    The “health vegan’s” primary drive, while they may have had ethical emotions, was to look and feel healthier. There is nothing wrong with such goals, and they are generally the fruits of a healthy diet barring other issues. Unfortunately, what often happens with such people is that they create less grounded and sustainable diets. Captivated by the good feelings & “edge” the initial raw food & detox focus gave them, they tend to swing back in an equally extreme way. Instead of seeking some type of ethical, least evil middle ground between veganism and meat eating, they will go right back to the latter. For example, instead of adopting a vegetarian diet from sources that treat animals & their young ethically (as millions of Indians do, for example), as a temporary transition to figure out a different vegan diet that will work for them, they will instead begin justifying the use of meat products and go back to consuming them. They do this because no matter what they told themselves and others, ethics was never the driving force for them. When their “perfect” vegan diet seems less perfect, they will scrap the whole idea of plant-based eating. When they dont feel as good as they did in the initial stages of their smoothie fasts, juice cleanses, raw food phases, etc, they blame the vegan diet as a whole.

    The rush they may experience from eating animal products again, caused by dense animal calories and hormones, and most of all the psychological relief of not “holding on” to being vegan, may make them think they are now feeling “better”. In reality, they are like drug addicts returning to their addiction after a period of abstinence. They will feel good from their initial high, but the costs involved will return as well.

    3) Emotional issues: Last, but certainly not least, are emotional issues such as depression and mood swings. If one grew up in meat-eating families, one may associate meat eating with sustenance and “comforting” feelings. If one grew up in veg family, one might have impressions that they are somehow missing out! Almost everyone I’ve observed who gave up on being vegan followed the same pattern: (1) a history of depression to some degree; (2) feeling much better physically & spiritually after becoming vegan; (3) a period of mental & physical stress, both from everyday life issues and sometimes from an unsustainable version of the vegan diet, leading to feelings of depression again; (4) resulting feelings of fear & panic regarding veganism, and a compulsion to re-justify eating meat again; (5) eating meat again & feeling a rush from the novelty, calories, etc; (6) re-entry into their former cycle of depression, which they will not blame on eating meat (as they blamed veganism), but see as a “natural” part of life now independent of their dietary choices.

    I’ve written alot of words here, but I would like to sum up by saying that if someone wants to be vegan, they should not be afraid or scared that its unnatural or impossible. It is possible, & millions of people do it successfully. Dont listen to people who have failed – listen to people who have faced challenges and succeeded. If you have fears, health issues, or need to tweak your diet, you may start to think your body is “talking” to you and telling you to eat meat:-0 This is not intuition, its just fear:-) Your body may be calling out for more calories, certain nutrients, etc, but is not telling you to eat meat and it never will. If you want to be vegan then keep this in mind, figure out what plant foods you should eat, and keep going. Improvise, adapt, and overcome, for yourself and the animals we share this world with.

  77. Have you read The Vegitarian Myth? It’s written by a former vegan – and it addresses all the ethics questions.

  78. Mary in Md says:

    I really appreciated your honest post. When a person has firmly taken on a certain life course, it can be difficult to admit when a course correction is needed. I applaud you, Katherine. Your honesty will undoubtedly help someone else have the courage to make needed changes. I have always felt that it is important to adhere to a tenet of balance when it comes to matters of a healthy diet. Not everyone’s body is the same. If we were all the same, there would be one diet plan for everyone to adhere to maintain their optimal health and fitness. But, alas that isn’t so. I am working on finding my own balance. And, I find it counterproductive to vilify food. The food that nourishes me may hinder someone else’s quest for health and visa versa. So, I wish you well in your continued quest for health.

  79. I never Ever post comments, but this struck a nerve with me and I have to say something. First off good for you and your family. Food is a completely personal choice. Doing what is healthiest for you and your family is what is important. This issue to be vegan not to be vegan is out of control and is not a big a deal as people try to make it. I will tell you why I feel this way.
    About a year ago one of my sisters became vegan. She did this solely for health reasons. She had for years been having stomached issue that the doctor could not identify. She decided to try and cut things out of her diet to see how it affected her. After taking all dairy out she noticed remarked improvement in her health. This eventually led her and her husband to become vegan. We are from a Large family (six kids all married, several with children) everyone supported their decisions. After awhile however, she started making it a political/ethical issue. While she would get up on her soap box so to speak the rest of us while respectful of their health choices usually smiled and brushed the other issues aside.
    (I will say the majority of us did start making healthier eating choices : juicing on a regular bases, buying whole foods, organic, etc……for health reasons!)
    I decided to give vegan a trial run for one month. It was not for me. I am a nursing mother, my milk supply started to slow down, and that was a huge factor in stopping. Not to mention I was tired of making several different dinners a night to accommodate everyone. It was just no working out. So while still keeping things as healthy for my family as is reasonable I am not a vegan.
    Another of my sisters became vegan and she is more unbalanced than the first. They shove every documentary they can find down the families throats they can. Trying to make you grossed out with milk is puss, and watch these chickens, etc. I’m sick of it. They judge everything you buy or eat, even each other. (They both went out to eat later one complained about the other forgetting to ask for no cheese on her refrained beans so how can she claim to be vegan. It’s Pathetic, I once invited the second sister over to dinner, not really thinking I made pasta Alfredo with garlic bread. I wasn’t trying to be difficult, it was a last minute invite while I was in the middle of making dinner. I after she made several comments about the milk and butter used I apologized and offered to make some quinoa. She declined and ate the bread. Um Ya! Last time I checked it was made with milk, butter, and eggs.
    She started having terrible memory problems. She went to the doctor for some tests. She had vitamin deficiencies including b12 which he said was causing the memory loss as a direct result of being vegan. Also in my honest opinion her brain function is lower now for some weird reason, for example: recently we had a snow/ice storm. She got stuck on rail road tracks, the arms starting coming down and bells ringing as if a train were coming. Now I don’t know about you but my first reaction if my car were stuck would be to exit the vehicle and get off the tracks! Well she just sat there not knowing what to do, until a rr worker came and tapped on her window. She wasn’t in danger they had just been testing things and they helped pushed her car over the tracts. ( maybe this was due to vegan brain fog maybe it was ‘t who knows)
    I think there probably is a healthy way to be vegan but you should monitor it closely to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs.
    What I don’t appreciate is the negative attitude and judging of others that comes with it as if somehow they are all of a sudden better than others because of a completely personal food choice.
    I love my sisters and I will support the choices they want to make on food, at the same time I think they need to get over themselves about it.
    I think people tend to become unbalanced very quickly on both sides and it’s ridiculous. Do what’s best for you and your family and don’t judge others for doing they same!

    • Incidentally, neither of these two sisters have children and seriously do not understand the feeling. So I get where you are coming from in needing to be healthy for your family and putting them first. You are a MOM nothing more needs to be explained!

  80. D'Ann Martin says:

    Thank you so much for your honesty and transparency! I myself first turned turned down the vegan road in August of 2012 after watching Dr. Joel Fuhrman on the Dr. Oz show talk about the book “Eat to Live.” It was an exciting new path at first with that “new car smell” type of rush that comes with turning over a new leaf. That “new car smell” quickly went away when I found myself practically obsessed with health, nutrition and veganism. I loved Carrie’s blog and was so happy when you came on board with her! I still love your thickies btw and have the master recipe printed and taped on the inside of own of my kitchen cupboard so I can reference it with changing it up! My family was not on board, my extended family thought I was nuts and I must say being vegan for health reasons only, doesn’t take you as far as if you were ethically and morally convicted. I struggled financially with the lifestyle as well. I finally gave up a few months ago. I deleted the vegan blogs that were flogging people for listening to their boddies, and I found some new blogs that were about “real food” and loving our families and ourselves by eating a nutritionally balanced diet. One blog in particular, “Heavenly Homemakers”, has made a
    profound impact on my life. Laura, the writer for Heavenly Homemakers posted a great article the other day that completely made me break down. You can find the article here:
    http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/god-is-bigger-than-a-free-range-chicken?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+heavenlyhomemakers%2FPDxF+%28Heavenly+Homemakers%29
    This was my response to her article:

    n August of 2012, my life changed. Until reading this today, I was not sure it was for the better. I was watching Dr. Oz and he had a guest named Dr. Joel Fuhrman on his show promoting a vegan lifestyle. Before that day I was feeding my family the SAD (standard American Diet). I read his book “Eat to Live.” I panicked, started only feeding my family a strictly organic plant-based diet and started reading every book on health and veganism I could get my hands on. I started spending some serious money on this food. Often times I paid with a credit card, because I thought debt was better than poisoning my family. I found your site through Money Saving Mom.com a few months ago, and I started to eventually incorporate meat and dairy back into our diets. But I have to admit, I was still spending in the red most months buying grass fed and organic everything. I’ve been feeling total conviction lately about my high spending on food, but also total mommy guilt thinking I’m poisoning my kids and husband with pesticides, gmo’s and everything else harmful out there in the food chain. Thank you so much for smacking this girl up the side of the head with this post! My heart and ideals are right. They just don’t line up with my pocketbook right now. God knows this, and up until tonight, I guess I had forgot that. Healthy food has become an idol for me. As I write this, it’s the first time I’m admitting it. Lots of tears, and a great feeling of shame and foolishness take over me. Grace… Thank you precious Jesus for it. Ok, got to go grab me a hankie. Thank you Laura<3

    I guess the reason I wanted to write is that I'm so proud of you for listenening to your body over the voice of shame and defeat. I'm very proud of you for taking this stance in a world that can often be unforgiving. Some day, many years from now, your kids will be going through all your archives, and I think they will be so proud of you for putting the ability to care for them over what society was telling you to do. Actions speak louder than words, and this article tells me that you truly love yourself, and your children<3

  81. Katherine I have navigated between vegan and carnivore for over 20 years and have found myself sick with each. With the help of my Naturopath I have been able to find what works for me both physically and morally for myself. I eat mainly a plant based diet. I have researched local farms that I know are practicing in ways that are ok with me. I eat raw cheeses, butter, and milk that are local grass fed and raised as humanely as possible. I eat sardines or smoked salmon here and there. I have found this is a great balance for me and I am ok with the treatment of animals. I also incorporate raw vegan protein powder into my thickies. I do hope you find what works best for your body. Best of luck to you!

  82. Hi Katherine, I hope you’re feeling a bit better. I don’t really see why people have to label themselves as this or that and then get upset when others vary their diet. As you said in your post, veganism is almost a religion for some, and they can have as bigoted viewpoints as religious fundamentalists.

    Variety is the spice of life, and if staying healthy means modifying a diet that is not working, then it seems obvious to do it. Only the thick-headed would stick with a diet that is not working for them any more.

    You are no less credible as a writer of natural recipes just because you are not 100% vegan. Your recipes are fab and I’m so glad to have found your website. This weekend I’ll be making your peanut butter and vegetable stock, and my breakfast was a thickie which I even managed to get my teenage boys to drink.

    Live and let live, and bon appetit!

  83. I know this post is old, but it hit a nerve. In addition, I dont know where you are currently with your diet, but I am hoping you are well and have found your balance.
    To the people that say rude comments: you are NOT truly being kind to animals-so stop patting yourself on your back.
    People…yes, we are animals too. How kind is it to say mean, even cruel things to someone in an attempt to make yourself feel superior…to push your views and agenda to the point of harassment? What a person chooses to eat and/or feed their family, is their business and is not an invitation for you to regurgitate the toxicity that resides within you.
    Practice what you preach! Be kind to ALL animals.
    Katherine: you did not have to share this, so I thank you for doing so, and I am certain that it has helped someone, in one way, or another. I APPLAUD you for gracefully standing up to the bad behavior of the poorly mannered.

  84. Everything eats. Humans make life so difficult. Ugh. We are eternal beings we are source energy. We can’t get this life thing wrong. Choose alignment. Whether it’s meat or not. Never say never judgers. ✌️✨

  85. Hi Katherine,

    You have to do what is right for your body and family. Just ignore the negative people. I know it will be hard. They do not understand what you are personally going through. You can not help that. I personally can not afford to buy the products you sell, but have been eating healthier for years. I am physically disabled due to an accident. I have been fighting to get well for many many years! I suffer from Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Chronic Pain, Nerve Damage, etc… I survive on the bare minimum financial disability caring for my two boys. I feel better when I eat healthy by cuting out processed, GMO, chemical laden foods! It is hard to financially cut out those foods out all together on my income. I just do what I can. Just keep strong!

  86. Doing what’s best for your own body is what’s it’s about. Check out The Physiology of Eating fb page. The founder was also vegan for 12 years. 2 of them raw vegan. Marc and Emily have a belief that everyone has different nutritional needs during different stages of life. The are also on YouTube. Maybe check them out, it might help you come to terms with what your body is trying tell you. Best of luck in your nutritional journey. Remember to be kind to yourself during this time.

  87. Hi Katherine,

    Thank you for posting this! I do think that veganism is a title that should be avoid as much as possible when your goal for eating is mostly health based as opposed to animal rights (which is important). There are too many assumptions and stigmas around the title, which doesn’t describe the health reason as to why someone eats mostly plant-based food. So, it was great to read your post on this and why you’ve turned away from veganism.

    I had a question. My wife has chronic fatigue syndrome and we’re 6 months into our 2nd pregnancy. What did you eat during your pregnancies or how did you manage to stay healthy? My wife has difficulty taking down green smoothies, as well, but anything that she eats that is processed or meat based hits her CFS harder than anything else (which is difficult because that is all her body wants during pregnancy).

    Lastly, what happened after 4 years of starting the plant-based eating? Did CFS symptoms flair up again, regardless of what you ate? There is so little information on someone eating Nutritarian/mostly plant-based food, while pregnant, and while having CFS. My wife is at a complete loss and I am trying to find someone’s profile that she can relate to.

    I do not know if you will read this or if you are still managing this blog. But, if you are by any chance, please let us know how you are and an update on how you are managing your CFS. If you feel comfortable, I know I and my wife would benefit from your perspective.

    Best,
    Thomas

  88. Hi Katherine,

    Thank you for posting this! I do think that veganism is a title that I avoid as much as possible when describing the way my family works towards eating. There are too much assumption and stigma around the title, which doesn’t describe the health reason as to why someone eats mostly plant-based food. So, it was great to read your post on this and why you’ve turned away from veganism.

    I had a question. My wife has chronic fatigue syndrome and we’re 6 months into our 2nd pregnancy. What did you eat during your pregnancies or how did you manage to stay healthy? My wife has difficulty taking down green smoothies, as well, but anything that she eats that is processed or meat based hits her CFS harder than anything else (which is difficult because that is all her body wants during pregnancy).

    Lastly, what happened after 4 years of starting the plant-based eating? Did CFS symptoms flair up again, regardless of what you ate? There is so little information on someone eating Nutritarian/mostly plant-based food, while pregnant, and while having CFS. My wife is at a complete loss and I am trying to find someone’s profile that she can relate to.

    I do not know if you will read this or if you are still managing this blog. But, if you are by any chance, please let us know how you are and an update on how you are managing your CFS. If you feel comfortable, I know I and my wife would benefit from your perspective.

    Best,
    Thomas

    • Hi Thomas, so sorry your wife is struggling so much. I can relate to that. Yes I agree about the word veganism and wish I had chosen plant based!

      I’m afraid both of my pregnancies were very difficult and I really struggled to eat healthy food. I think perhaps my body was telling me to eat some animal food for nutrients but I resisted. I also struggled to eat vegetables at the start of both pregnancies. I got CFS during my second pregnancy and was also anaemic. That is why I moved away from veganism, but looking back it may have actually been because I had celiac disease and didn’t know it at the time and I was making a lot of homemade bread.

      I also think a lot of health problems may be caused by subconscious programming, that certainly is the case for me, so that’s what I’m working on a lot more now.

  89. I know this is an old topic now but good on you for speaking your truth. I admire your courage. In the end, it’s each to their own. Same as religion. It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ scenario. We are all individuals living a different experience. What’s right for one, may not be right for another. And this can change over time too. Xx

Speak Your Mind

*