Is going vegan something you’ve been interested in doing? Or maybe you’ve experimented with it? I know a lot of people who have recovered from eating disorders, recommend others to go vegan. They swear that the vegan lifestyle has saved their lives. But what they don’t know or share with you can be harmful to you. So I’d like to inform you of three things to consider before you decide or continue staying vegan. You don’t want to miss the last reason, so read till the end!
First of all I’d to be clear about my message about going vegan. Going vegan has saved the lives of many people, but also ruined the health of others. I’ll give you examples later in the article, including my own experience with going vegan. I definitely agree that eating more plants than animal products is necessary – if you do it right! Here’s the thing, I’ve seen so many people eat a ton of vegan junk food and think they’re healthy just because their food hasn’t hurt any animals. So drinking soda because it’s vegan is healthy? Eating large amounts of highly processed foods is now healthier than eating animal products? I don’t see how. Yes you can be vegan the right way, just like you can be paleo the right way. But that makes me wonder why we even need to put a label on ourselves? Why do we have the need to call ourselves vegan, paleo, high carb and so on. But that’s a whole other story. Here are my three reasons it might not be a good idea for you to go vegan.
Before going vegan, consider this;
1. Trigger/worsen you eating disorder; If you have orthorexic or any other disordered eating tendencies, the vegan lifestyle can make your eating disorder even worse. In fact a lot of times people are going vegan, just to use it as an excuse to stick to their unhealthy disordered eating habits. For instance if you have an eating disorder, the vegan diet will just give you another reason(s) to eliminate more foods out of your diet. It’s only going to add more onto your “good food/bad food” list.
2. You think you’re doing it for the animals, but you’re not; This one truly changed the way I looked at veganism. Even if you don’t have disordered eating habits, and you truly just want to go vegan for ethical reasons and for the animals, you need to know this: As much compassion for the animals as you have, remember to also have compassion with yourself too. We’re animals. And just like some animals need to eat other animals to be healthy, so do humans! There’s no agriculture in this planet that doesn’t use animal input. Even if you’re eating vegetables, broccoli for instance, it needs either fertilizer, manure and bonemeal to grow the broccoli. We need animals to poop and mix it into the ground as they walk. If not then we’ll artificial fertilizer to grow our food, and if those animals are gone then desertification will happen.
In the end we all become food, we all become someone else’s food. When we die we become food for other animals, such as worms. Once I heard this from the wonderful Alexandra Jamieson from www.alexandrajamieson.com a couple of years ago, I instantly got the biggest light bulb in my head. At that time I was literally forcing myself to be vegan, which I’m going to talk about in just a bit. But that was exactly what I needed to hear, to finally permit myself to eat meat again. Human beings are often seeking permission from others to do things they’re not “supposed” to do, and Alexandra was definitely one of those people for me!
3. Bio-individuality; If you’ve worked through coaching with me, you’ve heard me talk about bio-individuality. What works for one person, might not work for someone else. In fact, one persons food can be another persons poison. For example, some people can eat gluten just fine, but someone who has celiac disease can die from eating it. This is why I’m against people who promote just ONE way of eating. I see so many people on social media, specifically vegans, talk about how important veganism is. What they don’t tell you is that, it works for THEM. They’re so excited that they’ve found something that works for them and want others to eat just like them, but forget that we’re all different.
Even if a specific way of eating works for them now, it doesn’t mean it’ll work for them forever. We are constantly changing. We eat differently throughout the year. Kids eat different than adults. Men eat different than women. People in Greenland eat different than people in Hawaii. To say that the whole world should eat ONE specific way, is very ignorant! Alexandra Jamieson is a great example for this. She was vegan for over a decade. And at the time it worked for her. But then it stopped working for her, and her body changed the older she got. I highly recommend you read her story: I’m not vegan anymore. If discovering your bio-individuality has been an issue for you, you can book a free discovery call with me, where we can chat more about it.
Going vegan wasn’t right for me
A few years ago I was in love with the idea of eating vegan. I love that it is better for the planet and it just made sense to me that eating plant based is better for my body than eating dead animals. Guess what? I tried it for 3 months straight. In the beginning it felt really good and I was proud of myself. But then after a couple of months I started feeling like my body wasn’t thriving as it should. I even craved meat, but thought the craving would go away. So I went another month without any type of animals products until one day I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started to dream about eating meat! When you start to dream about eating meat, you seriously cannot ignore that! So I slowly started reintroducing animal products into my diet again, starting with eggs all the way to eating steaks comfortably again.
It was a long process because the guilt was still there, but here I am feeling better than ever. I don’t eat nor am I saying that everyone should eat meat all the time. I’m saying that you need to listen to your own cravings and body. And even if you do eat meat make sure it’s organic, hormone free, antibiotic free, free range, grass-fed and pasteurized animal products only. By the way, eating animal products again was a huge help in getting my period back. Not going vegan played a huge role in my amenorrhea recovery.
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