This post has been a long time coming. I have been researching and reflecting on this for about 9 months now and finally feel ready to share.
Before, I was really trying to make sense of it all and figure out my own thoughts and feelings on the matter. I feel like I’m in a good place now and confident in my decision.
This Spring I decided to introduce eggs and seafood back into my diet. I had talked about the idea of shifting my diet with my friends Allie and Maddie quite a bit.
Allie so kindly gave me eggs from the chickens she raises at her house. I felt good about knowing where the eggs were coming from. I had texted Allie “how do I make scrambled eggs?!” from someone who was vegan for 7 years and kind of . . . forgot.
I would say that for several months leading up to my decision, I felt like my body was begging for me to feed it animal products if I’m being honest. I felt very stuck in my diet and every time I would see someone post their eggs for breakfast or fish for lunch I would find myself thinking – I wish I could eat that.
And then something clicked in my brain. I can eat that. My body is telling me it needs more – so why not listen and give it a try? I have said time and time again that ever since Calvin was born, I have become so in tune with my body – which is something I am so thankful for.
Speaking of Calvin, I would have never made this lifestyle change if it weren’t for him. I have spent the last 18 months learning about eczema. Which led me to learning about lectins in “healthy” foods. Which led me to eliminating soy and beans from his diet completely (and it 100% helped improve his skin). Which then led me to questioning my own diet.
When I stopped giving Calvin soy and beans, I essentially cut them out of my diet too. Now if I eat soy I get bloated and uncomfortable. I WAS eating a lot of soy – mainly from tofu – because . . . what else is there to eat?
I will always be a supporter of the vegan diet but what I have learned is that that diet does not work for everyone. I believe wholeheartedly that Calvin was NOT designed for the vegan diet, and that’s ok.
I saw something on Instagram that said “PSA : you are allowed to change your mind. It’s actually a sign of intelligence and critical thinking.” And I think that’s true. This was not a decision that I made on a whim. I put a lot of thought and research behind it. It literally took me 4 months to decide to even eat an egg lol
I felt very connected to the Vegan lifestyle in so many ways. That’s how I started my Instagram and met so many of you. I have made so many local friends in the Vegan industry. I used to be a Private Vegan Chef. I really felt like I was an advocate for Veganism – which is partially why I have put off writing this post. I didn’t want to let anyone down and am a little sad that this journey didn’t work out for me . . . but I’m good with my decision.
I think there is a way to do it “right”. I can buy my eggs and seafood and meats locally and only support ethical businesses. And, for right now, our family is still not consuming dairy (Calvin’s allergic anyway!).
A few other things led me to further lean into my diet change.
I had seen a post that The Glowing Fridge put out in January of this year, and she covered so much of what I was feeling and made me feel like it was OK to make this change. She wrote “After 8 years of living and breathing the vegan lifestyle, I have outgrown the ‘vegan’ label.” I felt that.
Another thing that hit me the other day was – I did not feel such a pull to make this change until I completely removed alcohol from my life. Which blows my mind. Removing the toxin from my (nearly) everyday life allowed me to get even further connected to my body and my needs.
And what completely wrapped it up for me was a meeting I had with my new Naturopathic Doctor. And this is when I will get emotional. This meeting was our very first meeting together so it was mostly me telling her about my current life and why it is I am seeking her help.
The main points I brought up is how hard 2021 was for me. *TMI* But, I told her how I hemorrhaged after Calvin was born and, according to my doula, lost the most amount of blood she had ever seen. And unfortunately I was not able get a blood transfusion after the fact. How I had to go under anesthesia for not one, but two, d&c’s. It’s not lost on me that much of my postpartum anxiety and depression was most likely caused from parts of my placenta being stuck inside my body for weeks.
This is a bit of a tangent but my Doctor looked at me and said “It’s really no wonder you’re feeling this way about changing your diet after everything your body has been through.” Between the blood loss, housing and birthing 2 babies 25 months apart, nursing for 26 months, etc . . . I felt like my body was straight up depleted. I am so thankful I was able to meet with her when I did. She explained things to me and made me feel like I was making the right decision.
She said typically women will burn out from the vegan diet at around the 5 year mark . . . I made it to 7. She said that is usually when the iron has been depleted . . . b12 etc. She also said that men typically are more successful than woman on a vegan diet because, well, they don’t get their period every month.
ANOTHER thing she brought up to me was eating based on your blood type. This is something I had heard about and researched a bit before. My blood type is O negative. So is Calvin’s. And to no surprise – that blood type “thrives best on animal protein from meat, poultry, and fish.”
So there you have a perfect storm of 9 months of learning, listening to my body, and making a big change for myself and for Calvin.
I will never talk negatively about the vegan diet. I think every BODY is different and just because it didn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for somebody else. The vegan diet worked for me for 7 years, and after all of the changes my body has been through, it wasn’t a good fit for me anymore.
I felt like I couldn’t make changes because I had put myself in a box. My body changed for the better when I changed my diet. Being conscious of what we fuel our bodies with is WAY more important than a label. I’m done with food labels. “I’ve been vegan, paleo, high – fat, low – fat, raw food, you name it. What I’ve come to learn is that you don’t have to define your diet. Instead, do what makes you feel good.” ( Another quote I found on Instagram 😉 )
Here’s to change and doing what’s best for ourselves and our families.
And here’s to my sweet Calvin Arthur boy. The boy who changed it all for me. When he was born he flipped my world upside down. He made me question everything. It hasn’t been easy, but that little boy made me dig deeper into life and made me be a better person.