I am apprehensively flirting with veganism again. I was a vegetarian for seven years and could never imagine going back when my health spiraled out of control, causing a domino effect of problems. I began to question everything in my lifestyle, including my vegetarianism. I started eating a "conscious" omnivorous diet ( as if there is one, but you know: whole foods, humanely raised, etc.) I found out since this decision that my health problems were the result of a food allergy.
I want desperately to be vegan and for it to work. I worry that I will look flakey to my family and friends, many of whom rejoiced when I began eating meat. I feel like my vegetarian ethics have been publically tainted. I look so flakey, and much if my family would not respect my decision to become vegan, with all I have put them through over the years. I would just seem needy and demanding, not ethical! So I guess I will be privately flirting with veganism and hoping it will be the positive change I believe it will be.
HI sprout - I understand your concerns, but if your family and friends care about you they will support your decision. There is SO much information about why veganism is extremely beneficial to your health! Just search amazon.com and there are tons of informative books. I just started reading The China Study by T. Collin Campbell who is a scientist that grew up on a farm and through his studies has learned the health benifits of a vegan diet.
I am a nursing student and the more I learn about the human body and disease, the more I am happy I am vegan. My nutrition professor thinks it is great that I am vegan and I scored the best in my class when we had to track our diets for a week!
Don't worry about seeming flakey - you are more determined than any of your friends/family just because you are considering going against the norm and changing your health for the better! Good luck, you can do it!
Hi there! First off, I would like to say that you are not a flake! You said you started eating meat again because you thought it would better your health, and then realized it was just a food allergy after all, and not your vegetarianism. It was just a realization is all. I was a vegetarian for 10 years starting in highschool and although my family thought it was alittle weird at first, they later supported it, along with any friends I made. Then in my early 20's I decided to start eating meat, and like you, my family and friends,(including my boyfriend at the time who supposedly supported me), were happy. BUT 2 years into it, and one nite I decided that lifestyle was not who I am, and quit meat cold turkey, no pun intended. No one was really surprised, because of my practices before. I did vegan for a month, but because of my not so healthy way of doing it, decided to hold out and go one step at a time. NO ONE has called me a flake. Even when I do decide to have a bit of meat because I feel the need one nite, and then hop back on the next day. I totally support you on your decision, and I'm a stranger. The people in your life that you love and care about should be able to support you on your decision to better you as a person and your health.
Don't beat yourself up over the past, instead look forward to the future with new eyes. I too am reading the China Study; I am about 1/2 way through and I must say the book is truly changing my life. But there is a reason I say CHANGING because for me it is an ongoing process. Things don't have to be black or white for you. Just take it a day at a time and make the healthiest decisions you can. This forum alone has helped me so much on my journey.
I started out Vegetarian and have now pretty much adapted to about a 90% Vegan Diet, although I am not a complete Vegan yet. I do believe it is the best thing for my body but I struggle with eating out and going to houses of friends and family and asking a million questions about which ingredients are in which foods, so sometimes I compromise with small amounts of dairy. I am usually mad at myself afterwards, but I have learned being angry isn't the solution, it's trying to figure out a way to deal with the problem next time that is a better solution.
As far as your family thinking you are flakey--I think we have all been there. Especially when you bounce back and forth. My family has watched me go through many ups and downs, always wondering what diet trend I was trying next. Some years I would avoid carbs at all costs, the next year it was gluten, then it was dairy, then it was fat, then it was meat, then it was sugar, and on and on. The truth is, I never backed my diet decisions on research or nutritional health claims--instead I turned to diet trends (not such a good idea!) After discovering that carbohydrates in whole grain form are very good for my body and that I do not have a gluten allergy I have settled on a wholesome plant-based diet, and have finally felt better than I ever have in my life. But my journey isn't over, sometimes I feel as though it has just begun! And I like it that way!
I wish you all good things - it sounds like you are trying to make decisions that positively impact your good health and energy - that can't be bad! When you take care of yourself, usually those you love benefit as well! :)
I too am a flirting vegetarian and aspiring vegan. Its day 12 for me - no dairy, beef, chicken or pork and only a little salmon. I am feeling so much better, physically, and my outlook is more calm and positive. My husband and students have also noticed a difference in my demeanor. You are NOT a flake for wanting to take care of yourself! :)
@Sarah: Thanks for the suggestion of "The China Study." Looking into that -
Totally understandable. You don't sound flaky to me at all. In fact, I think you sound quite courageous. Most people are very confused or simply don't know the first thing about nutrition, eating and health...BUT, unlike them at least you are willing to have an open mind and look at different alternatives, etc. You should be proud of yourself for that. That is a very positive trait and one to be proud of. =) That being said, I think the best way to approach what the situation you are in and what you would like to do with cold hard facts and data. I'm a physician and I have found that most people respond best to education and data if presented to them in a palatable way so to speak.
The suggestions of reading The China Study ARE fabulous! There was a NY Times interview with the author last week that was spectacular.
Also, if you want more immediate and "real people" proof for yourself of the health benefits associated with a vegan diet you might want to check out my blog. (www.theplantrx.com) In 4 days we are starting our Plant-based Health Study that will last for 60 days. We are measuring all blood work etc prior to starting at the midpoint and end to see how a vegan diet affects various health parameters. The participants (all 8) will be blogging about the experience as it occurs in real time. You can even interact with them if you like. Also, you will see that I am posting all of their blood results etc on the site in the interest of transparency. I also have personal testimonies and stories on their too if you are interested and will be adding more soon.
Thanks for the encouragement, everyone! I have read many vegetarian and health books, but I haven't yet glanced at The China Study - I will have to pick up a copy asap! Between The Kind Life and picking up the newest issue of VegNews, I feel completely motivated and involved in a worldwide community, even if my own community will not necessarily jump for joy with my (re)decision. I feel 100 pounds lighter knowing that I will not be eating meat anymore!