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Advice from former vegans? Or those who stopped & later resumed a vegan diet? - Page 2

post #21 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yes! In the back of my mind I'm simultaneously thinking, "This is no experiment, I'm doing this long-term," and "Well it's only for 2 weeks," LOL!
post #22 of 50

Well, lol, it turned out to be long-term for me, too.  5 years later, I'm still at it.  But, I have learned that people change, and what suited you before the demands of pregnancy and nursing may not suit you now.  What suits you now may not be what you need when you are done with the physical demands of growing a baby.  So, I'm keeping my options open as my babies grow up, and I'll see how my body changes through the years.

 

post #23 of 50

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Edited by birdie.lee - 5/9/13 at 7:57am
post #24 of 50
Thread Starter 
birdee.lee, those are similar feelings to what I'm experiencing. The guilt isn't as overriding as I thought it would be at least -- I think I took so much time to make this decision & come to terms with it that I did a lot of my grieving and guilting before I ate a single bite of meat! I'm glad you are feeling better so quickly. Even just eating a bit of eggs & dairy with very minimal meat (only had it twice all week) I feel better, stronger, and calmer too -- the calmness was a surprise, I've had long-time anxiety! One of my friends told me I look much better too. To be honest, I sort of wish I tried this a few years ago. Remaining vegan through my entire pregnancy and 3 years of high-demand nursing (he nursed several times an hour until he was two!) on top of being already chronically ill, seems to have done a number on me and I worry that I'll *never* fully recover.

I've never heard of the Brewer Diet.
post #25 of 50

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Edited by birdie.lee - 5/9/13 at 7:57am
post #26 of 50
Thread Starter 
Don't be sorry about anything!! I wanted to hear others' experiences! Thanks for sharing & feel free to share more, ask more, whatever, this thread can be for all of us. smile.gif

I did tell all my friends about this. How could I NOT tell them, you know? I kept picturing them making some special vegan thing for me and feeling guilty that I'd go home and eat meat, it would be hypocritical. I have the most amazing friends ever and I wanted them to know. And they are being incredibly supportive -- I think most of them are just relieved that it will be a bit easier for them to cook for me & all of us to share meals. And they are happy for me that I am doing something to improve my health and all. I do get the jokes about giving me a steak lol (I'm so not there yet, not sure if I'll ever eat red meat!) but it's all in good fun and I had the most amazing cupcakes yesterday that my friend made!!! It's really great to be able to share in meals more fully, that's not something I ever understood because I'm not sure I ever experienced it until now.

I haven't told family, I am taking a break from my family indefinitely anyway... not sure what to do about DH's family though. We don't see them often, once every couple of months -- part of me wants to just go on eating vegan around them but I don't know that I'd feel right doing that. My reservation about telling them is mostly that they eat so much junk. It's easy for them to understand that no, DS & I won't eat cheetos or whatever because they have dairy (do cheetos even have actual dairy? lol) but I'm not sure if they will 'get' that just because we are expanding our options a bit, that doesn't mean they can feed DS just anything, and that doesn't mean we will eat pork fried rice or processed cheese sauce or whatever. I'm not sure what to do there.

I admitted out loud that I really want to go get an ice cream sundae, with whipped cream. That was actually kind of hard for me to admit and I did feel a bit guilty about wanting it so I hear you there with the guilt thing. This is an interesting experience for me.

Hmmm now I'm thinking I should take a trip to the ice cream store!! I don't even know where there's ice cream around here actually, I've lived here for years & never once got any!
post #27 of 50

Another convert here! I was vegetarian for a total of 16 years, vegan for about 4. About 6 months ago, I started eating meat and fish. My boys and DH are HUGE meat eaters, and we get organic beef, pork and poultry at cost (DH's family are organic meat farmers). It simply did not make sense for me to keep on cooking a separate meal for myself, especially with a busy household. I had a revelation over the summer when DH came home with 2 huge salmons, and I bbqued them only to watch the kids and DH devour them while I ate the side of asparagus dipped in butter because that was the only veg option I had time to make. I now eat pork, beef and fish, but it has to be from our stash so I'm comfortable with where it came from. Honestly, I've never felt better. My body did not take any time to adjust.

post #28 of 50

I've BTDT.  I was veggie for 6+ years, vegan for the last year or two.  But evenutally my meat cravings were more than I could take.  I started sneaking tastes of lunchmeat (the only meat that DH would dare to bring into the house) at the end of my last pregnancy and into the infancy of my last child.

 

Eventually I started experimenting and then made a HUGE leap and moved to the country and started raising meat animals.  Raising my own meat chickens, and then choosing to eat locally, sustainably raised beef and pork was a huge shift for me.  But once I recognized and acknowledged that my body was craving... NEEDING... those things... it was easier to accept.  For me, raising my own meat animals made a huge difference.  I didn't love eating meat, but knowing that I had raised the animals from infancy, that the animals had had a good and rewarding life was HUGE.  It made me feel so much better about eating meat.

 

These days I eat far too close to the SAD.  But I still feel good that we raise our poultry/eggs, and our beef and pork comes from locally raised, sustainable sources.  Peace of mind goes a long ways towards feeling good about one's diet.

post #29 of 50

I had those same feelings of guilt, of "what do I do without the veg. label", of "how do I tell other people", etc.  It was really hard emotionally for me to separate from being veg.  I can't really tell you that it went away overnight, but gradually, I guess I just let go of it.  At some point, not really defined, I made a decision to be thankful that I have access to really good quality meat, dairy, and eggs.  Thankful that I have options to improve my health, and that I am not stuck with malnourishment.  

 

It's funny, but when I finally made the decision to eat meat, I went straight to eating red meat.  I craved it, and when I ate my first bite of roast beef, it was like my body said  "THANK YOU!!"  I felt really good about it.  Around the 6 week mark, which was my end date for my experiment, I was struggling with whether or not to continue eating meat.  DH weighed in with his opinion, and told me that whatever I was doing, he thought I should continue, because he was noticing that I was calmer, more even-tempered with our children, and just generally easier to live with.  That was the confirmation I needed to keep going on with my TF foray.   

 

It's hard to let go of how we define ourselves, and to learn to redefine our beliefs and actions.  It takes a lot of courage and strength to listen to what your body is telling you, and to follow through, esp. when it pertains to food.  

 

 

 

post #30 of 50
I hear what you all are saying about the identity shift. I was veg for a long time and didnt realize how greatly it affected my interactions with . . . Well, the world in general!

I took several months to fully "come out" and not everyone had the best reactions, some folks hurt my feelings, the same people who always gave me a hard time for being veg eyesroll.gif

Eatwild.org and localharvest have been great starting points for sourcing quality meat, craigslist and facebook, too. I really dont much buy meat from the grocery store unless I see wild caught seafood or organic meat on sale. I've put together a pretty good support network of farmers here. I am lucky to live in an agricultural area, though. If we were more urban, I would probably do the same, ourcing on CL and the others as close as possible and just make a big day trip (or even overnight) to pick up the meat.

Bodhitree, good to "see" you! I was drinking hot cocoa from fresh local milk when I read your post, too smile.gif

Gardenmommy, I like what you said about eating the red meat, and your body saying "thank you". I felt similar, too, and still do when I drink a cup of bone broth or finish up a great dinner smile.gif

About the guilt . . . My biggest issue with meat eating was factory farms and big ag corporations--not necessarily the act of human animal consuming other animal, because I know it is part of nature for some creatures to depend on other creatures for food. When I realized I could source from farmers, that was a huge relief and much of the meat guilt dissipated--when I hand that money to a farmer, it is going to a real person in my community, the animals are raised on a small, sustainable scale--it really "clicked" for me then that meat eating is not unsustainable in and of itself but rather the sytems that have developed along with the industrialization of our food supply that are inherently unsustainable . ..*shrug*

Had sushi today! My body craves it sometimes, so I indulge, even though I am inland here. I only wish the nigiri was prettier--I think what my body really wanted was the bright roe that they dress the sushi with. Next time, I will make sure to get a roll loaded with that stuff wink1.gif

joy.gif love to you all! I am glad to see this thread rolling. There are some things that come up which average peeps might not understand if theyve nevere btdt, so I am very happy we can all support each other.
post #31 of 50

I was veg and then went vegan. I went back to an omni diet after I had cancer, and had lost my appetite for months and couldn't keep food down. Once I was diagnosed and getting treatment I craved meat. Of course I was able to digest it. I haven't even looked back. In fact it's been over 10 years since I went back to eating meat. 

post #32 of 50
Thread Starter 
A little update... Something unexpected I've noticed -- my giant swollen pregnant-looking belly is gone!! I still need to lose weight but I can fit in my pants again! I must definitely have been retaining fluids or something and animal products have somehow helped that??!? IDK but I am very happy about it. I figured animal products might give me a bit more energy and in turn might help me work out more to lose weight but I wasn't thinking just a week of animal products would help that bloating disappear. smile.gif

Also, I tried eel sushi! I couldn't even taste the eel actually. It was good. I also bought some beef stock as a first step to maybe trying red meat... not sure about that but at least I bought it (I am still far from being able to cook it myself lol). I am having a bit of trouble finding organic dairy though... and are cheeses from Europe more likely to use sustainable practices & hormone-free/no antibiotics/grass-fed/pastured/etc. if I can't get certified organic cheese? I keep thinking that Europeans use smarter & more natural milk sources but I'm not sure if that's true. I'm pretty confused about all the labels in general actually.
post #33 of 50

I don't get on here much these days, but I am so glad I found this thread!!

 

I was a vegetarian for 15 years, then I started eating fish. I have stuck with fish but for the past 6 months I've been moving closer to a vegan diet (that is, eating mostly vegetable-based diet with fish here & there, but cutting out dairy & eggs). But I'm starting to think that I'm moving in the wrong direction.

 

Since giving birth (almost three years ago) I've experienced a number of non-serious but nagging medical issues... low iron, hair loss, low energy, fatigue, etc. Nothing is wrong with me, but I feel like I'm deficient in ... something... not sure what!

 

I don't necessarily crave meat, but I feel like something is missing from my diet, if that makes sense.

 

Anyone have any good books or web sites I should read? I might try adding meat to my diet for a temporary experiment. (Honestly, like crunchy_mommy, I don't like the idea of eating meat... I also don't know what it'll do to our food budget since I can hardly squeeze in the organic veggies I get for us now & I won't buy commercially/factory-raised anything.)

post #34 of 50
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by t2009 View Post

Anyone have any good books or web sites I should read? I might try adding meat to my diet for a temporary experiment. (Honestly, like crunchy_mommy, I don't like the idea of eating meat... I also don't know what it'll do to our food budget since I can hardly squeeze in the organic veggies I get for us now & I won't buy commercially/factory-raised anything.)

The budget part is tough!! I am able to get a 5lb free-range organic chicken for $11 or so... which seems like a ton for me when I think of all the fresh veggies I could get for that same cost!! But one chicken can go a long way, because I don't need a lot of it to feel 'full' and can't really eat more than a small serving anyway... I shred it up and freeze half and the other half gets added bit by bit to whatever I'm making throughout the week. Then I make a stock from the carcass, and actually I'm able to reuse the carcass again for a second round of stock as soon as the first batch is done (crockpot). I could probably reuse it several more times but two rounds gives us a lot.

But aside from chicken, there just aren't a ton of options. Once in a while I've been buying grass-fed organic ground beef. It's $6 for a pound! That's crazy expensive!! So I just buy it once or twice a month when I feel like I need it. I actually feel like I need to be eating meat almost daily, but I'm having a lot of trouble with that, can't afford it, beef & chicken are the only options that fit my criteria (free-range & organic), I can't find turkey or ribs or pork or whatever else. I struggle to eat fish, I'm not sure it does what I need it to do for me & it tastes fine but not great. I've added back in dairy & eggs but I have trouble incorporating eggs into meals (I won't just eat a scrambled egg or whatever). I think I've been relying too much on dairy, once again, though I'm consciously trying not to.

Part of me just wants to go back to being vegan. I'm not sure if that's me talking or the remnants of my eating disorder, I kind of feel like I've lost control since giving up veganism, I didn't realize just how much it was tied up in my ED and I thought I'd moved past all that... But I do think animal products are making a difference in my health (small, like it's another layer of my health issues?) so I'm having trouble actually getting these foods into my diet & getting variety. And I'm questioning so much of what I always believed about 'healthy eating' too.
post #35 of 50

Crunchy_mommy, I've never suffered from an ED, but I know that all my control issues get tied up with food. Food makes me feel simultaneously out of control (I did not grow up with healthy eating habits & will mindlessly eat all day if I let myself) & totally in control (I can decide what to put in my body). This definitely plays a big role in my diet decisions.

 

Have you thought of seeing a therapist or seeking out someone to talk to about your ED? Sometimes these things have a way of creeping back into our lives.

 

I think I'm going to wait to put meat back in ... I'm going to try to eat more fish (I can get quality canned wild-caught salmon at Costco when I feel I can't afford fresh/frozen) & add eggs & dairy (limited dairy). We'll see... I may be back on here in a week or two as an omnivore. 

post #36 of 50
Thread Starter 
t2009, I would at least try some meat & see how you feel. I don't think fish does for me what meat seems to do. Maybe my body is just weird though!! I don't even crave meat, I just notice I feel much more run-down when I go a day or two without eating it (which is often, since I'm still getting use to this!)

I have thought about going back into therapy, I've needed to for years, and not just for the ED, but it seems expensive and never helped a ton in the past, though I think I'd be more committed to it now than when I was a teen. But DH works long/weird hours so I don't see how I could even make it work anyway, I wouldn't feel comfortable bringing DS with me to therapy, he understands too much. In the past few years there have been several times I felt I was headed for a relapse but mostly I've been able to avoid it. I'm weird about food & have food rules and sometimes skip meals and stuff but I also actually need to lose a few pounds this time so it's kind of different. But I think I just need to stay strong and get through this transition & I'll probably be OK.
post #37 of 50
Just chiming in of one of those that went from 8 years of vegetarianism and on and off vegan to almost primal. I feel so much better this way but have been adding grain slowly back in after a year of grain free.
post #38 of 50

Koalamom I am on a similar path although I was seven years vegetarian, then omni about 7 more, then primal and now low-grain mostly primal.  I went from veg to omni while PG with twins.  I started primal about 1.5 years ago and relaxed it after a year, when I had lost more weight than I wanted to although I felt lean and healthy still.

 

Pretty happy with what I eat these days.  BTW I was not overweight but I never had a flat stomach in all my life until after I went primal.  I also always felt like I couldn't stop eating, like I was never satisfied.  Now I usually feel satisfied.  If sweets call to me, I will even indulge, but I don't get sucked in...  Somewhere along the way I think I repaired some deficiencies that made me hungry most of the time.  I also had a hormone-related skin condition for several years that went away (it's not even considered curable BTW) and I am pretty sure that resulted from eliminating soy.  I preferred soy milk to dairy even as an omni and had it every single day for years.   

post #39 of 50

Curious if "primal" is the same thing as "paleo"? Also, how do those differ from "traditional"?

 

I'm very confused & I think I definitely want to do some more research before I start eating meat. I have requested a bunch of books from the library on a number of different types of diets. I got one & started reading it: Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, which advocates a vegan diet. It seems compelling & also well-researched. But I've been basically vegan for the past two months & I'm not seeing much difference. But maybe I need to be adding more fresh veggies.

 

I will say, though, that I'm experiencing what I think Crunchy_mommy did -- adding dairy & eggs haven't really made much of a difference. So I think that if more veggies doesn't make me feel better then I'll try meat. We'll see... but I'm glad to read about everyone's experiences. I know no single diet fits everyone. And it's so confusing!!

post #40 of 50

Primal and paleo are not the same but are similar.  Both exclude grains, but paleo consistently excludes dairy as well.  The primal diet is a little more flexible, while paleo restricts a few more foods--maybe nuts?  I really don't pay attention to the differences as I found my comfort zone is more relaxed than both.

 

Most of the time "traditional" refers to a diet that is omnivorous and includes grains and legume, but the grains and legumes are soaked to improve absorption while many fermented foods are used as well.  But "traditional" also is an umbrella term for all three diets as all three reference historic/prehistoric approaches to eating.  WAP is another term used for the "traditional" grain-including diet.  This stands for Weston A. Price, which you can look up online to find more information. 

 

All three diets emphasize increasing healthy fats, whole foods, and live foods.  All three include animal products.  All three have concerns about grains, with primal and paleo exlcluding them and "traditional" or Weston A. Price diets giving them special treatments to mitigate their more harmful effects.  

 

Supplementation to improve deficiencies can be very important as well.  Previous vegans probably have eaten a low fat diet and Vitamin D deficiency is thus very very common.  In fact it is common for everyone.  Cod liver oil is a typical supplement for all three diets, also magnesium, and for me iodine supplementation is also helpful.  I also take B-complex and iron but I do not take multivitamins so really I take very few supplements.  Personally I eat a lot of eggs and sardines and salmon as well as dairy and vegetables esp raw and fermented.  

 

Adding a D supplement or a B complex can make a big difference in energy/general health as can some other things if you might have a deficiency.  So a change in diet may or may not "work" if you have something like this affecting you as well.  For me, eating many grain foods keeps me feeling sluggish whether I am eating meat or not. 

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