Alternatively titled why I’ve chosen to no longer feel like a bag of ass everyday.
This post was hard to write. I’ve been in denial for over a year now, and the only benefit of resisting the change that I knew I needed in order to heal my body is that I can honestly say I’ve tried it all. I tried with every fiber of my body to make a plant based diet work despite the growing list of health problems I have. With this, I have confidence in my decision should anyone try to argue with me about my dietary choices. Not that this should matter, it’s my personal choice just like any diet, lifestyle, hair color, or political position – we’re entitled to our own choice. BUT, I tried it all. Literally all of it. Perhaps it’s more for my own peace of mind knowing I gave it all I had.
I’m going to include photos from a hike I went on yesterday in this post because the mountains are the only place that has brought me complete clarity this past year.
I didn’t struggle to write this post because I cared what other people thought, but rather because it meant I had accepted the change. Writing this post means I’m ready for the change, but getting to this point was a long and bumpy process. Change is hard, especially when you’re changing something you never thought you’d have to.
Before I continue I want to make one thing clear. I do not by any means think a plant based diet is unhealthy, nor do I think there is a one size fits all way of eating. This post is based around my experience, my health issues, and my decisions to add animal products back into my diet. Albeit as I mentioned above, this was not easy. I’m writing this post because I want to be honest with my choices, and because reading articles about others that have had similar experiences has been immensely helpful for me.
Let’s start at the beginning shall we? When I was 17 I went vegetarian. I watched 20 seconds of one factory farming video and that was it for me. I plunged into meat free life with ease and never looked back. I never felt a strong pull towards meat anyway, so the change wasn’t hard. I enjoyed this meat free diet for a handful of years before experimenting with veganism at age 23, a diet I thought I’d continue for life.
My first year on a fully plant based diet was amazing. I thrived. I was enjoying foods in a way I never had before and I felt truly at peace with the way I was eating. I thank this time of my life for showing me a side of vegetables I hadn’t seen before. I am now beyond obsessed with these earthly foods and cannot imagine a world without leafy greens and broccoli. My diet became my lifestyle, and my lifestyle became my identity.
Beet still my heart.
I’m not exactly sure where shit started to hit the fan for me, but despite the abundance of greens my diet was very grain heavy. I also consumed a good amount of sugar, which only progressed as time went on. My favorite way to celebrate after running a race was with a fat donut. Ohh the memories. I briefly talked about the beginning of some of my health issues in this post about stress, and after about two years on a plant based diet my health took a turn for the worse.
I will never know if it was completely my dietary intake, or the outside factors such as chronic stress that affected me so poorly, but the end result remains the same. I have an autoimmune disease that has forced me to change my eating habits. I physically cannot eat a plant based diet successfully anymore unless I want to survive on leafy greens and broccoli. Most everything else sends me into a state of blood sugar crashes (including fruit) that leaves me foggy, tired, inflamed, bloated, and moody. Grains, fruits, even my beloved potatoes give me a headache, dry eyes, and such intense sugar cravings I’d sell my kidneys for a box of cookies.
It’s truly both a blessing and a curse to be so in tune with my physical body.
As I mentioned above I’ve been in denial. That means I’ve continued to try to make this square lifestyle fit into a circle shaped hole for over a year. That means I’ve been feeling God awful most days for over a year. I am what I eat, and I’ve reached the point where I can no longer bear the physical discomfort that has come with my denial. I’ve been living in the past thinking, “I used to feel so great eating this way, there has to be a way to make it work,” but as with all things in life this too has changed.
So why has this been so hard for me? It should be easy eating a way that makes me feel good. It’s true, adding animal protein back into my diet (while also avoiding grains, basically paleo style eating) eases my symptoms and leaves my body praising with relief, like a cold damp cloth over an internal fire, but mentally I’ve struggled to get over the personal decisions to avoid meat which stem back to 17 year old Brittany watching those factory farming videos for the first time. I felt so passionately about my lifestyle that it became part of me, and I have mourned the loss of this part of me.
I’ve mainly stuck to fish, but last week I bought a chicken. I’d eaten chicken before this last year, but this time I bought the entire body. I decided if I’m going to eat this “once living being” I need to be more connected to the source of it.
As I was removing the meat from the bones I began sobbing. I cried such ugly tears as I verbally thanked the chicken for its meat (I didn’t know what else to do), and I later prayed that there has to be another way. This was an emotionally draining experience that haunted me the remainder of the week. To some this might seem silly, but think about something you feel a strong ethical pull towards and try to understand when you fight against this pull it’s no easy feat for the mind.
Truth be told there is no other way. I go back and forth between a week of eating paleo and then I feel better, get ambitious and start eating vegan again and spiral right back to feeling like hell. I’m not talking cakes and cookies vegan, I’m talking basic whole grains and even fruits.
I’ve been in a state of limbo for so long I’m exhausted. I still stand by my ethical beliefs, but eating a plant based diet is simply no longer an option for me and my health. However this doesn’t mean I have to support factory farming. I’ve begun searching for local vendors that sell locally raised meats and fish. If I’m going to eat it I must do it right, the way God intended us to eat meat. None of this processed bull shit that we call food today, and none of the horror that comes from the torture of factory farming.
It’s been hard, but as with all things in life it will get easier. I’ve tried to keep this post basic and straight to the point, but I assure you there have been so many more emotions and thoughts associated with this. I’ve been leaning heavily on my faith as I do in most times of struggle, and I verbally thank the animals (yes fish is meat, and an animal just like a chicken) I consume. If any of you have specific questions or concerns that you’d like to discuss please feel free to email me and I’m happy to elaborate.
I’m still finding my footing on eating habits, and I’m aware this journey will forever be a learning process. My goal is to continue to fine tune my body and fuel it with whatever makes me feel best. I’m mostly consuming fish, as it’s the one animal product that makes me feel best. I’ll probably slip here and there, but my footing is already more sturdy today than it was yesterday.
To end this post I just want to say I’m good. I’m writing this from a place of peace, trusting that my body knows best (spoiler: it does know best.) To all my plant based readers I hope you’ll stick with me for my mountain adventures, but if you choose to no longer read I completely understand. I won’t be blogging about meat, and the only food photos I’ll share if any will continue to be of plants, but just know for complete transparency I will be eating animal proteins. I’ll do an update post as time goes on.
Mad love to all of you that have stuck with me on my journey the past while. And to my real life friends, thank you for dealing with my wishy washy back and forth decisions, and for putting up with my crazy. I realize how privileged I am to have this kind of decision in the world we live in and I assure you I don’t take it for granted.
You do you, and I’ll do me. 🙂
Q: What was a tough decisions you had to make?
103 thoughts on “Why I’m No Longer Vegan”
though we’ve never met, I have always appreciated your honest posts (and awesome jealousy inducing photos) and I feel like you’ve given us a lot of who you are. I just want you to know that I stand behind you completely and I respect you to make your own life choices. As you said, you know what’s best for you. Don’t let anyone tell you differently.
You’re awesome and you will overcome this difficult time in your life. This I am confident of.
Thank you, I’ve become quite fond of sharing a deeper part of my life with the world. It’s very cathartic for me. I’m an open book and if I can help anyone along the way it’s an added bonus. Thank you for your continued readership and support. I’m optimistic and positive about where I am in life. The other side of the rainbow is brighter than anything I’ve seen yet. 💪🏻
kathy @ more coffee, less talky
change is hard and sometimes the thing you think is best may sometimes turn around and bite back.
i have had to cut down on exercise because i exercised my period away (at least it’s not early menopause, yay!) and that is very hard for me; i’m still struggling with it now and i’m mentally fighting the thoughts of “omg, i can feel myself getting weaker/fatter etc” during my more frequent rest days. i know it’s physically impossible to undo your hard work after 2 consecutive rest days but when you’re used to something you’ve been doing for SO LONG, it takes time to change that habit.
so i get it.
your body is telling you something and i’m glad you’re listening. just as my body was trying to tell me to calm the fuck down, your body is telling you cut the grains/sugar, gimme some meat protein. i’m glad you’re in a better place now and that you’re working on finding local farmers to get your meat. i would totally do that but we have requirements here, like you have to buy a whole side of beef which costs you a few hundred dollars which i’m ok with but it also means i have to have a separate giant freezer storage thing which i don’t have and i’m not about to dish out a couple thousand dollars for one!
Ohhh gosh, I hear you with the exercise. I’ve still not had my period after 3 years, but cutting down on exercise was only half the battle for me. It’s totally a mental fuck and I think letting go of that control is more beneficial than actually skipping the workout. The stress of not working out can cause just as much damage IMO. I’m glad you’re listening too, you’re a strong ass biatch and you’ll only get stronger giving yourself those rest days! Sending you resistance and love.
I just sent you a bunch of texts like a crazy person across the country (oh wait, I am that person…). I wish I could jump on a plane and visit and we could go fishing and try to cook said fish together and then hike. That seems like an appropriate entry into this new chapter of your life. Wearing our matching sandals of course. You are SO right to listen to your body and do what feels right, even if it is hard at first. You are amazing Brittany, and such a light in this world. xoxo
Ok, but seriously, let’s go fishing.
I love you. A lot. I think of you each time I see those wonderful sandals, I’m excited for warmer days to wear them with pride. Thank you for all that you do. ❤
Good for you. Humans are omnivores and have evolved to eat lots of different things. Some people have intolerances to certain food groups (I can’t eat fish anymore), some people take an ethical stand over meat and most people have preferences. Regardless, we all need a balanced diet and if you can’t get what your body needs from plants then you have to eat meat. To deny it would be plain silly.
I think that you’re being totally sensible.
Balance is key indeed, something I let get away from me for sure! Thank you for your comment and your support. Wise words you’ve shared. ❤️
I understand completely. After being vegetarian for a long time I realized my food choices became very poor, processed grain/sugar based, and were not fueling me well for runs (or life). Definitely not the same reason you made a change, but I went through the same ‘grieving process’ you did at first. After incorporating lean proteins again I became stronger, and I don’t regret it. And you are correct, I think it helps to buy fresh, local, hormone free. 🙂 Doing what works best for you is always the best choice. Cheers friend!
PS: IDGAF what you eat because your mountain pictures are soooo puuurrrty! 😀
Thank you, thank you! Only we know our bodies and what they need. Your support and readership means the world to me. ❤
Is your hair shorter?
If you don’t take care of yourself by choosing foods that will sustain the longevity of your life, then how are we going to enjoy your blogs? Furthermore, how can you enjoy the vastness of nature without having the fuel your body needs? I understand your pull and how painful it must feel to begin the consumption of meat. Give yourself some grace because really, your life depended on this hard decision. I will continue to enjoy your blogs and your connection with nature regardless of whether you eat meat or not.
My hair is indeed shorter! I chopped it off a couple months ago. 🤗 Your comment is brilliant, such a great way to put this into perspective. I’ve had many hikes this year where I felt like trash because my body wasn’t being fueled the way it wanted. Enjoying nature to its full potential is my life goal, thank you!
Oh. My. Gawwwd. This is EXACTLY what I am going through right now. I was vegan for awhile and I felt really good then really really bad. I’ve slowly been incorporating more meat and fish into my diet and I’m feeling so much better. Thank you for sharing this ❤ thank you for being honest.
It’s crazy how the human body can turn in a snap. I’m glad you’ve listened to your body before it was too late! Thank you for sharing this, it helps me not feel so alone. ❤
OHHH girl – this post made me tear up…not because I am upset you are starting to eat meat, but because I feel for you with the internal struggle and the ethics of it–oh to have a conscience!! There are so many people out there who say “oh I don’t wanna know what happens to the animals, it makes me too sad” as they chow down on burgers. Unfortunately we DO know and feel extreme compassion for those animals. DO WHAT IS BEST FOR YOUR HEALTH!! I really hope no one gives you a hard time about switching – honestly I feel like what people eat and dont eat is their own business – no one else should care! People give me a hard time because my boyfriend is a hunter and I am a vegetarian – I just tell them at least he KNOWS where his meat comes from and that an animal had to die in order for him to eat. I just want you to know I LOVE your blog, it is one of my favs and will always continue to read as long as you keep writing! 🙂 ok – this long comment is over! LOL – Have a good day and FEEL BETTER! 🙂
Thank you for this comment! I’ve always said if you’re going to eat the meat you should hunt for it yourself so I think your boyfriend is doing it right. We can’t force opinions on others and as long as things are humane I support it. Thank you for your support. ❤❤
You know I am right there with you. I am elated that you are feeling better as I know it has been quite a struggle. Sometimes, the hardest part is coming to the conclusion that we need a change, and the second hardest part is admitting it to ourselves that it must happen. We share a similar bane and I am happy to be on this healing journey with you. I have no doubt that you will come out on top and feeling healthy again!
I love you!
Thank you for all the encouragement, and for understanding. I would not wish these problems on anyone, but I’m also glad to be on the journey together. We will be healthier than ever on the other side of it all! 🙂 ❤ love you!
Rachael @ Catch Me If You Can
I know this was such a tough decision for you but Im glad you are making the best decision for your health. on the bright side seattle has some of the best fish I’ve ever had and available at lots of markets. here in houston its not as easy to get quality fish thats not fried (bleck).
I’m blessed to be so close to such quality! This is too true. Thank you ❤
Rach @ This Italian Family
Oh Britt, what an incredibly difficult decision to make. It’s obvious that this has been such an emotional decisions and I’m so sorry you have had to go through all of this. BUT I am glad to hear that you have found a diet that works best for your body. Finding local sources for your meat products is a really solid decision. I hope you continue to heal emotionally as your body heals physically. You got this, girl!
Thank you! Local and ethical is my current focus, and perhaps this where I can inspire others!
Brittany, many years ago my identity was wrapped up in the fact that I was a long-distance runner. One year I ran 3,000 miles. I loved it. Then, while playing volleyball of all things, my left knee popped. For the next 3 years I ran edured pain nearly all the time until a orthopedic surgeon finally got through to me and told me to accept the fact that my body is just not well suited to 10 miles per day of pounding.
I understand what you are going through. Change is hard, especially when your identity is involved. But you really must listen to your body. Best wishes to you. It’ll be okay.
My goodness. 3000 miles is such a proud feat, memories you can relish in forever. Thank you for sharing this, it takes strength to accept these kinds of changes.
Kajsa's and Cecilia's world.
You should always do what’s best for you. How you feel is most important not your diet. I’m like you I can’t only eat plants I need the protein you get from animal products.
Amen, you are too right!
A great post… indubitably valuable for you, but a good lesson in a few things for me. Keep on doing what you think is right!
Thank you friend, always do what you think is right!
Britt – I have been watching (reading) you battle with your body for a while and I am so happy to that you’re finding peace. Enjoy…and take it one day at a time.
Thank you so much, and thank you for following my wonky journey. 🤗
Way to go, Brittany. My wife and I have gone the route of going local too (our last order of beef came from a cow we knew the name of and visited). I don’t worry too much about it but my wife does so I support her needs. I don’t know how you ladies live with all of that pent up guilt though.
Anyway, I’m glad you’re feeling better.
Thank you, and thank you for supporting your wife! The local grown and loved animals will benefit your body more. So you win even if mentally it doesn’t matter to you. 😝
Sending you my love girl! I totally understand how health problems can make plant-based eating difficult for a time. There’s also no reason you can’t go back when you’re healed 🙂
I’m so sorry you were upset with the chicken, that must have been terribly hard. Working with animal products was one reason I left my old job. It just sucked.
I do hope going back is an option, and only time will tell! I completely understand your reason for leaving.
Heather Patton at Afternoon Glow
Hey girl! I’m so happy to hear that you are finally on the road to good health. We’re so lucky to live in a state that has so many options to buy local and sustainable meat and fish – so that even if eating meat is a necessity for your health, you know you’re doing your best to respect the animal, the farm, and yourself in the process.
Oh, and I’ve been cooking whole chickens for years, and it still grosses me out. Always reminds me of handling a small baby.
Speaking of which, it’s time to get dinner ready. *shudders* I have to remind myself that it’s worth it, and the leftovers make for a tasty broth later!
Hang in there. Keep reminding yourself that you are doing what’s best for you. Maybe someday you can go back to being vegan, but for now, do what you gotta do!
I do hope one day I can find my way back, only time will tell! For now I think fish and eggs are a good place for me. Thank you for the love and support! ❤
Oh sweetie… I am SO proud of you for writing this post and going through that emotional rollercoaster. (And I’m sure you’re still on it… Because something that big and life-changing doesn’t just have a single checkbox next to it where you can easily say, “Okay, I’m done and moving on!” Wouldn’t that just be so much easier?) I completely understand — it’s often the most wholesome, healthy vegetables and grains that make me feel the worst too. And it’s not necessarily one group (ie leafy greens or all squash)… And it’s so hard to explain to other people that those healthy things everyone SAYS will make you feel better make you feel like absolute crap. I’m proud of you for trying something different, especially when there are so many emotions attached to it. I’m proud of you for sticking up for your body. I’m proud of you for continuing to make yourself and your health a priority. I’m proud of you for being on this journey and searching for answers. ❤️ And if there’s ever anything I can do — even just listen to you vent about how much you miss grains or how scared you are to eat meat again — text or call WHENEVER! 😘
Girl I just love you! Thank you for your ENDLESS love and support, you’ve been so great to me and I adore our friendship. If only that check box were a thing, it sure would make like easier. I’ve come to terms with the fact no one will ever understand what’s best for my body except me, no doctor, no friend, no textbook. Just me. 🙌🏻
Aww it’s my pleasure Brittany!! That’s what friends are for! 😘 I’m so proud and happy for you that you’ve come to terms with you knowing what’s best for your body. I’m still working on that… Partially because I still don’t fully understand my body’s signals! 🙈 But I completely think that my body wants rest… Rest from this modern age of go-go-go, compete against anyone and everything, living from the mind instead of the heart age we seem to be in. (A little bit rambling, but I have a feeling you’ll get what I’m trying to say! 😉) Keep on hanging in there and living life from moment to moment — and follow your heart (and gut)!!
I think you’re onto something there. I hope you honor that rest, I know it’s hard with your job, but just think long term! ❤
Boise Runner (@RunInBoise)
I wouldn’t feel too bad about what others think on what your body needs to be happy. Its your body and its a good thing that you are so self aware to what you are putting in it and what it does not like and what it needs. I understand the ethical delema of farming but since I moved from the city to a podunk farming community, farmers really care for their animals. They want them happy and healthy. My other half, his grandfather raised cattle and I’m learning some of what my other half learned on the farm. I’m hoping we can get chickens this year for fresh eggs. Anyways, be kind to yourself and know that you can give it what it needs.
Thank you, you are so right and I definitely care more about my wellbeing. Others opinions were never my concern thankfully. I’m fortunate to have a friend with chickens to buy eggs from, and fish sources are abundant in my state! You have a great set up with those farmers, that makes me happy to hear!
Thanks for sharing your story! I was a vegetarian and began eating chicken and beef again mid-way through my recent pregnancy. Even after the baby arrived, I haven’t gone back to that lifestyle like I thought I would. To make matters worse my son has a sensitive stomach with gas, meaning I had to curb the broccoli and leafy greens…basically my entire diet. I too wasn’t a big lover of meat before I cut it out of my life, but I think shopping locally for these items is a thousand times better than supporting factory farming.
It’s so sad to think of these animals on our plate, but just know that you are not a bad person for eating them so you can live a healthy life!
I’ve realized sometimes our minds don’t have the say, and it sounds like your body had no intention of going back to vegetarian. Thank you for your comment and sharing your story. ❤
I agree! =) Happy weekend
As you know (I think) I was happily vegan for 16 years when my endocrine system blew (for lack of another explanation) after Thanksgiving dinner in 2010 that was very glycemic and also high in wine. I have since learned, that in my case, I believe I had “perimenopausal hypoglycemia” but whatever it was….it was BAD…..I mean, ER visits kind of bad and getting down to 85 lbs. I could not handle any carbohydrate and my body seemed to demand INSANE amounts of concentrated protein. It totally broke my heart, but I was forced to go back onto meat for years. Thank God, with time and trial and error, my body began to shift. It could also be that the hormonal changes that may have triggered it also changed again (I’m 50 now) and I started to outgrow it. I have actually heard from other women that once they went through menopause, their hypoglycemia was cured. Anyway, I learned that the more stable I kept my blood sugar, the more stable it got. There’s actually research on this. In the same vein, ONE bad low blood sugar attack would mess me up for weeks. Thankfully, I was able to go back to vegan eventually, but it took 3-4 years. I have always felt you ate WAY too much sugar and flours. I can’t do super low carb either or I feel like crap with no energy AND actually end up with low blood sugar. The paleovegan/veganpaleo thing is a bit monotonous, but agrees with my body to a degree. Eventually I end up craving more starchy stuff though. I just got this email and am signing up. http://masteringdiabetes.org/summit/ – One of the WEIRD things I had happen when my blood sugar control was nonexistent was that I became ULTRA sugar sensitive. It was like the Princess and the Pea. I took a bite of a banana and gagged and spit it out. It tasted like sugar poured on my tongue! If there was a gram of sugar in a box of crackers, one cracker tasted nauseatingly sweet to me. My experience taught me to be more compassionate regarding others with health challenges. I do think that plant based is THE goal, but listen to your body right now and moderate carbs with enough protein and fat.
Your journey with your beloved fruits and blood sugar crashes remind me of my current spot. It’s hit or miss with me for all fruits these days, but I almost always feel a roller coaster when I eat them. Even just one piece. As you know those feelings are god awful. I have upped my plant based fats from avocado, nuts, and olive oil to take the bulk of my meals which has helped, but there is some fish in there too. I would love to find my way back to plant based someday, only time will tell! Thank you for your love and support. ❤
You should always do what’s best for you! I like this post! Onest!
Thank you ❤❤ you are too right.
Can you raise your own chickens? I had some friends who had backyard city chickens in SLC. I have them now, albeit on a large homestead in Swaziland, and they are relatively low effort.
One day that’s the goal. I don’t have an area for chickens right now, but I buy eggs from a friend that has chickens. The quality difference is wonderful, and I ethically feel fine eating them. 🤗
I am so inspired by you, Brittany. The fact that you are so in tune with your body, have listened to it so well, and tried every thing you can to take care of it just amazes me. Go girl! I am happy for you!
Aww, thank you friend. That’s really nice to say. I appreciate you. ❤
An Unrefined Vegan
I value people for who they are and not what they eat and you are solid gold. Bottom line: you have to make decisions based on what is good for your physical and mental health.
Thank you my friend, I hope in time to find my way back to a plant based diet. For now, fish.
Josie @ Literature Mistress
That does sound tough! Kudos to you for dealing with all of this headon!
Since some of what you said regarding veganism and hormonal struggles reminded me of something I read before: Are you familiar with Kaila Prins aka The Performing Woman?
She is very open about her history with hormonal and dietary struggles and some of her insights might resonate with you.
if you’re interested.
Wishing you all the best for your journey! =)
Thank you my friend, and thank you for sharing this blog. I have not heard of Kaila, but am off to read her stuff! ❤
Josie @ Literature Mistress
I hope you’ll find it useful. If not, she’s still an inspiring person and an amazing writer, so I guess it won’t be a complete waste of time either way. 😉
Aw sweets, I know how difficult this is for you based on your ethics. Sending love and hugs. Also, just think in a couple of years when your gut health is back in check, you may be able to tolerate some of your beloved foods again. I’m here.
I think when my gut is indeed in check I’ll be able to run around eating all kinds of grains and goodness!
I’m glad you are listening to your body, though I’m sure it’s affect on your ethical beliefs is going to be hard… You understand the ethical issues of factory farming, and even if you’re not eating a plant-based diet, you’re obviously going to be able to make educated decisions about the sourcing of your animal based foods, which is also progressive. You can’t make a statement against abusive farming practices if you’re too ill to get up and do it. You obviously have a good sense that your body is telling you something needs to change in your diet.
I hope you’ve found the solution that is going to keep you running optimally. I also hope you can find some great local farmers to connect with! I’m plant-based myself, but I’ve been able to hook my friends and family members up with eggs and meats from local farmer friends of mine that spoil the critters they raise right up until the end. In fact, all my garden scraps last year went to pigs that were fed organic feed and TONS of veggies and ran around a large green pasture up until they were.. uhhh… turned into a food source… for two of my family members who otherwise who choose whatever pork is cheapest at the store. And I think in a sense.. that can be a form of activism too… Choosing farmers that treat their animals really well is a good way to take a stand against factory farming practices too.
We support you ❤
You stole the words right from my mouth about promoting local farmers as a form of activism. If I’m not completely abstaining from the intake myself, my next best best is to promote ethical sourcing! Right back to the way it was done way back when! I love that you do this for your family members. I’ve always purchased eggs for my family from a local friend, and while I don’t eat them myself I enjoy knowing my family is supporting happy chicks!
Oooooo girl, your story is SO similar to mine, it’s a bit nuts (shoot, no pun intended). But honestly- the way you described the first year being great then your body just having all those sugar crashes- that was me to a T. The experiences were so familiar. So I added fish back into my diet as well as a bit of dairy and that really did help a ton by providing the necessary proteins. Plus I don’t know how I went all that time without sushi… because SUSHI. Anyway, I think your heart is so beautiful and all we can do is our best in treating this planet with respect and love in the best way we know how. It’s also all about finding balance and you are doing that amazingly well. THANK YOU for sharing!
I can’t say I love sushi, but I do enjoy fish! That’s been the main inclusion since this switch up and it makes me feel SO good. Thank YOU for sharing your similar story. It always helps when we’re not alone!
It’s brave and great of you to share your story. So I applaud you! No one should care about what you do, though. It’s your life, and you do what you want with it. I don’t like to say or use the word vegan to describe myself because although I care about animals and love them, I didn’t go vegan for them. The whole ethical thing I understand and came afterward. I did it for optimal health, which I am thriving on. But I understand not everyone is the same. I always promote whole foods plant-based but not necessarily vegan. There’s 5% of people’s diet that is considered a gray area, meaning that 5% is questionable, that some people may benefit eating animal products that last 5% of their diet. However, this is not necessarily for some. Every person is different, and the human body is just SO complex to fully understand. I’ve put a lot of time and have dedicated my life to health research, yet there’s still lots to learn and things we all don’t understand. I’ve also known people that have gone down this vegan path and then had to include a little animal product back to their diet to work out the kinks for a long while before returning to be 100% plant-based again. Anyway, you do what you need to do. It doesn’t change who you are. You’re still Britanny. And people will love you for being you.
Ohh my dear sweet Angie. This comment means the world to me. Thank you for all of this, and I DO hope I can find my way back to plant based someday. I’m like you on the labels though, I never referred to myself as vegan IRL, and even here on the blog the term was loose. Plus I always ate honey so…#notvegan. The labels are lame, it’s all about what makes us feel best. ❤
I totally agree with you! I eat honey sometimes as well, so that’s not vegan, but whatever. I don’t hate on people because they eat animal products. I understand the world we live in. And I think veganism should be compassionate towards everyone. If you’re going to eat meat, I agree with the way you’re doing it. My heart pours for you though, when you say you cried about that chicken. Hang in there, and I hope you get better.
Beautiful and heartfelt post. We all struggle with ethical choices be it the cheap clothes that Americans love that are made by children in sweatshops overseas, to refusing to shop at certain establishments that do not pay its workers a living wage. You have to do what is right for you, Britt. And no, I wouldn’t unfollow you for being true to yourself and honest with your readers. -Kat
Thank you Kat, your readership warms my heart. ❤
food is for stomach and stomach is for food.
As someone who has faced hunger before, I feel you are entitled to any type of food you can eat because it’s a privilege to be able not only to afford food, but to have ability to eat that food.
Enjoy your food.
Thank you for this comment, you are entirely right. I wanted to include the final sentences in this where I discuss the privilege that it is, because I’ve been fortunate to have this decision with food. Food should never be taken for granted regardless of what we eat, thank you for the reminder and reality check. ❤
Wow girl, I can’t even imagine this. I’m so sorry that you have had to deal with this and yet I am so PROUD of you for realizing what needs to be done in order to care for your body. It is never easy to admit to oneself that maybe what you’ve been doing for so long is actually not the right thing for your body – but I really feel like you know your body and are on the right track to heal it. I’m excited for you to start feeling well again and look forward to more updates! ❤
Thank you my love, baby steps in the right direction while looking towards the bigger picture! 🙂 ❤
I appreciate your deep, honest, raw posts. I love getting to know you even more (<-creepy?) I think you are doing what's best for you and that's all that matters. I know you know that, but it's the "believing it" that's the hard part. I truly hope that this does wonders for your body, mind and soul and that one day, you'll be able to return to the diet you really want. Thinking about you girl and sending positive dust your way! You're awesome. Hardest decision I've had to make was putting Riley down. I know it was the right decision, especially for her comfort, but that didn't make it any easier. At. All.
Thank you friend, they’ve been somewhat frequent lately. They are cathartic for me. 🙂
Sounds like a rough journey friend. Know that you are not alone in it. Steadfastness on the path of truth often finds us taking the long road.
Please keep soul searching and sharing what you feel right to share. What you get back will be immeasurable.
It’s been quite cathartic for me to share these things with all. I am an open book, and talking things out (or rather, typing them) is very helpful! If I can relate with someone along the way it’s an added bonus. Thank you for your support. ❤
I was sorry to hear that you had to make this decision and totally feel your pain crying over your food – I am moved to tear filled eyes when I see people eating other animals.
I am plant based. I also have asthma. The asthma leaves me with low energy. I’ve pretty much narrowed it down to sulphites in food and guess what? They don’t even have to label that there are sulphites in food under a certain level. When I avoid all the known trigger foods, like you, I find I am better – I no longer need blasts of an inhaler.
I buy organic. This helps but I still have to be careful. I avoid grapes that are traditionally treated with sulphur (it’s why sulphur free organic wines are labelled differently).
I wondered if your fruits and veg were organic? If not, it might be worth trying organic versions to see if your reactions lessen. Sadly, the stuff that is sprayed or put into our food doesn’t have to be identified fully so we are left unable to do what is right for us. We can only do what could be better.
In the past I have suffered with headaches, intense migraines. I noticed I was eating a hell of a lot of wheat. When I cut that out my migraines, that I was being medicated for, receded and now I am no longer completely intolerant of wheat – however, I wouldn’t go and eat a packet full of ginger nuts else I really would be in suffering city again.
I also noticed I wasn’t drinking enough water, leaving me dehydrated, even when drinking lots of smoothies – my constant daily energy companions – this also resulted in minor headaches. I also started playing trumpet. It’s amazing how much water you lose simply by breathing. Replacing all that lost water was the key – keeping sipping away.
My wife can’t enjoy all the smoothies I make as she has acid reflux – fruits such as oranges are out.
By the way, I noticed in your comments points relating to periods stopping due to exercise. This is completely normal. In days of yore, when we were more exercised, periods were far less heavy and less common. It might be more common now to have periods, but it’s not necessarily more natural.
Well, I hope that might be more food for thought!
You’ve made a wonderful contribution to a better world and you will definitely continue to do so, more than most, with your strong ethical outlook and absolutely sincere thanks to and empathy for your food and the planet.
All the best!
This comment brought tears to my eyes. Thank you, thank you! I am confident I will find my way back to a plant based diet and continue to pray about it. My fruits and vegetables are definitely organic, but as you said it’s still hard to know what’s going on them. I truly believed in my soul the lack of period wasn’t an issue, and should have stuck with my gut! Each day I am getting back to where I was, and the support from people like you makes it that much easier.
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HEY ASS BAG!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YOU FINALLY WROTE THIS POST!!!!! You didn’t tell me you were publishing it like um a few days ago! I AM SO PROUD OF YOU for voicing this! I am pretty sure 10 billion vegans have gone through the same thing! I LOVE YOU MY BAG OF ASS… Although, you don’t feel so assy anymore 😉 Well… MOST of the time?!
It was time. With the addition of fishy fish I’m able to have some of my beloved fruits. Hashtag heal this gut!
Your personal health should definitely be the #1 priority, but I can totally see how this is so challenging—especially since your veganism is based on ethical concerns. My vegetarianism is based on culture/religion/ethics, and I’m so grateful that y body responds well to it. I’ve been thinking about going full vegan (I’d say 60-70% of my diet is vegan anyway), but I’d rather ease into it naturally.
I find it so admirable that you give thanks/respect the source of the meat that you have been consuming.
Thankfully I’ve only been consuming fish really, that chicken was just too much for me. I don’t have it everyday and have upped my greens so it’s been maintainable. I think you’d really enjoy going fully vegan!
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Peace to you Brittany, today and always.
Thank you Jim! 🙏🏻❤
The body does know best, and I’m glad you’re continuing to take care of yours and yourself! I feel your struggle too…I’m mostly vegetarian and only occasionally cook fish, but whenever I eat any type of meat, like at a friend or family member’s house, I call myself a vegetarian hypocrite. Your chicken story reminded me of two things: a similar experience of cooking one 5-6 years ago that pushed me towards mostly vegetarianism, and Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma. If you’ve never read it check it out…he’s a great writer and storyteller, and this one has a story of him trying to see how he feels when he takes more responsibility for his choice to eat meat.
Thank you for sharing, I’ve come to the habit of just incorporating fish. I can’t do the chicken it was too much. Plus the fish has best omegas for my inflammation. You sound like you’re on a similar track! I’ve wanted to read that book for years, it’s time! Thanks for the reminder.
Same. Been vegan on and off for over 3 years, and noticed when I was strictly vegan I felt worse than at any other time in my life. Last year, when I was vegan for most of it, was the worst year of my life health-wise. So I stopped being vegan and went back to vegetarian. Went back to vegan three months ago, and almost immediately back to feeling like ass. As of yesterday, I’ve given up. I’m obviously meant to eat animal products to some extent. So, while I will still try to keep them to a minimum, I am completely over obsessing what I put in my mouth. Glad to see you have done the same 🙂
Hi Michelle, thanks for your comment! I admit it’s taken me over two years to “fully” accept I will never be able to eat a vegan diet. My autoimmune disease has given me a blueprint that must limit and eliminate most vegan foods. I can’t do dairy so vegetarian is out too. I eat local, grass fed, as ethically raised organic meats as possible and I’ve accepted this as my lifestyle now. I also always felt worse when trying to get back to veganism. My body knows what I wants, I just didn’t want to listen. 😝
Could your auto-immune issues have been caused by your craving for sugar and fat (as per the donut instance you cite?
If it were that easy to target the “why” I can assure you it would have been done already. Since cutting out all sugar, grains, legumes, dairy, and most inflammatory foods from my diet I feel good. The diseases are caused by inflammation, which can be triggered by so many things from sugar to stress to environmental toxins. I chose to alter my diet first because it was immediate relief.
Thanks for the response I am not saying finding the triggers are easy. And most importantly you are feeling relief. But you talked about being grain heavy which also could be an issue. To get rid of my rheumatoid arthritis I went off gluten for 18 months. Now it is back in with no problems but I limit it to once a week and the only wholewheat. You mention stress as being an issue, and that was what triggered my own condition to spin out of control.
I guess the reason I posted was going whole food plant based was my salvation, and just intrigued that yours seemed in some ways the opposite.
I’m so happy you found relief by eliminating gluten, I was indeed grain heavy and have cut them all out including gluten. I have tried for two years to make a Whole Foods plant based diet work, but I can’t eat fruit, nuts, or seeds without terrible flare ups. I decided eating just vegetables wasn’t going to work for me. I currently only consume organic turkey breast as my non plant source. If I’ve learned anything on this journey it’s that there isn’t a one size fits all, were all so unique! My main focus aside from diet is stress reduction, it most definitely is my biggest problem. I long for the day I can eat more variety again. Thanks for sharing. 🙂
I can totally relate, not only to the painful disappointment/threshold of feeling like a failure for quitting (when in reality, it’s the diet that’s failed you), but catching a big, fat ration of shit from the congregation of the church of the “veggier-than-thou”. Accusing and faulting me in some way or another of “not doing it right” when I reached out for help and support. Don’t eat meat, how hard is that to screw up, really? It turns out, that community is only available for support 10am to 4 pm business days and only when you agree with them and live in accordance to their armchair nutritionist decrees. Which I find very ironic given how many of them are rife with nutritional deficiencies themselves. If one has to pound supplements by the fistful like a terminal patient every single day just to have a “balanced” diet, that should tell you something’s not so balanced. That was my path out: I developed nutritional deficiencies. Tired, no energy, perma-hangry, brittle hair, ridged nails, actually GAINING weight! My doctor (at the time) and I really locked horns over it. She had her experience as a doctor as to why I should quit. I had the “community’s” bro science and propaganda talking points as to why I should not. Eventually, the doctor won. I finally took the plunge and had myself a steak for the first time in almost 5 years. A small part of me is still a little embarrassed to admit: it felt like “yesssss! Finallly!” cry of relief from my body as I ate it while my mind was struggling with what I was doing. It was still a struggle to accept feeling my health slowly restore after leaving vegetarianism. But, but, but…so & so said!
I ultimately learned over time that the real problem for me is too much time spent on either side. There is no “one size fits all” diet for everyone. And nutritional needs change throughout life, so doesn’t it seem a little ridiculous to treat one’s diet like a religion or a monogamous relationship (unless you have a super specific objective like losing weight or reducing cholesterol, etc)? I was “flexitarian” before it was cool haha. I listen to my body and switch between the dark and Jedi side as it suits me. And I feel better now than when I committed myself entirely to one or the other.
This comment is WONDERFUL! It’s been a year and some change since I wrote this, and I’m now eating grass fed local meats too. I realized I can eat meat AND be ethical all at the same time. I know what you mean about the religious aspect, and admit I fell prey to it, but listening to our bodies is so much more important. So glad you’ve found a better balance! ❤️ I don’t LOVE the taste, but if it helps my body I’ll do it!
I stumbled across your article after days of searching for people who were vegan and began to eat meat. I’m struggling with the treatment of animals and all the environmental issues. I felt great on the plant based diet at first, but a few months later I feel like crap. I have celiac disease and cant eat gluten. I cant due soy due to thyroid issues, and I dont process carbs well so eating is a challenge. I’m feeling frustrated but I have to think of my health first. Thanks for listening.
Hi Catherine, I can relate 100% to your struggles. I’m at a good place (mostly) mentally with eating animals again, and it’s strictly derived from wanting to feel well. Please feel free to email me if you want to vent or talk more about this. At the end of the day, feeling your best is the most important. Keep testing ways of eating and you’ll find what makes you hum.
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