100 Days 100% Vegan. Check. Fell off the wagon. Check. Hmmmm, why, you ask?
This is my experience. Not everyone feels this way, each person has their own story. But I would like to share this with you, so that you understand why I fell off, and will maybe help you if you feel the way that I did.
As per my last (and first) blog, I chose to go vegan for the new year. I chose this after years of being a vegetarian it felt like a natural next step. I chose to do this because I finally really started to care about the welfare of the animals- not that I hadn't in the past, but it started to really matter to me. It seemed easier to cut it all out than to be a part of factory farms and long line fishing, etc, etc. I hadn't exactly stated this but the books and videos that I had recommended speak to this. I still fully feel that way, and would highly recommend these books and videos/documentaries.
But.. The reason I left veganism. After about 50 days of my vegan experience, I felt horrible. I actually felt ethically really good! But physically and mentally horrible. My clearing skin began to go away, my hair was dulling, I was always sad, tired but had horrible insomnia, cold, anxiety, heartburn and indigestion. I was also really confused as to why I didn't feel amazing. It took me some time to actually correlate these feelings to my diet, as I thought this was supposed to be the healthiest lifestyle possible!
So, my loving Mother began (ok continued) sending me numerous emails with links, podcasts, blogs, and research all about some of the different things that may have been causing my symptoms. And one of them really intrigued me. I actually sent the link in my latest newsletter- The Bulletproof Executive. I listened to about 15 hours of podcasts before making any changes. My first realization was that I was eating way too much soy, especially the processed GMO stuff. My second realization was that I was eating a lot of grains. This can often be really difficult on our bodies. Check out the book Wheat Belly to learn more about that, or listen to a great podcast here. And third, I realized I was barely consuming any fats, especially the "good fats." So step 1, I cut out soy and grains... which doesn't leave me with a whole lot left to eat, eh! In a couple days, my heartburn and indigestion went away and my skin seemed to clear up a little. 12 podcasts later, I decided to add back in butter and eggs- Organic grass fed butter, and organic pastured eggs. Adios veganism. I also increased my good fats intake substantially, with things like coconut oil, MCT oil, and avocados. I can honestly say that I feel 100% better than I did at 75 days into my vegan experience.
In my educational quest, I was introduced to a farmer (via my Mom, she's great) who is located in Perth, ON and sells organic grass/green fed beef and other meats. I started emailing him to order a "half cow" for my husband to eat (not all at once!), and I mentioned to him that it was funny that I was 'dealing beef' when I myself am a vegetarian/vegan. Interestingly he responded that if he didn't grow his own, he would be too. He said "I consider myself an Ethitarian." I liked that. I can do that.
On the Bulletproof Executive they call it "Bio-hacking." It kind of means, to test it out on your own self, or your own biology. See what works for you and your body, what makes you feel and function optimally. I am always open to learning new information, and if something isn't working Im happy to learn what will.
So I do believe that I need some animal based proteins. But I will choose for it to come from ethical and sustainable sources. I buy eggs from a local organic farmer or the St. Catharines Market, and have to run over the border for the Irish organic grass fed butter (KerryGold). I have also discovered Ocean Wise which ensures sustainable fishing practices, and Organic Garage in Oakville carries their approved products. I've even mildly entertained the idea of occasionally eating grass fed, grass finished organic, small farm raised, loved, sustainable beef (My husband would shed tears of joy I'm sure!). I'll keep you posted on what happens with that....
The reason that I felt so amazing in the first month of the year as a vegan, I believe was likely due to a de-tox effect. I definitely recommend a short term vegan diet at times to detox or accelerate healing in chronic illness (Raw vegan that is). But long term seems to cause more harm than good unless you meal plan and supplement extensively. As much as I really wanted it to be for me, I have to admit that it wasn't. It just didn't work. So I continue to learn, listen to more podcasts (Im enjoying Underground Wellness lately) and self-experimenting aka Biohacking.
I have created a protocol using much of the principals of the Bulletproof Executive and have been feeling really great! (Yes even the bulletproof coffee). I guess we will really judge at 100 days in! If you want to know more about what I am doing, just let me know and I will gladly email you the plan I have compiled.
After my 100 day experience, I realized that I don't like labels (thank you Michelle Vogiatzis for opening my eyes to this). So I guess- I'm Nothing. But if I had to label myself, I would call what Im doing as being an Ethitarian. Thank you 'Ivan the Cowboss' for that one!
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!