Choosing to go vegan in June 2017, after five years of a mostly vegetarian diet, is one of the best choices I have made in my life. It helped me stay on track with my weight loss journey during the hardest months of my life, it ignited a passion for cooking and creating recipes, and it connected me to a community of compassionate and loving people.
Prior to my weight loss journey I was diabetic, had high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. Weight loss completely transformed my body and my health. However, last year I was diagnosed with a non life-threatening medical condition that is due to genetics. It is highly manageable; the best way to manage this condition is a very high protein diet.
After hearing this from my doctor and getting a second opinion, I committed to staying vegan at first, and I spent many hours researching plant based protein and nutrition. In my absolute best effort, I could not create a meal plan that both included the amount of protein I would need, and stayed under the appropriate number of calories to maintain my weight loss.
Feeling frustrated, I reached out to many vegan support groups and friends. Unfortunately, the responses I got did not help me. Most recommended plant based protein drinks and a few insisted that I do not really need as much protein as my doctors told me I do. Regardless of what my fellow vegans had to say, I do trust the doctors who spent time with me, reviewed my blood tests, and shared scientific research that proves a higher protein diet will help me to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
It left me with a few options:
Replace most of my food intake with plant based protein drinks
Increase the calories I consume every day to get the protein I need, but also gain back the weight I worked so hard to lose and put myself at risk for the life threatening conditions I had prior to losing weight.
Change my diet and eat some meat
While I have faced these options for a couple months now, I have struggled and shed many tears.
Plant based, vegan eating is an extremely healthy choice for many people. Unfortunately, it is no longer the healthiest choice for me.
This past several months I have slowly incorporated eggs, fish and chicken back into my diet. Dairy and meat from mammals would not add any additional health benefits that I could not get from fish or chicken. I plan to continue eating mostly plant based, only substituting with meat as needed for my optimal health.
This is a difficult transition for many reasons. One of those reasons is because I love the community surrounding plant based eating. I'm scared of being rejected by my vegan friends and followers. I truly hope that people will understand that choosing to go vegan was the right choice for me in June 2017, and choosing to add some meat to my diet is the right choice now.
I will continue to post delicious, healthy plant based recipes and at some point I may post a recipe with fish or chicken.
Thank you for reading. I wish you all a wonderful day filled with love and happiness!