Why I Am No Longer Vegan

I wrote this post half a dozen times and shared drafts with a limited number of trusted friends before ultimately scrapping them all, starting over, and writing from my heart. You read from the title of this post that I am not vegan anymore. I know this is a shocking statement, and I apologize for any disappointment, confusion, or anger that it might create.

I became vegan in 2010 and followed a whole foods version of that lifestyle for nearly 3 ½ years. During that time, I resolved health conditions including chronic migraines, allergies, and anxiety. I learned so much about nutrition and the realities of food production and I never, ever thought I would consume animal products again.

You probably also know that in 2012, a cancerous tumor grew on my thyroid gland*. It was removed and, as far as I know, I am cured. The physical and psychological ramifications were more difficult to heal, though, and are relevant to this discussion because I believe they put me in a fragile state. Pretty quickly after my cancer diagnosis, I started viewing foods as either “good” or “bad” and I questioned every bite as to whether or not it would feed cancer cells. Food became the enemy.

Fast forward to the end of 2013 and early 2014 and my frustration started to grow over why I wasn’t bouncing back from my experience. I developed insomnia, amennorhea, hot flashes, brittle nails, depression, and a complete lack of energy, not to mention a recurrence of binge eating and restrictive eating patterns that I had not experienced since adolescence. I was on a very dangerous path.

After extensive research and with the advice of several doctors, I started experimenting with different variations of a vegan diet, knowing the power of good nutrition on both the mind and the body. I added plant-based protein powders and increased my overall intake of beans, nuts, seeds, and soy products, as well as using bright light therapy. These changes helped, but were not enough, so I started taking a high-quality probiotic and a high-dose, fish-based EPA supplement that also helped, but were not vegan. Then, most recently, I started consuming animal foods including eggs and meat, mostly fish.

The result? I’m feeling better. Over the past two months or so, I’ve been sleeping more soundly and my energy levels have stabilized. My very near obsession with food and restriction is virtually gone and my mood is overall much, much better. I’m not saying that I am in perfect health and I never have a hard day, but overall I feel as if I am healing. I continue to work with a professional therapist and using the book Intuitive Eating as my guide for the emotional work. I do not know yet of the long-term effects of this new way of living and I imagine it will take more time to see quantifiable results, but this is the route I am taking.

Please know that I am not suggesting in any way that a 100% vegan diet can’t work for most people. I am not the best example considering my health issues and I don’t have the answers as to what may have been the reason why I could not sustain a purely plant-based diet. I suspect that I might be someone whose chemistry requires higher quality protein or that my digestive system wasn’t doing a good enough job in extracting what I needed. And, obviously, my health history has had an impact on how I feel and how my body functions.

One of the costs of this change from a vegan lifestyle is the impact on animals. I did everything I could to educate myself about the issues these past several years and my concern for animals was what brought me to veganism in the first place. I believe I was an ethical vegan in the sense that I tried everything I could to not start eating animals again. I am making every effort to choose ethically-sourced animal products, although that does not erase completely the guilt of my choices in the sense that I am still contributing to animal suffering. However, I am committed to continuing to educate myself about the issues and being open to the possibility of further change in the future.

If you are reading this and feel a sense of support that I am doing what I need to do, then I appreciate that understanding. I do not expect that everyone will feel that way. I clearly remember reading in the past about people doing what I am doing and feeling judgment for their decisions. At the time, I could not understand what could possibly lead others to “go back” from being vegan.

Ultimately, I feel that this is a very personal choice and I cannot say whether you should or shouldn’t be vegan. If you can eat this way and feel good, then I believe there are proven health benefits as well as being a more compassionate and sustainable way of living. I still feel committed to doing what I can to help animals and to take care of our environment.

You may be wondering what impact this move away from veganism has on my business? After all, my blog is named “Carrie on Vegan” and my recipe app is called “Vegan Delish.” This has been something on my mind and I have made the decision to move my blog to a new site. A post will be coming shortly announcing the new name (this is the big change I referenced last week).

My app is different. Since my diet is still mostly plant-based and using whole foods, I feel comfortable continuing to manage a vegan resource, along with my team of featured contributors. The app, like my blog, has been a labor of love and I think it is a great option for those of us searching for easy recipes using health-promoting ingredients. So, as long as it is supported by users, Vegan Delish will live on in its current form.

I know that what I have written may result in a change in my relationship with many of you. The difference in our values may be a “deal-breaker” and I think it is only natural that some of us grow apart, although I do not necessarily wish for that to happen. As always, I am open to your questions and concerns, but please know I will not tolerate hurtful comments. For my readers and friends who still connect with where I am coming from, I thank you sincerely and I couldn’t be more excited about continuing on this journey with you.

*I want to clarify that I do not believe a vegan diet caused my cancer, nor do I believe I will ever know the exact cause.

**I feel obligated to paste my disclaimer here that I am not a licensed health professional so I am not offering medical advice nor am I able to respond to specific questions about your situation. Please consult your health professional before making any changes to your diet.

Comments

  1. says

    HI Carrie,

    I’m glad you are feeling better. I was just wondering if you ever consulted with any medical doctors like Dr. Fuhrman or McDougall to see if there was yet another variation of a plant based diet that you had no yet considered that may have also worked.

    All the best,
    AJ

    • says

      Thank you, AJ. I had planned to e-mail you personally before posting this, but lost my nerve. You have been a strong part of my motivation to stick with a vegan diet and I was afraid of disappointing you. I appreciate the suggestions and do believe I exhausted the variations of a plant-based diet before adding back in animal products. That said, as I hopefully feel stronger, I have not ruled out the option of trying it again or at least moving back in the direction. And, of course, I continue to learn from you and admire you for your important work.

      • Cam says

        As long as you are happy that animals die for you, then you must feel great?
        I was a massive meat eater for 38 years, i’m vegan now.
        If you can live with the death as a result of what goes in your mouth then you don’t have a heart.
        I’m not being bad or hurtful, but you are choosing to consume murder, whichever way you dress it up. Cause and effect, you Eat, they die.
        That’s what being a vegan is, not using, not abusing. Leave them alone.
        Your wild caught salmon, it didn’t want to be caught and eaten..

        • Jessica says

          Hey now, that is not nice! Eating meat does not make someone a bad person. That kind of judgemental attitude is not welcome here. I am a long time follower of you Carrie. And although I am a little sad that your journey has taken a different path than mine, you have to do what is best for you and your health. If you feel that eating animal products is what your body needs at this point n your life, I say go for it! You know your body, no one else does. I am happy that a vegan diet works well for me and I wish it could work for everyone, but we are all different and it won’t work the same for everyone. I hope you are able to come back to the vegan side of life one day. You will be missed! Take care of yourself!

          • says

            Thank you, Jessica. I am so grateful to have support from the vegan community and remember that it is a way of living based on love and compassion for animals of all species, including me.

        • Avid Reader says

          Cam-Your comment is not productive in any way. Avoiding animal products should not be done at the expense of one’s health. Being judgmental does not help anybody.

        • To Cam says

          You’re kidding yourself if you don’t understand that even your vegan diet causes the death of animals. When grains and vegetables are harvested, plenty of animals die- moles, insects, really any animal that was at the wrong place at the wrong time. So you might want to step off of that high horse you’re riding…

        • Amanda says

          You don’t have a heart?? Wow that’s pretty harsh. Ironic that you would say something like that to another human and think that you have a heart. I personally eat mostly a plant based diet and fish, I think that’s what works best for me, I still love looking for vegan recipes, but try to include fish in one of my meals. Guess what?? I have a heart too.

    • Nancy Nurse says

      Carrie,

      I am a McDougaller and thankfully, my life has been saved because of it!

      My problem (besides being a meat eater) was mainly OILS! Coconut oil, olive oil etc and I BELIEVE (but not 100% sure) that many of your recipes contained these oils. That could very well be why you haven’t felt great. You truly should check out Dr. McDougall or Dr. Esselsytn before you try going back to animal products.

      I live in Europe between two major dairy farms and if you saw what goes on, you would never ever eat animals or consume dairy again and these are what would be called “humane, free roaming type of places” – these poor things suffer to the point that we can’t even BEGIN to imagine. They not only suffer physically but they suffer emotionally. Their poor little babies just born are NEVER allowed to be with their mothers; the female babies are fattened up and the little boys are sent to crates for veal… and the toxins, antibiotics, pesticide, emotional toxins in their blood and tissues that we then eat CANNOT be healthy.

      But, it is THEIR life to live; not OURS to take for our own pleasure. I’m sorry, but eating animals is NOT healthy and not compassionate in any way. Please go to a slaughter house – to the nicest one you know; in fact, go to a hand raised one (whatever that means) and then watch them being killed for you to have their meat on your plate. Death is death and they did NOT choose to die for you to eat them. They are only the middle-man if you will; they eat grains and grass… we have been given the most glorious abundance of fruits and vegetables, grains and starches on this Earth for humans to enjoy and be healthy. I always marvel at each and every piece of fruit or vegetable I pick up. It just amazes me every time I look at it.

      As Dr. McD says: if we were meant to eat animals, then we would have the teeth, the digestive system, the enzymes and the taste buds for eating them.

      I honestly hadn’t planned on speaking to you like this but when I pass the dairy farms and I look into the eyes of these beautiful creatures so loving and inquisitive and then I see them being shoved into a huge container where they don’t want to go and then to hear them cry; well, it just breaks my heart in two. Just imagine being lined up at a slaughter house… hearing the cries and smelling the death and torture of your loved ones…. oh my God, just imagine. I can’t.

      I urge you to contact Dr. McDougall… just to “see” and “take a look” – I’ll bet you it’s all the oils… and perhaps sugars… can’t remember all your beautiful recipes.

      I wish you well and appreciate your honesty, Carrie, but I just can’t not speak up for the animals.

      • says

        I noticed that too, Nancy, that the recipes were starting to contain lots of fat. I took Carrie’s cooking class and while it was delicious wonderful, all of the recipes were extremely high fat which I don’t think is healthy whether you eat meat or not.

        Carrie, did you ever try a starch based diet or consider going to True North or talking to one of the medical doctors there like Dr. Klaper who specializes in this?

        I don’t think people are necessarily upset that you are not vegan, but that you built your blog and readership on BEING vegan, and then, without really an explanation, turned your back on it.

        Dr. Fuhrman has always said “feeling better does not mean GETTING better”. Ask any alcoholic and they will tell you that they FEEL better when they drink alcohol, but that doesn’t mean it’s helping them.

        Carrie, i do hope you will consider consulting with a specialist like Dr. Klaper or Dr. Goldhamer. I believe you can have BOTH the freedom from your eating disorder and great health, on a completely plant based diet, if you are on the right plant based diet.

        It’s certainly worth a try, isn’t it?

        • says

          Hi AJ, I really appreciate your suggestions and would encourage anyone to check out your fabulous Unprocessed book or your Unprocessed Challenge. And, I can’t tell you how much I learned from attending your Healthy Taste events. So, note to anyone reading this, AJ offers some really great ways to go plant-based. I pretty much learned how to make vegetables taste good by watching your “Chef & the Dietitian” YouTube videos. Keep up the great work!

          On a more personal note, I am continuing to receive advice from a variety of sources that I trust and feel very confident with that level of input for now. I reiterate what I wrote on my post that my situation is quite unique and I know plenty of people who thrive on a 100% plant-based diet.

        • Anonymous says

          Okay, I roll my eyes when people flip on their vegan diets but your response is awful and apparently Carrie is much nicer than I am, so I feel like I should stick up for her. You’re basically saying, “Of COURSE she got sick, she eats oils/fats.” Even though i’m an ethical vegan, I don’t believe that there is only one perfect diet that will fit every single person. Tons of people eat moderate amounts of fat and consume oil and are perfectly healthy.

          It’s these very narrow, restrictive views on what veganism is that keep people away from the diet and create disordered eating. When you tell people the ONLY way to be healthy is to shun fat, sugar, soy, gluten, carbs, or whatever else you’ve deemed is evil, you’re putting a lot of pressure on them to be perfect and no one is perfect.

          I understand why you want to reach for an answer for someone to be sick – if we can blame people for their illnesses, for their cancer, and it’s something we don’t do, it means we’re “safe”. But no one is impervious to disease. Everything from the common cold up to cancer, no one is bullet proof.

          Carrie, I hope you find a way back to veganism that is healthy for you and sustainable.

          • says

            It seems that most people who go back to eating meat have a restrictive diet that doesn’t have enough FAT, and that’s why eating meat (high fat) makes them feel better. Almost everyone I know who went back to eating meat was either high raw/low fat or plant-based/low fat. So while that type of diet has helped some, it is definitely not the answer.

            What I don’t understand is why ex-vegans jump right into eating meat and maybe not going a step back to vegetarian first.

          • says

            Hi Christy. I do appreciate your comment and for sharing your point of view. From what I have learned and with the input of Dr. Fuhrman, I don’t know that fat was the issue for me because I always consumed nuts, seeds, and avocados, but my issues may have stemmed from zinc, B12 (although I was supplementing), and/or EPA/DHA-deficiencies. My transition included eggs and a high-quality fish oil, but I also found the need to add whole animal food sources, perhaps because of my deficiencies. Sending you my best, with much respect for your journey and work.

          • David Parrish says

            Adding DHA/EPA to my diet in the form of wild fatty fish as well as fish oil/krill supplements has been key to my recovery from MS. The problem with blaming poor health on fat intake is that one must consider the TYPE of fat. Most Americans don’t get ENOUGH fat (see David Perlmutter’s GRAIN BRAIN), and what fat we do get is mostly of the wrong type (Omega 6, transfat). Saturated fat per se is neither good NOR bad. Vegans get very LITTLE DHA/EPA because it is difficult for the body to make the conversion from plant fats,

      • says

        I very much appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts, Nancy, and actually providing a compassionate appeal for veganism as opposed to to lashing out. Your input is what keeps that interest in veganism and helping animals alive in me, despite the challenges I have faced. Even if everyone on the planet despised me for where I am now, I still love animals and want to make a difference. I retain my commitment to learning and to my journey and again thank you for channeling your very strong emotions into something that I find very compelling.

  2. Susan says

    Carrie,

    I imagine you feel a huge sense of relief now that your private self and public self are once again congruent.

    I’m glad you feel better, and I’m interested in learning more in your future posts, including specifics like how much animal protein you’re eating and how often.

    Personally, I consider myself an ongoing experiment and am always open to a course correction for optimal wellbeing.

    Susan

    • says

      Thank you, Susan, and yes, I feel as if a huge weight has been lifted, although I am still getting used to the ramifications of my decision. I’m glad to know that you are interested in the changes in my diet and I will consider posting more specifics in the future.

  3. says

    Carrie,

    I just stumbled across your blog through a Pinterest post for your top 10 favorite foods at Trader Joe’s. I actually had a cancer diagnosis at the end of 2010 and it caused me to take meat out of my diet and become almost completely vegan. However, as time has gone on, I have become more sensitive to what my body needs and had to adjust my diet accordingly. I now eat some fish (mainly wild Atlantic salmon) and high quality eggs. I’m sure you will continue to make a great impact on the many who have already benefited and will continue to benefit from all your work. Thank you for honestly sharing your direction, and I hope you will get lots of support.

    Melissa

    • says

      Thank you, Melissa, for your honesty and kind words. It is always nice to connect with a fellow cancer survivor, although being part of that group is not something I would wish on anyone. My best to you as well.

    • says

      Thank you, Val! I’m glad you included that link to Sayward’s blog post because she has been a great resource during my struggles, and I continue to get a lot of inspiration from her posts.

  4. Oly says

    No one but you can really know what’s best for you … with the help of professionals. Sometimes life plays us some tricks, and we can just follow along … but changes are often a good thing in our life. I’m glad to hear, you’re doing so much better, that’s what counts <3

  5. says

    Any reduction in consumption of animal products helps animals. I am not qualified to discuss the medical implications of your decision. I have read a few studies lately that show dramatically decreased rates of cancers of many kinds among vegans. I have followed your blog for a long time now and have enjoyed immensely your recipes and your lovely writing and have admired your courageousness in the difficult struggle with your illness. Best to you, Carrie.

    • says

      Thank you very much, Bob. I didn’t mention it in this blog post, but I spent 9 months researching the differences in disease rates between vegetarians and non-vegetarians for my master’s degree in public health. I believe the evidence is clear that there are most definitely health benefits to not eating meat and that has been part of my difficulty in adding animal products back into my diet. But, I am having to make that trade-off to feel better now without knowing for sure how it will affect my long-term health. I wrote a post about the results of my research if you want to read it: http://www.carrieonvegan.com/2013/08/06/disease-in-vegetarians-versus-non-vegetarians/

  6. says

    Hi Carrie

    My grandmother used to say – it takes all kinds to make the world go round – I certainly shan’t be judging you ! Good luck with your new journey, if you’re feeling better then that’s all that matters!

    Vicky x

  7. says

    I am so glad you are taking care of yourself! I am behind you 100% and please do not take on any guilt feelings. You are doing exactly what is right for you. Anxiety and insomnia alone are enough to need to experiment with changes. I do not know your age but also remember that insomnia is a pre-menopausal symptom so that is also something to keep in mind. Carrie on!

    • says

      Thank you, Ginny! Oh yes, I essentially went into peri-menopause after my thyroidectomy, so I’m doing everything I can to normalize my hormones. I’m not yet 40 so it’s a bit early for all of that. :)

  8. Angela Stone says

    You know, we have always looked at our whole foods, plant based diet as being done for health reasons. We prayed about it and searched it out for a long time. It works for us. It also means though that I cannot promise I’ll eat this way the rest of my life. I’ll continue to listen to my body and eat what it needs. (We’re already gluten and dairy free because we have to be.)

    I say all that to express that I respect this decision and pray that you’ll get kind feedback and support.

    • says

      Thank you very much, Angela. So far, I am overwhelmed with words of support from my readers, including your message. I am open to viewpoints from people who challenge or disagree with my post, but so far the immediate feedback has been positive. I appreciate that you said you respect my decision.

  9. Lolly says

    I’ve followed your blog from the beginning and can respect your decision.
    I have been a vegetarian for 20 years (was vegan for 4 years but could not sustain). Although I cannot/will not eat meat or fish again (and after 20+ years am confident of that), I believe that our journeys are our own and for me to judge another would not be true to who I am.

    I wish you nothing but increased good health and will look forward to seeing what your new blog looks like!

    Blessings to you,

    Lolly

    • says

      Thank you very much, Lolly. Wow, that is neat that you have been following my blog since the beginning. Thank you for riding the roller-coaster with me. :) Sending you the very best for good health as well. Xoxo!!!

      • says

        This is my first time commenting, Carrie. I am 11 days into Eat to Live to loose weight and become healthy. I have mental illness, and I am curious how your eating disorder was made better by eating meat products?

        I do not agree with ethical veganism but am choosing it for health reasons. That said, I dont agree with the mistreatment and complete OVER consumption of meat in western culture either. There are sources of meat where it is raised ethically, slaughtered (I dont believe its murder) humanely and provides nourishment for humans. It was far healthier when we had to catch the damn buffalo and got one twice a year while walking miles each day… as opposed to eating delivered meat ‘products’ delivered to my comfy chair in front of my computer.

        Part of my old fashioned upbringing (my Father caught a moose once a year, butchered it, and we ate it all winter long) makes me roll my eyes at the city dweller who thinks its murder to slaughter a cow. But yes, I’ve seen mass slaughter houses and its not the same thing. No one argues that. But one commenter said that eating ANY meat is like MURDER etc etc. I just can’t fathom where that opinion can come from!

        Anyhow – it will be interesting to see if this is a temporary healing needed because of your circumstances, and you’ll need to go back to a plant-based lifestyle later?? The fact that you have a masters in all of this stuff makes me even more trusting of your personal observations even though yes – they are subjective.

        I wish you the best, I cannot imagine the struggle it is to change when its your life and business based on the past!!

        All the best,
        Cathy
        xo

        • says

          Hi Cathy! I’m so excited to hear about your ETL journey. I have so much respect for Dr. Fuhrman and his work, and I am very grateful for his help in helping me resolve my migraines, plus giving me a really great perspective on the power of our food choices on our health. You asked me about my eating disorder and eating meat. My situation is complicated because I believe I had developed both nutritional deficiencies (because of my unique needs) and a recurrence of disordered eating patterns. I also had cancer in 2012 so I’ve ben through hell with my physical health. The combination of an expanded whole food diet with some animal products, plus working with a professional therapist to resolve my emotional eating patterns developed in childhood and adolescence has helped me tremendously. I don’t know what my diet will be like in the future. I am still eating tons of plant foods and that will never change. But, I’m more careful now about putting labels on my diet. I hope my choices will become more clear in future blog posts, although I’m still very much in transition. Sending you my best back, Carrie.

  10. trish says

    I have seen people approach their food choices with the fervor of a zealot. How we eat, what we eat, how we live is our own personal decisions. I don’t really even like to label myself a vegan. I choose to eat a plant based diet. But, as I tell my friends: I am not a purist. If there was a famine, I’d probably eat my cat (just kidding, maybe…). Carrie on and get well. Keep shining your light!

  11. says

    I too arrived at the same conclusion about my own health several years ago. Philosophically I’d love to be vegan but that just doesn’t jibe with my own body chemistry and its needs. But that doesn’t change my desire to eat fresh, unprocessed, mostly plant based foods. One of my missions in life is to create dishes that make people love eating their vegetables! The vegetables have become the stars in my meals, the animal products play supporting roles.
    I look forward to seeing where your new path takes you and your new blog, and that it will even be a closer reflection of my own journey with food. And I wish you the best of health.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Karen. This has been such a learning process for me, especially the part about figuring out how to feel my best, whether it is managing stress, sleep, exercise, diet, etc. I did not grow up learning how to take care of myself in that way. I am also trying to keep vegetables as the main focus of my diet, and my green smoothies continue to be my favorite way to get those leafy greens. :)

  12. PlantBites says

    Carrie

    I could have written your post and agree completely. Dr Fuhrman’s recent dieting book and all his other books are in agreement that small amounts of animal products in our diet don’t seem to have a negative impact on health, yet for some of us, adding just a bit seems to have a noticeably positive impact

    Best wishes,
    Rachael

    • says

      Thanks, Rachael, and that has been my experience. The hardest part for me has been letting go of the vegan ideals that I so strongly identified with. I appreciate the words of support.

  13. says

    Hi Carrie, I have nothing but respect for your decision. Your health and well-being come first, period. Even with a diet that isn’t 100% vegan your consciousness of the ethical considerations means that you will still be doing more good than harm, in the grand scheme of things… for whatever that sentiment is worth. I have always enjoyed your blog and I hope to continue reading when you switch over to your new site! I subscribe to a number of non-vegan blogs because I still believe inspiration can come from anywhere. :) wishing you all the best in life and health!

  14. Lisa says

    Wish you good luck in finding your best path for health. Please, though, do not start advocating “ethically sourced” animal products. There is nothing ethical in killing animals for our food!! The term is misleading and used as a way to promote eating animals to the public. Take the course that you need and is best for you…it would just be terrible to see you start advocating for animal comsumption!

    • says

      Thank you, Lisa, I appreciate you sharing that viewpoint. I will think carefully about the words and descriptions I use, although I don’t always know which ones are better. I suppose that is why I need to continue learning about the issues.

  15. Julie says

    Be kind to yourself, Carrie. You’ve made me feel less alone in my own personal battles with bingeing / restriction cycles, amennorhea, depression, etc. You’ve been a valuable resource in my journey to better wellness. I’m still struggling with accepting that health is physical, mental, and emotional health, but I am cautiously optimistic that I’ll get there, and that you’ll continue to be an inspiration. Wishing you peace, health, and gratitude!

    • says

      Thank you, Julie. I have also gotten so much support on my health issues from readers of this blog and others and not feeling alone in our struggles has been a HUGE part of my healing. Sending you back the very best.

  16. Liz says

    Carrie, I’m inspired by the fact that you did such a deep search and did what you needed to do for yourself. We’re not all the same, and not everything works for everyone. Your clarity and resolve come shining through this post, as well as compassion for your community that may have questions about the transition; this is remarkable and I hope to always handle challenges in my life with the same grace that you do. Much love to you and excited to share in your journey with you!

    • says

      Thank you, Liz, and I hope you like how my revised post turned out (it’s pretty different than when I first sent it to you)! :) I feel good that is expresses 99% of how I am feeling and that this change has been good, but with equal parts of difficulty and fear. And, what you said about me handling challenges with grace…that kind of blows my mind because I’ve never thought of myself as having that quality. So, you’ve given me a very nice compliment. Thank YOU!

    • says

      Thank you, Lynn. Reading your blog and feeling your honesty with your struggles helped get me to this point so I appreciate all that you’ve shared. I used to be absolutely terrified of change…okay, I still am, but at least I do appreciate in my old(er, ha ha) age that it’s something I can approach with more confidence and less fear than I used to. Here’s to the next five years of blogging! :)

  17. says

    Carrie, I know that posting this took a great deal of courage for you. Life is most definitely a journey, and after all that you have been through with your health, I can understand why you felt the need to look deeply inside and do what felt right for you. I hope that you continue to feel better in every way, not just physically, but also emotionally and spiritually. And I wish you the best in your new endeavors as well as good health and happiness always.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Sharon. I agree that health is so much more than the physical, and I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work on my emotional and spiritual healing as well. Sending you my very best. Xoxo.

  18. says

    Carrie, you are one of the MANY, MANY women who have went through this same issue- myself included. After studying nutrition ten years, I finally accepted we don’t have the same gastrointestinal tract as animals, nor should we eat like one. Our bodies need a bit of animal protein (at least some of us do) in order to feel our best. While a vegan diet worked for me for a long time, my body began to shut down in horrible ways until I incorporated animal protein into my diet. It was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done but the only thing that improved my healthy. I ADMIRE YOU for coming out with the rest of us that put our health at utmost priority, even when we know we may get backlash from others.

    Praying for you and you are NOT alone!

    • says

      Wow, thank you for sharing your story, Heather, I really appreciate that. I went through a time period recently where I felt resentful because I was led to believe that a 100% plant-based diet can work for anyone and everyone and can fix all problems. I realized that was an expectation that can from me and was part of the black and white thinking trap that I often fall into. So, after I realized that I was the one with the false expectations, then I was able to wrap my brain around adjusting the diet to meet my specific needs and that it didn’t have to be all or nothing. That’s why I say that I am still primarily plant-based, but I’m very hesitant to use the word vegan anymore, because it really is an all or nothing definition. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts and support.

      • says

        Carrie,

        Great post. Thank you for sharing your whole story!

        Maybe the name of your blog should be changed to “Primarily Plant Based Carrie.” I respect your change, but I for one do not want to see recipes with animal products in them. Where do you think you will go with your recipes? It’s one thing to eat an egg now and again, but it’s a whole other thing to promote the eating of eggs to all who come across your recipes.

        xoxoxo,
        Wendy

        • says

          Hi Wendy! Thank you for taking the time to comment on my post. It was your advice that made me realize that I needed to be brutally honest in my post and I’m glad that I re-wrote it, however scary it has been to share that level of honesty. At this point, I’m not certain to what extent my recipes will be 100% vegan, but I intend to offer substitutions whenever possible. I appreciate that you (and I’m sure many others) don’t want to see recipes that don’t support a mostly plant-based approach. So, I promise to keep that in mind. Hugs!!!

  19. Mindy K says

    I’m sure this has not been easy. What I’ve always loved and will continue to love about your blog is your complete honesty. Please continue to take care of YOU. As a result, you’ll be taking care of all your faithful readers. You continue to amaze and inspire me! XOXO

    • says

      Thanks, Mindy! This was BY FAR the most honest and difficult post I’ve ever written. I literally had 50+ revisions before I posted it. I feel very grateful that I have received so many supportive messages, including yours. Thank you. :)

  20. Tom Farrekk says

    I admire your honesty and I will continue to pray that your health improves. I think, Carrie, that all of us are on a journey trying to do the best we can to stay healthy, to make good choices on what -and what not – to eat and, for me, your having an egg or a piece of fish or a slice or two of roasted chicken cutlets is probably not going to alter the course of the Earth’s axis any time soon. Much success in all of your endeavors! God bless you!

  21. Patsey Manning says

    Hi, Carrie. I have never tried to convert or change anyone, I’ve been a vegetarian since the age of 17, am now 62. I was not able to go completely vegan, I drink milk and consume cage-free, organic eggs. You must do what is best for you. Live a long, healthy, happy life. I look forward to your next blogging/website adventure! Good luck!

  22. Alocasia says

    I gave up meat and pork 5 years ago. Two years ago I went 100% vegan. I did lose a lot of much needed weight, but I just don’t feel as great as I expected to. I’m having some brain blurbs, and I’m just blah. I did this for ethical reasons first, and second, because of the amount of heart disease, stroke in my family. But my cholesterol has gone up. My essential fatty acids are very high as if I were eating a SAD….I am lost. I’m experiencing palpitations and anxiety… And as much as I don’t want to eat any animal product, I’m not sure what to do.

    • says

      Alocasia, are you eating a whole foods plant-based diet, or a vegan diet that includes processed foods, oils and nuts, seeds, avocados? The nuts, seeds, avocado and oils can cause your cholesterol and fatty acids to go up too, so you may want to consider really limiting them in your diet if you aren’t already. Have you had blood work done? I hope you can find a resolution and are feeling better soon.

    • says

      How scary, I am really sorry to hear that Alocasia. I hope you get some answers and find a way to feel better. Sending you my very best.

    • Nancy Nurse says

      Alcasia, do you still eat oils and fats? I was experiencing daily angina attacks and when I gave up the fish, olive oil and coconut oil (along with all meat, chicken, pork, turkey), I’ve never had another attack and lost a ton of fat, not to mention joint pain gone…gone…gone… just wondering.

  23. Andrea says

    Carrie, thank you for being honest and true to yourself. I too have wondered if bouts of insomnia, low energy levels, etc were attributed to a vegan diet or just stress in my life. Ultimately, I realized I needed to add more fat to my diet, quit caffeine, and started incorporating fermented foods daily. This is what has worked for me, and you have found was has worked for you. What matters is that you feel your best and are not restricted by what your mind wants vs what your body actually needs. Thank you for you insightful posts and keep up the good work! (The first thing I thought of when I read this post is what will the new blog name be?!)

    • says

      That’s interesting, Andrea, and I’m so glad to hear you are feeling better. I think some of the things that worked for you are things that I have been working on as well, namely the fermented foods and healthy fats. I am learning along the way, that is for sure. Thank you for your note and I promise you won’t have long to wait to read about my new blog name…I’m planning on posting it tomorrow. :)

  24. Linda says

    While I feel just as strongly that not eating animal products is best for my health, I respect your decision and honesty. I wish you continued good health and want to thank you for all that you have shared with us in the past! I look forward to seeing where this journey takes you! Blessings!

    • says

      Thank you, Linda! I admire the resolution of the plant-based community and I’m keeping everything I learned in mind as I figure out what is going to work for me. My very best to you, too. :)

  25. says

    HI Carrie,

    I’ve been busy getting ready to move, so if there was a hint of this, I didn’t catch it. I guess I am surprised, but now that I think about it, your move toward higher protein plant foods put me on notice that you were needing something more. Of course you must do what’s right for you. I totally support you in that. I guess I just feel a little sad when it doesn’t work out for someone who’s tried so hard to seems to do it so well. I have been vegan for almost 7 years and it has changed my health and my life. So I guess I’m one of the ones it works for. All best to you on your journey with this–so glad you are feeling better, and I’ll check in from time to time to see what’s new, and what the new name will be. We still have many commonalities, and I imagine you’ll still have many healthy whole plant recipes to inspire me. I’m still enjoying my raw oat groats!!
    xoxo

    Maria

    • Alocasia says

      Maria, are you on a particular kind of vegan WOE like Dr. Fuhrman’s ETL or something all together different? I want this to work for me, but I’m afraid both my husband and myself are missing something. We both just don’t feel right. We take a Dr. F. daily, B12, and I supplement with additional D. We avoid adding oil. I wish I knew what was right… :(

      • says

        Alocasia, I have MS and follow a very low fat whole food plant based diet using guidelines from the Swank Diet, which is not vegan, for types and amounts of fat. I refined it to be oil free, then learned of Dr. McDougall and Dr. Esselstyn–so it’s pretty much like what they do. You can read more about how I eat and manage my health at my blog Plant Based Slow Motion Miracle if you like. Different things work for different people though. I’m happy to support Carrie here, since she’s shown such courage in sharing her decision with us.

      • says

        Hi Alocasia, the lack of added oil/fat may actually be the problem. I’d love to talk about this with you more if you’re open – I am a certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and have lots of personal and client experience on this subject. Please feel free to email me: info AT bonzaiaphrodite DOT com

      • cel says

        to Alocasia and carrie…look up health101.org by don bennett. the cure to your ‘issues’ on a vegan diet may be due to a lack of iodine! this is commenly overlooked and under published about. i follow 801010 and have never felt more vibrant. low fat is the way to go for optimal health. all the best in finding what works for you. xx

        • says

          I am aware of the need for iodine and have supplemented ever since I became vegan. It is an important issue (I recommend consulting the book Becoming Vegan for more info). I am so glad you are doing well, Cel.

    • says

      Thank you, Maria, your kind words brought a smile to my face. Looking back, I can also see that the signs were pointing toward this outcome, although I didn’t realize it at the time and I fought it as long as I could. I hope that determination came through in my post, that I really did do everything I could to stay vegan.

      Even though it ultimately didn’t work for me, I love hearing from people who have been vegan over the long-term and are thriving, because it gives me hope. And, yes, I do plan to keep posting many more whole food recipes that I hope will continue to inspire you. Xoxo back!

  26. Lisa says

    Hi Carrie,

    I’ve been following your blog for a couple of years since I started treating my RA with Joel Fuhrman’s protocol. I’ve since evolved my diet to include animal products again and haven’t looked back, I’m feeling almost 100% again.

    Thank you so much for announcing your change, it would have been much easier to just fade into the background, so much courage.

    Good luck with the next phase of your journey. I’m looking forward to linking with your new blog.

    • says

      That’s terrific news, Lisa, about the management of your RA. I also appreciate you sharing with me about your inclusion of animal products, because of course I have been fearful that some of my resolved issues may re-occur (they have not). I keep reminding myself that my diet is still very, very much improved that my former SAD ways, and over the years I’ve been eating this way, I have actually learned to LOVE vegetables and whole foods, so that is not changing anytime soon. :)

  27. says

    I didn’t read the other responses above, but I wholeheartedly respect your decision because you know what is best for your body! I hope people are supporting your change and that you continue to feel better. I eat a vegetarian diet and it has helped my IBD immensely. Meat used to make me so sick. I believe in bio individuality and would never critique another person’s decision to change their diet for health reasons.

  28. jane says

    I’ve always thought the world of you Carrie. I’ll support you where ever you are in life. You are loved and not because of what you eat. Thanks for being so honest.

    • says

      Thank you, Jane!!! I had really hoped that my friends and supporters cared for ME and not just my veganism, and it was a big fear that I would suddenly lose everyone in the community that I have come to trust and depend on over these past several years. So far, that does not seem to be the case and, actually, the opposite scenario is happening in that I feel even more loved than ever. Xoxo. :)

  29. Kathleen says

    Hi Carrie,
    Kudos to you for having the courage to share where you are in your journey. Your health is what should be most important and only you know your body and what you feel is best for it. Having had the same cancer diagnosis as you I am familiar with everything that comes after the surgery. Many think you had the surgery and now you are fine. It is not an easy road. Hugs to you!

    • says

      Thank you, Kathleen. Having the support of a fellow thyroid cancer survivor makes me feel understood and not so alone in this. What a ride it has been, but the bumps seem to be smoothing out (fingers crossed). This post felt like an important part of my recovery. Hugs back to you!

  30. Marcie says

    Thanks for being open and honest these past few months with your struggles. I have recently been examining all the same things but for the reason of having a family member being diagnosed with anorexia. Bad foods vs. goods foods played a big part in this as well. Still wading through the deep waters here though in trying to figure it all out. I may never get there.

    • says

      I am so sorry to hear about what you are dealing with, Marcie. I am learning that these emotional issues involving food are so complicated and take a tremendous amount of healing. The fact that you are open to learning is wonderful, even though it can be really painful. If I can offer any hope from my experience, I do believe that people can get better because while I never thought I could climb out of the dark pit of hopelessness and despair that I often found myself in, I now feel that I am in a much healthier place and that I have the tools to help me from hurting as much as I have previously.

  31. Shannon says

    Hi Carrie,
    I just wanted to pop in and offer my support. I know how difficult this choice must have been for you, and I’m sure it wasn’t an easy one. You should be so proud of yourself for listening to your body and honoring your needs. Wishing you all the best!!

  32. jill says

    Hi Carrie, I have read all the responses and my goodness I agree that its best you do what works for you. The problem one has with giving themselves a label is havng to live up to it. Live changes, people change and shit happens! Just bought a new cookbook and the title said ” part time vegeterian, sometimes vegan and sometimes raw” ! We should all be so lucky in this lifetime that we are able to pick food that works for us. Rock on and I will always follow your blog!

    • says

      Well said, Jill! :) I have really learned a life’s lesson about trying to live up to strict labels or definitions that don’t offer a spectrum and I don’t plan to put that pressure on myself anymore. Thank you for your very kind words. :)

  33. Rebecca says

    Hi Carrie,

    Sending you a hug and a smile for your bravery and vulnerability! I am on a journey also to figure out exactly what works for my body. You have always inspired me in your posts and I am grateful to be eating a mostly plant based diet. Thank you for sharing your journey and I am so happy to hear that you are feeling better :)

    • says

      Thank you, Rebecca!!! I’m so grateful we are friends and we’ve had the chance to connect and share our journeys these past several years. Sending you a very big hug and looking forward to seeing you soon! Xoxo.

  34. Emily says

    Hi Carrie,

    I just want to say that I 100% support your decision and am proud of you for sharing your decision with your readers. Like someone else said, I think it’s hard to give yourself a title like “vegan” and then feel pressured to maintain it. I have had a similar journey with disordered eating in college, recovering, finding veganism and ETL, and then battling ulcerative colitis and restricting my diet further to treat the UC. I find that my weight and mental health are the best when I am intuitively eating (I read the same book and followed those principles in college!). I love Dr. Fuhrman and all that he teaches, but I don’t think I could ever be as restrictive as he recommends without having binges occasionally as a result. Anyway, you eat so healthfully on a daily basis and adding a little bit of eggs and fish seems harmless to me if your body is responding positively and you’re happier. Dr. Fuhrman has said before that some children do not thrive on a 100% vegan diet and should have some animal products, so I wonder if it’s the same for some adults? Either way, I think you live a very healthy life and should be proud of yourself!

  35. Robyn :) says

    Carrie, I have known you since college and I will support you in whatever lifestyle you decide to live. I am glad that you are doing what you need to be healthy.

    When I got pregnant I stopped eating vegan. Mostly out of laziness because I did not have the energy to find alternatives to getting the protein and other stuff I needed to nourish myself and baby. Now that I have had him I plan on incorporating more vegan dishes back into my diet, but I am not sure I will be going wholly vegan for awhile, if ever. I do want to eat more mindfully, though, and I like to know where my meat, eggs and dairy products are coming from. Luckily, living in the Midwest I can get eggs from several sources where the chickens are free range and not given hormones or anything, there are A LOT of choices for beef from farms where the cows roam free and are not given hormones and a wonderful dairy with the same thing. I also want to try to get back to the Eat To Live program and start loving vegetables and finding good recipes again. I still have those books you sent me and plan to try out those recipes too. And I do love those green smoothies!!!! I am also trying to get my husband eating healthier because he has put on weight and not passing PT tests where he used to ace them lol.

    Looking forward to seeing what your new blog brings :)

    • says

      Thank you, Robyn. And, I can’t believe I missed the big day, but CONGRATS on the baby!!! It’s been really nice to re-connect with you in the blogosphere and I’m sending you my very best for the new chapter in your life, too. :)

  36. Joha says

    Although I totally respect your choice, I personally think that if your energy levels were down after you had had your thyroid removed, it’s not because of veganism, it’s simply because you had your thyroid removed and your thyroid hormones levels were not stabilized yet. I can take more than a year to find the right dosage with thyroid replacement hormones and feeling down meanwhile is perfectly normal: your diet doesn’t have anything to do with it.
    Similarly, if your energy levels have stabilized in the last months, I don’t think it’s because you eat meat, eggs and fish again, it’s simply because your thyroid hormones were not high enough before and they get better with time.
    So, if I were you, I’d try to go vegan again after your thyroid hormones get stabilized, and I’m sure everything will be fine.

    Plus, just a little thing: be careful with eating fish, as iodine is inflammatory, so usually, people with Hashi tend to avoid eating fish and sea products.

    Good Luck!

    (…and I speak as a vegan who has Hashi and got her thyroid removed!!! :-) )

    • says

      Thank you for the message, Joha! I have learned so much from others and your story and words of advice are very relevant. One question, though. If I don’t have a thyroid anymore (and I did have Hashi’s before the cancer developed), do I even need to worry about iodine? I thought that only applied to people who were still had a thyroid gland?

      Also, just to clarify my situation, my thyroid hormones have been wacky since my surgery and are still being adjusted to find the right level. So there is no doubt a connection between that situation and my energy levels, in addition to the thyroid supplement having an effect on my female hormones. It’s been very complicated to figure out, so that is why I tried to be clear that my situation really doesn’t imply anything about someone else’s ability to be vegan.

      That said, I felt I had to be honest about what I was doing and that is why it was important for me to write this post.

    • says

      Thank you, Linda, and I’m so glad we became connected this way. I’m also glad you reminded me about your WPF’s group on Facebook. I got out of the habit of using the groups, so I need to check in soon. And, yes, I have followed Sayward’s journey and think she has a lot of important information to share for anyone struggling with a 100% plant-based/vegan diet. Thank you. :)

  37. Kelly B says

    As I’ve told you before, I have so enjoyed following your blog as well as taking part in your vegan challenges. I appreciate your courage and honesty in all your posts and support you in whatever you need to do to live a full, healthy life. As Linda said, when I make my weekly Kale mash-up, I think of you :) Your blog has helped me in so many ways as I share some of the same struggles with disordered eating. I will continue to be a Carrie fan and look forward to the next adventure you will take us on!

  38. says

    Hi Carrie, I think it’s great that you are listening to your body and what it needs. While I know that reducing animal protein and upping veggie intake has a phenomenal effect on health, I also believe that perfection has a detrimental effect on our ability to lead productive lives in society, especially one that is not that supportive of healthy eating. If I choose to eat something less than perfect at one meal, it doesn’t affect my wanting to make healthy choices going forward. I wish you the best in your journey and I feel like giving you a big hug!

    • says

      I got your virtual hug, Cat, so thank you! :) I actually wish I had written more about the inherent perfectionism that comes with putting labels on our diets (or anything else) and how utterly impossibly it is to live up to those standards. So, even at this point where I am mostly plant-based, I am putting qualifiers like “mostly” or “nearly” because I just don’t want the pressure to be perfect anymore, although I should say that the pressure more often than not came from inside me, so the biggest healing has been to learn to be forgiving and loving toward myself.

  39. says

    Hi Carrie,

    I just want to add another encouraging voice to the mix. You are so brave! I’m really grateful that you shared this part of your story. The recipes that I share are plant-based, but I purposely do not identify myself as Vegan because of this very fear. What if I add animal products back in at some point? What will people think? So I just didn’t even want to go there. I’ve seen some seriously awful bashing of bloggers in the vegan space (by vegans!) so it’s really nice to see that your announcement has been received so positively. Good for you for following your body’s lead instead of any other societal pressure. You have my full support and I will continue to read your blog!

    ~ Beth :)

    • says

      Thank you very much, Beth! I realize now that when I put the vegan label on my diet (and myself) back in 2010, it was because I wanted something to live up to, something to identify myself with, like joining a club. While that doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing, it did end up working against me because I couldn’t live up to the label and I felt like a failure. So, you have been wise to avoid calling yourself something that has such a strict standard. This has been an important life’s lesson for me, not to mention understanding that people can like and accept me for more than just being a vegan. In fact, I have learned to love myself even with my imperfections and that has been the silver lining in this. :)

  40. Robin says

    Carrie,

    I’ve been reading your blog for years. I was pretty shocked to see this post. But I am not in your body or in your mind and I am in no position to judge your decision. We have to do what’s right for ourselves, and sometimes that goes against what other people expect us to do.

    I believe a vegan diet works for me, but I don’t have as much energy if I don’t include additional protein sources, such as Gardein or Vega. So, I don’t exclude them. You do what works for you. If you can continue to try and make the world better for animals, in any way possible, you are still doing good. I’ll be following you on your new path. Best of luck.

    • says

      Thank you for sharing this, Beth. It makes me feel better knowing that others require more plant-based proteins, too. In fact, I didn’t mention this in my post, but my hubby is now more plant-based than I am (and I was the one who encouraged him initially to do so!), but he requires a scoop of vegan protein powder in his morning smoothie to help him feel his best. For awhile it was frustrating to me that he was able to thrive on this way of eating more than I was, but it was also a reminder that our bodies and needs are different, especially between men and women. :)

  41. says

    I’m not judging you or disappointed at all. I myself was never able to sustain a vegan diet (but it most definitely has been a dream of mine) I am vegetarian. I’m glad you are following what feels best for you. I am sad about one thing though, your name change ‘Carrie on Vegan’ was so catchy and cute at the same time but I’m sure you will come up with another good name. I’ll still be adding to my recipe folder any of your non-meat recipes which are always so good. Best wishes – keep happy.

    • says

      Thank you, Judy, and your thoughts about my “old” blog name gave me a smile because it made me excited to announce my new blog name…I think you will like it. P.S. I’ll be sharing it tomorrow, too, so you don’t have to wait long. :)

  42. says

    Hi Carrie, just wanted to add my voice in support of your decision. It must have been very difficult for you. In the long run, your health & wellbeing are of paramount importance and you can only do what works for you. Your blog & recipes have helped me enormously in my journey towards a full plant-based diet and I feel much better on it, particularly since giving up dairy. However, I have a friend who, although passionate about animal welfare, has a serious digestive condition which makes it impossible to digest fibre and many grains. Pulses/legumes cause agonising cramps and worse. So, she has to eat animal foods. She basically lives on wild salmon, cod, eggs, mashed potato, white rice and some more easily digestible veggies. This has caused her much dismay, clearly exacerbating her already fragile health, due to self-critcism. So, even with the best will in the world, sometimes, for some people, it is not possible to be vegan. Please don’t let any negative response from your announcement affect you! I wish you health, happiness and above all, peace! Much love, Caitlin xx

    • says

      Thank you, Caitlin, and I am so grateful to have so many responses supporting my decision to put my health first. I do feel like I am a better example for overall healthful living when I am not struggling and ignoring my own needs. And, you’re right, self-criticism is incredibly damaging and that plays into our overall state. Sending love back to you! :)

  43. Ceil says

    Thank you for sharing your journey. Disordered eating and health problems and all..you honesty and openness have been inspiring. I too have struggled to maintain a healthy weight and to deal with some health issues while eating according to my beliefs. I have learned a lot from your blog, and your honesty. I am glad you are continuing to share your journey with us. My one complaint…VeganDelish isn’t available for Android or Window phones, so I miss out on your latest recipes.

    • says

      Hi Ceil! Thank you very much for your message. This is such a journey, isn’t it? Sometimes I think I have it all figured out, and then I encounter obstacles I never could have imagined. I’ve been very grateful to have the support of my blog readers, it has made a huge difference in my life. P.S. All of my recipes are on my blog, so don’t worry about missing out, you’re not! :)

  44. says

    This must have been such a difficult decision for you. I respect your bravery and honesty, Carrie. Do what you need to do for your own health and happiness. No one can or should judge you for that! Be well. Be strong. Stay true to your own counsel.

    xo,
    Helyn

  45. Megan says

    If you want to give up on veganism that is of course your choice, but I have to admit I find the dishonesty of your approach (you’ve obviously been eating animal products but deliberately excluding them from this blog) disappointing.

    I also think you should have updated the rest of your website to reflect this change. Having “I am vegan because I love animals and I do not want to contribute to their suffering or death” up on your Why Vegan? tab when that’s no longer true is a slap in the face to the audience you’ve cultivated over the years.

  46. says

    No judgement needed! The right food plan isn’t a one size fits all. Everyone needs to do what is right for them. I wish you good health and continued happiness as you move forward.

    • says

      Thank you, Tami!!! I appreciate the words of support and I always love seeing your fabulous creations on Instagram and your blog. Xoxo.

  47. Diane Kass says

    I am SO VERY proud of you, Carrie. It takes great courage, not to mention having a very real physical and psychological need, to journey along the road to total heal. I pray your trusted medical professionals (Fuhrman, McDougall, or whoever) help you in mind, heart, and body. May God, who knows what’s best for you, continue to bless you, lead you, guide you and provide for you in all of your needs.

  48. says

    This post took a lot of courage and I could not respect you more for it, Carrie. You know your body best and I think it’s admirable that you’re listening to your body, regardless of what others may think. I also eat a mainly plant-based diet but I do have some animal products every once in a while when my body feels like I need it. I will definitely continue to follow your new blog and am very excited to see it! xoxo

  49. Tyrene says

    Hey Carrie, I totally agree with you and fell ya! I was Vegan for a little over a year, felt Wonderful at first, then started feeling not so great physically or mentally. After reading several articles here and there where some people had the same experience, I quit being Vegan. We all have to do what makse our Life and Living Happy…So Carry On Carrie! Peace Love and Happiness!

  50. Carolyn says

    Carrie,

    I support you then and now. I imagine this was a terribly difficult decision and post to write, especially in light of your internet presence. God Bless you on your journey and look forward to hearing about your progress.

  51. Carrie says

    I have to admit I am really surprised and a little saddened by this news, but I can understand that if you were feeling awful all the time, you would be desperate to try anything that could help. The symptoms you described sound like thyroid symptoms, so perhaps it’s your not having a thyroid that make you a special case, as you said. I wish you the best.

  52. Deanna says

    Thank you for your honesty! I am mostly vegan, but like you need some fish oil and animal protein sometimes. Love that you’re doing Intuitive Eating. Our bodies do tell us what we need. Looking forward to your new blog and continued exploration of what makes you healthy!

  53. says

    Carrie, I thank you for your years of helping people make the shift toward a healthier, more compassionate way to live. That said, while individuals may move away from being completely vegan, what saddens me as thinking of how many will look at this post from a high-profile vegan as more justification to continue eating animals and animal products. No matter what we are motivated by when we consume them, the animals (and the planet) pay the ultimate price for our decisions. I do hope that along your path, you are able to find a way back to veganism. My health has not been perfect as a vegan – nor would it have been as an omnivore – but I have pursued other pathways to leaving the animals off my plate. I do hope that your readers will know that eating animals is not necessary and that there are many other avenues to whole health that do not require compromising our values. All the best…

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your thoughts in a mature and understanding way, Marla. Your concerns are very well justified and echo many of mine. Sending you my best, too.

    • Nancy Nurse says

      Marla Rose, well said… beautifully written and honest. I so agree; I worry that many individuals may move away from being plant based as such a high-profile figure as Carrie is doing. So I find this a very sad day for the animals.

      And, so true; our health would most likely not be perfect being a carnivore either would it?

      I honestly wish Carrie the best and that’s why I’m hoping she’ll seek professional guidance with those that have years and years of experience with plant-based foods (as well as having been meat-eaters themselves).

    • Erin says

      Thank you Marla and Nancy for saying this so that I didn’t have to come up with the words myself. I also hope that Carrie will seek out guidance specifically from those who specialize in Plant-based nutrition. I know most doctors have no clue what it truly means to be plant based and I find their advice totally unreliable when it comes to anything nutrition-related.
      I hope that you find your way back to veganism Carrie, and that your health continues to improve.

      • says

        Thank you, Erin. I have received and continue to receive advice from plant-based experts. I agree that most doctors don’t really have good advice in this situation, but I feel I am in good hands right now.

    • j.k. says

      Marla Rose and the others in this comment thread really appeal to my thoughts about this disappointing situation. When a person is vegan for health reasons, I often anticipate that it may not be a permanent dietary choice. I can prepare myself for their switch back to omnivorous ways, and sustain hope that they will someday understand the ethical implications. What saddens me the most is that I thought Carrie was an ethical vegan, as I am…for the animals first and foremost, with added benefits in the areas of health, the environment, and emotional well-being. It is listed in the first sentence of her FAQ: “I am vegan because I love animals and I do not want to contribute to their suffering and death”.

      When an ethical vegan begins to eat and condone a diet containing animal products, it truly breaks my heart. It eradicates progress. It means that they possess the knowledge in their brain to make a compassionate, moral choice…they KNOW what happens to animals, they KNOW they don’t agree with it…but they choose to eat animals anyway. To me, this is infinitely more upsetting than omnivores who remain ignorant to this knowledge. Former ethical vegans consume and validate violence, and give permission for others to do so as well. I have hope that deep within Carrie’s heart, she will again find the place of compassionate that has somehow been lost or suppressed during her search for optimal health.

      • says

        Thank you, J.K. I read your words carefully and agree with your sentiment. I feel very sad because I’m sure you are right that my story didn’t do anything to further the vegan movement as such. However, I am hopeful that perhaps there may be some benefit if it helps the discussion about what to do for people who might have health conditions that makes following a vegan diet difficult. It would be great if there were more resources for these situations and assurance that maybe it doesn’t have to be black or white, vegan or not vegan, and that it might be okay to do what is necessary to feel better, but that there is a way to get back to consuming minimal animal products, or none at all. I also hope you appreciate that my recent decision was not to reach optimal health, but to deal with health problems that were very, very serious. I don’t want to be overly dramatic, but the fact is that depression combined with other health problems can be a life and death situation.

  54. tracy says

    This is really disappointing. If you truly felt strongly about the ethics of a vegan diet, you would do everything in your power to find a way to make it work. It doesnt sound like you did that at all. It’s just a matter of finding what it is that you need from a plant-based source. There is nothing in animal products that we cannot get from another source. I have a ton of respect for this woman because she didnt give in.

    http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/2013/01/facing-failing-health-on-a-vegan-diet/

    • says

      I actually think it DOES sound like Carrie took many, many steps to maintain her vegan diet and for whatever reason – body chemistry, thyroid issues, etc – it didn’t work for her. Our lives are about more than our diets, frankly; spending all of one’s energy on it doesn’t always make sense, particularly with a past of disordered eating which can become all consuming.

      We can’t neglect our own mental/emotional health for our physical health, or for ethical reasons. Also, Carrie’s compassion, grace, intelligence, humor, integrity, incredible thoughtfulness and deep caring for animals and people (among many other amazing qualities) are not erased by the fact that she now consumes animal products. We are more than the sum of our dietary choices.

      It’s great that one person has been able to overcome her failing health with a vegan diet. That doesn’t mean everyone can or that everyone has the mental/emotional energy to do the same thing. There are many, many people that do things I don’t or would not be able to do – live off the grid, be doctors, be in the Peace Corps, go to war, research ways to cure cancer, chain themselves to trees, etc. We all have a role to play in this world, and those roles can look pretty different. I respect Carrie because she’s finding peace in meeting herself where she’s at which will give her the opportunity to be an incredibly strong advocate on a variety of issues.

      Carrie’s honesty and vulnerability deserve respect – both because it’s no doubt been an incredibly difficult journey to this point, and because as a blogger, she has to contend with having an entire community judge her (very personal) choices. This clearly wasn’t a decision made carelessly or thoughtlessly, and at the end of the day, that’s what matters most.

    • says

      I think this is unfair. To me it sounds like Carrie went above and beyond in her search to stay Vegan and also improve her health. She did an incredible amount of research, brought in a variety of health professionals, tried different supplements and light therapy, and still wasn’t getting better.

      I think it is wrong to shame a person who is working so hard to recover from depression and disordered eating. Especially a cancer survivor.

      Keep your chin up, Carrie. Carry on!

  55. Elizabeth says

    Carrie, indeed this is a shame but I totally understand you.
    I love animals also and few months ago decided to be a vegan.
    I read many books about the topic, thousands of blogs, was using tools like cronometer.com and happyforks.com but in the I gave up since it was futile fight.

    Well.. I cannot say I’ve given up totally since I’m still trying to avoid diary products and meat.. of course as far as possible :)
    Yeah, that it why I admire vegans.
    And cheer up, you have been fighting quite a long time anyway ^_^

  56. jenna says

    This post looks very anemic in content.Iv seen posts where other vegans go vegetarian or back to meat where vegans have exhasted every other outlet to feel better but not in this post, you went straight to fish oil then fish ect. If you wanted to eat meat just do it. Dont hide behind a guise of health reasons because it makes it sound like there is some kind of magic meat vitamin.

      • says

        Sandy, I have never deleted comments from my site unless they were spam. I only asked that there would be no hurtful comments and Eve’s is not (albeit it borderline). I appreciate all points of view, always have and always will, even if they do not match my own.

        • Sarah says

          I think the decision to do what’s best for your own health — while also being mindful of your impact on the larger world and treading lightly where possible — is perfectly in line with ethics that prioritize compassion for all living creatures…including human ones.

    • says

      We can only be advocates and activists if we are healthy enough to do so. I would much much rather someone thoughtful and discerning like Carrie eat some animal products and be able to advocate for their humane and respectful treatment, than to have her be mentally, physically, and emotionally depleted and unable to function.

  57. says

    Carrie, Thank you for sharing your open and honest post. Only you can know what is best for you, and it’s not our job to judge. Your blog and app have both been wonderful inspirations for me and cooking for my whole food plant based family and for my blog. I respect your decision and hope that you will continue to share your plant based ideas with everyone. Wishing you the best in your health and journey.
    Sarah
    @bentoriffic

    • says

      Thank you, Sarah. I really appreciate the words of support and think you’re doing such an awesome thing for raising your kids and fueling your family the way you do. I spend so much time shopping and prepping whole food ingredients just for my hubby and me so I have a tremendous amount of admiration for those who do it along with the demands of raising children. You’re fantastic! Xoxo.

  58. Sandy says

    Are you at least not wearing animal skins, furs, etc.? Do you maintain a “vegan lifestyle” when it comes to personal and home care products?

    After all, your diet is one thing, but if you never gave up leather, etc., you were never really a vegan living an ethical life. Good luck to you.

    • says

      I’ve always done my best to live the vegan lifestyle, Sandy, including choosing cruelty-free personal care items and other consumer products. I’m not saying I am perfect now or ever have been, but my commitment to learning and doing the best I can has not changed. Thank you for your interest.

  59. Marilyn Ramos says

    (((Carrie))) I’ve read your blog twice and I’m still trying to process it. This hurts my heart but I know you to be a genuine and decent person so for now all I can say is I wish you all the best and continued improved health. XOXOXO

    • says

      Marilyn, I completely understand and I apologize for not contacting you directly before posting this. It has been really hard for me to talk to friends who I know will be disappointed and starting potential disagreement has always been my most loathed situation (I am a Libra, after all). I know it sounds really contradictory right now, but I still have a heart full of hope that I will leave the planet having done everything I can to make it a better place than it is now.

  60. says

    Carrie, you are eloquent and I appreciated your candid, detailed explanation. We all have to do what feels right for us with the circumstances we are given. Thanks girlfriend for continuing to be a positive role model for others. Love you!

    • says

      Carrie has been writing out of the love of her heart, not because blogging pays the bills. With this post and others she is sharing her passion for finding a food path towards good health.

      Being honest is NOT selfish, nor is doing what it takes to recover from depression.

    • Rachel says

      That is really not a necessary comment at all. You can disagree with Carrie all you want, but there is no need to be hurtful.

    • Marlee says

      Eve, many, many of us are disappointed to learn of Carrie’s decision to eat animals again, but your comments here are upsetting me far more! There is absolutely no need to attack. Your words sound like the equivalent of walking up to her and kicking her! Would you do that? You have the choice to be nasty or decent. Think about it please. Words like yours are VERY counterproductive to the vegan community.

  61. says

    Another hug to you, Carrie, glad that you are feeling better and much love to you. One of the many things about much my choice to follow Dr Fuhrman’s plan is his adherence to current science and customization for individual needs, and the fact that it is a “Plant Based” plan and not necessarily vegan. I look forward to your new site and will continue to refer all I know there. Let me know when you are coming to visit family in Seattle!

    • says

      Thank you, Deb, and I appreciate that distinction between plant-based and vegan. I suppose it was my mistake trying to vegan without realizing the full implications and without knowing if I could do it for the long-term. P.S. I will be in Seattle in September and I’m going to stay downtown, so let’s definitely plan to get together. I’ll be in touch.

  62. says

    Started skimming the comments wondering who on earth would be mean or hurtful, but there are too many haha ;p Looks like you are getting the outpouring of care & support you need & deserve.
    Being healthy is different for everyone and there isn’t just a “one-size fits all” approach.
    You need to do what you think is best and what makes you feel your best – that’s ultimately what matters.
    Lots of Love! Looking forward to the new blog.

  63. Susan Hollingshead says

    I was a vegetarian for almost 20 years. About 8 years into it, I tried veganism for health reasons and struggled with it, ultimately going back to eating only organic dairy, eggs and occasionally wild fish. It wasn’t until my eyes were opened over a year ago and I understood the reality of abuse to innocent creatures that becoming vegan was easy. I discarded all my leather goods, wool , feathers etc. and know that consuming animal anything will never be part of my life again. There are always alternatives…always. Until you actually feel, see and relate to the abuse, you will always have the ability to justify leaving veganism. I wish you well but you really need to try to revisit your decision. Watch Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, visit a chicken farm, a dairy farm and a slaughterhouse. Consult with Dr. Fuhrman…..please. For the innocent.

  64. Kolb1 Ferns says

    Write a blog to justify your cowardice decision. Good for you, i support you 100%. Must feel good now huh?

    • says

      I am choosing to allow this comment because it offers someone’s viewpoint and, although it is hurtful, it is not threatening or crossing the line to hateful. I appreciate that my decision and blog post has resulted in this type of response. So far, I have not deleted any comments on this blog post.

  65. says

    Seeing some other comments here about those having doubts about their vegan diet, before bailing, I would encourage you to as Chef AJ said, to extensively explore the resources of the vegan docs she mentioned, as well as the registered dietitians such as Ginny Messina, Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina. They are all prolific authors and all have been vegan successfully for decades. They all do private consultations, which are well worth the money if you can solve your issues. As a personal trainer, I get that we can vary widely. For most of us, there can be a healthy, balanced vegan solution. Yeah, the videos on YouTube make it hard to stick our heads in the sand and pretend we don’t see. All the best!

    • says

      Thank you, Ellen, these are all very great suggestions. I enjoyed your recent interview on Our Hen House and admire you for what you have achieved.

  66. Dru says

    Carrie,
    I know this was a difficult decision for you. You have my 100% support and I’ll be forever grateful for the recipes you posted here and on the Vegan Delish app.

    I discovered your website, shortly after reading ETL and joining Dr Fuhrman’s member center. I was overwhelmed by the recipes on that site, and I don’t think I would have stuck with the nutritarian way of eating, had I not found your easy to prepare and delicious recipes! They gave me hope that I could actually cook something that I enjoyed and it wouldn’t take hours and have long list of ingredients.

    Also, thank you for the wonderful products you’ve mentioned (Tofu press! Non-fortified nutritional yeast! Just to name a few!), your site was a great resource for more than just recipes.

    I now have over 3 years of eating this way, I’ve found that it is the perfect way for ME to eat! I’ve never felt better, and have become a really good nutritarian cook! Your recipes gave me the confidence to venture out to other sites and give those recipes a try!

    I’m glad you listened to your body and are feeling better. I look forward to your new site.

    • says

      Thank you, Dru! Your support means a lot to me and I don’t think I would have gotten this far on my journey without my virtual friends. Although I may not be quite as nutritarian as I used to be, I still believe is so many of the principles and am just adapting them to meet my needs. I don’t think my overall recipes or content will change very much going forward, but I felt very compelled to explain that I’m not vegan anymore, since that word encompasses so much more than diet. Thank you again for sharing your support of me. :)

  67. lisa says

    Dear Carrie

    Ohhhhhh I know how much this must have hurt you to come round to this decsion. It was not an easy one or a quick one Im sure. I have often times wondered what I would do if I faced a similar situation. Life and health- or being a vegan. NO ONE knows what you have been up against! No one is able to walk in your shoes!! You are doing what you need to do to take care of yourself. No one has any right to critize or judge you. Our bodies are all unique and individual. There is no one size fit all diet or lifestyle for everyone. Please just keep yourself healthy and happy – we all love you and just want what is best for you- we admire you so very much!! Big Hugs and Love and Compassion always

  68. rachel says

    To me it sounds like you suffered from orthorexia which seems to be growing rapidly among the whole foods plant based vegan community. Cutting out several food groups (sugar, salt, oil, fats, seeds, nuts, processed foods, gluten, grains, soy, etc) and engraining this fear in people that these foods are “evil” and “bad” are completely unhealthy. I’ve seen many people begin the journey towards a plant based diet and quickly eliminate food group after food group until they are only consuming vegetables, limited fruits (because things like avocados are “bad”) and a tiny amount of beans. I know it’s preached over and over that you can get all the protein you need from plants, but I really don’t believe it’s that easy. I think non meat eaters need to pay strict attention to getting enough protein and calories .

    This rapid trend to fear all these foods is incredibly unhealthy and is leading more and more people into eating disorder territory. We should not feel shame , guilt , or fear over eating a packaged veggie burger every now and eating something that contains salt or oil when out eating . We shouldn’t be putting foods in categories as “good” or “bad”. And we sure as hell shouldn’t feel or be made to feel like “we aren’t doing it right” if we end up getting sick . And we shouldn’t be encouraged to eliminate even more food groups to see if that helps. The problem is all this eliminating and restriction. The constant obsessing over “clean” foods and anxiety induced fears over processed foods or something that is not homemade without the list of evil ingredients is not healthy whatsoever.

    • says

      Thank you, Rachel, I think you make excellent points and I appreciate you sharing your thoughts. I am interested in learning more orthorexia because eating disorders are very damaging and can cross generations.

  69. says

    Carrie, glad to hear you’re feeling better! Food is a personal choice, and you have to do what is right for you. I’m not vegan either — but like you, I eat mostly plant-based foods. You’ve clearly done the research and put thought into this decision. I’ll look forward to following your writing on your new site!

  70. Paula says

    It took incredible courage to write this post. I completely understand how hard it was. Some groups of people can be so incredibly cruel when you are not 100% in agreement with their beliefs. You need to be well & healthy. Go you. I will continue to follow your site. I want to know how you deal with your thyroid issues, share you fantastic vegan recipes and see your continued growth.

  71. Tammy says

    You surely will be renaming your blog. You cannot continue to call it anything relating to vegan, seeing as you’re not one now. I doubt ppl will follow a ‘vegan’ blog by someone who’s not vegan….

  72. barbara forrest ravid says

    Carrie,
    Your blog is one of the first vegan blogs that I read, and subsequently became obsessed with reading many vegan blogs. I eventually transitioned from a vegetarian diet of over 40 years to a vegan diet. I have really enjoyed reading your blog, and meeting you at your Whole Foods demonstration in LA.
    When people ask me about being vegan, I tell them I may not be perfect all the time, (read chocolate) but that whatever I do is better than doing nothing. That each time I choose plant over animal I am hopefully helping save an animal, live healthier and am promoting a cleaner planet. If each one of us does something, it adds up to a lot.
    If you inspired me to eat only plant based a year ago, I’m sure you have inspired others.
    This is clear from the number of supportive posts you have received. If each one of your readers was inspired to eat either an all plant-based diet, or even just eat more plant-based meals, then you have certainly made a difference in our lives, the lives of animals and the planet. Best of luck to you.

    • says

      Wow, thank you, Barbara. I really appreciate you sharing your point of view about being an imperfect vegan and realizing that it doesn’t discredit everything you have ever done to help animals. I really like what you said about every time that you DO choose plant over animal, you are helping, and that phrase helps me. It was lovely meeting you in person earlier this year and sending you my very best.

  73. Lily says

    Your post did not come as a surprise.
    Thank you for some great recipes, some thought provoking posts, and risking to share more of your life journey on your blog. Always be true to who you are.

  74. Emily says

    I love you and I am proud of you!!! You are an inspiration to me and a great role model for healthy, happy living!!!

  75. says

    Carrie, I’m so glad you’re listening to your body and doing what you think is best for yourself. I’ve been an on-and-off vegan for several years, and after my most recent decision to “go back” to being an omnivore, I realize now that I’m just not one of those people who can sustain a healthy vegan diet for long periods of time. It was hard for me to admit this yet ANOTHER time, so I can only imagine the difficulties in revealing these changes for someone like you, who has a much bigger presence in the blog world than I do, and whose blog and app revolve around veganism. Don’t let any haters make you feel bad for taking care of your health. I’m happy to see you saying that you won’t tolerate hurtful comments. When you read them (if you read them), just know that there are so many more people out there who fully support you, I being one of them. I was just saying to my friend yesterday how I wonder if there are any prominent vegans out there who feel the pull to let go of veganism, but feel like they “can’t” because of their blog/business. Surely there are some out there. Maybe this post will inspire others to unstick themselves from a label they’ve outgrown. Life is full of change. It can be hard to embrace sometimes, but it’s always worth it when we do, especially when it comes to our health. Our bodies speak to us, and it’s our job to listen! No two bodies are identical, and diets that work for some simply don’t work for others. I have a huge love for veganism, and I know you do too. But we don’t have to BE vegans to have an appreciation and respect for the lifestyle. There are some days when I “accidentally” eat vegan without even really thinking about it. Old habits die hard, haha. But letting go of the label has been the best thing for my mental health. Doing or being anything 100% has always led me down dangerous paths in the past. Take life day by day and don’t be afraid to change. I’m SO supportive of you taking charge of your life and making necessary changes to improve your wellbeing. *Cyber hug!!*

    • says

      One more thing that I feel the need to say after skimming through some of the comments. You are truly an angel for being as nice to the negative commenters as you’re being. I wish I could give them all the finger. This is YOUR life. NOBODY ELSE’S. If someone doesn’t have anything nice to say, they shouldn’t say anything at all. Urgh.

    • says

      Thank you, Jenni!!! I read your post about being an omnivore with great interest and I really wanted to reach out to you when things were changing for me, but I wasn’t quite ready to share. I was hopeful that you would see my post and comment, because I really wanted to hear what you had to say. Of course, you only provided me with comfort and wisdom and guidance during a really tough transition. I fully relate to the idea of loving veganism, identifying with it and wanting to support it, but not having the ability to do so. In fact, I can think of many reasons why someone would have a hard time being 100% vegan (health, financial, social, family, etc.), but that has always been the kink about “being” vegan, it has to be all or nothing. Well, that kind of thinking just doesn’t work for me, it is too damaging. I don’t want to try to be vegan and feel like a failure, so it’s easier to not call myself one, but to strive to do the best I can for animals, my health, and the environment. Sending you a giant virtual hug right back at ‘ya. Xoxo.

  76. says

    I totally agree with Jenni. All of you with the nasty comments, why don’t you worry about your own commitments to veganism and stop the abusive comments. I so admire you Carrie. Your honesty is so refreshing. You could have just stopped blogging and not opened yourself up to the opinions of others. A few months ago I asked for your advice when I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. You were so kind and helpful and I appreciated it so much at the time. I became vegan in 2006 and did well until 2008 when I developed coronary artery disease and gallbladder problems. I now have a stent and had my gallbladder removed. Then this year I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer. I am in no way blaming this on being a vegan but, I am saying that I too have added eggs, fish and chicken back into my diet. What works for one doesn’t necessarily work for all. Don’t pay attention to all he negativity and continue doing what’s best for you. You are the only one that matters. Thank you for your honesty and keep that beautiful smile.

    Vicki

    • says

      Thank you, Vicki. I appreciate you sharing your health struggles and the understanding that sometimes circumstances lead us to different choices. I hope you are recovering well from your surgery and that my post didn’t scare you. :) From what my doctor tells me, most thyca patients feel just as good after surgery than before, but I was just one of the few that has had difficulties (probably as a result of the other issues going on). My very best to you.

  77. Jill says

    Hi Carrie,

    I am glad to see so many kind and encouraging comments for you. I believe that it is not for me or anyone else to say what is or isn’t right for you. What is right for you today may not be tomorrow. I also believe that the healthier you are the more good you can do for animal welfare–even if it isn’t originally in the way you thought it would be. I am currently dealing with constant abdominal pain that may be IBS. As a result I am looking at doing a gluten-free trial and possibly removing other potential irritants/allergens down the road. It has forced me to consider what my alterations by diet may need at some point so that I can get enough calories and enough food. I hope to remain vegan but I do want to be open to the idea that if I can’t manage it at some point I am not a bad person. I hope you know that you are definitely a good person!
    –Jill

  78. says

    I’m glad you’re feeling better, Carrie, although I’m sorry to hear of your decision. I don’t believe there is anything that can be gained from eating animals that can’t be from plants, except things we don’t want or need.

    And what really saddens me is that so many responses here are missing the big picture. Veganism isn’t about being “perfect” or abiding by a label. Veganism is about living a life of compassion, and not using any sentient creature for our own benefit. Unlike the person who joked about it above, I would no sooner kill my cat than I would a friend whom I could take in a fight. Nor would I kill (or have killed at my expense) a cow, pig, chicken, turkey or fish. It’s all the same. When you look at your life through the lens of compassion, being vegan is a very easy thing to do.

    I’ve been vegan for more than 12 years and no, I don’t always feel perfect. But when I don’t, I can often trace it back to something I’m creating for myself – too much processed food, too much stress, too little self-care, whatever. Never would I think that any problem I have is due to not eating an animal. As an ethical vegan, I will never go back. I can’t pick & choose which animals I love and which others to kill.

    I do hope that you consider the suggestions given by Ellen and Chef AJ and what Sayward has written about. If the doctors and medical opinions that you used didn’t come from people with vegan experience, I hope that you will get some.

  79. Kirsten says

    Hmm… I see a lot of comments commending Carrie’s ‘honesty’, but wouldn’t it have been more ‘honest’ to bring this issue up as it was happening? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for a dedicated vegan to send out an all-call for help? ‘Hey guys, this vegan diet doesn’t seem to be working for me anymore. Anyone have any ideas?’ Certainly a high profile personality like Carrie could have gotten help from the best. Maybe that help wasn’t really wanted.

    • says

      I know this is hard to believe, Kirsten, but please understand that I did everything I thought I could along the way to stay vegan. I appreciate that it is difficult for all of us.

      • Kirsten says

        While you can say this is ‘difficult’ until you are blue in the face, it really isn’t that difficult (for you or for me). It IS, however, VERY difficult for the animals who are at the mercy of charismatic charlatans who infiltrate the community of people who are trying to help them, use it for their own personal gains, then ditch out when the wind blows them in another direction, thereby leaving the animals worse off than if this person had never declared themselves a vegan & sought out attention in the first place. That is difficult. Beyond that, the constant reference to how ‘difficult this is’ is insulting.

    • says

      Carrie’s blog, Carrie’s life. I don’t tell my friends everything as I’m going through it – but I may tell them later after I’ve worked through it myself. Clearly Carrie has worked with the health professionals she trusts to come to this decision; I don’t think she has an obligation to check with the Internet before making dietary changes.

  80. Dawn says

    You are brave to share so much of your life with the public before now and now. I hope you continue to feel better and stay healthy. I will be looking forward to seeing your new blog. All the best to you!

    • Miriam says

      Wow that is so sad Carrie I don’t know u but m very disappointed that u feel that animal helps u more I hope to hear u say that u was rong u felt it helped u for a wile but not really it better vegan for the animals. … But at least u was honest I admire that about you thx n fair well in your search for a better heath wateva it may b :)

  81. Glenda says

    “Speak what you think now in hard words and tomorrow speak what tomorrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict everything you said today.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
    In other words, speak your truth today, even if it changes tomorrow…always be true to yourself. I have followed you for several years Carrie. Have loved your blogs and recipes. You were very brave to speak your truth publicly. I’m glad you are feeling better.

    • says

      Thank you, Glenda, for both your kind words and for sharing a powerful quote. I went to a Quaker college and identify very strongly with these words and gain peace from you posting them here.

  82. Jonathan says

    Please reconsider your decision. “Personal choice” by definition is one that affects only the person making the choice, and when it has grave implications for other living beings, no longer becomes “personal.” We must recognize our responsibility to treat animals with respect and not objectify them regardless of our own desires. This is what it means to be vegan and is much larger than diet alone. Again, I implore you to search your conscience and reconsider a non-violent lifestyle. I believe that I speak not only for myself, but for billions of animals that have no voice.

    • says

      I know this is very hard, Jonathan, and as I wrote in my blog post, I do promise to continue working toward a different solution. Please know I am doing my best but I do not have all the answers. I know this is difficult.

    • says

      Jonathan, I completely understand where you’re coming from, but by and large any choices we make affect others and our surrounding world. The organic quinoa we buy from the store may be harvested by people making low wages. The Fair Trade quinoa may be packaged in plastic that can’t be recycled. If you drive a car or take a bus or fly anywhere, you’re contributing to emissions that are harming the environment. When I use natural disinfectants to clean my counters, I’m killing colonies of bacteria, but I still do it to protect my own health. None of our choices happen in a vacuum, and I believe Carrie is very aware of that.

      It’s also not as if Carrie is going from a vegan lifestyle to consuming copious amounts of factory farmed meat; I trust that she’s very aware of the sources of her animal protein/eggs/dairy and that she’s making the best choices she can within the confines of her own health considerations. Humans are also animals and deserve compassion and love and support.

      • Kat says

        Liz, please be aware that bacteria are not sentient beings. Next you’ll be saying that “plants have feelings, too”. I also do not believe that what we eat is “our personal decision”. You’re forgetting someone very important: the animal whose life you are taking. Also, it would be one thing for me to revert to vegetarianism or being an omnivore (neither of which I would ever do, for ANY reason whatsoever), and quite another thing for a person who has made themselves prominent in the vegan community, with a successful vegan recipe blog, and who will cause great harm to the vegan community by her actions. It would have been much better for the animals, had Carrie just “faded away” as someone suggested. This comment is mostly aimed toward Carrie, not to Liz.

        • Nancy Nurse says

          Kat, I agree; I feel with Carrie’s celebrity, if you will, that it would have been much better for the animals if she just “faded out her blog”… I feel this is going to create such a set-back for the hard work and struggles we have been trying to accomplish for those sentient beings that have no voice.

          I know I’ve said this already on this blog, but these beautiful cows are just a few feet away from me on any given day (living by two dairy farms) and their gestation to give birth is also nine months; they love their babies as humans do. You can hear them cry for hours/days when their babies are taken from them and then what do we do? We take their life; think about that people. This is THEIR life here on Earth. Not OURS to take. OMG, imagine if their were other beings doing this to us…

          There is absolutely NO reason to eat animals for our health – in fact, eating animals is a SURE way to be unhealthy! Just take a look at our population – everyone is loaded with acid… acid from animal consumption, dairy, oils and an acid body is an unhealthy body.

          I was just so so so disappointed to see Carrie’s decision and my very first fear was for the animals – now, she was giving credibility to eating them.

          All I ask is that she reach out to Chef A.J.s suggestions – I’m willing to bet that that community will take her under their wing…. all she has to do is “ask”…. please ask, Carrie… for the animals and for yourself.

  83. Venus says

    I’m not going to lie. I am dissapointed, although I didn’t comment on your post all the time, you were really one of my two favorite bloggers. Yes, I’m kinda heart broken, kinda like a boyfriend / girlfriend relationships when it ends, but life must go on, for you and everybody else.
    I wish you luck, good vibes and good energy.

    • says

      I know it is hard, Venus, and I’m sorry for the disappointment. I feel sad, too, and know this is a difficult thing to read about.

  84. Nell says

    All we can ever do is our best in any situation. As you have found, labels can be limiting and even dangerous. From this day forward, draw no boundaries. Always be free to try new ways. And Carrie on anyway.

    • says

      Thank you, Nell. Wise words. This experience has been a very hard for me, but I hope to carry on stronger than before and free of the restrictive labels.

  85. says

    I did not see this coming! I can’t say I’m not disappointed but I’m not in your shoes and haven’t faced failing health as a vegan so can’t say what I would do if I did and must respect your decision.
    I immediately thought of Sayward and her story but noticed a lot of other people have linked up already. Have you tried making adjustments to your vegan diet? I understood that you were following a very low fat diet and am wondering if that had an impact?
    Wishing you luck and improvement to your health.

  86. Sarah says

    Oh Carrie. I literally started crying when I first read your post on Saturday – and not because you are no longer vegan, but because I can feel how hard of a decision this was for you and can relate in so many ways. I am beyond proud of you and know that you have done everything in your capacity to remain vegan and improve your health. And even if their is a “vegan solution” out there for you, you can only spend so much of your life trying to find it… I can totally relate to your black and white thinking about the benefits of a plant based diet and feeling like it is my own failing for not being able to thrive eating this way. I’m not sure it something that folks who have found such benefits can understand. And adding an eating disorder into the mix only compounds the challenge and is again not something folks who do not think this way can fully understand. It’s so hard. I too have been looking for ways to meet my nutritional needs and cause the least amount of suffering – and that for me is what my veganism has always been about. And sometime the path of least suffering is not as simple as just not consuming animals. There are so many forms of suffering that occur within the structure of our society – food production and beyond – that often get overlooked. I’ve always had a hard time with the term vegan because it’s restricts non-human animal suffering to being the forms that take precedent, but there are countless forms of human suffering that occur too and it’s hard to figure out which ones are the most extensive. And your suffering from not being healthy is also important too! Anyway, what I’m trying to say is that even though your body is requiring you to no longer be a dietary vegan, I still in my heart believe that you are living the vegan ethic of causing the least amount of harm possible. The hardest part for me is coming to terms with the fact that there really is no way to live “harm free,” and that this is how our society operates. But all we can do is the best we can with the resources and knowledge we have available to us at any given time. So you are certainly remaining one of my most inspirational role models in how to live the most compassionate life possible and I still consider you an ethical vegan. I wish I could properly express my thoughts on this, but I just cannot find the proper words. I’m sending lot of love your way and I hope you can take it in. Hang in there – it will get better :)

    • says

      Sarah, you have given me so much hope with your words that I am not a horrible person (again, the black and white thinking) and that I can continue to do good even within the constraints of my life right now. I may need to read your comments a few more times to grasp everything, but I thank you so, so much for your support.

  87. says

    Carrie,

    I have been reading your blog ever since I started to dabble in veganism a few years ago. While I am not completey vegan I try to eat as much of a plant-based diet as possible, to meet my body’s needs. I think you are extremely brave and AWESOME for owning up to these changes and addressing it on your blog. Ultimately you need to do what is best for your body and no body’s body is exactly the same. Good luck and I look forward to continuing to read your blog, no matter what kind of diet you have in the futgure.

    Adriane

  88. says

    I visit occasionally because I have enjoyed the healthy vegan fridays posts and so am aware of some of your health struggles and, having been to a funeral of a friend who died of cancer last week, I think you need to fight for your good health. So many of us taking it for granted but obviously you appreciate how precious it is. I am vegetarian (of 20+ years) and have always felt very welcome by many vegans that I have mingled with online, including yourself in the healthy vegan fridays. I wish you good health with your changes in diet, and I wish you acceptance and peace both in yourself and from those around you.

    • says

      Thank you, Johanna, I really appreciate the words of support, especially from a long-time veggie. Your thoughts about finding acceptance and peace from within me is comforting, because I DO have control over my feelings, even if I cannot control the feelings of others.

      I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your friend.

  89. pat c says

    Yes, well blah blah blah to the haters and supporters. Bottom line is personal choice. So as I’ve said to the many many others who have written lengthy explanations of why they used to be vegan and why they’re no longer vegan, what you believe and how you choose to eat is your choice. Whether or not I read your blog is my choice. So, you’ll lose some readers like me and you’ll gain some others. Just like life I guess.

  90. tracy says

    It’s not so much about if Carrie is vegan or not, it’s that broadcasting this is TERRIBLE for the animal rights/vegan movement. It erases all of the excellent work she’s done for the movement in the past. People are already looking for any rationale to continue consuming animals and seeing failed vegans gives them an excellent one. Almost all of us can be healthy on a vegan diet if done correctly, but they won’t see that. I just wish that people who have any doubts that they will not be vegan for life wouldn’t be super vocal about it.

    • says

      I’m sorry you feel that way, Tracy, although I can partially understand why you would say these things. Please appreciate that I have heard from many readers who said that my previous work inspired them to either go vegan or eat more plant-based, and many of these same people have expressed they are just as committed to the lifestyle now as before I wrote about my experience. So, please understand that I do not believe all of my work is erased and I feel sad you feel that way. I’m not trying to undermine your feelings, but this what I think.

  91. says

    Dear Carrie, I came to your blog to find your recipe on the chocolate and black bean brownies :), and I found this post. I actively, *desperately* try to avoid the whole Internet vortex of social media, blogs, YouTube, etc. but I just had to respond. I think you are one of the most precious people that I have had the privilege to be acquainted with on social media (via Twitter!), and I just want to say that I truly support your decision. Your honesty, openness and transparency are so touching. We are all created with different metabolic needs, and I pray that the healing that you are pursuing will pursue you.

  92. Kimberly says

    Hi Carrie,

    I found you through my journey as I transitioned to a plant based diet and have always loved and admired your posts and honesty, and this post being no exception. I can’t imagine how hard it must of been working through your own health issues as well as the issue of adding animal products back into your diet, I’m sure some weight has been lifted off your shoulders, a great feeling. I will continue to follow, support and learn from you as your journey takes a new path. LIfe would be vanilla if we were all on the same path! I love color!!

    Wishing you health and happiness
    Kim

    • says

      Thank you, Kimberly! Your words are so beautiful and inspire me. Also, who wants a vanilla-flavored life when there is CHOCOLATE! Ha ha, just a little joke to ease the stress. :)

  93. Nicole says

    My husband always had GI issues that I attributed to his bad diet. In response, he started a vegan diet with me when not traveling for business and it seemed worse. With a recent diagnosis of IBS, we realized that the vegan diet was making his symptoms worse. He is vastly improved with the FODMAP diet. I learned a valuable lesson about zealotry and being overly judgmental. Although I enjoy being a vegan, it is not right for everyone. Thank you for your honesty. Please take care of yourself. It can take many years to regulate thyroid and peri-menopause hormonal changes.

    • says

      Thank you, Nicole. I have also known close friends and family members who have had that exact issue and so it became necessary to ease the standards of an otherwise plant-based or vegan diet. I appreciate the words of support.

  94. says

    Hi Carrie,

    Fellow vegan blogger sends you 100% support. :)

    You know the best how you feel and what you need to do to get better. Your health must always be number one!

    I love your blog and can’t wait to see the new one! I am sure it will be great!

    Best of luck and I hope you will get better very soon.

    Thanks for being my motivation. :)

    Ivana

    • says

      Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ivana! It makes me feel so good to know that my previous work has not been in vain and that I am still being supported by vegan friends such as you.

  95. Heather says

    I see where Tracy (above) is coming from, but ONLY because somehow veganism has come to equal perfectionism. That’s not a good thing, but encouraging folks to be imperfect vegans in “secret” isn’t the answer. How many never even try to ditch animal products because they fear (or know) that they wouldn’t be able to do so 100%?

    I think more than ever we need to hear from folks who are not 100%, but who are still doing the best they can do, at that time. Please don’t disappear (hello, Vegan Lunchbox?). Honestly, I’d still consider you vegan, but if you feel more comfortable calling yourself plant-based instead, then so be it. Just don’t vanish!

    Take back veganism from the perfectionism. Let’s call that all-in-or-else approach “vegan-asceticism” and admire it for what it is. Make ordinary veganism more approachable, more know-better-do-better. As we grow, we learn. I’m guessing your compassion for animals has not dimmed at all.

    Carry-on, Carrie.

    • says

      Thank you, Heather. I’ve been doing some heavy duty emotional work with my therapist and learning that the “all or nothing” approach, while it can have some benefits, can also be very damaging. I know that many people can adapt really well to a 100% vegan diet, but I also firmly believe that there are a lot of valid reasons that it just won’t work (such as health reasons, as in my case, or other really important reasons like financial or social pressures).

      I also really appreciate you acknowledging that my compassion for animals can be as strong as it was before. I know it may come across as contradictory, but you are absolutely right on that point and I hope to discuss it in the future. At this point, I’m still trying to figure this out so caring words like yours are very comforting and give me a lot of hope. :)

  96. Tessa O says

    I’m relived you posted this. I was also a strict vegan for awhile, then recently added eggs and fish back into my diet. It’s so hard to explain to people how I eat without getting caught up with all of the various diet labels. I try to eat healthfully, period. Good luck with the change and with your Intuitive Eating journey (I’m on a similar path myself)!

  97. says

    I really appreciate you being honest and open about your experience and why you decided to not be vegan any longer. I commend you for sharing your story, I went through a similar transition and totally sympathize with you. It was hard enough, after 12 years of being a vegetarian, and some times vegan, dealing with family members scoffing, but I can’t imagine what it’s like dealing with the response from the internet. I love your blog and really appreciate your honesty. I hope you continue to blog, just because you’re not vegan, doesn’t mean you don’t know vegan and can’t continue to contribute to the vegan blogosphere. Thanks Carrie!

    • says

      Thank you, Lynae! I did have a lot of fear before posting my story and considered just hiding and pretending like none of this was happening. I hope that my story helps others and doesn’t encourage people NOT to be vegan if they can be, as some commenters have suggested. I take confidence in hearing from many readers who say that my journey to this point helped move them to a more plant-based or even 100% vegan lifestyle, and nobody so far has suggested that my problem with being vegan is going to erase all of that. So, I take strength from your support.

  98. says

    Hi Carrie,

    Thank you so much for your honest and open post. It cannot be easy to write that, especially to vegans. We get a bad rap for the minority that go off the deep end with hate speech to all of those that slip up or stop being vegan for one reason or another. We have to remember that we chose this lifestyle for compassion, and that means we must show compassion for each other, as well as animals.

    I have been vegan for 6 years, and the middle 4 years I really could not get a handle on my health. I understand how you feel. I have seemed to turn it around this year with protein powders and things like maca, smoothies and eating very clean. It’s hard though, so I understand. You need to do what you think is best for you, and as you get healthy, you can continue to do work that helps lessen animal suffering.

    We have to remember that’s it’s not an all or nothing approach. The world is not black and white.

    Good luck! Looking forward to your new blog!

    • says

      Dana, it means a lot to me that you express how veganism is about compassion and I have hoped that that would extend to people like me as well. I never thought I would be in this situation and so I never considered how my previous “black or white” standards could be hurtful. Obviously, this has been an incredibly humbling experience for me and I appreciate that you took the time to share your support. Thank you.

  99. Esther says

    Hi Carrie,

    I give you credit for being honest, but I was vegan for 7 years and for about the last two years, I added eggs and fish back to my diet with plenty of veggies and fruit. I was diagnosed with hyperthyroid, and I believe that it was because I was eating cra too many sweet and carbs on a vegan diet, and I needed more protein. Beans would upset my stomach so there was so much tofu and tempeh I could eat. After adding wild salmon and organic eggs with plenty of greens I feel so much better. I believe nutrition is all about balance.. I still have my vegan meals which I still love and i have fish or eggs twice a week.
    I’m here if you need any help.

    Take care.

    Best,

    Esther

    • says

      Thank you, Esther, that is encouraging to hear that you are feeling better and gives me hope. I appreciate your supportive words and send you my best as well. :)

  100. Amber says

    Carrie,
    I have to be honest. When I first read this post as a newly minted plant-based eater, I felt a little upset and betrayed. Of course, I am in that newlywed stir of all the good and none of the ugly. I mean, how could someone I have grown to idolize in this new realm of eating turn her back to the healthiest diet available in her time of need?!
    I must apologize, however, because while I have been preaching to anyone who will listen the fact that I don’t expect others to make my choices as I do (my hubby and children included), I have put you into a box high up on its ledge assuming you should be perfect too. The truth is, life throws us curve-balls sometimes, and you deal with things you never thought you would have to, and how you approach that is your choice. I’m so sorry that I started to hold you to a standard I don’t hold others to, myself included.
    I was reading another ladies blog today and saw in her ‘about’ section that she went through a health-crisis and per her doctors orders had to incorporated some animal products as well. Now a couple years later she is back to plant-based living, but watching certain area’s of nutrition to ensure she doesn’t have a repeat from whatever needs were missing before.
    So here’s the thing. I love your blog, and I will miss you holding my hand in this new journey, but I believe that each person holds the key to health and happiness, and if for you that journey takes you in a direction unexpected, it does not make it wrong, just something you hadn’t planned.
    I will continue to follow you, regardless of your diet, and if needed I will modify your future recipes to fit my plant-based diet.
    Hold your head high. At your heart, being a good person is not defined by other people, but your truth you find inside. I hope you feel better very soon, as what you are going through is a scary and sometimes lonely place to find oneself (I know from experience), and believe that while some of us might take a moment to come around, when someone is as talented and beautiful a soul as you, that is what shines through!
    Here’s to a bright, new, and exciting adventure in a place unexpected!
    Amber

    • says

      Thank you for sharing such intimate thoughts, Amber, and for offering me compassion. I read with care what you said about feeling a sense of betrayal and I hope that by continuing to be as honest as I can be, then I can regain any trust that I have lost. I haven’t held much back from my blog postings, as hard as it has been to reveal my vulnerabilities. I would like to reiterate that I don’t believe that a 100% vegan diet can’t work for most or many because I have seen so many people and heard so many stories of people thriving. So, perhaps you can put my journey in the category of people who are outliers and that if you or anybody you know starts to have difficulty, then I may be a resource in that regards. Sending you my very best.

  101. says

    Hi Carrie, I have been a follower of yours for awhile now, but only recently have I posted to your blog posts. I want to say that I am a health coach and am a plant strong eater. I have read the book Intuitive Eating and think it is GREAT. I believe using the title vegan is tough, that is why I choose to eat a plant strong diet as oppose to saying I am ‘vegan’. It is hard to live under the scrutiny that the vegan title is put upon. I am a firm believer in the Intuitive Eating book, that is why I can’t say that I am vegan as well. I enjoy chocolate when I need to (that may or may not be vegan) and use honey in cooking. I don’t cook with meat or eggs but I do coach people who do. I firmly believe that eating is a personal choice, and not one ‘diet’ is best for all. I think you are right when you choose organic, humanely treated animal products. The main thing is to any diet vegan or not is to eat LOTS AND LOTS OF PLANTS as you so often do!! I am eager to follow you on your journey :)

    • says

      Thank you for sharing your words of wisdom, Nickole. Another blog reader recommended the Intuitive Eating book to me just a few weeks ago and it has provided me with so much healing from my disordered eating patterns. Your concerns about using the word “vegan” echo many of my own and it’s nice to know I’m not alone in that. Here’s to continuing to care for our needs and for doing what you suggested, eating LOTS of those awesome plants! Woo-hoo! :)

  102. Sherrie says

    You have been a role model for me since I started this journey, and you will continue to be a role model. Its not just about what you eat, it’s the person you are that inspires me. You are a kind gentle spirit dear Carrie. I look forward to keeping up with your new blog. God bless.

    • says

      Thank you, Sherrie. I had hoped that there were readers and friends who would continue to support me as a person, whether or not I eat a vegan diet. I cannot tell you how much your support means to me. :)

  103. says

    You are a brave and courageous woman, and it has been a delight to follow you as my husband and I begin our vegan journey (2 months and counting). Only you know what is best for your body, your soul and your spirit and I support you 100% in your new path. We have found the label “vegan” to be often unwelcome, and not necessarily healthy! We have been eating a whole-plant diet, and found we can’t eat at most vegan restaurants (I’m also allergic to soy), nor can we eat most commercial vegan foods. Amazing how the body adapts once you clean it out. Nonetheless, I will continue to follow you and support you and share this experience. Somewhere I read, “Be as vegan as you want to be.” That feels right.

    • Kit says

      Aaand….this is why I stopped identifying as vegan. The vitriol, the venom for those who deviate EVEN SLIGHTLY. If you look at a Venn diagram and overlap the similarities between a “Pure” whole foods vegan and a Fuhrman diet (or whatever Carrie chooses to migrate to), I’m guessing 95%+ of the dietary choices are the same. But you don’t acknowledge the similarities, you see it as an all-or-nothing – you care more about the miniscule 5% deviation than the greater good of the 95% vegan adherence. How many people did Carrie help to migrate from a meat-and-dairy heavy diet? Does that not matter? I’m so sick of the intolerance.

    • Cherylb says

      Carrie has been someone who has inspired me to eat a more plant based diet. You are the person who reminds me I will never call myself vegan.

  104. serena says

    Good for you, Carrie! I know it can be very very hard to introduce some animal products after being vegan. I recently went through the same thing. I admire you being true to your body’s needs. I’m not sure why but i feel better eating mostly plant based vs exclusively so. I admire vegans and continue to believe the world would be better if we (as a society) consumed less animal products. I am so grateful i was a vegan because i learned so much about nutition that i continue today. I regularly have vegan days, but for me personally, i do better with a small amount of animal products each week. I try to eat intuitively and sparingly. I admire your courage to change something that once served you well but for whatever reason was starting to hold you back. It can be difficult to redefine yourself, but being open to change when it’s needed is to be open to life!

    • says

      Thank you so much for the words of support, Serena. I love that you expressed gratitude for your experience being a vegan and I feel that, too. You also captured so well my struggles to redefine myself, although one of the big lessons for me has been that I am more than a label and that I have to trust that I can find love (from myself or othersO outside of fitting into a mold. Xoxo.

  105. Autumn says

    Veganism is based on ethics and morals, not consuming a plant-based diet. Humans are not physiologically meant to consume animal products but abstaining from those products does not mean one is a vegan. Veganism is based upon compassion and acknowledging that all sentient beings are entitled to the same rights… to live their lives in peace without fear of enslavement, torture, exploitation, murder, etc. Consuming a plant-based diet is necessary for one to be vegan; however, that alone does not make one vegan. One doesn’t simply decide one day that it is now okay to revert back to enslaving, torturing, and murdering other sentient beings. Once a vegan, always a vegan.

    I find it utterly disgusting that so many people use the term ‘vegan’ so loosely. Read the China Study. The last thing a human body needs is animal protein! Especially if you’re trying to avoid cancer!

    • Lee says

      Hear hear autumn!
      I’ve joked with family about “going back” and went through my own health issues. I had a conversation with a co-worker and she got me to close my eyes and told me “in order to feel better and get your energy up you must eat meat”. She got me to picture it in my head, I started to cry and said “I could never kill someone else, not even to save myself.” That was 4 or 5 years ago. I’ve been living as compassionately as I can since ’95.
      All we can do is our best and my only comment really is that if you feel the need to eat meat then let it be one you have found, caught (no traps), looked in the eye, killed and cleaned yourself. If you can do that then…so be it. Please don’t pay someone to do the work for you. And if you think that’s not practical then you should be eating it. Just my opinion.

    • Cherylb says

      Even Dr. Fuhrman indicates there is no evidence that a small amount of animal products harms an individual. Dr. F. in his latest books puts it at about 5% of daily consumption.

      Now if everyone in our country pared back to just 5% daily consumption of animal products it would save millions of animals.

      However I’ve noticed in the militant vegan community that if they can’t save every animal then the millions isn’t enough.

  106. Debbie says

    Hi Carrie, I have followed your blog for a long time although I have never commented. I just want to thank you for your honesty in your decision. I aspire to eat a whole foods plant based diet but do not do so 100% of the time. I do what I can within my power to reduce animal suffering but as another commenter mentioned so many human decisions influence animal suffering, not just eating them. It sounds like between your personal health experiences and your studies you have more than researched what is best for you and your body. Even Dr. McDougall mentions in The Starch Solution that his 103 year old grandmother ate animals but a small McDonald’s hamburger would be her meat consumption for four meals – not exactly how most of us would portion it nowadays. And Dr. Fuhrman also says including a small % of animal products is an option while maintaining health. I love to read blogs and have often considered starting one but don’t think I could weather the feedback and criticism from others. So I commend you for your honesty and look forward to continuing to follow your journey.

    • says

      Thank you, Debbie. I appreciate you sharing those thoughts from Drs. McDougall and Fuhrman. I think the point about the amount of animal products we consume is a good one, and is a great reminder for me. P.S. You made me smile with your comment about wanting to start a blog, but being hesitant about the feedback/criticism from others. My skin is thickening as we speak (but overall I LOVE doing what I do)! :)

  107. Unfollowing says

    I’m sorry to hear that you were feeling badly, but i hope you find some professionals that don’t push meat, eggs, and protein on you. I would’ve emailed McDougall or Fuhrman or Jeff Novick before I allowed another doctor to influence me to eat animal products. I can’t continue to follow your blog or app because I feel like omnivores wait for stories like this to come out so they can shove it in our faces.

    Good luck to you, but I’m feeling very disappointed and let down. Goodbye.

    • says

      I can understand why you feel disappointed and I expected that. I appreciate you letting me know and I respect your opinion. However, I felt that I needed to be honest in my journey and please do not assume that I did not seek advice from plant-based medical experts, including from the list you mentioned. However much you may disagree, there are medical cases such as mine that benefit from the including minimal amounts of animal protein and I think I made it clear in my post that I was not suggesting that most people cannot thrive on a 100% vegan diet. I intend to promote vegan recipes and vegan resources in my future posts and I have not given up on veganism as a movement. I have a tremendous amount of respect for the vegan and plant-based community. I’m sorry if this seems hypocritical but I am doing the best I can.

  108. says

    I am so sorry to see you pummeled through the nasty comments, Carrie. Compassion for animals without compassion for others? Besides, I am always reminded that before anyone was vegan, one was non-vegan. ANYWAYS, good on you for breaking free of your self-imposed label. Do what you need to do to be healthy, which includes surrounding yourself by supportive people.

  109. Paige says

    Thanks for your honesty, I am sure that it is a difficult decision to come to. Although I’m not Vegan I have enjoyed reading your blog and will continue enjoying reading about your journey and path.

  110. DJ says

    I went through this process about 4 months ago. I am a long distance runner and a long distance triathlete, and after about 6 months being a strict vegan, I had to add eggs and some fish back in to my diet. My training is now more consistent–it doesn’t take as long to recover, and my workouts are more productive. I don’t have to take as many days off because I was too tired or too sore. While I do not have the public platform like you do, it is hard to “backtrack” on a lifestyle that you adopted in front of your friends. So, now, I call myself a vegetarian who avoids dairy–since that’s what I was really trying to avoid anyway. Congratulations to you for having the courage to follow YOUR body and to eat food that nourishes you body AND soul. There will always be people out there for whom there is no “gray area”–and they will never understand what you have gone through and what you are going through. Know that there are plenty of people that DO get it, and that will support any/all of your healthy-eating decisions! Good luck in your new venture!

    • says

      Thanks, DJ, I appreciate you sharing your experience. You’re right, “backtracking” such a public space has been hard, but my husband reminds me that it’s okay to admit that I know more today than I did yesterday. :)

  111. says

    More words of support from me Carrie! It took a lot of courage to post this. Diet is a really personal thing, and as some of the other comments have said, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing. I’m sure you will continue to try to eat in as ethical a way as your health will allow.

    It amuses me (in a sad sort of say) that so many people are saying that you’re hurting the vegan community. The reason that a lot of people ‘hate’ vegans is because of the militant minority that just love to make other people feel bad about themselves. The people who are leaving such nasty comments are the ones who are harming the image of vegans, not you! I’m glad that the words of support vastly outnumber the mean comments.

    Good luck Carrie, can’t wait to read the new blog!

    • says

      Thanks, Becca, and I couldn’t agree with you more. I can’t forget that I had judgment for people who went through this experience in the past, but now I see how misguided that was and that it said more about me than the other person. So, I am trying to keep that in mind and just appreciate that some people can handle (and express) feelings better than others…not that I’m perfect by any means. I may or may not have throw a few swear words around in the past few days. :)

      But, I really appreciate the words of support and should also point out that several of my vegan friends and members of the vegan community have reached out to me in a very loving way and shown me the level of compassion that I think represents that community in its best light, so for that I am grateful.

      • tracy says

        Actually the reason so many people hate vegans is because they make people uncomfortable about eating animals.They know deep down that they’re right and so they get very defensive. Nothing is worse for the vegan movement than ex-vegans, sorry. Again, I only wish that people who aren’t 100% sure that they will be vegan for life wouldn’t have blogs and whatnot.

        • Cherylb says

          Actually Tracy, I disagree. The zealotry turns me off. I don’t want to be a part of your vegan group. I would much rather be a part of Carrie’s group.

        • says

          Tracy, I think some people do believe that humans need to eat meat or we will become anemic, etc., but I sadly think you’re right about the rest of the people just feeling uncomfortable around people actually doing what they think they should but don’t want to do: THIS creates the hostility, so nothing is taken in the right context, even information. Because most vegans are pretty darned careful, at least in person, not to be bullies. They are pretty aware of how fragile this movement can be. I’m become vegan at 40 partly because every time I ran into a vegan for the twenty years prior, I was impressed with his or her humility and saw how it wasn’t all about them which is refreshing in a world of self indulgent consumerism and self promotion without regard to others. “Again, I only wish that people who aren’t 100% sure that they will be vegan for life wouldn’t have blogs and whatnot.”: Agree 100%, and I don’t think that agreeing with that is the same thing as bullying Carrie. I just wish we lived in a perfect world, I guess, where worthy but fragile movements didn’t have to suffer needless blows that we aren’t allowed to question lest we be called un-compassionate and judgmental bullies– quite a catch 22! But maybe this one will pay off somehow– not sure how– but the world works in mysterious ways. In any case, when veganism is more mainstream/ubiquitous/”normal” and, more importantly, even more successful (when we know more about how to eat on a plant-based diet for certain illnesses because we are far from knowing everything there), the micro-focus on the drop outs and the drop out rate will lessen, and the hostility on both sides will fade into the uninformed past.

          • says

            Thank you for your insightful words, Angie. If there is a silver lining to my situation, then perhaps it is to highlight that there are people who have certain health conditions that may make it difficult to eat a 100% vegan diet all the time and that there is a need to increase the research and discussion about the ways that can help, even if they include consuming animal products for short periods of time or some other remedy that is vegan-based. I also hope that this discussion highlights the fact that the judgment and angry, hateful words are not helpful for people who are struggling. Thank you again for sharing your thoughts.

  112. Roxanne Rit says

    Just chiming in quietly…as I had to stop reading the comments. I’ll still be following you and your journey as I have learned so much from you. There is no one path and judgement not useful…compassion and peace to all including animals. We all are trying to improve this world but in different ways.

  113. Bradley A Harris says

    Proper nutrition starts with listening to the needs of your body. I support and admire you for being frank about your nutrition challenges.

  114. Happy vegan girl says

    This makes me feel really sad. It’s not that I don’t understand, I have dealt with the same issues of depression, insomnia, fixating and restricting (except veganism is actually what saved me from those things because now I can eat as much as I want) the only thing that puzzles me is that these don’t seem to be life threatening or incurable afflictions, they seem like ‘first world problems’. Like if you had said, ‘I had chronic immobilizing pain, and blindness, and all my teeth fell out, and I had organ failure, but I ate this omlette and now I’m cured!’, I’d be like, ‘whoa, maybe I should reconsider omlettes!’
    But to me it sounds like food is not your issue– it’s the tool that you use to deal with your issues maybe?
    I really don’t mean to be mean! As a stranger, I’m just observing and reacting as objectively as I can, and wondering if you have considered therapy? Maybe talking to a therapist about your physical problems would also make you feel better, and spare some lives?
    I’ve never heard of any science that supports meat eating being a cure for depression and disordered eating, so I’m just wondering what the rationale is?
    Again I am not trying to make you feel bad, more of just a devil’s advocate perspective from someone who thinks animals have just as much right to life as we do, and who is honestly curious about how your thought process is working on this issue. It just seems unusual to me that an ethical vegan would give it up for things like brittle nails.
    I can’t help but take it one step further and ask, if eating kittens or zebras made these afflictions go away, would that be worth it as well? What is it about the modern american genetically altered chicken egg that is affecting your health positively? Or are you only eating hand raised heritage breeds? I’m just really curious about how this works with your own belief structure about animal rights and equality? Again I probably sound like I am trying to be sarcastic but I swear I am genuinely interested in your answer, and the science that it is based on?

    • says

      Thank you for asking these questions and doing so in a manner that really does come across as being interested. I respect you for your restraint. I think this an important discussion and I wish I had all the answers. I think I was specific enough in describing my health issues without being overly dramatic or crossing the line of privacy that I need to maintain (it’s a fine one, admittedly). I can only emphasize that I am under the care of a professional therapist as well as working with extensive plant-based resources, and while this is what I need to do for now, I would never, ever say that my situation applies to anybody else. I truly mean that. I also wrote in my post that I am committed to continuing to educate myself and being open-minded to further change.

    • John F Mensi says

      Your inquiry was both cogent and considerate. I fully concur with you and still remained baffled as to why her medical conditions would preclude a plant-based diet, and why eating animal products would have an instant healing effect.

  115. Monica Carten says

    Carrie,

    I so appreciate your post as I am currently struggling with this issue. I just don’t seem to be thriving on a vegan diet as so many describe -rather I used to be an dedicated runner (7 miles 6 days per week-excessive but true) and now I can barely get throughout hour long sessions on a treadmill. The problem I am having is that I simply don’t enjoy eating fish (i was a pescatarian for many years before going vegan) anymore and have never liked eggs. I don’t tolerate beans either so I find myself in quite the “pickle!” I would love to chat with you on a more personal basis on this topic-I know you have many you do this with so I would honor your saying no. I hope you are feeling better with the changes you have made and wish you the best. I look forward to your new blog.

    • says

      Thanks, Monica! I appreciate you sharing your struggles. I really can’t offer any advice either publicly or privately because I am not a health professional, but I am happy to offer some resources, most of which are listed on my “Resources” page. If you have further questions, you can e-mail me at: carrieATcarrieonlivingDOTcom. P.S. Thanks for the words of support, too. :)

    • says

      You should really look into adrenal fatigue, and how to properly recover and fuel yourself on a vegan diet. It sounds like you are doing too much and not eating enough. Common mistake for athletes. Many professional athletes thrive on a vegan diet including Scott Jurek so you are probably doing something wrong. Definitely seek guidance from a professional.

  116. says

    Carrie, I’m so glad that you are feeling better. I am relieved to hear your story, actually, since I also recently gave up being vegan.

    I never ate a lot of meat to begin with, but I always thought veganism was extreme, until I discovered Dr. Furhman, and everything he said made so much sense, I dove right in. I didn’t last as long as you (about a year and a half) but I wasn’t feeling well. I was so fatigued all the time, I thought something was seriously wrong with me, and went to the doctor (got a clean bill). I tried supplements and even B12 injections. I just recently started back on dairy, eggs and some meat and I can’t believe how much better I feel. I have more stamina, I feel happier, and I’m not sleeping for 10-12 hours anymore.

    I think we’re all attracted to ideas/plans/diets that divide things into “good” and “bad”. It’s simpler to think “eat x and y but not z and you’ll be healthy!” It’s a lot harder to look at things in terms of moderation. “Some meat is good, but too much is bad” is a rather confusing way to go about things.

    I am certainly not eating meat for breakfast, lunch and dinner, but having some chicken on a salad or an egg in the morning has made a huge difference in the way I feel.

    Ethically, I kind of hate it, but we can be aware and make good choices (Cage free eggs, grass-fed beef, etc).

    The super negative comments about eating any animal product are to be expected on a vegan blog… don’t let them get you down, we all have to do what ultimately we feel is best for our health, and you’ve done more than enough soul-searching on the matter, I’m sure!

    • says

      Thank you! I can’t tell you how comforting your words are right now in the sense that I feel understood. I expected the level (or worse) of criticism I am receiving and, to a certain extent, believe that it is justified. I do believe I can still make a positive difference in the world from my writings, so I’m just carrying on doing what I do. :)

      • tracy says

        As Dr. Furhman will tell you, feeling better does not mean getting better. And I really hope you don’t buy into the humane myth?? Cage free, grass fed, organic say little to NOTHING about the treatment of the animals. They’re only there to ease consciences while charging more money. So many people fall for it, even ex-vegans.

  117. says

    Diet is such a personal choice, Carrie. I applaud you for doing what’s right for you – and for all your delicious recipes. I look forward to more of them. xoxo

  118. tracy says

    How many people are going to say that diet is a personal choice?!? When there is a 3rd party involved, it’s no longer personal. What is so hard to get about that?

  119. says

    Good for you Carrie. I have been told by my regular doctor and a cardiologist that maybe my vegan diet is not helping me but actually hindering my health. I just recently started letting in minimal dairy products – not enough to help my protein or health – but it is a start. I totally get where you are coming from and support you.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Megan! I’m happy you’re doing what you need to do, too. I am more convinced than ever that each of us has unique needs and one dietary approach doesn’t necessarily work for everyone all the time.

  120. Jacqui says

    Carrie,

    I know you recognize that eating animals means killing and often torturing animals. If you are not willing or able to stay vegan, that doesn’t mean you have to promote eating animals in a blog. Why not consider continuing to post and promote only vegan recipes and information? You say that you don’t believe eating animal products is necessary for most people, and that you may be a special case. As you seem to to let on, your diet will still be mostly plant based, so it would still be appropriate to post only vegan recipes. Please consider this. Otherwise, you’ll be promoting both the “listen to your body” and “humane meat” fallacies, which make people think they can kill animals and still be doing the right thing.

    Thanks, Carrie.

    • says

      Thank you for expressing yourself in a considerate way, Jacqui. You make a very good point. I do believe I represent a special case in which a 100% vegan diet did not meet my needs and contributed to a very dire situation (although I will not venture to make judgments about anyone else’s particular needs). And, although I hadn’t intended on posting any non-vegan recipes, I will heed your advice going forward, unless something dramatically changes.

  121. Veg Girl says

    I’m just always amazed how someone can refer to themselves as vegan and then even FATHOM the thought of eating animal products again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you were never *vegan.* You were plant-based. I wish people would understand the difference. No true vegan would ever “listen to their body” and eat animal products. I’m sorry but there is NOTHING you can get from eating animals that you can’t get from eating plants. Right now you’re just listening to your desire to eat animals, plain and simple.

    I do hope you find your way back to a plant-based diet, but if you do, please don’t refer to yourself as a vegan. You bloggers that do so, get a following, and then turn your back on the animals are only harming the vegan cause. I pray that the animals can forgive you for this.

  122. Elyce says

    It was good for me to read this as I have had to do the same recently. As from the comments on this blog, and things I have heard else where, some people would never go back to eating animal products, but for me I felt like I had no choice. I have had digestive problems for a long time and have small intestinal bacterial overgrowth. While ethically I feel vegan eating is the best thing, for me my body could not handle it. I cannot eat legumes, only a small amount of carbs, very limited vegetables, no soy milk, hardly any nuts, limited fiber… which left me with tofu, some rice milk, and… some vegetables. I have started eating fish, eggs and some dairy (mainly yogurt) again. It has been hard, ethically, and I know some vegans would have been happy to eat tofu at every meal. But I know this would have only made me worse. My aim is heal myself and one day I can be vegan again – or if not, live a life of reduced animal products.

    • says

      I’m so glad to hear that you are feeling better, Elyce, and that you identify with my situation. It makes it easier to know that other people have experienced this type of thing, yet retain the hope to eat a minimal amount of animal products in the future. Xoxo.

  123. says

    Carrie, your blog is one of my favorite resources and I’ll continue to read after you’ve made the transition. I also love your app, and use recipes all the time. It amazes me how hostile people become over the food choices of another. The whole country needs to eat less meat, but that doesn’t meat everyone will give it up entirely. Any reduction of meat consumption is good for the planet, and I’d rather see everyone eat it sparingly, than have only have a fraction of people who give it up entirely. Hateful comments and outrage only serve to drive people away from trying a vegan lifestyle. At the end of the day all that matters is your health and happiness. You have to do what is best for your body, and your mind. Ignore the angry people who are doing nothing to help their cause. Do what’s right for you, live your own truth!

    • says

      Thanks, Emmy, and I feel very similarly about finding ways to promote less meat consumption while realizing that most people are not going to be entirely meat-free. And, ditto on your comment about the negativity. :)

  124. Katie says

    Hi Carrie!

    I’ve popped in and checked on your blog a few times, just because I love your spirit and you’re interesting to read! I’m vegetarian, not vegan, so I loved looking at the pictures of your recipes, but don’t follow them much. I hope you’ll share some of your new food adventures with us as well- I’d love any ideas you have!! I’m mainly lacto-ovo, but I do eat fish when we’re on vacation and I can eat locally sourced. All the best to you- I hope you continue to feel better!!

  125. Kathy L. says

    I am deeply, deeply saddened to hear the judgmental and harsh things that people have to say – this truly breaks my heart.

    I am a very, very longstanding Buddhist practitioner – I have decades of training in deep compassion and kindness and truly understand that animals die and suffer every time anyone chooses to consume an animal product of any kind.

    That being said – there are those of us who cannot survive on a vegan diet. I have three times had my cholesterol levels drop so low that I became non-functional while on a vegan diet. These are medical facts. And, yes, I ate every plant, nut, bean, and seed based protein that was available. And, yes, I consulted with an in-person appt. with Dr. Fuhrman himself. He had ordered my blood tests and he evaluated them. It was the third time the cholesterol levels had dropped that low on a well-balanced vegan diet.

    Some human bodies are simply not wired to be vegan. And when a deeply thoughtful, compassionate person exhausts every avenue to continue to be vegan but cannot physically survive – I can assure every single judgmental one of you that there is presence, awareness, kindness, gratitude, and compassion with every meal made with animal products.

    The Dalai Lama himself has not physically been able to sustain a vegan diet – and if ever there was a human being who would do everything under the sun to be vegan, it would be him. But his body cannot survive as a vegan.

    So those of us who must – consume as little as possible – and we pay the extra money to make sure that the eggs are free-range (generally seven times the cost of ‘regular’ eggs), that the chicken has been raised and treated humanely through it’s life (again this could be 4-10 times the cost of ‘regular’ chicken), etc.

    These are not easy choices and until you’ve had to walk that path you cannot know the challenges involved. And I suggest you withhold your judgments and open your hearts and know that the world is complicated and some of us are faced with daunting choices just to survive.

    Carrie – I am happy for you that you are finding your health and well-being and I look forward to your new blog and your new creative sharings. May you be well. May we all be well in all our myriad complexities.

    • says

      I just want to give thanks for this comment; thank you for sharing your story and your insight and showing compassion where so many have not. And explaining how we can both hold the understanding that animals suffer while still eating them.

    • says

      Kathy, the wisdom and compassion in your comment provides me with a lot of peace. I am choosing to not waste precious energy on the negative and instead focus on doing what I can to make a positive difference. Thank you for sharing the gift of your thoughtful words with me.

      • Kathy L. says

        You’re so welcome Carrie, I’m glad that my thoughts have some value in the process. I can only say that I personally would rather surround myself with deeply thoughtful folks who live their lives with compassion and grace than right fighters who make it all either/or, right/wrong, black/white. I value the process you went through to arrive at your decision and your willingness (and patience) to put yourself out there in the ways that you have. I can’t honestly say that I could take the beating!! You’ve provided a learning opportunity for me as I watch your open-hearted, patient responses. So thank you to you too :-)

        • says

          I just re-read your comment this morning to find the courage to keep going. The benefit from this challenge is that I believe all of the inner strength I have worked so, so hard to achieve these past several years has been tested and, turns out, it’s there! All of the supportive words from friends have helped, too. :)

  126. Lisa S. says

    Carrie,
    No one else knows what you are going through!! There are a lot of hurtful people out there!! I love reading your blogs and have made several recipes and have to say I support you 100%. The main thing is that you are healthy and feeling healthy!
    Lisa S.

  127. says

    This post makes me sad, but not disappointed in you. It makes me sad because I completely understand your decision and it’s one I sometimes fear I’ll end up making myself, though for slightly different reasons. It makes me sad that a diet completely abstaining from animal products isn’t always the best choice for everyone (I so badly wish it was!). I hope your readers express nothing but support for you to do what you need to be your healthiest. I know it had to be a hard decision to reach and an even harder one to share here, so bravo for that!

    • says

      Thank you for your sharing your thoughts, Chasity, because I also so, so wanted to believe I could eat 100% plant-based forever. And, while I can’t do that right now, I haven’t given up hope. I appreciate your understanding that I have to take care of my current needs. Xoxo.

  128. Jamie says

    As they say, health is a journey! I think life involves lots of trial and error. Your choices happen to be under more of a public microscope which I’m sure is both a blessing and a curse. I admire you for honestly and humbly addressing this current change on your blog, knowing it would likely get strong reactions from both sides. I hope you will continue to honestly document the changes you make and the changes you feel.

    I found your blog through recipe pins on pinterest, but I stayed because of YOU. Your story, your writing style (and I won something once. That was cool, hehe). You will undoubtedly lose some followers through this change, but others, and surely some new ones, who are here for your story will stay through this new chapter.

  129. Sue says

    I hate labels so I will not say I am vegan but I will say I do eat a whole foods plant diet. More importantly to me is to let you know you were listed in my pinterest for best blogs (before I read you were no longer vegan) and there you will remain. I am not here to judge you but I darn well will continue to support you as I follow your blog and try all your wonderful recipes–just as I do with many other non vegan people. How hard is it to replace the meat with a non meat item? Isn’t that what non meat eaters do? More importantly to me is to hear you are doing better. Life is a lesson–a challenge. Smile, be happy, stay healthy!

    • says

      Thanks, Sue, and I so echo your feelings about hating labels. I did not realize how damaging they can be. I very much appreciate your continuing support! Xoxo.

  130. Becky says

    You are my hero. Let me tell you why. I have been struggling to stay on the plant-based diet, but thanks to you, I have realized that it’s because I came to think of it as just that: a diet. I am currently reading Intuitive Eating, which I found through this post, and I’m hopeful that I can eventually develop a healthy relationship with food; one in which I don’t constantly obsess/worry about what I’ll eat next and whether it’s good or bad. My time as a fairly-strict WFPB eater has helped me expand my palate and realize how good it feels to eat that way, so I know that it will remain my preference. However, whatever I eat has to be my choice because I want it, and not because I’m “on a diet”. Thank you for guiding me to this breakthrough. I’ll be following you on your journey.

    • says

      Becky, your comment makes all of the stress over the judgment I have faced worthwhile, because you let me know that I am continuing to have a positive influence. Thank you.

  131. says

    Carrie, you are an inspiration. Like many have said here, I follow you for YOU. It hurts my heart to see so many people put animal compassion first in place of supporting and being compassionate of human beings. I understand animal rights, it’s important to be mindful of the choices we make, but it’s such a shame and it serves no purpose to be hateful of the choices we have to make for our health and well-being.

    I have been back and forth many times since I transitioned to plant-based eating a few years ago. I have been through a lot of health challenges and I felt ashamed at having to add a few things like eggs and fish in just to be able to function. Fast forward to where I am now, and I will tell you that I’m not 100% anything. I’m tired of the labeling, and I’m tired of being so restrictive for the sake of not wanting to be ostracized from one community or another. I choose to spend that energy on taking care of the body God has given me.

    It’s time to be supportive of each other instead of breaking each other down. I stand with you Carrie, please know that you are not alone! I am proud of you and how you have handled yourself and each and every comment here with courage and with dignity.

    • says

      Christa, your honesty and support gives me the strength to continue trying to do my best for myself, my family, my beloved blog readers, and, yes, the animals. Thank you for extending compassion to me and reminding me that I deserve it. I completely identify with your fear of being ostracized, but I’ve also learned that I am important enough to stand on my own without labels. Sending you my very best. Xo.

  132. Roxanne Rit says

    Kathy L – thank you so much for your very kind and eloquent response – I needed to read your words to counterbalance other words I read here. And thanks to Carrie for giving us this opportunity to discuss/debate in so many different ways by sharing her personal journey. Obviously we all care so much and want to do the right thing for ourselves and other beings…while being as educated as possible about all the facets.

    I have learned much from this thread and how powerful words can be on others especially in an anonymous internet forum. Back to living my life quietly and doing my best to live authentically and kindly with the best health possible.

  133. Soph says

    Extremely, extremely disappointing. Love is not consistent with harm. You cannot love animals but eat them. If you think that love is consistent with harm, then you have a profoundly impoverished concept of love.

    I would never harm anyone I love. Yet that is what you are now doing when your say you love animals.

  134. Rational says

    Just admit you caved to social/peer pressure and be done w/ it. Don’t blame it on lack of nutrients. Everyone w/ a brain knows that animals are giant middlemen for the nutrients they get from the plants they eat.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Kim, although you have crossed the line to being hurtful (that makes me sad). I understand that your words come from a place of anger, but please understand I have feelings, too.

      Nonetheless, I continue to be inspired by your previous interviews on Our Hen House because I think they highlighted the compassion that animals deserve.

  135. Ginny says

    Hi Carrie!

    Over the winter I canceled my Facebook acct and also became MIA from the internet pretty much altogether, ie, blogs, email (unless needed), etc. I feel much better, as I have absolutely de-cluttered my mind. :) I love it, truly.

    Today I thought of you, and admittedly haven’t read your blog in months, but wanted to check in and see what you’re up to. :) Wow, I had no idea what I’d find. :)

    I don’t have much to say about you not being vegan anymore; mostly bc I do not wish to be on the computer typing away for long periods of time, but also bc I believe what’s right for one may not be right for the other, and ONLY YOU KNOW what is best for you. Although, I would like to say this w/hopes of it not coming out wrong, and not offending…

    I have been seeing an Ayurvedic doctor for over a year now, and my tummy troubles have been lessened more than they’ve ever been (last 5 yrs), and I’m feeling so much better. I absolutely owe it to his knowledge and protocol that he put me on, which pretty much consists of breathing techniques, certain herbs, certain spices, and warm, oily food. My point is, I always thought about the lack of oil in your diet and lack of other things that was maybe high in fat, but needed in order to help our system to function properly. I would think about how restrictive your diet seemed. I never mentioned it bc who I am, really? From personal experience, I don’t believe vegan has to be so limited. Staying away from things that I think our bodily systems not only need to function properly, but also needed to keep our bodies and minds content as well, like oil, ‘good for you’ type of salt like Himalayan rock salt, even some kinds of whole sugars when our bodies are telling us we truly need it, etc.

    Anyway, I am proud of you. I am proud to see you wrote this despite what others may think or feel, and proud that you listened to what your body was saying to you, bc that’s the only place we need to look to find the answers.

    Love to you!
    xo
    Gigi aka Ginny

    • says

      Thank you, Ginny…maybe you got my telepathic message to read my blog? :) I appreciate you sharing your experience and offering words of support that one diet (in my case, vegan or not), applies to every single person in every single situations. Xoxo!

  136. John F Mensi says

    The conclusion you have drawn is unscientific: you simply don’t have enough evidence to conclude that abstaining from animal products was necessarily detrimental to your health, or that their return was what improved your health. Any number of factors could have been involved, and the dietary influence you so readily assume could have been inconsequential. Correlation does not imply causation.

    Therefore, your determination is flawed. Unfortunately for your case as stated, science hasn’t been able to isolate any unique component of animal food that could have the palliative effect so many ex-vegans are claiming. Just because you can’t imagine any other reason for your improvement doesn’t mean you can automatically claim that it was the change in your diet. That type of reasoning is called an “argument from ignorance” and is a logical fallacy.

    Just so that we are clear: no one has ever been able to demonstrate any qualitatively distinct nutritional constituent of animal origin necessary for human health. In fact, even optimal health can be achieved by consuming plants (and fungi) alone. Additionally, there are no known medical conditions that necessitate the consumption of animal products.

    But even if it were true that animal parts miraculously cured you (which is dubious), I’m sure there are many Asians who likewise think that rhino horn acts medicinally (also no good evidence for that either). As long as they feel better after taking it, right? The ends justify the means, yes?

    So my question to you is this: can you think of any other unethical activity that you would engage in to restore your health? For example, if a human had to suffer gravely and die prematurely just to act as your personal restorative, would you participate in that?

      • John F Mensi says

        Thanks for responding to my comment.

        I think this phenomena deserves study to determine what exactly is occurring, why it seems to plague mainly female vegan food writers, and what can be done to alleviate its impact upon the suffers. Even if a combination of nutritional deficiencies, cravings (of familiar foods), and placebo effect are to blame, doesn’t mean those factors aren’t causing symptoms that seem just as real as any other malady to the person experiencing them. All of that deserves consideration IF confessors like you are being totally honest with us in the first place.

        Nevertheless, I still believe your assertion that meat cured your ills is unjustified, and your defection from veganism is unwarranted. You are free to do what you want with your body as long as you don’t harm someone else’s body. Infringing on the well-being of others just to bring you (suspect) benefit is immoral. Your next objective, if you really do care about the plight of the animals, is to return to being vegan as expediently and safely as possible. There are several experienced, knowledgeable vegans willing to assist you with that endeavor. I wish the best for you and hope you make the right choice.

        • says

          Hi John, I agree that it is very disturbing that there are so many anecdotal stories about vegans not thriving. If I had decided to pursue my DrPH, this would have been a very interesting and much needed topic to research. I don’t know if the advice I have received is applicable to anyone else (and I’m not qualified to analyze anyone else’s situation), but one of my plant-based medical advisors suggested I start taking a zinc supplement (more than what I already take, even) if perhaps there were too many phytates in my former vegan and still heavily plant-based diet that could have caused a decrease in my zinc stores. This is one avenue I am pursuing.

          • says

            HI Carrie,

            Who are your “plant based medical advisers” and why won’t you share with us the names of the medical professionals who told you that you need to eat animal products to get well?

            I would love to research their body of work and read any articles they have published in the medical journals.

            I know you mentioned that you were being treated for an eating disorder. I spent many months undergoing this is well with the people who are considered the world’s leading experts in this field. And while they do some good work getting people off things like flours and sugars, their recommendation across the board for everyone is you must eat animal products to heal from an EE or FA. And they are just plain wrong.

            Were these the folks who convinced you that you must eat meat? Why won’t you tell us their names if they are indeed such experts in their field?

            It’s just curious how you first came out with your eating disorder and then this.

            I have no problem with you not being vegan. I supported your work and had you sell your Vegan Delish app at my events. And I told all of my subscribers to buy it. The harm is that you built your readership on being vegan and now the other side will take this as a victory that the vegan diet failed yet again.

            I wish you would see one of MY plant based medical doctors who can successfully treat an eating disorder and thyroid conditions (which I too suffer from) without telling people they MUST eat animals.

            Sincerely,
            AJ

          • says

            Hi AJ, golly, I don’t know that I’ve refused to offer any relevant information during this conversation, and feel that I’ve been pretty upfront about my situation. I would like to update you (and anyone else reading this!) that Dr. Fuhrman was kind enough to email me last week and offer his support as well as some suggestions to help minimize my intake of animal products. I very much appreciated his input. He also referenced his new book in his email, The End of Dieting, in which he explains that some people do benefit from a small amount of animal products.

          • says

            Unfortunately “The End of Dieting” is the only one of his books I have not read so please explain to me how eating animal products medically helps some people. I am pretty sure I heard Dr. Fuhrman say that because animal protein is such a strong promoter of cancer that people like yourself who have had cancer should eat none.

          • says

            Dr. Fuhrman’s suggestion was that one of the deficiencies I could have developed could have been zinc due to the binding from the phytates in plant-foods. I had already been taking a zinc supplement, but he suggested I try increasing it. Unfortunately, a blood test is not a good indicator, so one has to assume he or she is adequate (that is my understanding). He also confirmed that some people do better with high intakes of EPA which I used to get from an algae-based supplement (New Harvest), but is no longer available. So, he suggested the wild-caught Alaskan Salmon. Lastly, there was the suggestion that perhaps my B12 levels were inadequate despite my supplementation and normal lab tests, so scallops can be effective in raising those levels. Dr. Fuhrman is not my personal physician, but is a friend trying to help. I hesitate to provide this information because I’m not a doctor and I don’t want to suggest that anyone should take this as advice. I’ve said from the gitgo that I do not believe that my case suggests in any way that most (or all, I have no idea) people could not thrive on a 100% plant-based diet. I hope this helps satisfies your curiosity about some of the physiological reasons why I added animal products back into my diet.

            I have to admit, AJ, that I was taken aback by the negativity of your comments, although I fully expected that many people would be hurt or angry or confused by my decision. To have people I considered to be my friends attack me was hurtful, although I suppose there is some responsibility on my part for not having talked to you directly ahead of time. For that, I apologize again. I became vegan with an open and loving heart toward animals AND humans, and I believe the motivation behind all of my work and actions are based on that love and respect for others. So, even though I am not living the fully vegan lifestyle that I so admired and wanted to live for the rest of my life, I remain a compassionate individual who wants to help make the world a better place, despite my imperfections.

          • Pete says

            Hi Carrie,

            With the algae-based supplement (New Harvest) that is no longer available, perhaps you would find suitable, Nordic Naturals Algae Omega (containing 180 mg EPA and 320 mg DHA in 2 capsules, also available in liquid drops), among some of the other’s that have a good amount of EPA and DHA. As you are likely aware, fish contain the EPA and DHA from the algae they eat.

            As far as B12, this may be obvious – but perhaps a B12 shot on occasion? You can even give them to yourself at home if a doctor prescribes them. APP Pharmaceuticals and Canadian Cytex Pharmaceuticals both manufacture a B12 injectable without any animal products.

            Finally, may I suggest de-shelled Pumpkin Seeds and de-shelled Hemp Seeds as sources of ingredients that you may be finding in eggs in meat, such as Magnesium, Zinc, Protein. Also a kelp based iodine supplement, selenium from brazil nuts. It might be important to take an iodine supplement if you do a lot of cruciferous vegetables.

          • says

            Great suggestions, Pete. Thank you for the input!

            Also, wanted to note that the evidence suggests 900 mg of EPA for patients with history of anxiety or depression and that amount is hard to reach with the available algae-based supplements.

          • John F Mensi says

            If you are convinced that being vegan is unhealthy for you, then so be it. For the sake of the animals, please eat as fully a plant-based diet as is possible for you. Those who will live and die just to become part of your foodstuffs would obviously rather you be vegan, but limiting your intake of these products as much as possible would be the next best thing. Thanks for considering my input. Take care.

  137. Patsey Manning says

    Hi, Carrie. I am stunned at the negativity and downright cruelty of some commenters. Apparently being dedicated to treating all living beings with respect and dignity still allowed some vegan commenters to forget to apply that same standard to you, a fellow human being. I’m a vegetarian, not a vegan because I consume dairy and eggs. I’m on my path, you’re on yours, not my place to judge you at all. I read many food and chef’s blogs, of all types, I just don’t use recipes if I don’t want to do so. Simple! I wish you good health, and will follow your new endeavors with enthusiasm. Be well, be at peace.

  138. says

    Hi Carrie, I’ve been a reader for as long as I’ve been vegan.

    “I developed insomnia, hot flashes, brittle nails, depression, and a complete lack of energy, not to mention binge eating and restrictive eating patterns” describes where I am physically to a t! I’m struggling with figuring out why while at the same time not using restrictive eating patterns to feel in control. I also struggle with whether or not I’m continuing a vegan diet for the right reasons? It’s certainly not because I feel great. I struggle with why is it so hard for me to even consider not eating a strict vegan diet. Although, after reading some of the comments I see that feeling like I’d be judged is justified. I am shocked by how truly unkind and negative people are being about this. I read your post and thought good for her. She is listening to her body and doing what it takes to be healthy and feel good again! I just don’t get the negative perspective and sadly it seems so prevalent in this situation. Anyway, I’m rambling. Your post has given me so much to think about. If we lived in the same city I’d invite you to meet for coffee/tea (not in a strange stalker way, I promise). I envy that you have found this path for yourself and what I hope it gives you peace of mind and good health.

    • says

      Thank you, Jill, and I would absolutely love to have a coffee/tea with you. For now, how about a virtual hug? :) I appreciate the supportive words and am sending you the very best for good mental and physical health.

  139. says

    Hi Carrie,

    Hugs to you! Its tough. I went vegan back in 2009 but lasted less than a year due to health. In hindsight I had orthorexic tendencies. This year I have returned to veganism because I can’t reconcile eating animal products with my ethics. This time around I’m determined to make it work and am not going to restrict my diet at all, including soy. I’ve found jack Norris RD and Ginny Messina RD’s resources and books really helpful. Especially for clearing up the controversy around soy. Good luck with your journey. You’ll get there ☺ hope you find a way of eating that lines up with your ethics and your body.

    Xxx

    • says

      Thank you, Sarah, and I’m so glad you mentioned Jack and Ginny’s resources, they are fabulous and definitely worth checking out. I appreciate the kind words.

    • says

      Good for you Sarah! Ex-vegans can become vegan again and I’m glad you’ve shared your story. I have a similar situation after being vegan for a couple of years and learning about macrobiotics. I ate fish for about 6 months as an experiment and then found my true heart and came back to veganism. I haven’t looked back for 10+ years. Each year gets better and better. Restriction is a dangerous place and most people that have health issues on a vegan diet do in fact have eating disorders and restricted diets. I have faith that Carrie can come back to the vegan diet when she gets the balance she needs and finds a professional that can help her in the confines of the vegan diet.

      • says

        Thanks Christy, that’s really encouraging. I suspect that restriction was my downfall rather than the vegan diet and feel confident that this time being vegan is for good. Now I just need to learn to navigate it socially, when eating over friend’s and family’s houses. x

  140. says

    Sending you a huge hug Carrie! Just want to add another comment full of love and support. I am sorry to see that while the overwhelming majority of comments are positive, there are still many negative ones. (Isn’t it amazing that so many people think they know what’s best for you and what you are going through?) Congrats to you for being open and honest. I love that you mentioned Intuitive Eating, I recommend that book to probably 90% of my clients and personally, it has changed my life and my approach to food.

    Keep your chin up and Carrie on Living :) Excited for your next chapter!

      • Nancy Nurse says

        Alex, I think it’s more about how the animals have to suffer…. rather than being negative and cruel to Carrie. I’m certain that we ALL wish Carrie the best of health, but to have come so far for so many years (saving countless animals lives, torture, fear, horrific conditions) via her blog, it’s just very sad… very sad indeed.

  141. says

    Hi Carrie,

    Good for you for listening to your body and intuition on this one. I too had a tumor on my thyroid a couple of years ago, followed by a string of very severe UTI’s and respiratory infections, and have since really learned a lot about eating intuitively. The biggest thing I’ve realized is that in the end, you have to do what’s right for your body. Labels like ‘vegan’ are just that:labels. They really don’t mean anything and I think can sometimes be taken to the extreme. Why would you starve your body of meat if it is making you feel better? I of course believe that a diet with (very) high levels of raw plant intake is so important, and that being aware of where our meats come from and how the animals were raised is not only a health but an earth issue that effects everyone.

    Only you can know what’s best for you, so I applaud your brave decision to do what’s right for you in a society that loves labels and clearly defined roles and ways of being. Life is ever changing and flexibility is a strength. Congrats!

    • says

      Thank you so very much, Chantal. My husband likes to say that “the willow tree that doesn’t bend in the wind will break,” and this experience seems to be a good example of that for me. I appreciate your support and kind words, too, because it’s been so hard to let go of the vegan label and lose so many friends over a change that I thought was nearly a life or death decision for me (not to sound too dramatic, but that’s what it felt like). I had forgotten what it is like to have energy and to feel positive about the future when I was so sick, but I feel as if I’ve turned the corner and now I remember what it is like to feel good. Sending you my very best.

  142. says

    Hi Carrie!!!

    This post just put tears in my eyes! Very moving post! I’m on a journey to being vegan because I think it will help me as well. But I definitely feel you! I had my thyroid removed as well. I read about this article. Hope this helps.

    http://www.askdrgarland.com/?p=823

    She actually still eats fish! :)

    By the way, what BLOOD TYPE are you? Would you like to consider a BLOOD TYPE diet?

    I wish you all the best Carrie! Sending love from SUNNY Phippiines!!!

    Lots of love,
    Tina

    • says

      Thank you, Tina, and I appreciate the love. :) I’m sorry to hear that you had to have your thyroid removed. I wish I had known about alternatives to surgery, but since my cancer was confirmed, it was pretty much a done deal. Sending you my very best. Xoxo.

  143. says

    carrie!

    intuitive eating is such a gift!

    you are a kind, brave, lovely and truly inspirational person. there is no shame or apologies ever needed for taking care of yourself and prioritizing your own health and wellness. your post took so much courage, and your honesty is beautiful. please don’t pay any attention to the nasty comments. proceed with confidence.

    girl, you got this.

  144. Maria Elena says

    Hi Carrie – I’ve never posted before but I have read your blogs for the past 2 years and have loved reading your recipes. I’ve been a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 20 years and have always admired those that could go 100% vegan. It is such an individual choice. I admire that you are not pushing your beliefs on anyone. My entire family eats meat. I cook vegetarian items for them but understand it’s ultimately their decision. I’ve always said IF I ever needed to eat meat again that I’d only ever eat fish. I know lots of people disagree but that is OK, everyone has the right to their opinion but not the right to be rude about it. Thank you for all the recipes and information you have posted over the years. And, honestly, you only ever need to do what is right for you. If someone has an issue with this, IT IS THEIR PROBLEM, not yours. This obviously has been a huge challenge for you to overcome. I hope your health and strength continue to improve and your emotional strength continues to stay strong. Looking forward to your recipes to come!

  145. Gabrielle says

    Hello Carie,

    You seem like a very nice person, and I very much for health and happiness for you. One thing that alarms me so much about ex-vegans with massive followings is that it is SO affecting. A lot of personal blog readers and in my opinion, “healthy living” blog readers are exorbitantly influenced by their heroes and heroines, and it makes me sad that this will often be to the demise of another animal.

    There is hate and backlash that bloggers such as yourself unfortunately (it IS cruel!) must face, and that is neither compassionate nor vegan in the true spirit of the lifestyle, but I just wonder if it did not need to be so publicly displayed, since the majority of people can thrive on a vegan diet. It’s not like veganism is some cult that needs high-profile unveiling, though that’s sadly what some non-vegans are hoping for to ease their minds.

    It’s clear that blogging and the community around you are a huge part of your life, so I absolutely understand your resolve to be honest to your readers. I feel that you are not the type of person to join the spiteful cruel of ex-vegans-turned-anti-vegan, of course, but know that those people will use this unveiling and use it to further their own message.

    I hope this does not come across as cruel or judgmental. It’s just always hard to see someone so influential withdraw their support for the movement in such a public manner. I don’t think it’s necessary. Those connections and relationships you’ve nurtured as a blogger should continue despite your choice if they were sincere and honest in the first place.

    I wish you the best with your health and happiness.

    • Nancy Nurse says

      Well said Gabrielle… I think the thing that is bothering me the most is, as you say, being such an advocate and a public figure and then publicly displaying her withdrawal… after we had come so far…. I must admit, I wish Carrie had just kind of faded out her Blog… I know the animals would certainly have appreciated it. Sorry, but I MUST keep speaking for the animals as they have no voice. I mentioned once before that I live between two dairy farms and it breaks my heart over and over to see what they have to endure for us to eat a piece of them. It just can’t be right; I don’t care what anyone says… to take the life of another just can’t be right.

      • says

        Thank you, Nancy, but I do not appreciate the repeated suggestion that my blog should fade out. I understand your point of view, but I am hopeful that I can find a silver lining in this situation and highlight the fact that there are people who have found they cannot thrive on a 100% vegan diet, but that doesn’t mean it has to be a black or white issue, caring about animals and advocating for change, or nothing at all. You only have to read the numerous comments on this blog to know that I am not the only one in this situation, although it certainly felt like it when it was happening to me. My initial response to all the negativity was to want to turn my back on the movement completely and not have anything to do with promoting change at all.

        The judgment that I have experienced the last 10 days is unlike anything I have ever felt before and this comes from a community that I thought was based on compassion and love. It has taken every shred of patience and strength I have ever amassed to be able to say with a truly open heart that I can see past the judgment and unkindness and believe that I CAN still help animals and I CAN still help people through my work. As you can probably tell from my post, I have found a way to forgive myself and my body for not living up to the vegan label that I identified so strongly with, but I am unwilling to disappear or accept any more abuse. So many people who have judged me have said that I am causing the death of animals, but I am not responsible for the very complex and disgusting industrial food system that exists. I am one person trying to do the best I can. As I said in my post, for anyone who feels that our values are too different to work past, then it is probably time that we part ways. In other words, please find inspiration from the numerous other amazing blogs and resources available.

        • Nancy Nurse says

          Carrie, I don’t think anyone on here means to be cruel to you; not one person! It’s just that we are trying to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves.

          You had done such an amazing job with your Blog and helping people. We ALL want the very best for you and your health.

          But, we’re just caught “in the middle” so to speak – we don’t want to be cruel to you and we don’t want to be cruel to the animals.

          But, please know, that NO ONE intentionally wants to be cruel to you, as a person – we’re just scared because we’ve come so far for our 4-legged babies and YOU were a big part of that…. a very inspirational part of that.

          I KNOW that you’ll find a way Carrie; I just know it… someone as clever as you (or is it as yourself) will find your True North (and we will all be the better for it, I’m certain of it.

          Peace for all on Earth….

          • says

            Thank you, Nancy, I appreciate that. But, if you read through the comments, you’ll find messages that are very clearly intended to be hurtful and cruel to me, including:

            Cam: “As long as you are happy that animals die for you, then you must feel great?
            I was a massive meat eater for 38 years, i’m vegan now.
            If you can live with the death as a result of what goes in your mouth then you don’t have a heart.
            I’m not being bad or hurtful, but you are choosing to consume murder, whichever way you dress it up. Cause and effect, you Eat, they die.”

            Eve: “How awful. Speciesism. Your health is more important than your ethics. How. Terribly. Sad.”

            Eve: “Go monetize some other lifestyle that doesn’t clash so much with your selfishness.”

            Susan: “I was a vegetarian for almost 20 years. About 8 years into it, I tried veganism for health reasons and struggled with it, ultimately going back to eating only organic dairy, eggs and occasionally wild fish. It wasn’t until my eyes were opened over a year ago and I understood the reality of abuse to innocent creatures that becoming vegan was easy. I discarded all my leather goods, wool , feathers etc. and know that consuming animal anything will never be part of my life again. There are always alternatives…always. Until you actually feel, see and relate to the abuse, you will always have the ability to justify leaving veganism. I wish you well but you really need to try to revisit your decision. Watch Earthlings, Forks Over Knives, visit a chicken farm, a dairy farm and a slaughterhouse. Consult with Dr. Fuhrman…..please. For the innocent.”

            Kolb1: “Write a blog to justify your cowardice decision. Good for you, i support you 100%. Must feel good now huh?”

            Kirsten: “Hmm… I see a lot of comments commending Carrie’s ‘honesty’, but wouldn’t it have been more ‘honest’ to bring this issue up as it was happening? Wouldn’t it have made more sense for a dedicated vegan to send out an all-call for help? ‘Hey guys, this vegan diet doesn’t seem to be working for me anymore. Anyone have any ideas?’ Certainly a high profile personality like Carrie could have gotten help from the best. Maybe that help wasn’t really wanted.”

            Kat: “Liz, please be aware that bacteria are not sentient beings. Next you’ll be saying that “plants have feelings, too”. I also do not believe that what we eat is “our personal decision”. You’re forgetting someone very important: the animal whose life you are taking. Also, it would be one thing for me to revert to vegetarianism or being an omnivore (neither of which I would ever do, for ANY reason whatsoever), and quite another thing for a person who has made themselves prominent in the vegan community, with a successful vegan recipe blog, and who will cause great harm to the vegan community by her actions. It would have been much better for the animals, had Carrie just “faded away” as someone suggested. This comment is mostly aimed toward Carrie, not to Liz.”

            Trae: “Translation:
            “Screw the innocent animals. It’s all about MEEEE””

            Autumn: “Veganism is based on ethics and morals, not consuming a plant-based diet. Humans are not physiologically meant to consume animal products but abstaining from those products does not mean one is a vegan. Veganism is based upon compassion and acknowledging that all sentient beings are entitled to the same rights… to live their lives in peace without fear of enslavement, torture, exploitation, murder, etc. Consuming a plant-based diet is necessary for one to be vegan; however, that alone does not make one vegan. One doesn’t simply decide one day that it is now okay to revert back to enslaving, torturing, and murdering other sentient beings. Once a vegan, always a vegan.

            I find it utterly disgusting that so many people use the term ‘vegan’ so loosely. Read the China Study. The last thing a human body needs is animal protein! Especially if you’re trying to avoid cancer!”

            Tracy: “Compassion for the victims, not the victimizers.”

            Tracy: “Actually the reason so many people hate vegans is because they make people uncomfortable about eating animals.They know deep down that they’re right and so they get very defensive. Nothing is worse for the vegan movement than ex-vegans, sorry. Again, I only wish that people who aren’t 100% sure that they will be vegan for life wouldn’t have blogs and whatnot.”

            Veg Girl: “I’m just always amazed how someone can refer to themselves as vegan and then even FATHOM the thought of eating animal products again. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, you were never *vegan.* You were plant-based. I wish people would understand the difference. No true vegan would ever “listen to their body” and eat animal products. I’m sorry but there is NOTHING you can get from eating animals that you can’t get from eating plants. Right now you’re just listening to your desire to eat animals, plain and simple.

            I do hope you find your way back to a plant-based diet, but if you do, please don’t refer to yourself as a vegan. You bloggers that do so, get a following, and then turn your back on the animals are only harming the vegan cause. I pray that the animals can forgive you for this.”

            Soph: “Extremely, extremely disappointing. Love is not consistent with harm. You cannot love animals but eat them. If you think that love is consistent with harm, then you have a profoundly impoverished concept of love.

            I would never harm anyone I love. Yet that is what you are now doing when your say you love animals.”

            Rational: “Just admit you caved to social/peer pressure and be done w/ it. Don’t blame it on lack of nutrients. Everyone w/ a brain knows that animals are giant middlemen for the nutrients they get from the plants they eat.”

            Kim: “When a blogger is high profile but too boring they give up veganism for attention. Congratulations.”

            John: “The conclusion you have drawn is unscientific: you simply don’t have enough evidence to conclude that abstaining from animal products was necessarily detrimental to your health, or that their return was what improved your health. Any number of factors could have been involved, and the dietary influence you so readily assume could have been inconsequential. Correlation does not imply causation.

            Therefore, your determination is flawed. Unfortunately for your case as stated, science hasn’t been able to isolate any unique component of animal food that could have the palliative effect so many ex-vegans are claiming. Just because you can’t imagine any other reason for your improvement doesn’t mean you can automatically claim that it was the change in your diet. That type of reasoning is called an “argument from ignorance” and is a logical fallacy.

            Just so that we are clear: no one has ever been able to demonstrate any qualitatively distinct nutritional constituent of animal origin necessary for human health. In fact, even optimal health can be achieved by consuming plants (and fungi) alone. Additionally, there are no known medical conditions that necessitate the consumption of animal products.

            But even if it were true that animal parts miraculously cured you (which is dubious), I’m sure there are many Asians who likewise think that rhino horn acts medicinally (also no good evidence for that either). As long as they feel better after taking it, right? The ends justify the means, yes?

            So my question to you is this: can you think of any other unethical activity that you would engage in to restore your health? For example, if a human had to suffer gravely and die prematurely just to act as your personal restorative, would you participate in that?”

            So, Nancy, do you still believe that some people do not intend to be cruel?

    • says

      Thank you, Gabrielle, I appreciate you sharing your thoughts in an open way. Although I do appreciate that one strategy for me could have been to hide or downplay what I was doing, I can guarantee that I would have been equally or even more judged and attacked than I have been already. It actually never occurred to me to not be honest about what was happening, but I believe it is that ability for me to be open in my writing that keeps me motivated and that actually allows me to connect with others. You may have noticed that many of the comments on my post were from people who identified with my story, so I am obviously not alone in my struggles. And, if anything, perhaps this discussion might highlight the need to help people who experience issues along the way, while maintaining the focus on compassion for the plight of animals.

      • Gabrielle says

        Fair enough. I assumed a major motivation behind your blog was veganism, but I do see now that this is a “healthy living” blog which is a genre in and to itself. I hope you find the health you seek.

        • Gabrielle says

          That sounded curt, when it was actually heartfelt. I really do hope you can move forward with health and happiness.

  146. Kathy L. says

    Carrie –

    Completely separate from the issue of vegan/non-vegan – I have read over the years about thyroid issues and how they can (metaphysically speaking) be related to difficulties in finding our voice and in thriving with full life force.

    I am in awe at how you have found your voice – you have been so clear, so respectful, and so well-spoken on what must be an incredibly difficult conversation on so many levels.

    I can only dream and aspire to be able to engage in such difficulties with such grace. I hope that now you can also find your full life force and thrive for the rest of your life.

    You’ve inspired me to look a little more deeply at thyroid and clear voice connections for myself…………..

    • says

      Kathy, reading your comment literally brought tears to my eyes. I cannot thank you enough for the compliment you have given me and I am humbled. You are right that it has taken me almost 40 years to find my self-confidence and the true belief that I deserve to live my life fully with presence and imperfection and joy. I said this in another comment, but even if I had received only hatred and bitterness in response to my post (those comments were far outweighed by the unbelievably supportive and empathy-filled ones), I am 99.99% sure that I would have had the courage to continue living my own life and with the belief that sharing my journey has some benefit to the world. To have you say that my experience has inspired you is a huge gift to me. Thank you.

      • Kathy L. says

        Y’know – you’ve brought tears to my eyes too………I’ve been on thyroid meds since I was about 30. I definitely have had trouble finding my strong, clear voice and difficulties in the throat chakra area. And I definitely have not thrived healthwise my whole life.

        Your journey has really touched something in me and I’m really, really grateful that you have chosen to share this. I feel like you’ve started an awakening process for something in me too – so big thank you, and big virtual hug.

  147. says

    HI Carrie,

    I truly apologize if my comments were hurtful. and I do wish that you had said something to me personally before going public as this was quite a shocker. After all your blog is called Carrie on VEGAN, your app is VEGAN delish so I’m really trying to wrap my head around this because everything I have learned from all of the plant based doctors I have worked with or for (Klaper, Sultana, McDougall, Esselstyn, Campbell, Barnard, Greger, to name a few) have said that eating animal flesh is never necessary. So I really wanted to know who told you that you absolutely had to do this. I have been told for years that I “need” a certain medication and is was made from animals and I have refused because I do not think it’s right that an animal has to be harmed or die so that I might live.

    Because I supported your wonderful vegan app, sold it at a few of our events and promoted it on my pages, I have received several negative e-mails asking me why I supported you, so that puts me in a difficult position. I can forward you the e-mails I received if you like, but they are more hurtful that any of the comments I read here. Some people are asking if they can have their money back from the app.

    I’m sure you know you aren’t the first blogger that has ditched the vegan diet. But because you are doing it for health reasons, it makes it appear that the vegan diet is inadequate and that’s the kind of stuff the opposition loves so they can say “I told you so”.

    Anyway, I really do wish you well and am sorry you have to go through this personally and professionally. E-mail does not have a tone so again, I do apologize if my comments were hurtful. I also hope that one day you do find your way back and that there is a variation of a plant based diet that will ultimately work for your health and highest healing.’

    Love & Kale,
    AJ

  148. mberkovitz says

    I would love to know what compound it is in animal products that helps lift your depression, and I’m thinking of how great it would be to be able to find it in plants and create a concentrated form as a food supplement, so that it could be used as a nutraceutical. I feel much compassion for you, and I wish only the best for you. Love, Michelle <3

    • says

      Thank you, Michelle. As I mentioned in a response to a previous comment, it has been suggested to me that a deficiency of zinc due to the binding of phytates from plant-foods could have been a cause of depression, as well as too low of an intake of EPA, though I was supplementing with both and did not have blood tests that confirmed either deficiency. Since those compounds are both available in plant forms, then it is absolutely conceivable to me I could transition back to a fully plant-based diet and not be deficient going forward. Considering my experience with disordered eating, though, as well as my public presence in the blogosphere, I would not likely publicly label my diet since I have no idea what the future holds and could not undergo this level of scrutiny again. Sending you by best, too.

  149. Jillb says

    Hi Carrie. Life is a personal journey and no one can decide what is best for you other than YOU. Don’t worry about what others think and most of all, forgive yourself for not living up to “perfection”. None of us is perfect. I started labeling myself as a “cheagan”-a cheating vegan – in case I ever consumed any animal product either unintentionally or on purpose. It was just too much pressure to have the vegan label. Hope your health continues to improve. My best, jill

    • says

      Hi Jill! Thank you for the dose of reality and being willing to admit that you call yourself a vegan but don’t put the pressure on yourself to be perfect. Just reading your message made me take a big sigh of relief.

  150. says

    HOW DID I NOT KNOW ABOUT THIS POST?!?!??! Wow. Wow. Wow. So inspired by your honesty and so impressed. We need to connect… would love to chat with you further about this. Have just made the exact same decision and also “came out” on the blog in a very similar way. Love to you and one million ounces of respect to your choices for your health. <3

    • says

      I read your post yesterday and can’t believe we are on similar paths. I have a note on my “to do” list to reach out to you, but you beat me to it! It’s pretty crazy around here and I can imagine you’re experiencing a deluge of comments, good and bad, so let’s definitely connect soon. I will e-mail you. Xoxo.

  151. says

    I wasn’t going to comment because, I feel like you’ve had to wade through enough!
    But, I just wanted to say that I still like you!

    I guarantee you that none of these negative commenters are so harsh (or downright mean) to the non-vegan people in their real, everyday life. Their moms and dads, friends and lovers. They don’t know you personally, so they feel like its such a lovely opportunity to “prove their veganism” to the world.

    I have a feeling you still have many incredible plant-based recipes to share with us vegans. And through that you’re still helping the cause that you (so obviously) still care about.

    In short – you’re great. I promise. :-)

    • says

      Thank you, I appreciate your comment and your recognition that I want to help. You made me smile this morning and so thank you for that gift.

  152. Anne says

    Hey Carrie,

    I never commented on your blogs before, but I just wanted to say that I admire your descision. It must be hard to leave a lifestyle that you’ve always loved so much. It’s good that your health is improving now!
    Just one question though.. How much meat do you eat now? Everyday, or just one/couple day(s) a week? I ask this because I’m also returning from a vegan diet, it didn’t really work for me. I still don’t want to eat meat every day though, so I’m still finding out what the right amount would be..

    Lots of love :)
    Anne

    • says

      Hi Anne, thank you for your note and appreciate the well wishes. I hope you appreciate that I am not in the place right now to share more details publicly about my diet change. I am exhausted from fielding the negative comments on my post and I can’t open myself up to anymore criticism. I hope you understand. If you want to chat privately, then please e-mail me: carrieATcarrieonlivingDOTcom where I’ll be more than willing to share any info that might be helpful to you. :)

  153. Gayle says

    Hi, Carrie – I stumbled into your website when I was looking for a simple photo of almond milk. I’m writing a blog post about medieval food and almond milk was used a lot back then. Like you, my daughter and I have health issues that have led us to a pretty strange eating lifestyle. I have severe fibromyalgia and she has PCOS. Together, we’re very sensitive to soy and carbs. She also has a problem with gluten and some dairy, which I don’t have. Our eating habits don’t follow any one style. It’s a combination of several, but for us, it works. I admire your determination in finding what will give you optimal health. Take care.

    • says

      Thank you, Gayle, for the kind words and sharing some of your story. Can I just say, WOW, I would love to read your post about medieval foods. Have you read The Time Traveller’s Guide to Medieval England? I found it fascinating, especially the section on food. Thanks again for the note and sending you my very best.

      • Gayle says

        Hi, Carrie – I haven’t finished the blog post yet, and it probably won’t go up until next week. I want to link to your tutorial and recipe for almond milk. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s online. I write historical romance novels and try to include some blog posts about the research I’ve done. Since I love to cook, I find the food of the medieval period to be particularly interesting. Well, I find everything about history interesting. Now that I’ve found you, I’ll be sure to visit again.

  154. Gerri Stevenson says

    Hi Carrie
    My daughter was just diagnosed with PCOS and so we decided to take the next step from vegetarian to vegan after finding Dr Fuhrman’s book. We found your blog because of your wonderful recipes. Wow what a lot of opinions about you leaving Veganism. My son eats fish because he he doesn’t cope with a strictly vegetarian diet. I totally support your decision – your body knows what is best for you and I am glad that you can hear it talking to you – especially over your love of being vegan. I believe it is all about respect for the animals sacrifice. I give my dogs raw cow meat mixed with small amounts of vegetables and fruit because I feel it is their natural diet. I thank the cows everyday for giving my dogs life. I choose to not eat animals because they are treated so badly and not respected in most farming communities. If we had to go find our food with a bow and arrow we would have a lot more respect for the animals we eat. I just felt I had to tell you that if I was in your situation I would do exactly the same – looking after your life comes first. Whatever we eat it is a personal choice but everyday we should remember to thank the animals and plants for giving us life!
    Thank you for all these recipes and I wish you health and happiness on your new path.

    • says

      Thank you so much for your message, Gerri. I’m so glad you found my blog, too. :) Your kind words about my recipes make me more inclined to want to create and share more in the future. I have had so many wonderful benefits from eating the plant-based/nutritarian way, I think it’s just taking some tweaking to make it work with my particular restraints. And, I completely agree with you about the disrespect for animals, especially involving the CAFOs. It’s horrifying and I am very concerned about the future. I am lucky to live in parts of California where it is easy to find most of my food from small, family-owned farmers who are respectful toward the land and animals. Also, I’ve found that I can even order a lot of great products online, so technology has been a huge benefit in that way. I just ordered some sulfite-free sun-dried tomatoes from a farmer in Oakland and I get my raw almonds from another farmer in Northern California. And, of course, it’s wonderful that like-minded people like us can find each other and communicate. Sending you and your family my very best.

  155. NotUsuallyAnonymous says

    Hi Carrie,
    I’ve been a regular reader and sometime commenter for the last 3 years and I just wanted to add my 2 cents anonymously and share my story in the hope it may offer a bit of help for you or for any others in similar situations.

    For context, I have panic disorder, OCD and PTSD. I’ve been hospitalized for attempting suicide, self-harm, depression and whatnot. Needless to say, I’ve had an interesting life and many experiences outside the norm.

    I’ve been able to remain vegan for 6+ years and have experienced great benefit to my physical and mental health, but it took me some time to adjust my diet to be the most healthful for me.

    What I found was that I could not get high enough levels of certain nutrients on a vegan diet alone (inositol, choline, zinc, iron and certain B vitamins). People with mental illnesses have higher requirements for certain nutrients and this unfortunately doesn’t get discussed by the vegan movement at all. Anyone with mental health issues is at greater risk of failing as a vegan.

    Despite eating what for most people would be considered an extremely healthy and well-balanced vegan diet, I was still missing out on several nutrients. I worked with a psychiatrist who was very up-to-date on the latest research concerning mental health and he helped identify missing nutrients in my diet through blood tests and food charting. For example, research points to people with panic disorders requiring exponentially higher amounts of choline and inositol. My first response was to contemplate becoming vegetarian again, but I really didn’t feel comfortable eating eggs or dairy because of the way chickens and cows are treated.

    After a lot of soul searching and research (I graduated with an honours degree in a specialized field of social sciences and took my fair share of research methodology courses, so I felt confident in my ability to interpret and find scholarly materials), I came to realize that unless I wanted to spend hours a day watching what I eat in order to get the right nutrients, veganism wasn’t going to work for me at all. BUT I learned that I could easily get the appropriate levels of nutrients by adding a few vegan supplements to my already healthy vegan diet. So that’s what I’ve done for the last 2+ years and it has made a huge difference!!! Not only is my panic/anxiety/OCD symptoms improved, I have more energy, no more brain fog and a few lingering issues have resolved. My multiple doctors have all attributed my improved mental health to my diet, lifestyle and supplementation.

    Before I held myself to this impossible standard of 100% FOOD AND NOTHING ELSE, but guess what? No diet will ever cover 100% of our nutrient needs and that’s the beauty of supplementation! I spend $50-100/month on high lysine vegan protein powder, choline/inositol, zinc and iron/B-vitamin supplement, and I get to eat a delicious vegan diet. It’s really working for me and perhaps, it may work for others.

    I think a lot of people hold themselves to impossible standards of health, diet and wellness and I’ve certainly learned to ease up without compromising my ethics.

    I know this may not be your issue, but I just wanted to put it out there. I think it’s important to remember to give yourself permission to be an imperfect person. For me, that meant supplementing my diet (something I used to think was unnatural) and moving on. For you, it might mean something different. All the best on your journey and I will continue to follow you.

    • says

      Wow, thank you so much for sharing this message. I am starting to realize how important it is to the vegan and plant-based movement that we talk about these challenges and share information, rather than just judging each other and immediately shutting each other out when our bodies don’t follow our ethics, or some other perfectly valid challenge occurs. I am absolutely thrilled to learn that you were able to stay vegan, but with the right supplementation. You have inspired me to dig deeper and keep hope that I might be able to make further changes in the future that would be plant-based but wouldn’t compromise my health, especially the mental health aspect which I refuse to put at risk again. I have to be honest that at this point I am so worn out from thinking about nutrition and alternatives that I’m not ready to make changes, but, again, you have given me hope for the future and made me feel that I’m not alone in this.

  156. says

    Awesome, Carrie! I had a very similar experience and stripping away the vegan label was the best thing I have ever done for myself in mind, body and spirit. I feel so much better eating animal foods in moderation when I crave them and find that I naturally gravitate toward vegan food just because it makes me feel wonderful. But when I do want a local, grass-fed burger, I go out and enjoy one! We all have to do what is right for us and our unique situation, and listen to our body. Very proud of you! I came out as non-vegan several months ago after being vegan for 2 years and it was really, really hard. I support you and will continue to read your blog daily.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Sara!!! I admire you for being honest about your choices and, of course, I’m eating up the words of support…no pun intended. :)

  157. Charles says

    Carrie,
    You seem to have created quite a storm. I am recently vegetarian and became vegetarian because of an interest in improving energy and maintaining good health. Animal rights issues didn’t play a role at first, and now I’m just glad not to contribute to that industry, but I’m not an activist on that issue. My biggest interest is in the growing body of scientific research on nutrition. Trailblazers in health and wellness like Jack Lalanne had to just feel their way around dietary changes. Today we have amazing scientific resources available to us and high quality studies being conducted to improve understanding. It seems pretty clear from the research so far that while small quantities of meat are probably o.k. and do minimal damage to most of us, meat consumption in large quantities, particularly of the processed, hormone fed variety, are pretty harmful. Although I didn’t see any reference to this, I would guess that you’re not eating the “bad” meat.

    So I guess my question is this: you are aware of all the science on both sides, is eating meat more of an esthetic issue or a health issue, or a physiological need? Given your story and background any or all of the three could apply.

    Also, are there any studies that really influenced your decision? I don’t mean that in a sarcastic way but am genuinely interested. I’m particularly concerned because I have a 10 year old son who is vegetarian (my wife and daughter eat meat – so there you go:)

    I applaud you for being honest and straightforward. Often when people are confronted with truth (theirs or someone elses) it causes fear and insecurity which in turn is masked as anger. You know that you have to live your truth, there’s no other option – thank you for sharing it with everyone and for giving so much of your time to answer questions. It really helps improve an important and necessary dialogue.

  158. Lori says

    Hi Carrie,
    Since living the Vegan lifestyle for the past year, I’ve heard criticism from some of those around me. It seems that other people think they know what is best for us as individuals. I try and explain to others that what might work for me, will not always work for others. I think it’s wonderful that you are doing what you think and know is best for YOU! I love your recipes and was very fortunate to find your blog and app early on in my transition to vegan. Your recipes have really helped me with my meal planning and are so delicious! Continue taking care of yourself. You have a lot of great supporters out there, me included! =)

  159. Shanel Tarrant-Simone says

    Beautifully written. I tried as well and have had to increase my animal product intake. And like you I do my best to know where my food is coming from. Kudos to you for doing what’s best for YOU.

  160. says

    I just want to say that anyone who leaves a negative comment to you is a big fat butthead who needs to get a life and you are the best! Love you girl! Glad you are feeling better! <3 xxxooo

  161. Jenn says

    Carrie,
    Congratulations on tackling your health issues, and please just ignore the negative commentors (after all, are any of these commentors licensed MDs or nutritionists?). Apparantly everyone is an expert here :)

    I look forward to following your new blog and wish you all the best.

    Jenn

  162. Deb says

    I wish I had the time to read 413 other comments, and sadly one of the first ones I read was moronic. But I just want to say that I respect you for having the courage to do what is best for you. It is totally possible (in my opinion) to eat responsibly as an omnivore- both for animal welfare and for the planet. There is a TON of info on the web out there- I’m sure you’ve heard of Joe Salatan who has the prototype ‘perfect’ farm that protects the earth from monocrop destruction etc. I am one of the most animal loving people I know, but I also know that I don’t feel well when I don’t consume animal protein. I tried ‘pescetarianism’ for 2 yrs and it was pretty disastrous.

  163. says

    I’m sure this was a very difficult decision for you but ultimately, as you said, you have to do what’s right for you. We’re all here to support you and I’ll still be a follower of your blog! We should all be supporting each other rather than judging anyones decisions as to what they do or do not eat! I 100% respect you for your decision and I know it must have been scary to share it, I hope you didn’t take any of the negative comments to heart! Best of luck on your journey :)

    • says

      Thank you so much, Deryn!!! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the supportive words. I wish I could say that the negative comments hadn’t affected me, but they did (do). I tried to learn from them though and, if anything, become stronger as a result. I think that is happening and I appreciate more than ever that everyone has his or her right to an opinion. :)

  164. Connie S. says

    OH, Miss Carrie, I am glad you found your true authentic path. To heck with the haters and judgers. You need to do what is best for you at this point in your life. I also have health conditions that prompted me to give up dairy, meat, wheat, gluten, processed foods as much as possible, certain oils, nightshade veggies, and I have minimalized my sugar intake. It’s done well for me for over 3 years. But eggs have always had a place in my heart (besides chocolate, lol). I was vegan for awhile, but then, was craving eggs again. When I start craving something, I have realized that my body actually does NEED it. So hence, I cannot call myself vegan anymore, nor do I desire to. It’s all what resonates with each individual … every one is different, and each of us have individual needs to nourish our bodies. GOOD ON YA, GIRL – go for the gusto :-)

    • says

      Thanks, Connie, and I’m glad we share the affinity, make that adoration, for chocolate. :) But seriously, I’m happy to hear that you’ve found a path that works for you and I admire your self-awareness. I also appreciate that you referenced my authenticity because it’s a trait I’ve really been working on developing (i.e. not just saying or doing what I think people want me to say or do, but actually doing what is best for me and being strong enough to say so). Sending you my best! Xo.

  165. Kate says

    Hi Carrie,

    Just wanted to say that I admire the amount of thought and consideration you have put into sharing this decision with your readers. We are all on our own journey and that journey often takes different paths than we might expect or hope for. But ultimately it is up to us to decide what’s right for ourselves so I applaud you for doing what you need to do. We can all learn from each other and so thanks for being so open about this and I look forward to where you will go next!

    Kate

  166. says

    Uh-huh, I’m not even vegan myself (vegetarian), but this is… it’s just funny. Vegan who don’t use supplements gets better after eating animal products. Colour me surprised.

    Listen, m’lady, as a vegan you have to use certain supplements, including (but not limited to) iodine and B12. You should track omega 3 as well, but this issue can be fixed with dietary changes alone (i.e. flaxseed oil). Vegan diet is NOT healthy without additional supplementation.

  167. Crystal says

    Hi Carrie,
    I respect and support your decision. I had a friend who went through a similar experience after years of eating a mostly plant-based diet. She was a vegetarian, though, and not a vegan. She wound up in the hospital as a consequence of not getting all the nutrients her body needed despite how carefully she ate, and she made the decision to start eating meat again. I, myself, tried to go vegan, but I have thyroid and dietary issues and was also having trouble getting the proper nutrients, so after consulting various doctors and dieticians, I am working on creating a vegetarian diet that works for me but includes cheese and dairy. We are omnivores, and while a vegan diet works well for someone people, we’re all built differently, and some of us can’t go strictly vegan. You need to do what is best for you body. Good luck with everything in the future, and I look forward to continuing to read your wonderful blog as it evolves. There is a lot to be learned from your experience.

    • says

      Thank you, Crystal! I’m so sorry to hear about your friend and I’m glad you are doing what you need to do to be healthy. I agree, there is so much to be learned from all of our experiences. I am learning, too. Sending you my very best.

  168. Missyed says

    I stumbled on this blog while looking for info on vegans. I’ve never been one myself (pure omnivore here) but I recently started working with a woman who is vegan, and one of my kids started dating someone who is vegan and has also made his identity as an AR activist as well. It’s kind of shocking to see anyone say negative things on your blog but after thinking about it I realize I shouldn’t be shocked at all. Having been somewhat interested in Christian apologetics for over 10 years I see the exact same thing when someone in a group “defects”. The idea that you “were never really a vegan” (it’s the NO TRUE SCOTSMAN fallacy, look it up), the shaming, the personal insults. All these things disguise the other persons own weaknesses. It’s like holding up a mirror in many ways and people don’t like their own reflections so they want to your perfect reflection instead . I can’t think of one single human being who has been held up as a model-for-whatever who lived up to it. NOT ONE. The appearance may be there but that’s only because they would choose to FADE and not be honest publicly (unless caught red handed…you know the scandals). The only difference between you and ever other not-quite-a-perfect-hero is your willingness to admit you AREN’T a perfect hero. If I became a vegetarian today the vegans would cheer, if you do they hiss. Odd isn’t it?. And, like some religions and other “special” groups, it’s also about control. Mind control, food control (the worst possible thing ever for health and sanity), and dare I say, control over our perceived superiority? Yes, I dare. Don’t feel bad about anything here, you personally are 1000% better at THIS particular cause than I will ever be and if “saving animals” is actually happening by someone refusing to have anything to do with animal “stuff” well I’m sure you’ve saved your fair share. I’ll just keep being kind to the animals that show up at my door, that’s all I’m giving to this particular cause. You can’t be everyone’s hero and it isn’t your problem, it’s theirs.

    • says

      Your message is one of the main reasons why I blog: to connect with smart people who get it. You brought up points I had never even considered that make perfect sense to me. Thank you!!!

    • says

      Oh but so many vegans wouldn’t cheer if you became vegetarian because it’s “only” vegetarian and not enough. I hardly ate any vegetables when I started dating a vegan and 3 years later I became vegan too.

  169. Amber says

    I’m so proud of you, Carrie.
    Please don’t listen to anyone questioning your choices. They don’t live in your body, you do.
    Live free!

    • says

      Thank you, Amber!!! I’ve been meaning to e-mail you for a few weeks now, but I think you’re amazing and you certainly helped pave the way for those of us who had to adapt our diets for various reasons. I have a huge amount of admiration and respect for you, and feel lucky to call you a friend. Xoxo.

  170. Rachel says

    I just happened to come across your blog on Pinterest. After skimming through some of the comments, I just wanted to offer you what support I can.

    I applaud your courage for having to go through this in such public format.

    I am not and never have been a vegan. I do try to follow a vegan diet during certain religious seasons, (I am an Orthodox Christian for anyone who is curious) though I’m not always very good at it (I really love cheese!). But I gotta say, the church is far more forgiving of fasting faux pas than many vegans. In fact, in my readings on this and other blogs and vegan websites, they can be quite an off-putting lot.

    One thing I do admire about the “militaristic” vegans, though, is their passion. I only wish that passion and energy was directed towards human beings. There are abused, innocent, helpless. and starving people in this world that are just as much in need of our protection. I love animals and would never intentionally cause harm to them (yes, except for all the murder and maltreatment I am personally responsible for by eating animals). I don’t even kill ants and spiders (flies and mosquitoes get no love, though). But energy and resources spent to save a baby cow over a baby human confuse me. The bottom line is, I love people more, and I believe far more in protecting the rights, freedoms, emotional, psychological, and physical health of a human person.

    And to those that would disrespect your physical needs and injure your emotional and psychological well-being at a time when you really don’t need the stress…I just really struggle to understand their priorities.

    I have also read many very supportive comments, and I gather you are strong and reasonable enough to give each comment their due accordance. I just wanted to add another stone of support against the stones of judgement.

    • says

      Thank you so much, Rachel. Your words are so wise and offer me a lot of comfort. Like you, I admire the passion of my very dedicated vegan friends, but I was also very hurt to have judgment directed at me, especially when I tried to be so honest about what was happening. Anyway, I have learned a ton from this experience, mostly about the dangers of putting labels on my lifestyle and forgiving myself for being imperfect. Thank you again for your thoughtful words and I’m so glad you found my blog! :)

  171. Christine Tsotsos says

    Hi Carrie,
    I stumbled upon your website by playing around on Pinterest looking for vegan soup recipes.
    I’m now 58, been plant based since 2010. It’s been a revelation for me AND for my body… lots of stuff corrected themselves and my blood levels are normal without any medication. It helped at the time that my doctor was vegan, too.
    I’ll come right out and say it being almost a bystander to this conversation, not knowing anyone here except AJ who I’ve been following for about a year now. Actually I’ve followed Julieanna Hever who has worked with AJ which is why I “know” of her.
    I’m shocked. I’m shocked by “hrmph” attitude and unkind words that some people feel free to throw at you. You struggled with cancer. You live in your body. Your body has unique needs. I hope by this time (about a month after you announced), you’ve let go of the guilt and have forgiven yourself for needing to eat minimal amounts of animal protein. That’s what’s most important here. If, by chance, circumstances change and you find you can thrive (not survive, but THRIVE) on being 100% plant based again, well that’s GREAT. But in the meantime, do what your body is telling you to do.
    Missyed is so right. I’ve heard “Christians” say the same kind of nasty stuff when someone decides to “leave a church”. It’s strange how similar your situation is. No one knows your heart but you. Be well, Carrie.
    Christine

    • says

      Thank you, Christine. I really, really appreciate the kind words and understanding. I read your comment twice and agree with everything you said. Your words gave me comfort. Xoxo.

  172. Emily says

    Hi Carrie,

    I haven’t been able to read all the comments so my apologies beforehand if I write something already written.

    I think each person has to do what’s best for his/her well-being; sort of like until one walks a mile in someone else’s shoes . . . . no one truly knows the challenges and hardships that that person may be experiencing.

    Life is all about change according to what needs to happen at different crossroads of our lives – and I totally support your new journey.

    By the way, I come from a part of the country where hunting or fishing is more of a bonding time between a father and son than anything else. It’s been that way for generations, and many healthy, emotional bonds between fathers and sons have been formed as a result. Even though I rarely eat meat these days, I’ve never criticized anyone who does – and I never will. It’s one’s personal choice that I fully support either way.

    You go girl! Live life to the fullest, and it sounds like you are finding that path of contentment and joy for you!

    Blessings always . . . .

    • says

      Thank you, Emily. I am so happy to have your thoughtful and wise input. I so admire your strength and wholeheartedly agree that we cannot assume anything about the challenges and hardships that others are facing. Sending you my very, very best, and I hope our paths cross again soon. Xoxo.

  173. says

    Hi Carrie,
    Ironically, I am finding your blog for the first time because of the “I’m not vegan anymore” post. The vegan lifestyle is very important to me, but I can’t claim to know everything and I can see that you did a lot of research on the diet which would enable your body to thrive and be healthy. I wish you the best of luck, and good health and happiness, and looking forward to reading more posts.
    Be well!

    • says

      Thank you, Anne! I appreciate the kind words of support and hope you enjoy more of what you read in the future, even though I won’t be posting strictly vegan content going forward. I appreciate your open-mindedness and I’m sending you back all kinds of good wishes for health and happiness.

  174. says

    Hi Carrie —

    I am a little late in getting this news, I know. I have been a follower of your blog in the last year after hearing about you on Our Hen House, one of my favorite podcasts. I am so sorry to hear what you went through health-wise and wish you the best in your healing journey. As an ethical vegan, of course I wish everyone could find ways to thrive on 100% plant-based diets. And when they don’t, I wish there were some magic test that could be done to let those people know what’s missing. I’m sorry there was no such test for you, as I can see how much it pained you to resort to animal protein. Hopefully there will be a way for you to do be vegan again one day, but the in the meantime, I wish you the best of luck and healing.

    all the best,

    Beth

    • says

      Thank you SO much, Beth, for your supportive words. I never, ever could have imagined that I would have gone this route, but I’m glad you appreciate the fact that I felt I had nowhere else to turn. It makes it easier knowing that some of my vegan friends still support me, so thank you for sharing your compassion.

  175. Lilly says

    Hi Carrie,

    I am wishing you all the best as you explore what works for your health. Everyone has unique needs and the right to choose how to eat.

    I remain a plant eater who doesn’t eat animals for personal reasons. I’ve been vegetarian for over 3 decades and eating “vegan” for the last 16 of those years. Much as I wish it were a simple answer for everyone – eat only plants, I’ve seen how some people do better eating eggs, fish and even meat. I wish that weren’t true, but it seems to be for some people and you may be one of those.

    Chef AJ found not eating nuts and seeds helped her health. Others find eating nuts and seeds helps them. Some find eating fewer grains helps and other find more whole starches are necessary. You are finding what you need. You may need more than plants in your eating repertoire.

    This is a big planet with many ways to choose to live. I respect your right to choose differently than I choose. I hope you find even more vigorous health from your choice.

    Hugs,
    Lilly

    • says

      Thank you for the wise and comforting words, Lilly. I so agree that we all have individual needs, especially those of us who have very complicated medical histories. I thank you for the respect, and I’m sending it back to you, complete with a virtual hug. :)

  176. Lisa says

    Wow…how brave are you?? You have always been an inspiration for me. You continue to learn and study to make choices for your health and well being. More power to you! Good luck and am looking forward to following your new blog!

    • says

      Thanks, Lisa! I’m either brave or naive, at this point I’m not sure. :) But, seriously, I really do appreciate your supportive words…they are much appreciated!!!

  177. Jerry says

    Good on you Carrie!

    You are very brave not only in coming to terms with your body’s needs but in coming out to the public and stating what you are doing. I’ve loved your vegan site, coming to it often during times when I would “go vegan” for lent. I found the site inspiring and most of the recipes delicious.
    I lived for a time in a Buddhist monastery/farm. Needless to say the meals were all vegetarian but after a while I noticed that I was feeling run down from all the physical work I was doing. After incorporating some animal protein in my diet I felt much better, ethical concerns aside.

    • says

      Thanks for the note, Jerry, and supportive words. I feel authentic having been honest about where my journey has gone, but it’s been very hard for me to lose friends over this issue. The bright side is that I’m feeling much, much stronger and healthier and I have developed other connections for which I am very grateful.

  178. Elizabeth says

    Thanks for sharing your experiences. I have been shifting my diet/lifestyle over the past four years to a plant based diet and have often been discouraged by the often shunning attitudes I have encountered by those who would have me be like them…often %100 of something (vegan, vegetarian, etc). Although I am not perfect in eating in a way that reflects the knowledge I have gained through studying health and diet, I am so much better than I was and I will continue to improve. Eating meat or processed food several times a week may not what I ultimately strive for but it is a huge improvement on where I was years ago when I didn’t know how to make one dish that was plant based. Thank you for being honest and helping others realize that although an “all or nothing” lifestyle is possible and may be beneficial in some circumstances, it isn’t required to move forward toward health.

    • says

      Awww, thank YOU, Elizabrth, for your wise comment about the “all or nothing” approach. I’ve been moving away from the perfectionist attitude and I am so much happier as a result!

  179. says

    I’m supportive of your choice. I believe you didn’t make this difficult decision without a lot of thought and understanding. You’re not one of those people who didn’t eat a balanced diet as a vegan and then went back to eating junk food. I think still being aware of your sources and not just saying anything goes now is exactly the way I would’ve done it. I can’t imagine eating meat again, but my health is good so I don’t need to at this stage. I understand that your recipes are going to reflect what you eat now, but I think it will be nice if you give vegan substitutions for your existing vegan readers.

    • says

      Thanks for the supportive note, Natasha, and for recognizing that I did not make this change without serious consideration. I also love your idea about offering substitutions in future recipes for my vegan friends. Xoxo.

  180. says

    Hi Carrie,
    I just wanted to say that I completely respect you for listening to your body, doing what is right for you at this time, and being so honest about the changes you’ve been making. I also read through some of the comments, and think you are handling the negative comments like a champ. Way more gracefully than I probably would!
    While I feel better than ever on a vegan diet and know that most people could do to add some more plant-foods to their diet, I certainly don’t believe that it is THE diet for everyone. Each person’s body is different and it is impossible for any one diet to work just right for everyone. I think people need to remember that no diet should ever be about perfection, and that the definition of vegan is about striving to live without hurting animals to the best of one’s ability, and it sounds like you are doing just that, considering your special circumstances.
    From what you’ve shared it really sounds like you were in quite a state of depletion, so its understandable that adding in some animal foods would make you feel better. And I’m really glad you are feeling better! Your health is definitely the most important thing, and I really appreciate that have really done your research and put a lot of thought into your decision. I know it couldn’t have been an easy one.
    I truly wish you the best in wherever your journey leads. The new blog looks fantastic and I’ll still be following. :)

    • says

      Thank you, Sasha, I can’t tell you how appreciative I am of the kind and understanding words. I admire you for making your comments public and I think they strengthen the idea that veganism is based on compassion and not perfection or judgment. Thank you.

  181. Suz says

    Carrie,
    I read your original post back when it came out, I think, but just read through all the comments today – and I was stunned by the amount of vitriol and negativity from people who profess to be compassionate. I was also so very impressed at your compassion and kindness to absolutely everyone.
    And, I learned some things. I naively thought that a vegan was someone who didn’t eat animal products – now I’ve learned it’s a whole lifestyle . So I won’t call myself vegan anymore. Labels are convenient, but also – apparently – confusing.
    And, I know that in my own life, the drive for perfection is often counter-productive. It’s important to have goals and values, and to be able to make commitments. But many of us who are human find that we don’t always live up to our own ideals (let alone other peoples’ ideals!). Kudos to you for dealing with both the labels and the perfectionism. Pursuing health can be a hard journey. I am grateful that you are part of this journey, and that our paths occasionally overlap.
    And I have the utmost respect for the honesty, respect and compassion you exhibit through all of these posts, responding to and commenting on your decision.
    Take care,
    Suz

    • says

      Suz, you’re thoughtful comment means so much to me. I also saw your note from the forums and haven’t gotten a chance to respond yet. Thank you.

      Also, I appreciate your words of support on my responses to the negative comments. I would be lying if I said it was easy, but I’ve learned a lot from this experience and am proud of myself for managing my emotions and not lashing out. I believe we all are justified in feeling angry at things we can’t control, but we also have a responsibility to direct those emotions into constructive behaviors.

      Again, thank you for your continued support, it means so much to me. :)

  182. Karen says

    Hi Carrie,
    I just wanted to say a heartfelt thank you for writing this post.
    I’m not going to lie, I was shocked to find it when I was on Pinterest today (haha) because I used to follow your blog quite religiously. Like you, I was a long-time vegan and follower of Eat to Live, and felt great. Until I didn’t.
    Reading this post, I feel like I could have been reading my own story. In February of this year, after about a year of very disordered eating, out of control cravings, insomnia, fatigue and depression, I went to see a naturopath. I felt like I was eating the perfect diet – following Eat to Live to the letter, eating a varied and low-fat diet. To my surprise, shock and dismay, she told me I was severely lacking in fats and asked me to consider eating animal products again, starting with fish. I really struggled with that decision, as the vegan label had become a huge part of my identity – online and in the real world. To shift away from that was almost paralyzing, I had a lot of fear and anxiety about it on many different levels.
    Fast forward to now, about 6 months later, and I feel like a different person. I am sleeping soundly, waking up energized, am regaining muscle tone and have found that I have so much more time to think and do stuff now that I am no longer obsessing about food, and what is “good” or “bad” for me. I feel like my old self again and am so happy for it. No label is worth my personal health and well-being, and no one knows what I need better than I do.
    It takes so much courage for any vegan to shift their eating patterns, let alone to do it so publicly on an open forum. I really admire you for that. All the best to you,
    Karen

    • says

      Hi Karen, thank you so much for your message and for sharing your story. I’m sorry to hear you encountered so many health issues. I can certainly identify and appreciate how awful it is to have gone through what you described. I also eventually saw a naturopath, as well as getting input from a team of doctors, and input from Dr. Fuhrman himself, and determined that adding at the minimum some seafood would be beneficial for me. I’ve gone beyond that as I repair some of my deficiencies and try to heal, but it’s scary to me that others have experienced these problems. As you know, depression can mean life or death, and people who haven’t had it don’t appreciate how severe it can be. Depression runs in my family and was part of what ended my father’s life before his time, so I am very conscious of how important it is to take mental health seriously, as well as physical health. Sending you my very best and thank you again for connecting. Xo.

  183. Anonymous says

    Hi Carrie!
    This is my first time commenting in your blog. It’s very judgmental, critical, and hypocritical to judge you after the hell you went though. Those “vegans” who feel the need to be a god and pass on judgement and share their opinions, belittled your very personal choices are not any better than a hunter. Compassion and kindness do not extend to animals, bugs, nature, fairies etc but to ourselves first, to each other. Shame on you vegan guts that show no tolerance for changes in a persons struggles and unique journey.
    Carrie has a right to change back and forth if she wants. She’s free to eat whatever she wants! She doesn’t owe anyone apologies or explanations. She does only on order to respect the readers. These type of extreme Nazi Vegans sound to me very anxious, unbalanced, control freaks, judgmental, and sounds more like a cult!
    Eat whatever you want Carrie. Comforting pot roast with veggies are delish with brownie a la mode with sugar!
    It’s very possible her biochemistry and blood type requires more protein than other folks. Chill Nazi Vegans. Jesus the Christ are fish, lamb etc he was no vegan!!!
    This woman needs to live not die bc of food. I support you in all you decide Carrie wether you are vegan, meat eater, etc. You have the right to experiment and change lifestyles. You are a grown adult. You own you.

    Trying to manipulate and emotionally blackmail Carrie to inflict guilt and pain is despicable and cruel by using the poor little animals speech. You have not walk in her shoes so shut the heck up! Let’s have common sense here, Carrie is way more important than a darn salmon! Hypocrites!

    • says

      Thank you for your wise and refreshing words. Of course, after what I’ve been through with dealing with judgment, I agree with everything that you said. I’d be lying if I said I’ve never judged anyone in the past, I think it’s an innate human defense mechanism, but now I realize how unfair it is to shame someone else for his or her personal decisions. There is just no way of knowing what someone else is going through. Thank you for sharing your support of me, it is VERY much appreciated.

  184. Stephanie says

    I just stumbled upon your blog and recipes and just wanted to tell you how AWESOME I think you are, and your writings are so refreshingly honest and raw (no pun intended). I love that you post so many recipes without salt, that’s been the biggest change for me. I’ve had a hard time spicing up our meals without them turning out really bland, so I am going to try some of your sauce recipes. It is frustrating to dig through vegan or vegetarian type recipes to find ones made with actual food ingredients and not junk or salt.

    Thank you for doing what you do. Keep on being fabulous. I’m sorry the disagreeable people have to be hateful, I hope they experience no unkindness in their lives.

    • says

      Thank you, Stephanie! I’m glad you appreciate the lack of use of salt in my recipes. I’ve recently started using more low-sodium tamari or coconut aminos for flavor, but I went a good two years using no salt whatsoever and my recipes still reflect that. P.S. I appreciate the kind words on my move away from veganism, as well. Thank you. :)

  185. Melissa Partida says

    I followed you on Pinterest and was curious as to why your name changed. I became vegan for health reasons and my health has improved dramatically but we are all different! Well written and glad you are feeling better. Good luck on your journey:)

  186. Natasha says

    Hi Carrie!
    I just recently came across your blog, and I was really interested in a lot of what you posted. I also used to be a Vegan/Vegetarian for ethical, environmental, health, and economic reasons. I loved it. But I found it to be a very EXPENSIVE way of eating, and being still in college at the time it wasn’t very manageable. I have been diagnosed with PCOS since I was 19, and was just recently diagnosed with diverticulitis at only 23. Using food for preventative medicinal uses is always on a trial and error basis. Most nutritionists agree that a paleo diet is what is most beneficial for women with PCOS. However, with diverticulitis and my personal convictions show Veganism is appropriate. But what I am started to realize is that, you should just listen to your body. If you feel that meat or dairy doesn’t sit with you well, and isn’t beneficial for you at that time, cut down. And vice versa for the paleo/omnivore side of the spectrum. Becoming attuned to your body through yoga and self meditation may be your best bet on knowing what is best for YOU and your health. Even just have a vegetarian meal per day helps animals in need, and the environment.
    I’m looking forward to witnessing your journey through PCOS, as I have always struggled with weight and insulin resistance and all of the other “fun” symptoms that come with PCOS.
    Sending positive energy your way!

Trackbacks

  1. […] has certainly changed as I continue to learn more about health and nutrition and figure out which foods support my health the most. I’m still very hesitant to put a label on the way I’ve been eating, but what seems to […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *