About two weeks have gone by since my post about not being vegan anymore. It’s been quite the experience, to put it mildly.
Since so many questions have come up about my change and the future of things, I thought it might be helpful to pull together some FAQs, plus a few responses to comments.
Will your recipes be vegan/plant-based in the future?
I had very thoughtful input from my vegan and plant-based friends who suggested that I keep all of my recipes the same going forward. I gave serious consideration to that request. The problem is that I like my blog to represent who I really am and how I live as much as I can, otherwise I have no motivation to keep writing it. So, once the transfer of my old blog happens to my new site (only a few more days, I promise!), I will be presenting recipes using ingredients that I am finding to be supportive of my health, but will not be consistently vegan. As always, you as a reader have the power to either continue following or not following my blog and I respect your decision.
Incidentally, I posted my first non-vegan food pic on Instagram yesterday with full disclosure that I am not vegan anymore.
Don’t you know about the science and health benefits of being vegetarian/vegan?
Yes, I think I do. You might recall this post where I discuss my master’s degree project that was a literature review of the occurrence of selected diseases between vegetarians and non-vegetarians. My experience has been that no matter how much I know about a subject, I have to do what’s best for my family and me, taking all factors into consideration.
You didn’t do well on a vegan diet because you did it wrong, (i.e. you use/do not use oil, ate not enough/too much fat, used a microwave, should have talked to MY expert, etc.).
I disagree and think that I did a pretty good job of learning about plant-based living, but, again, all factors considered led me to stop consuming a vegan diet.
Veganism isn’t just about diet.
I agree and respect that the veganism goes far beyond just our food choices. I also respect the fact that being vegan is a very black and white definition. Even though I’m not eating a 100% plant-based diet anymore, I still think that there are endless important consumer choices to be made that impact animals and our environment.
You just want attention and that’s why you stopped being vegan.
Yikes! I should have dyed my hair purple or something else less traumatic. I actually discussed this comment with a trusted friend and she pointed out that humans want (and need!) connection and I thought that was so true. The reason I write my blog is for personal expression and connection with like-minded folks. I’d also just like to express gratitude for all of the amazing and incredibly supportive messages I’ve received recently. I hope I’ve done a good job supporting our relationship.
You shouldn’t run a vegan app.
I agree. I hate to say it, but I’ve had a hard time staying in a positive mind-space about the vegan community based on some of the really mean comments I’ve received. Even though Vegan Delish was always meant to help inspire plant-based cooking with no judgment about whether you are vegan or not, I’ve decided to remove it from the iTunes App store effective July 1st. The maintenance is paid through the end of October, so if you own a copy you can access it through that time. You can read the official announcement including how to preserve your favorite recipes. I’m sorry, but I’m only human, I’ve lost my spark to keep it going, and this was my response.
Will you create a new recipe app in the future?
That is a definite possibility. Stay tuned.
It would have been better for the vegan movement if you/your blog just faded away.
I actually think it’s worse for the vegan and plant-based movements to pretend that nobody will ever run into issues or struggle with it. My personal experience has proven to me that there is a lot of room for research and discussion on how to address potential problems, although many people may not experience any issues. I also think that shaming and judging someone for his or her weakness is inappropriate and that that kind of attitude hurts veganism more than anything else.
I expect that with time my hurt feelings will heal and I’ll take more responsibility for the harm that I’ve done.
How are your vegan friends reacting to this change?
Mixed reviews. Trust me, I would never have gone this route if it hadn’t been as close to a life or death decision as I’ve ever known. I don’t want to take a passive-aggressive approach, so I am trying to respect each and every relationship. It hurts to lose friends or end certain relationships, but I also think that change is inevitable and change brings growth. I try my darndest to show respect to everyone, even if we differ in ways that keep us from being friends as we once were.
Was it hard to digest animals foods after not eating them for so long?
I wondered about that too, but it wasn’t a problem.
Are you still eating vegetables?
Yes, tons. And, plenty of my meals are plant-based, nutritarian, vegan, or however you want to describe it.
Do you still have an eating disorder?
I sought help from a professional therapist regarding my disordered eating patterns back in April. I wrote openly about it on my blog. The desire to restrict, overeat, or overexercise has pretty much gone away completely. I continue to work with my therapist and use guidance from the book Intuitive Eating. I’m also okay with saying that chocolate will probably always provide comfort in hard times, and I am cool with that.
Wasn’t it because of your eating disorder that you couldn’t continue being vegan?
I have a complicated health history and I have nutritional needs that weren’t being met by a 100% plant-based diet. I was as explicit about that in my original post about my dietary change as I possibly could be, along with saying that many people thrive eating vegan or vegetarian and can overcome obstacles that are probably greater than mine. I reached the point where I had to do what was best.
I’m not feeling well on a plant-based diet. What should I do?
My personal experience and feelings don’t change the science of plant-based diets or the value of veganism. I would like to share some resources that can come in handy if you’re struggling with your plant-based diet. Please do not take my story as advice or a suggestion that you need to stop doing what you’re doing. And, please do seek professional medical or nutritional guidance to make sure you stay healthy.
I hope this interchange provides more clarity to my situation. As always, I am open to more questions and input, provided that you treat me with the same respect as I give you. I also want to assure you that I haven’t lost my spark for writing my blog. I might be a little more reserved about sharing personal details for awhile, but I am more excited than ever to keep sharing and connecting with you.