When the focus isn’t always on health

I just read a blog piece which I found really interesting. It’s 8 people describing the reasons why they stopped being vegan. In my opinion any diet or way of eating needs to work for you. It needs to make you feel well and nourished. It needs to support your body and mind. So I find it very intriguing how some people can continue on with restrictive diets on principle even when they don’t feel good.

I’ll be totally upfront here, I’ve never been a big fan of long term vegan diets. Sometimes a short term vegan diet is exactly what is needed to restore health. Vegetarianism can be great and whilst there is always going to be a subset of people who naturally thrive on a long term strictly plant based diet, unfortunately what I often see in clinic is people imposing restrictive diets on themselves, their health suffering and then finding it hard to find a way back into health by changing what they are doing especially when principles are involved.

I find it very difficult to see people struggling physically, emotionally and mentally due to a principled diet, for example a vegan one. It’s the most difficult when these principles stop them from making the changes their body is desperately craving. One comment that has always stayed with me from a struggling vegan was “I don’t think I can compromise my principles for my health”. This mindset is so difficult for me to really understand especially when there are many ways to choose clean, organic, well cared for animal products. Especially if the animal has come to no harm in providing for you. (I love seeing happy chickens in back gardens).

I feel you need to eat conscientiously, be well and then use that extra energy to advocate for animal welfare and high quality food production standards if your principles demand it. i.e. adopt some chooks to enjoy gorgeous eggs! My focus is always to be the best you can be holistically. It’s not about being perfect but going with the flow and listening intuitively to what your body needs. Sometimes you need a stricter approach to start off with and this is where I use Metabolic Balance to get an ideal food list. From here I work to identify all the foods that are fine to have occasionally. 

​One of the common threads of the stopped being vegan blog piece that the 8 people talk of, is the potential for a restrictive diet to prevent normal social interactions. Going out with friends, eating with family. Food is about nourishment but that also includes nourishing the mind and soul. Any long term restrictive diet that stops this type of nourishment happening isn’t a great one in my opinion.

Ultimately life is about balance and finding the right one for you.

You can read the blog piece for yourself here: https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/why-i-stopped-being-vegan​ 

Originally published on Cherry Wills Nutrition Blog.


Tags

balance, craving, diet, energy, vegan


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