Why I am No Longer a Full-Time Vegan

It’s been two months and ten days since we ushered in 2019. With that, I am no longer vegan, well at least not full-time. A month ago, I made the decision to reintroduce seafood back into my diet, specifically shrimp and fish (e.g. salmon, white fish). At first I felt a bit hypocritical only because I stopped eating meat because I care about land and sea animals. However, after almost eight months of being vegan and at times vegetarian, I started craving seafood which was out of the blue. I’ve learned that when my body craves something as such, it’s because it’s lacking. I regularly visit the doctor, so I know my protein levels are fine. *Junk food does not count because that’s just bad, but we all indulge in it.*

During a recent trip to New York, I decided to have a small amount of salmon to test my stomach. Surprisingly, I was okay. Still wondering what I was doing, I still ate as many vegan meals as possible, but didn’t punish myself about wanting fish. I’ve learned that to deprive myself isn’t apart of my personal beliefs. Although it’s been a few weeks since my reintroduction, I’m okay going back to my former way of eating. I now have a greater understanding and respect for plant-based, raw and organic meals than I ever did before.

I continue to incorporate as many vegetables and colorful foods into my meals. Lean more towards vegan and vegetarian options when I can, but will have a moderate portion of meat here and there. I still haven’t been able to eat red meat, or even chicken on the bone. It visually makes me sad and upsets my stomach. So at this point, I am in no rush to have either at all…maybe never again.

When I gave up meat, I was often asked by friends, family, and colleagues if I felt a difference - more energy, better sleep, less aches and pains, etc.? When thinking about it, I didn’t feel any different. Reason being, I’ve always loved eating healthy, so giving up meat was nothing. I didn’t eat a lot of it before, and I still don’t.

One key thing I did notice while being vegetarian then vegan was that I was often bloated. It was very uncomfortable and noticeable. At least to me! And since I suffer from a lot, I mean a lot of raw food and environmental allergies, finding things I could eat without having a reaction was very difficult. I also think that finding healthy options depends on where you live. Some areas like West Los Angeles, West Hollywood, and Santa Monica are cluttered with an abundance of amazing and delicious vegan options, however I can’t say the same for Pasadena. More and more places are popping up, but not enough. I cook a lot but occasionally eating out caused a lot of issues.

Looking at myself in the mirror now, I’m no longer bloated. I enjoy eating out without having to always look for something to eat. My energy level is great. I workout when I can, and things are just as great as they were before.

Some people like to push their beliefs onto others - what to wear, say, eat, do, etc. That was never me, nor will it ever be. Personally, I am not a fan of vegans who do that. I support others, but know my personal boundaries. My only tip is to always do your own research before adopting any life changes.

x Crystal