For the last week, I’ve been working to correct some stomach issues. Back in 2016, I was healing up from acute acid reflux which I had suffered from for many years. It runs in the family, but thankfully I eliminated mine with a sharp reduction in heavily-processed foods.
But there was another genetic health problem that I had been suffering from that only got worse as I increased my meat intake on an “anti-inflammatory Paleo diet” ….: endometriosis and a fibroid. This lead to some very scary and painful incidents and hospital trips. But, it was at the hospital that I realized that I had to go vegan. I didn’t know why exactly… but I knew that vegetables never caused me to have increased pain so I just decided to eat a plant-based diet. I then came around to the ethics of it, and soon passed a fibroid and starting experiencing low-pain menstrual cycles 🙂 Since then, I tried to eat and live vegan until I had a mental breakdown last May that made me decide to quit from the high-pressure to be perfectly vegan. Annnnddd then I stopped feeling so good. Eight months of vegan eating had made me a pillar of health, and that began declining when I quit. Most recently, I’ve struggled (like I did before becoming vegan) with wanting to eat, experiencing acid-reflux, loosing sleep (from those other reasons haha), and low energy. All of those things are markers of having a highly-acidic pH in the body- which is not ideal for health.
And so, in this last week I have realized that ignoring the cure for my ailments just because it is hard isn’t a good reason to be…an omnivore. Along with that, I decided to start cooking more interesting ethnic foods so I can get more whole-foods in some interesting ways. This morning, I made a rice and vegetable dish inspired by Rachel Ama’s “What would they eat in Wakanda?” video 🙂
Here’s my version:
I fell in love with the rice recipe that includes carrots, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and basmati rice. I decided to mix in some spinach as it was cooking as well, and to top it with some lightly-toasted tempeh instead of the mushroom topping.
Seasonings included: clove powder, red chili pepper powder, parsley, pepper, coriander, paprika, and cumin.
I am so inspired by the variety of colorful foods that Rachel Ama makes, and I’m definitely interested in trying her Caribbean recipes as well. 🙂
So…let’s talk about vegan quitters and Bonny Rebecca
If you follow the vegan community on YouTube, you’ve probably seen the many videos titled “Why I’m Quitting Veganism” or “Why I’m Not Vegan Anymore.” This topic is coming up all of the time, and I don’t think that it is coincidental that these vegan influencers (who make their money off of views) are making these announcements around Veganuary when the term “vegan” is going to be in search engines more often than usual.
As much as this topic may seem gossipy, it isn’t. The reason I’m writing about this is because Bonny’s quitting story reminded me of my own. Not the health problems- I’ve been perfectly healthy since adopting vegan eating habits in August 2017. But the trap of the Humane Myth (when people justify meat, eggs, etc. because they are “ethically-sourced” or “humane-certified” even though using animals for food isn’t humane by any definition) in addition to a desire to not have to think as hard about what to eat.
I fell into that same trap about 8 months ago when I was overworking myself and looking for a way to have more options of things to eat when I was working late and had forgotten to pack a meal. It started when I was using Google to figure out any easily-accessible foods that were made of non-sentient animals. Misinformation was readily available- “fish do not feel pain” came up quite a lot. I thought that, finally, I had a way to eat without having to think so hard. Soon after that came grass-fed, locally sourced beef (only for about a week- I really do hate the taste of meat), humane-certified eggs, and goat cheese from “small farm” co-ops.
As I began telling family and friends that I was no longer vegan, I was very nervous, and many thought I would revert back to my Paleo days. Within a very short time, I realized that I didn’t want meat even if it was “ethically-sourced.” I still used cashew cheese, and still only drank soymilk- though I was willing to go out with friends and eat a vegetarian meal. I bought a wool rug- having no idea that furniture companies were selling hemp rugs. I bought a leather wallet, and a leather purse…and I felt guilty. I didn’t know why since I was still mostly plant-based and trying to live sustainably.
But I have done so much more reading and researching since that time. I now know that “humane” in animal agriculture IS a myth. Moreover, I never stopped believing that it was unnecessary to eat animals- I had simply justified it for convenience sake. And as “convenient” as it seemed, it caused me a lot of stomachaches that wouldn’t have happened on a dairy-free diet.
Today, I am vegan…again. Because I realized that my values stayed the same even as I tried to convince myself of humane sourcing. I fully believe that God created animals to be our companions, and us to be their caretakers and companions.
And honestly, there is still a chance that Bonny and all the other vegan quitters get convicted too…that they need to take care of animals instead of justify the use of them in agriculture. I hope they do come back to that viewpoint- or at least, I hope they feel some remorse for perpetuating animal agriculture.
Doctors/Nutritionists who inspire my meals:
A clinical physician for 40 years, this man is everything you could want in a doctor. I’ve loved watching interviews and talks that he has given ever since I watched What the Health in September of 2017. He is such a great example of the vitality that comes with a plant-based diet.
His full health-supporting meal plain can be found here, but in short, he recommends the “4 S’s” with lunch and dinner : salad, soup, steamed veggies, and starches. I really like that simple list because, while helpful, some vegan diet plans are complicated and a bit intimidating. Dr. Klaper’s list makes it easy to plan vegan meals without too much planning.
Another great doctor who was interviewed in What the Health, Dr. Barnard established the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine. The P.C.R.M. not only educates people about the life-saving qualities of adopting a vegan diet, but also fights the use of animals in medical experiments.
Dr. Barnard’s list of dietary recommendations can be found here, but in essence, the foods that he lists aim “to shield you from toxins, to provide natural fats essential for brain function, and to provide vitamins to knock out free radicals and other compounds that could damage brain cells.”
Derek Simnett is a Certified Nutritional Practitioner who uses YouTube to spread the message of whole-food, plant-based veganism. He advocates, like Barnard and Klaper, for a whole-food vegan diet free from refined sugars and fats.
Derek has many videos of his meal preparation that I find to be a constant inspiration. He also talks about the Cronometer app (which I have been using for over year) and how to track your macronutrients and micronutrients to make sure that you don’t end up with deficiencies.
Thank you for visiting my blog today! 🙂 Are you vegan, or considering it? 🙂 What thoughts do you have on the current state of veganism as a movement?
Side note: I feel like Wakanda would be a vegan country because they are so advanced that they would’ve known decades ago that animal products were not good for general health of their people.