Our bodies are constantly evolving. What works for us at any one stage of our lives does not determine what will be best down the line. I say this because I’d like to think that maybe one day I’ll be able to go vegan for the environment and for the treatment of animals.
I will note that most days, I do in fact eat 80-90% vegan. Over the years, I have made the attempt to go full vegan time and time again. Yet, at age 29, these are my 4 biggest reasons that a vegan diet has never worked for me:
There are countless people out there who swear by cutting out animal products to correct their hormone imbalances. Unfortunately, every time I have gone vegan my hormones become incredibly unhappy. I get cystic pimples (minor example below), my insulin and cortisol go a little nutty, and when I got a blood test done, my testosterone levels were off the charts too high. Reintroducing animal products corrected these issues almost instantly.
My Digestive System
Again, there are many vegans out there who swear by their diet as a cure-all for digestive issues. However, when I adapted a vegan diet, the bloating, cramping, and flare-ups of IBS were out of control. I felt absolutely miserable every day. Reintroducing animal products brought back my normal problem-free digestion.
My Supplement Intolerances
When you go vegan, there are a number of supplements that are recommended, including B12 which can only be found in animal foods, and oftentimes other vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin D and Calcium (depending on your specific deficiencies or diet shortcomings). Unfortunately, my body is very sensitive when it comes to supplements. Believe me, I have tried them ALL, even the most straightforward options with minimal ingredients. They always lead to either severe nausea/stomach cramps or overpoweringly intense headaches. Therefore, I need to rely on getting my vitamins from my food sources alone.
Food Allergies & Sensitivities
I have had a large number of food allergies since I was born. Many of these foods are unfortunately big vegan staples. A couple of main examples are:
-Tree Nuts (Almonds, Cashews, Pecans, Walnuts, Pine Nuts, Etc.)
There are many other vegan foods that I am sensitive to, such as several seeds and various types of produce. One example:
-Flax seeds (they negatively aggravate my hormones due to the high content of phytoestrogens)
Therefore, if I am in a position where the only options are packaged or takeout vegan food, 9 times out of 10 it includes one of those ingredients (allergens being the most problematic of course).
I’ll admit, I often feel very guilty that I am not a vegan. With the environment in need of all of our assistance and the inhumane ways that so many animals are treated, I have tried to do my part in this way. Needless to say I try my best to only purchase the most humane animal products such as eggs from the pasture, etc., though I know it is still not ideal.
However, I do feel that if my own health is suffering, it just doesn’t make sense to deliberately sabotage myself. I wish I could eat vegan. I do. To me, my diet experiments further the evidence that every human body is incredibly different. Only you know what works for you, and I urge you to follow your own health journey outside of the influence of what diets are trendy right now.
I think it’s wonderful that veganism works for so many, because it can have great impacts on this planet and for certain people’s health journeys. I know that there are many vegans who follow me, and to all of you I say: well done. I hope you can understand the other side of the coin.