Oh my days. This post has been long overdue, it’s been sitting in my drafts folder for nearly 2 months now. For most people, the reason behind this may come off a little bit silly, but truth is I was sort of afraid to share this on the blog as many of my readers follow a vegan lifestyle. This wasn’t because I feel guilty about my personal choices but because unfortunately, there’s so much hatred in the world that I deliberately chose to delay any possible backlashing.
Both me and my husband were vegan for 2.5 years. We wholeheartedly committed to the lifestyle, so much that we even opened a vegan business. We learned a lot about where our food comes from, health, animals, the environment and read a awful lot of dietary labels. We loved being vegan until it didn’t make as much sense as it once did. Here’s why we decided to transition away from it…
I started believing less in labels and more in listening to my body. When I ditched dairy and eggs and all their derivatives, I was overflowing with energy and my body felt nourished, it felt like a much needed cleanse. Everything in the free from aisle of the supermarket was a novelty to me, and making new food discoveries truly gave me an emotional high. I felt content because there were so many dairy and egg replacements available in the market, I truly thought I could live off these niche products forever. But after the first year and a half, it all started to become a little dull.
See, I’m a foodie, I love eating and cooking and trying out new things. I truly felt I was restricting myself by always having to check the damn labels and putting everything back in the shelf. If my stomach could speak, it would probably tell you about how depressed it was. I felt trapped in a bubble of restriction and it no longer made me happy.
I felt frustrated and emotionally defeated, which in some sort aggravated my anxiety disorder. I even avoided bringing this up in conversations, which made me feel worse as I never keep secrets from Pete. Turns out he actually felt the same way. We discussed this issue as a future possibility, having in mind where each other’s ethical boundaries lied. A couple of months ago, we took the leap (more like a backward leap?) and started introducing eggs and cheese back into our diet.
It’s not that everything has dramatically changed in our household. Two years and a half of being vegan definitely changed the way I eat and we’re definitely healthier vegetarians now because of that. We only buy organic free-range eggs from happy laying hens, even though they cost a whopping £4. We still prefer buying Alpro yogurts and milk. All vegetables and fruit we buy are organic, and they’re oh so delicious. Funny thing is, even though we’ve broadened our food spectrum, most of our go-to home-cooked meals are still plant-based. I’d say what has mostly changed for us is when we’re eating out or go to other people’s houses. It’s hard for other people to cater for your weird diet, especially when I don’t feel okay with bringing that sort of inconvenience to their table.
In regards to beauty and household products, I still buy cruelty-free and favour vegan products, but don’t have any problem in using a product that contains honey, for instance. I will never support animal testing and refuse buying anything made out of leather or fur. I also agree that the use of animals for pure entertainment, such as zoos, circuses or bullfighting, should be banned.
Among other things, being vegan taught me that balance means everything. I truly believe we should do whatever feels right for our body and soul, while still living up to our beliefs and being the best you can be as an individual. I praise everyone that can lead a vegan lifestyle and I still consider it to be the best choice and the answer to many problems. I’m sorry my personal choices disappoint lots of people who visit my website or who knew me through The Mighty Fork, but, unfortunately, it just wasn’t working for me.
As food was always a big part of this blog, I’ll continue sharing both vegan and vegetarian recipes as well as reviews of places that I visit.