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Wednesday, August 7, 2013

A Difficult Decision Has Been Made...

It seems fitting that this post comes nearly a year after my last. I've done a lot of reflecting and have made a difficult decision. This blog will no longer be vegan. I will be going through all historical posts and removing vegan tags, although the content will not change. This was not an easy decision, but I want this blog to be representative of the food choices I make, and lately this means including animal protein.

Why did I make this change? My health was not at an optimal level for the last year, with a marked decline since December in particular. I woke up one day and couldn't turn my head. After a lot of testing, it became apparent that my inflammation levels were quite high. I didn't understand it at first because my diet contained a lot of vegetable sources of omega fatty acids.  Unfortunately, further testing showed that my body is unable to process essential fatty acids properly and break them into the correct ratios. Most vegetarians have plenty of options and can balance this intake. My situation is abnormal.

After making a tough decision to include fish oil supplements, my health continued to deteriorate.  I discovered that I had anemia, hypothyroidism, and a few other issues. Although we found issues with my health that we continued to address, I still was not well. My doctor decided to do additional allergy testing and it was bad news.  I am allergic to all grains, anything in the grass family (including rice, cane sugar, etc.), quinoa, amaranth, spinach, all legumes, all tree nuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, garlic, spinach, cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, pineapple, any form of yeast, and of course dairy and eggs. I believe that it is possible to have a healthy vegan diet with food allergies, but I have thrown in the towel. I refuse to compromise my health any more than it already is, and cutting out so many sources of protein and a lot of variety was devastating to my diet.

Previously, the majority of my diet was vegetables and fruit with nuts, seeds, legumes, and grains making up the remainder and my main sources of fat and protein. Without any of those items, I didn't feel it was safe to continue on the path I was on. I have to say that I feel much better and have improved to the point that I can work out daily again. A big improvement from not being able to support a full time work schedule and hospital visits! This was the right decision for me.

It it what it is. I am very thankful I had the opportunity to experience a vegan lifestyle and I met several wonderful people in that community. I will understand if people discontinue this blog. I will be posting recipes that contain animal proteins, although the majority of the recipes will focus on fruits and vegetables.  Fresh vegetables and fruit are essential for good health, and I believe people don't give those life giving foods the attention they should. The majority of my meals are meatless and I try to stick to leaner protein sources.

Now it is time for me to find joy in food again and focus on creating some tasty, health conscious recipes.

2 comments:

  1. Cami, how awful to develop even more allergies! Any hope of eventually being able to eat some these things again? What a loss. I an understand wanting to add in other things due to the loss in your variety. I know how strongly you felt about veganism and I am sure this didn't come easily to you. I am glad you are feeling better and happy to see you writing again.

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  2. I'm sure I have several allergies as well. The problem is, the test are so expensive. I'm glad you found out what may have been contributing to your flares. Please give updates :-)

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