Veganism has shaped my life as a young adult. Pretty much as soon as I graduated high school, I went fully vegan. How I traveled, shopped, and my social life was consumed by my lifestyle. I was plant-based for seven years, and this year I incorporated animal products back into my diet. I formally made the change this summer and I still haven’t purchased real meat at the grocery store. I don’t know how to shop for or cook it so I don’t buy it. However, when I am eating out, I don’t restrict myself to being vegetarian.
I had a couple reasons for the change, and I would go back to it if it made sense again.
First, eating only plant based screwed up my stomach. Unless you are restricting yourself to only eating junk, a vegan diet going to be mostly fiber. I was waking up in the morning from stomach pain to the point that it was normalized. It was so bad that I gave up drinking coffee (if you know me you know that’s my favorite thing in the world). Since incorporating animal products, I haven’t had nearly as much discomfort.
In the last year of being vegan, I would obsess with food that I couldn’t eat. I had forgotten what a lot of my former favorite dishes tasted like but the cravings would be strong. I came to the conclusion that for my own mental health, it is probably better to just eat whatever than spend days only thinking about a certain item.
Grocery prices are skyrocketing. Back in the day, I would spend $40 max a month for groceries and feed 2.5 people (I say 2.5 because we had a guest over for dinner most of the time). Now, I can’t get hardly anything for $100. It doesn’t feel like being plant-based (unless you are going to make everything from scratch) is the most affordable option anymore.
Since becoming an omnivore, I have become more relaxed around food. I am trying my hardest not to see meat or dairy as bad or good bad but instead view it as something that will nourish my body.
From a nature perspective, I don’t think we are supposed to eat animal products but I understand that a vegan lifestyle doesn’t work for everyone. I am a firm believer in listing to your body and that goes for how it should be nourished. Maybe one day I will shift my diet again, but for now, eating a little bit of everything is working out better.
PC: Grace Young Photo