Why we transitioned away from veganism

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There is more
Wisdom in your body
Than in your deepest philosophies

-Friedrich Nietzsche-

We were vegans, and it worked…
Until we crashed!

Tidji and me were working as technical event service staff for the first vegan congress in Hamburg/ Germany back in 2012.
I was a bit familiar about the topic after switching to a vegetarian diet at the young age of twelve.
We both were fascinated by the idea of eating the most ethical and compassionate diet for animals and the earth.
It felt good to try to eat a cruelty free, plant based diet.
At this congress they showed the movie „ Fork Over Knives“ which most of you might be familiar with.
The movie referred to the so called „China Study “ (link explains another view), where it´s said that all modern disease can be linked to the consumption of animal products.
Since we had tried some changes in our diet before for health reasons, but had no success with it, everything finally seemed to make sense. We were still eating things that were supposed to harm us.
Now we noticed that some of our health problems were getting better and better. This was proof enough to us that a vegan lifestyle is the only way to finally get rid of all unexplained health problems.

 

Until one day everything changed

My health issues slowly but constantly sneaked back. I became extremely tired and weak. My digestive issues slowly came back and hit me even worse then before. I was always bloated and got more and more sensitive to foods.
Some of you will claim that this was a detox reaction and my body just got “cleaner”. This is also the reason why I reacted to the so called not ” clean ” foods. Well, we can assure you that this is a completely misunderstood issue and was absolutely not the case.
I started to suffer very badly from my symptoms. My hormones got out of balance and I became kind of depressed and strangely unpredictable to my emotions and reactions to other people. In my worst times I had to take a break from my job for almost half a year.
He couldn’t concentrate for long, was extremely tired and irritable and his memory got worse and worse. It scared him many times to feel that way. His eczema became a little better during this time, but these complaints never disappeared completely.
We need to mention on this point that we never relied on all the vegan substitute foods a lot. We ate mostly vegetables and fruits. Initially we also tried some grains, but mainly we tried to cover our nutrient supply with lots of green leafy vegetables and foods, that are said to be important for proper nutrition on a vegan diet.

Since our health did not improve as promised, we tried to get help from an alternative practitioner. We spent a lot of money just to feel worse and to live more limited. We were also told that we would have to undergo a long psychological treatment to heal our suffering.

We spend the next several months ignoring our body`s internal cues. We tried new things that looked and sounded good for us, as a raw vegan diet. We thought we just didn´t tried hard enough and when so many people heal themselves with a vegan or raw vegan diet we can do it too.
We had done so much research, read so many books, watched so many documentaries and personally connected with many vegans, and we believed wholeheartedly in this lifestyle…at least we thought so. Deep inside our bodies, and probably in our mind too, we knew already that this is not the way to go, as we were simply not listening to our bodies needs anymore.
I remember that we often talked about friends who didn’t eat as “healthy” as we did, but seemed and looked much healthier.
But we felt that we knew better. We were educated, we had willpower, and we kind of loved the idea of not harming any living being.

 

But things just got worse

We started fearing a LOT of things when it came to food. We again tried a new “diet” after receiving the results of a food intolerance test. This test showed which foods we might be allergic to or sensitive to. Tidji`s list of what he was not supposed to eat was ridiculous long.
It is mainly about stopping the consumption of all kinds of sugars (including the foods that the body converts into sugar). This should be a miracle cure to finally beat Candida. We have been told over and over again that a Candida burden is one of our main health problems. You also have to eat a lot of fermented foods (more then is good for you, as we learned later, because of too much lactic acid ) to restore digestion and the gut biome.
So the lists of restrictions for food became bigger and bigger. We learned everything about avoiding certain types of food. Legumes, gluten, oils and the dangers of all-natural fructose.
We already avoided most of these foods. But in addition, we also had to use a new concept of food combinations to ease digestion. There were also certain intervals at which meals should be taken from each other.
We lived in a bubble of restrictions. Entirely vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar and all-natural fructose free. We lived our life based on when we could eat and when we could not, what we could eat and what we could not, and what we could combine and what we could not combine.
Maybe there is nothing wrong at all about some of these things if they help anyone, but our bodies didn´t felt good and we were not listening to them.

All these restrictions, plus still eating a vegan diet suddenly changed our needs. Well it may not suddenly changed it, cause the need for it was there long before.
I would more say it forced us to find a new source of energy, as my body was getting seriously weak by avoiding all kinds of sugars and thus also calories, which was a big mistake especially because we are so active.
At that point my body literally was screaming for meat.
I seriously needed energy and the only thing left that was „ allowed“ to eat was meat.
We were on holiday in Iceland in summer 2016.
We went to a place were there is also always at least one vegan meal.
That was when we ordered the chicken.
I thought it would be very odd to eat it and expected to get sick from it, as I was not eating any meat since I was twelve years old. I thought my body will never handle this.
But I ate it despite all the worries. And honestly… it was like heaven for me. It was as my own body was falling on his knees in front of myself and thanking me for this piece of meat. The first time I was satisfied, warm and happy after a meal since a very long time.
And contrary to all my expectations, I neither felt sick nor lazy and full. Quiet the opposite. I had less trouble digesting it then any of the raw or vegan meals I ate at my diets.

 

We are not afraid to share this on this blog and in our life and around vegans. It´s not healthy to feel guilt for listening to your own body. We should thank ourselves and not blame ourselves for doing something wrong.
Our bodies were trying to speak to us for many years and we did not listen. As a result we grew extremely deficient in a variety of vitamins, minerals and hormones and knocked ourselves way out of whack.

We have suffered physical and psychological problems, which we now know were symptoms of malnutrition and therefore loss of essential nutrients, although we did not live on vegan substitutes.

 

That wasn´t cool

This all doesn´t mean you are going to see us eating huge amounts of meat, like burgers and steaks or downing milkshakes. We still believe in ethical , sustainable, organic food that comes from as close to the earth as possible.
All we buy is farm raised, if possible gras fed all year long and the babys growing up with their mum ( yes all this is possible these days). Most of the year we try to get locally grown fruits and veggies.
We are still against factory farming and the lies that the food industry hides behind. We still love animals and we are even more passionate about their rights as ever before.
We were simply taking our health back into our own hands away from any labels.
Our philosophy has shifted, and rightfully so.
Plants are amazing. Vegetables, fruits, grains, nuts and legumes are beautiful foods and should be incorporated into everyones life.
But that is not all that is out there. We need more in order to fuel our bodies properly. Especially those of us who lived with extreme food restrictions.
Our bodies are always changing and so do the needs in our diet. We have to pay attention to that.
And contrary to many believes out there a vegan diet can never provide you with all the nutrients your body needs.
Sadly this was not the very end of our restrictive living.
It was just a change on the way. We had to go trough some more extremes to finally learn what really helped us to find true balance and experience healing processes.
Before we freed ourselves from all the diet fads we ended up at a low carb Ketogenic diet.
We will describe this way of life, our experiences and the dangers behind it in more detail at another point in time.

 

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