Why I no longer Identify as Vegan or Vegetarian
🎧 Kari Faux // Night Time
Let me start by saying that my journey with nutrition and personal diet choices has been long and rewarding in many ways.
I am not new to being conscious of my health and the decisions that I make for my body with the food that I choose to eat.
Making my health and wellness a priority has always naturally been apart of my life’s path, so making the hard or not so hard decisions of what to stop eating or even start eating has been pretty simple.
Most recently though, I’ve decided to stop eating meat, then dairy… and so on. And on this journey I have learned many things the hard way.
I choose to no longer identify as a vegan or vegetarian for many reasons, and a few of those I am still trying to sort out. I am learning in many areas of my life to not make permanent decisions in situations that I have no true control because, look, life happens. Our bodies changes and so do our surroundings and circumstances.
When I think of a diet, I do not think of a temporary quick fix, because a diet is actually a lifestyle. A diet is defined as: the kinds of food that a person, animal, or community habitually eats.
With that being said, I tell people when they question my eating habits with, “are you muslim?” or “so what do you eat?”, I simply answer that these were personal diet choices. And those are:
In the sixth grade, for my New Year's Resolution, I chose to give up pork
In the tenth grade for my New Year’s Resolution, I chose to give up beef
In 2013, I began to take fitness seriously and modified my diet to a cleaner lifestyle and introduced a wider variety of protein outside of meat alone
In May of 2016 I thought I was dying with the flu and made the decision to stop eating meat… I began with a short-lived pescatarian diet. I quickly learned that I did not know enough on how to healthily commit to this diet, so I went back to clean eating while I researched nutrition… and my research showed me that I wanted to become a vegetarian, then plant-based, and eventually vegan.
January of 2017 I became a vegetari-kinda-vegan
In February 2017 after I moved to NYC, I couldn’t resist 99 cent pizza and went back to just vegetarian
March 2017 I stopped eating dairy
April 2017 I stopped eating tofu
May 2017 I attempted to stop eating soy
July 2017 I introduced chicken and some turkey back into my diet (and started reading EVERY label to never buy soy products)
And now I am in the process of deciding to commit to a plant-based diet, or just to eat with intention.
I no longer like to commit to a label for my diet because it is a lot to wrap my mind around. As you can see, 2017 has been one roller coaster of a year as far as my diet is concerned. From “self-diagnosing” myself with an eating disorder which caused me to feel ashamed to post a donut on snapchat fearful that someone will call me out on not eating healthy... to being elated about the new variety of veggies I have finally added to my diet… I have been through it all.
My personal diet choice as of right now, is to eat mindfully and with intention. I am listening to my body and responding by eating or not eating the foods it requests and rejects. Primarily, my meals are plant based; I do not buy dairy or meat in my home, and I avoid dairy and soy at all costs. Sometimes I do have chicken, hardly any turkey - turns out I do not prefer meat like I thought I might with introducing it back into my diet.
With four months remaining in 2017, we’ll see how my diet choices pan out and what my body decides for the new year. What I do know is that I will no longer stress myself out over committing to a diet that I think others will be proud of me for sticking to - or what seems like the best idea.