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New here (not a vegan yet)

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:11 pm
by probablybirdie
Hey all,

My name is Hannah and I'm new! I want to join this site because I am transitioning to a more plant-based diet and lifestyle and I was hoping to talk with like-minded individuals about this transition. I'm not going full vegan (yet) for a variety of reasons, the most important being that I have a tendency toward food obsession, so cutting out food groups completely is not good for me. I plan to eat mostly plant-based and will only discuss plant-based stuff here out of respect for vegans.

I went vegan in the past, about ten years ago, and then left the lifestyle for health reasons. I couldn't keep weight on and developed a host of food intolerances (wheat, soy, couldn't digest most legumes, etc). I thought veganism was the problem, so I started eating animal products again. No, I didn't go to the doctor, as I should have.

I ended up going on a Weston A Price Foundation diet (cue groan) before I realized that that foundation is riddled with pseudoscience. Then I went paleo. Then zero carb/carnivore (I know, I know. I'm disgusted too). Then back to WAPF. I was basically obsessed with finding the "perfect diet" and I didn't realize that such a diet doesn't exist. My primary motive was to heal my mental illness (I am diagnosed with borderline personality disorder) with diet, which I am seeing is not possible. So now I'm in treatment with a psychologist and psychiatrist and am on medication. As such, I'm doing much much better.

Now, I'm returning to a plant-based diet for ethical reasons. The way animals are treated in modern animal agriculture really bothers me (not to mention the environment impact), but for the longest time, I thought animal products were necessary for good health so I thought I didn't have a choice. Now, I'm looking at reliable sources and real research and am seeing that it is possible to eat plant-based and be healthy. So I'm going for it!

Any hoo, that's about it for now. I look forward to interacting with you all and learning about this lifestyle!

Re: New here (not a vegan yet)

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 3:22 pm
by Red
Hey Hannah! Welcome to the forum.

The problems you had are not that uncommon. We are here to help you make the right choices! Feel free to start a new thread on any concerns you may have.

Re: New here (not a vegan yet)

Posted: Wed Jun 12, 2019 4:21 pm
by brimstoneSalad
Hi Hannah, welcome!

Food obsession tends to be linked with health-based orthorexia, so if you're doing it for the animals this time around that will help a lot in avoiding that.

A couple other tips:

1. When checking ingredients, ONLY look at the allergy part to check for milk/eggs, and the cholesterol (0 cholesterol usually means no meat -- or so little as to be insignificant). If it has 0 cholesterol and doesn't have an allergy warning for milk/eggs then just consider it vegan.
Avoiding the ingredients list will help you a lot.
2. Make a point to eat something freegan every now and then (like once a month). Like go to a shopping mall food court and table surf for some uneaten chicken nuggets. Eating meat that was 100% certain to be thrown in the trash is ethically fine, it's purchasing meat (or it being bought for you) that's the problem.

I believe it's possible to have a diet that's safe for food obsession inclined people that's a vegan/freegan mix and very ethically sound. Maybe you can talk to your therapist about it.

In terms of meal planning to get lots of nutrients and avoid weight loss we'd be glad to help you with suggestions.

Re: New here (not a vegan yet)

Posted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 5:18 pm
by probablybirdie
Thank you both! @brimstoneSalad, thank you for the tips. I definitely plan on talking to my therapist about this transition.

Re: New here (not a vegan yet)

Posted: Mon Jun 24, 2019 9:35 pm
by lilacs
eyyyy same diagnosis, nice! what are the chances lol

best of luck on your transition! hopefully since this time you're doing it for ethical reasons, rather than to try to "fix" your mental illness, it'll be an easier and overall better experience :)