A (Mostly) Plant-Based Diet

Have you ever made a decision you knew was right, but dreaded telling your friends? You know people expect one thing and you don’t want to disappoint them with something different.

If so, I hope you’ll understand how I feel about sharing this today. It wasn’t a decision I took lightly. I seriously prayed about it and debated it in my head for months. There finally came a point where I realized I was more concerned with what people thought, than what I felt was right. That’s not the way I want (or should) make decisions.

So…when I was on vacation, away from everyone (but Kirk) who knew me, I decided to try eating fish again.

Why?

If you’ve read my story, you know that I stopped eating all animal products (except honey) because of the way we treat animals during their life. I also LOVE the way I feel when I don’t eat those things. I admitted I missed sushi during my plant-based anniversary post, which is very true. Missing something is not a good reason to make a change – let me make that clear.

How are fish treated during their life? Are there really the same issues with factory farming that led me to remove other animal products from my diet? There are large production fish farms that have overcrowding issues, but it doesn’t seem nearly as widespread (so much easier to avoid). I have found information for seafood conditions, which seem more often to be wild-caught.

The other consideration was how I would feel after eating fish. I remember getting that “heavy” feeling after eating meat (which you don’t notice until you stop for a while). I haven’t experienced that feeling at all after trying seafood or fish.

What was NOT a consideration? Protein. I am NOT eating fish or seafood to add more protein to my diet. I get plenty of protein to support my active lifestyle on a plant-based diet.

********************

I know that there are going to be people who are very disappointed in my decision, but I feel this decision is right for me right now. I didn’t want this to be something I kept to myself, as I think it’s important to share what’s going on in my life. I plan to continue eating a plant-based diet the vast majority of the time, but to eat fish or seafood on occasion.

Never miss a post!
Get new posts delivered to your inbox.

By signing up, you’ll get an email each time a new post is published, including occasional exclusive content for email subscribers only! 

 

Comments

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

    Current ye@r *

    CommentLuv badge
  1. tiffany says

    It’s hard, isn’t it? Moving to a plant-based diet and then making a personal decision to add some (or all) animal products back into your life…I have been plant-based for more than half my life, but, a few years ago I had a major surgery…About 2 weeks post-surgery, I realized that I simply wasn’t bouncing back. I made the decision to incorporate some animal products back into my diet to see how I felt…And, for me, it helped. I have since gone back to my plant-based diet. It works for me, my body, my life, my conscience…But, everyone has their own story to tell, and if this is what works for you, then it’s good. I think that the vegans of the world need to look at people with the same compassion that they look at animals…there should be no judgement, just support. Mad love for you as you continue on your (mostly) plant – based path!!

    • says

      I completely agree! I just want people to understand where their food comes from and then make an informed decision. I have seen some very rough responses when others have made a choice like mine, so I’ve been blown away by how supportive everyone has been so far. Thanks for your thoughtful response! :)

  2. tim says

    Life is an experiment. We try things out. We adapt. I experimented with near vegan for two years. When I start feeling like crud or start gaining weight, I go vegan again. It’s like a body detoxification.

    • says

      It’s such a clean, healthy way to eat – detox is a great way to describe it. It means so much more to many people though, so it’s a sensitive subject and I want to be respectful of others’ feelings in this area.

  3. Lee says

    You need to do what’s best for you. I feel like eating is always a very personal choice and what we choose to eat is our choice and our choice alone. However, I know exactly how you feel! I’ve gone through periods of being completely vegetarian, being pescatarian and eating everything but red meat. When I am in the periods when I am eating some animal products, I often feel like people are judging me, even if it’s in a friendly, ribbing sort of way.
    Lee recently posted…Ben Folds FiveMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Lee! I thought of you when I decided to try fish for the first time. I don’t think we should be judgemental of others ever, but unfortunately it seems to be the norm in many areas. It’s not our job to pass judgement on anyone else. :)

  4. Malinda says

    I know how you feel! We still eat fish and I have never once felt badly about it. I enjoy it, and it sure does make eating out EASIER. Not that life is about “easy”, but sometimes you just don’t want to think. We definitely stick to wild caught. Costco has a wide variety of wild caught frozen fish.
    And you know we LOVE sushi.
    You should never do something just to please others. ;-)

    • says

      I’m not patient enough for places like Costco, but i hear they have good deals. :) And yes, pleasing God is our goal, not pleasing people. Why is that so hard to remember sometimes?!

  5. says

    Heather, I am so proud of you for disregarding what others may think and doing what’s right for YOU! I’ve said it before, but diet is such a personal thing. People need to listen closely to theIr bodies and make a deduction about what’s right for them. Love you!

    • says

      You know how people can be, but I have been overwhelmed with how amazing my readers obviously are! I didn’t know you were mostly veggie in the past – always interesting to hear where people have come from.

  6. says

    I’m so glad you shared this and did what is right for you. As long as you are doing what you believe is best for your body and way of living that is all that matters. How someone else feels about your eating shouldn’t matter and frankly they need to get it together. I rarely eat meat and only eat it if it’s been locally farm raised and people judge me for it, but I can’t change that. I can only do what is right for me and my body.
    Heather@ girlyeverafter recently posted…Compression Socks and CakeMy Profile

    • says

      I think we all need to learn that judging each other is not helping anyone. It’s one thing to discuss our beliefs, but it’s another to pass judgement when someone has made a different decision. You are awesome – thanks for being so supportive!

  7. Stefanie says

    Good for you for doing what you think is best. It is your life to live. By reading your post, it sounds like you did your research and really gave this some thought. I am vegan and can’t see myself eating meat or animal products but if I felt it would be ok for me, I would. Good luck with your decision and know that there are still good people out there that are not going to judge you by trying something new.

    • says

      I really appreciate your kind comment! It’s so wonderful to hear how kind everyone has been about my decision, it makes it so much easier to be open and transparent. I love this community. :)

    • says

      Thanks Brittany, it’s so amazing that everyone has been so supportive and kind, whether or not they agree with my choice. It makes me smile to know that we’re here for each other! :)

    • says

      Thanks Heather – I really appreciate it! As someone who loves a healthy debate, I think we just need to know where to draw the line. There’s discussion and then there’s judgement, I don’t want to be someone who crosses that line. :)

  8. says

    No judgement whatsoever! I hope you know now that this community is here to support you. I eat meat and I’ve never felt any judgement from you; why would I judge you then? :) Plus, YOU know YOUR body best – and as long as you’re enjoying it and feel good about the decision, that’s all that matters! Keep listening to your body and respecting it. Thanks for sharing this big decision with us! :D
    Bonnie recently posted…Big News! + Links to LoveMy Profile

    • says

      Thanks Bonnie – and I’m so glad you’ve never felt that I have judged you for making different eating choices than me! =) It’s crazy how much anxiety I had over this post for no reason, thanks for always being an encouragement to me!!

  9. says

    More power to you! Eat what makes you feel good. I know plenty of people who refrain from meat because of the inhumane treatment. If and when they choose to pick it back up (even for just a single instance) they find sources that are humane (like buying directly from a local farmer) so that it still fits in with their belief system. The local farmer’s market should offer you direct access to some farms, and maybe even some fish or at least the vendors present could suggest sustainable fish sources.

    Good luck!!
    Amber Ellison Walker recently posted…Yoga for Fitness? Why it is perfect for BeginnersMy Profile

    • says

      We are lucky to have a Whole Foods near us that also makes finding ethically treated sources much easier. I haven’t seen fish farms at our market, but that’s a great idea. I’m not sure if I’ll be cooking fish or seafood at home (not sure I’m there yet), but it’s a great suggestion!

  10. says

    I have to admit, I could relate to this post. Even though I always said I was going to be “vegan with benefits” after my first intense month of vegan ‘challenge,’ once I embraced the lifestyle so openly I felt like I could ‘never go back.’ I have had seafood rarely, indulged in a few obviously not vegan desserts, and I have been experimenting a TON with yogurt (and lactose intolerance), but the first few times I felt like people might judge me for going back on my decision to stay vegan.

    I think it is totally personal, and really what it comes down to is we shouldn’t judge what other people eat, whether they are carnivores, herbivores, or somewhere in between.
    Sarah @ The Smart Kitchen recently posted…My New Favorite Thing (Scat! Bar Giveaway)My Profile

  11. says

    I appreciate that you are being open about this, and I appreciate that you are making choices based on you, not what others may think of you.

    It is not right to judge others, for anything. I try to not use labels at all, aside from recipe labeling, for that very reason – judgement is the very negative side to veganism.

    hugs to you! I hope this brings NO negativity your way.
    Kristina recently posted…cauliflower protein mashMy Profile

    • says

      I hear ya, it’s interesting because I’ve always been afraid of the v word, plant-based feels so much more comfortable. I have some amazing vegan friends that I admire so much, but it wasn’t something I’ve felt comfortable with for myself. I guess this is why. :) Thanks for your supportive words!!

  12. Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets says

    You gotta do you, and you have to listen to your body and your heart. Good for you for being ok with making a change regardless of what people will think.
    Meghan@CleanEatsFastFeets recently posted…Pizza PizzaMy Profile

  13. says

    Hey there!
    I think that it’s amazing that you are listening to yourself and body. One thing I truly believe is when anybody has moved away from the standad mass processed diet to a more plant based and wholefoods diet then we are making a positive change towards a healthier body, mind and planet (and all who are on it). Be it a raw, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian or a wholefoods diet which includes small amounts of wild game or grass fed organic meats- we are all on the same page really! I feel that judgement sometimes too and I think these boundaries need to be broken down, so we can support each other for the positive decisions we make:) Its so great to see so many people who feel the same way too :)
    Ellie Bedford recently posted…As the Summer fades, celebrate Autumn with a pear ice lolly!My Profile

    • says

      It’s funny to read about this because I just posted something related yesterday. I was with a friend this weekend who asked if I would ever eat meat again (including fish), my response was that I don’t think I’ll ever eat meat again because of the reasons why I’m a vegetarian (ethical). I say all this because I find it interesting that you identify ethical reasons as the reason you were meat free but are now eating seafood. I won’t say I agree with your decision because that would be lying, however, your decision is just that: yours.

      At the end of the day, we are each in charge of our dietary choices & only you can say what you feel good with or not :)

      • says

        My ethical reason are very different than most others, I know. For me about the treatment of animals during their life, not after. I know that many people won’t agree with my decision and that’s okay! I appreciate your honest response. :)

    • says

      Totally agree – I hope we can find a place of respect and understanding, a calm conversation is the approach I hope is taken more often. I think that can go a lot longer toward changes than unkind words.

  14. says

    Oh, Heather. I know it took a lot of courage to be honest, and I love you for it! But, you have to realize (and I’m sure that this was already mentioned in the comments below- forgive me as I’m catching up on blog reading!) that whatever YOU choose to eat is YOUR decision. And you already know that you don’t have to label yourself as “vegan” or “vegetarian” or “pescetarian” or any of that. You ate some fish… if it didn’t make you feel worse, and you want to eat fish, then eat it!
    I defintiely respect your ethical reasons for not wanting to eat meat. I don’t eat much meat, but I know that when I do buy it (from a local farmer) that the animals were raised outside, happy and eating grass. If I really think about all of it, I definitely feel sad… but I just kind of disconnect myself. My reasons for eliminating meat and dairy and eggs (if I do completely) would be more for my own health reasons, energy levels, etc.
    Bottom line- it’s your body. You treat it well. Eat what makes you feel GOOD.
    Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning recently posted…WIAW 7: Getting Back On Track [+ Perfect Oatmeal]My Profile

    • says

      Thanks Lauren! :) I hate labels, I’m no good at them, which is good because I’m not sure any of them fit me now. Are you still planning on a vegan challenge yourself? I hope you give it a try and see how you feel!!

  15. char eats greens says

    I’ve had this SAME feeling about fish. My hubby gave up land animal after I went vegan (I wish-wash between the whole honey thing – I still eat/drink it if it’s added to things and even had toast with honey last weekend!), but he still eats fish. I don’t know why, but for some reason it really bothered me if he continued to eat chicken/steak/etc, but fish doesn’t. It might have to do with the fact that maybe I secretly would eat it?

    I still don’t know where I stand with it. If I would eat it or not (I still haven’t), but I do admit that I do miss it too. I think as long as you follow your heart and you’re doing the best you can do for yourself, that’s what’s the most important!!
    char eats greens recently posted…baby: 33 weeksMy Profile

    • says

      If I could find a reliable, local source of eggs that I could visit the farm and see how the chickens are treated, I would add in the occassional eggs. Dairy is better for me not to eat with being lactose intolerant anyway. :) I’ve been very happy with my decision to eat fish and seafood again!

      • says

        I do have that, a hobby farm with a flock of chickens where I get eggs. They have all kinds of fancy chickens, plus some ducks, geese, mini-horses and a parrot! There are roosters too and the hens raise some broods, so the chicks get to be raised by their mothers. True, the extra roosters are then sold and I’m sure most of the buyers buy them for meat, so there is that compromise. But at least the roosters are not killed at birth. I’m picking up some eggs tomorrow, the guy has been saving them for me for a few days since the flock only lays about six eggs a day in the middle of winter. The day length is so short now (and no supplemental lighting, just a yard and a house for night-time) that they don’t lay much.
        Mary@FitandFed recently posted…Butternut Squash Pecan Gratin with Vegan Goat CheeseMy Profile

Trackbacks