7

votes

How many people here started as vegetarian/vegans?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 06, 2010 at 3:10 AM

Just curious because I notice a bunch of people mentioning in passing something like "when I was a vegetarian...". I too started as a vegetarian and it was the most miserable 2 years of my life looking back.

Medium avatar

(0)

on March 18, 2014
at 02:48 PM

Could not agree more re personality types drawn to veganism/paleo and the tendancy for extremism at the fringes. I've witnessed this in raw vegan and starch-based circles. Its a passion for health underpinning it, to find 'the right way'?

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:32 AM

I know this is late, but I love your comment. You make valid and refreshing points.

775c11c884f56a943735cdefa22c5499

on November 12, 2011
at 02:35 PM

wow, now that's an original experience!

775c11c884f56a943735cdefa22c5499

on November 12, 2011
at 02:29 PM

My experience is similar to yours, as are my feelings about vegetarianism and the reasons I'm no longer vegetarian.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 12, 2011
at 02:09 PM

"When the wife and daughter of Macrobiotic guru, Michio Kushi, died of cancer it started us re-thinking." I did not know about this...

A71dfbf4e7efeb2068b63df478e9ac46

on October 30, 2011
at 07:45 PM

Wow, did you really eat road kill? Crazy. Anyway, totally dig you on the hunting and gathering stuff you do. Love permaculture and would love to do it. Unfortunately, stuck in the city for the time being. :(

A71dfbf4e7efeb2068b63df478e9ac46

on October 30, 2011
at 07:42 PM

I wasn't a vegetarian either, and I ate meat regularly - though in SAD increments. I also lift weight regularly and I supplemented with powders rather than eat real meat. However, I LOVED all vegetables. So much that people commented on my cravings of veggies with my meats. Steak, without veggies? WTF!? Now that I eat a lot of grass fed meat and fats, I find myself not really craving them anymore. I eat mostly cabbage, beets, broccoli and asparagus. Some squash. Rarely do I get a crazy craving like I used to.

3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on October 30, 2011
at 07:51 AM

I'm a recently converted vegetarian with a similar story. Thank you for this, it gave me a lot of encouragement that my health prolems might resolve as well.

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 17, 2011
at 12:56 AM

That sounds like a recipe for zinc deficiency.

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:05 AM

I ate nothing but crap after my time as a vegan too, more-or-less for the same reasons you state, though I didn't formulate them so clearly. Took me about 4 years of eating garbage before I started thinking again about what was good for me and what wasn't. Was a bit of a revelation to find that food that was actually healthy really did make a difference in my quality of life. My time as a vegan had left me with the suspicion that all healthy foods=slow suicide.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:12 PM

Great story! So much of what you've written, I've experienced, THANKS!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:09 PM

Wholy,,freeking,,,hippie!

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:08 PM

Me, too. It is a bit of a religious experience, isn't it???!!!

065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on February 27, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I was veg for about 4 years and used to dream about eating meat too. The dreams started to get so powerful that I couldn't ignore them. The mind/body connection is so fascinating, and we seem to know so little about how the two communicate.

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on February 25, 2011
at 05:48 PM

thanks Just-A-Mom :)

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on February 25, 2011
at 05:37 PM

awww, good luck with your rebuilding. I like your note to self: have healthy kids. I'm sure you will. :)

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41 Answers

12
D339c39d94d65460e28128174845f423

(821)

on June 06, 2010
at 05:57 AM

I suspect that you will find former vegetarians/vegans over-represented here, because people who question the dominant paradigm (agribusiness) could lead to veg or to paleo. I suspect that you will not find many former paleo who have devolved to veg, though!

9
32d2f8a41a121608d07aa68aa17991c7

(597)

on February 25, 2011
at 04:14 PM

I was a vegetarian for around 12 years, five of those as a strict vegan. I was, by the end, suicidal, frizzy, dry, crazy in my brain and dreaming every night about eating fish. I've been omnivorous for the past nearly 10 years. I started by eating the winged and finned folks and in the last five years (pre-conception, pregnancy and now) I have been enthusiastically on board the meat train. Since discovering paleo this past year I feel better than I ever have, ever.

065bc9a541c742defb28b9c58ad34fbd

(1783)

on February 27, 2011
at 05:08 PM

I was veg for about 4 years and used to dream about eating meat too. The dreams started to get so powerful that I couldn't ignore them. The mind/body connection is so fascinating, and we seem to know so little about how the two communicate.

9
D8691a1cee39ea420a36b163d4a4042b

(404)

on June 07, 2010
at 06:14 PM

Also, I had lunch with vegs turned paleo yesterday. They are dedicated paleos, but with lingering guilt about eating animals. It seems like a shame. If you are born a cat, you have to kill for optimum health, if you are born a cow you don't. If you are born a human, you do. It's not cruel or evil.

Now being turned off by the filth and stench of commercial livestock operations, that I can understand.

9
8b8272191277eafed53a44f28273e5f7

(188)

on June 06, 2010
at 03:14 PM

12 year veggie here. Got sicker and sicker and fatter and fatter. After 3 years of healthy paleo, feel great and maintain 75 pound weight loss effortlessly. Can't imagine ever going back.

7
9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on June 06, 2010
at 12:29 PM

I was vegetarian for 2 years and vegan for half a year. It does seem to be a mini-trend for veg*ns to go paleo, possibly because most are somewhat health conscious and also might pick paleo to heal from crap caused by not eating meat.

6
Medium avatar

on February 25, 2011
at 07:35 PM

I bought into the lipid hypothesis lock, stock and barrel (of s#!+). The day after seeing my dad in the hospital after his heart surgery I was a vegetarian. A month after that I was a vegan. The whole 8 years I had nagging doubts that we could have evolved to be vegan, but I saw such an abundance of "scientific evidence" to support it that I continued on.

I think there is a sort of dietary tinkerer mindset that will draw people to the fringes. Even though veganism and paleo are diametrically opposed, it's the same type of person who is drawn to both. There are then those who are drawn to the fringes of the fringes, such as raw vegans/fruitarians and zero-carbers.

Medium avatar

(0)

on March 18, 2014
at 02:48 PM

Could not agree more re personality types drawn to veganism/paleo and the tendancy for extremism at the fringes. I've witnessed this in raw vegan and starch-based circles. Its a passion for health underpinning it, to find 'the right way'?

6
Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on February 25, 2011
at 04:50 PM

I was raised vegetarian for 17 years, but never low-fat anything: I ate whole raw fats, dairy, eggs, butter, ghee, etc. Lots of veggies and fruits. No junk food. I was really healthy actually - only got a cold 1-2x a year... However, I also had to have braces "for cosmetic purposes" and had my wisdom teeth removed = malformed facial structure. What a bunch of fish and bacon could have done for me in my formative years, or to realize my gluten sensitivity, I can only imagine.

It wasn't until I started eating a lot of soy that things went down hill, and then I went vegan and raw vegan and just destroyed myself (hypothyroid, anemia, hypoglycemia, panic attacks, hair falling out, bottoming out body temperatures, like I'm talking 93-94 degrees) but even being fit and slim during my teenage years, I always had a tiny wheat-bloat belly.

It's been almost 2 years since I started eating meat again. Rebuilding, rebuilding. Note to self: have healthy kids.

Eea4c0f072bb5caa74c1fbe6dfab5f46

(942)

on February 25, 2011
at 05:48 PM

thanks Just-A-Mom :)

04293f705870e1837b8670d3c1cd5f67

(2261)

on February 25, 2011
at 05:37 PM

awww, good luck with your rebuilding. I like your note to self: have healthy kids. I'm sure you will. :)

6
485bcefe7f1f7a6df1a293a826bf6137

on June 08, 2010
at 04:54 PM

My wife and I began vegetarianism back around 1990, which morphed into veganism, and finally Macrobiotics. Since processed food and sugar is shunned, our diet consisted mostly of brown rice, non-starchy vegetables, and sea vegetables. There was a little bit of soy, mostly as miso soup. We did that for about five years. During that time I lost a lot of weight and we both felt good. I attribute that to not eating all the junk that many vegetarians do eat, and that may also explain the short term success of people like Ornish and Fuhrman. But I believe that eventually the lack of animal fat and protein catches up with you. When the wife and daughter of Macrobiotic guru, Michio Kushi, died of cancer it started us re-thinking.

A89f9751a97c3082802dc0bcbe4e9208

(13978)

on November 12, 2011
at 02:09 PM

"When the wife and daughter of Macrobiotic guru, Michio Kushi, died of cancer it started us re-thinking." I did not know about this...

6
D8691a1cee39ea420a36b163d4a4042b

(404)

on June 07, 2010
at 06:09 PM

I wasn't a vegetarian, but I didn't buy meat for ten years (just ate it at restaurants). People who saw my fridge and lunches said things like "rabbit food". In those days, I had strong cravings for leafy greens. I would grab a bundle of dandelion greens at the grocery store and be unable to wait for the checkout line, finishing half the bundle as I walked through the aisles.

Then I started really eating meat, mostly pastured. My cravings for greens disappeared. Now dandelions taste like unpalatable weeds, even my beloved lettuce is fairly unappetizing. I suspect I was deficient in certain vitamins, and that now that I eat meat and the deficiency is gone, the craving for greens is gone.

A71dfbf4e7efeb2068b63df478e9ac46

on October 30, 2011
at 07:42 PM

I wasn't a vegetarian either, and I ate meat regularly - though in SAD increments. I also lift weight regularly and I supplemented with powders rather than eat real meat. However, I LOVED all vegetables. So much that people commented on my cravings of veggies with my meats. Steak, without veggies? WTF!? Now that I eat a lot of grass fed meat and fats, I find myself not really craving them anymore. I eat mostly cabbage, beets, broccoli and asparagus. Some squash. Rarely do I get a crazy craving like I used to.

5
573249ac818e3e15ad61be14e0e0c830

on June 07, 2010
at 06:29 AM

I had been a vegetarian for the last 2 and a half years, prompted by viewing the chicken transportation truck that drove daily past my old apartment on its way to some Brooklyn slaughterhouse. Then 2 and a half years later I realized that I had been tired and hungry for the last 2 and a half years. I started eating meat again after my friend directed me to paleonu.com, where everything I read made an overwhelming amount of sense to me.

4
4b97e3bb2ee4a9588783f5d56d687da1

on June 06, 2010
at 03:06 PM

I was a carniwheativore. I ate alot of meat,cause it felt good, tried to eat alot of wheat and few veggies. Boy was I ignorant and... Fat I went out of my way to eat more Wheat to be healthy!!

Now eliminating wheat and sugar, I've dropped 105lbs and never been healthier

4
667f6c030b0245d71d8ef50c72b097dc

(15976)

on June 06, 2010
at 01:02 PM

great topic. I was never full-fledged veg or vegan, but i did eat a lot of what they eat. One poster is indeed correct in saying that although the practices of groks and vegheads are totally different, a lot of the mentality possibly required to get into these worlds is very similar. Also, i think as we get older, the vegheads reduce in number. Simply because it is so terribly unhealthy and it takes its toll on the body. I am currently "working on" an almost-vegan veg friend. She loves animals. I tell her that i too love animals, i have a dog, i work at a pasture-based farm every other week, etc. I tell her that eating meat and loving it/thriving on it is indeed a very high form of respect for those animals! Of course, i regale her with the health-promoting properties of the grok lifestyle, too. In fact, she just had surgery to remove one of her thyroid glands. Suspected cancer. Unbelievable. -ben

3
8949bf87b0e0aefcad10f29975e4fa2b

(8989)

on August 02, 2011
at 09:42 PM

I was a vegetarian for most of my life, and I ate mostly "healthy" foods, not junk. Transitioning to paleo from veg is easier than cw because I was already used to planning my own meals, making my own condiments and cooking all my own food.

3
4aa3281b2b5c6ec066c82675ee3df5f7

on February 27, 2011
at 04:08 AM

I was vegan for 5 years then I started eating road kill, that led to collecting shellfish, then fishing, then hunting small game, then big game, then I moved to a permaculture farm and experienced good animal husbandry and excepted dairy

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:09 PM

Wholy,,freeking,,,hippie!

A71dfbf4e7efeb2068b63df478e9ac46

on October 30, 2011
at 07:45 PM

Wow, did you really eat road kill? Crazy. Anyway, totally dig you on the hunting and gathering stuff you do. Love permaculture and would love to do it. Unfortunately, stuck in the city for the time being. :(

775c11c884f56a943735cdefa22c5499

on November 12, 2011
at 02:35 PM

wow, now that's an original experience!

3
5d0283f9cf2480374a0b7df56b7f3d9b

(418)

on February 26, 2011
at 07:11 PM

One more reformed vegetarian here.

I now call myself a born again carnivore.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:08 PM

Me, too. It is a bit of a religious experience, isn't it???!!!

3
B2dfc2184e3c3956b715645221978d0b

on February 25, 2011
at 11:16 PM

vegan for 20 years...

3
C1fb8666b1ae085507a76a4c494e4f0a

on July 07, 2010
at 07:28 PM

2 years low-fat vegetarian in my early twenties, then basic 'health conscious' eating (low fat, healthywholegrains, etc) until I found all of this :)

3
2b4f887f5fd32a37c6038eb0aaaf3bf5

on June 07, 2010
at 08:40 PM

Yes, I too was kind of a vegetarian. I only ate fish and chicken for 10 years, and that not very often. Did that mean I ate a lot of fruits and veggies? Nope. It meant I ate a lot of bread products.

I have had problems off and on with mild depression since I was a teenager (about a year before I went semi-veg), and when I began learning more about it, I discovered that there is a strong link between not getting enough protein and having low moods. It's the amino-acids (that become seratonin and the like), and amino-acids are proteins.

I was actually given a "prescription" from a naturopath that I needed to increase the amount of protein in my diet. And as I continued to do that, and continued to learn more, I realized that for my mental health, I had to eat beef & pork & other meats. And now, of course, I've learned that the pasta & other grains were a big part of the problem!

I have wondered if vegetarians experience higher rates of depression than the general population...

3
9b30ac6313c523c7be36af68c4ab1bf6

(40)

on June 06, 2010
at 05:44 AM

I was vegan for about 7 years untill it made me sick. Then I started eating chicken. Its taken me 4 years since that moment to eat red meat again. The change in me is visable apparently (brighter, happier, more colour to my skin, better hair, more muscle etc)

2
B3c0950cd33bf7689ca0b98e5f2b6cdc

(588)

on June 06, 2010
at 01:18 PM

Yes, I was there too. Lost way too much weight and made myself sick.

2
6eb2812b40855ba64508cbf2dc48f1b6

(2119)

on June 06, 2010
at 01:08 PM

I was a vegetarian for about five years. I tried being a vegan for about four months, and my cycles actually got messed up, and since I had always run that train on time, I went back to cheese and eggs.

I stopped being a vegetarian on a long-distance hike in 1999 when I decided some tuna sounded good. I ate fish (mostly sushi) for about a year, and then finally just went back to eating meat.

I gained a ton of weight during my vegetarian years. The diet just did not agree with me at all.

1
95601768ec9cb75cc3a9cbcd2271ed14

(2206)

on February 27, 2011
at 05:17 AM

I was vegetarian from 14-19, vegan from 19-24 and in the interim years before going paleo (ages 24-30) I was essentially a junk food vegetarian who ate bacon, tuna, and fast food burgers every once in a blue moon. (My years of veganism had left me bitter and wanting to rebel against the disordered eating and psychological obsessions with purity inherent in veganism, but also with a strong revulsion towards animal products and without any alternative frameworks to look to--all the years in the echo chamber led me to believe there was only veganism or SAD omnivory so I was practically living on snack cakes, pasta, tofu and other gross stuff.) Problems I suffered from included amenorrhea, developing a multi-nodular thyroid adenoma, severe depression, reactive hypoglycemia, irritable bowel/chronic diarrhea, arthritis, anemia, hair loss, non-stop respiratory and sinus infections, seasonal allergies, lethargy, memory problems and brain fog and probably some other stuff I am forgetting. When I was 21 the doctor told me I had the immune system of "a very sick middle aged person" and I felt like one, too. When I was 26 another doctor told me that my liver enzyme levels were "higher than an alcoholic with advanced hepatitis c" and was amazed that I wasn't jaundiced. I spent most of my time in bed.

After rejecting it for years, stumbling upon and proceeding to read every single post (in particular the ex-vegan interviews) on http://letthemeatmeat.com/, followed quickly by The Vegetarian Myth, gave me the courage to try paleo and I've never looked back. With the exception of some lingering hormonal imbalance problems, gut damage and the thyroid adenoma, every health problem I thought I would have in ever-worsening forms for the rest of my miserable life cleared up within a couple of months eating paleo. I feel better than I have since childhood and am reasonably sure that I will only keep feeling better as I age, which is so previously unexpected and rad.

Medium avatar

(4878)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:12 PM

Great story! So much of what you've written, I've experienced, THANKS!

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b

(180)

on August 03, 2011
at 03:05 AM

I ate nothing but crap after my time as a vegan too, more-or-less for the same reasons you state, though I didn't formulate them so clearly. Took me about 4 years of eating garbage before I started thinking again about what was good for me and what wasn't. Was a bit of a revelation to find that food that was actually healthy really did make a difference in my quality of life. My time as a vegan had left me with the suspicion that all healthy foods=slow suicide.

3f3236d1f951d4b4c25eff387699a905

(554)

on October 30, 2011
at 07:51 AM

I'm a recently converted vegetarian with a similar story. Thank you for this, it gave me a lot of encouragement that my health prolems might resolve as well.

1
A5ead9de259ae72f2165ecb12f4ae764

(440)

on February 26, 2011
at 03:57 PM

I was vegetarian for 3 months after reading "Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer. I experienced mood swings and lethargy. The seconds I went back to eating meat I felt better again. I have to thank that book for opening my eyes on factory farming.

1
1f96ce108240f19345c05704c7709dad

(1061)

on February 25, 2011
at 11:21 PM

When my son was about three of four years old, one of his buddies was shocked to find out that meat cam from animals. So, his buddy refused to eat any more meat. His parents still ate meat, but catered to their son's new found vegetarianism. When he ate at our place, we did not try to feed him meat.

My son told us that his buddy was vegetarian, but we were "meatarians". I liked that.

1
E7a462d6e99fec7e8f0ddda11b34a770

(1638)

on June 07, 2010
at 05:26 PM

I tried the vegetarian thing in college - probably like everyone does I think. It didn't last very long because I just don't really LIKE that many vegetables - especially onions, peppers and beans. (Try being vegetarian w/o eating THOSE!) I just always FELT better when I had some meat periodically - preferably steak - so I guess I was always kinda heading this this direction. I just had to wrap my head around giving up bread which took a while. I really don't miss it as much as I thought I would - more from a convenience aspect than anything since grabbing a sandwich can be s-o-o easy sometimes.

1
5d80aff9563aae9d350e632b20905ec1

(105)

on June 06, 2010
at 06:32 PM

I was a vegetarian for about seven years, and vegan for about four or five of those. I had bought into a lot of the veg and animal rights propaganda. For most of that time, I felt pretty good and didn't gain weight, but felt hungry a lot - probably due to my incredibly high carbohydrate intake and fairly low fat intake. I was eventually diagnosed with Crohn's disease and got very sick, which prompted the move to full-blown meat eater.

1
Deecc1b6632e7f29225266f9f826b59f

(10)

on June 06, 2010
at 12:24 PM

I was vegetarian for 7 years.

0
Edc8e857b8e5c541db0200a8076d6b22

on April 24, 2014
at 12:03 AM

I was vegan for the stupidiest reason ever. My boyfriend (now husband) was vegan, and looked at me like I was going to die every time I put a piece of meat in my mouth. He evangelized his veganism widely. Fast forward, I got extremely ill (still am), and now we are both paleos. He even makes me liver! Two weeks ago, we slaughtered our first chickens. All in all, I am happy with our journey because if he had not seen my crumble before his eyes, then be partially resurrected by Paleo, I don't think we would have ever reached a shared food philosophy. But now we have one, and I know our future kids will live healthier, happier, more resilient lives because of it. Now, if only I could find out how to get out of this damned bed... We are also libertarians. I think there are certain habits of mind common to folks who are attracted to these niches: 1) distrust of authority and 2) faith in some natural order of things (whatever you think that happens to mean) 3) deep discomfort with logical inconsistencies and 4) pragmatism (although I am not sure that latter is a vegan trait!)

0
Medium avatar

on March 18, 2014
at 03:04 PM

Moi! Je suis de retour Just transitioning from a starch-centric low fat plant based diet, effectively vegan. Tremendous initial gains including weight loss and energy, over months health deteriorated markedly - immunity, eczema, anemia and more probably. Had left paleosphere due to IBS and sluggishness but hope I can make health gains once more and avoid pitfalls.

0
5d0a23aefb2876433cc0e0679f714826

on March 18, 2014
at 02:57 PM

I tried to become vegan at the age of 14. I was obsessed with my weight and a couple of books convinced me that a vegan diet was the healthiest diet. I decided to eat a very clean diet to make sure I wouldn´t get sick. Unfortunately, that was what happened and none of the meals I was eating made me feel full. A blood test revealed that I was severily anaemic.

0
7255a87872b75e6f691d84dca769b87e

on November 12, 2011
at 02:43 PM

I was vegetarian for a year and a half, and I was slender. However, I was only slender because SAD foods exacerbated (caused, even) generalized anxiety and my appetite was DESTROYED. Wheat induced physical malaise, but interestingly, I think the mental instability I felt was caused by peanut butter and soy milk as protein sources - lots of Omega sixes. Even now I don't like to eat alot of nuts, seeds, or even eggs, because they seem to bring about emotional uneasiness. Saturated fat and starch makes me happy, and I will never go back to eating fake food in place of a steaming tuber drenched in grass-fed cow.

0
775c11c884f56a943735cdefa22c5499

on November 12, 2011
at 02:03 PM

I stopped eating animals when I was 14 (28 years ago!). And I've had a very healthy life. But as the years passed I felt the need to eat better, since my vegetarianism was in fact very trashy. My staples were bread, pasta, cheese, pizza, ice cream and chocolate. I always had problems keeping the weight off. 10 years ago I started eating fish to get more protein and to be able to have an overall better nutrition without so much crap. Even so, I was tired of always dieting, the same kinds of foods, all that low-fat/whole wheat stuff. About a month ago I decided to go kinda-Paleo - stopped all wheat, sugar, processed and fried things, cut most dairy, put way more fish, good fats, vegetables and fruits.

The result is that I lost some weight (still a little bit to go), feel good, don't miss bread at all (I thought I would die without bread) and I am eating with creativity and started cooking again. I rely strongly on salmon, as it is the fattiest (more fulfilling) and easiest fish to eat out, but the fact is that my meals are never boring and repeating anymore, since now I eat a variety of things I wasn't eating before. I am happy and enjoying.

However, I don't think I would ever eat red meat again. When I was a vegetarian, I used to say that I would eat animals only if I had to hunt them, because then it would have been a fair struggle. If I have to kill to eat, it's acceptable (for ME). If there is an industry that enslaves and objectifies animals for me to buy a sanitized piece of meat on the supermarket, it's not acceptable (for ME). For the same reason I don't eat chickens either, and I only buy free range eggs and organic yogurt. Eating fish for me is more acceptable, but of course there is still struggles in my mind, because of predatory fishing methods. In my opinion, all meat should be treated almost sacredly. Like one zen blessing says: “This meal is the labor of countless beings. Let us remember their toil".

Like someone said above about ex-vegetarian friends, I do feel guilty about eating animals in this time and context (we are not paleolithic folks, it's impossible for everyone to hunt and the meat industry is awful). I think there is just too many people on Earth for any kind of rational living to be possible, so we have to do the best we can individually. For me, it's eating only water beings.

I thank everybody here on Paleohacks, I have learned a lot from all of you. I have to confess that in the beginning I was kind of scared of the heavy carnivorism of everyone here, and one of the first things I researched here was how to do Paleo eating only water animals and the general opinion about the meat industry -- and I felt relieved when I found out that most of you would rather eat grass fed meat.

(I apologize about my english, it's my seconde language)

0
Cfa2637d1b6ec288d32379de06415792

on November 12, 2011
at 09:43 AM

I quit eating pork when I was 10, after visiting a relative's slaughterhouse and hearing them cry like babies. From then on, I quit red meat and lastly fish and was a ovo-lacto-vegetarian for full 12 years - many versions of it, including Ayurveda, Macrobiotics, SAD, unprocessed wholegrains,South Beach, etc.

During all of this time, I had weight issues, suffered from fatigue, loose teeth, PCOS, low thiroyd function, OCD and a few full blown panic attacks.

I discovered Paleo whilst I was researching raw vegan as I wanted to improve my diet and irony of ironies, stumbled across Denise Minger's blog http://rawfoodsos.com/ and the rest is history.

After 1 month on 90/10 raw paleo (I only cook my fish and Kale, rest is raw, eggs with runny yolk) I feel STRONG, HAPPY, very active and just downright AMAZING! I do hope the honeymoon is never over and that I continue to thrive.

PS: My apologyes for any spelling/grammar mistakes - I am a Brazilian living in Belgium, so don't get to speak/write English as much as I'd like :).

0
F1edc54a7fb4b84764aa7db05518c0ca

(285)

on October 31, 2011
at 11:10 PM

I encountered vegetarianism as part of my aspiring boxing/training regime during my early 20's. I had previously been eating a fairly balanced diet consisting of a lot of red meat, some vegetables, some grains. My coach at the time was a big fan of 40/40/20 during training and 50/30/20 during cutting cycles. At the time one of the fellow boxers at the gym had become a vegetarian following a strict diet, and his endurance had gone up significantly. Endurance was always a problem for me, so I gave it a shot.

5 years in, everything was going great, stamina/endurance increase was significant, I felt way better, no more heartburn, and maintaining 40/40/20 was a breeze even with significantly less protein options. Primary protein intake came from milk/goats milk, eggs, hempseed, lentils, and fermented soy (tempeh), while I like tofu, it was always a huge pain to make as the only way we were allowed to eat it was to sprout it, let it boil, then slow cook in something acidic, which probably took out a lot of the anti-nutrients.

The problems all started when I hung up the gloves and started working heavily doing research. This position left me behind a desk and unable to put proper care into dieting. At this point my vegetarianism fell apart into a haze of a lot of nights cheeze-pizza awful processed soy meats, high-sodium ramen concoctions, lots of breads, canned crap, and vegetarian "Fast food" IE taco bell bean burritos. My body rapidly fell apart, and I came to a realization that while I think it is possible to succeed/thrive on a vegetarian diet, it is pretty difficult without proper planning, research etc. and the time to prepare food properly. I think for example traditional lentil stews are fantastic, I just don't have the time (or the room) to sprout lentils, wash them a bunch, soak them for a few days, then cook them slowly. And while fruit and vegetables are quite convient, vegetarian protein sources that you can pick up and utilize, are mostly crap.

This, combined with the research I was doing at the time (advanced glycation end products and glycotoxic elements within the human diet) lead me to the Paleo mindset, with a few tweaks as, having been through several dogmatic approaches towards nutrition - and having found that the majority of food research is inconclusive, I no longer believe in taking a dogmatic approach towards nutrition. Paleo represents an avoidance of toxic elements within the food supply to me, be they GMO corn/wheat products or PCB's/Mercury/Dioxin/BPA contaminations in fats/proteins.

I don't have a problem with vegetarianism at all, in fact I did very well on it, and my current diet is still largely non-meat centric. I just found that it was both somewhat hard for me to eat properly on when time became a premium, and (a factor I didn't mention) inconvenient during travel (are you really going to tell the family who just killed a chicken after they invited you to dinner that you don't eat meat).

775c11c884f56a943735cdefa22c5499

on November 12, 2011
at 02:29 PM

My experience is similar to yours, as are my feelings about vegetarianism and the reasons I'm no longer vegetarian.

0
E36cb992cf0a5eba8b97a359c15f38b3

on October 30, 2011
at 04:21 PM

I was vegetarian for several years, and vegan for two. I did it mostly the right way (lots of whole, unprocessed foods and not much soy, lots of coconut oil and olive oil), but when I started finding more and more food sensitivities (wheat, soy, peanuts, etc.) I started rethinking. My husband and I took a tour of a local farm and I couldn't really say I would continue not eating eggs. After that I realized that egg are just baby meat and began eating local, pastured animals. I cannot and will not allow myself to unthinkingly eat CAFO meat, and would revert to pescetarian if I didn't have any options for good quality stuff. But I'm healthier now than I was then (fewer allergies, less fatigue, better skin) and happier. My anxiety is under control, too, which is huge for me.

0
C2450eb7fa11b37473599caf93b461ef

on October 30, 2011
at 04:07 PM

Me, but a while ago. I'm 39 and I want to say that my first endeavor towards healthy eating--a very misguided couple of years as a vegetarian/macrobiotic eater--was when I was 24 or 25. I gained about 25 pounds and screwed up my thyroid. Fun. I then shifted back to meat-eating, with occasional forays into crappy SAD food, but also keeping a lot of veggie stuff in my repertoire, remembering that whole grains and legumes are healthy! (har har har)

We were eating the Whole Foods Market version of SAD when I picked up a copy of the Body Ecology Diet to try to cure my husband's chronic sinus issues and adult-onset asthma. Moved from there to Weston A. Price and finally to paleo.

0
543ae0f06cde1a20a280ce3bdbc6a3de

on October 30, 2011
at 03:29 AM

This is only my opinion, so take it for what it's worth. I tried to be a vegitarian for about six months when I was in my 20's due to all the veggie propaganda about how eating meat isn't as healthy and makes one a lower life form if you eat animals.

The more weight I gained, the more wheat and tubers I consumed. All the government data and the vegetarian scene encouraged me to try harder. I actually had a vegan friend tell me that all I was lacking was will power. I became hungry all the time, consuming more at once to not be hungry. I was led to believe that since it was healthy grain, veggies, fruit and tubers, I could eat more and still lose weight being a vegetarian.

Then my doctor, who didn't know I was a vegitarian, told me after seeing my weight gain that I needed to follow a low fat, high vegetable diet rich in grains and fiber. The look on his face when I said I'd been a vegetarian for almost 6 months was priceless.

One day, near the end of my vegetarianism, I was looking at satellite photos of the world. I noticed that the destruction of animal habitats and wildlife demise came from the advance of agricultural development more than urban sprawl or timbering. I started researching it for about a week.

The area of land needed to grow food for cities is much larger in area than the city itself. This causes animal wildlife to fall. Not to mention the amount of other problems modern agriculture brings such as pesticides on the food and contaminated groundwater and most don't know that the use of oil to make fertilizer has been the norm since the 1960's.

I started reading about the things I noticed and found that livestock is raised on healthier soil than agricultural land after a year of use and nutrition wise, meat can be raised on land that is hard to grow veggies on due to rough terraine or semi-forestation.

Once I thought about it, there's probably a lot more cows, chickens, pigs and other animals on earth than there would be due to raising livestock than if the world became vegetarian. Yeah, we eat them, but I bet there are more because we raise theme for food than if left to a totally agrarian based diet, livestock would probably be killed for eating the agricultural plants since their natural habitat would be gone.

I mean, it's kind of ironic to think that most vegetarians are animal rights activists and they buy food from farmers that kill wild animals like birds, rabbits and deer to keep them from eating the produce. I guess its ok to shoot, poison or take away an animals wild land for vegetable production but shoot a deer for food or clothing and the vegans will riot.

I apologize for the rant but I am still kind of sore over the vegetarian/vegan propaganda that ruined my weight and health in just 6 months of time. I'm sure some people lose weight on a vegan diet but I also think it is more through malnutrition than being nurtitionally balanced without supplements. Let me just say, it is a vegetarians right to choose the food they eat although a plant is a living thing also and if some say that plants talk to them or that plants respond to music or communicate with each other then wouldn't it be just as wrong to eat them as most vegetarians say it is to eat an cow? We compete for air with cows, plants give it to us!

It was in the light of personal experience with vegetarianism that I began to search for other ways to be healthier.

It was an unrelated search on google for the word CAVEMAN that took me to a paleo diet site a couple of years ago and it made a lot of sense so I tried it. I lost about 140 pounds through paleo dieting and mild exercise in about 18 months. That included a short term relaps to things like pasta when I got married and a non-paleo eater moved in. At the time, I was just trying to fit in with her and didn't want to push my diet on her just to make the grocery bill and shopping easier. After explaining it to her in more detail, she was willing to try it to for a month. We have been happy campers ever since while sticking to the paleo-diet.

Again, sorry for this post being so long. I have issues when it comes to being a former veg head.

4d19018c899ad4e4c8a8bff5515449e1

(242)

on April 20, 2012
at 09:32 AM

I know this is late, but I love your comment. You make valid and refreshing points.

0
Dd0244b4368083d25ae9eb8533211d2e

on September 17, 2011
at 12:38 AM

not I, but my sister (an ultra marathon runner) was a former vegetarian before starting paleo

Medium avatar

(39821)

on September 17, 2011
at 12:56 AM

That sounds like a recipe for zinc deficiency.

0
6b3ae45f76f18f03432cd8955b5d1031

on September 16, 2011
at 11:37 PM

I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 20 years. One of those years I cut out dairy completely while breastfeeding my son. It's only been the last 6 months that I've questioned that. My health never noticeably suffered. I was 9 when I became vegetarian and 20 years later not the same person. It had become something I did because that's what I had been doing. Since I'm always one to question convention, I started looking into other diet options. I came across Paleo through cross-fit and decided to give it a shot. Some one mentioned wheat belly. I definitely had that, no matter how thin I was. So far I'm feeling better, less bloated. I did alright as a vegetarian so I'm curious what my potential is as a Paleo.

0
16e617676c5ac710e5235e0b773edc0b

on August 03, 2011
at 01:25 AM

I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 8 years and then a strict vegan for 3 (for moral reasons) before I found low carbing via Atkins in the late '90s. I went back to being a lacto-ovo vegetarian (being a vegan on Atkins is impossible) and realized that my health was more important than my respect for animals' well-being so I started eating meat again for the first time in many years on a trip to Brazil (how could I turn down the magnificent churrascarias?!). Now I only (~95% of the time) eat meat that was raised locally, naturally, in a sustainable manner, in the way nature intended.

I truly believe that an over-consumption of soy exacerbated the PCOS and hypothyroid conditions I learned I had right around the time I discovered low carbing. Soy was my go-to food and now I regret it terribly.

0
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 02, 2011
at 10:22 PM

i was vegetarian, since the second outbreack of cowmadness in gritain, which than swapped to grmany. im happy that i was vegetarian in this time. it was a ownderful time to get clear on own believe and in this panic situation . shortly after there came this mouth and claw disiease where they burnt again a lot animals. i tried to become vegan somehow i coudnt do it for long time. for short time i felt well. when i started dumpster diving i was the first when i snackend meat.. maybe not the first. i was someday between raw vegan, frutiarian wannabe, freegan, and vegetarian, and breatharian wannabe. and ayurvedic, and tibetean .. thna i tried macrobiotic. i looked in tibetean diet system which is very nice.

realy i started meat when i was two weeks in the wilderness of norway mountain in telemark than when i feel well on a paleo week. its was two weeks paleo intense. after that in hounr of the native americans who suffer from fast food in reservations i ate hamburg and a lot shit. it was fun. i got vegan again than vegetarian. than raw foodist. til i got dental roble. what wasnt only from vegan lifestyle. i wasnt realy vegan. it was from the stress and not being settled. i was derooted. i needed a home. ..fishing in norway brought me closer to paleo also the time in finnland.

whatever. now iam between raw vegan. fruit eater and paleo. i like to keep my animal intake small. i like fish more than big meat. for me eating meat should stay sacred. it s there are still psirits and ghosts a live who have a message to tell us. so if we eat to fast. they will talk to us and say calm down listen for a moment. i died time ago. be cautous on life.

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