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zoe & the beatles

just a twenty-something vegan navigating healthy, positive living with a little help from her friends john, paul, ringo & george!

hey guys. happy friday! yay weekends! yay pay days! i am pretty tired. opening and a full day of awesome events can do that to a girl. i ended up working later than scheduled, too, because my boss has the flu and we needed coverage. oh well. i got paid more is how i see it!

but the rest of my day consisted of rock climbing. so, so much rock climbing. my friend and i (the ridiculously awesome climber) went to a climbing gym up north. honestly i am truly falling in love with rocks. and climbing them. i adore top roping and love the strength i feel i am gaining. rock climbing and yoga compliment each other so well it’s ridiculous. no wonder i love it so much! if you ever get a chance to hop on a climbing wall, do it. it’s not easy, i’m not going to lie, but the more you go back, the better you become. just like anything in life, no?

following the epic rock climbing sesh we attempted to eat indian food. epic fail. twice. both restaurants were closed. so we settled for thai. and i settled for hot red curry with mixed veggies, tofu, and brown rice. i was starving! holy shiz guys i ate the entire thing, felt so satisfied and did not have a food baby in the slightest. so. damn. good. thai feast preceded a lovely light yoga session. sigh. what a perfect day.

but this post has nothing to do with my day. this post has a lot to do with my life in general. as you all know, i am vegan. i love being vegan. i love feeling like i am being environmentally, ethically, and morally responsible. i like making healthful, informed decisions. however, as of late, especially after this summer, i have been reevaluating my vegan diet.

as of late several vegan bloggers (jackie, heather) have renounced their vegan diets (not necessarily their vegan lifestyles) in favor of a more vegetarian or omnivore diet. most have decided to include animal products back into their diet because their bodies no longer responded well to their diets. the vegan diet left them irritable, exhausted, weak, break-out prone, unable to think clearly, bloated, gassy. many experienced a number of other negative symptoms as well.

whenever i review my summer and my emotional, mental, and physical state throughout the three months, i feel a twinge. of anxiousness, of guilt, of fright — i do not entirely know. but i know i feel something. and i know that “something” is not a feeling of positivity. whenever i observe my body and my emotional and mental state now i still feel that twinge. although i am light years more healthy in mind and spirit, i am not so much better in body. yes i am much more balanced out and yes my skin is better but all outward appearances can definitely betray all inward activities.

i am reluctant to admit (but do so because honesty is the best policy for me) my diet may be backfiring. i constantly feel bloated, gassy, and puffy. my metabolism varies daily. my appetite does the same. it drives me nuts. i get stomach aches sometimes, feel too full sometimes. my digestive fire is simply not ignited and not processing well. before i became vegan i did not have this issue.

in addition, during my brief counseling sessions at the beginning of this year (did i not mention the fact i stopped attending these? mainly because of time issues but i truly feel like i need to go back. sometimes it’s hard to do this on my own.) my counselor and i discussed how being vegan might be a “cover” (for lack of a better word) for my disordered eating. as much as it depresses me to admit this, i am afraid it is partly true. no, i know it is incredibly true. i love being vegan, but the controlling, insecure, addictive person in me loves being vegan for vain and unhealthy reasons.

since i have started making more of an effort to eat well and eat more often, i have definitely seen an improvement in my overall health but i have not seen the improvement i really hoped to see. i know improvement in health takes time (i am impatient, as i think i’ve mentioned!) but my digestive issues should have been at least some what solved by now, right?

i remember how i felt and looked after returning home from south africa. my stubborn belly fat (i’m truly sorry here to bring this up. it’s just been on my mind lately) kind of melted away. i had a ton of energy. i was happy. really, really happy. my skin cleared up in ridiculous way (i think i got one zit/blemish there the ENTIRE time. that is unHEARD of for me.). the more i think about it, the more i realized my diet while i was there:

i ate whatever i wanted. but never whenever i wanted. i ate nothing containing preservatives or chemicals (not in their foods). my processed food and sugar intake plummeted dramatically. unhealthy high fat foods did not find their way into my diet and if they did, they did so in much, much smaller portions. for five blissful weeks i stopped worrying about food. i never thought twice about what i ate. and i ate a lot. like. a LOT. yet, over those five weeks, my body went through a mini transformation. inside and out. i never felt gassy or bloated or puffy or constipated. what did i eat? veggies. fresh fruits. and animal products. i always opted for chicken over beef or i ate the vegetarian options. i ate cheese. i ate dairy. and i felt awesome.

guys, i’m not so sure i feel awesome anymore. i do not want to give up my veganism, but i think my body does. all signs point to change. i am so reluctant to do this. however in doing so, i am not being fair to my body. at all. i really need to figure something out here. i am seriously considering including fish and eggs back into my diet. i really want nothing to do with chicken, red meat, and cheese (none of that sounds appealing. ugh) but sometimes, i find myself thinking about omelets and sushi. and sometimes i think about yogurt. could this be a sign, a cue from my body? these cravings aren’t arbitrary, are they? i’m not sure.

regardless, a decision needs to be made. and i honestly think an educated, guided decision needs to be made. so i am going to look into nutritionists in my area and finally figure this thing out. i need to, for the sake of my body’s happiness as well as my own happiness. stick with me here as i try and figure this out.




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