8. Which Label Do I Have?

I went vegan in February 2016. Until then I was actually on Paleo diet where I ate meat 4 times a day. But just one day something clicked and I just didn’t see meat on my plate as food anymore. I didn’t even want to eat eggs anymore, either. I had already stopped drinking cow milk since 2012, so cutting dairy only meant cutting cheese.

My transition was very easy. I didn’t miss meat at all. I’ve heard some ex-vegans saying things like they couldn’t continue because they missed meat, and I still don’t get it. For me, it was a mindset shift, so it wasn’t difficult to convert.  I also realized that when a meat dish smells or tastes good, a big portion of it often comes from the sauce or seasoning.

I just wanted to try it for a year. I heard so many benefits about it, studied the effects of it and I was sold. And I did experience the difference. My mental clarity and mood were always at the top level. My skin had never looked better. my sleep quality improved and everything else became better all the way around.

I just found it inconvenient sometimes. I never thought wine could be non-vegan, I mean grapes ain’t meat! How can it be? It turned out that animal fat is used to filter the wine. And being a vegan didn’t meant only with diet. I was still sporting leather purses and there were many things that I didn’t even think of before. It has given me a chance to study more about true veganism. Now I am more aware about where and how animals can be used.

I found it challenging when non vegan mom friend is treating all of us with ice cream and when non vegans offering a vegetarian option thinking that it counts as vegan. I also have a huge sweet tooth. I find myself swallowing tears when I have to pass up ice cream sandwich, chocolate or cheesecake due to the milk ingredient.

So after a year, I became a vegetarian. I was still not eating meat including fish, wouldn’t cook up eggs for myself or start drinking milk or anything, but I took a piece of chocolate even if it has milk ingredient in it, had a slice of pizza with cheese, and ate bread even if it was made with eggs. I felt like I didn’t want to be too extreme. I wanted to “enjoy” life a little.

But something never sat well with me since I went more “flexible”. I started feeling like I was compromising myself for something. I can’t really put a finger on it, but I just didn’t feel 100% whole. What is that? I felt somewhat defeated.

And I broke out in mild hives when I ate bread or anything that had milk ingredients in it. I don’t know if I’m allergic to wheat or dairy, but it was kinda like I was being punished for eating “dirty”.

So where am I now? I am vegan again. My skin doesn’t act up anymore and I feel more grounded about myself. I feel like my integrity is restored.

It is easier here in Thailand, because those good looking treats in the cities are out of sight.

I just want to keep my body alkaline. And I think alkaline diet is pretty much vegan. I am also going to let go of the label. I am just gunna do what makes me feel good.

I am thankful for all the information that is available for us and the options we can try. I am happy that we have been given anything and everything we need to do whatever we want to do. We just need to decide what we want and follow through.



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