Why Your Vegan Diet Isn’t The Problem

Riley Coules
April 20, 2017

Disclaimer: this 

Do you know how many times in the past couple of years I’ve been told veganism lies at the source of my digestive complaints?

(This question is rhetorical, but a lot).

 

The format of such advice usually takes on one or more of the following models:

Just eat a little red meat; it’s good for you!

C’mon, have some yogurt–the cows don’t mind (bullshit; see why here)

Maybe you wouldn’t be so skinny if you included some animal fat in that diet of yours (perhaps, but then I’d have a higher risk of heart disease too)

Your body is telling you it just isn’t meant to be vegan (no, my body’s begging me to kick out my gut invaders…)

Animals are here for us to eat (animals are our friends)

The brain runs on protein and fat (nuts and lentils it is then!!)

 

…and of course the one every vegan gets:

Where do you get your protein?

Where do you get your protein?

Where do you get your protein?

The same place you get yours: my food (actually I get mine from my food and you get yours from your food, but you know what I mean (jellybean)).

 

I received (and continue to receive) these comments from family, friends, older folk, uninformed folk, and yes… medical professionals. Even some holistic medical professionals.

 

Here’s the thing about knowledge in this world: it tends to be somewhat subjective, fluctuating, and experimental. Thus, we have to formulate our own truths when accurate information isn’t available to us–and the information we do come across reeks of deceit (the products of meat lobbying come to mind)–based on our own experiences as well as those we can assess with legitimacy.

 


An Analogy

Consider your perceptions of the world around you, made possible by the numerous sensory organs you use to see, hear, smell, feel, taste, and intuit. Now compare your interpretations to those of a blind person. Surely you two would not agree on the varied subject matter that requires the aptitude to see, whether that sight is directly related to the sensation itself or a form of intel only a visionary could conceive of. Moreover, realize that it is not always those who see with eyes that comprise the latter; sometimes deficiency leads to genius. 

 

And why wouldn’t you agree, exactly? Is it perhaps possible that you are two different people, with two entirely different perspectives of the world around you? Is it perhaps possible that you possess contradictory vehicles with which you interpret sensory information, and thus cannot compare your viewpoints with legitimacy? Is it even possible that your analyses differ due to influences that may have compromised your intelligibility?  

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Let me answer the above for you: yes (to all of ’em). Here’s why:

Yes, you are two different people with entirely different life experiences. That includes your childhood upbringings, adulthood adventures, and the societies you have inhabited. Your educational backgrounds may oppose one another (parallel this concept to traditional v. naturopathic v. chiropractic v. ayurvedic v. homeopathic medicine… the list goes on and on), as well as what information you have been lucky enough to come across in light of anti-holistic propaganda. Furthermore, you may have encountered different types of people in life, with equally distinctive life experiences, who have influenced the knowledge you now possess.

Yes, you may have been endowed with unique vehicles with which you perceive the world: the blind man is highly sensitive to sound while your senses remain equitable in perception. These vehicles surely have their own idiosyncrasies, tendencies, and paths to healing, which may be affected by my next point…

You may have interpreted the world around you whilst unknowingly inhibited by factors beyond or within your control, factors that may dually enlighten you if you allow them to (think The Altered Personality or unknown digestive distress and the lower self it exacerbates). By gaining awareness of the mastery you ought to possess over your “deficiencies”, you can transform them into something useful, in the process discovering truths others are blind to.

 


The Translation

You’re Not “Doing it Right”

So how does this analogy relate to the perception of veganism in this country? I already touched on alternate educational backgrounds; in my experience, most “traditional” medical professionals discredit the vegan diet due to its defiance of traditional medical beliefs (which are often wrong, in so many ways–how illness arises and how to treat true underlying causation being uppermost). MD’s also work closely with the government, subscribing to their falsities (such as the claim that there is no cure for cancer), and prescribing their drugs (again, and again, and again–for everything); why would dietary recommendations be any different? The meat and dairy industry controls the purported food pyramid, now known as MyPlate. These standards inevitably permeate our doctors’ schoolings and peer-confirmed belief systems. For years the government wouldn’t suggest that we eat less of the two evils–despite an overwhelming body of evidence proving the favorability of a largely plant-based diet–due to forewarnings from one of the biggest businesses in the country (to be sure: the truth almost always means less money circulating at the top, at least before other malicious industries begin to dominate); look where deceit has gotten us. Rates of depression, anxiety, cancer, diabetes and more have skyrocketed, and for what reason? Surely not just because we now consume meat and dairy in copious amounts, but because we also guzzle processed foods, suppressive drugs, fluoridated water, and the pollutants in our air, whilst continuously–that is, chronically--avoiding dealing with how we really feel, instead turning to society to validate our own shaky feelings of self-worth (the higher self–the ultimate thwarter of illness–is thus perpetually veiled). Your father abused you as a kid? No worries, drown your sorrows in a 12-pack while watching the big football game and it will all be OK. Your ego comprises the whole of your personality? No problem, your PhD gives you the green light to assert your dominance on those who lack the capacity to defend themselves (due to some lower quality they have yet to deal with, I might add).

When people say (and by people, I mean a friend of mine with whom I just discussed this topic) that healthy eating/exercising/going to school/etc. “is a choice”, thereby implying that all who don’t have their shit together deserve the ill-health (in all facets of life) “coming to them”, they displace the responsibility of our leaders onto the people, who trust those leaders to guide them in the right direction. They neglect the fundamental role social norms have in shaping who we are (one of which being the consumption of poor quality foods). They proclaim their ignorance to the sinister, covert, yet stunning effect the exacerbated lower self has on altering our ability to cope with our many earthly dilemmas, whilst being victims of the schema themselves (the highest version of oneself has compassion for others’ follies, especially those that are instigated and sustained by a defunct social morale). Even those that seem to have “made it”, with their degrees and large homes and BMW’s, too look to the powers that be to reassure them that materialism makes them worth it. And for those that don’t seem worth it, Big Pharma’s withholding of true healing, that which compels the people to settle for less, sets the stage for perpetual struggle.

Notice I used the word “schema” before; our problems on the macro and micro levels are interrelated, and they play off of one another until we can no longer decipher the origin of the collective unconscious’ woe. Or the means to true healing, for that matter.

It’s not our doctors’ fault they have succumbed to misinformation; no, the circumstances perpetuating and sustaining the Standard American’s poor dietary habits are far too big, and far too subliminal, for either party to know just how manipulated they’ve been. But this open wound in the physical and mental well-being of Americans will continue to fester until we deal–so someone’s got to start. And we start by figuring out the better alternative to our destructive way of living.

why some people thrive on the vegan diet while others don’t.

 

If meat and dairy are so bad, why isn’t veganism always good?

 

Even some of the holistic doctors I have met with have encouraged me to incorporate animal products in my diet given the enormity of my digestive issues, which I have never attributed to veganism directly–rather, going vegan the wrong way with insurmountable amounts of stress (trauma) involved. Adopting this lifestyle will already place pressure on the body to heal itself; if one neglects to transition properly, with the added burden of a compromised mental state thwarting corporeal processes, the body will not appropriate a restorative response. Because naturopaths understand that health, in many ways, starts in the gut (they’re warm, maybe getting warmer, but not quite as hot as homeopaths), they tend to “prescribe” dietary modifications, and definitely supplements, when a patient presents them with a mental or physiological dilemma which may or may not have something (directly) to do with the digestive tract. They understand that the body is a total system that needs to be treated accordingly, and even that the mind too is involved in that principle, for which we would attribute the term vital force (the mind and body combined). Of course, naturopaths do not use that terminology, unless they have a strong homeopathic background; however, any naturopath that stumbles upon–that is, really grasps–homeopathy tends to adopt the practice first and foremost, unless ne is corrupt and finds there is more money to be made in prescribing supplements (which often are taken perpetually, like drugs) than $8 remedies! Naturopathic schools do teach homeopathy on the side, but the focus they place on researching the principles of this amazing form of holistic medicine is short-lived and superficial, offering no real time to comprehend the doctrines that require years to master, or the or the extent to which they heal.

In the next section I will cover why holistic doctors may be led astray, preferencing omnivorous diets over vegan ones, but for now I will speak to the vegans that simply do not “do it [the lifestyle] right”: The general consensus amongst those in opposition to an entirely plant-based diet seems to lie in its poor bioavailability of certain nutrients such as vitamins D and B12, unconverted (and unusable) forms of vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids, as well as a few minerals like iron and selenium, many of which were available in abundance to the vegan living centuries ago, before farming malpractice and current harvesting procedures (including washing our fruits and veggies) depleted our soil. B12 can only be produced by bacteria in the ground; humans used to eat dirt. Now we must eat other organisms who have consumed soil to obtain this vitamin. Other nutrients, such as omega-3’s and provitamin A, must be ingested in “abundance” for the body to convert enough of them into their usable form (vitamin A can only be utilized as retinol, and enough ALA must be obtained through plant-based foods in order to render the body sufficient in EPA and DHA). Animals take care of this conversion before we consume them, so omnivores need only eat fish to fulfill their quotas, presumably at their advantage; however, considering most vegans eat far more in volume anyway, and omnivores suffer far more in other respects (increased risk of heart disease, coronary artery disease, certain cancers, to name a few), “red flag” nutrient quotas can be met with special attention to diet (flax, chia, and hemp are essential). Interestingly, many plant-based foods actually contain a solid omega 3-to-6 ratio, which is more than can be said about most dairy products…

As far as selenium goes, it can be found in healthy doses in sprouted breads, brazil nuts, and brown rice; iron, on the other hand, exists in nearly all plant-based foods, contrary to popular belief (it’s the vegetarians that have a problem; replacing some vegan foods with animal by-products, those that contain virtually no iron, leads to deficiency). So it seems the real dilemma here lies in the adequate consumption of whole foods–not the nutrient-less processed crap Corporate America feeds us. Indeed, junk food vegans suffer just as much as junk food omnivores. As far as vitamin D is concerned, most are at risk of deficiency as we all spend copious amounts of time cooped up in our homes and offices. Unfortunately, even the effort to negate this fate may prove inadequate in northern parts of the world; supplementation, then, is necessary. Eating real foods–whole fats included, particularly with fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K–as well as complementing one’s diet when applicable (with B12, vitamin D, and perhaps iodine), eradicates virtually all concerns associated with plant-based eating. Nature has us covered, despite what you may have heard; the key here is variability.

These notions indicate that while certain deficiencies remain prevalent amongst vegans (and others amongst meat-eaters), the impossibility of the vegan diet itself is not to blame. Rather, ill-attention to proper nutrition leads to an increased risk of health complications, which can very well occur in the omnivorous diet; attacks made on vegan nutrient deficiencies often neglect to mention the harm animal products effect on the digestive tract, such as inflammation, fatty arteries, and consequent increased risk of the abovementioned maladies. While some animal products are certainly less inflammatory and “toxic” (i.e. full of additives) than others, we do know how poorly our animals are treated. Whether or not you believe in meat retaining the memory of unjust massacre, factory farming, like the rest of our industrialized food industry, would rather make a quick buck than ensure the welfare of our people (or that of the slaves they slaughter, for that matter). Once again, illness in the body is directly reflected within the mind, and vice versa. If we fall gravely ill from trauma, what do you think happens to our animals, those that are so driven by emotion, and so incredibly susceptible to fear at the hands of evil? The meat and dairy industry is evil, and animals are not its only victims; mass production has tarnished the value of life at everyone’s expense. The suffering that occurs prior to slaughter remains thereafter. As Singer wrote in Animal Liberation, veganism is not only a moral rejection of meat consumption, but “a form of boycott” (Singer 162), a demand to eradicate the animal slave trade.

With all the backlash veganism gets, everyone seems to be cutting out dairy as one of the main seven allergens anyway (note: nixing dairy=acceptable, veganism=too far).

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You Have Gut Issues That Cannot Be Solved Simply By Going Vegan

Some new vegans have pre-existing digestive issues they assume will vanish with a plant-based modification to their diet (or that they don’t realize exist). They may not understand the source of their “IBS”, chronic inflammation, leaky gut, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, etc., and thus do not know how to properly remedy these digestive complaints. In my articles regarding cleansing the body of pathogens, I make the claim that some may find relief from their symptoms (including mood-related disorders; this is crucial) upon detoxifying with vegan foods–if and only if the body can heal itself in the absence of overgrowth. If the vital force has been permanently depressed by trauma, and diet alone does not stimulate a sufficient curative response, other methods of restoration must be sought, like homeopathy. 

The first step in a mild detoxification regimen should not be the utilization of harsh herbs, but a gradual reduction of toxic food items from one’s diet along with a concurrent transition into veganism. Even vegan processed foods should be excluded during this phase. Raw or raw-till-4 with an 80/10/10 or 60/20/20 focus may optimize results, as will eating fruit on an empty stomach. The only exception to the raw vegan diet I hold regards severely fatigued adrenals; as these glands are involved in regulating blood sugar and immunity through the reduction of inflammation, an extremely high simple-carbohydrate diet can amplify symptoms of adrenal fatigue if the adrenals are not functioning properly, if they are not strong enough to handle the rapid detoxification this regimen incites. The body, then, not only attempts to detoxify (which, if not done properly, can cause more stress–i.e., more inflammation–than the disorder itself), but must regulate the blood sugar levels that speedily rise and fall; a self-fulfilling prophecy results. If the gallbladder too is stressed, one will have to stray from fats, which doesn’t leave much complexity. A low-fat, raw vegan diet worsened my GI complaints and heightened my anxiety after eating when I tried it at my worst, but most will not start at rock-bottom. Everyone is different. (Yet we can all prosper on the plant-based regimen, just with modifications until we are fully healed. Read on to find out how.) If the “infestation” is rather virulent, I advocate healing the source of overgrowth–digestive distress–and not just the overgrowth itself; diet may allow the body to mend itself in the absence of triggers in mild cases, but only homeopathy will compel the body and mind into restoration no matter how weakened they are. These methods will ultimately result in a cure unlike the antibiotics that promote dysbiosis and further GI dysfunction.

SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) may instigate chronic constipation, diarrhea, flatulence, and fatigue, all of which are exacerbated by high-FODMAP foods (beans are a huge culprit) in such cases. The connection between Celiac disease and SIBO indicates that those suffering from gluten intolerance may also find relief through addressing dysbiosis in the small intestine, wherein gluten is digested, which over an extended period of time will dually promote ease in assimilation of higher-FODMAP foods. The vegan diet itself will likely fail to rectify SIBO-related symptoms (which may resemble and/or add to symptoms of pathogenic overgrowth) because it is not as proteinous as the omnivorous diet; frequent secretions of stomach acid, which protein incites, keep the gut flora in the small intestine in check. (This avenue comprises one of many that prevents dysbiosis. The overconsumption of protein is also a huge problem in this country.) Furthermore, if centered heavily on high-FODMAP foods, the vegan diet could quite possibly worsen SIBO-related symptoms–but so could animal products of the same kind. Think dairy, processed meats, etc. I am aware that the GAPs diet might fair better, given that it is supposedly the optimal animal and animal by-product diet in the crusade to restore the very worn digestive systems of most Americans, but consider this: people with tarnished mentalities and physicalities who abide by the protocol experience the same plight as raw vegans dieters, anti-Candida dieters, low-FODMAP dieters, etc. Their symptoms return as soon as they deviate from the meal plan. And even those who don’t relapse must question: did my diet heal all of me? No one who merely alters their food regimen can say for sure if all they’ve done is eradicate the manifestations of disorder (leaky gut, flora imbalances, etc), or the disorder itself. Nor can they say if they’ve mended just some extensions of the digestive tract (think allergies, rashes, etc.), or all of them, the totality of the being. No one can say for sure except those that utilize homeopathy.

Not to mention the fact that the GAPS diet is not a godsend–not only for reasons listed above, but because many people do not thrive on it, and struggle with it just as much as the (perhaps fewer) that struggle with the vegan diet, the latter of which may or may not be eating the whole foods necessary to thrive. And still, one factor remains the same: the disorder must have existed prior to the diet alteration in order for veganism not to work, or even be necessary in the first place (as for those that utilize plant-based eating to actually heal their guts, not just for moral reasons). This is my most compelling argument! I truly believe that people who do not flourish after going vegan already possess a predisposing factor for them not to flourish, that their digestive systems are already defunct–whether to a mild or severe degree, whether they are aware of such malady or not–and thus the body is not equipped to heal itself upon going vegan. I do not believe this predisposing factor is innate, or inevitable, which I will delineate on below. The source of furthered digestive distress, then, might be something rather simple, like a malabsorption issue that throws the whole process off; alternatively, it might be excessive stress, specifically at the time of the diet alteration, in which the vital force is under too much pressure to maintain homeostasis at it is, is already in a state of exaggerated healing–that is, constant detox–and thus succumbs to disorder entirely, instead of working with the diet to better levels of homeostasis. Neglecting to transition properly is a huge culprit here; remember that the body has worked to regulate gut flora levels attune to meat and dairy likely for one’s entire life. That’s a whole system built upon omnivorism. Hence the necessity in treating the body with respect by allowing it to catch up to the mind’s grand schemas before the latter overwhelm, and do not uplift as they should. The virtue of patience is higher mentality too, you know…

There are children everywhere being raised vegan, and many more without dairy or meat, respectively. I won’t comment on the frequency with which these children blossom, for I do not know (and vegan versus vegetarian versus dairy-free diets certainly yield different results); although, I do know people both in real life and on the internet who have robust vegan children, the welfare of which may be ascertained not only through observation, but via concrete, tangible means. Do some research, if you’d like. These children are not run down by the products of a sinister meat and dairy industry; their blood tests, energy levels, and lack of infirmity prove that their bodies are responding beautifully to a toxicity-free lifestyle. Those that do not flourish are few and far between, yet you will only see vegan horror stories on the national news. Nevermind that the standard American child develops clogged arteries far too young, and due to what? The Standard American Diet. Sure, processed food is a huge culprit here, but Dr. Esselstyn and Dr. Kalper think animal products are too. The point is, if a child is provided a wide variety of whole, vegan foods from the get-go, and that child is not disordered from birth perhaps due to traumas the mother sustained whilst pregnant, I do believe the child will be healthy. It only seems like children–or anyone, for that matter–struggle with veganism when they are (1) fed an insufficient vegan diet or (2) transitioned improperly. So what’s the problem here? Is it genetics? Well, it would seem that if anyone could thrive on a vegan diet from birth, genes aren’t the issue, at least not until specific traumas expose weaknesses in their genetic code.

To summarize: I think only those who are already disordered may suffer–whilst others may heal–upon going vegan because they do not transition properly, nor gradually; they suffer from certain symptoms that plant-based eating does not easily rectify (think those related to SIBO); and perhaps because their genes are not as compatible with plant-based eating if and only if the vital force is already in a state of imbalance.

So someone with a ravenous appetite that decides, “hey, I’m going to go vegan overnight!” may actually worsen the digestive distress that is causing that symptom because ne is forcing nir body to detoxify too quickly and furthermore suffers from a symptom that veganism does not readily heal. People with truly ravenous appetites likely have fatigued adrenals, at least to some degree, whether they realize it or not; because vegans eat higher volumes of food than omnivores, plant-based eating may impact them negatively, as it will only fatigue their adrenals further. Now, of course, if they transitioned into the lifestyle, they might actually heal. But even then, if the disorder is too far-reaching and too ingrained, they need homeopathy. 

Now, how do I (think) I know so much about the inner workings of veganism done right and veganism done wrong? Well, I exemplify the classic case of the overnight-vegan that just disrupted and confounded her system more. I was under so much stress when I went plant-based; despite my lifelong urge to do no harm, I sought control. This one’s a long story, which I won’t get into here (you can look at the My Journey tab for more information), but the facet of my plight that pertains to this argument lies in my current welfare, a vegan to this day. Back in 2015 when I made the switch, the shit that was already about to hit the fan finally did. My horrendous, yet endlessly-enlightening struggle followed, and it ended the same way it started–for which I must ask you: if I could go vegan and suffer so much, amidst all the other traumatic things going on in my life, but then stay vegan and heal, is my vegan diet the problem? The answer: no. The other circumstances surrounding my situation were. Take away the stress, and veganism works. Still, this qualification does not fault veganism; any diet drastically different than my own that I could have adopted at the time would have hindered me. Indeed, it is that veganism compelled me into a state of healing, beyond that which I could handle given other stressors, that eventually led to my decline.

The ultimate takeaway: I do not believe whole, plant-based lifestyles are ever the source of one’s digestive distress;_____ rather, ignorance to the source of digestive dysfunction will lead some to believe “veganism just doesn’t suit them”. Please, if you tried going plant-based and suffered, consider homeopathy! You must strengthen your vital force first, which will set the foundation for your transition so as to allow you to acclimate to a toxicity-free lifestyle healing-crisis-free.

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Optimal Nutrition is Elusive, Subjective

In line with my analogy, nutritional ignorance drives the adherence to traditional ideologies regarding the ideal diet’s components. A study conducted by the Journal of the Association of American Medical Colleges found that only 27% of the 105 graduate medical schools in their study (127 stand in the U.S.) meet the minimum 125 hours of nutritional education standard set by the National Academy of Sciences. In the veggie debate, it certainly doesn’t help that the meat industry monopolizes governmental standards of what constitutes a “healthy diet” through lobbying and the USDA’s fortune-minded regulation of guidelines, which medical professionals, and schools of thought, abide by. If these courses consider veganism, they likely do not accommodate all of the research (often conducted by other countries) supporting the diet, nor did they when the majority of present-day medical professionals attended school. Veganism is only in its infancy in terms of the experimentation backing it, as well as the extent to which it has infiltrated the mainstream social, and professional, schema. We put so much faith in “higher powers” to guide us into prosperity and wellness; yet, the people that oversee these industries are just that: people. Like any congregation, bad apples with poor intentions will compromise the group as a whole from cultivating purity, as will ignorance. The good, informed apples then suffer in stigma.

For those who have a hard time accepting corruption within healthcare, consider the gallbladder removal industry: according to this article from USA Today, up to twenty-five percent of surgeries are performed unnecessarily. Gallbladder surgeries in particular are more susceptible to corruption (“Let’s just remove it; you don’t need it anyway”) due to the misinformation surrounding the organ and it’s functions, although its extraction has serious consequences. Victims of gallbladder removal surgery cannot properly digest fats without bile salts, potentially leading to fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies and chronic digestive ailments such as indigestion, diarrhea, bloating, and fatigue. When this knowledge is combined with the hundreds of thousands of anecdotal reports on various forums, as well as published articles on the internet from reputable sources, the reality that homeopathy, gallbladder/liver flushes, certain herbs, and time can replace the need for surgery absolutely tarnishes the reputation of those we trust most. Whether medical professionals on a micro-level (in their own offices), or on a macro-level (those that educate our doctors) promote the falsification of proposed truth, I do not hate nor hold “traditional” industries in contempt; rather, I wish to see a greater inclination toward natural treatment as opposed to those that provide the most capital.

Your doctor may not be informed of what veganism can do for you. Ne may chalk up your health issues, plainly and simply–when they’re so much more than that!–to your recent diet alteration. Read onto the next section to see why this section means so much.

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You’re Detoxifying

If my body’s rejection of veganism resulted from a nutrient deficiency (such as B12, the consequences of which I am now well aware), my symptoms would have arisen over time following the depletion of my reservoirs, not within weeks of my diet alteration. This observation introduces an interesting concept: oftentimes adverse reactions incite one to forgo nir newly plant-based lifestyle, when in reality, this very response indicates progression (albeit sometimes at an unwanted rate). Guaranteed if you, the reader decide to alter your diet after exploring my website, you will experience a detox reaction, which is natural after years and years of meat and processed-food consumption intermingled with suppressed trauma. In line with all that I have delineated on thus far,  you might even experience an uncomfortable Herxheimer reaction, especially if you have been rather disordered hitherto and are not minding your vital force’s signals to slow down! The body must acclimate to veganism by altering preexisting gut flora balances, those that have likely spanned a lifetime, for which bacteria and pathogens must die (ha). As I have mentioned a few times in this piece, you really shouldn’t experience a healing “crisis” if you are transitioning properly–but alas, you might go through some interesting emotions regardless, primarily the first few days after dropping meat, dairy, etc. as you would with any homeopathic regimen. You also might crave meat and dairy products for a while, given that your gut flora contribute to what you crave Still, your healing response to plant-based eating shouldn’t last long, nor should it be oppressive. If it is, go see a homeopathic doctor and slow your rollSpeaking with a traditional medical professional about your complaints will likely result in the recommendation to revert back to your old diet, as mechanisms of true healing are largely unknown. (See The Emotions Before and After Detoxification: Homeopathy and What to Expect During the Healing Crisis for more information.).

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My Experiences as an Example

When I met with an ayurvedic practitioner to remedy my recurrent SIBO (and resulting vitamin B12 and D deficiencies) prior to finally seeking a homeopath, she informed me that if I did not adopt the GAPS diet, I would be left with impaired digestion and permanent nerve damage. Promoted to reduce inflammation through the consumption of healthy fats, fermented dairy, eggs, fish and certain meats, the GAPS protocol is literally the anti-vegan diet; I, of course, could not fathom consuming meat again (consider the spiritual ramifications!), so I didn’t. While I believe in the restorative properties of non-inflammatory animal products, I refuse to accept that life must be taken in order to rejuvenate that of another. And guess what? I didn’t have to subjugate my values, nor should you. Ignorance not only thrives off of the suppression of information, but the promotion of alternatives that only defunct one’s true path to healing (toward the higher). I may have struggled to subsist when ill, still on a vegan diet, but I knew I would thrive eventually, still on a vegan diet. 

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Your Vegan Diet Isn’t The Problem

The fact of the matter is, veganism has a tendency to raise a red flag before an alternative source is even considered. The woman that told me I would essentially destroy my system if I continued on a vegan diet immediately discredited it despite the possibility in exploring other options, options she was clearly not aware of. She had already decided, based off of previous clients (and conceptions she adopted as truth), that veganism simply could not work; her knowledge was condensed in one field, and my individual experiences remained unexplored. In terms of the blind man analogy, she listened with ears deafened by subjectivity.

Yet I have healed, and continue to heal, whilst on the vegan diet. The difference between then (the onslaught of heavy disorder) and now (the forward progression of restoration) is that my body is beginning to function optimally. It is in control. It is capable of absorbing nutrients efficiently, which the plant-based regime provides in abundance. My remedy is stimulating my body to balance my gut flora in a way that is attuned to the foods I am feeding it–not in a rapid fashion, but in the time period my vital force deems fit.

Recognize the variability in the origin of any set of symptoms as well as their solution; explore your cruelty-free options. No two bodies are alike, and no two vital forces express disorder the same exact way (luckily homeopathy is attune to the individual, and thus can heal nearly everyone). While I believe we can all benefit from going vegan, some of us require a higher volume of easy-to-digest foods than others, more “complexity” (as exemplified by the high-simple-carb versus high-complex-carb diets), or the consumption of low-FODMAP as opposed to fermentable foods–at least temporarily, until all complaints in all parts of the being are rectified. Certain conditions require specific approaches to the plant-based lifestyle and experimentation may be required to uncover the best solution. (Note that anyone who utilizes homeopathy can, for the most part, consume higher-FODMAP vegan foods without fault, even while healing. Someone with fatigued adrenals, however, may have to stay away from high-simple-carbohydrate meals until ne is strong enough to handle consuming only fruit without overt complex carbs, fats, or proteins to stabilize nir blood sugar levels.)

I would imagine, based off of my experiences, that most doctors will attribute veganism to the impaired guts of those they care for, likely due to their own experiences with certain clientele, their educational backgrounds, as well as any preconceived notions they now hold. You must, then, remain skeptical about your own path to health, which can certainly be daunting, but also endlessly empowering (truly in body, mind, and soul; you learn so much about yourself when you must learn to stand on your own two feet). Uncovering the means–my means–to wellness has been demanding, at times discouraging, and overwhelming on every plane, but it has also guided me toward listening to my wisdom within, from which I realized how truly accurate it is. The trick to knowing what’s right and what’s wrong, what intuition is fruitful and what only leads us astray, is that a conviction that is genuine touches our innermost parts, our deepest capacity to emote, and remains throughout the whole of our healing journeys. In short, it feeds the soul. Uncorrupted by wishful thinking and unmatched by misguided (perhaps normative) opposition, the knowledge that we do not have to compromise the mental in order to render the physical “well”–which would, in fact, do just the opposite–permits us to trust ourselves, to question what we are told, to stand our ground even at our weakest in the name of an enlightened morality, that which society has yet to catch up with… Of course I am not encouraging self-destruction; if you’re suffering after going vegan, you’ve done something wrong. And that’s OK. Attend to your bodily needs when they tell you your diet just isn’t working, but know that perhaps veganism still can. You just have to heal whatever is blocking you (from the higher) first.

In the meantime, there is always a lesson to be learned, a lesson that will eternalize the whole fulfillment we all seek. In the pursuit of morality, you cannot regard this and that trouble with contempt, as being a nuisance, a source of vexation merely done onto you; every experience acts as a means through which you may grow, a means through which you may teach yourself to grow. You’re going to encounter a few bumps along the road, naturally–it comes with the nonconformist territory ( 😉 ). Yet the awakenings you uncover, if authentic, will not only reflect the higher purpose you strive for, they will strengthen you. They will better the world around you, merely by virtue of your contribution. They will ensure the harmonization, and the progression, of all life on earth. (Someone’s got to pave the way.) This existence is not meant to be a battle, so don’t treat it like it is; the opportunity to triumph, the opportunity to blossom, the opportunity to ameliorate suffering prevails at every turn–a premise you may engage in for you and all the humans and nonhuman animals you love.

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Resources:

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  2. “Becoming a Vegetarian – Harvard Health.” Harvard Health. Harvard Medical School, Oct. 2009. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.
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  8. Eisler, Peter, and Barbara Hansen. “Doctors Perform Thousands of Unnecessary Surgeries.” USA Today. USA Today, 20 June 2013. Web. 20 Aug. 2016.
  9. “The Fatty Acids.” Veganhealth.org. Jack Norris, 2003-2016. Web. 22 Aug. 2016.
  10. Freidrich, Bruce. “Meatonomics: The Bizarre Economics of the Meat & Dairy Industries.”Huffington Post. N.p., 03 Sept. 2013. Web. 09 Feb. 2018.
  11. Kim, Min‐Soo, et al. “Strict vegetarian diet improves the risk factors associated with metabolic diseases by modulating gut microbiota and reducing intestinal inflammation.” Environmental microbiology reports, vol. 5, no. 5, 2013, pp. 765-775.
  12. Knapton, Sarah. “Red Meat Triggers Toxic Immune Reaction Which Causes Cancer, Scientists Find.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 29 Dec. 2014. Web. 21 Aug. 2016.
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  14. Singer, Peter. Animal Liberation. New York, N.Y: New York Review of Books, 1990. Print.