In this series of articles we discussion the decision and the driving factors that led to it. Health concerns was the main driving factor for the decision for the transition from a plant-based diet to include dairy and eggs, and to eventually include meat.
Since switching back from a plant-based vegan diet, first to a vegetarian diet, and eventually to an omnivore diet was big. We made the decision to become vegan for ethical reasons. We still assert that ethically speaking, being vegan is the right thing to do. This made the switch to eating a vegetarian diet and an omnivore diet was ethically difficult. We held strongly on to the guilt of eating animal products for the first 6-12 months. Slowly over time we were able to allow ourselves to enjoy the cheese, eggs, and meat without the guilt. Guilt is not helpful, and it did nothing to serve us. In hindsight, we should have reduced our attachment to guilt much earlier. The taste of plant-based products was unexpected. Years on a plant-based diet had changed our palette. Some tastes were welcomed because we missed them, like cheese. Some tastes we expected to be good but tasted rancid, like bacon tasted unpleasant. Some tastes we expected to be bad but tasted great, like burgers and steak. As described above, we held on to the guilt from our decision to eat animal products. This meant that we did not really enjoy these foods for the first 6-12 months.
While vegan we had dark rings around our eyes, paler skin, and would often break-out in spots. In a moment of brutal honesty a friend described our appearance as “gray” and “sickly”!! After returning to an omnivore diet we were compliment on our complexion and asked what skincare products we use?! Nothing had changed in our skin regimen, only our diet had changed.
After returning to an omnivore diet our energy slowly returned to us. We could get through the work day more easily and have energy to get through a full workout at the gym. After the gym we didn’t feel destroyed, we felt well worked. Our efforts at the gym also paid off on an omnivore diet, and we could put on muscle mass much more easily compared with a vegan-diet, even with vegan protein shakes.
As described in the previous article we put a lot of these issues down to this: the body absorbs nutrients from animal-based sources much more readily than plant-based sources. For example, a soy-based product might contain 10g of protein or iron, but only a fraction of that protein or iron will be absorbed by the body because soy is a plant-based source. So there is a difference between what nutrition a product contains and what amount of that nutrition will be absorbed by the body.