Raw food, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, ovo-lacto vegetarian…..whatever the other labels are, I’ve been them all. What am I now? Depends on the day really. I don’t label myself anymore, I no longer feel the need. I do what’s best for me!
Here’s what I do know for sure! Raw food meaning only consuming raw fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds with only being able to dehydrate items to make crackers out of things like vegetable shavings & flax seeds was not for me at all! I bought all the gadgets (vitamix, spiralizer, dehydrates ect) & read many books I still own just incase anyone ever wants to read them. I worked really really hard to make delicious things & at the end of the day my stomach just plain hurt. Too much to digest for me. I felt like I was lacking things & I’m sure I was. I kept this up a few months & swore I would never do that again. I believe some raw vegetables are excellent to add in your diet, I’m a salad junkie but most of us just can’t digest too many raw veggies. Good for those it works for, it was just not for me.
Plant based. Eating primarily plants (veggies, fruits, nuts, seeds) very little to no grains, meat or dairy. Each person is different how much they let in but those products should be used as condiments not the main courses. Mainly meals are made from plants, raw or cooked. I did the best with this lifestyle & still basically follow it today! When I adapted a primary plant based lifestyle 2 years ago, I lowered my bad cholesterol by quite a few points & lost 15 pounds. So I’m a fan. I seem to feel the best when I eat this way. When I find myself eating more dairy, I get an upset stomach & meat (beef particularly) makes me feel like I have rocks in my gut & sluggish for days.
Vegetarian is a loose term. You eat mostly anything except actual animal flesh (chicken, pork, beef, fish ect). Pescatarian add just fish. A lot of vegetarians I’ve come across (even myself when I was 16) can become very unhealthy & what I’ve actually heard people use “junk food vegetarians”. Think about it, pizza is vegetarian, pasta & bread are vegetarian, potato chips & nachos are vegetarian and so on I’m sure you catch my drift! I’ve heard people joke they are even vegetarians who do not eat vegetables! What?! (True story). So if you choose to be vegetarian, please eat vegetables & leave to just food alone!
Vegan. No animal product or bi-products so no eggs, cheese, whey, gelatin or things made from animals like leather. The list is extensive & even includes honey (which doesn’t make sense really to me, no one is forcing the bees to make honey but I respect so people have an issue with this) . I think I tried to be vegan but was really not vegan because I ate vegan for a while but did not give up things like leather I may already own & still used honey. This is probably the most restrictive & dedicated lifestyle to follow. I give credit to those that can truly do it & I know the impact it is having on the environment in the long run if more of us would adapt this lifestyle, I do my best but am not able to fully commit.
There is no need to call ourselves anything. Healthy eating should just be the goal. Make healthier choices each week & you’ll see dramatic positive impacts! Ideally limiting dairy & grains, buying humanly raised pasture raised meat products (free of antibiotics & hormones), eating lots of fresh fruits & vegetables (local and/or organic) when avail, any or all of these options are excellent for your health!
Eat, drink & be well!