New to Primal: Thoughts from an Ex-Vegan
I've been reading this site for awhile now and finally made the transition a few weeks back and seriously, my life has improved exponentially. A bit of a back story; I was vegan for near a decade due to moral reasons and the misguided notion that it was the healthiest and cleanest way to live. About a year and half ago I gave up on that lifestyle due in part to my long recovery times from training (Muay Thai and Western Boxing,) the lack of energy and overall difficulty in building lean muscle mass. Reading "The Vegetarian Myth" by Lierre Kieth has since justified my former position on the moral aspect of the diet as well as "Meat-Eating and Human Evolution" and a few other books.
As a vegan I ate a varied, mainly organic diet (one of the perks of working at a health store) with most of my calories coming from grains, starches and processed fake meats. During this time I also became a fan of long distance running, at one point in my early 20's I weighed 155 at 6'0", which probably created an insulin imbalance in my body. After doing this for almost a decade I transitioned into a vegetarian diet and promptly gained weight. I viewed this as a good thing as before I felt TOO skinny. In retrospect the only GOOD this diet did was accustom me to purchasing locally grown, organic and varied sources of plants (and now animals) and be able to follow a specific diet through sheer willpower.
It didn't take long for the "benefits" of eating vegetarian turned into the ability to store fat more efficiently due to an excess of delicious dairy coupled with the insulin spiking grains, which I was a huge fan of, especially of the "whole" variety. After a year and half or so as a vegetarian I made the switch to include meat in my diet for the reasons I've laid out in the first part. Finally, adding muscle mass wasn't an uphill battle anymore. After tearing my ACL due to a chronic training and weightlifting regime, I easily ballooned in size as my recuperation period was marred by a decrease in physical activity while maintain a grain heavy diet.
After healing my ACL to a good degree, I started re-building my weight-lifting and strength base and was introduced to "Starting Strenth" and Crossfit by a friend. All of sudden I kept running across the terms "Paleo" and "Primal" in reference to diets. It took awhile to pique my curiosity but after scouring various blogs, this site included, and purchasing "The Primal Blueprint" I've finally made the transition. Already I have more energy, sleep better and FEEL better. I've noticed a decrease in stored fat quantities and the other benefits touted by other people following this lifestyle.
My weekly grocery bill is about the same or even a little less than when I was vegan but my overall health has improved so much I can't even compare the two lifestyles. Looking forward to further improved health in the months and years to come. I have officially become a convert.
While I've been at this for quite some time (at least in theory if not practice), I too am a former veg/vegan/raw foodist/orthorexic
Originally Posted by Golden
So glad you joined us!
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Great post. I'm also a former vegetarian/vegan. Welcome!
I have also observed the amazing impact this diet change has had on my body as well. It is hard (I was vegan as well and Oatmeal w/ raisins was my absolute favorite food! I still miss it.) I can't bring myself to eat pork or steak, which is fine, but eggs and fish are yummy! Good luck w/ everything and let me know if you want advice on recipes, I have a really good pancake recipe
DH & I were vegetarian for a year because we thought it was the healthiest way too and now have been primal for over a year...we feel great!
We still use our vegetarian cookbooks though, we just adjust the recipes to make them primal & side dishes
Thanks for the post, Golden. I too just switched from vegan to Primal - so far so good! I totally agree with the organic/clean eating thing - just doing it with animals instead of grains and still eat tons of fresh veggies. Keep us posted on your progress!
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