Gone Vegan

forks over knives

Last night Doug and I watched the documentary “Forks Over Knives”.  I tell you the reason we did it though, we knew what they were going to say, but we needed inspiration because Doug and I are extremists and we need passion to achieve anything.  Diet and lifestyle is a much argued subject and it gets confusing traversing all the information out there.  Most of the time we just don’t want to think about it.  Our ancestors just ate, can’t we too?  There is also much discrepancy on what our ancestors ate!  Meat was a rarity no matter what the Paleo movement tells us.  It was seasonal, or small, or for rich people.  And those rich people were sick and fat.

We knew this when we ordered bacon at a restaurant after being vegetarian, I for twenty-seven years, Doug for eight, and staunch vegans for two years.  All our friends ate meat.  They were fine.  My friend that convinced us to eat meat died of cancer shortly after.  I watch cancer come through my shop door almost daily.  I can see illnesses.  It is a somewhat rare clairvoyant gift that helps me be an effective herbalist.  I see heart disease, circulatory problems, I see problems in me and Doug now.  We need a change.

g 8

In the past two and a half years since we began eating meat we have both obtained a lovely array of issues.  When we went vegan the first time Doug lost thirty-five pounds.  We had just started our rigorous farmers market season (eight markets a week) and we felt great.

We had convinced ourselves that it is a natural process, that farm animals are to be eaten, that we kill animals when we clear farmland for vegetables, that my body needed meat and B12!  Then I read the back of a bottle of kombucha.  20% of my daily B12.  There are a lot of sources of B12.  The meat and dairy industry make the guidelines that we all use for health, for our children’s health, for what we believe to be true.  We listened, and then we saw for ourselves.


We were invited to go to a pig harvest and barbeque.  I had my freezer full of heritage pork from a local farmer.  We can do this!  We chickened out.  Turns out Doug and I would just sit there babbling like idiots, crying over the pig, or worse, try to wrestle him into our truck to kidnap.  I must admit that Doug and I are lousy meat eaters.  But we can’t blindly buy packaged, red tinted slabs of faceless meat either.  I know what goes on in slaughterhouses, even the grass fed, sustainable, local, blah, blah, blah cows go there.  Pretty horrific.

Anyways, I promise not to be preachy with the veganism, I wasn’t when we were before either.  But I will keep you up to date on how we feel and what we are doing.

To start this process, Doug and I assessed how we feel.  Doug has gained almost half of his weight back. He has chronic sinus and breathing issues since we began eating meat.  His energy levels are nil, his umbilical hernia is getting worse, he has digestive issues again, his memory is his most concerning factor.

I have gained weight in my stomach, uneven, not necessarily noticeable to the vast majority, but I know it is either bloating or fat which is not supposed to be there.  I have extensive swelling, my rings don’t fit, I get sharp pains in my chest, have breathing problems sometimes, and my knee and lower back often hurt.  I also am having problems with my teeth.  Doug and I both know that dairy leaches calcium from the bones but that cheese…ooh it calls to us.  Loudly.  My face is breaking out.  I have circulatory issues, frequent blues, and even more frequent headaches.  About 2-6 migraines a month.


This is a lot of really personal information but I know that it will only get worse if we do not wake up.  We see folks all around us with dietary and lifestyle related illnesses, issues, things we just call “getting old”, but I ain’t going out like that.  I still have a lot of life ahead of me and I want to keep my husband here too, both of us nice and healthy.  So, if you are curious or want to join in, follow along each week and see how we are doing!  Maybe it will inspire you to adopt a plant based diet as well.  Or, we’ll all go out for bacon.  We’ll see!

Use food as medicine.  Check out the documentaries Forks Over Knives and Food Inc.  It will change your life and your health.



12 Comments Add yours

  1. KIA says:

    Way to go. Me too tomorrow

    1. Farmgirl says:

      Happy Birthday, my friend!

      1. KIA says:

        Thank you. And hope you and yours are good out there. We’ve been following your blog for awhile. Love it. My wife brandy says hi

  2. KIA says:

    Reblogged this on The Recovering Know It All and commented:
    Am I noticing a trend? Me too as of tomorrow, my 50th birthday. Congrats for making the connection. -kia

  3. I’m vegetarian with limited dairy and eggs from my own hens. Haven’t regretted the decision for a second.

  4. Six years ago I had a bet with my boss: who could be vegetarian the longest? I’m still going strong and I’ve felt better since then! My husband still eats meat, though more rarely now, and I am okay with it. It’s right for me but not for him.

    1. Farmgirl says:

      It wasn’t until Doug got results from a doctor on his health did he become vegetarian the first time. They have to do it on their own. But we are both anxious to see the results of going back to vegan! When we fall off a wagon, we fall hard! ha!

  5. BJ says:

    A great move and I wish you much success! I’m a vegetarian and cheese calls “loudly” to me too and I can’t resist it’s call. I look forward to reading about your progress and I hope you post some recipes along the way as well :).

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I certainly will! Thanks!

  6. kit says:

    Wow… I really needed to read your post today. Love the blog, by the way. Been contemplating returning to veganism (we eat meat – and by meat I mean one day chicken and one day fish – twice a week, vegetarian the rest. Some of the same issues you mentioned: bloating that I know shouldn’t be there around the middle, breaking out, lower energy level.
    Thing is, when I was vegan (for about two years) I just could not put on any muscle no matter what (and I refuse to use any kind of “concentrated protein”, vegan or not), and I worry that upon returning to veganism I will lose all I’ve put on since I returned to animal protein. I’m trying to educate myself more on this, even taking anatomy courses at the college, but it can be difficult wading through all the false or misleading info. (for example, text book says that it’s completely normal for people to have two or three bowel movements a WEEK, and I know that is just constipation brought on by all the excess meat consumption). I’ve watched Forks over Knives before, and I know a rewatch would be all that’s needed to convince my boyfriend to come onboard as well. I don’t even particularly enjoy eating meat for taste or texture, and feel terrible about conditions (I only buy farmer’s market free range chicken, but still), so I’m more than ready to give it up if I could figure out another way. I know this is asking a lot, but do you have any advice or thoughts on how to not lose and preferably put on muscle while going vegan?
    Thanks a million in advance.
    (I know it doesn’t show up when you click my name, but I blog about food and related stuff over at http://www.naturallyhealthyfitandfrugal.wordpress.com as well)

    1. Farmgirl says:

      I just know that there a lot of vegan athletes out there so there must be a way! We weren’t as concerned about muscle itself, we just miss our increased stamina but I know we were pretty muscular from working all the farmers markets (harder than it seems) and great food. Good luck!

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