If you went past other sites or video’s on youtube, you have seen a huge amount of people who preach a lot about a vegan diet for a person with an ED. But is this the holy grail for recovery? Well in my opinion NO! A lot of people recovered without eating vegan and still eating meat or dairy products. Lately I read another blogger post about how insecure she felt by recovering with eating meat and how she enjoyed it. She couldn’t understand the hype of it all (being vegan) and was having second doubts after years from recovery…..ouch!
I know a lot of people are trying to find THE SOLUTION for it all. That one magic thing that can reduce binges, the feeling of purging or just the feeling of being confident enough to eat again. In my opinion a vegan diet can be very healthy if carefully approached and with the help of a dietitian or good information that you have researched on yourself. You get a lot of micro- and micronutrients in and most of the food is healthy. So I understand the preaching for a whole plant based diet. If you come from binge eating , eating products in their whole form can help with better hunger regulation, so for that, I would say give veganism a try to start getting balanced again. But the mental healing is just fixed for about 30 procent or so by eating vegan. You started eating ‘’normal’’ again, check √, but what for thoughts came with eating vegan?
- Are you eating vegan, because you like it or fear the fat in dairy and in meat?
- Are you eating vegan, because you don’t receive any anxiety?
These are 2 major questions and if you answer ‘’yes’’ then you are probably eating vegan for the wrong reasons. I eat vegan a lot of times, but not by knowing and I am fine with that. Just a few weeks in a year in total (maybe 4 months in total) and just because I crave this. Also you can catch yourself with a bit of ED, even on a vegan diet. Do you fear eating vegan junk food? Well if answered ‘’yes’’, you probably still made the choice based upon your eating disorder.
Because you told yourself all vegan was healthy right? So why the hell you ain’t eating that larry and jerry vegan cookie, or fries and even Oreos?!
I would like to ask you to give yourself the benefit of the doubt and not go start a vegan diet after you binged, purged or have to eat again because you have severe anorexia. Please take a paper and pen and write 3 columns. One called ‘’ forbidden foods’’, one called ‘’good foods’’ and one called ‘’vegan foods’’. These are the most likely to roam around in your head. Should I go vegan? Things I still can’t eat, because they are bad foods and things I ‘’like’’ , because they are safe and don’t give me anxiety. Write down all the food that comes in your mind and start making your own diet.
Write down 3 major meals of the day and 3 snacks. Make the major meals how you like and choose the 3 snacks what you want, but the catch is that you must choose from each column. You can swap products as well for diversity. Let’s make an example meal plan right.
2 slices of whole grain bread
1x Nutella vegan
1x peanut butter
Soy yoghurt (300ml)
6 pieces of walnut s
4 spoons of granola
Package size of crisps
Hand of grapes
5 big spoons of Brown rice
1 piece of chicken (vegan or real)
Vegetables by liking
1 spoons of oil
1 small chocolate bar (portion packaged size)
(disclaimer, this is an example, do not copy this and eat this, it could be your energy requirements are higher or lower).
You see what I did? It is not about eating healthy! It’s about feeding your mind the right way. You are still eating vegan food (peanut butter, soy yoghurt, fake meat), but also things you had as a kid (crisps, chocolate, Nutella) and still get the healthy things inside of you (appel, grapes, veggies, walnuts, brown rice). This is balancing it out. YOU DO NOT HAVE TO GO TO AN EXTREME VERSION OF VEGANISME OR ANY OTHER DIET , ONLY CHOOSE VEGANISM IF THE CHOICE COMES FROM A GOOD HART, NOT FROM A HEART WITH FEAR AND ANXIETY. AND YOU ARE NOT LESS IF YOU EAT MEAT OR DAIRY!
I believe the vegan diet is not for every ED patient. If you are fully recovered and never ate vegan in that time, you should give it a try. For the people still struggling, eat the foods you still feel save with, but make it a priority to focus on the foods you got problems with and don’t make them a problem anymore ,by eating them often until the anxiety drops.