It's the effort that counts, or rather, the consequences of our efforts

A plantbased diet is one of those things where I've tried and failed so many times that I've lost count. When I was a vegan for about one year I didn't quit because I missed anything about eating animal products, but because I had become ill and it wasn't really the vegan food's fault. I was unwell for several reasons, some of it had to do with an eating disorder, other reasons were caused partly by that and partly because of intolerances. Now I know that I have an intolerance for most legumes like soya, chickpeas, beans and lentils and I still struggle with a tendency to restrict my overall food intake. I never make myself sick, I never binge, I just restrict my food intake and I'm underweight, but not by a lot. I'm never underweight by a lot. I still have issues like how I need to watch my nutritional intake. For example, not long ago my bone mass went down due to a lack of calcium in my diet. Not because I haven't been eating calcium as a vegetarian, but because I was eating too little food in general. It's not uncommon and I went to the pharmacy to get calcium tablets and to stock up on B-vitamins and vegan omega-3 as well, but if I'm not careful like that then I could wind up with osteoperosis when I get older, which can be very painful.

I still feel the same way as when I became a vegan for the first time those years ago (eight years ago maybe?), I feel that from a philosophical perspective, that what I feel to be morally right is if I were to succeed at being a vegan, ideally. It's not the most practical approach to life, especially not with allergies or an intolerance to certain foods, but I think that the idea is beautiful. It feels right and likewise, eating animals feels wrong to me.

I have a problem with how, when I start cutting out food products from my diet, that I tend to cut out more and more food products until there's virtually nothing left. Suddenly foods that are really harmless become dangerous in my mind and so, I get ill. In reality, being a vegetarian at least shouldn't really be a problem for me. The problem arrives because I have a disordered relationship with food that I need to figure out how to deal with on a plantbased diet. The good news is that I made some real headway the last time I tried going vegetarian. In stead of there being a lot of uncertainty, I now know exactly which foods that I have an intolerance for. The only thing standing in my way, really, is my tendency to restrict food, and that problem is psychological so it's a problem that can be resolved.

I used to feel crushed because I couldn't find a way to lead a normal life as a vegan ever since I got ill that first time, but now I know that there's a way and so I have to keep trying. Where there's a will there's a way and my dream is still to turn into a herbivore. I might have to accept that being a vegetarian who eats vegan food as often as possible is the best that I'm going to be able to achieve, at least for the next few years. To start with, even transitioning into a vegetarian diet has proved difficult and I still need more time just to succeed with that. In reality, I need to get well, but eventhough it might seem like it, a plantbased diet is not really what's making me ill. I restrict my food intake no matter what and at the start of a period where I'm trying to transition over to a plantbased diet I find that it actually helps me to eat better in general, it's only after some time that I start restricting again and it turns into more of an orthorexic problem. Severe cases of orthorexia can turn into anorexia and I struggle with tendencies for both illnesses. Actually I'm not sure of how useful it is with labels when it comes to mental health issues. Anyway, all I can say for now is that I'm doing my best, but that whether I'm a flexitarian, a vegetarian or a vegan, my goal is always to get closer to eating as much plant-based food as possible.

I believe that animals should have moral rights as they too can feel pain, as I see all species as being valuable and worth protecting, as animals are different from us (they might have different qualities that we could learn from) and as many of them are intelligent creatures. I want humanity to preserve both animal species and plant species for the future. Humans used to get by on mostly bread for so many years because it used to be much more nutritious. In Norway I'm lucky because it's still simple to get by bread that's very high in both protein and fibre, seeds are also a source of imporant fats. Plants are wonderful and I think it's a loss that some of our ancient grains are lost to us today. It also surprised me when I learned how little protein my body really needs in a day to get by and that grains can actually contribute a whole lot...

Now a vegetarian since 17th of March 2022 at 11:11a.m. I'll be opting for vegan food as much as possible, doing my best.

(The photo above is of seitan, which is based on wheat protein.)

Finally, I just want to tell my norwegian followers about som websites where it's possible to order vegan food that's friendly even for people with intolerances or allergies. On one can order Seitan which is similar to tofu only that it's based on wheat protein in stead of soya. On one can order vegan omega-3 much cheaper in addition to colorful quinoa, dried strawberries, vegan white chocolate and fancy treats like that. On one can order Eat Natural protein bars, loads of nice candy and food products and on huge grocery stores like Ultra at Bryn one can buy vegan frozen pizza, all the vegan Ben & Jerry ice creams and well, most items really. Even seitan, though theirs contain soya.

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