For almost four years, I was progressively removing all types of animal products from my diet (including milk, eggs, and even fish). Although I've struggled with an eating disorder in the past, my food restriction wasn't due to that; it was mainly because of a growing awareness of the processes used the meat industry.
I became so conscious of what was in my food that it became hard for me to eat fish. I knew that farmed fish was often fed with GMO soy or corn, and that wild caught fish was most likely poisoned with mercury.
Ironically, my desire to eat healthfully actually became dangerous to my health!
After years of not eating animal products, I was struggling to absorb enough iron and B-Vitamins, even though I was taking supplements recommended for vegans and vegetarians.
Please know I'm not saying it's impossible to be healthy on a vegan or vegetarian diet. I deeply believe we are all different and that there is no one-rule-suits-all when it comes to how we eat.
However, after a while, I had to recognize that this was probably not the best decision for me.
I am blood type O and the first time I heard about the blood type diet, I thought, This couldn't be true for me! At the time, I was vegan, healthy, and loving it, and the diet recommended for my blood type was heavy on animal protein and light on beans and grains.
But today, after having added eggs, fish, chicken, and dairy progressively back into my diet, I can say that the blood type diet might actually be true for me.
I have much more energy than before, I haven't put on weight, I have fewer sugar cravings, and I actually digest these animal products easily. Again, I'm not saying that everyone should do this, but in case you want to try to add foods back into your diet, here are a few tips that worked for me:
1. Be careful about the quality.
I am still very aware of the processes used in farming. That's why I buy organic, free-range products, and try to always have the best quality I can. I am not saying that adding too much animal products is a good thing. What I mean is that you're looking for moderation and balance, as with everything in life. Meat once a week might be enough. Don't stuff yourself up with animal products at breakfast, lunch and dinner. (Common sense, right?)
2. If you do add animal products back into your diet, do so progressively.
Start eating an egg or some natural yogurt and see how your body reacts. Then try with other foods, always listening to your body's signals. You might feel great after eating a couple of eggs or some chicken, but experience difficulties digesting dairy, for example.
3. Try not buying pre-packaged products.
Instead, go to your local farmer's market and ask about the processes they use to produce their food. This is the best way to truly know what's in your food.