What morals are most important to you? When you measure a person, what values do you measure them by?
Today I’m writing one of the hardest posts I’ve ever written, but one that I feel I must write, morally.
To me, honesty is the highest moral one can live by. Honesty to oneself, and to others. And today I have to be honest with you. It will certainly be unpopular, and I expect a harsh and critical backlash, as has been the norm with others in my situation. But the value of honesty overrules any sort of personal discomfort I may experience.
In this spirit, I must tell you, honestly – I am not vegan anymore.
Before I go any further, let me clarify – I am still mostly vegan. My diet will continue to be plant-based. However, upon directives from my GI Doctor, and by virtue of listening to my body, I am not fully vegan anymore.
If you’ve been a past reader of this blog, you will know that for many months I have suffered from a severe digestive illness, to the point where I had to quit my job in corporate finance. After countless tests, dietary restrictions (i.e. gluten-free, low-FODMAP), and techniques, my doctor finally recommended that I change my diet from being vegan. At first I resisted, unwilling to give up my stance on animal rights. But as my health continued to suffer, in desperation I decided to give her recommendation a try. And it worked. My stomach issues are not completely gone, but they’ve been alleviated. For the first time in over a year, I feel relief.
If you have criticisms, let me assure you that they have weighed upon my conscience heavily already. I have gone through all of them in my mind and felt their burden. However, if you feel called to explain your reasoning or viewpoint to me here, please do so. I welcome your honest opinion. All I ask is that you speak respectfully, as the intention of this space is to be positive and encouraging.
To be honest, I’m afraid. I remember the backlash Jordan Younger received when she came out as not being vegan anymore. The critics were loud, and cruel. She was bullied – there’s no other word to describe what happened to her. Although, to be fair, she did insinuate that veganism was the cause for her diagnosis of orthorexia. However, I do not blame veganism for anything. The fault is mine, and mine alone. I chose to follow my doctor’s advice instead of my heart, in desperation to feel better. And I HAVE been feeling better. It’s the truth – no matter how unpopular of a truth it may be. I just wish it didn’t have to be at the expense of animal welfare.
I’ve told you my fears. Now let me tell you my hopes.
I hope you will still accept me as a human being worthy of dignity and respect. I hope that you will still accept me as an advocate of healthy, whole foods, and mindful eating.
I understand if you do not want to follow my blog anymore. It is a consequence that I have foreseen and planned for. I just hope that you know that I am still the same person inside – young and figuring out my path in life, and trying to do the best I can by all standards.
Green Pesto Vegetable Soup
- 1 Small White Onion chopped
- 2 Cups Zucchini about one med. zucchini, chopped
- 2-3 Large Stalks Celery chopped
- Olive Oil for sautéing
- 4 Cups Vegetable Stock
- 2 Cups Water
- 1/4 Tsp Coriander
- Salt and Pepper to Taste
- 4 Cups Cooked Pasta
- 1/3 Cup Cilantro
- 1/3 Cup Parsley
- 1/3 Cup Basil
- 3 Spring Onions
- 1/4 Tsp Salt
- 1/2 Tsp Black Pepper
- Start by prepping the vegetables - chop the onion, zucchini, and celery.
- Bring a pot to medium heat with a little olive oil. Add chopped vegetables and sauté for 5-10 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
- Add in vegetable stock, water, coriander, and salt and pepper. Stir well.
- Then make the pesto - add all pesto ingredients into a food processor and process until everything is smooth. Or, for a chunkier pesto, process for less time. Add pesto to soup and stir well.
- Finally, add in cooked pasta - I used farfalle. If pasta isn't your jam, feel free to add to add 2-3 cups cooked rice or any other grain, like millet or quinoa.
- Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh herbs (if desired).
I would like to say a very special thank you to my friend Sophie, who helped me through this experience. Sophie, you don’t know how much your support meant to me during a time when I was doubting myself. Infinite thanks for patiently listening to my concerns, reading over my post, and talking me through this difficult time. You are wonderful, and I’m lucky to be able to call you a friend.
InésAugust 10, 2016 at 10:58 am
Great recipe! I’ll try it today
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:07 pm
Thank you Ines! I hope you like it!
K FierceOctober 25, 2020 at 3:52 am
The inspiration you provide by sharing delicious plant based recipes ripples a far more positive effect for healthy world changes than diet shamers ever will. Keep doing your thing! I love this soup btw. Didn’t have pure coriander so I substituted Garam masala and pepelchuma. So delicious!! Fusion pesto curry soup!
Thank you again for sharing.
SarahOctober 28, 2020 at 1:20 pm
That sounds like such a tasty and creative addition! Thanks for leaving a review :)
Rebecca @ Strength and SunshineAugust 10, 2016 at 11:37 am
This is why I’m not “fully vegan” but most of the time, yes I am. My health and medical issues must come first. Healing ourselves and keeping ourselves healthy is what matters. That’s why not labeling a diet is what we all should be doing. It doesn’t need a definitive label. xoxo
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm
I completely agree. Thank you for your support, Rebecca!
Sophie | The Green LifeAugust 10, 2016 at 11:42 am
Sarah, I’m so happy and proud of you! Telling the truth can be scary sometimes, but your honesty and courage are admirable and inspiring! I’m so happy that you’ve been feeling better. I know how your digestive issues have been a burden this past year and I can only imagine how much of a relief it must be for you right now. I’m excited to keep on following your journey. Big big hugs to you, sweet friend. xx
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:09 pm
I know I’ve said it a thousand times already but you really are the best, girl. I can’t thank you enough for your kindness and support <3
MegAugust 10, 2016 at 11:43 am
Good for you for doing what you need to do for your health! I hope that you continue to heal! And I heartily agree with the above comment; we shouldn’t label our diets. (And I can’t wait to make this recipe!)
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:09 pm
Thank you so much for your kind note, Meg! I really appreciate your support :) I hope you like the recipe!! :D
Chelsea | Baked GreensAugust 10, 2016 at 11:49 am
I so appreciate your honesty and sharing this difficult decision with your readers! I know people can be so cruel, but in my experience vegans should be (and usually are!!) some of the most kind, compassionate people. Angry, often, at the circumstances of the world, but so loving. I hope you feel all the love and warmth you deserve for making a choice that is helping to heal you. After all, we’re all just doing the best we can.
Also- I can’t wait to make this soup. The oppressive 90-degree days of summer are over and I’m ready for hot meals again. I’ve been a behind-the-scenes reader for a while, but I couldn’t help but comment on today’s post. Keep doing you! ?
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:11 pm
Thank you so much for leaving a note, Chelsea!! I really appreciate it. You are spot on in your comment – right now, I’m just trying to do the best I can. Having your support, as one of my readers, means so much to me. Thank you!!
MeganAugust 10, 2016 at 12:08 pm
Big hugs, Sarah. This had to be a hard post to write, but I am SO glad that you did. Feeling like you have to hide away certain aspects of your life sucks and is draining. This is your space, and I would hope that you would be able to be able to share your authentic story here. I hope that your honesty is treated respectfully – it seems ridiculous that you’d even need to include a statement like “I hope you will still accept me as a human being worthy of dignity and respect.” OF COURSE YOU ARE. And a courageous one at that.
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 1:09 pm
Thank you so much for your kindness, Megan. I felt like I needed to include that statement because of the backlash Jordan Younger received when she came out as not being vegan anymore. I understand that vegans are very passionate about their beliefs, but I don’t think it should be at the expense of human decency and respect. Luckily, everyone here has been nothing short of supportive, and I’m SO grateful for that. This is really such an amazing online community. Again, thank you so much for your support!! <3
MollyAugust 10, 2016 at 12:13 pm
Good for you! You should take care of your health and I hope that people are understanding of that. Are you going to share what foods you’ve started incorporating into your diet? I have never said that I’m vegan, but I do eat almost primarily vegan (I eat eggs and a tiny bit of dairy) and my body responds really well to eggs. Everyone is different and should eat what their body needs, even though I completely relate to and understand the morals behind veganism.
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:55 pm
Thank you so much for your note, Molly! Right now I want to keep the specifics of my transition private, as I’m still figuring out what I can eat that will work best for me. I’ll definitely write more about it once I have a more consistent diet figured out. :) Thank you again for your support!! I really appreciate it :)
Michelle | The Great FullAugust 10, 2016 at 12:30 pm
Dear Sarah, you should feel proud of yourself for acting honestly and transparently, two important qualities that, sadly, are lacking in the world today. I am happy that you have found a way to feel healthier. If we cannot maintain our own mental and physical wellbeing then we cannot be of any type of service in the world, be that for animal rights or any other cause. I work in food systems and am greatly concerned about animal rights, and spent a period as a vegan myself. I can assure you that by following a primarily plant based diet, with small amounts of animal source foods from sustainable production systems, you can still support the values you care so deeply about, possibly even more so. It may take a little more work and research, and effort to get to know some producers directly to really know the methods they use, but I am sure that will all be an enriching journey! I am sure you will find the community you have built to be supportive and open minded rather than dogmatic. Looking forward to keep following your journey! Michelle xo
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 12:59 pm
Thank you so much for your kind comment, Michelle!! It means a lot to me that you appreciate my honesty, because it was very hard for me to do. I was so scared about what the reaction would be. But so far, all of the comments have been positive and encouraging, and that means the world to me. Thank you so much for continuing to be a supporter of this space!!
Elizabeth at Tiny FitnessAugust 10, 2016 at 12:46 pm
Sarah, I started reading your blog because it reminded me so much of the struggles I went through when I was getting diagnosed with my gluten allergy. I had been sick for over 28 years, my entire life up to that point, and it took two years on my last round of trying to finally figure out what was wrong with me. I, too, had quit jobs in the past, and suffered the hall down full-time employment while keeping all of my pain and gi problems under control. However, with my food issues behind me, I am now a personal trainer with my own fitness studio. It really does get better. I had been a vegetarian for 23 years, and after I started reincorporating meat into my diet even just a few times a month, so much changed for the better in my body. I still struggle with my feelings about the meat industry, the environmental impact of meat, and of course the animals themselves, but life is all about shades of gray, and we are all works in progress. I applaud you for jettisoning a label that no longer served you in order to live a more vibrant life. Cheers to your continued healing journey and your quest to live a life that is best for *you* – after all, you’re the only one living it. Xoxo
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 1:07 pm
Thank you so much for leaving a note, Elizabeth, it means so much to me. And thank you for sharing the reason you started reading my blog, it’s really inspiring to me to see that my story has resonated with others. I’m so glad to hear that your GI problems are under control! Mine are not fully under control yet, but I’m getting there. I really agree with what you said… I am definitely against factory farming and many of the practices in the dairy/egg industries, which is why this decision was so hard for me. But like I said in my post, I’m doing the best I can. Thank you again for sharing your story and perspective with me!! I hope you have a wonderful day :)
SonjaAugust 10, 2016 at 12:57 pm
I agree with Megan and just like to add that your body is just that, it is yours, just like your health, fear of being honest in your space should not even enter your mind, wish you all the best on the way feeling great!!! oh my those colors in the soup & bowl, love it, recipe printed, will attempt tonight, because the sun in Vancouver/Canada doesn’t understand the concept of summer, take care, keep on posting, because we are for sure reading on…………………xo
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 1:11 pm
Thank you so much for your note and kind sentiments, Sonja!! It means a lot to me that you will keep reading and being a supporter of this space. Please let me know how you like the recipe!! <3
Traci | Vanilla And BeanAugust 10, 2016 at 1:10 pm
Big hugs and love to you for your courage and for feeling better. The journey is so personal, indeed. The struggle is real, I hear you. I admire you for choosing mindfully. If this were the case for all consumers, our planet would indeed be very different in a most positive way. And this soup? Gorgeously delicious my dear! xo
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 1:14 pm
Thank you so much for your note, Traci. Like you said, this is a really personal decision and I’m so happy that it’s been met with support from this community. Your support means so much to me. Sending big hugs to you too <3
ClaudiaAugust 10, 2016 at 3:05 pm
Oh no, I couldn’t be more disappointed reading this. Of course, your journey is supposed to be personal, but as soon your choices to heal your body require exploiting someone else’s and/or its secretions, that sentiment goes right out the window. I think the challenge is not to remain vegan, but to find a healthcare practitioner versed enough to help the healing process without having to compromise on ethics. While I am always on the lookout for a fabulous recipe, and your blog certainly is full of them, I also like to vote with my d”dollar”. It seems that a lot of these blogs serve as at least one source of income for the writer. Knowing the new dietary choices, I prefer to not indirectly support animal cruelty while padding your pocket, financially or otherwise. Good luck on your endeavor, what a shame that your well being comes at the expense of someone else’s.
SarahAugust 10, 2016 at 3:34 pm
Hi Claudia. First of all, I want to thank you for expressing your opinion so respectfully. I absolutely understand if you do not want to support my blog anymore – I just hope you know that I am sad to see you go. But I do want to thank you for having been a reader of my blog in the past, it means a lot to me.
Jessie SnyderAugust 10, 2016 at 4:22 pm
I am so happy for you Sarah <3 and think you are so strong to come out with the poise and humbleness that you did here. There is nothing wrong with doing what is best for your health, and absolutely zero shame in it either. I often wonder what our plates would look like if we lived in a world without labels, and I encourage you to feel confident in this new plate you are filling for yourself. Mega celebrating for you over here with your news of feeling better! May you continue to more and more each day <3
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 9:45 am
Thank you so much for your support, Jessie <3 I agree that there should be no shame in doing what's right for your health, but I still do feel bad that I'm not eating an entirely cruelty-free diet anymore. But you're right, I should feel confident in knowing what I'm doing is best for my health. Thank you for your kind sentiments. Sending big hugs! :)
valentina | sweet kabochaAugust 10, 2016 at 8:20 pm
I’d like to be as honest as you have been. Seriously. But having written a vegan book, nobody in Italy would understand my point of view – even the publisher probably.
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 9:46 am
It was definitely scary coming out to all of my readers. But I felt that I had to, you know? I want to be as open with you all as possible. But I can definitely understand it would’ve been different had I published a vegan book, like you. That would complicate matters :/
JodiAugust 10, 2016 at 8:23 pm
Yay Sarah! I can only imagine this post was a struggle. Labels are a silly thing. We are confined by what we make, eat and cook. But instead it should be where we feel the most free. I don’t like labels, I think we are all here because we love good food and we realize that food is nourishment, in every way. There should be no shame to that. I am happy you wrote about this here, the #vegan can bring a lot of followers and a community, but more than that – we are all just a bunch of veggie lovers looking to connect in a million different ways. More food, more inspiration. There is no need to define ourselves by what we eat. Your health, and heart, are better off in the long run. What courage – well done. Looking forward to more creations here :) x
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 10:11 am
Thank you so much for your supportive words, Jodi, it means so much to me :) It’s weird not attaching any labels to my diet anymore, but I honestly feel so free and liberated – ready to experience new things. I still identify with the values of the vegan community, but right now it’s best not to label my diet, for my health. Thank you again for your support, and for continuing to be a reader! :)
Casey the College CeliacAugust 11, 2016 at 12:17 am
I can relate far too much to this post. As someone with celiac disease, I already limit my diet from gluten and dairy (which also causes me problems). The more I learn about the food industry, the more veganism sounds like a healthy, moral choice. However, for my body, it isn’t the right one. For right now, I’m eating “vegan” except for meat/fish here and there…and that works for me. Congrats on starting to find the diet that works for you – and I applaud your bravery for sharing this change with the world. Stay strong, stay hungry and stay happy. :) We shouldn’t need a label for how we eat, but we do need to find a diet that works for us!
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 10:15 am
I’m so glad you can relate, Casey! People definitely have to make individualized choices for what’s right for their body – no one can tell someone else what’s right for them. What works for you may not work for me, and vice versa. And as long as we all treat each other with kindness and respect, it’ll be okay :) I will definitely stay strong, hungry, and happy. Thank you so much for your sweet note! :D
CynthiaAugust 11, 2016 at 8:22 am
You are amazing and your recipes are amazing and your health is most important. I am so happy you are feeling better and I will continue to follow your blog for many years to come!!!! Jodi said it best – “There is no need to define ourselves by what we eat. Your health, and heart. are better off in the long run.” (Oh and why is the font of this post so tiny??? Hope you can read it!) Sending healing thoughts and best wishes – Cindy, a lurker for a long time now.
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 10:17 am
Aww thank you so much for your kind comment, Cynthia!! Honestly, my favorite part of this post is that readers who I haven’t had a chance to connect with yet are commenting and leaving notes, which is so exciting! So I’m thrilled to hear that you’ve been a long time reader (lurker lol), and will continue to do so. Seriously, your support means so much to me! Thank you, girl!! <3
SophiaAugust 11, 2016 at 9:18 am
Sarah, I have been reading your blog for a while but I never knew you were a vegan. I thought you just liked veggies like me! Either way, I’ll keep reading! ;)
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 10:19 am
I love veggies and will continue to love them!! ;) Thanks so much for being a reader, Sophia, it means so much to me to have you on board. Thank you for leaving a note!!
jacquieAugust 11, 2016 at 9:31 am
I so appreciate your honesty and courage in sharing – thank you. Though the “fault” is not yours anymore than it was being vegan – it is simply what your body needs to thrive. There is no fault involved as everyone’s needs are different. Being mostly plant basead iis the most important thing – If you have to add a little non-plant to survive you have to. Best of lck to you. and if you don’t mind sharing I would like to hear more about what changes you are making and what you are adding back in as the vegetarian vs vegan is an issue I continue to struggle with.
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 10:26 am
Thank you so much for your note, Jacquie! I agree that trying to eat as much of a plant-based diet as possible is the most important thing – it’s the most sustainable, healthy, and ethical way to eat. If I have to include some non-plant foods in my diet for my health, then that’s what I have to do. I’ve been keeping the exact foods I’ve been eating private as I’m still figuring it out, but I will definitely update the blog once I have more consistent eating habits. Sending hugs <3
MakinsieAugust 11, 2016 at 10:22 am
I admire your honesty and vulnerability. Anyone with common sense realizes you must do what’s best for you and your health. I hope that you are able to filter out the negative comments you have received and may continue to receive. Only you know your intentions and your heart, and by reading your blog I can tell that they are pure. Please disregard the shamers. What they do is best for them, and the choices you make (which sound like you’re weighing heavily on you) are what’s best for you. You don’t need the support or approval of anyone but yourself. Please be easy on yourself and don’t let any negativity taint your spirit. Hear it/read it and then release it immediately. All the best, and I will absolutely continue to read and consume your delicious recipes.
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 10:29 am
Thank you so much for your thoughtful note, Makinsie. I’m so glad that you’ve been able to see the nature of my intentions here because they ARE pure. So far I haven’t had many shamers – the one person who has left a negative comment so far was really respectful about it, which I really appreciated. And I understand their perspective, too. But I won’t let anymore shame me because I don’t need their support to do what’s right for my health. As long as I’m doing what’s right for me, that’s the right thing to do. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for your kindness and support. It means the world to me :)
Natalie | Feasting on FruitAugust 11, 2016 at 12:52 pm
First and foremost, I am so so so happy you are feeling better! I have tried so many of those different diets too, and they are really hard to do as a vegan. I’ve actually contemplated the same decision many times. I always think of the quote about the insanity of doing the same thing over and over expecting a different result. Eventually you have to admit that vegan isn’t working and do what is best for YOU! I totally respect your decision, honesty is one thing I value very highly too. This post is written with such grace, I sincerely hope you do not receive any hate for it <3 This is just a part of your life, and vegan is not going anywhere if ever you do choose to return to it :) Much love!
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 1:41 pm
Thank you so much for your note, Natalie! I think of that quote too – how the definition of insanity is doing something over and over and expecting a different result. It really applies to what happened to me; I kept trying iterations of the same diet, thinking something would finally change. But it really means a lot that you respect my decision… I was worried what people would think! I feel relieved that everyone has been so supportive. Thank you so much for reaching out. Much love to you too!
PiaAugust 11, 2016 at 12:56 pm
You know, being a passionate vegan myself, the consumption of animal (by)products is obviously something I am firmly against. HOWEVER, seeing as veganism is about being compassionate, I feel it is also our duty to be loving and respectful towards humans as well (not only animals, or the environment), even if we disagree with their lifestyle choices. The world really does not need more hate, and aggression will not lead to lasting change.
In saying that, it is also important to keep in mind that, as opposed to most people who continue to live and eat the way they do simply out of desire, selfishness, and ignorance, you are making this change out of a positively selfish reason, if that makes sense*. After all, you wouldn’t have changed your diet, if it weren’t for your current circumstances.
Also since they are circumstances, there is still a chance that you may go back to eating a fully plant-based diet, once your health is in a better place. And finally, you did say that you will still be eating a mainly plant based diet, which to be fair is still a million times better than what most of the world’s population is doing!
So yeah, no hate. Not only because the is just not my thing, but also because it would not be fair, helpful,compassionate, or anything.
You are still a human being with a soul and feelings, and worthy of respect and love. xx
* -even if I must admit that it don’t really understand how this transition can scientifically or biologically (or whatever)be a healthful one, considering the negative effects various non-plantbased foods have.
Again, not hating, I’m just confused, as it seems contradictory and I simply cannot comprehend how the is possible (insert thinking emoji from Instagram :P)
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 1:49 pm
Hey Pia. I really respect everything you said in your comment. A lot of vegans who are passionate about their cause can be not-so-nice towards others who don’t share that lifestyle, as evidenced by what happened to Jordan Younger (which I referenced in my post). But you are the epitome of respect and grace. You’re absolutely right – even if people disagree with you, or have different lifestyles, that doesn’t mean they deserve to be treated with hate and disrespect. Luckily I haven’t had any “haters” after posting this. I think it’s because, like you said, I’m still trying to eat a primarily plant-based diet for ethical reasons, and that I’m only choosing this because of my health. I’m not entirely sure of the medical reasons behind my doctor’s recommendation… all I know is that it has helped my health tremendously. It is a little counterintuitive to what I’ve learned about plant based vs. animal based foods, though. But I’m not questioning it too much because I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a while. I wish it didn’t have to be at the expense of animal welfare though. That’s the one thing I’m really sad about :( Still, I really appreciate your kind and respectful note, and I want to thank you for reaching out <3
ChristineAugust 11, 2016 at 1:13 pm
I think it’s really heartening to see that most of those who have commented on your post have been supportive and compassionate in response to this. I can appreciate that food choices are personal and can be emotionally-charged, but when did it become appropriate for people to behave so horribly to someone else’s heavily-considered decision about their health and food? It’s not. Your community may change a little, but honestly in the big scheme of things, does that really matter? I’m glad you’re feeling better, and I hope you don’t feel guilty or shamed for making changes to improve your health.
SarahAugust 11, 2016 at 1:52 pm
I think it’s really heartening that nearly everyone has been supportive too. I was so worried about how people would react, but so far the dialogue has been entirely respectful, which I’m SO grateful for. Thank you so much for your kind sentiments, and for leaving a note. I really appreciate it :)
MauraAugust 12, 2016 at 9:47 am
As you know we love you and if you need to give up being totally vegan for your health DO NOT listen to anyone else’s opinion. You are a wonderful, talented, beautiful person and you need to follow your own path. Let the haters be haters that is their burden not yours. Love you
SarahAugust 12, 2016 at 11:06 am
Thank you so much for leaving a note, Mrs. P!! It really means a lot to me. Luckily I haven’t had any haters so far, but I wouldn’t listen to them anyways ;) Say hi to the family for me!! <3
Amy | The Whole Food RainbowAugust 16, 2016 at 7:10 am
Hey Sarah, I’m SO so glad you are feeling better that is just wonderful!! You dont need ANYONE’S opinion on what you do what so ever, it is for none else to judge and you should not take on a burden of feeling about anyone’s reaction, people are dogs in cars most of the time. Vegan, part-vegan, whatever. You don’t eat animals, that is your belief. Good for you for making a positive change that has made you feel better, your health is precious. And what a STUNNING soup, it makes me feel good just looking at that wonderful green! xxx
SarahAugust 17, 2016 at 10:09 am
Thank you so much for your note, Amy!! I really feel a lot better since making these changes for my health, and luckily everyone has been very supportive and encouraging! I feel blessed to be part of such an open and kind online community :) Sending hugs!!
My Favorite Vegan Salad | Well and FullAugust 17, 2016 at 10:28 am
[…] see, I need to thank nearly all of you for your wonderful support and encouragement in response to my last post. But I don’t think merely saying “thank you” will encompass the enormity of gratitude and […]
MeredithAugust 18, 2016 at 9:52 am
Hi sarah! What matters to me most in this message is you are feeling better! It sucks you have to make changes to your diet cause hey, eating plants-only rocks! But finding a way for your gut to cooperate with you is waaay more important :) I always tell my clients just cause I’m vegan now doesn’t mean I always will be. Our bodies are complicated creatures! I hope you will continue to share more about how the careful dietary changes you made have effected your health. Because I’m sure you aren’t the only one who is confused why eating all the ‘right’ things isn’t making them feel joyous.
SarahAugust 19, 2016 at 10:45 am
That’s such a good description of what was going on – I was eating all the “right” things, but it wasn’t making my body feel well. Which just goes to show how nutrition is so individualized – what works for some may not work for all. And there’s no shame in that :) Thank you so much for your support, Meredith. Sending hugs <3
AshleyAugust 18, 2016 at 12:15 pm
Sending lots of love, dignity, and respect, Sarah! Just as being vegan doesn’t automatically make a person generous, kind, and compassionate, not being vegan doesn’t automatically exclude those qualities from a person’s character. From my vantage point, the fact that you identified yourself as “vegan” was never what made you generous, kind, and compassionate. Rather, you were and are all of those things and more because it’s in your nature. Thank you for being you—your honesty about this makes you shine even brighter in my eyes (and I’m vegan)! xo
SarahAugust 19, 2016 at 10:49 am
Thank you so much for your note, Ashley. I couldn’t agree more with everything you said. Although being vegan is a lifestyle of compassion, I’ve seen some vegans treat other human beings ruthlessly and with disrespect. Luckily those people are in the minority, and I haven’t encountered any of them in my journey. Nearly everyone has treated my story with kindness and respect, for which I’m infinitely grateful. It makes me so proud to a part of such a wonderful and understanding online community, with lovely people such as yourself. Thank you again for your sweet note – it really means a lot to me :) <3
AmberAugust 19, 2016 at 12:03 am
Sarah how wonderful you are feeling better, and I have to say what a well considered approach you have taken. The ‘labels thing’ is also something I struggle with constantly as a ‘mostly vegan’, mostly plant based eater (and blogger). As a few others have said here, the mindful way you’ve made and communicated your decision speaks volumes and it’s what the world needs more of. Diet shaming is not cool at all, and helps no one. I hope you continue to receive love and support, and that any haters stay well away xx. Your soup looks fabulous too!
SarahAugust 19, 2016 at 10:59 am
Yes to everything you said, Amber!! Diet shaming is definitely not okay, but luckily I haven’t really had any diet-shamers so far during this journey. For the most part, everyone has been supportive and encouraging, and I’m SO grateful for that. If you struggle with labels, then I hope reading these comments/notes from other people on this post might help encourage you to not worry about them so much. People are much more accepting than you’d think! And even if there are haters, you shouldn’t listen to them. What goes in YOUR body is YOUR business, and no one else’s. Sending hugs, girl <3
MonicaAugust 22, 2016 at 3:22 pm
Until today I’d never come across your blog, so I had no prior knowledge of your veganism nor health issues. I am not a vegan myself, but I’ve been on a very restricted diet for almost 8 months now – my 14 month-old has multiple food allergies (dairy, eggs, wheat, soy, peanuts, tree nuts, sesame, sunflower seeds) and, as I’m still breastfeeding him, I can’t eat what he can’t eat. So vegan and paleo blogs are what I turn to when I run out of ideas. I’ll get to your recipe (which is really good) in a sec, but first – WTActualF?! The idea that someone would criticise you, let alone do it disrespectfully, based on what you’re doing for YOUR health on the advice of YOUR doctor appalls me! I’m relieved – for you and humanity in general – that most of the comments you’ve received are positive and supportive. I’m just sorry that you felt you had to apologise for doing what’s right for you. And I despair that you were so afraid of the reaction you’d receive. Some people just need to f off, respectfully or not.
Now, to your recipe: it was fresh, summery and wonderful. For my tastes, it was missing two things – pine nuts and garlic, which I added to the pesto. And if I could eat dairy/cheese, I’d garnish it with feta.
Good luck working on your new diet and I’ll leave you with my two favourite cliches: Haters gonna hate. You do you.
SarahAugust 22, 2016 at 4:03 pm
Thank you so much for your note, Monica, and for your recipe feedback! It IS hard to believe that people would criticize a health decision made with my doctor, but that’s what happened to Jordan Younger of The Balance Blonde (formerly The Blonde Vegan). I felt the need to apologize to my readers, however, because I didn’t want to offend anyone. But luckily nearly all people have been supportive, and I am so grateful for that.
I’m so glad you liked the soup! Garlic and pine nuts would have been great additions, I’m glad you experimented and added them to your pesto! That’s what cooking is all about – not playing by the “rules”, but having fun in the kitchen and going by your personal tastes. :) Thanks again for your sweet note and support!!
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EmilyAugust 25, 2016 at 10:27 am
Sarah, what a lovely post. I’m so inspired by your blog and joy for food you add to the world.
SarahAugust 25, 2016 at 8:25 pm
Thank you so much Emily!! :) Hope you have a great rest of your week!
AlexandraAugust 29, 2016 at 5:50 pm
Sarah, it is so great that you’re feeling better and have found something that works for you. Thank you for being honest. Keep up the great work, and best of luck in your journey :)
SarahAugust 31, 2016 at 9:13 am
Thank you so much Alexandra!! :)
Aimee | Wallflower KitchenSeptember 12, 2016 at 6:27 pm
I am very late on catching up with blogs but just saw this post referenced in one of your newer ones and wanted to see how you were doing? I can imagine how hard it must have been for you to write this and I can imagine all your fears too – I’m glad you made the choice that’s right for you and I’m really glad you’re feeling a bit better! I can totally relate with digestive issues, I’m trying my best to make some vegan tweaks to the predominantly animal product-reliant advice but it’s definitely hard work, there just isn’t enough information out there.
Anyway, big hugs x
SarahSeptember 12, 2016 at 8:42 pm
Thank you so much for your sweet note and your support, Aimee!! It was hard to write this post but I really wanted to be honest with my readers. I’ve been feeling a lot better and I’m so grateful for that!! Sending hugs back to you <3
DawnSeptember 21, 2016 at 8:50 pm
I just stumbled across your blog from a buzzfeed article. I came to this post because..well pesto is life :). I read you post.. I am so dishearten that people would actually bully and be unkind because of a personal decision for your health and well being..
Mankind never ceases to amazing and disappoint all at once.. Good luck to you.. and feel good.. I will definitely be following. ;)
SarahSeptember 22, 2016 at 12:34 pm
Hi Dawn!! Thank you so much for leaving me a note :) I’m definitely feeling better now and I’m excited to see what the future holds! Luckily, nearly everyone was supportive and kind when I announced my decision. Faith in humanity restored! :D Thanks for following along :) Sending hugs!
MishkaOctober 28, 2016 at 10:39 pm
I think anybody that gives you hate needs to look at really just how compassionate they are! I think us vegans we sometimes forget to be compassionate towards humans too! I am fully vegan, and intend to stay that way but I always say that its not for everyone and that if my closest friends family just try to eat more healthily, consciously and mindfully while predominantly supporting a plant based diet. Then they are already making a difference ! Hope your digestion improves and thumbs up for the honesty ;)
SarahOctober 29, 2016 at 12:10 pm
Thank you so much for your supportive words, Mishka! To me, being vegan means being compassionate to ALL living things. And while there’s definitely a place for advocacy, if it is done without respect then it loses its meaning. Luckily, everyone’s been very supportive and respectful, for which I’m so grateful! :)
MandyDecember 7, 2016 at 10:17 pm
I just happened to click on your comment from a Love and Lemons post and then this post name just happened to catch my eye (do I ever love pesto!). I couldn’t be happier to have found your blog. Thank you for sharing your courageous story, struggles and thoughts. The world needs this. And on a much lighter note, thank you for putting pesto in a soup. I will be making this promptly. :)
SarahDecember 7, 2016 at 10:47 pm
Thank you so so much for your thoughtful note, Mandy :) I’m glad you liked my post and I hope you also like the pesto soup :) Sending hugs!
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alannaOctober 17, 2018 at 8:31 pm
Quick question about this recipe, about how much pesto does your recipe make? I usually have some on hand so wasn’t curious. Thanks!
SarahOctober 17, 2018 at 10:12 pm
Hi Alanna, I’m not entirely sure how much this makes exactly, but I’d guess it’s about a 1/3 – 1/2 cup of pesto total :)
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AshleyMarch 16, 2019 at 3:37 pm
I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest. You are very brave to share your story. Because of your honesty and well being of your health, I decided to follow you. I’m just becoming vegan. Mostly for health reasons. But each of us have different bodies and different needs for our bodies. Not one type of diet works for all. I can’t wait to try the recipe!
SarahMarch 20, 2019 at 10:11 am
Thank you so much for your kind words Ashley, I really appreciate your support. I hope you like all of the recipes and content here :)
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Rohan BhattNovember 14, 2019 at 1:26 am
The recipe is amazing and I have tried making the pesto infused vegetable based soup in the past but addition of the vegetables and pasta makes it perfect Italian zuppa.
As to the Veganism and non veganism debate as well as the backlash of the people who are fighting with others over their opinion on veganism vs non vegan debate have to truly understand that choices of what you eat or not are supposed to be at the discretion of the person who is following it.
If your body is not responding to a dairy free diet or vegan diet and that is bringing about a disruption in your life and wellness what is your fault at it?
I am a strong advocate of mindful cooking and eating practices. In my opinion those people who make a point to totally depend on a certain type of diet rather than a balanced diet are bound to suffer in the long run. It can be dairy based, plant based, animal based diet, with or without gluten or sugars etc.
I would just like to add to your point that you have to take a choice and stand for your own self. If people can not accept it, they can unfollow you and not check out your blog but if they are going to ask you or rather command you to be someone who you are not, then it is certainly not worth it any more.
SarahNovember 17, 2019 at 7:06 am
I’m so glad you like this recipe, Rohan! And thank you for your words of support and for sharing your thoughts on this topic. I completely agree that your eating choices should solely be at your own discretion, and not others’!
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tony smythAugust 25, 2020 at 6:49 am
Its good but is better with a touch of Balsamic Vinegar added. ( my wifes idea)
SarahAugust 25, 2020 at 10:47 am
Balsamic vinegar sounds great in here! Thanks for the suggestion!
JacquiAugust 30, 2020 at 12:57 pm
I rarely leave comments when I visit a blog for a recipe, and I’ve just gotten pulled into reading these. Remember that anyone’s criticism of you is ultimately about them, not you. For the most part, people get this, and it looks like your readers are highly supportive of you and found your bravery to be inspiring. There will always be a select few people who aren’t authentic enough to realize that their judgement is a projection of the judgement they hold against themselves. It’s harsh, and mean, and requires a tremendous amount of compassion and clarity to not take it personally. Thanks for being courageous and keep shining bright!
SarahSeptember 6, 2020 at 11:07 am
Thank you so much Jacqui! At the time when I wrote this post, I was in a very, very different place in life. I used to feel like I was beholden to everyone else’s opinion… and that my worth as a person was based off of what others’ think. I’m happy to report that I no longer feel that way ;) Thank you so much for leaving this comment though, it means a lot :)
jennyMarch 3, 2021 at 4:12 pm
Hugs to you! You are an awesome person. I agree with the last comment. You do what is right for you and it is amazing how you are dealing with others negative comments. xoxo
SarahMarch 4, 2021 at 10:47 am
Thank you so much for your kind words Jenny :) I really appreciate you saying this. :)
DeniseJuly 18, 2022 at 9:47 pm
So glad I came across this recipe. It’s delicious! I added roasted spaghetti squash in lieu of some of the pasta. I will definitely keep it in my rotation, especially as I continue to try to lower my cholesterol with a mostly plant-based diet. Kudos to you for sharing your recipe and your health journey.
SarahJuly 25, 2022 at 5:18 pm
I’m so glad you liked the recipe! The spaghetti squash sounds delicious :) Thanks again for your kind comment <3