Life After Veganism

Adam Stansbury
8 min readMar 8, 2023

It’s been just over a year now since I came out as a non-vegan, so I thought it was time for an update on my journey.

To give you a bit of back story so I don’t repeat myself this is the blog post I wrote in January 2022 declaring my change to the world, read it here on Medium…

How do you feel?

I guess this is the first question to answer and I must say I feel amazing, now there are several factors that are leading to my current health and wellbeing status but over the last year it has been noticeable to me how much better I have felt physically.

There’s been of course many other challenges in my life as I left Ibiza, self-published my second book and then went to explore South America for 3 months at the end of last year but physically I’ve felt solid and strong.

I was vegan from Nov 2014 — Jan 2022 and I believe I did Vegan the right way and without a doubt lived optimally and felt good for a long time.

I knew how to create a good diet on it, I’d written a book and several ebooks for clients on the topic of plant-based nutrition and fitness. I trained hard on it, recovered well and created a pretty good physique whilst eating 100% plant-based.

I WROTE A F***ING BOOK ON IT!!

It’s still hard for me to comprehend. I’m still so proud of that book, what I put into it and the content within it, but such a lesson in the way life and beliefs can sometimes change unexpectedly.

It wasn’t until I started eating meat again that I had to honestly ask myself whether I had actually been feeling as good as I thought on the vegan diet, as I was now feeling a level of strength and vitality that I hadn’t felt for years, this was an ‘aha’ moment.

My Observations

Over the last year I’ve observed the vegan movement continue to make sweeping nutrition claims with a completely biased point of view and I have observed the meat eating / carnivore movement do exactly the same.

Some people thrive on a vegan diet…

Some people thrive on a carnivore diet…

Acceptance sets you free!

Each one unable to remove the head out of their self righteous ass and see that sometimes eating one way works for someone and sometimes it doesn’t, this to me seems like such basic thinking but only if you’re not invested in the belief system that is driving your choices.

Setting yourself free of any particular belief system around nutrition, gives you the ability to operate in the world with a much more balanced point of view and the ability to really see things more clearly.

Where are you now with nutrition?

Well my own personal experience and the journey that I went on has totally confirmed what I knew before, during and after veganism and that there is NOTHING on this planet that works 100% of the time for 100% of the people and that’s a FACT.

I still standby the ideal that we need to eat to support the health of the individual but we also need to eat to support the health of the planet, there has to be a compromise, otherwise everything dies.

There are just too many genetic variations of human beings, not to mention the lifestyles and environmental factors at play across the globe. So to believe that there is one style of nutrition that will suit all combinations is an illogically thought out idea.

For example when I was knee deep in the vegan community in London, giving talks and going to events, it felt like the whole world was going vegan, restaurants, cafes were opening up everywhere, it felt like it was the hot topic on everyone’s lips and that it was good for everyone until I moved to Ibiza and could see old ways of thinking and farming traditions still very much alive there and then I went to South America and it definitely wasn’t.

It’s very easy to get caught up in one way of thinking and seeing the world when you’re in a community bubble. Living in Ibiza and then being in pockets of South America I had the same effect but for different reasons.

So where I am now? Well I still firmly believe in eating a diet that has it’s fundamental layer made up of plants but with the flexibility to add whatever kind of protein someone needs on top of that, that suits their tastes, ethics and nutritional requirements. Basically a Flexitarian approach.

From a purely practical nutritional standpoint (I’ll come onto ethics later) it’s important that you adopt a way of eating that suits your lifestyle and flavour pallet, nutrition needs to be simple and thus sustainable to impact your health long term.

Eating and Living Intuitively

By only eating animal products when your body feels it needs them and thus consuming them less frequently, we will naturally reduce the demand for them, rather than eating something 4 times a day just because you can.

Over the last year I’ve had several instances where I’ve walked into a supermarket with the intention of buying some kind of meat until I asked my body what it really needed and I opted for plant-based.

On the flip side I’ve dreamt of eating steak and had many meals of fish, chicken, beef or lamb that have energised me beyond belief.

Whilst I was in Colombia last September to November I pretty much ate a plant-based diet with a couple of eggs every other day and felt fantastic but then every couple of weeks I would get this inner voice that said ‘there’s something you’re not getting that you need’ at which point I would go out and eat some fish and once again feel vibrant again.

This kind of living and eating felt really good and I realise that I function best on a diet predominantly made of plant based foods, eggs every other day and then fish, chicken and red meat when my body needs it.

Isn’t this why we are having so many problems on our planet, a total lack of connection to OUR nature, which in turn means a lack of connection WITH nature. If we connected more with our intuition we wouldn’t need rules and regulations, we would survive and thrive as animal populations do, intune and as one united organism.

The Ethical Challenge

I went Vegan for the ethics, after going through a massive shift in my own consciousness thanks to the start of my journey with plant-medicine and deep inner work. The pain I was feeling and had become aware of had become too much and it felt like an easy choice to make.

At the end of 2021 I completed a long and painful year of processing and personal healing, and the day I decided to try meat again I was on a hike with a good friend who posed the following question that hit me:

“Maybe the pain of the animals you were feeling in 2014 when you went vegan, was actually your own, and now you have processed that, you feel free to explore again”

Now the above hypothesis may trigger any ethical vegans reading this but I can’t find another explanation as to why I went from feeling one way and then the other, this has shown me that we must also be very careful how we criticise others and the choices they make, we don’t know what’s going on in their world, and we certainly don’t know what is REALLY going on in this reality, I’ve learnt to reserve judgement due to the unexplained circumstances of my own life.

I am still struggling with the ethical side of things internally. I see, understand and feel completely the perspective of ethical veganism but the energetic urge and voice of my body is much stronger now.

Maybe I’ve just come to accept the animalistic side of me once again and my relationship with life and death is a healthy one, unescapable for any living organism on this planet and a part of who I am.

However the way we treat and farm animals on a mass scale is just not acceptable, I know this and try to avoid eating this meat.

Basically I’m a walking contradiction, a divine dichotomy where two opposing views can exist simultaneously in the same space, I can’t explain why, I can only explain what.

Diet and Life are Forever Changing

This whole journey has taught me a lot, not just about nutrition but about life. The need to maintain flexibility in our thoughts, words and actions, that nothing lasts forever and that something that is perfect right now, may not be in a few months or years down the road, fuck that’s a hard thing to grasp but it is the reality of being human and it teaches you the biggest lesson of all, how to be present.

If you never know when something or someone is going to change then you must maximise every moment that you are consciously aware of, appreciate it, revel in it and commit to the present moment 100%.

As it turned out my journey with veganism was perfect, the perfect diet, at the perfect time in my life. It was a perfect 7 year cycle, where I went through a huge shift in my cellular biology thanks to the plant-based diet, and a huge shift in my spiritual consciousness thanks to my work with plant-medicine.

The lightness and more ying energy of the plant-based diet provided the perfect platform to support the metaphysical shifts in my body during that time and the return to eating meat at the end of it provided the more grounding yang energy to bring me back into my body and to the earth at the end of it.

As it turns out I completed this cycle of personal transformation last year in Colombia and have been integrating it since and I have no need for plant medicines right now, and I returned to the UK in December craving stability, grounding and the need for stillness in my life.

So there is no right or wrong diet, no black or white, it’s what feels good for you right now, in this moment in your life, until it doesn’t, and as a being with conscious choice you get to choose what you do next.

Eat well to look after your health but remember that your individual choices impact the world around you.

To Be Continued…

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Originally published at https://adamstansbury.com on March 8, 2023.

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Adam Stansbury

Helping to shine a light on your path, so that you may see the way more clearly.