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Guest Post: 3 Strategies for Maintaining a Vegan Lifestyle in Eating Disorder Recovery

  1. Amy Dye Taylor, RDN, says:

    I thought that I was the only HAES Dietitian who was also vegan. Thank you so much for this. It’s a tricky position to be in to explain to people that being vegan is an ethical stance and has nothing to do with restrictive eating or health. Thank you

    • GlenysO says:

      Or at least it *shouldn’t* have anything to do with being restrictive…unfortunately, anyone can turn anything into a diet! I learned a lot from this post. Thanks for reading!

      • Amy Dye Taylor, RDN says:

        Yeah, I guess I mean that the word “vegan” doesn’t say anything about health in the definition.

        The Vegan Society coined the term in the 1940’s: “Veganism is a way of living which seeks to exclude, as far as is possible and practicable, all forms of exploitation of, and cruelty to, animals for food, clothing or any other purpose.”

        I know what you mean though It’s really hard to get that across to people, especially as an HAES dietitian. Thanks again!

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  3. Laney Park says:

    As a parent who saw my daughter’s weight, heart rate, and body temperature fall to dangerously low levels and once slept beside her on a hospital cot while she was being fed by a tube, it is my strong belief that veganism is an irresponsible and dangerous risk for someone in recovery. Restrictive anorexia is a mental illness that has stolen way too many lives.

    Please do not encourage a patient to subscribe to an ethical system that requires them to question the ingredients to every baked good and homemade or restaurant meal that they are offered. This encourages eating disorder behaviors and is counter to full recovery. Being free of restrictive anorexia nervous means being free of food rules. A diet without rules feeds the patient, not their eating disorder.

    • GlenysO says:

      I’m sorry you and your daughter went through that. I certainly wouldn’t “encourage” anyone to choose any sort of eating lifestyle. However, for those people who want to remain vegan for ethical reasons but DO want to recover, I would not want to ask them to make the choice between their veganism and recovery, because they may choose the former and never get the chance to recover. Those who are vegan for reasons other than ethics (another way to restrict, etc.) should be discouraged to continue this lifestyle. Thanks for your comment.

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