We confess

by Lori and Michelle on August 25, 2010

Hello friends,

You all are amazing, thank you for all your kind words of support. I know we have said it before, but we loved hearing all your thoughts on taking days off from working out.Β  It looks like we all like to be active in some form, which is great but also listening to our bodies and take rest when needed. : )

Jenna said it well, “I have a weak, lethargic feeling.” Lori and I noticed we do not feel as strong when we take days off, which I felt weaker today during our workout. Today we did the Hotel Room Workout from Bodyrock.Β  I am looking forward to working out hard again, I missed it.

Post workout green smoothie

Now we have a heavy topic to discuss here today. As much as we love to keep things light and relaxed on our blog, we do like to discuss things that we consider hot topics. I was catching up last night in my google reader and read a post from a friend that I wanted to further discuss. Now I do not want to offend anyone or tell anyone what to do, I just want to voice my thoughts.

The topic : VEGAN

I am not sure if any of you noticed but Lori and I no longer call ourselves Vegans. It happened awhile ago that we decided we did not want that label. We did not want it to define who we are or stereotype us.

Now I know there are “vegan police” out there that have their rules or guidelines for being able to call oneself Vegan. And I think it is wrong. I think it is horrible that people will treat others badly or make them feel like shit just because they had a piece of cheese or bought something non food related that was not certified vegan.

I feel it is more important that a person is trying. Trying to eat less meat, cut out dairy, make better lifestyle decisions. Aren’t we suppose to support one another?? Why do we feel it is okay to bash someone for a decision they make….it is their choice???

The word vegan seems to have a negative feeling about it with the general public.

“oh she is vegan” eyes rolled, backed turned

Why is this? Why does something that is for good, mean something so bad to so many?

To me vegan – is more than just a lifestyle. Yes I went vegan for health reasons. Is there really anything wrong with that? But I also feel vegan is about treating everything better…animals, people, Earth…but there is such a close narrow mindset around the word – VEGAN.

So I choose not to eat meat. Does that make me a bad person? Does that make me weird?

Yes, to many people it does which to me is unfortunate.

Lori and I have had our fair share of vegans being rude or not understanding some of our choices…yes we occasionally have goat cheese…to me that does not define who I am. I always get it locally…a farm I have visited…a farm that treats their animals well. I understand that yes the animal did not get a say, but I do feel it is also about treating animals better.

I know being vegan is more than just a lifestyle, there is a bigger picture. I sometimes feel sad that I can no longer call myself vegan because I am afraid of others. But at the same time I feel I have freedom again. Freedom to make a choice…MY CHOICE.

One of my favorite things to do is take a recipe and make it vegan…remember this Cookie Dough Tahini Bar.

I thought being a vegan would also mean people would understand or not judge but I was wrong. I sometimes feel more pressure from vegans than I do a meat eaters to eat this way. Is this fair? right?

NO. I do not think so.

Why do we have to put so much pressure on others. I rather see someone eat less meat than to never give “veganism” a try because they have fear or too much stress to keep up with it.

I think we should be more supportive when others try to eat less of this or stops buying this, etc. And if they slip up, it is okay….encourage them to let it go and just get back on track.

Lori and I….

Do not eat meat.

Do not eat fish.

Do not drink milk. (we are intolerant to it)

Do not eat dairy based yogurts or kefir. (we are intolerant)

Do not eat eggs.

Do not eat honey.

Do occasionally have goat cheese.

Do occasionally have bee pollen.

Therefore in many people’s eyes I cannot call myself vegan.


I am okay with that, just please stop giving me hell for it.

Yes, I try to buy non-food related products from vegan companies, but again I am not perfect.

I will continue to eat an all plant based diet. I will continue to do my best and support companies that do not harm animals.

But I confess I am no longer labeling myself as a vegan.

I also confess, I used some bad words here. Sorry.

Till next time,


{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

Lauren August 25, 2010 at 1:15 pm

Rock on sisters! :) I occasionally have bee products as well, but I still say I am vegan..lol! :) I don’t feel strongly about bee products being harmful to bees, especially since I buy local from farms that practice good standard. I wonder if people look down on me when I put bee products on my blog? Hmm.. I really don’t care! LOL!

Krystle Rose August 25, 2010 at 1:29 pm

You said it sister! Powerful post and I even enjoyed the bad words πŸ˜‰

hihorosie August 25, 2010 at 1:32 pm

Oh this made me cry. I can’t share publicly exactly why but just know that I love you girls. I ABHOR these labels that have come to be, the negativity and the backlash from some individuals and while I don’t hate the vegan police (people) I do hate their “policing” of everyone. It’s so not necessary and I think they fail to realize that when forcing their opinions down another’s throat or making one feel bad because of a decision they made, the opposite affect is taking place. It’s not encouraging or helping the other person in no way. Anyway, I’ve avoided this issue on my blog for many reasons but I loved loved this post and could really feel what you were saying. You have nothing but 100% support from me. Now there’s a label I’ll gladly wear: a loyal supporter! :)

Betty August 25, 2010 at 1:41 pm


I too am frustrated with “Vegans” they really are cutting off their nose, to spite their face!
If they want change, they should be excited about baby steps! They should encourage their “newbies” instead they are killing off their young!

bitt August 25, 2010 at 1:44 pm

I am sorry you feel so much pressure. It sounds like you are vegetarians, but I like the term plant-based diet too. If you feel bad because of the PEOPLE saying things, that is not the right reason to eat or not eat something. From reading your blog you are eating a high raw diet that is very plant-based, and I enjoy reading it and learn a lot from you. There are a lot of meanie vegans out there (and a lot of meanie nonvegans!). Ignore them.

Jackie @ carolina_vogue August 25, 2010 at 1:51 pm

There is so much pressure (and it is really scary, too) when someone asks/comments on my personal eating habits. I do my best to stay away from labels because, I too, am scared that “doing my best” or cutting out dairy the majority of the time just isn’t good enough for some.

Thanks for posting this, I love reading the honesty the two of you put out there on blog :)

Alisa August 25, 2010 at 1:56 pm

Loved the post! Damned if you do, damned if you don’t is what I say. I always appreciate you girls being so honest in on your blog.

Sarena (The Non-Dairy Queen) August 25, 2010 at 1:58 pm

Oh Michelle, I can relate to this in so many ways! Please do not put pressure on yourself for a label. I am not vegan nor have I ever been vegan. I do not eat meat, but I have never labeled myself a vegetarian…others have, but I don’t need the label. As a society, I think a lot of us need labels like…I am a mom, I am an athlete, I am a wife, I am “whatever”. Personally, I just want to be me and the best that I can be at that. We don’t need to point fingers and judge each other for doing things outside of a certain “label”. You obviously do what you think is right and good…you should feel good about yourself for that. Appreciate your honestly, but you should not feel the need to confess. Keep your chin up and keep doing what you are doing!

Little Bookworm August 25, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Sorry about the rough patch/family stuff – I hope you two feel better soon! That Cookie Dough Tahini Bar sounds interesting. Hope you both have a good day!

Megan @ Healthy Hoggin August 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Amen, lady! πŸ˜€ I have a really hard time with labels as well– people can just get so darn judgmental!

While I’ve been both “vegetarian” and “vegan” in the past, I’ve found those labels just don’t work for me anymore, either. I primarily changed my diet for health reasons, and so I’ve cut out many things– but I quickly got sick of people giving me a hard time if I wanted some goat cheese! (you need to protect your mental health, too, you know?) People are sometimes quick to label me as a “raw foodist,” as well, and I quickly correct them! I like eating raw foods, but I don’t do it exclusively. I like eating vegetarian, but I don’t do it exclusively, either! And since I have a history of struggling with food restriction, labels can often feel restrictive to me… which is just bad news.

Maybe someday everyone will be kind to each other and not judge anyone based on how they eat! How silly that they care, anyway! I think you girls are lovely, and you definitely don’t need to defend your diet choices to anyone! I’d much rather have more people cutting back on meat and dairy, rather than feeling that they need to be “perfect!”

Okay, I could go on and on with this subject… but I’m going to stop before this becomes a rant. πŸ˜‰

Good for you for giving up the labels!

Teresa August 25, 2010 at 2:06 pm

I could not agree more. I hate labels. I am what I am. I am not 100% anything. I eat raw and cooked food, I eat cheese sometimes too. My best friend has dairy goats. I love organic raw goats cheese. I feel the same way- do what is best for Y.O.U. I spend way too much time trying to please everyone else but me! I respect others ideals and they should respect mine. You and Lori keep up the good work- you are great people!

Tamikko August 25, 2010 at 2:07 pm

good on you both. I too am not labeling anyone nor do I want to be labeled. I simply don’t tolerate racism and I believe the hurtful act of labeling is just that.

Kelly August 25, 2010 at 2:15 pm

YES. Yes.

This is such an area where people get very, very militant about “breaking rules” instead of supporting people for making healthier choices. I also feel that some vegans have a “better than everyone else attitude,” and on the flip side, non-vegans definitely do the eye-roll, she’s so weird, she’s crazy looks when they hear someone is a vegan. There is so much judging on both sides of the word, it seems.

I eat a mostly vegan diet, and I try NOT to identify that way because of a fear of being judged, from either side of the table. Even though I follow this way of eating for lots of reasons, including health issues and intolerance to dairy, I will feel guilty sometimes if I have eggs because I feel like I’m “Cheating.” Cheating who? Cheating what? Cheating implies I’m breaking rules, but there aren’t any rules! It’s just about trying to be healthy, and more caring to the planet. And yes, I know all the anti-egg rhetoric, but I don’t choose to eat a vegan diet all the time and I don’t want to be judged for that any more than I want to be judged because people think I am a vegan.

I was a strict vegetarian (veggie only, not vegan) for years, back when I could still eat dairy and was eating it, and I never gave people a hard time about eating meat. I’m choosing this for me, and I’m happy to tell you about it, and why I like it, but I don’t want to force my choices on you. That’s not going to change anyone’s mind or influence them to try something new. The militant attitude just pushes other people away, until they would never consider eating “like those weird vegans.” Wouldn’t it be better to celebrate people for when they do make healthy choices, and showing them that eating some vegan or vegetarian dishes can be yummy and fun to eat and not something weird?

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Hihorosie – I total agree with you. People need to be more careful how they “enforce” rules, haha. Thanks for being a loyal supporter, we support you 100% too. : )

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:32 pm

Betty – well said!

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:33 pm

Bitt – thank you! Yes plant based it a term we are starting to love!!! There are a lot of mean people out there. But just know you always have our support and friendship.

Amber Shea @Almost Vegan August 25, 2010 at 2:34 pm

I could not agree with you more!! I’ve gotten more crap from vegans than non-vegans about calling myself “almost vegan.” People act militant about it, like there can be no “almost,” like it’s all or nothing. I HATE black-and-white thinking like that! I also dislike how people sometimes say that if you are ONLY doing it for the health aspects, then you’re not “truly vegan.” Why not?! Which is better – me, a person who 99.9% of the time eats no meat, fish, dairy, or egg, even though I am not an animal person at all – or someone else who’s a bona fide animal lover but still finds it ok to eat meat (and I know plenty of those!). People need to RELAX and just be GLAD that someone WANTS to call themselves vegan at all, instead of criticizing them for doing so!!

Ok, end rant. Heh, sorry, got carried away there!

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:35 pm

Sarena – thank you!! I agree society just feels labels are needed, but I disagree. We are just us. : )

lindsay August 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

I hear ya. I think better label is “healthy-etarian” Lets start a new trend on that, eh?

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:36 pm

Teresa – thank you for your sweet comment!! Yes all about respect.

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:39 pm

Kelly – well said! I agree, we try to lead by example too. Healthy “vegan” food is delicious and fun ; ) Wish people could be more open minded…one day. : )

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 2:46 pm

Lindsay Love it!!

Ela August 25, 2010 at 2:53 pm

I’m so glad that you put this out there. I think you are completely right: it should be about everyone doing their best, as opposed to feeling guilty for not being perfect.

As people who are highly motivated and educated about food choices and their role within our larger environments, it can be a very fine line for us between information and judgment/perfectionism. I generally have to keep my mouth shut around most of the people in my circle at home – they don’t want to have it pointed out to them that all that ice cream makes them snotty, etc!

I also don’t label myself ‘vegan’ anymore, but I love the term ‘plant-based.’ I’d far rather eat a few bugs than wash my home-grown veggies in chlorinated water! lol.

Jessica @ Dairy Free Betty August 25, 2010 at 2:54 pm

WOO HOO! you girls rock!! No need for labels at all… I was thinking about this today, as I am mostly vegetarian, I don’t eat much (if any) red meat… I don’t have milk products, but I do enjoy eggs and fish…Some days I am 100% raw, while otheres I am not… What the hell does that make me??

Then I realized WHO CARES…I want to eat what I want to eat and enjoy it without needing a label. This post is great!! Thank you for sharing!


jennifer August 25, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Someone recently commented on a recipe I posted on my blog that used honey and that we shouldn’t be posting recipes like that because it’s not 100% vegan. I think if you look to much into what it means to be vegan you lose control over your diet and what you want to eat. Honey is technically an animal product, but it is alot healthier than agave syrup which is heavily used in vegan recipes. I would rather choose the option that would benefit my health and not sacrifice that.

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Oh Jess you are too cute! I agree who cares, we eat what makes us feel great and happy :) No need for labels!

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 3:40 pm

Jennifer, you are so right! I think using honey is fine and go for it :)

Mama Pea August 25, 2010 at 3:46 pm

I appreciate this post so much, guys. I know you know it. I fully support your “deveganization.” :)

Jen August 25, 2010 at 3:59 pm


evergreen(happy raw kitchen) August 25, 2010 at 4:00 pm

Love you both no matter what you eat :)

Lena @ Blissfulbellas August 25, 2010 at 4:14 pm

wow i loved this post. it really said everything that ive been feeling this past year. Ive experienced the eye rolls, the “she thinks she’s holier than thou” attitude, and the rude comments on life choices. Ive even had my brother say im not a true vegan because i own a pair of ugg boots. Yes i try to be as vegan as possible but just because i do occasionally have honey, eat products w/ eggs on the rare occasion and own some clothes that may or may not be animal friendly, does not mean that im not making a conscious effort to be the best i can be for my body, for the animals, and for the ecosystem. I choose this path for me, without labels, and not as a stand against others but as a stand for myself. Nonvegans dont go everywhere voicing “I am a carnivore, i’m eating this burger because i am a meat eater.” They do not label themselves, so why should we?

wow i went on a tangent there. Anyway i just wanted to say that was a wonderful and strong heartfelt post most appreciated!

Judith August 25, 2010 at 4:15 pm

No judgement, but a little explanation. Please take it in the spirit it is intended, which is a loving one.
Veganism is about ending the exploitation of animals. That’s why vegans get a little touchy when ppl who insist they are entitled to dairy cheese and honey call themselves vegan. Because it’s not about you, it’s about the animals.
Peace, sisters.

Lori August 25, 2010 at 4:45 pm

Vegan or not, you’re both still awesome and we love you! (and your tahini cookie dough bar too… yum!)

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 5:34 pm

Thanks Lena! We are happy to hear that you like our post! I was a little nervous in writing it, but felt it was a topic worth sharing and discussing :)

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 5:35 pm

Thanks Judith, I agree it is about the animals, that is why I am no longer calling myself a vegan and trying to go away from having labels. I think supporting animals and giving them a voice is important!

Pure2 August 25, 2010 at 5:36 pm

Thanks Lori, we love you too!! HUGS

Dani @ Body By Nature August 25, 2010 at 5:37 pm

Well said girl! You just have to do what’s right for you and that’s all that matters. Labels do nothing more then divide us.

Nikki M. August 25, 2010 at 5:45 pm

Very well said! Another reason why I LOVE reading this blog! It always makes me think, and I appreicate that. As someone who has recently cut out all meat/fish and almost all dairy, I was very happy inspired to read your post.
Thank you.

Earth Mother - In The Raw August 25, 2010 at 7:43 pm

I wear many hats (a true Renaissance woman), but I don’t wear any labels. Been breaking rules since I was wee high. Eat what you like. Call yourselves whatever you please. And I’ll still adore you. Nothing you can do about it either! πŸ˜‰


Katie August 25, 2010 at 9:52 pm

Awesome post. Well said. I’ll protect you from the vegan police if they come to get you by holding some goat cheese in front of you both! πŸ˜‰

Nicole @ Geek Turned Athlete August 25, 2010 at 10:07 pm

Thank you!!!! You girls are amazing, and I’m so proud of you for sticking up for yourself. I think those people who judge are idiots. Like you said, they are only making it worse for those who want to try veganism, but never do b/c they don’t want to be judged if they mess up so they don’t even end up trying.

I think you are beautiful inside and out, and I don’t judge you girls at all! I look forward to seeing you guys again! Maybe at Fitbloggin’?

Sarah @Gluten-free tries Vegan August 26, 2010 at 12:30 am

Ladies, I really love this post. And I love the buzz around the topic in the blog world at the moment. I called my blog “tries vegan” because I know it takes deep-seated ethical beliefs to commit fully to it, which I’m not sure I have. (I left a comment on Gena’s last post about this which goes into more detail). I primarily went vegan for health reasons, like you guys, and I’m not sure I have any ethical problems with bee pollen and honey so consume it without guilt. Also, my friend’s happy hens produce and give away their eggs so I’m considering eating them. Thus I’m not sure what I can call myself! Vegetarian perhaps but I’d rather just stick with the label Celiac as that’s an immovable state :)

Love you guys, and hope that you’re ok. At the times when I don’t comment on your posts know that I have read them and are thinking of you :) xoxoxo

The Cooking Lady August 26, 2010 at 5:50 am

Truer words were never spoken. And it has been my daughter who has taught me to get off my high horse of vegetarainism and guide people with information…not judge them for where they are in their journey of health.

Megan @ The Oatmeal Diaries August 26, 2010 at 5:53 am

It’s admirable you wrote this post! I am so impressed with anyone who eats even CLOSE to vegan. And if you are happy with it you have NOTHING to apoligize for!

Averie (LoveVeggiesAndYoga) August 26, 2010 at 12:09 pm

I am seriously crying as I read this post. Not because you are wrong or I disagree; quite the opposite, I FEEL THE SAME WAY AS YOU ON EVERYTHING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“And I think it is wrong. I think it is horrible that people will treat others badly or make them feel like shit just because they had a piece of cheese or bought something non food related that was not certified vegan. “—THAT right there, is the nut shell of what I tried to say in this post of mine

However, I was not so blunt. I should have been as blunt as you were.

I feel SO MUCH PRESSURE from vegan readers and other vegans. I am 99% vegan, or more. I don’t eat any animal flesh, dont eat cheese, have TRACE dairy in my life and trace amounts of honey in recipes. That’s it. If that makes me not vegan, then I guess I am not.

I am more than “just a strict vegetarian” and somehow “downgrading me” to “just a vegetarian” seems to negate all the work and care I take in making vegan food choices.

Both Aimee/Bitt and Gena have touched on what veganism means to them this past week. For some it is much more of a total lifestyle choice; and I applaud that. But for me, it’s hard to say I wont eat/buy/use ANY products that may not be certified vegan. They are expensive, dont always “work”, and are hard to find at times.

Love that you said this, I am saddended at the judgment but also happy that you are reclaiming your choice.

“I sometimes feel sad that I can no longer call myself vegan because I am afraid of others. But at the same time I feel I have freedom again. Freedom to make a choice…MY CHOICE”

I dont know why I am sooo emotional reading this post. It’s like you have said everything that I have wanted to say and put into words for so long but either couldnt find the right words, as well as feared judgment, and just couldnt get it all out there. But you have. I applaud you two so much.

And honestly, I hadnt even noticed that you DIDNT call yourselves vegan anymore. I love this post.

Omg I love you both! Thank you. This post is going to change my life. I dont say that lightly. Thank you sooo much!!!!


p.s. got your email about livewriter too, thank you :)

Melissa @ Vegan CacaoBee August 26, 2010 at 12:56 pm

Great post!

Pure2 August 26, 2010 at 2:06 pm

Oh Averie!!! You are the best :) We love you too, thanks for this sweet comment! It made our day!!! It is nice to see we are not the only ones dealing with this issue!!! Sending lots of hugs!

Gabriela @ Une Vie Saine August 27, 2010 at 5:06 am

Ladies, this is wonderful. I can totally relate to not wanting to label yourself…I just say that I try to eat vegan most of the time, but make allowances for some dairy products. It’s YOUR body, and what you choose to put into it should never be confined by someone else’s definition. Way to go girls!!

Elizabeth Jarrard August 27, 2010 at 5:39 am

wonderful post ladies. i hate the label vegan (and labels in general). i hate that people automatically judge me if i tell them i do not want to eat animal products. i also hate it when other vegans try to be “holier than tho” with the i’m more vegan crap. as someone who has read a lot about mindful and intuitive eating, i know there are times when you may want to stray from your self-prescribed diet, and i think it is important not to feel guilty about those cravings, or if you “cheat”. food is neither good nor bad. and a person should not be judged solely on what they eat. thanks again.

fartygirl August 29, 2010 at 7:07 am

I love this post!!!!

Many of us set these labels for ourselves. And then we feel guilty when we break them. As an IBSSer, I find myself constantly at odds between what I should eat. Should I eat vegan, gluten free, or what will make my tummy feel better at this moment? It’s so annoying.

To be honest – whenever I see goat cheese, socca, cooked veggies on your posts, I get so excited. I’m like, good, they are EATING again. I know how dizzy and crappy I feel on those days when I can’t eat and must regale to smoothies and juice. I wish nothing but superhealth and digestion for you both.

Thanks for writing this!

Lindsey @ Sound Eats September 1, 2010 at 8:29 pm

Just now reading this, but PREACH IT, sistahs! πŸ˜‰

Seriously. Everyone needs to do what works for them. There are billions of people and billions of ways of eating. Be yourself and own it. This reminds me of the post I wrote when I “gave up” veganism (I post a wide variety of recipes, but still eatbvegan a LOT now). It was an incredibly raw and freeing post to write.

Love you!!

nelly September 3, 2010 at 7:06 pm

my dear girls…i have NO idea how i missed this post…actually i do, i have been feeling quite ill the past couple of weeks and have been trying to catch up slowly…you may have noticed today as i comment on a couple of your posts…and i will get to all of them soon…

anyway…thank you so so so so so much for writing this post…it is too bad that we treat one another so badly…that we judge and ridicule…it breaks my heart…and i am sorry that you two have been judged and harassed. it’s ridiculous. honestly! who cares what anyone eats…we should help and support one another…not pass judgment and hurt one another…you hit it right on the nose my dears.

you two are such amazing women. don’t ever forget that, and you do so much good with this website…and with your bakery. you’re teaching so many people about the wonderful plant based diet…and i know many non vegans will try your recipes and love them, and they will learn so much from the two of you.

i love you girls. you are two very bright shining stars. don’t ever let the light go out.

thanks again. this post truly touched me. it is so nice to know that i am not alone. it’s such a beautiful feeling.

sending you both so much love and so many hugs.



nelly September 3, 2010 at 7:08 pm

oh and who cares that you used a few “bad” words…they have become a part of our vocab, no???? hehe…swear all you want. emotion is good.


Pure2 September 4, 2010 at 2:57 am

Nelly – no worries, glad you are feeling better, and thanks as always for your support and friendship!!! xoxo

deb September 4, 2010 at 1:50 pm

I love me some Non Label Twins!!!!!!
You girls always make me smile and I love that you are ripping off that label and just being you, plant based and gorgeous souls.
Your unlabeled pal,

Pure2 September 4, 2010 at 3:35 pm

Deb – xoxo thanks ; )

eatmovelove September 23, 2010 at 4:50 am

Interesting. Found this post through Averie. I’m not vegan or vegetarian. But I feel judgement (especially on the blogosphere) from those who are – because most bloggers are extremely healthy eaters and some form of raw, vegan, veg, etc.

Labels are stupid. Why don’t you just say you eat what YOU want? Others can kiss your …;)

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