Diet Update: Am I Still A Vegan? & Our Charleston Staycation

The last we spoke of my diet I was up in arms about what I should do. Over the past several months, my health hasn’t been tip top. I’ve been diagnosed with anemia, my body hasn’t been recovering as quickly as it used to, I’ve had bouts of adult acne, and to be honest, I have just felt crappy. Not myself.

You can read the whole post here to catch up.

The past 4-weeks has been about experimenting and listening to my body. Giving it what it needs and not being afraid to go off my structured meal plan.

Perhaps there has been a bit of what my body wants tossed in there too…


So that might leave you wondering:

Am I Still A Vegan? 

This post has been on my mind for quite a while now. I’ve had many of you send emails and Facebook messages asking me how my diet was going and for any updates.

Well, with the New Year approaching, it’s time I shared my dietary choices that I’ll be taking with me into 2014.

This is what I’ve decided and it’s what has made me feel stronger, more energized and overall happier these past weeks.

The easy answer…

No, I’m not vegan any longer.

There, I said it. After following a strict vegan diet for 2 years, I’ve decided that the rigidity no longer fits me.


Sorry for the poor lighting, Salmon dinner at Tristan’s

Let me share a little more…

I’m Not A Vegan But I’m Not A… 

Complete omnivore either. At this time, I have added the following animal products back into my diet:

  • Eggs
  • Seafood
  • Venison (we have a client that gave us several roasts)

I used to indulge in seafood about every 4-6 weeks while being a vegan to help keep my omega-3’s high. But now I’ve upped that significantly to eating fish about 2-3 times per week.


Shrimp ravioli from the same date night at Tristan’s

I’ve been LOVING eggs again, eating them 2-3 times per week as well.

But I’m not giving up on my veggies either. On the contrary, I’m actually trying to eat MORE vegetables than I was.

Dan makes it a point to eat vegetables at every single meal throughout the day. I wanted to do this as well. While lunch and dinner is great, eating vegetables with a pancake just didn’t seem appetizing. But eating veggie filled omelets (no cheese) has been fabulous! Luckily, just yesterday I did master a veggie filled pancake, recipe to come soon.

I still believe that a mostly plant based diet is the healthiest for anyone, however I can’t deny the  benefits I’ve been feeling from adding these foods into my life again.

  • Increased energy
  • Happier
  • Better skin (well, until I went a bit crazy on the fruit last week)
  • Menstrual cycle. I don’t tend to share my female issues, however I haven’t had a period for quite a while… I finally had a cycle last week. It was kind of a big deal.
  • Stronger workouts. After months of feeling “off my game” I’m finally leaving a workout giving a fist pump. I’m stronger, faster, and energized from start to finish.

Another belief I’m strong about, is that a diet doesn’t have to be so black and white. I’ve learned so much during my time as a vegan but I also think it’s okay to go off the path to allow for a complete and balanced nutritional program.

I can’t help it, I would much rather eat a few animal products from time to time then have to pop some pills like iron and B12.

Dan is loving it as well! It makes meal prep so much easier. We’re sharing meals again and he has noticed my increased energy levels and my increased love of food again.

I pride myself on being a “foodie” and I feel that this is the right move for me and my body. I understand many of you may not agree with my choice, and that’s fine. This was actually a really hard decision to make but one I feel is necessary at this time.

So there you have it!

As mentioned above, we ate at the gorgeous Tristan’s Restaurant recently and thought I would quickly share our date…

Holiday Staycation Downtown Charleston

Last week Dan and I did a night out on the town for a stay-cation. Since our plans to fly to Philly were cancelled, we desperately wanted to do something to get us out of the house and allow us to give one another our undivided attention.



I found a great deal on LivingSocial to stay at the historic Mills House Inn downtown Charleston and together we decided on dinner at Tristans.

Downtown is only about a 20 minute drive for us, so it was an easy trip to plan out. We checked in right at 3pm and got settled into our hotel room. The room was great, nothing fancy or noteworthy but clean, spacious and comfortable. The 3 musts for any hotel room, right? And for the price, we couldn’t have been more pleased!


After we got all cleaned up and ready for the night, we headed across the street to Husk’s Bar.

This place was so quaint! And old, historic house turned into a bar with cedar walls and a wine cellar feel. We settled in for a drink and chatted with some people visiting Charleston before heading out into the chilly damp air to walk to dinner.


Nestled in the French Quarter, Tristan’s is described as “Simple, Modern and Unexpected”.



The ambiance was beautiful and comfortable. We sat at the bar until our reservation and chatted with the bartender (Hi Megan!). Turns out our families are from the same small town, Candler, on the outskirts of Asheville! I’ve never met anyone before that has heard of Candler!

Then we moved to our table.

I started with the shrimp ravioli which was quite delicious! Though for a single ravioli, the portions didn’t match my expectations of the price. Oh fine dining.

For dinner I went with the Salmon and Dan, the duck.


The salmon was delicious but not mind blowing. And with a portion so small, I was left craving a little more once the plate was cleared. Dan felt the same of his duck.

All in all, Tristan’s was great. I don’t think we will go back as there are SO many amazing restaurants in Charleston and this wasn’t our favorite. It’s hard for a good restaurant to be the best in such a foodie town. Plus, I really hate spending so much money and leaving the table still hungry. Is that just me?

After dinner we headed back to the hotel bar for a night cap before heading up stairs. We met the most interested woman, Tricia who was 88 years old visiting from Vermont. She was in amazing shape, and didn’t look a day over 70! I wish I had gotten a picture with her. She shared stories of being a retired author who had amazing opportunities interviewing stars like Michael Cane! She was such an inspiration.

And that was our holiday date! I couldn’t have asked for a better evening out with my husband. Oh by the way, it’s his birthday!

Happy Birthday Dan! 

–> What’s your favorite restaurant? <–


  • Kathryn

    So proud of you Kindal! Maybe sometime Chris can make you some yummy seafood or venison on the Big Green Egg! Enjoy those eggs…especially with Dan’s brussell sprouts! Happy Birthday Dan!

    • That would be great!! Oh now I am on board the eggs + BS train! yum! With Sriracha on top!

  • Cherie Wash

    So proud of you, Kindal. Your raw and real approach to life is what makes you such an inspiration to old gals like myself. Here’s to a happier, healthier 2014.
    Happy belated birthday, Dan.

    • Thanks Cherie! You’re an inspiration to me! Don’t worry today is Dan’s birthday so you’re right on time! 🙂

  • It’s so important to listen to your body and figure out what fuels it best. Good luck with your new approach!

  • Kim

    Reading this made me appreciate you even more!!! I love that you are willing to change it up with your diet and not feel tied to being a certain thing!!! Most important thing is to keep your body in top shape and it is different for all of us so we have to do what works best!!
    So glad that you and Dan enjoyed your get-away!!!
    Happy birthday to Dan!!!

    • Thank you Kim, that means a lot. Yes, my health is much more important than being labeled with a diet! I’ll pass on the wishes to Dan!

  • OMGOSH!!! I’m so so so so so so happy for you! Cycle=awesome news! How cute is the future little liftingrevolution baby going to be?! OK…I’m getting ahead of myself/you two…but I still think you two are going to make one cute kiddo ;). Glad you enjoyed the staycation. Favorite restaurant? Hard to pick!! Favorites: Grill 225, Charleston’s Cafe, Vespa, Coleman Public House, La pizzeria….I could go on and on 🙂

    • Hahaha, just busted out laughing! You’re too cute! I love Grill 225 too!

  • You honestly know what’s best for you. You should not feel ashamed at all. At all. That salmon looks phenomenal as well, I would gobble that up in 2 seconds. Oh wait, I am a carnivore! LOL!

    • Haha, that salmon was delicious! A bit of a crunch on the outside, and flaky on the inside!

  • Kim S

    For whatever reason I’m stoked you’re no longer vegan. I hear ya with the training stuff. I’ve been eating vegetarian the last 3 months. My training partners who were once of equal strength, have left me in the dust! Just this week I’ve started adding meat again, so we’ll see how my experiment goes too! AND way to make me miss charleston, I do love downtown, so historic and fun.

    • I think a lot of people are stoked! Too funny. Yes, I was getting really weak too, and even feeling like some clients were getting stronger than me… you know I can’t have that! lol. Let me know how it goes with your training! I am already feeling stronger and have even put some muscle mass on in the past 3-4 weeks.

  • I’m not technically a vegetarian either, as I eat shrimp and seafood now. When I was training for a marathon, I craved shrimp… even now, when I’m approaching 40 mile weeks, I just want it. I guess I wasn’t getting enough protein from veggies + shakes.

    Diets and eating habits really don’t need labels. As long as your’e not eating crap like fast food all the time, or the “standard american diet” (SAD… LOL), and eating healthfully, I think it’s okay. I think for bloggers, almost every blogger has some sort of eating habits with a name, when most normal peeps or non-athletic peeps or non-bloggers just don’t.

    As far as supplements go, see how things go for a few months and get re-tested. Even eating seafood, I am not able to get enough iron into my diet without supplements. But, I don’t eat beef either. My sister-in-law eats meat and is anemic and some vegetarians/vegans aren’t, so it really depends.

    I love how you guys did a stay-cation for christmas and enjoyed downtown. Thanks for all those recommendations on restaurants to try! The Mills House Inn is almost directly across from my church and every time I go to church I think of how beautiful that hotel is! I bet it’s even better inside.

    • I think dan could eat a pound of shrimp by himself! Its his fav.

      You’re right, I am still taking the iron supplement (at night) even with the intro of meat. Hoping that combined those levels go up!

      You should walk into the Mills House! It’s really pretty!

  • BTW… favorite downtown restaurant is a toughie. I like Saffron (amazing salads) but Moe’s Crosstown Grill takes the cake for brunch. Pancakes of the Day are always the best! I also love the coffee at Kaminsky’s (the hot flavored coffees!).

    • I have yet to go to Moes! When I can run again, I’ll tag along on the weekend run!

      • Cool deal! Yeah, we’ve been going between 8-10. We plan to keep doing them into the new year.

  • high fives for a period! and for venison! that’s a favorite. glad you are listening to your body. that’s the best diet ever, AMEN!

    • Thanks! I was doing a happy dance for the period! And OMG, venison is so good! We cooked our final roast last night 🙁 hoping our friend goes hunting soon.

  • Shannon

    Yay for Seafood!!!

  • I’ve only been to Charleston a couple of times and want to go back to get a different view of it this time around.

    I had to student teach in Candler when I was going to UNC Asheville and lived in the area for 6 years so it’s crazy that you just mentioned it!

    Also can’t stop eating seafood over here either. I think I’ve eaten ahi tuna, shrimp, and white fish this week and no other “meat.”

    • That’s so funny! Candler (and Asheville) is so beautiful! Ahi tuna… so good!

  • steph

    I have a similar story and commend you for listening to your body. After being lacto-ovo veg for many years, I ate meat while pregnant and nursing. By then I had moved back to Charleston and have continued to eat seafood. I also gave my sexy chef boyfriend a special Xmas gift of eating his holiday roast 🙂 Best wishes as you continue on your journey…I look forward to reading more.

    And my fave resto…Rue de Jean!

    • I often wondered that, when I get pregnant would I crave meat! I just had visions of Phoebe from Friends when she was pregnant. Rue De Jean is delicious! I haven’t been there in years!

  • wahoo for getting your period!! that was a big deal for us too once we were no longer raw vegans anymore. we got our period! such a great feeling. and we are so happy you are listening to your body 🙂 it can be hard at first but once you start to look and feel better it helps to keep going! again so happy that are seeing improvements with the new diet yay!!! xoxo

    • Thanks! It is so good to know I’m not the only one that has suffered! I am already feeling better! Thanks friends.

  • Listening to your body has got to be the most important thing, right? Your stay-cation sounds lovely.

    • Thanks! It was wonderful!

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