After following a 95% vegan diet for a long time, I came to the conclusion that no matter how good you think your diet is there may be something amiss, for example a key nutrient you aren't consuming, which can lead to health issues. For this and other reasons, at this time, I am trying to avoid diets that are too constrictive and limited. Unless someone has a specific severe allergy or health condition, its a good idea to try to incorporate key food groups that we might have avoided for years such as dairy, meat/chicken, grains, and eggs. Of course only incorporate healthy versions of these food groups for example: Good dairy to incorporate would be goat kefir or yogurt. Good meat/chicken to incorporate would be organic or grass fed cooked in water (in moderation). Healthy grains to try would be stone ground kamut bread (buy here). Healthy eggs would be organic free range eggs (hard boiled).
Why was I on an 95% vegan diet?
A family member had severe leaky gut, eczema, and allergies for which reason I just didn't buy much dairy, eggs, and meat. We were basically vegan, except on Shabbos (the Sabbath). Although most of her leaky gut issues and eczema symptoms resolved within a few months, by that time I had gotten used to the vegan diet and didn't bother testing the problematic foods again to see if she could tolerate them. SO we adhered to the vegan diet for longer than we should have and of course nutrient deficiencies developed with their own set of symptoms. Calicum and B-12 deficiencies to be specific. We are no longer vegan.
Many extreme diets like Paleo, Keto, low carb, even vegan diets are fraught with health risks when followed long term. Short term they may have some clear benefits. For example, many people with diabetes heart disease etc... may do very well on a vegan diet to give their bodies time to heal and detoxify. The more severe the symptoms the longer you may need to be on the diet. But if you are healthy overall or have already resolved your health issue, it may be wise to test the situation again and see if you can reincorporate some of these foods into your diet slowly and in moderation. Note: meat and chicken should not be fried. The healthiest way to consume these foods is to cook them in water.
Many people have gluten allergies. My family member had gluten allergies as well. However, adhering to a gluten free diet long term may also lead to nutrient deficiencies and other health issues. Most processed gluten free foods are full of sugar and other unhealthy ingredients, which can cause blood sugar problems long term. Most important of all, ancient grains contains B vitamins, omegas, vitamin E and proteins in the ratios that are bodies need. And when wheat is stone ground and fermented with yeast the phytic acid in the grain drastically decreases. Phytic acid is present in most grains and it can lead to mineral deficiencies if the grain isn't stone ground and left to rise. The Talmud discusses the health benefits of bread. In fact, according to the Talmud eating bread in the morning (Pat Shacharit) cures 83 diseases! read more here
Additionally, proper bread made with stone ground ancient grains is absolutely vital for brain health. Wheat germ is one of the healthiest foods in the world and is necessary for pregnant women for the well being of the fetus. Although I was gluten free for many years, today I can't imagine life without kamut bread. In all truth at first I did have positive experiences going gluten free, but with time I was concerned with the amount of nuts and brown rice I was consuming. Eventually, I developed an almond allergy and even an allergy to brown rice which is contaminated with arsenic. Brown rice led me to experience belly bloat and hair loss. Now I start off my day with Kamut bread and it gives me the energy I need for the whole day. It also improved my digestion and helped me to lose weight.
The Ancient Kamut grain has been shown in a research study from the University of Florence to lower blood sugar levels and ensure proper digestive health. Plus Kamut is a low gluten grain.
The point is that even with gluten allergies its important to reevaluate the situation and see if small amounts of gluten such as gluten in ancient grains can be reincorporated safely without side effects. Any extreme diet followed long term can pose certain health risks.
I have learned from my past experiences to constantly check and recheck my diet and vitamin status. Its important to humble ourselves and realize that we don't know everything and be open to change. Only G-d knows what foods are right for us at any given time. I have begun to pray for guidance about what foods to eat every day. In past times Rabbis uses to say a blessing every time before they ate that this food should help them serve G-d, because in essence the purpose of eating is to nourish our bodies so that we can better serve Hashem. Simply, If the food we are eating is damaging to our bodies we are not allowed to eat it. If a certain food is healthy for us than we should eat it. It's easy in theory and hard in practice. For this we need to pray.