Why I started eating meat again after 20 years.
Have you ever just felt so sick that you’d do anything to make it better? Like, you’re online researching all the home remedies to see if you can find one that works? I have been there, and as a result, I started eating meat again after 20 years. At the point when I started eating meat again, I had been a complete vegetarian for 6 years - a strict one too. Some vegetarians don't ask questions when they go out to eat, or may not realize that there might be animal products in certain foods. Not me though. I was that person at the restaurant who made the waitress go ask the cook if there was chicken broth in the spanish rice or lard in the beans because the thought of eating any of that disgusted me. (Haha, now I'm the one who asks if the foods are gluten-free and dairy-free.) My interest in nutrition and health started at a very young age - probably when I was 9 or 10. I started reading health magazines, and I remember reading that red meat wasn't very healthy for you and causes weight gain. (This would have been back in the early 90's, so a lot has changed since then.) My parents say that I got a bloody hamburger when we were out to eat somewhere, and, soon after that, I told my parents that I wasn't going to eat red meat anymore (meaning any beef or pork). I continued to eat chicken and turkey as my main sources of protein - I never liked fish or eggs, and, believe it or not, didn't like most cheeses either. I did drink milk and eat yogurt though. Years later - probably when I was 24 or 25 - I started to get really into animal rights. I started to make sure that all of my cosmetics weren't tested on animals, and I also became a PETA member. I had briefly started to eat fish again, mostly because I was really grossed out by the chicken that I cooked. I would even cook it until it was dry just to make sure there weren't any pink parts. I had always been kind of grossed out by meat because I would think of what it actually was when I was eating it. Between that and the PETA videos that I watched, I decided to become a vegetarian. Like I mentioned earlier, I was a strict vegetarian for 6 years. I never liked any of the processed "fake meat" products, so I relied mostly on dairy products and high protein grains to meet my protein needs, and I did fine with that for years. You may or may not know this, but I also suffered from digestive problems for most of my life, which turned out to be due to several food intolerances that I had, which ended up causing leaky gut and me to gain 50 pounds! Because of the digestive problems, I started to cut out more foods. I knew that gluten was one of the culprits, and suspected that dairy was as well. At the time, cheese was my favorite food! It was really the only animal product that I was eating a the time, and was the only thing holding me back from going vegan, which I really wanted to do. While I was trying to decide if I should give up cheese and go vegan, I was also working with a Chiropractic Doctor, and was scheduled to be tested for different food allergies the following month. I think I knew that there wasn't going to be much left that I could eat if I was a vegetarian who didn't like or couldn't tolerate most vegetarian proteins, and I most likely wasn't going to be able to eat dairy anymore. Also, during that time, I was extremely tired, and I felt as if I was just floating through life. Then, the craziest thing happened! I actually started to crave turkey! I had never missed meat at all (only real hot dogs and bacon, lol) during the whole time that I was a vegetarian, so I didn't know why I was craving it now. And, it wasn't just any craving...it was an overwhelming craving. All I could think about was turkey! I remember talking to my friend about it, and he said I should just eat some turkey. He didn't get that it was a huge life change since he had never been a vegetarian, but, usually when I have my mind set on something, I'm kind of impulsive with it. I knew that I would be buying turkey the next day. So, the following day I was still thinking about turkey, so on my lunch break I went to the grocery store and bought deli turkey and turkey bacon. I waited until I had my dinner that night to try it, and, when I did, it was weird, but it was good! After getting tested for food allergies, I found out that I couldn't have gluten, dairy, barley, spelt, oats, corn, tapioca, millet, amaranth, eggs, sorghum, teff, and many more. I also don't handle nuts, seeds, or beans well, which significantly limited the protein containing foods that I was able to eat. It's very likely that I was feeling so tired because I wasn't getting the right nutrients from my diet, and also, since I was eating foods that I was intolerant to, I ended up with leaky gut, so I probably wasn't absorbing the nutrients that my body needed. Luckily I listened to my body, and, instead of becoming a vegan, actually did the complete opposite and started eating meat again. I eventually did start eating most types of meat again. I tried fish about a month later, which I now love, and sushi is my absolute favorite thing to eat. It took a few months before I tried beef or pork since it had been over 20 years, and, when I did, I loved it! When I tried real bacon (not turkey bacon) for the first time, I could not believe that I had given that up! Of course, when I do eat it, I make sure to get a good quality nitrate free bacon. It was kind of hard to get used to eating it again, and, although part of me wishes I could have stayed a vegetarian or become vegan because of my love for animals, I feel so much better not eating the foods that I'm intolerant to and eating the ones that my body was craving. Now, I'm not saying that you can't survive on a vegetarian or vegan diet because you absolutely can. It's just that isn't the type of diet that is right for my body. When I attended the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, we learned the concept of bio-individuality, which basically means that one person's food is another person's poison, which is why fad diets don't work for the most part. The foods that will and won't nourish us is based on our individual anatomy, metabolism, composition of bodily fluids and cell structures, blood type, and our personal tastes and preferences. After changing my diet, my symptoms significantly improved, and to this day, I feel better than I ever have (unless I eat something that I shouldn't). If you’re reading this and thinking, “I’m feeling really tired like that (or digestive issues, or stubborn weight that just won’t budge, or difficulty concentrating, or chronic allergies, or you’re just not feeling right)”, I invite you to join me for my 14 Day Sugar Detox, which I will be launching soon!
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I want you to feel how I did after changing my diet - refreshed, renewed, and, for the first time in a long time, HEALTHY.
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Making any big change can make you feel nervous (believe me, I know), but remember that I am here to support you every step of the way. I want you to be the best version of yourself. You deserve it!