View Full Version : Any recovering vegetarians here?

03-15-2016, 12:37 PM
I think I might need to eat meat again, at least a little. (Sorry this is long--skip down to the last few lines to get to the point of my post, if you don't care about my backstory.)

Brief background: I mostly stopped eating meat about 20 years ago. Partly because I felt like I shouldn't eat an animal that I wasn't willing to kill and prepare myself, but also because I noticed that I often didn't feel good after eating meat. I still ate fish occasionally, and didn't make a big deal out of soup made with animal stock, but I'd say I was 99% lacto-ovo vegetarian. A few years later, after some intense pepperoni and bacon cravings, I decided that having those things once in a while was better than denying myself something I so desperately wanted. And that's more or less where I am today--bacon maybe 3 or 4 times a year, fish maybe once a month, but mostly veggies, rice, beans, bread, pasta, cheese, eggs.

Okay. Last summer I had some health problems. Long story short, most of my issues seem to have been because I was hypothyroid. I've been on medication for that since Sept., so I'm slowing coming around again. While I felt better in many ways, I started noticing that I had symptoms similar to mild vertigo. Not enough to interfere with my balance or ability to do things, but enough to be annoying and uncomfortable.

So, a few weeks ago I had some bacon for the first time in months. The next day, my dizziness was pretty much gone. Two or three days later, it was back. I tried some more bacon. Felt better again. I've been having a little every day for the past several days, and my vertigo is still much reduced.

My conclusion: Bacon is medicine! And, maybe I need the protein and vitamins found in real meat.

My current problem, and question for any former vegetarians--how can I incorporate some meat back into my diet, when the thought of most meats kind of grosses me out? What should I start with? (I mean, other than bacon. It's delicious and all, but maybe not every day...)

03-15-2016, 12:53 PM
Hah! Hi, total ex-veg here!

I was veg (complete, no fish or stock or even gelatin) for 17 years. Then we moved to the country and dd began to covet the meat on dh's plate. Ugh. So I started with meat chickens. And...I don't like chicken. But I do eat it. Just not with the enjoyment that a steak brings.

Similarly, I never "missed" meat, though bacon does have a certain...something.

Ethically, I just can't go with factory-raised animals. We do drink milk (sigh), but I source our cheese from a local-ish dairy. We have dairy goats so I make loads of things with their milk. We do a cow and a pig share: we buy basically half a pig and a quarter of a cow per year. I feel better about eating the ground meat from one animal (not 100) and it's led me to be a more creative cook, using up all these odd bits. We also fish. I smoke stuff (fish, pork, jerky, bacon), and I make sausage. And we raise meat birds and "do in" our egg-bird roosters.

All that said? We eat meat maybe 2-3 nights a week, tops. Most of what we eat is veg, or maybe has meat in it, condiment-style...so we're still eating mostly plants.

But maybe you do need more meat in your life. I like the idea of The Bacon Cure.

03-15-2016, 02:15 PM
Oh, I wish I could raise chickens and goats! Apartment living, sigh...someday...maybe...

Hmm, yeah, maybe starting with free range, local, organic, etc. meat would be smart, not just ethically, but I might tolerate it better. I was thinking maybe chicken--possibly thin sliced in a sandwich would be tolerable. Ugh, it's hard--it just doesn't sound good to me, but maybe once I try it?

Was there an adjustment when you started meat again? Did it make you feel sick at first, or was it okay?

03-15-2016, 02:22 PM
*raises hand* I was vegan for years. I have issues with the treatment of animals in the food industry, plus when I was living the life it was back in the pro-soy, anti-meat/sat fat 80s and 90s. I felt unwell a LOT, though, and after a bunch of testing I found I'm allergic to: wheat, eggs, dairy, soy, corn, tree nuts, peanuts, and more. I eat meat (as much organic, ethically raised as we can afford) now and lots of it because it's the only real source of protein that doesn't make me ill. I tell people I'm vegan except I eat meat.

03-15-2016, 02:41 PM
Penny introducing herself on the first episode of Big Bang Theory: (six second clip)


03-15-2016, 02:45 PM
Kara, I remember more of a...gastric shift when I went from omnivore to vegetarian than when I went back.

My husband had horrid bout of diverticulitis (infection in his gut) last year. He's inherited a very interesting lower intestine (bowel) from his mom, lucky guy. He lost about 35 pounds, and he didn't have that many to lose. Anyway, of the two of us, I have always been more of the nuts/seeds/fruit/grain eater, he was ok with just meat and veg (and boxed cereal). I have also been more of an eater of "live" foods (kimchi, kraut, cheese, yogurt, kefir, wine/beer, etc.) whereas he has never been an adventurous eater at all (no stinky food for him). Anyway, he had to kind of eat his way out of this inflammation issue or else he would have to have a resection. So now he eats more like I eat...and adds in a lot of probiotic stuff to basically feed the colon. This means he drinks a lot of fiber powder/inulin drinks, has lots of probiotic pills, and...he eats more of the stuff I eat.

I mention this because I don't think we've fully understood the harm that "our American way of eating" does to our guts. If all you eat is microbiotically dead, highly processed food (with no fiber at all) then your gut microbiome will be outta whack, which leads to inflammatory issues at a minimum. This is an interesting book about it: The Good Gut (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00OZ0TOV2/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?ie=UTF8&btkr=1)

All of which is a roundabout way of me saying we need to eat less processed crap (and that includes bacon, SIGH) and more of a variety of foods, including old moldy cheese, whole grains, raw veg, etc. I am okay with meat...but like my stinky cheese, it's a moderation thing. The only thing I don't eat in moderation is greens and nuts.

Free Thinker
03-15-2016, 04:29 PM
We get our beef from a local farmer, and I feel it's much healthier- I know what my beef is eating and where it's living, I know that it's not had antibiotics or other medications. I have found a source for chicken, too (it's MUCH higher). I get whole chickens occasionally, but I do tend to eat the frozen from the store b/c it's so much cheaper for our family. You can get organic milk/cheese from the healthfood stores, too, and even my local grocery store has started carrying milk in glass bottles from a local dairy- I am planning to switch in a few weeks.

03-15-2016, 05:16 PM
I was vegan for awhile, and started eating meat again probably 6 years ago.

For me it worked to pick my least creepy meat and go from there. Beef does not bug me. So I'll use 1/2 ground beef, 1/2 lentils in several things. If I can cover meat with some type of sauce (like pasta sauce) even better, or in a casserole perfect. Disguised was good.

Free range, organic, local, if I can get it Kosher or at least killed in a humane way - all super important to me, and made me feel ok about eating meat. After awhile I was fine with meat looking like meat (bones and all). Baby steps I guess.

Honestly, I started feeling much better when I started adding meat into my diet (and I was a conscious of my vegan diet). I still probably only eat meat/fish a few times a week, and I have a long list of meats I don't eat. So take what works, leave the rest.

03-15-2016, 07:42 PM
Oh, I wish I could raise chickens and goats! Apartment living, sigh...someday...maybe...

Hmm, yeah, maybe starting with free range, local, organic, etc. meat would be smart, not just ethically, but I might tolerate it better. I was thinking maybe chicken--possibly thin sliced in a sandwich would be tolerable. Ugh, it's hard--it just doesn't sound good to me, but maybe once I try it?

Was there an adjustment when you started meat again? Did it make you feel sick at first, or was it okay?

Why Organic? And yes I'm being completely serious. Organic food is not better for you or better for the environment. Organic food still uses pesticides and fertilizers. And often they use more than their regular nonorganic counterparts. And a lot of those organic pesticides and fertilizers are more harmful to the environment. Plus since organic fertilizers and pesticides have to be applied more often, they use more fossil fuels.

And Organic, free range chicken? Seriously IF the chicken is free range, you can not guarantee what it is eating. And I promise you they are eating a lot of plants and bugs that the farmer it not feeding them. (Weeds and bugs that are not organic.)

The Organic Food Industry is a huge multi-billion dollar a year industry. And it is completely survives by lobbying and advertising that it's food is "better".

Better than nonorganic food and better than GMO's.

What would happen to this industry if people were actually educated by farmers? It would shrivel up and die.... (And more food could be farmed since Organic foods produce smaller yields)

The Farm Babe has an excellent Facebook page that talks about these things. She discusses hormone use and antibotic use. And there are honest scienctic links by real scientists and farmers there. (Way to many for me to link)

But I will this this one picture https://www.facebook.com/IowaFarmBabe/photos/pb.1491945694421203.-2207520000.1458084300./1681096255506145/?type=3&theater

Anyway just BECUASE it has a fancy Nancy name to make you feel better about eating it doesn't mean it is better.

And I did try Vegtarnism back in HS. I became very anemic and the pills did not help. since I am allergic ( anaphylactic shock) to fish and shellfish, I had to eat at least some meat.

03-15-2016, 10:44 PM
One way to incorporate small amounts of meat is to put it into soups and stews. You don't need a lot, and it will flavour the soup/stew, and you'll probably get the meatiness that you need without having to eat giant chunks of it. I'm thinking beef barley soup, or little bits of pork in a vietnamese noodle soup, or even chicken noodle soup.