Why After 4.5 Years Vegetarian, I Started Eating Meat
Before I dive into why I decided to incorporate meat back into my diet, I'd like to apologize for being 'MIA' these last few months! For those of you who don't know, I dove head first into my passion for photography, and that combined with being a full time student has taken up more of my time than I realized. As I'm writing this, I just realized that I am a full-time medical student with THREE part-time jobs (photographer, tutor, fitness instructor). This might sound crazy to some, but the truth is I love to stay busy. I was listening to an awesome podcast the other day about how you CAN do it all... if you believe in yourself! So here I am, doing it all. Please send good vibes to my adrenal glands!
P.S. I re-designed my entire website, check it out if you get a chance!!
On that note I am going to try to be much more consistent with blog posts each month, especially after being called out (in a good way) by the CEO and president of Jigsaw Health (Patrick, I hope you are reading this!)
Okay, let's get to the real reason for this post. Guys, I have been a vegetarian/pescatarian for about four and half years. I did this because I learned about the truly horrible and disgusting ways of America's meat industry. The conditions the animals live in is mind blowing. And no, this isn't about animal rights, although that is really important too, it wasn't the main reason for my switch to vegetarianism. Animals get sick, they get cancer, they get infections just like we do. But when the animals are slaughtered, those things are often overlooked and that stuff ends up in our food... YIKES. Not to mention the antibiotics they pump the animals full of is seriously contributing to our antibiotic resistant bacteria problem. Additionally, hormones that are given to animals mess with our bodies own production of hormones, leaving our endocrine system out of whack.
I know some of you will say, "Well chicken is regulated differently and farmers aren't allowed to use antibiotics or hormones in chickens." Well guess who does get pumped full of those things and lives right next to the chickens? Yes, the cows and the pigs. Prove to me that there is no crossover there and I'll consider retracting that statement.
Okay so if I haven't turned you into a vegetarian after reading that, I'll get to the point.
Being a vegetarian was really great for me for that period of time. I was the healthiest I had ever been, getting the most nutrient density out of my food as I possibly could. Not to mention the fact that meat is expensive, and when I cut that out my grocery bill was much more manageable.
Since I've started medical school, I've really been trying to get more in touch with my own body. I start to recognize when something is off before physical symptoms arise. Well, I started to crave meat. It was the strangest thing, I was totally and completely fine without eating meat for all that time and now all of the sudden I was craving it... I mean really craving it. Like, had to forcefully control myself around the Thanksgiving turkey, craving it.
I had previously heard of the blood type diet. A diet based on your blood type and what foods are best for you which is backed by interesting research. My blood type is O+, which according to the blood type diet, is the blood type that thrives off of eating meat, paleo like if you will. While I don't think the blood type diet is something that needs to be adhered to strictly, and obviously it isn't right for everyone (nothing is), it was still an interesting finding to me. Read more about the blood type diet here.
After months of resisting the urge, I decided that maybe my body was trying to tell me something. Maybe I needed to start eating it again. Having the wonderful opportunity of doing an experiment on myself, I decided that I was going to try it. Sticking with chicken, I whipped up some fajitas and ate meat for the first time in 4.5 years. I was so worried. I thought for sure I would either vomit or get diarrhea or both after this adventure.
Much to my surprise, I felt fantastic. I was incredibly full, my digestion was completely normal, I had great energy, and oh my god it tasted so good.
I really do think that I made the right choice for my body in reintroducing meat back into my diet. While I won't jump into eating all meats nor will I eat it every day, I plan to continue to eat vegetarian most of the time, while adding meat once or twice a week. Where will I buy it? I am going to do my best to buy meat from farmer's markets, local farmers, and sources that I know are ethical and sustainable.
I hope this post encourages you to try to be more in tune with yourself, and listen to your body!
Disclaimer: I am not a physician or a health care practitioner. This site is not meant to provide medical or health advice of any kind. Do not misconstrue any information that you read here as medical recommendation, diagnosis or treatment. The information provided here on this site is intended to serve as a communication of my experiences and to share articles and public material pertaining to health that I come across. It should in no way be interpreted as medical advice of any kind.