The Great Meat Debate

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Those of you who have known me for the past few years (or have been reading the blog since I started) my have noticed something different around here:

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Meat.

A little back story – I was never fully vegetarian or vegan.  However, for the past 3 or so years, I’ve eaten primarily a vegetarian, and dairy-free diet.

Actually, I take that back – mostly pescetarian and dairy free.

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I love my seafood, so even through all my “i’m gonna be super healthy and cut out all meat and dairy from my diet” days, I always kept eating fish (and eggs, although I cut those out for a while too).

Also, I would eat some meat when other people made it for me, and when I knew the source.  Organic if possible, please.  But these occasions only happened a few times per year – well, until now.

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So what gives? In short, my body wanted it.

Over the past few years, I’ve gone through lots of ups and down in weight, highs and lows, and over the past few months, I’ve noticed a pattern.  After a few days, exclusively vegetarian meals failed to keep me satisfied.  Even a new recipe or larger portion of vegetarian protein wouldn’t do the trick.

Without fail, I would go back for more food, and eat so many veggies, beans, and legumes, so much fiber that I would end the day hugely bloated, uncomfortable, and still unsatisfied.  Full, but still in need.

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So I gave in.

I bought meat to cook for myself (as much as I hate handling it raw!).  Yes, I splurged for organic or grass-fed as much as I can.  After all I’ve learned about the food industry, if I have the choice of organic or conventional (even labeled all-natural), I’m going organic.  No nasty chemicals in my food if I can avoid it.

To be honest, I’m still not entirely okay with eating meat.  I’ll spare you the details of what goes on in my head, but I’m learning to be okay with the fact that I’m eating right for my body.

How do I know this?  The other day, I was thinking back to how I used to eat before I started thinking too much about food, and I remembered that there was a period of time when I wanted steak for dinner multiple days in a row.  And I would eat it too.  I was a major meat lover, and probably at my smallest.  So yes, things have changed, bodies change over the years, but I’ve been feeling pretty good lately.

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I’m sleeping better, I’m staying full for longer, have more energy (for every day and for workouts), and am less bloated.

I would say I still eat about 75% vegetarian, and almost completely dairy free (my stomach doesn’t like dairy).  But I’ve now added some chicken, turkey, and occasionally, beef into my meals a few days a week.

So there you have it.  It’s still and internal ethical issue for me, but I’m trying this out for a while, in the hopes that my body responds well.

Do you eat meat?  Do the ethics or environmental impacts of it bother you?

Were you ever vegetarian and found yourself craving animal protein? 

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