At a young age I became pescatarian and stopped eating all other meat products for about 15 years. Of course like most kids, I loved animals but I couldn’t imagine eating them once I found where my meals were actually coming from. Eventually it became such a habit that it never occurred to me to eat meat – ever – I never went out to eat and looked at the meat options, never wanted to take “just one bite” or ate it when I was alone knowing no one would find out. Similar to how many grow up eating fast food or junk food and it becomes a habit, this to me was also a habit and I didn’t see it as a bad habit – in fact, many say how unhealthy meat is so avoiding it all together must be the right thing for everyone to do – right??
Here’s the thing…. It’s just not that simple.
Sorry – but there’s no cut and dry answer about what you should and shouldn’t eat because there are just so many variables to consider from person to person: biodiversity, metabolic disorders, environment and past medical history to name a few. There isn’t one diet plan to works for everyone across the board so my best advice is to try and see what works for you; be open minded.
I’ve been told that being on a keto (low carb/no carb/atkins) diet is best especially for those that suffer from hormone disorders such as PCOS or thyroid disorders and many see amazing results from it so if you haven’t already, I encourage you to give it a try and see if it works for you. So in order to lower my carbohydrate count I realized that I had to start eating meat – but we’re talking clean meat: high quality, grass-fed, organic beef for example – this does not mean running to the nearest fast food place and scarfing down some mystery meat of questionable quality. The idea of this way of eating (I don’t like to use the word “diet” as it tends to refer to a temporary, quick fix) is to keep your net carb count (this is done by taking the total carbs and subtracting dietary fiber and sugar alcohol so if something has 15 grams of carbs total with 4 grams of fiber and 1 gram of sugar alcohol then it has 10 net carbs) under 50 net carbs daily so your body can go into ketosis (ketones are a byproduct of your body burning fat as fuel because your carb count is so low it has already been depleted). By doing this you can keep your blood sugar from spiking which leads to excess testosterone, diabetes and inflammation (which can lead to things such as autoimmune diseases, acne and cancer). If you want to see if you are in ketosis you can purchase test strips from the drug store where you can test your urine to see how many ketones are in your urine.
Some of the benefits of this diet can include: increase in energy, weight loss, reduction of ovarian cysts, stabilized blood sugar, increased likeliness to conceive, clearer skin and balanced hormones overall.
Now for my disclaimer: I now no longer adhere to a strictly low carb diet since I began acupuncture and herbal treatment – not because there’s anything wrong with it – but because traditional oriental medicine has given me such amazing results that following their advice seems like the right thing to do. This doesn’t mean I’m eating refined, conventional sugar daily or that I’m even eating things such as pasta and bread often, most days I’ll have some Sunwarrior brand protein, fruit, veggies/salad and typically some sort of protein like fish or grass-fed meat with the occasional addition of things such as quinoa or rice.
But here’s what I noticed from eating meat and why I still continue to eat it: I never realized how hungry I had been for so long – seriously! I often felt so inconvenienced that I would eat just to be starving again just a few hours later but since the first time I ate meet I noticed that I could go significantly longer without feeling like I was famished (even compared to a high protein vegetarian meal). Something else to consider is that in nature many of our ancestors have been eating meat for centuries so our bodies have become accustomed to consuming meat which includes all of the micro-nutrients that are in grass-fed meats. Cows eat a ton of grass daily – more than anyone of us could ever eat – so we are benefiting from all of the micro-nutrients the cow has taken in which is impossible for us to get on our own despite how well-balanced our diets might be just due to the sheer volume of greens they consume.
This is just my own experience from eating meat after so many years of going without it and a short description of the low carb diet (I encourage you to learn more to see if it’s right for you before you try it) but if you’d like to know more feel free to ask away. If you’ve tried this or something else that’s worked for you please share your experience in a comment below so we can learn from each other.