Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Why I am eating meat again

So, this story amuses me somewhat because I stopped eating meat after a diet and I started eating meat again after another diet.  In March of 1998 I “finished” dieting after losing about 30 pounds.  I had not eaten beef since ‘94 (and still try to avoid it), but I was eating all other meats.  However, after losing that weight, every time I ate meat I felt heavy and weighed down.  So me and my husband both decided to stop eating meat, while continuing to include seafood in our diets (called a “pescetarian” diet).

This made sense to us at the time for both diet and ethical reasons and I was thrilled with the choice.  I grew up eating a lot of vegetables and seafood, so the decision wasn’t hard for me.  And over the years, I loved discovering vegetarian recipes and never felt deprived.  We were never self righteous about it - I feel everyone should eat what they feel comfortable eating and we just weren’t comfortable eating meat.

The change in opinion, I have to say, probably started several years ago.  The “foodie” movement was starting to take hold and my husband and I started to appreciate food more.  And to really see what a good, balanced diet should entail.  We started watching chefs like Jamie Oliver cook beautiful meals using whole, unprocessed food and that had great appeal to us.  However, I was still not comfortable eating animals.

So in 2010, when I started dieting again, I was still pescetarian.  And I lost the weight on a diet of fish and vegetables, soy and vegetable protein.  But my exercise consisted mostly of cardio.  At the beginning of 2011, I had lost the weight and started to alter my exercise routine in order to build muscle.  By April of that year I was feeling poorly, as if my body, instead of building muscle, was actually losing it. I felt deprived. So I made the decision to start eating meat again.  Not huge amounts - but I wanted to see if it helped me feel better.  And boy did it.  Within a week, I felt 100 times better with regards to my strength.   I knew that eating a balanced diet that included meat was the right thing for me.
I still eat a lot of vegetables - I love them.  And, for convenience, I still eat a lot of vegetarian soups and frozen meals.  But as you can see from my posts, I’ve completely made the leap back into the omnivore world and I am loving it.  I feel so much healthier and stronger.  And thankfully I have the ability to purchase humanely raised and slaughtered meat.  I still have the goal to eat food in as natural a form as possible and avoid things that are over processed, refined or contain preservatives
.  I feel like I'm only half of the way there but I think it’s good to have that goal and to always be aware of what you are putting into your body.


  1. Hi Tibbygirl,
    I just stumbled across your blog post on google and thought I should take a look as this relates to me on so many levels! I've been a vego for 10 years and lately have been feeling weak when exercising and have a very poor memory which is horrible whilst trying to study a masters degree! I have wanted to start having meat again for a while, and wondered if you had any advice on how to get over the 'psychological' part of eating meat again? How did you first find it? Did you have a lot to start off with?
    Kind regards,

    1. Hi Aimee, I'm glad you found my blog!!

      I did re-enter the meat eating world fairly gradually. For a few years now, I was feeling less and less emotionally motivated, since I knew I could easily get humanely raised and slaughtered meat. And as I gained more wisdom about food and what our bodies need, I felt that my dietary limits were very arbitrary. So, when it seemed to be affecting me physically, I decided to just try it and see how I felt. I started very gradually by sampling my friends' meals. Whenever we would go to dinner, I would take a bite here and there - making sure to try all different meats. And I learned quickly, that it didn't bother me and that I felt better. Then I took the plunge and ordered it myself and, as I mentioned, I strongly feel it was the right thing to do. And once I realized that, I embraced it and have started cooking with it as well. There are still meats that bother me - pretty much all beef (I don't like the flavor and I do have a soft place in my heart for cows), plus anything not humane.. veal, foie gras, etc. But I fully believe, to be a healthy human animal, you need a fully balanced diet and that includes meat. We evolved eating it and we are lucky that now we can get such fresh, local, humanely raised and slaughtered meat. But it's definitely a personal choice and you need to figure out what works for you.

      Good Luck!!

    2. Thanks for such great advice! I think I'll start off verrryyyy slow and then work up to chunks of meat every few days. Looking forward to feeling on top of the world again! How quickly did you notice changes?
      Thanks again!

    3. Very quickly! Within a week of adding meat fully back into my diet, I felt better. I was actually quite surprised at how fast I noticed a difference. Plus, in the last year, I've gotten stronger and I've really seen an increase in my muscle definition and leanness.