Yep, you read that correctly. Here we go. I have already lost a few Facebook Fans with the comment that I am eating meat again, so we'll see how this goes! It's true, I am back on the meat. To keep from going into a dissertation, I'll give you a cliff-notes version as to why I decided to make this switch.
First of all, let me tell you why we decided to go OFF of meat in the first place. It was because of this movie, Food Inc. It is a sad, but enlightening movie into the food industry, but after seeing the inhumanely treated animals, our hearts caused our brains to not want to eat meat again. We were vegetarian for 2 years (I went on and off fish).
And now, why I decided to go back ON meat.
1- Gluten-free, Soy-free. When we started eating vegetarian, we were NOT gluten free or soy free. Eating out at restaurants being vegetarian is a piece of cake. Eating out at restaurants being gluten-free, soy-free, and vegetarian is not. In fact, I had a meltdown at Walt Disney World back in 2011 (where the chefs are AWESOME with food allergies) because I felt like I was starting to develop an eating disorder by being so restrictive. Being a recovering emetophobic (yes, I am working on this), I am prone to eating issues, and this was something that was adding to my list of anxiety-causing situations. I am gluten-free and soy-free for health reasons, but vegetarian by choice.
2- Energy. I am a very healthy eater. You all know, I eat almost completely organic, unprocessed foods. Even with eating a zillion plants, nuts, seeds, fruits, eggs, dairy products, etc., I felt hungry and drained all the time. I wanted to eat every 2 hours, I wanted to take naps, and I was super irritable. My busy lifestyle couldn't support me feeling this way, and I knew that if I felt like this, there was a reason, and I needed to make a change.
3- Acne. Holy heavens. When I went gluten-free and soy-free, my acne ERUPTED. I attribute this to one main factor- sugar. I was replacing the wheat products I was used to with gluten-free products...sugar from grains, sugar from dairy, sugar from fruit, sugar itself... sugar was in most everything. Within the first WEEK of adding pastured/free-range meat to my diet, my acne calmed WAY down, and is now almost non-existent. I also attribute this to my hormones becoming more regulated from being off the soy.
4- Travel. The last trip to Disney about did me in. I cried in 3 of the restaurants, had to get up and leave one of them a couple of times. It wasn't pretty, and was probably the worst Disney vacation I had ever had. Hubs and I do like to travel, and we didn't want food restrictions to get in the way of us having a good time. Life is too short for that. So, this past trip we went to the Canadian Rockies, and had an AMAZING time. We were able to eat at restaurants without feeling 'different'. They're so gluten-free friendly in that part of Canada (it was wonderful), and I didn't have to live on salad or brown rice pasta. I'll do a bloggie about my foodie adventures there soon. We're planning on going to Disney in September, 2013, and Norway in 2014, with some smaller trips in between, and it's so much easier to dine out gluten-free when you can eat meat- that's just the way it is.
5- Life. It was a big, emotional decision to start eating meat again. We are very picky about the type of meat we get- all free-range, pastured meat. We don't buy any conventional, factory-farmed meat because we know it's not good for our bodies. I have lost 5+ pounds, I'm more emotionally stable, my acne has calmed down, I have more energy, my 'cycle' has regulated (TMI, sorry), and I feel GOOD. That in itself is plenty of proof that I'm doing the right thing for MY body. I'm sure there are people that do very well on a vegetarian/vegan diet, but over the past two years, hubs and I found out that we don't.
Now, I do have an eating routine that I'm sticking to-
1- Increase the amount of veggies I eat each day (lots of different types, both cooked and raw)
2- Increase the amount of probiotic foods (Bubbies Sauerkraut, Kombucha, Yogurt...)
3- When cooking for myself at home (which is 95% of the time) only use pastured eggs, free-range meat, raw dairy (if available) or at least organic.
4- Limit gluten-free pre-packaged products.
5- Eat some fruit each day, mostly berries.
6- Limit beans, rice, corn, and other legumes/grains.
7- Increase water intake
I have been doing this for a couple of months now, and I really do feel a difference. This is right for ME, though not right for everybody, I'm sure. I'll continue to post gluten-free and soy-free recipes, both vegetarian and non, and to all of my veggie and vegan followers out there, never fear- I still love a good raw meal every now and again ;)