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  • Vegetarian to meat transition questions

    I was a strict vegetarian for the last 10 years and recently added eggs, chicken and fish back in. Has anyone else struggled with the idea of eating beef after not eating it for so many years? If so, how did you deal with it? Do you believe red meat increases heart disease risks? Feedback would be appreciated.

  • #2
    As far as I'm aware all the studies that link red meat with disease don't differentiate between fresh (unprocessed) and processed meat. There's a big difference between the average hot dog and a rib eye.

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    • #3
      I was vegetarian for 15 years (vegan for a good part of it) and recently added meat back to my diet (the last 2ish years). I guess I didn't have trouble adding beef, as for me my vegetarianism was for animal issues, and I always felt just as bad for the fish and chicken as for the cows- so it was just hard all the way around. BUT I feel so tremendously better, that I have had to be able to reconcile things with myself. The only way I've been able to do that is to only buy meat from local family farms. Grass fed, humanely raised. Were I am I'm able to get beef, chicken, pork and eggs pretty easily. It is more expensive, but worth it. I'd rather eat less of the good stuff kwim?

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      • #4
        How does it increase heart disease, exactly? That's a serious question, not snark.

        There is a ton of misinformation out there (Oprah, are you listening?) so knowing where the misunderstanding lies is quite helpful.
        Chief cook & bottle washer for one kid, a dog, 6 hens, 2 surprise! roosters, two horses, and a random 'herd' of quail.

        ~The ultimate ignorance is the rejection of something one knows nothing about and refuses to investigate~

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Eklecktika View Post
          How does it increase heart disease, exactly? That's a serious question, not snark.

          There is a ton of misinformation out there (Oprah, are you listening?) so knowing where the misunderstanding lies is quite helpful.
          That's just it, the consensus among the informed community of Paleo/Primal eaters is that it doesn't. Cultures eating a traditionally high-meat diet have very low incidences of heart disease, and all the evidence points to us being able to effectively process and metabolize the compounds that are naturally present in fresh meat. Processed meat, on the other had, is usually loaded with a whole host of preservatives, stabilizers and flavoring agents, few if any of which are friendly to the normal functioning of the body. The result is a combination of endocrine disruption, inflammation, excess loading on the organs that keep us clean (liver, kidneys)... It's the inflammation that is the usual culprit in heart disease: a cholesterol "patch" is applied over the inflamed site the same way we use band-aids. But if the body is in a state of chronic inflammation, the site never heals so the cholesterol (and at this point calcium, smooth muscle cells, white blood cells, and more) harden, and you get arterial plaque. In a healthy body inflammation still occurs, but the body has more resources to heal the issue, and there is less inflammation to begin with, so the issue gets dealt with and the cholesterol band-aid is removed and disposed of.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Nomad1 View Post
            I was a strict vegetarian for the last 10 years and recently added eggs, chicken and fish back in. Has anyone else struggled with the idea of eating beef after not eating it for so many years? If so, how did you deal with it? Do you believe red meat increases heart disease risks? Feedback would be appreciated.
            I have never been a vegetarian, but I know when I began to buy 1/4 cow for our freezer, I had an "aha" moment.
            One cow, one life, provides four families with nearly a years' worth of meat. Its manure enriches the topsoil, its pasture (not far from my house) also supports birds, insects, pollinators and other critters, as well as creating open space in our community.

            Not to mention, we are helping to support a local family and their livelihood. That amount of protein in icelandic cod, or vietnamese farmed shrimp, or even chicken, doesn't do that, and ultimately, means taking a larger number of lives.

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            • #7
              Nomad,
              Vegetarians are at high risk of Gallbladder problems because the gallbladder has fallen into dormancy from not being used.
              Suggestion: Begin taking a teaspoon of coconut oil each day, then increase it to 2 teaspoons and then on to 2 tablespoons. Slowly bring your gallbladder back into service.
              More details here:
              4.2) Gallstones & Gallbladder Problems caused by Low Fat Diet:
              This can be a BIG DEAL for vegans. The Gallbladder will form sludge/gallstones from not being “exercised” enough from being a vegetarian. We must eat meats & fats regularly to exercise the Gallbladder. Details in these links:
              * Definitive Guide to Gallstones
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...read.php?15087
              http://www.second-opinions.co.uk/gallstones.html
              http://www.westonaprice.org/componen...ating-fat.html
              http://www.westonaprice.org/ask-the-...ll-stones.html
              - Pain in/under the upper right rib cage
              - Solution-SLOWLY increase the amount of healthy fats in your Paleo Diet
              - Home Remedies [check with your doctor]
              http://www.home-remedies-for-you.com...Disorders.html
              http://www.earthclinic.com/CURES/gallstones.html
              - Extraporeal Shock Wave Lithotripsy (ESWL) sound waves can break up gallstones
              - Surgery not necessary
              http://www.diagnose-me.com/cond/C141240.html
              http://www.ajronline.org/cgi/reprint/150/6/1231.pdf
              * Ruptured Gallbladder
              http://www.ehow.com/facts_5561146_ga...-symptoms.html
              * Primal Blueprint Links on this subject
              * Primal Diet with Gallbladder removed
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...no-gallbladder
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...no-gallbladder
              -Primal Eating Post Gallbladder Removal:
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...hread.php?9972
              -have-my-gallbladder-removed-or-not
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...read.php?12245
              -Anyone-successfully-primal-sans-gallbladder:
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...hread.php?1348
              * Primal Diet Gallstones
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...698-Gallstones
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...852-gallstones
              * Primal Diet Gallbladder issues
              - Search Gallbladder
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...earchid=552270
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...bladder-issues
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...adder-problems
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...42-gallbladder
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...an%27t-eat-fat!

              Grizz

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              • #8
                Yes to the above!
                I had my gall bladder removed as a vegan because it stopped working.

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                • #9
                  I was raised as a vegetarian. Once I accepted that humans are naturally omnivorous, I decided that eating animals was morally acceptable, and it was no problem adding the humanely raised stuff into my diet (except for some early digestive distress, haha).

                  I don't believe that red meat increases heart disease risks. Most of the meat=heart disease studies are seriously flawed: http://www.ajcn.org/content/early/20...27725.full.pdf
                  The Primal Holla! Eating fat. Getting lean. Being awesome.

                  You were sick, but now you're well, and there's work to do. - Kilgore Trout

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                  • #10
                    What Connie said - I suppose there's a weird cultural thing that reads cows as more 'meaty' than chicken or fish - you know, as in the well-known popular saying, 'Oh, I'm vegetarian, I only eat chicken and fish'? - but it's not as if they were more sentient.

                    The only thing I had trouble with was fresh oysters: here was something alive that I had to kill, and it was pretty obviously designed to fend off my attacks. I didn't realise how bad this would be until it was just me and a knife versus the oyster - and a whole lot of Googling about whether oysters feel pain, and trying to guess what might be the quickest way of killing them, just in case.

                    (It seems they almost certainly don't. Also it turns out I don't like oysters anyway, which is a relief.)

                    By the way, I've made the transition from 20-year vegetarian to enthusiastic omnivore with no trouble at all. I started out not much liking fat, but have gradually gained a taste for it. It seems some people need to take digestive enzymes etc, but I found I could just follow my appetite and everything was fine. You might be the same way.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ConnieB View Post
                      I was vegetarian for 15 years (vegan for a good part of it) and recently added meat back to my diet (the last 2ish years). I guess I didn't have trouble adding beef, as for me my vegetarianism was for animal issues, and I always felt just as bad for the fish and chicken as for the cows- so it was just hard all the way around. BUT I feel so tremendously better, that I have had to be able to reconcile things with myself. The only way I've been able to do that is to only buy meat from local family farms. Grass fed, humanely raised. Were I am I'm able to get beef, chicken, pork and eggs pretty easily. It is more expensive, but worth it. I'd rather eat less of the good stuff kwim?
                      That's basically my experience.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Me too.

                        I have been Primal for over a year and only just the last month added beef back in my diet. For some reason it "feels" different than other meat. I almost always IF the day after having beef because I feel so full.
                        ~Blog~

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                        • #13
                          Thank you to all who provided me feedback. I bought steaks today and bacon. Who knew that eating could be such an emotional thing. When you have one lifestyle for 10 years it's hard to transition mentally, or at least it has been for me. I feel guilty. It was just a month ago I said "I'll never eat beef" and now I bought steaks. But I'm committing to these 30 days and I see it as a health experiment.

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                          • #14
                            Nomad1, I know exactly how you're feeling. Bacon and fish have been added into my vegetarian diet just recently. I think the first time I ate the bacon it was a huge hurdle. I felt like I was doing something wrong, even though I had purchased my meat from a humane and sustainable farm. In the hours following that first BLT, all I could think about was how I just ate bacon. I was excited that it didn't upset my stomach, that I conquered the task, and that I could actually be an omnivore again!

                            Don't feel guilty. Support local, responsible farms and eat what you enjoy. And what's good for your body!
                            simplyprimal.blogspot.com

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Nomad1 View Post
                              Thank you to all who provided me feedback. I bought steaks today and bacon. Who knew that eating could be such an emotional thing. When you have one lifestyle for 10 years it's hard to transition mentally, or at least it has been for me. I feel guilty. It was just a month ago I said "I'll never eat beef" and now I bought steaks. But I'm committing to these 30 days and I see it as a health experiment.
                              Go you!

                              Something that helped massively for me: going to the farmers' market where I could talk to people who reared (and knew and interacted with) the animals I was about to eat. Sample conversation:
                              'Are the pigs free range?'
                              'Well, I was fighting them off the vegetables this morning, so I'd say so.'

                              For me the guilt of eating meat was about causing animal suffering and environmental damage. If you can eat meat and cause little or none of those - certainly no more than you would by eating vegetarian - then the guilt goes away.

                              (And yes, I still catch myself in restaurants looking for items with the 'V' symbol next to them. Deciding not to be vegetarian is one thing - having my sense of identity catch up is something else!)

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