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  • Ex-vegetarian in need of support

    Hello everyone!

    I'm 22 and started to eat meat about two weeks ago.
    Originally stopped eating meat around when I was 12, with occasional eggs and chicken. Had never really eaten meat before that unless it was minced or sausage and had to quite much be force fed. Didn't even like fish and am allergic to egg.

    See, my parents only made lamb (cultural), and the smell was too much for me. So I thought all meat was the same.

    So of course they assured me when I was a teenager that vegetarianism is fine etc etc in school and gave me the green light. Of course I felt sorry for the animals and all, but it wasn't for that which I went vegetarian, I just didn't like the taste of meat and gradually came to think of it as more and more disgusting and didn't even dare try. I also thought it was extremely unhealthy and linked to all modern diseases and obesity, which media claims. It is quite sick that it is much more okay to eat unlimited amounts of sugar, than to eat an ounce of meat in today's society.

    I recently decided to lose weight and came to the realization of how much my diet had damaged me.
    I ate a lot of greens, not much fruits, quite some nuts, moderate amount of sweets, but my biggest vice was something I rarely see others like - whole grains. I LOVE whole grains. Oatmeal, Kellogg's All-Bran EXTRA FIBER, bread. I could eat the whole package in an hour. Of course the fiber didn't do much for my tummy except for making it worse.

    So now I have learned that all I blamed on "aging", "bad genetics", "society" etc, had very much to do with my diet. I have suffered from bad teeth (hey, I only ate whole grains!), RLS, extreme fatigue, depression, poor digestion, constant bloating, eczema, dandruff (apparently missing zinc?), joint pain (genetics???), poor skin hue, flaky skin, poor healing, poor stamina, loss of sex drive, dark circles under the eyes, muscle cramp, muscle loss, extremely disturbed eating patterns, never felt satiety, carb addiction, extremely poor memory, brain fogginess, you name it, I had it.

    It was horrible that I was starting to feel more and more stupid as time went by, as if my brain cells were actually decreasing!

    I started to connect the dots once I learned why it was that I just couldn't stop eating carbs. I was addicted. And they were killing me. It might be that I'm genetically predisposed to be addicted to them and not efficient in handling them in my body, since my mother suffers from rheumatism and is also carb addicted.

    I first started by cutting the bread and felt much less bloated and lost some weight. A few weeks later I cut out the rest of the grains and added meat to my diet. Pretty much everything I eat now is for the first time, so I'm extremely curious and am having trouble not to eat grains at restaurants! So I'm not completely grain free (very food curious!). My vegetarian diet was actually very yummy and not bland at all, but I have always loved food and wanted to taste every culture so to speak. It is however still scary and a bit of a struggle to eat meat, especially those that aren't cooked the proper way.

    The improvements I have noticed so far after two weeks are: more energy, softer skin (it's more like marshmallow now than mars), my sex drive is back (wow it's been 6 years. I thought it was due to age), less dandruff, and better digestion. I have not lost weight, but actually gained a little bit. I would very much like to lose weight but I'm very curious about the new food and am more concerned with regaining my health.

    So I would like to hear if there are other ex-ve*gans out there, and how their healing process went, how much time it took, etc? When did your symptoms become better?
    Last edited by harlekini; 06-01-2011, 01:44 AM.

  • #2
    There are quite a few, what jumps out at me in your story is though, why would a 22 year old ever think any of her issues are due to "aging" ... not bashing. Anyway, welcome it looks like your head is in the right place. Your weight will start to shift soon enough.
    I used to seriously post here, now I prefer to troll.

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    • #3
      Welcome to the Ranks of the Apex Predator. Say goodbye to the Sheeple for good
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      • #4
        I'm an ex-vegan. I had no idea how to cook meat, and I feared chicken because of salmonella. Biggest thing to remember for me is to use different cutting boards for raw meat and vegetables! There are a lot of good resources on the internet that will tell you how to cook the "perfect" anything. Try some different ones and see which recipes you like. There's no need to go really fancy to start out with. I season most of my beef with just salt and pepper, and it's delicious that way.

        Have you tried fish again yet? I was never a fish fan before, but I really like salmon, mahi, and tuna now. They are lightly flavored fish, especially the mahi. And I've heard flounder is the fish for people who don't like fish, but I haven't tried any yet.
        Type 1 Diabetic. Controlling blood sugar through primal life.

        2012 Goals:
        Maintain A1c of 6.0 or lower
        More dietary fat, less carbs, moderate protein
        LHT and sprint as per PB fitness
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        • #5
          Ex-vegetarian here. Now a quasi-carnivore... and the healthiest, leanest, strongest I've ever been in my life.
          I think you are on the right track, well done.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by lecz0r View Post
            Ex-vegetarian here. Now a quasi-carnivore... and the healthiest, leanest, strongest I've ever been in my life.
            I think you are on the right track, well done.
            me too. everything this sr. member said applies to me. i was a veggie and a vegan at one point. i am much better. i sowly added meat back in doing 1/4 cups per day, then moved to 1/2 cup servings then up to 4-8oz per serving. that worked for me. a friend of mine went straight to 4-8oz servings of meat and it didnt affect her. i dont do much dairy but thats just preference not habit

            i went primal in feb 2010
            200lbs
            37% body fat
            38-40 waist

            1 year to the day
            140lbs
            7.8% body fat
            29 waist

            currently
            137lbs
            7% body fat
            29 waist

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            • #7
              I have been vegan 3.5 years, ostensibly to help my Type 2 diabetes. I have lost some weight, and most of my blood work is usually good, but my blood glucose readings have not been in control for years. Menopause really messed things up. Until then, I didn't need meds, after then, I have been on every regime known to endocrinologists.

              I tried McDougall (Sisson wrote an article about being at 'vegan island,' mentioning McDougall's program). I still think the man's heart is in the right place, but no way could I eat all those carbs. And, I'd feel like a failure because there were people who could eat that way and reduce or get off of their diabetic meds.

              I decided to do Atkins because there is now a veg*n option, but as I thought about the carb thing again, and how much carb allowed (the new Atkins allows 50 grms to start for veg*n)s, I wondered if I would really attack the diabetes and started looking around for other options. I think I have found it in Primal eating.

              Today I bought 2 Angus beef patties. I had to think about how to cook them, but I did and they were good (shared one with the son). I have chicken in the fridge for tomorrow. I feel like a traitor, because I have gotten into some animal welfare causes, but I have to get this diabetes under control and eating a ton of rice and beans isn't going to do it for me. I wish it had.

              So, OP, I'm another one, sliding into becoming and omnivore again and being rather sad about it, but I don't know what else to do.

              btw - what is 'quasi omnivore'? Once you start eating meat, aren't you an omnivore? Or maybe I can think of myself as 'semi-veg'? : )

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Dellastreet View Post
                I have been vegan 3.5 years, ostensibly to help my Type 2 diabetes. I have lost some weight, and most of my blood work is usually good, but my blood glucose readings have not been in control for years. Menopause really messed things up. Until then, I didn't need meds, after then, I have been on every regime known to endocrinologists.

                I tried McDougall (Sisson wrote an article about being at 'vegan island,' mentioning McDougall's program). I still think the man's heart is in the right place, but no way could I eat all those carbs. And, I'd feel like a failure because there were people who could eat that way and reduce or get off of their diabetic meds.

                I decided to do Atkins because there is now a veg*n option, but as I thought about the carb thing again, and how much carb allowed (the new Atkins allows 50 grms to start for veg*n)s, I wondered if I would really attack the diabetes and started looking around for other options. I think I have found it in Primal eating.

                Today I bought 2 Angus beef patties. I had to think about how to cook them, but I did and they were good (shared one with the son). I have chicken in the fridge for tomorrow. I feel like a traitor, because I have gotten into some animal welfare causes, but I have to get this diabetes under control and eating a ton of rice and beans isn't going to do it for me. I wish it had.

                So, OP, I'm another one, sliding into becoming and omnivore again and being rather sad about it, but I don't know what else to do.

                btw - what is 'quasi omnivore'? Once you start eating meat, aren't you an omnivore? Or maybe I can think of myself as 'semi-veg'? : )
                Look for humanely raised, grass fed/pastured meat. This ensures the animal lived a happy life doing what it would have done naturally - only protected from predators and given easy access to food and water.

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                • #9
                  I'm not completely primal, I'm easing into it. I never liked meat and went completely vegan about two years ago. I started eating meat again six months or so ago? I've been gradually reducing my carbs and upping my meats and fats. I feel a thousand times better when I eat lots of fat.

                  In the beginning I did experience some negative side effects, but I found out that was because I'm allergic to dairy, which I was eating at the time. Other than that I experienced all the same things you did when you were veg and they've all gone away for me, especially now that I know about dairy. I think once all the carbs are out of my diet I'll be able to do anything. If only I could get there D:

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by rayout View Post
                    Look for humanely raised, grass fed/pastured meat. This ensures the animal lived a happy life doing what it would have done naturally - only protected from predators and given easy access to food and water.
                    Exactlly! Support animal welfare with your food dollars! I have lived on a sheep farm and have seen the life cycle of a lamb from being born to being on my plate. It was beautiful. This lamb got to spend its' entire life with it's Momma and sibs and friends, and had nothing but a good life. We even got a mobile butcher who would come to the farm and calmly take each individual lamb away from the herd to quickly kill it. Zero stress on the lamb or the rest of the herd. Now that is animal welfare.
                    Shop at farmer's market, seek out your local farms, shop at stores that promote animal welfare standards. Unfortunately the all mighty dollar runs our world...use your dollars wisely and positively!
                    Last edited by denbro01; 06-01-2011, 06:09 PM.

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                    • #11
                      Ex vegetarian, was vegetarian for 14 years and I had a lot of the same issues when I decided to make the switch. Biggest change I noticed was an immediate change in body composition. I am still struggling, but I know this is the way to be. I have seen windows of health that I haven't experienced in a long time, maybe ever.

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                      • #12
                        Wow! Thank you for all your responses.

                        I completely understand how stupid I must look. I feel the same way. It might be that the changes happened along with puberty (I became vegetarian pre-puberty), so I couldn't distinguish natural from unnatural. A lot of the symptoms seemed natural to me.

                        Contrasting to Dellastreet, I don't feel guilty. I rather feel incredibly betrayed. By doctors who said I have "body image issues" when I asked them about my stomach fat, to those who supported my vegetarianism, and also by vegetarianism. But I am quite struggling with cooking meat! I couldn't even touch it before, but wow the beef yesterday was hard like shoe!

                        I am also trying to eat fish every day (live in Japan). A bit afraid of overeating on the meat, because it feels like my body is craving it like crazy. Before I started eating meat, I just stuffed myself with more oatmeal and kelloggs, and got hungrier by the minute. Now I'm probably eating more meat than regular people. It's as if the body wants to make up for all the nourishment quickly! But in total I eat less than 1400cals naturally while following my appetite.

                        Dellastreet: do read the Vegetarian Myth! I cried a lot reading it.

                        Zuudy: I'm doing semi-primal with diary. I might never give diary up. Might do later when I have recovered.

                        Maeb23: Thank you! That feels so good to know! Maybe I'm not getting fatter, but gaining muscle? That would be rad! How long since your diet changed?

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                        • #13
                          harlekini,

                          Fellow ex-veg here (or at least trying to be). I still worry about over/undercooking the meat, and my choice in cooking methods for certain cuts of meat is probably questionable. I just had to share that the day after I decided to eat meat again, I went and bought some bacon, fried it up, and it was the happiest food in the world. I literally had not felt that satiated or happy the whole 3-4 years I had been avoiding meat. Learning to cook will take some work for me, but I think the results I see around this forum speak for themselves.

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                          • #14
                            I'm so happy for you!

                            Tried bacon, it was awesome! I absolutely love sausage haha
                            And pork chop is easy to do right as well. I also bought the Japanese version of bacon by mistake, which is "untreated" and thinly sliced. Swallowed it, but it was completely without spices so it was a bit difficult. It gets crispy like chips though! Try bacon wrapped chicken, it's heaven.

                            Beef is definitely hard! Lamb is probably hard as well. It takes the courage of a warrior for me to cook/eat it. I never knew how afraid I was.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by rayout View Post
                              Look for humanely raised, grass fed/pastured meat. This ensures the animal lived a happy life doing what it would have done naturally - only protected from predators and given easy access to food and water.
                              Besides, if no one ate any animals, how many would even be alive? Are people supposed to keep huge herds of cattle just through altruism? They have life because we eat them. The best we can do, IMO, is to be sure that their lives are good, and that they are fed the food they were designed to eat.

                              The most sterile habitat out there is a grain or soy field, a monoculture. Nothing grows except the one crop. Poison sprays get rid of everything else. That's not a humane way to treat land, plants, or animals. Compared to that, a diverse pasture properly kept with grazing animals and all the creatures large and small which naturally belong there is a paradise on earth.

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