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Been vegetarian for 7 years, adding meat

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  • Been vegetarian for 7 years, adding meat

    I have had many changes on my commitment to being healthy. About 7 years ago I was 275 lbs and stopped eating meat. Ironically I was the heaviest I had ever been on a vegetarian diet which was mainly whole foods. Three years ago at 235 lbs I hit the gym, cardio and lifting weights. One year ago I found this website and did a 30 day challenge and was able to push past my plateau of 170 lbs and lost 20 lbs with omitting sugar and grain. Here I am today maintaining 145 lbs and 6 months ago I added shrimp to my diet because I was very sluggish, then crab and last week I ate some fish and suffered no ill effects. Last week I ate local farm raised chicken and had terrible cramping, bloating and gas the next day.
    Im curious why the reaction to the meat?

  • #2
    How much chicken did you eat in comparison to the seafood you've been eating in one sitting? When did you start adding back in seafood/meat?

    You may need to take digestive enzymes to help with the processing of the meat for a little while. I don't know why you wouldn't have issues with seafood and would with chicken, but perhaps it's something about the proteins that your body can't handle. Make sure to go slow and incorporate probiotics.
    Depression Lies

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    • #3
      Thats expected, you probably went zero to sixty and jumped into it to fast, after-all your body hasn't come in contact with meat for several years so it's probably a bit of a shock to the system. Scale back a bit and do it a bit more gradually.

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      • #4
        One chicken thigh, I rarely eat more then 5 ounces of seafood. Perhaps it was too much to have chicken and fish in the same week.
        Probiotics?

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        • #5
          How to Eat Meat: Transitioning Away from Vegetarianism | Mark's Daily Apple
          Check out the part on digestion. You need to make sure your gut is prepared to handle this "new" food, hence digestive enzymes and probiotics, which may not be there anymore, or as much as you need to process this kind of protein.
          Depression Lies

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          • #6
            I transitioned from strict vegetarian to pescetarian to primal with no ill effects.

            What kind of fish are you eating? If you are eating shrimp and white, flaky fishes, then your body may have freaked out from the chicken thigh due to the meatiness of it and the fat content (especially if you ate the skin or it was fried in butter or lard).

            My suggestion would be ease yourself slowly into eating meat by eating some nice darker fishes like wild caught salmon or a properly cooked tuna steak. I have a easier time with these fishes when they are grilled or smoked vs. fried...but if you do decide to fry them, use a plant based oil (coconut oil works well, olive oil in a pinch) and avoid the skin (even though crispy salmon skin is damn fine, imo).

            Then ease yourself into meats. I dove in head first (eating a grass fed hamburger) but discovered that was a bad idea the hard way. Started eating chicken breasts and thighs (no skin, grilled) first. Then I ate some steak (grilled, eaten fajita style).

            It may gross you out at first, but eating your meats on the rare side may aid in digestion. Overcooked meats really mess me up, so I have to be cautious about cooking. Steaks cooked medium well, tuna steaks damn near raw, hamburgers I like medium rare, etc.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by auntie thesis View Post
              Then ease yourself into meats. I dove in head first (eating a grass fed hamburger) but discovered that was a bad idea the hard way.
              What ill effects did you have AT? I just switched back too - and also dove right in. Ate fish, sushi, ostrich burger, beef burger, meat ball, bacon - all in one week! Not sure it's been the right decision...
              "I think the basic anti-aging diet is also the best diet for prevention and treatment of diabetes, scleroderma, and the various "connective tissue diseases." This would emphasize high protein, low unsaturated fats, low iron, and high antioxidant consumption, with a moderate or low starch consumption.

              In practice, this means that a major part of the diet should be milk, cheese, eggs, shellfish, fruits and coconut oil, with vitamin E and salt as the safest supplements."

              - Ray Peat

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              • #8
                As Mark suggests maybe try bone broth (or stock) for now. You can buy bones from good butchers and simmer them in a pot of water until you get a delicious broth. Mark suggests eating meat on its own at first, but as a former vegan I found it much less daunting to eat a little meat with a heap of steamed veggies (if you find the taste/idea of eating meat strange at first). Good luck!
                Primal since May 2012. Loving life and down 50lbs.

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                • #9
                  Now brand super enzymes! Robb wolf has a whole bit in his book about them. I found them very useful.

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                  • #10
                    I remember I was vegetarian, started to eat some fish a few days a week, but one Thanksgiving a friend had a free-range turkey and I remember how AMAZING it tasted and overate. I had some bloating issues too. I did go on digestive enzymes for awhile, but now just make sure to take probiotics, pretty much with every meal and have no issue. I eat a LOT of fat now...and fatty meat!
                    Check out my blog on nature and nurture!
                    http://thewoodsygal.com/

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                    • #11
                      What ill effects did you have AT? I just switched back too - and also dove right in. Ate fish, sushi, ostrich burger, beef burger, meat ball, bacon - all in one week! Not sure it's been the right decision...
                      Right after I started eating meat again, I had bouts of severe constipation. It lasted for a few days after each time I ate read meat that was cooked "well". I don't eat read meat or pink flesh fishes cooked well anymore due to this problem. Medium well is my thing now.

                      I'm also super cautious about my frying meats as well. Mostly this is because of an instance I had with some Primal fried chicken I made shortly after going Primal. I didn't have any coconut oil, lard or anything decent so I used some canola oil I had in the cupboard. BAD idea. About 1/2 hour after I ate, it was bathroom city....for about 12 hours.

                      Hope that isn't tmi for y'all.

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                      • #12
                        Just 1 simple question, how did you manage to not eat meat for 7 long years?

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