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Thread: Question from a former vegetarian page

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    palebluedots's Avatar
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    Question from a former vegetarian

    Primal Fuel
    Hi all, I have been a vegetarian for the last 12 years until this month. Vegan for about 6 of those years, and raw-low-fat-vegan for nearly one of those years. The raw-low-fat-vegan experience was fabulous for weight loss, but pretty much a nightmare otherwise... my hair started falling out, my toenails cracked and started falling off, i looked a lot older, lack of energy, etc, etc, etc. Anyway, I was only ever a vegetarian for health reasons, not for animal rights or anything like that, so I didn't think I would have any emotional issues with returning to eating meat once I realized that vegetarianism is not for me. But now that I'm eating meat again, I'm having a really hard time doing it. It just grosses me out. Over the last month, I've gotten to where I can tolerate eating canned tunafish, and my husband will make mahi-mahi or cod that I will eat. I'm just wondering, have any of you other ex-vegetarians also gotten the heebie-geebies when you returned to meat eating? How did you get over it?

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    Some people have said they found ground beef to be easier to start with. Also bacon is pretty easy to start with since it is so delicious. Personally, my first piece of meat after 10 years of vegetarianism was barbecued tri-tip, which is a type of steak. I could only eat steak for a while because the little hard bits that sometimes turn up in ground beef really grossed me out and chicken has skin and cartilage and just didn't appeal to me much. So when I went out to eat, I would get a steak sandwich instead of a hamburger (this was all a very long time ago.) I think it took me about a month and then I was fine with it again.
    Female, 5'3", 49, Starting weight: 163lbs. Current weight: 135 (more or less).
    Starting squat: 45lbs. Current squat: 170 x 3. Current Deadlift: 220 x 3

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    RitaRose's Avatar
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    Lots of ex-vegans here that can chime in with a lot more info than I can. I just wanted to say that's an amazing switch, from low-fat raw vegan to Primal!

    Anyway, good for you (you'll feel SO much better) and you'll find a lot of ex-veg company here.
    My sorely neglected blog - http://ThatWriterBroad.com

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    Was veg for 8 years. Start eating fish. Was easy transition for me. Going right into meat would not have worked personally.

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    bacon. bacon. bacon.

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    I started with fish as well. Then slowly eating a bit of pork, chicken, beef here and there. Now I can't imagine life without meat. I was vegetarian for 7 years.

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    palebluedots's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! So it sounds like I'm on the right track, starting with fish. I guess I just need to give it time, and that icky feeling will go away. :-)

    RitaRose, thanks... you know, it's funny, it is a massive switch, but I actually think this might be an easier switch for me than for someone coming from eating a normal american diet. I mean, I get to ADD stuff to my diet! And I get to cook my food! It feels really wonderful. Whereas someone who's giving up processed foods for the first time might have a more difficult time with it.

    Oh, and I have to say, the first thing I ate after all that time as a vegan was an egg, and I've never tasted anything so wonderful in my whole life. I was floored at how full and satisfied I felt. And because I hadn't been cooking any of my food for about a year, I was just melting with pleasure at feeling something warm in my mouth.

    So, I'm excited to really give primal a go and see how it makes me feel over the long-run. There's definitely a part of my brain that's worried that this may turn out to be unhealthy, but so far my body feels so good and vibrant that I can't imagine this could be the wrong thing to do. I'm just too steeped in the brainwashing of the vegetarian movement, I guess. :-)

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    Jen AlcesAlces's Avatar
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    You've already gotten some great advice. I just wanted to add something regarding your last statement about fears that this might not be a healthy way to eat. I think you know this (otherwise you wouldn't be here!), but the true test of any diet/nutrition plan is how you feel. After giving primal eating a go for a while, check how you look, feel, and perform (famous phrase from Robb Wolf). If your health & energy improve - or whatever your goals may be - then you know you are on the right track. It can be so hard to break free from the veg mindset (former veg of 10 years here), but once you find what works best for you, it doesn't matter what others preach to you.

    Seriously, the best thing I've learned from eating primally is how to listen to my own body and be confident that my food choices are right for me. No more guilt, no more reliance on others to tell me what is right for me. Anyway, sorry for the rambling. I do wish you all the best.
    Jen, former Midwesterner, living in the middle of nowhere.

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    Urban Forager's Avatar
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    I have a couple of friends that are vegetarians and are trying to transition to eating paleo, but they are still stuck in the veggie way of eating. Meaning they still want to eat a pile of grains with some veggies on top, one friend does this quinoa and the other with brown rice pasta. They are both squeamish about meat and are afraid of fats, they only use olive oil. They both have a lot of health problems.

    I am curious what made you finally make the change?

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    Leida's Avatar
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    I was vegetarian for less than a year only, because meat in the oil fields on the rigs grossed me out. I never dropped fish and eggs, but I only had it boiled. I really love salmon. I started with eating chicken breasts without skins, mostly stir-fried with other veggies, and a lot later went to beef, and only recently to pork. I could not eat fat and chicken skin without wanting to throw up until recently. I hate pan-fried meats with passion, with added fats, and love broiled ones, with no added fat, and on the raw side. I even ate raw meat a few times lately. I also prefer soups, stews and stir-fries, i.e. foods with copious amounts of veggies and liquids to plain meat or roast. I have never had problems with meatballs and home-made broth/stocks.

    Hope this helps!
    Last edited by Leida; 05-29-2012 at 01:16 PM.
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    When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.

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