Why I Began Eating Red Meat AFTER Becoming Certified in Plant Based Nutrition...
For the last 15 years I have avoided most meats but mainly red meat and dabbled as a vegan for several months. When I did consume a meal with meat, I chose chicken or seafood making me mostly a “flexitarian” - a plant based diet with the occasional meat based item. I do not remember my exact reasons for a meatless lifestyle, but I think it was a combination of growing up on a strict midwest diet of meat and potatoes, I wanted to be “healthy” and nothing gets me soft and mushy more than all the amazing animals of the world.
With my strong focus in nutrition and fitness, the next natural phase it seemed would to get certified in Whole Foods Plant Based Nutrition. One month after being certified and 15 years of avoiding red meat, I began to reintroduce it back into my diet. Why?
I have come to realize it is completely individualistic. As we get older, what once served us may no longer be the case. As my body is exposed to both good (new fitness routines, positive life-style improvements, etc) and bad (toxin exposures, hormonal imbalances) my diet and lifestyle need to change with it. Avoiding meat was no longer serving my body in the ways I needed and was craving change.
A flexitarian lifestyle sans red-meat was leaving me:
- Consistently hungry
- Eating every 2 hours
- Dull skin and breakouts
- Low energy and needed naps
- Low in iron
Iron deficiency was a big reason for me and having a healthy and iron rich diet is incredibly important - especially for women. Dr. Mercola has a great article on the importance of monitoring iron levels here.
I have slowly been incorporating small amounts of grass-fed red meat (palm size amount 1-2 times per week) back into my life for about one month so more time is needed for observation. I have noticed improvements in some of the above and I no longer need afternoon naps and I’ve had a few comments from others noting “how nice my skin looks.” Why thank you.
Scientific journals and research show that a diet incorporating moderate doses of red-meat provide the following benefits:
- Easily digested micronutrients including selenium, zinc, iron and B12. B12 does not exist in plant based foods.
- Promotes energy metabolism
- The bio-availability (absorption in the body) of folate from meat and liver is much better than from fruits and vegetables.
I do believe that a whole foods plant based diet has a place and should be utilized in certain circumstances and different life-styles. I’m grateful for the knowledge I learned becoming certified in a plant based nutritin. With that said, it no longer serves me and I have acquired the beneficial skill over the years of truly listening and being in-tune with my body and it needed change. When we listen and observe our body, it speaks.
A blog to follow on how-to steps to listen to our body and know when its pissed at you.