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Advice from former vegans? Or those who stopped & later resumed a vegan diet? - Page 3

post #41 of 50

For me, dairy and eggs (even though they were almost exclusively pastured) didn't do it for me.  Fish is nice, but doesn't cut it for me.  The only thing that really made a big difference for me was red meat: specifically lamb and beef.  


As for the expense, IMO, the most cost-effective way to get good beef, etc. is to buy directly from the farm.  If you are just wanting to try it without a long-term commitment, then buy a few pounds from the natural foods store.  If you really want to eat it long-term, find a farmer and buy it from him.  Ask if you can just buy a few pounds, or by the quarter.  If you have to buy a larger quantity, find someone to split it with.  IMO, even if it's not certified organic, if it's pastured, it will be far and away better than anything you buy in the store.  Many farmers can't afford organic certification, but they follow sustainable farming practices, and are very close to organic anyway.  


A point of reference, my family of 7 gets a 1/2 beef every fall.  It lasts us more than a year, as we eat as many plant foods as we do meats.  It's all in how you prepare it!





post #42 of 50
Thread Starter 
We don't have a separate freezer, just the space over our fridge, so we can't really buy large quantities of beef from a farm. A lot of my friends are vegetarians but I *might* be able to find someone to split stuff with me. I'm not sure yet whether I'm totally willing to commit to this enough to buy large amounts of meat anyway.

Grocery shopping yesterday was hard, I'm finding the options really limited in the stores, and when you factor in my budget there's very little I've been able to buy.

Right now, I'm trying to eat more eggs & lots of chicken. Those are the most affordable & readily available around here (well, a lot is available, but most of it isn't free-range or organic). I really feel like I need a bit of red meat once a week or so, but the only kind I can find is ground beef, and I'm not a big fan (though I'll eat it) -- maybe I just need more recipes to use it with...

Still working on fish but that's expensive too. I really don't like tuna, apparently... and it's kind of turning me off from other fish. I can't stand that fishy smell & taste. The salmon was OK and I tried shrimp, which was such a foreign texture to me that I'm still not sure about it, but I'd like to try it again & a few different recipes. I'm not sure if fish really does much for me though. I'm still trying to figure it all out.

Often I feel like it would just be easier to go back to being vegan, but seeing how much better I feel makes me try to force some meat into myself!
post #43 of 50
Thank you for the info on paleo vs. primal vs. traditional! Very interesting though I think paleo/primal would be too far in the other direction for me. Put a hold on Nurturing Traditions at the library & I'm eager to read it.

Well I just found out that after 3 months of taking iron pills I am still extremely low (it went up like one point). So I am ready. I'm not squeamish & just want to go to red meat like now!

Anyone have a recipe? Something with a less expensive cut & that I can mix with veggies or a grain? Thinking stew? Or something cooked in liquid? I have no idea how to go about this. I have literally never cooked meat (aside from making chicken soup from scratch once or twice for my husband)!
Edited by t2009 - 3/8/12 at 9:19pm
post #44 of 50
Thread Starter 
I don't have a recipe, I'm still new at this myself, but I can suggest tacos! Just cook up ground meat with sauteed onions and chili powder & spices (or a packet of taco seasoning)... I ate a lot of taco-type meals when I was just starting out because I could hide the meat in with lots of fresh veggies, and the spicy flavors kind of disguised the taste even more. That's pretty much the only thing I know how to make with red meat. Oh, that and spicy peanut noodles, which is just sauteed veggies, ground meat, and a spicy peanut coconut sauce over rice noodles. Those are things I made when I was vegan, so I just threw in meat rather than learn a new recipe.
post #45 of 50
Those sound like good ideas. Makes me think I love to make vegan chili & cld just add ground meat to that too. ... Also the burger joint down the street serves grass fed, hormone free meat so I may just let someone else do the preparing the first time around.
post #46 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yes, head to that burger joint! It was so much easier the first time or two to have someone else do the prep. Then for some strange reason I felt a very strong need to do it myself (even picking meat off a chicken carcass -- gross, but I can't ask DH to do it, I HAVE to do it myself). Maybe I'm weird. But definitely the first couple meals I ate out to make it easier, and it's awesome that you have such a perfect option nearby!

(and chili - great idea!)
post #47 of 50

Wow! I did it... It felt so weird (actually it felt very right...) but after 16+ years I couldn't believe I was eating a hamburger. DH has never seen me eat meat & we've known each other half our lives! I plan to try for at least 2 months... we'll see. It's definitely affected (ahem...) how things are moving in my digestive tract, but could be because I started out with a burger (though I had it with a salad & not fries!). But other than that I've already noticed some positive changes.


I feel like I'm still coming to terms with it, vegetarianism was SUCH a part of my identity & it not only feels strange to not be a vegetarian, it also feels like I've been proven wrong in a silly way (like my pediatrician was right all those years ago to try to dissuade me...). I also feel slightly angry at the veg. movement for not treating women's bodies with more respect -- we are the ones that suffer disproportionately from iron deficiency & anemia, & I'm beginning to think that vegans & vegetarians are just not being honest about the fact that these diets simply can't work for some people, usually women (I know many women who maintain their health on a veg diet, but not me & apparently I'm not alone). I'm still obviously working through these things. Crunch-mommy, I don't mean to take over your thread, but I'm really appreciating this thread right now for the encouragement I've found here! Thanks! 

post #48 of 50
Thread Starter 
Wow t2009, I'm glad this is feeling 'right' for you & you're seeing positive changes already!!! And yeah, I think giving up the identity of veg*n was one of the hardest parts, but now I find it freeing to not have a label. I can still eat 95% veg if I want but I don't have to fit myself into a box, you know? It's really triggering for me, with my ED, giving up my food control and all, and I've ended up starving myself for several days at a time again lately, but I'm trying to avoid a total relapse and hope that this ultimately leads to a healthier relationship with food. At the very least, the improvement in my physical health is worth trying to work through this.

I can really relate to some of your feelings. I spent so long convinced that a vegan diet was the healthiest one. I hate hate hate that I've had to basically eat my words. I hate that I spent all that energy convincing people that veganism was so healthy, when it wasn't (for me). I am annoyed & feel deceived by the veg*n movement. Since I started eating meat, I've looked into this more, and found that MANY people who called themselves veg*n did in fact eat meat occasionally -- or even often. They listened to their bodies and ate what they needed to but continued to call themselves veg and claimed to be healthy and all... In my 'research' I was able to find lots of long-term vegetarians who maintained decent health but practically no vegans -- most were vegan for up to 2 years before giving it up, or ate whatever they wanted but remained MOSTLY vegan, or claimed they were healthy but were blind to the fact that they were suffering. I was vegan for 7 or 8 years and I never ever 'cheated'. I feel like I've done a lot of harm to my body & if I'd 'cheated' occasionally I'd probably be in much better shape... and maybe if I knew so many others 'cheated' or took breaks from veg*nism, then I'd have been more compelled to do the same? IDK, so frustrating, hope I'm making sense...

Start off slowly on the meat, don't eat more than you feel like you can. I haven't gotten sick or anything but I do think sometimes I push myself to eat more meat than my body is ready for & have some digestive effects and all.

And don't apologize for 'taking over' my thread, it's nice to talk to others going through the same thing as I am right now! Interestingly, I have TWO friends who were long-term vegetarians (15-20 years) that just started eating meat again after I did. So weird but kind of affirming for me, too.
post #49 of 50
Take care of yourself crunchy_mommy! Would it help to glob onto another "label" (TF or paleo?) Maybe not to address your need to control food intake but at least to give you focus & reason to keep feeding yourself? I don't know if that makes sense. I know I find myself reaching for another label -- it's just what I'm used to... I've identified myself with my diet for so long it doesn't make sense to me not to have a name for the way I eat. I figure it's probably not "healthy" but it's a period of transition so I'm going with it.
post #50 of 50
Thread Starter 
That makes sense. I think for me I really need to finally get comfortable with not having a label. I do think it would help short-term to call myself 'paleo' or whatever but long-term, I think I'll end up in this exact same spot down the line. My ultimate goal is to be able to listen to my body as far as what to eat, and I think for me, having a label kind of frustrates that process some.IDK. I think I'll get there, eventually, but these are some tough growing pains...
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