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Can we talk about "traditional foods" diets and vegetarianism? - Page 2

post #21 of 41

So I guess the question that we need to ask is what are you eating now? Are you eating dark green leafy veggies and orange veggies every day? Are you eating at least 5 servings of veggies? (5 of fruit and veggies combined is not enough) Are you eating whole grains and legumes every day? Do you get enough healthy fats? Are you taking a B-12 supplement? Do you live in an area where you can get enough sun to make Vitamin D, or should you be supplementing it? Are you getting enough rest, enough fluids, enough physical activity? When you eat sweets, are they high quality, soul nurturing ones that are worth the indulgence (Homemade cookies fresh out of the oven or a small piece of fine dark chocolate as opposed to Oreos or a Hershey's bar)?

 

post #22 of 41
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone. I stopped getting the notifications about updates, so sorry to miss all these replies for so long.  I appreciate the honest thoughts. I do agree that it all comes down to each person being mindful of their own body.  And yes, some of this is just normal PP stuff. . .sleep deprivation and all that.  Good news is my PP anemia has already resolved, so I know I am getting enough iron from my veg diet (I did use Floradix too).

 

I did try raw milk and I did not like the taste (too many years of almond milk?) and my baby seemed to have a negative reaction to it. But I have been using some pastured butter and we have all liked that. I started getting some really good pastured eggs and rely on those for my big protein boost in the morning.

 

Otherwise, the staples of our diet are local, organic fruit and veg, plus quinoa, brown rice, sprouted grain bread, hummus, tofu and tempeh, nut butters, beans.  I have started sprouting and soaking as much as I can in hopes of getting the most out of our veg diet.

 

post #23 of 41

If any of you have questions about why you are feeling a certain way. Or have any questions at all I highly recommend this book 'Conscious Health' by Ron Garner http://www.conscioushealth.ca/book/

It honestly explains anything and everything, about your body, about nutrients, about food. about life really! He explains disease and cancer and how we do it to ourselves. He explains topics on soy, raw foods, cooked foods, health problems, medical doctors, vegans, vegetarians, immunizations, you name it. This is the best read EVER and I think $20.00 is a great price. I would charge $100 if I wrote this book! This book made me feel awesome!

post #24 of 41
Thread Starter 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by catnip View Post

So I guess the question that we need to ask is what are you eating now? Are you eating dark green leafy veggies and orange veggies every day? Are you eating at least 5 servings of veggies? (5 of fruit and veggies combined is not enough) Are you eating whole grains and legumes every day? Do you get enough healthy fats? Are you taking a B-12 supplement? Do you live in an area where you can get enough sun to make Vitamin D, or should you be supplementing it? Are you getting enough rest, enough fluids, enough physical activity? When you eat sweets, are they high quality, soul nurturing ones that are worth the indulgence (Homemade cookies fresh out of the oven or a small piece of fine dark chocolate as opposed to Oreos or a Hershey's bar)?

 

 

I eat probably 2 fruit and 4 veggie servings a day. Always trying to up my veggie content (so easy just to reach for bread instead of the veggies), but I do eat dark green and orange veggies every day (broccoli, carrot, kale, and sweet potato are my staples although I try to change it up too--the CSA box helps with this).  Yes to the whole grains and legumes daily. Yes to the healthy fats--nuts, avocado, coconut oil, olive oil and a little butter and a little flax oil. I also eat 2 pastured eggs a day.  Not currently taking a B supp. I take a prenatal vitamin still, plus Vit D, probiotic, Vit C, Magnesium, and fish oil.  
I am cutting the sweets and all processed foods out, but I do slip up still. I get major sugar cravings and have been trying to make healthy treats with raw honey or just snack on dates when that happens.

 Rest. . .well I have a toddler and a 3 month old, so no, not enough rest! But I try. Same goes for exercise and time outdoors. I try to get a 30min walk everyday. 

post #25 of 41

Kismet: I have been pondering the same thoughts as you. I am veggie. We have our own chickens and I eat their lovely eggs. I'm drinking a bit of milk now and putting cream on fruit slices and using pastured butter. Upping my dairy for sure lately and now making sure it comes from pastured cows - cheese included. I am 17 weeks pregnant and have been craving meat. It goes against my beliefs to eat meat. And it goes against everything I've taught my 3 yr old as well. But still I am pondering, reading, and consideirng it. And like you, for now, I am trying to incorporate ideas from traditional foods that mesh with what I feel comfortable with - going to change the flours I use, start soaking, etc. I bought already made bread from Grindstone Bakery that fits with the principles and have been eating that with pastured butter and poached eggs. I have to say - since upping the fat and protein in my diet that comes from whole, pastured dairy, I am not craving sugar and I'm not really craving the meat anymore either. 

 

I enjoyed this thread since it is so timely for what is consuming my mind these days!

 

Cindy

post #26 of 41

Cindy,

 

It sounds like you are listening to and respecting your body. That is always a beautiful thing.

post #27 of 41

I'm veggie/vegan for ethical as well as health reasons. Right now I'm pregnant (Hi Cindy!) and eating a tiny bit of dairy when it's contained in certain foods.

 

As for eating meat. First, I would say question the source of the information. I wouldn't consider Weston Price a neutral resource just as I wouldn't consider PETA a particularly neutral source. But looking at epidemiological studies, historical trends, and more, then it is hard not to argue, in my opinion, that a plant based diet is the most healthy for our bodies. I teach a class on epidemiology and health and the research (not tied to specific interests) is quite overwhelming.

 

But I also think that you cannot take out the ethical question, in my view.
 

post #28 of 41
Thread Starter 

Congrats Cindy! :)

post #29 of 41

I was a vegetarian for 10 years, a vegan for 1 year. I now eat a TF style diet (kind of a primal/WAPF hybrid) and have been eating some version of that way for a year or more (of 7years of meat eating, maybe 5 were low fat, still plant heavy, the last 2 have been higher fat, low carb). I studied nutrition & epidemiology in graduate school in public health. This was 12 years ago and at the time I thought vegetarianism was the best thing for health and ethical concerns. I was extremely attentive to my health and getting important nutrients. I drank green smoothies with almond milk and flax seed oil for breakfast, ate whole wheat pita with avocado/sprouts/tomato for lunch, nuts for snacks and various ethnic vegetarian dishes for dinner most of the time (udon noodles with brussels sprouts in miso, for example). Compared with most people, I was eating exceptionally well. But the thing is, my health was horrible. I gained 75 pounds over the years. I had acne and infertility. I was exhausted constantly. I talked to doctors, saw naturopaths, etc. and everyone gave my diet a big thumbs up, so I never thought it might be the issue.

 

After the birth of my 1st child I went back to eating meat because I was anemic and figured that would be a simple way to correct the problem. My health didn't miraculously improve, mainly because I kept eating whole grains and made sure I ate lean meats, like chicken breast, so I wasn't getting much fat in my diet. But I became more obsessed with figuring out my issues and was open to just about anything at that point, so I began experimenting. I've been experimenting for over 7 years now and do finally feel like I found some answers. I feel great, my energy is high, I bounced back really fast after the birth of my 4th child this past fall, my weight is controllable now, my skin is completely clear, my hair grows fast, I sleep better....I just feel good. And for someone who struggled for many years with exhaustion and mystery ailments, it's very liberating. I just KNOW, my body runs well on a high fat, no sugar, no grain diet. I don't see my diet as focused on meat (I think that's a misconception about WAPF; in reality they just advise eating whole, traditional foods that include meat), but includes grass fed butter and meats, coconut oil, bone broths, eggs, fish and vegetables (I don't do grains at all and fruit sparingly). 

 

My point is that maybe we all are different, maybe there is not one "right" answer, so I encourage you to experiment with your diet. And go all out when you do - half measures never produced results for me. I went vegan, I went WAPF, I have been on both sides and I've found what feels good to me. 


Edited by berry987 - 4/28/12 at 3:41pm
post #30 of 41

Kismet: Thanks! :-)

 

Zub: Hi! What an interesting class you teach! And yes, I can't seem to get past the moral aspect of it. 

 

Berry: I enjoyed your tale. It's so interesting to me to read of others experience - be it good or bad, introducing meat.

 

Not sure if I said this before, but I was veggie for 6 yrs from age 15-21. I started eating meat again at 21 and ate it for the next 5 yrs. Always a fairly healthy eater, but nothing overly so during that time. I really never cooked meat for myself but would eat fish, etc while out. I never noticed much of a difference when I started eating meat again in the way I felt. People kept asking if I felt better or stronger and I just didn't. I can't say as I feel sickly now either - I just feel like my body is telling me it wants meat. I was vegan when I conceived my daughter and started obsessing about eating eggs until I finally did. I felt like my body was demanding it. And now I am craving meat. So I wonder if my body is telling me it needs it. 

 

That said, I just came from a bbq birthday party. I'd been craving chicken skin all week! I spent most of the 2 hours I was there pondering eating the bbq'd chicken. I wanted to, but I didn't want to and was afraid to. I just wish I could come to a decision either way already and just do it or accept that I'm not going to and stop thinking about it so much!

 

Cindy

post #31 of 41

I can relate to what you are saying, Kismet. I was vegan, went back to eating meat for so many reasons, got unhealthy after eating crap food and then trying TF, and realized I have never felt better as I did when I was a vegan. However I think too many people don't realize that there are so many ways to be a veg*n. Most people think, for example, it automatically has a low fat requirement. I am not afraid of healthy fats but I have known so many veg*ns who got sick and blamed it on the lack of meat when they didn't try adding more fats, reducing grains, etc etc etc. My only point is that sometimes we crave animal products or feel ill or whatever else not because we aren't eating animal products but because we are missing something else that we relate to those things like fat or protein but that are available through plant sources as well. I'm not saying that there is never a use for animal products I am just saying playing around with your (general "your") veg*nism can be really helpful when it comes to health. 

 

I won't do TF again. Not only did it make me become a different person health-wise (I felt vey weighed down and just gross, for lack of a better term) but I have a friend who got really sick eating that way. Yet so many people have hard great benefits from it. We're all so different! I know it's "sold" as a "nourishing" diet and we all crave that but one has to be really careful because what is nourishing to Person A isn't always to Person B. 

 

That all being said a few years back (holy crap! 4 years ago!) I started this thread and I still read through it for inspiration. Like another poster in this thread said I use a lot of "traditional" methods. Heck, I even own Nourishing Traditions and use it. 

post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by holyhelianthus View Post

I can relate to what you are saying, Kismet. I was vegan, went back to eating meat for so many reasons, got unhealthy after eating crap food and then trying TF, and realized I have never felt better as I did when I was a vegan. However I think too many people don't realize that there are so many ways to be a veg*n. Most people think, for example, it automatically has a low fat requirement. I am not afraid of healthy fats but I have known so many veg*ns who got sick and blamed it on the lack of meat when they didn't try adding more fats, reducing grains, etc etc etc. My only point is that sometimes we crave animal products or feel ill or whatever else not because we aren't eating animal products but because we are missing something else that we relate to those things like fat or protein but that are available through plant sources as well. I'm not saying that there is never a use for animal products I am just saying playing around with your (general "your") veg*nism can be really helpful when it comes to health. 

 

I won't do TF again. Not only did it make me become a different person health-wise (I felt vey weighed down and just gross, for lack of a better term) but I have a friend who got really sick eating that way. Yet so many people have hard great benefits from it. We're all so different! I know it's "sold" as a "nourishing" diet and we all crave that but one has to be really careful because what is nourishing to Person A isn't always to Person B. 

 

That all being said a few years back (holy crap! 4 years ago!) I started this thread and I still read through it for inspiration. Like another poster in this thread said I use a lot of "traditional" methods. Heck, I even own Nourishing Traditions and use it. 



Very interesting! Your post definitely highlights the "one size fits all" approach doesn't work. I think its interesting and I might even dare to say that I think health-conscious vegetarians (as opposed to vegetarians who eat a SAD diet but omit meat) and WAPF actually have quite a bit in common. I think its all centered on trying to find balance and vitality through nutrition. And I think, as in any "style" of eating, going too strong in one direction can lead to ill health. You mentioned vegans who are low fat too and I also think heavy meat eaters (some WAPF folks) and sort of the Atkins-style of "all bacon, all the time!" who just go crazy on one food group. Although I pretty much avoid grains and sugar all together, I try to eat a diet that is varied and balanced and I think healthy vegetarians do the same.
post #33 of 41

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vegan Princess View Post

 I just wish I could come to a decision either way already and just do it or accept that I'm not going to and stop thinking about it so much!

 

 

I can totally relate to this feeling! About a month ago, I was really obsessing over my food choices---craving meat but not really wanting to change my veg lifestyle. It was exhausting to be so confused and conflicted! Whenever I cooked a meal with meat (my DH isn't a vegetarian) I would end deliberating obsessively about whether to "sample" a bit. And I threw myself into research on the health issues of veg/TF, but like a PP said, it's really hard to find neutral, objective sources. Both sides make convincing arguments for eating their way. 

 

 I wish I could say that I managed to relax about the whole issue, but my meat cravings finally disappeared, so the dilemma was less important.  I was having a lot of health issue around the same time I was craving meat (strep throat followed by rheumatic fever, and some heavy doses of antibiotics) so I wonder if that had something to do with my cravings and general feelings of weakness. It's  still something I struggle with though--finding peace when my ethics and beliefs tell me one thing and my body tells me another. 

post #34 of 41

I think this is why it is soooo important to observe and respect your body. There are also two issues here; ethics and nutritional needs. Unfortunately many sources out there meld the two into one. They should really be considered separately in my opinion.

 

I think that if you are ethically opposed to meat but your health is failing or you are craving meat then the first step is to honestly evaluate what the health issues are. Write each one down (physiological cravings are a sign of missing something nutritionally). Then I suggest you begin a careful food journal and include all that you eat and drink, supplements, meds, exercise, sleep, and how you feel. You can observe the following 7 characteristics: hunger, cravings, energy, mood, mental clarity, sleep quality, and GI function. Ideally you can go 4-6 hours without getting hungry (this depends on the person and your mental and physical activity), you will have no physiological cravings, your mood will be even-keeled, your mind will be clear and sharp, you have plenty of calm energy all day long, you sleep well at night, and you have no issues with GI function. In addition you can observe any of your specific health issues. 

 

Once you observe what you are eating, consuming, etc and how you feel for a month or two you may begin to notice patterns. This will help you see what may be missing. For example, if you eat oatmeal and yogurt with fruit for breakfast but you always get hungry and irritable 2 hours later, then you'll know something is missing. Then the key is to experiment and try to add things. There are only 3 macronutrients so this narrows it down. Either you need more protein, fat, or carbohydrates. Most people eating a vegetarian diet do not lack carbs. So try adding more fat or protein and see what happens. Of course this can be done without using meat: add a whole avocado, or a an egg or a bowl of lentils for example. 

 

And I have observed over and over that needs can change. For example, when people are stressed they tend to need more protein. And many women experience some shifts before and during menstruation. 

 

The fact is that we all have different needs and some people do great on a vegetarian diet and others suffer because no matter how many legumes, eggs, etc they eat, they are still not getting enough protein and/or fat. These people will then have to choose; which is more important, their health or the lives of animals. 

post #35 of 41

OP, thanks for starting this super-interesting thread & I'm glad to hear you're listening to your body & starting to feel better already!

 

I wasn't trying to imply that anyone should ignore the moral/ethical questions implicated by our food choices, but I think that it can be useful to truly focus on your own body by momentarily tuning out of the moral/ethical debate. Once you figure out what your body needs, then trying to conform those needs to your morals or deciding to shift your morals is the next step. It's an individual process & no two bodies have the same nutritional needs. We're complicated beings & it can be really difficult to balance our needs with the needs of the planet & other beings.

 

One thing that I really REALLY struggled with (& do struggle with currently) is the insinuation from some vegetarians that I wasn't "doing it right" & that had I only "done it right" I could still be a vegetarian. First, there is no one right way & while I sure wish veg*nism was the one right way, it just isn't. I'm not sure why veg*ns tend to use this language -- It's not helpful nor is it supportive (I'm guessing it comes from a defensive reflex -- I know that I defended my vegetarian diet for each of the close to 20 years I was exclusively vegetarian). Second, with these voices in the back of my head, I think that I struggled in silence, NOT listening to my body for so long because I had it in my head that I should be able to fix my health while remaining a vegetarian. I know that this is the veg*n board, but being so recently vegetarian & hearing some of the same language being used in this discussion is troubling to me & I don't know that it's supportive of OP position.

 

By the same token, I do not think that TF is the one right way. I'm experimenting & trying to listen to my body so that it can heal itself. I agree that TF has a lot to offer vegetarians & non-vegetarians. In fact, I really hope that at the end of the day (maybe in a few months or a year) I can go back to being vegetarian. This discussion has really inspired me to go back to that as soon as I can!

post #36 of 41
Thread Starter 

Just wanted to come back and update. .. I feel that all this soul-(diet)-searching has lead me right back to vegetarianism (almost veganism). :)  And I feel pretty happy about that. 

 

I also feel like my energy and vitality are back, or as much as they can be under my circumstances (SAHM to an infant and toddler). I did eat fish a couple times, but found it almost unbearable. I stared at the grass-fed, organic, humanely-raised meat at the store, but just could not do it. It just looked like pieces of dead animal to me (which it is, duh) and I just couldn't imagine actually cooking and eating it. It just goes against my deeply held beliefs about animals and ethics. I tried to eat raw dairy and found that it tasted very strongly to me and just didn't really agree with me. The one thing I have continued is eating pasture eggs. . .I find these to be an important part of my diet and I buy them very carefully (from the local farmer's market), ideally, I'd like to raise my own chickens for eggs.

 

The other thing I have done is to apply the NT ideas to my grain and legume eating. I have been sprouting and soaking as much as I can and it does seem easier to digest and I hope I am getting some extra nutrients by doing so. 

 

I think that cutting out sugar has actually made the biggest difference to me! I find that my moods and energy are MUCH more stable. I have also cut out almost all processed/prepared food, so I find that I am "forced" to eat higher nutrient food since the junk isn't in the house. I am avoiding all oils except olive and coconut.  I am loving raw almond butter and cooking with coconut oil.  

 

I'm still working on things. . .having some intestinal distress and no sure what it's related to (gluten possibly), but in general I find that the last few months have been really great. . .questioning everything and then following my own gut (so to speak). It's been very validating. Thanks all for sharing on this thread!

post #37 of 41

One treat that really helps when I'm craving something sweet is a banana split lengthwise and spread with nut butter.
 

post #38 of 41

Having been a vegetarian for 14 years, I believe very strongly that eating meat is generally unnecessary.  Keyword being 'generally'.  I am a vegetarian for ethical/environmental reasons, but I have always said that if I needed to eat meat for health purposes, I would do it.  It sounds like you are listening to your body, and your body is telling you that you need something more than a plant-based diet.  And meat is can be part of a very healthy diet.  While I am not completely a believer in a traditional food diet, I think you could reasonably incorporate some meat into your diet for a while and be OK.  You can always switch back to a healthy veggie diet. But first, try to rule out any other health issues that would cause you to feel this way, then forge whichever way you feel is best.  You have kids to take care of and need to do right by them.  They deserve a healthy Mommy.

post #39 of 41

Kismet: I'm really glad you've found something that works for your body and meshes with your beliefs! I'm glad you are starting to feel better.

 

AFM: I did end up eating meat. I had my iron levels checked by my midwife and they were good - so that is not why I was craving it. Perhaps my pregnant body wanted more protein? I'm not sure. I've continued to eat it 1-2x per week since then and I really don't crave it anymore. I still don't want to cook it and I really don't want to eat that much of it. So I guess this is what is working for my body right now. I do think I want to go back to being veggie after I give birth. And my 3 yr old still does not want to try any meat, despite seeing me eat it. She asked why I am eating it and I explained that sometimes when mommys have babies in their tummies, their bodies ask for different foods than they would normally eat. She seems ok with my explanation and I'm happy to see her sticking to what she believes in right now. My husband says I brainwashed her well. LOL. 

 

Cindy

post #40 of 41

As a food explorer and walker on the path to good health, I have experienced nutritional protocols are varied as raw veganism and macrobiotics. I feel that the nourishing traditions lifestyle does have a whole lot to offer vegans. Unless vegans really work at balancing their diets and finding good sources of b12, protien and saturated fats, they can become very unhealthy. The traditional practices really address a lot of these issues except for the b12 one, which folks are still debating and searching for the answer. Using sea vegetables and algae are also good for vegans. Food is a religion after all to some, and inclusion is key to understanding and acceptance of all viewpoints.

 

_____________________________________

CaliPlus


Edited by Lingus84 - 7/5/12 at 12:26am
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