I've always consumed dairy, but I've had to cut that out because my son has a serious dairy protein allergy, with intestinal bleeding and stuff. Soy, too.
[B]In the last 6 months or so, my doctor has checked my vitamin levels (normal), my thyroid (fine), checked for diabetes or insulin problems (no), induced periods and finally made a tentative diagnosis of PCOS. I have been treating the PCOS with hormonal birth control (with some success) but not all symptoms are abating.
Cristeen ~ Always remembering our warrior ~ Our is 3, how'd that happen?!?!
We welcomed another warrior in May 2012!!
2012 Decluttering challenge - 575/2012
If you are struggling with PCOS, then a vegetarian diet may be adding to your problems.
I found that when I was vegetarian I had a very hard time digesting the beans, soy, and grains that I was heavily basing my diet on. I have always loved healthy food and vegetables, and that didn't change when I switched back to eating meat. I also really like many ethnic foods--Korean, Chinese, Japanese, Thai---and many of those foods incorporate meat into their recipes.
I don't think it is true that I was "healthier" or that my diet was healthier when I was vegetarian--I actually think the opposite was true for me. I gained weight as a vegetarian and felt lethargic most of the time and often felt like something was missing from my diet. Some people find that they do fine on vegetarian diet, especially if they incorporate eggs and some other dairy into their weekly protein intake--but that didn't work for me.
If you used to be vegetarian, even for a short while (say, a few months or more), but then went back to eating meat:
Why did you make that decision?
Were there health factors involved?
Was it outside pressure?
Please tell me about your choice in as much detail as possible. I have very specific, personal reasons for asking, which I will delve into after I've gotten a few responses. I don't want to give details that may cloud answers ahead of time.
I aimed at reducing animal products (esp red meats) in my diet since age 13. I was a whole foods strict veg for 5 months at age 25. (I did these things for health reasons) I quit because I was not thriving and then had a miscarriage with a severe hemmorage. I was seriously craving beef so I started eating it and started eating traditional foods diet imediately after the m/c. I am so glad I did. I have realized I cannot be well without animal products (and I don't tolerate dairy or eggs well, so I have to eat the meat products, bone broths, ect).
I hope you feel better soon whatever you choose
<>< Mama to DS, DD, and a new baby girl 4/1!
I struggle with some of these issues too. I want to do the veg thing, but I wonder if it's right for everyone. As I seem to be taking more and more supplements.
DD is allergic to all grains, dairy and nuts. So her diet is already limited. I can't/won't take meat away from her. So I see both sides of the diet dilemma.
Good luck, keep us posted.
When I got pregnant with dd, I was very sick and craved meat terribly. I ate chicken and some fish and some turkey during my pregnancy but couldn't tolerate red meat at all. Dd has a mess of food allergies and, through eliminating hers realized that I do as well. As a vegetarian, I was eating a great deal of the foods to which I was unknowingly allergic, and I think this was a big part of my problem.
Discovering the allergies encouraged me to start studying nutrition. I discovered traditional foods (no processed foods, humanely raised meats, soaking grains/legumes to release antinutrients, etc) and transitioned to a TF diet that is free of our allergens (wheat, dairy, and soy are the biggies). Eating healthy meats, eliminating major allergens, and converting to a traditional diet restored my health.
Even if you decide to remain a vegetarian, there are many things that you can do to improve your nutrition. You can experiment with eliminating major allergens and see if this helps you at all. You can learn about traditional foods, the importance of eliminating processed foods from your diet (modern vegetarian diets are LOADED with foods that have been processed in such a way that they are toxic), and how to prepare whole grains and beans to maximize their nutrient availability. I HIGHLY recommend reading the book Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon, there is so much good information in there.
I am not veg right now b/c I am pregnant. I know some people do well pg and veg, but I do not. No matter how much veg protein I try to get, I crave meat constantly and I get really low protein. So I usually cave.
Dd was allergic to milk, and I was vegan on and off for awhile. But my body does not do well with processed foods at all, and finding alternatives that I could actually eat was very hard. I was sick of eating processed junk because I can only eat so much dairy free pasta and honestly it got nerve wracking to obsess over it constantly. I guess I feel more comfortable with TF, but low meat and high whole grains at the same time. Kind of my own thing.
AP Mom to 5
Nobody pressured me and I wasn't sick, I just didn't feel well, I'm sure I wasn't getting enough protein and eating too much junk.
We have since added raw milk and some sustainable grass fed animal products.
Two books revolutionized my understanding of nutrition. The Omnivore's Dilemma and The Omega 3 Connection.
I lost too much weight. I had trouble getting enough calories. I was somewhat lactose intolerant (since resolved) and eggs worsened my eczema/rashes. I couldn't have lots of nuts, either. I needed to lose some, but I dropped a bit too much. Then my iron tested lower than low, practically non-existant.
So I introduced meat into my diet. Over three months, I gained 50 pounds and my iron levels dropped further (but my B12 became normal for the first time in YEARS). Needless to say, I was peeved. I went back to vegetarianism and saw a hematologist, who gave me IV iron.
The weight was *just* starting to trickle back off when I got pregnant a few months later. No energy + increased caloric need + difficulty getting calories = craving for chicken curry.
I figured my body needed meat and it does seem to help. I had trouble keeping weight on during my pregnancy and finished below my pre-pregnancy weight. My baby's perfectly fine, thank goodness.
I'm still eating meat. I think I'll continue eating it so long as I'm breastfeeding, because it's a quick and easy way to pack in calories, fat, and protein. I'm still not hitting more than 1200 most days, which is *way* too low. If my caloric intake remains that low, I slow waaaay down and start gaining weight. I did recently switch my lattes to whole milk from half and half. I didn't need THAT much extra fat.
Our home was completely vegetarian until my husband developed a nasty issue with hypoglycemia a few years ago. In our then soy and peanut-free household, he couldn't get enough pure protein sources to sustain himself. Eggs and wheat gluten weren't sufficient. He needs denser sources, so he eats meat. That's fine with me--he's much healthier now. It was a scary couple years until we figured that out.
There's my story. I may edit it out later. Lots of personal info there, of course. I occasionally get grossed out by meat, but I do buy, prepare, and eat it. I try to buy local and sustainable/organic, which makes me feel somewhat better on many levels.
Chasing DS since April 2007 and pumping for DD March 2013.
I never felt that great, though. But since I never felt particularly healthy or strong before becoming vegetarian I really didn't think not eating meat had anything to do with that -- I sort of thought I was just born with a weak constitution. I only got one or two periods in my life (at about 13 or 14) before going on BC pills at 21 (and then got nothing when I went off right before TTC, and had to do IVF to get pregnant with my son). I just felt weak a lot -- I got tired easily, had little stamina (I used to run but the MOST I could ever do was 1/2 hour of very slow running), needed a lot of sleep.
Then my son was born, and he had a lot of digestive issues in the first year or so, along with some skin problems (bumps, scaley patches). I started investigating diet (he EBF for his first nine months, so I was looking into what I was eating). Suddenly all those soy yogurts I had when I was pregnant seemed like a bad idea -- he reacted to soy in my diet. I found out earlier this year that he's gluten intolerant. I started learning about good fats vs. bad fats, that grains may not be so great after all (I ate TONS of breads/granola/pizza).
Mostly, though, it was when I learned about Weston Price and his work that it all started to make sense to me -- meat and dairy are not evil in and of themselves...but factory-farming is. I realized that the reason I felt crappy before becoming vegetarian was not because I was eating meat/dairy -- it was because I was eating the SAD. It helped me personally to think about how native peoples ate and how healthy they were, as shown by Dr. Price.
I started taking cod liver oil high in natural vitamins A & D, and about six months later I got my first period on my own, even though I was still BF'ing my son. I got another one about fifteen weeks after that, and then another one eight weeks after that. I then found a study that showed that women with PCOS who didn't get a period who were found to be deficient in vitamin D and who took supplements starting having regular cycles, and some of them got pregnant. I think vitamin D deficiency is a problem for a LOT of people -- it's just starting to get some press.
I also started looking into yeast overgrowth as a possible reason for my son's skin issues. I started a anti-candida diet that emphasized good fats (eggs, coconut oil), grass-fed/organic meat, and no grains. I felt soooooo good on this diet, and my skin (which has always been prone to breaking out) looked amazing.
I've fallen off the wagon as far as that diet is concerned, but I'd like to get back to it. My thinking as far as food goes has done a complete 180 since I was pregnant and planning on raising my son as a vegan.
Hope that helps.
RIP Sidney 1994-2010 RIP Charlie Brown 2008-2010
It was never outside pressure as everyone supported us and most of our friend circle is vegan or vegetarian. If anything, it's more pressure now that we're eating meat again to stop eating it. At this time eating meat works for us. When it doesn't anymore we'll go back to not eating it.