Mothering Forum banner
1 - 20 of 76 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all. I'm new to this forum and was wondering if there are any former vegetarians here. I'm a vegetarian and honestly have no plans of introducing meat anytime soon, but have been giving my diet and the NT diet a lot of thought. I also want to do the best thing for my 18mo old dd. I'd love it if anyone could share their experiences of going from veg to NT. Thanks!

wanted to add for clarification that it's been so long since I've eaten meat that I'm totally squeamish about it and don't know if I could do it. In theory, however, NT seems a healthy way to go.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
759 Posts
Hi there,

Yes , I was a vegetarian for 4 years. It started because my live-in boyfriend at he time was a strict veggie and I just jumped on the bandwagon with great enthousiasm. When we broke up and I moved out I gingerly started eating some meat again. At first I had the same issues...I was a bit grossed out by the whole thing, especially handling raw meat. (you should see me now...sawing through a chicken neck does nothing


The first thing I noticed was that the 20 pounds or so that had crept on in the last 4 years started to melt away easily. The second thing that I had tons more energy, the third was that all of a sudden I had no more PMS (which had been BAD!
: )

So those are my personal experiences. I also worked in an holistic clinic in Boulder CO ( where there are many many vegans and veggies) and we would really see a typical pattern relating to not eating meat ( lack of energy, nutritional deficiencies esp in EFA's and fat soluble vitamins as well as the b's, PMS, mood swings, depression, weight issues etc.)

I personally do not think a vegan diet is a sustaining diet. It might be fine for a short amount of time as a therapeutic diet but ultimately it is going to produce disease.
I think it is possible to eat a (lacto-ovo)vegetarian diet that supplies one with all the nessesary nutrients but I think it is difficult and its definately not suited to every ones constitution.

But I am sure you have done your own research and made up you mind based on that as well as on how you feel. I think NT ing and being vegetarian can work together just fine


Tanya
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
851 Posts
I'm a former vegetarian, and I am attempting to follow NT. I was veggie for 13 years. Started eating meat before I started NT (by about 5 years). I totally understand the squeamishness thing. I was eating meat for about 2 years before I could buy anything with the bone.

But there are lots of good for you things to add that aren't hunks of meat.
Like butter, milk, coconut oil, and even cod liver oil. CLO is fish, of course, but psychologically, it's not the same as eating fish to me or my still veggie mom.

If I were making the transistion from typical American vegetarian to traditional foods, the first thing I'd do is eliminate the soy. Much of what I lived on as a young adult is just full of MSG (hydrolized soy protein, for instance). And eliminate trans fats and add good fats. That would be a great start, IMO.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
393 Posts
"and we would really see a typical pattern relating to not eating meat ( lack of energy, nutritional deficiencies esp in EFA's and fat soluble vitamins as well as the b's, PMS, mood swings, depression, weight issues etc.)

I personally do not think a vegan diet is a sustaining diet. It might be fine for a short amount of time as a therapeutic diet but ultimately it is going to produce disease.
I think it is possible to eat a (lacto-ovo)vegetarian diet that supplies one with all the nessesary nutrients but I think it is difficult and its definately not suited to every ones constitution."

: I feel like the light has gone back on in my room, y'know? All those high ideals of mine and I was barely functioning. I grew up vegetarian and went vegan in my twenties and had many signs that it wasn't working for me, but it wasn't until I had my babies that I profoundly realized how compromised my digestion was and how malnourished I was becomming - all while trying to eat a balanced and whole foods and organic veggie diet - and how my second generation veggie babies were not robust and thriving. It was a bit uncomfortable starting to eat meat (emotionally that is) but once I could tangibly feel how much my body needed it the whole concept was easier. Life is bloody. We go to a local farmer to buy our meat and bones and livers, and I feel alright about it. I imagine I will need less of it once I have recovered from the breeding
and my kiddos aren't so little, we'll see.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,507 Posts
Former l/o veg here. We became veg for a number of different reasons, but one of them was my dislike of the taste/texture. I'm certain that my feelings aren't as extreme as yours, but I found that the grass-fed/pastured meats were so different from what I remembered that they aren't even in the same category!

My husband has strugged with IBS-type symptoms for the majority of his life (precipitated by a bout with severe salmonella poisioning as a child). He struggled with it a lot when we were l/o veg, but within a few weeks on the TF diet the symptoms have all but resolved themselves (well, except when he eats out!).

Another good former vegetarian turned vegan and now traditional foodist is Nina Planck. I'd suggest checking her book out from your local library - "Real Food: What to eat and why".

ETA: I've been considering this thread for awhile now, just analyzing my experience with the experiences of others. I guess it would be good to add that my nutritional status prior to becoming veg was likely in a depressed state given the lack of good food options and the lack of money after that. I'm thinking that in my case I probably didn't have very good stores available and being veg rapidly depelted for me what was available - well, that and having a child. I should also add that since going TF we have been relatively healthy. It's quite the contrast since we were literally sick with just about everything that we could get this time last year!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
Welcome JSerene!

I avoided animal products and all fat (but especially animal fats) to varying degrees since I was about 12. I was actually a strict whole foods veg (no animal products) before coming to NT. I had issues with handing meat too but I am getting over them since I feel so much better. My family is still cracking up that I frequent the local meatmarket and had pot roast for my birthday. My husband used to stare at me in disbelief while a devoured a steak but my body was craving the iron and zinc so badly that I could not help myself! (I had severe PPD, a 13 week MC followed by a severe hemmorage, weakness, and severe anemia all in two years) I started NT and some serious meat eating about 7 months ago and noticed a positive difference right away.

I am also satisfied when I am done eating and don't have sugar and flour cravings issues anymore. I feel stable and energetic.

I agree the Beagelemommy that there are many NT foods and prep methods you could do without eating meat.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
: I'm technically not a vegetarian - I eat eggs and dairy often and fish about once a week (I tried stopping to eat fish too, but I felt weak and knew it wasn't working for me). I stopped eating meat about 5 years ago, but I always knew I'd start eating meat before I got pregnant. Problem is, I can't imagine eating meat anymore.

I might start eating meat sooner than later, but the thought of eating meat is something I have to get over.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:

Originally Posted by Just_Isabel View Post
: I'm technically not a vegetarian - I eat eggs and dairy often and fish about once a week (I tried stopping to eat fish too, but I felt weak and knew it wasn't working for me). I stopped eating meat about 5 years ago, but I always knew I'd start eating meat before I got pregnant. Problem is, I can't imagine eating meat anymore.

I might start eating meat sooner than later, but the thought of eating meat is something I have to get over.
Thanks all for the helpful replies! I will check out the Nina Planck book. If there's one thing I love reading about, it's food and nutrition. Just Isabel, I was considering starting out with fish. I think it would be much easier for me to eat than say chicken or cow. One thing that makes me hesitate, however, is having to answer for that decision among my veg friends. Isn't that terrible? Obviously the the health of my dd comes before worrying what other people think of me....but it will be a huge change not identifying myself as vegetarian anymore. Sigh. I'm such a nut, why is this such a hard decision?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,360 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by JSerene View Post
One thing that makes me hesitate, however, is having to answer for that decision among my veg friends. Isn't that terrible? Obviously the the health of my dd comes before worrying what other people think of me....but it will be a huge change not identifying myself as vegetarian anymore. Sigh. I'm such a nut, why is this such a hard decision?
I hear that starting with fish helps. And I think I'd start with broths too, so you don't see the meat/fish, but can still get the nutrients.

I can relate to worrying about what other people will think, although most of my friends are meat eaters so they wouldn't be a problem. But my family would just love it if I started eating meat. I can see my mother's face looking all superior because "she knew all along it was a phase and being vegetarian is nonsense because it's an inferior diet" or something like that.


I think that makes me a bigger nut than you.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,202 Posts
I doubt I'll ever eat raw meat, and I don't eat much meat at all, so I am not fully a TF person, but am drawn to many aspects of it.

I was macrobiotic/vegan/veg for nearly 20 years. Some things worked for me, some things did not.

What I like most about TF is the unadulterated real food aspect of it. Local food, food not messed with, food grown in healthy soil, food that doesn't travel thousands of miles, etc. Pure food makes sense.

I'm not answering your question very well, but I was a veg and now I am not.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,949 Posts
Quote:

Originally Posted by JSerene View Post
Thanks all for the helpful replies! I will check out the Nina Planck book. If there's one thing I love reading about, it's food and nutrition. Just Isabel, I was considering starting out with fish. I think it would be much easier for me to eat than say chicken or cow. One thing that makes me hesitate, however, is having to answer for that decision among my veg friends. Isn't that terrible? Obviously the the health of my dd comes before worrying what other people think of me....but it will be a huge change not identifying myself as vegetarian anymore. Sigh. I'm such a nut, why is this such a hard decision?
Maybe you could think of yourself in ways that did not involve food. Like even if you switch to be a TF omni you can still be--mother, friend, activist, ect. I know mit is hard, but that did help me.

Quote:
But my family would just love it if I started eating meat. I can see my mother's face looking all superior because "she knew all along it was a phase and being vegetarian is nonsense because it's an inferior diet" or something like that.
This was me. I hated that my family would be like..."see we knew eating meat was better". It is really annoying because most of them eat the SAD so I still don't think we have much in common diet-wise.

That said, life is too short to worry about what people think. I just think if people are your true friends they will understand that you are doing this for your family. Plus TF is against animal cruelty and factory farmed animal products.


Jen
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,721 Posts
Another former vegetarian here. I was veg for 16 years and a veg diet seemed to work great for me, at first....meaning for the first 12 years or so. What sent me searching for something else was exactly what so many others here have described. By the time of my second pregnancy I was having issues with depression, and then my second dd has tooth problems. And, even after not eating meat for many years, I was craving it.

What I find so striking is how many long term vegatarians (like more than ten years) are here and have had to change the way they eat due to nutritional deficiencies. It took many years for my mineral deficiences to show up, and had I not seen the problems with my dd's teeth, I might never have figured it out. It is very hard to eat a healty, filling vegetarian diet and not overdo pasta and grains. And, I had no understanding of the connection between grain consumption and the malabsorption of minerals.

Oh, and I completely relate to worrying about the "I told you so," "it was just a phase" attitude. But, the reality is, I am just as careful about what I eat now, actually even more careful. So, I feel like I can still talk about the importance of diet and raw foods and cultured foods and pastured meat etc...

FWIW, my vegetarianism was premised primarily on health and animal welfare issues. I do not feel I have compromised those ideals at all. I am supporting sustainable, healthy, humane meat and dairy production from small family farms.

Oh, and I started with broths, which are awesome foods and easy to eat.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
11,594 Posts
One thing that makes me hesitate, however, is having to answer for that decision among my veg friends.

one thing that can help with this is coming up with an answer that you're happy with. remember when you became vegetarian and your omnivorous friends and family would ask you about it? how did you answer that question?

by understanding how you would answer the question, you understand better why you're coming to this decision.

for my own part, i answered the original question (why are you vegetarian?) by asserting that while i do not think that meat eating is per se wrong, i feel that eating meat when unnecessary is inappropriate/wrong. thus, being an omnivore isn't 'per se' wrong to me--in fact it can absolutely be the right choice for me or any other individual. And, it's a moral/ethical choice too!

When answering in the reverse, i often assert that i feel that the omnivorous diet would be healthier for certain reasons. and, i may delinate those reasons. With this, i utilize a construct that i call "conscientious omnivorism" whereby i talk about the animal welfare issues and how i apply those issues to my omnivorous diet in a way that is similar to the vegetarian diet. Many vegetarians are unconvinced, of course, because they are convinced of their "moral superiority"--but i'm unconvinced of their superiority! :LOL

Isn't that terrible?

no, it's human.


it will be a huge change not identifying myself as vegetarian anymore.

yes, it is a change--and it's a place where a lot of people find identity. newcastlemama speaks about this very nicely. there are other places where you can find your identity that isn't related to diet--though i find that often people are not just connecting to the diet but the idea that the diet stands for "not harming animals" or some other description of a particular moral/ethical stance. So, you have to find a new way to engage this idea of yourself the "i love animals" or whatever the moral/ethical stance is. Vegetarianism is only one way, you know?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,801 Posts
I was a veggie for about 8 years
I also have been married about 8 years, and only a few of those have included full on meat consumption. Like, the last few.

For me, I honestly have never been so depressed, so easily prone to bruising, so flaky, as when I was a vegetarian. I just feel so much more stable. Especially since I cut out the soy. Soy was th ekicker for me. I feel as though my body is still recovering and it has been over a year.

Now, I still feel squemish about meat, I still have trouble handling/touching/etc esp. in preparation. But I am getting there. My mom and I joke that it was because I had to mix the meatloaf by hand as a child. I still remember hating that
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,286 Posts
I'm a former vegetarian. I might still be a vegetarian if the beans sold in my area weren't so old and funky tasting. The meats I eat are still somewhat limited.

In general, the only position I hold absolutely is that I'm against absolutism.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,732 Posts
It was so easy for me to switch from being a veg- but that's because my vegetarian boyfriend cheated on me. . . . Oh, what a happy hamburger that first one was! I felt like I was eating his head, and I didn't have to justify my decision to anyone. Now I'm married to a chef, who has a butcher certification. I was veg for ethical reasons, of course back then I didn't know about all the non-food animals killed in the giant soy harvesting combines. We all have blood on our hands if we live in the 'first' world. Okay, this whole post is OT. . . .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
751 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
One thing I know in rethinking my diet is that I'm glad I never got on my soapbox about it! If I go through with this, my family will be smug, but they can never say that I was judgemental. I did my thing and explained why when asked.

When I gave up meat and dairy it was in response to factory farming. I didn't know there was a movement (is it a movement?) that let chickens be chickens and cows be cows, then killed them humanely. I never had an ethical dilema in eating animals per se...but I had a big problem with how the animals were treated. I also rejected the 'meat with every meal' diet I grew up with. There is a middle ground here that I didn't see before: local, humane, and in moderation. I can stand by my ethics and serve meat a few times a month. Many would say that is selling out, but I answer to my own conscience, no one elses.

It's true what they say, becoming a mother changes you. I know I've had to think through a lot of things in my life that I kept in the background before.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,378 Posts
Former l/o vegetarian for 11 years. I developed a nasty rash around the mouth in my 3rd trimester pregnant with dd#2. I saw a homeopath, allergist, nutritionist,... no give. I thought it was hormonal related to the pregnancy. Well, 6 months after delivering dd#2, the rash was still there. I knew about NT and has read much about it. One day, I was just so frustrated I bought an organic chicken and made chicken soup (NT way). I could feel my brain clear and my rash ran away after a few days. The rash still surfaces now and then but very very mild. So thats my story. I think a veggie diet can work for most. But after nursing dd#1 for 3 years and she was a champion nurser, with a second pregnancy, my body was completely depleted. I only buy range free chicken, meat and wild salmon.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
27 Posts
I never went totally vegan or vegetarian, but I really did not eat a lot of meat or dairy products. This was mostly just because I thought they were unhealthy since they had a lot of fat (and I was under the impression that fat was bad for you). It wasn't until I went raw that I learned that natural fats can be good for you and it also introduced me to a whole food-style living. When I first read about NT principles, I was pretty shocked. How could saturated fat and cholesterol be good for you; it went against everything I had been taught. But, the thing that enabled me to accept those theories was that it all came from nature. So, I decided to give it a test run and if I started to feel bad or gain weight, I would go back to the way I ate before. Well, after a week or so of feasting on sprouted bread covered with butter and eating pumpkin pie made with organic cream, milk, and eggs, I haven't gained any weight (in fact, my pants feel looser) and I notice I have a lot more energy and stamina throughout the day. I can't believe I spent so much of my life afraid of these things! But I also know that it all depends on the quality of products. If I was eating just regular milk, butter, eggs, and meat, I know I would not feel so healthy or stay the same weight as I am now.
 
1 - 20 of 76 Posts
Top