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<p>I've been a vegetarian for a decade.  Mostly dairy free as well, but have always found eggs to be an important piece of our diet so never truly vegan. Lately I've been reading a lot on the Weston Price/nourishing traditions/traditional foods diet. . .and I have to admit that for the first time in a decade I'm tempted to eat meat!  <br><br>
I'll back-track to say that this temptation is only about health. I've had two babies in the past 2.5 years am BFing both of them AND I had a small stroke right before the birth of my dd 3 months ago. Ever since then, I've been struggling to recover on many levels and I find myself feeling exhausted and depleted.  I have no desire to eat an animal, in fact it would break my heart to do so, but for my own health and sanity (which I need to have to raise my beautiful children) I find myself wondering if a little animal protein is necessary. I did take a fish oil supp right after the birth/stroke and I felt it helped, but that's as much as I've been able to do.</p>
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<p>I've been trying to incorporate some of the traditional foods diet stuff as a veg. . .soaking & sprouting my grains and beans. I'm willing to try raw milk and butter, but my BFing babes don't tolerate dairy. . .<br><br>
Any thoughts?  traditional foods vs. vegetarianism?</p>
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<p>I'm not a lot of help as far as meat goes.  I was a vegetarian for a short period of time but find that I feel better with meat.  I'm learning and doing my best to get local, properly raised meats as much as I can. </p>
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<p>As far as the dairy goes you might try to find goat milk.  I know that some people can't handle either but my kids who can't do dairy are fine with goat milk.</p>
 

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<p>As fars as dairy, if it is not a true allergy, trying it raw and/or from a goat may improve their digestibility of it. Also cheese is better on the stomach than liquid milk.(I could only toerate goats milk formula as a baby and then seemed fine until about 8 years ago, goats milk works better for me but i lost my source, i do fine on cheese and butter and yogurt.)</p>
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<p>I feel way better eating a meat heavy diet, but if you can't bring yourself to do that pastured eggs and dairy are a great start. </p>
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<p>Have you read Nina Planck? She has a book specifically for the childbearing years and is an ex veg herself.</p>
 

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<p>I try to get the best meat I can, I've met the farmer who raises the animals, and then ration the meat. Sometimes there are meat centered meals, but mostly meat is a condiment or complement to the meal, to strech it out. A deck of cards is the right size for a serving. Bone broth would be a good place to start, it is very nourishing.</p>
 

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<p>I read up a lot of TF info a few years ago, but have remained vegetarian.  For me, the helpful wisdom and changes I took from some of the TF thoughts were to incorporate more varied, high quality fats (wider range of dietary oils, kerrygold butter when I can, good eggs, vegetarian efa oils), fermented foods, eat more seasonally.  </p>
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<p>Might also be interesting for you to look at cuisine/health traditions of cultures with a history of vegetarianism (buddhism, macrobiotics, indian cuisine/ayurveda) which may have other traditional but vegetarian healthful habits.</p>
 

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<p>I started a similar thread myself awhile back pondering the same question. I've been a vegetarian for awhile but am recently feeling very depleted and just found out that my son (2) and I both have cavities--my first ever! I think breastfeeding a very active toddler and not really putting enough effort into my diet is probably to blame.  We do eat fish (I added during my pregnancy because it felt necessary to me) so I'm trying to increase the amount we eat, along with really good eggs, and hoping that helps me feel more energized and "alive!" </p>
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<p>We're sticking to our mostly veg diet for now while I continue to do more research and soul searching. I don't think there's any "right" answer or a diet that is morally superior to others (at least that's my opinion.) I think we all need to find out what foods make us feel the best and are most in line with our values. </p>
 
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<p>I think that in considering this step, it's very important to look at actual large scientific studies when making this decision.  I've read a lot of the Weston Price/Nourishing Traditions information, and while it seems very convincing while the book is open, if I really stop to think about what it's saying and compare it to actual nutritional research (which may be mainstream, but at least it is supported by a large amount of data), I find that the NT WAP information falls short and additionally is quite dismissive of the tradition of being a vegetarian.  There is a huge amount of anti-vegetarian fear based propaganda going around right now.  I mean the author of Nourishing Traditions attributes the feeling of enlightenment one gets while being vegetarian (please!) to a zinc deficiency.  To me, this type of propaganda is extremely annoying and offensive in addition to being absurd.</p>
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<p>One thing that one might want to consider if actually attempting to consume a traditional diet, is the fact that people evolved eating lots of insects.  Not huge chunks of meat and dairy each day.  If a person is concerned with the prospect of needing animal protein and doesn't feel right about eating vertebrates or the milk of other mammals, eating insects might be a happy medium.  Insects have much less highly developed nervous systems than cows, pigs, goats and chickens.  They probably have very limited if any emotional lives.  I would imagine that they feel pain and fear less acutely.  Traditional societies still consume lots of insects - ants, grasshoppers, termites, grubs etc.  How bad could they be if they were roasted?  Eat the aphids on the organic kale.  Eat your tomato worms instead of squishing them.  Make tacos out of the grasshoppers eating your garden.     </p>
 

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<p>I have a friend that collects and eats her garden snails.</p>
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<p>Every time this topic gets brought up in this forum, we get a huge influx of folks that are not regular posters in the veg section coming over and posting about how they just could not live without meat, yay yay grassfed happy meat. I don't really want to engage in an argument, I've done it to death.</p>
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<p>I find that my personal health challenges are best addressed by a vegan diet that includes lots of fresh, local, seasonal vegetables and  fruits, whole grains, legumes (including organic soy foods), nuts, and seeds, and not a lot of oils, sugar, meat analogs, fake cheeses and the like. That said, I do take supplements - microalgae DHA, calcium citrate, B-12, D3 (non-vegan, but I actually need this and can't afford the more expensive vegan version), and a multivitamin.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
<p>Didn't mean to start any arguments around here. . .sorry. I guess I was thinking that all you fellow veggies would rush in and say, here's what to try to feel healthy withOUT eating meat.  <br><br>
I'm going through some soul searching during this health crisis and I'm really just looking for advice from others that know something about both diets.  I'm not looking to abandon veg eating really, just try to find the balance/the diet that will nourish me best right now.</p>
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<p>Maybe more importantly that veg or not or NT or not, we're going sugar and processed food free this year and I believe that will make a huge difference.</p>
 

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<p>I've been vegetarian for about 17 years, mostly vegan but I do eat some cheese from time to time. I am also BFing my almost 2 year old ds. I think based on the research I've done and personal experiences I've had that it is possible to continue to be healthy on a veg diet. One major issue in all illnesses or medical issues is toxins in the body and one issue that people can have with a veg diet is that it causes the body to detoxify over time and if there are blockages in the body such as in the colon then these toxins can't get out and can enter the bloodstream causing many problems. If the person than eats meat they may notice that the issues resolve - however this is often due to the fact that eating meat stops this detoxification process and so they "feel better" but not because they needed meat. What can then be very beneficial when one has experienced health issues is to do some form of cleansing to help remove the blockages so that the toxins can exit the body. Full cleansing is not recommended during breastfeeding, however one place to start is by included a large quantity of raw foods, smoothies and freshly made vegetable juices and avoiding wheat, sugar, dairy, caffeine, etc and getting colonics (colon hydrotherapy) to help clean everything out and allow the toxins to pass out of the body. You might try finding a Naturopathic doctor who supports a veg lifestyle to help you out.</p>
 

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<p>Oh, to ad to my last post there is a line of vegan products mad by the company Health Force Nutritionals that I have found very helpful for keeping  my energy up and getting what I need - they are all organic and made with food-based ingredients.</p>
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<p>Kismet - have you tried raw milk since you discovered N's reaction?  I'm happy to pour you off some of my cow share to try it and watch for a reaction if you'd like to test it without committing to anything. </p>
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<p>Ultimately I do think you need to listen to your body, and it's telling you something isn't right here.  But I think cutting out processed foods and sugars is a great first place to start.  I'd also probably continue the fish oil if you can, and see where that takes you.  Give that a few weeks, and re-evaluate. </p>
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<p>Would you be more comfortable eating seafood or poultry over mammals?  There are lots of places around here to get sustainably harvested and safe seafood - possibly even just once a week might show you a difference if that's what you want to try.  Responsibly harvested poultry is harder to find, IME, though. </p>
 

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<p>What kind of foods does your diet consist of?  Also, one thing I have learned is that health is more than just what you eat.  Sleep,exercise,stress  and your emotional well being have alot to do with how you feel.  I've been a vegeatarian for 25 years and the majority of times I feel great.  At times I have felt tired and wondered why?  then I realized I was not sleeping the hours I need or have too much stress.  I love Dr Schulze's products.  The superfood is awesome.   I juice several times a week and use the superfood for that extra boost.  That really keeps me energized.    Also, make sure to get enough fats in your diet especially nursing 2 children.   Lately, I have started making cashew milk. So easy and  delicous.   What is your diet like? </p>
 

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<p>Traditional  food vs. vegetarian/vegan:  there's not much of a difference for me, personally.  As a vegetarian, I cook from scratch and eat a lot foods in a traditional sense.  Not any one culture's tradition, but whole, natural foods that have been traditionally recognized throughout the ages that happen to be traditional.  I've been a vegetarian (and mostly vegan) for almost 25 years.  My growth as been a process.  It hasn't happened overnight.  One of the key things for me is leaning/finding what works for my own body.  I found that after many years of misery that I was actually gluten and lactose intolerant.    When I removed certain things from my daily diet, I felt a lot better.  We follow (in our family) a mostly Japanese vegetarian-based diet (lots of protein via raw soy, seaweed, raw veggies).  We have felt great for a long time.  The removal of grains has been a big deal for us.  It isn't traditional in the sense of Western traditional diet, but it has a long-standing tradition in other cultures.  But, that's just a base, because good food to us is a stuff from the earth and an acceptance of certain fermentation of plant-based products.  Doesn't have to be Asian, but that is the stuff we gravitate toward because it tastes so good!</p>
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<p>Disclaimer:  we don't eat meat because we don't believe in eating meat.  It goes against our value system.  If "traditional" means eating meat, then I guess we don't do traditional, but to me, traditional means a whole lot more:  it means eating foods (plant-based) in the way that they are traditionally meant to be eaten.  We don't do modern processed stuff...even the stuff considered "vegan."   We love plant-based food for what they are and try to stick close to their roots (no pun intended).</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>CatsCradle</strong> <a href="/community/t/1350247/can-we-talk-about-traditional-foods-diets-and-vegetarianism#post_16946522"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p> </p>
<p>Disclaimer:  we don't eat meat because we don't believe in eating meat.  It goes against our value system.  If "traditional" means eating meat, then I guess we don't do traditional, but to me, traditional means a whole lot more:  it means eating foods (plant-based) in the way that they are traditionally meant to be eaten.  We don't do modern processed stuff...even the stuff considered "vegan."   We love plant-based food for what they are and try to stick close to their roots (no pun intended).</p>
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<br><br><p>I agree with what CatsCadle had to say here and I want to add that, a lot of vegans / vegetarians I see becoming ill and deciding that the veg diet does not work for them fall into the trap of eating a lot of processed foods in the place of meat and dairy foods. So, of course they feel bad.</p>
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<p>I believe that eating non processed, whole, plant based foods is the healthiest way to eat. <br><br>
Of course, everyone must first of all listen to their own body and make the decision that feels best to them, uniquely. </p>
 

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<p>Kismetbaby,</p>
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<p>I was never a vegetarian. But I was almost vegetarian for 15 years. I used to think it was unhealthy to eat red meat and pork. I ate fish, some eggs, and dairy and occasionally chicken, lots of whole grains, veggies and fruits. I thought I was eating the picture-perfect diet for the most part. I listened to the USDA guidelines to come up with this diet. I too then discovered the work of Price and it made a lot of sense to me. I began to eat red meat and pork, very slowly. I also began to eat more eggs and then raw dairy. For me this change in diet was very positive. Every time I would eat red meat I would literally feel high! It was awesome! Now I do eat a lot of meat and a ton of vegetables, no grains. This seems to work very well.</p>
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<p>However, there are two key things to consider when talking about what to eat. 1. We are all unique 2. Observing the body is crucial</p>
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<p>If you remember these two things you will come a long way in the quest for finding health. What works for me may not necessarily work for others. There is no one right way to eat. There is only the way that works for you. And I always ask my body if something is working or not. Our bodies are speaking volumes to us, we just have to listen. It does take some trial and error for sure. But once you figure it out there is a confidence that comes. Listen to your body.</p>
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<p>I have a few suggestions for you. If you are not morally opposed to eating meat then I would advise you give it a try. You may want to start with bone broth (stock). This is a good way to ease into eating meat. Who knows, you may do fine on just stock. Stock is very rich in amino acids and minerals and aids in digestion. Then you may want to add some fish (the fish oil is good too!!) and see how you feel. It is ok to move slowly and just observe how you feel. You can also try small amounts of meat and if you don't like it, feel bad, or whatever, then you can back off.</p>
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<p>If you look at the work of Price you will see that the cultures he studied ate different things. They weren't all major carnivores. There was great variety in what they ate. We humans are all unique. Some need more protein and fat than others. There is no denying this. How much you need, only you can tell (and your body will let you know).  </p>
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<p>I am a fan of those who choose to eat a healthy, whole foods diet coming together instead of being fragmented. It doesn't matter if you eat meat or not, what matters is that you listen to your body, live consciously, and accept others. </p>
 

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<p>Great post, LoveRealFood. </p>
 

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<p>I have been drifting in and out of the "meat eating crowd". I have found this light balance of the meats I can eat. And satisfied some dietary morals too. :) I apprenticed under a master herbalist and life coach for a while. I took these things I learned from him and combined that with some soul and body communication and found a good balance:</p>
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<p>Pigs have the unique ability to store toxins and emotions and hormones in their muscles when we eat them, we are absorbing all of the toxins into our bodies</p>
<p>Be careful of commercially raised animals as there are hormones and steroids added that can affect our body processes</p>
<p>Combining other foods with meat can affect the way we digest them </p>
<p>               I.E. meat and starches are hard to digest together because they require completely different digestive acidity and wind up sitting longer and heavier on the gut</p>
<p>                     meats and fruits or grains create fermentation in the gut when consumed together. Meat takes much longer to digest so they both end up sitting in the gut together</p>
<p>                     meats take the longest to digest and should be eaten alone (1 hour after fruits, grains, startches and 2-4 hours before anything else)</p>
<p>                     meat should be eaten in the longest cycle of digestion to allow complete digestion (middle of the day)</p>
<p>I found that it is hard to judge how meat will affect your body if you eat it with anything else because it has to sit so long in the gut to digest. So I started just eating it in the middle of the day alone completely with nothing else. Now I just stick to light meats like fish or chicken just because that's what my body handles the very best. </p>
<p>Don't know if that helps.</p>
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<p>It does occur to me that you have a 3 month old? Of course you are feeling run down! Your sleep is all kinds of disrupted, you just gave birth, and you are caring for 2 kids under 3! If you want to look at a traditional foods style vegan, go check out <a href="http://bonzaiaphrodite.com/" target="_blank">Bonzai Aphrodite</a>, she's not updating right now, but has tons of ideas for great. nutritionally dense plant foods.</p>
 

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Sorry, another "intruder" to this board, but in my defense I was a vegetarian for almost 20 years & only recently starting posting on the food-related boards...<br><br>
OP, I won't pretend that I have an "answer" for you because I don't. No one can know what is right for your body except for you. But since you posted I will share my experience & thoughts.<br><br>
This is where I'm coming from: after having my babe (who is now 3 y/o so not a babe anymore) I have struggled with severe iron deficiency. I felt totally run down, but chalked it up to being a new parent. My doctor finally pin-pointed (part of) the problem & got me on some iron supplements specially compounded for me. I was still vegetarian at this point, but eating all the "right" things & actually making active improvements to my diet (cutting out processed foods & concentrating on whole, fresh foods with lots of iron containing veggies). After almost 4 months of supplements, I went back to be tested & my iron had gone up one whopping point... A terrible outcome. After this & A LOT of soul searching I started to eat some meat. I don't particularly want to be eating meat, but it is what MY body needs PRESENTLY. I hope that once I get to the bottom of this I will be able to go back to eating at least mostly veg. I may have to make further changes to my diet, but for right now eating red meat provides me with the amount & type of iron I need. I think it is helping, even if marginally. And I know it will take me a long time to recover from this.<br><br>
So, I am not saying "you should eat meat". I am saying that at some point it may be necessary to look at what YOUR body needs without (at least momentarily) thinking about ethics/morals. Once you figure out what your body needs THEN you can return to the ethical issues implicated & figure out what (if anything) needs to budge. It may be that your body doesn't need meat. It may be that you need it very minimally or temporarily.<br><br>
Maybe you have a healthcare provider who you can talk to who won't brow-beat you over your dietary decisions? I was grateful my doc totally understood where I was coming from.<br><br>
Hugs! This is not easy territory!!
 
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