So I Ate Meat for the First Time in 5 Years..
I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about this but as I was walking home from Whole Foods this morning, the thoughts started pouring out of me. Especially since many of you have written to me, or commented on a recent Instagram photo asking about this ever since I dropped the meat-eating bomb on my Instagram Stories a couple days ago.
So here’s the deal my friends. Last week I ate meat for the first time in over 5 years. Yup, we are talking REAL meat. Cooked by me and ate by me.
I didn’t wake up one day and decide to not eat meat a few years ago. It was a gradual process that happened over time right after I graduated college. I noticed that I hadn’t ate any animal protein besides fish for a few weeks and really didn’t crave it anymore.
I never have been a huge meat-lover though. Growing up I never liked chicken (unless it was a chicken nugget) and the only beef I wanted was a bacon cheeseburger or hot dog. This was also around the same time that I was sneaking Pop Tarts in my mouth when no one was looking, so needless to say, much as changed since then.
Fish was all my body wanted when I stopped craving meat so I began listening to it. This is also around the same time that I began eating a lot cleaner and figuring out what foods I enjoy. I didn’t like the idea of eating something that I didn’t genuinely like. No one should eat foods that they don’t actually want to eat. And I was only eating meat when I was either being served dinner at a friend’s house or because it is what my Mom made me. Never because I requested it.
It took me about 4 months before even telling anyone beside Jord I stopped eating meat. Just goes to show how nobody really noticed because my eating habits didn’t change much.
I do want to make it clear that I have always thought that grass-fed, no hormone animal protein is good-for-you. It provides great nutritional value and protein for us. I still made it for Jord all the time.
So what did I eat for the past 5 years? A ton of wild fish, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. Pretty much anything besides chicken, bacon, beef, turkey, lamb and so on. I wouldn’t eat a soup if chicken broth was the base. I didn’t touch a meat pasta sauce and I certainly did not use the same cooking utensils for my dinner and Jord’s dinner. The “cross contamination” through me for a loop.
Jord and my family were always super supportive during this whole phase and always wanted to make sure I would find something to eat at a restaurant, etc. There were many jokes that I would crave meat again when I was pregnant (which I am not right now!) and my eating habits would change. I knew my non-meat phase wasn’t permanent. I have just been waiting until I actually craved it again.
A few months ago, I was sent bone broth (code RACHL for 20% off orders) to sample. To be honest I wasn’t really interested in sampling it but I knew Jord would love it so I accepted the offer to have some shipped to us. He literally was obsessed and I was so happy to see him drinking it because of the amazing nutritional value it has and it is filled with collagen.
When we were eating dinner about a month ago he was drinking beef bone broth with his meal, and I asked to smell it (yes, I smell all food before trying). It surprisingly smelled really good so I asked to try it. I had been marinating the idea of trying it for a bit because of how good it is for you, and so I took a sip.
And I loved it. After a couple sips though I was done. I couldn’t drink more than that at first.
Then I tried chicken bone broth a few days later and basically gulped the entire thing like it was water. It was SO GOOD you guys! This was two weeks ago now and since that day, I have had a cup of bone broth every single day. Chicken and turkey bone broth are my favorite though. The beef still doesn’t taste as good to me, which is odd because I have always liked beef more than chicken and turkey from an eating perceptive.
Anyways between drinking bone broth and making so many flipping meat recipes for Jord’s Whole 30 reset, I was craving all the meat. A couple weeks ago I was making a beef bolognese, turkey chili and chicken and it all smelled amazing. My body was telling me to eat. The craving had finally come, 5 years later.
I decided to try chicken again first so I made these crispy almond flour tenders with a bunch of spices, dipped in egg and flour then baked. I took a bite and slowly chewed since Jord thought I was going to have stomach pains afterwards. But 3 chicken tenders later, NO stomach pains. No weird digestive issues afterwards, nothing. And the next day, I had beef and yesterday I ate turkey burgers.
And you know what? I felt SATISFIED. Something I have not felt in months. I kept finishing meals and was looking for something else after. It was a combination of being mentally and physically hungry but clearly my body was deficient in something. It was not getting enough or it wouldn’t be telling me this.
This whole process really proved to me how much we need to listen to our bodies and what we crave. It is so so important you guys, I cannot stress that enough. It doesn’t matter what your friend craves or your boyfriend or mom. It only matters what YOU want and what works for YOUR body. If you look at something and it doesn’t look good, don’t eat it. If you see something that looks amazing to you but no one else wants it, who cares? Eat it. Listen to your body.
I know this post is getting long but I truly want to tell you every thought I have about this topic.
I also have been reading Alisa Vitti’s LIFE CHANGING book, Woman Code (more to come about this) and seriously revamped my eating habits. I took an interest in this because I have not had a “normal” menstrual cycle since going off the pill and have an urge to learn more about hormone imbalances, the female body and just understand what is going on in there.
I am listening to my body, fueling it with the foods it is craving and not comparing myself to anyone else. If you don’t eat meat or the thought of eating animals grosses you out, that is fine. You do you, and I will do me because that is what is most important here. Fuel your body with what it needs because you only have one, so might as well make it as amazing as possible. As my dad says “your body is a temple”.
Now Imma go eat a flipping ROASTED CHICKEN Jord made and I am salivating just smelling it.
A few of my tips for anyone who would like to reintroduce meat into their diet:
- Start with something simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a bacon cheese burger or something that doesn’t sound good to YOU. I loved that I started with bone broth, which eased my way into trying all the meats.
- Try anything and everything that smells good to you. Sounds crazy but I never in a million years would think lamb is my favorite meat or bison! I only tried these because they were being cooked around me and I really was craving them. Our bodies change overtime and your tastebuds could enjoy something it never used it (before you stop eating meat).
- Don’t let anyone get in the way of YOUR journey. I didn’t tell anyone I was starting to eat meat again except Jord until I was comfortable with my decision. People always have something to say and most of the time we are better off without anyone’s negativity. Confide in those you trust so you don’t let anyone influence you in what you think is right for your body.
- If you feel sick, don’t force it. Some people feel ill after taking a first bite of meat in awhile. I personally didn’t experience this but if you start to not feel well, pace yourself. Take a few bites today and try again tomorrow or the next day.
- Focus on quality animal products. Grass-fed, hormone-free, etc. I stay away from any conventional animal products when I can. I only cook meat that I know it is sourced from a good place (like Butcher Box!).
- Here are a few of my favorite meat recipes from the blog: Paleo Sweet Potato Bun Lamb Burgers, Avocado Oil Chicken Tenders, Paleo Burrito Bowls, Guacamole Buffalo Chicken Pizza and Skillet Turkey Burgers.
Love you guys.