Why 100% meat free is not for me
I promised I would share with you all a final wrap up on my meat free month and as April comes to an end, I am happy to share that I have found the whole experience much easier than I thought it was going to be. For an intro into why I went meat free and the ins and outs of it all, visit my mid-month post here. There I share how despite some sugar cravings, and having to add legumes back into my diet, my body was really enjoying the well-earned digestive break.
And it still is. My energy levels are at an all time high. My body is awake and raring to go at the stroke of 6am. And I feel stronger and leaner than when I first started.
But occasionally I feel like something’s missing. I haven’t exactly missed meat. I haven’t had meat cravings. But my body is craving a feeling. I am having trouble explaining it, but it is like sometimes my body is missing that replenished, satisfied feeling. The one that comes with a good quality piece of meat every now and then.
I have also noticed that my skin is not as clear as it usually is. And my sweet tooth is still sticking around. And despite trying to suppress these sugar cravings with good fats found in coconut oil, oily fish and avocado, it doesn’t quite do the trick for me.
So I'm bringing back the beef. Not full time, but just when my body calls for it.
And not just any old beef either.
If this experiment has taught me anything, it's this:
- I am not reliant on/addicted to meat at all. Actually I have found the whole thing incredibly easy, even when having to cook meat for others. This was something I didn’t expect, especially coming from a European background and growing up with meat at every meal for most of my childhood.
- I have developed a real in-depth interest in meat, how it is raised and the quality of the meat I put in my body. This interest has really been ignited by my studies with IIN and diving deeper into the science behind our food, and has led me to the conclusion that whilst I feel that my body needs some meat, the way I eat meat and how much meat I eat needs to change.
So often before I begun this experiment, meat would be the ‘filler’. Whilst I am big on the veggies and consume as much as I can with every meal, every dinner I prepared was always based on the meat of choice and the veggies would always work around that.
And not only did the meat always take centre stage, but my ‘get more for your buck’ mentality meant that my meat purchases were not always the most sustainable, organic options.
So moving forward, I feel like I have really come out winning in all areas of this little experiment. Not only have I grown closer to my much loved veggie family, learnt to cook in a way that makes the meat an optional extra should I feel the need, and found a drive within me to purchase and eat the best quality meat I can; but I also get to enjoy a nice, juicy bit of steak this weekend!
There is an abundance of information out there at the moment on how we can make better choices when it comes to our meat. If you're interested in learning more, check out this article by the lovely Emily Ehlers or this one by Sarah Wilson.
Have you ever taken the time to experiment with your food and listen in closely to how your body feels? Do you thrive on a meat free diet, or is meat your friend too? Are you a mindful meat eater?
Remember it all comes down to the individual. There isn't one way of eating that is right for everyone. But we all have the ability to take a moment and check in with our bodies to ensure we are giving it what it needs.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on it all below, and would love for you to share this around to all your meat eating and vego friends! Now I'm off for a steak..