I've been writing this post in my head for about two months now. I figure it's time to actually put it into words. There's no easy way to get this out so I'm just going to say it. I'm not vegetarian anymore. I'm guessing most of you probably aren't emotionally attached to my meat eating status, but I feel like it's something I have to be up front about if I'm going to continue to write on this blog. The way it all happened is a long boring story, so I won't get into it right now. It's been about 3 months since I made the switch, and to be perfectly honest, I don't feel any different. Which isn't a huge surprise because really, for me, the only things that I KNOW make me feel like hud are sugar (in all forms really) and an over consumption of grains (particularly wheat). I wouldn't go as far as to say I've jumped on the Paleo bandwagon. I don't think that much meat would work for me. But I've definitely become reacquainted with some old recipes that I never thought I'd come into contact with again. Needless to say, my husband is a very happy man. I still consider myself to be plant based, but the strict vegetarian ship hath sailed. At least for now.
One thing I've learned through all of this is that there isn't any one "diet" (although I hate calling it that) that works for everyone. I don't think that the science behind any one theory is perfectly sound or backed up with enough evidence to convince me that it's correct. So, basically, the way you decide to feed yourself and your family boils down to how different foods affect you, and what you feel is right for you. For example, my son has celiac. He's done great with it so far, but a few months ago I started realizing that he was consuming WAY to much "gluten free" food (bread, pasta, crackers, etc). It was happening by default because I wasn't really making any meals containing meat or gluten and he's crazy picky when it comes to vegetables. After I started providing some other options (organic chicken, fresh turkey, etc) he started cutting back on the stuff that's completely void of any significant nutrition. I still wish he would increase the amount of fresh fruits and vegetables in his diet, but I'm definitely feeling better about what he's consuming at this point.
The other thing that forced my hand was my workout regimen. It like, quadrupled in intensity. I started doing some serious HIIT* training back in February and noticed that it would take me a good 4-5 days to recover from a workout (yes, singular - just one workout). Not. Normal. My hair also started falling out by the handfuls. Again, not normal. I knew I was protein deficient. No question about it. So, my point here is, life changes. And in a lot of ways, my son being diagnosed with celiac has forced me to re-think everything I thought I knew. It's been good for me to look at where I'm at in my life and consider the possibility that not all of the nutritional needs of my family were being met. Now, don't get me wrong. We're not going out for double bacon cheese burgers or anything. HEAVENS no. I like my arteries to have a little breathing room thankyouverymuch. But we have incorporated some organic chicken, turkey, and fish into our diets. It's been good for everyone and I think we all feel significantly less deprived since having to cut gluten from the scene (most of it at least - I'm pretty lax about it when we go out, which happens like...never).
Anyway, I'm hoping now that I've come out of the closet, that I'll be able to post recipes here without feeling like a hypocrite. I have some good ones. Some with meat. Some without. But all wholesome nutritious recipes that you can feel good about feeding your crew.
*HIIT training (TRX specifically). Oh, it is so awesome. Soon I will do a post about the love affair I have going on right now with this kind of workout.