Dietary Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

When I was in second grade, I gave up all red meat and pork because my two older sisters did it, so I thought it was the cool thing to do. Despite the occasional “bratwurst that is made from vegetables” (Thanks, Mom) I ate this pseudo-vegetarian diet for most of my childhood until I was a senior in high school.

It was at that time that I began my first real attempt at losing weight. I thought it could be fun to try to lose some weight before my senior prom, so I opted for Atkins, and decided to reintroduce meat to my diet. Since I am not one for moderation, I went from a white-meat-only kind of gal to a bacon-on-everything person pretty quickly. And I loved it.

The only thing that stuck from that first stint on Atkins was the pounds and my taste for meat. I kept eating meat in moderation, and sometimes not at all in moderation, throughout college and into adulthood. When I joined Weight Watchers in March 2009, my meat consumption dwindled quite a bit because I could eat eggs, beans, and tofu for fewer Points than meat, and I just liked the way I was feeling when I ate meat less. It also kept my grocery bill a lot cheaper, so I was enjoying less meat on several levels.

Fast forward to February 2010, and I decided it would be a good experiment to see if I could go meat-free for 40 days (in conjunction with Lent) and I was feeling so good that I decided to stick with it, and have been a pescatarian ever since. I didn’t miss meat at all, and in all honesty, it made it easier for me to eat healthy and to make decisions at restaurants because there were less things to decide between!

There hadn’t been a time that I actually WANTED meat in all that time, and giving up meat was never meant to be about depravation. It just worked for me at the time, made me feel healthier and kept my grocery bill cheaper.

It wasn’t until over the last few months that I even thought about meat or started missing it. My family is really into good food and also has been, which is where my foodie core comes from. For my fam, a lot of this taste for good food includes meat. For example, at Easter last year, we had a whole pork shoulder… wrapped in pork belly. I didn’t eat it, and wasn’t even tempted to, but during the last few months I have been feeling a little more conflicted about it.

Then it all changed a few weeks ago.

I went to one of my favorite Thai restaurants, Bangkok 54, and they have this appetizer called the House Special Duck Roll. It’s basically a homemade savory Asian pancake/crepe with duck and hoisin sauce in it, and is to die for. It was what I would always order before even looking at the menu when I would go there in my meat-eating days.

When I opened the menu, the duck roll screamed out at me. I wanted it. Bad. I tried to put it in the back of my mind, but it wouldn’t go away and I realized that I really did want to order and eat the duck – so I did. And you know what? It was absolutely delicious and lived up to the expectation. And, I didn’t get sick or feel weird after to boot.

So, right then and there, I decided that I am going introduce meat in moderation back into my diet. I’ve been doing so slowly, and have decided that while I will still eat mostly pescatarian/vegetarian, when I want meat, I’m going to get it! So far, I have tried duck, chicken, and bacon (mmmmmm), and haven’t had a single stomach issue or regret.

I went back and forth about whether to post this, but decided to go for it. Now that we’re into January, I will be sharing some menu plans that will have some meat incorporated into the meals, so I think it makes sense to put the recent changes I’ve made to my diet out there!

Are you a vegetarian, vegan, meat-eater, pesctarian or what? If you do eat meat, how often?

Please feel free to (respectfully) discuss in the comments or ask any questions you may have.

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68 Comments on Dietary Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes

  1. Liz
    January 10, 2012 at 8:47 am (5 years ago)

    Good for you, eat away (but in moderation, of course!).
    BTW, you have inspired me to actually write a before/after weight loss post – with pics! 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 10, 2012 at 9:39 am (5 years ago)

      Thanks Liz. That’s awesome – I’m gonna check it out now!

      Reply
  2. Diandra
    January 10, 2012 at 9:01 am (5 years ago)

    I like me some meat. Which is not surprising, I am a butcher’s daughter. ^^ However, most of the time, I try to limit our meat consumption. Except for my PMS every month, when I crave everything dead (and chocolate).

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 10, 2012 at 9:40 am (5 years ago)

      I think when you crave something, whatever the reason may be, it’s important to listen to your body!

      Reply
  3. Jennifer
    January 10, 2012 at 9:02 am (5 years ago)

    I am a recent vegetarian! I made the switch in August of this past year primarily for philosophical/ethical reasons, but also for my health and for the environment. I fully respect other people’s right to do whatever the heck they want, though! 🙂

    I have to tell you, since my switch in August, I have never in my life felt better. I used to suffer from stomach aches 3-4 times per week and ongoing fatigue. I could never quite figure out what was causing either. About a month after I switched, I realized I wasn’t really tired during the day anymore, and I wasn’t getting stomach aches. That in itself was enough to convince me this was the right choice for me.

    I wouldn’t say that so far I’ve missed meat, or had any cravings for it, but there is some nostaglia that I feel about some foods that I have chosen not to eat.

    Reply
  4. Stephanie @ Habitually Random
    January 10, 2012 at 9:13 am (5 years ago)

    One thing (well besides chocolate, and warm bread, and beer…) is meat. I have limited my red meat consumption considerably over the last few years and only eat it when out at a fancy restaurant. I also try to eat vegetarian as much as possible. Truthfully, I would miss it way too much to ever give it up completely though I have considered it for health and financial reasons. I would say I eat red meat about once a month, and white meat one meal a day.

    Reply
  5. Hilary
    January 10, 2012 at 9:14 am (5 years ago)

    I am a meat-eater…probably about once a day but I am trying to eat less. I think it’s fine, in moderation…but it does save you $ to eat less!

    Reply
  6. Allison
    January 10, 2012 at 9:23 am (5 years ago)

    Great idea to listen to your body and feed it [literally] what it wants! I eat mostly white meat and seafood- chicken, eggs, pork, turkey, shrimp, fish- but I will occasionally have a lean steak if we are out at a nice restaurant or it is served to me… For me, it’s a texture thing more than anything else. Red meat is so much tougher than white meat and I always feel like I’m gnawing at my food.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 10, 2012 at 9:37 am (5 years ago)

      I never had a problem with the texture – – but I have yet to try steak or a burger. I imagine it will be when I’m out at a nice restaurant, but I still want to eat mostly meat-free, like I said!

      Reply
  7. Courtney
    January 10, 2012 at 9:25 am (5 years ago)

    When I started my journey, I stopped buying meat and preparing it at home for the same reasons you did – I was getting my protein elsewhere. It wasn’t a conscious decision on my part to cut out meat, but several months into my journey, I realized that the only time I was eating meat was when I was ordering it in restaurants. That worked for me, and I continued it.

    I don’t aim NOT to cook meat at home, but my habits and meal plans now seem to fall in that direction. When I choose meats, I choose lean cuts and keep the red meat to a minimum when possible, although sometimes it’s very difficult to say no to bacon. 🙂

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 10, 2012 at 9:34 am (5 years ago)

      That’s pretty much what happened with me too, so then in Feb 2010 I was like hmm, I wonder what it would be like to have NO meat.. and here we are almost 2 years later. I am the type of person where if I don’t let myself have what I want, I’ll go completely overboard on everything else (and then probably have what I really want, too), so I knew I had to make a change!

      Reply
  8. Jamie
    January 10, 2012 at 9:27 am (5 years ago)

    Your hesitation to share this is exactly why I don’t want a blog. You have to anticipate criticism for everything. I can’t believe how petty people are on sites like GOMI. Maybe my skin isn’t thick enough. I say eat whatever you want.

    Reply
    • Beth
      January 10, 2012 at 9:33 am (5 years ago)

      So far the comments have been extremely supportive which makes me happy! Last year, I wrote a post about wavering back and forth between possibly wanting to reintroduce meat into my diet and I got a LOT of criticism. I got several emails from people with vegan propaganda and some people told me they’d stop reading if I started eating meat… so I was a little nervous. That said, I try to be 100% honest on my blog, so it felt weird NOT sharing it, ya know?

      Reply
  9. Leah B.
    January 10, 2012 at 9:41 am (5 years ago)

    Hey Beth– I actually love all of your vegetarian recipes and eat a ton of vegetarian/vegan food – but also love meat! I keep kosher, so sometimes it’s a pain (or just super expensive!) to cook meat, but I love how easy a boneless-skinless chicken breast can be (or crock pot chicken gumbo…or meat chili….).
    I commend you for listening to your body! I don’t even think I realized that you didn’t eat meat anymore – just that you didn’t eat much. I don’t go for much of the anti-meat crowd philosophy, but am more of a pro-veg crowd: eating mostly vegetarian but not neglecting/depriving myself of the meat.
    Thanks for your honesty — I love reading what you write even if I’m mostly a lurker!
    Leah

    Reply
  10. Alex
    January 10, 2012 at 9:41 am (5 years ago)

    You know, I’m so back and forth on this. In April it will be two full years since I’ve had any red meat. I was strictly pescatarian for about a year (April 10-April 11) – and then a new barbecue restaurant opened up within walking distance of my house and good lord. This NC girl loves her some barbecue. So after a few months of meating it up – I was like “ugh. this is gross” – and went pescatarian again. Over the holidays I started what I like to refer to as my “downward meat shame spiral” – and I can’t kick it now. I still don’t eat red or dark meat – but I think I should switch back. I just feel better when I’m not eating land/sky animals.

    Reply
  11. Logan
    January 10, 2012 at 9:42 am (5 years ago)

    I gave up red meat for 2 years back in college but decided to eat it again once I started having really strong cravings for it. I believe everything in moderation is ok. I respect people who want to be vegetarians or vegans, but I don’t think it is the right choice for everyone. I do find that I eat fewer unhealthy carbs when I am eating more lean meats. I also have a hard time when someone is arguing that fake meats with all the ingredients are healthier than a natural/organic meat. I really like Laura’s ground beef – its super lean and antibiotic and hormone free. I bet you will enjoy finding new recipes that incorporate lean meats and being able to add in new foods may help keep you motivated for the long run.

    Reply
  12. Lindsay @ The Reluctant Runner
    January 10, 2012 at 9:52 am (5 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian for a year, and never missed eating meat, but I started eating it again when I started craving it and feeling really stressed out about eating out because what if the stock was made with animal product, etc. I still don’t eat very much at all because I feel much better without it. I generally eat it once or twice a week. For example, I made turkey at Christmas and now have tons of turkey soup in my freezer, so I pull it out for a meal once a week, and this week I’m getting takeout on Friday night and may or may not order meat. Other than that, every meal I’m eating is vegetarian.
    Even when I was a vegetarian, I wasn’t judgmental of others, and I think you should do what feels right for you! Switching back to meat eating was a little awkward, because people had always given me a hard time about not eating it and I resented the victory they felt when I started eating it again.

    Reply
  13. Jen@FoodFamilyFitness
    January 10, 2012 at 10:01 am (5 years ago)

    I don’t eat a lot of meat, and so I thought that I would go all the way and declare myself a vegetarian…it didn’t work. I eat meat, but not a lot of it and if I don’t have the points, I’ll subsitute with a different type of protein. I don’t want to label the way I eat because it’s just not who I am. Plus, sometimes you just need a burger. Or bacon.

    Reply
  14. Victoria (District Chocoholic)
    January 10, 2012 at 10:01 am (5 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian for several years, and reintroduced poultry and fish as a senior in college. My swimming times immediately improved immensely, and I don’t think a vegetarian diet is for everybody. Do what feels right to you and keeps you healthiest – meat can be part of that.

    Reply
  15. Leanne @ The Skinny Architect
    January 10, 2012 at 10:04 am (5 years ago)

    I am a vegetarian and have been for about a year. I don’t do it for health reasons, I was actually told by my doctor that it is easier to lose weight as a carnivore, surprisingly. I always leave the door open to eating meat again, because I can’t really plan on how I am going to feel in a year, or 10 years. Good for you for listening to your body and your cravings! Enjoy your bacon 🙂

    Reply
  16. Katy @ My Vegan Weight Loss Journey
    January 10, 2012 at 10:07 am (5 years ago)

    Hey Beth! You should definitely feel free to share whatever you want….it’s your blog, afterall. I am a vegan and I have been for, I guess, 6 1/2 years or so. I am going to recommend a book to you not because I want to convert you, but because I found it to be a very powerful book. It’s called Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer and it talks mostly about the meat industry and factory farms. I feel like this is an important read for everyone because we should all know where our food comes from. I think if a lot of people read this book, we can make a shift in where people’s meat comes from and maybe go back to smaller farms. It’s pretty crazy to learn about factory farms and the impact they have on the environment, small farms, and of course, animals. I just thought I would recommend it. Once again, not because I am trying to convert or push my beliefs on you, just because I think it’s such an important book.

    Reply
  17. Erin @ A Girl & Her Mutt
    January 10, 2012 at 10:19 am (5 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian for many years. Then I added back in fish. That lasted for about 8 years and then back in June I decided to try chicken again. I was feeling a little sluggish and my doctor recommended I give it a try. I did and I’m so glad I did. I feel like the protein I get from meat reacts differently *for me* than proteins from beans and veggies. Not better, just different. That works for me right now. I haven’t moved back to duck or pork or red meat. Right now I have the occasional chicken and I’m happy with that. I think we have to do what is right for us and our bodies. I say good for you.

    Reply
  18. angel
    January 10, 2012 at 10:28 am (5 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian and an extreme dieter for a year and then I started feeling weak and was admitted to the hospital for anemia. Like you I went from eating 1lb steak everyday to eating none and now I have learned my lesson. I take vitamins and iron supplements as well as eat meat in moderation everyday and I have never been happier. I weigh about 20lbs heavier than back then but I am happy and full of energy.

    Reply
  19. Shady
    January 10, 2012 at 10:31 am (5 years ago)

    I think the judgement and shame and criticism related to the words we use to label our ‘foodie lifestyles’ are awful. My food history has been in upheaval for the last year or so as I try to care for my body properly while respecting my ethical concerns. I spent 15 years as a lacto-ovo vegetarian and last January completed the transition to become a vegan. Unfortunately, this lifestyle choice left me low in iron, B12 and calcium (as determined by my doctor) only one of which has responded to supplementation. I also found it created social problems for me, especially when spending time with my friends and family from a rural area, who just didn’t ‘get it’. I like the vegan diet because for me, it forces me to think about the food I eat and to emphasize fresh, unprocessed choices and I remain primarily a vegan eater and totally a vegan lifestyler (as in I don’t use products that contain animal ingredients or have been tested on animals, I don’t wear leather etc).

    Reply
  20. Amanda @ Running On Waffles
    January 10, 2012 at 10:32 am (5 years ago)

    I had a similar dietary change. A couple of years ago, I decided to go Pescetarian for Lent, but I also wasn’t going to eat tofu or other soy-based products. For me, the idea came from looking at the carbon footprint of the food I ate. I realized meat was a big chunk of my total carbon footprint, but I learned that tofu is actually worse than most meats in that way. After Lent, I realized how much better my body felt and how much money I was saving. Since then I will mostly eat a Pescatarian diet (almost completely vegetarian when I cook at home), but if there’s meat on a menu that looks good, I don’t feel guilty about ordering it. I try to stay away from red meat at much as possible, mostly because it’s so closely linked to colon cancer and it sits heavy in my stomach, but I just keep my meat consumption moderate and make sure to get protein from many other sources. My body has never felt better! (And I think knowing it’s ok to eat meat every now and then makes me crave it less, too!)

    Reply
  21. Theresa @ActiveEggplant
    January 10, 2012 at 10:33 am (5 years ago)

    My husband was a vegetarian when we met almost 9 years ago. Gradually he began craving things like fish and chicken again, and after a few more years pepperoni of all things! Now he’ll occasionally eat beef, but we have chicken or fish every day – and pepperoni is a staple, on pizza anyway. I think it’s smart to listen to your body & if it’s telling you to bring more meats back in, so be it! You never know, you might stop eating it again sometime in the future!

    Reply
  22. Gwen
    January 10, 2012 at 10:55 am (5 years ago)

    1) Bangkok 54 is DELISH – we love that place. Now I want to try the Duck pancake!
    2) I have a love hate relationship with meat. Last night I made chicken fajitas and they were delish, but I didn’t have to actually prepare the chicken (I bought pre-grilled chicken at Trader Joe’s SO EASY), just add it to the veggies and stirfry. I think I enjoy meat when I don’t have to cook it. I also eat red meat like 5 times a year – I just don’t care for it. MAJOR difference from my Hubs. He thinks (and he probably does) need meat protein with every meal. I’d be just as happy to never eat it again most days. So I’m wishy washy on the issue!

    Reply
  23. Lauren @ Oatmeal after Spinning
    January 10, 2012 at 11:02 am (5 years ago)

    I think that your decision is great! At first when I was reading your post, I thought you were going to say that you wanted to deny your cravings and give up all meat all together.
    I try to live by the words of Michael Pollan “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” I would say that 80% of my diet is vegan- and my main “animal” foods are in the form of dairy (yogurt) and eggs. I generally only eat meat for dinner- usually about 4x a week. And I eat all meats, and love the taste of chicken, pork, seafood, beef, etc. HOWEVER, I like to know where that meat comes from- it’s got to be from a good source (only grass-fed beef, etc). There are SO many great local farms that raise their livestock in a humane way and supply restaurants in the area- especially if you get out to Loudoun County and areas with a lot of farmland.
    As others said above- listen to your body and don’t deny yourself. Denying yourself only leads to dieting disaster!

    Reply
    • Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
      January 10, 2012 at 11:34 am (5 years ago)

      I agree. I try to focus more on ethical eating these days, rather than following a specific diet that cuts out any one thing in particular. The basics for me are always to try to eat fewer processed foods and simply not have meat as part of every single meal.

      Reply
  24. Michel
    January 10, 2012 at 11:05 am (5 years ago)

    I gave up meat for Lent last year and didn’t really have any issues with it. Thing is, I like bacon. No love bacon. I don’t eat it often but when I do I don’t want to feel guilty about it. I have been having issues with the texture of some meats lately so I’m not sure whats behind that.

    Reply
  25. Cristina
    January 10, 2012 at 11:22 am (5 years ago)

    I gave up meat when i was 13. At that point I didn’t like seafood so I wasn’t eating any meat at all. Somehow in college I tried seafood and liked it and started eating that and chicken. Then a few years ago (at the age of 30) we were having a BBQ at my house and the burgers smelled sooooooooo good that I decided to try one. I loved it and now eat burgers but still don’t like steak. I keep the red meat to a minimum but do eat a lot of chicken and seafood. I am so excited that you will be posting recipes that include some meats. I have loved all the recipes i’ve tried from your blog, but the tofu ones don’t reallyl appeal to me, so i’m excited to be able to try even more. YAYYY!!!

    Reply
  26. Michelle
    January 10, 2012 at 11:29 am (5 years ago)

    Everyone has their own personal reasons for chosing the way they eat. I’ve been a vegetarian for 10 years now (wow, time flies!). I started at 17 and I don’t have any cravings for meat. I actually never ate much variety of meat, anyway. My family didn’t keep kosher, but we didn’t eat pork, bacon, or shellfish. So I never felt deprived or had any urges to return to meat or fish. But that’s only my personal experience.

    I’ve considered veganism, but I’m just not there yet…and I don’t know if I ever will become a vegan. It’s all about your comfort level and goals. I never like it when people pass judgements on eating habits. We all struggle with eating a healthy, balanced diet anyway…why should anyone have the right to criticize me, whether it’s a vegan for eating dairy or a meat-eater for my love of tofu & veggies. I’m a believer in moderation and following what your heart tells you. Don’t let anyone tell you different.

    Thanks for posting honestly (as always). 🙂

    Reply
  27. Gretchen @ Honey, I Shrunk the Gretchen!
    January 10, 2012 at 11:32 am (5 years ago)

    I think this is great, Beth! I firmly believe that the second you start resenting your dietary choices, it’s time to reevaluate them. As a self-proclaimed ardent “everythingtarian” I have been trying to cut down on my meat intake (for health and, to be honest, caloric reasons) but as I’ve found out the hard way, I don’t respond well to cutting anything out of my diet completely (I’m a brat that way, haha.)

    Not that I want to shove forkfuls of meat down your throat or anything, but we should totally go to the Peking Gourmet Inn now so you can have a REAL Peking Duck wrap! Date plz?

    Reply
  28. Kim
    January 10, 2012 at 11:39 am (5 years ago)

    Good for you, Beth! I eat meat..sometimes I have meals that don’t include meat and I don’t miss it at all. Sometimes it’s exactly what I wanted. 🙂 Everyone changes so much and so often. I eat a lot more things now than I did when I was younger. I.E. black beans, sweet potatoes and brussel sprouts. 🙂

    Reply
  29. Amy B @ Second City Randomness
    January 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ll never be a true vegetarian, but probably eat that way 3 or 4 days out of the week (easily). Since starting to eat more eggs and black beans and such, I haven’t felt a need for meat as a protein source every day.

    Plus, I’m still pretty poor. So that helps… lol

    Reply
  30. Drake
    January 10, 2012 at 12:07 pm (5 years ago)

    It’s really nice to hear your thoughts about vegetarianism Beth, because I think a lot of people see these types of issues in such black and white terms. I stopped eating meat in September of 2010, and had such a weird experience telling friends and family. Dietary choices are so personal, and I remember being shocked at how defensive and almost antagonistic even some close family members became when I told them. I wish there was a way to tell people that an individual’s choices regarding meat and fish consumption have little to nothing to do with anyone else. Things have calmed down now, and I now eat fish about twice a month, but I have definitely learned that other people’s choices do not reflect on me, and that no one has the right to stand in judgment of another.

    Seriously though, I can’t tell you how many people gave me a hard time, and tried to find some kind of contradiction in my logic so they could somehow disprove my choice. It was the weirdest thing!

    Reply
    • Natasha
      January 10, 2012 at 2:01 pm (5 years ago)

      My family did, and still occasionally does give me a hard time about it too. They are all heavy meat eaters and I don’t pester them at all. So annoying!

      Reply
    • Shady
      January 10, 2012 at 5:02 pm (5 years ago)

      My biggest annoyance is that people often seem to think I’m going to preach to them or try to ‘convert’ them to my way of life when I tell them I don’t eat meat. I don’t even use the term vegetarian because telling people I don’t eat meat seems to evoke less defensiveness.

      Reply
  31. Dani
    January 10, 2012 at 12:16 pm (5 years ago)

    I thought this was the change coming! I was vegetarian from like age 5 to 20ish, then I started occasionally eating chicken and at age 26 (!!), I had my first bite of steak! I still try to stick to mainly just eating fish and no other meat, but yeah, sometimes I just want some chicken! Still, I eat it no more than 2x/month but I feel like I get the health benefits of eating less meat and more veggies, but when I truly want some meat then I’m not missing out. Dietary choices are so personal and I get a lot of flack for this because family says things like, “oh you’re a vegetarian today?” etc., but in the end, you just gotta make choices for you!

    Reply
  32. Lisa
    January 10, 2012 at 12:27 pm (5 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian for like 12 years. When I started running I found that I craved meat. And not just meat, but like a big juicy steak. I tried to deny it and eat faux meats but it didn’t satisfy the craving. I am now a full-fledged meat eating and I feel a million times better.

    Reply
  33. Lynne
    January 10, 2012 at 12:50 pm (5 years ago)

    I might be the only meat eater around these comments but wanted to share that once I gave up grains, my stomach aches stopped. We’re all so different, aren’t we?? I’m going with the Paleo lifestyle, per my doctor. It’s working great so far and I feel good. I feel good! I can’t believe I’m saying that. It’s been a while.

    Just had to throw in a comment from a non vegetarian. 🙂

    Reply
  34. Jess
    January 10, 2012 at 12:56 pm (5 years ago)

    I never liked the idea of totally cutting out groups of foods (well except mushrooms, because I can’t handle the texture) :). I have started eating more vegetarian and vegan like over the past year or so though as I’ve read more and more books that have influenced me to do so, but I don’t think I’m ever going to give up “animal protein” entirely, just eat it sparingly. I have really enjoyed the lower grocery bills though with eating more vegetarian!

    Reply
  35. Paige
    January 10, 2012 at 12:58 pm (5 years ago)

    I just recently started eating meat again, too! I quit eating for animal/ethical reasons, so I still don’t eat too much of it, and now only organic, but I started straight out CRAVING it when I upped my strength training. I’m so glad it’s back in my life to be honest 🙂

    Reply
  36. Katie
    January 10, 2012 at 1:11 pm (5 years ago)

    Two years ago I decided to only eat meat that was locally and sustainably raised, for mostly ecological reasons. Although I’m really fortunate to live in an area with an amazingly abundant farmer’s market that supplies lots of (mostly red) meat, I functionally became a vegetarian, with some meat here and there. I’m not as strict about it anymore – but I’d say I eat vegetarian 75% of the time. I like the way eating mostly veggies feels, and like you pointed out – I like that it simplifies dining out choices and you can eat more for less calories/points. But I’ve truly enjoyed some of your veg recipes – specifically the stuffed eggplant, which I cook all the time in season!

    Reply
  37. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair
    January 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm (5 years ago)

    I haven’t ate chicken, pork or beef since May 2010 (though I will occasionally have gravy) and I don’t miss it at all. I gave it up for ethical reasons after reading Eating Animals and just haven’t had any interest in eating it since. Seafood is a different story. I LOVE seafood. Sushi, mussels, salmon, lobster. Yum! I know that there are also unethical seafood practices out there so I feel like a bit of a hypocrite that I eat it, but I just can’t bring myself to give it up because I crave it so much!

    If I ever did get cravings for meat again I would eat it. AND my fiance and I are starting to talk about/vaguely plan an Asia backpacking trip in 2014 and I think I would eat meat during that trip sparingly to really integrate myself into the culture and eat their foods.

    Thanks for sharing this post and I’m glad you’ve had only positive feedback so far. I think people should eat what they want, when they want and there should be no judgement involved!!

    Reply
  38. Nicole
    January 10, 2012 at 1:55 pm (5 years ago)

    I’ve been eating a “plant-strong” diet for the past few months. It wasn’t a real big deal for me to switch because I wasn’t a big meat/dairy eater to begin with…a few turkey sandwiches a week and some eggs and cheese here and there. For the first couple of weeks I was craving omelettes!
    My big meat splurge will be a Mr. Bartley’s hamburger in Boston!

    Reply
  39. Natasha
    January 10, 2012 at 1:57 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m glad you choose to share your changes. I think it is import to keep it real, besides everyone has an opinion about anything and everything anyway. You will always have some negitive nellies along the way. My hubby and I are pescatarian and have been for 2.5yrs. We chose not to eat meat for health, environmental and ethical reasons. That being said, I believe it’s a personal choice, and never criticize anyone for eating meat. It’s not my place to judge anyone’s choices, anymore than I want to have mine criticizied. I’ve enjoyed many of your veggie recipes, and only hope you’ll continue to post both meat and veggie recipes!

    Reply
  40. Lili
    January 10, 2012 at 1:58 pm (5 years ago)

    I eat chicken breast daily for lunch! I like red meat, but only eat it once in a while , maybe 1x/month. Works for me!

    will love to see your new diet changes/recipes, etc. Thanks for sharing!

    Reply
  41. Dee
    January 10, 2012 at 2:46 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m not much of a meat-eater, but only because I don’t know how to cook it, and because it is expensive. I bake chicken about once per week. I try to remember to bake fish at least once per week because I know it is good for us. I would eat meat way more if I could afford to eat out on a regular basis (or if I knew how to cook it to taste good). Whenever I cook meat other than baking chicken & fish, it never tastes good. So I save $$ and limit high cholesterol simply because of budget and poor culinary skills!

    Reply
  42. Tina @ Best Body Fitness
    January 10, 2012 at 2:56 pm (5 years ago)

    I have never been vegetarian even though I eat a mostly veg diet. I just can’t put labels and have the mentality I “cant” eat something. I just try to focus on quality. Seems to work for me and I’m glad to hear you’re finding what works for you too. I hate how much judgment on that can come up in the blog world.

    Reply
  43. Foo
    January 10, 2012 at 3:18 pm (5 years ago)

    I stopped eating meat on my quest to make WW lifetime back in 2004. Like you, I was into less points and I liked how I felt. I lost over 80 lbs., made lifetime and then I reintroduced meat back into my life gradually. I was having health problems and my doctor suggested it – I’ve been great ever since. I eat meat several times a week now, but make sure it’s local and high quality.

    Reply
  44. Melissa @TryingtoHeal
    January 10, 2012 at 4:10 pm (5 years ago)

    I say eat what you want! I think deprivation of the things you want to eat just leads to bad things… I’m basically vegan but do eat organic eggs a few times a week. I eat this way though because I am more concerned about the environment than anything else.

    Reply
  45. Jenny
    January 10, 2012 at 5:51 pm (5 years ago)

    I am a meat eater. Always have been. I don’t anticipate ever not being a meat eater. But TETO 🙂

    Reply
  46. Megan C.
    January 10, 2012 at 6:02 pm (5 years ago)

    I don’t cut food groups. Not necessarily due to health but because I like all foods and when I’ve tried diets that cut a food group it doesn’t go well for me. I am trying to follow the “my plate” plan (formerly the food pyramid). I admit I eat a lot of chicken but I love fish, beef, and pork. I think it is important to eat what you feel good eating and want to eat.

    A couple observations about vegetarianism is to make sure you get enough protein from other sources and watch meat substitutes for the fat and the sodium in things like tofu crumbles, tofu sausage, etc.

    Reply
  47. Mary (A Merry Life)
    January 10, 2012 at 6:40 pm (5 years ago)

    I’m glad your eating meat again. Does that sound weird? I just like your approach to it and I’m glad you are eating what you really want.

    People always seem to go one way or the other and act like crossing back or eating everything in moderation is a horrible thing. You don’t have to be strict vegan or 100% paleo or atkins. Eating a little of everything you want as long as it agrees with your body is smart. When it doesn’t agree with your body (and this can change) then cut it out. That’s what I had to do with 95% of dairy and though I occasionally miss it I find I feel better overall. I don’t push the idea on everyone else that they shouldn’t eat dairy and honestly don’t think anyone should push their food views on other people. Food is sometimes a lot like religion, eh?

    Reply
  48. robin
    January 10, 2012 at 6:43 pm (5 years ago)

    I do eat meat. I have never felt guilty over it or had a desire not to. I find at times I even crave it, everything in moderation.

    Reply
  49. Heidi
    January 10, 2012 at 9:25 pm (5 years ago)

    I try to stick to white meat, or fish when i eat meat. Though with the husband gone I’ve been mostly vegetarian with a few exceptions. I feel healthier when I stick to a more vegetarian based diet but I like meat on occasion so I don’t want to totally eliminate it. Everything to me, is fine in moderation and goes with meat also. I’ll take my veggie burger with a side of bacon plskthx (no i wouldn’t really do that but I knew someone who did one time!)

    Reply
  50. Melissa (@TheDailyMel)
    January 11, 2012 at 2:25 am (5 years ago)

    I was a vegetarian for several years and even played with veganism for part of that. I made the decision a couple of years ago to also go back to eating some meat. I probably still eat about 65-70% vegetarian, but I enjoy having a few meat meals each week. I still mostly with chicken and fish, but will have a little red meat a few times per year, too. Like Mary, I think it’s all about balance and moderation. I haven’t regretted my decision in the least.

    Reply
  51. rachel m
    January 11, 2012 at 10:54 am (5 years ago)

    i’m a fan of everything in moderation.

    i’m not sure really how it happened, but i started eating less and less meat over the last 2 years. i think weight watchers helped putting me in that directions – sometimes i just didn’t want to waste the points!

    if you’ve never read anything by mark bittman, you should do so asap. his thoughts center around that as a society, we eat entirely too much meat – both for our health and for the environment. he himself follows a diet of “vegan until 6”, where he eats vegan all day, and after 6pm can eat whatever. he calls it “lessmeatatarianism”.

    at one point i was trying to 1. follow weight watchers, 2. eat vegan, 3. cut back on carbs (a friend was on a low carb diet, and suggested it). it got out of hand within a week. moderation is really the way to go.

    Reply
  52. Monica
    January 11, 2012 at 1:12 pm (5 years ago)

    I am a meat eater, but am very selective about where the meat comes from. Which means I rarely get to eat meat when dining out. I tend to eat it at both lunch and dinner though.

    Reply
  53. Jenn
    January 12, 2012 at 10:26 am (5 years ago)

    I’ve never really been a big meat eater… I was more or less vegetarian with the exception of occasionally eating chicken until I moved out of home at 18. Then I started to eat seafood and my diet was mainly fish from then on.

    I don’t like red meat (not because of ethics or health reasons) I just think the texture is gross! But unfortunately some routine health tests about 18 months ago showed I was severely lacking in B12, which amongst other things, is found in red meat. My doctor looked at my diet and said I need to start eating more red meat (ever think you’d hear a doctor say that? Nope, me neither!)

    So in the last 18 months I’ve gradually introduced red meat into my diet – I could never eat a steak so I get my red meat in with mince – chilli, pasta bakes – that sort of thing and I get a B12 injection every 3 months… So there’s a lot to be said for eating meat, for me at least anyway! : )

    Do what makes you happy!

    Reply
  54. Marcella
    January 12, 2012 at 12:29 pm (5 years ago)

    I actually just reintroduced meat into my diet within the last few weeks!

    I was meat free most of my life, eating vegan for the beginning, transitioning to white meat in college and slowly introducing red meat, and then back to vegetarian. I’ve spent more of my life eating a vegan/vegetarian diet than not. For me, my body was asking for something more. I absolutely believe that for some people, a diet without animal products works to their advantage. Right now, personally, that is not what my body is asking for. I had held off on addressing the fact that it was clear I needed a different source of protein in my diet for a while, but it became clear recently that my body was just missing something.

    I’ve only introduced grass fed, local meat and that’s the way I’d like to keep it. I still hold true to the values that stopped me from eating meat for so many years (factory farming, poor conditions/poor paying of workers, environmental impacts) and now I’ve found a way to incorporate it into my life in a way I am most clear of heart about.

    Congrats on listening to your body!

    Reply
  55. Sarah
    January 15, 2012 at 11:07 am (5 years ago)

    I was calling myself a vegetarian- mostly for convenience’s sake. I didn’t want to have to explain that I’m ok with eating meat, but only certain kinds/sources of meats, so I just went meat-free. I actually didn’t even want meat for awhile, but then I did, and I kind of rebelled against myself and went a little crazy until I disgusted myself and tried to not eat it at all again. (Hello, extremes.)
    Now I do eat it, but I go with my earlier convictions- I just try to make good, well-informed decisions when I eat meat.
    I’m a little more relaxed now, and I like it.

    Reply
  56. Ang
    January 16, 2012 at 2:47 pm (5 years ago)

    I eat everything but gluten and I’d eat gluten if my small intestine would permit it! ;p

    I think it’s great that you shared this change on the blog. I know some people will oppose your decision but honestly I think everyone should eat what makes them feel best!

    Reply
  57. LoriV.
    January 22, 2012 at 12:11 pm (5 years ago)

    I, for one, am excited about the change you’re making. Many of your recipes sound so good, except I do not eat as much soy so Tofu is out. I’m excited to see what meat recipes you’ll be posting. I used to be a vegetarian but after marrying a carnivore it became more difficult. Now that I have a family, it’s out of the question for the whole family, but I have been thinking about cutting out red meat for myself. I don’t even like it. So anyway, ch-ch-changes are exciting!

    Reply
  58. The Vegan Gypsy
    August 23, 2012 at 12:23 pm (5 years ago)

    Hi, just discovered your blog and was excited to see a vegetarian Weight Watcher. I’ll have to fast forward to some newer posts to see where you are now in terms of eating meat. As an ethical vegan, I can never go back to eating any kind of meat or dairy, but that’s just my personal preference. 🙂

    Reply

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