3

votes

Learning curve for former vegetarians?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created August 10, 2011 at 1:37 PM

I just finished my first week of paleo (actually primal, I guess, because we're having heavy cream in our coffee?) and I'm having a heck of a time figuring out how to manage meat! I was a vegetarian until recently when we started eating poultry & fish. I decided to go paleo after lots of research and concerns about my health (realizing it is likely not a coincidence that I started putting weight on (and lots of it!) when I stopped eating meat), especially when I figured out all of those "healthy" boneless, skinless chicken breasts weren't doing me any favors.

I've put myself on a crash course to learn about the different cuts of meat and how to prepare them. I'm also working on revamping my recipe box, which is heavy on legumes. But the big challenge has been reorienting my thinking and my emotions from being a near vegetarian (that first bite of turkey sausage when I first stepped off the wagon was also really hard!!!) to someone who eats red meat.

Sometimes it feels so overwhelming and then when my husband, who is encouraging but not really following paleo away from home, jokes, "I can feel my arteries clogging!" as he drinks his coffee all of that "conventional wisdom" hangs over my head and I get terrified that I'm going to make things worse.

So I guess my question is, did other vegetarians or near vegatarians or otherwise "healthy" eaters have a hard time resetting their brains at the start of this? Is this a normal part of the learning curve?

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 12, 2011
at 05:22 PM

Oh yeah, I catch myself doing this and I can see it's a habit I'll have to WORK to break. What really gets me is the satiety. I took my kids to an event and nobody needed the snacks I packed because we all stayed full from our late breakfast! Now THAT is a treat!

77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on August 11, 2011
at 05:56 PM

even after almost 8 months on paleo, I still have a hard time believing that fats and oils are good to me, So I avoid them unintentionally ( because thats what i used to do when i was vegan)

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:19 PM

Thanks Jules! It's good to hear that it's a process and that other people need time to figure it out, too. I am partially looking at this as an elimination experiment and if at the end of 30 days I feel like trying beans or a piece of bread then I will try it but because of the effort I'm putting in now I will get to learn how it *really* feels for my body and I know that information will be invaluable!

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:18 PM

Thank you, Eric! I'm going to go see if my library has any of his books now!

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 10, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I had a similar experience. Making the decision to be Primal (just like I had made the decision to be a vegetarian) made it easier. Choosing sustainably and humanely-raised animals was a key part of my decision.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:50 PM

+1 for this "It helps me to know that we are buying pastured meat, cage free, yada yada, and humanely killed animals." And if you get the chance, visit the farms where your meat is raised and see how the animals live.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:48 PM

+1 for reading Taubes. It will help reset your reactions to eating fat rapidly.

  • 60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

    asked by

    (266)
  • Views
    1K
  • Last Activity
    1458D AGO
Frontpage book

Get FREE instant access to our Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!

4 Answers

4
6670b38baf0aae7f4d8ac2463ddc37c0

(3946)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:46 PM

I certainly did. I was a vegan for a couple of years. Stayed away from the preservatives and chemicals, etc., and did nothing but get fat. When I saw my brother and my sister-in-law in awesome ripped shape, I asked what they were doing. It was Paleo of course. My husband (also a vegan) and I literally went to the grocery store that same night and switched over. Pretty dramatic. I was FREAKED out about eating chicken, but managed to choke it down, and I refused to give up beans for the first few weeks. After getting used to the chicken, I thought I would never be able to eat red meat for sure. Now I am eating steak a few times a week and loving it. It helps me to know that we are buying pastured meat, cage free, yada yada, and humanely killed animals.

One thing I had a hard adjustment with was fat. It was very difficult for me to understand that I did not need to avoid fat like the plauge. Remember, fat is what fills up your tummy and helps to keep you away from all those vegan/veggies carbs (grains, etc.).

My advice is just dive right in. Good luck!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:50 PM

+1 for this "It helps me to know that we are buying pastured meat, cage free, yada yada, and humanely killed animals." And if you get the chance, visit the farms where your meat is raised and see how the animals live.

Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32564)

on August 10, 2011
at 05:33 PM

I had a similar experience. Making the decision to be Primal (just like I had made the decision to be a vegetarian) made it easier. Choosing sustainably and humanely-raised animals was a key part of my decision.

2
24fcc21452ebe39c032be6801d6bbadd

(9812)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:48 PM

I had a hard time wrapping my mind around it all too, and I would think it is completely normal because a lot of these concepts go against what we've been taught about nutrition our whole lives. I'd dabbled in vegetarianism and veganism, and felt guilty that I couldn't stick with it, because I used to feel bad about eating animals, and I bought into the idea that eating meat is unhealthy. I believe in the theory of evolution, and the more I thought about nutrition and exercise from an evolutionary perspective, the more all this made sense.

I was most skeptical about cutting legumes because they are generally thought to be extrmely healthy because they have a lot of fiber and (albeit incomplete) protein. I cut them for a few months though, and after having some Super Bowl chili with kidney beans, I had a terrible painful bloating all the next day. That confirmed for me that legumes make me less healthy, and I am now very confident in my choice to not eat them!

Keep hangin in there; I think you'll be glad you did! :)

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:19 PM

Thanks Jules! It's good to hear that it's a process and that other people need time to figure it out, too. I am partially looking at this as an elimination experiment and if at the end of 30 days I feel like trying beans or a piece of bread then I will try it but because of the effort I'm putting in now I will get to learn how it *really* feels for my body and I know that information will be invaluable!

2
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:45 PM

Congratulations. You have made a great choice for your health.

I would read through Taubes books to help you realize that saturated fat is ok. Eggs are great and you still get to eat veggies. I like to grill meat a lot.

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on August 10, 2011
at 01:48 PM

+1 for reading Taubes. It will help reset your reactions to eating fat rapidly.

60c285ff1dff1ea5af6a5820aa5320cf

(266)

on August 10, 2011
at 10:18 PM

Thank you, Eric! I'm going to go see if my library has any of his books now!

-3
0dccd5cecfbb8a934d39689b11a66a45

on August 11, 2011
at 05:12 PM

I was a vegan too once, smoked pot & meditated hours a day on peace love and granola!...Boy what a difference Now that I eat Beef 3x a day, I feel like conquering the world! In fact, I found that other than beef and pork, Human flesh can really be a great energizer (especially the blood). The Ancient cults of really had it down! We have such an overpopulation issue, if we stop all agriculture and eat all the excess population, this world can feed about 100 million elite quite comfortably!

Answer Question


Get FREE instant access to our
Paleo For Beginners Guide & 15 FREE Recipes!