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Reformed vegetarian needing help with protein sources

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created March 25, 2012 at 5:29 AM

So I've been a vegetarian for 5 odd years and got really good at balancing my diet to get everything I needed. However on discovering that I have a raging wheat intolerance, I've tentatively started Paleo.

I'm on week two and have lost 3kgs(around 6.5lbs)and my energy levels are a bit better, but I'm struggling with protein. I just had my first piece of red meat in around 10 years and it was revolting. I don't honestly think I can eat it.

Chicken and seafood, however, I'm loving. Is it enough to stick to not eating red meat?

79bafc02bdaa62c259a8c94b4c859ab2

(25)

on March 27, 2012
at 09:17 PM

I do eat eggs, but I thought dairy wasnt paleo? Im not a big milk drinker but i love yoghurt and butter

79bafc02bdaa62c259a8c94b4c859ab2

(25)

on March 27, 2012
at 09:16 PM

To be honest Iv struggled with meat since i was very little. Red meat especially. It was a really good quality organic grassfed & finished steak. cut into three servings (yes it was massive) salt made it tolerable. Il check out the blog, thanks!

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on March 25, 2012
at 07:20 PM

Yes, and especially because you've psychologically conditioned yourself to find meat disgusting. You were just fine eating meat six years ago, I bet. Get meat you can feel good about (local, pastured, humanely raised) and do the research about why it's good for you. Red meat is actually much healthier than chicken, FWIW, in terms of Omega 3/6 ratio. Have you seen the blog "Let Them Eat Meat?" Lots of voices of reformed vegetarians and very worth checking out.

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:15 PM

This is true too- I had one awesome customer once who told her kids they couldn't say they didn't like a food until they had it prepared 42 different ways. Her adorable six year old would try things and say "this is a preparation I do not like, maybe next preparation will be better". Good lesson!

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 25, 2012
at 03:02 PM

It's actually not a myth, but not everyone downregulates the relevant enzymes to the same level. It also depends on the other foods you eat. For example, in marginal parts New Guinea if hunter-gatherers don't get meat for awhile, they downregulate protease production and then when they do kill a pig, they often eat the pork with foods that are typsin inhibitors and make the situation worse. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2041589/pdf/brjexppathol00117-0035.pdf

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 25, 2012
at 10:12 AM

That is actually a myth. There isn't a digestive enzyme for "meat". There are numerous enzymes that work together to digest your food. Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, and so on. I was a vegetarian for 18 years and I ate steak not as my first meal but in the first week. I had slight indigestion but nothing more. Get a good quality digestive enzyme and you'll be fine

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 25, 2012
at 10:10 AM

That is actually a myth. There isn't a digestive enzyme for "meat". There are numerous enzymes that work together to digest your food. Amylase digests starches Protease digests proteins Cellulase digests cellulose Lipase digests fats... I was a vegetarian for 18 years and I ate steak not as my first meal but in the first week. I had slight indigestion but nothing more. Get a good quality digestive enzyme and you'll be fine.

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 25, 2012
at 07:50 AM

What enzyme's that? When I went from veganism to paleo I ate a 1lbs-steak and felt amazing...

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3 Answers

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4
B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 25, 2012
at 07:56 AM

Seafood has everything you need. Especially shellfish has amazing amounts of nutrients. Beef or lamb is not necessary, but it is a far better choice than pig or chicken because of the lower amount of poly-unsaturated fatty acids.

If you want some protein, you could use soy-free eggs, gelatin (buy it online or get it from chicken broth, this is not a complete protein but it's a great addition), ...

As you like seafood, I don't think it's gonna be hard : (shell)fish is loaded with protein.

2
Cf416725f639ffd1bb90764792ce7b8a

(2799)

on March 25, 2012
at 02:27 PM

I wouldn't base all that on one piece of red meat. Was it good meat? Well prepared? Could you have been having an off day?

518bce04b12cd77741237e1f61075194

(11577)

on March 25, 2012
at 03:15 PM

This is true too- I had one awesome customer once who told her kids they couldn't say they didn't like a food until they had it prepared 42 different ways. Her adorable six year old would try things and say "this is a preparation I do not like, maybe next preparation will be better". Good lesson!

D63a9a7789b948a1e88647f6c0e504ca

(1453)

on March 25, 2012
at 07:20 PM

Yes, and especially because you've psychologically conditioned yourself to find meat disgusting. You were just fine eating meat six years ago, I bet. Get meat you can feel good about (local, pastured, humanely raised) and do the research about why it's good for you. Red meat is actually much healthier than chicken, FWIW, in terms of Omega 3/6 ratio. Have you seen the blog "Let Them Eat Meat?" Lots of voices of reformed vegetarians and very worth checking out.

79bafc02bdaa62c259a8c94b4c859ab2

(25)

on March 27, 2012
at 09:16 PM

To be honest Iv struggled with meat since i was very little. Red meat especially. It was a really good quality organic grassfed & finished steak. cut into three servings (yes it was massive) salt made it tolerable. Il check out the blog, thanks!

0
78cb3c4f70de5db2adb52b6b9671894b

on March 25, 2012
at 07:37 AM

I think red meat was a poor first choice because if you don't eat red meat for a while, your body stops the enzyme to digest it. I would suggest things like fish or chicken at first....I think that's just fine.

I'm not a big red meat fan so I won't be shoving it down your throat telling you that you NEED to eat it. How did you cook it though? Maybe you just need a better recipe or method of cooking.

What about eggs? Do you eat yogurt/dairy?

B0fe7b5a9a197cd293978150cbd9055f

(8938)

on March 25, 2012
at 07:50 AM

What enzyme's that? When I went from veganism to paleo I ate a 1lbs-steak and felt amazing...

9d43f6873107e17ca4d1a5055aa7a2ad

on March 25, 2012
at 03:02 PM

It's actually not a myth, but not everyone downregulates the relevant enzymes to the same level. It also depends on the other foods you eat. For example, in marginal parts New Guinea if hunter-gatherers don't get meat for awhile, they downregulate protease production and then when they do kill a pig, they often eat the pork with foods that are typsin inhibitors and make the situation worse. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2041589/pdf/brjexppathol00117-0035.pdf

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 25, 2012
at 10:10 AM

That is actually a myth. There isn't a digestive enzyme for "meat". There are numerous enzymes that work together to digest your food. Amylase digests starches Protease digests proteins Cellulase digests cellulose Lipase digests fats... I was a vegetarian for 18 years and I ate steak not as my first meal but in the first week. I had slight indigestion but nothing more. Get a good quality digestive enzyme and you'll be fine.

5759bd89db5f73cabe0a6e8f8e6e1cb9

(1467)

on March 25, 2012
at 10:12 AM

That is actually a myth. There isn't a digestive enzyme for "meat". There are numerous enzymes that work together to digest your food. Amylase, Protease, Cellulase, and so on. I was a vegetarian for 18 years and I ate steak not as my first meal but in the first week. I had slight indigestion but nothing more. Get a good quality digestive enzyme and you'll be fine

79bafc02bdaa62c259a8c94b4c859ab2

(25)

on March 27, 2012
at 09:17 PM

I do eat eggs, but I thought dairy wasnt paleo? Im not a big milk drinker but i love yoghurt and butter

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