5

votes

Shifting from a meat-based to plant-based diet?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created June 01, 2012 at 1:50 AM

I know there have been a couple of other similar questions but they don't specifically address what I'm looking for. I'm currently staying with relatives and while they have been really accomodating and supportive, it's just not feasible for me to eat the same amount of meat I would have been eating if I were living alone. Also, I'd like to stick to non-CAFO and this isn't always possible here either. I was thinking that in the meantime I could switch to a more veg and fruit based diet, with meat playing a more supplementary role. I crave a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables in the summer anyway and any changes I make would be temporary. Until this point, I've been eating meat at least twice a day, with a good amount of vegetables. It's been working really well for me in terms of weight loss and mental clarity (I also have PCOS and thyroid issues) so I'm a little apprehensive about making a change. Has anyone shifted from a more meat-based diet to a plant-based one? I should also mention I hate chicken and any fish that's not salmon/tuna sashimi. I will however eat shellfish. Any ideas/input? Thanks!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 03, 2012
at 09:24 PM

You are welcome Lily!

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:03 PM

P.S, I'm not anti-carb or anti-potato at all. My thin sister-in-law has also shifted to a gluten-free whole foods diet and thrives on sweet potato, squash, white rice, cassava, etc. I'm just limiting them because of my hormonal issues, not because I think there is something wrong with starches/sugars inherently.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:59 PM

P.S. I've really reduced caffeine consumption to about 1 cup of coffee per day. I used to be one of those crazy-eyed people always clutching a venti red-eye, knocking papers and things off my desk because I was so wired.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Thanks for the seafood and jerky recs. I'm really apprehensive about upping my carb intake because of my PCOS. I just checked out the Jaminet's page as per Eric's rec and I'm still a little nervous about starches. I guess I'll wait until I'm a little closer to my ideal weigh/body fat and then see if I can up the starches without gaining fat.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:51 PM

My family is actually really supportive, it's just sort of awkward standing around in the backyard grilling steaks and lamb chops while everyone else is eating chicken breast and rice :)

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:49 PM

run labs beyond TSH. I'm looking for a good practitioner in Toronto (I just moved back here a few months ago) who is paleo-friendly and not dismissive towards PCOS-related issues. The reason I'm so reluctant to eat more fruits and veg is because my current diet is the only one that has let me lose weight at a non-psychosis inducing rate and has made me feel "normal".

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:46 PM

cont..especially because I'm not that overweight, I have about 15 pounds to lose and I don't really have a lot of belly fat. I carry most of it in my hips and thighs so the insulin resistance diagnosis sort of threw me off. I was also diagnosed as hypothyroid by one doc, but told I wasn't by another. I stopped taking my thyroid meds on her orders and that resulted in massive hair loss + the remaining hair becoming darker and wiry. I am now back on Cytomel and my hair is growing back and the texture is returning to normal. I'm going to keep on taking it until I can find a doctor who will..

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Thank you so much for this super detailed response. I have been doing well with low-ish carb so far. Most of my meals are centred around a protein, with either a salad or cookied veggies on the side. Since I'm trying to lose weight, I try to keep my carbs fairly low, except for certain days when I gorge on tomato and herb salads. I do eat a bit of fruit, but always with meals as I find this helps curb sweet cravings. My endo diagnosed me with PCOS and insulin resistance and actually wanted me on metformin but I had some pretty nasty side-effects and would rather just control my carb intake

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:37 PM

@ Happy Now: I didn't know that, thanks for the clarification.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Thanks, Eric. I'm googling it now :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Sadly, fermentation actually doesn't reduce the goitrogenic properties of cabbage the way cooking does.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on June 02, 2012
at 04:01 AM

Probably, but I was eating a LOT of sauerkraut. Like a big bowl twice a day! As well as other goitrogens... I definitely overdid it. And yes, please update with how it goes!

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:51 AM

No need to eat starch. The Perfect Health Diet is still a good book. I can not eat potatoes on a regular basis...

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:50 AM

@ Violet, let me know how it goes and I'll do the same. Btw, wouldn't the goitrogenic properties in the cabbage be reduced since it's fermented?

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:48 AM

Thanks, Karen. I'm going to get myself some really good coconut oil and try to have a couple of salads daily. You're right about replacing the meat with good fats.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Free-range eggs are definitely a possibility. We only do organic free-range eggs anyway so I'm going to try to do more omelettes and boiled eggs. Smoked oysters also sound really appetizing. Any brands you'd recommend? Thanks a bunch :)

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Wow, that is really impressive. Congrats on getting your MS under control. You're absolutely right, that is key. Everything else is secondary. Thanks for all your suggestions and I am going to try out that kale and honeydew salad :)

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:56 PM

And by "you" I mean the OP. :)

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Yes, you can't just remove something from the diet without replacing it with something. I would be sure to try to continue getting good fats. Butter on your veggies, coconut oil for cooking, olive oil on salads. If your hunger shoots up, I'm not sure the answer would be more veggies.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 01, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Thanks, I'll look into it, although I know there is no way I can eat any significant amount of starch.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 01, 2012
at 01:15 PM

weight loss has definitely slowed (read: stopped), but im 36 and have had two kids so as long as my MS is quiet i dont sweat the rest. i have half a cow in my basement, so i do eat meat but its not my preference.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 01, 2012
at 01:12 PM

yes, i actually have lost about 35 pounds and have more to go, but i just try to eat clean and let everything fall into place. i have multiple sclerosis, but its been in remission since i started eating an ancestral diet 2 years ago, so i dont sweat that too much either. ive been vegetarian most of my life and in summer i tend to prefer a lighter diet. i live by the coast so fish is cheaper and easy to get, too. my diet changes all the time, and right now this just feels right for me, so i go with it. i let my intuition guide me, for better or for worse.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 01, 2012
at 03:24 AM

Yeah, I've taken a look at Denise Minger's site and clearly her diet is working for her. To my knowledge though, she doesn't have any autoimmune or hormonal issues to work through and clearly doesn't have any weight to lose. Thanks so much for the links, and your menu actually looks really, really appetizing. Do you feel ok with just the veggies and fish? Do you have any weight to lose? If yes, do you feel your daily diet conducive to fat loss? Sorry for the tripartite question, I'm just really trying to decide if this is something that could work as well as the meat-based diet..

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6 Answers

4
Ce41c230e8c2a4295db31aec3ef4b2ab

(32556)

on June 01, 2012
at 10:12 PM

I'd go for really nutrient dense foods if you are sorting out hormonal issues. Don't drop the protein, just find other ways to get it. Free-range eggs are usually available if you look. Canned salmon (wild-caught) and smoked oysters are a great meat replacement.

I don't like to cook much in the summer, so in addition to the above, I rely on hot dogs (pastured pork or grass-fed beef) that can stay frozen until heating. Or liver pat??. You can order both from US Wellness Meats.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:47 AM

Free-range eggs are definitely a possibility. We only do organic free-range eggs anyway so I'm going to try to do more omelettes and boiled eggs. Smoked oysters also sound really appetizing. Any brands you'd recommend? Thanks a bunch :)

4
Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 01, 2012
at 02:01 AM

i eat twice a day, usually eggs, hot sauce, kraut and maybe some pate or smoked salmon for breakfast, and some meat for dinner though that is often fish. im not a terribly big fan of meat, and i love my veggies. a good snack for me is a salad with all sorts of things in it (fruit and veg), or some veggies and fat. i love roasted cauliflower with various spices, or roasted broccoli with almonds and lemon juice on it. i eat tons of sister slaw, or "pancakes" made from eggs, mashed sweets, pecans fried in coconut oil, and kale & honeydew salad is a summer treat, or a bowl of berries with cream. if someone told me tomorrow that i couldnt eat anymore meat, i would shed a tear for lamb but otherwise just move on with my life not missing much. i was noticing tonight while grocery shopping that my shopping cart was looking a lot like denise mingers must look.

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 01, 2012
at 01:15 PM

weight loss has definitely slowed (read: stopped), but im 36 and have had two kids so as long as my MS is quiet i dont sweat the rest. i have half a cow in my basement, so i do eat meat but its not my preference.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 01, 2012
at 03:24 AM

Yeah, I've taken a look at Denise Minger's site and clearly her diet is working for her. To my knowledge though, she doesn't have any autoimmune or hormonal issues to work through and clearly doesn't have any weight to lose. Thanks so much for the links, and your menu actually looks really, really appetizing. Do you feel ok with just the veggies and fish? Do you have any weight to lose? If yes, do you feel your daily diet conducive to fat loss? Sorry for the tripartite question, I'm just really trying to decide if this is something that could work as well as the meat-based diet..

Aead76beb5fc7b762a6b4ddc234f6051

(15239)

on June 01, 2012
at 01:12 PM

yes, i actually have lost about 35 pounds and have more to go, but i just try to eat clean and let everything fall into place. i have multiple sclerosis, but its been in remission since i started eating an ancestral diet 2 years ago, so i dont sweat that too much either. ive been vegetarian most of my life and in summer i tend to prefer a lighter diet. i live by the coast so fish is cheaper and easy to get, too. my diet changes all the time, and right now this just feels right for me, so i go with it. i let my intuition guide me, for better or for worse.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:44 AM

Wow, that is really impressive. Congrats on getting your MS under control. You're absolutely right, that is key. Everything else is secondary. Thanks for all your suggestions and I am going to try out that kale and honeydew salad :)

3
8508fec4bae4a580d1e1b807058fee8e

on June 03, 2012
at 04:13 AM

Try to incorporate seafood and pastured eggs (unless you have egg issues). You might do well with low carb. PCOS is an insulin problem and many low carb and Paleo docs treat it like diabetes - low carb Paleo! Google those keywords and there are various blogposts, bloggers, and articles on this.

There are people with receptor and other problems of the thyroid that have NORMAL TSH but borderline or abnormal one or more of the following tests so you must have these checked:

Total T4 (TT4) AND Free T4 (FT4)

Resin T3 Uptake (T3U/T7/T3RU) AND Free T3 (FT3)

Reverse T3 (rT3)

Thyroid Peroxidase Antibodies (TPOAb) AND Thryoglobulin Antibodies (TGB Ab)

Thyroid-Stimulating Immunoglobins (TSI) AND TSH stimulating Antibodies (TSAb)

If you have negative to all the thyroid antibodies hen I would supplement with iodine and selenium. You can do 150 mcg (micrograms) of selenium daily but iodine slowly increase. For example week 1 take daily 150 mcg (micrograms) of kelp (iodine), week 2 take 300 mcg daily, week 3 take daily 450 mcg, week 4 take daily 600 mcg. Most people without any antibodies to thyroid function (no sign of Hashimoto's autoimmune thyroid) will do well with 600 mcg to 1 gram (1000 micrograms) of kelp a day.

You should work with a functional/holistic practitioner who supports Paleo and can track and order the bloodwork/hormone panels. Do not try to do this yourself. You need help, but understand the science behind it.

Also read 2 books: Kharrazian discusses PCOS, thyroid, Vitamin D deficiency, and celiac being connected!

Why Do I Still Have Thyroid Symptoms? When My Lab Tests Are Normal: A Revolutionary Breakthrough In Understanding Hashimoto's Disease and Hypothyroidism by Dr. Datis Kharrazian, DHSc, DC, MS, MNeuroSci, FAACP, DACBN, DABCN, DIBAK, CNS - chiropractic doctor

AND

Iodine: Why you need it, Why you can't live without it by Dr. David Brownstein, MD

Chris Kresser, a licensed acupuncturist, (also Paleo) has written a lot on thyroid/iodine, among many other topics on blogposts.

For more Paleo Diet hacks: Are people curing hypothyroid??? - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/106904/are-people-curing-hypothyroid#ixzz1uTzNmOCY

http://paleohacks.com/questions/111727/have-you-had-a-possible-iodine-and-or-selenium-deficiency-or-symptoms-of-it-on#axzz1uTx1OXzu

Despite being generally a stimulant, caffeine (examples: coffee, tea, cola, chocolate) acts on thyroid function as a suppressant. Indeed some studies on rats suggest that excess caffeine in conjunction with a lack of iodine may promote the formation of thyroid cancers. Masterjohn recommends no more then 5 servings of goitrogens/week and Kresser no more then 3-6 servings/week for anyone with thyroid issues. Paul Jaminet, Chris Masterjohn, and Chris Kresser have written well on this.

http://www.westonaprice.org/basics/bearers-of-the-cross Fermentation makes soy goitrogens worse! http://blog.cholesterol-and-health.com/2010/10/fermentation-does-not-neutrailize.html

https://s3.amazonaws.com/ppccontent/PPCGoitrogen.pdf

For more Paleo Diet hacks: Hack my non-weight loss - I have celiac, PCOS and possible thyroid problems and possible MS :( - PaleoHacks.com http://paleohacks.com/questions/100060/hack-my-non-weight-loss-i-have-celiac-pcos-and-possible-thyroid-problems-and-p#ixzz1whSsfl4S

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:49 PM

run labs beyond TSH. I'm looking for a good practitioner in Toronto (I just moved back here a few months ago) who is paleo-friendly and not dismissive towards PCOS-related issues. The reason I'm so reluctant to eat more fruits and veg is because my current diet is the only one that has let me lose weight at a non-psychosis inducing rate and has made me feel "normal".

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:51 PM

My family is actually really supportive, it's just sort of awkward standing around in the backyard grilling steaks and lamb chops while everyone else is eating chicken breast and rice :)

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:59 PM

P.S. I've really reduced caffeine consumption to about 1 cup of coffee per day. I used to be one of those crazy-eyed people always clutching a venti red-eye, knocking papers and things off my desk because I was so wired.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:46 PM

cont..especially because I'm not that overweight, I have about 15 pounds to lose and I don't really have a lot of belly fat. I carry most of it in my hips and thighs so the insulin resistance diagnosis sort of threw me off. I was also diagnosed as hypothyroid by one doc, but told I wasn't by another. I stopped taking my thyroid meds on her orders and that resulted in massive hair loss + the remaining hair becoming darker and wiry. I am now back on Cytomel and my hair is growing back and the texture is returning to normal. I'm going to keep on taking it until I can find a doctor who will..

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:42 PM

Thank you so much for this super detailed response. I have been doing well with low-ish carb so far. Most of my meals are centred around a protein, with either a salad or cookied veggies on the side. Since I'm trying to lose weight, I try to keep my carbs fairly low, except for certain days when I gorge on tomato and herb salads. I do eat a bit of fruit, but always with meals as I find this helps curb sweet cravings. My endo diagnosed me with PCOS and insulin resistance and actually wanted me on metformin but I had some pretty nasty side-effects and would rather just control my carb intake

1
2c2349bc7af0fedb59a5fe99dac9fae2

(2707)

on June 03, 2012
at 11:33 AM

To me this is similar to eating when you are traveling.

I would definitely stock up a bit on good sources of protein. So canned wild salmon/tuna/shrimp/oysters/crab. Wild planet is a great source here.

Steve's Original - http://stevesoriginal.com/store has some great beef jerky and some other great products that you can store at your relatives.

I would rely heavily on coconut oil for a good source of saturated fat, if you do eat CAFO meat, and trim the fat.

On days where you protein is low, and you are low on meat, here is where I go a bit outside the paleo box with either some diary or soaked lentils. If properly prepare the lentils, you can get rid of most of the anti-nutrients.

I would actually up your carb intake a bit here as it might be tough eating enough good quality protein and fat. I would stick to safe starches - yams, sweet potato, squashes, white rice, banana, yucca, etc.

I am also okay with upping fruit. I have been doing this myself, despite the fact that the paleo world seems to freak out over fructose, even if its natural setting. The summer is definitely appropiate time to be eating some more fruit.

Of course, don't forget about the rest of your gameplan :) Stress in check, move around, and rest. I think you will be just fine. Good luck :)

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 07:03 PM

P.S, I'm not anti-carb or anti-potato at all. My thin sister-in-law has also shifted to a gluten-free whole foods diet and thrives on sweet potato, squash, white rice, cassava, etc. I'm just limiting them because of my hormonal issues, not because I think there is something wrong with starches/sugars inherently.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:58 PM

Thanks for the seafood and jerky recs. I'm really apprehensive about upping my carb intake because of my PCOS. I just checked out the Jaminet's page as per Eric's rec and I'm still a little nervous about starches. I guess I'll wait until I'm a little closer to my ideal weigh/body fat and then see if I can up the starches without gaining fat.

1
E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:47 PM

I am doing this right now, shifting to more plants and less meat, and since it's early in the process, I don't have too much insight. PCOS is tricky; I don't have it, but I do have hypothyroidism that waxes and wanes (mostly managed by paleo as long as I don't eat too much sauerkraut and avoid going too LC).

I am doing it because I don't like cooking when it's hot outside, I'm trying to save money, and I'm worried that eating so much meat is negatively affecting my hormones. Maybe it's not true -- for some reason I just feel like I've noticed increased vellus hairs on my jaw. And I read this old thread about whether heavier meat consumption could lead to increased hair growth on the face and body for women: http://paleohacks.com/questions/55935/unwanted-hair-could-it-be-too-much-testosterone#axzz1wa1KEOwz (It was inconclusive, but I thought I might as well experiment on myself.)

I think it's probably safe to cut back on meat as long as you don't replace it with wheat, vegetable oil or processed foods.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:50 AM

@ Violet, let me know how it goes and I'll do the same. Btw, wouldn't the goitrogenic properties in the cabbage be reduced since it's fermented?

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:56 PM

Yes, you can't just remove something from the diet without replacing it with something. I would be sure to try to continue getting good fats. Butter on your veggies, coconut oil for cooking, olive oil on salads. If your hunger shoots up, I'm not sure the answer would be more veggies.

E68bdbd83e45fd5be130e393ace9c9a9

(2063)

on June 02, 2012
at 04:01 AM

Probably, but I was eating a LOT of sauerkraut. Like a big bowl twice a day! As well as other goitrogens... I definitely overdid it. And yes, please update with how it goes!

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:48 AM

Thanks, Karen. I'm going to get myself some really good coconut oil and try to have a couple of salads daily. You're right about replacing the meat with good fats.

F5f742cc9228eb5804114d0f3be4e587

(7660)

on June 01, 2012
at 09:56 PM

And by "you" I mean the OP. :)

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:13 AM

Sadly, fermentation actually doesn't reduce the goitrogenic properties of cabbage the way cooking does.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:37 PM

@ Happy Now: I didn't know that, thanks for the clarification.

1
1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 01, 2012
at 05:20 AM

I would read The Perfect Health Diet. It is along the lines you are thinking. Even if you eat a lot of meat it is easy to have more veggies than meat. Consider adding eggs as well.

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 01, 2012
at 02:55 PM

Thanks, I'll look into it, although I know there is no way I can eat any significant amount of starch.

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 02, 2012
at 02:51 AM

No need to eat starch. The Perfect Health Diet is still a good book. I can not eat potatoes on a regular basis...

1a98a40ba8ffdc5aa28d1324d01c6c9f

(20378)

on June 03, 2012
at 09:24 PM

You are welcome Lily!

6747a5447a3440b5c87ebf5f2c1e0ead

(231)

on June 03, 2012
at 06:37 PM

Thanks, Eric. I'm googling it now :)

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