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. the great meat debate .

September 11, 2011

Please take a moment to remember all of the lives that were lost on this day ten years ago. What happened on September 11, 2001 forever changed the course our lives would take.

Never forget to remember.

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So we ended yesterday’s confessional with promises of protein [talk]…

While I wouldn’t say that I follow any sort of high protein diet (I’m a carbs and fats girl at heart), I do try to pay attention to my protein intake, especially on the days that I lift.

Some of my favorite sources?

Protein shakes…


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Greek yogurt…

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Cottage cheese…

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Nuts and Seeds…


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Whole grains…

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You probably notice the lack of meat/fish, and that’s because… well… I don’t eat them. I was never big on fish(I just can’t get past the smell), and I gave up meat around four years ago, when my eating disorder started getting really bad. Since then I’ve been eating a vegetarian diet which, over time, I’ve become a lot more relaxed about. I hate the prescriptive nature that comes with the vegetarian label, which is why I never call myself one, and also why I told myself that if I ever craved meat, I would allow myself to eat it.

Which brings us to my present conundrum…

See, I don’t crave meat exactly, but I crave something. My snacking has gotten a little out of control lately, and while I thought it was just my appetite going nuts at first, now I’m not so sure. It honestly feels like my constant desire to snack stems from the fact that my body isn’t satisfied with what I’m feeding it, and that it’s not getting something that it needs. Have you ever tried to satisfy a craving for chocolate by eating a bunch of carrot sticks?  If you have, then you probably know what happens when you try to do that. You can eat carrots until you give yourself a stomach ache, yet you’ll still be unsatisfied.

That’s how I’ve been feeling. And, quite frankly, I’m sick of it.

Is meat the answer? I don’t know, and I won’t know unless I try it and see what happens. It’s been so long since I’ve eaten meat, that I probably wouldn’t even know a meat craving if I was hit with one. Does the thought skeeve me out? A little bit, yes… but I remember experiencing the same kind of feelings when I gave up veganism, and that’s a decision that I never regret, as I’ve only seen positive improvements to my health as a result.

So there it is. My last confession – I’m thinking about giving up my vegetarian diet. Or, at least, I’m thinking about introducing some chicken/turkey back into my diet for a while and seeing what happens. I’m tired of playing with protein powders (which, in all honesty, do NOT fill me up at all). I’m tired eating different meals than the rest of my family. And I’m tired of feeling constantly munchy.

Maybe meat isn’t the answer, but maybe it is. I’ve voiced my concerns to those close to me, and they’ve all pretty much confirmed my suspicions. They basically told me that they have a much harder time feeling full/satisfied on days where they don’t eat meat… maybe the same is true for me… I don’t know. I do know that I’m tired of wondering. I haven’t done it yet, but it’ll most likely be happening soon. If I don’t like it, I can always go back… nothing is set in stone.

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I would love to hear your thoughts on this. Have you ever gone through anything similar? Do you think that protein is protein, no matter what the source? Do you think that anyone can follow a vegetarian diet if they get enough protein from alternative sources?

134 Comments leave one →
  1. September 11, 2011 5:41 pm

    That’s interesting! I actually find that I can drink all the protein smoothies I want but I still find myself craving PROTEIN. Like, in FOOD form. Good for you for listening so carefully to your body. It’s a great decision, to at least try. Like you said, you can always go back 🙂 Can’t wait to hear how it goes!

  2. runningperspective permalink
    September 11, 2011 5:43 pm

    girl i have been going through the SAME ISSUE lately snacking like crazy and i realize i am just NOT satisfied. my plan is to re-introduce fish back into my diet at least 3-4 times a week as i only eat it maybe maybeee once a week.
    i really just have no desire to eat meat at all as it just seems to weigh me down and used to just make me feel energy deprived…
    good luck girl!!!!

  3. September 11, 2011 5:46 pm

    i actually was having the same thoughts. i am constantly snacking and realized that my “meals” probably aren’t substantial enough to tide me over. My nutritionist actually begged me to eat meat again and I did give in to chicken. i’ve been a vegetarian for about 2 years now and was real nervous about introducing meat back into my diet. first time i had a piece, not going to lie, did NOT like it. I guess I just lost my taste for it because I use to be a huge chicken eater. maybe i just need to prepare it differently i don’t know. but i always looked at my vegetarianism like you do. if i ever wanted to eat meat, i would. however i would just need to make sure it’s organic because a. omg do you know how they process chicken/beef? it’s disgusting. b. i initially stopped eating meat due to the industrial farming cruelty. it’s just heart breaking to me. but right now, my health is more important to me so i’m kind of doing what i have to do.

    just remember the decision is yours and no one should judge you if you want a piece of chicken now and then. it’s your body. your life. your happiness.

    • September 11, 2011 9:02 pm

      I think not liking it the first time is more a mental thing. I had the same problem with eggs when I first tried them again after being vegan – I almost gagged. But now I love them.

      • September 11, 2011 9:44 pm

        you are probably right. i am trying to re-introduce so many foods back into my diet and it is just a tough time right now. mentally. i almost feel like recovery is worse than when you are in denial of the illness.

  4. September 11, 2011 5:47 pm

    Hi Amanda! I didn’t eat meat, except the occaisional peice of fish for a LONG time, and after recently returning from a trip to Uganda and having my perception on many things changed, I ate chicken the second day I got home because it was offered to me and I couldn’t say no to the abundance of food in front of me after all I had experienced in Africa. To be honest, I’ve been loving it ever since. I am a runner and I honestly do feel more satisfied, especially while training. Some people claim meat and dairy makes them feel sluggish but I actually am feeling a bit more energetic. I say give it a try and do what works best for YOU, after all, we are all different and that’s a wonderful thing. I just feel blessed to have food on my plate everyday 🙂 Good luck!

  5. September 11, 2011 5:48 pm

    If it’s a possibility that your craving meat, I agree you should try it out! When I was craving fish, I totally took the plunge (no pun intended) and enjoyed every bite. I still don’t like the texture of meat or taste, so I’m not craving it…but if that craving ever comes or the suspicion of that craving ever comes then I will probably give it a second try. In the mean time I’m going to stick to fish and vegetarian sources. I think vegetarians need to be very conscious of their protein sources, it’s easy to not get enough 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how it goes 🙂

  6. September 11, 2011 5:48 pm

    I am the exact same way. I gave up vegetarianism for this reason. I still don’t eat meat all that often and I do stick to mostly fish, chicken, and turkey…but you should introduce it at a slow pace. When I first brought it into my diet too much too soon, I got physically sick. Take it easy and eat very little. A little goes a long way and definitely FILLS you up! It really does. I feel much more satisfied if I have chicken added to my huge bowl of veggies. Try 2-3x a week and then work your way up if you feel like you need to incorporate it everyday. (I only eat it probably 4-5 meals per week)

    good luck!
    – Sharelle

  7. Rosalie permalink
    September 11, 2011 5:49 pm

    I went through the same thing :l For awhile I was mainly eating lacto-vegetarian. Then I added in eggs and felt a million times better. But soon it wasn’t quite enough and I found myself craving fish. So I now periodically bust out the canned tuna, sardines, and kippers, and while I don’t smell terribly fabulous afterwards, it really does a number on satiation levels. I think it’s an individual issue, and some people can thrive on vegetarianism or even veganism, but for me I need something more. Not every day and certainly not every meal, but I do keep it on hand (and it makes eating at restaurants a heck of a lot easier–there’s only so many spinach salads a person can eat.)

  8. September 11, 2011 5:50 pm

    Personally, I love meat and I do choose to eat it. It’s a great source of protein and I don’t see the big deal if it comes from organic sources.

    Your call 🙂

    • September 13, 2011 5:11 pm

      ditto! i dont eat gluten (allergic) or dairy but i DO eat tons of veggies, fruits, meats, nuts & seeds. i always say i eat like a guy (lamb and beef are my fave!)

  9. September 11, 2011 5:51 pm

    I cannot fully relate to you because I do eat chicken and turkey … just not red meat… so I get protein from meat sources. I read somewhere.. on some blog.. (can’t remember where) that the writer was going through similar issues – except she felt she was getting injured because she was getting her protein from non-meat sources and she spoke to the doctor. Protein wise – he had told her that what she was eating was fine and it did not NEED to come from meat to provide her with what she needed.

  10. Rebecca permalink
    September 11, 2011 5:52 pm

    I’ve been having the SAME issue! Before, when i was vegan about a month ago, i would be starving beyond belief and i was even eating the right foods, like a TON of nuts.nutbutters.hummus.beans.tempeh.tofu,whole grains, veggies, fruits, etc. and then i started eating dairy and eggs again, and yet, i find myself to be a teeeeeny bit more full than i was before, but i still eat a LOT of nut butter and nuts because i crave it like crazy and i’m still not exactly full!

  11. September 11, 2011 5:52 pm

    i’m incredibly strange and biased being as i was raised a vegetarian and been one my whole life for moral/spiritual reasons, but i can still totally empathize with that unsatisfied, insatiable hunger feeling. i’m currently marathon training, & august was out of control! peanut butterrrrr. (lol)

    you absolutely must do what you feel is best for your body & mind. 🙂 i recognize the importance of protein and think i get enough of it in forms of tofu/tempeh, lots of nuts & nut butters, & whole grains. but i don’t think it’s the answer to everything & i don’t do “protein-enhanced” foods. most importantly i make sure i am getting adequate calories from good sources for all my training, it’s a lot, but i need every single one & my body feels great!

    good luck xo

  12. September 11, 2011 5:53 pm

    As a meat eater( chicken and turkey and fish) I have to say, te day I eat meat at lunch with a carb and fat it holds me over pretty well. On days I just eat dairy as my source I snack constantly.

    I notice I’ll go a few days where I don’t eat meat And soon enough i find myself craving a piece of chicken/turkey. It’s worth a try if it doesn’t work out you can always take it back out of your diet 🙂

  13. September 11, 2011 5:54 pm

    I honestly think its up to you as well. If you do not crave meat, I would not force it down just because. I eat meat and fish because I want to, I find it does fill me up more than protein powders ( which do NOT fill me up at all also). 🙂

  14. September 11, 2011 5:54 pm

    I think it is purely awesome that you’re listening to your body and letting go of your inhibitions. I hope you can solve the craving conundrum, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that it’s meat!
    I could never ever give up my glorious chicken, turkey, and seafood…especially the seafood 🙂 They’re all just so dang delicious!! And I’m with ya on protein powder not filling you up. Sure it makes a great addition for flavor, but gimme some substance!

  15. September 11, 2011 5:55 pm

    I think it would definitely be worth a try! I know many of my most satisfying meals contain meat. Everyone’s different, so it’s just a trial and error kind of thing. Good luck and hopefully you’ll find something that works for you!

  16. September 11, 2011 6:00 pm

    My diet is 90% vegetarian, I occasionally eat chicken, fish and turkey (never red meat). I went through a short period of strictly vegetarian and definitely felt like something was missing. Sometimes I just NEED a turkey sandwich or chicken taco. I’ll add whey protein to smoothies/yogurt bowls for the added flavor but they don’t seem to have an affect on my satiety. I hope you find what your body’s missing soon … and enjoy the meat experimentation! 🙂

  17. September 11, 2011 6:01 pm

    I went through the same thing. I’ve been both a vegetarian and a vegan in the past, and transitioned out of both lifestyles at separate points. I’m happiest now with eating meat on occasion. I have a lot of vegetarian days, but not necessarily on purpose. I think you’ll be similar in that respect. Like you, I was never a big meat eater, and I don’t think I ever will be. It’s nice to have the option, though. I feel much less restricted than I used to. It also makes eating out a lot more satisfying.

    I do not think protein is protein, regardless of the source. Some protein sources are more absorbable than others. While I truly believe it is possible to get enough protein on a vegetarian or vegan diet (there are many vegans and vegetarians that function perfectly well without any animal sources of protein), the lifestyle wasn’t for me any longer. Something just wasn’t working, and it was obvious to everyone I knew. Once I started eating meat again, I put back on a lot of necessarily muscle that had somehow melted off my body.

    Like you said, nothing is set in stone. We should all follow whatever diet suits our body as an individual. Do what feels right. If you think your body is telling you something, then listen to it! The smartest thing you can do is listen to your body. It’s not as if you’re breaking any rules by experimenting.

  18. September 11, 2011 6:06 pm

    I haven’t ate any meat besides fish for the past year. I tell myself the same thing you said above: if I ever crave other meat, I will eat it. However, I will say that it is sometimes hard to allow yourself to add something to your diet that you haven’t ate in a long time — especially if you aren’t used to craving it.

    I was in the same situation as you over the summer. I felt like I was craving something more when it came to meat. At the time, my main protein sources were soy and other meat alternatives that are on your list. I ended up trying a turkey sandwich to see if it was what I needed… and I found out that it wasn’t. I did not enjoy it at all. Later, I started incorporating more salmon and tuna in my diet, and I discovered that I really liked it. It satisfied my meat cravings and I was comfortable eating it. Now, I enjoy eating all kinds of fish, but not every day. Most days I go meatless, but when I want something more than Greek yogurt, protein powders, beans, nuts, etc., then I eat fish… and I don’t think anything else of it! It’s just what works best for me. If I ever crave chicken or beef in the future, I won’t deprive myself, but I don’t see that happening any time soon… and I’m fine with that.

    I think you should give meat a go if you believe your mind or body may be craving it. It won’t be the end of the world if you or I have a bite of chicken haha. And if you find out that adding meat to your diet improves your life, health, or state of mind, then I think you should eat all the meat your heart desires! 😛 Everyone’s different and everyone is going to have different preferences in their diet, so just eat what works best for YOU 🙂

  19. September 11, 2011 6:09 pm

    I do believe it’s possible to get enough protein (and be satisfied with it!) from a vegetarian diet, but everyone is different. I was skeeved out by meat long before I stopped eating it, and if I ever craved it, I’d probably eat it — since my reasons for not eating it aren’t ethical! But it’s possible that I’m just saying that because I honestly never crave it.

    That said, since everyone is different… bodies can be weird sometimes, and need something even though you don’t necessarily crave it. I think it’s awesome that you’re willing to give it a shot to see if this is what your body really wants!

    ❤ ❤

  20. September 11, 2011 6:09 pm

    Giving up a vegetarian (especially raw vegan) saved my life.

  21. Anna permalink
    September 11, 2011 6:12 pm

    Has the thought of introducing more beans, nuts and veggies crossed your mind? I frequent your blog and I often find myself thinking your food looks incredible, but they are, for the most part, all sweets. Lots of oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, etc… I just don’t see those as substantial, healthy foods. They are great to have for say, one meal a day…But you seem to have cereal & oatmeal several times a day. I think before you reintroduce meat into your diet, you should perhaps try and base most of your meals around beans & vegetables. If that doesn’t work, then I guess try meat and see how you feel.

    • September 11, 2011 9:11 pm

      The reason I don’t eat more beans and veggies is because my stomach doesn’t like them that much, and while sure they might fill me up, it’s because they make me feel bloated rather than truly satisfied.

      • September 12, 2011 7:26 pm

        Canned beans seem to make me bloaty, too. But there are a few tricks to reducing the sugars in the beans that cause discomfort– such as soaking before you cook them, and when you do cook them (making sure to boil them tender), you add a piece of seaweed.

        For me, I have noticed that when I eat sugar-free (no added sugars, fruit is fine for me) that I can digest other foods better– like and nuts, veggies, and beans!

  22. September 11, 2011 6:18 pm

    That is exactly what happened to me. I found myself snacking all. the. time. I couldn’t stop eating. I was constantly starving. One night, I found my Mom in the kitchen making some chicken cutlets, and decided to have some. It was like a switch got turned back on. I know a lot of vegans disagree with this, but I honestly do think a little bit of animal protein is not only okay, it’s healthier for you.

  23. Rose permalink
    September 11, 2011 6:21 pm

    This is a very interesting post and it sounds like you are right, but I also think that this feeling of unsatisfacation may stem from the fact that you do seem to eat a lot of healthy foods and your body wants more not so healthy foods as well.

  24. September 11, 2011 6:22 pm

    This was me a year ago, and I’ve found that some chicken, fish or turkey just 2-3 times a week really helps! Good luck!

  25. September 11, 2011 6:23 pm

    I get this all.the.time. Although I have never actually been vegetarian, I generally prefer to eat a plant-based diet, and only eat meat if I know it’s from a good quality, cruelty free source. But every now and then I just want it, and can’t get enough. I still usually stick with lean proteins – chicken, turkey, fish – especially fish. I hate diet labels, for this very reason. It’s too restrictive, and I want to make sure I’m eating what my body needs.

  26. September 11, 2011 6:24 pm

    I haven’t gone through anything similar with meat because I’ve always eaten it. I know exactly what you mean though about eating something other than what you’re craving and being completely unsatisfied- that just never works so I’ve tried to stop doing that. I say try eating meat again for a little while, and if you feel better that’s great! If not, then there is no harm in going back to not eating it :). But I definitely do know that when I eat a vegetarian meal I am less full than when I eat one with meat incorporated!

  27. Nicole permalink
    September 11, 2011 6:27 pm

    Czesc 🙂

    This post was awesome because I feel that I’m going through something similar to you — though not entirely because I was never exactly vegetarian at any point in my life. My family in general though eats VERY little meat. We eat fish from time to time, and chicken and turkey. But it’s always in small quantities and not really the main focus of any dish. And lately, while giving recovery my 100% (meaning I’m eating when I’m hungry or even if I’m just craving something, and not worrying about calories or having to “make up” for eating by exercising), I’ve noticed that my hunger is quite hard to stifle or satisfy! I too snack on a lot of things, but the snacking doesn’t seem to help much…

    Lunches during my ED consisted of rice cakes and a banana or something equally as paltry and I avoided cheese and meat like the plague. Lately though, all that ED bs is out the window and I’ve been making much more substantial lunches, like cheese sandwiches with tomatoes alongside a cup of fruit, yogurt or granola bar, etc. HOWEVER… this may seem like a healthy, balanced meal, but I find myself hungry afterward each time! It still tends to freak me out a bit because it feels like going from one extreme to another. It’s weird how easy it used to be to just chug diet Coke throughout the day and not feel so hungry.

    At first, I thought maybe my lunches were lacking in overall caloric content (which that might be the case partly because I tend to stick with the lower-calorie breads and Laughing Cow cheese wedges which are only 50 cals, etc.) but… I spoke with a dietitian and after telling her everything I eat — including the constant snacks I have to fulfill my hunger and cravings — she pointed out that I’m not eating enough protein. Protein takes longer to digest so it can make you feel full longer. My meals and snacks are mainly carbs… sugary ones at that! (Okay, so my oatmeal with a dried cranberry and nut mixture maybe isn’t sugary, but the snacks I eat in between meals are things that are easy to grab from our kitchen cabinets, like granola bars, handfuls of cereal, or graham crackers…) My dietitian said that I should try to mix up my lunches at least by making turkey or tuna sandwiches and see how that goes. Or even packing a few slices of turkey and crackers as a snack in between instead of something carby/sugary! I’ve only done this once because I just barely went grocery shopping to pick out some protein-rich foods, and I added a small can of tuna and crackers in with my lunch. AWESOME snack. If you don’t like fish though, this probably doesn’t help much… but you could maybe try making your own tuna salad for example to mask up the fishy taste? Or at least try to make turkey sandwiches or something… or a turkey meatloaf for dinner 🙂

    And isn’t balanced eating all about NOT restricting certain foods from your diet? (Unless you’re allergic or intolerant of them.)

    So good luck and sorry for this monster of a comment! 😀

  28. 2tightlywound permalink
    September 11, 2011 6:27 pm

    My appetite has been out of control for the past two days. I blame it on being gluttonous (that would be the ED’s lovely contribution to my thought process), but maybe my body really is craving something more. I hadn’t really thought too much about it until you brought it up…

    I don’t think there is any universal diet that will satisfy everyone. Maybe those massive muscles you’ve been building just need that extra protein boost.:)

  29. sarah permalink
    September 11, 2011 6:28 pm

    I think its important to just do what YOU want- at the end of the day it is just food and I know for me, being over-analytic with these issues just creates even more problems.
    I was veggie for ages but didn’t have any real reason to be one( I know some people have strong opinions on eating animals but to be honest I don’t, and I do try to eat ethical animal products),and then one day I decided I wanted a tuna sandwich-a much loved staple from my childhood- and I enjoyed it immensely. No I didn’t turn into a raging carnivore- some weeks I eat meat, some I don’t. I experimented with trying different meats and discovered the only type I ever want is fish. Maybe you could experiment to see if there are any meats you enjoy and any change in diet is never set in stone anyway.
    All the pictures in this post are gorgeous! Who make a great advert for vegetarianism ,meat eater or not:)

  30. September 11, 2011 6:37 pm

    You’ve listed some good questions here, and to be honest, I have no idea! I’ve always been a meat-eater and probably always will be.

    But to me, it is worth a shot. Maybe if you start eating meat again you’ll see that you’re just as snacky, and then you just have to decide if you want to continue with meat or go back to a veg diet.

    I do think it is smart that you’re thinking about it!

  31. September 11, 2011 6:38 pm

    I was vegetarian for a little over a year before I realized I was constantly hungry, despite being full. I could pounds of tofu, cups of nuts and yet feel lacking in satiety. I still eat a very plant-based diet, but adding in fish, chicken, and occasionally grass fed beef (or buffalo–even tastier!) and I am satisfied. Give it a try! If it works, great! And if it doesn’t… extra ice-cream might just do the trick 🙂

  32. September 11, 2011 6:39 pm

    All protien is definitely NOT created equal! Studies have confirmed that animals protien, not plant protien, causes disease and cancer. They did numerous (often sad) tests on rats to discover this. And though rats are not people, they are similar enough that it translates to humans, as they have proved.

    Perhaps if you are feeling unsatisfied, it may be that you a) actually need more calories or b) eating more is way of negative energy? I have been having a tough personal time lately anh have been feeling like binging all the time.

    On the subject of calories, meat is a concentrated source of energy, and naturally when people cut it out of their diets and don’t replace the calories, they would feel less satisfied than usual. Humans have no biological need for the flesh or fluids of other animals. What we DO have a biological need for is calories. I know you may not agree with this, but I think the reasons you saw improvements in health when you stopped eating vegan is because it came with an increase in energy consumption, meaning that you would naturally see an increase in health.

    I hope I don’t tick you off with any of this! I think we just may differ in opinions here. You know I love ya! 🙂

    • September 11, 2011 6:42 pm

      Just thought of something– if you are looking for more protien, perhaps eating beans a couple times a day (more than just a spoonful of hummus for instance) will help. They are very filling, very high in protien, and fight many diseases! Eco-friendly too ;).

      • September 11, 2011 9:23 pm

        No worries, hun – I respect your opinions and appreciate the advice 🙂 I would eat beans more often, but the reason I tend to limit them is because my stomach doesn’t handle them well in larger quantities. Every once in a while is okay, but any more than that and I just start feeling not so hot.

      • September 12, 2011 3:28 pm

        I think you’re right to listen to your body Amanda, although personally, I truly don’t believe that animal protein is the way to go. I often have days where I feel unsatisfied – but when I look at my actual, calorific intake, I realise that I maybe didn’t eat enough to sustain what I did that day. I experienced a coule of weeks like that a few months ago, so made a deliberate effort to eat more calories, and it worked a treat 🙂 No more not-satisfied feeling!

        Also -What about lentils? I find that beans can bloat me, but lentils don’t seem to have the same effect. I also find that tofu isn’t always that filling, but tempeh is REALLY filling.
        (ps. well said Vegirl 🙂 )

  33. September 11, 2011 6:40 pm

    I was vegetarian for awhile but like you I never felt satisfied.

    I gave up vegetarianism and went back to eating total crap.

    I started eating healthy (including lean meats) and I had the same unsatisfied/’weak’ness I experienced with vegetarianism.

    I’ve since realized that while vegetarian and while eating healthily at first I was missing one common thing…. FAT!!

    Now I eat vegetarian some days and some days I don’t. As long as I get fat into my diet I don’t feel lacking either with or without meat!

  34. Lilly permalink
    September 11, 2011 6:42 pm

    You are so right, what will it hurt to try? I think each person is SO very different, some may thrive on meat while others not so much. This is evident in my family even, one of my cousins has meat with almost all meals, bacon, ham, chicken, turkey, beef, etc. while another is vegan and feels sick with any dairy or meat. I think each person needs to find what works for them at that time in their life, sometimes thing change and what once worked great now needs to be adapted to your life now. I personally grew up veg so I don’t even think I would know what it was like to crave meat, I did eat it for a few year during middle school and high school but rarely (just at a friends house, bbq, etc.) but never enjoyed it. Even though you don’t like fish, it is known to be really healthy. I have been thinking of trying to add it into my diet too but I just can’t seem to want it haha. The most important thing is you and your health, so however you can live happiest and healthiest is the way to go in my opinion 🙂

  35. September 11, 2011 6:42 pm

    I hope you’re able to figure it out :] I can’t really relate because being vegetarian came sort of naturally to me. When I was a kid I hated eating meat. My mum would have to force me. Later on I found out that meat simply didn’t work for me. I’m very conscious about getting my protein though. I used to think I couldn’t go without getting my five meals in, but since I started school again I can’t get all five of them in. I looked into my breakfast and made it more substantial and it’s now able to hold me over all the way until lunch. So I do think it’s possible to get enough protein on a plant based diet, you just have to be conscious about it. We’re all different though and what works for me might not work for someone else. I hope you can sort your thoughts out :]

  36. September 11, 2011 6:50 pm

    I’m gave up being vegetarian not too long ago because I felt the same way – just plain unsatisfied, like something was missing. I started eating fish and now I’m hooked. I eat it just about every day now and I feel satisfied. I still snack ( a lot) but not like I used to. I don’t eat other meats but that’s just because I have A) fish doesn’t take as long too cook and B) My mom used to cook chicken/turkey so much that the thought of eating it completely skeeves me out.
    Give it a shot! If you don’t like it, don’t eat it again. Plus, it will probably keep bugging you until you do 😛

  37. September 11, 2011 7:01 pm

    I dont eat much meat compared to your average person but when I dont get enough my body craves it. A lot of the time i’ll have a meat free lunch and meat with dinner (turkey wrap, turkey burger if im REALLY craving meat, or a chicken salad). I’ll be honest, sometimes my body craves red meat and that’s been a hard one for me to give into but I can have some roast beef if I really need too. To be honest? I like the taste of fish but my BODY never craves it. I’ll eat it but I never feel like I NEED it. Weird? I dont know! Proteins powders do not fill me up at ALL, I dont get it/them. I just eat them sometimes for taste haha hope that helps some.

  38. lapiattini permalink
    September 11, 2011 7:02 pm

    I think it’s important that you listen to yourself and your body. I would say give it a shot- maybe start with some chicken or turkey bacon (or whatever skeeves you the least) and just take it slow. If it doesn’t work out, then you can always go back.
    It’s hard and I feel you because my diet revolves around carbs- it’s just always been that way. I’m not the vegetarian who wants to eat eggplant rollatini- I want pasta and pizza! I do see the importance of protein and I get it in the same ways as you. But every once in a while when I feel something is just not right, I’ll try a piece of turkey bacon. Or a bite of chicken. And honestly most of the time I get grossed out and stop, but feel better that I listened to my hunger cues and tried.

  39. September 11, 2011 7:08 pm

    I tried sooo hard to give up meat when i first started blog reading, it didnt work!! I was always hungry and always tired!! Something about meat protein just satisfies me. I still dont eat read meat, but about once a week ill have a turkey sandwich and im good to go for another week!! Maybe some peoples bodies can go without meat, i think you just have to listen to your own body and what its telling you 🙂

  40. September 11, 2011 7:11 pm

    I’m glad that you’ve been thinking about this Amanda. For the longest time I didn’t eat eggs and earlier this year I was just craving something. I decided that I’d give them a shot and I’ve never regretted adding them back into my diet. The same goes for fish (although the selection I’ll eat for taste reasons is more slim). I actually tried it by accident and ended up saying “what the heck!” It was definiately strange to give up the vegetarian ways I’ve had for years, but I think you get to a point where the label doesn’t matter so much anymore. I think what matters at this point is feeding yourself and feeling satisfed. I have had the same experience with fats and carbs. I used to load up on veggies until I felt stuffed and bloated but never feel “satisfied”. Now that I’m eating more carbs and fats, I feel like I’m done when all the food is gone- something that I never felt before I started allowing myself to be nourished. I’m still working on this of course, but it’s helping a lot.
    Point here is, I think if your body is telling you to change your tune, you ought to listen to it and give it a try. One bite of meat doesn’t sentence you to be a carnivore for the rest of your life, but if it works for you, roll with it!!

  41. September 11, 2011 7:11 pm

    I think you needd to do whats best for your body. If that means feeding it meat, then feed it meat. I’m not a “preachy” vegetarian – I think you should do what’s best for you!

  42. September 11, 2011 7:12 pm

    Hmm, I think it doesn’t hurt to give it a go, if it doesn’t make you feel better, so what… you tried it! 🙂
    Otherwise, just make sure you’re getting all the right amino acids from other sources and it shouldn’t matter (which I’m sure you do anyway with all the nuts / seeds / eggs etc)

  43. September 11, 2011 7:24 pm

    If meat is what you think your body needs, then go for it. 🙂
    You might as well try it, because if you don’t you’ll never know!
    You do have a lot of protein sources tho, do you think you are getting enough iron?

    • September 11, 2011 9:43 pm

      Iron is something that I was wondering about too. I do eat foods that are pretty good iron sources, but is it enough? I have no idea. The last time I got my blood tested, my iron levels were fine… so I guess I’m okay?

  44. September 11, 2011 7:38 pm

    I was vegan for a bit and vegetarian for about 4-5 years and just recently started eating chicken again… I could tell I was seriously craving chicken (which was abnormal!) after I did even a little bit of lifting (which honestly could partly have been mental, but that’s okay). While I still have my super-snacky days (like today!) I do think that eating real animal protein helped me with some of my cravings. ultimately I think you should try it a bit and see if it works for you! It did for me. 🙂


  45. September 11, 2011 7:45 pm

    I was a vegetarian for 4 years… and the first time I ate meat again was the first time I had felt full. Like.. seriously full. Brick in the stomach full. I typically follow a vegetarian diet, but whenever I find myself getting increasingly snacky, I get some chicken or fish. It fills me up so well. Eating meat again is a decision I’ve never regretted.

  46. September 11, 2011 7:46 pm

    I think it’s important to do what your body is asking for. What could it hurt? Were you a vegetarian for ethics? Or just out of habit?
    And of course there’s organic and free range meats, which are always a good step.

    I personally want to go Vegetarian, but my parents aren’t supportive, and I feel horrible for it sometimes. But I know I’d have a very hard time giving up chicken and turkey.

    I’d be interested to see what you decide to do. I wish you the very best either way 🙂

    • September 11, 2011 9:45 pm

      I would probably say that my decision to go vegetarian in the first place came down to my eating disorder more than it did to ethics. And then after eating that way for so long, it just kind of became a habit.

      • Rose permalink
        September 12, 2011 6:40 pm

        Since you did eat meat before your Eating Disorder and your Eating Disorder has guided you in the way of vegetarianism, I think that this is still a lasting effect your Eating Disorder has left on you. I think you should try eating meat again. Show ED who is boss 🙂 .

  47. September 11, 2011 7:57 pm

    Not all protein sources are created equal – they all differ in which of the 9 essential amino acids they contain. It’s a “perfect” protein source if it has all 9 (quinoa does, and so does eggs), but a lot of protein sources are incomplete – so its possible you could be missing out on a vegetarian diet.

    But, gram for gram, it IS possible to get adequate protein without eating meat. It’s not the protein you miss – it’s other nutrients, namely iron (only found in low amounts in plant sources) and Vitamin b12 (found ONLY in animal sources).

    I don’t know whether you take B-12 ( I do, because I eat meat pretty infrequently – it’s really helped my energy levels and digestion because it’s main function in the body is as a cofactor for enzymes that allow for metabolism of food), but that COULD be a good place to start if you’re not sure about re-introducing meat.

    But to be honest, earlier this month I decided to go vegetarian for animal rights reasons…and I started feeling a lot worse. I was never satisfied with what I ate, everything I cooked just seemed…empty and unappetizing, and like it was missing something. I’d be hungry an hour later. Then, after five days, I was craving meat -well, chicken, since I never really eat beef – and I’m a firm believe that if your body craves something, it’s because it needs it! (or needs something you’re not giving it). I’ve been eating chicken and/or turkey at least once a day since, and I feel much better. I still hate what’s done to animals in the meat industry, but I think my body’s trying to tell me something…so I’m working grass fed/free range animal products into my budget.

    I think you should definitely at least give it a shot! If after two weeks the problem’s not solved, no need to continue! Beef I think would be a shock to your system haha, but chicken and turkey are a great starting point! 🙂

    • September 11, 2011 9:47 pm

      I’ve been taking a B12 supplement for a few years now, so it’s probably not that. And I’d definitely start on chicken and turkey. I’ve never been a big fan of red meat anyways.

  48. September 11, 2011 8:03 pm

    I don’t eat meat besides fish. Then I eat tofu, but in general I have a high protein diet. I like protein the most.
    When weight lifting, you do need more protein. Lean meats may help you. If you believe meat is the answer, give it a shot. I also eat fake meat. It’s good too.

  49. September 11, 2011 8:15 pm

    Protein powders probably can satisfy the protein needs of your body (although you still need to get the micronutrients from somewhere else) but they can’t do anything for satisfying cravings. If your brain says “meat”, it won’t be satisfied until it gets it no matter how much other stuff you eat. Even though I am not a vegetarian, I experience the same problem sometimes. It doesn’t happen only with meat. When I stop eating something for a while I notice how at some point even the most delicious foods aren’t satisfying anymore because all I need is the only thing I can’t have. Give meat a second chance. Maybe it will make you happier.

  50. Sarah permalink
    September 11, 2011 8:35 pm

    I was vegetarian for a number of years. Previously I was never a big meat fiend, could easily forgo it in favor of starchy foods, fruits, and veggies. But I decided to take the plunge and began eating small amounts of fish. When this did not help I added in turkey breast and I feel so satisfied. And much stronger! I still would choose other foods over meat but a little bit goes a long way.

  51. September 11, 2011 8:36 pm

    I can relate. I actually went back to eating chicken for about a year after 4 years of not eating any meat. But then I stopped eating it again (I read skinny bitch and just got too skeeved out by tendons, sketchy meat etc) and am full veg again. I’d listen to your body and just try and see what works for you, and not worry about labels (I hate it when people “Call people out” for eating eggs but being vegetarian, or things like that). Sometimes when I feel way too snacky I just go with it, and my body readjusts, but sometimes adding more beans, tempeh, and the ‘heavier’ vegetarian proteins really helps. Soba noodles & tempeh, quinoa & beans – I find these meals really satisfying!

  52. Brittany @ Itty Bits of Balance permalink
    September 11, 2011 8:37 pm

    I stopped eating red meat in the 4th grade and haven’t looked back since. My teacher told me what was in a hot dog, I stopped eating it, 2 years later I tried to eat it again and my tummy was not havin it. However, I DO still eat chicken, turkey, and fish– they never seemed to bother my tummy.
    I would definitely vote for bringing at least chicken and turkey into your meals! They can be quite delicious if you know how to prep them 😀

    • September 11, 2011 8:46 pm

      I agree with Brittany. It has been the same with me. Although there is the rare occasion when I eat pork (I’m not going to pick the bacon out of the cabbage roll my grandmother slaved over), I pretty much stick to poultry and salmon. But from the sounds of your post, your body is craving something else. If you’re body is sending you (somewhat vague) messages, maybe give it a shot?(I know some people have already suggested this). If the meat doesn’t make you feel better, you can always revert back to vegetarianism.
      Just my two cents 🙂

  53. September 11, 2011 8:38 pm

    I’m not sure if you read some of my first posts on “Coffee and Hope”, but I’m going to link you to two of them.

    This is the first one, when I decided that after 6 years I was going to start including meat back into my diet. Not a lot of it, and not all the time…but just including it in the rotation:

    Then I started including it, and about a week later I wrote this:

    “An update regarding my meat eating.
    I really really think this was a good decision on my part. My body feels better, my brain feels better, and I really don’t feel that desire to eat even though I’m full, any more. I think my body was deprived of the nutrients and vitamins that meat has to offer, that it was craving it in some form or another. I’m not saying this would happen to every vegetarian, but I can honestly say that I was not properly balancing my diet as a vegetarian, and by including meat (only animals that are smaller than me. ie no cows or pigs) I am able to more easily provide my body with what it needs. Especially in dining halls here at the U of Conn.”

    (which can be found in this post:

    Now, when I do eat meat (which honestly isn’t very much) I try to make sure it’s organic. When I go out to eat I almost always order either chicken or shrimp, but stick to mainly a vegetarian diet at home. But I’ll be honest, if I want a turkey sandwich from a cafe I’m damn well going to have one.

    It’s a tough decision, and it’s COMPLETELY up to you. But this is just my experience =)

  54. September 11, 2011 8:49 pm

    I was a vegetarian for 10 years (11-21). The main reason I brought meat back into my life was becuase I hated the feeling of being left out. It was easy to cook vegetarian when I was in my own kitchen but when I ate at friend’s homes or in foreign countries, I often felt like I was inconvenincing people. And that I was missing some amazing food! Now I eat meat, but I still enjoy meat free days and tofu and all of the other vegetarian foods I love. I would say to do what feels right for your body. And don’t feel like you failed because you start eating meat. Just a warning to take it slow because it will take your body awhile to adjust.

  55. September 11, 2011 8:52 pm

    Personally I feel that yes, anyone can follow a vegan or nearly vegan diet. Do you know the name for the disease caused by lack of protein?? I don’t either, because I only read the name of it in John Robbin’s book, in which he was making a point that we don’t suffer from those diseases!!! I eat seeds, nuts, some tempeh & tofu, some whole grain pasta, lots of greens, etc…Basically, even if you only at potatoes, you would get your protein fix, it just wouldn’t be varied!! I think I was born this way though-as I totally see zero difference between my dog and a pig and a chicken and a cow. I would NEVER consider eating my dog!!!! Or even my bipolar siamese cat-she would be really bony anyway and since she is bipolar would probably give me some sort of freaky mean cat disease!!!!! But a REALLY great site for actual nutritional info from peer reviewed studies is
    And the BEST vegan book for that is Becoming Vegan by Brenda Davis-she is a totally MAINSTREAM dietician yet vegan-she also has a book “Becoming Raw” which is hands down the BEST book on raw nutrition-even addressing hijiki and arsenic!!!! Pah’s, AGE’s all of it!!! I feel great on my vegan diet and have never regretted it-but I love animals. And it’s inherent in my nature to just not be able to see why one is a pet and another “food”. Now I would be vegan for health reasons alone. I have been veggie for 30 years+ and Vegan for nearly 15 I think now!!

  56. September 11, 2011 8:59 pm

    I think some excellent points were made in these comments! I don’t see the harm in trying meat. Really, the worst that could happen is you don’t like it and don’t have to eat it again. I rarely crave meat, but eat it when I’m with my meat loving family or when it sounds good and I’m totally down with seafood, and by that I mean shrimp mostly 😛 I hate that unsatisfied feeling and while I love to eat, feeling like you need a snack every hour gets kind of annoying and old real fast. I really hope you figure out what your body is asking for 🙂

  57. September 11, 2011 9:21 pm

    I agree that you should try eating meat. It sounds like your body is asking for it. And you’ll never know until you try, right? There’s nothing to be skeeved out about!

  58. September 11, 2011 9:31 pm

    I can totally relate to this at the moment and will be writing a post about it soon. Im snacking like crazy and even when I’m full. Ice been eating a little more lighter recently and feeling much better for it. Fingers crossed that I get back on track soon.

  59. Cecilia permalink
    September 11, 2011 9:33 pm

    Amanda, just do what you think is right given YOUR circumstances. You are a smart girl and know what to do. Don’t worry about others so much, their judgements are not important. You are the one living your life, so why be a slave to others’ opinion? 🙂 you deserve better than that. You’ve come so far and you can totally go farther w recovery! With whatever decision you make, I’ll stand right behind u and I will think no less of you… Lots of love from aussieland!

  60. September 11, 2011 9:35 pm

    I think you should definitely go for it, if you feel like you’re missing something! Just start out with the meat you feel most comfortable with and go from there.

    I actually just recently went the opposite direction and am eating a vegetarian/vegan-ish diet and it’s feeling amazing for me so far, but I think if I ever craved fish I’d eat it again. But I don’t really crave meats ever, which is why I’ve cut them out. I think I could be pescetarian because I do like some seafood, but all other meats just don’t appeal to me anymore and I feel a lot better without them. And I just love vegetarian and vegan dishes a lot, so that’s also why I chose to eat this way. But I think listening to your body is very important!

  61. cucumbersincollege permalink
    September 11, 2011 9:41 pm

    so im a vegetarian but i understand where youre coming from and i think it stems from something deeper. reading your blog (which i love 🙂 ) i see that you work out and lift a LOT which means that even though you seem to be getting a lot of protein theres still a good chance you might not be. protein powders just aren’t as filling in my opinion but i think thats more mental than anything else. i would try some meat alternatives first and see if that helps. when im really craving meat other forms of protein just wont do. i have to have some chik’n or a juicy veggie burger (they make some good kinds) or other types of meatless meats! you may also want to see someone because it could be more of an iron or B12 deficiency since those are lacking in veggie diets

  62. September 11, 2011 9:41 pm

    Interesting topic! i actually was wondering some of the same things, is protein powder a good a source as a piece of meat? I eat mostly veggie, but sometimes crave fish or turkey and have it, though its been a while, and I have been feelin a little funny/peckish/never satisfied so im going to try to have at least 3 servings of meat a week.

  63. September 11, 2011 9:44 pm

    wow!! i think its awesome you are opening up to this girlfrand! protein powders NEVER fill me up- i find myself wanting actual meat in order to feel satisfied. i would honestly never feel satisfied if i didnt eat meat- and my energy level improves drastically, especially when i eat lean red meat! i think its worth a try.. why not?!

  64. September 11, 2011 9:56 pm

    i haven’t eaten meat in 10 years because i never liked it, so i just never even think to eat it. but maybe if you did enjoy it trying it wouldn’t be the worst thing. even though i’m a pretty strict vegetarian i don’t think you should deny your body anything you want / enjoy. i simply don’t enjoy / want meat so i never eat it. but you really won’t loose anything by trying. i’m curious to see the outcome..i don’t even remember what meat feels like goin’ down! goodluck!

  65. September 11, 2011 10:03 pm

    I am VERY familiar with this feeling! When I was refeeding, even though I still ate meat, I wasn’t eating enough. I would fill up on beans, yoghurt, soy milk, tofu and yet the hunger wouldn’t go away! I remember this one day where nothing I ate could fill the void. Absolutely nothing. For dinner that night we were having homemade beef burgers and it wasn’t until I had finished that meal that all of a sudden my tummy was happy. I no longer felt the need to raid the cupboards and see what I could find. I was actually satisfied.

    At the time I had NO idea that I was craving red meat so badly. But you’ve got to experiment to find these things out.

    If you try meat and you find that it didn’t help, there’s no harm done. But if you never try, you’ll never know.


  66. September 11, 2011 10:05 pm

    I can’t really give you insight on powders ’cause, really, I’ve never had them. I had a few scoops, but then I realized I was lactose intolerant and the container I bought was whey sooooo… HAHA! Yeh.

    Obviously I label myself as a vegetarian. I’ve not really looked back to be honest. I was never a huge ‘meat’ person. I never really craved it save fried chicken or something, or maybe a burger. I can fry up veggies or tofu and obviously I can have a veg burger 😉 So, meh. For me I just don’t crave it all too much.

    BUT! I’m a firm believer that everyone should do what’s right for their body. If you’re not abstaining for meat for whatever reason other than you’re not sure if you’re craving it, I’d say go for it! Try a bit and see if it works for you. If it doesn’t, no big, yeh?

    I find that nut butter keeps me plenty satisfied. I’m like you- carbs and fats all the way. That’s what seems to keep me going and keep me satisfied. Almond butter’s pretty crazy in the protein department, too! And I’ll usually add some tofu into the mix if I’m craving something savory, or hummus. But tofu almost fills me up TOO much. Strange.

    Oh, and I think I read somewhere that cravings are learned, so if you haven’t had it in a while your body probably doesn’t remember! But then again, don’t trust the internet. Hah.

    ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

    • alex permalink
      October 15, 2011 1:40 pm

      Aww your blog is private now 😦 that’s f***** up, I really enjoyed reading it

  67. September 11, 2011 10:52 pm

    Im so proud of you for listening to your body, and taking your cravings seriously! So ispirational! I dont think meat is for everyone, but I certanly dont think being veg is for everyone either! And you have to try, to figure it out!

    As you say, nothing is written in stone! SO true! That was really what made me try out dairy! If i had to make a choice for the rest of my life, it would be so hard. But allowing myself to try it out was so imortant to me. The dairy made me more satisfied- not gonna lie about that! But as you know, it also helped me eat more regulary- which obviously also made me more satisfied.

    For me, yea, it is partly my "need" to restrict that made me a vegan in the first place! But being vegan really is more about ethics for me! For me, it feels right! But I would never have figured out if I didnt try out the dairy. So Im so happy I did!

    I have gone for years, being unsatisfied. So now, after eating lots of more grains and beans, i feel so so much better! It might change, and then I will have to change again. But for now it does feel good 🙂

    Good luck, I support you in whatever you chose! Your health should come first no matter! And also, no point in being vegan if it is not important to you!

    Love you ❤

    • September 12, 2011 10:07 am

      Thanks for sharing, hun. I think you’re right and that I need to just try it to see how it makes me feel. If I don’t like it, then it’s no biggie, but at least I’ll know for sure. As it stands right now, it’s been so long that I honestly don’t know whether I want to eat it or not. And there’s only one way to answer that question… to try it out and see what happens.

  68. September 11, 2011 11:23 pm

    i know I spoke to you about this before but i definitely needed to have SOME meat to control my appetite.. it was just ridculous and REALLY helped– i thnk u should do it if it feels right like it did for me!

  69. September 11, 2011 11:38 pm

    Protein powders never did much for me either. I am more of a carbs girl though,and if I don’t eat enough of those THEN my appetite goes coo-coo. But I’d say you should definitely try to listen to your body, and if meat is what you need then by all means – go for it! And if it’s something else – well you’ll find that out soon enough.

  70. September 11, 2011 11:59 pm

    To an extent I think protein is protein…IF the source is natural! I know a lot of bloggers love protein powders but I have never been a fan of them. Most of the ingredients are high in sugar/artificial and I think it just contradicts the whole notion of eating ‘protein for good health’. I can understand that some people don’t enjoy meat- I go through phases too with chicken/turkey but if you think it will help control your appetite, it’s worth a shot…and taste buds evolve, you may actually be pleasantly surprised!

  71. September 12, 2011 12:26 am

    No harm in trying, Amanda 🙂
    But, instead of chicken and turkey I would advice you to start with beef. That is like a gift to us women! It tastes amazing and does amazing. Try to add slices of beef on top of your pasta , pizza or even on top of your Philadelphia / cream cheese for lunch. How do you feel about beef / red meat?
    I find that meat is very important for my overall well-being, especially now that I’m in a process of healing.

    Another thing I’ve noticed from some of your pictures is that many of your yoghurts are 0%, which in my opinion is not necessary for us. Unless one has issues digesting milk products with a higher fat content or are overweight, the fat yoghurts contain are benefitial for our bodies. Besides, a higher fat percent can also help you feel more satisified after a meal / snack.

    You’ll find out of this Amanda, and I think you are brave for sharing your thoughts and concerns with us. It shows that you put your health on top of your priority list, also when that means facing anxiety.
    You started cutting out meat due to the development of ED, which is never a good reason. We should cut back on meat due to environmental concerns, animal well- being, if it’s benefitial for our bodies etc , but never because ED has told us to do it.
    To start eating meat again will enable the genuine and healthy you to find out if that is something you would like to include in your diet, or not.

    Love you.

    • September 12, 2011 10:10 am

      I was actually never a fan of red meat because it used to give me a lot of stomach problems. When I did eat meat, it was always turkey or chicken, so that’s probably what I would start out with for now. And my yogurt was 0% because for a long time that was the only kind of Greek yogurt that we had available to us up here in Canada. We just recently got Oikos, which comes in 2%, and I’ve switched over to that. It’s an availability issue more than anything else 🙂

  72. September 12, 2011 12:35 am

    i was vegetarian for 15 years- since I was ten. I started getting really sick when I was about 23 and did blood tests and i had almost NO iron. My diet was really healthy- clean and lots of nuts, tofu, whole grains, grain combining, etc. I started taking iron pills and then eventually ate meat. I ate meat maybe for 6 months and then felt so bad and felt like i wasn’t being true to myself… i defined myself as a vegetarian. that lasted for a year and i just wasn’t feeling it.. i wasn’;t feel good, i didn;t feel strong or healthy. so thats it- i am now a meat eater. If ten your old me knew this- she would NEVER believe it EVER. but i feel great now. i don’t eat too much red meat, but i do eat a lot of chicken. Listen to your body- its so important.

  73. September 12, 2011 1:39 am

    I totally support your decision to start eating meat, but as Hedda said above, I suggest you start with beef, not only chicken.
    When I was 11, I stopped eating red meat because of my stupid fear of mad cow’s disease.Silly, right. But, later, as I’ve started restricting my meals and ate less and less meat, my body broke down. Lately, I’ve been eating meat 3-4 times a week, and a lot of juicy beef, and honestly, I feel amazing. Every time I have a meaty meal, I feel like I gave my body something good, something my body can use to make me strong, smart and beautiful. Same goes for full fat products. Seriously. 4% yogurt is the way to go. Meaty creamy sauces with gnocchi, as well. Can’t wait to see what you’ll try 🙂

  74. September 12, 2011 2:49 am

    I love that you don’t label yourself! It’s really silly, to be honest. I ate pretty much vegetarian for a few years – didn’t really care for meat that much. However, a year ago I started eating more of it again, just when I started being more actually, to be honest. I don’t think it’s unimportant where the protein comes from – I prefer natural sources. Nowadays, hardly a day goes by that I don’t eat meat.

  75. Lenna (veganlenna) permalink
    September 12, 2011 3:09 am

    I believe it is worth trying. You know, I think you are really good at listening to your body, so if anyone knows when it is the right time to reintroduce meat or any food group to their diet, it´s you! I actually think that vegan/vegetarian diet (and the same applies to raw or other stuff) is not for anyone. Our bodies are different, some runs the best on fruits, but others are the most happy with a bit of chicken every now and then (or every day). I believe that protein from plants and from animals is really not the same and while for me the plant protein seems to be enough, for example my sister couldn´t live on it. She tried it, it didn´t work, she went back to eating meat and now she is healthy and happy. So give it a try if you feel like that and let´s see what happens 🙂

  76. September 12, 2011 5:01 am

    I have been through this! I recently started adding fish back into my diet. I didn’t like it before, but I find that the non-fishy fish are pretty good and it’s so much easier for me to eat dinners with the family and go out to eat, but actually feel like I got a good meal! I’ve thought about adding the chicken back, but that’s a jump I’m not ready to take. I hope it works out for you! I’ve been feeling super snacky lately so maybe I’ll have to try it if you see success.

    • September 12, 2011 10:14 am

      What’s a non-fishy fish? I’ve love to start out with fish, just because of all of the health benefits associated with omega 3’s, but I had a hard time getting past the smell in the past, and I’d hate to try eating some now and end up gagging 😯

      • September 12, 2011 2:26 pm

        Hey Amanda, don’t mean to butt in but the white fish are usually the least fishy-tasting fish. Also, if you can get hold of swordfish then try that out, as it really isn’t that much like fish at allll. You can just fry it for a couple of minutes on each side and then it flakes up really easily, so if you have an issue having a big fat flab of fish on your plate then you could mix it into some quinoa or something? Hope you find something that works for you 🙂

      • September 12, 2011 2:27 pm

        (p.s white fish like cod or haddock, I meant to say!)

      • Nicole permalink
        September 12, 2011 10:25 pm

        Tilapia doesn’t taste fishy! And I had an amazing pan-seared tuna once… tastes COMPLETELY different than the tuna you get in cans or whatever which actually smells gross and wayyyy fishy.

  77. September 12, 2011 5:35 am

    I think if you *think* you’re craving meat, there’s no harm in trying it out! And if you hate it, then you can just stop.

    Based on what I’ve learned in my nutrition classes I think it’s very possible to get all the protein you need on a vegetarian diet. But you do need to plan it out more carefully and count your grams of protein just to be sure. Also there is the problem of the nutrients in plant proteins (like zinc and B12) being less easily absorbed by the body than in meats. So you want to be sure you’re eating MORE than the recommended daily amounts of those. Basically I think if you eat meat it’s a lot easier to get all your protein/nutrients without having to think about it. But if you’re willing to plan, then a vegetarian diet can definitely meet all your needs too.

    Keep us posted on what you do! 🙂

  78. September 12, 2011 5:48 am

    Hi love!

    Great post and great that you are LISTENING to your body as well ; )

    I say go for it, start gradually adding meats into your diet and see how it makes you feel, I don’t eat red meat, but i eat fish and organic chicken, I do sometimes feel like a little red meat might be good for me, so I might try adding some in there soon, but do what YOU feel is best for your body!

    ❤ xoxoxo

  79. Evan permalink
    September 12, 2011 5:53 am

    I say GO FOR THE MEAT!! You don’t have to eat a meatball sub chased with a pork chop everyday for lunch, but having that flexibility and variety in your diet will be so much more satisfying and fun. One of the most pivotal parts of recovery is getting to a place where you can be totally flexible and relaxed about what you eat – and integrating meat back into your diet can also be considered a part of that process, since you wouldn’t have to always worry if something was made with fish sauce or chicken stock. Plus, eggs, fish, chicken, and red meat (especially red meat) are really good for you in moderate quantities – even my Chinese medicine doctor told me that (vegans, feel free to agree to disagree, it’s my firm belief, though).

    For the sake of flexibility, satiety, and just good eating, I say DO IT! 🙂

  80. September 12, 2011 6:54 am

    It’s hard to say. Meat helps to keep me from eating as many carbs, and therefore snacking less. It helps me to feel satisfied longer too. I don’t know that’d it’d solve your problems, but I guess it’s worth a shot. I’m eager to hear how it goes!

  81. September 12, 2011 7:29 am

    Ive actually readlly been thinking of upping my protein because like you, I just feel like I need MORE. Or maybe I just WANT more? Gosh it really is hard to decipher what our bodies want, but I am really trying to listen and be open to what it is asking of me. I am trying to add more protein WITHOUT adding more meat. I usually have meat for dinner (unless I opt for the vegetarian version of whatever I make my hubs) but some days I skip it and those days I can really feel that I am still left with cravings. Its all trial and error I guess

  82. September 12, 2011 8:23 am

    Oh Goodness I NEEED my protein.

    Egg whites and fish and a boatload of veggie burgers do the trick for me. When my weight gets really low, and like I am malnourished (heasn’t happenned in a while YAY!) I actually crave carcass (as I like to say) and I eat turkey slices (applegate farms makes great clean turkey). I try and recall that it is an animal I am eating and it disturbs me but at the end of the day my heath comes first for now.

    I bet you will see an amazing difference.

  83. jenandberries permalink
    September 12, 2011 8:25 am

    Protein powder never fills me either! Honestly, I don’t think I would be strong willed enough to give up chicken and fish although I’d save a fortune! This is so cool (yet I’d imagine scary, but a good sort of scary!) that you think you want to introduce meat. I think you can definitely get enough protein on a veggie diet – my mother is veggie but can’t eat eggs, cottage cheese, beans, grains, tofu, nuts or seeds but still manages it through yogurt and milk somehow! You’ll never know if your body really wants turkey or other meat unless you try though. Happy experimenting!!

  84. September 12, 2011 8:35 am

    I was a vegetarian for almost 2 years… but gave it up recently. I too could not feel full and actually thought I was gaining weight because I would fill up on not healthy things. I got sick of fixing 2 dinners. One with meat for my husband, one without for me. I felt a little disconnected from the world. I don’t regret the decision, but I wish I could find some way to stand up against factory farming and the inhumane treatment to our farm animals.

  85. September 12, 2011 8:37 am

    I’m REALLY interested to see what you end up doing! I haven’t eaten meat for about 6 years because it honestly just freaks me out. And the more I think about it, the more I don’t think I could go back to eating meat. I kind of WISH I wanted it, because, like you said, sometimes I feel like I’m craving something and I can’t figure it out,. It’s weird. I don’t know if it’s meat, or extra protein or what. I’m pretty good about watching my protein intake so I don’t think it’s just that I’m not getting enough. I don’t know what it is!

    I’d love to hear what you end up doing and how it works out!

  86. September 12, 2011 9:54 am

    I feel like I snack after dinner because I don’t eat enough protein during the day. I know that I don’t and yet I can only eat so many eggs and so much fish and I don’t eat other types of meat. I get sick of nuts and seeds and I don’t eat tofu so….I am in the same boat.

    If you are feeling like you need meat you probably need meat! Give it a try…the great thing is that if it isn’t for you, you can always revert back to being a vegetarian!

  87. September 12, 2011 10:04 am

    As a former vegan and vegetarian, I can completely relate to the “should I or shouldn’t I eat meat again?” question. I waffled back and forth for quite awhile, mainly because I couldn’t strip myself of a label. My life used to be one of extremes, so I was either going to be a plant-eater or a meat-eater. And damn, I was going to do whichever I committed WELL. Haha. I specifically remember going out and buying a huge packet of organic roast beef the day I decided to eat meat again. I downed the entire thing in a day. :-p So glad those days are over…Now I listen to my body, and I definitely have strong cravings for meat, especially when I’m doing heavy lifting (as I am now). However there are days when I don’t crave it, and I eat a vegetarian/vegan diet. It’s all about honing in on my body’s cues.

    I read a fantastic book called Real Food, by Nina Planck. It completely changed the way I think about food, and helped me feel more comfortable about incorporating animal proteins in my diet. She argues that we are designed to be omnivores, and that our bodies function best with a wide variety of protein. I highly recommend checking it out!

    Hope you had a lovely weekend, Amanda! xoxo

  88. kabochafashionista permalink
    September 12, 2011 10:24 am

    Aw Amanda, firstly can I say how proud of you I am (and more importantly how proud you should be of yourself) for considering eating meat again because it just shows how far you have come now in terms of recovery since you actually care for your body and your health and want to do what is best for it and that is so so inspirational. It saddens me so much to see people trapped in their eating disorders with a vegetarian/vegan diet simply as a way of restriction or as a form of orthorexia when deep down, they actually like meat or refuse to give it a go because ED made them think that meat was bad.
    As for me as a vegan, I purely went vegan because it actually made me recover in my own way. I was scared of fats in my ED and a vegan diet would have terrified me in the depths of my illness as it involves a lot of nuts, nut butters and oils to stay healthy. I do not consider a vegan diet to be the healthiest at all. But for me to become vegan forced me into eating these foods which inevitably made me face my fear of fats and start to recover which I am eternally thankful for. I was always vegetarian since the age of 10 anyway and have never craved meat. However if I did suddenly start wanting meat, I would definitely not refuse myself of it because now I know that I would still be able to eat my fats aswell as meat because I’m simply in love with fats and carbs 🙂 But at the moment, having a high carb and fat diet keeps me satisfied which is fine by me 🙂
    I can’t wait to hear how you get on with it and it’s a chance to experiment – you have nothing to lose and I think you will learn more about what your body needs and what you like and I hope that many people can be inspired by you to do the same who struggle with the concept of trying meat when they know that at the moment they are simply denying themselves of it, because I know many people look up to you 🙂

  89. Healthy Hot and Happy permalink
    September 12, 2011 10:43 am

    This is so strange to read, because I feel like the opposite happened to me when I eliminated meat from my diet, and even more so when I became vegan. I see others have already mentioned this, but I agree that you should try to incorporate more nuts such as almonds and walnuts, beans (at least a little – I know you said they upset your stomach, so perhaps half a cup a day) and more vegetables. But when it comes down to it, it’s your body and you choose what you put into it – so do what you think is best. 🙂

  90. J-an permalink
    September 12, 2011 12:09 pm

    I actually strongly disagree with vegetarianism and veganism. I think a wholesome diet includes all foods (no diet in history has ever been vegetarian). And its far more hormonally balanced and “natural” to eat chicken and fish than it is to eat some of the stuff you see on shelves today. Protein powders can be okay, but definitely NOT a replacement to REAL foods. I eat dairy, eggs, chicken and fish (a lot!), whole grains, I do eat a ton of sweets, a ton , so who am I to talk?
    But I urge you to reconsider…even if you read the reputable studies, it can open your eyes to things.

    I suggest you try lean chicken and turkey and fish (wild caught salmon in the oven…yum yum yum bigtime), I love canned salmon and tuna also …so so healthy for your skin and brain cells…white fish is the best way to start because its very gentle compared to some other stuff. Just don’t think about it so hard. Don’t label yourself or wonder “will I or should I eat it today, etc?”…life isn’t about food like that. Just eat day to day. Just eat in that moment with no rules and no labels. And certainly no judgement!

    • September 12, 2011 7:36 pm

      There are many diets in history that were vegetarian– the followers of Pythagorean ate a meat-free diet (as a way to obstain from causing harm and to eat “pure” foods). And what about India? There are many other examples of vegetarian diets in history– they just weren’t labeled as such. The word vegan and vegetarian was only coined in the last couple hundred of years!

      • Healthy Hot and Happy permalink
        September 12, 2011 8:45 pm

        What she said ^.

  91. J-an permalink
    September 12, 2011 12:11 pm

    You can also try adding more oils to your day. I eat 1-2 tablespoons at least of coconut oil or olive oil per day. You know those salted rice cakes you buy? I pour coconut oil over them OR olive oil…tastes like popcorn !

  92. September 12, 2011 12:14 pm

    GOOD FOR YOU!! Ok, yes I am a vegan, but I believe 100000% that we should eat what we need and crave!! For me, I’ve never had a problem getting my protein, and I’ve never craved more (I am a carbs and fats girl all the way haha!), and I snack a LOT and am hungry a lot, but that’s just me I think! 🙂

    Good luck with your decision! ❤

  93. September 12, 2011 12:28 pm

    I think it varies from person to person. Everyone absorbs nutrients differently, so some get what they need veg style while others need some meat.

    This is so very interesting to me as my hubs started a 6 week vegetarian challenge (? I guess you could call it that). I’ll be sharing more about it tomorrow morning!

  94. September 12, 2011 12:58 pm

    Well you know I can certainly relate to your snackiness at the moment! There’s probably no basis to this opinion other than what seems to make sense to me, but I really do believe that some people can be vegan and be great, some can be veggie and be fine etc, but I do think that some people, for whatever reason, may be genetics or whatever, just can’t seem to manage without animal protein. I think you are completely right to listen to your body and do what’s right for you, as you say – you’ve never adopted a label anyway, and even if you had that wouldn’t matter. I hope adding meat helps, good luck!

  95. September 12, 2011 1:49 pm

    If you feel your body needs protein other than the vegetarian sources, then by all meat. Your body knows what it needs..and if you’re craving it, you may just need it! You never know. Just like when becoming a vegetarian, maybe you could come out of it the same way. You know, eat meat for a week and see how it goes. If it’s working, continue on, if not, go back to vegetarian. It’s all up to you. 🙂

  96. September 12, 2011 2:11 pm

    You always seem to post information that I really need to hear at the moment. I have been a snacking monster lately too, and I just don’t know why the heck it is. For me, it can’t have much to do with protein intake because I do eat meat… well at least chicken, fish and turkey. But if you think this could potentially solve your desire for something, then I say go for it… I am 1000% percent on your side on this!
    And like you said, if it doesn’t help you, than at least you know it’s not that. Do what you is good for your body, simple as that. I really look forward to reading more of your thoughts on this!

  97. September 12, 2011 2:54 pm

    Not eating meat is never the same as eating meat. You can get the nutrients you need, a.k.a. protein, without eating meat. Is that harder to do? Yes. Is eating meat going to help? Yes. You would be getting the protein your body needs. I know what you mean about not feeling full while eating vegetarianly. 🙂 To stop the unsatisfied feeling, I started eating fish a month ago and I feel so much better! I go three or four days eating a vegetarian diet, and then on the fifth day I usually crave some fish, so I have some. My body always thanks me and it doesn’t ask for meat again for another 4 days. But that is just me. You need to experiment for YOU though. If you are hesitant to eat meat, I would try upping your protein and fat intake for a couple of days and see how you feel, and if that doesn’t do it, maybe try some not so fishy fish like halibut. Why protein and FAT? Because those are the two nutrients you would be getting from meat, and if your body is carving those nutrients and you get them from plant sources, or dairy, you will most likely be satisfied. If getting more protein and fat from plants and dairy doesn’t do it, your body wants more than simply protein and fat. This is an opportunity to experiment girl! 🙂

  98. Maria permalink
    September 12, 2011 3:36 pm

    After reading Alicia Silverstone’s “The Kind Diet” I wanted to be a vegan/ vegetarian. When I started cutting meat out of my diet I find myself with a “I-can-eat-anything-as-long-as-its-vegetarian” attitude. I gained weight and felt hungry constantly even though I was still eating dairy. When I went back to eating meat and chicken I stopped the mentioned mental attitude and lost the weight I had gained because I really did feel more satiated. I still try to avoid red meat when I can but if my parents cook it then I’ll eat it and I just make sure its lean cuts of meat. I think its important to eat meat because otherwise you could have a Vitamin B12 deficiency since animal sources are the only sources of this vitamin. Just do what feels best for you if you want to occasionally eat meat then…well who cares? It doesn’t matter if you call yourself a vegetarian or a flexetarian…everyones different!

  99. September 12, 2011 5:37 pm

    I went through the same thing when I was graving Greek yogurt. I tried everything to shut the craving up, but it just came down to my body wanting some Greek yogurt. Sooo I reintroduced it.

  100. September 12, 2011 6:10 pm

    I was a pescatarian for almost three years and I NEVER craved meat. However, I felt the same way after a long time and I decided that I wanted to try eating meat again. Once I did, I actually lost weight, and felt a much better. Everyone’s different though and maybe you should just try different things and find out what works for you!

  101. September 12, 2011 7:09 pm

    As a vegetarian myself, I do believe whole heartily that protein is protein and that AS LONG as you get enough of it, you should get the same benefits and effects no matter where you get it from. However, everyone’s body is different and you should do what it right for your own. Maybe try eating some meat here and there and see how your body reacts. There is a quick and substantial amount of protein in meat. Or if you aren’t ready to take that dive, maybe try eating more of the items you listed above to up your protein intake. Trial and error is the only way to know.

  102. September 12, 2011 8:07 pm

    I’ve thought about eating meat again, but I still eat fish sometimes and I think that’s enough. Thinking back to when I did eat chicken longer than a year ago, I never really ate it when I prepared food for myself. Now that I barely go out to eat, I don’t really find myself wanting to make it ever again. Plus with the lack of organic restaurants here, I don’t think I could just eat chicken anywhere. It’s a tough thing to decide on!

  103. September 12, 2011 10:15 pm

    Hey Amanda my darling,
    Unfortunately I can’t really relate to not knowing what you are craving/needing, but I just wanted to offer my support 🙂 Like you said, nothing is set in stone right 🙂 I would be so proud of you if you grilled yourself a chicken to see if this is what your body was missing?

    Good luck sweetie! xo

    Keep us updates 🙂

  104. September 13, 2011 12:01 am

    I have been very snacky lately too…(I eat meat…but not a lot). I find I get snacky when I exercise too much and don’t eat enough. My goal is to eat more during the day and snack less at night!

  105. September 13, 2011 3:17 am

    I understand you very well…
    I have not eaten meat for about five years & in fact,I did not do it because of my ED but because of ethical reasons. Although,I felt that my body was craving for some other protein sources than dairy,eggs & beans etc. lately – it was craving for some chicken & fish.
    In fact,I have to admit that I wasn’t that kind of vegetarian who never missed eating meat (pork and beef were never my thing,but I always used to to love chicken & fish!),but my craving was NEVER so distinctly and I never felt like I was really NEEDING this kind of protein. But this time,it was. So I thought about it very intensively and finally came to a decision I have not regretted yet: Because of my ED,I mistreated my body for such a long time; in fact,my body had to endure so much over YEARS! I never payed attention to its needs,I never gave it what it wanted. And what did I achieve like that? I achieved that my health is poor now and almost DIED! I don’t want to die. I want to live. And I also know that,continuing ignoring the needs of my body,I will NOT be able to live much longer. Because I STILL am in danger; my life STILL is in danger. So my options were 1. ignoring the craves of my body and aggravating the situation and 2. listening to what mybody wants & needs to see if I feel better that way.
    And I do. So PLEASE listen to your body and just give it a try! You are SO worth it!

  106. September 13, 2011 6:40 am

    I totally get what you mean about trying to satisfy a craving but not exactly knowing what it is. I think the meat thing is worth a try. I wouldn’t say that I’m hungrier on days that I don’t eat meat, but I think that it all averages out in the end. Although I have to say, a protein shake will never fill me up for more than an hour or so.

    I didn’t eat any meat (or eggs) for the week that I was on vacation in Cali and when I got back, the craving was ridiculous! I guess sometimes your body’s just trying to tell you what you need!

  107. September 13, 2011 8:50 am

    I would really like to recommend you a book called: “Deep Nutrition: why our genes need traditional food” by Catherine Shanahan, M.D.
    This book has been immensely eye-opening for me and I think it deserves more attention than it has currently (already quite famous, though)
    The reason why I’m recommending this is that it explains what our body needs as Homo Sapiens and what to eat / how to prepare for that requirements. Check it out!! It’s super interesting 😀

  108. September 16, 2011 1:25 pm

    I love my vegetarian proteins! If you like spicy food Wasabi peas are a good source of protein. 5 grams for 1/3 cup and I always end up eating more because they’re addicting 🙂

  109. Jenn p&c permalink
    October 10, 2011 3:45 pm

    we totally need an email sesh bc im doing and going through the same extract thing!!!


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