Confessions of a Meat Eater

I love the taste of meat, I seriously do.  Its delicious, and no matter how hard I have tried in the past to say “the fake stuff can be just as good,” the truth is: most of the time it can’t.  Meat is delicious, and nothing can replace it.  Ever.  Not in my book.

That being said, over the past few weeks, with different health issues surfacing and a food budget dwindling quicker than I can sometimes blink my eyes, I have made some health and budget decisions about my diet that have caused me to become a:

Low-Gluten Pescatarian (who only eats goat/sheep products due to, you know, my whole cow dairy allergy).

Lola Lollipop - 2. Cow vs. Pig vs. Shrimp

Source: lolalollipop.com

Now, I know you might be thinking, “but fish are the most expensive type of ‘meat’ out there!”  But, the reality is that fish is the only type of ‘meat’ I can eat without getting bloated, pain or the runs.  (Sorry if that was TMI, but its true).  So I won’t be eating it frequently, but I won’t rule it out – need those omega threes!

I’ve also discovered over the past few weeks that I have a gluten intolerance.  I started having skin rashes show up on my body as I started unintentionally doubling my gluten intake.  I found some bagels on sale, sandwich thins, had a couple additional beers, and next think I knew I had skin lesions on my body — which can be a symptom of gluten sensitivity/celiac disease (see below).  And although I’ve tested ‘not positive’ for it in the past, I am going back into the doctor for more tests and answers, and right now I’m eating as if I actually do have a sensitivity.

From Derma Harmony

About Gluten Intolerance

An estimated 2 million Americans suffer from an allergy that many don’t even know exists. Celiac or gluten allergy could be the most common allergy afflicting Americans today. Recent research has revealed that an undiagnosed gluten allergy can be especially problematic for those suffering from psoriasis and other skin conditions. Though occasionally patients are asymptomatic, usually symptoms mimic other conditions, and often physicians misdiagnose it as Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS). The wide array of symptoms include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloating
  • Headaches
  • Canker sores
  • Fatigue
  • Irregular Menstrual Cycle
  • Joint Pain
  • Sleep Irregularity

Dermatitis Herpeformis, a persistent, itchy rash with red skin and watery blisters often appears on the knees, elbows, backs and buttocks of individuals with wheat allergies.

And, unfortunately, I have everysingle one of those symptoms.

So what does this mean for me?  Well, I’m eliminating gluten from my household (once I finish all my gluten-filled foods, and limiting my intake to 1 serving/day until that happens – I hate wasting food), and otherwise I can have:

For Grains:

  • Quinoa
  • Rice (all kinds!)
  • Corn Tortillas
  • Polenta
  • Potatoes

For Protein:

  • Fish/Shellfish
  • Beans!
  • Tofu
  • Seitan
  • Soy/Goat Yogurt and Cheese

  011     010

Hi, my name is Elise and I’m a goat/sheep cheese & yogurt addict…and a cheese ends bin at WF and New Leaf addict.  And no, I don’t want to recover.

  • Eggs

This is going to take a bit of getting used to for me, but I’m so excited about how much better I should feel all the time in both my body and my budget.

I will be saving money (only buying fish for special occasions or on super sales at WF or New Leaf) and listening to my body on what it needs and keeping out what it clearly doesn’t want.  So I can be a happy Californian.

IMAG0594

Happy Californian post-haircut from earlier this week.  Can’t wait to be this happy about the way the inside of my body feels all the time.

While I will never try to sell the ‘fake product’ as being ‘as good as’ or ‘replacing’ the real deal, because no soy product will ever take the place of meat on my plate, I will try to find delicious alternatives for some of the dishes I love.  Why do I say this?  I’m a meat eater, and always will be.  I just need to make some dietary adjustments that require me to give meat up.  *shedding a tear*  I will miss it.

And if I slip up, I’m only human.  And adjusting to a new lifestyle can be very, very difficult and daunting.  This way, at least I’m accountable to someone Winking smile

Have you had to make adjustments to you diet for health reasons or just because?  Why?  What was your biggest challenge in making the adjustments?

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16 thoughts on “Confessions of a Meat Eater

  1. I eat pescatarian, but it was more of an experiment than for health reasons. I thought it would encourage me to base meals on veggies and eat more healthfully. And it was too intimidating to go straight vegetarian. It’s been interesting–I like it in some ways, and don’t miss meat much, but I also don’t feel healthier… then again, I don’t know if I really expected to! I just eat WAY too many carbs now… and still not enough veggies. 😦

  2. I figured out awhile I go I had mild lactose intolerance. I can tolerate some cheese, greek yogurt, and a small amount of ice cream without discomfort. I’m also like you and I love my meat. I’ve tried going veg, and vegan with nothing really working for me. So I’ve compromised…I’ll eat a few veg meals a week and work in some meat. When I focus on whole foods, i always feel better 🙂 I hope you figure out your food issues (I think grad school exacerbates our problems!)

  3. I’m so sorry to hear that you’re experiencing those symptoms- all of those are bad enough on their own so I’m sure it’s no picnic to have them all. Hoping that this new diet works well for your healthy and budget 🙂

    I just started to try to limit my sugar intake. I’ve recently developed a serious sweet tooth and um, my thighs aren’t happy about it, if you know what I mean.

  4. I’ve started making an effort to go easier on the gluten – not because I have any bad symptoms but because I figure it really can’t hurt! I eat pescatarian as well, but can’t stand shrimp/crab/lobster/etc.

    People are like, “aren’t you a vegetarian?” and the shortest answer I’ve come up with is : “I’m a lacto-ovo pescatarian that doesn’t eat crustaceans” As if that really clears it up at all… ha

    Oh and I thought seitan wasn’t GF? Or are some kinds, maybe?

  5. That seriously stinks. Good luck figuring things out with your doc!

    Lol, I’m one of those people that things the veg substitutes are WAY better than the real thing. Then again I’m a vegetarian because I hate the taste of meat. Go figure.

  6. I’ve made adjustments to try to figure out stomach problems in the past, and I often wonder if I have a gluten sensitivity (I tested negative for celiac’s too). I think that is actually a lot harder than no dairy or no meat because it can secretly be in everything!

    • 6 years ago I would’ve told you to go try living dairy free, because it was hard starting out — but now, with so many dairy free options I think you’re right. And it is so difficult with gluten — for me, the worst part is soy sauce. I know that there are GF soy sauces, but they just don’t taste the same…

  7. Were you always lactose intolerant? I find it so hilarious that I look the exact same as I did at 22, but my stomach just cannot tolerate the foods it used to. Gettin’ old yo. Seriously though, if I had to give up gluten, I do not know what I would do… Bread is my lover.

    • No 😦 I discovered it when I was 19…after 6 trips for ‘appendicitis’ to the ER. When my stomach became that expensive I knew something was wrong. And so my diet woes began.

  8. Oh man, I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this, but it sounds like you’ve got everything under control. Maybe it’s a good excuse for some fun experimenting?

  9. Oh no! Hope everything works out for you. I don’t knwo what I would ever do with out my gluton. I love bread and cereal. ANd I know there are gluton free versions but i am stubborn and want my regualr bread and cereal

    • Thanks! Me too 🙂 I think the worst part will be cereal + soy sauce. I have the benefit of never liking the texture of bread or pasta to begin with…haha maybe its a sign?!

  10. Great post! I have found that Trader Joes has great prices on fish, you might want to check that out. I just got back from chiropractor and had some neck pain/migraine issues and suggested eliminating red wine, cheese and chocolate for a few days. Sends me into panic but I will try it.

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