09 June 2014

going omni

For about six months now I've been thinking about making a really, really big decision and after talking it over with certain people and really considering my reasons behind the decision, it's official:

I'm eating meat again. 



When I first made the decision to go vegetarian six and a half years ago, it was for health reasons. Don't get me wrong, I love animals and all that, but this was a conscious choice made in a effort to reduce my binge episodes.

I've always been very open about my history of disordered eating and the fact that I was going through the drive thru at McDonalds and Taco Bell and KFC, like, five times a week and eating 3000 calorie meals each time. It was at a point where I couldn't figure out how to curb my episodes and the only remedy I could come up with was to stop eating meat. If I don't eat beef then I can't go get four cheeseburgers as a "snack" before my full dinner.

Over the past few years as I've been losing weight and traveling this particular path in my life, my relationship with food has completely changed for the better and it, naturally, made me reexamine my choices, particularly in regards to cutting meat out of my diet.

Knowing the initial reasons behind my move to vegetarianism, I had to be sure that I could introduce it without falling back on old, bad habits so lately I've been, well, testing the waters while out at dinner (considering I've been vegetarian the entire time I've lived in Cleveland it's certainly given me a new appreciation for some of the restaurants here). Because I've been thinking about this for awhile I had done my homework so it's not like I went out and ordered a Porterhouse steak or anything, but I have been experimenting with small amounts of poultry, pork, and beef.

When it became pretty obvious to me that I could "unofficially" eat meat without worrying I'd fall victim to prior temptations, I knew it was time to make the official switch.

Of course, this is all still part of wanting to have an overall healthy diet, so when my mom and I were discussing Father's Day dinner and fancy gourmet burgers, I told her I'd like the turkey burger knowing it is a slightly healthier choice than beef (and, to be honest, I never consumed that much red meat even when I did eat meat on a consistent basis before). Plus, the amounts of beef that I have had up to this point have been pretty minimal and it's advised to start with poultry and work your way up so it's probably a bit early to have myself a big ol' hamburger.

So it is that after six and a half years of being an ovo-lacto vegetarian, I'm transitioning back to being an omnivore. Not that I'm going to suddenly no longer eat meatless or vegetarian meals. I mean, despite the other protein options, the avocado green curry with tofu at Bac is just too good to pass up. And let's not forget the vegan bakery options at Nature's Bin. Plus I have a ton of meatless recipes and cookbooks that I'll continue to use. It's more about having...options, I guess. Like everything else, it's really about having a balanced healthy diet, including animal protein.

But, more than that, you have no idea how self-satisfying it is to be able to say I trust myself enough to open this door again. Despite whatever number appears on the scale these days, to know that I have developed a healthy enough relationship with food to allow that back into my lifmeans more to me than any pounds lost or regained over the past few years.

Hey Northeast Ohio yogis! You still have time to enter my giveaway to win two passes to a single Yoga Rocks the Park Cleveland event!

Love from the ashes,
Lady Lazarus

7 comments:

  1. You and I seem to be on the EXACT same page most of the time! I just started the transition back to omni-status last month, after being a pescetarian for a year.

    I don't know if I'll ever got back to red meat (it kind of grosses me out, now) but it's been SO NICE working ground turkey back into my diet.

    Three cheers for listening to our bodies and minds on this journey! :)

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    1. I never actually really tried ground turkey, even before (probably because I was going for the ground beef) so I'm excited to try it out!

      And I definitely second those Three Cheers!

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  2. That's exciting! I don't know that I could ever give up meat. I have thought about it, but it's just not for me. I am too picky of an eater and a lot of the vegetarian options are filled with things I hate (mushrooms and onions). But I actually end up eating mostly vegetarian anyway. It just naturally happens that way. Good luck with reintroducing it into your diet.

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  3. I want to preface this by telling you that I love you and your blog. When I discovered it over a year ago, I spent the next two days reading through ALL of your archives. I think you're funny and intelligent and lovely. I've never wrote an unsupportive blog comment in my life, but I have to tell you that I am highly disappointed in your decision.
    If your reasoning for being vegetarian had nothing to do with the suffering of animals, please, please consider the secondary effects of eating meat: The environment: Animal agriculture makes a 40% greater contribution to global warming than all transportation in the world combined; it is the number one cause of climate change. The impact on biodiversity: Fish trawlers throw 80-90% of their catch overboard and virtually all die. Agricultural workers: The typical working conditions in slaughterhouses constitute human rights violations. The ubiquity of factory farmed meat: 99% of all land animals used for meat, dairy or eggs are factory farmed. Do you think your ground turkey burger is ethically raised and slaughtered? It's not.
    I also should tell you that I'm a fat vegan. I have a 20 year history of disordered eating and it is something I'm still struggling with. You've expressed on the blog numerous times that you've gained a good portion of your weight back and are not happy about it. I also saw on your Instagram that you're reading Brain over Binge, so I kind of don't buy the fact that your "relationship with food has completely changed for the better." I don't know you in real life, but I suspect that your decision to eat meat is actually an attempt at gaining control of your disordered eating (just the way that choosing vegetarianism was 6 years ago). If you give yourself more options, you won't binge anymore because you won't feel restricted. I've pondered this reasoning myself on numerous occasions.
    I really want you to succeed in your weight loss efforts. Part of the reason I was so drawn to your blog is because your success was so inspiring! But, I'm sorry to say that I don't have high hopes that eating meat will benefit you in your struggle. So please, please, please consider the impact of your decision on yourself, the environment, the factory farming industry, the animals, etc, etc.
    I hope I haven't offended you. (But I suspect that I have and I'm sorry for that).
    Briana

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    1. Hi Briana! You didn't offend me, I promise. I appreciate all comments, including criticisms.

      I'm actually planning on talking about Brain over Binge tomorrow and will be able to address some of what you said in your comment at that time :)

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  4. I've also been incorporating some meat into my diet-- it started by upping the fish content a ton a few years ago, but now we'll actually just include regular meat like chicken, turkey, and pork. I guess it came about from 3 anemic pregnancies and also wanting my kids to at least grow up with a palate for what most of America eats. I'll admit I still have mixed feelings about it (and will still only buy from local farmers that I know, non-factory farmed, free-range, etc.) so I'm looking forward to reading about how you incorporate it again!

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  5. Oh, and for all the effort to make the kids "normal," the darned children won't touch a shred of meat except for chicken in absolutely any Indian dish. And you know that stuff's not local or free-range. Sigh. I eat vegetarian at our favorite Indian restaurant, and yet that's the only place my kids take my urging to eat meat seriously. Also, I ate a hamburger for the first time in many, many years last night and it was actually much tastier than I remembered.

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