Before I begin, it is my hope that this post be a discussion where people can share their viewpoints. Any rude, offensive, or judgmental comments will be deleted. I say this because this issue can really cause a lot of feelings. Let’s all share our thoughts and have a conversation, shall we?
As my love of food and healthy living grew, so did my desire to learn more about where my food and drink was coming from. I began reading articles and books every chance I could and watched documentaries on a variety of topics related to health and food. During that time I learned many disheartening things about our food and our drink and our diets as a whole. It has completely changed the way I eat and want to eat.
As a former meat and dairy lover, I struggled with learning certain truths because they were things that I loved the taste of. I wanted to overlook how I felt after eating certain foods because I didn’t want to miss out on taste. Recently some of these thoughts have changed dramatically.
I’ve known that I was lactose intolerant for several years now. Dairy makes me break out, feel bloated and sluggish, and gives me tons of digestive issues. These days, I avoid all dairy and not just the lactose found in dairy. Milk itself is the perfect nutritional drink for a growing baby cow; why should a human be drinking something meant for a cow? This question has been plaguing me for a long time now!
Now that I no longer eat any dairy (not just lactose), I don’t have any of the digestive issues and my skin has been much clearer. Dairy is hard to digest in general, so it’s been a real life saver to avoid it. Plus, with such delicious dairy free options these days, I haven’t missed out on the taste!
This one is perhaps the toughest for me. It’s so hard when pretty much all generations within the past 50 years in America have been brought up learning meat is a necessity in our diets. We learn it makes us strong, that we need the protein, and that it’s healthy. Plus, I am a Foodie and know the delights of a perfect steak, juicy burger, and grilled chicken. However, after learning more about how our bodies function with and without meat, I made many dietary changes. I now eat a mostly plant-based diet using vegetarian sources of protein every day. I no longer purchase or cook meat in my home at all. I never feel over full, bloated, or sluggish after a meal and I have so much more energy. I also get to eat larger portions and eat more often so I’m pretty okay with that 😀
For now, I’m not placing any kind of label on myself as a vegetarian or vegan because I just don’t feel comfortable doing that. I still enjoy fish and I still eat eggs pretty regularly. Since I can’t eat gluten, I have to be flexible as my options are sometimes slim. I’m doing my best to bring something I can eat to a party or going for the vegetarian option while out, but sometimes there’s just not an option!
Lastly, after learning about some of the horrendous practices that occur in order for us to get our meat and dairy, I got very turned off. I was also shocked at some of the environmental impacts that eating meat places on our environment. For the most part, I no longer crave the food I thought I couldn’t live without; and I think that came with time.
Whether you agree with me or not, I think it’s important to be knowledgeable about what you’re putting in your body. I’d highly recommend watching Cowspiracy (on Netflix currently!) to learn more about the meat industry and eating meat in general. It’s a life changer.
For now, I’ll be sticking to my mostly vegetarian diet, and seeing how I change over time. Who knows? Maybe some day I will feel comfortable enough being 100% vegan. For now, I’ll be enjoying mostly plant-based foods and not beating myself up should I eat something non-vegan or non-vegetarian.
Thanks to Amanda for letting me Think Out Loud today!
Thoughts? Do you think Dairy is healthy? Are you an omnivore? Should we continue to eat meat as the norm?
Tell me in the comments below!
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