Just over a year ago, after finally clicking on one of those disgusting PETA videos (the ones that show graphic videos of animals being killed) out of sheer curiosity, I immediately cut meat out of my diet. I physically felt sick at the thought of eating meat (red meat still kills me). I didn’t want any part of factory farming or destroying the environment as well as raising my chances of getting cancer. I’m not trying to say that vegetarian diets are bad for you because they can be great for your body if you can cook healthy meals constantly but due to my lifestyle it ended up significantly affecting my health negatively. I didn’t want this to be some lame post that looks straight out of a nutrition magazine. I just want to share my experience with others and educate people that are wanting to try to cut out meat, who know very little like I did when I started. I have gained my knowledge from my 1st year nursing bio tutorials and reading articles online (I am no dietician or nutritionist) so don’t hold me to my word if I am wrong.
Before cutting out meat I failed to realise four main things:
- I was still contributing to factory farming by eating fuck loads of soy, corn and other grains that just happen to destroy the earth (look it up, I’m not talking shit).
- I was contributing to the death of more animals by eating this way.
- Vegetarian diets are not sustainable for people with busy lifestyles and I didn’t even know what a pasture based, grass-fed farm was. I didn’t know anything about sustainability or the environment for that matter.
- Meat doesn’t raise your chance of getting cancer. In fact, (grass-fed) meat actually aids in the bodies metabolic functions.
Even though I cut meat out, I was still eating fish (which I ate so much of anyway) so technically speaking my diet was pescetarian but its so much easier to say veg because most people have no idea what that meant. So, for anyone who doesn’t know a pescetarian diet involves following only consuming fish and other seafood, but not the flesh of other animals. Pescetarians still eat dairy products, unlike vegans. I genuinely thought that I was going to be healthier and feel less guilty by cutting out meat but I was actually only consuming a mixture of carbs and more bad fats than good with very minimal protein.
I work at a restaurant where if you’re a vegetarian you’re pretty much fucked for options. I would eat hot chips all the time (sweet potato, potato) and heaps of bread in order to stay fuller for longer shifts. As much as my mum would try to cater to me at dinner time I found myself eating later due to being so full from lunch and then just consuming potato again. When I attempted to eat healthy, I would binge in the afternoon just due to being so hungry from lack of adequate nutritious meals.
My hair became oily and dry, my skin would break out (anyone who knows me knows that my skin has always been really good), I was gaining weight, bloated nearly 24/7 and I went from being olive skinned to super pale. When I attempted to lose weight I would just go backwards. I took myself to the doctor for a blood test and after only 3 weeks of cutting out meat my iron levels went from a score of 12 to a score of 8 (from what I can remember the doctor saying, a score of 12 is just about perfect) so the drop was significant. I was told I needed to start taking iron tablets in order to ensure my iron levels don’t drop further. I ended up stopping the iron tablets because they were making me sick. Over the course of 12 months I watched my body slowly turn from moderately healthy to destroyed (inside and out). I actually was hating myself. When you aren’t eating animal products and animal fat your hormones and cells suffer. It needs vitamins and minerals found in animal products (like B12, vitamin A, retinol) in order for metabolic functions to take place. I know some of you are probably thinking ‘well you just could have taken vitamins”. Uhh yeah I could have, but I didn’t. I had very little knowledge of nutrition and the bodies functions when I started and I really should have read up more on it before I let my body suffer. Luckily, I am slowly learning more and more throughout my nursing degree about nutrition and what foods aid the body in regular functioning.
Just over a month ago, I am back to eating meat again. I still struggle with eating red meat (I find it the thought of it revolting) but I am trying to slowly incorporate it into my diet. I am never bloated anymore and have so much energy! I have also already started to lose weight. My skin is clearer, my hair is so much less oily- the change has been so positive. I know people who have made amazing changes to their lifestyle through a vegetarian/pescetarian/vegan diet and I am all for that if you know what you are getting yourself into and are able to cook proper nutritious meals and find healthy alternatives when eating out. If you are interested justmake sure you do the research or you may end up having to completely rewire your body (like I am attempting to do). Sadly, I just wasn’t able to do that and my body type is prone to weight gain as well (thanks to my shitty genes) as just working better with protein rich food. My new health journey (beginning tomorrow) I am starting is an 8-week diet/workout challenge in which I am cutting my caloric intake in half and finally attempting to use that gym membership that I pay for lmao. I will be updating my progress on my insta for anyone who is interested (only writing this to motivate myself so you can all roast me if I give up lmao).
Also as you all know, I reached 3,000 views on my blog and I am so excited about that as I only went live a month and a half ago so THANK YOU GUYS !!!! I am trying to keep my content interesting and I love every single one of you nosey people that continue to support my love of writing and being an over sharer (mwah).