The Conscientious Carnivore

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I decided to go raw vegan for a few days and something interesting happened.

My friends on Facebook started dividing into teams.

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I’ll call them Team Veggie and Team Protein.

First a little background.

I pride myself on the diversity of my friends on Facebook and in life. Come to my house for a gathering and you will swear that Michael Jackson has risen from the dead and is taping a new rendition of  We Are the World. This diversity extends itself to diet and exercise.  My folks typically fall into two groups: Those who think I am a health zealot freak and those who are as passionate as I am.  The second group is where you find my two teams.

When I posted that I was furthering my relationship with produce people started picking sides. My veggie friends were virtually high five-ing me, sending me recipes and reposts that poke fun of  my ‘meathead’ friends.  This I found very funny.

My protein people were more subtle:  holding a quiet vigil…mourning my muscles.  While not as vocal I could hear their chant “Where are you getting your protein.”

I respect all of these people tremendously. Committing to a way of eating takes bucket loads of discipline. Vegetarian or Paleo, you get huge props from me for just making a DECISION about what you eat.

I never intended to go raw vegan forever. Waaaay too much chewing. This was a spiritual and health quest. Spiritual in that I needed to come clean with my body. I needed to eliminate the crud and take a close look at the signals it was sending me. In those three days I lived off of green smoothies, nuts, kombucha, guacamole and tomato and cucumber salad.  With no portion control. I liked that part. :)

From that experience I made some changes. I decided to continue to limit dairy and meat.  Why? Because my body doesn’t respond to it well at all. I get achy and bloated. Why not say Never? Because cheese makes me happy. It might be once a year but I WILL make my famous macaroni and cheese and I WILL dive in.  Now as far as meat is concerned, if it were not for my blood disorder, I could give it up completely. My cells crave it so I have decided I will only eat  the highest quality chicken and red meat  I can get my hands on.

I have some other considerations. I am gluten sensitive and most grains are a no go.  Sugar causes inflammation in my joints and must be limited as well. I have also decided that I will only eat meat that has been processed humanely.  Recently I read,  The Way We Eat: Why Our Food Choices Matter recently and it resonated with me. The way animals are treated in most slaughter houses and processing plants is simply un-Godly in my opinion.  I’ve decided that simply saying  grace before I eat is not enough. I mean, beyond showing gratitude should we really be asking God to save us from our own choices?

Here is a video about the book:

Sooooo….. where do I get my protein? I eat a variety of vegetables, beans, nuts, seeds and fish. Sorry team veggie but I am finding that this balance gives me the best variety of amino acids. I think fish (tuna and salmon specifically) is the absolute best bang for my buck (check out this chart so see how I made my decision). It is nutritionally dense and is considered a complete source of protein in just over one serving. With vegetables, it can take many, many servings to get  the RDA of a specific amino acid. While red meat is similar in its protein profile,  I’ll pass on the connection to certain diseases (when eaten frequently).

Before you get out your clubs I know many extremely healthy people who represent both teams. This is just what works for me.

So why a conscientious carnivore? Two reasons:

1) I really like the word conscientious and how it works next to carnivore

AND

2)I l like the idea of getting back to basics in an evolved kinda way.

This is the way I plan to eat.

Until I change my mind.

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