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Transitioning from Pescatarianism

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  • Transitioning from Pescatarianism

    Hey everyone,

    I'm a new registered user but longtime lurker on MDA and have been living probably 65/35 primal for the past five months. I was a vegetarian from 2002-2008, and in the summer of 2008 I transitioned to pescatarianism. In the beginning it was really only when eating out or for special occasions, and didn't buy it for myself at home. In the past year and a half or so I've added more fish while reducing carb intake, and have learned a lot about quality fish (wild-caught, local if possible, etc.) while reducing dairy intake for a variety of health reasons (though now I am willing to add in a little bit of high-quality stuff or will eat it in a pinch if it's that vs. heavy carbs).

    When I started eating fish, I experienced no digestive issues or reactions. I'd like to gradually work in some other meats, but plan to eat less meat than most people here seem to consume--mainly because a) too much of it always did seem to slow me down, b) I plan to buy the high-quality stuff and I am a poor student living in Los Angeles, and c) in the recent attempts to consume more meat, it has made me sick.

    I tried some turkey at Thanksgiving, and did not feel sick immediately but within a couple of hours I had stomach pains and had some bad digestive issues the next morning. About a week ago I had two slices of bacon (just as delicious as I remembered, haha), but within 45 minutes there was some nasty pain and gurgling down there.

    I'd like to get past this hurdle and I know there are quite a few ex-veggies out there, so I'm interested in learning how others have done it and if they've had similar issues. I know it's completely normal, but I'm interested in techniques to make this go a bit smoother.

    I don't own a scale and don't care to!

  • #2
    You may be deficient in stomach acid. My understanding is that this isn't uncommon among those who forego meat for some time. Try taking Betaine HCl and/or ACV. Somebody else may know better which is best or how much. I take 3 HCl capsules before each meal and still haven't gotten any discomfort, which is supposed to mean I'm still deficient, which I can totally believe. It's only supposed to take 3-6 months to get a naturally plentiful supply again.

    Supposedly another test is the beet test: if eating lots of beets makes your urine pink or red, that supposedly means you need more stomach acid. Heartburn sufferers are also most usually *deficient* in HCl (not the other way around) and usually do better taking ACV (apple cider vinegar, raw & unfiltered, 1T in a big glass of water per day) instead of baking soda - if the ACV helps, it's a confirmation that the problem is not having enough stomach acid for proper digestion and antacids will only exacerbate the problem over the long haul.

    Don't know if any of that will help; just wanted to pass along the HCl info since the folks I've heard of having troubles transitioning to more meat have often found that to be the problem and solution.
    5'4" 39yo mother to five sweeties & married to their AMAZING DaddyGrok
    Current Weight: 175lb__________________________________Goal: 135lb
    Deadlift: 240lb________________________________________Back Squat: 165lb
    Bench: 130lb__________________________________________Pre ss: 85lb
    ***Winning a 20-year war against binge eating disorder***


    • #3
      That's really interesting, as I've found that whenever I've had large amounts of dairy since cutting it out of my routine I always feel nauseous afterwards. Do you think this could be related to a deficiency in stomach acid?
      I don't own a scale and don't care to!


      • #4
        Possibly. I was vegetarian for 14 years and diagnosed (the year after I started eating meat) with low stomach acid. I never like the Betaine HCL pills, and have found that drinking a small amount of kombucha (I make my own, but you can buy GT's brand) makes my meat digestion much easier. After eating meat for awhile, I feel like my stomach acid is almost back to normal, but I continue to eat some kind of fermented food (like pickles) with my burgers to aid digestion.
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