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Ex-vegan trying to ease into primal...any suggestions?



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  • #16

    These are just some of the symptoms of iodine deficiency.
    * Fatigue
    * Depression
    * Modest weight gain
    * Cold intolerance
    * Excessive sleepiness
    * Dry, coarse hair
    * Constipation
    * Dry skin
    * Muscle cramps
    * Increased cholesterol levels
    * Decreased concentration
    * Vague aches and pains
    * Swelling of the legs
    Iodine Deficiency | University of Michigan Health System

    And we are exposed to goitrogens every day that reduce what little iodine we have, and halogens !
    Chemicals halogens (class of chemicals to which iodine belongs) fluoride, bromine and bromides, and chlorine that further reduce what little iodine that we have in our bodies. The result is an epidemic of iodine deficiency !



    • #17
      Hi Marie. I am going through the same transition right now so I know how difficult it can be to try being a carnivore. Like you, I started with eggs and fish and seafood and that's where I am right now. I don't think you should try to force yourself to eat other types of meat too quickly. It's been a couple of months since I added animal flesh to my diet and I feel like my body is still adjusting to the "foreign" substances so do take it slowly.

      I tried eating bacon but I must confess the taste was pretty repulsive to me and bacon is not really primal anyway. If you like the taste and it helps you adjust to the taste of meat, by all means try it, but I would eventually try to wean off of that. I also tried eating chicken and turkey and the poultry smell made me really nauseous. Surprisingly, I had a much better experience eating a little bit of very well cooked beef, albeit it was only a bite-size piece. For what it's worth, here is my plan of attack:

      1. I won't force myself to eat it unless the opportunity naturally arises to eat it- i.e. I won't be cooking it at home any time soon. Now, I understand that we should eat grass-fed beef and pastured meats cooked at home, but to start with I know I can only eat it if I haven't actually seen and touched the carcass myself.
      2. Start with meat dishes that include them as condiments instead of the main dish. Start with say, a stir-fry or curry dish with a bit of meat in it. That way the "carcass" taste will be somewhat mitigated. That leaves me to get used to the texture.
      3. Start with only well marinated and grilled pieces (I find the grilling takes away the "fatty" and "fleshy" taste a bit. Eat it mixed with lots of veggies.
      4. Start with very small amounts. Probably ground meat is better to get used to the texture and taste.
      5. Add them to soups in very small pieces.
      6. Start with a little bit of bone broth- add lots of onions, garlic and bay leaves and herbs to mitigate the taste. I've been doing some reading, and it seems bone broth is really good for healing the gut. INTRODUCTION DIET

      Having said that, I don't intend to make red meat a staple in my diet. I feel like I get sufficient protein from eating fish. If I ever do transition to eating red meat regularly, I will probably include it maybe a couple of times a month maximum for the nutrients (I am iron deficient too) but I really don't think my body needs more than that. Plus I just simply don't like it and never will acquire a true taste for it, so I figure that would be sufficient.

      For iodine, I second the idea to eat seaweed soup. It's actually quite tasty. I can PM a recipe for you (and you could include some meat here) if you are interested. Seaweed soup is really quite nutritious and very therapeutic for many ailments.

      BTW, I too have had bloating and chronic severe constipation issues pretty much my whole life and that improved tremendously once I stopped eating wheat and other processed foods. I also highly recommend you supplement magnesium if you are not already doing so.

      On the brain fog issue, maybe you could try to keep some good carbs in your diet (not a lot), like some sweet potatoes or white rice. I'm not sure if they give you any digestive problems, but just an idea. Alternatively, you could try adding some sweeter root vegetables like beets, carrots and parsnips.

      Hope that helps and good luck.
      Last edited by Fiji; 01-28-2012, 03:02 PM. Reason: Typo


      • #18
        I was vegetarian for 19 years, in the past couple of years I've gotten to where I could slice up a heart to make jerky (don't do that yet). The key is to remember that meat is pretty tasteless compared to vegetables so you have to use spices.

        Easiest is to use animal broth in your soups. Bone broth is easy to make and is a major nutritional hit. Even if you do nothing else with animal products, make and use bone broth.

        Ground beef has a similar texture and flavor to the fake stuff and works well in salads. Also good cooked up with all your usual vegetables. Ditto ground lamb and buffalo.

        Hot dogs are just like the vegan ones (which is why I could never eat the vegan ones when I was vegetarian), summer sausage actually has flavor, both of those should be done in small amounts because of the processing, but they aren't bad.

        Can of tuna, an avocado, lemon juice, and salt, is a very yummy dish that is probably your best intro to fishy flavors if you find them unpleasant. As for me, I adore seaweeds, but can't stand anything but very mild fish, go figure.

        Eel is good texture-wise, but I've only had it with rice and sauce.

        Generally speaking, you should chew meat less than other foods. The idea is to break it down enough to swallow, anymore than that and you'll feel like you're chewing forever.

        Roasts are easier to get edible than steaks. For me, at least, medium steak feels way too much like biting flesh, well steak is very hard to keep from getting dry and tough. Tenderloin (aka filet) is about the only steak that is easy to keep tender and flavorful.

        Chicken skin is awesome, the rest of chicken sucks. Hold off on chicken until you think you could roast and carve a whole one, so that even if the meat is bland and pointless, you can still have bones for broth.


        • #19
          Someday, I'll be able to eat these as a snack:
          File:Niboshipackage.JPG - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

          but not anytime soon.


          • #20
            I was a vegetarian for 15 something years, throw in some veganism and raw foodism. Didn't do me any good and made me very, very sick.

            Don't feel bad if you (start to) crave meat - that's what happened to me. All I could think of was red meat roast and jerky at some point. After my first bite of chicken and some jerky it was over and my diet changed radically. I'm still making up for lost time, I think!

            Personally, I had to re-introduce meat into my diet by buying, handling, and preparing it myself. My first meal was chicken breast. I ate the whole darn pound in one sitting! A couple month later I helped one of my vegan friends (who was withering away along with me) prepare his first meat, a whole bird!

            It can be a fun and curious experience as you watch yourself re-gain strength. Thank the animal, think of the lion that eat the deer without contemplating things, and let it be.


            • #21
              Oddly when I quit vegetarianism I could only do whole meat like steak. Ground meat grossed me out too much. So there I was making pot roast and London broil. But I could not eat a burger.
              Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.


              • #22
                Digestive enzymes!

                Another former vegetarian here - successfully transitioned to happy meat eater. Digestive enzymes are important to making this transition. Our own enzymes shift to match our diet. If we aren't eating animal protein long term, we tend to lose those enzymes. If you have a dog, you know how important it is to make dietary changes gradually or they get GI issues. For them its also mainly about the enzymes. Digestive enzymes can be purchased where vitamin supplements are sold. Be sure to examine the label for the profile of enzymes and do your homework to be sure that you're getting the right type in the right amounts.

                I agree with the progressions - egg - to fish,etc. given here, in general. Of course, individual food intolerances and the like need to be taken into consideration. You might want to search the Blog for the Q & A posts with Carrie, Mark's wife. She only eats eggs, dairy, and fish.

                I believe that the iodine found in kelp is most effective in helping maintain thyroid health, especially with regard to the many pollutants we encounter that have an impact on the thyroid. Also, many of the foods that vegetarians emphasize, like soy, are anti-thyroid. Maybe it would be helpful (hint, hint) if Grizz would compile a document for all things thyroid like he did for lipids.
                I feel like I ought to be wearing a bumper sticker that says: "Don't follow me I am lost." I am just a seeker like everyone else.

                Justaseeker's Journal:


                Iodine Research and Application Group:



                • #23
                  You have only been a vegetarian / vegan for a year? I wouldn't think the transition would be that hard. Hmmm. I was veg for about 2 years, I didn't even think about it. Just ate a steak. Everyone's different I guess...
                  "The problem with quoting someone on the Internet is, you never know if it's legit" - Abraham Lincoln


                  • #24
                    Did you discover you were gluten intolerant with this new doctor or did you know when you were vegan? The gluten you ate must have prevented the assimilation of iron so perhaps it is not about being vegan at all? My point here is that adding lots of meat might not help if you cannot assimilate it.


                    • #25
                      I actually found out about the gluten intolerance prior to becoming vegan. I had a friend who was trying it out and had read that it was essentially a "cure-all" for pretty much every health problem so I decided to experiment with that a few months after I find out about the gluten intolerance. My doctor was not aware that I had become vegan, so when she saw the blood work results (I had tests done because I had become extremely lethargic and had severe shooting chest pains) I suggested that perhaps my diet had something to do with it and told her. She basically said that due to the gluten intolerance my body may not be able to absorb plant proteins as well and that I needed to change my diet asap.


                      • #26
                        *I failed to mention there that my body was not absorbing nutrients properly due to the damage caused by long-term undiagnosed gluten intolerance.