But, What About My Gut?
Why I Re-Incorporated Meat and Eggs Into My Diet
One thing I try to stress on Copina Co. is that you should always nourish your body in a way that feels good for you! About 3 years ago, I started my journey to healthier eating when I decided to go vegan and largely gluten-free. Most diet advice I’d gotten in magazines up until that point advocated for eating animal products at every meal and looking more at the calorie intake than what the ingredients were actually doing for you. Going vegan made me love plants, healed my digestive system and brought in a new level of energy and mental clarity compared to the sugar rushes I had from my previous way of eating. The lifestyle changes I made to serve this kind of diet will stay with me for a lifetime and taught me to be a more mindful consumer and more present, intuitive eater. This transition in my life was a gift.
Eating well, for me, has always been about finding what feels good and I didn’t crave meat or eggs for years. Recently, however, I noticed a change. I found myself craving meat and eggs when I looked at them, so I slowly started to re-incorporate them in responsible ways. First with broth, then with good eggs and wild fish. I then slowly started re-incorporating chicken and red meat back into my diet but listened to my body when I went too fast and something didn’t agree with me. The result in these experiments with my diet is that I’m more satisfied after meals and living with more energy and love of food. I still eat mostly plants but feel great incorporating plant-based proteins (no dairy for me) a few times per week.
As humans, we have the privilege of having unique biological makeup and what may work for someone make not work for another. I truly believe there is not a one-size-fits-all when it comes to our diet and how we eat.I’ve realized I’m over food dogma and more strongly believe that if YOU know what works best for your overall health, happiness and well-being then who’s to say otherwise?
Let’s all decide to be REAL and support ourselves through our food with love, through food that feels and tastes good, and food that makes us stronger and healthier.
Some tips I have for those interested to make the transition:
If you don’t eat meat at all, your body loses the gut bacteria you need to digest it. Meaning, re-introduce meal in very small portions to regain the gut bacteria back.
Meat should be a light addition or garnish of a meal, not the centerpiece
Veggies are best as the star of the show (well for me, anyway)
Remember moderation and balance
Above all, listen to your body
Some of my favorite dishes I enjoyed adding back in animal byproducts and meat:
Let me be clear. I still eat primarily plant-based and LOVE using plants as the building block of good gut health. This is what makes a great dish in my book, but I’ve been slowly trying out different animal-based proteins to feel more full and energized. All of it has been working, so far!
I’ve been obsessed with primarily plant-based tacos that are made with corn tortilla, radishes, microgreens, avocado, a bit of black pepper and two eggs. It’s the definition of a feel-good meal.
A dreamy salad bowl with all the fixings and a bit of fish is absolute perfection. I make mine with arugula, avocados, watermelon radish, purple cabbage sautéed in miso, roasted turmeric cauliflower, black rice, microgreens, beet hummus and broiled wild Alaskan salmon.
Finally, this is been my go-to bowl when I craving a bit of red meat. I make it with a bed of green cabbage, roasted red kabocha, sea salt, radish, roasted chickpeas, beet hummus, mushrooms, microgreen, tomatoes, and grass-fed lamb meatballs.
Was this helpful if you’re interested in re-introducing meat back to your diet? Have any other tips to share for others “breaking” their vegan or vegetarian diet? Comment below or connect with me on Instagram!
Interested in other lifestyle choices I’ve made and how they’ve affected my life, read these posts: