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Yes, I do eat meat

Joanna Chodorowska

I somehow give people the impression that because I am eating healthy, I must be a vegetarian.
I am hosting a potluck next week, and have already gotten many calls asking if I were vegetarian. One email I got wrote: "I am trying to think what to bring. and normally I bring a meat dish... It seemed to me you were very burger on grill vegetarian."

Yesterday I was asked to my boyfriend's neighbor's for dinner, and same thing.  Both the husband and wife at different times asked:
"You eat healthy.  Are you vegetarian?"  My answer is always
"I am a vegetarian who eats meat."  Meaning I eat a ton of vegetables, but I still do eat animal proteins.  My favorite thing actually is venison!  Which happens to also be one of the healthiest meats on the planet -- wild, grazes on grass, berries, and comes from animals who get plenty of exercise!  but I also love, love, love my vegetables.  I live on kale salad or juicing my greens daily.  I had brussel sprouts, cauliflower and broccoli sauteed in butter as a snack.

Eating healthy can be so misconstrued.  Why is vegetarianism what seems to be the most healthy?  Why do people get the impression that eating no animal proteins is the best way to eat?  To me you have to eat what is right for you and your body.  I help make it easier for you to make that realization of what is or what is not working for you.  When I started this journey of healthier eating 15 plus years ago, I had no clue what I was doing.  Well, I was sicker than sick to start with.  I was so nutrient deficient I am not even sure how I was steakn salad functioning at all.  I worked with a nutritionist and a holistic doctor who managed to put me back together.  Through the course of the past 15 years, I tried this plan, I tried this other one, and I still keep trying to new food concepts as something may work better than what I am doing.

I also learned along the way, that for me (and my clients) you have to look back at your ancestry for some of the answers, too.  You have to start paying attention to what you eat and how you feel.  You need to play with different things - lower or higher fat, less or no processed foods, no wheat, no grains, no sugar, Mediterranean diet, Paleo diet, raw diet, vegan, juicing fast, smoothies, gluten free, or whatever sounds interesting to some degree.  There is no one perfect way everyone should eat, except the way that works best for you and your body.  And healthy is what it is you can do at this moment at the best of your current ability.

I created my own 2 Week Detox Plan which was a combination of many plans.  I sometimes refer to it as a Vegan Challenge Plan as it did eliminate animal proteins, dairy and wheat. So calling it 'vegan' helped explain the gist of it.  But it did include cooked or raw foods, raw nuts, lots of vegetables, a juicing drink the morning (my clients renamed it the Green Monster !).  At least for the first week.  And that first week you could only do root vegetables for carbs vs grains.  After doing this plan, I learned I was in need of animal proteins.  I did not need as much as I thought I needed.  But I still needed some daily.
The second time I did the Detox Plan that summer, I needed to add the animal proteins in after 5 days where first time I could last 10 days before I needed them.  Right after for the next 12 days, all I craved was red meat.  Yes, red meat for breakfast, for lunch and for dinner.  And I felt like a zillion bucks after 6 days of still eating basically the detox plan, but adding in animal proteins.  So did eating red meat now with my copious amounts of veggies make me less healthy?  I don't think so.

I have other clients who never add the animal proteins back in.  I have some who learn they too need meats, but not nearly as many as they thought they did.  As long as they keep the Green Monster in, they feel tons better.  So yes, I do eat meat.  Some of my clients do not.  I help you determine if you do indeed need them and in what amount each day.  Yes, I do eat meat.  But I probably eat more vegetables than most of the vegetarians that I have worked with.  I find for me, and most of my clients for that matter, a bit of healthy animal protein is indeed healthy and necessary.  While for others, alternate sources of protein are recommended.  Healthy is relative.  It is not absolute.

Don't go by the latest trends to find out what works for you best.  Work with a nutrition professional who can steer you in the right direction for what your body needs!  Yes, I do eat meat, and I do believe I am one of the most healthy individuals on the planet.  It is not about the meat, it is about the whole nutrient picture. kale salad

Yes, I did have dinner with my boyfriend and his neighbors.  Yes, they did serve grilled meats.  They made me some potatoes (since I am grain free).   Their salad was iceburg lettuce - a vegetable I cannot eat.  I don't like it and it has no nutritional value in my book.  This is more of what my salad would look like...somehow I should have brought my kale salad like I usually do.  Then I could have topped it with a burger off the grill :)


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