For some of the newer readers here, Monday Morsels is a series where I share recent articles or blog posts on the topics of nutrition, wellness, and clean beauty.
Recently, I read an important article written by Chris Kresser that examines the vegetarian diet from a nutritional standpoint.
A large majority of my audience comes from the green beauty community, which is comprised mostly of vegetarians and vegans, so I thought that this would be relevant to share.
Holistic nutrition is my passion and this topic is in line with my nutritional approach. Although I may be one voice in a sea of many green beauties, I wanted to share my thoughts.
To all of my vegetarian and vegan friends: Although I am not a vegetarian myself, I respect your choice to eschew meat due to ethical, spiritual, religious and social reasons.
The aim of this post is not to convince anyone to eat meat.
The purpose of this post is to raise awareness about the possible negative health implications of a vegetarian or vegan diet, if not properly implemented.
Many people who choose to adhere to a vegetarian or vegan diet do so because they assume that it is healthier than diets which include meat. Many people are not aware of the potential nutritional deficiencies that they may develop.
As a side note, I believe that anyone pursuing any type of diet (meat or not) for the sake of health should have a deep understanding of the implications of that diet.
Chris Kresser discusses this in a fair manner and his article is an important read for those who choose to be vegetarian or vegan for optimal health. I should note that the author is a former macrobiotic vegan. Click here to read his article:
The biggest takeaway is that thriving on a vegetarian or vegan diet is possible, but it requires an active and meticulous awareness of the nutritional composition of your intake of food.
I Choose to Eat Meat
Being a green beauty blogger, it’s easy to feel like I am the only meat-eating one. I follow a Paleo framework which is a diet that is based on nutrient-dense whole foods.
Foods That I Eat:
- Grassfed, pasture-raised, organic meat (I consciously purchase ethically and sustainably raised meat whenever possible)
- Eggs (ideally pastured)
- Fish and other seafood
- Starchy tubers (sweet potatoes, taro, etc)
- Foods that support intestinal health (bone broth, raw sauerkraut)
- Traditional, unprocessed fats (grassfed ghee, cold pressed coconut oil)
- Other nutrient dense foods such as organ meats and fermented cod liver oil
Foods that I Exclude From My Diet:
- Processed foods
- Most grains (except white rice) and legumes
- Refined oils (canola, safflower, sunflower, etc)
What I Value:
- Ethically raised animals
- Local, sustainable, and organic food sources
- Food that is closest to its natural state
- Food that nourishes the body, supports long-term health, and prevents illness & disease
Why do I eat this way?
As I’ve mentioned before, in 2013, I became very ill with Histamine Intolerance, Small Intestinal Bacteria Overgrowth (SIBO), and a pathogenic intestinal infection. At the beginning of my sickness, I was incredibly reactive to most foods.
As I struggled with navigating what I could and could not eat, I dove deep into learning about eating to heal your body. More and more, I came across an underlying theme of the importance of eating for intestinal health by eliminating all inflammatory and irritating foods while incorporating nutrient dense foods.
Lots of people, myself included, have turned to eating a Paleo/ancestral/traditional type of diet to cope with autoimmune conditions like Ulcerative Colitis, Crohn’s disease, and Celiac disease or to prevent these diseases. Eating this way has helped many people not only cope but also thrive despite their very serious conditions. (Read about Danielle Walker of Against All Grain and her inspiring story here).
Autoimmune conditions are on the rise , and I truly believe that it is due to environmental factors as well as the lack of proper nutrition due to factory farming, GMOs, and the prevalence of highly processed foods.
I feel as though the Paleo/ancestral/traditional diet community is misunderstood by the green beauty community. For a long time, I didn’t know how to share my thoughts about this, but once I read Chris’ article, I knew it would be the perfect opportunity.
Eating a Paleo diet has a lot more in common with living a nontoxic lifestyle than one might initially think. Both require conscious decision-making with the aim of optimal health. Both are environmentally conscious and value food/cosmetics/products in their purest, most natural forms. Both recognize that conventional food/products contain toxins and have a desire to go back to the basics.
I choose to eat meat in following a Paleo framework as it makes me feel like (and actually become) the healthiest version of me. Eating healing foods while excluding inflammatory foods has helped me heal from the scariest, most life-altering health ordeal of my life. Eating Paleo also upholds certain values of mine such as supporting local, sustainable, and ethical farming and food sourcing.
What about you? How do you choose to eat and why?
Love and light,