Why I chose to go vegetarian, cold turkey
Throughout my late teen years and into my 20’s I was a hardcore vegetarian. I decided to be a vegetarian because I believed that saturated animal fat and cholesterol were bad - I believed that they caused heart disease, clogging of the arteries and even contributed to cancer and weight gain. To avoid these leading causes of death and the modern, physical discomforts that our society continues to struggle with - despite our growing avoidance of saturated animal fats and cholesterol - I avoided most animal products, including all animal flesh for 7 years.
What really persuaded me to go vegetarian, cold turkey, were the handful of vegan and vegetarian documentaries being published in the early 2000's. Since their release, many of these documentaries and related books have gained wild popularity and have swayed the opinions of some of the biggest carnivores into the land of vegetarianism and some have even gone completely vegan after watching these anti-animal documentaries.
I was one of the thousands of people who gave up meat after watching those documentaries.
The thing is, pro-vegan and vegetarian documentaries do a really outstanding job of showing the imbalance and inhumane practice of feedlot production. Cows in confined areas knee deep in their own manure being injected with antibiotics; chickens with tumors and physical impairments due to the administration of antibiotics and force feeding methods; and the farmers who choose to raise these animals are compensated lousy, unlivable wages and feel they are stuck in the system.
DYK the fat surrounding the heart is highly saturated and these fat stores provide important nutrients to the heart; the heart relies on these stores for its function. Eating a low-fat, vegetarian or vegan diet depletes these fat stores compromising the well-being of the heart😳
The way conventional animals are raised is really imbalanced. It’s cruel. And, it’s inhumane. It operates in a very power-over hierarchal way - where the big guns (about 10 people) at the top make lots of money and everyone else, including the consumers, lose big time (millions of people, animals and the planet).
This way of raising animals for food is not only inhumane and imbalanced but it continues to make the people who eat it very, very sick. The feed these animals are administered is GMO which is known to cause a host of physical and emotional disorders including anxiety, depression, disorders of the gut, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, MS, cancer and other degenerative conditions including advanced aging, immunosuppression and gut dysbiosis (also known as a significant disruption in beneficial gut microbes which impacts the well-being of the entire bio-system in really negative, harmful ways).
Not only is feedlot and mass production of animals wrecking havoc on our health, it’s impacting the well-being of the earth in a really detrimental way. You likely have heard how methane from animal waste leaks into rivers and waterways and also pollutes the air. This is a common theme in feedlot production due to overcrowded conditions that animals are forced into. They have very little ground to roam and they stay in the same location their entire lifespan. Unlike grass-fed animals, feedlot raised animals are never rotated to different pieces of land and this is detrimental to the animal, to the land, to the soil, to the ecosystem, to the waters, to the airways and to the entire planet.
If we put all of these factors together, it’s a no-brainer to avoid conventional animal products.
After watching these crude documentaries on the mistreatment of feedlot animals, the farmers, the people eating these foods, the earth and the planet it makes a lot of sense why one would make choose the vegetarian or vegan route. The thought forms are very strong in the vegetarian and vegan community that promote animal products as bad and vegetables as good. And, if you avoid animal products you're good, you're healthy and if you eat animal products, you're bad, less spiritual and you're definitely less healthy.
These are HUGE blind beliefs that keep people stuck in sickness. When I was a vegetarian, you couldn't convince me to touch meat with a 10-foot pole. I was convinced I was right even though I was anemic, highly anxious, had painful menses, blood sugar issues, was underweight and had insomnia - this couldn't be related to my diet?!?😂
What many don't realize is that how we feel physically and emotionally is largely related to one's diet!
I now realize that when we make things good or bad, right or wrong, better than or less than, there is a disconnect. There is an imbalance. There is a separation from one's real truth. Our vision is clouded by these good and bad, black or white thoughts and when we're in this place, it's impossible to have real knowingness or real clarity about anything.
Goodbye Tempeh, Hello Grass-Fed Steak: How the continuation of life on this planet inspired my dietary transformation
After several years of being on a vegetarian diet, my sister became pregnant. And, I wanted to help her have the healthiest baby and most easeful pregnancy she could possibly have. So, I started researching pregnancy and nutrition.
The more and more balanced, non-biased information I read regarding pregnancy and nutrition, the more and more I realized all the documentaries I previously watched - that swayed my vegetarian decision - were themselves extremely biased (I clung to these ideas thinking they were the truth without exploring the deeper layers before diving into vegetarianism head first).
There were HUGE gaping holes in the research and information that these pro-vegetarian and pro-vegan films and books were advising people. The publications on the benefits of veganism and vegetarianism were only displaying the influence and impact that feedlot animals and GMO and conventional foods were having on the health of people, animals and the planet. There was zero mention regarding how animals raised on grass impact the well-being of the planet, of the animals and of us humans.
What I realized is that I was only seeing one side of the coin. And, this is because I got caught up in the hype that these films create-they create a very strong thought form around hype and hype tends to sweep our culture off our feet-it creates a lack mentality, it creates a better than attitude, it creates a fantasy island idea that everything will be amazing if I just do this one thing and it feeds thought forms of desperation, proactivity and portrays that you care about your body and the earth and the animals if you avoid animal products. It's a very one-sided, box mentality approach.
I got swept away by the hype. Until, my sister became pregnant...
Insightful Side Note: The China Study, A big fat lie...Oops!
Much of these documentaries are based on a book called, The China Study by Dr Campbell. Several years ago, a female researcher named Denise Minger - a vegan herself at the time - became inspired and curious to cross check the data and research offered in The China Study for her own personal knowledge. She had no intention of finding misinformation or of even critiquing Dr Campbell’s work. But, what she found was jaw-dropping. Minger discovered error after error that provided false information regarding Dr Campbell’s claims that animal product intake, high cholesterol levels and animal fat intake were the cause of our acute and chronic medical conditions.
Dr Campbell spent years on this work and if he would have discontinued the study, he would have lost a hell of a lot of money and respect from his family and colleagues. So, he twisted the data to align with what he wanted it to read - and what that boiled down to was that people who eat more animal fat and animal protein are less healthy and are more prone to heart disease, obesity and cancer to name a few. Minger dissected his research with a fine-tooth comb and found this information to be very false. You can read more details regarding Minger’s work on her site: www.deniseminger.com
Foods that Nourish & Support ALL Life on this Planet
When my sister became pregnant with her first child, I researched the heck out of diet and nutrition that supports a healthy pregnancy. I began learning more and more about the hormones, optimal nutrition for the placenta, how to prevent the build-up of pathogenic bacteria that causes poor immunity in the mother, the growing fetus and that leads to Group Strep B infection - a condition that leaves thousands of women confined to their hospital beds with an IV drip of antibiotics during labor. These conditions as well as preeclampsia, gestational diabetes, hemorrhoids, morning sickness, placental tears and many more pregnancy related issues can ALL be traced back to improper diet. Every single time.
So, what foods were at the root of preventing these pregnancy related conditions - the same exact foods that would produce the most nutritious breast milk, prevent postpartum depression and allow the fetus and infant to develop in a robust way. These foods consisted of grass-fed saturated animal fats and cholesterol-rich foods.
As I began to read more and more non-biased studies that weren't rooted in hype or inaccurate theories, but were rooted in accurate science, our biology, our physiology, I soon learned that my vegetarian ways were not only based on inaccuracies and blind beliefs, but that this way of eating was really harming my body. The female body is chock-full of hormones; eating a vegetarian diet is dangerously deficient in nutrients that support hormonal wellness due to their lack of saturated animal fats and cholesterol (and vegans get zero of these nutrients).
Cholesterol is the mother of all hormones-we need significant amounts of cholesterol to even produce and make hormones (males certainly do too, but to a slightly lesser extent). If you're a menstruating women, you need dietary cholesterol. If you're under stress, you need dietary cholesterol (the fight-or-flight response sucks up our hormonal stores). If you're pregnant, you need more dietary cholesterol than you can shake a stick at. If you've been pregnant at anytime in your life, you need significant amounts of dietary cholesterol to help restore your hormone levels. If you're physically active, you need ample amounts of dietary cholesterol (sweating, cold temperatures and intense exercise depletes cholesterol levels).
You cannot find cholesterol in any plant. The only source of dietary cholesterol is located in animal fats.
RIP vegetarianism-you taught me well, you taught me so much about my body and you led me to discover more about myself, about the human body-our physiology, our biology; you taught me how to nourish life on this planet. My experience with vegetarianism was extremely valuable and opened the door to vast possibilities for me.
The Gift that Keeps On Giving (for the rest of your life, literally)
As a thank you for all your support this year and to help you make the most informed, accurate and empowered dietary decisions this 2018 and beyond, to kick off 2018 I’ll be teaching you how to implement Primal Foods into your diet and why this way of eating may benefit you, your children and loved one's! 🎉❄️🍴
My intent behind this is to help you become more informed and educated regarding food and nutrition. Most of us start fad diets at the beginning of the year with the intent to lose weight and be healthier in the New Year. Yet, many people are back to their old dietary tricks as soon as February 1st rolls around.
I want to help you make changes that stick and that are rooted in helping you achieve full spectrum well-being! The information I share with you will always be based on non-biased science, research, our biological and physiological make-up and my first-hand experience that I've obtained through my undergrad and masters education, my nutrition & radionics practice & studies and my on-going studies of Katasee (an ancient Peruvian tradition rooted in awakening).
I hope you find this educational information fruitful and helpful along your wellness journey. Here's what's in store for you over the next several weeks:
- Grass-fed, saturated animal fats AKA the most nourishing food on the planet
- Cholesterol, the dietary queen
- Pit falls of vegan and vegetarianism
- How grass-fed cows benefit the planet
- My top 5 causes of disease
- My top 8 most destructive foods
- Heart Disease-the real causes
- Cancer-the real causes
- My top 5 tips to easeful, effective weight loss
- Why grandpa is still ticking (the key to longevity)
If you're a vegetarian or a vegan, this article is not saying you're doing anything wrong or that you're bad or making a bad decision for yourself. It's simply to offer my readers additional insight and resources regarding diet and nutrition.
Heathar is a primal foods enthusiast and expert. She has studied food and nutrition for over 15 years and continues to do so to this day. When Heathar isn't in the kitchen, she's either writing, hiking or doing her primal energetics thing. If you are interested in discovering how Heathar's nutrition work may benefit you, contact her to schedule a free 45-minute phone consultation. Until then, Eat, Live and Be Primal!