Am I Missing Out?

I’ve been pondering this idea for a while, but am still having a hard time coming to a conclusion for it:

Should I try eating meat again?

Now, let me put this straight: I don’t want to eat meat just to eat meat.  I don’t miss the taste of the things I used to eat or anything like that.  And I don’t want to eat it all the time, in many of my meals.  I just want to taste the things, I have yet to taste.

So the real reason why I want to try eating meat again: I feel like I’m missing out.  Missing out on what?  Everything meat entails!  I have realized over the years all the things to eat I have missed out on because there was meat in it.  I know more restaurants are catering more towards vegetarians and such, but what if I wanted to do a fine dining taste menu full of meat?  What do I do then when I go, just sit there and smile pretty?  I don’t think so.

This whole realization has also made me realize all the meat dishes that I have never tried in my life: Filet Mignon?  Gyros?  Sushi?  Sashimi?  Brazilian BBQ?  Pot Roast?  Brisket?   Empanadas?  Tamales?  Menudo?  Duck?  Wild Game?  Fish?

I’m still pretty torn over the whole thing.  I love the fact that I’m a vegetarian and have been for 8 strong years.  I love the dishes that I eat and substitutes I’ve started to use to replace meat in my diet.  But I still fee like there are so many things out there I have yet to try!

I guess it’s hard being a foodie sometimes.

What do you think?  Should I go back to trying meat, but really only when it’s something I’ve never had and would like to try?  Or should I stick to my guns and stay a veg-head 100%?

Also…any tips on how to make sure I don’t get sick by eating meat again?  I’ve seen many friends go through being vegetarians then carnivores again and they get SO SICK.  I really want to try and avoid that…

Have a good night!

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37 Responses to Am I Missing Out?

  1. theemptynutjar says:

    Amanda (www.toseekmyself.wordpress.com) made a post similar to this recently…i think u ought to read it…its one of her last two posts (most recent or one before).

    I am not vegan or vegetarian, but respect others choices…so cannot say much to it. but think about why u don't eat it…like..REALLY think about it…is it just a secret obsession or justification…or perhaps a legit reason…who knows

  2. Jeri says:

    After doing my 2 months of not eating meat, I've gone back to eating it, but still do it very rarely. For the most part I don't enjoy the taste of meat, but there are definitely some dishes that have meat in them that are AMAZING, and for the most part I pick out the pieces of meat. Random… I know. And I don't know how you don't eat fish, b/c fish is probably my favorite thing in the world.

  3. Lauren @ Reading and Running says:

    I think that if there is something that you want to try then you should! I think lots of people that want to eat mostly vegetarian take bites of different meats just to have a taste of things. I don't think you wanting to try new things will make you any less likely to continue eating your healthy, nutritious, veggie-based meals. I enjoy a bite of steak (which is usually amazingly yummy) but any more than that makes my tummy hurts. Maybe start by experimenting with fish, then move to poultry, and so on and so on. Who knows, after the first couple of tastes you may not have the desire to again!

  4. simplyrunningonfaith says:

    In order to make a decision, I think you need to look at the reasons why you have adopted a vegetarian lifestyle and maintained it for 8 years. I think it becomes difficult when vegetarians (vegans) forget the reason they eat what they do, which is OK. As a vegetarian for 2+ years (pretty cold turkey??eh.bad pun), I encounter this situation occasionally and go back to why I made my decision in the beginning.

  5. Food Makes Fun Fuel says:

    I think this goes back to why you became vegetarian. It's OK to be an occasional meat eater, if that fits with your veg reasons. Ultimately, it's for YOU to decide where your guns lie.

  6. Jenna says:

    So, I'm not a vegetarian (soy allergies) but my brother is and we've discussed this… And he came to the conclusion that he would eat meat on special occasions (fresh fish in seattle when he comes to see me) because he is a vegetarian to eat healthier & environmentally friendly. So, depending on your personal reasons, eating meat occasionally could be just fine- and very tasty!

  7. lynn @ the actors diet says:

    i've gone back and forth on vegetarianism since i was 13 years old, and am married to one. that said, i am of the philosophy that you will go through food phases and that's okay. right now i'm an everythingtarian, but i know one day i may not be. so listen to yourself, you'll know the answer!

  8. Krista says:

    Maybe it's just something you shouldn't think too hard about? Then just assess the situation when…or if….it arises. You'll be better able to go with your gut feeling that way. Just a thought…

  9. klkasych says:

    I'm a vegetarian and have been so for around 3 years. As a child, I was never a huge fan of meat…occasionally lately I have found myself seriously craving meat. However, one of my biggest reasons for being a veggie is because of environmentalism. That's really what stops me from giving in. I know if I were to have a "bite of this or that" it would end up being WAY more than a bite — I have 0 self control!! And that's not good for me or the environment. Like everyone else said, it really comes down to your opinion — just because you have a blog and live in a fishbowl doesn't mean you have to justify your choices to your readers :)

  10. jenngirl says:

    I honestly believe that decisions such of this should certainly be made on an individual basis. That being said, I definitely understand your dilemma, and what I would say is, that if you are really wondering that much, then your mind and body are probably trying to communicate something. I mean if you try it for a while and try to convert back, what damage has really been done? Nothing. Life is about options and you should allow yourself the experiences that spark your curiosity.

  11. ktbwood says:

    I LOVE MEAT!!! i just had steak tonight, i satueed it..IT WAS WONDERFUL! and i have so much energy! do it!

  12. Anonymous says:

    I'm a flexitarian that eats a lot of vegan meals. I decided to eat mostly vegetarian for overall health reasons. I believe that one should not deprieve oneself. If I travel somewhere, I want to be free to eat without guilt. You only live once. You have to decide what works for you.

  13. VeggieGirl says:

    I agree with the above commenters. Maybe make a list of pros/cons for YOU, in terms of eating meat, and then see which list "wins" in the end. But hey, I say eat the meat if your body craves/can digest it! Enjoy :)

  14. Maddi says:

    Hi! I am mostly vegitarian. I almost never eat meat, mostly because I dont like it. But every once and a while I will have a piece of peperonni off a pizza, or a sausage egg muffin, or just something random like that, and I dont punish myself for it because it doesnt bother me. Allowing yourself to have meat on occasion isnt wrong, if you like it you might as well eat it! There are many times i wish I liked it because some of the things I see people having look so good, then I try a bite and I like the stuff with it but not the meat. :p but if you like it I would strongly encourage you to just go with it and eat it! God made us to eat meat, it can only make you stronger! :)
    Maddi
    xxx

  15. Mica says:

    Meat is such a weird issue, as if it's automatically bad. I hate it when people have to justify their choice or qualify it by saying, "Oh, I rarely eat meat." or "I'm not a big meat-eater." or "I don't like the taste of meat." I don't know when it got to be such a dirty, stigmatized thing in certain circles. As long as you don't eat meat 24/7 AND complain about the side effects, who cares?

    Every time I've thought about giving up meat, I'm sad to think how many ethnic cuisines I'd be giving up. It's really hard to eat Korean, since almost all dishes have just a little meat or seafood for broth and flavoring. And, like you pointed out, there is a world of non-vegetarian sushi out there!

    But ultimately, as you know, it's your choice. It would be nice if you could try going back to some kinds of meat and not feel guilty about it.

  16. Jessica @ The Process of Healing says:

    I think that you should stick to your guts BUT if you want to try something new, that you haven't tried, just have a taste. I feel the same way sometimes.

  17. Jessie (Vegan-minded) says:

    I might have a bias opinion since I am vegan, but to me it sounds like you might just be bored with your current food choices. You obviously went vegetarian for a reason 8 years ago, so try to think back and re-evaluate why you decided to go veg in the first place. After that, if you still want to eat meat, it is your choice to make and no one will judge you. I say, before going back to meat though, try eating some new and different veggie food. That way, you will taste things you have not tasted, without compromising your ideals. Just a thought for now, but we can definitely talk more in person. :)

  18. Jenny says:

    if you want to, do it but i never feel like i'm missing out by not eating meat

  19. TC says:

    Hey there cousin – if you are thinking about coming back to darkside, feel free to call me. It took me a couple tries to go back to eating meat, but I finally perfected a plan that didn't upset my stomach! (And given the stomachs that run in our family…that is quite the accomplishment!)

  20. findinghappinessandhealth says:

    I LOVE MEEAT- and honestly, if you are even considering eating meat- i think you should try. You should try it in moderation at first, u know? you don't have to eat it every day :)
    i know you will make the right choice for yourself though!

  21. Mama Pea says:

    I was going to say…just try it. If it doesn't feel right/you don't like it, no big loss.

    I have a piece of salmon sitting in my fridge. I'm pretty sure it's going to go bad before I get the guts up to cook it.

  22. Gena says:

    What a complex question!

    I obviously don't have much faith in meat from a health standpoint, per se. But I also believe 110% that the food that's best for us to eat isn't simply about nutrients or health: it's about happiness/comfort, taste/pleasure, and ethical and social factors, too. Feelings of being limited or deprived do not fit into my own personal vision of what "healthy" is.

    It's funny, the other day someone brought up a study about the health benefits of dairy to me. A lot of the info was solid, but I had to tell that person that, even if eating dairy were ideal for my body from a scientific angle (and with all the conflicting info about nutrition out there, who knows), it probably still wouldn't be the choice that felt best to me in ways that go beyond science — that is, emotionally and psychologically, as well as ethically. In other words, it wouldn't necessarily be the healthiest choice for me from a holistic standpoint.

    So I would throw that back to you! What's best for us to eat is about more than food/nutrition. It's about our whole lives. If meat on occasion will enrich your life psychologically, or offer you a kind of flexibility that you believe is key for your healing process, you may want to consider it. Some people find that ED healing demands such flexibility and inclusion of all foods; others find that strictly plant based models help them feel best. It's very personal.

    Sorry for the novel!

  23. Gabriela says:

    I was never a big meat eater before going vegetarian, and I've never craved meat since then, but I feel the same way sometimes, like I'm not part of the group. Ironically, most of the meat I ate was ED-safe; a single breast of grilled chicken would be dinner. That, I don't miss at all! It's tough to tell where my aversion to meat comes from. Of course, you have to do what's best for you! If you're really anxious over it, I'd try a small portion and see how it feels- if you're satisfied or sick or whatever. Good luck!

  24. Magdalena says:

    I agree with what some other folks have said…first go back and unpack the reasons why you became vegetarian in the first place. Purely health, ideals, morals, environmental? And then work from there. If it was for environmental/moral reasons, there are now a lot of really good options out there for meat animals that were raised in humane, environmentally and ethically sound ways…it costs a bit more, but you don't have to worry about what was given to the animal during its life, or what chemicals its absorbed.

    As for worrying about getting sick, starting with fish, chicken or turkey is a safe bet…the richer the meat, the more likely you are to have an adverse reaction (say duck or sausage for example). Also, just trying a very small amount will help with that too.

    Personally I find that I feel better with some meat in my diet…lately it's mostly been beef because I can get that from a local farmer who pastures his cattle and doesn't give them any antibiotics or hormones or crap. I find that especially when I'm cycling a lot during road season I crave meat protein…pb or tofu just doesn't cut it. But that's me and my body…everyone's different. I've been vegetarian before, but I struggle enough with my iron levels that eating red meat makes sense…I'd rather get my iron from a natural source than take supplements.

    I'll be interested to hear where you go from here! :)

  25. Anonymous says:

    I think that you should do whatever feels best to you as a whole person. I eat a mostly vegan diet but do eat meat, eggs, fish and goat cheese occasionally. I don't really label myself as anything. This week, I over did it on eggs and my body is telling me so. I think that just listening to your body will give you the answer you need.

  26. Christie @ Honoring Health says:

    That last comment was from me. For whatever reason, I chose the Name/URL comment option but it did not let me put in my info and came up as anonymous.

  27. Natalie Rae says:

    I relate to your post… I was a vegetarian for 7 years(ate fish though). My last years in college my body started to crave meat protien even though I didn't like it much, and when I did eat meat as a child it wasn't very often. I started slow (natural beef jerky progressed to half a hamburger that led to a turkey sandwich) because at that point I had not even ordered meat in a restaurant ever. When I started, for about 6 months my stomach was not great every time I had meat- and then that went away. I still do not eat much meat- maybe 1-2 times a week?- but love that when I go to restaurants I am not so limited and have lots to choose from. Eating meat is a learner curve about discovering what you like and don't like- it can be fun and it can be interesting :) So far I have learned that I really like my steak medium rare, I hate over cooked burgers, love sashimi, I like pork in ethnic foods, I am not really a fan of chicken, gourment cured meats are really delicious, veggies with items like seared panchetta are really good, and slow cooked roast beef is great. I still get really full- very fast- with any food that contains meat, so portion sizes with meat protiens are a learned thing… As a former vegetarian, who moved to eating meat occasionally because my body wanted the whole protien, and foodie, I look forward to your thoughts on it after reflection and reading the comments :) gGod Luck!

  28. Ashlei says:

    Do whatever feels best for you. I went back to eating fish for now because I was having strong protein cravings so I knew I wasn't getting enough. I can't say I love it but I need the protein. I'm hoping to go back to a veg diet soon!

  29. Katie says:

    I think you should do what feels right for you! You don't necessarily have to make it a rule, but if you're out one night and street meat kebab sounds good to you, go for it!

    I haven't eaten red meat or chicken for almost 10 years and cut out fish for one, but then one night, on my then-boyfriend's birthday, we were all at a fancy restaurant and I though, "You know what? I want salmon!" So whatever works for you, I say. Screw the rules!

  30. Amanda - RunToTheFinish says:

    I think if you feel comfortable with tasting meat, then you should allow it. There are lots of organic and grass fed products that still allow you to feel gooda bout the animals treatment. I would say since I don't eat a lot of meat, that I keep my amounts limited when I do so I don't get sick

  31. amz says:

    You do not have to justify yourself to anyone. If you lived your life as a vegetarian and no one asked you about it – would you still put the label on it? Being a vegetarian for eight years is wonderful but if you want to try something new (like a brazilian steak house) then you should!

    Overall, I think you should be comfortable with the fact that you eat healthy and like to try new things and let the label go.

    (I know the label might not be a thing for you but it is something I work on since I am technically a flexitarian but hate the name – I just tell people I like eating a lot of fruits & veggies)

  32. Lauren says:

    I've been a vegetarian for years, partially because I always loved animals…but I think when I went vegan a part of me was just trying to mask my eating disorder. After starting the recovery process, I had to re-examine my diet and the reasoning behind it. I still eat a mostly vegan diet but I am not strict and I try to never place strict rules on myself when it comes to food. I stay mostly vegan because I like vegan food and I love animals and hate animal cruelty, and I find it to be easier on my digestive system.
    There is no harm in trying meat, even just a little bit. You should do what makes you happy. Don't stick to something just because its a habit or because it is what you have always done. Do it if you WANT to do it, and if you want to try something new, then do that!
    You can always go back to being a vegetarian if you decide you don't like it or if it doesn't agree with you.

  33. Anonymous says:

    I have read your blog on and off for a while but have yet to comment. However, as a fellow vegetarian (vegan in my case) and environmentalist, I thought I could add some thoughts! In my opinion, the answer to your question lies in the reasons why you stopped eating meat in the first place. For someone who gave up meat for animal rights reasons, or to lesson her carbon footprint on the earth, then I truly think that the many benefits of vegetarianism far outweigh the momentary pleasures of trying new foods. Honestly I cannot think of a single good reason to eat meat, but I also never feel like I'm missing out. I think this is b/c there are SO many veg/vegan options and so many new things I have tried since becoming vegan 5 years ago. Coconut ice cream! New fruits and veggies that I'd never tried! Grains like teff and quinoa! Chickpeas and lentils! Rather than missing out, I truly believe vegetarians have health advantages, and I also believe in using my $$ to support and increase the demand for cruelty-free food and products. Being vegan, I feel like I have gained so much more than I lost!

    This is just my opinion and I am not judging you or anyone else in any way. We are all individuals and have to do what feels right to us! If you feel like you cannot live without trying new dishes, you could either take a few bites off of a friend's plate to try it, or go home and make a veggie version!

  34. Christine (The Raw Project) says:

    Interesting post, you should do what feels right for you. I have a few friends that have gone in and out of vegan and vegetarian diets, our needs and interests change over time.

    I agree that some vegetarian and vegan options at restaurants seem lacking compared to meat options. I went to a sushi place with hubby tonight and the vegan rolls I got were just veggies wrapped in rice while his fish rolls looked like a messy rainbow explosion with 42 different toppings and sauces – odd. But, mine were easier to eat. :-)

  35. whataboutsummer says:

    I used to eat meat and haven't had red meat in about six years. For a long time, I only ate chicken, turkey and fish. I never felt like I was missing out but never really wanted anything with meat in it. I didn't plan on being all veggie as a permanent thing but I like it. It's a hard decision, but I don't think there is anything wrong with eating meat- especially after not eating it and having a healthy opinion of it

    Katherine
    whataboutsummer.wordpress.com

  36. Kristie says:

    I'm no vegetarian. I eat meat. LOVE sushi. But I'm definitely no carnivore either. I probably eat meat substitutes more often than I eat actual meat. I just don't like to restrict myself or make anything off limits. So if I WANT to eat meat I'll eat it. I don't love it and I don't eat it every day and if I had to, I could probably easily live without it. But I like being able to live with it. I say do what feels right for you and if you want to start eating it again, well then why not? :)

  37. Caronae says:

    Wow, interesting question! I am a meat-eater in moderation (probably red meat once a week, chicken or turkey once or twice and fish once or twice) and it works for me. I think it might be something that you just have to try and see how it feels. For me, meat makes me feel good — it keeps me full and I don't hav trouble digesting it and I love the taste. BUT not everyone has these same experiences with meat, so you just have to experiment. Good luck, and I hope you figure out what works for you!

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