For Susan: It’s about eating less meat

Yesterday, I put up a link on the Facebook page talking about organic, free range egg laying chickens. Sounds great until you see the reality. It reminds me of this footage from Mumbai, except for those people are actually getting out shortly.

One commenter mentioned how expensive truly good, humanely raised, organic meat is, and she’s right. She also mentioned that eating more veg and grains without meat made her feel like her meal was a bunch of side-courses. I know how she feels, before I knew anything about the meat industry I was eating meat a few times every day.

Once I learned more, I decided to reduce my home’s meat intake and it did take some adjusting. When you’re used to meatcentric meals, you’re used to feeling really full. Vegetarian meals can fill you to the point of bursting, but it’s a different feeling, not as heavy. The trick? Like all things, starting out gradually.

If you eat meat daily, try starting out with one meatless day a week. Don’t panic, there are literally thousands of recipes available and many cultures are vegetarian or vegan so if you’re into ethnic food, get ready to have some fun by trying new stuff. Many cities now have vegetarian restaurants and it’s worth a meal or two to get some ideas. Even going to your local Chinese and checking out their options helps lots.

These days, I eat meat about 2-3 times a week and I know where about 90% comes from. I’m not saying my way is the best by far, but since I’ve reduced; my cholesterol is fantastic, my hair is less coarse and my skin looks better. My gut is happier and my digestion is fantastic. I’m sleeping better, have more energy and am generally in a better mood.

It makes sense, it takes a lot of time and energy to digest meat and a lot of the stuff I grew up on was loaded with hormones, steroids and antibiotics. If you think they don’t affect you, I ask you to think again. If it’s in the meat and you’re eating it, you’re getting some of it.

No real need to sweat protein levels, there’s plenty in beans, whole grains (like brown rice, oat groats, quinoa, etc) even in some fruits and veggies. If you eat well you’ll be fine. It is important to eat beans and rice together as they are both incomplete proteins but when combined are work perfectly.

There are many reasons to reduce your meat intake. If you decide to do so, baby steps are your best bet. If you’ve got farmer’s markets, get to know the meat people and find out their practices. Chances are, they’re better than factory farmed.

Ooo! A tip for you: If they say the meat is organic, it usually means a set, grain diet. They can’t call an animal in a pasture eating what’s out there as organic because they’re not 100% positive about everything they are eating in the fields and ┬ácan’t guarantee it. ┬áSame goes for fish. If it’s organic it’s farmed. Go for wild, line caught fish and eat small ones, they’ve got less mercury.

Grass fed, grass finished, pasture raised and free roaming are all terms to look for and slowly cut down your meat consumption. Your body and wallet will thank you, as will the planet as large scale meat production is one of the biggest polluters out there.

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