How I Introduced Animal Products After 8 Years of Being Vegan » The Glowing Fridge
This new path I’m walking down looks a little less weird everyday. I see my past life fading away and things feel easier, a little more “normal”. My husband doesn’t look at me funny when I make turkey or chicken for dinner. Also, my laptop of 8 years died, the one I wrote all of my books on, so it feels as though literally everything is new. I’m here for the fresh life start.
As I wade through this new way of eating, I wanted to share a post to help others going through a similar situation. At first, I wasn’t sure how to start eating animal foods besides fish. I actually forgot what I used to eat before my life of beans and tofu. Recipes felt foreign (but now it’s fun!). Cooking meat was something I hadn’t done in ages (over 8 years!). Buying meat in the grocery store was a unique experience and almost felt wrong at first. Even opening my (glowing) fridge to see animal foods was bizarre for a while. So many new experiences!
A note about digestion:
Keep in mind that if you haven’t eaten eating animal foods in years, it can be tough on your stomach at first because your digestive system could be lacking the enzymes. Adding a little enzyme support during the transition is a good idea. I take enzymes before each meal and they help tremendously. You can stop taking them when you intuitively feel ready and that timing will be different for everyone.
Give your body time to adjust. Give your taste buds time. Give your mental state and mentality surrounding animal products time as well. It’s not easy and I don’t want to sit here having anyone think this process was easy for me. It’s an emotional rollercoaster. There have been many ups and downs the past few months. Lots of emotional guilt. Lots of asking myself if I’m doing the right thing? But at the end of the day, I’m very happy and feel so much freedom attached to my decision that I know it was the right one for me. The no-bloat life is the life for me!!
I want to add that before eating an animal product, it helps to express gratitude for the animal, thanking them for their life and nourishment. It doesn’t make it easier, but it helps to connect to the animal. We all need to remember where our food comes from even if it’s not easy to think about. It shouldn’t be easy but it is apart of life.
Before I move on with the rest of this post I wanted to share a Facebook group that’s been particularly helpful and comforting during this big change. The group is called Restoration health: Recovery group for former vegans and vegetarians. I relate to many posts in there and people in the group are super friendly and understanding. They are going through exactly what I’m going through and it’s nice to sympathize with others who understand the guilt and doubts and mixed feelings. While I feel like I’m on the other side now, I still relate to this group!
How I Started Introducing Animal Foods:
I started with wild salmon over the summer and then a variety of fresh fish in Florida after deciding to stop being vegan. It was over the course of months and months. In case you missed my announcement blog post, read it here! Fish felt the most natural to me and maybe my only “craving” so far. After that I branched out a little more each day, or whenever I felt ready. I never force anything and only go with what feels right. It was a slow process and still is!
The phase of “what to introduce and when” is going to look different for everyone, depending on many factors. Remember to give yourself grace. Take it as slow as you need to. Don’t expect miracles right away. Try to stick with its “whole food form” as much as possible to avoid additional G.I. distress. Try to buy from local farms as well.
Below is a list of foods I introduced in the first couple months.
- Fish – wild salmon, triple tail, swordfish
- Collagen powder every morning in my king coffee
- Dessicated liver pills (this or the Perfect brand. Liver pills are not for everyone; please work with a practitioner)
- Bone Broth – be careful as this is high in histamines
- Pastured and Organic Eggs (still unsure if I do well with eggs or not)
- Ground Turkey in Spicy Chili
- Ground chicken lettuce wraps
- Chicken thighs (shredded) in homemade chicken noodle soup
- Chicken Sausage breakfast sandwich (I like the Applegate Organics brand so far)
- Turkey Jerky from Epic and these turkey sticks from The New Primal
- Raw cheese (recently discovered I can’t eat dairy because I’m breastfeeding and it gives Summer eczema; so dairy is on the back burner for me for a while although I did well with it)
- Turkey Bacon
I think that’s all I’ve introduced so far. This is plenty for me to handle at the moment haha. I’m just taking it day by day. My next step in my journey is to post some new recipes on the blog including animal products. What a trip that will be..!
Leave me a comment below with questions! Let us know which animal products you introduced first? Or what helped you through the transition?