From Vegetarian to Whole 30 - I start today


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My Name is Debra. I've been a vegetarian since early the early 2000's and haven't eaten red meat in over 20 years.

Within the last month I have slowly began to eat a little bit of meat from grass fed/finished to wild caught. As an exercise physiologist I am consistently researching the latest science and a good friend recommended the book and program to me. I was seriously impressed with the science in the book and made the commitment to start TODAY, August 5th.

In the last month I have slowly incorporated many of the meal planning and food choices into my diet and have felt worlds better. Now I am going full force for 30 days.

I'm looking forward to it.


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Aloha Debra & welcome! I also was veg for many years, though maybe not as strict, depending on perspective. I was veg since about '98 and even fairly close to vegan (close as I was a beekeeper and liked honey), and now call myself a "recovering vegetarian." I'm super interested in your transition as well, including the changes you feel (or don't) in your body. While I was veg, and more so within the past couple of years (turned 40), I always felt like I was missing something. As in, looking in the fridge or cupboards for... Something to eat? Feeling like I needed / wanted something but I wasn't sure what it was.... Some might say this was a craving perhaps, but it felt like more of a lack of something. As I laughingly mentioned to Derval in another thread, a couple of months ago turkey bacon became my gateway drug. My body (and mind) said "that was good and we want some more!!" I seem to have found in this kind of protein what my body was really looking for and not finding in the fridge, cupboards, or in the veg type 'proteins' I was feeding it. It's a bit odd if I think about it, as for years it didn't appeal at all. I even took a bite of something with meat in it a few times over the years to see if I was on the right track and still happy with vegetarianism (veg-ish - I started eating fish, eggs, dairy after the first couple of years). Those times I "took a taste" there was no question in my mind I was still on the right path. No appeal at all & my body did not like nor agree with it. Even when my wife got pregnant and started to introduce some other forms of protein into her diet (she started with turkey & chicken) as she felt her body telling her it wasn't getting enough protein (she was veg longer than I). She would offer and it just did not appeal. And then she was cooking some turkey bacon one morning.... ;) We went on a vacation to the mainland to visit family & found bison & were given some venison by family. Missing both of those now as they are not quite as available here, though we do have local grass fed beef.... Anyway, to make a long story long(er), I must say my transition has been nothing short of amazing. It's still early days yet, but I really do notice a difference in how I feel, both mentally & physically.

Hope I didn't hijack your thread too much, and I'm interested to hear how you are doing with the new path....

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Didn't know that, thanks Derval! Have heard plenty about him but haven't checked out his work yet. Interesting how many different types of paleo there are out there, just like any other diet/lifestyle I suppose.

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Nice to hear from you Kayell, and thanks for checking in. So what caused your turnaround and how was your transition? This is a great thread, keep it rolling! Lola are you recovering like us or just fascinated by our kind? :D Ok Debra, your turn!

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Lola are you recovering like us or just fascinated by our kind? :D

Just facinated. I have a sister-in-law who is veg for over 10 years now because of MS. I would love for her to try this out, but she's always been a bit of a negative person, especially when it comes to change, or anything new. So I'm waiting till she starts asking me questions so I can give her a copy of ISWF. I have a copy for each of my sibs actually.... just waiting....

Poor Debra, we did indeed hijack her thread... Come back to us Debra, waiting to hear your story!!

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I'm here and I LOVE all the posts. HIJACK away please!

So far so good. Granted I started eating meat slowly last month and I've been ok. The challenge is that I really don't know how to cook meat that well, so I'm relying on my sister and my mom. Plus the chef's here at work are a great help.

Did anyone see the 60 minutes - sugar is toxic video? It's amazing....

I have been teaching this to my clients and presenting this topic at fitness conferences for years. So glad the news is catching up to the science!

Back on point - so far so good. I tried making a swordfish steak the other day, but still tasted too fishy to me. White fish is definitely best. The Talapia was farm raised however and I didn't want to buy that. Tonight I am going to try to grill a steak for the first time EVER! I'm scared. :rolleyes:

Yesterday I was craving a bit more sweets which is odd, b/c I haven't really eaten them in the last month so I let myself have some extra blueberries and that did it.

More later - I'm about to make some eggs and avocado. Yummmm.

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Hey Debra, how goes your progress? I went offline for a few days (busy at work) and am just checking in again. I hear you on the challenges of cooking meat. It's not like we're going to crank up the bbq or anything here. Ground meat (bison, beef, turkey) seems to be the current winner for us. My wife adds spices, onion, etc. and cooks it all together. Newest creation is sort of a "meatball" kind of thing with whatever ground she has. It's been super yummy. Bison by far is my favorite (other than the venison we got in CA when we were visiting family). I can get it here but what is available isn't 100% grass fed. A bit bummed about that. We'd order from one of the many suppliers online, but it's really not that cheap and then shipping to Hawaii is usually ridiculous. Ah well. Fish from the local fish market was on the menu tonight. Good stuff. Hope all continues to go well with the transition....



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So far so good Liam. I'm not necessarily hungry or have major cravings bc my diet before was very pure with mostly veggies. Had an issue with energy a few days ago and ended up eating a sweet potato and felt great.

I've tried a lot of different meats. My neighbor is going to do experiment with cooking with me. Tried cooking fish- but even when I was a kid I never liked it so it's difficult to cook it and enjoy. When someone else makes it then it's ok. I think it's because the smell always bothered me.

Another concern is that I haven't been able to goto the bathroom as easily as I had done before. Any suggestions for that?


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Hi, Debra! I'm very interested to watch how your journey goes. I was also a vegetarian, since 2001, but started eating meat a few months ago... and just like you it's been only grass fed/finished, humanly raised (preferably organic) meats. (^ ^)

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On day 2 and very retested to hear from the vegetarians

I have been a vegetarian on and off for many years....about 3 years ago I started eating meat again as my iron was very low.I felt great

Then 2years ago I went back to being a veg for ethical reasons.

I am now trying this journey but can not bring myself to eat meat.I do eat eggs and will try fish

Is it possible to be a veg and do this

I am day 2 and very hungry and dying for bread crackers or rice which is what I love best

I never eat sugar or dairy but would kill for a cracker


Dont know if I can do this

Remind me why grains are bad for me

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Hang in there Sarah! This may help you for bread/crackers: From the Bulletproof Executive podcast (check their website or look up Upgraded Self Radio in iTunes) Episode #5. "Cool fact of the day": The antibodies in the body that attack wheat gliadin (sp?), one of the proteins from wheat, also happen to attack your heart tissue. So much for the claims where you see 'heart healthy whole grains'.... The longer you are away from the wheat/gluten the better you will feel and the cravings will decrease.

Thoughts on the ethics of eating meat (though thoughts on ethics can be different for some): Also from the Bulletproof Exec.

Follow the link in the first paragraph to read the article that somebody else wrote for the NYT.

Suggestions on fish - choose the least "fishy". If possible, obtain fish from a fish market, or even better, fresh off a boat. Avoid supermarket fish if at all possible. The smell in those places can definitely put one off of eating fish of any sort.

Proteins and fats ln the ratio suggested in ISWF will help you break the craving cycle as your body will feel happy and full. Remember their test to see if you have a craving or not (we'll maybe use an omelet in your case rather than the fish for the moment). If you think of an omelet and feel that you are hungry enough to eat it, you should eat some protein and fat. If you really aren't hungry enough for that omelet, you are probably dealing with a craving.

Good luck Sarah, hope all that helps!

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Aloha Debra, sorry for the slow reply, work and baby have me fully occupied. ;) I hear you on the lack of cravings etc. My diet was no way as "pure" as yours was, but not being one who ate a lot of the things that other folks are craving (not referencing you Sarah!) like bagels or donuts or cream in coffee (don't drink coffee either), I haven't really felt like I had those.... cravings. I had been wheat/gluten free for several months before my Whole30 started (and feeling better for it) so didn't really miss any of that. Though I did have a piece of cake at our friend's wedding a couple of weeks before my "start date" and some ice cream. Like I said, no way as pure, lol! I figured I was on vacation and was planning on starting on Aug 1 anyway. I hadn't been eating sweets/sugar other than fruit for those few months either.

Elimination issues.... None for me, sorry no suggestions. Mine has actually improved quite a bit. Without getting to personal (ahem), my gut flora have been beat up by too many antibiotics through my life and no way to reboot since my appendix was removed. The change of diet was a big improvement, though I feel like I still need some good flora inputs....

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It's nice to know there are more of us here! Before mid-July, I hadn't eaten any meat or fish in 10 years, and no red meat for some time before that.

I have to admit I'm not thrilled about eating meat, though I'm sourcing the best I can. The ethics of it all are still really important to me, so it's tough wrapping my mind around how much meat I'm eating. I can handle eggs (which I didn't eat much of before) and tuna salad pretty well, same for chicken and ground turkey/beef, but actual cuts of meat...I'm not there yet. I had my very first pork chop ever (pastured!) earlier this week, and I was not impressed with the texture.

I don't feel amazingly different or better, though. I was never a "sick vegetarian". I'm not sure how I'll feel about this after the 30 days (I'm on day 21). We'll see.

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Thanks for the replies

I nearly ate some meat yesterday but just couldnt do it

Maybe I will try chicken first.

Or maybe it's ok to stick with eggs and fish?

I am really struggling ,on day 5 and finding this so hard and I have incredible will power usually

But I think my preferred food is carbs.I feel slightly sick all the time

Not sure if it's from all the protein which my body is not use to or from the lack of carbs?

I am also irritable and craving anything

Any suggestions for after dinner cravings.that's my worst time

I used to live on diet gum ,so glad I have given that up

Thanks again for the replies

It does help .

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Aloha Treshirecat, check out those articles I posted in reply to Sarah. I was fully on board with you guys (gals) with the ethical dilemmas as well. Dave Asprey's math that the .7 of a cow per year that he eats is a lot less than the birds, bunnies, mice, and other critters that are killed by the plows in the fields is a fairly convincing one however. I'm thankful that we have neighbors that raise pastured/free range chickens for eggs and we get all of our veg from the farmers markets. Even our grass fed beef is local. My body feels amazingly better since starting to eat this way. Perhaps it was just my time to change. By no means do I want to sound pushy or preachy. I'm just stoked with how I feel and want to share. Take it slow. Turkey bacon was my gateway meat. ;-)

Sarah - I'm not sure if you've read the Hartwig's book yet, but you are definitely in one of the stages in breaking free from the carbs. Hang in there. There are many more posts on this than my little input. The "sick" you feel could easily be a detox. Grains etc. do all kinds of crazy stuff to you, from creating a drug like addiction (in the book) as well as inflamation. Crazy. Do take it easy on adding the protein in. If you haven't had dense proteins in a while it takes the body a bit of time for adjustment. The cravings will eventually pass as well. As long as I ensure I have good fats with my meals (avo tree is still producing!) I haven't had the cravings / feelings like I "needed" something.

I haven't delved into the vegetarian section of the forums, but I'll bet there are many more in there going through the same / similar things....

Good luck you two, and hang in there! All the folks in here are super supportive and helpful. Explore the other sections, there's so much to learn!

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