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Ari.

Vegetarian raised- turned meat eater!

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Hello everybody!

9 days in, and I finally realized that I haven't been able to make posts because my registration wasn't finished, so to my relief I can finally get some advice!

So here's the deal, I am 24 years old and was raised as a vegetarian. I started eating chicken occasionally about 2 years ago. Upon reading It Starts With Food, and learning that there are "sugar burners" and "fat burners" I came to the realization that I have been living off of carbs for as long as I can remember, because sourcing high quality vegetarian protein options is not something I had ever thought about.

Against my mother's wishes, (though she is supportive of whatever I need to make me healthy), I decided that I need to start incorporating meat into my diet.

Well it's been 9 days and I have been experimenting with chicken and turkey and feel the best I can remember feeling in years. Amazing. Yet- eating meat has been an emotional and intimidating change for me.

I continue to be a little lost and timid when it comes down to something as basic as cooking meat. I would be open to eating red meat but am very comfortable sticking to poultry and fish for now. So, getting to the point- my questions are as follows:

Does anyone have general advice about making the switch to eating meat?

Is red meat necessary (with bountiful health benefits I wouldn't get from poultry and fish)?

What are everyone's favorite poultry/fish dishes?

Thank you all for reading, and best of luck with your whole30s!

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Hello from a reformed 'sugar burner'. I hope someone comes along and helps with the other questions but I'm skipping straight to the fun bit...

What are everyone's favorite poultry/fish dishes?

One of my favourites is quite simple: Free range chicken breast, sliced through the middle to make it thinner, then pan fried in some olive oil (3-5 minutes on each side?). You can then serve it hot or cold in so many ways - with avocado, as is on top of a leafy salad, on top of some cooked slices of veg (sweet potato, eggplant, zuchini etc) drizzled in some olive oil and balsamic vinegar.

I've recently tried crumbing smaller pieces of chicken breast with ground almonds & nutmeg, and also with a spiced 'southern fried chicken' style crumb (with ground almonds as the base). I pan-fried mine but they could probably be oven baked.

My other favourite is to take a whole breast, make a nut-fruit stuffing, and wrap the chicken breast around the stuffing. Pictorial instructions here, although I don't usually cut the breast, if it's got a tenderloin attached then it works without. I wrap in bacon (or proscuitto works too) and brown in a pan, then finish in the oven.

Also Chicken Cacciatore. I've made it with a mix of thighs and breast pieces based on this Jamie Oliver recipe and it would be compliant without the wine (and using a compliant flour for thickening).

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There's more iron in red meat, but I don't think it's essential. Having said that, a variety of foods will always be better for you than sticking to one or two items. Are you happy to explore other seafood as well as just fish? How about other poultry - quail?

I like to roast a whole chicken, and while I don't have an oven I generally bung a lemon and a handful of garlic where the sun don't shine and pop the bird (breast side down) in a slow cooker on low all day. This gives you the tenderest, juiciest meat and the juices form the thin gravy which you can then strain and reduce to a sauce. Yum!

Pork is quite similar to chicken in taste, might be a good starting point if you wanted to expand. After that beef. Lamb can be quite strong tasting so I'd leave that until a bit later.

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I was a vegetarian for about ten years and find that I feel a lot better when I'm eating at least some meat. I'm sure there are some people who do fine on vegetarian diets, I'm just not one of them.

I've only just expanded into cooking meat besides chicken and mince. I found nomnompaleo really good for learning how to cook different meats with all the good pictures on her website. The BBC website also has some decent videos showing you different cooking techniques.

I'm a big fan of just roasting a whole chicken as that leaves you with enough meat for a few days, plus soup stock after, but was a bit squeamish about carving off the finished meat for ages.

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A great book written by someone with a similar experience as you is Real Food by Nina Planck.

Roasted whole chicken is fantastic. Some of the meat menus in Well Fed might be to your taste if you decide to start eating red meat, especially the cinnamon beef stew (I am a bit older than you, and these days find that chicken doesn't supply as much feeling of healthfulness as does red meat, but see what you think), but she also has the brining method for skinless boneless chicken breasts that you might try right away. Fatty fish is always good--good quality salmon and trout especially. Tuna salad with homemade mayo and chopped celery is one of my three go-to meals and is great in a pinch if you like canned tuna.

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Thank you all for your feedback! I am definitely going to try some of your suggestions!! Thanks for being a part of my healthy transition :)

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I'm speaking from the perspective of sone who loves her meat and always has, but I'm gonna throw in a yes, you should try to work up to red meat--the iron content as well as the taste when it's well-prepared are second to none :)

For chicken, I'm a big fan of taking a butterflied chicken breast, marinating it in lemon juice, cilantro, garlic and pepper, then pan-frying in coconut oil over med-high heat for 3-5 minutes per side. Serve with a spinach salad and some avocado..mmmmm.

Pork chops are a mainstay in our house (my fiance loves them, albeit never eating them until I was around ;) ), I like 'em spicy and typically marinade overnight in a mixture of crushed chilis, garlic, dijon, EVOO, cayenne, salt, and a bit of lemon juice. When you're ready to eat, slice up some onions and mushrooms, sautee in coconut oil until onions are translucent, and pop the chops and marinade on top of the onions, and cook 5-7 minutes per side, or until the pork isn't pink in the middle anymore. Serve with roasted broccoli and cauliflower and you've got a delicious meal.

When you're ready to work up to red meat, let me know and I can hook you up with some favorite recipes of mine; I'm a wealth of carnivore noms :)

Best of luck to you on your journey, and definitely keep us posted!

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