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Powered By Manly Meat: Officially off the Veggie Wagon

July 29, 2011

For about 5 years I was a “real” vegetarian.  No beef, chicken, turkey, seafood, or anything that once had a face.  And I was pretty strict about avoiding even traces of animal parts like broths and gelatin.  Then, for about 3 years I re-introduced seafood but still stayed “meat-free”.

Until a couple of weeks ago I’d had genuine land-based animal flesh just a couple of times, mainly out of desperation, like when veggie options were limited at the week-long 2009 TransRockies Run and once in Ireland, when a free-range chicken sandwich was begging to get in my belly.  But this summer I’ve made some changes to my diet and eating meat has been one of the big ones.  I still have some guidelines, like the meat has to be from ethically raised animals and organic/anti-biotic- and hormone-free.  And generally healthy, i.e. lean, lacking gristle and in reasonable quantities.

My reasoning for returning to my omnivorous ways are many but the main one is health.  Yes, I know that with thoughtful preparation and plenty of advanced planning, a purely vegetarian (or at least pescatarian) diet can provide all the nutrition needed, even for an athlete.  But, even with all sorts of culinary effort, I have lost as much weight – or possibly more weight – as I am comfortable with.  At 6’0″, I just don’t ever want to see 140-something on the scale.  And that’s not far off, as I’ve recently been as low as 150 even post-run.  I need calories, iron, and protein and I just don’t know that I am willing to jump through the hoops anymore to try to get enough of all of it without meat.

Oh, and I absolutely LOVE meat.  Always have and it the roughly 8 years I basically went without it, I missed it every day.  Every single day.  And one of the things I missed the most was jerky.  Spicy, smokey, peppery jerky.  Surprisingly, despite Alison’s greater dedication to be meat-free, that has been one of the few things she’s missed.  Today, after a stop at a down-home-y roadside stand, I came home with this:

And life will never be the same.


From → Nutrition

  1. Wow, that’s huge! I don’t take sides, whatever strikes your fancy. Just big news after 8 years.

  2. Anonymous permalink

    Good decision! It’s very hard to get all the necessary nutrients without eating some meat. (Not sure Jerky would be my first choice, but if you love it, GOOD!) It obviously took a lot of will power to stay off meat for eight years. As always, we support you in whatever decisions you make.

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