I've toyed with vegetarianism for a few years, partly due to abhorrence of modern farming methods, partly due to the fact that the amount of meat farmed across the world has huge environmental implications. Although I only ate meat once - maybe twice - a week, I'd never completely given it up for a long length of time, and thought that going without it for a more substantial period would allow me to see if I could forego it completely.
But now I've decided I don't want to.
Perhaps I got the vegetarian diet wrong. I like to think I'm a good cook and quite experimental, and I made a lot of dishes (some from recipes, some from my own head) usually based around beans, lentils, pasta, quorn, potatoes, bread, occasional pastry. And almost always with plenty fresh veg & salad. And as far as I knew, things were going well. It wasn't until after doing some reading on nutrition earlier this year that I decided to experiment with eating a bit more meat. Not every day, but upping it from one day a week to four, and not stressing out if I somehow found myself in a situation where I had to eat meat. To keep in line with my values, I only bought meat from the local butchers, fish from the local fishmongers, and I tried to pick game over farmed meat where I could.
The results have stunned me.
I thought I was doing fine on my low-meat, high carb diet. But since changing how I eat, I have more energy, more mental clarity, less headaches, less PMS, less digestive upsets and I've lost 4lb. Not that I had loads of these problems before, but enough to notice a difference. Maybe its coincidence, I haven't looked into the science enough yet, but I'm far happier and feel a lot healthier with the inclusion of meat in my diet. Like I said, I buy from as ethical a source as I can. I know and trust the local butcher, and I try to stick to game because I know the animal has had a happier and healthier life than a farmed creature.
I know this wouldn't work for everyone, just as there are thousands of perfectly healthy vegetarians out there. It just wasn't for me and I feel so much better in myself by eating this way.
Have you ever toyed with vegetarianism/veganism? Did it work for you?