Yes, I am a yogi. Yes, I understand yogis tend to be vegetarians and in agreement with ahimsa, non-harming and non-violent. But like the author of this article, I need meat in my diet. This does not make me a bad individual or lesser than, it makes me just more omnivore.I have practiced just about every type of diet: Atkins, poultritarian (oh yes, it’s a thing), vegan, vegetarian, raw. You name it, I probably have tried it. Only to find that a more Vegan–Paleo diet FEELS the best for me.
What is the Vegan-Paleo? Well for me it means I mostly eat fruit, vegetables, nuts and seeds during the day. And at some point I involve either fish or beef into the picture. Yes, I eat beef. But to limit my consumption of meat overall, I just only eat enough for my body. Each day is different. I eat more red meat especially around my time of the month to no surprise. I try to alternate between grass fed steak and fish throughout most weeks. Sometimes I eat shrimp. I always buy sustainable, local and organic whenever possible and find that this tastes better and keeps me stronger for longer. However, unlike Vegans, I avoid all soy products.
I usually have one day a week where I practice full vegetarianism or veganism. So I either incorporate eggs or I don’t. It just depends on what I am feeling. I look at all the foods in my house or market and see what appeals to my sense of vision. What looks good? Then smell.What smells good? After all, we have these senses for a reason, we may as well use them. And of course when you don’t know what to look or smell for I like using the 7th sense. Google.
Yes I basically google everything. Why do I like red meat so much? Why do I get headaches without it? What is in fish that feels so amazing? Why do I like trout and tuna? Why not salmon so much? Why don’t I get bit by mosquitos?
So many questions and usually google can at least give me some suggestions for answers to my woes.
Grass-fed beef is the ONLY kind of beef with vitamin K2. If you prefer not to eat meat, you need a supplement for this. And I fully appreciate my cow when I eat it. I hate that an animal has to die so I can be healthy. But I know that it was killed in humane practices, lived a good life in an open farm in beautiful California. And that makes me feel a little bit better. The food chain scenario just doesn’t do it for me.
Whenever I shop for fish, I ask when it was delivered. I know to get to the Sprouts by my place at 9:30am on Tuesdays so I can get the freshest trout without actually fishing off the coast of the Pacific. I know that the omega-3s my body really likes, which means that my body also likes seaweed. So I try to eat seaweed salads, sushi and kombu whenever possible.
Most importantly, I talk to the staff at the market. I ask them what they think is the best product. I ask where it came from, if it was ever frozen, if it was killed humanely. If you shop at Whole Foods, chances are you can read the number that is placed on their meat and know how sustainable the item is. Numbers go from 1 to 5+ where 1 is no crates or crowding and level 5+ is animal centered and spent entire life on single farm. I prefer to get my beef from Whole Foods and my fish from Sprouts if I can not make it to a local meat shop.
Where I eat beef and fish, you may find that chicken and fish or chicken and lentils just works fine for your body. Test it out. Try a week with just organic chicken and see how you feel. Try a week with just natural chicken and see how you feel. What is the difference? Natural chicken is fed a diet of non-organic feed where organic chicken gets organic feed. I find the best thing to do is to ask or Google the supplier and see what they say about how that farm takes care of their chickens. The more local the better. And that goes for any meat.
When it comes to pork, I try to eat as little as possible. This is not because I am inherently Jewish and pork is not Kosher, but rather because pigs are such intelligent creatures and usually treated the worst in many cases. The average pig has the intelligence of a 3 year old child! This makes me rather sad to hear about pig farmers who abuse their pigs and create such horrible lives for the animals. And the large corporations supplying most of the pig meat, like Smithfield, are to blame. The Humane Society is just one of the many organizations committed to exposing the dirty deeds of the factories. You can see some of the bad treatment here and read more about it here. I also find pigs just so cute and if I could have one as a pet I probably would.
Regardless of what meat you choose to put into your body, do your research. You can read more about sustainable food in general at sustainabletable.org or just use that 7th sense and Google it. The more you eliminate hormones, antibiotics and ammonia from your food the better. You will find yourself feeling better, looking better and doing the world better.
Some days, like today I have horrible headaches and body-aches and no matter how much kale, coconut water, grass-fed beef, and anti-inflammatories I give it nothing makes me feel better. So I take deep breaths, keep on staying positive, listen to calming music and try to relax. Because tomorrow is another day, and maybe I’ll feel amazing from all the good, organic and fresh food I put into it today.