Holistic Health and Red Meat (Part Two)
Should You Be Eating It...?
of this article, I made the case for red meat being an important part of a holistic health diet. At the end of the post, I left you with this:
“Humans are omnivores. Omnivores are supposed to eat meat. But you gotta do it right!”
So, the question is: Should you be eating red meat? And the definitive answer is:
A majority of people will benefit from including meat in their diet. Some people should; some people shouldn't. Over time, I have learned that I am at my best when I eat quite a bit of red meat. Figuring that out has been a journey, let me tell you.
If you have read
you know that I struggled with serious health challenges for many years. At one point, I became a vegetarian, believing that that would help solve my health problems. I was even a vegan for about 4 years. It was during those years that I suffered from the worst health problems of my life.
When I finally began my transformation from poor health to vibrant health, one factor was that I was beginning to consume red meat. For me, adding red meat back into my diet has been one of the healthiest, most beneficial things I have ever done.
But just because it works for me doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you. Different people do better with different approaches to nutrition.
For example, the ancient holistic healing art of Ayurveda recognizes three different body types, known as doshas. My dosha, pitta with some vatta, is OK with some red meat, but shouldn’t eat very much.
The holistic health field of Naturopathy recognizes that people with different blood types have different nutritional requirements. I am a type B, which means that I do well with plenty of red meat—more so even than the other blood types.
Hmmm…my dosha and my blood type seem to be at odds. So, what should I do?
Simple! I listen to my body.
When I was a vegan, I rigidly adhered to it because it was a belief system. I paid no attention to what my body was telling me. I was in such pain, I could sometimes barely walk, but by golly, I wasn’t going to eat any of that nasty red meat. Rigid belief systems are not part of a holistic health mindset.
When I finally opened my mind on the subject, and began to include red meat in my diet, I soon found myself training for an Ironman triathlon! Pretty dramatic shift, wouldn’t you say? (At this point, I need to tell you that meat wasn’t the only factor in my healing transformation. It was—and still is—one important part of a much bigger picture.)
It’s up to you to decide for yourself whether or not you should be eating red meat. Your body will tell you.
At the beginning of this article I said that, if you’re going to include red meat in your holistic health diet, you need to do it right. Here’s how:
Make sure it’s good quality, grass fed beef. I discussed this in
of this article. It’s important to make sure that the beef is also grass finished, meaning that it is fed on pasture for its entire life. The USDA labeling requirements for “grass fed” are voluntary. Some beef that is labeled “grass fed” may have spent some time in the pasture, but lived out its last months in a feed lot.
Grass fed is more important than organic. Beef that’s organic can still be grain fed. Even if a food isn’t certified organic, it may still be produced in a manner that is essentially organic.
Local is also important. This is true of all food, not just meat. The closer your food is raised to your kitchen, the fresher—and healthier—it is for you. Also, if it’s local, it’s easy for you to find out how it is produced.
Eat smallish portions of meat along with LOTS of fresh, organic veggies and fruit. Balance is in important part of holistic health. For me, a smallish portion can be anywhere from 4 to 10 ounces. I’ll usually have red meat, poultry or fish one meal a day (occasionally two). I enjoy green veggies three meals a day almost every day.
Again, what works for you may be different from what works for me.
Listen to your body!
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