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What Happened When I Started Eating Meat Again After 6 Years Without It

I embarked on a 30 day experiment to see if I could fix my digestive issues. What happened when I ate meat again was very eye opening and a great reminder.

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What would happen if you didn’t eat meat for a long time and then started eating it regularly again? I’m not talking about taking a bite of chicken, I’m talking eating it day in and day out.  This was a question I thought I’d never personally get an answer to within my own experience when I chose to stop eating meat nine years ago.

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I encourage you to read this whole story, as it’s important given how many people I see experiencing exactly what I experienced. I ended up stopping the consumption of meat after 30 days and I’m glad I did. You’ll see why.

First a little history. I grew up eating a diet that would be considered pretty healthy by Western standards. I rarely ate fast food, 90% of my meals were home cooked, and my mom had a good sense of how to balance a meal in ways many would consider fabulous — small portions of meat with a grain and veggies. Every meal had veggies. We ate things like pasta, chicken with broccoli and rice, lasagna, homemade burgers, and other simple foods without a ton of processing. I ate almost any type of vegetable you can think of and fruit as well. By far, my and my family’s worst habit was having a Coca-Cola at dinner.

I share this because many people might feel I ended up the way I did, with digestive issues, because I ate a ton of junk my whole life. But I didn’t, and that’s an important note. It’s also an important note that I didn’t have consistent and obvious problems with dairy or wheat my whole life; rather, they slowly built up over time.

So what happened to me? I was gassy all the time. Not just farting, but burping constantly. My burps came after every meal and would last for hours. To me this was normal, and I saw so many people around me doing the exact same thing that I was sure this was just how it was supposed to go. Farting, burping, bloating — I thought it was just a factor of eating. Heck, everyone makes jokes about how often people fart and burp so I thought it was normal to do it daily.

I also noticed I was getting tired a lot, but then again I thought that was normal, too. Coming home after school or work and wanting to have a quick nap or wanting to sleep after meals, I watched as everyone around me was doing the same thing, so again, I thought this was normal.

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As I made my way to my twenties, I started to notice it all got worse. Finally around 20 or 21, it was hitting a wall.

I would literally get bloated from dairy, meat, wheat, fruit, veggies, EVERYTHING. When I would eat things like dairy, meat, or bread, I definitely felt much worse, but everything was truly an issue. But again, as I would talk to people, other than when I had my burping fits and stomach pain from bread, everything seemed normal compared to what everyone else felt too.

I Knew Something Wasn’t Right, But Didn’t Know What to Do

Deep down I knew this wasn’t right. Feeling this way, seeing everyone feel this way, it didn’t make sense to me. In my experience, it took having these strong stomach pains and burping fits to finally do something, but for many, it’s still seen as completely normal, and as I cut all these things out of my diet, I watched myself change and could see the insane difference between my previous life and my new one — including when I compared myself to how others were feeling eating my old diet.

I cut out meat, dairy, bread, even things like legumes for a while. I mainly focused on a whole food, plant-based diet. Every now and then over the first couple years I ate eggs and had fish maybe one or two times a month, but for long stretches I ate neither.

I saw a HUGE difference in my digestion, energy, consciousness, clarity, mental ability, intuition, and athletic ability. They all increased dramatically as I continued. But something still wasn’t quite right, and after five years, I decided to find out what it was.

I started to notice that when I ate a lot of food, for example a cup of rice, a good amount of tempeh, steamed kale, and maybe some potatoes, I would get bloated and tired. Maybe this is normal to some extent, but to be honest, it wasn’t even as much food as most would consider a lot. My daily caloric intake was only at about 2,300-2,400 calories and I was working out almost every day.

Regardless, I could see my body wasn’t digesting certain food combos well or even certain foods in general. Not only that, but some things would sit in my stomach and eventually make me quite gassy, so I began going through many different options to find out how to stop the bloating. Intermittent fasting, cutting out carbs, not mixing fats and fruit, eating small meals, using digestive enzymes, using probiotics — you name it, I likely did it. I did this for nearly two years.

At a very frustrated and hopeless point, I eventually I found myself in front of a health practitioner who also had a ton of digestive issues, telling me to try something similar to a paleo diet, as that’s what she was doing. Of course, I was hesitant, since it didn’t feel like the right fit for me and I was sure it would cause a ton of issues. I intuitively knew it wasn’t going to work and I had done all the research to prove it, but some part of me still felt called to do it anyway. After weeks of debate, I eventually decided to try what she recommended. I learned a lot in the process.

I knew this wasn’t a longterm solution, but was willing to entertain the idea that somehow, maybe one of the things that had gotten me sick in the first place might help heal me now. I set out to try this for a few months, with an open mind, and see what would happen.

I Started Eating Meat

So after six years of no meat, I began having some chicken every other day and bone broth pretty well every day. 

At first I thought I might have an issue with digestive enzymes, as I’ve heard many times before that if you stop eating meat, you can’t digest it well if you start again. But I had never done the research on this. The truth is, thus far, the scientific perspectives are quite mixed and few proper studies have been done. The prevailing wisdom seems to be that enzymes used to break down fat and protein don’t differentiate between sources. Thus, enzymes needed for plant proteins versus meat proteins are the same. Some say you may need a few specific ones for meat, but they would return to the body in a matter of days after going back to eating meat.

During this meat eating experiment I had organic, ethically raised chicken (or as ethical as you can get when you are using animals for food), I kept my meals insanely simple, and I cut my caloric intake to about 2,000 calories. A meal might look like a plate of steamed broccoli or kale and some chicken. I had smoothies in the morning that contained between two and four ingredients, with no heavy fat. I consumed no dairy. I also cut out gluten completely.

So this really should address my digestive issues, as I had very little irritants or inflammatory foods (other than the meat) and I wasn’t eating much to tax my system. I was also intermittent fasting. So here’s what happened.

What I Started to Notice

Firstly, I’m sharing my story because I want to tackle a deeper side to meat eating that is spoken about less and that I believe carries importance. I knew From all my previous research and feelings that this was what was going to happen, but like I mentioned before… I was open to try. From a health perspective, it’s quite obvious by now, providing you are eating a proper diet that does not contain low quality processed foods, that the less meat you eat, the better your health. When it comes to dairy, avoid it, it’s scary. But I also reaffirmed a few things for myself during this experiment.

I’m not saying everyone will experience what I’m going to cover below, but it’s what I experienced. We all have to focus on what’s right for us, but I believe we have to be willing to actually figure that out, beyond what our ego wants to identify with or do.

Digestion Improved: Although not perfect, my digestion did start to improve. I felt like things didn’t sit forever and my energy wasn’t being spent trying to digest all the time. Was I getting more nutrient uptake? Tough to say, but if I had to guess, maybe a little.

Less Bloating: Because I was eating much less and eating simpler, I wasn’t as bloated. This was a nice feeling for me. Even though I did bloat a little still, it was an improvement for sure.

Less Gas: Because my digestion was working better and there was less confusion in there, my gas slowed down. But, when I did have it, the smell was worse before. Regardless, this was still a welcome improvement.

Sleep Improved: Going back to digestion again, because my body was having an easier time with things, it wasn’t spending energy at night trying to digest. So I slept better. Again, a welcome improvement, because sleep was tough to come by at times.

Aggression, Anger, Irritability: Ask anyone around me — I’m not aggressive, I don’t get angry, and it’s very difficult to irritate me. But after 7-10 days of eating meat again, I started to experience these things. This was where things got very interesting to me, as it had been so long that I had forgotten the energetic and personality type changes that come with eating foods like this. To preface this a little more, I meditate a lot and have spent a lot of time practicing presence. With this I’ve built a pretty good muscle for sensing energetic changes in my body and being. Noticing how the energy of meat, even good quality meat, was changing these parts of me was fascinating. It also helped me understand others better too, as I could relate again to what they go through and feel with their diet.

Brain Clarity: I wasn’t sure what to call this one. It wasn’t that I had brain fog per se, but my sharpness and quickness in thought and creativity weren’t as strong. I was used to feeling pretty light in my mind. Except for when I ate too much bread or was in a really bad bloating fit, my mind was very sharp and clear on a plant-based diet. So this was a noticeable change.

Density: Again, I wasn’t sure what to call this one, but my energy was different. I felt slower, heavier, denser. This might be hard to explain or relate to without a clear reference point (i.e. six years of a plant-based diet), but simply put, my energy not the same. If you have ever fasted for long periods of time and felt the shift in consciousness that comes from that, this was like noticing the same, only on the opposite side.

Less Deep Meditation: Perhaps relating to the previous one about density, I noticed that my meditations were not quite as deep. Once again, I’m not sure how to describe this, as it’s very experiential, but there are obvious energetic changes that take place when you change aspects of your diet. This was a noticeable change in frequency that, in my experience, changed the depth and clarity of my meditations.

Summary: At the end of the month experiment, I had not seen enough of a physical improvement to continue. My bloating began to increase again and my discomfort was still there. I was noticing other changes, like those mentioned above, that I really wasn’t enjoying, so it became clear to me that I wanted to stop. But I was still left with digestion that wasn’t where I wanted it to be. That’s when I tried one more thing… that worked.

Why I Stopped Meat Again and What Did Work

I attended a sweat lodge ceremony held by a friend of mine a few weeks after this experiment, and during the sweat, I set one of my main intentions to be getting over my digestive issues. During the second round of the sweat, a ton of clarity began to come through about old worries and fears of my past, including some present ones that were held in my stomach. As I began to release them, I was already sensing the energy change in my stomach and being. After that ceremony I had felt some energetic and spiritual work was certainly done on the issue, and now I had to turn to the physical.

Days later, I ended up coming across something called The Master Fast (not The Master Cleanse). It’s essentially a protocol where you drink about 1L of grape juice with lemon in it each day for as long as you choose to do the fast. The protocol also contains regular enemas or colonics, herbal tinctures, dry fasting, and a specific timing protocol so that your key cleansing organs are pushed to clear out, effectively allowing your body to heal more easily. I should note, if you do decide to do this fast, please do your research first. I spent about two weeks researching before starting and it makes all the difference. There are no quick fixes or magic pills; you have to be in it to win it all the way.

I went on the Master Fast for 17 days, as that’s when my body instructed I was done for now. I had passed parasites, a ton of mucoid plaque, and felt incredible. After slowly easing my way back into foods, I was no longer experiencing any of the bloating, gas, or digestive issues that I had in the past.

I went 17 days without food to help clean up my past digestive issues. It worked.

Final Thoughts

I found this experience to be very helpful for me. Regardless of the fact that it went against my intuitive feeling that it wasn’t going to solve my issue, I still went in open to the possibility and I gained some great insight as a result. Again, I was well aware of the consequences of eating meat but felt I had tried everything I had knowledge of and nothing worked. I chose this experience as a great reminder. Seeing again what I did, firsthand, about how meat changed my body, frequency, and overall clarity, was helpful in my not only being able to share my story, but continuing on a path that I know resonates with me more deeply.

We talk a lot about the physical health implications of eating meat, but we don’t often talk about the energetic or spiritual side of it. While I don’t believe in casting any judgment about this, I encourage reflection and experimentation on this, as it can be quite profound, and given what I intuitively know, learned, and saw during my experiment, I know it would be a game changer for our society if we were not ingesting this type of energy.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Awareness

Boy or Girl – Baby Gender Selection Issues

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Some parents have the possibility to opt for gender selection; however, being able to decide whether to have a baby boy or girl is a controversial issue.

Many couples expecting a baby do not think it’s a big issue whether they have a boy or a girl; however there are several medical, social, and personal reasons that could influence parents to recur to some form of gender selection.

Like many other controversial practices, the legality of gender selection, also known as sex selection, varies from country to country.

The Legality of Baby Gender Selection

The United States has perhaps some of the most relaxed laws regarding baby gender selection in the world. Most European countries and Australia, on the other hand, have bans on sex selection and only allow it for medical reasons. For example, if a parent is a carrier of a mutation or gene with more chances of manifesting itself in a certain gender, baby gender selection is valid. However, if parents simply wish to balance the ratio of boys and girls in their family, they are not allowed to recur to sex selection.

This has generated a form of medical tourism in which couples from countries where gender selection is illegal, like the UK, travel to the US in order to be able to choose whether to have a baby boy or girl.

On the other hand, sex selection is illegal in the two most populated countries on Earth, China and India. In these countries, baby gender selection has been performed clandestinely for many years and for reasons other than family balancing or avoiding genetic diseases. In these societies, having a baby boy is preferred mainly for cultural and economic reasons. Parents believe that boys have better chances of earning income and eventually support them when they reach an old age.

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Methods of Baby Gender Selection

There are two major types of gender selection methods: the first one is called sperm sorting, and involves separating X-chromosome sperm from Y-chromosome sperm by flow cytometry, a purification technique in which chromosomes are suspended in a stream of sperm and identified by an electronic detector before being separated. Intra-uterine insemination or in-vitro fertilization can then be performed with the enriched sperm. The success rates for this method vary from 80% to 93%.

The other method, called pre-implantation genetic diagnosis, consists in generating several embryos through in-vitro fertilization, which are then genetically tested to determine a baby’s gender. The chosen embryos can then be implanted. This method has a success rate of almost 100%; however, it can be quite expensive, costing up to $15,000.

Issues Regarding Baby Gender Selection

While there are few objections against baby gender selection when it is performed for medical reasons, it has become a highly controversial issue when it is used for balancing the number of boys or girls in families. Some people raise the obvious ethical question of whether people who opt for gender selection are “playing God” by manipulating whether to have a baby boy or girl. Others believe that new parents will raise a baby more appropriately if he or she belongs to their preferred gender.

Gender Imbalance Caused by Baby Gender Selection

Gender selection has caused demographic concern in China and India since it has contributed to generate a gender imbalance in the populations of those countries. In some regions of China, for example, the sex ratio for newborns is 118:100, boys to girls. This phenomenon has in turn been associated with social problems such as an increase in violence and prostitution.

It seems like a logical solution for governments around the globe to legalize baby gender selection but to analyze the personal reasons why each couple intends to select a baby boy or girl. Gender selection for medical reasons should even be encouraged, since it could prevent serious genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Huntington’s disease, and Haemophilia A. Balancing the gender ratio of a family should be accepted if by doing this, a healthy family environment is created. On the other hand, China and India have shown that baby gender selection as a result of a bias towards a particular gender can not only create a gender imbalance in the population, but contribute to social problems as well.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Organic Certification: What the USDA Organic Label Means

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Organic and natural labels mean different things, and various types of labels tells you what percentage of ingredients are actually organic. We'll explore what to look for.

  • Reflect On:

    Do you sometimes buy products thinking they are organic or fully natural based on their wording? Have you later found out that those products aren't natural or organic at all? Read labels more closely at grocery stores to be aware.

Don’t get conned by fraudulent claims of “natural” or “organic.” Learn what to look for, and why it’s important, to ensure you’re getting the quality you are paying for.

The industrial age of the 20th century brought about changing agricultural practices that have generated increasing alarm about the effects of these practices on the environment and health. The use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, irradiated and genetically altered food and fiber products has created a groundswell of rightful concern. It has led to the growing demand for non-toxic, organic products that many are willing to pay a higher price for to ensure the healthful purity of food and clothing provided for their families.

With such profit opportunities, it’s little wonder that the lucrative organic product market has suffered abuse with so-called “organic” labels being fraudulently placed on products that have not earned the right. As a result of pressure from farming and consumer groups, legislation for the standardization of organic certification was introduced in the 1980s. It has been updated to include more vigorous enforcement and control methods since, with the current standards established in 2002 by the USDA.

The Standards of USDA Organic Certification

Specific standards must be met in order to legally claim a product as USDA certified organic. Organic producers must utilize methods that conserve water, maximize soil health, and reduce air pollution. The specific standards to earn USDA organic certification include:

Free of synthetic chemicals such as insecticides, herbicides, fertilizers, hormones, antibiotics, and additives

Free from irradiation and genetically modified organisms

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Agricultural products grown on land that has been free of prohibited substances for a period of three years

Animals used for meat, eggs, milk or other animal products must be exclusively fed foods that are organically grown, may not be given antibiotics or hormones, and must have access to outdoors.

Clean and sanitized harvesting and processing equipment throughout the process from harvest to finished, packaged product

Detailed chain-of-handling records from the field through final sales

Physical separation of certified organic products from non-organic products throughout the process of production

Regular on-site inspections from USDA-approved inspectors to ensure compliance

Understanding the Certified Organic Label

Once the rigorous process of certification has been completed, organic producers may place the USDA certified organic seal on their products. Currently, there are four levels of certified organic products, with a specific definition of the percentage of organic ingredients the final products contains. They are as follows:

• 100% organic: all production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic.

• Organic: at least 95% of the production methods and ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• Made With Organic Ingredients: at least 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic with remaining ingredients included on the National List of allowed ingredients.

• No organic wording or seal: less than 70% of the ingredients are USDA certified organic and no claims may be made on the front or back of the product.

Manufacturers or producers who knowingly label a product “organic” when it does not meet the USDA standards are subject to fines up to $11,000 per violation.

Why Organic Certification is Important

When you see the official USDA organic certification seal on food, clothing, and bedding products, you can be assured that these products have met the meticulous standards required and are free of chemicals, toxins, antibiotics, and hormones. When you see the USDA certified organic label, you will understand the value of the higher priced organic products as compared to non-organically produced products.

With the current stringent organic certification requirements enforced by regular inspections from USDA accredited agents, the USDA certified organic label has great meaning and importance to the consumer. Look for the label to know that you are getting the quality you are paying for.

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

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Awareness

WHO Finds Global Lack Of Inactivity Rising Especially In Wealthier Countries — What You Can Do

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Inactivity is on the rise and it's the cause of a wide range of health concerns. Our population is only becoming more inactive, not less, and it's time to change that.

  • Reflect On:

    There are many factors of our modern world that make us less active. Our jobs, driving rather than walking/biking, too much screen time. What can you do differently to bring more activity into your life? What story stops you from starting?

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that more than a quarter of the entire population on this planet are not getting enough physical exercise, this number has barely improved since 2001. There are many factors that contribute to this, but just how much damage are we doing by failing to be active?

The lack of physical exercise raises the risk of many health problems, such as heart disease, type-2 diabetes and various types of cancers.

Interestingly, according to their study published in The Lancet Global Health, higher income countries, such as the UK, were among the least active population. Women were also found to be more sedentary throughout the world, excluding two regions in Asia.

The study looked at self-reported data on activity levels from 358 population based surveys covering 168 countries and included 1.9 million people.

The populations of higher income countries, which include the UK and USA showed an increase in the proportion of inactive people and had actually risen from 32% in 2001 to 37% in 2016, in the lower income countries it remained at 16%.

Those who were classified as inactive did less than 150 minutes of moderate exercise and around 75 minutes of intense activity per week.

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It was found that women were less active than men overall, except for in South and Central Asia, the Middle East, North Africa and higher-income Western countries. The authors believe that this was caused by a few different factors including extra childcare duties and cultural perspectives that may have made it more difficult for them to exercise.

Why More Inactivity In Wealthier Countries?

According to the researchers, in the wealthier countries, many of the jobs have transitioned to more office or desk jobs, meaning a more sedentary type of lifestyle. On top of that much of the population of these countries drive automobiles or take public transit to and from work which in many cases accounts for a lot of their time.

In the lower income countries, many of the jobs require the people to be more active, are physically demanding and people often have to walk to and from their jobs.

The WHO has had a goal to reduce the global levels of inactivity by 10% by 2025, the authors of the study feel that at the rate we are currently going, this target will be missed.

Lead author of the study, Dr. Regina Guthold said, “Unlike other major global health risks, levels of insufficient physical activity are not falling worldwide, on average, and over a quarter of all adults are not reaching the recommended levels of physical activity for good health.”

Regions with increasing levels of insufficient physical activity are a major concern for public health and the prevention and control of non-communicable diseases.”

Co-author, Dr. Fiona Bull added, “Addressing these inequalities in physical activity levels between men and women will be critical to achieving global activity targets and will require interventions to promote and improve women’s access to opportunities that are safe, affordable and culturally acceptable.”

According to the WHO,

Exercise guidelines for 19- to 64-year-olds

How much?

  • at least 150 minutes of moderate aerobic activity or 75 minutes of vigorous aerobic activity every week
  • strength exercises on two or more days a week that work all the major muscles
  • break up long periods of sitting with light activity

What is moderate aerobic activity?

  • Walking fast, water aerobics, riding a bike on level ground or with a few hills, doubles tennis, pushing a lawn mower, hiking, skateboarding, rollerblading, volleyball, basketball

What counts as vigorous activity?

  • Jogging or running, swimming fast, riding a bike fast or on hills, singles tennis, football, rugby, skipping rope, hockey, aerobics, gymnastics, martial arts

What activities strengthen muscles?

  • lifting weights, working with resistance bands, doing exercises that use your own body weight, such as push-ups and sit-ups, heavy gardening, such as digging and shovelling, yoga

What activities are both aerobic and muscle-strengthening?

  • circuit training, aerobics, running, football, rugby, netball, hockey

Final Thoughts

I was surprised to see that the WHO didn’t touch on inactivity due to too much screen time — watching television, Netflix, Facebook scrolling, messaging, texting, browsing etc. Certainly, the increase in screen time plays a roll with the amount of inactivity, especially in the higher income countries. If you are someone who spends too much time staring at a screen, then it is important to consider the above information. Can you limit your screen time and replace it with something active? Or would you consider jumping rope, or rebounding while watching the television? Our health is our greatest wealth and having awareness about an issue is the first way to create change and take responsibility for our lives.

Could you walk or bike to work instead of drive? What about trying a new sport? Could you commit to adding a few hours each week of physical activity? These small decisions could have a profound impact on your health, longevity and overall well-being.

Much Love

Free Franco DeNicola Screening: The Shift In Consciousness

We interviewed Franco DeNicola about what is happening with the shift in consciousness. It turned out to be one of the deepest and most important information we pulled out within an interview.

We explored why things are moving a little more slowly with the shift at times, what is stopping certain solutions from coming forward and the important role we all play.

Watch the interview here.
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