Thursday, May 8, 2014

I've gotten a lot of criticism ever since I cut red meat out of my diet. "Wait, so you're a vegetarian?" they ask. Nope. Can't say that I am. I don't think my body would be as strong and healthy if it wasn't for chicken and fish. Technically, this makes me a pollo-pescatarian. This falls under the category of semi-vegetarianism or flexitarian diets. I eat chicken and fish because of the vitamins and proteins they provide my body with; exercising and weight lifting are an important aspect of my lifestyle and my body needs protein to replenish its muscles with! Eggs are also especially important in my diet so I know that going vegan or full blown vegetarian would drive me crazy... I think my body would crumble apart.

There are many benefits of being a pollo-pescetarian. Because we do not eat meat from any land mammals, pollo-pescatarians reduce their risk of heart disease and high cholesterol. We also are protected from E. coli outbreaks and beef recalls. Honestly, the meat industry just plain freaks me out and I have no interest in ingesting anything that comes from industrialized meat packing plants where the conditions are nasty, workers are exploited, and meat is produced too fast for anyone to inspect it and pull the human fingers out (laughs nervously).

But seriously... 
The environmental and social effects that our consumption of red meat causes is ugly as well. Instead of producing crops for starving Americans and people in other countries, the government pumps so much money into growing corn to feed their cows to people can stuff their faces with fast food hamburgers and tacos. These cows emit much of the methane in our atmosphere which has adverse effects on ozone and climate change. 

Now that I don't eat red meat, and haven't for about two years, my digestion has improved and I feel healthier and lighter on my feet. That may sound dumb, but we all know what it feels like to be in a food coma after eating too much at your favorite restaurant or grandma's kitchen table. Not eating red meat has helped me feel better after eating and has made it even easier to avoid fast food chains. I know that my body would hate me if I decided to splurge on a spontaneous hamburger or a bratwurst. And believe me, this can be very tempting especially when I go home to that special Kansas City barbecue that I grew up eating.

Eliminating red eat from the diet has many health benefits and still allows for creative and delicious eating! Especially because turkey and chicken are great substitutes for foods typically made with red meat such as burgers, chili, and bacon. 

Check out LIVESTRONG's website for more info on healthy living! 


  1. I get the same kind of haranguing when I'm home for the holidays. My cousins who raise pigs on their farm always donate one for Thanksgiving and Christmas, and I am always criticized for eating some of the ham but not eating any turkey or chicken in the other dishes. Even after I explain to them that I try to only eat meat that I can be sure is locally raised, they just don't seem to get it.
    What this says, I think, is that many people still haven't been introduced to the concept of merely cutting back on meat consumption (or certain types of meat). We tend to have an All-or-Nothing attitude regarding vegetarianism, for some reason. But, also, I think many people simply find it strange that people who will eat meat may not necessarily eat it for every meal. This is just an interesting observation, in my opinion.

  2. I was really interested to read this blog because about five months ago I chose to also cut red meat from my diet. I maybe give in and eat red meat once a month which tends to be beef that I bought at the farmers market or more of a "fake" beef that is in something like Rotel dip. In the past five months, my commitment to this change in diet has also helped me avoid fast food as well, Dani. I actually no longer crave having a McDouble or even having a steak from the most well known steakhouses. It is kind of amazing to me that something everyone thinks to be essential to a "normal diet" is something that I could cut out so easily. Like the criticism you face, I too get a little wrath from my family when I ask for turkey burgers or turkey hot dogs at the family cookout. They claim: "It's too hard to fix you a separate meal—just eat what we have." At the last cookout we had, I reminded my family to buy me some turkey hot dogs, but when I got to the grill, the hot dogs were only beef—I flipped my shit until they went and bought me some. I was so upset and so tired of all the excuses surrounding the support, or lack thereof, of my new diet. And I think that is what I have struggled with the most—the lack of support. For example, it has taken five months for my mom to buy a package of turkey burger to put in the spaghetti. I am trying to support healthy habits, but no one seems to have my back, which makes this health change about 100 times harder than it should be. I do not like being pressured into doing things I do not want to do so I understand why my family is somewhat resistant to my diet change, but this summer, I am definitely getting my mom on board with me and I am going to try to turn five months into a year. She also does not know that the last time we ate spaghetti bake, the meat was turkey! :)

  3. This is a very interesting post. I see how more and more people are becoming vegans, or vegetarians, or pollo-pescetarian- thanks for making me learn a new word. Well every time that I meet a vegetarian I always think, how can you survive with out eating any type of meat?, I don’t really have clear yet if they take some type of vitamins or if just eating nonanimal products its enough for our body to stay healthy. Your decision of taking red meats away of your diet looks like a very healthy option, I’m sure that if more people in this country decided to stop eating red meat, or at least reduce the quantity, there would be less health problems.