Friday, March 14, 2014

Game Changer

As even infrequent readers of my blog will tell you, I try to minimize the meat and other animal products that I consume. I started this lifestyle after reading several books and doing research on the commercial meat industry. Michael Pollan, The China Study, you name it and I've read it. For almost three years now, our household has been on a minimal meat diet, replacing proteins with soy milk and tofu.

So mark your calendars because March 13, 2014 was the day my nutritionist told me to eat meat.

Why, you ask? In the course of my appointments with her, she suggested I have a nutrient test conducted and see an allergist to identify any food allergies. Here's what we found out:
  • My glutamine levels are low. Glutamine is the amino acid that regulates colon health and you get it primarily from meat and dairy products.
  • My B complex levels are also really low. This can cause fatigue, nausea and other stomach upsets. You get B from a lot of sources but the most accessible is pork.
  • My oleic acid levels are low. This is the good stuff in olive oil, almond oil, and similar products.
  • My allergy test showed a distinct allergy to soy products (like soy sauce, tofu, soy milk, etc).
What does this mean? Basically, by trying to go animal-fat free, I've been poisoning my colon with food that it can't tolerate and depriving it of something that, especially as someone with IBS, I desperately need. By trying to be healthier, I've been making myself sicker.

But what now? I'm still processing all this but the one decision I have made is that I have to start eating meat. I'm not going to go out and order chicken nuggets, but I am going to walk up to the farmer I buy eggs from and tell her that this is the week I want meat too (I'm sure she'll be thrilled).

The good news? Gluten doesn't seem to be an issue for my system but, after doing a lot of research on wheat in the 21st century, there are a lot of things about gluten that isn't great so I will continue to minimize my gluten intake to delicious local breads and pastries from Nova's (it's tough but I'll manage!).