Myth: You eat meat? You must hate animals.
Fact: You can love animals AND still eat meat.
“You’ve got to start eating meat” were the six agonizing words my doctor said to me during my follow-up after a long course of pneumonia that put me into the hospital and then a threat of being admitted to the ICU for a crashing blood pressure, temp over 104.7, the possibility of having sepsis in my bloodstream and feeling like I was lifeless. I had never been more sick and more terrified.
You’d think that six words couldn’t possibly change a person, but I am here to tell you that they can.
I was a vegetarian for many years before I tried my hand at being a vegan. My attempts to be vegan were all for the sake of hopping on the “health train,” as well as to ease the guilt I had in eating the animals I love so dearly. Many of you know, I grew up on a farm. I slept with stray kittens in the barn near our home. I cradled my sheep, Annie, because I thought she looked like she needed a snuggle. I brought baby chicks into my bed because I didn’t want them to be alone at night.
I love animals.
So, yeah. I thought I could give up meat without a doubt. I thought I could be vegan. Go through life without honey and dairy? Easy. The ironic part about being vegan, for me specifically, was that I was constantly and notoriously (I was the brunt of inside jokes with my family members) sick for the same amount of time I was vegan. Whether it was a cold, virus, or stomach pain, I was in the doctor’s office for something. I was slowly killing myself, and I had no idea.
Six words. Those six words the doctor said to me changed my life forever, because I knew something had to give. I had to change something, or I wasn’t going to make it. That may sound dramatic, but at the time, that is what I believed. I was sick of being exhausted. I was sick of being sick.
The first time I ate meat, I cried. In time, I found what worked for me. Today, I lean towards eating red meat (in moderation) because eating chicken only made me think of Lulu, my pet chicken. I steer clear of pig because--well--have you ever seen a skinny pig? I eat fish a few times a week, and I drink beef bone broth like it’s nobody’s business.
Six words. One week of eating meat, and I started to feel my body transform. My head still screamed “You animal hater!” but I swear my inner cells were cheering “Hallelujah!” So, I kept drinking that damn bone broth and chewing that damn meat, because I couldn’t get enough of the fuel I was finally starting to feel.
I had energy. I was on the precipice of an epiphany. I realized that food truly is the fuel we need to survive, and there are no rules but one: listen to your body.
I feel like there is a profuse amount of rules when it comes to eating. The running dialogue in our head goes something like this: “You have to be dairy-free and gluten-free if you want to never gain any weight--ever. Oh, and if you amount to anything at all, you better be vegan. I am calling PETA if you eat fish or eggs. Okay, nevermind. Eggs are good for you now, but don’t eat the yolk. Just kidding, research says the yolk is okay. You can eat the yolk. Try spinach if you’re going for the flawless look. Three weeks later: only really cool people eat kale. So, drop the spinach. Let’s try paleo. Live off the land. Be free. No, live off the Greek land and go the Mediterranean route. The Greek live longer, didn’t you know?”
Screw the rules. Do what makes you feel your best you. Only you know what can make your inner cells come alive. For me, personally, I have found bone broth to be the paramount factor to my health. Within a few months of consuming bone broth, my hair was stronger, shinier, and more healthy. My skin became plump and lively. I was less bloated. I could be at the gym longer than 30 minutes and still leave with energy!
Here is a brief list of benefits taken from my research about this magical potion of bone broth:
-Relieves joint pain
-Builds strong bones
-Promotes healthy hair and nail growth
Here is my personal and favorite recipe for making bone broth. It's been requested many times from my wonderful, loyal followers. Try it out! I’d love to hear how you like this recipe, so leave some comments! Do you have your own bone broth recipes? Let’s hear about them!
Bone Broth Recipe
2 pounds beef bones (I purchase mine from the Main Market Co-Op in Spokane, WA). Be sure to choose high quality bones from grass-fed animals
2 tablespoons Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. Found here
2 celery stalks
Pinch of sea salt/pepper
1 white onion
3 garlic cloves
Handful of fresh herbs (I like Rosemary and Thyme, which I grow on my patio)
Instant Pot: Shop mine here. I love this one as it allows me to produce more bone broth at a time
Filtered water. Find my water filter here
Place bones on a baking dish and put in oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes
Prepare other ingredients (halve carrots, leaks and celery , peel and cut onion into 1/4)
After meat is done put it at bottom of Instant Pot
Add apple cider vinegar, salt/pepper, all veggies, garlic (no need to peel garlic) and herbs
Fill to 1 inch below max fill line with filtered water.
Pressure cook on high for 2 hours
Let cool for 30 minutes and pour into small mason jars found here.
Saves up to 5 days in fridge or you can freeze the bone broth.
This was my own personal food journey, but it may not be yours. You have to listen to your own body and find what makes your inner cells dance!
Now that we’ve made it this far, I will leave you with six words…
Your fuel will make you shine.
Shine on beauties.
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