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Old 03-17-2009, 12:37 PM   #1
Jess McMillian
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Recovering Vegetarian

Question for any former vegetarians...

I recently decided to reintroduce some meat into my diet simply because I've gotten extremely frustrated trying to find enough veg-friendly protein to get me through a week of the Zone diet. A girl can only eat so much cottage cheese, ya know? I am also in a $$$ crunch and soy based proteins that are quick and easy are not cheap.

I ate chicken on 3 separate occasions last week and each time my night ended in major stomach pain (ladies, think menstrual cramps turned up to 11) and vomiting. I ate a little less each time thinking that maybe I just took in too much but I got the same result regardless.
I understand that my stomach is just not used to breaking down animal proteins any more but jeeze...I'm a little unsure on where to go next. If anyone has been through this before or has any ideas, advice would be helpful.

Also, I started eating some fish a couple weeks ago and I was fine with that, no problems so...

Thanks.
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:52 PM   #2
Frank Dennis
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Your body isn't used to producing the levels of enzymes & bile required to digest meat, yet. How much chicken did you eat for the smallest portion? You'll obviously need to start with even smaller portions, until you find an amount your body can handle...
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:45 PM   #3
John C Corona
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Regarding the Zone, I hardly know anything. From what I gather its like 40-30-30 (carbs-protein-fat). I follow more of a 70-15-15 or 80-10-10 ratio. I get all my calories from mostly fruits & vegetables. All fruits and vegetables have protein in them, but the sources I feel are highest in ratio are beans(legumes), lentils and nuts. Dried beans have more protein per weight than canned, so definietly go thru the trouble of soaking them the night before. I also eat grains like brown rice and quinoa, they are good sources as I believe quinoa is a 'complete' protein. Nut butters are packed too. I also do HEMP protein powder which is ground hemp seed, mixed in smoothies. I do not care for the soy-based products, and will not eat tofu. I do not like seitan or tempe, but I will make my own black bean burgers. I do eat fish about 2-3 times per month. The few times I ate meat last year, I felt aweful too, but it's proably cuz it was the worst kind - greasy fried and breaded chicken wings from Hooters....mmmm. So maybe try and find a local guy to get your farm raised chicken from and broil or bake it or something without a lot of oil.

The problem is probably trying to adhere to the 40-30-30 formula. At 2000 cals/day, 600 cals of protein, thats 150grams. 5 meals of 30grams of protein each would solve it, but I know it would be difficult to get that all being a vegetarian. I know the grains and legumes are anti-paleo, so if you're doing zone-paleo, you might just have to consume the animal meat to accomplish that. Or you can stop thinking that we need 1g of protein per lb of bodyweight. I am not saying I am right, I just prefer my way. I realize I will never get 'huge' muscles to develope, but my WOD stats are still improving and have no issues recuperating.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:52 PM   #4
Laura Kurth
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

ummm... John, I think you misread the OPs post? She was looking for advice on how to get her body used to intaking meat again after being a vegetarian for so long... not looking for tips on doing the zone AS a vegetarian.

I have no advice besides what Frank said - even smaller portions to start. Eat more fish since you seem to tolerate that well, and tiny amounts of chicken/pork/beef. Over time your body will adjust.

And welcome to the world of meat - you have entered a very tasty place. You'll see
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:58 PM   #5
John C Corona
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Laura - I guess you're right.

Jess - I felt like you might've been on the fence thinking cottage cheese was your only source? My bad.
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Old 03-17-2009, 01:59 PM   #6
Jamie J. Skibicki
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

I would suggest you take a look at the "Bacon" thread. It is delicious.
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:58 PM   #7
Alexander Kornishev
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Jess, I used to be a vegetarian for about 3-4 years and stopped because i was running into all kind of deficiencies all the time. First time I tried meat after all that time I felt like I was on steroids, so much energy. But that's maybe because I was really lacking nutrients (especially iron). Vomiting though sound more like mental than physiological issue. After some time staying away from meat even the sight of it can be disgusting. Try to take it slowly. You said that fish did not cause any problem for you, it is excellent source of protein and maybe you should stick with it for now and introduce meat very slowly.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:40 PM   #8
Jess McMillian
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Thanks guys.

Frank- I started with like an entire chicken breast...bad idea. The last time was probably a quarter of what I ate the first time. Maybe 3oz?

John- Based on the Zone I was trying to stay away from legumes and grains...and cottage cheese is just fairly cheap and tasty so I ate a lot of it. Thanks for the advice though.


The chicken was wonderful the first time around! Just not sure it was worth feeling like *** for two hours. I'll definitely try more fish as well. This morning I had two bites of a meat sauce my roommate had made and so far so good...so hopefully the trick is just smaller portions.

I'm fairly excited about reentering the world of meat eating...so here's to a smooth transition haha.
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Old 03-17-2009, 03:47 PM   #9
Christopher G. Woods
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Here's a trick: spend a week or two using chicken and beef stock in your vegetarian recipes; this will help you to start producing the necessary digestive enzymes without shocking your stomach.
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Old 03-18-2009, 01:31 PM   #10
Jess McMillian
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Re: Recovering Vegetarian

Hey, great idea there. Thanks
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