Hi, guys! As I opened up Facebook today to see what shenanigans everyone had been up to throughout the last few days, the very first “story” caught my eye. A friend of mine had written:
“1 month meat free! Endometriosis gone, stomach pains gone, fatigue gone, new me.”
Reading this brought me back to four years ago, when I underwent the same transformation. My story would read “6 days meat free! IBS gone, fatigue gone, back pain gone, new me.” After a few months, I could have written “Four months meat free! IBS gone, fatigue gone, back pain gone, periods lighter, sleep is better, mood is more stable, lost weight, cleared skin, am happier, new me.”
So what is it about meat that contributes to such unwanted ailments and unhappy symptoms? And isn’t it sad that all you have to do is eliminate it for a week or two to understand just how crappy you feel on a daily basis?
The Effects of Consuming Meat
There are so many reasons why meat consumption changes our bodies for the worse. Logistics of whether or not we should be consuming animal products in the first place aside (this blog post isn’t about that), meat has been proven to alter our bodies in ways that contribute to sickness and disease. Because many of us have grown up with meat on our plates every day, our bodies do what they’re designed to do, and adapt.
But not well.
Over time, consistent consumption of animal products wear down, and have a negative effect on our immune system, bone density, natural pH, and most obviously for me, our digestive tract. Animal products contribute to chronic allergies, lethargy, hormone disruptions, cancer and heart disease, gut bacteria imbalances, antibiotic resistance, and even things like unfavorable body odor.
What the Studies Say
“When cancer researchers started to search for links between diet and cancer, one of the most noticeable findings was that people who avoided meat were much less likely to develop the disease. Large studies in England and Germany showed that vegetarians were about 40 percent less likely to develop cancer compared to meat eaters.”
As human beings, we are designed to crave salt, sugar, and fat. This is a fact. Thousands of years ago, we could only access these tastes by eating meat and fruit—there was no corner-store candy or Krispy Kreme doughnuts. This high-protein, high-carbohydrate diet was essential to us back then, because we lived a very different lifestyle. We spent all day hunting and gathering and trying to keep ourselves alive to the ripe old age of maybe 30 or 40 years old.
Nowadays? We sit a lot, and we eat more than we can burn off. We’ve been conditioned to think we need all that protein, and although we’ve been eating it for a very long time, our current lazy lifestyles are just not conducive to having a chunk of animal flesh rot in our intestines for a couple of days. It takes us too long to process animal protein when we’re sitting at a desk. And the diseases and discomfort that come from a diet high in animal products often rear their ugly heads much sooner than we would have imagined. If back in the day our lifespan was only a few decades, then eating meat to build the kind of muscle and give us the type of stress function we needed was fine. But if we want to live a long and healthy 80+ years, then meat consumption needs to stop.
“A growing body of evidence suggests Americans’ taste for meat and animal products is putting them at greater risk for a range of health problems.”
In a 2012 study conducted by The National Institutes of Health, researchers concluded that their “study adds more evidence to the health risks of eating high amounts of red meat, which has been associated with type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke and certain cancers in other studies.”
If we know all of this, and it makes sense to us, then why not conduct your own little trial run and see how eliminating meat and other animal products from your diet makes you feel? If you feel great (which you will), then continue with a more vegetarian lifestyle.
It’s been awhile since I’ve felt compelled to touch (okay, rant) on this subject, but this is exactly what my book Happy Healthy Gut is about. It’s become a passion of mine to put this type of information out there. I want people to read it and find out they can do something really easy and inexpensive and natural to help themselves feel better, look better, and live longer.
Perhaps in a few short weeks, you can comment on this post and simply leave “Meat-free, one month, feel great, new me.”
Just try it. xo