So I Ate Meat for the First Time in 5 Years.. - rachLmansfield (2023)

So I Ate Meat for the First Time in 5 Years..

So I Ate Meat for the First Time in 5 Years.. - rachLmansfield (1)

I wasn’t planning on writing a blog post about this but as I was walking home from Whole Foods this morning, the thoughts started pouring out of me. Especially since many of you have written to me, or commented on a recent Instagram photo asking about this ever since I dropped the meat-eating bomb on my Instagram Stories a couple days ago.

So here’s the deal my friends. Last week I ate meat for the first time in over 5 years. Yup, we are talking REAL meat. Cooked by me and ate by me.

I didn’t wake up one day and decide to not eat meat a few years ago. It was a gradual process that happened over time right after I graduated college. I noticed that I hadn’t ate any animal protein besides fish for a few weeks and really didn’t crave it anymore.

I never have been a huge meat-lover though. Growing up I never liked chicken (unless it was a chicken nugget) and the only beef I wanted was a bacon cheeseburger or hot dog. This was also around the same time that I was sneaking Pop Tarts in my mouth when no one was looking, so needless to say, much as changed since then.

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Fish was all my body wanted when I stopped craving meat so I began listening to it. This is also around the same time that I began eating a lot cleaner and figuring out what foods I enjoy. I didn’t like the idea of eating something that I didn’t genuinely like. No one should eat foods that they don’t actually want to eat. And I was only eating meat when I was either being served dinner at a friend’s house or because it is what my Mom made me. Never because I requested it.

It took me about 4 months before even telling anyone beside Jord I stopped eating meat. Just goes to show how nobody really noticed because my eating habits didn’t change much.

I do want to make it clear that I have always thought that grass-fed, no hormoneanimal proteinis good-for-you. It provides great nutritional value and protein for us. I still made it for Jord all the time.

So what did I eat for the past 5 years? A ton of wild fish, beans, nuts, seeds, etc. Pretty much anything besides chicken, bacon, beef, turkey, lamb and so on. I wouldn’t eat a soup if chicken broth was the base. I didn’t touch a meat pasta sauce and I certainly did not use the same cooking utensils for my dinner and Jord’s dinner. The “cross contamination” through me for a loop.

Jord and my family were always super supportive during this whole phase and always wanted to make sure I would find something to eat at a restaurant, etc. There were many jokes that I would crave meat again when I was pregnant (which I am not right now!) and my eating habits would change. I knew my non-meat phase wasn’t permanent. I have just been waiting until I actually craved it again.


A few months ago, I was sent bone broth(code RACHL for 20% off orders) to sample. To be honest I wasn’t really interested in sampling it but I knew Jord would love it so I accepted the offer to have some shipped to us. He literally was obsessed and I was so happy to see him drinking it because of the amazing nutritional value it has and it is filled withcollagen.

When we were eating dinner about a month ago he was drinking beef bone broth with his meal, and I asked to smell it (yes, I smell all food before trying). Itsurprisingly smelled really good so I asked to try it. I had been marinating the idea of trying it for a bit because of how good it is for you, and so I took a sip.

And Ilovedit. After a couple sips though I was done. I couldn’t drink more than that at first.

Then I tried chicken bone broth a few days later and basically gulped the entire thing like it was water. It was SO GOOD you guys! This was two weeks ago now and since that day, I have had a cup of bone broth every single day. Chicken and turkey bone broth are my favorite though. The beef still doesn’t taste as good to me, which is odd because I have always liked beef more than chicken and turkey from an eating perceptive.

Anyways between drinking bone broth and making so many flipping meat recipes for Jord’s Whole 30 reset, I was craving all the meat. A couple weeks ago I was making a beef bolognese, turkey chili and chicken and it all smelled amazing. My body was telling me to eat. The craving had finally come, 5 years later.

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So I Ate Meat for the First Time in 5 Years.. - rachLmansfield (2)
So I Ate Meat for the First Time in 5 Years.. - rachLmansfield (3)

I decided to try chicken again first so I made these crispy almond flour tenders with a bunch of spices, dipped in egg and flour then baked. I took a bite and slowly chewed since Jord thought I was going to have stomach pains afterwards. But 3 chicken tenders later, NO stomach pains. No weird digestive issues afterwards, nothing. And the next day, I had beef and yesterday I ate turkey burgers.

And you know what? I felt SATISFIED. Something I have not felt in months. I kept finishing meals and was looking for something else after. It was a combination of being mentally and physically hungry but clearly my body was deficient in something. It was not getting enough or it wouldn’t be telling me this.

This whole process really proved to me how much we need to listen to our bodies and what we crave. It is so so important you guys, I cannot stress that enough. It doesn’t matter what your friend craves or your boyfriend or mom. It only matters what YOU want and what works for YOUR body. If you look at something and it doesn’t look good, don’t eat it. If you see something that looks amazing to you but no one else wants it, who cares? Eat it. Listen to your body.

I know this post is getting long but I truly want to tell you every thought I have about this topic.

I also have been reading Alisa Vitti’s LIFE CHANGING book, Woman Code (more to come about this) and seriously revamped my eating habits. I took an interest in this because I have not had a “normal” menstrual cycle since going off the pill and have an urge to learn more about hormone imbalances, the female body and just understand what is going on in there.

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I am listening to my body, fueling it with the foods it is craving and not comparing myself to anyone else. If you don’t eat meat or the thought of eating animals grosses you out, that is fine. You do you, and I will do me because that is what is most important here. Fuel your body with what it needs because you only have one, so might as well make it as amazing as possible. As my dad says “your body is a temple”.

Now Imma go eat a flipping ROASTED CHICKEN Jord made and I am salivatingjust smelling it.

A few of my tips for anyone who would like to reintroduce meat into their diet:

  • Start with something simple. Don’t overwhelm yourself with a bacon cheese burger or something that doesn’t sound good to YOU. I loved that I started with bone broth, which eased my way into trying all the meats.
  • Try anything and everything that smells good to you. Sounds crazy but I never in a million years would think lamb is my favorite meat or bison! I only tried these because they were being cooked around me and I really was craving them. Our bodies change overtime and your tastebuds could enjoy something it never used it (before you stop eating meat).
  • Don’t let anyone get in the way of YOUR journey. I didn’t tell anyone I was starting to eat meat again except Jord until I was comfortable with my decision. People always have something to say and most of the time we are better off without anyone’s negativity. Confide in those you trust so you don’t let anyone influence you in what you think is right for your body.
  • If you feel sick, don’t force it. Some people feel ill after taking a first bite of meat in awhile. I personally didn’t experience this but if you start to not feel well, pace yourself. Take a few bites today and try again tomorrow or the next day.
  • Focus on quality animal products. Grass-fed, hormone-free, etc. I stay away from any conventional animal products when I can. I only cook meat that I know it is sourced from a good place (like Butcher Box!).
  • Here are a few of my favorite meat recipes from the blog:Paleo Sweet Potato Bun Lamb Burgers,Avocado Oil Chicken Tenders,Paleo Burrito Bowls,Guacamole Buffalo Chicken PizzaandSkillet Turkey Burgers.

Love you guys.

xx, Rach



What happens if you eat meat after not eating it for 5 years? ›

nothing, according to Robin Foroutan, a registered dietitian nutritionist and representative for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Some people may feel as though they have a harder time digesting meat if they aren't used to it, Foroutan said, but there's no scientific evidence for this.

Will you get sick if you eat meat for the first time in years? ›

First, eating meat is harder to digest because it's fattier and has more protein. So, people eating meat for the first time after a while is going to feel full and bloated. But overall, our bodies are equipped to digest meat, so overall nothing serious is going to happen.

What happens if you start eating meat after a long time? ›

You Could Get Heartburn

Your tummy might hurt after eating it, since it's a new substance, which can make digestion troublesome. When digestion is off, it could lead to heartburn, says Hultin. Plus, the high fat in meat won't help or go down too smoothly if you're not used to it.

Will beef make you sick if you haven't eaten it in years? ›

It will likely will make you sick. Everyone's body is different, but for me when I eat red meat, I get terrible stomach pains (though keep in mind that I do have a stomach ailment as well), mild to moderate nausea, and acne flair ups.

How do I start eating meat after 5 years? ›

Start your reintroduction of meat slowly, and with one protein at a time. This means trying 1-2 ounces of cooked animal proteins a day. Or, if you are really having a hard time, try eating 1-2 bites of lean protein per meal.

Do you age faster if you don't eat meat? ›

People who follow a vegan diet tend to eat more carbohydrate-rich foods such as wheat, white rice, and sugar, as it is difficult to feel satisfied with the lack of meat and other foods. As a result, blood sugar levels rise, and the skin ages more easily.

Does meat take 7 years to digest? ›

There are so many myths about meat, including whether it sits in your gut for ages after you eat it. Nothing 'sits' in your gut. Your digestive system is not a recycling centre that carefully separates your food into meat, vegetables, grains and so on and then processes them separately.

What happens to your body after not eating meat for years? ›

Energy Loss. You may feel tired and weak if you cut meat out of your diet. That's because you're missing an important source of protein and iron, both of which give you energy. The body absorbs more iron from meat than other foods, but it's not your only choice.

Why is my body suddenly rejecting meat? ›

Alpha-gal syndrome is a type of food allergy. It makes people allergic to red meat and other products made from mammals. In the United States, the condition usually begins with the bite of the Lone Star tick. The bite transfers a sugar molecule called alpha-gal into the body.

How long does it take your body to adjust to not eating meat? ›

Interestingly, people eating plant-based diets make little or no TMAO after a meat-containing meal, because they have a totally different gut microbiome. It takes only a few days for our gut bacterial patterns to change – the benefits of a plant-based diet start quickly!

How long is it OK to eat meat? ›

Cold Food Storage Chart
FoodTypeRefrigerator (40 °F or below)
Hamburger, ground meats and ground poultryHamburger, ground beef, turkey, chicken, other poultry, veal, pork, lamb, and mixtures of them1 to 2 days
Fresh beef, veal, lamb, and porkSteaks3 to 5 days
Chops3 to 5 days
Roasts3 to 5 days
49 more rows
Sep 20, 2021

How long does meat stay in your guts? ›

“Meat will generally leave the stomach in 2-3 hours and be fully digested in 4-6 hours. Our digestive system is well designed to digest meat in order to use its wide range of nutrients, such as iron, zinc and B vitamins.

What happens if I eat meat after not eating it for 2 years? ›

Yes, your body does not lose the ability to digest meat.

No matter how long you've been a vegetarian, you can always go back to eating meat. You may feel a little “heavy” after your first meal with meat, especially if you have a large portion. But, you won't actually be unable to digest and metabolize the meat.

At what age should stop eating beef? ›

Even though it is a source of quality proteins and vitamins, red meat can be a health hazard, especially if you're over 40. If you value your health, you should try other low-fat protein options and leave the beef grill for special occasions. These are some health problems eating red meat regularly can cause.

What happens to your skin when you stop eating meat? ›

Dr. Ellis Hunnes says cutting out meat may actually cause acne and other skin problems to worsen at first while your body adjusts to your new way of eating and your hormones begin to self-regulate. The key, she suggests, is to be patient and allow your body a grace period.

What meat is the healthiest? ›

5 of the Healthiest Meats
  1. Sirloin Steak. Sirloin steak is both lean and flavorful – just 3 ounces packs about 25 grams of filling protein! ...
  2. Rotisserie Chicken & Turkey. The rotisserie cooking method helps maximize flavor without relying on unhealthy additives. ...
  3. Chicken Thigh. ...
  4. Pork Chop. ...
  5. Canned Fish.
Jan 6, 2020

What are the benefits of not eating meat? ›

It's rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who don't eat meat, called vegetarians, generally eat fewer calories and less fat. They also tend to weigh less. And they have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.

Is being vegan healthier than eating meat? ›

But it's also common to choose a plant-based diet because it's considered healthier. And that's for good reason. Research over many years has linked plant-based diets to lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and some cancers (as compared with diets high in meat and other animal products).

Does meat age the skin? ›

Think: Deli meat, sausage, and bacon. "Many of these meats have sulfites and other preservatives, which can trigger inflammation in the skin, and accelerate the appearance of aging," said Dr. Ostad. They also tend to be high in salt, which can make you look puffy.

What foods should be avoided for aging? ›

10 foods that contribute to accelerated aging
  • Fried foods. Eating foods fried at high temperatures releases free radicals that cause cellular damage. ...
  • White bread. ...
  • Processed meats. ...
  • Salty foods. ...
  • Spicy food. ...
  • Sugary foods. ...
  • Trans fats. ...
  • Charred meat.
Jun 8, 2022

How long does it take to detox from meat? ›

Initial Three-Week Period. There has been some serious, mainstream research into the possibility of meat addiction but in truth people can become addicted to just about anything. In the book, Breaking the Food Seduction, Dr. Neal Barnard argues that it takes three weeks to stop craving foods like meat or cheese.

What is the longest time to age meat? ›

45 days. If you appreciate the flavor associated with dry aged beef but don't want the taste to be too overpowering we recommend dry aging your beef for a maximum of 45 days.

What is the easiest meat to digest? ›

Main courses of lean protein like chicken, turkey, and fish tend to digest well. Tender cuts of beef or pork and ground meats are other good options.

What can I replace meat with? ›

How to get protein without the meat
  • Pulses. Pulses are an inexpensive protein choice, are high in fibre and a source of iron. ...
  • Soya beans. ...
  • Quinoa. ...
  • Nuts. ...
  • Seeds. ...
  • Cereals and grains. ...
  • Quorn™ ...
  • Dairy.

Are eggs considered meat? ›

While eggs are not considered dairy, they are also not considered to be meat. We do consider them to be poultry products, but that isn't the same as meat. That's why vegetarians can eat them, but vegans can't as they are still animal byproducts.

Does meat cause inflammation? ›

The five types of foods that cause inflammation include: Red meat and processed meats, including bacon, hot dogs, lunch meats and cured meats. Refined grains, including white bread, white rice, pasta and breakfast cereals.

What illnesses can you get from not eating meat? ›

"If meat is simply removed and not substituted, the consumer is at risk of iron or B12 deficiency, anemia, and muscle wasting," Levy-Wollins explains.

What deficiency do you get from not eating meat? ›

Compared to the standard American diet of highly processed, low-fiber, high-calorie, sugary foods, vegan diets have some health advantages. However, researchers found that avoiding all animal foods may lead to nutritional deficiencies in vitamin B12, omega-3, calcium, zinc, iron, magnesium, and high-quality protein.

What are the symptoms of meat intolerance? ›

The allergy can manifest as hives, angiodema (swelling of skin and tissue), gastrointestinal upset, diarrhea, stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, headaches, a drop in blood pressure, and in certain individuals, anaphylaxis.

What happens to your body if you don't eat meat for a month? ›

If you avoid eating meat for a month, you should notice a decrease in your overall inflammatory markers. This happens due to the anti-inflammatory properties of plant-based foods that you consume instead of meat (5). They are rich in fiber and antioxidants and low in toxins and saturated fats.

Can your body naturally reject meat? ›

Nausea. Nausea is a common symptom of not digesting meat well as it can be a reaction to certain bacteria in meat. Some pregnant women find that eating meat causes them to feel extremely nauseous. It could also simply be that something (perhaps an overworked organ) in your body is rejecting meat.

How often should you really eat meat? ›

If you eat red meat, limit consumption to no more than about three portions per week. Three portions is equivalent to about 350–500g (about 12–18oz) cooked weight. Consume very little, if any, processed meat.

What meat is not processed? ›

Fresh chicken, turkey, beef, pork and fish that have not been modified are considered unprocessed meats.

How often should you not eat meat? ›

In other words, it said there's strong evidence that processed meats cause cancer. The Cancer Council advises that meat eaters should limit red meat to three or four times a week (no more than 700g raw weight per week) and choose fish, chicken and legumes on other days.

Are your bowels ever completely empty? ›

Your Colon Is Never Empty

Many people believe they have emptied out their colons after multiple episodes of diarrhea or that they can keep their colons empty by avoiding food. However, since stool is made up in large part of bacteria, fecal matter is continuously being formed.

What foods are hard to digest? ›

Fatty foods, such as chips, burgers and fried foods, are harder to digest and can cause stomach pain and heartburn. Cut back on greasy fried foods to ease your stomach's workload. Try to eat more lean meat and fish, drink skimmed or semi-skimmed milk, and grill rather than fry foods.

Can meat go bad in your stomach? ›

This degradation of undigested protein in the colon is called putrefaction; so, a little meat can actually end up putrefying in our colon. The problem is that some of the by-products of this putrefaction process can be toxic.

What happens when you eat meat after not eating it for 6 years? ›

nothing, according to Robin Foroutan, a registered dietitian nutritionist and representative for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. Some people may feel as though they have a harder time digesting meat if they aren't used to it, Foroutan said, but there's no scientific evidence for this.

Why did I gain weight when I started eating meat again? ›

The more meat you eat, the more likely you will gain weight. [Ref 1] This is because meat is high in calories, cholesterol, and saturated fat. Meat doesn't give you any fiber, so you won't feel full and that means you are more likely to overeat.

Is it hard to go back to eating meat? ›

Eating meat again after choosing a vegetarian or vegan diet for some time is a major step. The transition can be difficult physically but also mentally. “Once you realize that you aren't thriving on a vegetarian or vegan diet, you're then faced with the moral dilemma of discarding everything you believe,” Hezer said.

What meat is best for elderly? ›

With lower fat and therefore lower calorie content, lean meat is an excellent source of protein for seniors.
Some examples of lean meat include:
  • Skinless chicken and turkey.
  • Lean cuts of beef (the loin and round cuts)
  • Pork loin.
Jul 15, 2021

What is the healthiest red meat you can eat? ›

What is the healthiest red meat?
  • Pork: Choose lean options of pork such as a pork loin, tenderloin and center cut chops. ...
  • Steak: Choose leaner cuts of steak such as flank, round, sirloin, tenderloin and ball tip. ...
  • Ground meat: A variety of meats are available ground – chicken, turkey, pork and beef.
Dec 22, 2020

What happens if I never eat again? ›

It's reported that some people have been able to survive up to a week with no food and no water. In some situations, people may be able to survive longer if they consume water. People who have experienced starvation may have long-term health effects. Starvation eventually becomes fatal, if food is not reintroduced.

What does meat do to your brain? ›

Meat is plentiful in vitamin B12, which is essential for preventing mental issues like fatigue, brain fog, nerve damage and a decrease in brain volume for older people. Inadequate levels of vitamin B12 have been shown to correlate with memory loss.

Does not eating meat make you look younger? ›

Over time, your skin loses its volume and its youthfulness. A vegan diet tends to be higher in antioxidants and other nutrients that have anti-inflammatory properties. These are linked to better health and brighter, more glowing skin. So yes, in many cases, vegans do have better skin!

What does meat do to your face? ›

Processed meats such as bacon or hotdogs contain high levels of nitrates and sodium, both of which can damage the skin. Nitrates are known to cause inflammation and wrinkles, while a sodium imbalance (usually caused by eating too much salt) can cause premature ageing, dryness and destroy collagen strands in the skin.

What happens if you don't eat meat forever? ›

"If meat is simply removed and not substituted, the consumer is at risk of iron or B12 deficiency, anemia, and muscle wasting," Levy-Wollins explains.

Can you eat meat that is 2 years old? ›

The good news is two-year-old frozen meat is generally safe to eat, as long as it was stored properly and has not been freezer burnt. And be sure to check the expiration date before freezing. However, you should always cook meat thoroughly before eating it, regardless of how old it is.

What happens if you eat 20 year old meat? ›

"If you do eat a food past the expiration date [and the food] is spoiled, you could develop symptoms of food poisoning," said registered dietitian nutritionist Summer Yule, MS. The symptoms of foodborne illness can include fever, chills, stomach cramps, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting.

How long does meat take to clean your digestive system? ›

Meat and fish can take as long as 2 days to fully digest. The proteins and fats they contain are complex molecules that take longer for your body to pull apart. By contrast, fruits and vegetables, which are high in fiber, can move through your system in less than a day.

What are the benefits of never eating meat? ›

It's rich in fiber, vitamins and other nutrients. And people who don't eat meat, called vegetarians, generally eat fewer calories and less fat. They also tend to weigh less. And they have a lower risk of heart disease than nonvegetarians do.

Is it OK to never eat meat? ›

Eating a diet with no or limited meat may benefit your health and the environment. Cutting back on meat and eating a predominantly plant-based diet may help with weight management, protect against heart disease and certain cancers, and support a healthy gut.

Do we really need to stop eating meat? ›

The health benefits of reducing your meat consumption are significant. Eating less meat has been found to decrease the chances of developing certain cancers, heart disease, stroke, diabetes, kidney disease, liver disease or lung disease.

Is it safe to eat 10 year old frozen meat? ›

But we're here to finally put the question to rest, as the USDA states that as long as all foods are stored at 0 °F or lower in your freezer, they are safe to eat indefinitely.

Is 5 year old frozen chicken still good? ›

If kept frozen continuously, chicken will be safe indefinitely, so after freezing, it's not important if any package dates expire.

Can you eat 3 year old frozen hamburger? ›

Ground beef is safe indefinitely if kept frozen, but it is best if used within 4 months. Refrigerate or freeze ground beef as soon as possible after purchase. This preserves freshness and slows the growth of bacteria.

What foods never expire? ›

9 Foods That Never Expire (Ever)
  • Honey. Thanks to the magic handiwork of bees (they have special enzymes that basically inhibit bacterial growth) and the way it's processed for storage, honey is the longest lasting of the bunch. ...
  • Rice. ...
  • Instant Coffee. ...
  • White Vinegar. ...
  • Vanilla Extract. ...
  • Salt. ...
  • Dried Beans. ...
  • Sugar.
Sep 7, 2016

What age eats the most meat? ›

Across all age groups, a majority of people declare eating meat several times a week, with the highest share (53 percent) in the 65+ years group. While seven percent of people aged under 35 never eat meat, the same is true for around three percent of respondents older than 35.


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