You are what you eat. This statement cannot be truer for me personally at this point in time than ever before. I am guilty of previously though this was only applicable when overeating or indulging in your favourite chocolate cake from the local bakery, however, after a lot of research I’ve realised that there is a lot more to this statement than meets the eye. When it comes to diet, I’m very fortunate to have a fast metabolism which I have often used as a safety net when justifying the foods that I eat. I convince myself that the chocolate bar before bed with a glass of milk is fine, when in relation to what its actually doing to my body is very much the opposite.
For some time I have been considering changing my diet and the types of foods I eat regularly and their amounts. My relationship with food over the years has changed drastically, but my appetite, on the other hand, has always remained the same. I never finish a meal and rich foods often cause me discomfort quite easily, so making this change was half health-related and half lifestyle and I was very excited to see how my body reacted to the change.
At the start of 2018 I made the decision to cut red meat out of my diet, this was an idea I had been deliberating over for quite some time (7 months to be exact) and after going back and forth, struggling to fully commit to the decision i thought what better way to start fresh than in a new year. I focused my research more on the health benefits of cutting red meat out of my diet than the ethical reasons as this sadly wasn’t something that impacted me when eating my food. Which left me with the mindset of giving my diet a complete overhaul and being more focused on what I was putting into my body, learning about what foods actually gave me the fuel my body needed whilst being aware of doing it in manageable amounts.
So what did this mean……
Education was key.
Without fully knowing the facts, food classifications, case studies, skin implications, and just how my body digests certain foods made everything that much clearer in making the change. The importance of being educated on all food groups is often lost in today’s society being so content with the information and research being done for you. You would never take medication without knowing its impact on your body, information provided by a consultation with your GP. So why are we so quick to not do the same when it comes to the food we eat. I was once told that when choosing foods, check the ingredients on the back and if there are more than 5 listed then you shouldn’t be eating it. And this is very true, in today’s economy, the fast food industry is worth over 200 billion, which makes you think just how many foods contain more than 5 ingredients. Sadly you would be astonished by the result. All the preservatives and E numbers etc are not naturally meant for our bodies, it’s becoming more and more common for people being diagnosed with Chrons disease or Celiac disease and this makes me think it’s possible to stem from societies acceptance of fast food products.
What is classed as Red Meat?
This was my starting point and the part I had to educate myself on the most, knowing what foods were classed as “red meat” which is the most common question asked when deciding to cut this out of your diet. Red Meats are all meats that come from mammals and are classed as red meat due to their higher levels of myoglobin in comparison to fish or white meat.
Red Meat: (any meat that comes from)
- Cows – beef & veal
- Pigs – pork
- Sheep – lamb & mutton
On the other side white meat is any meat that comes from any poultry or fish such as chicken, pigeon, tuna or cod.
So far the change to my diet has been quite easy, I’m not depriving myself of foods which completely changed the way I eat, which makes the change more manageable and realistic to my meal choices. I am finding that my meal preparation and planning takes longer but this is a sacrifice that I am willing to take as part of my decision to give up red meat. We all want to have healthy lives and live for as long as possible which for me means being more aware of what I put into my body, how I look after it to ensure that I can be healthy – its worth the effort.
I am currently doing research on dairy and how it affects your skin so any advice, tips or guidance would be welcomed in the comments below.