I know…I know…some of you may have asked yourself, “Did I read the title of this post wrong?”…”Did, Sarah Hartley, just write that?”. Sorry for the confusion folks, but yes, I did just say, “Beef, it’s what’s for any meal!”.
Today I went to a Wellness Seminar at Bethel Church in Redding, CA. Dr. Ronda Nelson of Restoration Health was the main speaker. The first topic she spoke on was, “Beef: It’s The Perfect Vegetarian Food“. If you know me, I haven’t enjoyed eating beef in at least 4 years and rarely eat meat of any kind (there are health reason for it). On occasion, I will eat, chicken/turkey/fish but in small portions. So when I saw this as the first topic, I was little intrigued, mostly because I was confused by the title. Beef…vegetarian? Well, those two words do not go together. Somewhere during her opening paragraph, Ronda stated, “If you are a true vegetarian, you should have beef in your diet”. Again, what?! She then continued to explain the difference between corn-fed caged cow versus free-range grass-fed cows. Those who are against eating beef, are often thinking of the corn-fed cows. The corn that the cows are eating usually is genetically modified, so the cow is not eating natural food. Usually if the cows are corn fed, they are packed in a dairy and do not have a lot of room to roam and there other things going on (which I will not discuss, it makes me sad), which may cause stressors for the cow, causing the development of their muscles (the meat we eat) to not get the proper nutrients (and have added hormones) the cow needs to produce proper muscle or milk. The grass-fed cows, well eat grass. Ronda said it takes around 7-8 acres of grass to feed one cow. This leaves lots of room for the cow to roam, stress free. When a cow eats grass, the acid in it’s stomach can break down the nutrients from the grass causing the cow to absorb the nutrients it needs into it’s muscles. Therefore, making the cow’s muscles derived from grass! So, cows are vegetarians, so why wouldn’t the beef be vegetarian? 😉
Beef that comes from grass-fed cows, also breaks down better in our bodies because it doesn’t have added hormones but has the natural enzymes, etc that our bodies need to break down food. The beef will also have less fat, be more tender (no dense fiber) and are juicer (I don’t know this but that’s what the participants from the seminar were saying…and well it sounds good to me!).
Our bodies need protein: animal and plant protein. The past four years or so, when I ate protein, it usually has been in the form of legumes, eggs or seeds/nuts, etc….aka, plant protein. I stopped eating meat (aka animal protein) around 4 years ago, due to digestive reasons. I know, this is a little personal, but meat was not a friend to my digestive system. I will spare you the details but let’s just say, it wasn’t fun. I like fun, so I try to not do things that cause me pain or are un-fun. 🙂 I used to enjoy eating meat, loved the taste of a good tri-tip, good chicken (especially in burritos or enchiladas), a good christmas ham, etc. but something changed in my digestive system and these meats I use to enjoy, no longer seemed to like me. So, when there is a relationship in your life that may be causing you stress, sometimes you need to reassess the relationship and take a step back for a while or create healthy boundaries. Me and meat, we had to create healthy boundaries. Which meant we needed to give each other space for a while and not engage in “conversation”. I was saddened by this, but eventually got used to not eating meat, to the point if I even tried meat (ie. if it was served to me at a friends home, I would eat it but later that evening regret it) I would leave after eating, very uncomfortable. So, it came to a point where traveling, going to people’s homes for dinner, eating out was not enjoyable for me, all because I would wonder what I would be able to eat or how the food would effect me. I often would bring lots of snacks (healthy of course) or mini-meals in case there was no food I could eat (and I dislike being hungry, and when I don’t eat every 2-3 hours, I get hangry (hungry/angery) because of low blood-sugar). This became my lifestyle. I got used to it, it was just normal.
Today, my normal was challenged. Animal protein from grass-fed animals (or wild fish) all of the sudden started to sound appealing and my digestive system didn’t cringe at the thought of eating meat. Ronda explained to us that corn-fed cows/chickens/turkeys and farmed fish do not digest well in our bodies because of all the additives. The meat doesn’t break down well, we often will get constipated, bloated, or the meat will just sit and ferment for a few days in our bodies because we may not have the right about of acid in our stomach’s to break down this corn-fed meat. Grass-fed cows/chickens/turkeys and wild fish, are “vegetarian” 😉 They have less fat, are more tender, juicer and have NO additives. This type of meat breaks down better in our digestive system, making happy digestive system’s. With all this new information… I began to think…all these years I have avoided meat because of how it didn’t digest well in my body. I did have Bison meat once…and wow. It was amazing and it made my tummy happy not in pain. Bison is naturally grass-fed.
I am excited, Ronda opened up my eyes and it is time to rekindle my relationship with meat. Reassess those meaty boundaries. Meat from grass-fed animals and wild fish that is. Time to bring animal protein back into my life (slowly and still with a balanced healthy whole food lifestyle).
There is more revelation to this story…but that will come at a later time. Timing is everything and it’s time to eat some beef from a grass-fed cow.