Back in my early 20’s I went on the Atkins diet for a short time to help me lose some weight I gained in college. The weight melted off almost like magic and I felt great. Now, there were plenty of vegetarians back home in Missouri, but when I moved to Los Angeles I was bombarded by vegetarian and vegan restaurants and “health conscious” fanatics whose ideas about nutrition were quite different from the “traditional” diet I had been raised on and the Atkins diet that I did so well losing weight on. I started to feel bad about eating meat. I started to feel like I wasn’t a good person.
My new friends were telling me that I was eating the “energy” of an animal being slaughtered and that negative energy will cause me harm and eating meat causes heart disease and world hunger and suffering all over the globe. Well, shit, I definitely didn’t want to be a part of any of that! So, I did what any good, caring, conscientious animal and self-loving person would do. I became a vegetarian. But the pressure continued, and I decided to go all the way and became a vegan. This was an opportunity for me to cleanse all that negativity out of me from doing the Atkins diet and eating all those animals.
My new healthy diet consisted mostly of beans and rice, lots of veggies, salads, fruit, nut butters, humus, soy burgers, soy dogs, soy deli “meat”, soy milk, soy cheese, soy pudding, soy ice cream, soy mayo… hey, I had to get my protein somewhere!
Now I was as pure as can be, light as a feather, free from negative animal energy and full of integrity. (Cue Sarah Mclaughlin music and picture me running through a field of wild flowers.)
Skreeeeeeeeeeeetch…….wanna know what really happened?
I gained weight. I became extremely bloated – I looked like a malnourished child. I wondered if I had Crohns disease. All the sudden there was always something “wrong” with me – an ache here, I was tired all the time and had a constant feeling something just wasn’t right. My periods got so bad that I nearly fainted. A had bad cramps before, but now I had to walk myself from room to room by holding on to the wall I was in so much pain. I could barely work during my periods and went home sick from time to time. The cramps got so bad that I finally went to a doctor. She explained that my symptoms of the extreme bloating, unbearable pain and feeling faint were all symptoms of endometriosis. My symptoms were so severe that she scheduled a surgery immediately.
My surgery resulted in a diagnosis of endometriosis. I began researching and wanted to know everything I could do to prevent my symptoms from returning. What I discovered shocked me. My vegetarian diet and especially all the soy I had been consuming could have caused my endometriosis and my overall “unhealthy” feeling. As it turns out, soy is loaded with natural estrogen and endometriosis thrives on estrogen. Hmm? Coincidence? I don’t think so.
I began to study nutrition. I wanted to better understand the power of food – good and bad. Not only that, but as a pilates instructor I wanted to help my clients become healthier as well. I became a certified nutritional counselor. While this was a great beginning, I wanted deeper understanding how we as individuals are affected by food. The next step for me was Metabolic Typing®. I studied it for about a year and then became a certified Metabolic Typing Advisor.
It finally clicked for me. Through metabolic testing I discovered I’m a “protein type” and require a lot of protein. This is why a vegetarian and vegan diet made me feel sick. (That, and the fact that soy is one of the worst foods you can consume. I have posted several resources for you about soy below.) Eating meat does the opposite for me: it makes me feel good. Healthy. Strong. Vibrant. Clear-headed. Happy. Amazing. My story is a great example of how one person’s food is another person’s poison. You might do very well on a vegetarian diet – minus the processed soy, of course!
Now, I am thriving. I am thriving because I am eating the foods that are right for me. Metabolic Typing® goes above and beyond generic nutritional counseling. What I personally need to eat has been determined by a thorough scientific test that closely evaluated my Autonomic Nervous System and my Oxidative System – my physical traits, my digestion, respiration, reflexes, my appetite, my psychological traits etc… not by the opinion of a “guru” who just discovered the latest and greatest diet, or by the opinion of a yoga instructor who has no nutrition training whatsoever or by a new best-selling book written by a model.
It should be noted: I’m not trying to slam vegetarians. A vegetarian diet might be optimal for you. If that’s the case, go for it. However, unless you are able to scientifically analyze the dietary needs of others, leave it to the pros!
Want to know your metabolic type? Click here for testing information.