I ate meat until I was 23 years old (now 26). My whole life, I’ve given strangers the impression that I was vegetarian. When I waitressed customers would constantly halt mid-asking me my opinion on the steak and say, “Oh, you look like you don’t eat meat. You must be one of those vegetarians…” What that means, I’m still not sure of. It would infuriate me nonetheless. Not that I had anything against vegans or vegetarians, but nothing ticks me off more than someone making an assumption and categorizing me. So, in my stubborn fury, I’d order a burger.
Quitting carnivorism seemed impossible to me. Until I found out I had PCOS (a hormone imbalance that causes cysts to form on the ovaries), which left me crippling over in pain every couple of months like someone had stabbed me in the stomach. The whole diagnosis was a mess–the gynecologist casually told me it was possible that I had a growth on my adrenal glands (mind you I have a history of melanoma so cancer isn’t the most abstract possibility) and then when PCOS was confirmed, she again casually threw out things like infertility and needing medication for the rest of my life. If you have PCOS, have no fear. There is always hope. You can heal your body.
A few months afterward, I met someone else with PCOS who is a holistic nutritionist. She told me to disregard everything I was told or thought I knew about a future with the syndrome. She had suffered much worse than I had–having it since a young age and even needed surgery to remove a cyst. Today, she’s a mother. She’s happy, healthy, strong, and a total badass of inspiration. She assured me that by focusing on nutrition I could heal my body.
The amazing thing that happened after I stopped eating meat?
I felt better than ever.
I began noticing my skin clear & glow like it never had before. My nails and hair became stronger, my anxiety diminished, my hormones balanced, my energy levels improved, and my weight became steady and manageable. Roll your eyes if you need to, but it’s true. Quitting meat, and cutting back on dairy, soy, sugar, and gluten over the past 3 years has been a blessing and way simpler than the old me would have suspected.
I also learned that it’s easier than ever to stop eating meat. It’s inexpensive to find alternatives. There are tons of things you can cook that are mind-blowingly good. And you’re not killing any animals in the process (kudos!). So if you’re thinking about going vegetarian (or pescetarian or vegan!), you’ve got nothing to lose! Except for meat, of course. But I promise, it’s not the end of the world.
Have you changed your nutrition drastically or are interested in doing so? Let me know in the comments. I’m happy to offer advice or chat!