OT-Goodybye Red Meat You Were Adored.

Submitted by HAIL 2 VICTORS on May 27th, 2010 at 11:42 AM

Let me begin by sharing that I LOVE RED MEAT!  From hamburger to rib eye if it is cooked over an open flame I salivate like Pavlov’s dog just looking at my Weber grill.  About 6 months ago my wife starts reading articles about organic vs. non-organic food.  So we make a trip to Whole Foods and quickly learn that an organic diet will require Whole paycheck. 

I watched the movie Food Inc as well as The Beautiful Truth and after some further research I have made the decision to give up red meat.  Yesterday was my last red meat meal and I had my favorite dish from my favorite Kansas City BBQ the crown prime (huge beef ribs cooked over an 18 hour slow cook process) at Jack Stacks.

I ate the entire side of beef ribs, cheesy corn, baked beans and coleslaw and I am actually home sick today because of how I gorged myself.  I am not a fan of chicken (A tour of a Tyson production plant did me in some time ago with bird) so the only use my Weber will have now is for Veggie Burgers and grilled fish *sigh* :- (

Along with the red meat I am also ditching any form of high fructose corn syrup and most anything with triglycerides.  My motto in regards to food was once life is too short I want to enjoy.  Now 45 my motto remains life is too short having watched my Father die of diabetes. 

Have any of you made such changes in your diet and noticed an improved quality of life?  Any vegetarians or vegans care to weigh in?  Anyone recommend a quality veggie burger?

Comments

MaizeAndBlueWahoo

May 27th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

But then the Dr Pepper, pizza, Taco Bell, steak, burger, cookie, ice cream, beer, veal, milk, waffle, sausage, fried chicken, tuna fish, pie, candy, sushi, lobster, shrimp, buffalo wing, cheese, gumbo, Chinese food, spaghetti, lasagna, swordfish, cotton candy, Drumstick, and potato pancake gods would remain unappeased.

PurpleStuff

May 27th, 2010 at 3:09 PM ^

I still remember as a young kid going to one of those Big Boy restaurants where they had the breakfast buffet with a bunch of family members.  Our table was right next to this morbidly obese postal worker who literally consumed an entire plate of bacon.  Every inch of the plate was covered and he had them stacked pretty good too.  All of us kids tried to guess how many strips he'd eaten after the guy left (like one of those "jelly beans in a jar" contests).  We laughed and laughed until finally one of the adults pointed out that the guy's heart would probably explode once he got home and we got sad for like a second until we went back for more tiny boxes of Frosted Flakes from the buffet. 

Wherever you are Mr. Incredibly Fat Postal Worker, I salute you and your bacon prowess.  You were a true American hero.

His Dudeness

May 27th, 2010 at 12:57 PM ^

Every few months I go on a diet in which I just eat raw vegetables and fruit for about a month. I started this once again last week as my weight ballooned to 205lbs. My GF works at a local (awesome) Mexican place that serves an assortment of wonderful deep fried goodies. Anyway, back to the diet, I dropped 10lbs in 4 days. Unhealthy! Some may say, but for a man who is 205lbs and lived his life at 180 I say fuck that bitch I am a fat fucking toad, man, etc. I don't really like to work-out, but I will if the ladies don't want dis. So I choose to limit my intake and go strait raw. I feel wonderful (albeit a little weak) and my digestion is doing great. I never feel bogged down after I eat and my constant upset stomach is all but gone.

His Dudeness

May 27th, 2010 at 2:22 PM ^

Fuck a protein.

I do eat a couple hard boiled eggs a week. I really don't eat much protein for the month. Then I very slowly add in small amounts of free range chicken and fish after the month.

Seriously though, fuck a protein. You understand.

stonyc96

May 27th, 2010 at 1:01 PM ^

I gave up meat in college, because the cafeteria made it really easy not to crave meat.  I could never give up meat though... bacon is what always gets me.  Mmmmmm, bacon.

Super Unknown

May 27th, 2010 at 1:03 PM ^

I started my second go 'round as a lacto-ovo-vegetarian two weeks ago.  I've lost about 4 lbs. since then.  It always seems that people are one extreme or the other when trying to be healthy.  I think the video below provides an interesting - yet simple - concept for those who aren't ready to give up their juicy steaks.  

The idea is to eat vegetarian during the week while allowing yourself the meat option on the weekends (vid is about 6 minutes).    

http://www.ted.com/talks/graham_hill_weekday_vegetarian.html

StephenRKass

May 27th, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

in all things.

In past generations, they ate meat . . . just not all the time, and not in such huge portions. Sunday dinner in the 30's was the time you would have chicken or pot roast. It wasn't an everyday occurence. A good cookbook on this is More with Less. The intro pages are great. In the so-called 3rd World, meat is eaten, but more rarely, on celebratory occasions. When I lived in Korea, my meat consumption went down.

So my counsel?  Get your sleep, get your exercise, eat plenty of veggies, fruit, whole grains, cut down on fats, highly processed foods, salt, and sugar, avoid fast food and processed snack food, but don't eliminate all meat. The problem I've seen with many diets is you eventually crave something so much, you fall off the wagon and gorge yourself in an unhealthy way.

Of course, do what works for you. But even though I personally don't need brats or steaks or ribs all the time, don't ask me to eliminate them from my diet.

MGoShoe

May 27th, 2010 at 1:25 PM ^

....Michael Pollan's work and you'll understand how the agribusiness industry has redefined what food is and the effects their business/farming methods have on our nation's collective physical and environmental health.  Sneak preview: they aren't positive effects.

The Omnivore's Dilemma

In Defense of Food

Dan Man

May 27th, 2010 at 1:40 PM ^

I recently made eating healthy a bigger priority.  While I haven't eliminated red meat and pork, I have cut down on it significantly.  One thing I've started eating, even though they're pretty gross, is canned sardines.  From what I've read, they provide the great benefits of fish (omega 3 and various vitamins), but don't have the problems with mercury and other contaminants because the fish are so small and have short lives.  There is a lot of stuff online about the benefits of sardines if you're interested...

ambamb

May 27th, 2010 at 1:53 PM ^

and get outside and play me some football or soccer or baseball or tennis or golf? Exercise and moderation. The French consume a glass of wine every day have lower incidents of cancer.

MGoJen

May 27th, 2010 at 1:54 PM ^

I've been a vegetarian for over three years.  I don't eat any meat or seafood, but I'm not vegan so I do eat dairy/eggs (cage free organic, of course!)

I have tried several different veggie burger brands/protein shakes and have a few favorites.  My favorite protein shakes by far are these single-serve, ready-to-drink chocolate shakes by Premier Nutrition.  They are really convenient and I find that they taste like chocolate milk.  I get them from Costco and they come in a box of like 16 or 18--they have 30 grams of protein per 11 oz shake and only one gram of sugar and 160 calories. 

I'm a big tofu fan but won't get into details about that--if you ever want to experiment with it or have any questions about how to cook it (and make it taste awesome!) let me know, I'd be happy to tell you about it. 

I'm also a big fan of TVP (Texturized Vegetable Protein) which is basically de-fatted soy flour.  It looks kind of like corn flakes and can be thrown into soups, salads, pasta sauces, etc.  It has a ton of protein (about 10 g of protein in 1/4 cup.)  You can buy this relatively inexpensively in the bulk foods aisle of Whole Foods.

I encourage you to experiment with higher-protein grains, like quinoa.  It's pretty versatile, and is now available at stores other than Whole Foods (even Costco carries it.)  It's good to throw in soups and on salads and can also be made as a side dish or as part of a main dish.  I use it instead of rice a lot of times.

The best "fake chicken breasts" are definitely by Quorn, which is available at Whole Foods but even places like Kroger and Meijer.  Quorn products are actually meat and soy-free, and use mycoprotein as the main protein source (it's from the fungi family.)  They have breaded fake chicken breasts and different variations therein.  The best fake chicken patties are definitely by Morningstar.  My favorite veggie burgers are the Morningstar "Garden Veggie" flavored ones, but they also make a really good "spicy bean burger" which you can get at Costco.  A lot of restaurants use the Morningstar "spicy bean burger" as their veggie burger.

Let me know if you have any additional questions!

MGoJen

May 27th, 2010 at 2:17 PM ^

Tofu is definitely not for everyone, haha.  I forgot to add that Morningstar Farms also has  "meal starter crumbles" (it looks like ground beef) which is super easy to incorporate into recipes you may already be familiar with like in spaghetti sauce, lasagna, chili, etc.  All Morningstar Farms products are found in the freezer section.   I would only caution you that I find the crumbles absorb seasoning much more readily than meat, so go easy on the salt/seasoning initially and add more as you need to.  I really dislike the Morningstar chik'n strips, however; the texture grosses me out.  Quorn definitely makes a better fake chicken product.

JeepinBen

May 27th, 2010 at 2:24 PM ^

TVP is a great substitute for lots of foods. We used it on camping trips, it's a great protein, and you can pretty much treat it as ground beef (if you soak it in water).

I've had great TVP chili, pasta sauce (looks like meat sauce), tacos, sloppy joes, meat(less) ball subs, as long as you spice the TVP it works as a great meat substitute.

Also - if anyone ever has the "ground beef" anythings at Taco Bell, the way that it's so cheap is their "ground beef" is 33% Beef, 66% TVP - which actually makes it healthier

MGoJen

May 27th, 2010 at 2:05 PM ^

My boss the Sooner, who walks around in suits and cowboy boots made of ostrich, calf, snake, etc., likes to say this to me once every couple weeks in his Oklahoma drawl:

"You know what I saw about vegetarians, right Jen?  Y'all don't live longer but it sure feels like it!"

jblaze

May 27th, 2010 at 2:18 PM ^

have made the wrong decision. I understand the need to eat better quality and healthier food. Behind genetics, it is the number one determinant of good health.

So, the reason that I believe that you made the wrong decision is that you make it sound like an all or nothing, black or white.

Why not just reduce the amount of meat that you consume? Even better, why not just add a bunch of fresh fruits and veggies to your meals (sometimes to replace meat, sometimes to supplement meat)?

The problem is that people eat 2X or 3X the recommended serving size and 2X to 3X the number of meals of meat a week.

Moderation, my friend... moderation.

philibuster

May 27th, 2010 at 2:31 PM ^

Exactly. Everyone says "Don't eat this, don't eat that," while what they really mean is "Don't gorge yourself on this, and don't gorge yourself on that like you currently do, you compulsive overeater." Red meat isn't the devil, but eating a pound of it a day is bad for you. Remember the food pyramid? Meat is good, but our diets are very meat heavy. Moderation is the key.

You can eat anything you want, just not in the amounts you might want.

Tater

May 27th, 2010 at 2:29 PM ^

I just went raw vegan for awhile.  It isn't for everyone, but I probably need about two months of it to regain optimal health and then decide what I am going to do from there. 

As for organic, if you shop the perimiters (fresh whole produce and bulk) instead of the inside aisles (canned and processed), you can eat relatively inxepensively when compared to what you would do even eating three fast food meals a day.  When you go organic and whole, you aren't as hungry because you don't get the appitite-inducing chemicals that are routinely added to most processed foods.

Your blender, juicer, and food processor can be your best friends and provide you with plenty of tasty, healthy, and relatively inexpensive options.  Once again, good luck.

M-Wolverine

May 27th, 2010 at 4:35 PM ^

and this?

these?

and even this?

I would think you could just give up doing this-

I couldn't. But I guess you're a bigger man than I am. Or one who going to rapidly be smaller. Just so long as you never give up this:

MileHighWolverine

May 27th, 2010 at 6:30 PM ^

A month ago I decided that after 2 solid years of feeling like shit, it was time to see if a change in diet would turn things around.  Luckily, my wife’s best friend is a naturopathic doctor who specializes in dietary problems so I had her perform a food intolerance test.  Verdict: no more gluten or potato for me.  I thought I was going to die when she told me as my favorite meal is a burger and fries with an ice cold beer (especially in the summer).  Now I can’t have any of that unless you count Bud Light (which is made of rice) as a beer and I do not.  However, I’ve eliminated 90% of gluten/potato since then and I feel unbelievably good.  I lost 10 lbs in 14 days, doing jack shit, and have more energy than I have had in a long while.  And it only took about 3 days to adjust.  The sight of a burger and fries (or really any potato or wheat product) elicits an almost Clockwork Orange response from me (slight exaggeration).  Just get it away!!

Anyway, I highly recommend a food intolerance test to everyone on here as it will change your life. 

pitterpat

May 27th, 2010 at 7:44 PM ^

first, a caveat: I remain unconvinced that red meat qua red meat is bad for human health (see, for example, the recent Harvard review study that found no correlation between red meat consumption and heart disease or diabetes, but did find an association with processed/cured meats, which has likely driven the correlations in studies that don't differentiate because people who eat more red meat also eat more bacon). certainly the mechanisms most often proposed--that dietary saturated fat and/or dietary cholesterol cause atherosclerosis--don't appear to be valid (i've written more about this here and here)

nonetheless, I support people making whatever changes they feel they need to in order to improve their health and well-being. i find most commercial veggie burgers to be pretty awful, and given that they're often soy-based, it's not clear that they're actually any better for human health. so both in terms of taste and health, you're probably better off making your own. the best ones I've had are homemade black bean and/or mushroom burgers. here are some recipes from other folks, none of which I've tried personally but which sound pretty okay.

best of luck.

also, to add to the earlier comment re: agave being no better, and actually probably worse than hfcs, cutting refined sugar and starches will probably do far more for your health than cutting red meat. but there is no "good" sugar. some may contain more vitamins and minerals, but hfcs is not significantly worse nutritionally than white sugar, honey, brown sugar, agave nectar, etc. glucose syrups like regular corn syrup and brown rice syrup might be your best bet and even those are probably best used in moderation.

RockinLoud

May 28th, 2010 at 12:31 AM ^

I love it here (in Omaha) because we can go get organic grass - fed free range beef literally right from the farm because it's only about 45 mins away.  Tastes absolutely incredible and is only about $1 more per pound than the crap they sell in the store. The whole foods meat isn't even comparable to the stuff we get at the local farms, not to mention whole foods is over priced like none other.