This will probably sound strange to many people, but the truth is, I wish I ate meat. I’ve never liked meat, besides fish, and honestly I could do without fish quite easily, and have for years at a time. The mere thought of red meat makes my throat close and my mouth feel all dry, as though it were a non-food item that I were contemplating, such as a plate of Styrofoam or something worse. Poultry causes less of a reaction, but still is an unappetizing thought. So why do I want to eat it if it sounds, looks, smells, icky to me? Two reasons really~ the first is simple, my husband and oldest son like it so it’d be more convenient to make meals where everyone ate the SAME thing. Or at least 3 out of 4 of us. The second reason is a bit more controversial~ I want to eat it for health reasons, both for me and my sons. And no, I’ve never been an Atkins’ fool, nor do I think the world really needs another meat eater, but in an age where people are recognizing eating less meat is both good for them and the environment, I think it is smart to look at the whole picture for each individual. I have very specific reasons for thinking meat would be good for me and my kids, which is why I eat fish even though really, I could happily live on rice and beans every day. In my genes there is diabetes on one side and high anxiety on the other, both of which benefit from meat. For anxiety the B vitamins in meat are essential, though I get mine mostly from a pill at this point, but both Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic medicine have also used meat as a ‘grounding’ agent, kind of the balance to sugars which give quick energy. When my sons show signs of anxiety, for example waking up with a nightmare or seeming more afraid of the dreaded hallway than usual, I pop a B12/B6 under their tongues and put bacon on my grocery list (the only meat they will both eat) and both items seem to help. For Diabetes, there is of course disagreement on the best diet, but it seems fairly obvious to me if you live on sugars, complex and simple, you are unbalanced. When I worked at a natural foods store my nutritionist manager once said, “show me a vegetarian kid and I’ll show you a diabetic adult.” I was taken aback b/c at 21 I’d been a (mostly) vegetarian ‘kid’ all my life. He said it was b/c kids aren’t really “vegetarians” they are “pastatarians” and that amount of carbs just ruins their systems. I was certainly a wheat-atarian myself. Apparently there is even a link between celiac disease and diabetes, so perhaps all gluten intolerant people need to be extra vigilant. Personally, I am very susceptible to sugar ups and downs and know that if I ate more pure protein it would definitely help, mainly because I have worked at putting more protein in my diet and have felt the benefits immediately~ changing to Greek yogurt, eating more eggs, snacks always include beans or cheese, and trying to make fish once a week. All those meat substitutes generally have gluten in them, and even if they don’t, they are generally much higher in carbs than protein. The verdict is still out on even soy~ once it is manipulated and processed it can be one of he most allergy provoking, stomach irritating, constipating and etc as the foods out there~ so although I love it, I am just as cautious with it as I am dairy. Beans, on the other, are awesome. No one has (that I have seen) come up with any reason to beware of beans while the debates on grains and meat linger on. So, maybe this fall I’ll start experimenting small~ perhaps some chicken broth in a soup or something similar. Maybe raw foods diet in the summer and meat eater in the winter? Do other people think about food this much?