If you had told me 2 years ago I would be jumping for joy over today's special delivery of 3 lbs of chicken feet I would have laughed out loud. You see, I was a vegetarian, on-again-off-again vegan, for almost 25 years, and loved every minute of it. Mentally at least. Physically, vegetarianism failed me, and it took me a very long time to admit it. Digestive issues, leaky gut, mineral and vitamin deficiency, adrenal fatigue, hypothyroidism all plagued me starting in my late 20's and although my stress levels and lifestyle had parts to play, my diet had a starring role.
I was never one of those vegetarians that didn't eat vegetables. In fact I was, and still am, in love with them. I love the way they taste, the way they smell, the way they look. But I often neglected to take into account that you need a lot more to your diet than just veggies and I didn't consistently take the time to properly follow the vegetarian way of eating.
My nuts and legumes were not always soaked. I often forgot to take supplements. I barely ate any fat. I ate soy. I would not eat any animal products at all for months. I think that it is possible to be pretty healthy as a vegetarian as long as you make sure you are avoiding soy, supplementing regularly, eating eggs and possibly raw dairy, making sure you are getting all of the necessary amino acids by combining foods and preparing your food properly. Most people don't have the time, or want to put the time, into doing this. I was one of those people.
So eventually my body just started to break down. I wish I could say that I made changes as soon as I started feeling crappy...but I didn't. I had to hit rock bottom. If you have ever been a vegetarian or vegan you'll understand just how hard it is to break away from that life. I see this happening with Keto and Paleo as well. The Diet Dogma takes over. You become your diet. I WAS vegetarian. And I genuinely cared about the animals I was avoiding eating. It took a lot of soul searching for me to recognize that the truth was, I was not VEGETARIAN, I was ME and I had to eat what MY body needed. And that was animal products.
Spiritually, I miss being a vegetarian but physically I am so much stronger and healthier than I have been in years. I've come to accept that I was given this one body and it is my duty to respect it and give it what it needs. I make sure to take time to visualize the source of everything I eat and give thanks to the animal who gave its life up for me. I always buy from farms where animals were treated with respect and love. And I constantly appreciate the strength and health I have gained from adding animal products into my diet. On that note, I am going to take my special delivery and use them to create some delicious, nourishing, gut-healing bone broth feeling grateful throughout the whole process for the nourishment and health it will be giving me.