Adding meat to your Medifast diet?

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I feel so conflicted...

I've been an ovo-lacto vegetarian for almost 20 years, no fish. But I'm having trouble with my lean and green. I know we have vegetarian options, but when I look at the carb levels of what us veggies can eat, and then look at what everyone else can eat, we are still at such a disadvantage.

I'm a vegetarian for moral reasons (though I am very careful to not criticize meat eaters for their choice to eat meat, it's just not my choice), but I'm seriously considering adding canned tuna into my diet. No birds or mammals, or even other types of fish or seafood, just canned tuna. Regardless of L&G, I've been considering doing this off and on for a while, about five years actually, and just haven't. It's just a rather healthy, high protein, low fat and low carb food. It's also a dead animal. But, a rather dumb dead animal...

Naturally I won't be able to wear my vegetarian badge anymore if I add it back into my diet. I'll probably call myself a mostly-vegetarian, I'm not sure, I guess the label isn't the most important thing.

I guess I'm just wondering if anyone else here has considered adding a type of meat back into their diet, how they ultimately came to their decision to add or not, and how it affected them, if they were glad to do it or not.

Not looking for debate or criticism, just discussion... thanks!..

Comments (13)

Hi - I know it's a very difficult choice. I am a vegetarian - who eats seafood. No land animals.. nothing you could keep as a "pet". Have you tried the Morning Star Farms options? Egg whites? Egg Beaters? I know eggs get old after a while.. but options are there..

Don't know if I helped or not..

I know there are a few vegetarians on this board who will probably be answering you shortly!.

Which Medifast foods are you eating?..

Comment #1

I'm a vegetarian. I stick with low carb yogurt, cottage cheese, veggie burgers, low fat cheese, egg beaters, basically all dairy products (thank goodness I'm not a vegan!)..

I did, for about a month, eat turkey breast for lunch everyday. I cracked and just had a huge meat/high protein craving and that's what I wanted. I didn't venture to any other animal, I didn't want to go down that road. I got done with that craving and haven't touched meat since. I have lusted over tuna a few times. Anytime it's around me I really want it, but I just don't do it.

I think I was meant to be one. Though there are times that I really, really want to eat chicken or beef.

I do fine with my carb intake, usually in the 90's. I eat salad everyday so that helps keep the carbs low in the green department..

I have only been a vegetarian for nearly 2 years, but I have learned that when my protein level is too low then I crave meat. But, there have been a couple of times when even upping my protein didn't help with my craving and I would just go ahead and eat what I'm really having a big craving for. After my meal, or after a weekend of eating a couple of chicken meals, I'm done with eating meat. I think this has happened 3 times in 2 years. However, the one month of turkey was a little extreme.

I think our body has needs that we have to feed it (within reason, of course), and for some reason it may be meat...

Comment #2

I noticed in the past that if I "crave" meat.. my iron is low. Try popping an iron pill instead and see if that doesn't help!.

When I used to give blood, I never passed the "drip" test, they always had to spin my blood. Sometimes it was only 36 when it needed to be 38... so I took iron!..

Comment #3

Thanks for your responses I'm trying to stick with some of the higher protein, lower carb options for veggies, which is a lot of egg beaters, and I made a pretty good stir-fry with tofu the other night. But all the fake meat products do tend to be high in carbs. For example, a Boca burger is a great choice, very low in fat (so I get to add a slice of 2% cheese, yay!), lots of protein, but still 8 grams of carbohydrates vs. absolutely none in meat. Even the egg beaters have a gram per quarter cup (which isn't bad at all). Of course, for the Boca, 5g of carbs are fiber carbs, and I haven't figured out if those still get counted in the carb load or not So I count them.

One thing with tuna specifically that makes it easer from a moral standpoint, at least the environmental part of it, is that it is a very sustainable industry. There is no shortage of tuna, and we don't have to feed it tons and tons of our grain and water supplies to create it like we do with beef cattle. But them I'm wondering if I'm just rationalizing this. The egg and dairy industries is awful (generally speaking) with their treatment of animals and wastefulness, and I still eat from those industries. Perhaps I will try raw-food veganism someday, when I have my weight and food issues under control....

I've also had meat cravings when I've been low in protein and iron, usually iron. I've gone to give blood before and had iron levels that were too low too...

Comment #4

I've been vegetarian for a year now - and gained serious wait over that year from all the carbs I was eating: pasta, rice, potatoes. Basically, I was a lazy vegetarian. This plan is helping me to eat healthy - lots of greens and - gasp - proteins!.

I've decided to eat fish while OP, partly to get add'l protein and partly because there is literally nothing else on a restaurant menu I can eat..

It's such a personal choice - and you'll make the right one for you. You can always switch back if your conscience is getting the best of you...

Comment #5

No moral judgments here ( I'm a complete omnivore) -.

But I thought it best to share this with the veggie crowd:.

Just be aware that, because of high mercury levels, the USDA says it is safe to eat up to 12 oz of light tuna and up to 6 oz of albacore PER WEEK. Remember, as a Leanest option, albacore tuna would be 7 oz! Now, I don't think 1 oz either way will kill me, but it becomes an issue when consumed more often than a couple of times a month ( something I was doing anyway, before running across this little factoid!).

Balancing the health benefits of fish with the risks can be tricky. Best to educate yourself before making any decisions...

Comment #6

Thanks so much for that reminder. I knew that fact but somehow forgot it along the way because it's been so long since i've eaten tuna. Time to get creative again!..

Comment #7

I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian for 16 years. I recently began eating fish again, and it was an extremely difficult choice for me to make, however, I finally feel at peace with it. I realized that one of the most difficult things for me was going to be losing my veggie "badge", and eating it in front of family members. Everyone in my family eats meat except for my sister, but I dreaded being grilled about my decision. It has turned out to be alright, and I can eat fish now with nobody giving it a second thought..

I started eating fish for several reasons. I wanted to have more protein options in my diet. I wanted more options for eating at restaurants, and for family dinners so we could all eat the same once in a while. I realized that I am not really against eating animals, I am against how cruelly they are treated on the majority of farms before they are killed. Fish just swim around in the ocean before they are killed. Even if they are farmed, I think they have it pretty good.

As far as tuna goes, I thought I would like it, but it made me gag. I literally thought I would puke if I ate all of it. I don't like fishy taste, so I've found that I really like Tilapia and Catfish...

Comment #8

Thanks everyone for your replies I ultimately did go ahead and try it. I had two and a half cans of it (I could barely choke down the first one) before deciding that it just wasn't for me, I couldn't stand the texture and couldn't get "it's dead" out of my mind. So I had an open mind and gave it a fair chance, but I'm officially a vegetarian again No more fish for me. Yuck...

Comment #9

Tons of dolphins and other sea life are decimated by the tuna industry. So yeah, it's a rationalization. And as you noticed, it is definitely dead!!.

That said, I did eat fish when I was on MF. Now that I am not, I am vegan. I would eat fish before I ate dairy, but I have no intention of eating either again...

Comment #10

I've been a pescetarian for years. Tried giving up fish once a while ago, but I just couldn't get through a whole week without craving something much worse than fish! Today is my first Medifast day and I went to the grocery store searching for things that I can easily make for my lean/green meal. I do think carnivores have a much easier time that the rest of us, but, with help, I'l figure this out. I bought a bunch of shrimp and put some salad stuff in a container. WISH ME LUCK..

Comment #11

The bad part about tuna is the mercury levels. There are warnings that pregnant women and children should not eat albacore canned tuna...ever!.

And don;t forget, you are allowed 80-100 carbs on the 5/1 plan. The low 80's worked best for me and I have been a vegetarian for over 30 years..

Do you have Whole Foods where you live? They have a brand of seitan, White Wave, which is 90 cals, has 18 gr of protein and only 3 carbs per serving. It comes in chicken style and there are other brands. Look for barbecued seitan, it is awesome. Also, here is a quick favorite recipe of mine....

2 C MSF grillers crumbles.

1 C diced tomatoes.

1/2 C mushrooms.

(you can substitute 1/2 C tomatoes for peppers or other veggies).

Saute mushrooms in 1 tsp sesame or olive oil. Add crumbles and slightly brown. Add your favorite spices (I use cumin and garlic). Add the tomatoes and cook until hot. Pour into a bowl, use your favorite hot sauce and enjoy. it is a huge serving and really tastes good, not just diet good...

Comment #12

I carry this handy little seafood pocket guide with me whenever I go shopping. It helps make wise fish choices. Check it out....


Comment #13

This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.


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