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Eat What You Feel

9 years ago by

Eat What You Feel

Is there something you don’t eat?
For a long time I didn’t eat meat, only fish. 

Yep, I was a cliché pescetarian (or is it vegequarian?) and I had zero desire to eat meat. Zero. 
I couldn’t tell you when the last time was that I ate a steak. I hadn’t eaten bacon in over ten years.

Then, a few weeks ago, I suddenly started craving meat. It was like a light switched in my body, and all of a sudden I needed that kind of sustenance – and I couldn’t seem to curb it no matter how many fillets of salmon or bowls of lentil soup I was eating. 

It was the strangest thing.
After so long of being turned off by meat, I was happy to eat it again.

There were a number of reasons why I didn’t eat meat (animals, the environment, health, etc etc). But, when your body tells you to do something, it’s kind of hard to say no. This is your stomach talking – an organ almost as determined as the heart! And the strength of those desires had me thinking about the way we eat. I’ve been observing what inclines people to eat. For some, it’s a body refuel. Others eat for the pleasure of taste. Boredom or stress. To serve a cause (which, in a subtle way my approach to eating was based on).The list goes on…

But how often do we eat for our bodies? Nourish our bodies in the way they need to be?
It’s so easy to just go wherever is easy and pick up a meal, but there’s something said for really listening to how your body feels and responding to that.

Or is it just me?


Add yours
  • Cynthia June, 23 2015, 11:52 / Reply

    Je suis en plein dans la même réflexion..Entre tous les modes d’alimentation qui existent et mes valeurs, j’avoue je suis perdue ..

  • Cécile June, 23 2015, 12:23 / Reply

    J’ai franchement du mal à croire que ton corps te réclame de manger des cadavres d’animaux et je peine à comprendre que tu puisses continuer à manger du poisson et recommencer la viande en ayant conscience des effets sur ta santé et l’environnement, sans parler des conditions terribles de l’élevage…

  • Metissia June, 24 2015, 9:09

    I honestly think that Neada had some kind of vitamins deficiency more than a need for meat…. But I’ve been vegetarian for almost 10 years now. What I learned is that cooking healthy balanced meal is not always easy on a day to day basis. And that you need to take time to learn new ways to get the nutrient that your body need, because yes your body is in a constant evolution it changes everyday and your environment influence it. For me the most important is to keep in mind, that being a vegetarian may works for some ppl and not for others. And please remember that’s not a crime.
    If I speak for myself what works best is a vegan diet, with low protein and low fat intake and a lot of carbs. But I know for some people it doesn’t work, I totally understand Neada. Because I had to modify my diet many times throughout the years to finally find what works for me…
    Last but not least, if you can try to eat grass fed animals and limit your consumption of meat it will be great knowing the impact eating animals has on the planet earth. Anyway best of luck.

  • Caroline June, 24 2015, 9:45

    Dès qu’on parle de viande, les végétariens se réveillent…
    Deux choses :
    1/ il y a des personnes qui souffrent d’anémie chronique. Dans ces cas-là, il faut parfois faire des cures de viande rouge. Et oui. Et ça marche.
    2/ il existe des types de viandes différentes. Certaines viandes (en France notamment) viennent d’animaux qui ont été élevés dans de bonnes conditions. Ne pas confondre une pièce d’un boucher qui fait attention à son “sourcing” et un Mac Do. Et ne pas manger de la viande trop souvent.

  • My doctor once told me that if I was craving something really bad, that was my body telling me that I needed some mineral or nutrient and propably that product was a source of said mineral or nutrient. Of course, it was not about wanting something really specific like the pasta dish my favourite restaurant prepares… But something like craving nuts, or meat, or fish or any specific fruit or vegetable.

  • Alison June, 23 2015, 1:10 / Reply

    As much as I love the idea of being vegetarian, it doesn’t work for me. I did it for a couple of years very carefully making sure I got lots of vegetable proteins of different types, supplemented with B12 etc. After a few months of feeling good, I started to feel unwell because of various health problems.

    I went to a naturopath who was a vegetarian and he advised that I should be eating meat after we consulted. So I eat meat and small amounts of fish, however, I do what I can to buy only the best — grass-fed, high-quality meat from suppliers who treat animals well. I also only eat small quantities. I also eat lots of vegetables. It works.

    It’s not just you, Neada. I’m convinced that different diets work for different people, and you need to listen to your body and give it the best quality of what you can afford that it’s asking for. Some other people I know have said the same.

  • Astrid June, 23 2015, 1:28 / Reply

    Hi Neada,

    I never compensated on my big appetite, but for a while my health concerns diverted me from what I really desired to eat. Choosing what to order most often turned into a rationalising of emotions. I would ignore what immediate craving I would feel upon scrolling through a meny and settle for a perhaps “healthier” dish, not the dish I would have picked impulsively.

    Now, my new method is to cave in! To not make choosing such a big deal. I eat what I feel. All the while I am serious about food being the real stuff, eating quality stuff, but that is not a trade-off.

    So yeah, I nourish my body, but equally my soul, because otherwise I won’t be satiated – however full my stomach, my mind not having reached “craving closure”.

    Go with it.

  • I used to crave lemon — I think my body needed it


  • Leonie Hart June, 23 2015, 7:04 / Reply

    I absolutely agree! I have found the opposite lately, my body has gone off meat. I’m trying to be more dedicated in listening to my body and given it what it needs. Great thoughts :)

  • Il m’est arrivé la même chose après quinze ans de pescovégétarisme (euh?), je me suis réveillée un matin avec une envie de steak tartare… Bin je l’ai mangé. Et depuis que j’en mange régulièrement (de la viande, je veux dire, je ne suis pas une hystérique du tartare), je n’ai plus de problèmes d’anémie. Voilà voilà…

  • I had the same experience, weirdly with meat and…chocolate! I could only eat 99% dark chocolate for a pretty long time and now I don’t even like it. I don’t think the same philosophy applies to cravings, as in that Nutella phase doesn’t sound too healthy :)


  • Béatrice June, 24 2015, 5:46 / Reply

    I think eating what you feel you need means you’re connected to your body – it’s an ideal state. Enjoy!

  • Charlène June, 24 2015, 6:43 / Reply

    Je suis totalement d’accord avec ce principe d’écoute du corps. Pendant très longtemps je mangeais n’importe quoi sans trop savoir ce dont j’avais vraiment besoin, mon poids faisait un peu le yoyo sans trop de conséquences tout de même. Jusqu’à ce que j’aille voir une diététicienne qui m’a appris à écouter mon corps et ses besoins. Cette année, mon rythme de vie était tellement intense que je suis revenue à un “gavage” et au bout de quelques mois j’ai vraiment ressenti le besoin de manger sainement et de façon équilibrée et j’ai perdu naturellement et sans effort les kilos que j’avais pris dans l’année.
    Je crois que pour le corps comme pour le moral, il est essentiel de s’écouter (même si de petits plaisirs de temps en temps ne sont pas proscrits ;) ).

  • I was quite surprised by this post, I think quite a lot of people eat to nurture their bodies, to keep their bodies and minds healthy. But I wouldn’t agree that eating anything we want or feel like it is a way too. We are shaping the reality with our choices, and I believe we should always think about the change to the world we bring with the consumer choices we do. I would follow with all my might ALISON’s approach, keep yourself healthy and responsible. And have fun with food anyways, I do not think any diet really can stop just, we just need to be felxible!

  • Rachel June, 24 2015, 9:53 / Reply

    The exact same thing happened to me after I quit eating meat in college. I went from disgusted by it to literally drooling at the meat counter in the span of about a week. I had been running a lot, and I started eating it (organic, grass-fed if I can get my hands on it) and feeling so much better. I think everyone’s bodies are different (my husband does better with less meat, and he’s a big, strong guy), and the key is figuring out what works for you.

  • I completely agree with the idea of eating for our bodies. As a nutrition major at NYU, I’ve realized that eating for our bodies doesn’t mean that we eat for someone else. If one of your girlfriends tells you that she cut out gluten or dairy but your body is fine with them, why are you cutting them out? Don’t give into trends. Health should not be trendy. It’s a personal lifelong process. Everyone’s dietary journey is unique.

  • “Bizarrement les végétariens se réveillent” et les mangeurs de viande se découvrent des compétences de pointe en nutrition. Ouah! mais citez moi vos sources parce que ça m’intéresse.

    Par ailleurs, pour Caroline et Metissia:

    Caroline, Metissia,

    serait-il possible que les quelques milliers de nutritionnistes et diététiciens de l’American Dietetic Association se trompent? Vous devriez aller y faire un cours pour leur prouver qu’ils ont tort. Ils vous accueilleraient à bras ouverts, j’en suis sûr.

    Pour Metissia justement: Yes it is a crime. There is absolutelly no scientific evidence that meat is either essential or beneficial to the human health. So that consumming meat is purely for you pleasure. That being said, a shortcut would be to conclude that you kill (or make other abuse and kill of course you don’t have the guts) only for your pleasure.

    Pour Caroline: l’absorption du fer n’est pas régie par son degrés d’oxydation ou la façon dont il est chélaté. Que ce soit du fer héminique ou non, le corps le puise dans le bol alimentaire quand il en a besoin. Des facteurs perturbent néanmoins cette absorption. Par exemple, le calcium si présent dans les produits laitiers réduit d’un facteur 4 l’absorption. Bizarrement, la vitamine C que l’on trouve uniquement dans le végétal l’augmente beaucoup plus.

    L’anémie chronique ou d’autres anémie comme pernicieuse dépendent d’une multitude de facteurs mais leur fréquence n’est pas plus élevée parmi les végétariens/végétaliens que chez les personnes consommant de la viande. Si un docteur te dit le contraire, qu’il cite ses source scientifiques et/ou statistiques. Même après pas mal de recherche, il en sera bien incapable car elles n’existent tout simplement pas.

  • Feri : Merci !
    Pour ma part, je suis vegan depuis un an et demi, et ça a résolu beaucoup de problèmes de santé/confort, y compris… l’anémie. Quand je mangeais de la viande, et dieu sait que j’en mangeais énormément, le steak tartare était ma définition du paradis, j’étais constamment anémiée. Depuis que je suis vegan, et pour la première fois, j’ai enfin le droit de donner mon sang. Personne n’a besoin de viande, mais ceux qui ressentent l’envie incontrôlable de viande devraient faire des tests sanguins, ils ont probablement des déficits quelque part.
    Et plus que les problèmes de santé à proprement parler, devenir vegan m’a allégée la conscience d’une demi-tonne. Trois fois par jour, à chaque fois que je mange, je sais que je ne fais souffrir personne, que ma vie ne dépend pas de la torture d’animaux. Et trois fois par jour, ça me rend heureuse.

  • Eternalvoyageur June, 25 2015, 7:50 / Reply

    Maybe your body needed something to ground itself? That can be done in many other ways, without meat and all it’s negative impact (on the body and environment). Try looking up balancing the Vata dosha with food.

  • Looks simple, fresh and wonderfully tasty!

  • The same exact thing happened to me! I was on the fish and seafood track, got really grossed out by meat and chicken and one day I was having lunch with my mom–me, a boring kale and quinoa situation, and she ordered a gruyere and short rib sandwich. I NEEDED that bite like I need my morning coffee. Ever since, I eat deli turkey here and there, bite into burgers, but still can’t look at chicken for some reason.

    The other thing I eat when I feel with zero holding back…way too much dark chocolate. After lunch and dinner. Every day.

  • Benedicte June, 27 2015, 1:04 / Reply

    Je n’aime pas beaucoup la viande, donc j’en mange assez peu, mais de temps en temps (généralement quand je suis malade ou fatiguée), j’en ai envie (ce qui ne m’arrive jamais en temps normal). Bien sur qu’il faut écouter son corps, et son instinct de manière générale.

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