The Meat Debate

I have essentially been a vegetarian/pescetarian since I was 16, ever since my parents decided to go Atkins and I decided I needed to rebel.  At first it was a challenge, proving to my parents that I could not only cook for myself but that I could make healthy decisions.  I continued thru college with no intentional stops off the vegetarian train and honestly thought I was going to be a vegetarian for life. 

Then health got in the way and vitamins stopped being enough to keep my body healthy, which was my motivation for going vegetarian once teenage rebellion was no longer an issue.  I switched up my diet, less carbs more green veggies and more beans.  Things stabalized and this worked for an additional 3years when once again the blood results (and bruises) showed that my body was not getting what it needed to thrive. 

So I moved to being a "flexitarian", cooking only vegetarian/vegan foods but eating meat (local, grass-fed, organic) about once a month when I go out.  This has worked well for the past two years but lately things are changing again, suggesting that I might need more than a monthly steak to stay in balance.  Yet so much of who I am is wrapped up in what I eat, or specifically what I don't eat.  It's not that I'm "afraid" of eating meat, I'm just afraid of losing who I am.  I know that I shouldn't be so focused on what I'm eating, but being a non-meat eater has become a large part of my identity especially when it comes to educating my co-workers on the wonders of a strong vegetable based diet (typically after being teased by whatever carnivore treat has been brought in -chocolate bacon? really?). 

Can I still tote a veggie lifestyle if I start eating meat again? 

More importantly, are there other options out there for staying meat-free when vitamins/supplements aren't working? 


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