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I’m Eating Meat Again

I’ve started eating meat again.

Why do I feel as though I’m stuttering out a shameful confession? Why do I feel like I might be letting people down? Why does the mere thought of sharing this with you make me wriggle in my seat just a little?

I’m not exactly sure. I assume it’s got something to do with the meaning we as a society place on labels and identities and choices. I for one am guilty as charged in that department. For the few months that I was completely vegan in 2012, I can’t lie that the title I adorned myself with seemed attractive and gave me a sense of entitlement. I could slot into a society, jam with a tribe, raise my fist in the air in the name of The Minority. It was a place to belong.

Three years ago I changed my diet, which changed my state, which led to me down a path of overhauling my entire life. It was incredibly healing for me. I became more patient, more peaceful and more attentive to my body as I gave up meat, processed foods and binge drinking. (I eventually re-introduced seafood and the odd cheese-plate) I mean it when I say that I saw Life through different eyes; everything felt like a fresh start; most choices were vibrant ones; the payoffs – almost instantaneous.

So why then, would I go back on ‘my word’?

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It all started on New Years Day this year. A friend and I were driving back to the Gold Coast after a beautiful night celebrating the birth of a new year with friends (complete with vegan snackies-a-plenty), and I was shocked to hear myself blurt out, seemingly from nowhere:

I feel like a lamb burger.

Really Tara, a lamb burger? Said the voice in my head. You haven’t eaten meat in years! You could’ve at least considered chicken, or ham… but a lamb burger?

My body felt like it gave way to a rush of adrenaline, which quickly turned into a craving. I so badly wanted that burger in my hands, yet at the same time, I was simultaneously terrified of it. Shake-in-your-boots kinda terrified.

We pulled into a place that served grass-fed cuts on their menu, and upon learning about that, I was relieved; I felt a little comfort set in, in and amongst the guilt that was already pin balling around on the inside.

Ordering the burger was like having an outer body experience; I almost didn’t recognise my own voice, let alone the request that came out of my mouth. Normally, I’ll be getting amongst the veggie patties, the portobello ‘shrooms, the halloumi… But the lamb?

I barely knew what to do with it once it was sitting in front of me. My eyes darted around the restaurant. I distractingly pecked at my rosemary fries, trying at all costs to avoid the elephant on my plate, until finally, I straightened in my seat, took a breath, and gave my little burger a few moments of loved up, grateful Reiki, before picking it up, and nervously  taking a bite.

It was the most present meal I’ve ever experienced. The texture, the taste, the whole experience of it… surreal. No moment was taken for granted.

With a small amount left, and feeling satisfied, I pushed my plate to the side.

‘Okay. So I just ate a lamb burger’ I said to my friend.

Captain Obvious.

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A few months later, I’m woken at 4am by an urge to run my first 10km. So I wake, and I do; I run it. I feel strong and powerful – and quite surprisingly, agile – during my run, but when I return home, I feel energy literally drain from my body. Turns out I’ve also got my period. And as Glen prepares himself a perfectly seasoned scotch fillet for brunch, it turns out that I’ve also fostered a primal hunger for iron; for strength; for protein; for perfectly seasoned scotch fillet.

Glen, being totally aware of how conflicting this craving is to me, responds to my request of ‘just a little taste’ by carefully cutting a piece for me. He lifts up the fork to my mouth, like a daddy feeding his child would, and the second I tentatively bite in, relief floods my body. My shoulders lower. My eyes soften. Relief and delight.

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‘Yama’ is the first limb of yoga, which consists of five parts. The first of those on this ‘path to yoga’ is Ahimsa, which means: Do No Harm.

This played on my mind heavily as I began consciously and gratefully bringing meat back into my diet. ‘Yogis don’t eat meat’ was a mantra I heard on repeat within me, and to be honest, it was causing me a shit load of stress.

Until I decided that enough was enough. What good is the theory of Ahimsa if we’re berating ourselves all day and falling prey to the judgements that sound off with a boom inside our brains?

What good is Ahimsa if we can’t be compassionate with our choices?

What good is Ahimsa if we can’t heed the call of our bodies – whose wisdom is infinitely more truthful than that of our minds?

Yes, I am a yoga devotee, but I am also a fierce believer and advocate of self-love, and self love asks – first and foremost – that we be honest with ourselves.

Sometimes we need to come full circle to fully heal.

It was in that moment – the moment with me and my husband and a tired body and a mouthful of perfectly seasoned scotch fillet – that I decided to disassociate with those echoes of guilt and shame, and instead, practice gratitude and presence while I was eating.

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Before all this went down, I confessed to Belinda (in a mentoring session), with a shaky voice, my concerns that I might be a food addict. I didn’t have a food filter. That mechanism within us all that communicates when we’ve had enough? It seemed like mine was broken. What was I so desperately trying to fill with food? I was worried.

She looked at my energy and said ‘Tara… maybe you’re just hungry. Maybe you’re not truly full.’

So, I invested in Gabrielle Bernstein’s online workshop, Finally Full.

I read Marianne Williamson’s A Course in Weight Loss (a book on cultivating a spiritual relationship with food).

And I watched in synchronistic awe as my friend and mentor Mastin opened up about his own struggles with food.

And just as I was guided to these mentors, and insights, and resources, so too was I guided to include meat on my plate, once again.

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If there’s anything that I’ve learnt through creating and leading the Party Girls Guide to Peace, it’s this: So long as we’re attached to a self-created identity in this lifetime, we’re playing games with ourselves. We’re missing the point. We’re slaves to the ego.

Now, don’t get me wrong (because I can feel a few vegans potentially blowing steam right now) – if you’re passionate about something, have at it! Go nuts! Give it your all! But not at the expense of guilt, or significance, or old promises that you’re simply too terrified to tread back on.

If you’re a proud vegan, I take off my hat to you.
If you’re an impassioned paleo, kudos for finding what’s right for you.
If your a fruity fruitarian, God speed.

What I’d like to share with you here today – is that I am none of those things. I am a Tara who prefers to eat real food that’s preferably organic (though that’s certainly not essential). And that’s about all the labelling I’m willing to throw at my relationship to food.

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Few things in Life have effected me as positively as the practice of yoga. And yet still, the more I study it, the more I come to the conclusion that I will not follow anyone else’s yogic path. My yoga commitment is and always will be about me coming home to myself.

I choose to (respectfully) turn my back on such suggested ‘paths’ as:

  • Celibacy
  • Giving up the will to Desire
  • Respecting a guru more than I respect myself
  • Trusting someone else with my life and livelihood more that I trust myself

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So, can a yogini eat meat?

I believe that if she shows immense gratitude and love for what’s on her plate, and if she honours her body in a respectful way, and if she never takes her food for granted, then yes, no matter what the Scriptures say (and believe me – I appreciate the Scriptures!), I believe this yogini can.

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If you made it this far – thank you. I hope you received a little value from this post.

If you’d like to support this post, I think the best way to do that would be to share it with your friends and family, and of course, you’re welcome to comment below, but I will make this request: Kind comments only, please.

74 Responses to I’m Eating Meat Again

  1. Belinda March 21, 2014 at 5:58 pm #

    I was vegetarian for a really long time but needed to each chicken and fish to feel well. As soon as I introduced these foods back into my diet, I felt well.

    Good for you, sweetheart, for doing what YOU need.

    Also, it is easy these days to get hold of organic, well-treated animals (meat).

    xo

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Thank you Bella! I know, we’re so grateful. We found organic scotchies and the market and were so grateful and excited 🙂 Glen cooks meat with so much love and attention xxx

  2. Jenna March 21, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    I reconcile meat eating with ahimsa by taking it personally first. To be kind to myself I must honour waht my body needs to survive. Mine needs animal protein and fat. There’s no mistaking it – without it I’m lethargic, unable to finish my workouts and I get crankier more easily. Not to mention I always end up with health complications. Observing how to do it in the most peaceful, kind way like you talked about is important too. What you said about finding what works for you is so true. Listen to your body and what its after and you’ll never go wrong. Beautiful post lovely x

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      I agree re: Ahimsa Jen. Ahimsa is a beautiful, noble concept, I just don’t believe in being a martyr in seeing to it – know what I mean?

      Thank you as always for your love xx

      • Jenna March 21, 2014 at 10:04 pm #

        Oh yes! Martyrdom doesn’t seem full of love or compassion anyway x

  3. Zahne March 21, 2014 at 6:20 pm #

    I loved this post Tara! I was vegetarian for 3 years and vegan for about 6 months before a similar craving began to take place. I am so grateful for the years of vegetarianism, it helped me connect with my body in a way that wasn’t possible prior. But now I know that I need some meat to feel nourished and powerful in my active life. Good for you for putting it out there, I completely relate to that feeling of hesitation of ‘coming out’ after being veggie. Great work xoxo

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:03 pm #

      Me too! SO incredibly grateful for vegetarianism — it taught me exactly what my body needed at that time. And certainly healed so much of what I was struggling with when it came to food. My gratitude has only intensified x

  4. Renee Watt March 21, 2014 at 5:32 pm #

    Amazing!!! I totally get what your saying, we all need to pull those labels off and just let our true selves shine! And really, you admitting this just gives me hope and such relief that I don’t need to eat a certain way to justify how great I am! I tell you the intuition diet will be the next big thing and we will be the gurus! The stress we cause ourselves from food choices is so much worse than any food could ever be. I love you Tara Bliss you are the bomb! Thank you for being such a positive, inspiring person in my life. Your at the top of my gratitude list tonight xxxxx

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:06 pm #

      Oh YOU! Thank you beautiful girl x

  5. Becs :: Think Big Live Simply March 21, 2014 at 6:14 pm #

    Brave post beautiful and bravo for shining the light on a different take on self love – the dropping of labels! I’m doing a meditation teaching course at the moment and the phrase ‘I Am’ takes centre stage in it – I love that two words, ‘I Am’, can just feel like a complete sentence xx

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:05 pm #

      This comment is bloody delicious x

  6. Mandi March 21, 2014 at 7:23 pm #

    What a bizzare time to be reading this. My housemate just came home and said the same thing, well almost. You are amazing and it’s inspiring that you’re taking the time to really listen to your body. That is amazing. You are amazing!

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

      Holy synchro! Show this post to your housemate! 😉

  7. Jasmine March 21, 2014 at 7:43 pm #

    You’re awesome. You are just all kinds of awesome XO

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      I love your comments so much

  8. Kelle Howard-Dean March 21, 2014 at 7:51 pm #

    Thanks for keeping it real (as always)! Late last year my body started to tell me to eat vegetarian. A year ago I would have laughed at this possibility but as my senses were becoming repulsed by meat it seemed like the natural thing to do. So I decided that on 1 January I would become vegan, but as much as I resist it I’ve struggled to give up cheese.

    Now I guess I could consider even transitioning from a meat eater to a vegetarian is no mean feat but I can’t help feeling like I have failed. You’ve helped me see that I don’t need to be put in a box. I am not what I eat! And while ultimately I would like to give up dairy too (this disagrees with me more than the meat did) I will no longer beat myself up if I stray from my plant-based label!

    Much love xx

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      Yeah honey it’s all about that moment to moment approach I reckon 🙂 Whatever feels ‘healing’ – do that x

  9. Susana Frioni March 21, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Beautiful post babe. While I have not had much of a hang up on food/diet labels, I’ve definitely had to deal with sexuality labels (more so in the lgbt community believe it or not). Seems everyone ELSE is more comfortable with knowing which “box” you belong too.

    Anyway, whenever you want to enjoy some lamb and red wine, call me! I’ll have some funky tunes too so we can shake what mama’s gave us 😉

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:00 pm #

      You make me SMILE!

  10. Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:02 pm #

    Just want to say a big THANK YOU to everyone here. I’m not going to lie – I was expecting some rather nasty comments to this post. Thank you for your support x

  11. Elizabeth March 21, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Tara Love. YES — everything about this. Yes. I’ve struggled with this same kinda thing for a really really really long time. Not eating meat was super complicated in my head (and in my heart!) and..this may sound silly but in my instagram bio I wanted to have a title, I wanted to be able to have no in-betweens but outright “vegan” or “high carb low fat” .. A silly title on a silly bio instead of listening to what my body and family needed. And not that those diets are wrong or silly but putting so much weight in the “groups” we are a part of or the titles that we claim was damaging for my already tired mind. Anyways, loved this post, love you, love your heart and I consider myself so lucky to be able to read your words. Thank you for sharing.

  12. Jo Anderson March 21, 2014 at 8:23 pm #

    Holy S%#! balls babe this is an awesome post and I bet there are so many peeps out there who can identify with this so big love to you for putting it out there. I know I find such freedom in not defining how I eat.. some days when I’ve been shooting for my food blog all I want is green smoothies but other days I need me some meat with a side of meat. Its all about listening to your body and you hit the nail on the head .. being mindful and savoring what you’re actually eating.
    Geneen Roth writes amazing books on compulsive eating and she believes how we eat is the way we live our lives. Think about that… hmmmm… oh yes. Through my blog I encourage people to {share}{savor}{enjoy} and I believe its not so much about what we eat, but HOW we eat it that matters the most. If you take a piece of chocolate cake all gluteny and sugary and really sit with it, be grateful for it, savor it and enjoy it it’s a whole different experience then when you eat it, all of it and feel guilty the entire time or worse still watch TV, check facebook, read or anything else that distracts you from the experience. Thank you for this post, so open and honest and beautifully observed. Big love. xxx

  13. Karla March 21, 2014 at 7:29 pm #

    Tara…WOW

    I’ve been fighting a bit of an inner battle lately over what I ‘should’ be eating. When I have this vision in my head it’s exactly like you said, I dream of myself being in the minority and being one of those women that eats purely vegan/organic whole-foods picked from the backyard, makes recipes from scratch and then posts them on instagram. While that’s all well and good and I take my hat off to women who have a passion for that – it’s simply not me.
    Your post has given me a sense of relief. I realise now I have to make choices upon what’s best for my body and if that means eating meat every now and again then so fricken well be it! I eat quite healthy anyway and I should be grateful for what I do have on my plate as I always make an effort to ensure it’s wholesome and nutritious. It’s time to go easy on myself.

    Thank you lovely, your honesty is truly raw and beautiful
    Karla
    x

    • Tara March 21, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

      Oh Karla babe you are more than welcome. Guilt is the hardest to swallow, so let’s slide that bugger off our plates x

  14. Sarah / sharethel0ve March 21, 2014 at 8:47 pm #

    I remember you talking to me about this! Proud of you for sharing to all! Xo

  15. leah March 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

    Tara! Congratulations on your bravery. Cant say I relate to the labels etc, but I was vegetarian for 3 years but did eat seafood. I got to a time where I became unwell and my body just NEEDED red meat!!! I haven’t looked back. We need to listen to our bodies. Much love xxx

  16. Nicola March 21, 2014 at 9:00 pm #

    Thank you so much for being so open, honest and brave..
    As a yogini myself who eats meat, this is something that I really struggle with sometimes. One of my best friends is a fierce woman and a fierce vegan and I’ve actually stopped going out for dinner with her now because I find it…. hard (not sure on the right word there)… being out with her and having to listen to her go on and on and on and on about how being vegsn is the only way that we should be.
    I always leave the dinner feeling very guilty and very ‘wrong’. Not so empowering.
    As a very Vata dominant woman I find meat is one of the things that grounds me best, (along with lots of other hearty, warm food) so as much as I know that I am listening to my body and doing what feels best for it, I need to work on this a little more so that I can stand stronger in my own beliefs and what is right for me.
    You have inspired me SO MUCH by sharing your struggles so THANK YOU from the very bottom of my heart 🙂

    Namaste,
    Nicola xxxxx

  17. Jessie Kavanagh March 21, 2014 at 8:19 pm #

    Awesome awesome awesome. This post actually makes me pretty emotional. I am struggling with this exact thing at the moment.

    I’ve been a veggie for ages now and as much as I know that my body is craving meat every time I contemplate giving it what it wants I am riddled with guilt and even become anxious and tight in the chest thinking about it. I have made peace with eating meat again but can’t get past the judgement and failure factor. I am also so relieved to hear that someone has the same food hang ups as I do (the fear of having a food addiction is also one I share).

    Thanks for bearing all! It makes dealing through our own crap a hell of a lot easier knowing someone else is working through it xo.

  18. Rachel March 21, 2014 at 9:27 pm #

    I get it! The guilt, the weird identity-almost-crisis…

    I was vegetarian for eight years – until I wasn’t. Small cravings, small thoughts that turned into larger-than-life cravings and full blown glandular fever whilst I was slogging it out in the depths of winter in London and I just needed…meat.

    My body needed what it needed, and when I let go and followed it’s instruction things became so much easier, more natural.

    Love the post. Love the self-growth. Trust your instincts because they are spot on for what YOU need in your beautiful, miraculous life. x

  19. Buffy March 21, 2014 at 9:40 pm #

    Beauty, thank you for being you. Always! I love that you are ‘normal’ and seem to second guess yourself. You know the answer which is listen to your body, if you are doing this, then you can’t go wrong. Again, thank you for being true. Much love & light! Buff. Xxx

  20. Carlee March 21, 2014 at 9:56 pm #

    Beautiful Post Tara! I’m all for No labels, and not following someone else’s version of truth. Love that you put this out there 🙂 xxx

  21. Elise March 21, 2014 at 8:57 pm #

    Wow! I can not say how timely this post is. Thank you Tara. I have been a vego for 10 years and recently I have really been struggling with digestive issues, I’m also a nutritionist so I’ve been very down on myself as to why I can’t ‘fix’ what is wrong with my belly. I’ve been debating about introducing meat back in my diet to see how that makes me feel (I only just introduced fish in and that was a struggle). I have really really been struggling with this for weeks going back in forth in my mind and it has been a massive internal battle!!
    Thanks for making me realise that my ego is a big part of this struggle, along with my perceived vego identity. Thanks for being brave and sharing. Lovely to know there are many of us going through the same thing…and we are NOT failures xx

  22. Lala March 21, 2014 at 10:22 pm #

    This is beautiful 🙂 Thank you for sharing. My mother used to be yogini vegan and she became very ill, when she went to a Chinese medicine doctor he says to her ‘Your car break down, you buy new car, your house burn down, you buy new house, your body break down, you die!!’ Haha, she ran out and bought a a burger from the first street food burger van she saw. You’re story reminded me of this.
    Love and light, Lala x

  23. Meg March 21, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    So incredibly beautiful! Your honesty is truly breathtaking Tara. Every time I read this kind of piece from you I feel relieved. You often give me permission to BREATHE, to release my attachments, to LIVE! Power to you and carving your own path! <3 xxxx

  24. Kimberly March 22, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    Thank you Tara for your courage and your honesty. There is so much truth in your words. I appreciate you!

  25. Katie March 22, 2014 at 1:50 am #

    This is such a brave post and SO needed. A while back I read a post by Jess Lively about not putting labels on diets and it resonated so heavily with me. I am a vegetarian who is mostly vegan at home. Organic, whole, unprocessed foods are my jam, but sometimes I just want a pickle wrapped in ham.

    I only crave meet maybe 4 times a year and the biggest thing that stops me from just satisfying that craving is what other people might think or say. I feel eyes on me just waiting for me to slip so they can pounce with an I told you so. I know this is mostly my ego and not truth, but it’s still there.

    I think it’s really brave and a huge service to all of us that you wrote this. Maybe more of us will be comfortable being our true selves when it comes to food. It’s all a journey and I really appreciate you sharing yours.

  26. Kat @ BitchesWork.com March 22, 2014 at 7:49 am #

    Feeelllll you on this! When I was going through my yoga teacher training I just kept thinking, “Am a good yogi? Could I ever be a good yogi???” I don’t eat meat all the time, but sometimes this crazy urge comes up and I want to take a bite in that juicy steak or burger. Its a path though, and so much of it is about the intentions behind our actions. If we practice compassion and gratitude who’s to say we aren’t making progress?

  27. Sophia March 22, 2014 at 11:39 am #

    I love the way you expressed this Tara. I am doing my yoga teacher training right now and am coming up against some conflicted feelings – feelings I can blame on the ancient teachings or on other people’s judgements, but which are coming from inside – sprigs of guilt in the mind that confuse the innate intelligence of the body. I found myself choosing to eat alone the other day after class, afraid of being judged for the organic pork belly in my salad! Hilariously unnecessary. I recommend the book ‘The Yoga Of Eating’ by Charles Eisenstein – check it out if you haven’t already read it. Yoga is all about coming back to our own way of living a connected life. Love + Light x

  28. Jess March 22, 2014 at 1:26 pm #

    Hi Tara!

    I’ve been following you for a long while now and I felt a little embarrassed that I didn’t know you were vegetarian! I saw you as someone who just ate wholesome, nourishing food. I never saw you with the label of ‘vegetarian’. I saw you! I thought you might like to know that just as a different perspective on how big this felt, to how someone like me saw it.

    Jess
    x

  29. Jess March 22, 2014 at 2:13 pm #

    Great post Tara, so brave and honest. A REALLY great book on the subject is ‘Nourishing Wisdom’ it’s all about listening to your body first rather than your mind, it really is the best thing we can do for ourselves and of course eating meat respectfully and when needed.

    • Jessie March 10, 2017 at 4:08 pm #

      Insgtertine. It might even be convincing if all the sins you accuse the Left of were not also committed by the Right. Perhaps one day you will come to see that the basic problem is that few people of any ideology can be trusted with power. As it stands now, it's a great example of the pot calling the kettle black.

  30. Kellie March 22, 2014 at 4:29 pm #

    Love it. It must’ve taken a lot of courage to click ‘post’ on this blog entry, considering that you work in the health/wellness/spirituality industry and many, many of your followers are vegetarian or vegan. You remind me of a saying I recently came across – ‘speak the truth, even if your voice shakes’. You rock.

  31. Tania - Seed Of Freedom March 22, 2014 at 4:48 pm #

    Tara this is such a beautiful post. Your words speak straight to so many women’s hearts. I felt my heart jump out of my chest when I read this. It’s one of the battles I have been immersed in for as long as I can remember and one of the areas I am extremely passionate about helping women with. It’s coming back to the simplicity of it. Choosing love over fear for each individual and where we are at. Being true to ourselves in the present moment by choosing love – even if love means eating the big, fat sugar-laden chocolate browny..or meat. So much love to you Tara. I love your work so much babe xo

  32. Jemma March 22, 2014 at 5:08 pm #

    Tears are welling in my eyes as I read this post, as an on again off again vegetarian I have been challenged with the internal struggle going on between my love of animals and my body’s need to eat meat. Thank you for sharing xx

  33. Emily March 22, 2014 at 5:03 pm #

    Ahhh Tara, thank you for being so honest with this!!! I started eating meat again halfway through last year after 4 years vego. Honestly, my health has never been better. I came off all of the medication I was on, and I’m thriving. As a yogini myself, and someone who worked for a while with an animal rights organisation, this was a huge thing for me to process. I blamed myself, kept it secret for a while and felt so so awkward. Truth is though, my body responded so frigging well to that first grass fed steak, I can’t deny what I truly need. I won’t deny the truth my body tells me – I need iron (was aneamic despite supplementation) and I need protein.

    Thanks for sharing xx

  34. elle north March 22, 2014 at 9:47 pm #

    As a yoga teacher and practicing yogini, I think it’s 100% possible to eat meat and still be practicing yoga — especially when you’re listening to your body. I mean…I’d rather that anyone listen to their bodies than ignore it….that’s your intuition, your inner guide. Food is medicine — meat has so many nutrients in it. As a vegetarian, I actually really admire your ability to listen to those urges. While I don’t have those urges (yet) to eat meat, my acupuncturist has recommended it for me for years…and I just can’t seem to do it. I wish that I could. Tara, I honor your honestly, your openness, and your ability to share all of this with me and all of your readers. Three cheers for walking your own path. That’s what it’s all about.

  35. Michael X James March 23, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    There are things in this world that are more important than how you or I feel. There is not a single nutrient that you cannot get through a full vegan diet. Therefore eating animal products is not necessary. Having gratitude and love is great. But if you think this makes the enslavement and slaughter of beautiful creatures ok then you are fooling yourself

  36. Michael X James March 23, 2014 at 1:16 am #

    There are things in this world that are more important than how you or I feel. There is not a single nutrient that you cannot get through a full vegan diet. Therefore eating animal products is not necessary. Having gratitude and love is great. But if you think this makes the enslavement and slaughter of beautiful creatures ok then you are fooling yourself

  37. Christine March 23, 2014 at 3:57 am #

    Love this post!! I adore your words.. how you write with such wisdom, so much depth and soul. Seriously, each word you write always resonates with me and my own journey. I have struggled with the confines of being put in a box. You know, lacking the freedom to draw outside the lines when the urge calls me too. This post is just another reminder to listen to my intuition and let it guide me to my choices. I am not one thing or the other, but rather a multifaceted being. Keep on shining brightly Tara! x

  38. Clare Evans March 23, 2014 at 6:41 am #

    Well done Tara!!! Thank you for this post – as you give yourself permission to listen to your body and respond accordingly – with love, you’ve undoubtedly given others permission to do the same.

    If you had not followed your intuition and eaten the meat (or any other food) and subsequently suppressed emotions of deprivation and guilt, that could have been quite harmful to you. Yet you were so present when you ate that meat, you gave it reiki & blessings, you enjoyed it and feel good hormones were released – making it beneficial on so many more levels than just physical. If we are going to make a conscious choice to treat ourselves occasionally with food, then we are to do so without guilt and instead with full presence, love & joy – as you did.

    I to eat a plant based diet with a focus on nutrients per calorie and have never called myself vegan for the restrictions that apply. If you feel like lamb, eat lamb. Does it mean you are going to eat it every day? Maybe, maybe not. Meat may play a minimal role on our plates, and by intuitively including it you may very well lovingly provide your precious body with exactly what it needs for optimal health & your over all wellbeing.

    Much love to you, xx

  39. Jess March 23, 2014 at 9:49 am #

    I can relate 100%! I was a vegetarian who tried being vegan and raw for 3 years. I started to crave meat in this primal kind of way, but the guilt!! Oh! What would my vego friends think of me?! And I started to worry about the teasing from a friend of work who teased me about being vego, who might then start teasing me about eating meat now. Why the fuck should I care?!
    My first meat purchase took about 15 minutes, of walking back and forth with it back to the fridge, it was so bloody hard because of all the judgement I was worried about, I was worried about my ethics too. I stopped eating meat in the first place after watching one of those doco’s which showed the mistreatment of animals. Considering we can buy meat that isn’t pumped with antibiotics and hormones, and they grass feed them, that settled me down quite a bit. Anyways, so it turns out I was incredibly low in B12 according to my blood test, my naturopath hadn’t seen anyone so low!! It was the reason why I was so tired it turns out.

    So now I’m back to eating meat, my body absolutely loves me for it. I’m so glad I went down the vegetarian/raw/vegan path though, it introduced me to so many amazing healthy recipes. I really appreciate all of those blogs out there that are dedicated to those food philosophies, especially as they have the best desserts! haha We just need to respect everyones choices, I know I didn’t when I first became vego, I was on my high horse for a bit.

    Thank you so much for being so brave, you freakin’ kicked ass!

    Jess x

    ps – turns out I really missed bacon!

  40. Camilla March 23, 2014 at 9:56 am #

    Thank you so much for sharing your experience Tara. I can relate to this a lot. I spent 7 years as a vegetarian and for the first 3 years I felt fantastic. I was vibrant, energetic, never felt better. But I didn’t always feel that way. Towards the end there I started thinking about meat, craving it, imagining how good it might feel to eat it again. And I felt so guilty! Looking back now I can see that it was part habit (laziness?) and part stubbornness that kept me vegetarian for that long, because it certainly wasn’t what my body wanted. But I was attached to the label, it was a big part of who I was, who I was known as to my friends and family. I imagined there would be this social backlash if I started eating meat again. Funnily enough, no one close to me even batted an eyelid. I eat meat now and I feel like my body is getting what it needs again.

    We’re all on a spiritual journey but it’s important that we intuitively care for our bodies as well.

    This must have been such a hard topic to raise among a health and wellness community, a bit of an elephant-in-the-room kinda topic, so thank you. It just speaks to the important messages you continue to bring to the world xo

  41. Em March 24, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Tara, what a beautiful post! Thank you for your honesty and bravery, you beautiful soul. I follow a (mostly) paleo diet – but with the difference that I have finally accepted that if I want some cheese, I’ll have it (without feeling like I’ve failed the ‘box’). Life is for enjoying, embracing and loving – and placing myself, and/or others in a box to ‘affirm’ my lifestyle just doesn’t work for me.
    Also, love that you touched on appreciating and eating meat with gratitude instead of guilt. Myself and my family are pasture-fed beef producers, and my parents raised me to view and treat with utmost respect and love for the animals we rear. A little love and gratitude for what nourishes us does a lot for the soul.
    Peace to you, lovely. xxx

  42. Michaela March 24, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I was a vegetarian for 2.5 years until I had rather a similar experience – I just needed meat in my life again. I still have moments where I feel quite guilty because my compassion towards animals is still an essential part of my spirit and I do truly care about their plight. However, I’m also not going to not listen to my beautiful body when it is giving me messages. A beautiful post Tara, thank you 🙂

  43. Nicola March 25, 2014 at 8:01 pm #

    A little value? A lot of value more like it.

    I also am totally amazed at the synchronicity at play here because although I do not and never have identified with a particular ‘diet’, I have recently come face to face with my own emotional issues and relationship with food. It is something that I am beginning to tackle myself. There is obviously some far bigger powerful forces at play at the moment around this issue because I too saw Mastin’s post about his relationship with food the other week.

    Thank you for being so open and honest firstly with yourself and then with the world. Having trained as a health coach, I know how destructive placing labels on ourselves can be. The loyalty and obligation we feel to those labels can prevent us from truly tuning in and listening to our best guide; our bodies; and can eventually cause us to lose health instead of gain or maintain it. I am so grateful to you for being a great example of living your truth. It gives hope and permission to us all to do the same

    • Tara March 25, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      And I’m grateful that YOU’RE taught to teach bio-individuality! So, so important. So needed.

      Thank you for this beautiful and generous comment honey x

  44. Naomi Goodlet March 25, 2014 at 8:26 pm #

    Thanks so much for sharing. I started craving meat again when I was pregnant after 6 years vego. I went through the same struggles as you. I felt as though I was compromising my values and selling out or something. But like you, I made peace with it. I turned my sadness into gratitude.

    It’s been 2 years now and I eat it around once or twice a week. I used to believe that you couldn’t eat meat and be spiritual but now I know that my decision to go full circle has actually made me more spiritual than I thought possible. There’s nothing spiritual about being staunch, rigid or preachy! Body knows best!
    Sorry to blab on about me… I hope that it’s helpful for you to hear so many other similar stories. x

    • Tara March 25, 2014 at 8:51 pm #

      I 100% resonate honey. This all sounds very, very familiar to me. Thanks for being here xo

  45. Vanessa March 25, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

    Wow! That was really brave Tara- good on you. I often wonder where the full on food vibe has come from these days, there really is so much stigma and judgement like, ones almonds must be activated, organic is not enough and you must be eating raw and juicing from a cold pressed juicer, not a munching, crunching one!! You know what? Do what feels right for YOU and no one else. Im kinda lucky that i honestly dont crave meat- most people have a food they dont like and for me, its meat. I grew up with a vegetarian mother and it was just what we did- nothing special and today i think there is so much time and energy spent on trying to live up to some pretty full on diet restrictions that people neglect their true selves. If you eat a little sugar, meat or dont follow a raw diet, thats OK and if people want to judge ypu for that, then they probably really are not that nice to begin with. I think most people here are educated and compassionate enough to buy the RIGHT kinds of products- fair trade, organic or bio-dynamic. Whilst i do t eat meat, i will never condem someone for doing so- i just hope they eat an organic cut. Good on you Tara for being so honest x

  46. Jade March 26, 2014 at 7:46 pm #

    Oh Tara! I got immense value from this post, you gorgeous creature! Talk about divine timing! I gave up red meat years ago and was only eating chicken and fish. Just this week I made the decision to try following a paleo type diet in order to heal my gut which has copped a beating from candida. I discussed it with my naturopath and was surprised to find that it wasn’t all that hard for me to get my head around eating red meat again. I think my body needs it right now. Like you though, I’ll only eat the best quality meat that I can source – organic and grass fed. It certainly feels good to be honouring my body by providing it with what it needs to heal. Much love to you! xxx

  47. Line March 27, 2014 at 2:45 am #

    This post touched me deeply and I am SO grateful that you wrote it and stood up bravely for yourself! THANK YOU, Beautiful! <3
    Having battled more or less my whole life with issues as vegetarianism (grew up a fourth generation vegetarian and BROKE the line *gasp*), absolutism and hmmm…just about all kinds of different isms that exist, I just decided at one point not to wage war anymore; to lay down my wapons and make truce with my inner struggles. But for a person with a meticulously trained inner warrior, peace is not easy!
    But your post reminds me that peace IS possible – and that self-love is all about listening with compassion to your body and heart <3
    PS. as a very spiritual person having trouble relating to this earth plane, meat is foremost GROUNDING to me. Then…yummy and EASY (ooh, another word I used to shun!!) after requiring special diets my whole life…

  48. Kerry-Anne March 27, 2014 at 7:17 pm #

    Awesome post Tara. I think there are plenty of other yogini’s out there who will resonate completely with you. Love your honesty and truth telling. Very inspiring x

  49. Amy ~ OtherWiseLiving March 31, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I understand these feelings one hundred percent Tara!!

    I think it’s part of an evolving understanding that many humans are currently experiencing regarding their relationship and spiritual connection with food.

    I wrote about my own experience earlier this year in February. If you’re interested http://www.otherwiseliving.com/resources/im-coming-ethicarian/

    It’s so much more important to develop respect and mindfulness for food that to stick to a dogmatic approach and label that is fighting what your body needs at certain times in your life.

    Love and Light to you and thanks for sharing an important experience!
    xxx

  50. Amy ~ OtherWiseLiving March 31, 2014 at 11:44 am #

    I understand these feelings one hundred percent Tara!!

    I think it’s part of an evolving understanding that many humans are currently experiencing regarding their relationship and spiritual connection with food.

    I wrote about my own experience earlier this year in February. If you’re interested http://www.otherwiseliving.com/resources/im-coming-ethicarian/

    It’s so much more important to develop respect and mindfulness for food that to stick to a dogmatic approach and label that is fighting what your body needs at certain times in your life.

    Love and Light to you and thanks for sharing an important experience!
    xxx

  51. Angie @ Infinite Health & Wellness April 9, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    There is nothing wrong with listening to your body… You should read NOURISHING WISDOM by Marc David. He writes about how and why we eat. And that we don’t eat the same way our whole life. You may just be in a phase of life where you need animal protein.

    I recommend reading the book I suggested above, it will help you understand everything you are going through xx

  52. Vanessa May 2, 2014 at 4:21 pm #

    I believe in trusting our cravings. And I don’t mean “Oh it’s Friday night I want chocolate”. I think with a little practice it’s easy to recognise those (though harder to ignore!) but being aware of the ‘fake’ cravings lets you become aware of the real ones. Food can harm. Food can heal. I say your body truly craving something & you respecting & listening to your body is way more powerful & important than fitting into an ideology.

  53. Liz May 5, 2014 at 12:11 pm #

    This is so familiar to me! Everything. I have struggled with my decision to introduce animal products into my diet again, but I feel that it’s what’s right for me at this time. I still only eat bone broth and seafood because somehow eating the animal flesh is still something I can’t quite come to terms with, but I feel like this is a happy medium. Labels shmables!

  54. alexandra May 25, 2014 at 6:28 am #

    I’m not a vegan, or a yogi, but your message here spoke to me. You were brave to speak out and share this internal struggle, and we all appreciate that you did!

    • Tara May 25, 2014 at 6:28 am #

      Thank you darling

  55. Hoteluri Focsani June 19, 2014 at 8:48 am #

    Cazare Cluj Napoca

    This blog was… how do I say it? Relevant!!
    Finally I’ve found something which helped me.
    Thanks a lot!

  56. julie August 22, 2014 at 6:16 pm #

    Hi tara and readers
    that was very powerful for me,a yoga teacher, following the yogic path etc I left my vegetarian life behind a few months ago after seeking alternative support on my fertility journey at 42 years old. I felt tired, exhausted, hungry, empty – on all levels, not just my physical. I love how you have written this and inspired me past the guilt and shame. I have put a mental block on the voices, suffocated them for now, but gratitude of what my body is getting and the nurturing and goodness I am receiving from the planet. thanks again and i continue to bow to you! x

  57. Nadia October 16, 2014 at 2:46 pm #

    Loving this Tara – you rock!!

  58. Hope June 26, 2015 at 5:47 am #

    By all means Tara, follow your true path into the full experience of well-being. Even His Holiness the Dalai Lama eats meat. It’s not a sin, it’s a choice and like any choice when it’s accompanied by appreciation and enhances your life how can it be wrong? People who will judge you will judge you anyway. Just don’t judge yourself. Sounds like you’re embracing yourself as fully as you can. Love it!

  59. Singh July 21, 2015 at 12:10 am #

    Good to see that you are being honest about it and started eating meat after you had cravings for it, instead of making all sorts of excuses that some people make to justify meat eating again.

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