I really have never been a big red meat consumer. Rather, I was very much familiarized with how to cook and prepare chicken, until a restaurant experience ruined that for me. Since that experience, I can’t even pass chicken in the grocery store. It really has become quite the issue for me. Which, when we talk about hormones in food, etc. really, it was a change that I needed to make and I actually feel much better than when I was consuming chicken. Since ridding of chicken, and really other similar products like turkey, I have been eating fish, tuna and flank steak. However, I have noticed a change in digestion and a shift in my preference to more eggs and fish rather than flank steak. Flank Steak definitely produces almost a hardened rock sitting my stomach more so than when I consume fish.
After a brief discussion with the coach, he has briefly educated me on how the enzymes change in the body, and my body quite possibly could be making this change on its own. So, this gained my interest to do a little more research to see what really he meant and how I could educate myself further in this subject.
There are three types of enzymes that your body runs on. The first being digestive enzymes, second, metabolic and finally, the food enzyme. Metabolic enzymes run the body. They exist throughout the body in the organs, the bones, the blood, and inside the cells themselves. These enzymes are instrumental in the growth of new cells and the maintenance of all tissue.
The other two enzymes, digestive and food, are the two that I really want to focus on, as they are the only two active within the digestive system (in the literal sense).
Digestive enzymes are created by our organs and secretions from the salivary glands, stomach, small intestine and pancreas. Granted, the digestive enzyme can be included with the metabolic enzyme but the digestive enzyme is the only one, of the two, that can be supplemented, which I why I pulled them apart.
Food enzymes are within the food that we eat and where this gets interesting. Food enzymes exist naturally in raw food. They also have the ability to be inactivated (denatured) when food is cooked in high temperatures (like red meat) and can often lead to the body unable to break down the food and digest it. For example: “If you eat a meal consisting of a salad, a steak and a baked potato, there are likely enough food enzymes contained in the salad to digest it (break it down so your body can use its nutrients). But, there are no extra enzymes available to help digest the steak or the baked potato. Because the steak and potato are cooked, there are no FOOD ENZYMES available to digest them, so our body must take over and internally create the needed amount of DIGESTIVE ENZYMES to handle the digestive task.”
Now, you probably are suggesting that I just include a salad for every meal, and I understand that, BUT there are other factors, such as, putting stress on the body to overwork the digestive enzymes and organs that cause the digestive process to slow down, that are harmful. 80% of the body’s function is used in the digestive process, if the body is using all of that to try and break down the red meat without it helping along with the natural food enzyme, accompanied by the natural stress and environment that the body is in, it is set for failure. However, adding a raw enzyme into the diet can aid the body in the breakdown of the food it is trying to digest.
I have a long history of destroying my metabolism through crash dieting, bingeing, over eating, etc. I also have a long history of digestive issues that have been accompanied by my bad eating. It has been a long process to help my body become comfortable to not go into starvation mode but feeding it regularly and often with good, nutrient dense foods, but I still have had a long lasting digestive issue. With learning more and more about my body, it just seems like a very natural thing to eliminate those things that cause more harm than good. Am I going to become this crazy advocate for not killing animals, etc. No. I do think, however, that we live in a society where meat is all around us, very accessible and some people choose not to educate themselves on their body and what it truly needs from them. I have spent the last year of trying to be intuitive to what my body needs, when it needs it and what I can best do to provide for it. I would encourage anyone, before they add, or remove, and thing from their body to research. Find out why your body does or does not react well to certain things.
So, some may cause this a crazy journey and label it Lactoo-ovo-pescatarian. I call it saving my body. It will not be happening overnight, as I have mentioned before, experimenting and figuring out what works best for my body is the key.