A family member of mine has gone vegan for Lent (40-day Catholic observance before Easter where participants usually abstain from doing or consuming something), and I decided to support them by reducing my animal protein consumption too. This is not a new attempt for me, as I have been vegan multiple times and still eat vegan meals. But this time I discovered something new.

This time around, I found myself having a hard time getting full and remained uneasy, so I increased how much I ate. There are many food sensitivities I still avoid so going vegan is more challenging for me than the average person, particularly when it comes to what is commonly deemed ‘vegan protein sources.’

As I continued to eat and realized I was not coming to a place of satiation and ease, I decided to start eating a small piece of meat at the end. It worked! I became satiated and at ease.

To all meat supporters, hold your horses before you jump to conclusions! I have eaten plenty of meals with higher meat content and still came to the same dilemma of not being truly satisfied and feeling like I ate nothing. This is not an uncommon struggle for people who are going through anti-candida and other low-carb diets.

What vegans argue is that plant-based proteins are more bio-available to our bodies than animal. What I experienced lead me to the conclusion that perhaps they are. It is well known that plant foods are more quickly digested than animal protein. Animal protein takes about 8 hours to digest. I think that when you mix animal protein with plants, you run the risk of blocking part of the digestion phase of plant foods that is occurring when you are actually eating the food.

This hints back to an old but still current food consumption model called Food Combining, which said only certain pairs of foods could go together in a meal for proper digestion to occur, and for fermentation of foods to be avoided. For instance, according to this model, meat should never be eaten with fruit. Fruit is the quickest digesting whole food that humans consume. Fruit has the potential to ferment/putrify if eaten with meat because it will not pass through the system at the normal faster pace it would if eaten alone. If something ferments in the system, it releases toxins, thus increasing the toxicity of the body and decreasing health.

There are several sources on the internet to learn more about Food Combining, and I encourage you to experiment with them to see if any of these rules work for you. There are times when I have eaten fruit and meat together and felt fine. Thus, find what works for you the individual.

This tactic of eating meat at the end has also noticeably reduced my animal protein consumption while supporting my family member. There is much research out now saying that a mainly plant-based diet is linked to longevity. So even if you do not want to go vegan, consider being 80% plant-based, and adding a significantly smaller than your previous normal portions of animal protein at the end.