If you live in the United States, specifically states that have COVID-19 presence you know that there is a real shortage of grocery store meat. Many people (as in human nature) hoarded at the beginning of the outbreak. This caused a supply chain delay to stores. There will be a lag in fresh meats and other supplies because of hoarding behavior. With that said – what can we do instead to be healthy?
Reminder – please just buy what you would typically buy of any of these products. If you keep it to consistent buying there will always be enough supply for EVERYONE! Buying MORE than usual creates chain disruption.
Benefits of Meat
So before we go into what to do instead let’s look at why humans eat meat. Meat is a huge protein source as well as a strong source of fat-soluble vitamins, and B vitamins as well. Without meat, it is extremely difficult, and impossible for most people, to get all the amino acids (protein components) they need to thrive and not develop health issues. Meat is the only thing that provides complete sources of these amino acids.
Combinations of different plants eaten together may fulfill this need, possibly. This is a complex thing to try to get right and because many of our sources of plants are also not as rich as they used to be in these raw materials for our body, it is challenging to make this happen.
What can go wrong?
Vitamin deficiencies, protein deficiencies, and digestive issues can occur without receiving all of these types of amino acids and vitamins and minerals. Often B12, low stomach acid, and other amino acids become deficient. As you can see in this example the highest sources of food rich in B12 are all from animal sources (or fish sources).
I completely understand the right to choose meat or not, and with that choice comes the work to balance out those missing nutrients to keep our digestive system, as well as immunity working properly. But this blog post isn’t about that- but rather as meat-eaters who suddenly find themselves without meat, what can we do?
Step 1: Avoid processed foods
I talk about this A LOT on this blog. It’s the NUMBER ONE THING you can always do for your body at all times for all conditions and immunity. Not sure about processed food, what does that mean and need more info? Check out this post, or this post.
These foods are void of nutritional value for our body and are simply empty calories that do not nourish and often times damage our body systems. The best thing you can do is SHOP FRESH.
Step 2: Buy fresh fruits and vegetables
Although meat is hard to get (certain meats), fresh fruit and vegetables seem to be coming into stores without an issue. Choosing organic is always best as these do actually have a higher nutrient density than nonorganic, but at this point in time, choosing anything fresh is a good option.
Plants have a ton of healthy fiber, vitamins and minerals. They are also a great healthy carbohydrate source and should be eaten in plenty!
Step 3: Start looking at seeds and nuts
Seeds and nuts are great sources of protein, healthy fats and minerals. Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc which is great for immunity and healing. Almonds and other nuts (if you don’t have allergies) are great protein and healthy fat sources.
If you are looking for a shipping source, although there is a slight delay on typical delivery time, Thrive Market is a great place to get quality organic products. If you aren’t a member or would prefer not to start a membership at this time – you can check out these items on Amazon as well (see below).
Step 4: Consider alternative protein sourcing
You can buy protein sources like whey, as well as collagen powders. These are amino acids in a powder form. Now, this is not a form I would highly recommend OVER meat, however, if having to choose between not getting enough protein and amino acids vs getting something these are the way to go.
These powders are also great supplements to normal meat-eating. These are from animals so if you are ethically opposed these would not be for you. However, if you are a meat eater and can’t get the meat you are looking for, this is an option for you.
I have used both whey and collagen and supplement with collagen amino acids daily. My picks are below. Thrive Market also sells these products.
I use a serving of collagen daily in my coffee. I also have a strong source of amino acids from eggs, a protein at lunch and dinner. The best way to get the variety is to EAT the variety. Fish, to beef, to chicken, to turkey, and beyond. Mix it up as you can find it. If not, the powder is better than nothing.
Step 5: Look for vitamin boosting nutrients
Vitamins are also in short supply. My next suggestion is something similar in that it should not be the main source of nutrients, but a supplement in normal times. Using something like nutritional yeast will supply an enormous amount of B vitamins which are harder to get in plant material as well.
Also, consider a multivitamin powder. This might be more available than traditional pill forms. A nice solid probiotic with multiple strands is an additional piece to keep your digestion tip-top as you do the best with what you have! My recommendations are below.
Meat and whole foods are always our best source for nutrients. However, there are times when supplementing is necessary to stay in good health. Again, there is no need to buy more than one of these items. If we buy in our normal fashion we will continue to have these products available. Be safe, eat whole foods.
If you need personalized help I am also here to help. Sometimes we have special dietary needs that are tougher to navigate. I can help you sort out what is going on and get on the right path even during a difficult time. Let me know what you need.
** Simply Mindful Wellness is an amazon.com affiliate. That means I share products I love that are available to you, and if you choose to purchase them with my links I can earn a percentage of that sale.