It was a random monday night sometime back in the end of February. I had this weird craving for weeks. Finally, I called up bb and said “We are going out for dinner. And I need a burger.” I think he was pretty stunned but since he was not going to be dragged to yet another vegan/vegetarian/raw place he was not about to argue.
We went to Bareburger located in our NYC hood – they serve all organic, grass-fed, hormone free meats. We have been there once before, sometimes last year. I’m pretty sure I got a veggie burger. But this time I knew I was either getting bison or elk.
I really love that on all the tables they provide nutritional info on each of their meats as well as the farm’s they are sourced from.
I got the classic burger and went with 91% lean bison meat sans bun in a lettuce wrap with extra pickles and spicy ketchup! Plus they have stone ground mustard. They also have a gluten – free bun option.
It. Hit. The. Spot. Let me tell you. It was classic and simple, plus the high quality meat was really juicy and tender. The lettuce wrap is damn messy, but luckily I do not mind licking spicy ketchup and mustard off my fingers.
This craving was going on for weeks because I started researching my health problems and found that some vegetarians, or manly vegetarian like myself, actually benefited from adding lean beef back into their diets, especially women. I have never been a big meat eater, especially red meat. My mom doesn’t have a taste for it either, so I never ate a lot of it growing up. Steak is not my thing. When I do cook meat, bb has to take over. I let him because I have absolutely no idea what I am doing.
Last week we hunted some ground bison down in Whole Foods as well. For the same price as one burger out we got 1 lb of organic bison at Whole Foods – which equals 4 – 4 oz burgers. We served it up with lettuce wrap style with roasted brussel sprouts and potatoes. And what is a burger with out pickles??
Another great burger and this one made at home! If I am going to eat meat again – this is how I am going to do it. Lean and healthy.
The burger craving I was having for weeks was because I as doing a fair amount of research for a few weeks to help me make this decision.
What are the health benefits of lean red meat?
- It is a animal protein so meat is a complete source of all nine essential amino acids, meaning those amino acids your body cannot make itself but are necessary for the body to do work
- High protein, low calorie – This makes is a very nutrient dense food, which is good for weight loss and weight management
- High in iron – this is especially important for women and the iron in red meat helps the body absorb the non-heme iron in vegetables
- High in B vitamins, especially B12 which many vegetarians suffer deficiency. B vitamins are important for metabolism and therefore help with energy levels.
- Good source of healthy fats like Omega-3′s which help protect the health of your heart and brain
Why grass-fed meat is better?
- Less fat and cholesterol - animals are not being fed high fat food, so they themselves are healthier and less fatty
- No antibiotics or hormones – this plus the high fat and cholesterol in the grain-fed, factory cattle is probably the most likely reason meat gets a bad rap for increasing risk in cancer and other health problems
- The grass-fed farms also treat the cattle more humanely and the animals lead a more natural life
- Taste – the meat is more flavorful and I think cooks up more tender and juicy.
Why I am loving bison/buffalo meat?
- Buffalo are not raised on factory farms so no added hormones, preservatives, msg, antibiotic, etc
- The Mayo Clinic actually says research has shown bison can help people, not harm, with high cholesterol because of its good fatty acid profile and ratio of higher omega 3′s to other fats
- It is naturally lean – about 90/10
- 1 serving of ground bison has about 175 calories, 25g protein, 8 grams of fat
Let me assure you, you will not see steaks and burgers popping up on here everyday now. I am still maintaining my veggie heavy, mainly plant-based diet because this is what I enjoy. Give me a good macrobiotic bowl any day and you will see a happy girl. But I felt better this time last year when I did eat a bit more animal products. And it was this time last year that I started buying our milk and eggs at the farmer’s market as well. I’m thinking lean, grass-fed meat will probably be a 2-4 time a month thing.
I have read of vegetarians having more energy and resolved bowel issues from re-introducing some meat occasionally. As usual, I believe everything is good in moderation. I will keep you updated any changes.
What are your thoughts on eating meat?? I do still believe our diets should be mainly plant-based because it is the most naturally, minimally processed form of food. Plus veggies and grains just taste so good!
Have you ever transitioned back to meat? In college I tried being more strictly vegetarian once, recently I’ve been more pescatarian. But before the burger in Feb, I honestly cannot remember the last time I had any sort of meat.