The Almost Vegetarian: Why I Found it Necessary to Start Eating Chicken Again

Some of you may know that 10 or so years ago, as per doctor’s orders, for my health, I became a vegetarian .

Though it started out purely for my health, after a while, it became more about how our live stock is treated and slaughtered and just generally that I’m very high empathy and the thought of an animal dieing for me to eat it, literally made me nauseous…

About 6 months ago, I found it necessary to start eating chicken. Again for my health, as per my doctor’s and nutritionist’s recommendations.

Due to my food allergies, I was not able to get enough protein in the way most vegetarians get their protein and that long term lack of protein (and probably other nutrients, as well) lead me to health problems, such as pre-diabetes and almost non-stop low blood sugar attacks.

It was very difficult to begin eating chicken again and I spent many days and nights agonizing over it, until one evening a very dear friend said to me, “Will you please, just for one year, eat 1 chicken breast per day for your health? At the end of one year, if you do not feel better and your health has not improved, stop eating it. Can you do this? If not for your health, if not for yourself, then for me, for just one year?”

My friend had also tried vegetarianism and found that it was not actually the best thing for her health and had also found it necessary to start eating chicken again, so I knew she really understood how I felt and where I was coming from.

How could I say no? I really could not. It’s true that if you don’t take care of yourself, you will not be able to take care of anyone else and I have a son and a husband to stay healthy for, as well as, family members that depend on me and friends that love me…. Surely, I could try eating chicken once per day for one year.

Before I became a vegetarian, chicken, ham, bacon and pan fried thin pork chops had always been my favorite. So, I dug out some old and new chicken recipes and started looking for ideas.

I’m not ready to try other meats yet but I’m sticking to my one year goal and since I love chicken, I don’t mind eating it every day.

I have to say that the first time I sat down with my husband to a roasted chicken, mashed potato and corn dinner (I know mashed potatoes and corn are frowned upon but that had been my favorite, so that was what I wanted to start with) I had the feeling that I was eating an “actual meal” for the first time since I had stopped eating meat.

I do try to change up the way I prepare it occasionally to make my husband and my nutritionist happy but so far, out of the various methods I have tried, I absolutely prefer my Braised Chicken Recipe, which you can find here:

lovely caramel brown braised chicken breast

The braised chicken is just so wonderful and it is great by itself, with a sauce or in soup!

Back to the protein aspect, my nutritionist recommended that I eat about 50 grams of protein per day.

Now that I’m eating chicken, I can easily reach that goal. Where as before, I was lucky to get 10 to 15 grams of protein per day.

According to my research, the average person is recommended to get 0.36 grams of protein per pound of their weight. That means that the average sedentary man should eat about 56 grams of protein per day and the average woman should eat about 46 grams per day.

But check with your doctor because the more active you are, the more protein you may need.

For example, a friend of mine that works out 1 to 2 hours per day, eats 125 to 150 grams of protein per day to meet her needs. That’s a LOT of chicken! Lol

I’m also a crazy soup lady, so you’ll probably find many soup recipes posted over the fall and winter months. Soup really is extremely easy to make, so don’t be afraid to make soups from scratch.

My husband was happy to start eating meat again. You might say he was an “accidental vegetarian” or “vegetarian by association”. Lol

Since I didn’t eat meat, he didn’t eat it either, which was extremely sweet and kind of but he missed it.

I will not deny that I’m enjoying the chicken but since I’m really only eating it as a means of getting enough protein, my husband calls me an “almost vegetarian”.

I’m very picky about the chicken and eggs that I buy and picky about how the chicken is prepped.

I try to get organic, all vegetarian fed chicken and eggs that are humanely raised and slaughtered.

I buy only a couple days worth of fresh chicken at a time because I can not realistically go to the grocery store every day but I also do not want a lot of raw chicken sitting in the refrigerator and I don’t like using frozen chicken but sometimes do.

Once I prep the chicken, I store the raw chicken in glass containers, that get cleaned in the dishwasher once the chicken is cooked.

I’m very careful while cleaning and prepping the chicken to make sure it is prepped in one area which is then disinfected with a kitchen disinfectant and boiling water.

The sink is also disinfected the same way.

I know! It’s a lot, maybe even a little excessive but I have a childcare background and still remember all the classes I had to take on safe food handling and how big of a “splash zone” they told us chicken has.

If you have any great chicken recipes or stories, I would love to read about it in the comments!


Published by sharietomlinson

I’m Sharie. Owner of Butterfly Bunny Studio and The Urban Duck. Mixed Media Watercolor Artist, Bunny & Disney Lover, Avid Gardener, Proud Mother to Josh, Bunny Momma to Princess Buttercup Bunny and Wifey to Jason. I am located in Columbia, Md but I’m a Harford County girl at heart! You can find me on Etsy at and on Instagram at @notjoshsmom Email me at

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