I constantly meet ex-drug users who tell me that they do everything to get healthy but feel worse by the day. I ask them to outline their post-drug lifestyle and they describe a commitment to yoga, meditation, massage and a healthy diet. However when I ask them to describe their ‘healthy’ diet I am always given the same picture: fruit and yoghurt for breakfast, salads and tofu sandwiches for lunch and dhal or stir-fry vegies for dinner. I ask them to outline their protein intake and I am told they derive their protein from yoghurt, tofu and dhal. Upon asking about animal protein they admit to eating fish twice a months, primarily derived from tin tuna. When I ask about red meat they cringe and tell me that red meat is bad for you.
Twenty years in Chinese Medicine have shown me that most drug users and ex-drug user are protein deficient. I’ve also noticed that every drug user wants to be vegetarian or vegan when giving up drugs. Having done this myself I consider it an instinctive response to cleanse from toxins acquired from a ‘dark and dirty’ drug lifestyle. We believe we are doing the right thing by rejecting meat, but do we?
I have come to the conclusion that effective drug repair requires plenty of protein. I’d love to suggest that we can derive the protein from the vegetable kingdom, but years of relapses and progressive decline in my own energy state forced me to realize that I couldn’t repair by relying entirely on yoghurt, tofu, nuts or occasional tins of tuna meat. I needed red meat. The more regular I consumed it the faster I regained in health and strength. Eventually I felt solid and grounded.
I still can’t be vegetarian and as I live a very busy and creative life I find myself needing protein three times a day: I have protein powder in my morning porridge; I have rice, vegies and red meat for lunch and I have rice and chicken or fresh fish for dinner, obviously with a glass (or two) of good wine. During extremely busy and demanding periods I consume red meat at lunch and dinner.
I’d love to be a vegetarian, but if I follow a vegan diet I can’t do the things I need to do. And believe me, over twenty-seven years of trials and errors I’ve tried absolutely everything in an attempt to become a ‘spiritually correct’ vegetarian. Every week I meet hundreds of people who are in the same boat as me. If you have done drugs make sure you are consuming sufficient amounts of protein otherwise you may never realize your dreams.