Health & Wellness

After Being A Vegetarian For 7 Years I Started Eating Meat Again & Here’s What Happened

My personal journey from carnivore, to vegetarian, to carnivore again
Filed Under > Everyday

I stopped being a vegetarian, Waiting on Martha

When I chose to stop being a vegetarian after seven years, the amount of questions and messages I received was intense.  Everyone wanted to know why? How did I feel? Was this just a blip or a permanent switch?  I knew I wanted to answer all of those questions, but not until I had time to actually live in my decision and understand the ramifications of it all.  So seven months later, here I am ready to chat.

First things first; why did I stop eating meat?  Let me say, it’s a very personal decision and nothing is worse (or more annoying) than anyone from either side of the table trying to make you feel guilty about eating meat or not eating meat.  For me it was an ethical decision and being completely grossed out by factory farms.  I did my research.  I watched the documentaries, I read the books, I talked to doctors.  That combined with the fact that I had also recently gotten a dog I love more than most humans made the decision to become a vegetarian an easy one.  

Surprisingly, giving up meat was the easiest thing I had ever done.  I never “cheated” nor cared to cheat, I never felt deprived, tired, or weak from not eating meat.  In fact I felt better than ever; at least for the first four-five years.  And then something shifted, and my digestive/gut issues and food sensitivities started.  When I became a vegetarian I promised myself I would listen to my body and adjust accordingly, and something at this time needed adjusting. 

I did every cleanse, intolerance test, celiac test, and even a colonoscopy and endoscopy procedure to try to pin point exactly what was causing these issues.  But every time I thought I had it figured out, something else would trigger my gut.  It was beyond frustrating, especially for someone who loves food so much.  To throw another twist into the scenario, it was also during this time that I began to desire meat again; specifically chicken.  But the cravings weren’t my tipping point, my trip to London was.

What happened in London you ask? I got sick.  Violently sick after dinner one night and was out of commission for two whole days.  Holed up in my hotel room, missing spending time in my favorite city in the world, because something I ate caused some sort of unknown reaction.  I was pissed!  So it was on the plane ride home that I decided I’m done.  And the minute we landed, I had the hubs pull into McDonalds and I ordered every single thing on the menu.  Yes, my first meal after being a vegetarian for 7 years was McDonalds.  

So did I get sick? That’s what you’re wondering right? I mean we’ve all heard the horror stories of what happens to your body when your begin eating meat again after not eating it for so long.  But the truth is I didn’t get sick.  I didn’t get sick from McDonalds, or Wendys, Taco Bell, Burger King, Chick-fil-a, Shake Shack, Five Guys, or any of those places…yes I went on a bit of a fast food bender.  I actually didn’t get sick from re-introducing meat back into my system at all until I had a ribeye steak a few weeks later.  Which if I’m being fair could have just as easily been from the massive amount of butter I put on it and not the steak itself.

Having meat back on the menu has actually done the opposite and its helped my gut/digestive issues.  My stomach feels more stable than ever.  But let’s not ring the dinner bell for being a carnivore just yet.  While my gut is better, there are other areas that I personally feel are worse.

One, I’m the heaviest I’ve ever been and my eating habits are the worst they’ve ever been.  You see when you don’t eat meat there aren’t a lot of fast food options to choose from; being a vegetarian basically removes that garbage from your brain completely.  But now, I feel like I’ve reverted to eating like I did in college but without the 21 year old metabolism.  

Two, I’m on the sluggish side.  Meat makes me tired.  Maybe not the meat itself, but definitely the majority of meals I seem to eat now make me feel a bit blah.  When I was a vegetarian I ate so many fruits and vegetables, and everything was just naturally on the fresh and lighter side.  As a vegetarian, food was fuel for my body not comfort after a bad day.  

Three, my complexion has dulled and I feel a bit more anxious.  This is a no brainer; veggies and fruits make your skin shine so it’s no surprise mine feels a little dull.  As far as the anxiety goes there are numerous studies and books out there about how animals pass their hormones and feelings on to us and it’s something I completely believe and can honestly feel.  I’ll leave the science of all that to the scientist, but I do urge that if you have anxiety to look into the connection between what we eat and how we feel.

Lastly, I can feel the carnivore guilt starting to creep back in.  At first I didn’t feel it at all; I was literally on a meat bender.  Now, I’m imagining the pig I love so much and questioning if I really want that BLT.  

So where does that leave me?  Actually in a good place.  I’m coming out of my all-meat-everything-haze and remembering how much I loved and respected my connection with food and what it does for my body.  I’m not living on fast food, and I’m focusing on what is healthiest for me.  I actually recently took an eye-opening intolerance test, which I’ll share with you next week, that has really helped pin point a few sensitivity issues I wouldn’t have figured out on my own.  Will I go back to being a vegetarian?  It wouldn’t surprise me.  Right now I’m still trying to find the right balance for my body. Truly, MKR

Featured image, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

5 Healthy Meal Delivery Systems for Every Eater

Meals & Subscriptions that Will Fit your Personal Lifestyle
Filed Under > Everyday

I’ve pretty much tried it all when it comes to food delivery meals.  And that includes the ones you cook yourself, the ones you have to simply heat up, and the ones that arrive at your doorstep ready-to-eat. We find ourselves in the day and age where delivery subscription services no longer market to only the cooking-challenged; they include plans that can fit perfectly into all of our different, busy lifestyles. 

By now you know how much I enjoy cooking.  So I’m not looking to replace cooking, though I am always interested in ways to supplement our weekly meals with healthy, creative options.  And honestly, I don’t have the time nor energy to deal with breakfast and lunch if I’m cooking dinner that night.  So I’ll be the one to tell you that I see the benefits in all of the different plans out there; they deliver—quite literally—the meals that you and your family may need at that time.  

Ladies, if you’re struggling to get your husbands and boyfriends to eat healthier, there’s a great meal service for you.  My husband really loves Freshly, and as I note below, it’s one of the companies that send you meals that are ready in two minutes that are really low in carbs and gluten.  They also happen to be tasty—and Mr.-approved. 

And if you’re interested in ready-to-eat meals with a full wellness regimen, I have to recommend Sakara to you. The Sakara Life meals are an investment, but totally worth it in my opinion when you take note of how much you’re spending on supplements, beauty waters and more if that’s your kind of thing.  This service includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, detox teas, morning waters and night waters…and you save when you subscribe.  

Find more of my tried and tested suggestions for healthy meal delivery services below.  Have you tried and of these options?  Which plans work for you and yours?  Truly, MKR

P.S. Speaking of food delivery-esq deals, I’m also a huge fan of Daily Harvest for healthy smoothies, Butcher Box for meat delivery every two months, and of course Farmer’s Dog, which is fresh food for Fido!  xo 



5-Day Organic Meal Delivery, Ready to Eat

Sakara Life, $450

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Sakara Life
Perfect for: The wellness junkie on the go

As I mentioned above, this is your whole wellness kit: breakfast, lunch, dinner, detox teas, morning waters and night waters.  Good news is that you save $30/week when you subscribe.  The Sakara Life girls have really created more of a lifestyle than a meal delivery service with this one, and I’m hooked for all of the times I’m needing nutrients on the go. 

3 Meals per Week for 2, Recipes & Ingredients

Green Chef, $80.94

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Green Chef
Perfect for: Those wanting all organic, specific diet-planned meals

I’ve done Green Chef for a year or two now, and I’ve always been so impressed with the fresh, organic ingredients in the box. Though you do have to pay $9 shipping each time, you can customize the creative meal plans to fit your diet: paleo, gluten-free, omnivore, carnivore, etc.  It’s one of the first times I’ve found decent vegan-friendly dinner recipes.  The meals can be relatively easy to make, with some lessons in simultaneous steps. 

4 Meals per Week for 2, Pre-Prepared

Freshly, $49.99

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Perfect for: Those interested in almost instant healthier weeknight meals

As I mentioned above, Freshly is a great option for straight-forward, almost-ready-to-eat food.  No cooking is required, besides heating up a meal or two.  Shipping is free, and it’s possible to opt only for breakfast, or lunch, instead of getting only dinners, etc.  This is a favorite plan of ours because we can do breakfast this way, and we can have a home-cooked meal for dinner.  I’ve found it to be hugely successful with the Mr. when we’re trying to eat a bit healthier, without all of the fussy weird recipes that he’d turn his nose up to. 


3 Meals per Week for 2, Recipes & Ingredients

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon, $61.50

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Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Perfect for: Those wanting easy, Martha-approved recipes

Let’s just say that these menu options are a lot more classic, and they’re all Martha-approved recipes. You won’t be getting anything too crazy to cook in your boxes, and the recipes don’t feel as overwhelming as some of the other plans.  Less ingredients, free weekly delivery and Martha’s seal of approval make this company one of my favorites of the bunch. 


3 Meals Per Week for 2, Recipes & Ingredients

HelloFresh, $59.94

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Perfect for: Those wanting to cook reliably good meals; nothing too funky or out-there

I always consider HelloFresh as the crowd-pleaser among the home delivery meals; you’ll cook low-difficulty things like chicken pineapple quesadillas, strip steak bernaise, sriracha turkey burgers and more.  And you’re only paying $9.99 per meal for the classic, rather than $11.99 on average for the other options. Shipping is always free. 

Featured image, Rustic White for Waiting on Martha

9 Easy Steps to Create An At Home Vanity

Vanity Styling Ideas that Help You Create the Perfect Personal Space
Filed Under > Everyday

Vanity Table Essentials, Waiting On MarthaMarble Vanity TableVanity Essentials, Waiting On MarthaBeauty Essentials, Waiting On MarthaEssential Oils, Waiting On Martha Marble Vanity Table Vanity Essentials, Waiting On Martha

One of the biggest issues with my home is functionality and space.  It just wasn’t built with enough great kitchen, closet or bathroom functionality for my liking.  Oh how I dreamed of a big marble vanity table full of all my candles, crystals, and beauty products. A place where I could sit and welcome the day rather than stand and feel rushed to get out the door. So after years of complaining I finally decided to to create that space I craved with an easy vanity.  

The great news is you don’t need a lot of actual space to create a vanity, and it doesn’t even need to be in your bathroom.  After playing around with the setup my newly created vanity is actually in an unused bedroom.  

I found an great sized marble vanity table I already owned, perfect for me to apply makeup, give myself an at-home mani, meditate and journal.  Proof that you don’t need the perfect piece of furniture or a huge amount of counter space to create your own vanity. 

The key, though is to have a few pieces, like trays and baskets, that can corral items and keep things in order.  And if you’re creating a space that’s semi-temporary or will be changed frequently, details like a standing mirror rather than one on a wall, framed art propped against the wall, picture frames of loved ones, and fresh flowers can give it that personal touch without getting too permanent. 

Below I’m breaking down nine easy vanity styling ideas and essentials.  I think you’ll find that so many of the items that make a beautiful vanity are super versatile, affordable and can always grow and evolve with your routine!  What’s your must-have item on your vanity?  How do you enjoy a little moment to yourself in the morning?  Truly, MKR

P.S. Find some of our favorite vessels and vases that would look wonderful on your vanity! xo 



Gemini 6" Oval Mirror

Bed Bath & Beyond, $24

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Having a mirror is a no-brainer; you need a good one here!  If you’re creating a space that may evolve and change, or just prefer a closer look, I’d suggest a stand mirror like this one.  Sometimes I end up moving my setup to another corner in my room or bathroom, so it’s nice to have a mirror that can easily follow suit. 

Gone Wild

Etsy, $20

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Setting up art and picture frames with photos of loved ones can instantly make the space feel like it’s your own. This personal touch helps create a more special and sacred feeling when you’re having your alone time. 

9" Peonies in Tapered Vase, Faux

One Kings Lane, $89

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When have flowers ever been a bad idea?!  But seriously, I love the idea of having fresh blooms, or even faux, around to keep things feeling light, fresh and inspiring.  Flowers make me happy, and they are very fitting in the space that I have created just for me, myself and I! 

Rattan Square Tray Basket

Wayfair, $60.99

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Another must-have for your vanity is a tray, or two.  Trays easily and effortlessly corral everything and keep things looking tidy.  This is especially important with beauty products and random trinkets, candles, crystals, etc.  They have a way of making everything look in place. 

Mint Julep "The Best" Cup

Waiting on Martha Home, $35

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Having vessels like mint julep cups, vases and candle glasses after they’re done burning to serve as holders for makeup brushes and other necessities is important.  The added height helps create a balanced vignette, too. 

Woodlot "Recharge" Coconut Wax Candle

Waiting on Martha Home, $26

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I don’t know about you, but having candles lit always soothes and recharges me.  I love keeping candles, always non-toxic, at my vanity for the wonderful fragrance too.  

The Five Minute Journal

Amazon, $22.95

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As I mentioned above, I love to carve out time in my mornings for quiet time, and that doesn’t just mean for my makeup and skincare routine.  I use this time to journal, meditate and read my devotional.  And being able to do all of this in a space I love, that’s just for me, makes it even more enjoyable. 

Young Living Essential Oils

The Well Code, $160

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If you’ve been reading the Blog for some time then you’d know that I am in deep with essential oils.  In fact it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that along with myself every WOM team member is in deep with EO’s and they’ve done nothing short of change all of our lives. No joke, change lives!  Anyway, with essential oils being such a large part of my daily routine you’ll find a diffuser on my vanity along with my morning and evening oils of Peppermint, Lavender, Stress Away, Abundance, Joy, Peace & Calming and Breathe Again.

Marble Top Vanity/Bar

West Elm Marble Counter Table, $699

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If you remember my old WOM offices then this bar/vanity will look familiar to you…it was our coffee bar.  But I’ve found its the absolute perfect vanity if you don’t have an actual built in vanity for your home.  And just as I did, when it’s done being used as a vanity it can easily go back to being a bar, island, or desk.

Photography, Kathryn McCrary for Waiting on Martha

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