It's been a little over 18 months since I started my vegan journey. If you read through my first post then you have a sense of what being the only one of four that follows the same diet. But today I want to talk about how I got here.
After several years of not loving being a meat eater I knew that I was on the verge of change. But you know how you can feel change coming but try to ignore it? Denial isn't just a river in Egypt...lol. Yeah, well the universe had other ideas.
Maybe five years ago I began having peri-menopause symptoms. About four years ago those symptoms decided to be even more present...and bothersome...and more constant. Add to that I was dealing with (and still am) some joint pain and you are put in a position of doing something. My something was to play with my food intake.
First I gave up all processed foods and white sugar. That helped a lot. Second I cut back on (but didn't quit) caffeine which also had an impact. I bought a bread maker and started making all our baked goods from scratch and with American grown wheat. We made eating foods that are green a priority and juiced quite frequently. Eventually all our meals were made from scratch (time consuming) and everybody felt better in some way
Along the way a friend going through the same thing talked about Maca root and how that had helped her...so I gave that a try. Worked like a charm! (please don't run out and try anything without consulting your physician) Actually worked for about 2 full years. No hot flashes or night sweats...was a beautiful thing. Until it wasn't.
In between here somewhere I found a new doctor. An integrative doctor. They take your entire lifestyle into consideration and prescription drugs are not the first line of defense...which is exactly what I wanted. No drugs but a lifestyle modification.
So I went vegan. All at once.
And a funny thing happened. Most of my symptoms either disappeared or dramatically reduced.
It took about 6-8 months to really grasp the differences. First it was small things like waking up easier and falling asleep quicker. Then it was no night sweats (which had come back with a vengeance when my body didn't like the maca anymore). Hot flashes quit. ( yay!)
Joint pain and joint flaring was still an issue. And sometime debilitating. As an example my shoulder would flare and I wouldn't be able to lift an arm for the better part of a day without yelling in pain. So my new doc suggested we do some food elimination. So in addition to vegan I went gluten free for about 6 months.
Let's just say this was not my favorite time. Try not eating any animal products...no meat, dairy, cheese, yogurt, etc. then add to that anything with wheat or flour in it. Have you looked at ingredient list lately? Gluten is in EVERYTHING! No pasta, no bread, no crackers, bagels...you get the picture. It's a whole new diet and one that took quite a bit of research.
At the end I didn't feel much different without the gluten. I have added a full regimen of vitamins. You'd be surprised how many things your body is missing. Make sure your doc does thorough blood testing! I feel like a different person.
Maybe you want a change..in how you feel...in your well being? Try some food experimentation...you never know how much better you can feel until you try it!
Until next time,