Vegan? I sure don’t want to be.
This past spring I started a journey I never saw coming, I decided to use food as a prescription for health.
In my early twenties I began having abdominal pain once a month that would last for a few hours to a few days and I would end up in the ER searching for answers. Every test they ran came back normal and healthy but clearly something was very wrong. I started to feel like I was being wrongly accused of being a hypochondriac or worse a “drug seeker.” Neither was true, and the more pain I was in the more alone I felt. In 2000 I finally found a doctor who would take the time to hear me and put me under the knife where he confirmed I had scare tissue on my abdomen, cysts on my ovaries, and my fallopian tubes were being choked. After the confirmation of Endometriois I was put on birth control to regulate my cycles, but the hormones caused other problems that made me uncomfortable.
Fireman and I got married in 2003 and we were told by my doctor that postponing pregnancy for 5 years of our marriage might mean that I may not be able to have children. I was heart broken that this scaring would lead to infertility that Fireman and I changed our plans and tried having kids. J was conceived right away and my pregnancy was without much to write about, except to say I was able to have a baby and the abdominal pain stayed away for that time.
L was again an easy conception and pregnancy, but 4 years after having her I was awoken one night (while Fireman was on duty) to horrible abdominal pain. I could not move and called my mom at 5 am to tell her I would be calling 911. She came over and assessed that what was happening was not life threatening and I should just ride it out with pain medicine. I didn’t get out of bed for 24 hours and I said I would do whatever it took to get my body healthy without hormones, pregnancy or another surgery.
I spent the next few days researching what other women had tried to “cure” themselves with and discovered the unanimous decision was to stay clear of animal protein. Therefore I stopped eating meat, dairy, eggs, cheese, and fish. I lasted for most of the summer eating like this, but grew increasingly lazy in my food choices. Bread became the central focus instead of veggies, fruit, and nuts. I hated cooking, loathed grocery shopping, and figuring out a new recipe was to much work. I got bored and that lead to bad food choices, but my pain was gone.
Around the beginning of winter I started craving home cooked meals from the crockpot but everything I found to cook had meat in it, so I started adding it back in. Here and there I added chicken, pork at Christmas, eggs for breakfast and my 1st cycle after adding the animal protein I was right back where I started from. The pain was intense and was coupled with night sweats. I couldn’t believe how fast my body reacted to the animal protein and I didn’t want to believe it but what else could be the cause?
I don’t want to live without meat, but eating it means that I am in pain 1 or 2 days every month, and that can’t happen as a mom. I need to get my act together, find a cook book that will help me with simple vegan dishes, get over the fact that I might be making 2 meals at dinner, and realize this is a new normal. It might take a while of adjustment with family meals, restaurants and date nights but I truly believe I am healthier without animal protein.
So we will see if my plan works and my meals start looking like this;
This post is now part of the Whole Lotta Love linkup