I’m Still Here

Well, it’s been quite some time, hasn’t it? I’ve been meaning to write for a long time now, and even have several half-written posts. I’m not going to publish them at this time because I’m not even sure if they’re still relevant. I don’t have much time to update right now, but I’ll give a quick rundown of the most recent happenings.

We went to upstate New York for a week – we just arrived home on Tuesday afternoon. I had an amazing time. I can’t even begin to explain all the fun that was had! I got to spend lots of time with a very special friend and I saw several others as well. I made new friends and caught up with some of Ryan’s extended family. We visited a beautiful home that made me feel as if I was seeing one of my lifelong dreams come to real, tangible life. We stayed out late, slept too little, and laughed so much. It was very difficult to leave! 

This past week, I’ve eaten bacon for breakfast several times. I’ve also had quite a few San Pellegrinos, Perriers, and Crystal Geyser Limes (in other words, highly carbonated waters). I allowed myself to lightly butter a couple pieces of toast over the week and I made some pizzas with fresh mozzarella on Tuesday for our friends who are here from Texas. Last night, I ate enchiladas rancheras with carnitas (I scraped off all the cheese). Do you see where I’m headed? I went to bed at 10pm last night, and at 12am, I awoke to a strangely familiar, terribly uncomfortable feeling. Within moments, I knew what it was: a gallbladder attack. I got up and took some medicine (I avoid medicine at all costs, but gallbladder attacks are worse than childbirth and therefore constitute the use of medicine) and tried to drink some water. Unfortunately, the water made me feel nauseated almost immediately. I went back to bed and Ryan prayed for me. I read somewhere that it’s best to lay on your left side when experiencing an attack, so I did. I continued to pray and tried my best to relax. The attack lasted about an hour – I realized it was over when I noticed I’d been dozing off. Honestly, friends, that was a miracle because both of my major attacks lasted hours and this one felt just as painful. I promised myself that I’d seriously research an even more rigid change in diet in the morning. I fell back asleep around 1am and was grateful to wake up at 7am without any discomfort.

I’ve been researching a lot this morning, but basically, it turns out that one of the only ways to avoid more gallbladder complications (that is, instead of having surgery), is to avoid all animal fats and protiens. They are the absolute worst offenders. As I searched the internet, I found that the only diet which strictly excludes these things is a vegan diet. *this is where my mouth drops open in disbelief* In addition to this, I have been reading a bit about gluten and my blood type, type O, is general very intolerant to gluten. I find this to be true because when I eat bread and pasta (and cereal and any other wheat-based food) I almost always experience abdominal discomfort and indigestion.

Add this to my avoidance of refined sugar and what do you have? A vegan-eating, sugar-free, gluten-free diet. This is very overwhelming for me but I cannot deny the fact that I will be considerably healthier. I have researched ways to ensure that I will be getting the right amount of vitamins, protein, and all that. Basically, it comes down to this: I need to eat foods in their purest forms. I can have fresh fruits, vegetables, legumes, and nuts. I can have rice (I believe), quinoa, and several other grains that are gluten-free. I can have honey, syrup, molasses, and several other sweeteners. I can drink lots of water (which is better than anything else anyway) and I can still have a limited amount of vegetable oils.

I am not sure how this will look for me in the coming weeks. I’m attempting to reduce my grocery bill, and I think my diet changes may help because I find that I spend the most money on processed foods and meat, dairy, and eggs. I will probably still buy some of these things for Ryan (definitely meat) but not as often and not in large quantities. I think I will buy a special cookbook as well. We’ll see!

I’ll keep you all updated on how it goes. I’m blessed that my aforementioned dear friend has somewhat paved the way in terms of gluten-free eating, and I’m also grateful that the blog titled My Year Without exists. It may be hard to find examples of vegan diets that don’t include all of the philosophical reasons for refusing to eat animal byproducts, but I’m going to try!!

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4 Comments

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4 responses to “I’m Still Here

  1. I was vegetarian (not vegan, couldn’t give up the cheese and eggs) for 5 years. I think Jake would probably keel over if I went back to my meatless ways 😉 But I did love it!

    I wanted to tell you that yes, rice is gluten free!

    This is the crockpot blog I told you about, although not vegan it’s gluten free. She does have a great beans and rice recipe.

  2. Worse than childbirth! That must be agony! My mom had her gallbladder removed when she was in her twenties, and I wonder if a special diet would’ve helped her. I hope you feel better soon!

    Also, thanks for the comment on my homeschooling post. I have thought about unschooling but haven’t done enough research to make any decisions. My main concern is that we are in a moderately strict state when it comes to homeschool regulations, and if Suzi happened to not learn something they expected her to know, it could cause problems. If we could find the best of both worlds (as I think you mentioned, in purchasing curriculum just to be sure you’re covering everything correctly) I think it might be an option. I think if you show a child she can learn constantly and not just during a special “learning time” she will continue to seek out learning in everyday activities as she gets older.

  3. This is a site I was using when John and I stopped eating meat (not for any reason other than health/weight loss). There are some AWESOME recipes on it that are pretty simple. LOTS of legume recipes!

    I am SO sorry. But it’s great that you are figuring out what your body can’t handle. My older brother gets the attacks, well he used to, and he can’t eat eggs. That was the culprit. He eats LOTS of protein though. Anyways, in his body the eggs were the cause of the attacks. I will pray that you can find a healthy balance of everything and the transition will be an EASY one.

  4. birthhappy

    I recently got a cookbook from the library called Super Natural Cooking. Have you heard of it. It is my Heidi Swanson off http://www.101cookbooks.com . She isn’t vegan, but she uses whole foods and she uses alternatives to sugar. You may really like it. It is a little more gourmet than I usually cook, but I’m not a good cook, so that isn’t saying much.
    Also, have you heard of http://www.AboveRubies.org? They do a free magazine every few months that I absolutely love. Anyway, one of the editor’s daughters, Serene, has a raw cookbook that you can get off of that site and a little DVD, too. She doesn’t say that she is vegan, but she doesn’t eat dairy and maybe not wheat. I find it hard to find some of the ingredients here in my small Kentucky town and I don’t have the special euipment to make some of her recipes, but I really like the cookbook anyway. The main thing is a good dehydrator and I don’t have one. But I love the Colorful Cabbage salad, the Mint Israeli Toss, Spicy Green Bean Fingers, “Parmesan” Salad Sprinkles, and Rich “Cheddar” Sauce. MMMM. I’m gonna have to go make some right now.

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