There are so many reasons for people becoming vegan. Some people are compassion vegans and choose veganism because they do not want to hurt or eat animals. Others are vegan for health reasons where they have high cholesterol or struggle with obesity. Some people just try it because it is trendy or just as a detox. I am not exactly a vegan for any of these reasons in general but if I had to pick one it is health.
In January 2011 I walked into my office bathroom to realize I was bleeding internally and it was coming out of everywhere. My nose, ears, mouth, etc. I rushed to the doctor and they told me they were not sure what was wrong. I had my nose and ears coderized and my abdomen was scheduled for various scans and tests. In late February they realized I had large rock like substances in my gallbladder and a bleeding disorder of some sort. I was given emergency surgery to remove my shredded gallbladder and they discovered that my gallbladder “rocks” were actually cholesterol. This is very unusual for someone who is 29. The discovery lead to the finding that I was somehow unable to digest foreign (and possibly my own) cholesterol. The only place cholesterol comes from is animal products and self production in your body. I woke up from surgery and was told I would forever have to be vegan otherwise my pancreas, liver, and kidneys would be next. My body just couldn’t get rid of the cholesterol waste so it would shred them. P.S. I didn’t have high cholesterol at the time.
I spent the next months detoxing from all the hormones and sugars that I was no longer consuming from meat and dairy and my poor husband had to witness me having mood swings and crying over macaroni and cheese instant meals at the nearby CVS as we walked by looking for tissues or juice. I was borderline insane during this time and hunched over from surgery. He stuck by me even when all I could make was steamed veggies and muffins because I didn’t understand what “vegan” was. After a few meltdowns by him about not wanting anymore steamed veggies I learned how to cook again.
I learned that “VEGAN” is not a scary word all it means is I eat Veggies, Fruits, Grains, and Oils and I skip over dairy, eggs, fish, and meats. I don’t have to live on salad.
The end result. I gained forty pounds because I no longer got sick everytime I ate. I was sick everytime I ate since I was 13 years old. It was a miracle to be able to eat like this. However, now I am trying to lose the weight and those salads are looking pretty good and those muffins are for holidays only. But seriously, try out being vegan even if it is only 1 meal a week or a month. My mother is now trying veganism for all her meals except dinner when she cooks at home and my husband eats vegan with me daily despite a midwest background and love of steak. I still buy him what he wants and there is meat, dairy, and eggs in our house but the concept is vegan focused. I am 100% veg and he is probably 50%. But his cholesterol is sinking and his options are endless.
My goal these days is to show other vegans who end up in my spot that veganism, vegetarianism, or just a meatless monday or two are not scary things. They help the environment, they help your health, and they help the animals. So why not try it out? It has been eye opening and I feel amazing. So please read a recipe or two and indulge. I wouldn’t tell you to eat something I wouldn’t have eaten when I was an omnivore. I promise!