After about fifteen years fighting intestinal disease that landed me in the hospital way too many times--four were for major surgery and one included a colostomy reversed after nine months--the hospital finally called in a new doctor to see me rather than those who had always attended me in the past. I was there, once again, because of a twisted colon. I hadn't requested a new doctor nor had I ever heard of this one. He just showed up one day as I was laying in bed with a tube up my nose and down the back of my throat and into my stomach. He introduced himself and told me the hospital had asked him to come see me.
I was taken aback. In fact I was just plain disbelieving. "But," I said, "that isn't what all the other doctors and surgeons have told me in the past. I'm always told to go home to a liquid diet for two days and semi-soft for two days and then go back to regular eating."
"Has it worked?" is what he said.
"No, I always end up throwing up and in excruciating abdominal pain after a bit. By the time about three months has passed, when I can no longer keep food down or stand the pain, I come to Emergency. By then I know I'm in trouble."
Then he began drawing diagrams of a stomach and intestinal tract, showing me what was happening and why it was happening and how a vegan diet would change everything. I agreed to give it a try, though I doubted it would work or even help the situation. The whole plan seemed far-fetched, but I gave my word I'd give it an honest shot.
|Foods that are always|
in my home
|Before and After|
|The same question everyone|
Since my clothes were now literally falling off my body, I dug around in the back of my closet for things that might fit me. I'd let my hair go straight and gray because I was tired of paying for tints and perms. I informed my hairdresser to do something new and I actually loved the cut she created. Then I called a good friend who sells Mary Kay and set a time for a make-over.
I think I still carry too much weight, but I believe my body is in a holding pattern, trying to figure out what's going on. My skin is in a holding pattern too--still wrinkled from the fast weight loss. How grateful I am for my mom's English genes, for while my arms and legs resemble elephant skin, my face is surprisingly free of any deep wrinkles, just as my mom was when she passed away at 82. She never did look her age. Maybe I won't either.
|My most-used cookbook|
"FEAR." Fear is a great motivator. Fear of the pain, fear of more extensive surgeries, fear of long hospital stays, fear of being sick all the time, living on pain pills and tossing my cookies at least once a day. Who do you know that would like a life like that? I am truly grateful that growing up, our family ate tons of vegetables from our garden and fruit from our trees. I never met a bean I didn't like and grains have always been a favorite. Changing my diet wasn't a dreaded thing. Learning how to prepare vegan meals was a challenge, but I learned.
SWEET POTATO AND CHARD SOUP
Into a soup pot put:
1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 small onion, cubed
1 large zucchini, sliced
2 carrots, sliced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 small jalapeno, minced, seeds and ribs removed
1 tsp. tikka masala (can use garam masala as a substitute)
1/4 tsp. turmeric
3 cups vegetable broth
1/2 cup non-dairy milk
2 Tbs.nutritional yeast
3 cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring the mixture to a boil, turn heat to simmer and cook, covered, for an hour.
Add 1 large bunch of Swiss chard, rinsed and rough chopped. Turn the heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes. Serve with any favorite bread or biscuit.
VEGANS ARE A COLORFUL BUNCH!