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Now, one of my life goals has always been to become vegetarian...
It has been more of an imagination than anything.
Why, I've thought about it often, especially when I'm chowing down on a barbeque rib sandwich or a merrily eating a 2 piece spicy chicken dinner from Popeyes.
Always thinking about it, but never mustering up the courage to go through with it.
But, I noticed something particularly interesting during the fasts that we have at church every January. Sometimes I participate, sometimes I don't make it through. It is never anything stringent (like total water fasts - negroes will act a jack behind such), but usually involves some type of detoxifying element, like no junk food, no red meat, no white food (rice, potatoes, other high starcy stuff), nothing bad for you.
Very detoxifying indeed. The heart and mind is very clear during that time.
But like I said, I noticed something very interesting happened during these times:
My lupus symptoms virtually disappeared.
I could go so far as to say that they disappeared, because I don't remember any symptoms.
During those times I felt, what's the word... NORMAL.
And yo... an Oldgirl was REAL happy about that.
And soon as I'd go back to my old ways, well... the symptoms would raise their ugly heads.
Now my symptoms aren't terrible, as I am functional. I always have a low grade fever. I don't sleep well (only 6 hours a night, and constantly waking up). I have constant inflammation, and a little joint swelling. It gets a bit bad during PMS. I have spontaneous nosebleeds from time to time. Sinus infections prevail.
Like I said, I am very functional. I work everyday. I am limited in activities (2 on the weekend, 3 during the week). Anything more and I am virtually wiped out with fatigue.
I've always been proud of the fact that I can take care of myself. I am not dependent on anyone. Being completely debilatated had been a fear in the past.
But there was something about those periods of fasting that stayed on my mind.
And I looked into it one day.
I read all types of things on lupus, but one day I saw something interesting: that symptoms can be exasperated by animal protein, to the point where all the symptoms could be some sort to an allergic response. Essentially getting too much animal protein could cause all kinds of inflammation problems and kidney problems. I have had both at some time or another.
It could be bogus. Who knows. I blew it off and went on to something else. I don't see much about this in my mainstream book that I have on the subject. Such is to be expected from a book more centered on Western medicine.
But it isn't bogus to me because of what happens when I eliminate animal protein from my diet for periods of time.
Mix that with meeting one of Cowgirl Cre's cousins at one of her family functions who was a vegetarian just this past Memorial Day Weekend.
Our convo was interesting:
"So you're really a vegetarian?" I asked.
"Yes," she replied.
"So how long you been like that?"
She laughed. "You make it sound like I have a disease."
"No, I was just wondering."
"For 10 years."
My curiosity was peeked. She was a young chick, couldn't be over 30. "And why did you decide to do that."
"Because I had an animal protein problem that put me in the hospital, and after that, I stopped eating meat. And if I try to eat it now, I just get sick."
Hmm. I didn't know what to say. We all went on talking and joking about other things. I was trying to catch her alone but couldn't. I was nosy as hell. I wish I could've gotten her number so we could talk privately. I wanted to know what caused her protein issues. (But I didn't want her to think that I was hitting on her. LOL!! Maybe I'll see her at another family gathering (as I tend to crash Cre's family stuff often)).
Anyway, I thought on that for awhile. And not to mention, me and Dr. HazelEyes, another sista Doc on my job, had decided we were going to fast together. (She'd done some similar fasting like I'd done in January).
So we made a pact to do the darn thing.
"We're starting June 1st, LadyLee," she said.
"That's cool, I'm ready," I said. "And I'm kicking it for the whole summer, babes."
She looked at me like I was crazy. "Naw, I didn't say all that. The month of June, that's it. I'll work it out past that when we get that far."
"I'ma do the darn thing, girl. And if I can make it to the first of September, I'm shooting for December 31st. And if I can do that, then shoot girl, I'm gonna just stay that way."
*Dr, HazelEyes looking at Lee REAL crazy-like*
It is a most daunting goal indeed.
It is the most positive and interesting thing I did last quarter.
How am I doing?
It has been:
Since I "turnt" vegetarian.
How am I REALLY doing?
1. No constan low grade fevers.
2. I can't remember the last time I had any arthritic pain or pain from inflammation. (Well, yes I can: late May, that's when).
3. I sleep like a rock. I get 6-8 hours of sleep per night. And even if I get 3-4 hours of sleep, it is a very good DEEP and satisfying sleep. I am not groggy for the rest of the day on short sleep.
4. No lupus flares (suddenly worsening of symptoms) during PMS.
5. No spontaneous nosebleeds. (Gosh... I HATED that).
6. No sinus mess going on. (Thank the Lawd for that).
7. Lost 17 pounds (Doctor Bhaji was happy about that). I can't tell, but it is what it is.
8. Doctor Bhaji said my hands had gotten smaller. *Lee sees crickets flying around that statement* In other words, no real inflammation and fluid retention isshas were seen on my last doctor visit.
9. My cholesterol dropped about 60 points. (It had been borderline high- around 220). That was from a June 9th test. Might be lower now.
10.Much better concentration (I usually have the concentration of a flea, which is lupus related- I cannot STAND that).
11. I am more energetic.
So, uh... should I stick with it? Or should I let it go and go get some Popeye's chitlins?
So, Chele, I hope I answered your question of why I went vegetarian. Purely for health reasons. I think this is one of the most important decisions I made in the second quarter of the year.
And now the question is... Am I vegetarian or vegan?
There is a difference, you see...
To be continued...
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