Going meat and dairy free
I’ve been looking for a way to naturally improve my health. Endometriosis is something that has caused me stress, anxiety and pain for over 10 years. Perhaps a meat free diet is the answer?
It’s now been 8 weeks since I last ate meat. This is a HUGE deal! Our meals always revolved around what meat we had, what would go with it, it was the star of any dinner. Any family member would tell you how much I loved meat, especially ribs! Here’s my story of how changing my diet has improved my life, so far!
I had a diagnostic laparoscopy in July 2018. Endometriosis had been suspected for over a decade but I finally had my official diagnosis. I had ablation to burn away adhesions and had a lovely new thing to add to the list – adenomyosis. Oh and let’s not forget IBS, anxiety (high functioning) and the odd dip in iron levels. Argh!
Fast forward to July 2019 and the symptoms had returned. I decided to give it a few cycles but it only got worse. Time to ask for another referral and I now have an appointment for January. But I know what this means, it means the possibility of hormones or maybe a hysterectomy. Then I watched The Game Changers on Netflix. Such an interesting programme and it led me to research how a vegan diet could possibly improve my health, particularly because Endo and Adenomyosis are diseases that are linked to inflammation in the body.
I’d already given up cows milk at home around February time, opting for Oat or Soya milk instead.
I often ate a meat free lunch too. Perhaps this wouldn’t be too difficult. My husband and I decided to give it a trial, because you don’t know until you try right?! We said we’d go vegan for a week, maybe two.
Day 4 came and I had this strange, almost indescribable feeling. The best way to attempt to describe it was feeling clean, on the inside. I felt like I had more energy and wasn’t getting my usual 3pm slump. I shrugged it off, perhaps it was simply a coincidence. Then day 5 came and I noticed my once puffy fingers looked more slender, I decided to try on my wedding ring. It went on! I hadn’t been able to wear it for over a year due to inflammation, which I had all over my body. Not overly noticeable, but enough for things to not fit. It was more than being a bit overweight, this was bloating (cheers adenomyosis!) all over. So yeah, my ring was on! I’m so used to not wearing it that I still often forget to pop it on.
I’ve slipped up by eating the odd piece of milk chocolate but now we’ve discovered yummy alternatives.
The most surprising thing to me is that I’m not craving meat at all. I honestly thought that I’d be dying to get my teeth into a steak, wanting all the cheese and chocolate! Yet here I am, enjoying so many new foods and trying lots of yummy alternatives. Whilst I have pretty strong feelings towards the dairy industry (which I have to admit began the longer I breastfed April), this has all been about my own health. I’m quite happy to admit that, as selfish as it may sound. I do care about the treatment of animals but health is and continues to be my main concern.
In 8 weeks I’ve lost 8 lbs. All I really wanted was to feel better, reduce my bloating and pain. And I am feeling so much better! My last period was so much different, I was so surprised to see fresh healthy blood! I don’t even care if that’s tmi, this is AMAZING! For once in so many years I’m looking forward to my next period to see if it continues to be easier. Who knows, maybe I won’t even need that appointment in January!
We’ve decided to add in some fish to our diet now, but meat and dairy are firmly off the menu. This was our very first meat free Christmas dinner and it was so yummy! We had all the usual veggies plus a stuffed mushroom each. I even found a lush recipe for an alternative to sprouts with bacon! Since I wasn’t cooking a turkey our dinner only took about an hour to cook and we let our kids pick what meat they’d all like. They picked chicken drumsticks, a minted lamb burger and pigs in blankets! I cannot even explain how less stressful it was, PLUS 5 empty plates on Christmas day, bonus!
I thought taking on a lifestyle like this would be a huge challenge, initially perhaps it was, but we found our way.
I’m learning what works well with my body and what doesn’t. I was concerned about eating out to start with but quickly discovered that there are so many places with vegan/veggie options, some even have entirely separate menus! Pizza Express have some very yummy options and we love Chiquitos!
I’m not here to suggest that you dramatically change the way you eat but it is all food for thought! I’m excited to see if my symptoms continue to improve over the next few months.
Are you considering going vegan for January? Perhaps I’ll write another blog soon with some foods we’ve loved and some hmmm not so much!