Going Vegan: Let Your Medicine Be Your Food

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Something not everyone knows about me is that I suffer from high blood pressure.

When I was pregnant with Scott, my blood pressure spiked.  That’s been about 8 years ago.  Even after pregnancy, it never really went back to normal.

Well, in the last school year, I’ve been writing full time. What that means is that I come in from taking children to school – hopefully also after walking 4 miles, and sit down and start working. I hire someone to do my lawn. I don’t have a garden. I hire someone to clean my house. I like cake.

All those things combined, I’ve gained WAY too much weight this school year.  Like — I can’t wear my wedding rings right now because they’re too small for me – that’s how much weight I’ve gained.  AND – before gaining the weight I’ve had on now, I’ve been upset at how much weight I’ve gained since Gregg has been home from Afghanistan.  If I were really honest with you, I’d admit that I’ve put on about 40 pounds in the last 2 years.

That’s a lot of weight for someone who was already unhappy with herself.

I also have a heart condition, and a bad heart valve. As they monitor my heart, they’ve told me it’s growing in size because of the high blood pressure. Obviously, I need to get it under control.

So, the other day, I had a BAD headache. Bad. I spent the day in bed. I also suffered the day with heart palpitations.  The next day, my blood pressure was 160/110.  That’s WAY.TOO.HIGH. I don’t know if the headache caused the blood pressure or if the blood pressure caused the headache.  Either way, that’s too high.

I am a big proponent of “let your food be your medicine and let your medicine be your food.”  Rather than go on a pharmaceutical pill for the rest of my life, I’ve decided to attack this blood pressure thing with diet first and see what I am capable of controlling, Until this weight started going on, I’d done well to regulate it with lifestyle.  While I have a “good” diet – with whole foods and real foods – I also have an affinity for cake and anything sweet.  That combined with sitting on my hind end all day long in a stagnant profession has done nothing good for me.

vegan dietSo, I have officially launched a “plant based food only/no refined sugars at all” diet. In an effort to improve the state of my overall cardiovascular health.

No meat. No dairy. No processed food. No sugar. No cake.

I’m drinking water, black coffee, and green tea.

No more winter ice to prevent me from my daily 4-5 mile walk.

It’s radical. But, I enjoy that diet and I won’t have a problem sticking to it. The hardest part will be all of the travel I have coming up over the next few months. It’s not easy being strictly vegan while traveling.

If it doesn’t work, then I’ll take the pill. But I’d really rather not. I believe that with discipline, most chronic ailments can be tackled with diet and lifestyle.

I’m on day 5. I’ve lost, strangely, 6 pounds. My blood pressure, last night, was 135/90. While to some that may seem high, to me that’s a good “high normal.” Hopefully, as time goes on, I’ll see more progress.


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