I went to bed with cancer and woke up a vegan
There were no bells and whistles. No light bulbs or ah-ha moments. It was simple, one day I ate meat, dairy and eggs and the next day I didn’t. I went cold tofu so to speak. It wasn’t a choice; it was a moment when I tuned into a small and gentle feeling from within. A moment when I listened to what my body was telling me and a moment when allowed myself to really hear it. I didn’t know where I was going when I started, I just knew it felt right. My journey has been uncomplicated and here’s how I’ve arrived:
My chemotherapy cocktail was downright nasty. It looked like watered down cool-aid, hawaiian punch flavored. It’s crazy to think that it took almost five months of continuos chemicals to kill the tumor. God, I hope it worked. Every three weeks for 96 hours, chemicals were pumped into my body and they stayed there for the following two weeks only to be replenished by another round. Wondering what that feels like? Well, you know the feeling you have right before you get a shot? When time is suspended while you hold your breath, squeeze your eyes shut, and feel the pain of the needle prick even before it goes in. That’s what it felt like. But on the last day of chemo, I exhaled deeply. It was over. I soon felt an urge to fill this space, where there were chemicals and pain, with something clean, green, and anything that would help me recover. I became desperate to find a way to rid my body of the chemicals.
I knew the chemicals were still within me because my body ached of them for weeks after my last day and I was peeing pink for a long time. The chemo was the same color going in as it was going out. Revolting. With all the time I had laying around in bed I started to surf the net, read blogs, and articles about detoxing and recovering from chemo. I soon realized that all of my searches led me to the same place, a vegan diet. I knew nothing about being a vegan or how difficult it would be for me to follow so I developed a simple plan. I decided that I needed to drink a ton of water and eat a ton of plants. I began by setting a personal goal of drinking 64-96 ounces of water every day. Then I worked on eating more vegetables. I learned that plants can provide all the nutrients you need while detoxing your body at the same time so I started eating a huge salad at every meal. Some days I just couldn’t stomach raw greens so that led me to Juicing. Juicing was the easiest way to get a ton of greens and other raw vegetables and fruits into my diet. Juicing is what really made the difference because after guzzling a tall 32 ounce jar of cold green juice, the only thing I wanted to eat was plants. Before I knew it, I was eating all plants and no meat, dairy or eggs. Without even realizing it, I didn’t miss any of those things. My new diet satisfied all of my hunger pangs and indulged my cravings, but most of all it made me feel good.
Living this lifestyle feels peaceful. There’s a gentleness about consciously abstaining from violence against animals and the great harm to our environment while raising them. My body needs peace. I need whole, natural foods to scrub each one of cells clean of the chemo. Surprisingly, there hasn’t been a day in the past seven months that I have looked back and craved a food that I no longer eat. I still pee pink every now and then and that is my silent reminder of how I got to where I am today. I don’t know if being a vegan will prevent cancer and I don’t know if will bring me ultra-health. All I know, is that it tastes and feels gooooooooood.
Check out my vegan blog, The Curated Vegan.
Thanks for the links! I am slowly working my way through adding them to my RSS reader. Can’t wait to start trying some of their recipes.
Enjoy! Let me know if you discover any new ones.
Wonderful to find a diet that is helping with healing! I have been almost-vegan (still eat the occasional egg) for several years and love the simplicity. Let me know if you’d like some blog/book recommendations, I have become a huge vegan recipe hoarder. I read them for fun instead of novels!
I know exactly what you mean about big salads feeling good. At various times when I’ve had health problems (or come to think of it even when I’m healthy!), I’ve felt this intense desire for salad, big salads, with lots of fresh veggies and perhaps some nuts or seeds on top. And raw kale massaged with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Mmmmm
Another bonus, vegan baked goods are wonderful for kids to help with. No need to worry about smearing raw egg in their eyes/hair/…
MMMMMmmmmm, yes yes yes! I too love reading vegan blogs! I get about 25 emails per day just from all the vegan blogs I’ve joined. BUT, I LOVE to find news ones so YES please give me some recommendations. I’ve only read one vegan book, Vegan for Her, which I gave some good advice. What books have you read and enjoyed?
I so agree about vegan baking. Don’t you think vegan baked goods just taste better? No greasy after taste just pure flavor. I made Wholesome Oat Snackles from Dreena Burton with Little Man and not only does he love to help make them, he just begs for the cookies everyday. “Mommy want cookie with the raisins and chocolate. Want to eat it at my table with milk, please mommy!.” Here’s the recipe if you’re interested: http://plantpoweredkitchen.com/snackle-soldiers-aka-wholesome-oat-snackles/
Wow, with 25 e-mails a day from vegan blogs I doubt I have any new ones for you! Just in case, here are my favorites:
http://blog.fatfreevegan.com/ (don’t be put off by fat-free, fantastic recipes!)
And my favorite cookbooks:
Veganomicon — LOVE THIS
Appetite for reduction
The joy of vegan baking
Vegan holiday kitchen
Two that I’ve seen recommended and am excited to try are: Chloe’s kitchen and Eat Like A Farm Girl; 3 Ingredient Plant Based Recipes.
Love to hear your favorites too!
Don’t forget, I had A LOT of time on my hands to search the web. Haven’t heard of the bittersweetblog but it looks great!
Here are my favorites:
http://www.ahouseinthehills.com (she posts about other lifestyle stuff but her vegan recipes are great when she posts them)
Ok, that list is CRAZAY! I’ve heard Veganomicon is great but haven’t checked it out yet. I have made some recipes by Chloe Coscarelli and they have been great.One of my personal favorites is the Harvest Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms: http://chefchloe.com/entrees/harvest-stuffed-portobello-mushrooms.html. I’ll definitely check out her cookbook. Haven’t heard of the others but looks like I’ll be headed to library soon. Thanks for the recommendations!