My First 30 Days On A Plant-Based Diet And If It’s Helping
It was a month ago tomorrow I went on a fully plant-based diet. I am excited to say that it’s going well! It’s not perfect, I still have some problems, but that’s where a food journal is helping me. But, I have come a long way from where I was. Three months ago I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to eat or digest food again. I was not assimilating nutrients and everything I ate was making me very sick. It got to a point that the I would sip on a protein shake throughout the day and try to eat baby food. Sometimes that caused so much pain and nausea I couldn’t even do that. It was recommended by another Potsie that I might have Gastroparesis and to try that diet. (Which consisted of absolutely no fat or fiber) I started eating chicken breasts and rice with vegetable or chicken broth. The pain and nausea started going away. I was happy to be eating again, but this was not sustainable because it’s void of nutrition. (According to my Dr. it was completely okay to eat this way forever if I felt better. He said I would just need nutrition supplementation.) Even though I was doing somewhat better, I was still very weak and very tired. My bloodwork was less than par as well, I was pretty much low in everything.
I was tested for Gastroparesis and it came back negative. I honestly could not tell you what was/is wrong or the cause, but it’s more than likely from the Autonomic Neuropathy.
One day I decided to watch Fork Over Knives on Netflix (I believe this was a God Send) and became intrigued by the stories. They explained why animal protein is bad and why we truly don’t need it. They had stories of sick people who tried the plant-based diet and how it helped their health in a matter of weeks. It made me curious if this would help me too so I decided to try it.
I was afraid at first because food has made me so sick I was afraid to eat anything, especially foods with fiber. But, I slowly started eating cooked vegetables (still slowly adding in raw), fruits, beans and nuts. I admit that it was very hard to mentally get over my fear of food. Every bite I took, I had to mentally tell myself that this was good food and it would nourish my body and help me heal; instead of being terrified of it and worrying about the pain I might shortly be in.
I started by eating only a ½ a cup of plant-based food at a time. Usually plain rice or potatoes with a small amount of beans or lentils and some type of cooked veggie. Then, I would honestly wait for the pain, bloating, nausea etc. It never came. ½ Cup turned into 1 Cup, turned into a small bowl, turned into a normal bowl of food. My stomach is starting to function again, my energy is slowly coming back, the pain and bloating are going down and I am eating more and more like I should be. The first day I ate full meals throughout the day without any problems, I cried! Don’t get me wrong, it’s not perfect, I still can get some bloating or pain from time to time, but not at the level it was. I am also slow to entering foods into my diet. I started my beans very slowly. I literally started with 1 tablespoon a day. If I had no problems for 3 days, I upped it. I am now eating as many beans as I want. But, I have also found I can’t eat black beans right now, they do still cause me some pain. Keeping a food journal and entering in different foods slowly has helped me to see what foods are causing these symptoms and then I just simply take them out, for now. I truly believe over time, I will be able to add back in my “trigger” foods as my stomach continues to heal. I am excited that I am once again eating foods that have vitamins, minerals, fiber, protein, and complex carbs. I am excited to know I am no longer starving myself and I can tell I am assimilating these nutrients again by the energy I am gaining daily.
I am excited about food again. I love planning out my meals and I am slowly losing my fear of food. I seriously tried every type of diet or elimination possible to get better, nothing worked. This seems to be working though. I can’t encourage you enough to try eating this way if you are dealing with some serious stomach issues or any health issues for that matter. I really believe it will help. Do remember though, you didn’t become sick overnight and you won’t become healthy overnight. It will take time, be patient with the process. Any step in the right direction, is an accomplishment towards feeling better. I also recommend keeping a very detailed food and symptom journal. This will help you see what is causing your symptoms and what is not. I’m just beginning this journey myself and I pray that I continue to do better and better each day. I plan on being very open about how it’s going in hopes it might help someone else.
Courtney Echeverria, Crochet Remedy LLC.