If many of you regularly follow my blog posts, you will know that I’ve been a “flexitarian” now for coming on two years. This means, that I have one or two days a week where I eat no meat at all. I have noticed, quite startlingly the health benefits this offers, however, due to lifestyle and my family being meat eaters, I’ve never gone full veggie.
Some may also know that I have a chronic autoimmune disease called Endometriosis (you can read about that here). I recently read on one of my Endo forums that there is a diet you can follow that basically reduces the bodies inflammatory response, which will have a knock-on effect to the pain and growth of Endo. I saw a diet book recommendation on the forum and hastily downloaded it to my kindle.
I read the book from front to back, it’s by a woman who cured herself of stage four endometriosis by changing the food she ate. Bearing in mind there is currently no “cure” for Endo, this made me take note. In a nutshell, the diet is basically a vegan one, except you also cut out or reduce significantly; alcohol, gluten, sugar and caffeine. Believe me, I know that removing those last-mentioned substances is something like purgatory, so I’m thinking a significant reduction should just about cut it (hopefully).
It’s not only the for the Endo pain and symptom management I want to change my diet. It’s also because I love animals and don’t feel justified in eating them. I recently started to watch the documentary “Dominion 2018” and lasted about 6 minutes. The last scene I watched was of a piglet having its skull cracked on concrete because it was the runt of the litter and would therefore serve no purpose to be alive. I knew watching this would be the final nail in the coffin for me.
I’ve also just come back from France, where my lovely host Abbie made sure I had veggie as much as possible, but I did find myself slipping on the cheese front toward the end of the week. I had already decided in my mind that I would be going “semi-vegan” (more about that in a moment) on my return from holiday, so, on my last night of the holiday, at a stopover in a hotel in Orleans, I decided to mark my final journey with red meat by ordering a steak, medium-rare. A bit like when someone binge eats before starting a diet, I felt this would be a turning point for me. Well, it certainly was. That “medium-rare” steak turned out to be still mooing because it had barely touched the pan. Forgetting that when in France you have to ask for it cooked one level up from what you would over here in the UK, I decided to tuck in none the less. Unfortunately, my dinner decided to show up again 24 hours later and I spent the whole of my first night back in the UK, being ill in my toilet from food poisoning.
If this wasn’t a big enough sign for me, after years of towing and throwing, I don’t know what is! Suffice to say that it literally sealed the deal for me, that was the last red meat that will ever pass my lips.
So, what is a semi-vegan? My plan is this, to go vegan except for eggs, chicken & fish. I’m doing this in gradual steps. So, I will probably eat chicken until the end of the year, then it will just be fish, I will slowly cut that out. I’ve been told by fellow vegan friends that to go cold turkey (no pun intended) is pretty tough going, so staging works well.
Oh and the caffeine removal (not easy at all – I bloody love my coffee) is not as hard as I thought. I have a wonderful alternative that almost tricks my mind into thinking I’m drinking it. I’ve gone for Whole Earth Caffeine Free, coffee alternative made from Barley, Figs and Chicory. To cut out the sugar, I’ve used Erythritol sugar alternative and of course my vegan milk (Hemp Seed).
Today I have been totally vegan (take a look in the photos). My aim is to have four to five days of this so the integration becomes easier.
I did kind of start the Endo diet five weeks ago and noticed how my pain had reduced on my last period. It absolutely made a real difference, and this was without cutting out the red meat….so it can only get better (I hope!).
I’m excited about where this journey will take me with my health, I will certainly blog about in in the next few weeks to let you know how it is going!
To give you an insight into today’s food (which was a 100% vegan) here is what I ate;
Breakfast; Oats, Hemp Seed Milk, Chia Seeds, smooth peanut butter, fresh cherries, cocoa nibs & Agave Nectar honey alternative.
Lunch: Twice baked potato with vegan spread & Free From cheese with a mushroom, red onion & watercress salad.
Dinner; Katsu Tofu with Sticky Rice.
I snacked on Fruit during the day.
I think the key here is meal planning, good alternatives and variety.
Feeling strong about this already, I know that giving myself those couple of years to be a Flexi has always been leading me to this path, and I’m excited to give it a go!
Until next time,