I believe in second chances. I believe in trying something again, whether it be picking up a new sport (ahem, me and weightlifting) or going back to a restaurant that had less than stellar service (not naming an establishment this time!). I believe in second chances.
And so last year after pulling my rib three times in six months, I decided to heal my body by going back to being a vegan. Yup. Vegan. No cottage cheese. No milk. No nothing animal related was to enter my body.
Pretty crazy, pretty extreme, you may say. Well, I was vegan once before. Soon after giving birth to my seven-year-old daughter, my husband took up the plant-based diet for ethical reasons: How could he teach our daughter to love the cute cow and adorable pig, but then serve her bacon for breakfast? And how could he purchase hamburger and chicken knowing that the animals were grotesquely slaughtered in quite inhumane ways? After watching a barrage of documentaries on the subject, felt extreme pity and sadness for the animals whose lives were cut short in the butchering department, and I too gave away my leather handbags, threw out the frozen Tyson thighs in our freezer and instead made hummus for the family and boiled beans. I felt emotionally lighter living this new lifestyle, my conscience was happy that I was making a positive difference on this earth. Similarly, my physical ailments that once tormented me improved—the aches and pains in my joints decreased and I was sleeping soundly at night.
Life was grand.
But then I felt tired. All. The. Time. And not just “let me close my eyes for a 10 minute nap and I’ll be fine” kind of tired, but it was a fatigue that radiated into the marrow of my bone. And it did not let up. It just got worse. And so after conducting much research, talking with my husband, and basically crying out to God, I realized that I needed to eat meat. Chicken. Fish. Eggs. My body craved it and I needed that food to, well, live. And so I went back to the omnivorous side.
The ethical vegan-inspired side of me still did not purchase leather goods (I only bought a black cowhide powerlifting belt out of necessity—I couldn’t do a meet without one), and I still chose to eat tofu when available. But chicken? Meat? Seafood? They were also a part of my daily food intake. Until January 2018. The previous month I had suffered a pulled left rib after bending over to put on my shoe (yes, you read that correctly), and so I thought, “Dang. I am always getting injured. Why? WHY????” My initial thought was maybe it’s inflammation. I need to calm my muscles that are entirely lit with fatigue and pain from training, daily life, and old age (I consider myself somewhat old not that I am closer to 40 than 35, ha ha). Maybe the food I’m eating is weakening my connective tissues and it would be better for me to try a diet that can heal versus harm. And so as a New Year’s Resolution of sorts, I switched back to veganism.
But the story does not end there. Stay tuned for the next post to see how my foray back to being a plant-based went and what happened within the past few months as I traded in my chicken drumstick for a bag of quinoa.