First, won’t you join me in writing Postcards to Voters? It’s easy and fun, and a great way to get involved in saving our democracy from the comfort of your sofa. I’m finishing up my first 100, and just ordered more postcards. You can find them on Amazon or Etsy, order a roll of postcard stamps from USPS, and work on this project entirely socially distant, until it’s time to don a mask and take them to the mailbox.
I had an “experience” this week, and it make me take stock of how I’m treating my now 62-year-old body. I started this quarantine crap with great expectations: what a great time to get a regular yoga practice, walk often, finish my knitting projects – I’m going to be SO focused, so dedicated to doing all the things I know are good for me!
Yeah, that lasted until roughly the end of June, when the freaking endlessness of this awful situation began to wear me down. The weather didn’t help; it’s unbearably hot here, and insanely stormy. I’ve put on about six pounds alarmingly quickly over a matter of weeks, despite still walking semi-regularly.
So, my diet became more haphazard, my exercise became more infrequent, and finally by last Tuesday I’d hit the point where dinner was half a big bag of spicy hot popcorn washed down with two very fruit-intensive sour ales. Yeah, like I’m an irresponsible 20 year old with an iron stomach. I am not.
I woke in the middle of the night with my guts in flames – seriously the worst pain I can remember. My body was really pissed at me for the abuse I’d put it through with my truly heinous dietary choices, and let me know with a vengeance at 2 a.m. I made it through the night, and the following day vowed to do better, for real, because what I was doing was obviously harmful.
I Googled anti-inflammatory diets, and of course there’s a lot of stuff out there, but all roads seemed to lead me to Nutritionfacts.org, and tons of information about the benefits of a plant based diet.
Dr. Greger is the author of How Not to Die, and his website above is densely packed with research and information. I know perfectly well that I was much healthier and happier when I ate at least 90% plant based. I spent the day after my internal volcano erupted reading and watching videos on his website, and within a few hours I’d vowed to clean up my life.
Dr. Greger made me feel better about the choices I’d been making (when I was paying attention). I love hibiscus tea, and yes, studies have shown it helps lower blood pressure. I was drinking it regularly so that’s one thing I was doing right – of course, without the diet and exercise component, it’s not a magical answer.
I used to be able to find a big box of Luzianne hibiscus iced tea bags in the supermarket, and then was able to order the Luzianne brand in bulk from Amazon. I don’t see them on Amazon now, but Republic of Tea carries it, and Amazon has it through them.
Why did I drift away from the Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) diet? Because it does take more thought and more work, I’m not going to lie. The Standard American Diet is standard because everything is readily available. Most supermarkets have large sections of ready to cook meals in the meat case these days. The produce department does not. It takes more effort to eat this way.
But I kid you not, after being scared straight by the volcano in my guts at 2 a.m., I’m seeing the benefits of eating WFPB in just the past 3 days. I woke up this morning over a pound lighter, after 8 hours of sleep. I never sleep 8 hours, and lately I’ve been barely getting 7 hours on a good day – 5.5 to 6.5 is more typical. My daily headaches have stopped, too.
So, Grandma’s back on the WFPB-Wagon, and I’m having fun with it. I’ve been sadly neglecting This Old Blog, but now I think I’ve found a purpose and a focus. There’s a ton of young vegan vloggers on YouTube and Instagram, and they have loads of recipes I’m eager to try, as well as revisiting recipes I loved before I got “too busy” (read: lazy) to eat right.
Enough about my diet (for now)! How are the critters?
Sophie’s experiencing somewhat of a relapse, though not to the point of firehose diarrhea, and something’s going on with her skin – she’s suddenly dry and flaky and shedding like a beast. Seriously, just an unbelievable amount of hair is falling off this small dog, it’s disgusting.
I’m going to experiment just a tad with a different food, since neither dog is enthused about the prescription stuff they’ve been eating and it’s super expensive. I throw out way more than they eat.
Sophie doesn’t tolerate chicken well at all, and every-freaking-food on the market, except for some insanely exotic and expensive kinds she doesn’t like, contains some sort of chicken or chicken byproduct. I’ve bought a sample of Dr. Harvey’s Specialty Diet , just enough for the dogs to try it for a couple of days, to see if 1) they’ll eat it, and 2) if it has any effect, good or bad, on Sophie’s digestive woes.
I have no problem Dr. Mom-ing her like this, as thousands of dollars in veterinary testing has been wasted, as the results are “inflammation” and “colitis.” Like, no shit, I didn’t need to give hundreds of dollars to a lab in Texas to tell me that. At this point I’m ready to try anything, and this sounds promising. I do know they both eat with more enthusiasm when their food is fresh and warm, and this sounds fairly appetizing. I’ll try them on a small sample along with their more familiar and disliked food tonight.
So, this was quite the diet and intestinal woes post, wasn’t it? I swear I’ll be back with more appetizing fare soon.