That suddenly took a different turn…

This post I wrote about 2 weeks ago. Yep things are still busy around here. However I want to document a few things so this is going up now (minus the photos and videos for now, I hope to insert them soon).

Well I didn’t intend to stop writing. It just happened. June was very busy for us with taking 2 trips. Since we have got back at the end of June we have been running and running!

First trip was to the outskirts of Pittsburgh where Tony had a Long Sward event. We also were camping… minus the cooking. So that was fun. We will likely go again next year.

The second trip was to Florida less then a week later… yeah, 3 kids, and a dog to Florida less then a week after coming back from camping. I must have been insane! However it wasn’t that bad and everything worked out well! We had fun in Florida but it was HOT. Much like it is currently here back at home!

Since then I have had a CT scan (left over from my Pneumonia in April) and saw my oncologist. No Larry is not back. So that is good.

We have also had Nathaniel’s 6th birthday! I made him a cake… my first layer cake.

Since we have been back from Florida I have been researching ways to make myself more healthy when it comes to my immune system. Lets face it. My immune system is in sad shape. In fact this was the big topic that I discussed with my oncologist this past week. She said that she would run the numbers again on my blood, but the only thing she could offer me assuming they are the same (which she told me a couple of years ago that they are unlikely to change at this point) is a treatment that is experiencing a world wide shortage at the moment. IGG therapy. Which honestly doesn’t sound like fun and would likely mean that I would have to close my house to fostering. Something I REALLY don’t want to do. Not to mention I am not a candidate for this treatment at the moment because of the shortage.

So my health is in a spot where it is not immediately life threatening, however I have a condition that there are few treatments for and no cure for. So I am now looking elsewhere for answers. Any kind of help to make it so I don’t go to the hospital again as that wasn’t fun, strangely enough. Vegetarianism came across in my research and so I watched some documentaries on this, with Tony, as he would tell me if this was crap or not. The first one we watched was Forks Over Knives which is available on Amazon Prime.

Forks Over Knives talks about the work of 2 doctors, researchers, that were working the opposite ends of the same problem but came to the same conclusion that whole foods based veganism is the best diet. I started to wonder if this would help me. They were talking about heart disease, something I don’t have, though one of my chemo drugs did make it so I have to get an echocardiogram every five years. So I joined an Facebook group called Vegans for beginners or something like that.

I asked the Vegans if anyone had anything like me, or even just got sick more often then went Vegan and had the illnesses less frequently. I got this reply:

I had leukemia at the age of 13. Went into remission, relapsed, went back into remission, had bone marrow transplant and was treated with more chemo and full body radiation in 2002. I’m now 33 years old, vegan for 3 years in November and I’m actually surprised how much better my immune system has been doing since. I’ve always gotten sick by others, especially children, and I’d stay sick with a cold or flu for a month and a half to 2 months or more. The worst one caused me to have two seizures, it was in 2015 with the flu for two months and I had gone to the ER 4 times in that time frame with the 5th visit being sent in an ambulance. Nothing would stop it and they just kept sending me home. Guess my body couldn’t take it any more and shut down with seizures and me waking up to paramedics in my bedroom and my husband looking worried.

Anyhow the last flu I had was actually about 3 weeks long… I noticed that I don’t get sick as much as I used too, even being around people who are sick. I honestly feel better and have more energy living a vegan lifestyle. 1, I’m not harming animals and 2, im not eating animals flesh which causes so many diseases. And 3, seems my immune system is doing much better.. Only time can really tell. But I believe it really is and I see the changes that I’d never seen before, even when loosing 65 lbs and no longer having type 2 diabetes and still eating small amounts of animals didn’t satisfy me or stop my immune system from healing cuts or viruses, etc on its own… I see the small changes now with plant foods. I try to stay on a whole foods plant based meals and leave processed food out… But… I’m not perfect and we sometimes eat processed foods. This is my experience and I hope you try it out for yourself, and remember to eat enough foods. Sometimes people don’t eat enough, and don’t consume enough calories and are left feeling ill. Look on YouTube, and Pinterest too for some awesome recipes, once you get the hang of it, it will become easier. Just start with your favorite meals and sub for plant based foods instead. I really hope all works out for you. Keep your head up and I hope you feel much better soon. Much love to you.

This is enough for me to at least try this for myself. Herbs, Aromatherapy, and everything else I have tried hasn’t worked. Now I need to do something!

I talked to my oncologist about going vegan when I saw her. She said she was okay with it provided I didn’t loose weight or more specifically, muscle mass as that would negatively effect my immune system. I don’t want to loose weight either. I am at a good weight I feel (though at times I feel heavy as this is a higher weight then I was for most of my life). She also said to consume turmeric and 500 mg of Vitamin C. So I will be watching for that as well.

So for the last week or so, I have been dabbling in Veganism. We have overnight oats most mornings and this has been going well. Even our 2.5 year old foster child likes those… shocking as she doesn’t like much! I have cooked beans and rice, and tried to be basically vegan for 2/3 of my day. It hasn’t been bad but lunches are always hard for me and I am seeing that while eating this way as I don’t have a plan.

Tony for his part, is okay with all of this. He leans Lacto-Ovo vegetarian at the moment, but he does like meats. However he really wants to see me healthy so he is willing to support me on this trial provided he can get enough protein (he just started an exercise program where he needs a lot of protein).

Yesterday I said to Tony I feel ready to get on with this, and would like to do a trial of eating whole food based vegan, and Tony agreed. So I ordered the book Engine 2 diet, a 28 day plan for jump starting eating this way. We get it in the mail tomorrow.

We already know that we have to have some caviots with their recommendations.

  • Our foster child has to remain on a healthy but normal diet. We will still be giving her milk, cheese and eggs and will purchase pureed meat products (baby food food pouches) for her. She doesn’t tend to do well with eating meats anyway, so this will keep her on basically the same diet as she has been on.
  • Our boys have expressed that they are not thrilled with this idea but they obviously want to see mommy healthy. So for them, we will have items that they can eat that are not on this plan but generally healthy in the basement (we have a fridge and freezer down there). I would like to limit their jams and jellies though. Nathaniel tends to have peanut butter and jelly everyday so that might have to change. Also I intend to still do pizza night, just with stuff that everyone can enjoy.
  • The children and I will do daily weigh ins to make sure we are not loosing weight. We have a scale that also measures our muscle mass (for adults… Max is big enough he can do this too) so that will help as well.

My goal is to read through the book this week, plan our meals, and then next week we will all go shopping. It is important to me that we ALL go shopping and not just me with the little one. Eating, and especially changing the way we eat, really will start at the store. If food looks appealing there, hopefully it will stay that way once we eat it. Whole Foods market does this very well so hopefully that will be good.

The reason why everyone has to go on the diet (minus foster child) is because it much easier to stay with a diet if everyone is doing it. Also, the prospect of cooking 2 dinners, lunches and breakfasts everyday for everyone, is exhausting just thinking about it! So for 28 days we can see if we like this, if we do well on it, and if we think we can continue it. If at any point we loose too much weight or fail in some other way, we will stop. For instance, when we tried the 21 day sugar detox, we felt crappy and I lost a ton of weight so I stopped.

So that brings us to today. Tomorrow is our first official day of Vegan-ness. Today I have to go grocery shopping and get all the things that we need for our Vegan journey. I hope to document this on here as I am doing it. However today we are rather Vegan. Oatmeal is this morning, I haven’t figured out lunch yet, and dinner is stuffed portabello mushrooms (vegan style). So we are close!

The Engine 2 diet book was not as detailed as I would have liked. So sadly, I had to plan everything from scratch. I started doing this on paper, 2 days later I remembered a program that I could use to help me with it, and transferred everything to that! So much easier! I am using Plan To Eat to help me as we are following the Daily Dozen everyday. I will be doing this again later this week for next week.

I should also mention that we have most temptations out of the kitchen. Refrigerated stuff we agreed to just leave as it seems insane to throw it out if we are not even sure this will work. Freezer stuff we took downstairs.