From about 2007 - 2014 I suffered from a painful enlarged lump in my throat that closely resembled an Adams’ apple. It was strange and quite masculine and I'm knot kidding. Men see women with lumps in their throats nowadays and eyebrows start to raise. I needed to get to the bottom of this, so I went to several doctors and even a few specialist. CAT Scans and an MRI were conducted however no one was able to tell me exactly what it was, or what was causing it. The first time I saw a specialist I was told it was a cyst & he prescribed me a very expensive antibiotic. They were $200.00 out of pocket for a week supply even after my insurance covered a majority of the cost. This helped temporarily, but the pain came back shortly after and the lump never fully disappeared.
I tried gargling with warm water & salt; this didn't help. I thought maybe it was due to stress, so I started meditation. My quick temper dramatically improved, but I still had the lump. I also tried allergy medication and this only helped with the pain. This went on for many years and eventually WebMD diagnosed me with cancer and honestly, I was terrified.
In November 2013, I was sick and tired of you know, being sick & tired... And I was indeed feeling sick and tired. One evening I watched an infomercial for Nutri-Bullets, the next thing I knew I couldn't believe that I ever made a smoothie without this amazing appliance. I just had to have one. I also felt the same way about the Perfect Pancake, Justin Bieber's singing toothbrush, and the Booty Pop but I was certain this wouldn't end in buyer's remorse. David Wolfe stressed how the lack of a nutritious diet contributes to many of our ailments. I had tried everything else up to this point and the Flex Pay made it golden. I decided to give up processed foods and committed to drinking a Nutri- Blast every day. I also started reading the blog 100 days of Real Food and learned some shocking facts. I was surprised to find how deceiving the food industry really was. Labels like "Fat-Free" "No Sugar Added" were horrible. Full of high fructose corn syrup and poisons.This leads me to be a “ Nutrition List Stalker” my 10 min grocery trips turned into 1+-hour trips. I had to read everything! There were so many things to look for.
1. Buying items with 5 ingredients or less
2. White Ain't Right! ( Bread, Flour, Rice, etc.)
3. Certified Organic Fruits & Veggies. Especially the Dirty Dozen
4. No GMOs
5. No artificial flavors or colors or preservatives.
6. No refined sugars.
7. "Cage- free" " Hormone Free" & Certified Organic Meat, Eggs & Milk.
I read a lot of blogs & books and watched many documentaries, but ultimately I listened to my body. It wasn't long before my energy levels increased, my skin was glowing and my brain seemed less scattered. I still had the lump in my throat, but I was determined to continue with this lifestyle change. But after a few weeks of no processed foods the lump disappeared.
As I introduced myself to new and unfamiliar foods my body seemed to reject the familiar favorites. It seems I became lactose intolerant out of nowhere. ( Which also could be due to age) I replaced cow's milk with almond milk.This eventually leads to me trying to become a Vegetarian. I was actually enjoying a very delicious chicken sandwich I made when it hit me (Not the chicken, this idea..) I should totally give up meat. I was already doing Meatless Mondays. I always thought Vegetarian was a little far-fetched to me. It was a struggle at first, but I stopped buying meat at the grocery store. I would give in at friends' house and realized this would take some time, and wouldn't happen overnight. I was able to go a few weeks without meat and saw such a difference in my stomach. It was finally flat! In October 2014, I went to L.A. to visit family and decided I would leave Veg Jazzie in Houston. There was no way I was giving up Roscoes' Chicken &Waffles or In & Out Burger. The first night I was there, I had Wing Stop and The very next morning, I could tell the difference. My stubborn belly fat was back. I couldn't wear any of the many crop tops I had. Too late now, I thought, so I continued to eat meat while I was there. The last day I was there, I went to The Griddle. I enjoyed an Eggs Benedict, and it was the best one I've ever had. During my trip I realized I felt sluggish again, my belly was hanging over my jeans and I had not been pooping. So, on October 20th my mind was made up. I was officially done with meat! Once I made it thru my first Thanksgiving without eating meat, it was easy. I knew nothing would taste as delicious as that tender looking brisket and honey baked ham I passed on anyway. No pork on my fork, no chicken in my kitchen, and no beef in my teeth.
I still made exceptions to seafood here and there, and crawfish season was difficult for me. I decided not to go by any rules or titles. I just continued to educate myself and tried my best. Some days my best was better than others.
I think the body will revert back to what it really needs once you remove all the other toxins from your body. Giving up meat, caused my body to no longer want animal by-products. My first favorite food as a child was always, eggs! I loved them from my head down to my legs, they were the " incredible, edible egg! I loved scrambled eggs, eggs over easy, eggs over hard, eggs over medium. Omelets, eggs benedict, eggnog, everything eggs. Then one morning, they started smelling like chicken abortions to me. I knew then, I had to give up eggs too. I was devastated. Something that was once so delicious to me could actually make me gag now. I know eggs are the most aromatic food, but the smell never bothered me until that day. As I eliminated foods from my diet, I started incorporating new things, quinoa, barley, lentils, and nuts. This kept me from feeling deprived.
Most importantly giving up meat raised my vibrations and awareness. I knew a plant-based diet was important from the books I had read on spirituality. Then I watched the documentary Earthlings and that pretty much sealed the deal for me. ( Check it out to see what I mean) What started out as a health decision, quickly became about compassion. Veganism once seemed extreme to me. Even more extreme than killing animals for our own wants and desires with no regards to their lives or feelings. The lump finally disappeared. Maybe it was from the souls of the animals I was eating. Or perhaps my throat chakra was blocked. Either way, it hasn't returned and I am glad that it's finally healed.
Still, I had some concerns when it came to calling myself Vegan.
1. Would I have to give up wearing animal print? Not fur, just the print. ( Sounds silly but Vegans on threads are BRUTAL!)
2. Will I have to give trade my car in? Because I have leather seats? What about my boots?
3. Will my friends still invite me out to dinner?
4. What about taco night?
5.How will I deal with all the protein questions?
Yet, I knew I was making the right decision and I continue to.
If you are considering becoming Vegetarian or Vegan try it. You won't regret it.