Changes Coming, Going Vegan…

fruit and veggies at grocery store

Dear Friends,

As some of you may know by now we have had a bit of a change in our eating. We have always worked to eat more healthy clean meals. As I have shared before, I have enjoyed a large weight loss almost  years ago. With that weight loss I also endured some serious medical issues. So with each dilemma that appeared I would research what was best for my health and best for our family.

Many years ago I was blessed to have several friends who were vegetarian. I enjoyed all the wonderfully different meals and recipes. At that time, my Sweet Husband was absolutely not interested. He was great to do meatless meals…beans and rice, fritatas, etc.once a week or so, but he in no way would even consider living without meat.

Flash ahead 20 years later. With my own health issues and several near death crisis, I knew I had to do something. So I worked towards the first major weight loss of 142 lbs.(Full disclosure, I am not a skinny girl…but my goal is to be healthy and I am thankful for where I am in each step of the journey!! And I am definitely much better off than where I was 6 years ago!! To God be all the glory!!!) But as time went on, I knew my body was telling me something else had to give. So I tried it all!!

First I went back to Weight Watchers. My first membership to WW was at at 10 years old. There were many many returns without success. It is a very good program but with all my allergies and refusal to use fake sugars the recipes options were limited. Plus there were many processed food options I didn’t care for over time. (My parents put me on many and all diets growing up. This was not a healthy lifestyle and I believe did damage in the long run. They did what they knew to do and I can see that now.) I then tried a somewhat Paleo diet as two of our children were primarily on this diet and our family doctor was a huge proponent for this diet. All that meat made me feel just awful. Finally, I tried a clean eating and have done this for the last 6 years. I love green smoothies and wheat grass. I even visited a wonderful facility near our home that focused on wheat grass and raw eating. With all my digestive issues…my stomach seemed unable to handle solely raw food unless blended. So I kept praying and praying and worked on eating clean.

This Spring a very sweet woman who I barely knew through our homeschool group had an injury and was not able to go up and down the stairs of the church. I encouraged her to use the elevator as I also used the elevator due to my knees were really not doing well due to serious arthritis from previous sports related injuries. I was just trying to encourage her and knew there was an option. She is an amazing woman who skis each Winter for long periods of time and is a triathlete. And as she also teaches a cooking class for our co-op I knew she is also a vegetarian. She was so kind and asked if she could pray for me when I shared about my arthritis and we began communicating on what our health goals were. (She very sweetly began praying for me to consider a vegetarian diet. I had no idea!!) We then began to be each other’s accountability partner and prayer partner. What a blessing!!

After a few weeks something miraculous happened!! Just out of the blue, my sweet husband came home and wanted to eliminate meat from our diet. WOW!! I about fell over!! When I went to our next homeschool co-op day, I shared his decision. She then told me she and her family had been praying for us to eliminate meat in our diet. I was pleased and knew the Lord was at work. My Sweet Husband was absolutely dumb founded when I shared this with him later. He knew also the Lord was at work. He is still going strong!! I am so happy for him!! Our God is soooo good!!! 🙂

The first couple of days I was extremely ill. I felt as if I had the flu. (My Sweet Husband felt fine.) I had been told by many doctors that I needed a lean high protein diet due to all my health and gatrointestinal issues. After a while, I believed meat was the easiest way to do this and gave in. I had begun to believe I couldn’t make without meat. Boy, was I wrong!!

After the first couple of days cleared, I began to notice I was less achy. Within a couple weeks I felt amazingly better. Before I had even considered a double knee surgery to help subside all the extreme knee pain I suffered. I had realized I was unable to go up and down stairs and at times could barely walk across the room without a cane….before. Now, I was like a little house a fire going and blowing getting all kinds of things done in my home. What a blessing!!

Another revelation was my stomach was giving me less issue. It seems the processing of meat by my tummy was extremely hard and exhausting my body. I began to have a whole new appreciate of food as fuel and not a check off  or “to do” or sweet treat. Food was to help build a healthy body and fuel me to get done all the Lord had for me each day.

Now, my story isn’t perfect. I still have some occasional pain in my hands and wrists and one knee is still not 100%. But it is a journey and I am so thankful for all the Lord has done!! I see my chiropractor less these days. I have changed my primary care to a doctor who supports this lifestyle. And I continue to pray for the Lord’s leading each day.

Now to share the next part of my journey:

After about a month of meat free, I still had some high blood pressure that had reared its ugly head before we stopped eating meat. I also began to have some light flashes in my left eye. I was really frustrated. I had been seeing a specialist who treated with a mix of alternative options as well as prescriptions. He had put me on some new meds when the flashing began. So I attributed it to the meds and immediately stopped taking them. I had been seeing him for almost 4 years. I have so appreciated his take on my health but I realize it was not working. It was time to move on.

Back to my sweet friend who is my prayer partner…she was praying about going vegan. With my prayers for her, I could see the Lord opening my heart. He was trying to show me yet another step in our journey together. (A side note here: two of our three children are gluten free and casein free. So I had been cooking multiple meals for a long time. I knew the alternatives to traditional milk…and that was a wonderful help in the days to come.)

Finally, after losing a 15 lbs while going off all meat, I knew the Lord had more in store. So about a month ago I went off all animal products, little oil and most all processed food. I must say I do feel very well these days. And all these healthy fruits, veggies, beans, etc are doing a world of good in all our family. Even our son who is gluten free and casein free is enjoying the lack of meat. He is choosing a meatless option more often than not and has become quite vocal about how good feels. (He is also recently begun lifting weights to put on muscle…and he is!!) Our youngest eats meat and dairy when there is an option. We understand and support her decision. She is a teenager and we just ask that she make healthy choices.  And our other daughter is gluten and casein free, but enjoys meals without meat at home only.

It is a journey. I am sure there will be bumps in the road. And as we just arrived back home after a 1 1/2 week work trip to another state with my Sweet Husband. It is not easy traveling by car. The first day is always fine as I pack our meals and snacks…it’s the second one that took some thinking. 🙂 I am happy to report all went very well!! We are learning…PTL!!

Now, how does this apply to you…the reader?

First pray as to the Lord’s will in your life and your family’s lives. Do what He calls you to do. I will be posting recipes that I am discovering. Honestly, I feed allot of meat eaters that do not know the difference!! 🙂 And if they eat enough meals here, they comment on how they hunger for my cooking. 🙂 (Or at least that’s what their telling me. 😉 ) So even if you do not subscribe to a solely plant based diet…there will be recipes I think you will enjoy. I will begin on Wednesday’s vegan recipes and hope you find something yummy for you and your family!! 🙂 (FYI…I am a little excited about tonight’s meal and will be posting it a day early…;) )

My prayers and hopes are always that this blog is a blessing to the Lord and continues to inspire and encourage each of you to seek the Lord’s will in all the different parts of your lives. And always that each of you will be true to His calling for you and your families.

Have a wonderful week in the Lord,

k

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