Wednesday, March 21, 2012

My Journey as a Lacto-Ovo Vegetarian

I wanted to tell a little about my journey as a vegetarian for few reasons – I have NEVER felt better, I am RARELY sick, I do not have gastrointestinal issues, and I am in the best physical shape I have ever been in. Emotional and mental state have always been top notch so we will not focus on that! I know a few people who have dealt with kidney stones and this advice may help those in similar situations as myself and help those prevent the formation of kidney stones.
Since I was in high school, I had the steady production of kidney stones. If you have not experienced the pain and agony of kidney stones, I hope and pray you never have to, but it is indescribable and the most brutal moments I have ever experienced. Common symptoms of mine were urinating blood, straight blood, excruciating pain in the middle of my back where the kidneys are located and urinary tract infections (UTI) that NEVER went away, even with antibiotics. The final bout of kidney stones resulted in a stent over a foot long, placed in one of my ureters. The reason for this was to open the origin of the ureter in to my kidney to allow the stones to pass and increase flow of waste products. With that said, I hope to never experience this pain again.
During the years suffering with kidney stones, I met with a few urologists. I was told the common practices to incorporate – drink lots of fluids, minimal soda and stay away from foods with oxalate as my stones were composed of calcium oxalate. Nothing seemed to work, my diet changed extensively from high school but I was told, “Your body will produce kidney stones for the rest of your life.” I had come to terms with that… until my urologist in San Diego.
We moved to San Diego in January 2011 and I needed to follow up my stent surgery I have in Vegas a month prior.  She is AMAZING to say the least! I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I favor the “younger” doctors, as their knowledge seems to be fresh and up to date. The medical field goes hand in hand with the fitness field. It is EVER changing and it is our job to stay current with knowledge. Some people do and some people don’t.   She urged me to more of the vegetarian diet which was an easy switch for me. I already didn’t eat red meat and cutting out the fish and chicken was simple. She also informed me acidic foods increase the acidity of my urine contributing to the stones. Minimal intake of citrus was also recommended.
Currently, the main staples in my diet are oats, yogurt, almonds, chia seeds, flaxseeds, veggie burgers, eggs, protein powder, fresh vegetables, and my treat is a MetRx bar every other day. Yes, that is my TREAT! Let’s be honest, it’s more like a candy bar! I also take cranberry pills for urinary health and vitamin d for my bones. I wrote in a previous blog about my diet consisting of the same foods day in and day out with more of a variety on the weekends. Everyone is different and there are websites and blogs with recipes to cater to ever special need. I enjoy cooking and experimenting as I tip-toe out of my box of set foods every day.  My diet is very plant-based which contributes to a healthy heart and blood vessels. Plant-based diets also REVERSE the onset of heart disease. Again, people become vegetarian for many reasons. Mine was due to health issues but also gaining knowledge on how animals are treated, it has become a moral and ethical issue as well.
My physical strength and physique has never been better. I feel so strong and confident in my own skin. I contributed my immune system gaining strength when I started training for marathons. My immune system is even stronger after changing my diet and continuing to run at a lower volume. I rarely have gastrointestinal issues as well, unless I overdose on vegetables. This was a daily issue for me before I changed my diet.
I am not saying vegetarian is for everyone, but I did want to share my experience. Kidney stone prevention, gaining strength, feeling healthier, minimal GI distress, CONFIDENCE and helping others is always shared via my blog.
Let me know if you have any questions. I am always here to help!

1 comment:

  1. wow, so glad you found that doctor who told you about how diet could help! amazing how quick our culture is to embrace pills, surgery, etc but changing diet? no way! this is awesome. we are totally embracing the plant-based diet and for simular health minded reasons. I care about animals and all, but really I care about what is best for my family. and it seems that plants are best for us right now!