Eggplant Over Pork Chops

I do not drink, smoke, take recreational drugs, or gamble – just personal choices. So, I always refused to consider a vegetarian diet, let alone a vegan one, as I denied myself enough. However, as many Crohn’s sufferers know, there comes a time when you run out of options.

When I was 49-years-old, I was at a restaurant ordering a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on white bread, as it was the only thing on either the adult or children’s menu that I thought my body could tolerate that day. After some back and forth with my twenty-something, pink- haired, nose-ringed waitress, she shared that she was in full remission from Crohn’s. When I asked her secret she told me to read The China Study by T. Colin Campbell that boasts to be “The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted And the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss, And Long-term Health.”

Believing that nothing is a coincidence, I quickly got The China Study and started reading. Unfortunately, after years of reading statistic and comprehensive material on health, I gave up on the book. The answer may have been in there, but it felt like a chore. Soon, however, someone told me that I could rent “the movie” on Netflix. On my 50th birthday I watched Forks Over Knives, threw in the towel, and began my feeble attempts at veganism. This was made all the more challenging by the fact that I don’t cook, but am fortunate to live in an area that hosts a Trader Joe’s, a Giant with an entire vegetarian isle, and many healthy take out restaurants (Panera Bread will substitute avocado for meat on any of their salads).

To be honest, it has been a one step forward, two step back process: good, bad, and ugly. The good news, in fact great news, is that I am now in remission and off all my meds. I still have an occasional flare, but no more often than when I was on immunosuppression and/or infusion meds. It feels like a miracle! The bad news is that I was not getting enough protein, so I eat fish three times a week. This has not seemed to cause any problems. And then my friends, here is the ugly truth, I am what is referred to as a “dirty” vegan, i.e. I cheat.

I cheat and I don’t lie about it. There are just sometimes when it is too much of a pain in the neck or I just needs a fast food fix. Do I pay for it physically? Yes, but I know that if I do not cheat, and indulge myself on occasion, I will throw in the towel completely and risk becoming symptomatic again.

My next dietary goals are Fresh Fruit Over Sugar and Water Over Diet Soda – think they have anything at Netflix to help me with these???

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