This week has definitely been the toughest week I have experienced since going vegan. I have been struggling physically, mentally, and emotionally. The pain I am experiencing is by far the worst joint pains, muscle stiffness, and all around soreness I have ever had. I think my pains have gotten more severe due to the natural medicine. The Naturopath I saw in Vietnam warned me the first couple weeks would be extremely difficult on my body, because it was detoxifying and trying to rid of all the diseased cells. Also, he mentioned that if I didn’t stick to the strict diet regimen it would conflict with the medicine and make me feel worse. To remind you all of the food restrictions I am on while taking the natural medicine; no fried food, no toasted food, no baked food, no grilled food, no artificial colouring, no soy sauce or any dark sauces, no bread, and no meat of course. I do have to admit I have had some fried foods and some soy-based sauces. This diet regimen is one of the most challenging things I have ever put myself through. I had a few moments where I broke down and cried, only because I felt so limited in my food options. Going vegan overnight was already a challenge in itself, and now I have a whole other list of food items I can’t eat. At some points during the week I just wanted to give up. I wanted to stop restricting myself and just go to any restaurant, and be able to order anything off the menu. Luckily for me, at every breaking point my boyfriend and my friends reminded me of exactly why I was on this journey and why I needed to persevere. I had to push through and go completely out of my comfort zone, because what I was comfortable with before (taking steroids every day for the past eight years) got me nowhere in my Lupus treatment, and the steroids started to affect some of my vital organs. I had to remind myself this was my only option if I wanted to see a positive change in my future and in my health.
PROGRESS REPORT #4
- How many days of adopting a vegan diet have I accomplished?
I am on my 53rd day of eating vegan. This week I had to deal with the tail end of my PMS cravings. Luckily I was able to kick those hormonal cravings to the curb and continue eating vegan.
- How do I feel today?
Today I feel a bit better than I had felt the last few days. I think the fact that today is my day off from work as well really allows my body time to rest and reenergize.
- How is my energy level?
My energy level seems to be the most consistent change that I have noticed since going vegan. I haven’t seen too much variation in my fatigue levels. I can definitely tell that my energy has gotten better since going vegan, and it is just a matter of time before I feel at my optimal level.
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how prevalent are my Lupus symptoms? Joints? Skin? Fatigue? Kidneys?My rating: 8
Joints: Over the past week my joint pains have been excruciating. I have been waking up in tears from the amount of pain I experienced in the mornings. It has been so bad that I literally cannot roll over in bed, or lift my blanket without wincing in pain. I struggle to open doors and do just about anything with my hands and arms in the morning.
Skin: Skin looks the same and again no signs of any new rashes 🙂
Fatigue: Fatigue has not been as prevalent this week as it usually is. Ensuring I get enough sleep has been a major contributor to my energy level throughout the day.
Kidneys: Still no signs of swelling, hoooraaay!
- Have I displayed any new symptoms? Good or bad.
This week I noticed I was getting stiffness in my knees a lot after a long shift at work. I experienced a lot of shooting pains in my knees, swelling around my knee, and tenderness in my feet. My feet would be so sore from work that the next morning I would barely be able to walk on my hardwood floors without wearing padded slippers. I am hoping my knee pains subsides soon, because it has made it extremely difficult to work when I am on my feet all shift.
- How long have I been off my steroids?
It has been 50 days.
- Have I learned anything new to adopt in my natural approach?
I recently looked into starting a vegan B-12 supplement. Vitamin B-12 contributes to the production and maintenance of red blood cells, and it plays a key role in the normal functioning of the brain and nervous system I know there is a lot of debate whether or not a vegan needs to supplement this, or whether they can get it from a plant-based diet. After all the research I did, I felt as though supplementing is what I agreed with. I purchased the Now Brain B-12 supplement for $7.99. There are 100 servings in the tiny bottle. Make sure when purchasing a B-12 supplement it has the word “Methylcobalamin” on the label. This ensures the vitamin is an easier absorbed form of vitamin B-12. The pills are lozenges, so they just dissolve underneath your tongue. I have been taking the vitamin supplement for a few days and can definitely see a difference in my energy level. When you are vitamin B-12 deficient you may experience signs of weakness, tiredness, and light-headedness. Those are the symptoms that I noticed, which is why I looked into a supplement. I am very happy to be incorporating this into my natural pursuit.