About 3 years ago, I decided to become a Vegan. My cholesterol was high and I cannot take Statins due to muscle pain. I was also horrified at how animals are treated and slaughtered at factory farms so this was my way of protesting the practices. At first I was a “junk food” Vegan meaning I substituted real meat and dairy for the fake stuff. I really did not know how many fake items are there. My little dog, Pepe, would not eat Tofurky and fake cheese and he will eat “anything”. After a few months, I decided this was not healthy either and I really didn’t know what was in the food with all the ingredients I could not pronounce. I settled into my new way of eating quite well and lost over 30 pounds. I was also exercising a lot. I was at the gym every day at 5:30 a.m. with the morning group for an hour of cardio and I worked out with a trainer twice a week. Our gym had introduced something called Cross Fit which consists of TRX, kettlebells, medicine balls, sled with heavy weights to push and ropes. I was also running (or run/walk) 5K and 10K races. My cholesterol came down from 305 to 245 within a couple of months and my blood pressure was really low. I felt good and looked good.
Then came September 6, 2012 and I had an aortic dissection!!
Only 25% of people with an aortic dissection live. I was in ICU for 11 days and when I was released, my doctor told me to do as little movement as possible. I came to a stop!! I was scared I was going to die and I was incredibly depressed so what the hell!! So, I went from Vegan to KFC and fast food every day. No movement right – I took him literally and didn’t even move to the kitchen to cook. I just didn’t care. Over the next three months, I gained back the 30 pounds plus some. I was also drinking wine every night and a lot of it. Of course, this just made me more depressed. Life was not good!!
Two years later and after having surgery to correct the dissection, my CT scans continue to show I am OK. I am finally beginning to believe I will live a while longer and can have a healthy, happy, long life if I just take care of myself. I am alcohol dependent – or wine dependent. I cannot drink in moderation. I’ve tried it and one glass leads to five. So this is it! I am now 8 days without wine but I feel really good about it. It reminds me of when I stopped smoking. My liver will fail before the dissection if I keep up with the daily bottle of wine. And so the wine drinking ends here.
I go back to work tomorrow. Today I cooked so I don’t have to cook much the rest of the week (hard cooking for one). The food was simple, nothing processed and really good. Here’s a sample:
Tuscan Kale with Walnut Sauce, Baked Sweet Potatoes and Barbecue Tofu
And lunch is packed for tomorrow:
Tuscan Kale, Brown Rice, Lima Beans with Roasted Corn