January 25, 2011

To my health: Vegan adventures.

Rose is going on a diet.

1.  Remove specific foods from my diet to determine if their absence lowers my average pain level.
2.  Lose no weight.
3.  Be 98% "good," and not feel guilty about the other 2% when it happens.
4.  Try it for two weeks.  If I'm tolerating it well, try it for a month.  
5.  Faithfully read ingredients on food packaging.

Back story:  Well, it truly technically is a back story.  I am diagnosed with fibromyalgia and spondlyosis, in addition to arthritis in specific joints and a growth on the back of my knee caps.  Fibromyalgia means I have chronic pain everywhere for no specific reason.  Spondlyosis is degenerative arthritis in the spaces between my vertebrae.  It's awful.

My list of attempted remedies for the pain is extremely long.  What works best?  Sleeping more than 9 hours.  Using lumbar support.  And not much else.  I need to exhaust all possibilities before I surrender to medical mj.  :)  Which will likely never happen.  Sigh.

I honestly don't know what a vegan's diet technically is.

My diet:
As many raw fruits and vegetables as possible.
No animal products.  (No meat, milk, eggs, etc.)
No sugary foods.  (YES, this includes milk chocolate!)

But what I do know is that animal products and sugar are typically inflammatories.  I'll skip them.  I may go out and find some free-range, grass fed bird meat at some point, but for now I'll avoid meat, except that I will likely buy some wild salmon (guilt-free).  I'd rather take all these animal products away and see what my body does than only try a few at a time.  If I still feel the same level of pain, I'll drop the diet, and know that I finally actually tried it.

- Leave a variety of healthy foods around the house.  Great Harvest bread, loads of fresh veggies and fruits, juices, rice pasta (yum!), and anything else you can suggest.
- I will keep dark chocolate very handy.  I eat about 1/4 of a bar of 86% cacao a day, and this serving only has 1 gram of sugar.  WOW.  A slice of normal bread has 4 grams!
- Muddle through it blindly and hope you have some quick food ideas.
- Pray.  This will probably suck.

Any super fast ideas to mix up raw or cooked fruits and veggies?
Specifically, what are your easy seasonings?  I discovered curry powder and now use it all the time.  Thoughts?


  1. Nightshade vegetables can be inflammatory - tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, eggplant. Those are often the first things I recommend eliminating from the diet for two weeks to see if they are aggravators. Cow milk is inflammatory, goat milk is anti-inflammatory. Truly cage-free chicken eggs from chickens that run around (not that just say on the carton that they have the option to run) are beneficial - they're easier to find in the spring when the local hens start laying more again.

    Zyflamend by New Chapter is the best anti-inflammatory supplement I know - it has turmeric, ginger, holy basil, and other good ingredients.

    Pesto - it's nutritious and filling.

  2. Thank you, good person, for taking the time to write! I made a big portion of tomato soup yesterday and slurped it down with a smile... It looks like I need to read more about my veggies and fruits. I wrongly assumed they would be inherently healthy...

    Zyflamend looks like a good idea. I will note it and try it after this diet adventure.

    Pesto - Do you make it yourself? Isn't it expensive to eat in large quantities?

    - La Rosita

  3. One of my favorite seasoning is 21 seasoning salute from Trader Joes. I also have a great African stew recipe I can pass on to you. If you like ginger and a bit of spice it is yummy! Also a recently discovered treasure is It is a site devoted to clean eating. The recipes are great and seem to work out every time :)

  4. if you are looking for vegan diet books: "veganomicon" and "how it all vegan" are good starts . . . but stay away from so much tofu - it's way processed and soy is already in everything (like corn) so lots of people are developing allergies to it (like gluten/wheat and dairy).
    if you are looking for anti-inflammatory, i would go with dr weil
    he know's his stuff.
    if you are looking for something to help regulate your digestive system, i recommend fermented foods like kombucha, tempeh, whole milk yogurt and kefir. these provide lots of live cultures to help you process your foods (esp grains and non-fermented dairy) and keep your gut happy.
    a great book on this subject is
    "nourishing traditions" by sally fallon.
    i heart that book.

  5. Gluten can also be inflammatory, and can cause all sorts of pain, if someone is intolerant to it. You can find out by having blood work done, or just by the old-fashioned method of elimination. If you try it, I would suggest waiting until you have finished eliminating other foods and then have added those other foods back in. For instance, eliminate dairy and then two weeks or so later, try dairy again and see how you feel. Then eliminate nightshade vegetables. After two weeks or so, try the nightshade again. Then do the same with gluten products. Or switch those orders around.

    I understand it takes two full weeks for a food to clear the body. In my babies who are sensitive to dairy, I always notice a change two days after I eliminate, and then really see a difference after two full weeks have passed.

  6. Here, here for Nourishing Traditions! Though the diet it promotes is quite opposite of raw and vegan! We eat mostly a nourishing traditions styled diet around our house, though we still have a limited meat consumption. The meat we do eat is mostly always organic and or grass-fed. We used to be vegetarian, so that lifestyle still permeates all our food choices, though we do avoid soy at all costs! And, we're in the process of adding more raw foods into our diet.

    Nourishing Traditions is based on research by Weston Price, and you can read up on that perspective here: It's basically a back-to-basics approach to eating, consisting of a diet of full good fats (butter, EV olive oil, EV coconut oil, etc.), full dairy (raw whole milk cheeses, milks, etc.), good meats (and not just the whites!), good eggs, sprouted grains, and anything fermented.

    It's not raw, but the info might help you as you figure out your own healthy-eating philosophy!

    As for raw, I've enjoyed this website recently:

    While the whole website is informative, that link will take you to an almond milk recipe that is DELICIOUS. I HIGHLY recommend it.

    And speaking of almonds, nuts are one of the most important foods you can add to your diet. They are pricy, but you only need a little at a time, so it stretches. Eat all kind of nuts, daily! Seeds, too!

  7. OH-- and this is my favorite seasoning blend, for sauteing veggies or adding to soups (lentils, etc) or even on eggs:

  8. p.s. the "nourishing traditions" book talks about our resistance to gluten and how soaking grains in kefir overnight before using them (i.e. baking bread or making oatmeal) really helps our bodies digest them.

    also, when going vegan remember to be sure to get your iron and protein! nuts, leafy greens (kale, chard, broccoli), tempeh, etc. no need to suffer the pains of anemia while trying to eliminate the pains of fibromyalgia. is my friend lacey's blog and she talks a lot about diet and nutrition and food and the role it all plays in our health and well-being. check it out for more resources!

  9. p.s. by "books" i am referring to "cook books" with awesome meal suggestions. check it out from the library and use it to help you stay creative in making your food so it doesn't get boring! i'll bet there's even chocolate chip cookie substitutes that could be fun! :)
    proud of you!!!!

  10. BTW - I am only going as anonymous 'cause I haven't made a profile on here. BUt I think it sows you who I am...?

    Yes, I've made my own pesto and still have a little in the freezer. There is some that's made by Pasta Plus here in Eugene that is yummy. Most of the natural food stores carry it.

    I'm happy to be a resource for you on this anytime.


  11. Howdy! This time it did label you as Jeya. :)

    Thank you... (chuckling.)
    How do YOU make pesto?
    Perhaps I can have Jen pick me up some when she is in town this week. :) I'm certain it will be lovely to add to my meals.

    TY -