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In October 2012, Katie emailed me asking if I knew anything about ulcers and if a plant-based diet can help. Unfortunately, I did not have any information for Katie but asked that she keep in touch with her progress.
Two months later, Katie emailed me again and with exciting news — and today Katie is sharing her story with us!
HH: When you emailed me, you were researching ulcers and the effect (if any) a plant-based diet might have. Can you elaborate on what you found and your condition?
After coming up with inconclusive research about ulcers, and over two weeks of nausea and stomach pain, and going plant-based 6 days, I finally went to the doctor. After I told him my symptoms, he shocked me by saying that it was most likely my gallbladder. I hadn't even considered it. As I started discussing with him (and politely questioning him), he talked about how normal it was, and then he said three words that absolutely repulsed me and keep ringing in my ears even now. He said, "For your age". EXCUSE me? I'm only 28! While I'm a tiny bit of a tired mama with two little kiddos, I shouldn't be falling apart. I shouldn't be worn out by small tasks. My back shouldn't be so out of whack from my gut that it kills me every time I bathe my children. My age SHOULD mean that I'm in some of my prime years.
HH: What did the doctor say? What were the next steps?
He said they'd do an ultrasound and do my blood work, then began discussing surgery. I'd been a vegan for about 2.5 of the last 11 years, and vegetarian for 11 years. I truly believe in trying to let nature help with healing, so I went home and decided that whatever the results were, I could never leave plant-based again. I NEVER wanted to hear somebody say "For your age" again.
HH: Did the results shed any light?
The results came back and everything looks great, and there isn't even the tiniest bit of sludge in my gallbladder. They gave me an antacid and said it was probably a small ulcer.
Even though the service was a little lacking, and I never really found out what was "wrong" with me, I'm so grateful for the experience. I really needed a wake-up call because I was floating in this stage of "I'm not really healthy, but I'm not UN-healthy, so I must be ok." Then I made it through Halloween and Thanksgiving without one piece of milk chocolate, ice cream or cheese!
HH: It was a little less than two months from the time you first contacted me, until the second email. In such a short time, what benefits did you experience?
In seven weeks, here's a list of the benefits I've seen so far:
HH: Wow!!! What an incredible change in such a short time! Is there anything else you'd like to add?
I wanted to thank you. I really admire you, and your creativity in making meals so simple and delicious. You just make things so flavorful. While I've believed that this is the right way to live for 11 years, you've made it doable.
When I've reached my goal weight, I'll let you know!
HH: You are a rock star!
While a good amount of my journey has been physical, the majority of it has been mental. I had to change the way I thought about myself. I now love and respect myself. Food has been a safe place to allow myself the opportunity to learn from my mistakes, instead of participating in self-hatred when a mistake has been made. I don’t eat because I hate myself anymore. Now I eat because I love myself.
We have gotten rid of roughly 75% of our “stuff”. Though we accumulate and then purge, we try to keep the things that have value, and the rest comes and goes. With less accumulation, we’ve been able to rid ourselves of thousands of dollars in debt. It’s great to see that our children have healthy perspectives on food/things/family. We REALLY focus on our family, and that it’s the most important thing.
Though I am the only person in my family that is plant-based, my family eats so much healthier! I’ve been doing food upgrades. Fruits/veggies instead of processed snacks, or if it IS processed, swapping for healthier options.
I have lost 45 pounds and dropped two sizes! I still have about 15 that I want to lose, but I’m enjoying the hard work it’s taking to get it off. I feel fun and foxy. I used to feel like I had an extra 20 years that I carried around along with that extra weight. Now I feel strong and vibrant. I am a runner, and my pace is so much faster. I’m also so much stronger when lifting. I just feel great!
I’m so proud of myself, but I couldn’t have done it without Happy Herbivore. I used to think that healthy food took months of assimilation before tasting good. A frozen bag of veggies dumped on top of a potato just never tasted that great to me. As soon as I tried a few HH recipes, I realized that food just needed Lindsay to make it to taste good. Dried herbs and spices ROCK!!! Thank you, Lindsay