Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Raw Card

Upon graduation at Hippocrates Health Institute, along with my diploma and manna bread for the plane, I got my "raw card."

This card is to be used whenever you go to a restaurant and don't want to sit and explain the complexities of your diet to the waitress.

Therefore, I decided to use it the first time I ate out with my family after coming back from Hippocrates. The first time we ate out, however, happened to be at an airport restaurant in Chicago. My family expressed their doubts, saying, "they probably prepare all of the meals ahead of time." I decided it was worth a shot. The waitress kindly took my card, and soon enough, a fantastic raw vegan salad was produced!

I ate it with some oil and vinegar. I normally don't eat vinegar as it acidifies the stomach, but I couldn't quite bring myself to eating the salad with only oil.

Who said airplane food had to be gross?!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Even Raw Vegans Get the Flu

I'm writing this post from isolation. I have flu-like symptoms and I'm a college student, therefore I'm a modern day-leper. I have been moved to an unoccupied room, I have to wear a mask whenever I leave the room, and I have my food delivered to my door. Therefore, I've been straying a bit from the raw vegan-ness, and conforming only to a vegan diet. It's the best I can do right now, unless I were to have my friends prepare me complex salads in the dining hall and bring me hand-picked fresh fruit three times a day.

If there's one thing I've learned, it's that when going this extreme in terms of diet, I can't stress myself out about it. While I stay raw, gluten-free, nightshade free, and food combine properly as best as I can, sometimes there are situations (like this one) where it is near-impossible. Of course, there are hard-line raw foodists who would disagree with my leniency, but I doubt many of them attempted this lifestyle while living in a dorm surrounded by much worse lifestyles than their detoxed mindsets could handle.

That all being said, some may use the fact that I came down with the flu as proof that a raw vegan diet is no good. I must not have been getting enough nutrients to support my immune system and fight off infection. Well, if this is what you're thinking, you're probably wrong for a few reasons:

1. I probably don't have the flu. I had a 101.4 fever for a day (Monday), then it fell to the 99.somethings on Tuesday. It's been pretty much normal today. The flu generally has a high fever that lasts longer than a day. My symptoms are closer to an upper respiratory infection. Yep, just took my temperature and I'm at 97.9, which is normal for me...I think. However, because colleges are pretty crazy about the spread of H1N1 right now, I'm being treated as if I have the flu.

2. I'm immunosuppressed. While I am becoming a raw vegan to cure rheumatoid arthritis, I also had started prednisone before changing my lifestyle. Prednisone isn't the kind of drug that a person can stop suddenly. Therefore, I've been basically weaning myself off of it ever since I started it two months ago. Therefore, it was probably not a lack of nutritional support, but a drug that is suppressing my immune system functions that caused me to have the inability to fight infection.

3. My sleep has been irregular for the past week. In fact, I've missed a ton of class because of staying up to see the sunrise and subsequently oversleeping, and I didn't get a lot of sleep this weekend. Part of this was because I had a big exam for EPIIC on Thursday, part of this was because of a retreat I went on for EPIIC, part of it was because I have horrendous time management. Therefore, I probably compromised my immune system this way.

4. Lastly, I have been pretty darn stressed. Stress has a direct negative impact on health and a positive correlation (causation?) with disease. Some people seem to think that college is just a fantasy life without obligation. While the first part of that statement may be true, college, especially a top-tier university (not trying to brag?) is also full of responsibilities.

5. I am a whole lot healthier this year than last year. "But you've only been at Tufts for three weeks!" you say? Well, Last year, I came to Tufts sick, and I stayed sick, basically all semester, until I was bed-ridden for several days by exam time. I constantly had a cough that never went away, and I ended up flying home with bloodshot eyes and an incomplete final exam. No good. Therefore, some minor flu-like symptoms that are almost all relieved after two days is not something about which I'm going to stress.

6. I may or may not have participated in some other immune-system compromising activities. I'm in college. Things happens. Overall, I'm living a much healthier lifestyle than the majority of people I see. I am not currently drinking, and I'm not having crazy promiscuous sex or anything like that.

I just hope I'll get better soon. I've already missed a bunch of class last week because of the exam I had on Thursday, and now I'm missing almost another entire week of classes. My professors have been fairly understanding, but I don't want the plethora of work I have to accumulate into something monstrous.

In other news, I'm working on a rendition of Ace of Base's "The Sign" that will begin "I've got the swine, and I opened up my eyes, I've got the swine." Suggestions for revision of this line and further lines are encouraged.

Also, the doctor recommended to me that I am in the most vulnerable category of people because I am immunosuppressed, and therefore, I should get both the seasonal flu vaccine (the injection, not the nasal spray) and the H1N1 vaccine. The seasonal flu vaccine makes me uncomfortable, and the H1N1 vaccine makes me even more uncomfortable. I know that it's generally not a good idea to put chemicals in the form of dead virus proteins into my body, especially those that are experimental, but I also am already compromising my body unnaturally and I can't afford to miss this much class again. I know that Hippocrates would not be very happy if I were to get a vaccine, but I don't know how hardcore I want to be about living naturally. Advice?