Tuesday, October 12, 2010

What Have You Been Doing Lately?

I figured it is only fair to give an update on my life and where my diet and health have gone in the past year. It's been an incredible journey, and I am about a million times better now than I was in the summer of 2009 when I was diagnosed.

As far as my diet goes, I am no longer a raw vegan. I'm vegan, however, with the exception of honey. Specifically, I'm using Manuka honey to treat my persistent acne. I know, though, that this is just a simplistic approach to attacking this problem, as when I was a raw vegan (and drinking tons of wheatgrass), I was completely acne-free. But, I digress.

The exciting / encouraging / amazing news, however, is that I am official R.A.-free. Yes, you read that right. A little after a year ago, I was diagnosed with "sever" rheumatoid arthritis. About a month ago, my doctor told me that I no longer had the disease. I'm extremely grateful for this, though it's hard for me to even grasp. Medically, R.A. is considered incurable, but I was able to eliminate it, simply by eliminating a few things from my diet. To me, it's a no-brainer. Why would I go on medication when I can cure myself?

I'm going to be getting blood tests soon to see where my indicators for R.A. have gone. They used to be strongly positive for R.A., so it will be interesting to see if they have changed. Though I don't show any symptoms, generally, I still have some mild pain and stiffness sometimes, so it will be interesting to see if my levels fall within the "normal" range or not.

I am trying to decide where I should proceed with this blog. This past summer I was fully self-sufficient for the first time in my life. Therefore, I became a self-taught cook, and subsequently fell in love with (vegan) cooking. I love reading (and drooling at) cooking blogs, and I already try at least one or two new recipes a week. Therefore, I may toy with the idea of moving this blog towards the format of a vegan cooking blog, with plenty of room for discussion about health issues, nutrition, etc. Then again, midterms are coming up, and I cannot promise regular posts.

One thing that I do want to emphasize, however, is that being a raw vegan is possible. I started this blog as a way to show college students that they weren't crazy for giving it a shot, and that there were other people out there doing it. I'm confident that this is still true, though I am no longer one of them. I'd be lying, though, if I said that being a raw vegan was easy. It's not. It's time-consuming, takes a huge amount of effort, and a lot of care. Unfortunately, in college, the time to look after your own well-being is sacrificed for other priorities (both positive and negative!). I know this first hand. Going to a school with rigorous academics, I found it hard to devote the time every day to juicing, making salads, and growing sprouts. Being vegan allows me much more flexibility in my options and allows me to have many more time-saving choices.

If I could be a raw vegan without the work, I would in a second. Sure, I'd miss a couple of cooked items, but those cravings subside as soon as I start to reap the benefits of a raw diet. So, I still encourage everyone interested to give it a shot and see what it can do for you. Just know that you will have to devote a lot more time than you're probably accustomed to towards taking care of yourself!