Meds, Mind, Body & Benefits > Nutrition & HIV

Being Vegan

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ShadowBlue:
I did it for about a year before, then gave it a one year hiatus (undoing all the health progress achieved), and since the first of this month am devoting myself a lifetime of health with my second and final round of devotion.

I cut out the booze (after a history of dangerously heavy drinking) and tobacco, for a change at prolonging my life, and attaining the best health imaginable living with HIV.

So far, I've been taken of my blood pressure medication, and have lost ten pounds.

Being vegan; it's a journey that, at first, will test your dedication through resisting ridiculously strong temptation, and, for the long run, will continue to assist me in staying strong and focused through other areas of my life.

Any one else here vegan?

texaninnyc87:
Mostly vegan. I eat some cage free local eggs. Been a vegetarian for 13 years. I think it's the only ethical diet choice there is and the health benefits are just an added perk! Vitamins are a must though and regulating your protein and amino intakes can be a little tedious, but it's definitely worth it in the long run.
Congrats!

mecch:
When I was about you age I was vegetarian for a couple years then I was vegan for a year.
Honestly in retrospect I think this was an acting out of OCD tendencies and some body dysmorphia, that runs in my family. I am not OCD but just short of it, according to two shrinks I have seen at different stages of my life.
At the time I was vegan my sister was bulimic / anorexic.  I myself got rail thin and I liked that. It was something I valued.  Also working a stressful job in the city and also running. A lot - km a week. I liked the streamlined almost "purity" I felt in my youthful strength, the extreme lightness of my body. I liked the power of control I had.

I really enjoyed the not smoking, the not drinking, and only somewhat the dietary restrictions, but lets say it was an interesting experiment. Course back in the 80's it wasn't as easy as today, to find things to eat when being social - out with friends, visiting family, etc etc.  Luckily I lived near one of the best whole food coops of the time and also had some nutrition courses at University.

I wasn't HIV at the time. My GP didn't like my diet nor my thinness. Old fashioned brooklyn gal Dr.  Towards the end of that year I was diagnosed with misc fatigue issues. I went to some healers and they said I wasn't grounded anymore. I had become ethereal. My doc ordered me to stop and go get a meatball grinder and focus my powers of control on other spheres of my life.  Which I did. In retrospect it was expert advice and I moved on.

Im sure there were many ways I did the vegan thing wrong but I wasn't completely reckless about it, either. 
I think its great that you are drinking less or not at all, quit smoking, and putting whole foods in your body.

Remember that some of what vegans are doing is really about morality and politics, and not so much about any proven nutritional or health benefits.  Yes, some middle aged folks find the vegan diet a lifesaver after heart disease, cholesterol problems, diabetes perhaps, etc etc.  Cant deny that.
My contribution here, is that please take some critical distance in this "devotion" to a diet / regime.  First of all, you said its your final "devotion" but IMO its wise not to set yourself up for such "lifetime" commitments about things, so young.  Roll with it and enjoy it but don't sweat times you might break away.

Enjoy the good things about being vegan but watch that it doesn't become dysfunctionally involved with any OCD tendencies, control issues, or body dysmorphia you might have.  Always listen to what your friends and doctors say about this journey and keep an open mind to their outside perspectives.
 
Always please remember you don't need to be vegan to have a "whole foods" diet, a bio diet, or a well-balanced healthy diet...  And also that while there are benefits, there are risks and downsides.  And that you will miss out on many wonderful amazing foods and dinners, etc.!  Also you can live a long life on any healthy diet.  The number one action you took was not smoking, IMO.

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