Vegan after Weight Loss Surgery
I was vegan for a year when I was in my 50s. I took one of the usual routes--saw some horrible farm animal abuse video and decided to do something about it: 1. became vegan and, 2. volunteered at a farm animal rescue sanctuary.
Then my hubby was diagnosed with cancer. He went through several years of treatment for the cancer and the ravages associated with the treatments. My diet became whatever I could eat at the hospital cafeteria or stopping at McDonald's on my way home every night at 10 PM for a huge helping of unhealthy food.
Fast forward to two years ago- hubby is again healthy, we have moved 500 miles from the city back to our tiny hometown, I have gained more weight, have no energy and am an unhealthy 65-year-old. As a last resort, in a desperate attempt to recover my health, I have bariatric surgery (gastric bypass).
During that time, I exercised regularly and ate a high protein, low fat diet. I lost 100 pounds in 9 months. I also lost GERD, high cholesterol and sleep apnea. My protein was all in the form of meat/eggs/cheese, which is standard for all bariatric patients. Recently I watched "Forks Over Knives" (repeatedly) and then watched several other similar documentaries. I begin to wonder whether I could get the protein I need as a bariatric patient if I'm on a vegan diet.
After a little research, I understood that my protein requirements could easily be met with a little planning each day, starting with my morning protein shake. I simply switched to a veggie protein powder (I chose pea protein) which mixed with a cup of soy milk provides half my protein needs for the day. I get the other half with beans, legumes, nuts, seeds, soy yogurt, soy cheese and/or an occasional faux meat product, rounds out my day. I found a tiny, little health food store in my tiny town that carries an abundance of all things I need as a vegan cook.
Vegan would not be my husband's choice, but luckily, he is very active and is out for lunch or dinner several times a week, so he can eat what he wants when he is away from home. I am looking forward to the added health benefits for myself and my hubby (even if he isn't 100%- every little bit counts).
I feel excited and happy to be living a vegan life and have no more guilt about how my choices are impacting innocent animals. We have a small dog that we love dearly. He wears a doggie seat belt when he is in the car. He has a life jacket for when we take him on the water. He has a stroller for when we walk and he gets tired. He sleeps in bed with us. We feed corn and horse feed to deer all winter. We feed the bird throughout the winter, and hummingbirds and Baltimore orioles in the summer. Why choose to love and support some animals and turn my back on the suffering of other animals? It makes no sense. I'm happy that I'm able to make this positive change.