I've Been Vegetarian For One Year & You Will Not Believe What Happened to Me

Last November, I was driving I had a revelation to stop eating meat. Just like that, I cut out the consumption of both land and sea creatures, eggs, animal byproducts like gelatin, lanolin, and collagen but still struggle with cheese. I shared the first 30 days of the journey in a previous post on the blog. Everything was great! Until my doctor told me I was on the verge of a chronic disease.

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I loved my plant-based journey! I had clarity and was in touch with who I really was.

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During that same time, I also developed an Instagram official relationship with cupcakes and french fries. I figured it was fine because I worked out nearly 4x a week.

Then I went to my doctor for an annual exam and for blood tests. The results came back and I was shocked.

Pre-diabetes! WTF!!

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I didn’t tell anyone initially because I thought it was a fluke. The text results stated that I had high cholesterol and my doctor told me it was a result of my “poor diet of eating too many meats and eggs.” The joke was on her because I consumed none of those things. My vitamin D and iron levels were low. My A1c levels were considered outside of the normal range (<5.7%) and mine was a 6.0%.

I continued with my life and didn’t make any changes to my diet. I didn’t see the value. I looked healthy & could still fit into a size 4 jeans.

Six weeks later I returned to the doctor because I was having other issues, I was constantly bloated, extremely fatigued, my skin was paper thin and would bruise if you looked at it too hard, my nails were always brittle, I was getting darker in complexion and I was allergic to the sun again. My skin would have burns that looked like I encountered a flat iron simply from walking from my front door to the car.

I wanted some real answers because I thought it could be a thyroid issue or an autoimmune disease.

I requested subsequent blood work and the results stated that my pre-diabetes was actually worse than before.

My A1C levels increased to 6.2% and the range for type 2 diabetes is 6.5%.

This was serious and I was low key scared.

I did research on the internet and many of the articles, both personal blogs and academic journals, would refer to diabetes as a disease reserved for sedentary obese people with more diets.

I was not that person! I couldn’t understand how this was happening to me and I was living this plant-based life. Still, I knew I had to make some changes.

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I started using my Jack LaLanne juicer again a few times a week to make celery, carrot or ginger beet juice. I cut out foods that were high in carbs and starches. I did research on different types of diets to find one that I feel works best for me.

It was a sad day in America when I had to break up with cupcakes but with the new micro changes, I saw instant improvements in my health and overall well-being.

I was back in control and realized that just because you live a plant-based lifestyle that doesn’t mean that your health is fine. I also realized that genetics and stress are huge contributors that can negatively impact health.

As a woman of color, statistically, I was more likely to have an encounter with diabetes. I just never thought it could happen to me at the age of 33 weighing 157 lbs. But I was wrong, it can happen to any of us.

As the year winds down and the multitude of holiday feasts quickly approach, I’d like to encourage all of the AYS readers to get back to basics and talk to your doctor about your health. Don’t overlook the small things like brittle nails. Talk to your doctor and come up with a plan to keep you on this earth as long as possible. Health is wealth! Let’s strive to be rich!

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-xoxo

Ar’Sheill Monsanto