Vegan Schmegan

25 Jul

I’ve had several questions via facebook and/or text message about the vegan thing so let’s re-visit that, shall we?  I’ll give you the short short version of my personal disease history from the top.  Ready, hit it.

I was diagnosed with Sjogren’s disease (google it) while I was in pharmacy school.  My symptoms were very mild.  After graduating, I got a full-time job as a pharmacist working 12-hour shifts and also got knocked up.  The combo didn’t sit well.  The pregnancy with Owen was rough including a torn placenta at work complete with blood shooting down my legs and getting all over my scrubs in the middle of the pharmacy when I was the only pharmacist on duty.  So, pretty much, that was awesome.  That led to a premature delivery and a NICU baby – also very fun.  Having a preemie and going back to work 12-hour shifts postpartum with lupus was torture (Owen Gerber never, not once, slept through the night until AFTER he turned a year old).  Yes, you read that correctly.  Never fear, Luli endured AND was crazy enough to take it for another spin.  When Owen was 2 and 1/2, I got pregnant with the always nutty Stella Kate.  She kicked my hiney from week seven on.  I had a SEVERE flare while working a weekend shift during week seven of my pregnancy and my rheumatologist put me on disability from work never to return until my little bundle of joy was 8 weeks old.  Utter craziness.  I was so fatigued that all I did for the remaining seven months of my pregnancy was read books.  All day, everyday.  I LOVE to read but this was no vacation.  It was pathetic, folks.  Casey was a saint.  For real.  Sainthood.  Side note: when I was 8 months pregnant (the point where Casey felt that if I went into labor Stella would survive) my husband made his own appointment for a vasectomy.  NO JOKE, folks.  My husband does not make his own dentist appointments.  This is how serious the situation was for him.  LOL.  Anyhoo, they induced me at 38 weeks because my raggedy old body couldn’t take anymore and miss thang was as perfect as a peach.  She actually started sleeping through the night at four months.  God bless her.  I’ve been working part-time since then but have had flares on and off and have never felt like I could rebound from the whole pregnancy debacle.

Fast forward to November 2010.  I was stuck in a flare and a funk.  Seriously, folks, I was super depressed.  So fatigued that if I wasn’t at work, I was in my pajamas at home sleeping or wishing for sleep.  Once again, Casey the Saint took over.  It was bad.  My rheumie decided to add cellcept (google it) to my already annoying regimen of plaquenil (google it).  AND I was trying to taper off of prednisone which I had been on since week seven of my pregnancy with Stella – which means I had been on daily prednisone for over two years.  Peeps, that is no good.  No good at all.  Seriously.  It’s bad.  At the very end of my wits, I fired up the ‘ol computer and went to googling.  I stumbled across the homepage of Jill Harrington, author of “The Lupus Recovery Diet.”  I was intrigued and ordered the book from Amazon.  This was the very beginning of my vegan diet research.

I’m a cheese lovin’ type of gal.  I love to put cheese on every single thing.  I would eat fried cheese with cheese on top dipped in cheese dip.  Love it.  So, I struggled mightily with the thought of veganhood.  Honestly, I tried to trick my lupus into remission with a plain old vegetarian diet (no meat but still consume dairy) so that I could still have the cheese.  It actually brought me out of the flare/funk BUT I was still on all the meds.  No thanks.  About six months after my initial search began, a little documentary called Forks Over Knives hit theaters.  Casey and I went on our first date in AGES to that documentary.  Total dorks.  We loved it.  I wouldn’t call it the best documentary I’ve ever seen BUT the info was totally riveting for Casey and me because we were slowly becoming convinced that this whole “using nutrition to fight disease” thing might actually work for me.  That night we decided to do our own little 12-week experiment.  You know the rest of the story.

Initially, we were going to do all whole foods for the twelve week period – meaning no meat, no eggs, no dairy, no sugar, nothing processed, etc.  So, basically, eating only lettuce.  But if you know me, you know that I am a sugar addict.  That endeavor was just too dad-gummed big. 

No cheese + buying a house and moving + dealing with folks at the pharm + two nut-brained kids at home + planning a bird funeral = Luli drinking Dr. Pepper. 

It is what it is, my homies.  The detox from the dp shall come in good time but not today.  You don’t like this, you say?  You think I’m not a true vegan if I drink soda?  Ok, that’s cool.  Don’t care.  It’s my experiment.  I set the parameters.  This is my blog.  I approve all the comments.  Go bother someone else.  Luli has spoken and it shall be.

That’s the heezy, my neezies.  Fo shizzle, my nizzles.

Love, Luli

P.S. Here’s the link to JBelle photography


12 Responses to “Vegan Schmegan”

  1. Tamara July 25, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

    Wow. Thanks for sharing. I love you so much and admire you even more after reading this post.

  2. Jantie July 25, 2011 at 8:58 pm #

    I love your crazy self so much I can’t even explain it with words. That’s all I can think of to say right now….thanks.bye.

  3. Sarah sutton July 25, 2011 at 9:18 pm #

    Wow girl!!! We need to talk sometime!!! The next time you come to see the Riggins let me know and I’ll show up!

  4. corrie July 25, 2011 at 9:19 pm #

    I had NO idea that soda is not “allowed” on a vegan diet. I am intrigued by the vegan lifestyle, because people following it seem to feel in better health in general. I just wonder how much better I would feel — more energy? fewer headaches? fewer digestive issues? — if I could give it a serious go. But I find the idea so overwhelming, especially trying to cook for a meat-loving husband and two kids who practically survive on cheese and eggs. And, I share your love of all things cheese.

    But thank you so much for the background info. I really admire people who make drastic lifestyle changes in order to improve some aspect of their lives. Honestly, your whole family is probably better off for it. Hey, if you run into a great vegan recipe, you should share it. Even some of us carnivores might like to try it out!

  5. julie July 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm #

    I admire you so much for even giving this diet a shot because I know all TOO well how much you love cheese because I love it that much too if not more. dang. you go girl. YOU CAN DO THIS!!! Fo. Sho.

  6. Laura July 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm #

    Oh, bother. I love how open you are. Openhearted, Cheese-lovin, s-shaped pooper MomWifey with a great personality.

  7. jennifer white July 25, 2011 at 9:59 pm #

    Was the pic before or after the DP?

  8. Mandy July 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    Wow, thanks for sharing! You are a tough girl. Can’t wait to hear more details about the vegan experiment, I have been intrigued since reading The Kind Life!!!
    So glad you started the blog, luv reading it!

  9. Shouna Loyall Brown July 25, 2011 at 10:12 pm #

    I love this blog!!! I have read many a blog and none have made me smile so much! Love, love the honesty and how open you are with all of us loyal followers! And I don’t know if I could ever give up the dr pepper! Love the pic! Keep on trucking!

  10. artisantheory July 26, 2011 at 12:13 am #

    I loved the history, Christa. I had no idea. it bugs me (a lot) that I lost touch with you guys over the years. I hope to make it up now that you live in Shawnee and I’m ALWAYS there. Thanks for the post!

  11. Seasie July 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    The picture!!! Hahaha aha!!!! I love you more every day on this blog! So crazy to recap the past 6-7 years and see all you Gerbers have overcome!!! Mad props, my ear.

  12. Seasie July 26, 2011 at 8:29 pm #

    Ugh…my *dear.

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