Redefining January 6th
January 6th has always had special significance. It was the day a beautiful lady, my mother Carolyn was born. She would have been 80 years old today had a nasty brain tumor called a glioblastoma not taken years off of her life in 2019. She was truly a smart and beautiful woman. My husband has confessed a few times to noticing my mother was a beautiful lady as he made his choice to spend a lifetime with 21-year-old me. He was hoping the apple would fall close to the tree. I think he made a good choice. I know I did. I love you and miss you, Mom.
One year ago, my view of January 6th was hijacked forever. It was no longer only Mom’s special day. Horrible people did horrible things on her birthday. Her day will forever now be associated with the day bad people tried to overthrow democracy in America. It was the day that the “back the blue” crowd would turn a blind eye to assaults on peace officers. It also marked a day that otherwise rationale people would deny anything bad happened. It makes me sad that so many could be manipulated by a group of money and power-hungry con artists so easily, but here we are.
Today, we added another asterisk to January 6th. Today, both my husband and I tested positive for Covid. We are both fully vaccinated. We got our booster shots in October as soon as we were allowed to do so. So far, we are just feeling some cold-like symptoms. My husband most likely was infected on New Year’s Eve when his band played at our local pub. I’m pretty sure he shared with me during that pre-symptom time. I had skipped the event in hopes that we would reduce the chances of bringing home omicron by half. Hopefully at least our viral dose is lower. I feel pretty lucky that we made it as long as we did before getting this virus. I also feel fairly confident that we will weather this challenge without significant health effects. We have worked hard in the past year to get healthy and lean. This virus has an affinity for adipose (fat) tissue. Our health journeys have helped to drastically decrease the amount of adipose tissue available to support viral replication in our bodies.
Many people with whom we talk about this journey say there is no way they could give up the foods we have chosen to exclude from our diets. I get it. We did a pretty drastic thing. It was, for us, a matter of life and death. As I explained to my husband after his bypass surgery, they restored blood flow to the parts of his heart that were being deprived, but they didn’t fix the clogged vessels in his brain, his neck, or his abdomen and legs. He has to choose to help himself reverse those areas, if he wants a good quality of life going forward. Heart failure sucks. Stroke is debilitating. I’ve seen patients cope with the life altering and limiting effects of both. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. Nor would I wish another bypass surgery on anyone.
We are expecting our first grandbaby in April, with the assumption there may be several more to come since we have four girls. Kids need their grandparents. My girls need their daddy. I need my husband. Given these factors, diet changes were an easy choice. This crazy lady went on a rampage and threw out every bit of food contraband in one dramatic swoop. We went pretty much cold turkey. There was some turmoil. There were recipe flops. There was some shopping re-education. There were ultimatums. It’s all about what you value. Do you value the people who love you, or do you value your favorite foods? There may be issues with food addiction that complicate this process, but the science is clear. The most long-lived healthy people in the world are those who eat a mostly whole food plant-based (WFPB) diet with little to no animal products consumed. We know this. They’ve always told us to eat our fruits, veggies, whole grains and legumes. That hasn’t changed.
Where would someone start? You have two options. You could take the gradual approach and ween yourself off of the standard American diet (SAD). You could focus on adding healthy foods into your diet to crowd out the unhealthy foods. You could designate one day a week as WFPB meal day, then later add a second day and a third until you are eating mostly whole plant foods during the week. Your second option is to commit to the change and do as we did going cold turkey. There are several resources that can help you do this including the free 21 Day Vegan Kick Start from the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine or a paid meal planner such as Rich Roll’s Plant Power Meal Planner at https://meals.richroll.com/.
Whatever you do, realize that this is a health continuum. Whatever you choose to put in your body will yield a corresponding state of health or disease. If you are truly interested in reversing disease, then an oil free whole food plant-based diet is the best way to go. Whatever positive changes you make will help slow disease progression. Some changes have actually been shown to reverse disease. Wouldn’t it be great if you were able to remember January 6th as the date you decided to take your health back from the money and power hungry food industry?
**While I am a certified and registered holistic nurse with an extensive background in the study of nutrition and health, I AM NOT YOUR DOCTOR. You should always consult with your doctor about the best diet for your health needs. If you find your own doctor doesn’t have the knowledge to support your journey toward a plant based diet (and many do not), there are some excellent doctors available through Plant Based Telehealth, who have proven to be quite helpful on our journey.