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I''m going Vegan! (Hidden parts might be TMI)

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luckystar112

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So, a while back......a long while back, I started a thread on trying to make the transition from meat-eater to vegetarian. Except, nothing ever came from it. I couldn't bring myself to give up my precious wings and chipolte burritos.

I wanted to become a vegetarian strictly for the animals, first and foremost, but was having a hard time getting over the hump of actually doing it.
Then I noticed that I gained a lot of weight in a short amount of time (the course of a year.....you may remember my panicked thread about not being able to fit in my wedding dress...
) and I kept telling myself that I wanted to eat better...but I never did. I have a habit of getting these great ideas and never following through with them.

This is where it might get a little TMI. Just warning you. If you want to read it, highlight the paragraph below between the *s

*I have a cyst. In a weird place. Okay, it's on my butt, right where the crack starts, but still on the cheek (but, closer to the crack than the cheek) if that makes sense. I've actually had it for a LONG time...over the course of 5 years, but it didn't bother me. Then suddenly it got very painful, to the point where I couldn't even walk or sit or anything. I went to the doctor and he drained it (OUCH! btw). He said I was going to have to have surgery to remove the sack. I ignored him. That was in December. Well, a few days ago it flared up again and "released" on its own. Which was TERRIFYING. I thought I was going to poison myself with bacteria and so I went back to the hospital. Different doctor, same message: You will need surgery to remove the sack. Apparently cysts in this area are either regular old boils/abscesses, or they are caused by an ingrown hair that sort of nests itself under your skin as it grows----gross, I know. Luckily, the first doctor, who cut it open, said there was no hair in there. I think that if it was a true pilonidal (hair) cyst, surgery would be my only hope. But since I think it was just a boil, I began looking for other "cures" so I can make surgery a last resort. I don't have health insurance, I would have to be out of school/work for a month, and I am seriously SERIOUSLY afraid of general anesthesia. So those are my reasons. *
So, that's when I started really considering going vegan. I have heard that these things thrive on animal protein and cutting it out of my diet alltogether may help my body get rid of it on its own. I have NOT talked a doctor about this. It's my own "hypothesis", I guess you could say. Going vegan would basically solve all of my dilemnas. I wouldn't be eating animals anymore, I would lose weight, and I won't have to have surgery. I have also been taking some cat's claw pills several times a day to try and help the aforementioned problem in the white paragraph.

I'm only on day 1, but I'm starting to realize that it is a lot harder and a lot EASIER than it looks. Easier in the sense that you can actually eat more things than you think, and harder in the sense that I don't cook--and that a lot of recipes on the net seem like things I wouldn't consider yummy. I also messed up already when making my wheat pasta with fresh veggies.......I thought it was a little bland so I sprinkled on some parmesan cheese.
DUH! Didn't realize till after the fact.


But I guess you could say that I am more committed to this than I was before, and I want to do all that I can to make it work. I'm still learning. If there are any people out there who know of any good vegan recipes that are easy to make (as in, require few ingredients), or that have any helpful tips (even on the "white" section...which would be even MORE appreciated), please share!
 

Bia

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Good for you! (Yes, I read the whole thing
)

I think this is great. You''re ready to try, and you''re doing it (don''t worry about slip ups :) If this is something that you feel will make you healthy and happy then you''re doing the right thing. It won''t be easy but you''ll be fine as long as you don''t beat yourself up.


Again, good for you! I couldn''t go vegan but I am giving up meat for the entire month of February, just to detox a bit. I''ll let you know how that goes.

 

E B

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lucky,

I wish you the best of luck on your journey! As someone who eats meat (though not much at all) but no dairy products, I won't lie- it isn't easy at first, but it's doable and becomes a bit easier with each new day. If you have any questions about meat/dairy replacements, let me know! My husband is a vegetarian, so we eat a pretty vegan diet.

I don't know if you're familiar with LiveJournal, but if you are, this community might be helpful. You can ask questions about substitutions, and people are always posting new recipes, often with
photos.

Vegan Cooking

Again, good luck!


ETA: I forgot to add: be sure to check all pre-made food ingredients (breads, frozen dinners, etc.) before buying. You'd be surprised at what has milk/eggs hidden it it. Once you get the hang of it, though, you'll know what's safe and what to avoid.
 

klewis

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871
If the doctor said being a vegan won''t help with the you-know-what, would you still want to do it?
I won''t mention "the white section" (blush, blush), and chuckled at the thought of you reaching for the parmesan. I''ve been a vegetarian for about 30 years now - we just decided to make Christmas dinner in 1981 was our last meat meal (which left our friend who we were sharing a house with, to finish off a huge turkey, and she managed it too!) and we have never eaten meat since. It will probably take you ages to develop a repertoire of vegan meals - and you''ll probably wonder where the choice is in the "vegan choice of the day" on the restaurant menu. I guess the choice is you order it or you don''t. It will be a bit of a grind at the beginning but you can do it and I wish you every success.
 

klewis

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You''ll find lots of really tasty vegan choices in Indian and Middle Eastern food.
 

miraclesrule

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I am major league impressed that she can even do a mystery hidden section. That was awesome.

Those little buggers are a nightmare. They recur all the time, even if the doctor thinks they got the "lining". I have one on top of my head. I had one on my stomach by my waist. I finally had it cut out and have a small scar, because I got tired of them taking it out, only to recur. Same with the one on my head. I am going to try to get it removed for good.

I never read that they thrived on protein. I suppose it makes sense, but you still need protein in your diet. Of course it''s possible to get that from nuts, lentils, and other vegan food sources, but I don''t know if it will help with the TMI issue.

I am vegan usually 4 days a week. I am still trying to wrap myself around the cooking issue too. I admire your declaration to commit yourself to that lifestyle. And even if you don''t remove some small sources from your diet, you will be healthier as long as you don''t rely on processed snack foods.

I will follow along with you to get some good suggestions and recipes. If you do feel an urge to eat meat, my suggestion is to make it special, make is small, and try only to eat meat from an organic pastured animal.
 

iheartscience

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Hahaha that mystery paragraph totally blew my mind-I couldn''t figure it out at first!


I have a lot of vegan friends, and most of them eat a lot of tempeh, seitan, tofu, peanut butter, hummus, beans, lentils, etc. to get their protein. Also tons of fruit and veggies, as well as rice, pasta, etc., although I''m sure you know a ton of carbs is probably less healthy than meat! I think that''s one danger with going vegetarian or vegan without putting a ton of effort into it-it''s easy to not eat meat, but it''s a lot harder to make sure to eat balanced meals and get enough protein! I have a couple of vegetarian friends who eat like crap...pizza, pasta, etc. are their diet mainstays. I''m always like, I hope you''re not vegetarian for the health benefits!

I know you''re in Texas and that''s probably a very meaty state, but do you have any health food stores near you? That would be an easy place to go to get food products and ideas for recipes. There''s one near me that has TONS of prepared foods that are vegan as well as all the fake lunch meat, tempeh, tofu, seitan, etc. Whole Foods has a

Also, Ethiopian food is almost all vegan and it is DELICIOUS. One of my favorite types of food!
 

luckystar112

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hehe All I did to make a "secret paragraph" was change the text color to white. I know some of you don''t have that option, I use Internet Explorer, and I think you can do it in firefox too.

Thanks for all the words of encouragement.

I''m actually going to meet with a surgeon on Tuesday. I''m going to throw my vegan idea at him to see what he says. Would I want to go vegan if he tells me that it won''t work? Honestly, probably not. This "problem" is really the biggest factor in my decision. I have a ton of respect for that lifestyle choice, but there are some things that I really hate giving up. Specifically milk....it''s pretty much all I drink! I am kind of expecting him to tell me that it won''t work, and if so I will still change my diet dramatically since I KNOW it is having an effect on my health. I would probably do something like Miracles, and go vegan for most of the week. I would still cut out fried foods, sugary treats, red meat, etc. Perhaps only treat myself to the occasional piece of fish or chicken. So either way, my diet will change.

Not only do I probably live in the meatiest state in the United States, but I live in Houston, which has the most restaurants per square mile of any place in the nation! I guess that is both good and bad-- bad since there is so much temptation and good because I will probably be able to find someplace that serves a wide variety of vegetarian and vegan foods. I don''t live anywhere near a whole foods, but my local grocery story is kind of a copycat in that they offer lots of organic fruits and vegetables as well as fresh grains, oats, nuts, etc. They have a huge health section.

Ebree, thanks for the livejournal tip! I will definitely check that out later.

I bought Tofu! It was one of those things that was like, "I think I''m supposed to get this?" But to be honest I have no idea what to do with it. My Asian friend told me to fry it in a pan. lol.

Miracles, did you go under general anesthesia to get yours removed? It''s silly, but I''m just really scared that I''ll be one of those people that dies during the operation or that is awake the whole time. Apparently the odds are only 1 in 200,000.
But I did do some more searching today and found a forum for people with my same problem. They seem to recommend Managed Anesthesia Care, which is a mixture of local anesthesia and an IV. Apparently you are able to respond to commands but you don''t remember the incident. So I guess that means you''re awake? I''m definitely going to ask the surgeon about this on Tuesday.

Back on topic, I am very excited for this lifestyle change, even if in the end I won''t fit the definition of vegan that my fellow slacker friends subscribe to.
 

miraclesrule

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Tricky!! White font. What a brainiac you are.

I can''t even find the font color button on Firefox, so I can''t stand to use it on PS. I use it for most other things though.

To answer your question. No..no general anesthesia. Just a little local. But I swear it looked like the guy was going to take a boatload from my stomach. I was so freaked out, but mainly because I was still heavily into tribal fusion belly dancing and was bummed I would have sutures and a scar with an exposed belly during practice and dancing. However, the samll scar was better than the huge nodule that was there. I didn''t watch, but I did cry after he sutured it because I could tell that there would be a slight bump on one end of the incision. I thought he could have done a better job. But eh, you can hardly even tell now. He made a football shaped incision and then dug that badboy outta me. With the one on my head, it came out looking like a near perfect circle pearl, so the doctor was certain that the lining was excised as well, but it grew back. I am scared to think of the kind of incision they would do to the top of my head.
I don''t want a bald patch.


It''s not bad when you can''t see them performing the surgery, and therefore, you can be grateful about that ...at least.

You don''t need to be scared. My only concern is that yours appear to get infected, while mine have never done that. And trust me, there were times that the node on my belly seemed so close to the surface that I could go at it myself and don''t think I didn''t try. Even then I was lucky never to have caused an infection. I was really dumb at times.
 

neatfreak

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Good for you for wanting to change your lifestyle! My DH is a vegetarian (I don''t eat a lot of meat either) and we have a few vegan friends. One thing I will mention is that vegan/vegetarian doesn''t mean healthy necessarily. Many of my vegan friends are the unhealthiest people I know because instead of cutting out things like butter, they replace it with vegan margarine which isn''t really better! So just be very aware of those types of things if you are really doing for the health benefits otherwise you''d be better off just making better choices with your non-vegan diet.

Health benefit wise you''d probably have an easier time and enjoy it more if you simply started to "eat clean" like you mentioned (in case the surgeon says going vegan won''t help you). It''s amazing how much just cutting out extra sugars and white carbs can affect your body!

Whatever you decide to do, best of luck with it.
 

Loves Vintage

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Here''s a simple recipe idea for you.

Take a block of extra firm tofu and press out extra water by wrapping in paper towels, putting on a plate with another place on top and then put something on top to weigh it down, for about 15 minutes. Slice tofu into 1/4 inch slices.

Saute onions and peppers in olive oil. Add tofu and brown on each side. It might be easier to brown the tofu in a separate pan, or preferably, a wok. Add some taco seasoning mix (mix in water first) and add to veggies and tofu; saute a bit more. Serve in the soft corn taco shells you can find in the dairy section of the supermarket.

Do you like Thai food? Usually, you can order any dish in a thai restaurant with tofu instead of meat.
 

E B

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Messages
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Lucky,

Even if your surgeon says becoming a vegan (or cutting way back on meat/dairy) won''t help, I''d do it anyway, and I''ll tell you why: as a teenager, I had moderate heartburn four or five times a week, and saw two or three doctors who all promptly wrote me very expensive prescriptions for a Zantac equivalent (though stronger). Not one suggested I try an elimination diet.

Only after a blood test (that my MOM suggested after doing some research online!) did I realize I could have an intolerance to several different types of food, and with elimination of the offending foods, I''ve eliminated a good 90 percent of the heartburn.

It isn''t the same situation, but if you''ve read your issue could be aggravated by animal protein, it never hurts to give it a try for a month or two. If you see improvement, keep going, and if not, you can always go back to the old way.
 

shimmer

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
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I was vegan for a couple of years, vegetarian for most of my life. The best resource I have found is this blog Fat Free Vegan. She has some of the best recipes I have tried! Also, she''s a busy mom so there''s a section on ''Quick and Easy'' recipes. There are also good tips on how to make vegan substitutes in your regular recipes.
 

MishB

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 16, 2008
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656
I was reading the white section thinking WTF does that have to do with being a vegan?? Lucky I kept reading!

I really admire you for even attempting this. I love animals, I am very passionate about animal rights, eg horse racing, circuses, zoos, rodeos, I support several animal charities and both of my pets are shelter adoptions.

Theoretically I would love to give up meat and animal products, but they just taste soooo good. Pork chops taste gooood. And cheese.
I''m not ready yet, but hopefully one day.

Good luck to you, I hope it does help your health issues.
 

MishB

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PS, I''m sure I could manage to be the world''s first fat vegan, I could live almost exclusively on potato products. French fries, mashed potato, tater tots, hashbrowns..
 

neatfreak

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Date: 2/2/2009 4:40:50 AM
Author: MishB
PS, I''m sure I could manage to be the world''s first fat vegan, I could live almost exclusively on potato products. French fries, mashed potato, tater tots, hashbrowns..
You wouldn''t be the first, there are more than you think!
 

Loves Vintage

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How''s it going, LuckyStar?

Have you had your tofu yet?

It''ll be interesting to hear what the surgeon says about this.
 

vespergirl

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Hey there, I totally encourage your choice, but I will say that I was vegetarian for 2 years, and went vegan for one year, and I gained about 20 pounds during the time. When I went back to eating meat, the weight came off. I was eating a lot of eastern foods (Indian and East Asian cuisines have great vegan recipes) but maybe it was all the carbs that did me in.

I have another friends who recently went vegan, and she also gained weight. She found she was eating much more food, putting more olive oil on the food, etc., to give it flavor.

Anyway, I know that it works for many people, but speaking for at least two of us, we actually gained weight on a vegetarian, and then vegan diet.

I will say, however, that if you''re in it for heart health, it''s great for lowering your cholesterol and blood pressure.

Good luck!
 

AmberGretchen

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Way to go lucky - just wanted to check how this is going for you.

I''ve been a vegetarian since I was 5 years old (by choice) and I really respect the decision you are making. I''m also really glad you started this thread because my DH and I are considering moving to Houston, and I''m really glad to know there is a listing of Houston veggie restaurants.

If you want a treat, the company I''ll be working for took us to Hugo''s while I was there visiting, and their food (two of us were vegetarians at the table) was fabulous - really tasty and interesting, and I think a lot of it was vegan too
 

luckystar112

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Date: 2/2/2009 3:32:15 PM
Author: Loves Vintage
How's it going, LuckyStar?

Have you had your tofu yet?

It'll be interesting to hear what the surgeon says about this.
I haven't!
I came here to ask you if you think medium-hard tofu would work with the recipe you posted.
Is anyone here able to break down the different hardnesses and what they mean? For example, what soft tofu is used for, firm tofu, etc? So confused about that!

Things have been going okay over here. I really need to put my chef's hat on and learn some new recipes, but I've been getting by on banana sandwiches, cucumber salads, veggies and pasta, stir-fry, etc. I can TOTALLY see how gaining weight can occur. For one, I feel like I'm always starving. And two, I'm totally guilty of the olive oil over my veggies, etc.

Shimmer, thank you SO much for that website. It's amazing....and once I saw they had a desert section I was sold!

AmberGretchen, so far I know of only 1 vegan friendly restaurant in my area, but I'm sure there is a lot more. I haven't checked the link that lovesvintage posted yet, but I plan to once the weekend rolls around and we're looking for somewhere to eat. We live kind of far out from all the action in the inner loop, but I bet there is a ton of great places there.

If anyone is interested in the follow-up to my story, you know the drill....

*So I went to the surgeon today. He told me that it was a pilonidal cyst (I learned that they don't have to have hair in them to be considered so) and I probably scared the guy because I started crying my eyes out.
On top of that, I forgot to ask him if being vegan would help at all. The good news is that he seems like a great surgeon (I read all of his certificates). Here is his
website. Although I don't exactly know what I'm looking for. He seems to do a lot of lap band surgeries, so this is probably nothing for him. He also made it seem like it was no big deal when I got the surgery. He was just like, "whenever you're ready. This summer, whenever." So I guess I just have to build up some confidence and suck it up.*

But in the meantime I'm going to continue on my vegan path. Is there such thing as a lactovegan? lol Probably not, huh? 3 days is probably the longest I've gone without milk in my life! I think the hardest part is that I went grocery shopping the day I decided to do this, so there is all this temptation in the house. I've been okay so far though.
 

dragonfly411

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Lucky
You can always inquire about how things are cooked at the restaurant. I know most places I go have a least a vegetarian option, and normally they''ll work to help with vegan. Is there a reason you feel the need to go completely vegan? If the "problem" didn''t associate with it, might you consider just vegetarian? And get free roam eggs and organic milk? This tends to be much healthier for all.
 

monarch64

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Lucky, hands down this is by far the most fascinating explanation of why a person wants to go vegan! I''m also very impressed by your invisible paragraph, it was like writing with lemon juice when you''re a kid, ha ha!

I went vegetarian about 3.5 years ago, have often thought of going vegan but haven''t made that transition yet. I like reading threads about how others go about doing so...it''s inspirational, anyway.
 

neatfreak

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Date: 2/3/2009 7:32:23 PM
Author: luckystar112
Date: 2/2/2009 3:32:15 PM

Author: Loves Vintage

How''s it going, LuckyStar?


Have you had your tofu yet?


It''ll be interesting to hear what the surgeon says about this.
I haven''t!

I came here to ask you if you think medium-hard tofu would work with the recipe you posted.

Is anyone here able to break down the different hardnesses and what they mean? For example, what soft tofu is used for, firm tofu, etc? So confused about that!


Things have been going okay over here. I really need to put my chef''s hat on and learn some new recipes, but I''ve been getting by on banana sandwiches, cucumber salads, veggies and pasta, stir-fry, etc. I can TOTALLY see how gaining weight can occur. For one, I feel like I''m always starving. And two, I''m totally guilty of the olive oil over my veggies, etc.


Shimmer, thank you SO much for that website. It''s amazing....and once I saw they had a desert section I was sold!


AmberGretchen, so far I know of only 1 vegan friendly restaurant in my area, but I''m sure there is a lot more. I haven''t checked the link that lovesvintage posted yet, but I plan to once the weekend rolls around and we''re looking for somewhere to eat. We live kind of far out from all the action in the inner loop, but I bet there is a ton of great places there.


If anyone is interested in the follow-up to my story, you know the drill....


*So I went to the surgeon today. He told me that it was a pilonidal cyst (I learned that they don''t have to have hair in them to be considered so) and I probably scared the guy because I started crying my eyes out.
On top of that, I forgot to ask him if being vegan would help at all. The good news is that he seems like a great surgeon (I read all of his certificates). Here is his
website. Although I don''t exactly know what I''m looking for. He seems to do a lot of lap band surgeries, so this is probably nothing for him. He also made it seem like it was no big deal when I got the surgery. He was just like, ''whenever you''re ready. This summer, whenever.'' So I guess I just have to build up some confidence and suck it up.*



But in the meantime I''m going to continue on my vegan path. Is there such thing as a lactovegan? lol Probably not, huh? 3 days is probably the longest I''ve gone without milk in my life! I think the hardest part is that I went grocery shopping the day I decided to do this, so there is all this temptation in the house. I''ve been okay so far though.
Yes there is such a thing as a lactovegan, but it''s called a vegetarian.
 

Loves Vintage

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Date: 2/3/2009 7:32:23 PM
Author: luckystar112


Date: 2/2/2009 3:32:15 PM
Author: Loves Vintage
How's it going, LuckyStar?

Have you had your tofu yet?

It'll be interesting to hear what the surgeon says about this.
I haven't!
I came here to ask you if you think medium-hard tofu would work with the recipe you posted.
Is anyone here able to break down the different hardnesses and what they mean? For example, what soft tofu is used for, firm tofu, etc? So confused about that!
Your question is a little difficult because I notice the textures depend a lot on the brand, but here goes. I've only used soft tofu once, and that was to bake a cheesecake with no cheese. When it is broken down (mixed), I think the texture is almost pudding-like. I do think that I've had it in some asian restaurants, deep fried, because I noticed the texture of the tofu was more gelatinous, and not in a way that is appealing to me.

Nasoya is the brand that is typically sold in supermarkets near me. I think the firm would be fine, but I would try to get extra firm if I had a choice. Not sure that I've seen medium-hard before, but I would suggest really trying to get as much water out and then trying it out.

They also carry pre-marinated tofu now. That might be a good way for you to start because it's prepared already, you don't need to drain it or season it. I think you just slice and heat. I haven't tried those yet myself. They have them at Trader Joe's if you have one near you, or they would have it at Whole Foods, I'm sure.

Now, what about convenience items like veggie burgers? Morning Star Farms Grillers (or Grillers Prime) are delish! I checked there site, and they do have a vegan Grillers product too.

Do you like beans? Refried beans? You can always take corn tortillas and make tacos with beans as the base instead of meat.

Hope this helps. BTW, I've been Lacto-Ovo for 20 years. I've tried to go vegan, but it was just too difficult for me.
 

strmrdr

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23,295
*I they are caused by a bacterial infection and diet wont help. Any reacquiring infection should be dealt with and not let go, It can lead to anti-biotic resistance and at worst toxic shock syndrome *
 

dragonfly411

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7,378
This might help too. I''ve always thought soft tofu to be a bit custardy in texture.

I missed the update before. I WOULD call and ask what he thinks of the idea... but Really and truly try vegetarian.
 

trillionaire

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Messages
3,881
Good for you, Lucky! I want to be Vegan when I grow up! I have to wait until I am married, though, since SO said he would leave me if I went Vegan, so I will wait until he is stuck with me.
 

Amanda.Rx

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Messages
903
OK- the hidden paragraph thing was WAY cool.

My sister actually had your same problem, in the same location. She''s having it surgically removed, I believe. If your surgeon suggests removing it, I would do the same (unless you just want a 2nd opinion). General anesthesia can definately be a scary thing, but in today''s world, it''s a fairly safe thing if you don''t have serious underlying medical problems. You certainly don''t want the problem to exacerbate and land you in the hospital.

As far as the diet goes, I have no idea- but I don''t think it will cure the problem (it might HELP, but not CURE). I personally don''t think being vegan is the healthiest way to live (but neither is eating at Burger King 5 times a week), and if you''re doing it strictly for personal beliefs, then that''s your own call. I would talk to your doctor first, though, and get his opinion.

Either way, good luck with it. I hope that it brings you health and happiness!
 
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