About eight years ago my diet was not that great. I had major changes in my personal life that led me to not eating the best food. I was always on the go and eating fast food. I never drank water and always had a diet coke in my hand. It was December 2004 and I started experiencing major back pains.
Little did I know that I was passing a kidney stone and I chose not to tell anyone about what was happening. The pain finally got the best of me and I ended up in the emergency, admitted for possible surgery.
Thank goodness that the x-rays showed the stone was on its way out. My doctor advised me to change my diet, drink more water, and that he did not want to see me in his office again. I did start to drink more water and stopped frequent trips to the fast food joints. It wasn’t until 2007 that I passed kidney stones again. By this time, my diet had changed drastically I was eating more vegetables, not drinking soft drinks at all, I was only drinking water, and fast food joints were something I did not go to at all.
So I had to ask myself, why was I still passing kidney stones?
My partner had become vegetarian and as always, he researched information about the benefits of being a vegetarian. What he found in his research was a link between protein and kidney stones. There are other reasons why some people pass kidney stones such as a genetic predisposition, too much calcium or even sodium. My boyfriend suggested I omit meat from my diet for a bit to see if I would pass kidney stones. Sure enough I stopped eating meat for about a month and did not pass one kidney stone. But did this stop me from eating meat? No, I did not. When I became pregnant last year, I passed a kidney stone in my fourth month of pregnancy because I ate meat. It was one of the worse occurrences since my first time passing a kidney stone. After that we happened upon a fair at the mall. There was a health magazine on the table and one of the articles included staying away from meat in order to avoid passing kidney stones. This reinforced the notion that for the duration of my pregnancy, I needed to stay away from any meat. I have not passed a kidney stone in the last seven months. I maintained a healthy weight during my pregnancy and managed to be six pounds away from my pre-pregnancy weight.
Since then I have been thinking that if we are going to raise our daughter vegetarian, that I need to change my lifestyle so as not to send mixed messages to her as she gets older. I also don’t want to go through the pain of passing a kidney stone again. Mothers need to be extra healthy with a new baby depending on them for nourishment.
How has a vegetarian and vegan lifestyle improved your health?
Since going vegetarian or vegan, was there a health condition that was completely eradicated from your medical history?
photo credit: Minimalist Photography