Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My experiment with a vegan diet.

Increasing frustration with my worsening pre-menopausal drop in calcium absorption I hit the research - again - looking for options. My first question was "is eating so much dairy the best way to go (which is what I had been doing) or are there better foods out there that do the same?".  I'd already found seaweed calcium and was having ricotta at lunch and yoghurt with breakfast and supper, as well as the occasional hot milk or chai latte but my nails were still deteriorating and I didn't want to go down the path of some of the less organic calcium supplements.  And I can't eat cheese because of my allergy to molds and fungi. I get plenty of sunshine in the garden on my days off so the Vitamin D is good.  My reading around the subject showed me that most fruits and vegetables have calcium in them and that some seeds and grains like amaranth, quinoa and chia all have very high proportions of calcium in them.

Three weeks ago I decided to be brave and try out a vegan approach (I'd already gone back to being vegetarian about 15 months ago), keeping a close eye on my finger nails for any improvement or deterioration, with the fall back position of visiting the doctor for a blood check of my calcium levels if I had any doubts.

So far

  • my nails are holding out on their verdict - certainly not breaking but I need more time to see the quality of new nail growth to tell any changes for sure.
  • I have a sense of smell! - something that has only ever been a rare event for me in the presence of very strong smells - its a fascinating experience acquiring a new sense.
  • My sinuses are clear - which probably is the cause of the above regaining of the sense of smell and I don't know yet whether its a one-off but standing out in the cold waiting for the bus my eyes weren't streaming this morning
  • overall I seem to have more energy, better concentration but not sleeping as long as I used too.