I have always been an active person. I still ride my horse, I get out and about, and I can still throw a 50 pound bag of chicken feed over my shoulder. I do have a job where I tend to sit, but I do get up and move around. Could I run a 5k? Probably not. ( I hate running and I wouldn’t do that even if I could.) But overall, I consider myself to be in darn good shape for my age.
So I go to my annual medical visit. Weight, height, pee in the cup, blah blah blah. And blood pressure.
This is where it gets ugly. 140 over 90.
Now, I have ALWAYS ALWAYS had low blood pressure. If I was ever 120 over 80, that was high for me. I bragged about my low blood pressure. I wore it like a badge of honor. Gloated, even.
So I am in disbelief when my doctor tells me this. He asked me “did your parents have hypertension?”
” Yes, both did.”
“Well”, he says “There you go.” For crying out loud. My parents ate poorly, drank like it was an episode from Mad Men, and didn’t exercise at all. No effing way.
My doctor says that I can control this with diet. And he wants me to follow a specific regimen for 6 weeks.
Full on vegan.
Ok, kill me now. The no-meat thing I can manage, but NO CHEESE? Seriously? If I could marry cheese and live with it forever, I would. That is how much I love cheese. I think my blood pressure will go up because I am so pissed at not being able to have some goat cheese.
So, having gone through:
Denial-“Your blood pressure gadget isn’t working. Take it again. No, it’s still not working”
Anger-“I do everything right! I don’t over-salt! This sucks!”
Bargaining-“Can I have butter? No? Can I have skim mozzarella?” Jeez.
Depression-“I won’t be able to go out. I will have to bring my food with me. I will be pathetic. People will think I’m a real vegan and not a medically induced one…”
Acceptance–“Fine. It’s only 6 weeks. I like vegetables. I don’t like medications.”
Thus begins my foray into the world of veganism. The first night I had some dark red kidney beans, some diced tomatoes and chilies, add some Penzey’s Taco spice and put it in a tortilla. And you know what? It was really good. And filling!
And my husband is on the vegan bandwagon as well, bless his heart. He is joining me in the effort, and is looking for recipes we can make. We both love to cook together, so we will explore this as a team. My son’s fiancée has been eating vegan and she is going to send me recipes and we are going to do this together. She is my VB. Vegan Buddy.
I am only 5 days into this, but it really is not as bad as I thought. I don’t feel as deprived as I thought I would. And I did blow the vegan diet off for brunch today, because it was my son’s birthday. I had gazpacho-that met the vegan standard- then had Moule Frites. I love this French dish of mussels with skinny French fries. And they were perfect. I think I actually enjoyed them more, because they were a treat, not the norm. Ok, I can deal with that.
One up side.My doctor told me one glass of wine a day does help lower blood pressure. Thank God. One small victory.
While this really felt like a curve ball, I am thankful that I am so healthy. This is a part of life. My life. And I am really very, very fortunate.
So I will keep you all posted on my progress. What I would really, really love if you would share some vegan recipes if you have any. Your support would be a real boost.
I’m in it to win it. And I will. I’m coming for ya, blood pressure. Your days are numbered! You’re going down….