By writing this post, I have no intentions of forcing any of my opinions upon you. It’s solely based on my experiences of becoming a vegetarian. I do not expect you to convert into one and if you do, I shall accept no credits/blame 🙂
(To quickly get to the point, you could jump a few paras down. If you want to know my story, start reading here)
If you told anyone who knew me about a year ago that I’d become a vegetarian, they would ask you if you were out of your mind. I was the kind who couldn’t survive a day without at least one nonvegetarian dish. There’s this rule that runs in my family that on Thursdays, nonveg food isn’t allowed to be eaten. It’s been followed since God knows how many generations. I absolutely hated that rule. It would drive me crazy. I’d ask everyone, “Why would someone make such a rule? There’s no scientific reason behind it”, “Why do people follow random rules?” etc. They would keep quiet and just expect me to accept the rule without any reason.
Since I was a kid, I’ve had asthma. One of the most annoying things ever. My immunity was pretty weak because of asthma and every time I built it, an asthma attack would ruin it again. When it would rain, kids would play football in it and no matter how badly, I wanted to go and play, my mom wouldn’t let me because rain would lead to a cold and cold would lead to wheezing and then that might lead to an asthma attack. After being admitted to the hospital twice because of it, my mom didn’t want to take any chances.
I never let asthma stop me though. I played all sorts of games and took part in all sorts of sports. I was a part of the school swimming team at one point of time, I was one of the best at high jumps and long jumps, I secured first place in my class in the hundred-meter race back in high school. I loved playing. I’d get back from school and eat lunch as quickly as possible and run out to play with my friends. I also loved working out. I aimed to have a body like that of Hrithik Roshan someday and I worked towards it. Asthma was just another thing I had to deal with and it was pretty okay until around a few years ago.
A few years ago, I had to stop all sorts of extracurricular activity because I was asked to focus on my academics. I needed to get into a good college. I stopped everything all at once. No more sports, no more exercise. This obviously took a toll on my body. I gained weight and became lazy and soon, my asthma attacks started happening randomly. They started becoming more and more frequent.
You’re probably wondering why I talked about my diet in the first para? Let’s get to that now.
So, a few years passed and I did whatever I could to reduce my asthma. I met with a few doctors and they gave me medicines that I consumed and felt better for a few days and then the attacks would start again. I didn’t want to survive on medicines so I got back into working out, not as much as before but I did do whatever I could. My stamina had become much worse than before so I couldn’t do much, but I tried. Nothing really stopped the asthma attacks though. They kept happening and I always ended up being forced to take the medicines.
Then, very fortunately, I made a friend and was talking to her about this and she told me about how veganism might help. It made no sense to me and I didn’t believe what I ate could affect my lungs! She knew I wouldn’t believe in anything unless I knew how it worked. So she asked me to look it up myself.
Here’s what I found, let me tell you in brief.
So asthma is an inflammatory disease. The inflammations are what cause you to feel breathless. It’s a terrible feeling.
And guess what? Nonvegetarian food causes inflammations. So if you do the maths right (lol), you’ll come up with an obvious solution. Stop eating nonvegetarian food.
Still, I didn’t believe it so I kept reading articles. I read this one post where a lot of people who had asthma had tried it. That’s when I got a little motivation. A lot of people who had asthma went from eating a proper three-time nonvegetarian meal directly to eating a completely plant-based, vegan meal and saw the difference within a week. I couldn’t directly jump into being a vegan plus here where I stay, vegan meals are expensive and not very accessible especially if you rely on outside ready to eat food.
So I thought, I’ll try to go from nonvegetarian to vegetarian for a month first and see if it makes any difference. Here’s how it went.
WEEK: 1 – 2
The first two weeks were very hard and because my luck is such a treat to live with, a lot of my friends had their birthdays in these two weeks. They obviously treated us in these fancy nonvegetarian places where I’d always wanted to go but I’d made up my mind. I had to stick to what I’d decided. So no matter what, no matter how tempting it was, I didn’t have even a bite of the nonvegetarian food. I had one asthma attack in these two weeks (as far as I remember) in contrast to 4 in a week.
Things started getting a bit easier. When I saw nonveg food, I still felt tempted but it wasn’t as much as before. My family was glad it was the fourth week because then I’d stop this “madness”. I hadn’t even one asthma attack in the past two weeks.
MONTH: 2 – 4
My family was heartbroken when I told them that I would probably never eat nonveg ever again because I felt good. I felt energetic and asthma was hardly seen. Yes, if I ran a lot, my lungs would burn and I’d become very breathless and I might have taken a pump from the inhaler but other than that, nothing. I didn’t need to use the nebulizer like before. I’d very rarely still want to taste them chicken wings though…
This is the fifth month. I’m over it. I have completely taken off any sort of temptation from any of the nonveg foods EXCEPT EGG. Oh my, God. Egg still tempts me. The smell makes my mouth water.
I’ve realized I don’t need to use the inhaler anymore because the breathlessness is because of my terrible stamina and not because of asthma. I sometimes get breathless randomly but it’s possible that I’m allergic to some food and it’s not too hard to deal with especially since I’ve seen worse situations. By a hit and trial method, I’ll soon find out what I’m allergic to.
In this entire process, what made me happiest and what made me proud is my self-control. I got to test it and I passed with flying colors. I learned something about myself. If I wanted to do something, all I needed to do was to make up my mind.
This entire experience involved a lot of research. Trust me! A week before I started this experiment, I spent most of my free time reading different posts about veganism, inflammatory diseases, asthma, and people’s experiences. I’d suggest you do the same before trying anything new no matter who suggests it to you. Also, make sure you’re doing your research the right way. 🙂
I hope you had fun reading this post!
Thanks for reading.
PS. If you have asthma, give this a shot. If it doesn’t work, go back to doing what you’ve always done. Trying doesn’t do any harm, does it? 😀
If you don’t have asthma but someone you know does, tell them about this. Let them decide if they want to do this but you tell them. You might help someone live a much more peaceful life 😀