Hi…My name is Carolyn Hill and I’m a plant-based eater, or vegan, on a very tight budget. So tight, that I had to apply for food stamps a couple of weeks ago.
Here’s my story:
For the past three years, I was a full-time caregiver to my very elderly father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s disease.
That was tough…very tough…physically, mentally, emotionally and financially, but I loved doing it.
Unfortunately, my father passed away on October 17, 2012 and about a month later I began to look for a job. So far, I have been unsuccessful, hence the food stamps.
I’ve never applied for an EBT card, or any other government aide and I felt weird doing it, but even a bean eater has to eat.
And what’s with the bean eating?
Well, in August of 2011 my Dad was hospitalized. When a person with Alzheimer’s is hospitalized it’s difficult because a family member has to stay with them, all the time, or as much as possible, so they won’t become even more disoriented. On top of that, keeping my Dad calm required that I had to keep the TV tuned to CNN 24/7, since that helped my Dad relax.
Well, it turned out that CNN was promoting a special hosted by Dr. Sanjay Gupta called, “The Last Heart Attack”. Over the course of the four days that my Dad was hospitalized, I must have seen that promo a hundred times. It was a show about how people who eat plant-based, also called, vegan, could actually reverse their heart disease?
Yep… it turns out that a Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, had done a twenty year nutritional study where he discovered that eating a plant-based diet could not only prevent and stop the progression of heart disease, but it could reverse it! He wrote a book about it called, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease”.
Wait a minute? I thought heart disease could only be “fixed” with very expensive, invasive surgery.
Well, it turns out that you really can reverse this disease nutritionally, which is amazing!
I don’t have heart disease (as far as I know)…but I don’t have health insurance either, which brings me to diabetes.
Diabetes is a disease that has become an epidemic in the United States, amd is very common in my family, and is also very expensive. I have no desire to become diabetic. How would I afford it? Not to mention that it’s a devastating systemic disease.
But here’s the problem, I was already prediabetic, which often means it’s only a matter of time until you develop diabetes…that is until I went plant-based last October.
Wait a minute…isn’t diabetes permanent, too?
Nope, it turns out that you might be able to reverse that disease, as well, if you eliminate meat, dairy and don’t add oil to your food.
Does that mean you can only eat beans? Not by a longshot! And that’s why I’ve decided to write this blog. I mean if you stop eating meat, dairy and oil, what’s left to eat? Isn’t it boring? Isn’t it an awful? How do you socialize?
In my next post, I’ll tell you what my first trip to the store with the food stamps was like, and why I chose to buy the things pictured on that particular trip.
Can you buy a dog with food stamps? NO!
I didn’t intend for Kip, my Border Collie, to be in the blog, but he inserted himself in the picture and I didn’t have the heart to crop him out. I think he took the “boring” right out of the shot. Kip’s not a vegan…he’s an omnivore (an animal who eats meat and vegetables and grains), but he’s on a budget, too. And the cat? He’s a definite carnivore and, so far, wants no part of the blog or veganism.