Meat oh Meat, Why Must I Love Thee?

I recently watched Cowspiracy, a documentary by Kip Andersen whose most recent cut is directed by Leonardo DiCaprio. It blew me away. The case against animal protein has been around for a while. While I’d acknowledge the merits to what they were saying, I’d rationalize and find other justifications to keep eating meat. I know the benefits of eating vegetables over meat…and I don’t consider myself a heavy meat eater anyways. I try to keep to serving sizes as recommended by Health Canada even though I know the recommendations by WHO is actually lower. I also acknowledge there are some awfully inhumane animal processing practices out there, because how else are you going to produce so much meat so cheaply and quickly? So I try to by organic or free range or grass fed where possible (read: convenient). I generally don’t have moral issues with eating animal products. I feel that domestic animals are for human use and consumption, so long as we treat the animal with respect and not take it for granted. Kind of like in Avatar where they thank the animal for giving its life for their food. Plus I’m Cantonese and we take pride in our diversity of food and flavors and ability to use the whole animal whether it is from above ground, on the ground, below ground or in the sea. There is very little wasted. 

But this documentary…wow. Scientists predict fishless oceans by 2048…that’s in my lifetime. I do not want that kind of world for us or Nessness. The numbers behind how much agribusiness negatively and devastatingly impacts our planet just astounds me. It’s not as though you could fudge the numbers and round up and sway the argument in its favor. And it IS very curious that none of our local champions of environment care organizations mentions how eating animal products have a direct impact on our environment. Could it really be that the massive and enormously wealthy animal lobbyist groups have bought everyone out? 

Each day, a person who eats a vegan diet saves 1,100 gallons of water, 45 pounds of grain, 30 sq ft of forested land, 20 lbs CO2 equivalent, and one animal’s life. – Cowspiracy

If enough of us change from our meat-centered life-styles, these are some real numbers that can actually help the health of the planet more than recycling or conserving water and electricity in your home. But going from meat lover to vegan? Or to vegetarian? Or even in just cutting red meat? I’m struggling. Why didn’t I watch this AFTER I made some ox-tail stew or osso buco or rack of lamb or prime rib roast??? 

I’m working it out…struggling. I might not even be “that bad” in meat consumption (much less than 9oz a day which is the American daily average.) But one thing is certain, I have to change. Question is how? Follow our journey as we try to figure this out.

A Grave Return

I started to hear my pulse in my ear again.
My skin was itchier than normal.
Hair loss seems to have picked up.
My arms & legs were quivery & weak feeling, like I just woke up from a deep slumber.
My resting heart rate seems higher.
Going up the stairs kind of winds me.
So does singing.
Getting my eyes to focus takes a little more effort in the mornings.
And did I lose 10 lbs in a week?!
What’s this, a resting heart rate of 100 bpm?!

It feels like Graves Disease is back. I’m hyperthyroid at least. And a blood test confirms it.

TSH = 0.01 (normal is 0.27-4.2)
T4  =  64.9 (normal is 10.5-20.0)

The endocrinologist said my T4 is off the charts. I’m discouraged. I had other plans! The antibody was gone! Why is this back? I’m trying to remind myself I was healed once so I can be healed again. Meanwhile, back to meds & food restrictions. Again, right before king crab season. Sigh.

Healed?

So I was diagnosed with Graves Disease end of 2011. And in October last year I shared how my body curiously no longer carries the Graves Disease antibody. At my latest endocrinologist appointment, the doctor confirmed that I no longer need the monthly TSH monitoring as I maintained stability throughout and after pregnancy. Despite the immune changes associated with pregnancy, Graves didn’t come back. And she said, “Maybe you’re the rare few who won’t get it back ever again.” I hope so. I pray so.

And I praise God.

Week 31

Week31.jpgHere’s the Week 31 bump. =)

I’ve had to increase my insulin dosage…which is a good thing. It means the placenta is growing with Baby and producing more hormones that make me more resistant to my own insulin. I’ve also developed a kind of pregnancy eczema on the underside of my belly…super itchy at different times of the day. My doctor just recommended some mild hydro-cortisone cream twice a day to manage it.

And, that day has arrived, I found stretch marks on me belly. *sigh* I was secretly hoping I might be an exception but really, it’s a genetic thing. I can rub all the oils and creams on it I want but if my Mom had stretch marks, I’ll probably have similar. And so they didn’t disappoint…as much as I wouldn’t have minded if they didn’t show up.

The achy hips thing is also going on. The body is producing ligament relaxing hormones in preparation for the trauma of delivery, which is starting to loosen the ligaments in my pelvis (actually, all ligaments in the body). I notice the pain most when I need to turn in bed while sleeping. The torque on my hips makes them quite tender. This relaxing hormone is also the cause of our feet to get bigger too. Permanently I hear. Well, it’ll be a good excuse to get new shoes. =) With the loosened joints however, it’s super important pregnant ladies are extra careful when moving about. While we might be a little more flexible in some ways, we’re also more prone to injury. Particularly as we carry an extra ball of weight off the tummy, throwing off our center of gravity. So don’t rush and be sure of your steps Mommas!

Week 30.5

Week30.jpg

I forgot to update but here it is, my Week 30 bump! I seem to be carrying pretty low….guesses from most people are that we have a boy. We’ll see in about 10 weeks! (omg…only 10 weeks to go)

Actually, on that note, my doctor advised that because I’m insulin dependent, there will likely be additional stress/complications if I don’t deliver soon after week 37. So if that doesn’t happen naturally, they will look at inducing before week 40. I’m all for minimizing complications, but the thought of being induced makes me a little nervous too. On the other hand, then we’ll know exactly which day Baby will come. I have another ultrasound in a couple weeks which will provide more information about what’s going to happen. Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, controlling sugars has become more routine. As the placenta grows, it produces more hormone that makes me more resistant to insulin, so my injection dosage is slowly creeping up. I’ve also discovered that going for Shanghai food is a bit torturous considering how nearly everything is carb based. But it’s SO GOOD. Last time, I ate one shiao long bau, 1/3 cup Shanghai noodles, half a bun of some sort and that exceeded my carb quota already. Veggies and meat are free for all’s but usually you have to eat the meat with rice or something because there’s so much sauce (which is heavy on the sugar too). And then there’s dishes made with glutinous rice. Oh man. Needless to say I was still hungry afterwards.

Just a couple more months.
(omg it could be as early as just 7 more weeks!)