Yesterday morning I had the beginning of a cold. Although an on-coming cold is usually something to dread (especially this close to a busy Christmastide), how my body reacted has been very interesting. In the past, whenever I came down with a cold or flu, I would know what was happening because I always had a sore throat with it, along with nasal congestion and lots of mucus. The sore throat in particular always knocked me for a loop. I was pretty much incapacitated with a sore throat.
Not so this time. Although there was no doubt this was a cold, there was no sore throat, no runny nose, no congestion. Just a hoarse voice, fatigue (which has been the norm for the last few weeks), and a general sense of just not feel great. I simply loaded myself up with Vitamin C and some Zicam, and before I knew it…it was gone. No cold. This was definitely a first in my life.
Another added plus to the vegan diet has been my ability to sleep. I have never slept as well as I have lately. I used to be a major night owl. My “used to” I mean three weeks ago I was a night owl. Now, about 10:30 or so, I am wiped out and more than ready for bed. In the past, I never really slept all the fitfully. Now, I sleep like a log all night long, straight through until morning. It’s been wonderful.
Drawbacks have been other people’s reactions. It certainly is seen as exotic and unconventional in my world. Although I try to share my thoughts that many saints throughout history (including Teresa of Avila, Martin de Porres and Seraphim of Sarov) and some great Anglican priests (such as Father James Frye, mentor to the novelist James Agee, priest-poet Arthur Shearly Cripps and even my dear hero George Herbert at moments in his life) were all vegetarians (and many of them certainly vegan), my latest venture into veganism is seen as particularly strange, especially with parishioners who do not understand when I refrain from such post-Mass coffee hour staples as cake, cookies or the inevitable cheese plate.
When I explain that I am not doing it just for my health, but for ethical reasons that are based squarely in my Christian understanding of not killing anything, my words are more often than not met with blank stares.
Ultimately it is my life, my health and my ethics. And so, I will continue on.