Thursday, July 3, 2014

I'm Still Veg*n!

Dear Friends and Readers,

It's been a long time, but I'm back with a vengeance! You're probably wondering where I've been these past several months. Well, I've have some setbacks, and life has thrown a few curve balls my way. I'm still vegan, but I haven't been running for quite a while and also not cooking as much. I was super-hesitant to post anything for a while until I had good news because I didn't want to make this my complain-a-blog. Unfortunately, concrete good news took a bit longer than expected to arrive. I recently picked up swimming again to combat the non-running blues and a cure to the not-being-able-to-run issue is in sight!

A little before my last post, I started having some pain in the ball of my left foot while running. The pain got more severe in mid-February, and I haven't been able to run since that time. I went to the doctor and got lots of tests run and painful shots injected into my feet with no results and not much of a diagnosis until fairly recently. So I've been very down in the dumps and distracted trying to figure out what the heck was going on and get used to the new normal of living with the pain since there wasn't a quick fix in sight.

After several visits to my general practitioner, the x-ray and sonogram people, and two podiatrists (one not-so-good, one amazing), we've finally figured out that I have four Morton's neuromas in my feet (two in each foot). Neuromas are bundles of nerves that gather together and cause quite a bit of pain by concentrating themselves between your metatarsal bones. Some people describe the feeling as a balled up sock or pebble under your foot, but socks are much more comfortable in my experience. Lots of people develop them and they can grow larger over time depending on how you balance your weight on your feet when you stand, walk, or exercise and how much you wear uncomfortable shoes, both high heels and shoes that just don't fit your feet correctly or provide enough arch support. The condition is called Morton's neuroma, which is most commonly between the third and fourth metatarsal bones.

I'm 26 and fairly healthy, but I do exercise on my feet a fair bit. However, I do not wear heels often. Mostly just running shoes, tennis shoes, and flats at work. Apparently, it can also be hereditary. My grandma has actually had neuroma surgery three separate times. (Her story alone was enough to make me wary of surgery.) Anyway July 29th, I'm going to go under the knife for the first time in my life to have two of my neuromas removed from my left foot. (The right foot hasn't really been bothering me, so I'm holding off on that one because I'm already super anxious about surgery in general.)

Anyway, I have lots of new ideas in the works and after my surgery I'll have lots of free time since my doctor has advised me that recovery means I'm not to leave my bed or couch, except with the help of crutches to use the restroom.

For today, I'd like to share a few of the blogs that I read most frequently. Yes, I've been keeping up on my blog reading, and I hope to be more active with comments and the like soon!

First up, Bonzai Aphrodite: I love Sayward and her cute little dude, Waits, so much! I've been following her blog for about a year and a half, and I've also read all of her archives. This is one of those blogs that tells a life story, which I love. She also has lots of helpful environmentally-minded tips for cosmetics, hygiene, gardening, cooking, shopping and more. Sayward is so involved in her community and always has a million projects going on. It's so inspiring! She's also written an awesome book about raising vegan kids, which I'm sure will be a lifesaver someday...

Next, Ayinde Howell of I Eat Grass has an amazing new cooking show called "Like A Vegan"! Please, please, please visit the link on his site and watch his pilot episodes because his dishes and technique are awesome and I really, really, really want to see more of his new show! I've cooked lots of his recipes before, and they are always delicious and feature lots of comfort foods. He uses tons of spices, so his dishes are always very flavorful. Also, somehow he manages to perfect dishes from several different cultures with seeming ease. He has a new cookbook coming out in October, and I can't wait!

I'm also loving Almost Veg Girlie. She's a self-proclaimed "99% vegan", which in my book still makes her 100% awesome. I love her reviews on new foods and enthusiasm for life and shopping (both grocery and otherwise), and she does some personal heart-wrenching posts that are what keep me coming back for more. Did I mention I love reading life stories/personal journeys?

Last, but not least, Cassi from The Pretty in Pink Vegan. I love her style and her honesty. She makes lots of new and exciting dishes, but she also isn't afraid to tell you when she goes out to a restaurant or makes some convenience foods with extra love, like fresh ingredients added to vegan ramen. It's easy to relate to her, and you get lots of great ideas from reading her posts. After following her blog since its very beginning and learning about her love for Asian cuisine, I was so excited to read all about her trip to Japan this year!

Thanks to all my wonderful blogging friends, and keep on trucking! I hope to be more involved in the community again and maybe get back to running by October or November. Until then, I am

Sincerely yours,