Vegan Deli

Vegan Deli  by Jo Stepaniak

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Raising Vegetarian Children
by Jo Stepaniak, M.S.Ed., & Vesanto Melina M.S., R.D.

Raising Vegetarian Children

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The woman sitting across from me was, in a couple of words, taken aback.

For a moment, I sorta thought there was a tear in the corner of her eye, but maybe I'm wrong about that part. You know, things sometimes run together and you don't always get every detail exact, what with the white-coat anxiety syndrome and all.

The doctor isn't an old woman, but not a particularly young one either. Enough older than me that I'm not sure I feel like a peer, but don't feel mothered either. She seems sometimes shy, but yet confident beyond words. Maybe that's it. She doesn't need to say much to say what needs to be said.

It was a year ago this month that she told me what needed saying. I needed to change my ovolacto vegetarian eating habits or likely wind up on diabetes medication. Exactly it went like this: "What you put in your mouth is your choice. It's your choice."

She told me to read Dr. Dean Ornish, who touts a vegan diet.

One year later, I'm now an athlete. I weigh 65 pounds less and feel 100 times better. I just ran my first marathon and beat my kid on the monkey bars last week. Dairy now makes me just about sick, in the literal way, not the figurative way.

So, I was at the doctor last month and before leaving, I stopped and looked her in the eye and told her "thank-you." All the numbers and medical jargon aside, woman-to-woman, person-to-person, "thank-you."

I was grateful. For her, her choice of words, her willingness to tell me what needed saying and her wisdom in knowing about and supporting a vegan diet. I was grateful to find her.

Maybe doctors don't hear it that often. Or maybe she just had had a crappy day. But I could have sworn those were tears in her eyes. She told me I made her day by telling her that and I believed her.

I wondered why, though. Surely she's helped many, probably every day. Maybe not enough tell her so.

Gratitude: Share it. That's why you have it.

Kelly G. (mother of three; grateful)

- n e x t   e s s a y -


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