After my physical last November, I had some things to think about. Overall, I am (and have been) a pretty healthy person but genetics play a huge role in my cholesterol and triglycerides. Truthfully, my eating habits haven’t always been the healthiest and my activity level seems to change all the time. However, the threat of being on medication for the rest of my life, possible heart disease and becoming diabetic really troubled me. I made the decision right then and there, seeing that my DNA isn’t going to change it was time for me to make a change. But what kind of change? I started reading about the juicing craze that was several years ago. I ended up watching Fat Sick and Nearly Dead on Netflix. That lead me to Forks Over Knifes, Vegucated and Food Inc. I am not trying to persuade you to watch these films, nor am I trying to persuade you to become vegan or vegetarian. This is my story and this what I did. But for the record, these films are very informative. After watching them, I was so angry about how food is prepared, lack of standards from the FDA, and the treatment to animals. At first, I wanted to be vegan. The vegan lifestyle is more complex (in my eyes) than I realized. I found myself stressing over how everything was prepared and it caused me a lot of frustration and hunger. I’m certainly not opposed to trying it again and I still purchase several vegan products. My biggest failure at being vegan was cheese. Sounds silly, but it is a deal breaker…hey, I’m human and I am selfish. After a couple of weeks of attempting to the vegan way, I decided vegetarian would be the smoothest transition for me. I started the vegetarian journey on January 1st.
Last month I did labs to see if there was any progress.
cholesterol: 239 cholesterol: 183
triglycerides: 383 triglycerides: 185
I had the best labs of my life!! My numbers are still not perfect, but for me these are the best to date in my adult life. Also, my blood sugar was elevated last year but now it’s within normal range.
How did I do it? Meal planning. Researching. Trial and errors. Putting thought into all meals. I started pulling recipes from cooking blogs. I looked at Pinterest. I asked my (few) vegetarian/vegan friends for recipes. I learned to cook and actually enjoyed it now. I ventured out of my norm and tried new foods and spices and to my surprise this girl found new things that she really likes. Except mushrooms. Hated them before and hate them now. On average, we eat home 5 days a week. I bring my lunches to work and they consist of a prepared meal other than a processed sandwich or frozen meal. I use all fresh produce, herbs and fruits, spices, whole wheat pastas and quinoa. I still eat some processed foods and sweets, but I limit my intake. Other than cheese, I don’t consume any other dairy. I love vegan sour cream! I even buy coconut milk ice cream and coconut milk creamer. I find that we don’t waste as much food either these days. Also, I haven’t noticed a significant cost difference in buying veggies over meat. Since it’s just the 2 of us, maybe that’s why?
Was it easy? Not at first…but I did it and I am still doing it! This lifestyle change has been my own personal challenge and I can honestly say I love how it makes me feel and I don’t have bloating issues like before. By cooking at home, I know exactly what I am putting in my body. I take the time now to read labels and Goggle what ingredients are. I don’t think I’ve become obsessed but I am certainly a very aware consumer these days. Shouldn’t we all be? It is, after all, our bodies that we are caring for.
Do I think that by not eating meat my overall health improved? Not entirely, but I think that it certainly makes a HUGE difference. The results are above, you decide. Currently, I am 5 months in and plan on continuing my vegetarian journey for awhile.
If you are vegetarian/vegan, how long and any advice to share to a newbie?
Thoughts, questions or concerns?