My New Lifestyle - Whole Foods, Plant-Based Eating

So, my lifestyle took another turn since I posted about our next food challenge. I was sick for about 2 months last fall/winter with a sinus infection that just wouldn’t go away. At the start of that, I went to the doctor for antibiotics and found that my blood pressure was up higher than it had ever been. I’ve always had “normal” numbers so I was shocked to hear this. I was sick with another sinus infection yet again about a month ago. I went to the doctor again at the onset of this round and my blood pressure was up even a bit more from the previous time. When my doctor used the word “medication” for me to consider, I was done. I knew my lifestyle would change immediately.

 Two months ago I watched a couple of documentaries on Netflix — “Forks Over Knives” and “Plant Pure Nation”. You may remember I had previously contemplated trying the Whole 30 way of eating but wasn’t convinced it was right for me or sustainable. The idea of Whole 30 was a result of having been told about my blood pressure from the first doctor’s visit. When I watched the 2 documentaries about whole food, plant-based eating I knew it was right for me. I actually had been vegetarian from the age of 12 until 24. At that time it was because we had lived on a farm and I absolutely loved the animals I cared for every day and couldn’t imagine eating them. Unfortunately, it wasn’t for better health. I say that because although I was a vegetarian, I didn’t eat healthy.

 What I learned in these documentaries is that striving to be “vegan” or “vegetarian”, doesn’t mean healthy. And it’s so true! You can still eat french fries, many types of cookies, chips, crackers, candy, oils, and many more junk foods. I continued to think about all of this but still hadn’t made any changes.

 Then, after leaving my doctor’s appointment last month, I changed what I ate right then and there. No more meat/animal products (although I’m eating seafood once a week for now), dairy, processed food, sugar, added salt, and very little oils. My blood pressure dropped 10/5 after the first week and more since then. And the best part? I don’t miss any of it a bit. I really thought I would, but I don’t. I lost the “puffiness” from my face and I’m sure inflammation from my body in general. You know that starving feeling when you feel as though you might die if you don’t have food NOW? I don’t have that feeling anymore, even if I don’t have time to eat a full lunch. It’s the strangest thing. My head is clear, I have more energy than I’ve had in a long time, and I just simply feel great!

 What do I eat, you’re likely wondering? I’m following the books/recipes from Colin Cambell, M.D., Kim Campbell, Rip Esselstyn (of Engine 2) and Forks Over Knives for the most part. I do use a bit of oil from time-to-time when cooking or baking which is something they do not. Also, they use tofu and other soy products and I am not so convinced this is a good thing so my soy consumption is limited. So, in a nutshell, I eat a whole lot of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and whole grains (including bread, pasta, rice, etc.).

 Believe me, I know that what I eat is only a part of the changes that need to be made. I would be fooling myself if I ignored the fact that stress, lack of sleep, and constantly being on the go as I continue to juggle 12 hour days at my “day” job and evenings and weekends of running a business. So that will be the next concentration. But I had to start somewhere.

 I will share more about this, including what I eat, in the weeks and months that follow.

 I would love to hear if you have switched to this type of lifestyle or are interested in doing so too!

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