Thursday, November 10, 2016

Because I'm Happy....

I promised that I’d come back to let you know how my little experiment went, so here I am!

If you remember, three months ago I got some test results that were far from exciting—in fact they indicated that I needed to take medication for gout, pre-diabetes and cholesterol.  Well that didn’t sit well with me because I don’t like to take medication especially when I might be able to control the issue with modifying what goes into my mouth, or how much I exercise.

So instead of just taking the medications my doctor prescribed, I asked her if she’d work with me for 3 months while I modified my diet and lifestyle.  She said she would.  And so I did.

For the next 3 months I applied the 80/20 rule.  Most of the time I ate a vegan diet, no meat (red or otherwise), no fried foods, no cheese, lots more water and increase my exercise to 1 hour a day versus 45 minutes. Lots of homemade green juice.  I did allow myself the occasional treat (that’s where the 20% came in).   My daily 2 cups of coffee with half and half was part of the “treat” I allowed myself.  Over the 90 days I ate red meat or chicken 7 times, ate cheese twice.  How do I know these details?  Because I kept a food journal detailing the times I allowed myself the occasional treat.

To say the least, my doctor was pleased at my check-in. She was actually over the moon.  I’d lost 5 pounds and my blood pressure was 110/70.  I told her that I had much more energy and just felt so much better.  She was even more pleased when my tests came back.  Everything was normal—my LDL went from 110 to 90.  My A1C (pre-diabetes indicator) number was well within the healthy range, and my uric acid level (gout indicator) had fallen back into the normal range—“No medication indicated—keep up the good work”.  I was so stoked, I just levitated out of her office.

I’d read that there was a great deal that could be done by modifying diet and I’d always  believed it, but here was the proof—my own successful experiment!

I’d already told myself that if the numbers didn’t come out the way I expected, I’d still maintain the same kind of diet knowing that heredity sometimes plays a part in these things and that I might just have to work more diligently to reduce my numbers.  I’d also asked my doctor that if the numbers didn’t come out stellar but were going in the right direction, whether she’d work with me for another 3 months.  She said she would.  So what I’d promised myself was this.  If my numbers came out really good, I would continue my new lifestyle, moving further towards veganism and my next challenge would be sugar—I am a real sugarholic.

For the rest of this year, I will continue to eat a plant-based diet (perhaps with a few treats here and there) and get myself ready for removing sugar from my diet at the first of the year.  Why the first of the year?  Why not now? Come on, the holidays are coming—I’m not even going to try “no sugar” until after they’re over.  I want to set myself up for success.

Back in 2013, Ted and I found our way to Shabaka Amen, Charlotte's First (and I believe only) Vegan Personal Trainer.  That was my first exposure to what a plant based diet could do for your body and mind.  Thanks so much, Shabaka for your guidance.  I would not be here without your guidance.  If you're interested, you can find more information about Shabaka by visiting his Facebook page:

Do you have any success stories you’d like to share?  I’d love to hear them. I leave you with this.