Plant based eating, why ?

I am working to get back into the swing of plant based cooking. I have done it before  but we never really stuck with it. I wish we had as we could have prevented some of our health issues from ever developing.

Our first time plant based, it was simply vegan back then. There was not as much emotion in that word back then. That was in the early 1990’s when I discovered the movie and book, Diet for a New America. I still have the book and VHS tape packed away somewhere and I really want to find them. You can find the movie online but it is almost unwatchable ,very bad picture quality. We also had some other books that were big at the time, also packed away . We just did not last on it. Unfortunately Atkins was a huge thing that we tried over and over , at least 40 times over 20 years,  which should have showed us that it was not what we needed to be doing. We would not last long so I cannot even say all those times actually counted, most were more like starts and stops, or tries that did not last a day or two. I was on all the boards, and loved the community but ultimately that had to stop. I think our health is worse because of all the years we tried to do that diet. One of my biggest regrets diet wise honestly. I know a lot of people love low carb and claim to thrive on it and I am not here to argue that belief. I am just saying for our situation, it was not the solution, and we were unhappy on it.

Our main motivation for eating plant based is health. Not short term, but for life. We honestly feel it is how we are supposed to eat. We have been on and off vegan for a few years. Not really because we did not want to be on the plan, we love the food. But when we would be tired, or out and about, it was just too easy to pick up fast food and most of it is not plant based. Once you eat something you should not, it is easy to say, oh, well before we go back on plan , lets eat this too. And so it starts. Old addictions pull us along for way too long before we eat healthy again. We had to come up with a plan to keep that from ever happening again. Although we are quite motivated at this point with what we are dealing with.

Now our plan is, when out and about. We can get a few things that keep us on track . Several places sell  plain baked potatoes we can grab . Salads minus meat, cheese and croutons , fat free, dairy free dressing. Our favorite pizza place offers a huge family size salad that we can have them not add the cheese or the croutons and if we each get one it is a huge meal. We always take that kind of thing home where we can add some chick peas to it. Another option is a Japanese fast food place in town where we can get brown rice and veggies. Oil and soy sauce free,we use a gluten free low sodium version of soy sauce,  extra veggies and it is absolutely wonderful. Of course all food has been take home for months and will continue to be for the foreseeable future although unless it is one of the above, will not be happening much anymore.

As a last resort because we really have  to avoid gluten,we both have issues wit it,  is a veggies foot long from Subway. They at least used to have a couple of breads that are vegan. I would have to check on that. That would be an absolute last resort and if I remember correctly you can make any sandwich there into a salad, so that is an option too, a salad at Subway if nothing else around where we are at is acceptable. Since we are not currently out much, our fast food was more of a choice lately. Lets drive through and get dinner. A really bad habit we have gotten into lately. Both for our budget and health, that had to stop. No matter what.

So, why now, what makes me think we can do this now ? Well, what has changed for us is we can  no longer ignore our health. My husband has a back that is miserable. One surgery last year, another one scheduled for later this year, and if he does not get the weight off AND keep it off, he will be having another one within the next three years . Direct from the doctor. Eating an oil free ,fat free ,  plant based diet with no refined carbs , no breads, tortillas, chips, etc, just  brown  rice,occasional white rice, quinoa, legumes of all kinds , potatoes, sweet potatoes and all the wonderful veggies and fruits out there we can safely and easily lose the weight we both need to lose, but that he urgently needs to lose and get him on track for a better outcome for the surgery he has planned and to avoid further surgeries. This way of eating should also help with inflammation and help him to feel better and heal better after his surgery. He is seriously concerned he cannot make it to later in the year for the surgery, he is so miserable, so we have to do what we can to help him feel better by reducing his inflammation, and getting his weight down fast. Something I would not normally have as a goal, slow weight loss is best, but we need to get off as much as possible for both relief from pain, and to help his surgery heal.

I also need to work on my weight as well. I need to reverse my metabolic syndrome, doctor diagnosed, not self diagnosed. Went to a Endocrinologist. He told me once I get rid of the belly fat, my metabolic syndrome would be gone. However, he wanted me on the Atkins diet. I tried to do it again, but was not happy on it. I knew there had to be a better way so I struggled for many years after that diagnosis around 9 years ago and finally landed back where we started almost 30 years ago. Plant based.  My blood pressure is a bit high but not horrible ,  my blood sugar is high, but in the prediabetes range, but my last cholesterol test was really bad. So, I have to take this seriously and stop making decisions based on what tastes good and is easy. Once I am on this plan a week or so, both my blood pressure and blood sugar will be in the normal range , based on past experience, and then continue to go down. I know i can get my cholesterol down too, if I am not eating any foods with cholesterol  and eating fat free,should get great results over time that is a  no brainer  for me !!!

So, we are happily back on plant based. We are determined that this will be for life. It honestly has to be for both of us. I will not risk him needing more surgery because we just felt we had to eat food that is not good for us.Feed a craving.  Seeing him in so much pain is a huge motivator. It is for both of us. I will figure out healthy plant based , fat free  versions of our favorite foods. I told my husband when we are thin and can have rare treats, lets find vegan restaurants to go to where they serve the things we love, but in a plant based way. Any vegan place is about an hour away, so that makes it an event, so not something we can do spontaneously, so  that is good !That is a long way down the road. We cannot deviate from our plan until we get to goal. Than only rare treats. We are not white knuckling it however. We are happy to be eating this way again. We cleaned out the fridge like I showed in my previous post, and the stuff in our freezer we will not be eating, we will give to friends and family who are not interested in eating this way. I have no need to get in that freezer anytime soon, and the few things I might need are right on top.

Yesterday I had some fun cooking up my lunch and today I did some more cooking for the next few days. I love to batch cook. A few days worth of meals and then I can cook again.

I will post some of my meals here, a daily post on what I ate would keep me on track. Most of it will be repeats, but it is to keep me accountable .

I will also share recipes here as I learn new things, and share products I love. I am not affiliated with anyone, and if that should change I will tell you. I have found things I love from people I follow on YouTube so I am also happy to share things that make this journey more enjoy able and easy.

After I eat my lunch I will do another post with some meals and cooking from yesterday and today !!

Thanks for stopping by !!

Stephie

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