Like many overweight people, I have been on a weight loss journey. One that seems to loop around and never end. I try different things and then end up off of them, more than once. Frustrated with myself and feeling both hopeless and kind of angry with myself for not being able to do the right thing .
However, the time has come to pick one and stay with it. My blood work came back with some good numbers and some not so good. My score for a heart attack in the next ten years is 8.3. My husband was told by his spinal surgeon to lose 40 pounds or plan on another surgery in about three years or so to repair the damage he would have done by staying heavy.
We cannot be stupid any longer. We were on a plant based diet for a while and when my cholesterol went up on it, we quit. We were on Keto but I started to have symptoms of gout in my big toe and finger joints and then started to have all over body pain, severe back aches and spasms and I was taking all the right supplements, drinking electrolytes and doing everything I was supposed to do. Sick of the pain and very frustrated , we we went off of it, too hard to do two different diets.
We have been floundering and thinking about all our attempts. When we did the completely plant based plan ,we were eating way too much fake cheese and meat, which could be the reason my already high triglycerides doubled and my total cholesterol went up. We were supposed to be oil free and were not. I was eating way too much fruit too and that can cause issues in some people. Of course the people I spoke with said it was unusual to have that happen and I burst into tears at our doctors office when he gave me those results, I thought I was going to hear great news that day.I was so shocked and disheartened.
But now, under the threat of statins, blood pressure meds and who knows what else, I have to do something drastic. My husband has to do something drastic to avoid damaging his back and needing to have another surgery to repair what was already done. We decided to do strict plant based , no oil, very low fat and not eat the fake stuff. We agreed to allow us some fun on the holidays and family parties, but keep it rare and mostly plant based just a bit of leeway in the fats . I am going to learn how to bake fat free, vegan friendly, and learn to use herbs for the potatoes, beans, and rice for less boredom.
We also decided that we have to look at this with logic and not our emotions and just eat the darn food and not complain about it being boring, or missing the stuff we cannot have. Once we both get to our goal weight, we can experiment to see what we can add back in and not gain or have health issues.
I was diagnoised in 2010 with metabolic syndrome by an endocrinologist who told me once I got the weight off, especially the weight in my middle, it would go away and prevent all the health issues. The fact that eleven years later I am still working on this is very frustrating. The time has long been over that I should have lost this weight and be done with it. Now I am around 40 pounds less than I was back then, so that is some progress but time to get the rest off.
What is it about food that holds us in such a dangerous place ? That we will risk our health to eat things that are just not good for us ? How do we let some little tiny taste buds control our diet and health. We should eat to live as they say, not live to eat. There are so many tempting foods and companies whose sole purpose is to get us to eat those foods, the very ones we should be avoiding. We have to fight hard to avoid those temptations and do what we need to do to get and stay healthy. When we can understand that the food industry never has our best interests at heart, they only have the bottom line at heart, we can start to make the choices that will build health and longevity . It does not help that temptation, but we have to overcome it to be healthy and enjoy long strong lives.
So, we are going for health, we are going for the foods that will help us get to our goal weight and help my body with any damage I have done to it with bad eating. An oil free plant based diet. I cannot honestly say vegan, because it is a very loaded word. It used to just mean eating no animal products when the word was first coined, many years ago, and now has become a true movement, one which I highly respect, but just cannot guarantee I will stick to completely. I will never disrespect vegans by calling my diet vegan if we are going to occasionally have something that is not. Part time vegan is not a thing. You are either a vegan or you are not. We will have a bit of honey, mostly David and giving the honey up is his one non option. For Thanksgiving, we will eat a bit of lean turkey rather than a fatty fake meat. So, mostly plant based is the proper and most respectful term for what we are doing. I also cannot guarantee we will not have some animal products occasionally as we lose weight and do better with our health. I do believe eating mostly plants is a good thing for us and they are foods we truly love. Potatoes, beans, brown rice, sweet potatoes, whole grains, except for wheat which affects us both in different ways unless we only eat it occasionally, salads and lots of veggies !! Salad dressings may be that shady area for me. I cannot have oil based dressings, but I do have a bunch of vegan cook books that I can try and find some dressings I can enjoy that are neither oil based or dairy based. That is my goal, but if low fat dairy was going to be in anything I eat, that would be where !!
So, I plan to share my journey here. I am doing for myself, to keep us accountable and if anyone enjoys these posts that will be a wonderful bonus.
I know I have been all over the place on this journey and blog. I do not feel I am alone in this. I think many people struggle on a daily basis with trying to figure out how to eat for their health . Not everyone will make the same decision we are. We almost chose the Mediterranean diet, but I have to cut it all out for now. My risk of heart disease is way too high to include any fats. Until my risk factor goes way down and my weight is normal, my lipid profile is perfect. I have to do something drastic. My doc is sending me to see a cardiologist to do a work up and I am happy to do it. I think it is a smart thing to do .
So, when we get up tomorrow, we are cleaning out the foods in the fridge we cannot eat. We have two daughters near us with families that will use the food we cannot eat. They all eat healthy, but do eat animal products in moderation. They will use the oil we have and the snacks we cannot eat. It is not a lot, but enough to throw us off plan, so we will send it all to whichever of the wants it.
So, our basic plan will be
breakfast, oatmeal for David with raisins ,cinnamon and raw honey in it.He never added milk to his and will not add plant based milk either.
for me, I take a half cup of sprouted old fashioned outs, a half cut of either cooked and mashed sweet potatoes, or canned pumpkin, and on a rare occasion, a mashed banana , if I have some that need to be used, cinnamon, some of the pure stevia powder and some Lillys vegan choc chips, the tiny ones, a tablespoon of them. I mix it all together and drop on a cookie sheet with a tablespoon and bake for 15 minutes to make my breakfast “cookies”.They are filling and taste great and I never get tired of them.
Lunch for David will be whatever I have cooked and have in the fridge, beans, brown rice, lentil and brown rice casserole, potatoes, and veggies, kind of a buffet I will make up and put in the fridge each week. Some gluten free brown rice, lentil or chick pea pastas as well.
Lunch for me is a vegan powder smoothie with a frozen banana, some frozen strawberries or blueberries, a bit of cocoa powder and cinnamon, and plant based milk, I do have some organic, grass fed, whey keto protein mix, but it is sealed/unopened and I will just leave it put away for now. I paid a lot for it, so I will have to see what I want to do with it in time.
the only thing I will do for a week or two is finish up some unsweetened , very high probiotic count yogurt I have in my smoothies. I am on an antibiotic right now, and taking some pre and pro biotics, but the antibiotics trash your intestinal track and kill off a lot of the good stuff you need. So, I want to build that back up . I am done with my 7 day course on Friday and will have enough of this fat free European yogurt to get me through part way through next week. After that, just the pills to build it up again. The only reason I will do that is it is completely fat free yogurt and I want to fix what the antibiotic damages.
Dinner we plan do do a big salad with lots of veggies, and some chick peas most nights, and on other nights, same as Davids lunch.
So, tomorrow I will cook, and will document it here.
That is the plan and I am really , actually excited about it .
Thanks so much for stopping by, and I hope those of you who follow a plant based , or even mostly plant based diet will stick around, I know there were some keto based people following and I hate to let them down, but this is what I have to do for my health. I just felt horrible on keto. It is a great plan for those who respond well to it. I wanted it to work for me. It did not. However, to be honest, I really prefer eating the plant based plan. With my IBS, I do feel better on it as well. That had been in remission for a very long time and the keto plan kind of kicked it back in for a while.
Be back tomorrow , probably in the evening to report the day, both cooking and eating !!