Tuesday, June 5, 2012

This way to Veganville

Clearly some time has passed since my last entry. I'd like to share my journey following a vegan diet and the foibles and follies that have ensued since the New Year.

It all started in the beginning of January. While traveling for work, I met up with a friend who was telling me about this documentary about animal products and how bad they are for us. This, over a dinner in a Chicago steakhouse!! We shared oysters, a salad and plenty of wine. (Thank God wine is vegan!) I decided to cheek out the film and see for myself what all the fuss was about. In the meantime, I tried to go the next few days without eating any animal products. The meat part is really obvious and easy - no chicken, no burgers, no steak. The hard part is detecting the dairy and egg since it's in almost everything we eat. That's what separates the vegans from the vegetarians. Vegans don't eat ANYTHING that comes from an animal. If you subscribe to the idea that animal proteins are no good for you, then you have to also eliminate milk, yogurts, cheese and eggs from your diet.  Many vegetarians do eat dairy and eggs, and I've found that most "vegetarian" dishes contain these ingredients. So, I watched the documentary "Forks over Knives" and then watched a few more including "Earthlings" and "Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead". They all presented compelling cases to suggest that eating animal products and processed foods are bad for you, and bad for the planet, too. I was game.

Instead of trying to fit all this into 1 entry, I will try to post several times each week to get you all up to speed on how it's been going, what I'm eating, what recipes I love, and what I'm ordering at restaurants. I'm putting more effort that I have in a long time to keep my fitness and weight loss goals on track. Bottom line is this: I've been maintaining a vegan diet about 95% of the time. I say 95% because there have been some slices of pizza in a pinch, shellfish at restaurants when another salad just won't do, and the random ice cream cone here and there - I do have kids and it's not like it's against my religion or anything. I have not had ANY meat since January (minus the Wawa Italian shorti I had back in late Jan - a weak moment). I have managed to lose about 10 pounds with limited exercise - which I need to start getting into) and I'm proud to say I've been rockin' a bikini at the pool and looking pretty good. I'm down to a size 4 and am just about 13 pounds away from my former ballerina body!! I have lowered my cholesterol by 40 "points". I know they aren't' points, but I have no idea what the unit of measure is for that. I'm sure one of you smart readers will be more than happy to inform me what the proper unit is. My LDL is down and my HDL is up - or whichever is bad is down, and the other one that is good is up - again, smart people, feel free to chime in here - I'm all for an education.  I have gotten my bloodwork checked out by my physician and so far I'm not nutrient deficient and I'm not starving myself. I have lots of energy and despite my recent funk, I did not get my typical January funk that, if you've been reading long enough, you know puts a handful of pounds back on me each winter. So all is good and I hope that blogging a bit more about how I've done all this will keep me motivated to increase my activity level and continue with this lifestyle I have found that really works for me.

Next post - A typical day eating like a Vegan. . .

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