I want to share experiences and lessons I have learned through this blog. I have a diverse background as a husband, dad, Army sergeant, youth leader, Sunday School teacher and director.
I have a zest for life, and hope to share just a bit with you.
This week I had to travel to Nashville for work. I was gone three days and dreading what my meals I would wind up eating.
Lucky for me I wound up eating by myself for supper both days – so I was feeling good about my chances.
I was able to have a salad at all meals that I ate. So I had good options for greens and fiber!
I did find a great little restaurant close to my hotel. PDK Southern Kitchen & Pantry had a nice little southern charm menu with locally sourced foods. They also had free little New Testaments where you place your order! I will visit again if I have the chance.
So I was not as tight with my meals as I would be at home, but still pretty good for me. And better than I usually would eat.
So my pause from the plant-based diet was to enjoy the festivities of my son’s wedding. And boy did I enjoy!
I ate pizza, macaroni and cheese, sweet tea, brisket, pork, cakes (it was a wedding already!), ice cream and all sorts of other goodies during the wedding weekend. I did not really push away from anything to eat the whole weekend – which started on Thursday.
Friday night I actually got sick with diarrhea. Not sure if it was the MSG on the brisket or all the sweet tea I drink that day, but something just did not agree with my system. So the day of the wedding I was in recovery mode not eating a lot, and drinking lots of water.
There were left overs on Monday and I worked through some, but found my way back to eating more plant based food. And then on Tuesday I was back to just plant based meals.
What did I learn from this pause?
I learned that I do like the taste of cakes and ice cream, but it leaves me feeling empty and sort of sick inside. I guess I have finally pushed through the sugar withdrawals and can do without sugar. When I do eat or drink those things I just do not get the same satisfaction as I used to.
Eating those kind of processed foods also make my body feel sluggish. I did not feel as sharp as I do while eating a plant based diet.
So now I continue my journey of eating a plant based diet. I am not perfect, nor am I super strict about what I eat, but I am doing much better than I was when I first started this journey. I look forward to learning more food options and how these foods affect me.
The way I really feel is this – I like to release pounds from my body more than I like to eat empty foods. That has been my biggest and best eye opener!
I just started reading Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s book Eat to Live, and it is really revealing about why we should be eating a plant based diet. With all the big money that surrounds the food industry it is no wonder that this message will take a long time to get out and be adopted in American culture.
Not sure who I heard this from, but I thought important to share because it really helps with my mindset. I am not becoming a vegetarian, but rather a nutritiocian!
Well my doctors visit was nothing short of an anticlimactic meeting.
I started this plant based diet for a few different reasons, and one of the main reasons was that I want to get off the blood pressure medicine that I currently take.
I know that I cannot just stop taking the blood pressure medicine, and I do agree that my doctor needs to help me decrease the dosage until I can stop taking it. So I was hoping my diet change would help my blood pressure.
I have been actively measuring my blood pressure on a somewhat regular basis for about 3 months now. With the help of fasting I have been able to release weight and lower my blood pressure. I have also added different vitamins to help with my cardiovascular system. (Dr Ohhira’s probiotics, RegActiv, Kyolic, and magnesium)
Armed with my documentation and new diet that is making changes with my body I was looking forward to seeing my doctor. I was hoping that he would see my hard work in documentation and dietary changes and would rave at my efforts. I was even hoping for a good conversation about what dietary disciplines would benefit by blood pressure and overall health.
The day of my appointment I was at the doctor’s office a bit early – I was anticipating this visit. I came into his patient room and the nurse took my weight and blood pressure – both which had improved since the last visit! So I just knew this was going to be a good meeting with my doctor.
Then he finally comes in and asks the normal questions. I start to talk about my new diet habits and he continues on with checking BP and heartbeat. I show him my documented weight and blood pressure chart and within 30 seconds he hands it back to me. He says looking good – keep up the good work. Reduce my blood pressure medicine by half and come back in six months.
Anticlimactic! All that I hoped for in the visit was just a flash. No substantial talk about diet over medicine. No talk of diet at all.
To be honest, I didn’t really expect a lot from my doctor. Today’s American doctor is trained to diagnose the symptoms and prescribe a medicine. No direction for diet is addressed – that would be for a dietician – not a doctor.
Hippocrates said “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” But Hippocrates is not a modern day American doctor. I don’t fault my doctor, he is just working within the guidelines that he has as an American physician with our current healthcare system.
My takeaway is to invest my efforts in improving my own health. No one cares anymore for my body than I do. So, my search for knowledge and understanding of the human body continues!
I need to come clean about something. My success so far with the plant based diet has been augmented with intermittent fasting.
So what is intermittent fasting? Intermittent fasting is an eating style where you eat within a specific time period, and fast the rest of the time. My intermittent fasting schedule is 16 hours of fasting and 8 hours of eating daily. I am not able to do it every day, but I certainly have been trying to the past 2 weeks.
The first thing every morning I drink 16 ounces of water. I will then take my vitamins and blood pressure pill, and a shot of a apple cider vinegar and juice mix. I might take a cup of coffee next, or just off to work with water.
I will drink water and coffee right up to 10:30 or 11:00. I will eat a snack at that time, and will continue to eat as I want or can until 6:30 or 7:00.
I am still learning about fasting. I have discovered it hard to find good information on fasting, and I believe simply it is because it is difficult to make money from fasting. People eat less – not more or even any specialization foods when you fast. You just don’t eat. There is no money in that you see.
I have found some good research and reporting from a Dr Fung. He has several videos on YouTube. One that I have learned from is here. If you are even half way interested in what I am saying about fasting – then take some time to listen to him and keep learning from others.
I am also a fan of multi day fasting, but I will save that for a different post. But just want to say that you have to learn to get past the pain of hunger at times knowing that you will not die or starve to death. I now understand that hunger pains let me know that I am on the right track. Feeling bloating from eating too much would be at the opposite end of the spectrum of sensation.
I will continue this regimen for at least two more weeks.
One week down with my effort in a plant based diet!
Results are pretty good to me:
released 5 pounds
blood pressure down 3 points
feeling lighter and healthy
I strayed from the diet only one time the first week. I had a hamburger (no bun) on Saturday night. It was from a local grower so I felt good about the beef, but it was not plant based of course.
So one variance in a week is a success in my book. Especially for the first week.
The first part of the week I felt good most of the time, but found a need for something more in the afternoons. I ate all I wanted, but my body was saying that I was missing something. I believe it was sugar. It is a weird feeling to describe – not so much a hunger pain which I am familiar with, but a feeling of there is something more my body says it is missing. Gotta fight that sugar monster!
I ate all the fruit, nuts and veggies I wanted, but no starches. I am going to adjust that this week by adding some starches to my diet – but no sugar. I also may eat meat a couple of times because of the planned events this week. We will see….
When I started I was thinking – how will I find enough to eat? Normally I do not eat a variety of vegetables or even fruits for that matter. So a diet that consists of only plants seemed a little difficult to me. That was also some of the motivation behind this diet choice – to learn to like a greater variety of vegetables.
To start off – I eat a lot of nuts during the day (easy snack). But I have also found some new vegetables to try and plenty of fruits to keep me full. My wife says when I am hungry I get a little cranky, so I want to keep my mind in tune by eating well. To make both of us happy!
Below are some pictures of some of the foods I have ate this past week.
I bought most of my foods from our local grocery store, but also made a trip to Whole Foods to find some organic options. I prefer the organic foods for several different reasons. The next time I go I need to plan a little better with meals in mind instead of just the foods that I know I like to eat.
Now the weekend is coming. How will I hold up?! ……………