Sunday, February 21, 2016

I've started eating a whole-food, plant-based diet

Back in October last year, I decided to commit to 30 days of eating mostly vegan. I wasn't feeling my personal best and was at my heaviest weight ever. I'd also finally seen Forks Over Knives, after a friend recommended it to me in 2014.

I had my hesitations, of course. I'd always been a satisfied omnivore. Would I last without meat? Could I possibly give up meat for good?

But my brain felt safe knowing I was only going to do it for one month, so the initial resistance quickly melted away.

After 30 days, I was feeling so good I decided to go another 30 days. And then another. Now, I'm over 20 pounds lighter and on my fifth month as a transitioning vegan.

Except my diet isn't really just vegan. It's more whole-food, plant-based (WFPB), as prescribed by Dr. John McDougall. You can read about the diet here.

I'm not yet very good at my new way of eating, especially when I eat out. Added oils aren't allowed, for example, but there aren't a lot of oil-free vegan choices in this country, so I usually end up ordering some form of vegan pasta dish that usually comes with lots of oil in it.

I also still have my little slip-ups. I've had some milk chocolate, some cheese in my pasta, and a yogurt drink at Swagat that I couldn't pass up. I've also had some cake and whipped cream. And marshmallow that I'd mistakenly thought was vegan.

I have a lot to learn and unlearn. But I choose not to sweat those slip-ups. I think I'll always be a transitioning vegan the way alcoholics are always recovering alcoholics.

But let me celebrate this: In almost five months, I've managed to avoid any form of meat. I'm happy to say I no longer crave meat and dairy.

I'm also getting better at eating out. I count it a success that I've only had to order salad once. When I started, I told myself I wouldn't default to salad, because I do not particularly enjoy salad without protein. Salads also feel cold in the tummy, and I've developed a preference for warm food, especially soup.

It's still a long journey towards good health and my ideal weight. There's an exercise routine that needs to be established. There's my needing to learn how to cook vegan. And there's the need for meditation, maybe, or yoga.

It's a long road, but I'm glad I decided to go on it.