It was a little more than 12 years ago, and I still remember it clearly. During an annual physical with my physician it was noted that my cholesterol was peaking towards 200. My doctor wrote a prescription for me for Lipitor. I asked him what was the source for my cholesterol becoming so high? He told me it doesn’t matter, just take this pill everyday for the rest of my life. My answer? NO. I told him I would not take the medication until I did my own research into “high Cholesterol”. We the Doc kind of flipped out on me and we sort of got into a shouting match, but I did not take the meds.
I went home that day with a lot of curiosity and a mission to find out why my body was building up cholesterol in my blood stream. After searching the web I found the website: Vegsource.com and started reading and watching videos. I was so excited about this discovery that I ended up spending upwards of $10,000.00 on education material. I stopped all meat and dairy intake and started hitting the gym. I shedded close to 30 pounds in body weight and felt healthier than I did even when I was in my 20’s. After six month I went back to see my doctor to follow up on previous appointment. My cholesterol had dropped down to 104 and my good and bad cholesterol had fallen back into healthy ranges. My doctor told me that he was pleased that the lipitor hand helped. I told him that I never took the meds and managed to make those changes through a healthy lifestyle. The Doc flipped out on me again and told me that what I am doing is not sustainable and I must start taking the medication.
That was the last time I had a visit with this doctor and a few months later discovered through one of his employees that he was receiving international trips all paid by the pharmaceutical company each time he managed to prescribe 20 prescriptions of lipitor.
Flash forward 12 years… Here I sit once again scratching my head about some of the same medical conditions I faced back then, plus Type II Diabetes. Last week I was sick with pneumonia and stayed home from work to rest. During that week I looked over the results of a blood test I had done with my Primary Care Physician the week before. I started my research all over again but the answer came from a movie I watched on Netflix called “Forks over Knives”. I revisited my old friend Vegesource.com on the computer and was once again quickly hooked.
It’s been just nine days since I started the whole food plant based diet and I am proud to say that I have already shedded 8 lbs of body fat. All my problems with irritable bowl syndrome have vanished. I eat just 3 times a day and do not feel hungry in between meals. I have this same incredible energy that I felt the last time I adopted this lifestyle. It is absolutely amazing! I am watching my blood sugar come down a little each day and know that I am once again on my way to becoming the healthiest I can.
As far as exercise is concerned, although it took a while, I have learned that a little is a lot. I spend just 30 minutes per day on the treadmill, just 3 times per week. Eventually I will through in a few other body baring exercises, but this time without using weights. Overdoing it leads to inflammation which in turn leads to problems.
Preparing meals and eating is pretty much easy. Breakfast is granola with blueberries with almond or coconut milk. Lunch can be a healthy salad, rice and beans, baked sweet potato, assorted grilled vegetables, a vegeburger on a whole wheat sandwich thin, and I usually throw in a piece of fruit. Dinner is pretty much the same as lunch. I know that I will slowly expand as I try new recipes, but for now I am actually quite pleased with my choices. Whole grain breads and nuts are also things I will add to a meal. There are so many choices of healthy foods that come in so many happy colors that my plate never looks boring.
You probably are asking the same question that I am asking myself… Why did you ever change your diet years ago after discovering what was called back then a “Vegan” diet? Well truth be told I fell in love with the person who is my beautiful wife today. She loved to cook and I loved her. I seem to be what people refer to as a “people pleaser”. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than seeing others happy. As I slowly starting eating meat again I started loving the flavors. Before I knew it I was grilling ribs and chicken wings in the backyard. She is having a hard time coming to terms with my change as she is a genuine “Foodie” and proud of it. She can plan meals for the whole week without blinking an eye.
As for me, I am returning to this lifestyle because I am madly in love with my wife. I had this horrible thought of her sitting next to me in the hospital as I experienced my first heart attack and was preparing for open heart surgery. Right now I have the option of doing whatever I need to do to make sure this episode never happens. Of course there are never any guarantee’s but if it is possible to increase my chances of preventing my early demise why wouldn’t I do that? It is certainly better to have a “Vegan” husband rather than a dead husband.
But this is not the only reason I am adopting a “Whole Food Plant Based” lifestyle. I have grandchildren who I adore spending time with. Pop Pop needs to be healthy. Life seems to be what we make of it and I always manage to find joy in each day of my life. I certainly don’t need some stupid disease standing in my way.