Observations From Our Second Week

The Queen and I are in our second week of eating a whole food plant-based diet. We’ve been trying new recipes, figuring out what works for us, and what goes into the “nope, not again” pile. I’ve got three observations so far.

First, cooking with a whole food plant-based diet is nothing like what I expected. I’ve sauteed vegetables without any oil. There are flavors in foods I never would have expected. Nutritional yeast is a secret weapon! (I’ve made vegan sour cream using a homemade cashew paste that tasted delicious and I credit the nutritional yeast.)

It’s been a learning experience to cook this way. We’ve had a few stumbles. (Still looking for the perfect meatless meatloaf recipe.) But I am amazed what you can do with beans. This recipe from PlantStrong does a good job of breaking down the concept of the base and the starch. I made these burgers last night using black beans as a base and rolled oats for the starch. I added onions and jalapenos as veggies and used a garlic chili paste for some kick. Tasty!

One absolute home run so far? This chicken-less chicken salad. One of the most delicious recipes I’ve found, plant-based or not. I bought vegan mayo, vegan provolone cheese, a whole grain sourdough bread, and threw some spinach on the sandwich. Yum! I just cooked chickpeas this morning to make a batch for this week!

Got some whole food plant-based recipes that you like? Share them, please!

My second observation is about how I feel… which is great! I don’t know the last time I have woken up each morning consistently without aches and pains. I’m neither stiff nor sore. I have great energy. For the first time in many months I don’t feel my age.

I recognize this could entirely be the placebo effect at work. I’m trying to be on the lookout for that. I’m going to get in for some blood work in a couple of weeks to see if we can find empirical evidence of this diet’s effects. I’ll share those once I have them. I have my last health screening results from October 2019 as a baseline.

But here’s something that I can absolutely state is different since I changed what I’m eating. I’ve started running again after the last year of only inconsistent runs. I’m running 2.5 miles a day for the last 8 days. My prior experience tells me that my legs should be sore. I should be feeling the effects of starting running again.

But I don’t.

Since I resumed running, I’ve had a slight twinge just once for a few moments. That’s it. I’m doing 30 minutes a day on the treadmill and I’m tired by the end of the time. But I don’t have that stiffness that I expected as I started running again. This is significant, in my mind. Both the documentaries we watched (The Game Changers and Forks Over Knives) described the anti-inflammatory effects of a whole food plant-based diet. My observation seem to support that.

Finally, my last observation is more of a question to myself. Why do I look so unhappy in the pictures in my last post? I feel great! I am taking action to improve my health and I’m in control of something that I’ve always thought was out of my hands.

I can feel good. I can change my health outcomes. I can be happy.

What are you doing to support your happiness?



Filed under Essays

3 responses to “Observations From Our Second Week

  1. Mykl Sandusky

    Glad to hear the positive news. Just be sure to have enough protein. During my freshman year college, I had committed to eating salads, which resulted in fainting spells because I hadn’t had any meat in weeks, which had been my protein source. That is when I learned to eat eggs on salads.

    Also, enjoy being able to hit the treadmill. My knees are so bad standing is the closest I can get to it now.

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