As promised, an update! We are in our second month of a whole food plant-based diet. I feel great!
First, I’ve lost weight. I started at 192 pounds. This morning, February 1st, I’m at 183 pounds! Nine pounds down – woo hoo! This isn’t all coming from diet. I started running again. I’ve been running indoors for 30 minutes a day and around 5 days a week. The Queen and I also tried yoga – usually twice a week. (Side note: yoga is WAY HARDER than I ever thought!) Physically, I have not felt this good for this long this consistently.
Second, the change in how we eat has been very successful. Plant-based? Check! We’ve been 100% successful in eliminating animal products from our diet. Whole food? We’re making solid progress. Overall, food variety is something that I’m feeling good about but I know that we’re not close to running out of options for whole food plant-based meals. I’ve tried more new recipes in the last month than I did last year. One thing we’re actively avoiding? Vegan junk food is a real thing.
Third, a few days ago I had some blood work done in anticipation of a physical in a couple of weeks. I checked my online patient portal multiple times each day as I waited for the results to populate. I was really looking for evidence of a change! This was a crucial test for me. I needed to see an impact.
As a baseline, I had my numbers from my annual health screening at work back in October. Cholesterol has been a concern for a long time. Even with a daily statin, my numbers sucked. Total cholesterol 212, HDL 48, LDL 127. With a family history of heart disease this has been front and center for my fears about getting older.
The results came back – big improvement! My total cholesterol dropped to 175. HDL increased by 1 to 49. LDL dropped a whopping 47 points to 80.
I’m happy but not done with my health progress. My triglycerides were high – 234 – even with fasting and no beer consumption the day prior. (I don’t have that number from my October screening to compare.) I think that I need to take a hard look at my beer consumption. That’s a topic for discussion at my physical.
My Vitamin D level was low – 23 with a preferred range of 30 to 100. (Again, no data from October to compare that to.) On the positive side, Vitamin B12 is a watch item for people not consuming animal products. My reading 610 with a preferred range of 180 to 914. The B12 issue was something I knew about making this change in diet. I’m taking a multivitamin with an additional B12 supplement. Another topic for discussion with my doctor… should I consider other supplements?
Overall, I am incredibly energized and motivated by this progress. This is the most significant (and positive!) change in my health in a few years. Eliminating animal products from my diet has been easier than I expected. I don’t feel deprived or starved. I’m happy that I’ve been 100% plant-based. I’d like to continue eating more whole, as opposed to processed, foods. And for the last month I have slept soundly, no longer afraid of dying in my sleep of a heart attack.