It’s been two months since I started down the path of a more thoughtful and healthy approach to food, so thought it time to share how things are progressing and how I’m feeling, as well as a bit more clarity on why I chose to pursue a vegan diet.
My driving force to mix it up was my high Cholesterol levels (see below) and my doctors talk that I should begin to consider cholesterol medications (statins). I also felt if I could improve my health from the inside out, it’s something I could document along the way, and possibly help others improve their health and lifestyle.
Out of the gate, I removed meats, dairy, and eggs, as well as all processed foods. I also considerably reduced my intake of refined sugars, and sugars overall (removing process foods is key). I did not remove any fruits from my diet. I also reduced my coffee days to the weekends.
I’ve had a few “cheats” along the way, but estimate I’ve remained 95% true to the plant-based, whole food way so far.
My weight is down about 5 pounds to 170 – I feel this is both fat as well as muscle. One noticeable issue for me is that strength and muscle mass seemed to have decrease. I’m assuming some of this can be attributed to reduced weight training and increased focus on cardio in preparation for the Spartan Super) and perhaps also due to age.
Previous to the plant-based way, I was eating one Greek yogurt for breakfast, one meat protein source at dinner and lunch, and drinking one to two cups of milk a day – so was consuming much more protein, and from different, animal sources. How much protein do we really need though? There are a number of articles coming out that perhaps we don’t need as much as we think. Here’s an informative article from Harvard Medical School. A protein calculator can give you an idea of approximately where you should be with your daily protein consumption. Of course always consult with your doctor as well.
My energy level is great, and feels much more balanced throughout the day. I also no longer hit the early afternoon lull I’ve always dealt with.
So overall, I’d say “net-benefit” to how my mind and body is reacting to a plant-based wholefood diet. I feel great, but have lost some muscle and strength, however with that, my body’s taken on a more lean appearance, which is likely more suitable to my body type, activity level/type, and age.
I’ll do a follow up to my progress at the five month mark, which is also when I plan to have my cholesterol levels checked.
Cholesterol Reading, October 27, 2017
- Overall: 262 (high)
- HDL: 52 (good)
- Triglycerides: 113 (good)
- LDL: 187 (high)