As you know, I decided to go vegan on August 1, 2012. I experienced many health benefits, including my cholesterol dropping from 221 to 196, my aches and pains (symptoms of being over 50) disappearing and continuing to have tons of energy.
I learned a lot by reading The China Study, Forks Over Knives and watching “Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead." I came to the conclusion that it was better for the planet and my body to not eat dairy, processed sugar or any animal products.
I also found out that my body does not tolerate soy products well, so I stopped eating Edamame and other soy-based products (even though my company sells a lot of great tasting soy products).
I also continued to weigh myself and exercise regularly. I found an awesome website, myfitnesspal, which allows you to track your food intake, exercise and calories burned, at no charge.
Being vegan is not for everyone and I never tried to “convert” anyone to a whole foods, plant based diet. But the more research I did, the more I realized that this kind of eating regime was almost like a fountain of youth.
But, for me, even though I was not eating any wheat products (like pasta, bread, etc.), I found my weight creeping up a few pounds and I found myself not having enough energy for my hectic travel and work schedule.
So, after consulting with my personal health professionals (my Naturopath, Osteopath and Chiropractor), I decided to add more protein to my diet. No matter what vegetables and legumes I ate, I was not getting enough protein for MY body (everyone is different).
So, starting in mid-January, I added egg whites and occasional WILD fish (not farm raised) to my diet. I still feel great, my cholesterol is still lower and I continue to feel healthy.
Unlike others, I chose to have a little leniency with my veganism. Now, if there is an animal product (fish sauce, chicken broth, hard-boiled egg) in a dish, I have no problem eating around it. In other words, I am not making myself neurotic while being vegan.
So, I would say I am a 90% vegan. But, I think that is still a big improvement in my lifestyle and I feel fantastic!
If you have been hesitant to try a 100% whole food, plant-based diet, why not try it a few days a week and see how you feel. Taking steps in your healthy choices is better than not trying at all.
It’s about progress, not perfection.