I didn’t set out to change my way of eating to a whole food plant-based diet. It just kind of happened and I am glad it did! I feel better physically and mentally. The added bonus is that I have lost 20 pounds in just over 2 months!
The Way It Began
Back in early February, Phillip and I decided to go to Books a Million to browse and drink a cup of coffee. While looking through some recipe books I spotted one that really grabbed my attention. It was titled How Not to Die! What a title! Of course, I had to look and see what it was about. Who would title a book like this? It was none other than Dr. Michael Greger. If you have never heard of him don’t think you are out of the loop because I had never heard of him either!
Turns out Dr. Michael Gregor is an internationally-renowned nutrition expert, physician, and founder of NutritionFacts.org. I decided to take his book with me while we sat and drank our caramel macchiatos. I started reading it and I couldn’t stop! This man seemed so knowledgeable and so excited about what he was saying. I skimmed through reading things that caught my eye. The first half of the book talked about different chronic illnesses and what foods could potentially help or outright cure the disease. The second half of the book tells you exactly how to implement the whole food plant-based way of eating.
Changing For the Better
The book was a little pricey but I checked Amazon and found the exact same hard copy book for literally half the price. I immediately ordered it. Amazon gives you the first few chapters in ebook form for free so I started reading it while I waited for the book to come in the mail. I literally devoured those first few chapters. The way Dr. Gregor explained the correlation between food and chronic illnesses really made me stop and think about how I eat. When the book arrived I read the rest of it with the same excitement. This is what I had been waiting for. This is not a diet but a lifestyle. It is a way of eating that makes sense to me.
I wasn’t sure if I could give up meat, fish, and dairy but I was going to at least give it a try.
My Whole Food Plant-Based Journey
In mid-February, I began what I consider my new lifestyle. I didn’t make a big to-do over it because I didn’t want people constantly asking me how my new “diet” was going. Mostly though if I wasn’t able to do it I didn’t want to have to admit my failure. So I quietly started changing the way I ate. I was still cooking pretty much the same meals for Phillip but I started cutting way down on the amount of meat I consumed. I started adding salads and different vegetables as side dishes and filled up on those.
The change in how I felt was almost immediate. I don’t have any chronic illnesses and I am not on any medications, however, I am at that stage in life where I am starting to feel my age. I started feeling more energetic and overall just plain healthier. This encouraged me to keep it up. I started looking for other sources of information and found so many positive articles that I just knew I was on the right track.
Fast-Forward to Now
I consider myself in transition. I am probably 80% whole food plant-based now. During the day I can honestly say I don’t hardly think about eating anything but the vast array of food that nature provides. It’s the evenings when I cook dinner and include meat for the family that I end up eating things I am trying not to. I don’t consider it cheating per say since this isn’t a diet. I am slowly figuring out how to make meals without certain ingredients that I have always used.
One thing that seems to help me is to not overthink it. I have seen several recipes for meatless hamburgers and vegan chicken salad and other ways to make veggies taste like meat. I have never tried these. The way I look at it is if I am not going to eat meat why would I make things that are a substitute for it. They couldn’t possibly taste like them so all it would do is make me want the real thing.
I decided the only way for me to do this was to embrace the real taste of this way of eating. I have always liked vegetables but they were always relegated to side dishes. Now that they are my main course I am realizing just how wonderful they really are. The colors and flavors are amazing. My plate looks like a rainbow at every meal!
I Can Do This
I am realizing more and more each day that this is a way of eating that agrees with me. It doesn’t feel like I am being deprived or hungry. I am truly excited to continue on this new journey to a better way of eating. At this point, I am feeling great and I have lost 20 pounds. I know that I can continue to eat this way. Even if I don’t fully transition I am not going to feel like I am a failure. I know that every bite of this healthy food I am eating is changing my life for the better.
Watch for more posts where I will continue to update you all on my progress. I will also post some recipes that even an omnivore will love! In my next post I will go into further detail about the whole food plant-based way of eating.
If You Are Interested
If I have peaked your curiosity and you would like to find out more about the whole food plant-based way of eating I would highly recommend starting where I did. Read Dr. Michael Gregor’s book How Not To Die. Here is a link to it on Amazon to make it easy for you to find.