If you had told me a year ago, or even 6 months ago, that I would be eating a mainly plant-based diet, I would have laughed and laughed and laughed. I loved meat – still do. I especially loved steak, having grown up in a country where beef was the main diet. And bacon! Oooh, we just loved bacon. Until hubby was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Then I had to re-think what we ate.
In the beginning, we just cut out the ‘bad’ stuff – like bacon – and added more salads to our diet. But earlier this year, we started eating more what I called ‘meatless’ meals as way of saving money at the grocery store. To my surprise, I found so many delicious vegetarian meals both in a couple of cookbooks that I have in my kitchen, and on two cooking websites that I absolutely love (skinnytaste.com and themediterraneandish.com), that I started to incorporate more and more of them into our meal plan.
And then last week I came across a movie on Netflix called What The Health. This documentary convinced me that eating a plant-based diet would reduce Hubby’s blood pressure and cholesterol to the point where he probably wouldn’t need his medication, help us both lose some weight and generally help us feel a lot healthier and energetic. And, of course, save us tons of money. For me, it was worth a shot.
I am 54 years old and have never had a problem with my weight until 3 years ago when we quit smoking. Within a year, I had gained 35 lbs and that was with what I thought was a healthy diet. I didn’t replace the cigarettes with eating and, even though I have a wicked sweet tooth, we made very healthy choices when it came to food. Still, I was 35 lbs heavier and feeling very sluggish and tired. I could barely get up the stairs of our two-story townhouse.
I tried everything to lose weight and gain back my energy. I started an exercise program, I tried a high protein, high fibre diet, I cut out all sugar, snacks, white bread, white rice, white … everything. Nothing happened. I lost … nothing. I switched to a low carb diet. Still nothing. For 3 years this went on and eventually I gave up. Until I saw this movie. All of the people featured in this documentary were either very successful athletes or very active people, most of whom were around my age. They looked amazing and stated that they felt amazing since switching to a plant-based diet. The one thing that stuck in my mind was that someone said “if you don’t do anything else but have a green smoothie/green juice every morning, that will change your life in ways you can’t imagine.” I can do that, I thought. I want to change my life. Smoothies for breakfast it is. So last Wednesday, I began drinking my breakfast every morning. I put various types of fruit into my smoothies, but the 2 constant ingredients in all of them were bananas and kale. Kale! I hear you say. Yes. Buuuut, when you blend it with so many other types of fruit – bananas, strawberries, peaches, orange juice, apples … you can’t taste the kale at all. In addition to this, we were eating salads for lunch and mainly meatless suppers.
By Saturday – only 3 days later – I was running up the stairs with more energy than I’ve had in a long time.
I lost 2 pounds!!
On top of all this, about 3 months ago, a mysterious rash type thing appeared on my face around my nose and mouth. Horrors! The doctor told me I had Seborrheic Dermatitis and gave me some cream to put on it. It didn’t work. One of the ladies in the movie mentioned that she had Eczema and that by eliminating diary from her diet, it went away. So I did the same. I discovered that there are so many delicious alternatives to dairy. Within a week my skin had cleared up completely. Joy!!
Now that I had the proof, I decided to document my journey and share it with you on weekly basis. This morning I weight myself – 178 lbs. Yikes!! Hubby’s blood pressure was 176/100. Horrors! My goal is to try to lose about 30 lbs and to reduce hubby’s blood pressure and cholesterol to the point where he doesn’t gave to take the medication any more.
To do this, I will be having a smoothie every day – mostly green, but not always. There are some really good smoothie recipes in the book Thug Kitchen 101 which are delicious, and two on the Skinny Taste website – click here for the Cucumber, Parsley, Pineapple and Lemon smoothie, and here for Summer Mango & Stonefruit smoothie.
For lunch, it’ll be mainly salads or if there’s leftovers from last night’s supper, then we’ll have that.
Suppers are mainly vegetarian, but I have incorporated a salmon meal, and for this week, are as follows:
Monday – Sundried Tomato Carbonara from Thug Kitchen 101
Tuesday – Leek and Barley “fried rice” from Thug Kitchen 101
Wednesday – Maple-roasted sweet potatoes, Coconut-lime rice, black beans topped
with avocado – Thug Kitchen 101
Thursday – Mediterranean Roasted Tomato “Nachos” – from the website The Mediterranean Dish
Friday – Za’atar Garlic Salmon – from the website The Mediterranean Dish
Saturday – Frensh Crushed Chickpea & Artichoke Heart Salad on a baguette – from Thug Kitchen 101
Sunday – Balsamic Roasted Veggie & White Bean Pasta – from the website Skinny Taste
See ya next week!