Such as warm and heartfelt, “welcome back,” so to speak from the Protective Diet Living Group on Facebook. These wonderful people create the backbone of support when it comes to being successful in a plant-based lifestyle. I still remember finding Julie Sterner’s (before she married Jerry), Plant Purity website and the start of her recipes that eventually led to Protective Diet, followed by registration to PD-ed!
I made a rookie mistake yesterday and forgot to bring any food to work with me. Thankfully I had an air popper and pop corn in my locker, which represented my breakfast and lunch. Needless to say, I was hungry when I got home from work and was only thinking about the Cheezy Scalloped Potatoes! This was the first recipe I made of Julie’s when I found her site. This recipe only seems to get better every time I make it. Last night was no exception, it was amazing and a perfect meal to “kick start my heart” (to steal a lyric from Mötley Crüe).
Yesterday was a planning day, we know Julie is BIG on planning with her “SUS” approach to meal planning. While I haven’t mastered this skill, I created a Excel spreadsheet that allows me to plan a week in advance the foods I want to prepare and what I need from the store. Thankfully, most of the ingredients for PD meals I already have in the pantry, even some of the obscure ones I’ve purchased off Amazon in the past.
One of the items I felt helped me on my journey was the fact I logged everything I ate, as well as my running and weight lifting. Living a PD lifestyle, it’s not necessary. Eat when hungry, don’t when you are satiated. Can it get any easier? What logging my food allowed me to do was get a visual representation of my journey. Along with looking in the mirror, I could see just how well I was doing. While this required a bit more effort, it was one worth making. Each of us are different, some might find this cumbersome, while others might find it makes a useful tool.
There are two other tasks I want to accomplish early on, as I refocus on my health. First, I want to revisit the Dr. John McDougall’s book, The McDougall Program: 12 Days to Dynamic Health. It was this book and the information he presented that really made me think differently when it came to food. I used it as a reference book for a number of years and some of the early recipes I followed were from he and his wife, Mary. Prior to buying this book, it was a co-worker who suggested I watch, Forks Over Knives. Names like McDougall, Esselstyn and Campbell quickly come back to mind and their research and conclusions provide more incentive to “live to eat, than eat to live.”
The only change I will make to my approach is not to push this lifestyle on anyone. That was the single, biggest mistake I made when I started to see life saving changes occurring. Standing in front of a mirror, I did not recognize the new me. To look back at old pictures, the first thought that would pop into my mind, “wow, I was heavy!” I am embarrassed to look at those pictures, but the same question can be asked, “How did I let myself get like this?” We each make a conscious decision daily. Yesterday I chose to make changes in my lifestyle to benefit my health, for myself, my wife and son. Hopefully I can lead by example and possibly help to make some healthy changes in the future.
Hopefully by following those steps I took back in 2011 when I made the decision to take control of my health I will reap the benefits in a matter of months. As Julie said recently, ” Nothing can get in his way now that he made his mind up. Keep your eye on him. Results happen fast! Watch this super star transform before us.” It’s that transformation that will quickly sneak up and before I know it, my pants will be loose, shirts will be fall differently and I feel better and have new found energy. All because of a PD lifestyle and a commitment to change!