On the cusp of making it through my first week, recommitting myself to a Protective Diet and learning from PD Education. How I’ve gone so many years without making time to learn from Julie and Jerry is beyond me. Yesterday my yogurt starter and reusable mesh bags arrived. Just finished watching Julie teach a shortened, Class #008 – Understanding Cholesterol. This was a number that climbed to 263 in July 2011, when I was tested. Through a lot of reading and healthy eating following a PD lifestyle, I reduced that number to 199 in just 5 months! In 2013 that number had fallen to 130! As I posted in my 2 Year Review, “Overall I lost 44 pounds inside of 10 months when going plant based. I saw my total cholesterol (TC) plummet from 264 mg/dL to a low of 130 mg/dL! Since that time, it has increased a few points, but I have been able to maintain a TC near 150 mg/dL, which has been called “heart attack proof.” Many if the ailments I had; constant migraines, side pains, joint pains, plantar fasciitis and nerve issues seemed to improve or completely disappear when I cleaned up my diet.”
As I look back over nearly 10 years of a plant based lifestyle, I continue to ask myself, “where did I go wrong?” Unlike those “extreme” changes I made October 31, 2011, there isn’t one point to highlight as a key to my downturn. The following years, 2015 and 2016 were truly highlights, physical achievements I never thought possible! That’s when life took a turn things started to change and I started to make excuses for my poor eating habits. That Protective Diet turned less plant based and more vegan. Have you seen all the vegan products on the market that don’t come close to being protective? Here’s an ugly but short list: Oreos, Taco Bell’s Bean Burrito (no cheese), Chipotle’s Sofritas, Ritz Crackers, Nutter Butters, Life Cereal and Fritos. Fat. Oils. Sugars. Processed, so many bad ingredients, these products aren’t heart heathy.
More recently, I started getting more active on Instagram and You Tube and recipes. Initially to pick up some tips and tricks, as well as recipes for my son and wife. While this was beneficial, I picked up some recipes they really enjoyed but then I found some of those “vegan” chefs. Remember, vegan isn’t PD but in my mind I would continually convince myself that “hey it’s vegan, no meat, no dairy, it’s okay.” While I was still able to pick up techniques and ideas, many of the recipes were never going to be found on Protective Diet. The amount of oils in these recipes and frying were incredible! Tofu doesn’t always need to be fried to taste good! Fats along with the sugars made these recipes taste good, but did not promote that lifestyle that was going to improve my health.
Needless to say that vegan misconception continued to drive me deeper into a depression making worse food choices. Consciously, I knew these were bad decisions and that health I had worked so hard for began to unravel. A pound here, a pound there. Suddenly those trips to the gym became weekly, then not at all. The couch or computer chair became my best friend and I had regressed to a point that I felt incapable to return to my form, happy self. To date, I’ve not stepped on the scale, only guessing where my weight is, but know how poorly some of my clothes fit. For this new starting point I believe I will take an initial reading and use the mirror and feel of my clothes to see and feel my progress.
While life continues to throw up challenges, there have been some great steps made in the right direction. Over the last few years I’ve attempted to get back on that journey to health, not that I had completely fallen off, retaining the knowledge and understanding of what I should be eating a plant based diet as Julie promotes. Now is the time! No explanation as to why, maybe it’s the people in my life or the connections made from being involved in PD for years. For me, it’s about holding myself accountable, these posts and tracking my journey are what work for me. Both of which I did when I started this journey back in 2011 after watching Forks Over Knives and being completely turned from a “SAD” lifestyle. So happy to have a group who can relate to similar experiences, we are in this together.