Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Going Vegetarian

My love of food has been no secret! And now, 51 years later, my Carpe Diem attitude about eating is staring me in the face. NOT a pretty sight!  I have the diagnoses of Hypertension, High Cholesterol, and Pre-Diabetes - and medications for all of them. And then there's that All-American diagnosis of Obesity.

Last year, when I had just turned 50, I tried the Engine 2 Diet for a month. It's plant-based, no meat, no dairy. I actually liked it but my learning curve was HUGE!  Tempeh and Tofu would sit in the fridge staring at me DARING me to figure out what to do with them. Add to that, the excuse that I don't like the layout of my kitchen.  Oh, and that my family wasn't really interested in giving up their meat and dairy. I was full of excuses. After completing the month (only one slip when I ate a BBQ rib that was left from a night FULL of BBQ beef!) I was successful.

But it didn't last.

I played with the vegetarian aspects. I chose vegetarian or vegan if the option was there. But VERY often, what they took away by being plant-based, they made up for in FAT. I lost no weight at all.

Yes, I know I need to up the exercise in my life. And I've been doing that. About 3 times a week I've been walking the dogs at the lake for 30 minutes. Sometimes I add the Sunday afternoon dog hike with Alyssa and Josh. But it is NO FUN when you are heavy. I don't think there's a way to convey this to people with reasonable weights.

Today marks the day that I'm starting again. Pam came for a few days and has been doing vegan dieting since last spring. She started at about the same time as me, but just didn't stop. She has mastered a LOT of it!

When she was here, she talked to Alyssa about helping out. She's still in school full time, and not a real adventurer with regards to food. But she sat with Pam and they created a list of foods she would eat, what she didn't like, and how she and Josh could help. While I was gone to Fredericksburg these past couple of days, they COMPLETELY cleaned out the refrigerator! Every expiration label was checked. Every fridge compartment was wiped down. They moved all meat and sugary foods to the garage refrigerator. Out of sight, out of mind? Maybe. I haven't even gone out there to look. And now there's room to put in all my low-fat plant-based foods.

Here is my plan. I am going to make a serious effort to do this with the goal being food replacing medications. The promise is that plant-based diets can turn around some of the most advanced disease processes. While I have had hypertension for some time, the pre-diabetes and High Cholesterol are new.I think I'll be able to shed these diagnoses within a year.

Yes, I'm going to add some walking and working out, so I'm going to try to eliminate some weight as well.  No connection to food is so important that having that one piece of fried chicken or chocolate ice cream is going to be a priority over my health. 

So, we'll be using a few "tools." Recipes from a variety of places

If you have great low-fat. non-dairy vegetarian recipes, please send them to me or share them with me on Pepper Plate! (


Heather Booth said...

I started trying to cut out meat when I was 16, but then I'd eat a burger, feel like a failure and start eating meat again. I did this off and on for years and years. At 33 I finally got it! If I fall off the wagon I just need to hop right back on again and with that attitude I was able to stop eating meat and most animal products. It's been three years now and I can't imagine going back. I'll send you some of my favorite tempeh recipes and there is a lady in our local unschooling group who makes it!!

Sue said...

That's great, Heather!! Thanks!

Yeah, I'm taking it one day at a time. Last night, I got a little hungry. I talked myself out of the really great smelling pizza here by just saying, "Not today. Not saying never. Just not today." :)

zamozo said...

I'm coming a little late to the party here, but I just want to say Power to you Sue! I've avoided my annual physical because I know I'll get bad news. I feel like I'm at a critical point and I've got to make drastic changes. I need to figure out how to carve out the time it'll take me to work out a plan. If it's alright with you, I'll observe and learn from you along the way.

I re-joined Weight Watchers online yesterday but I'm not feeling it yet. I need to exercise too but my feet hurt... you see, still lots of excuses. Maybe I should go to the doctor and face my fears. What was your motivating turning point? -- Chris S.