I have found my way back to a “Healthy Lifestyle”

It was a little more than 12 years ago, and I still remember it clearly. During an annual physical with my physician it was noted that my cholesterol was peaking towards 200. My doctor wrote a prescription for me for Lipitor. I asked him what was the source for my cholesterol becoming so high? He told me it doesn’t matter, just take this pill everyday for the rest of my life. My answer? NO. I told him I would not take the medication until I did my own research into “high Cholesterol”. We the Doc kind of flipped out on me and we sort of got into a shouting match, but I did not take the meds.

I went home that day with a lot of curiosity and a mission to find out why my body was building up cholesterol in my blood stream. After searching the web I found the website: Vegsource.com and started reading and watching videos. I was so excited about this discovery that I ended up spending upwards of $10,000.00 on education material. I stopped all meat and dairy intake and started hitting the gym. I shedded close to 30 pounds in body weight and felt healthier than I did even when I was in my 20’s. After six month I went back to see my doctor to follow up on previous appointment. My cholesterol had dropped down to 104 and my good and bad cholesterol had fallen back into healthy ranges. My doctor told me that he was pleased that the lipitor hand helped. I told him that I never took the meds and managed to make those changes through a healthy lifestyle. The Doc flipped out on me again and told me that what I am doing is not sustainable and I must start taking the medication.

That was the last time I had a visit with this doctor and a few months later discovered through one of his employees that he was receiving international trips all paid by the pharmaceutical company each time he managed to prescribe 20 prescriptions of lipitor.

Flash forward 12 years… Here I sit once again scratching my head about some of the same medical conditions I faced back then, plus Type II Diabetes. Last week I was sick with pneumonia and stayed home from work to rest. During that week I looked over the results of a blood test I had done with my Primary Care Physician the week before. I started my research all over again but the answer came from a movie I watched on Netflix called “Forks over Knives”. I revisited my old friend Vegesource.com on the computer and was once again quickly hooked.

It’s been just nine days since I started the whole food plant based diet and I am proud to say that I have already shedded 8 lbs of body fat. All my problems with irritable bowl syndrome have vanished. I eat just 3 times a day and do not feel hungry in between meals. I have this same incredible energy that I felt the last time I adopted this lifestyle. It is absolutely amazing! I am watching my blood sugar come down a little each day and know that I am once again on my way to becoming the healthiest I can.

As far as exercise is concerned, although it took a while, I have learned that a little is a lot. I spend just 30 minutes per day on the treadmill, just 3 times per week. Eventually I will through in a few other body baring exercises, but this time without using weights. Overdoing it leads to inflammation which in turn leads to problems.

Preparing meals and eating is pretty much easy. Breakfast is granola with blueberries with almond or coconut milk. Lunch can be a healthy salad, rice and beans, baked sweet potato, assorted grilled vegetables, a vegeburger on a whole wheat sandwich thin, and I usually throw in a piece of fruit. Dinner is pretty much the same as lunch. I know that I will slowly expand as I try new recipes, but for now I am actually quite pleased with my choices. Whole grain breads and nuts are also things I will add to a meal. There are so many choices of healthy foods that come in so many happy colors that my plate never looks boring.

You probably are asking the same question that I am asking myself… Why did you ever change your diet years ago after discovering what was called back then a “Vegan” diet? Well truth be told I fell in love with the person who is my beautiful wife today. She loved to cook and I loved her. I seem to be what people refer to as a “people pleaser”. Nothing brings more joy to my heart than seeing others happy. As I slowly starting eating meat again I started loving the flavors. Before I knew it I was grilling ribs and chicken wings in the backyard. She is having a hard time coming to terms with my change as she is a genuine “Foodie” and proud of it. She can plan meals for the whole week without blinking an eye.

As for me, I am returning to this lifestyle because I am madly in love with my wife. I had this horrible thought of her sitting next to me in the hospital as I experienced my first heart attack and was preparing for open heart surgery. Right now I have the option of doing whatever I need to do to make sure this episode never happens. Of course there are never any guarantee’s but if it is possible to increase my chances of preventing my early demise why wouldn’t I do that? It is certainly better to have a “Vegan” husband rather than a dead husband.

But this is not the only reason I am adopting a “Whole Food Plant Based” lifestyle. I have grandchildren who I adore spending time with. Pop Pop needs to be healthy. Life seems to be what we make of it and I always manage to find joy in each day of my life. I certainly don’t need some stupid disease standing in my way.

About SimpleLivingOver50

At 53 years old I am starting to realize how life changes both physically and emotionally. I strive for a life of simplicity. I am winning the battle with type II diabetes, created a plan to have all debt paid off in 4 years including the house, taking advantage of every opportunity to live life to it's fullest through adventures in nature, hiking, biking, loving and learning.
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19 Responses to I have found my way back to a “Healthy Lifestyle”

  1. It’s terrible the way the medical profession put their incentives over patient health. Thank goodness you decided to take your health into your own hands.

  2. Jenny says:

    I’m amazed that doctor didn’t want to help you control your medical conditions with lifestyle changes. But I’m glad you were able to figure it out on your own! I’m sure your wife will be happy to have you around longer despite a change in diet. I’ve been getting bored with my diet lately, but have found some great meal plans online to give me new ideas. Maybe they would have some meals that your wife would find interesting too? Eatingwell.com has the most interesting meal plans and recipes with whole foods, but I think they also include meat (not sure exactly what you’d be looking for). Also livestrong.com has different kinds of meal plans, including vegan, I think. Anyway just some ideas that got me demotivated to enjoy food but stay on my diet.

  3. Jenny says:

    Haha, not “demotivated” but remotivated..Siri! Always blame it on her.

  4. This is proof positive that FOOD IS MEDICINE! I too, had a falling out with my doctor when I stopped taking expensive stomach medications with severe side effects! After doing a ton of research, I started following The Whole 30 plan and got a handle on the foods that triggered severe pain in my stomach and gallbladder! Since then I have never looked back! Now, I can tell when I’ve ‘cheated’ and eaten those foods that cause me trouble! I feel so much better for the healthy changes I’ve made! So, kudos to you for getting back to your healthy lifestyle!

    • Good for you! I did the Whole 30 last year, and did find really great health benefits. The meat in the diet was still causing problems with my gut so I gave it up recently and got rid of those meats and dairy.

  5. I can’t wait to share this with my husband! Some of the best reasons for changing to a whole food diet and proof that big pharma is keeping us all sick. Kudos to you for figuring it all out Billy! Glad you are doing so well! Sorry, I have not been around lately to read and comment. I have been busy with the blogs and trying to make something happen with my writing. The keto lifestyle works for me but sounds like you prefer the Paleo way. That works for you! To each his own and whatever works!

  6. rhannon says:

    If keeping your HDL/LDL levels can be maintained without medications you are extremely fortunate. I think the science is now showing what you eat has little to do with your lipids. Either your liver behaves or it doesn’t. I’ve taken statins reluctantly for over 25 years. In fact, I’ve had periods where I rebelled and refused the meds. When I closely watched my diet, exercised (I’m an avid runner), my HDL/LDL does not stay at acceptable levels. I just turned 62 years old and 11 weeks ago I had to have a triple bypass. Now, I question the continuance of taking statins because it’s obvious they didn’t work the first time. Only in the past week or so have I finally recognized there are worse things than the statin drugs. Now in another five to then years I may say enough is enough but for now, I GIVE!

  7. jennylynnz says:

    What a great story, thank you for sharing! It saddens me that many doctors still don’t get it but I love that you took your health and wellbeing into your own hands and educated yourself. Too often, so many people just blindly follow their doctors orders. I follow a whole food, plant based diet and I’m working on moving the rest of my family in that direction. We are very fortunate that we have a family doctor that is also plant based and her first priority is to keep us all OFF medications if possible. I wish that for everyone!

  8. I’m glad for you that you stopped seeing this doctor.
    Yes, doctors and pharmacists receive vacations, trips, and other “benefits” if they sell a lot of certain medicines… (I knew personally a RX rep and his pharma company actually held contests for who sold the most of a certain RX… the winner would get a week on the Bahamas or some such reward…)
    I wish I could to the whole veggie foods as well, but I have a condition with which there is a long list of foods that I cannot digest, including legumes, beans, soy, dairy, nuts, gluten, etc. etc. I feel sometimes that I’m doomed to eat meat for most of my protein intake, when I don’t even like meat.

  9. momalotlife says:

    Congratulations on finding your fix. We are on the same path, my friend. Fear is quite the motivator. And after watching Forks Over Knives, mine fit is via Ketotarian and intermittent fasting. I look forward to many more posts from you.

  10. Sheila says:

    Thank you for stopping by my site and liking it. I loved this article you wrote and can relate. Keep up your wonderful articles and I will be coming back to read more.

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