I have 4 weeks under my belt since I made the decision to adopt a Whole Food Plant Based way of eating and I have say that each day seems to get a little better. Initially I dropped a significant amount of weight (around 10 lbs.) but I have noticed that the process has slowed down. I am still dropping but only at the pace of around a pound or less a week.
I am at a strict 2 mile fast paced walk on the treadmill every other day and it is getting easier each time. I anticipate joining a local gym to start resistance exercises on the weekends. While walking certainly is a great fat burning exercise I have learned that the ultimate fat burner is lifting weights. As always I will start out slow with low weights and progressively move my way up to challenges my muscles with heavier weights. As Dr. Neal Bernard explains, we build up tiny little deposits of fat in each cell which black the receptors that allow glucose to enter the cell. In doing so the result is a higher level of sugar in the blood, thus Type II Diabetes. My ultimate goal is to remove as much of those fat deposits as possible through weight lifting.
I have made the decision that just because I am 57 years old, I don’t have to accept age as a factor in not attempting to become the healthiest I can be at my age. “We just have to accept that we are getting older”, “Sooner or later you will experience your first heart attack”, “Getting sick is just the way it is when we get older”, these and so many other statements I have heard but simply do not understand how anyone could accept them.. I can accept the “getting older” part of these statements, but I truly don’t believe that we are all doomed for a horrible medical condition because of it. No, there are actions we can take right now at any age to prevent most of these events.
In just four weeks I have noticed many changes in the way my body is working and I find it to be incredible. All I did was take certain foods out of my diet like meat, dairy, added oil and processed foods and add other foods. I am eating more carbs each day, a lot more, and the results have amazed me. My skin is clearing up, I am losing body weight, I have incredible energy all day long and feel no hunger between meals and problems I suffered before adapting to Plant Based have disappeared like irritable bowl syndrome. Actually my bathroom habits have become quite regular. I have also noticed that I am producing and releasing more saliva as I find myself swallowing more frequently during the day. This is a sign that my GI tract is working more efficiently.
Preparing my own foods has been a breeze. I created a few staples which I usually prepare on the weekends like baking a half dozen sweet potatoes, cooking a cup of rice to eat with black beans, preparing whole oatmeal and placing it in small containers for the week and of course putting together a large salad to pull from to enjoy a salad for lunch each day. I am purchasing a few handfuls of fruit each week to accompany my oatmeal in the morning and I always make sure I have fresh berries to put in my oatmeal. I may spend an hour doing all of this on a Sunday, sometimes a little longer, but the sacrifice I make in time preparing these foods on the weekend pay off during the week as I spend a fragment of time in cooking during the week.
One of the most frequent question I get from others is “where do you get your protein?”. There is protein in all produce, but I do try to eat a little more beans and use hummus as my new mayonnaise along with guacamole. To be honest with you I believe that I was eating too much protein as a meat and dairy consumer. I believe I was putting my internal parts into overdrive trying to process all of that excess protein. I have determined that based on my body weight and daily activities my body only needs around 70 grams of protein each day. With my current diet I am still getting more than 100 grams of protein per day.
The most recent book I have read is: Never too late to go Vegan by Carol J. Adams, Patty Breitman and Virginia Messina. Rather than describe the book I will share the description, but I have to say it did open my eyes to certain truths about being 50 years plus.
According to popular folklore, wisdom comes with age. What could be wiser than choosing compassion, vibrant health, and a vast, delicious cuisine to be the guiding principles in our life?
We wrote Never Too Late to Go Vegan to introduce you to a lifestyle that brings all of those things plus a new sense of purpose, and a new experience of power to affect change. That’s what it has done for us and for countless others who choose a vegan way of life.
Imagine if reaching retirement age was just as exciting as entering high school or getting accepted to college. Imagine that this milestone is, like those, an opportunity to widen our perspective on the world, encounter new, interesting people and ideas, develop new skills, and share what we learn to help others. Veganism offers all of this, and it is yours for the taking whether you are still working or long into retirement.
And in veganism, there is something that ties together many of the aspects of positive aging. If aging makes people feel they have less influence and power in the world, veganism offers a strong rebuttal to that feeling. We love the amazing health benefits that come with plant-based diets. We love that our choices do not hurt animals. We love that the food we eat reduces the methane production that is a major contributor to global climate change.
And we especially love that it’s easier than ever to eat this way. In our blog, we’ll be adding tips and ideas to supplement the material in our book, all aimed at guiding you through a range of choices from simple ideas for meals to more elaborate choices for those who enjoy cooking. We’ll be keeping you updated on the latest scientific findings that affect over-50 vegans, too. We’re eager to share with you all of the great news about being vegan after age fifty!
I just started reading “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall and will share my thoughts soon as I find it fascinating.