Eat Green to Be Green!

If you’re interested in living green, you’ve probably heard of the plant based diet by now. Brought into popularity by the book and movie Forks Over Knives, a vegan way of eating has been launched into the mainstream.

A plant based diet has certain benefits that are undeniable. Not eating meat certainly lowers our carbon footprint and has health benefits for those who follow it properly.

I have decided to share my plant based story, including the benefits and issues that I’ve come up against in the past month. If you’re considering lowering your animal product intake, read on!

I went to my yearly doctor’s appointment a month ago to get a well-check and have my blood work for my cholesterol. I have inherited the propensity to be able to rocket my cholesterol (the Ldl especially,) in a rapid and somewhat worrisome way. When I was 24, I weighed about 110 pounds and my cholesterol was 324. Needless to say, I’ve been on medication for some time now. At this most recent appointment, my doctor and I found that my numbers looked great, due to not forgetting my pills. Then she asked me if I wanted to try to lose the medication entirely. Well, of course!

As soon as she mentioned the plant based diet, I already knew where this was headed. I told her I’d done the research and seen the movie. I’d even tried it for 6 weeks, ordering semi prepared food from Greenling. I told her, “Say no more, I’ll just get back to it.”

I won’t say I’ve been a saint, but I’ve followed the diet pretty closely. I looked into B12 supplements, how much soy is too much and considered the fact that my thyroid likes to go to sleep if I don’t get enough iodine. I’ve certainly cheated, eating the occasional burger, chicken, eggs or cheese. I love cheese.

The short version? I rarely take B12 as a supplement as it stays in the body for quite a while. I take it when I’ve been really strict and not eaten any animal products at all for about a week.  Soy? Well, soy can block the absorption of iodine into the thyroid, so I’ve drastically limited my intake. As for the cheating with meat? I actually can’t do it anymore. It upsets my stomach now that I’ve been mostly meat free for a month.

I don’t know what my cholesterol numbers look like yet, but so far my results feel great. I have energy, I’ve lost weight without trying (about 6 pounds,) and I don’t feel any pangs or cravings for animal foods.

As with any diet or new, popular way of life, I encourage you to do some research Don’t read just one article, read the pros and the cons. Talk to your doctor. Feel free to ask me questions, although I can only offer my opinion and personal experience.

What I do know for certain: I feel great and I’m greener than ever!