About a year and a half ago I started a short term, plant based diet to hopefully help me lose weight. While I seemed slimmer, I didn’t exactly shed more than 5 pounds in two months. Aside from the weight side, I felt tremendously better. I had energy again and didn’t feel lethargic all the time. I wasn’t as bloated and my digestive system wasn’t always acting up.
I went back to eating how I normally ate about a year ago and while I’m not as exhausted all the time as I use to be, I’m not exactly the go-getter I’d like. I can wake up, go to brunch and need to go home to nap because I feel drained. I don’t feel sleepy, I just lack energy to do more than go to work.
On the health side of things, I am realizing more and more I probably have a thyroid problem like most the women in my family. Whether I have a problem, or have the potential to be plagued with hypothyroidism, I want to try and change the outcome earlier than later. Taking one pill a day for the rest of my life isn’t the worst thing that could ever happen to me, but if I could simply change the way I eat and have the same affect, than I’d prefer to do that.
If you know me, you know I have issues with the health care system because I feel most doctors are quick to give you a blanket diagnosis and not really help you, as the individual, find your root problems. I have some doctor visits lined up to “verify” I have an issue. I use verify loosely because if you hand me a checklist for symptoms, I can check about 98% of them. I mostly want to see if I do have a “verified” thyroid issue and get my numbers, so if I improve on this plant based diet, then I want to have the number evidence as well; you know, for the doubters.
I have done loads of research the past few weeks into the new lifestyle plan I am going to take on. It is basically a vegan diet, however I am not calling myself vegan because I’m not stopping eating animal products because of the moral aspect. A true Vegan doesn’t have anything to do with any sport, place or food that exploits or comes from animals and I am not that.
Essentially I will be on a whole food, plant based diet. No more sugary drinks, cheeseburgers or processed foods. Basically I will be resetting my entire system after about 6 months to a year. Food wise, I started Sunday, caffeine wise I am working on it. This past Summer I tried to go cold turkey with caffeine and I couldn’t function. I had the worst consistent headache, couldn’t get comfortable sleeping or awake and I was easily angered and constantly irritable. Therefore, I have created a checklist of the days I can have specified amounts of caffeine until the amount is zero.
I’m also cutting gluten out because when I consistently do not eat bread, pasta or drink beer, I feel surprisingly better. I mean I think I’ve had all of 5 beers since I turned 21, 4 years ago; but I love bagels and I love pasta.
I’m sure there will be times where I eat something I probably shouldn’t, but it won’t be the end of the world. I started Sunday and of course I also started symptoms for a bacterial sinus infection which I’m currently dealing with. Given I had zero energy to do anything except fill my prescription, I did have chicken broth yesterday instead of vegetable broth. It’ll be a learning experience to see what I would like to have on hand in case I get sick, want a sweet treat or am craving processed food. Any new journey is a learning experience.
As time goes on, I might start reintroducing certain items back into my diet and see how I feel. Overall the change is because I want to feel better physically. I am currently considered overweight and that doesn’t really bother me, but how lethargic I consistently feel does. Some of the issues I face I thought was aging, or just something I’d have to deal with, and if changing my eating habits can help me overcome these, then it will be a world’s difference for me.
The next time we go to lunch and I order pasta, I give you full approval to slap me! I am very excited to start this and I am hopeful of the outcome. I’m open for any questions and the reasons I found for my choices; don’t be afraid to ask!