I broke based.
I never thought I would start a plant based diet, much less use it as a health basis for the rest of my life. Yet here I am, craving greens and beans like there is no tomorrow.
How did it happen? I am glad you asked.
There I was, alone in the emergency room wondering how on earth I ended up there.
I was only 41 years old. Sure, I was a little overweight, but I was not morbidly obese. Far from it. Most people would have easily called me normal. Six foot two inches and two hundred and twenty pounds. I would like to say all muscle, but that would not be honest. The truth is in my complacent middle aged lifestyle I had been neglecting my body for years, decades even.
If I needed to shed a few pounds here or there, the “low carb” solution in its many incantations (atkins, south beach, paleo, yada yada) had always done the trick. Heck, I could lose 10 pounds in a month by just eating meat and cutting out all carbs. Easy enough.
No one told me the damage I was doing to my body. Those vanity diets that focus solely on weight loss had taken their toll on my cardiovascular system. I realized that as I looked at the grey plastic tentacles strapped to my chest, informing the emergency room computer of my current status.
My blood pressure was suddenly at dangerously high levels, 118 over 210. Enough pressure to pop any weakened artery in my body causing a blood clot to form. My thoughts were random. Maybe a heart attack would be coming, or worse, a stroke. A stroke is so much worse than a heart attack, isn’t it? Yes. A heart attack. I’ll have that. Wait a second, my wife is out of town. If something happens to me, who will pick up the kids from school? And who will make sure they do their homework? This is not good.
Luckily, my arteries held up. What a lucky break. The fine folks of the emergency room were able to get my blood pressure under control and I made an appointment with my family doctor for that afternoon.
“Well, you are 41 now. High blood pressure is something you cannot avoid. You have a family history of it. Also, your cholesterol is high.” Words I expected to hear. It was true, my family history is riddled with all sorts of undesirable health traits.
“Don’t worry, here are two pills that will fix the problem. This one lowers your blood pressure. This one lowers your cholesterol.” Well that seemed great. A couple of pills and I am back on track. Perhaps I would celebrate with a steak. “Also, you will be on these pills for the rest of your life.”
Wait, what? The rest of my life? Well, that sucks. But hey, genetics is genetics right? Can’t find that.
So I continued my life as normal. I tried to eat better, cutting down on fried foods and eating less mainly. Not much weight came off, but thanks to the medications I was feeling much better.
Then one day I was listening to my favorite podcast “You made it weird” hosted by comedian Pete Holmes. Pete’s guest that week was a guy named Rich Roll. As Rich began talking about his own story, I realized it sounded a heck of a lot like mine. Rich also was on the precipice of heart disease, but he was not on medications. What witchcraft was this?
It was at that time Rich Roll introduced me to the Plant Based Diet. In a nutshell, a Plant Based Diet promises that if stop eating all animal products and simply eat plants as close to their natural state as possible, your health will improve. Arteries will open up, cholesterol will drop, cancer risks will plummet. Or so they said, sounded like hooey to me at the time.
But hey, I am always up for a challenge. Hopefully it would not work and I could go back to my low-carb-bacon-loving lifestyle. I would give it a couple weeks and see what happens. With any luck I will be sucking down a chicken fried steak soon enough.
Bad news. Within two weeks of Plant Based eating my blood pressure started dropping. Two weeks later my doctor needed to cut the prescription in half, I was getting dizzy spells from low blood pressure. Low blood pressure? That was new.
Three months in and I was taken off blood pressure medication completely. It was then at a natural 110/70, no prescription needed. Cholesterol? That plummeted as well, along with triglycerides. Bye Bye lipitor, you won’t be missed. Genetics, my ass. This was all diet, and the medical community failed to let me know about it.
Also, not that I was even trying to lose weight, but I am down to 185lbs pounds. My jeans are now size 32 waist, exactly what I wore in high school. A result I never saw with low carb diets.
I have gotten quite a few inquiries from friends and social media followers on my new plant based adventure. It is for this reason I created this blog.
Honestly, if I can do this anyone can. No one loved a good double cheeseburger more than me. But I have found ways to make this lifestyle not only tolerable, but easy and enjoyable as well. I will be sharing my experience and secrets uncovered with everyone with every update.
Until then, if you want a quick jump start and see the benefits for yourself, I suggest you try out this free program from PCRM. Be sure to let me know if you do. I am interested in hearing from you.