Tag Archives: plant based

TRUE Transparency OR How I Almost F.U.B.A.R.’d my Health

18 Aug

Unlike the political figures we are dealing with, I will be truly transparent in this blog.

If you’ve been reading along, you know that I have been dealing with elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. My doctor took me off of my medication assuring me that since my cholesterol levels and triglycerides were below acceptable norms I would be okay going off of them for six weeks.

During that time I decided to pay careful attention to my diet, and I switched from a low fat animal/plant based to a low fat vegan/plant based nutrition plan. The only oils I consumed were attached to a plant.

I had my blood work done and today was the “Day of Truth”. I was SO excited to get the results. My Nurse Practitioner was running behind, but I waited patiently. When she came in and the greetings were done, I told her I was excited to hear the numbers, and that I knew they would be amazing! She said “Yeah, not really! There actually ALARMINGLY HIGH!” You’re Total Cholesterol is 259 and your triglycerides are 366.” “I want a recount!” I exclaimed. “There’s NO WAY that is correct! I have been the model for a vegan/plant based diet!” She said “Well, you can either change your diet or change your parents.”

So, back on the Advicor I go. The thing is, NOW I’m almost afraid to exercise! CRAPCICLES!

I really am trying to be positive about all of this. At least now I can again enjoy a nice buffalo burger and some sushi!  The plant based thing wasn’t difficult by any means, but just so different, and apparently not in my genetic make up.

So, stay healthy, stay happy!


A Diet I haden’t tried……

13 Aug

Well, here I am 6 weeks after starting  another nutrition adventure. In all honesty, I had tried the “plant based” diet a few times in the last couple of years. It went swimmingly in the first few weeks. The first time I got so tired of vegetables (that’s what I thought plant base meant) that all I was eating at the end was fat free vegan brownies. The second time went a bit better, even with a half Ironman Triathlon, the training, travel and the race it went well nutrition wise. It was the Alaska Cruise that didn’t fare well (yes, there’s a pun in there).

I had written to Princess Cruise Line to let them know that I needed a Vegan Diet. Our first dining experience went something like this: Me “Good evening. Umm, do you have a Vegan Menu?” Maitre D “Yes, it would be these three items on the menu.” She said in a heavy Eastern European accent. Me ” These have butter and cream in them. They are Vegetarian, but not Vegan.” Maitre D “Yes, these are the three items you have.” End of conversation. I had salad for every lunch and dinner and ate the vegetables from the buffet. THEN we went on the Taku Lodge excursion. I mean, seriously, how does ANYONE deny alderwood smoked salmon fresh from the waters in front of you? Well, I DID NOT deny myself. And it was amazingly tantalizing to my taste buds! As well as the rest of the meal! That was the end of the plant based diet for a few years. Oh, I did manage to LOSE 5 pounds on the cruise. That should go down in the history books.

Now, back to current nutrition. As I stated in my first blog, I have been taken off of my cholesterol inhibiting medication secondary to having muscle fatigue that is not related to exercise. (I’ve been training/racing Age Group triathlon for about 8 years, so I’m pretty familiar with the exercise fatigue/muscle building soreness). So, I decided to do Plant Based once again, hoping to keep my numbers in the “acceptable” range.

I realized, after even more research, that being Plant Based doesn’t mean JUST VEGETABLES in the “Green Vegetable” sense. In all of my nutrition challenges I have had it pounded into my head to avoid, at all cost, starches/carbohydrates unless I am training/racing. And that is what I had been doing. So, enter into my nutrition world Chef A.J., and Dr. Mcdougall. WOW! I eat more starches than I ever thought I would be able to and actually LOSE weight. Okay, it’s only been about a pound a week, but for me, it is a dream come true! Especially since I had my cartilage trimmed in my knee and have been unable to run for the last 2 1/2 months!

A side note here: I have had an eating disorder, or so I thought, all of my life. My poor mom: I weighed 10 pounds when I was born, my mom was 5ft and maybe 100 pounds….. My highest weight was 225 in high school (the last time I looked at the scale anyway), and I have been a yoyo until the last 8 years. Running and triathlon have been my lifestyle fix. Endurance sports really did save my life and pushed me into researching nutrition to the point that I am now.

So, here I am enjoying all of the comfort foods I so missed all these years because I listened to EVERYONE and didn’t research for myself. I have a “Blog” acquaintance that has done something similar in that he has researched and found what seems to be working for him and putting him into a healthy state.(His blog site is Cafe moi) I encourage him and anyone reading this to PLEASE listen to your intuition when it comes to your health. It’s not a one size fits all nutrition world, and we are learning so much about how what we put in our body creates our health.

Stay Happy, Stay Healthy!





My own human science project

21 Jul

unseen on the dock was my husband losing his lunch, literallyA few semi life changing events happened this year (2012). In February while at a trail race (X Terra 15 miler) I took my third “tumble” on a trail. As best I can recall, it was a fine piece of dust I tripped over. For the third time, my beautifully original knees took the brunt of the impact. My right knee again having surgical intervention from Mother Earth. After a few sutures and 4 or 5 weeks off work (I don’t really recall how much time, other than it truly was blissful!), I began running again, this time training for Americas Finest City Half Marathon. Things were going GREAT! I was doing some core/glut work with (don’t laugh) Brazilian Butt Lift….YES, THAT one! It works! At the same time I was studying to pass my Vascular Technologist Registry boards (Ultrasound). I passed! What a GREAT feeling THAT was!

The first week of May we headed to the Turks and Caicos for a little R&R and some family fun as well as celebrating my passing the boards.

What a beautiful island (okay spit of sand) but still one of our favorite places to return to. Long story short and to get to this science experiment, all of us (4 of us) got sick. I’m not sure if it was a virus or what, but, I have not been the same since.

When we got home I decided to try a different exercise routine to add “Insanity” into my training. I figured plyometrics would be good, right? NOT! I ended up tearing my medial AND lateral meniscus! (on either side of the knee-joint, these “cushion” the femur (big bone in the thigh) and the  tibia and fibula (bones in the shin) when you land on your foot and give stability to your knee-joint) Not bad, but bad enough to require surgical intervention.

Now time  for my blood work ( I have hypercholesterolemia) and have been on medication for about 10 yrs. I mentioned that I was having unusual muscle soreness, and quite a bit of orthostatic (changing position from sitting to standing) dizziness. My BP had been running about 100/50. So my doc. took me off the med’s. I’m not sure I like being without a safety net! It was at this point I decided to do some reading, research and investigation into plant-based nutrition and see if I could manage this inherited annoyance on my own. SO, on June 14th I started my journey.

Let me say that the orthostatic dizziness has all but disappeared! I won’t know about the cholesterol levels for another couple of weeks, but I CAN tell you that the muscle soreness has gone even with the continued weight training. Much more sensible weight training, I might add.

Instead of running I am cycling on the indoor trainer to keep up what aerobic fitness I have left until my surgery is done.

Back to the plant-based nutrition: I jumped in with both feet, which is typical of me. At first I REALLY missed anything dairy! But now, 6 or so weeks into this experiment, almond milk and oat milk taste amazingly good! AND, nothing held back on this site: my poops are normal. I’ve never had normal poop. EVER! I think that I had a little dairy issue that I wouldn’t admit too?! Ya think?! Well, that and the fact that I HATE vegetables! Seriously!

So, how did this carnivore, fat loving, cheese craver overcome her loathing of all things vegetable?

I began with eating my  salads with nothing on them, and actually tasting the different flavors every vegetable had. Then I realized, I don’t hate ALL vegetables. So, I eat my favorites and leave the others out; which at this point aren’t that many. I still despise eggplant. They are beautiful to look at, but the texture and taste are yucky! I’m not hot on broccoli or carrots either. BUT, you got KALE? Oh BABEEE!!! In a smoothie, massaged for a salad, as chips….    My name is Deb, and I am a KALE AHOLIC.

So, as I savour this wonderful black bean brownie (even my carnivore friends LOVE these little bits of heaven), I bid you good health and much laughter!

One lucky girl!