Vegan wrap up!! (Results at the end)
Kind of a long post but quite a few people have asked me about it. Today is my 28th and final day of self imposed veganism. I started this challenge to see if I, a happy omnivore, could eliminate something that I have been consuming for 33 years of my life (assuming I was on formula the first year). It was not for weight loss. More of a test of will power. My favorite meal at a restaurant is the 40+oz porterhouse steak that Adam and I share at Longhorn Steakhouse!
I had extreme weight changes over the course of 3-4 years (we are talking about gaining 20-30 lbs in a matter of 2 months, losing it, gaining it etc). I had gone to the doctor who said all my blood work and functions were normal, with the exception of my excess insulin levels (meaning my insulin was not effective). Most would consider this pre-diabetic, which was baffling to him (and me) because I did not eat terribly unhealthy. I looked at my own lab results and compared 12 months, 6 months, 3 months ago and saw a decrease in my thyroid function. While it was still in the “old” normal range, the ranges have been updated in recent years and according to the new ranges, it was underactive.
My doctor referred me to endocrinologist. If you know me, you know that I am not for putting excess chemicals or hormones into my body (or the bodies of my family) unless it is vital for saving a life. I decided to do some research. I found an amazing holistic doctor here in The Woodlands, but $2k on treatment wasn’t an option (because medical insurance doesn’t cover natural/holistic doctors). I did learn from her that she has all of her patients do one month without dairy, carbs, or yeast before she recommends any treatment. I considered this diet change, but what is bacon without cheese?
This started a month of research. I looked up vitamins, minerals, diets, and ways to increase your thyroid function. I found a supplement specifically formulated to support the thyroid function and I started taking that at the end of January, and started the vegan challenge Feb. 1st. To prepare for my vegan challenge, I forced myself to watch horrifying videos of commercial farming in order to scar myself not to want to eat the meat or animal byproducts.
I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand I really like meat and cheese, I can’t think of any dish that isn’t better with Bacon and Cheese. On the other hand, I lost 18-20 lbs (depending on what scale I use) in 28 days.
Now, how much of that weight loss was due to being vegan, and how much was due to taking a natural mineral supplement to stimulate thyroid function? That is the question of the day. I will continue to take the supplement as I really feel like it has helped. I will have the occasional meat (maybe once a week) and a bit of cheese (on salad etc). However; I have no intentions of going back to my high protein (meat) and dairy diet, mostly in fear of my body revolting and feeling very sick! Edited to add: I will be going to the doctor to have my blood tested again to see if there is a difference.
And so many have asked me exactly what I have been eating, here’s a general idea:
Breakfast – Naked Juice or Avocado/Tomato salad (with only fajita seasoning) or something similar.
Lunch – Soup/Side Salad or Avocado/Tomato salad or leftovers from the night before (most frequently leftovers)
Dinner – Roasted Veggies, Rice, Beans, Sauteed Cabbage with Vegan sausage, Vegan Riblet, steamed or baked potatoes, Vegan chips, Eggplant (as a meat substitute)
Dressings – balsamic vinegar
Oils – Coconut, Avocado, Olive, Vegan butter substitute
I generally cooked normal dinner for my family and ate the sides or made some vegan meat substitute instead of meat (all vegan meat substitutes are not created equal, I always purchased the brands with no GMO ingredients).