When I found out my wife and I were expecting our first child, there were so many things I wanted to do. First and foremost I had to be healthier. I was pushing 210 lbs on a 5’8″ frame. It wasn’t good. I boxed for many years and kept my weight at around 165-170 lbs so getting up to this weight wasn’t exactly comfortable and sure as hell wasn’t healthy. I also have four cancer deaths in my family (two more have it now) and two people with heart disease in my direct lineage so I wanted to make sure that not only am I going to be here for my family that I am going to be healthy.
I kept seeing the idea of “superfoods” popping up over the internet and like many other people read it as a bunch of silver bullets that would magically repair my body. Of course, as soon as you look into it, you find that superfoods aren’t really a thing. It’s a fun marketing term used in blog and article headlines to get clicks and it worked. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s kind of misleading! I didn’t want to throw the baby out with the bathwater, however. Some of these foods are actually “super” healthy so I decided to conduct a diet experiment. I researched the best foods I could consume and worked to get them into my body every week. It was successful and I started to feel a lot better. I was working out more and dropped to about 195 lbs. My blood markers were around the same except for my LDL (bad) cholesterol which was high, but not “medication high” as my doctor put it. I was actually surprised since I was eating pretty damn healthy or so I thought. Pro tip: I use Cronometer.com to help make sure I am getting everything my body needed. It’s great, it’s free and even the pay version is pretty inexpensive.
Getting as many healthy foods into your body requires a shift in dietary thinking.
Instead of trying to avoid this and avoid that, it’s let’s get this good stuff in my body that will fuel me for the day and to perform well at the gym. It’s also a lot of food to consume so I was always full. As I continued to learn I found that there is a ton of studies around meat being related to heart disease through promoting your LDL and also links to cancer. This wasn’t a new idea for me. Since my late teens, I have had an issue with eating animals although I refused to watch or read anything on factory farming. I kept visualizing a happy family of farm animals that lived a happy life and peacefully went to sleep and we honoured them by using every part of their body. Talk about being brainwashed. I digress. I wanted to see if I could live without meat and so I tried continuing the superfood diet, which is just called eating by the way, without any meat. I kept the eggs, cheese and fish. It really wasn’t that difficult, but at first it was as if I was eating a bunch of sides and was missing the main attraction. This was easy to get over.
Then came the avalanche of information. My doctor had told me to read the China Study years ago and sadly I didn’t. It would have changed the course of my life. I have no doubt in my mind that eating meat and any meat products raises your LDL cholesterol causing heart disease and that it’s “statistically significant” data, which means 95% of associative, correlative and causative studies link eating meat promote various types of cancer coming from the largest, most comprehensive study on nutrition in history. Moreover, I landed on more modern take where Dr Micheal Greger dedicated his life to the study of nutrition and all newly released studies. He’s also pretty funny. Check out his yearly report here.
And then came the documentaries like Forks over Knives, Cowspiracy, PurePlant Nation, Food Inc., Food Matters to name a few, but none quite solidified my move to Veganism more than Earthlings. I am now a Vegan. Of course this wasn’t as easy as moving to Vegetarianism, but all it took was planning. I am using things like non-GMO soy products in the transition, but I don’t need them much anymore. Psychologically, this also didn’t ever have to be something that was all or nothing. When I started I decided that if I “slipped” once in a while that it wasn’t the end of the world and that ultimately that every meal and action was a choice. Some people think it would be hypocritical or that it was a sin or something. It’s not. Even if someone cut their meat intake in half it still means less animal suffering and I’d argue a healthier option. Knowing that I can do what I want every meal was ironically made it easier to choose to be Vegan.
Thank Google I have a supporting wife through all this!
What were the results?
- Food tastes amazing! Especially fruit!
- My next blood analysis at the end of the month so I will report on all markers.
- My weight is at 188 lbs and dropping.
- I have more energy for morning workouts. I’m still strong in my workouts, resting heart rate is 53 bpm, and my 300 workout I did in 29 minutes.
- My mood noticeably improved. I’m generally in a good mood most of the time, but my day starts off very fresh!
- Poops are regular and fantastic. I’ll leave it at that.
- It’s hard to explain and it may be mental, but I truly feel healthier.
- Guilt-free eating knowing no animals have suffered to feed me makes me happy.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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