After eating the omnivore’s diet my entire life, one would wonder “what caused you to go down the path of a vegan?” Well, its a combination of things really. I would guess it started about 6 months ago when I went to my doctor for a routine physical. My medical score card stated that my cholesterol was starting to creep up into the “your getting old so watch what you eat” category. Undeterred I continued to eat my mix of favorite food and drink including cheeseburgers, pizza, pork quesadillas, sour patch kids, and diet coke. Fortunately these weren’t the only things I was eating otherwise I would probably already have one foot in the grave. I also mixed in salads, egg whites, lean chicken, grapefruit juice, and water. Nonetheless, in the back of my head I knew I needed to change my overall dietary habits at some point, not just for reducing my cholesterol but also to reduce my increasing body weight. In an effort to reduce my body weight, I would start diets which included eating chicken breast daily while eliminating almost any kind of carb or sugar from my diet. Anyone who has done a diet like this knows just how difficult it is to eliminate carbs all together while at the same time robbing your body of essential nutrients.
A couple weeks ago I saw a special report on CNN called The Last Heart Attack which really got me thinking about my health and the things I am doing (or not doing) to maintain it. Coronary heart disease is something I never really thought too much about, but it runs in my family so I run an increased risk of getting it and/or having a heart attack. The CNN report interviews cutting edge medical doctors who say with modern technology heart attacks are now almost completely preventable in the US. Through the use of calcium heart scan machines, doctors can now see early levels of plaque build up in your arteries decades before it turns into what will be heart disease. Later in the TV report, Dr. Sanjay Gupta interviews Dr. Rip Esselystyn who boldly says that the way to avoid heart attacks is completely through diet. He says the excessive consumption of meats (beef, chicken, fish) and dairy are responsible for coronary heart disease as well as increased cholesterol levels in Americans. Dr. Esselstyn suggests that a plant based diet will lower your cholesterol and almost eliminate the risk of artery blockage.
After exploring what items I could eat on a plant based diet, I decided it was not a difficult goal and one that was completely reachable. Rather than saying that I was going to be vegan forever, I decided to make it a 28 day challenge so I could see the light at the end of the tunnel. After the 28 days are up, I will re-evaluate how the diet is working for me and if my cholesterol and weight have significantly decreased. I will document my journey on this website.
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