Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Going Vegan

Well friends, Matt and I have gone back to our vegan ways for 2013. 
You are probably wondering why in the world anyone would ever choose to be a vegan. Well, truth be told, we really didn’t have a “choice.” 
About 2 years ago Matt went to the doctor for an annual physical exam and found out that his blood cholesterol was alarmingly high. For those of you who know nothing about cholesterol like me, normal cholesterol is under 200 mg/dL, and high cholesterol is anything over 240 mg/dL. So you can imagine the doctor’s shock when Matt’s blood cholesterol test came back at 318 mg/dL!!! He immediately informed Matt that this dangerously high cholesterol level put him at more than twice the risk of coronary heart disease as someone whose cholesterol is below 200 mg/dL.

So the doctor offered Matt a lifetime prescription of Lipitor, a cholesterol lowering medication. Matt refused to accept the prescription and told the doctor that there had to be another solution. Much to the doctor’s chagrin, he alternatively prescribed Matt to a strict 3 month vegan diet with regular exercise.
Let me just say, going vegan is tough! After you cut out all animal products and dairy, you are pretty much left with beans, grains and lots of fake meat products. This also makes dining out nearly impossible.

After 3 long months on the vegan diet Matt dropped 14 pounds. He returned to the doctor for a follow up cholesterol test and the results came back at 201 mg/dL!!! The doctor was so shocked he wrote an article about Matt’s vegan experiment in a medical journal.

We were so proud of ourselves for making it through the 3 months that we celebrated with a cheeseburger, and have completely fallen off the bandwagon since. Of course, Matt’s cholesterol has crept back up, so we are serious about trying this again for 2013! 
We will continue to eat fish and egg whites since both of those foods are pretty low in cholesterol. And since I am only going vegan to support Matt I refuse to give up cheese.
Anyone want to join us? Probably not.
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40 comments:

  1. I'm proud of you all for taking matters into your own hands- that's very admirable and I can't imagine how hard it really is. I complain I can't eat a handful of certain foods being pregnant and I'm always the pesky person in the restaurant asking 100 questions about my meal. Good luck to you two! And I don't blame you on the cheese!! :)

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  2. that is so impressive! Vegan is tough but having a healthy hubs and being so supportive is incredibly admirable:)

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  3. wow! that's incredible! i'd love to say that i'll join you, but i know, with me, that would last abooout a day.

    i'm excited to see how your recipe posts change!

    hope 2013 brings wonderful things for your family :) xoxo

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  4. wow! that's incredible! i'd love to say that i'll join you, but i know, with me, that would last abooout a day.

    i'm excited to see how your recipe posts change!

    hope 2013 brings wonderful things for your family :) xoxo

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  5. Kudos to your man for avoiding the pharmaceuticals!

    I gave up red meat last year due to crazy high triglycerides....and should probably take things a step further. I hope you share some awesome recipes along the way!

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  6. I love that he refused the medicine and went for the natural option of just giving up animal products! Woohoo!! This year I'm going back to a pescatarian lifestyle. So much healthier. Yay! Good luck to you both.

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  7. I'm new to your blog- it's great! My boyfriend and I thought seriously about going vegan but have decided to go vegetarian with a plant based focus. Cheese and eggs are just too good- but I'm trying to cut down. Good luck :)

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  8. good for you my dear!!! i wish i could do something like that, yet i dont eat a lot of veggies like i should so i'd probably starve...can't wait to hear all about yalls progress!!

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  9. We have read a lot on the benefits on going vegan, but I just couldn't commit to no cheese! :) I am going meat free in 2013! So I'll join you for that part! Good Luck! And good job Matt!

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  10. Great story! It's nice to hear that exercise and a good diet was able to replace medication. Good luck going vegan again! I won't be joining ;) I'm afraid I'd starve!

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  11. Oh my goodness, how scary for your hubby! I don't know anything about high cholesterol, so this is really eye opening! That's great you're such a supportive wifey! Daniel and I were just at 4 Rivers enjoying BBQ this weekend and I remember telling him "I don't know how people choose to not eat meat.. it's SO good" LOL Good for you though! There's so many health benefits, I'm sure!

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  12. WOW - what a significant lifestyle change. I am a huge advocate of balanced, meatless meals (even days!) but have always struggled to eliminate dairy from my diet. It's the cheese!

    I really admire that you guys have decided to pursue the "tougher" approach to lowering Matt's cholesterol. I am sure many people would opt for the medication.

    Please share some recipes! I look forward to following your journey.

    Wishing you both health and happiness in 2013! x

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  13. That is so sweet of you to go vegan with him! I can't imagine how difficult that must be. Good luck guys, I know you can do it!

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  14. lol! That is totally what gets me about the vegan diet- no cheese! I CANT LIVE WITHOUT IT!! lol It is a staple. I could never give it up. I could easily give up meat and processed foods, but cheese, no way! :)

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  15. Bravo to you guys ... you won't see me going vegan anytime soon, but I applaud his (and your!) determination. Cheers to your good health!

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  16. Wow!! I have to admire you and your husband for taking the step to change your diet. I have been trying to do this, but have run low on recipes. I sure hope you will post your favorite recipes.

    I am anxious to follow your blog to use an an example of a major lifestyle change.

    Kudos to both of you for doing this.

    Keep up the posting with your excercise routines and your menus.

    In 12 months, you guys will look great!!

    Is alcohol allowed on a vegan diet?

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  18. I've been vegan for 3 months! I started incorporating fish into my diet which is soo helpful when dining out. Y'all should try Luna's Living Kitchen, everything on their menu is 100% vegan. Also, Common Market is a great lunch spot with vegan options.

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  19. Oh my goodness! I wondered if you were going vegan;several of your pins (I always go to your page when I'm too tired to find good stuff, haha) were vegan recipes! Now it all makes sense! :) That is sooo awesome that you two, together, were so disciplined and got his cholesterol down and that they wrote about him in a medical journal!

    I won't be joining you, but I will surely root you two on!! :) (I have enough nasty resolutions, haha)

    Cheers to a vegan 2013,
    Samara

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  20. Bravo! I am a huge advocate of alternatives to prescription. I have such bad anxiety and trie dmedication but it sent me even worse off the rocker. My doc suggested going gluten free and upping my vitamin B and it has done wonders.

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  21. That's awesome!!! Way to go and staying dedicated! I can't wait to follow along your vegan journey, hopefully you share your recipes with us. I'm learning in the wonderful world of fertility how bad some means and processed foods really are for you!

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  22. This is awesome, Christina! My hubs-to-be and I are both trying this as well. We too had a very short lived stint with veganism. (If only bacon grew on trees.) I'm excited to read about your progress and hopefully get a few recipes and/or Charlotte restaurant suggestions!

    Stay strong!

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  23. How wonderful for you to support your hubby by going vegan with him! I have been "blessed" with genetics of bad cholesterol. Luckily, I'm okay, but it's not great.It is good to know what I'm up against and I'm curious if I went vegan how it will affect my numbers. I'm excited to follow you through this journey!

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  24. That's amazing! I couldn't do it. No way.
    My niece did it and lost 150 pounds!

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  25. So, almond cheese is the best substitute that I have found. It melts well and doesn't taste AS fake as the others. Also whole foods makes delicious vegan pizzas that they will make for you to bake at home. Good luck!

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  26. Have you read the Skinny Bitch books? They are 1. Hysterical and 2. really good information about why to be vegan and ideas for eating. Easy reads. I read the first one Skinny Bitch and then got Skinny Bitch in the Kitch for recipes. I am not a vegan (don't have the willpower for that) but found them to be helpful for ideas to get healthy. Totally get them!!!

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  27. Actually I will give you mine as an excuse to hang out again. ;) XOXO

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  28. This is a great story. I look forward to hearing more about your journey, and that was great news about Matt. No wonder he wants to stick with it.

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  29. I love that you tried a non-prescription way to solve Matt's cholesterol problem. I think more people should think that way! Vegan will not be easy I'm sure, but most definitely worth it in the end. Please share some of your successful recipes!

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  30. If you're eating fish and egg whites (and cheese, for you), that makes you pescatarian, not vegan.
    That said, Gardein makes a lot of awesome vegan products (their chick'n fingers are my fav. and make excellent sandwiches)-their products are at most Harris Teeters, and Daiya cheese is an excellent vegan cheese, which you can find at whole foods and stores like it. Good luck!

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  32. This is oddly exciting for me. Because it means more wonderful recipes from you!!! I don't eat any red meat {4-legged animals} and don't particularly like chicken or turkey, so I consider myself a pescatarian. But I'm also a generally healthy eater {by choice, not necessity} and I love the lifestyle choices I've made to healthify myself :)
    And kudos to Matt on not accepting prescription medicine and handling the problem healthfully and perfectly! More people need to follow y'all's lead. I'm also mostly opposed to such measures, as I believe we could all be so much healthier naturally, with just a little hard work!

    Can't wait to read about your journey. If you find any particularly awesome Charlotte restaurants for veggie diets, please share!
    XO

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  33. Great to find a blog of someone who isn't full scale vegan to give me some new ideas. I'm pescatarian and it was the best thing I've done. Still eating eggs, seafood and dairy - couldn't live without those!!!

    This year is time for a new food challenge so it's to give up all fried foods. I think the incidental fried foods we eat will make this one a bit difficult, but I am determined.

    Good luck to you.

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  34. Good luck on this! I look forward to some fun new recipes to try.
    I wish I could join you on this adventure, but being allergic to fresh fruit kicks most of the items out of my reach. I'm trying to eat at home more this year, and at least get up and moving more often!

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  35. Looks Great!!! I am also vegetarian.

    Kids Games

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  36. Congrats to your husband for lowering his cholesterol that much! I used to eat as much of my diet organic and cut out red meat mostly for health reasons. I personally didn't have any need to other than I wanted to cut out as much processed food as I could. I fell off the bandwagon majorly last year and am hoping that this year I can get back to where I was. Good luck!

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  37. way to go! what an awesome experience and an awesome testimony!

    most people don't know that vegan diet is actually the intended diet God gave us. sure, he "allowed" meats later on, but only specific meats because there are meats that are much more dangerous because of the form they are in. obviously, we dont eat eagles or crows, because they eat garbage dead rotting carcasses. pigs will eat any form of food, rotted food, even cans, therefore we shouldnt eat them either! people think those were oppressive rules given to jews, but really, those rules existed far before anyone was considered a jew (just read about the animals on the ark: 7 clean, 2 unclean!) and not because God was punishing or keeping something from the jews, but because He, like a car manufacturer, knows which fuels are best for our bodies.

    giving adam and eve only plant foods in the beginning is the best signal of the most perfect and healthy diet that can be attained. the american diet is meat meat meat, dairy dairy dairy, and we have more obesity than most of the world, many of which eat plant foods more than animal. there are other factors such as having an overabundance of food, the HFCS issue, pestisides and GMOs, but reading God's original plan for us to only eat plants still trumps any research or information given out by multimillion dollar meat and dairy industries.

    there is a program out there called CHIP. i think it used to be called "coronary health improvement project" but i think they changed "coronary" to "complete". either way, it is doing what you are doing; switching to a vegan lifestyle. giving you a support group to help you find recipes and foods that are good, simple to use and the like. google hans deihl and you should be able to find videos of him speaking on the matter of health and diet and food.

    the stuff science is proving about food and diet are incredible things, but we cannot forget the multimillion or even billion industries who do not want people to hear how bad their product is for them have a lot of sway and a lot of power. for example, anyone who knows anything about the WIC program knows they push dairy like there is no tomorrow.

    and we have research to prove that societies who drink the most milk or animal milks and meats have the highest rates of osteoperosis, yet in this country, when someone gets that diagnosis, they are told to go home and drink plenty of milk, or even more terribly, high fat milk! there is research showing that yes, protein is good for us, but animal protein is not the same as the protein in, an orange (1 g of protein per average size orange!). the animal proteins turn into acid in our bodies, which does NOT rebuilt bone, it disinigrates them!

    anyway, im kinda rambling, but im really glad you guys had such amazing results with vegan! i think EVERYONE should try it for a month and see what their numbers are. the ONLY source of bad cholesterol is animal products. we could completely eradicate cholesterol issues simply by avoiding animal products. at the very least, REDUCING our intake should be a priority, NOT taking some drug!

    anyway, WAY TO GO! dont feel too bad for holding on to fish, cheese or egg whites. ;) as i said, reducing by a lot or a little is better than none at all (inspiration for anyone out there who feels helpless and unable to go vegan!)

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  38. I tried going vegan myself for the health benefits and only ended up incredibly sick for my efforts. I really encourage anyone with cholesterol problems to try what worked for me and many, many others - http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/. I got on it because I found out that I'm allergic to gluten, but the delightful side effect has been a perfect lipid profile, blood pressure and blood sugar, and the 50 lbs I lost doesn't hurt either. It's a no-brainer once you get used to not eating grains, sugar and soy. Besides, there are few more satisfying accompaniments to a beautiful plate of veggies than a bacon-wrapped steak. There's a lot of misleading and just plain bad information floating around about cholesterol, and I'm speaking only as someone who was threatened with a statin prescription after the vegan experiment. Now, I eat three eggs for breakfast almost every day.

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