Tuesday, October 23, 2012

You Don't Eat Meat?!?!

A few weeks ago, some friends of mine were posting absolutely yummilicious recipes on Facebook.  So yummy that I was inspired to start asking some questions.  These weren't your regular, butter & cream, Southern recipes that I was used to seeing.  These included words like vegan, flourless, and heart-healthy.  So, I did some research. 
It turns out that my friends had tried a diet called the Engine 2 Diet.
First of all, let me say that this is NOT some fad diet.  It is a plant-based, whole foods, meat products-free, heart healthy diet.  People have done this for years--they're the crunchy ones that everyone looks at strangely.  Doctors have promoted this for years--the author's father is actually a notable cardiologist who makes a convincing argument.  Even Biblical figures have used this diet--think Daniel refusing the king's meat!

I didn't want this to be some rash decision that I just jumped into so I asked my husband to read the book.  My carnivore husband. Imagine my shock and surprise when he agreed with the author and even agreed to try this new diet with me ("It's only for 28 days!")  We decided this would just be a family event, and we promoted it to the kiddos who were fairly enthusiastic.

We spent our last meat-filled week "cleaning out" our cabinets and refrigerator of all the bad foods mentioned in the book.  (And by cleaning out, I mean eating them up because my family doesn't like to throw food away!)  I also went to my family PA, and I asked her to get me some basic numbers (Height, Weight, Blood Sugar, Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides).  Then, I printed out a Week One menu and shopping list from the website, and off to Whole Foods I went.

I'm not gonna lie. That first week was pricey! I spent about 2 1/2 times our normal weekly grocery budget, but I had anticipated a pretty big price jump.  What I didn't realize is that we didn't use some of that stuff.  Some of the recipes on the site included soy, and we had opted to keep the soy out of our diet.  Also, after making some of the recipes, we decided that we won't be making them again!  We have found lots of ways that we can alter our "regular" recipes to make them vegan, and we've also found tons of great new recipes that we love.

After some encouragement from some of my friends to blog about my adventure, I decided to start writing about my daily struggles and victories during this "diet".  The biggest thing so far has been explaining to people what we're doing.  When we say we've given up meat and are eating whole foods, the answer is always, "You don't eat meat?! You have to eat meat! Your body can't survive without meat!"

You don't realize how ingrained it is for Americans to eat heavily processed foods including meat products.  The first week I sort of missed some of our regular foods, but the newness of the adventure was still there.  The second week, I realized that I was eating really great food, and I didn't miss that stuff as much.  The third week, it made me almost physically ill to walk down some of the aisles in the grocery store and realize how much of that food was not only not very tasty, but also dangerously bad for my body. 

I've realize that my way of thinking is changing, and my body is changing, too!  I guess that means this "diet" is working.  I'm three weeks into it, but I plan on doing it full-force for at least six weeks.  After that, I'm hoping to keep it up as much as possible, but we will see with the holidays rapidly approaching.  I'll end this post with my beginning stats, and I'll try to update as much as possible.  Leave me a comment and tell me the things you'd like for me to tell you or questions that you might have!

  • Weight--149 pounds
  • Height--5ft 4in
  • Glucose--99
  • Triglyceride--88
  • Cholesterol--197
  • LDL--131
  • HDL--52
  • BMI--25.6 (overweight)

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