It’s been nearly 2 months since I’ve been home after snowbirding in the Southwest all winter. Transitioning from one home to another is always the opportune time to try doing something a bit different and not simply falling back into the the same old routines. So when I got home and stared at my empty fridge and pantry, I knew this was the ideal time to to make a major lifestyle change— to become a VEGAN!!!
Meeting fellow View owners, Evelyn and Steve, this past winter, I started learning more about their recent change to a plant-based “nutrient-dense” vegan diet. Evelyn also introduced me to fellow RVer, Tessa, who Evelyn had been getting lots of tips and information from. They encouraged me to get the book “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman and watch the video “Forks Over Knives” to learn more about this way of eating.
After failing so many diets in the past, and feeling totally helpless to control my weight (or my ever-worsening cholesterol, BP, and glucose numbers), I knew I had to do something radically different if I wished to slow down or reverse the pathway that I was on towards diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
Over a year ago, I stopped eating most meat (but continued to eat fish and dairy). I thought this vegetarian diet was a step in the right direction, and it probably would have been had I not ate so many sweets and salty frozen/fast-foods in place of the meat! Consequently, becoming vegetarian wasn’t enough of a change to reduce my weight or improve my health.
But a quote while watching “Forks over Knives” really stuck with me. The doctor said that while many Americans think moving to a vegan diet and eating only whole, unprocessed food is “radical”, they don’t seem to consider how radical it is to have their chest opened up and undergo bypass surgery as a result of abusing their bodies with the “standard American diet” for so many years! The movie compared our health statistics to many other countries and the results were sobering—our diabetes and cancer rates are off the charts compared to countries that eat primarily plant-based whole foods.
So after a bit more web research (and continuing to only find positive feedback on this kind of eating), I decided to give it a try.
I’ve now been eating this way for 1 month, and with no changes other than the food I’m eating (i.e. absolutely zero exercise this month), I’ve already lost 12 pounds!
Now that my body is finally getting real & sufficient nutrients, I’ve got a ton more energy and “mental alertness” and no longer suffer the “yo-yo effect” of sugar levels spiking up and down all day long. Best of all, my 3 meals a day are now providing so much nutrition density, I no longer get hungry in-between meals and no longer crave sweet or salty snacks. Since there’s no sense of deprivation, this is truly a way of eating that I can stick with for the rest of my life.
This month, I’m starting to re-introduce exercise again. But now, I can pick and choose activities that are fun since I know I can control my weight-loss with food alone (rather than having to do lots of slave-driven boring repetitive exercises just to lose weight).
Evelyn and Tessa have been fantastic coaches for me throughout this transition, and my success has apparently been motivational to them as well! The 3 of us RVers have started a blog called Vegan Vagabonds to track our progress and serve as a spot to store the book/video/web resources and recipe’s we discover. We also have a Vegan Vagabonds Facebook page to share daily news stories and collaborate with readers.