EATING PLANTS – I LOST WEIGHT
Eating plants, all animals, some of each. Which is best?
I know, I know. <sigh>
If you’ve been following me for any length of time at all, you know that my struggle with diet is real.
I’m definitely what professionals would call a yo-yo dieter. And that doesn’t seem to be changing any time soon. But I shift what I’m eating for good reasons.
Usually, it’s because I get ‘symptoms’ in my body. What I mean by that is I’m very in touch with how what I eat makes me feel. Especially when it results in foot and shin cramps, restless legs, anxiety, or insomnia…to name a few.
DIET USED TO BE COMPLETELY ABOUT WEIGHT LOSS FOR ME
For most of my adult life, I’ve weighed about 20-30 pounds more than I’d like. This used to be mostly about vanity for me. But as I’ve gotten older and the connection between weight and health has become more apparent, my concern has shifted to one of disease prevention and longevity. In addition to weight loss, of course.
I’VE BEEN ABLE TO AVOID DOCTORS AND PRESCRIPTION DRUGS
That’s no small feat when you consider most people my age are consuming a daily prescription cocktail of several pills. Jeff and I are both medication-free and in pretty good health. We take care of our own healthcare needs and try to be aware of what we put in our mouths and personal choices to prevent illness and maintain good health as much as we can.
So, when I say ‘symptoms’ from eating certain foods, I mean the type of reactions mentioned above. And I try to identify what foods cause the problems. Then I adjust my diet accordingly. If you read THIS RECENT POST you know that I only recently re-introduced animal foods back into my diet. And that wasn’t because I was craving meat. It was because I didn’t like the changes happening in my body on a whole food, plant-based diet. At least, not my version of that eating plan.
SO I ADDED MEAT, EGGS, AND A LITTLE DAIRY BACK INTO MY DIET
And I do seem to be doing better than I was.
My skin is better. Less dry and flaky. My heels aren’t cracking like they were. And my nails are stronger. My hair feels thicker. And my teeth are definitely less translucent with less plaque buildup than on a completely plant-food plan.
And I definitely sleep better. With far less anxiety and a calmer state of mind. Which is a blessing.
I’M KIND OF TAKING A BLUE-ZONES APPROACH
I tried eating mostly raw plant foods for over four years. Then my more recent stint at plant-based eating for a year and a half. On the flip side, I tested eating a carnivore diet for weeks at a time and have tried a keto diet many, many times over the years. And here is the conclusion I’ve come to…at least for now – BALANCE IS KEY.
The longest-lived, healthiest people on the planet (that we know of) eat all the foods. (Learn more about The Blue Zones, Dan Beutner’s research, and recipes for optimal health here.)
They don’t eliminate any food group. They eat animals and plants. And they don’t shun fats.
But they do consume mostly whole foods. Typically, these are foods grown in their own gardens or animals raised on their homestead.
And they are heavily plant-based. Out of necessity. Plants are easier and cheaper to come by. Animals are more expensive.
So, while these centenarians living to be more than 100 years old do eat animals, they only do so two or three times a week.
They don’t take vitamin supplements. And they don’t go to the gym or go running to stay fit.
But they do move their bodies on a daily basis…as a part of their regular activities.
Maybe they bake bread. But that’s not the bulk of their diet.
They aren’t vegan or carnivore. They just eat real food.
SO I’VE DECIDED TO TAKE THE SAME APPROACH
I’m eating animal products. But not every day. Honestly, I prefer mostly eating plants.
Here’s what my day looked like yesterday:
1 c. dry old-fashioned oats – cooked in 2 c. water
1/2 tsp. pink Himalayan sea salt
16 oz. caffeinated coffee
20 oz. Starbucks decaf Americano
1 c. almond milk
1 tsp. vanilla
4 pkts. stevia
1/4 c. chia seeds
with 1 Tbl. creamy peanut butter and 1 scoop Naked PB
Balsamic vinegar caramelized Brussels Sprouts with fresh ground black pepper (about 15 sprouts)
Homemade Mashed Potatoes – russet potatoes with pink Himalayan sea salt, nutritional yeast, and almond milk to taste and texture.
3/4 c. dry old-fashioned oats
1 Tbl. cocoa powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
5 pkts. stevia
sprinkle pink Himalayan sea salt
1 tsp. vanilla
All blended in a food processor then mixed with –
1/2 c. frozen wild blueberries
and a splash of almond milk to preferred consistency
EATING PLANTS WAS DELICIOUS, FILLING, SYMPTOM-FREE, AND I LOST WEIGHT
After all my experimenting, I actually prefer eating plants. Yes, I do enjoy meat, eggs, and other animal foods. But my mouth is completely happy consuming vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds. If my body approved, I’d probably be fine eating that way for the rest of my life. But I know enough now, from experience, that I need some animal foods for optimal health.
Your mileage may vary.