Well, it has been 36 days since I started my Plant-based Journey/experiment….
I Wanted to conclude and summarize my experiment last week at day 30 but I ran into some concerns that I needed to remedy before doing so, let’s start there.
It is the evening of day 20 and I cannot get comfortable in bed because I pulled my trapezius muscle on day 7 on the left side. This alone did not raise any real concern for me because I carry all my anxiety and stress there and have pulled this side many times with what seems to be very simple movements. However, it had not happened for a long time. Back to this evening, I woke up and went to turn over in bed and I literally felt and heard the tearing of my right-side trapezius muscle. JUST BY TURNING OVER! This was new and man the pain and fire I was feeling was like no other! I was also noticing pain in every joint in my hands and tips of my fingers. I had pain on the bottom of my heels and ached all over my body. The pain and tension in my body was waking me up out of a dead sleep!
All of this was very new and had never happened before.
A light bulb finally went on and I realized that this must be caused by something I am doing that is new…I put on my investigator hat and started my research!
I am a bit embarrassed at my lack of research in this department to begin with because I took several courses in Macronutrients (Carbohydrates, Fats and Proteins) and Micronutrients (Vitamins and Minerals) and where we get them from and how they contribute to our bodies and its functions and exactly how much we need as an individual. However, I seemed to only be thinking of the Macronutrients when I begin and was creating my meals.
In fact, if you remember in my Day 1 blog post I showed you a picture of my supplements that I was quitting. My reason for this was I wanted a fresh slate to see if I would need any of those going forward on a plant-based diet.
What I now know is that there are two very important vitamins that we cannot get from plants alone B12 and D3. This does not mean that we must eat meat and animal products, in fact we don’t get them directly from meat either! B12 is found in soil not in the animal itself, and they consume it through the grass they eat. Unfortunately, with the way that our plants are produced now, they are not grown in vitamin rich soil ☹ sad I know. D3 we all know comes from the sun hitting our skin and turning our cholesterol into vitamin D3. I live in Washington folks and for 6 + months out of the year we don’t see much sun and when it is out it is still too cold to have bare skin showing for the sun to hit and work its magic with our cholesterol that is in our skin cells. There is a lot more information to share but I don’t want this blog to be a book.
There are the facts!
When I looked up vitamin deficiency symptoms for B12 and D3 I was not surprised to see my muscle cramping/pulling and nerve pain on the list. I then realized how reckless I had been. I looked up many different vegan supplements and found one that was a multi vitamin for vegans and started it immediately. I also went back on my vitamin D3, turmeric (for the inflammation I had caused) and magnesium (for gut balance and sleep issues). It took about 7 days to stop feeling the intense pain and now on day 36 I feel great again.
Moral of all of this is do your research and really investigate before beginning an experiment like this.
I can summarize my experience as a plant-based eater in one phrase: I will never go back to being an omnivore; I am a born-again herbivore for life!
Discloser: Remember this is my journey, my experience, and my life so I am not judging anyone else or forcing my experience and diet on anyone else! I love all omnivores and herbivores a like 😊 I have three boys in my house who are still eating meat (not as much, as I am the cook and dinners are plant based with meat on the side for them sometimes) and my daughter has been a vegetarian for almost a year now but still eats some animal products such as cheese and milk.
Even with the above speed bump I had along this journey I feel better now than I ever have! I feel completely inline mentally, physically, and spiritual preparing and consuming plant-based foods. I had this myth in my head that it was so much more complicated to eat this way and frankly, I blew that myth out of the water as my eating has become way simpler and easier. I have naturally cut out all the junk and don’t snack nearly as much as I use to. I am satisfied and full all the time. My energy is level throughout the day with not tanks mid-day. In fact, this weekend I had a homemade vegan cookie (so good) and although I do not regret this delight, I tanked so hard about 2 hours after eating it from the sugar that was in it. At that moment is when I realized that this had not happened to me for over a month now. One more observation. I caught a virus from work, I felt symptoms on a Sunday and felt 100% by Wednesday! This is unheard for me when I was eating as I was before.
Physically, I have been told and feel like I have lost all my bloat and inflammation in my face, wrist and ankles really all over except I am still trying to get my digestion straight and I do have bloat in my belly from time to time. However, I know that the inflammation is gone, I had to go get a smaller band for my apple watch because my wrist shrunk. My ankles are also just the bones now and don’t look like cankles anymore!
Observation: We went to a cute little diner and I had a salad and side of sweet potato fries and on the drive home I was nauseous and had pain in my belly. By the time we got home my fingers and ankles were triple their normal size. The entire next day I dealt with this inflammation and was truly uncomfortable and irritable all day. Although sweet potatoes are a plant the way they were prepared was very unclean and unnatural. I was happy that I chose to try this experiment and clearly and immediately see the results of putting “fake” food in my body.
My face is clear and bright (this is probably my favorite change), I look in the mirror and see a younger more energized reflection than I have in a long time!
Picture of Day 1:
Day 1 measurements:
BMI: 27.92 (Overweight; I should be at 24 or less)
Weight: 173 (for my BMI to be in the normal range I should be about 148)
Waist Circumference: 39 ½ inches
Picture today day36:
My measurements today:
BMI: 27.11 (Overweight; I should be at 24 or less)
Weight: 168 (for my BMI to be in the normal range I should be about 148)
Waist Circumference: 38 inches
I am down 5 pounds but that means nothing to me because I still feel like I shrunk just from the inflammation gone and the inches. Nothing compares to how I feel as a whole person either. Now that I have the hang of preparing and eating a plant based diet I will be going to focus on portion control and to figure out exactly what my body needs to thrive and to get closer to that healthy BMI.
Thank you so much for hanging in to the end with me and taking your time to read my words and discoveries along the way!
Please comment and let me know what your thoughts or questions are about my journey?
Also, I am thinking of checking in again at 2 or 3 months with a follow up blog, what do you think?
Sending blessing and lots of love to you!