On January first, Mark and I went on a plant-based diet: no meat, dairy, oils, or sweets. Mark said he would only try it for one month and then he’d go back to the way he’s always eaten.
The first thing Mark noticed was that there were some new things we tried that he actually liked better than some of the things he used to eat or drink. That doesn’t mean he hasn’t been doing his share of cheating, but at least he isn’t on a steady diet of meats, dairy, or sweets. Just about every morning, we have oatmeal with dried fruits and nuts in it and we pour Silk (soy milk) over it. For lunch, we have peanut butter and jam sandwiches, using a kind of jam called Simply Fruit by Smuckers. Next time you see it at the store, look at the ingredients. We have a lot of fruits and veggies, rice and other grains, and legumes and nuts for protein. We often make burritos with tortillas, refried beans, spinach, and tomatoes for dinner. (Mark adds mushrooms, olives, and salsa on his.) We drink water, and lately, we’ve been infusing it with frozen berries or locally grown lemons.
The reason we went on this diet is that my cousin told us all the health benefits he’s had since he’s been on it (9 months and counting). I wanted to try it on some of the health issues Mark has, so at the end of January, I started nagging Mark to get a blood test before going back to his usual diet. Mid-February, he finally got the blood test, but we haven’t heard the results yet. He’s still basically on the diet by his own choice and because I’m doing more cooking than I used to. Mark found he didn’t need one of his medications sometime in January. This morning, he told me that he had forgotten to take another of his medications yesterday. In the past, if he missed his stomach medication, he would have heartburn by evening, but he had no problems yesterday. He plans to cautiously try missing that medication sometimes and see if he can go off it entirely.
Not only have we been healthier, but we’ve been losing some weight. We haven’t been starving ourselves. Mark is down about twelve pounds since the beginning of January. I’ve lost about seven pounds, but my shape hasn’t changed much because I spend most of my days sitting in a cubicle while Mark moves a fair amount on his job. He’s looking really good! I suspect I’ll lose some inches when we get back to Wisconsin where I ride my bicycle to one job and climb up and down stairs frequently at the other.
When people ask me what a plant-based diet is, I compare it to a vegan diet. That sounds so modern, but I don’t miss anything I used to eat. I had my first slip last week when my boss paid for a nice spread at work, but I found I didn’t like the things I used to and I didn’t feel very well after the splurge. I think I might be on this diet for a long time.