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I’m Thinking of Going Plant-Based

I re-watched two shows last night on Netflix, The Game Changers, and What the Health? Both talk about the benefits of changing to a plant-based diet and the effects on the body. After the shows, as I usually do when I get obsessed with something, I start researching.

Now, I am obese, diabetic, I have high blood pressure, I have a stent in my heart vessel after having a heart attack that almost killed me, and the cost of the angioplasty broke my family. I have gout, aches and pains, neuropathy in my legs, and back pain.

I am co-morbid and a complete mess.

I am also mentally ill, which I take medication for, and the antipsychotics and antidepressants keep me fat. My cardiologist said I may have thyroid issues keeping me from losing weight as well.

I am 55 years old, and I keep saying I want to live another 30 years at least. But the thing is, I won’t even live another 10 unless I do something drastic about my health problems.

I diet but lack willpower. I do intermittent fasting, but my blood sugar jumps around so much that I either almost pass out from low blood sugar, or walk away from blood test with diabetic-level sugars.

Unlike when I lived in the US, I do not eat fast food 3 meals a day. I do eat white rice daily and sometimes drink sugary sodas. I don’t go overboard on anything, but I cannot get my weight, sugar, or blood pressure under control.

I started walking several weeks ago, but my gout flared up and I haven’t been able to walk for two weeks.

I know for a fact that I will die unless I do something drastic.

Watching those two shows set me on the path, and the research I have done only highlights the damage I have done to my body by eating an animal-based diet.

Oh, the Comments!

Already I can hear the comments I will get, “But where will you get your protein?” the fact is, all protein comes from plants, the animals are just the middlemen. Plants are actually a better source of protein because they consume less water per pound of food. I am not going to talk much about how bad the meat industry has been on the climate, water sources, and pollution because I want to just focus on the health portion of it right now, but we all know these industries account for a large percentage of greenhouse gases and pollution of our groundwater.

It’s no secret that the meat industries use lobbyists and kickbacks to get organizations and agencies like the American Diabetes Association, The American Cancer Society, and the FDA to lie about the damage the meat industries do to our bodies.

Eating meat is the cause of so much disease and sickness and I just wish that profit had not won over compassion, and we had been told long ago that all that bacon, eggs, milk, steak, hamburgers, hot dogs, and pizza was going to give us heart disease and diabetes in the long run. Instead, we were told a healthy diet includes meat, eggs, and milk, which couldn’t be further from the truth.

If your first thought is to get in the comments and defend animal-based products as healthy, do a little research first before you start a flame war.

Me, Myself, and I

I’ve been eating animal-based products my whole life but I have nothing against vegetables. I love every one of them, even Ampalaya (bitter gourd) which is as bitter as your grandmas sweat socks. I eat as much vegetables and fruits as I can, but it has rarely crossed my mind to go vegan.

I love the taste of meat. I love eating meat. But I will damn well give it up if it means I will live longer. Even eggs, which are one of my favorite foods, I will stop eating if it means I will be healthier.

But my wife is not on board. She grew up in the Philippines, where meat is held in high regard. The Filipino meal consists of rice with small dishes of meat and vegetables, and having meat is a huge source of their nutrition.

When I mentioned I wanted to go plant-based, she said my problem is that I don’t exercise, not that I eat meat. Obviously, she didn’t watch those shows with me last night.

So, if I do go plant-based, I cannot expect any support, and I cannot expect my family to change their diets because I want to.

My plan is to get healthy and thin, and then attempt to get them to change over to a better diet. Plus, I tend to jump from thing to thing, and I need to prove to my wife that this is not some passing fad for me.

So, if I want to eat plant-based, I am on my own. The thing is, I am moving to China to teach English in a few months, and I will be alone for months at a time, so I can eat however I want. This is the perfect time for me to start changing over to a vegan diet and get my health journey started.

I’ll be here in the Philippines for two more months, so I will just start easing into the lifestyle, maybe starting with some veggie smoothies in the morning, and maybe starting to replace meat in a few of my meals with beans, avocados, lentils, and nuts.

This is not a proclamation because I still need to do more research, read a few books, and study up on a few meal plans and diets, but my intent is to change over to a healthier, plant-based diet and exercise program and document the whole thing.

Of course, as a writer, I have to document, because if you don’t, did it really happen?

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