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Two Days a Vegan

The new year has passed, a time for resolutions and promises. I didn’t want to start my plant-based lifestyle right now, because I didn’t want everyone to think it was just a resolution that I don’t plan on sticking with.

This is a lifestyle – a plan.

I am serious because the choice I have is dying very soon or changing my life. It’s time to change my life because I want to be around to see my kids get older, graduate college, and have kids of their own.

I want to be here when my three boys in the USA have fulfilling lives and families of their own. I want to live until I am grey and preferably 115 years old.

I can’t do that living the life I have now. I am obese, diabetic, and have high blood pressure. My body is falling apart and the best way I know I can get healthy and live a long life is to eat a plant-based diet.

For two days, I ate a plant-based diet. Every meal, I was making nutritious choices and things were starting to change. Honestly, the biggest change I noticed right away was the fact that because I was eating so much fiber, I went from pooping every four days to pooping every day.

This was huge for me.

Then, everything fell apart.

For reasons I won’t get into, the grid on our island in the Philippines failed and the power went out. You might not think that it would affect my life that much, but when you have no water, no refrigeration, no stove to cook, and you cannot even get good fast food, everything changes.

After the first 24 hours, we were sleeping in the car and eating McDonalds, because they were the only food place with a generator. It is hot in the Philippines, so you cannot sleep, you cannot eat, and with the water out as well, you cannot even poop.

My diet went to shit.

After the second day, we found a resort inland that had power and we stayed there. They had their own farm and restaurant, so even though everything wasn’t cooked like I would cook it, without oil and butter, I still was able to eat primarily vegetables. But there were still bad breakfast foods, and meat here and there, but we could shower, we could sleep, we could poop, even though as soon as I stopped eating so many vegetables, I stopped pooping every day.

Today is January 6th, and for 72 hours, we were without power. We lost everything in the refrigerator, including many of the more sensitive vegetables and tofu. We lost about $400 of food and medications, and spent over $500 on resort fees, eating out, and gas going back and forth to our house and the resort.

The power came back today.

For dinner tonight my wife and I both ate a nice bean soup, made with local mongo beans, garlic, onion, and tomato, with a little bit of rice.

Tomorrow morning, I will go back to my rolled oats with flax and chia seeds, raisins, and oat milk. We will go to the farm stand and get vegetables because we spent so much money on the resort that we used up our food budget for the month. Instead of buying a lot of meat, my family is compromising and buying only a small amount of meat, but they will mostly eat what I eat: beans, vegetables, brown and black rice, quinoa, and other foods that didn’t go bad. We will fill in our diets with fresh vegetables because they are cheap.

We will have to get a bit of special food for our son, who is autistic and will only eat a few things, but he does love apples, carrots, and bananas, so even he will have some healthy food with his Jollibee fried chicken. My daughter will try some new foods to supplement the food she gets at school.

It is 2:22 am, so in a few hours, I will get up, walk several kilometers, drink my apple cider vinegar, take my pills, and eat my oatmeal.

For lunch, I plan to eat fresh raw vegetables, like carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, and onions in a whole wheat wrap, which I have figured out that I LOVE, especially with some Sriracha.

For dinner, brown rice and mongo beans with onion, garlic, tomatoes, greens, and steamed okra, which we make in the rice cooker. The family will eat similarly, with maybe a bit of chicken for the kids because my wife still feels, even if I tell her differently over and over, that you cannot get enough protein on a plant diet.

Changes for my family will be harder to make, but my wife is more willing to try since she has her own issues with high blood sugar, acid indigestion, and fatty liver and is willing to make some changes.

Changing people’s minds about a plant-based diet will happen when they see me thrive.

Already, my friend Mike, who is from Texas and has a lifetime love affair with meat, is going plant-based because he doesn’t want to die of a heart attack either. It’s good to have someone else along for the journey, and because he is in China, we can be accountability buddies.

Before the blackout, I got some blood tests to see where I was at when I started this lifestyle, and here are the numbers:

Fasting blood sugar: 7.02 mmol/L

Adult reference value: 3.85 – 5.77 mmol/L

Total cholesterol: 4.69 mmol/L or 181.36 mg/dl

For reference, I want this to get below Dr. Esselstyn’s 150 mg/dl level

Triglycerides: 2.26 mmol/L or 200.18 mg/dl

For reference, I want this to get below Dr. Esselstyn’s 100 mg/dl level

HDL Cholesterol: 1.05 mmol/L

Adult reference value: . 0.91 mmol/L

LDL Cholesterol: 2.60 mmol/L

Adult reference value: <3.4 mmol/L

SGPT: 43.40 U/L

Adult male reference value: up to 40 U/L

Uric Acid: 317.85 umol/L
I mention this only because my gout has
been such a problem for me

Creatinine: 82.33 umol/L

Last blood pressure: 130/80

Weight: 270 lbs

I would like to get further tests like checking my visceral fat and fatty liver, but I didn’t have the money for that. These are a good baseline to check for my major health issues.

Now that I am back on plant-based I want to track these numbers. When I get to China and have health insurance, I plan to get other tests to check different aspects of my health and body functions.

The things I would like to see improvement in are blood pressure, blood sugar, gout, circulation, numbness in my legs, arthritis, back pain, and weight.

Once my body starts to respond to walking, I plan to add in weight training and cardio, maybe yoga, swimming, and calisthenics.

I am back on track, and nothing can stop me now.

I am committed to this lifestyle, and I will adhere. No meat, dairy, eggs, or oil. No avocados or nuts.

I will do this.

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