21-Day Vegan Kickstart

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Forums: Main Kickstart Forum: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Created on: 11/04/13 11:22 AM Views: 1378 Replies: 9
Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:22 AM

Hello

My husband isn't entirely supportive of my attempt to eat a Vegan diet. He is supportive of good health & me BUT he thinks it's too extreme.

I've explained what Dr Barnard says re it being easier to commit rather than calorie count & limit 'bad foods' within a wider diet, & that I don't have much willpower BUT he remains unconvinced.

Saying it's a 3 week kickstart helps, though I would like to think I can make a more long lasting change. I want to improve my pain, loose weight & live healthier for longer.

So my questions are:

Why are you Vegan / kick-starting?
How long have you been Vegan / kick-starting?
How much weight have you lost & what gains (e.g. energy etc) have you made?

Look forward to hearing from you.

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

I have been vegetarian since 2000, Mostly vegan since the January 2010 kick-start. I say mostly because I have had a couple accidental slips in restaurants or eating other people's cooking.

Compared to most I never had a lot of weight to lose. I've lost and kept off about 25 pounds, I now weigh around 110 and would like to be around 105.

My husband is an omnivore and while he has no desire to change he supports me in every way possible. He's very proud of what I have accomplished and my way of eating.
But I have to say even if he didn't support it or didn't think it was right or thought it was extreme I would still continue to eat the way I eat. It's my body, not his. I let him eat the way he wants and I expect the same respect from him. Please don't let your husband dictate how you treat yourself and what you put into your body.

Speaking about "extreme" makes me think of Dr. Esselstyn's quote. “Some people think the ‘plant-based, whole foods diet’ is extreme. Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery. Some would call that extreme.”

Vikki ~

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 11:45 AM

hello! I have been eating a whole foods plant based diet since March 2010. Only my husband & son are good with it. The rest of my family thinks it is extreme. When I switched to this diet my arthritis pain disappeared. I don't even know the last time I took any pain medication. I'm in my 50's and weigh 109 lbs, so I think that is pretty good. I was a cheese and yogurt junkie. Now the smell of cheese is nauseating. My taste buds are completely changed.Plus the money I've saved. Meat is expensive.

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 3:19 PM

I have been vegetarian since 1990 - maybe even before that - vegan since 2009 (but not a very good one).

My husband and son are meat eaters and my daughter a PICKY vegetarian - so you can image meal times....however hubby is supportive - I accept his eating habits as he does mine.

I would love to lose weight and have always tried to focus on weight loss and different strategies....I now (very recently) have decided to take a different approach - ACCEPT HOW I AM and not stress about my weight.....I know I am healthy and stress contributes to weight gain......

I am now dedicated to being 100% vegan and seeing where that takes me - and to help with weight loss I have decided to to the activities I enjoy doing - no more forcing myself to go to the gym.....yoga and walks
Razz

Love, Live, Laugh

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 3:54 PM

Thank you for sharing your experiences with me - it is very aspiring to find out how others are doing.

My husband is generally very supportive of all I do, I think his difficulty with this is he's worried I am setting myself up to fail - I guess only time will tell. It is true that I have tried & not succeeded in the past.

I feel that I've come to a cross roads & I that even in I have set-backs along the way it's so much better to try rather than not bother because it's too difficult. Perhaps this programme & forum is the missing link / will fill the gap.

It's great to hear about people's successes & set-backs alike Smile

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:52 PM

I've been back and forth for many years, in terms of what I eat. I was vegetarian for about 4 years in the late '90s. Then I started eating fish again when I moved to South Korea, because fish is in pretty much everything. Even kimchi, which I love to eat, is traditionally made with anchovy paste(for those who don't know, the most widely-known variety of kimchi is a kind of spicy pickled cabbage).

But I still didn't eat red meat or poultry. When I eventually moved back to Canada, I started eating poultry again, but just at special occasions (Thanksgiving, Christmas, etc). I called myself a semi-vegetarian for many years. For about 98% of the year, I was vegetarian, but was very unhealthy in my approach to food; almost my entire diet could be summed up by pasta, pasta sauce, and heaping amounts of cheese. No wonder I've had really low energy levels for so long!

More recently (in the last couple of months), I've gone back to being vegetarian. No more meat for me - not even for special occasions. In fact, Canadian Thanksgiving was just a few weeks ago, and I didn't have any turkey. I did, however, enjoy a great dinner with family - and that's the best part about the holiday anyway Smile

Since around August or September, I've been making the philosophical shift towards veganism. The more I read up on it, the more it just resonates with me. It feels like the right choice for me.

I'm still not 100% vegan, but I'm working really hard on breaking away from my cheese addiction. I started the Kickstart a day late, so I'm now on day 3 of being vegan. It might not seem like much, but 3 days in a row is a good start for me, and it's enough for me to want to do a little happy dance Very Happy

A couple of years ago, I was training for a 10k race, and was having all sorts of issues with hip and knee pain. At the end of that that race, and just before I started training for my first half-marathon, I did a 'detox' of sorts for several weeks (avoiding gluten, dairy, refined sugars, caffeine, alcohol, etc, and adding in lots of fresh veggies and fruits, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and fish a couple of times a week). Because of the tiny amount of fish I was eating, it wasn't a vegan diet, but apart from one or two meals a week, all of my other meals happened to be vegan. I tried this 'detox' because I wanted to get more energy - I was tired of feeling tired and sluggish all the time. The first week I felt even more tired, but I stuck with it, and by the end of the first week, I started to feel amazing. My energy levels just kept going higher, and I had better concentration and focus. But I also found other benefits that I wasn't expecting. I've had issues with my sleep patterns my whole life, but I found that I started being able to naturally go to bed earlier and I was able to fall asleep more easily. Also, when I went on training runs, I actually felt MORE energy the longer I ran. While other people were starting to get tired, I felt like I was just getting warmed up. When I started training for my first half-marathon, I was worried about having the same joint problems I had when I was training for shorter distances. But what surprised me was how good I felt the whole time I was training. In fact, I really, honestly loved my weekend long runs (yes, even the 20-kilometre runs), and I had no issues at all with my hip or knee. Of course, I was still smart with my training and with stretching, etc.

But then I fell off the healthy-eating wagon and my old running issues surfaced again. Which was not only discouraging - because I love running, and it sucked when I was sometimes sidetracked by joint pain or soft-tissue injury - but it also got expensive, since it meant trips to a physio to try to my muscles and joints working better.

It's funny - before this, I had never made much of a connection to diet and inflammation within the body. I had thought of foods and body composition, but not of foods and wellness vs injury/pain Shocked

So anyway, that's a really long explanation for the following answer to what I'm hoping to get out of going vegan: I'm hoping to have a lot more energy, to feel healthier, and to be able to get back into running because I really miss it. Oh yeah, and it'll feel good to know that I'm helping animals and the environment in my own, small way.

Congrats to anyone who's gotten to the end of my very long post (and sorry for being so wordy!)

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 11:03 PM

I started my first kickstart almost 2 years ago, it was on January 2nd. Although I was overweight, I didn't change my eating habits in order to lose weight, but for health reasons. I listened to the audiobook of The China Study and was totally convinced that this is the healthiest way to eat. Then a few days later I got an email telling me about the 21-day kickstart. It seemed like fate.

I don't call myself vegan, more like veganish. Although I haven't eaten any animals, or directly eaten animal products (like cheese or honey) I still eat some bread, crackers, cookies, candies that might have animal products in them. (I know, I know, I should cut out ALL those processed foods, I'm just not there yet.) And I'm sure that when I'm eating out (which I do far too often) my meals are probably not 100% vegan, although always vegetarian and close to vegan.

In any case, over that period of time, I think it's about 22 1/2 months now, I've lost 40 pounds, very gradually, even though I eat a ton of food. I don't limit my quantities of the 4 vegan food groups. I really eat a lot of veggies and grain and legumes. Probably don't get as much fruit as recommended.

I can't imagine going back to the Standard American Diet.

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 3:33 PM

Thank you sarathetraveller & slt Smile
It's so good to hear about other people's experiences & to realise that not everyone finds it plain sailing, but that whilst there can be detours along the way it's making the journey that's important.

I love the fact that the kickstart is just that - an initial 21 day focus to adjust / reset equilibrium & a time to contemplate how a better diet could become a reality. I hope I can follow everyone else's example & continue into the future.

I'm trying hard to be honest about what I find difficult so that I can work on ways of getting over or round those things, again I guess this is where the forum & being able to draw on the experience of others comes in.

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 10:29 PM

@carlibeth - totally! That's what I love so much about this forum. The chance to share our own experiences and to also learn from the ups and downs that other people have gone through. I've only been a "Kickstarter" for a short time, and I love how it's such a supportive community! Very Happy

RE: Vegan - How Long & How Much?
Posted Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 8:56 AM

carlibeth wrote:

Hello

My husband isn't entirely supportive of my attempt to eat a Vegan diet. He is supportive of good health & me BUT he thinks it's too extreme.

I've explained what Dr Barnard says re it being easier to commit rather than calorie count & limit 'bad foods' within a wider diet, & that I don't have much willpower BUT he remains unconvinced.

Saying it's a 3 week kickstart helps, though I would like to think I can make a more long lasting change. I want to improve my pain, loose weight & live healthier for longer.

So my questions are:

Why are you Vegan / kick-starting?
How long have you been Vegan / kick-starting?
How much weight have you lost & what gains (e.g. energy etc) have you made?

Look forward to hearing from you.

Hi Carlibeth!

What a great idea for a thread and I've been enjoying everyone's responses and personal stories.

To share my story, we have to go waaaay back! I've been eating vegetarian for over 40 years yet for many of those years struggled with keeping my weight down. What made a huge difference for me, in addition to getting my mindset shifted - was ditching the dairy and the processed foods that were still showing up in my diet in the form of vegetable oil. This finally allowed me to keep an extra 50 lbs off for years.

I detail the story in great length in my book. There is an article on my blog that expands on the story as well if you'd like to read it here:

http://www.lanimuelrath.com/diet-nutrition/my-mcdougall-diet-failure/

There's nothing like the eating freedom and energy levels you can experience with a whole foods, low fat plant-based diet such as we can learn via the PCRM Kickstart. Be patient, stay connected, keep growing your learning (good job on the reading! Another good one is Reversing Diabetes by Dr. Barnard! And have you read China Study? Whole? SO many good titles these days!), and as Wild4stars says, we eat only for ourselves yet must do so.

Thanks for your post!

Lani

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Lani Muelrath, M.A. CGFI, CPBN
Fit Quickies: The Plant-Based Fitness Book

www
Edited 11/16/13 8:57 AM


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