It’s hard to believe it has been 9 months already since I started this whole foods, plant-based diet. I have completed an entire triathlon training season consisting of a sprint, olympic and half-ironman distance events. I ran my first marathon and am currently more than 2 months into my training for Ironman Lake Placid 2013. I am still totally grooving on this plant-based diet and have never looked back. Granted I did slightly deviate a few times with a little Feta on a salad and that Chocolate Mousse on Valentines day, but the other 99% of the time I was die hard plant-power.
Every winter my employer provides free biometric testing for all employees. I had taken advantage of this testing last January, before going plant-based, and was a bit taken back by my results. I always thought being active would get me by, but apparently my diet of meat, sugary and over-processed foods could not be overcome by exercise alone. The exercise was also suffering because of the lack of “real food” and not feeding my body properly. When you start increasing training to the level of Ironman training, your body begins to let you know that food out of a box just doesn’t cut it. And no amount of coffee and sugar is going to help that either. If you want your car to drive like a Maserati, you are not going to put low octane gas in it.
I had done a blood test panel using SegTerra’s InsideTracker last September which showed good progress after only 3 months. Now that 9 months has passed and time for our annual biometric screening again, I was very eager to see what effect healthy eating would have. I have to admit I was a little nervous that it would not be as drastic as I wanted it to be. When I got the results I was more than ecstatic. So without further ado, here are my latest results as compared to the results a year ago and 6 months ago. Pretty drastic.
This biggest items to note are the 48 point drop in LDL, the 37 point drop in Trigylcerides and the 59 point drop in Total Cholesterol. I was a little disappointed with my HDL’s going down, but they are still in range so I guess I can’t complain. My blood pressure, which always tends to be higher due to the “white coat syndrome”, also dropped down. It is still at the top of the range, but when I test it at home it is usually in the normal range.
My weight was up a couple pounds since September, but the September weight was done at home which is usually a couple pounds less due to lack of clothing. The weight measurements for Jan 2012 and March 2013 were performed by the screeners with work clothes on(sans shoes and belt). The best thing about plant-based was that I maintained my weight throughout the off-season and holidays which I usually tend to gain back much of the weight lost from training.
The best thing about going plant-based is that I feel great. Even with the added Ironman training load, I am still improving athletically and without the afternoon crash like before. I have also given up the coffee and switched to tea which is a little less caffeine and with some added antioxidants too.
I am spending much more time in the kitchen cooking, but I really do enjoy it. It is much more satisfying than sitting in front of the “tube”. The food is so tasty and nutritious that crap out of a box just pales in comparison to it.
Thanks to my wife, Denise, whose healthy ways finally rubbed off on me. Also thanks go out to T. Colin Campbell, Caldwell Esselstyn, and Rip Esselstyn whose Forks Over Knives movie and China Study book was initial the spark that lit this flame. Also special thanks go to Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll who have inspired and motivated me as well as helped me to apply this dietary change to an endurance sports lifestyle.