What One Month of Being A Vegan Will Do for You

October 29, 2009

What One Month of Being A Vegan Will Do for You 

 Reference:  China Study by Colin Campbell, Barnard, Am Jr of Medicine, 2005 p 991 

 Go ahead.  Throw down the gauntlet!  Make a challenge!  And then, walk the walk.  This is my report card of a one-month trial of being a vegan.  I read Dr. Bernard’s study.  I read the China Study.  Both state that you can make a dramatic difference in your metabolic syndrome risk very quickly if you follow a high fiber, plant based diet with no animal products.  But is it do-able?  Could I do it?  That’s the real challenge. I have metabolic syndrome.  Will it work for me?  How about sugar? 

 I gave it a try.  Here were my rules.  If I was going to try getting rid of animal products completely, I would have to give myself some slack.  I would not let myself get hungry.  I would always eat until full and not feel deprived.  If I was hungry, I could have anything plant-based that I wanted, whenever I wanted.  And no sugar.  Stevia sweetener, but no sugar.  And no extra exercise. (Walk about 7-10 miles a week) 

 What happened?  Well, I made it for 5 weeks.  I was never hungry.  I averaged about 17 servings of vegetables and fruits a day.  I ate pounds and pounds of almonds, walnuts, peanut butter.  And I discovered a lot of cool recipes.  Indian food is just delicious!  India has about 10 commonly used lentils that make wonderful soups and stews.  And curry is really meant to be a vegetarian dish.  Cabbage curry, potato curry, peas and beans, cauliflower and spinach, coriander and potatoes, eggplant….. the list is as long as your imagination.  After making two or three, I got the hang of it.  It only takes about 20 minutes to whip together a nice spicy curry while the brown rice is simmering.  And a good curry gets better with age.  

Together, Holly and I had lots of other culinary adventures too.  We went to friends’ houses and made vegetarian dishes and made it a treat to visit.  We made a huge vegetarian chili with lots of beans.  We found all the fast food subs and wraps and other recipes that are vegan.  They are out there.  You can eat out and be a vegan,  “Could you take a triple batch of those vegetables and stir fry them with some peanut sauce?” works. My weight dropped 9 pounds, without ever being hungry.  It hasn’t come back in the month since either.  My blood pressure went from 110/75 to 86/60 without being dizzy.  My fasting blood sugar dropped from 101 to 88.  My cholesterol went from 189 to 154. My LDLs from 130 to 107.   Not bad.  Not bad at all.  In just a month, I reduced my risk for metabolic syndrome dramatically, without ever being hungry.  And 9 pounds. 

 WWW: What will work for me.  We are learning that our food talks to and turns on our genes.  The food we eat isn’t just simple calories in a simple chemistry experiment.  Our genetic heritage is what we are.  How we eat sets off our genetic story.  Plant-based foods turn off the genes that make us store fat.  Or was it the loss of sugar?   Can you give it a try?  Can you start by just changing breakfast?  Try getting used to soy milk instead of cow…. Can you go one day a week of meatless, sugarless?  Learn a new recipe or two.  Remember, you can eat till full, and still lose weight.

This column was written by Dr. John E Whitcomb, MD, Brookfield Longevity, Brookfield, WI. (262-784-5300)