Earlier this year, I went into see my doctor because of something a dermatologist said to me: “that patch of skin you have you there looks a bit odd. You have have diabetes.” One blood test later, it turns out that I didn’t have any trace of diabetes but at the same time we found out that my cholesterol was what Mainers would call “wicked” high. I’m talking like almost at 300 kind of high. This was a bit of a shock for me.
I wasn’t a horrible eater. Sure I dabbled in a few trips to Taco Bell here and there. Of course I had a major weakness for Crazy Bread at Little Caesars. But I wasn’t just inhaling meat and dairy and throwing out all my veggies. My family and I take pretty good care of ourselves. We walk everywhere around Portland, ME, make good use of our local farmer’s market, and are members of our local co-op. All in all, pretty good stuff.
The first step my doctor and I agreed upon (we use Wildwood Medicine and our PCP is the amazing Jennifer Daigle) was to cut out as much dairy as possible and take 20MG of Pravastatin daily. We did this for about 3-4 months. It was one of those things where I totally switched over to soymilk but didn’t really think much about the small amounts of butter and eggs in other foods.
At my next checkup (this past week) we found out that my cholesterol had come down to around 230 but still wasn’t where we wanted it to be for a guy who’s 32 years old. My doctor’s response? It was a combo of diet and just not winning in the genetic lottery. It happens. Her recommendation was something that may seem daunting, but I was ready for it: “How would you like to try going vegan for 12 weeks to see how much that would help you out?” My answer was immediate…of course. I’ve got a lot of awesome stuff to live for.
My family and I met up with Jennifer on Monday to solidify the plan. My wife Haley (a lover of cheese and butter and also the cook of the house) agreed to go all in with vegan cooking. She too would be part of the journey yet when I wasn’t around she could dive into all the cheese and meat she wanted to. I’m not jealous!
I’ve always had an idea of how good you can feel once you go vegan/veggie. I never have ate vegetables and said “holy shit I feel horrible.” Over these past two weeks, I’ve felt simply amazing. My mind feels sharper and more in tune with my surroundings. I feel like I am listening to people a lot more closely. And my body isn’t as sluggish. I wake up in the morning, do cool things with my family, and I’m not ready for nap #1 at 10am.
This is just the beginning, but I’m excited to see where everything goes.