Just two weeks on a plant-based diet

Two weeks into transitioning to a whole food plant-based diet, has yielded tremendous results for me already. I have already lost 14 pounds and that was with a few cheat days, and no exercise at all. I am almost on a 99% plant-based diet. I have a few hold outs, but I am working on letting those go.

One of those holdouts was cheese. I had the last cheese last night, so no more. Now, I have to concentrate on the splash of half and half, with my morning coffee. My goal is to transition to a morning green tea, higher in antioxidants and lower in caffeine. If I can accomplish that, I will not need the half and half. I will just have my green tea with a squeeze of lemon. It’s hard trying to tackle everything at once. Overwhelming one could say, I am very accustom at starting new diets. I usually go all in.

How have I lost the weight? Learning and prepping to change your diet from the Standard American Diet (SAD) to a WFPB diet is no easy task, I am not going to lie. With other diets, the foods were restricted but not taken away, so it was easy. With a WFPB diet, you have to find substitutes for those favorite go to items like oil, eggs, beef or chicken stock and so on. It takes hours of research and reading, to gain knowledge and get ideas for your new recipes. So, give yourself a bit of a break.

Caloric warning

I would urge caution here. All your replacements for diary are generally cashew-based and cashews are loaded with calories and fat. You can eat 1000 calories of cashews in a day quickly. Then, incorporating a great many seeds in addition blows your caloric intake for the day, and both contain oil.

Prevent and Reversing Heart Disease

You might be leaning toward a whole food plant based diet due to a cardiac or vascular disease diagnosis. If that is so, then your menu gets a bit more difficult for substitutes. In his book, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, Caldwell Esselstyn, Jr., M.D., restricts this diet even further. Dr. Esselstyn says you must be on a WFPB diet with no oil, no nuts, no seeds and no avocado. Also, you must eat greens 6 times a day with a light steam and chew. So, smoothies don’t count. It is strict, but he has gotten results like you wouldn’t believe. His patients were heading into by-pass surgery, and had severe blockages. He put them on this strict diet, under a physician’s guidance and the disease reversed itself. So, you cannot really argue with his results.

Spoiler alert – shopping takes twice as long

Shopping is an ordeal now. You must pay attention to all leafy greens and fresh produce in the fridge, and make sure they don’t go bad. This was like being in a dark unfamiliar room and trying to find the light switch on the wall, a little luck and a lot of hunting. You have to learn to coordinate meals and times with expiration dates. You also have to read every label!!!!! I cannot stress this enough. Just because you find it in Whole Foods, doesn’t mean it’s healthy! They have the same amount of highly-processed foods that every other store does. They just charge more.

You’ll be surprised what you can find under the Kroger store brand, Simple Truth Organic. A word of caution, read the front. The Simple Truth sign, on both the conventional and organic, look the same. There will only be one small word, “organic”. So, make sure it says organic! Especially on your soy and nut milks.

I hit some snags

I did start to eat far more potatoes and pasta than I would normally eat. I haven’t worked in the rice yet. I am a bit hesitant due to the arsenic load in brown rice. I am also attempting to go oil-free and low sodium. Like everyone else, I was always under that assumption that extra complex carbs were stored as fat. In recent studies, they have found data that disproved that theory.

I was cranking along losing about 1.5 pounds every day or two. Then, I noticed some acne on my face, bloating and my schedule was off. This wasn’t due to the bean intake, because I love beans and my system was already used to them.

As far as the blemishes go, I do not generally have acne, so I was trying to find the culprit. I also noticed various spots on my chest and arms that itched. When I would eat whole grain pitas or breads. I would develop an instant stuffy nose, and a bit of a butter-fly rash that would come up immediately on my face, and would last a few hours. I knew it was something in my diet. I suspected it might be the increased gluten.

Although I am not gluten intolerant, I do now think I might have a gluten sensitivity. I have switched everything over to 100% whole grain, specifically wheat. I began eating far more bread bread products than I would normally eat, and my body was not used to it. So, I think this is probably the culprit, only time will tell. For now, I will be cutting back on the wheat products.

Also, the last three days, I have not incorporated any greens into my meals. That was when I noticed my weightloss came to a complete stop. So tonight, I will have potatoes, greens and veggies and see how I fair tomorrow.

Plate construction

My plate looks a lot different these days. I can honestly say that I am NOT hungry at all. There are times I have to make myself eat my morning oatmeal and fresh fruit. I have switched to Allulose instead of sugar with my coffee. I could be that. I think I read it had some appetite suppressing functions as well.

For the make up of my plates, I am trying to shoot for 45-50% veggies, 20-25% starch, 15-20% fruits, and 5-10% fats, depending on what I might be eating for the meal. Sometimes this is difficult due to the nuts and seeds. They add more fat and calories. I am trying to get protein, carbs and fats in each meal or snack, so it is a zone method.

With that said, there are some nights where you just want to consume something without thought and get into bed. I think getting used to time and building of this diet definitely comes with a learning curve. For now, it is plant-based yogurt with some cinnamon granola. Be careful with the granolas! Most are not healthy and loaded with calories.

Oil is my nemesis

I did try and remove all oil from my diet in the beginning, and literally went down a rabbit hole with the “make your own sour dough bread, pizza crusts and tortillas.” This requires a great deal of kitchen utensils I do not have currently, so this will have to come in stages. It can be costly and very time consuming. I am still working on this. More research is needed.

But for now, I am trying to get bread and tortillas that have the fewest ingredients, with the least oil. I am not typically a big bread eater but tortilla chips and dips are my weakness.

The most difficult conversion I have, is my homemade salad dressing. It was a simple olive oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, salt and pepper dressing that I adored. I could eat two salads a day on this. I could use it for a marinate, or dip for bread. It was so versatile.

I am still struggling to find something that replaces this taste. I have tried lemon juice, dijon mustard and many more, but it is just not the same. I refuse to buy bottled dressing. I haven’t bought bottled dressing for years since I discovered my dressing, but now, it is off limits. Not a happy place to be. I have stopped eating salads. I have to find something fast!

Your one requirement

Going to the store now, will take you more time than you ever thought possible. First, you have to read every label, until you get used to all the new products. Second, you tend to go to multiple stores to get all the things you need. There is CostCo, Kroger, Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods and Sprouts. I have found I get different things at each store. Crazy, I know. Then, you might have to resort to Amazon to get those hard to find items.

I hope you are gearing up for your New Year’s Resolution and whatever diet you choose, I wish you the best of luck! We are approaching New Year’s Eve. So, if you find yourself at home, now would be a great time for some lifestyle change research for the new year! Going on a WFPB diet takes a bit more time to adjust, in my opinion.



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This blog is for entertainment and informational purposes only.  The information contained within this blog is not intended to diagnose or cure any medical condition.  I am not a physician, licensed dietician or physical therapist.  This blog is the result of my personal experiences and what I chose to do for a healthier lifestyle.  As always, before you begin a diet, exercise program or add supplements, please consult your healthcare professional.