For those who are just landing on this post and don’t know my backstory, for the new year, I started a new plant-based diet. I was sick and tired of added medications and new diagnoses. I decided to undertake a Whole Food Plant-Based (Vegan) lifestyle change, to see if I could turn this train around. On this website, you will see “plant-based” and “vegan”, used interchangeably, even though there are differences.

Where I began

I am one of those people, that when I make up my mind to do something, it is at that moment, that I go all in. I don’t need to wait for a Monday to roll around, or the first of the month to start a diet. I figure, why prolong your efforts? Just do it! I have started many diet changes on Friday nights.

During my journey, just when I was getting into a grove of my new plant-based lifestyle, I walked into the kitchen one morning to a puddle of water on the floor. My refrigerator had completely gone out, rendering everything in it and the freezer, not fit to eat. I had to toss everything, including all my fruits and veggies.

I began my hunt for a new refrigerator, which was no easy feat. I made the purchase but had to wait a week for delivery. Then, there were another two days to get it up and running and cooled to the proper temp for food. This was a huge setback for my already achieved gains. 

I reverted to eating the SAD diet again of meat, dairy, processed junk foods, and diet cokes. Drive-throughs saw me every day. I had no way to store fresh vegetables or other healthy items until the new unit arrived. This proved to be costly in so many ways, both to the progress I had gained and my pocketbook. My weight quickly returned to its top figure, and my blood work values increased back to dangerous levels.

I am using my lab results from late November and comparing them to my early February 2024 results. 

The following were milestones and are very encouraging for roughly 8 weeks of a 90/10 percent WFPB ratio diet (and the 9 days of being forced back into the SAD diet). Keep in mind that I still had cheat items such as cheese and half and half creamer I was attempting to overcome.

My results after just 60 days

  • I lost 30 pounds (without exercise) at the time of this posting.
  • Cholesterol – decreased by 66 points.
  • Triglycerides – decreased by 20 points.
  • LDL – decreased by 4 points.
  • LDL Calc Chol – decreased by 27 points.
  • Vitamin B-12 increased by 241 points.
  • Vitamin D – increased by 2 points.
  • Iron – no change
  • My blood pressure decreased from an average of 155/90 to 145/85.
  • My inflammation markers decreased significantly.

Who wouldn’t kill for these types of reductions? In less than 60 days, and without any pills, I saw this much benefit, and all because I stopped the meat, dairy, and processed foods. I know people that have been on several drugs, that haven’t seen this kind of progress. They also have far more potentially dangerous side effects from the drugs, than the benefits they are receiving. I didn’t want that to be me.

Concerns when starting a plant-based diet

Let’s sum up all the concerns that I, like most others, have when contemplating going on a vegan or plant-based diet.  You have to know that I was not your average bear.  I was facing some extremely difficult confirmed vitamin deficiencies that only got worse due to the chemo.  So to say I was reluctant was an understatement.  Here are just a few of my concerns:

  • I will not get enough protein  I have issues with muscle wasting due to an autoimmune diagnosis.  This was huge for me.  My creatinine did decrease slightly so I am going to implement protein powders, tofu, and other things to increase protein intake.
  • I will not get enough Vitamin B-12 (I have been on shots every week for most of my adult life.  Eating a plant-based diet increased my B-12 by 241 points. During this time, I lowered my supplement intake of B-12 by 30,000 mg a week.  Mind-blowing.
  • I will not get enough Vitamin D  I lowered my supplement intake by 30,000 UI a week and it still had a small gain. Another known diagnosed deficiency I was concerned about.
  • I will not get enough iron This was critical to me.  I have iron deficiency anemia and since the chemo, I developed CIA (Chemo Induced Anemia) where I had to undergo IV Iron Therapy.  My iron and RBC values remained the same and slightly improved on the plant-based diet.  Also mind-blowing.

There are a few things that I learned from my results. I will have to pivot in the upcoming months in the area of increasing my protein. I knew my rapid weight loss was most likely a loss of muscle mass because I was not exercising. I haven’t tried tofu yet, so my protein has been mainly beans, lentils, potatoes, and soy milk. I have to begin supplementing with vegan protein powder, tofu, and other products. 

I also must start building my recipes in Cronometer for an accurate calculation of all the macro and micronutrients. Tracking my eating up to dinner is a breeze.  However, I, make a lot of soups.  This just simply takes time and effort on my part. I do not cook by a recipe but by a canvas.  For those that know, you know.  No two soups are the same.  What I am craving, time constraints, and using up the veggies in the frig that are nearing expiration, all play a role in what goes in.  So, calculations on this can be difficult, but I will try and figure this out. 

How did I do it?

The changes that I made were common sense changes and some very specific changes to correct my microbiome. 

  • No meat.
  • No dairy.
  • No fish.
  • No alcohol
  • No soda
  • No granulated sugar. I subbed Allulose in coffee, and dates, and maple syrup in recipes.
  • Plant-based milks of soy and almond were subbed for dairy.
  • The goal was to eat one salad a day. (sometimes I didn’t make this).
  • I stopped using all the cashews and nuts that the YouTube recipes suggested and subbed cannelloni beans instead. It sounds bad but it works wonderfully, especially in dressings and sauces.  This was a tip I picked up from  Thank you, Tami!
  • I tried to zone each meal/snack and consume protein 
  • Ate as much as I wanted on the salads and soups.
  • Ate organic sprouted oats 5 times a week for breakfast, loaded with berries, bananas, and flax, along with nutritional yeast.
  • Began eating starch with each meal in the forms of pasta, potatoes, and rice.
  • Cut out nut butter for now.
  • Stopped flossing, and got a personal WaterPik.
  • Only use distilled water to brush my teeth, and to rinse my mouth.
  • Stopped using fluoride toothpaste and began using  Boka Nano-Hydroxyapatite Toothpaste.
  • Diligent about the water that when into my mouth and stomach. The goal was to reduce/eliminate fluoride.
  • Began tongue scrapping morning and night.
  • Oil pulling one to two times per week with organic cold-pressed coconut oil.

Final thoughts

I am remaining on a plant-based diet. These gains (along with similar past gains) have convinced me a plant-based diet is more beneficial to my health, and that eating meat and dairy is detrimental. 

Each time I ate plant-based, I attempted to disprove this theory.  I didn’t want to believe I could get complete nutritional values from plants.  However, each time, my bloodwork proved me wrong and showed me that I gained more iron, and RBC values on a plant-based diet, along with reductions in cholesterol and triglycerides. My inflammation markers decreased and I had more energy. I am now a true believer. The lab numbers just don’t lie every time.

As I move forward, I am going to pivot with a few key changes. That is what you do. You get benchmark values, follow a lifestyle change, and then check those values again to see if you are moving in the right direction. If not, assess and pivot.

I am still in the baby phase of learning this way of eating, but I know it is far healthier than any animal, fish, or the products they produce.

What’s your new journey? No time let the present.


*As an Affiliate Partner, I could earn a small commission at no cost to you, if you purchase any qualifying purchases.

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.