My Thoughts and Feelings After One Year of Eating a "Real Food" Diet.
If you followed my blog previously, you would remember me switching to a vegan "plant based" diet January of 2012. After 3 months of doing this and realizing that my heath was suffering, I found a whole new type of nutrition and in April of 2012 I focused on a real food diet (sometimes called Just Eat Real Food or JERF). I spoke about following a Bulletproof Diet, and eating foods for their nutrient density. This meant, after 17 years vegetarian, I started eating meat. I haven't posted in awhile, and I wanted to share with you all what it has been like through the past year my new way of looking at food.
What was I eating before? Vegan/vegetarian. High in carbohydrates through breads, cereals, fruits, and veggies. High in soy through meat alternatives. Cliff bars, oatmeal, ezekial bread with almond butter and honey. Previous to the 3 months of veganism I would eat cheese and fish, but in those three months I stuck with soy cheeses and tofu. Lots of fruit, plenty of vegetables. Avocado, olives, cooking with olive oil. Sounds fairly healthy right? I felt awful about one month in.
What am I eating now? Bacon, eggs, butter, steaks, roasts, coffee, plenty of veggies, berries, coconut oil, nuts, avocados, olives, fish, seafood, dark chocolate and coconut milk. Sounds delicious eh?! Those of you who know me, know why I put bacon first :)
And how does that make you feel? (Asked in a very professional psychologist type of way). I feel better than I have ever felt in my whole life! It is absolutely amazing to me how great I feel with eating so many things that I believed were bad for me for so many years. But belief is the key word. Much of our health and nutrition information is based on a belief that what the medial and the government tells us is well researched and correct. Better to "biohack" yourself. Try out different diets and see what works for you. For me, this is the solution at this time in my life.
So what exactly am I feeling? Plenty more energy, all day long. I can go many hours without eating and not feel any blood sugar drops at all, and this was a huge problem for me a year ago. I think I would have been considered pre-diabetic if I had told my M.D my symptoms.. maybe I should just ask my sister! I can concentrate and think more clear than I ever have before. I continue to avoid most colds and flus- I used to get sick nearly every month and now I rarely do (that began with taking my Usana vitamins though), but now even my allergies are greatly reduced.
What about my cholesterol though? If you can believe this, when I was in chiropractic college, we did a cholesterol blood test on ourselves. Myself and the other vegetarian, had the highest total cholesterol!! It was shocking. I now understand that total cholesterol is not a good marker of health, but regardless it seemed strange. I have had my blood work done a couple of times now, the first one was about 3 months into my new diet. For a life insurance policy. I was slightly worried hahaha... But in fact it turned out to be great with all of my levels being within normal, including my total triglycerides. This was great to hear since about 40-60% of my calories per day come from fat. I had my blood work done again a few months ago and my numbers had all gone down, except my HDL which is what you want to be up! It was really awesome to see. I also tested my vitamin D, since I take 3000-5000 I.U/day and wanted to be sure I am not too high. I was within normal and even on the low end. Considering my vitamins follow pharmaceutical standards, I knew it wasn't the product. I really can and need to supplement with that much or more! I will continue to test though, and you should as well, to be sure you are doing what is best for your own body.
Weight changes? Yes and no. I don't have a scale. It causes stress and I advocate that how your clothes fit is much more important. But my clothes still fit and I have switched to bacon and eggs and butter. Now the problem, I think, is that I eat 80/20 real food. I definitely have "cheat days" and my worst ones involve sugar. I will forever have to watch my sugar cravings, I can imagine many people understand this feeling. My plan for the next year of this is to really work on my sugar intake. Maybe that will be my post next year! It's a tough one, and will keep your body in a sugar burning mode (as opposed to fat burning) and can really halt fat loss. So basically I feel amazing, even significantly better in my own skin regardless of what has or hasn't changed. Oh did I mention I don't have to count calories or portion control? That is a huge bonus also. I eat until I am full, which is so easy to do with delicious fats and proteins and butter soaked veggies!
In my previous posts you can learn details on what I eat specifically and why, and resources to do this for yourself if you want to also! Feel free to email me with any questions or thoughts, I am happy to help!
Until next time,
Want to really freak out your friends? Go vegan, then tell them you have ordered a cow while munching on some bacon. It's been about 50 days now on my new "bulletproof" diet. I am very aware to watch how I feel, and especially when I reach 100 days. But I do have to say that for now, I still feel really great.
After 17 years without eating any meat, my first experience was slightly... wine related. I was at Marben in Toronto and decided to try one of my best friend's steak and her charcuterie plate. It was such a strange feeling to think I would actually eat the slice of meat on my fork. But I know Marben is a very sustainable restaurant and they ensure the quality and respect for the animals that they serve, so I took a bite. The charcuterie was tasty but I really only had a sliver... washed down with more wine...
Holding the steak on my fork was definitely strange. I attempted to eat it but then couldn't. Then I tried again, and again and finally I actually ate it. Chewy. I asked- "people enjoy such chewy food??" Although the texture was different, the flavour was actually very tasty. I tried the outer edge so it was well cooked which I didn't mind for a first bite. I don't even remember if I've ever had steak before... Mom??
I told my husband and he was very happy and excited but he also felt a little weird about it. Vegetarianism had defined me for as long as almost everyone who knows me, has known me. That week we tried some grass-fed home made burgers (with no bun), and I really can't say I liked them. I will give them another chance but so far, I don't see it. I actually like veggie burgers better, but I won't go back to those given what I am learning about soy (and legumes, and grains, and- no that's it). Here's a great podcast you should check out if you are vegetarian or vegan or are considering it: The Vegetarian Myth. You could even listen to it just for fun to see where I'm coming from.
My newest favourite food though, Bacon. Hence the name of the blog post. WOW why haven't I tried this until now?! My daily lunch this week (which has been my first meal of the day after my BP coffee) has been bacon and eggs. Of course, the catch is, it has to be pastured organic eggs (Bartel or the St. Catharines Market), and pastured, organic, happily raised bacon. I found some bacon at both Lakeland Meats and Organic Garage. It tends to be about $10 per pack but I would say well worth the investment. I have also tried ham which is delicious, chicken which is fine (likely better with different sauces and maybe bacon wrapped), and pork which is also delicious! Keep in mind, I am working my way up to full portions, and have still been eating a lot of fish. Actually Lakeland Meats has some sustainable fish there, as well as of course Organic Garage and if you are in Toronto check out Hooked as well.
So how am I feeling with eating meat? Actually really really good. I primarily notice that I am full with eating meat/fish with butter/oil and some veggies. I don't require food again for a number of hours. Which is so VERY different than when I was vegan and even vegetarian. I would keep a snack in my car and in my purse incase too many hours passed and I was starting to get shaky and sweaty and thinking unclear. And too many hours was maybe- 2-3 hours. Maybe 4. Clearly my blood sugar was extremely out of order. Beyond that, the whole diet is continuing to make me feel really well and if you are wondering, I eat as much food, and specifically as much fat (good fats- grass fed butter, avocados, avocado oil, olive oil and coconut oil) that I want and haven't gained a pound in 50 days. My husband has lost about 15 lbs, but is also building muscle. Eating steak and butter. It seems to work better or more quickly for him, but my long history of vegetarianism may have changed some things hormonally that will take some time to fix..
Guess who else is changing her diet!? Lazy Straya. I found it interesting to stumble upon a podcast about pets and pet food. Why are cats eating so many grains in their food? No wonder Straya has a little weight problem and is always tired! Im starting her on a high protein "evolutionary diet" cat food today. Ill keep you posted on her results too. No BP coffee for her though :)
Anyhow, I hear that meat obtained straight from the farm is the most delicious. It is also grass-fed, grass-finished. And the farmer promises me he loved the cow. So we did order a cow and will be picking it up in about 2 weeks. Come over for a BBQ so you can test it yourself!
Have a wonderful week and enjoy the sun.
I love to share health information, wealth building tips, entrepreneurial ideas, and travel experiences! Talk about a range! But doing what I love has truly paid off and I hope to help inspire you to do the same!