I am a former vegan ... I had seen numerous articles on MDA before, and I remember furiously googling "vegan primal/paleo" to see if the lifestyles were compatible. Then I read Gary Taubes' "Why We Get Fat," and seeing the science laid out in such a way convinced me that I had to seriously reconsider my veganism. I started searching online and found many posts from former vegans who stuck with the lifestyle for years, only to have health problems later in life.
So I began reading more on MDA. Just last Monday I began reintroducing dairy and eggs into my diet, then small amounts of meat. My mother and stepfather, both in their early 50s, are taking many of the steps along with me (from afar--they're still back home in rural Iowa and I'm in South Dakota now) and my boyfriend, who has what I have considered a chronically poor diet since I met him, is also aligning with me in many ways. At least at home. I suspect he'll still have his beloved mac and cheese and pizza while he's not with me. But every little bit helps.
My mother lost 8 pounds the first week cutting carbs based on Taubes' book. She continues to lose every day, although she says it's now in the ounces. (She is 5'6" and was up to 160 pounds, which was her breaking point.) My stepfather hasn't lost weight, but says he feels good; he's very muscly and works a pretty physical job.
I have been astounded, personally, by how much less hungry I am. I have felt physical hunger just twice since reintroducing meat and consuming fat with (almost) wild abandon--one of those times was before a workout and after my lunch of soup and sweet potato chips (sweet potatoes and corn), so I think that hunger was an aftereffect of the carby chips. I continue to eat on a schedule; that's going to be one of the hardest things to give up since I work an 8:30-5:00 job. But I can eat less now and I feel more in tune with my body. It's too early to say whether any of my weight loss is weight loss or just fluctuation.
Since going vegan, my weight has been about 135, give or take a pound or two. My ideal weight is 125. Despite my workouts since January, the weight hasn't budged. I've probably lost some fat to muscle, but it's hard to see beneath the softness. I'm hoping that a primal diet will help me actually see the physical benefits of my hard work at the gym. (:
Currently I am eating no fruit, and I have stopped purchasing nuts because I cannot control myself around their deliciousness. I am hoping that once I am fully adapted to the primal lifestyle, I'll be much better able to control emotional eating. I also cut out my daily coffee for now because I was drinking too much. I'm now strictly off of sugar and wheat (I actually gave wheat up on May 1st to determine whether I had a sensitivity). I admittedly had a couple very un-primal treats after nixing the vegan diet--things I hadn't been able to eat in so long! And you know what? Being on a mostly healthy, anti-SAD vegan diet changed my taste buds, because after just a couple bites of those things I was satisfied. I'm hoping that positive trend will continue now. The one grain food it may be tough for my boyfriend and me to give up will be sushi ... it was one of the only things we could go out for together when I was vegan (avocado peanut roll, yum!) and we're still going to enjoy occasional sushi rolls.
My daily diet currently consists of an egg for breakfast cooked in coconut oil with broccoli, mushrooms, and/or kale; for lunch I have an ENORMOUS (still vegan) SALAD at work, all veggies with sesame oil and sea salt for dressing and occasionally tofu (yes, I know tofu is a sometimes food--I'm transitioning!); for supper I have a piece of meat, like chicken or beef, with sauteed vegetables in oil. My snacks are either a Vega shake (I still have a bunch of packets left so I'm going to use them up) or a beef stick or small piece of hard cheese, since I've temporarily given up my vice, almonds!
My workout plan is determined by my friend and trainer. On Tuesdays, we work our legs and abs with cardio; Wednesdays, our arms and abs; and Fridays, we go all out with arms, legs, and abs. We do situps, planks, lunges, squats, wall sits, high kicks, jumps, burpees, pushups, medicine ball pushups, balance ball exercises, and some boxing; our cardio is generally limited to HIIT, 10-20 minutes. I'm trying to incorporate more walking and slow, easy cardio.
So ... hello everyone! I, and my parents, are pretty excited to join the primal crowd. We're hoping it is the right step toward long and healthy lives. My first few days sans coffee I felt exhausted, but I think I'm starting to feel some of that primal energy trickle in. (:
Thank you Huarache Gal (:
I am also a former vegan and new to this forum. I have had an easy time transitioning and have also noticed how satisfied I am after eating and for hours after. Before, I would want a vegan cupcake after my carby meal. Welcome!
"I came to live out loud!" -Emile Zola
Tandy -- I feel exactly the same! My vegan diet was miles healthier compared to the SAD, but I was a sugar junky. It's been strange to transition so easily. The first time I ate dairy, I expected to be sick for days ... but I didn't have a single moment of stomach upset. It gave me the confidence to try all animal products in a week (eggs, dairy, and meat) and I didn't feel sick at all.
The emotional toll was severe for the first day, but I've come to peace with nature. At home, my partner and I are focusing as strictly as we can on local, organic, humane animal products. It's going to up the grocery bill a bit, but for the first time since we started dating, we can actually share a meal. (:
Since you say you're new too, welcome! I hope we've both found the key to health and happiness forever!
Welcome! I was vegetarian for ~5 years, and vegan for ~6 months or so somewhere in those five years.
Now I really like my meat.
I am glad to meet another former veg*n! What was the turning point for you? (: Reading your signature, I'm really hoping I'll follow in your footsteps. When my trainer announces the burpees, I invariably groan with terror. My goal is to surpass him in awesomeness!
Welcome to the dark side, little owl. :b
andi -- I also have to do tons of reading if I come across something new related to diet. I am interested in finding the best possible diet and try to learn more all the time. When I went vegetarian ... then vegan ... then cut out wheat ... then went primal--people always ask questions. "Why?" And my answer is invariably, "I read a book." Haha (: I guess your grandma had it right! One of my grandmas also shook her head disapprovingly at my meat-free lifestyle.
On my "healthy " vegan diet, I struggled with food cravings, irritability, and aches and pains. When I started seriously considering opting back into meat eating I wanted to do it right! Now the first two problems are almost gone (still have a bit of a sweet tooth, but I'm indulging it sensibly). I had no idea that me snapping at my poor boyfriend or going through mood crashes was linked so closely with my diet. I'm hoping my headaches and upper back pain will slowly come under control as well.
You are a superhero! 80 burpees? Just reading that makes me want to throw up! One day I'll be able to do 80! I think my max has been 20. They usually come at the end of our workouts so I'm already exhausted by the time we get there. That number is very inspiring!
Paleo0731 -- The dark side feels good!!! Haha (: And my mother and stepfather have joined the ranks, too ... my boyfriend is halfway along for the ride (he still finds it criminal to eat a burger without a bun) ... and maybe my trainer, too! He's trying to cut weight for a martial arts competition and I suggested he cut grains and sugar, then explained a bit of my reasoning. He seemed pretty interested! I think the results will speak for themselves! We'll see what my before and after pictures have to say!
One thing is for sure ... everyone seems very nice and incredibly happy!
Last edited by little.owl; 06-12-2013 at 07:09 PM.