Former Vegan Meets Grok
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. (: