In all the stress and craziness that has been my life over the last several weeks, I let my one year Veganniversary and the 1st year anniversary of this blog go right on by. It doesn't seem like it's been that long at all! So what's changed over the last year in terms of my health? I don't have exact numbers but:
Weight: I started out at 236lbs, increased to nearly 245, dropped to 219 over the summer (26 lbs!), and since the holidays and all the stress, I've been hovering between 225 and 230lbs. So over the whole year I've lost a total of about 6 lbs. Not great, but at least it's a drop!
Cholesterol: Starting out this year I had an overall cholesterol of 201, with LDL at 122 and HDL at 43, which is just over the high side of normal. I don't have the exact numbers to share, but my last blood test in January came back with "normal cholesterol levels", and the doctor didn't mention anything about it, so I'm going to assume that I have dropped my overall and LDL numbers and raised my HDL levels to within healthy limits.
Blood Sugar: It's still kind of in the air if I'm pre-diabetic or not. One doctor keeps saying yes, while two others have done blood tests and said 'no'. I've tested my fasting blood sugars a couple of times with David's monitor and have generally been between 75-85, which David tells me is good.
Triglycerides: I started with triglycerides at 181 (a good number is 150), and again don't have actual numbers, but the last blood test came back in the normal range and the doctor didn't say anything about me being high.
So it seems to me that switching to an entirely vegan diet has really been great for my health! In addition to the numbers, I haven't truly been sick since going vegan (besides from the sniffles for a day or two here and there). Before, if I came down with a cold I would be incapacitated for nearly a week; having to miss school and work and often ending up with the early stages of pneumonia and a deep rattling, hacking cough that would last for months. I've also found that generally my "cycles" have been less painful (sorry guys). Before going vegan and definitely before going on birth control, I would have to miss school because the cramps were so horrible. And let's not forget that my face has cleared up and I've had much more energy throughout the day!
And how was it, switching to a vegan diet? Looking back, not that hard! For the first couple of months, I craved cheese and cheese is still my biggest temptation. There was a day when I just craved a cheese burger so bad that I went to Carl's Jr. and got a Western Bacon Cheeseburger. I have to admit, I devoured that thing and it seemed like the best thing I'd ever tasted. But I paid for it for the next week or so with an upset stomach. There has been a couple of times when I have been tired of not finding anything at a restaurant and it has just been easier to eat something with cheese or milk in it. I'll admit it hasn't been a perfect vegan year. But after eating animal products, even in small amounts, I've found myself feeling icky, sluggish, and just in general not as great as I do when I'm eating vegan.
This blog has really helped me through the last year. Although it doesn't seem like I have a lot of readers (if you're out there and haven't said 'hi' yet, please do!), I have had people stop by from nearly every U.S. State and from other countries like Canada, Russia, Spain, Finland, and the UK. Wow! Hopefully y'all found something helpful or interesting on your way through.
Over the next year I want to continue to focus on eating more raw fruits and veggies, whole grains, and in general eat with "could I eat this straight out of a garden" in mind. Now that I have access to a dehydrator and some canning skills, I want to spend my summer preserving local fruits and veggies to enjoy all year round. I've also been toying with the idea of doing a juice feast, but I'm not sure about that yet. I'll just see how things go and try to listen to my body.
I hope everyone continues to stop by over the next year. And this wouldn't be a post about anniversaries and yearly milestones without saying:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY AUNT JUDY AND AUNT TAMI!!!!!!!! I hope both of you have lovely days enjoying your friends and family!
Happy Vegan Thanksgiving!
5 months ago