So I finished the plant strong challenge on Wednesday. Prior to this challenge I thought I was doing everything right, eating a low fat diet and exercising 5 hours a week. I filled my plate at night 1/2 full of veggies, literally. I lost 24 pounds, a.k.a. all my baby weight, and yet I still had crazy high blood pressure. I couldn't believe I still had high blood pressure (160's/100's). It was supposed to come down when I lost the baby weight.
Anyway, I know God gives us these signs for a reason and I prayed for resolution. As you know a friend of mine had heard a lecture on a plant-based diet and its healing affects on the body in regards to heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. So after some research, I figured I'd give this vegan thing a go even though I was very skeptical. I lost 6 pounds through the 28 day trial process. I believe a good deal of that was water from a lower sodium intake and an increase in potassium from all the veggies. I'd have probably lost more weight if I moved more but, as luck would have it, there was a nasty cold virus circulating through preschool that had me (and the kids) down for a good two of the weeks!
The diet change was a huge success where I wanted it most, a.k.a. lowering my chronic high blood pressure. I'm now on 1/4th the medication I started this lifestyle on and my BP has been in the low 100's/60's. I'm very close to being off blood pressure medicine completely. That is awesome. I didn't like how being on the full dose of blood pressure medicine made me feel. I felt weird and not myself. I admit, at first, part of me wanted the plant based diet to fail because it was a hard lifestyle to commit to. But I'd much rather commit to this then a handful of pills and a lifetime of slowly feeling worse and worse. I'm only 35 and too young and active for that mess. Our family history is terrible when it comes to heart disease and diabetes. It feels empowering to know we don't have to completely surrender to it. God has given me some awesome tools.
I think the next course for us will be to figure out what the next step will be. I also want to work on making sure our diet is low on the glycemic index. I think that is especially important for the long term. There is also good deal of conflicting information on the "good" fats in fish and it has left me wondering if maybe adding that to my diet just once a week would be OK. For now though, we'll keep going as is. I don't feel deprived. Quite the opposite. I feel liberated. I feel satisfied, happy, and energetic continuing on a plant based diet.