June 09, 2011
I’ve recently been diagnosed with hypertension or high blood pressure. I had an allergic reaction to the medication that I was given. After this and several health concerns that my husband has for himself, we decided to try a no oil Vegan diet. We realized when we did this that this would be more than a "lose some weight and then go back to what we used to eat" diet. This would be a life change.
When we started, I only had recipes from the book Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Caldwell B. Esselstyn. It was his video on YouTube, "Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof", that sent us in this direction in the first place. I tried Vegan cookbooks, but they cook with olive oil, and the diet Esselstyn prescribes is oil-free. I got to looking at our online catalog and found several titles available: The (Almost) No Fat Cookbook by Bryanna Grogan, Fat-Free & Easy by Jennifer Raymond, The McDougall Program for Maximum Weight Loss and The McDougall Quick & Easy Cookbook by John A. McDougall. Dean Ornish’s diet Eat More, Weigh Less is very similar to our diet. It helps a lot to have a wide variety of items to think about and choose from.
My pantry and refrigerator look so completely different now. My refrigerator is almost completely full of vegetables. It also houses our whole grain flours. The pantry has multiple cans of beans, various types of brown rice (Jasmine is our favorite), whole wheat pastas, and white and sweet potatoes. I bought a huge fruit bowl that has a suspended hook over it to hold bananas. Learning to sauté vegetables without oil and cooking things like pancakes, cookies, and cakes with apple sauce for oil and ground flax seed with water for eggs has been fun.
We just started the diet the beginning of May. My husband noticed a huge difference in how he felt in general within the first week. I have been monitoring my blood pressure every three days or so. So far, it has gone down some, but it still is not in the "safe" zone. I am trying to cut my salt intake a lot more. We both have lost weight. I am now at a weight where I have to eat more just to maintain it. My husband has a bit more to lose, but he is very excited about how much he has lost already. We also take long walks together (with our Yorkshire terrier puppy) when the weather is nice, or we walk on our treadmill. In general, we just feel good about the change we have made in our lifestyle.
Blue Ridge Branch