I'm back to diet blogging, since now I have something interesting to report! I'm experimenting with a plant-based diet.

I've been keeping track of my food intake through the MyFitnessPal site as I described in a previous post, and I intend to continue logging food there. I have my diet set as info visible to friends in that app, so feel free to "friend" me (username MrsThorsen) if you're curious, it's free to sign up.

But I will blog here about the process of switching from a standard diet to a diet without meat, fish, butter, eggs, cheese, or other dairy products. It seemed daunting, but the more I thought about it, the more ideas I came up with to make it work. And the motivation behind it is primarily to lower my cholesterol, although I'm hopeful that I will also lose weight, have more energy, and improve my complexion. If all those things happen, it could motivate me to stick with the diet long-term. But I'm currently willing to commit for at least six weeks, although I might increase the trial period after I discuss it with my doctor.

I got my blood drawn this morning for a cholesterol profile, so when I get the results that will be my baseline. If the vegan diet lowers the cholesterol enough that I have room to spare in the healthy range, phase two of my experiment will be to see what happens when I add back meat/fish/dairy/whatever one or two days per week.

I decided to do this after watching the film "Forks Over Knives". I thought the most compelling testimonials were from the athletes whose performance didn't suffer when they went vegan. Of course they didn't include interviews with people who started the vegan diet under doctor supervision but later dropped out. It does make me wonder whether it really has health benefits for everyone, or just those who happen to process this type of diet well. But the only way to find out if it will work for ME is to do the experiment on myself.

Although I'm officially starting this change of diet today, I've been experimenting with vegan meals for several days already, and have noticed the biggest adjustment will be figuring out the proper portion size. I've been assuming that I'll starve unless I eat large portions, which are very easy to eat. But I'm finding that I'm probably eating too much at once since I feel bloated after a vegan meal. I'm also still figuring out the proportions of beans or grains to vegetables that will best suit me.

What I haven't had a problem with yet is food that is lacking in deliciousness. Now, it's my first day, so I have focused on eating my favorite vegan dishes that I used to make even before I restricted my diet. But I will run out of those in a few days and will have to come up with a bunch of new favorite recipes. But since I am in charge of the cooking, I don't think it will be a problem finding things to suit my taste. I am curious how I'm going to get around the lack of eggs or cheese (butter is easy, I just use oil instead, and I presume that coconut milk or other subs will be fine in place of cow milk). As of now, I don't have any plans to use tofu, but will keep my mind open once I have exhausted all the other vegan cooking goals I have set for myself.

My weight this morning was 187.4. Just slightly under my pre-Max baby weight. I'm about the same weight I was this time last year. I consider the first rule of losing weight to be "Don't gain weight," so at least there's that. But after a year of sideways weight fluctuation, I'm also eager to try something new to maybe kickstart some more meaningful changes. I care less about my ending weight than about fitting into my jewelry and shoes-- I have quite a collection that I have been unable to wear for years, first due to pregnancy, but then because I've never lost all the baby weight. I'm still nursing my youngest, but he's old enough he doesn't need to be nursing, so I don't have a big worry about how this change diet or weight loss will affect my milk. If he doesn't like what happens, he can give it up. My firstborn pretty much weaned himself during my pregnancy with my second son because he didn't care for the change in flavor. My baby is older now than my first was then, so I'll probably just leave it up to him.