November 24, 2013
I've been vegan for 14 months now, and have transitioned from a non-cook, tortured by now having to learn to cook, to someone who looks forward to spending a lot of my weekend cooking. I've also transitioned to an unprocessed, no-oil vegan. After a year in a steep learning curve I'm finally comfortable enough in the kitchen to adapt recipes on the fly. That's added SO much to my comfort level. So if someone else is just starting out, I say you can do it! Just keep trying and it will become more comfortable.
2 months later:
This weekend I had my first fasting cholesterol panel since beginning the vegan lifestyle 2 months ago. Now, mind you, it's also been primarily unprocessed, very little sweet except whole fruits, and recently also trying to eliminate oils. So it's been a big push. And I'm SO pleased with the results! I brought my cholesterol down to 158! My goal is to be heart-attack-proof below 150. (My previous overall had been around 212 - 222.)
I've been reviewing my tests from 2010 to now, and I don't seem to have trouble with triglycerides. Always well below the 150 mg mark. Today's reading was 45. On 9/9 (about the time I started vegan seriously) it was 54.
LDL however, shows a big drop. It was 146 in April, 141 on 9/9 . . . . and 81 today!!!
The only less than great reading was the HDL, which had dropped to 41 (supposed to be above 50, and the ultimate goal is over 60). Believe me, it isn't because I don't eat fats. I eat a lot of avocados, nuts, and nut butters. And I've been doing the 30-60 min brisk walks, as advised. But there is one thing on the list of ways to increase your HDL that I haven't been doing for a few weeks, and that's drinking alcohol! Seems odd, doesn't it? But an alcoholic beverage every night may help raise that ol' HDL level. Who am I to question the Mayo Clinic?? Heh heh heh. But right now I'm just ecstatic about my 158 & my LDL! All vegan. No meds. Yippeeee!
First intro (in early Sept 2012):
I've wanted to go vegan for so many years now, but every time I've tried I've just been overwhelmed. I'm not domestic, I don't love to cook. But I WANT this lifestyle. So I'm trying again. I'd say at this point I've been mostly vegetarian, and relying too much on healthier-but-still-processed foods. I want to find a way to have the energy & time & enthusiasm to cook my beans & grains and veggies, and maintain until it becomes easy and natural to me. I'm at the "lotta work" stage right now. Here's hoping I finally get beyond it!