Healthy Living in Connecticut Blog

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General health & fitness topics, causes or initiatives.

Plant Based For A Year... Here Are Some Things I've Learned

It's exactly one year since I went completely plant based (well to be precise, September 6th). After losing 150 pounds almost 5 years ago, I didn't need to lose more weight. I had what many considered to be a healthy diet. I was eating poultry, eggs and dairy a few times a week and did get my blood pressure down and avoid medication. But I had other goals...

It's always been about health, back when I first lost weight. I ate lots of fruits and vegetables based on different articles I've read and from reading books by Dr. Fuhrman and others. I was getting more information on how animal products were not healthy. But this wasn't enough to convert me to a plant based diet. I tried vegan diets a week or two on and off for a couple years but always went back to animal products.

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I Guess No Meat Really Isn't A Problem!

It's nearly 7 months for me as a completely plant based athlete. During this time, I've been working out hard, 5 days a week and have been seeing results. It may not be as fast as I like, but I do see progress each week.

I never would have believed years ago that muscle building could be possible without meat. After all, nearly everyone I encounter eats animal products, and some use whey protein powder. But I discovered there are many athletes out there proving that "No Meat is No Problem"... people like Robert Cheeke, the first vegan bodybuilder that I read about.

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Healthy Foods Really Do Make A Difference

Over 5 years ago, I ate so bad. I would exercise but get absolutely nowhere. I consumed so many processed foods that I'm surprised I didn't get full-blown diabetes. But that just goes to show how the body can heal itself.

I never realized how important healthier foods choices were back then. Finishing off a half gallon of ice cream in two days, you can see I was on the wrong track. It took pre-hypertension to wake me up. No way was I going to rely on meds!

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Six Months Since Going Plant Based!

Six months ago, I started on a plant based journey. I had done week long vegan challenges, even two week challenges, but have never gone so long without any kind of animal products before now. What started out a 13 week challenge based on Robert Cheeke's "Shred It!" book has become an important part of my daily routine.

Here are some things that many people need to be aware of... plant based people are not depriving themselves in any way. I eat more variety now than when I ate meat. What do typical meat eaters have? Most likely chicken, turkey, beef or pork. What do plant strong people eat? Kale, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, black beans, chick peas, flax seeds, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, berries, sweet potato, almond butter, peanut butter, quinoa, oatmeal... you get the idea. There are a lot of choices.

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Plant Strong... The Name Says It All!

I have made a lot of improvements this past week in my muscle building initiative. I decided to wear this new shirt I got in support of Rip Esselstyn, a former fire fighter turned author. Rip is the author of the Engine 2 Diet. He was also responsible for turning his fellow firefighters into healthy "plant strong" eaters to help save a colleague, who had very high cholesterol. His term "Plant Strong" really says it all, describes my goal perfectly.

So this week, I increased weight for both my chest and arms. I only go up small increments but to me, it's a big improvement. I'm no where near my goal yet, but eventually I would like to bench press my body weight... got a long way toward that goal!

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