The final numbers are IN!

finger poke

OMG! Got my cholesterol results are back…

30 days ago - Cholesterol: 234

- HDL: 52

As of Tuesday, 9/25 - Cholesterol 204!!

- HDL 46!!

For men and women, cholesterol should be below 200. And the good lipoprotein, HDL, is best above 60. You don’t want to be less than 40 in men or less than 50 in women.

My drop in total cholesterol of 30 points in 30 days is remarkable.  I suffered a little bit in the HDL’s, but I am still way in the good range.

There you have it, a total success. With the new info, I plan to stay on it and add in my favorite cottage cheese and some fish now and then.

Great job team! I feel so great!

Cliff

You can read more about the 30 day vegan food experiment:

Weight and Blood Pressure Results

How we did it.

Here we go.

WHY?

Early Pro's/ Con's and cornbread recipe

30 days eating vegan, the RESULTS!

Sunday morning food prep

30 days ago was August 21. Cliff came home from his wellness exam, leaned against the dresser and said "we might need to talk about me going back on medication." I listened intently, cried and then got into the kitchen! If you would have asked me a year ago if I liked cooking I would have told you NOPE- not even a little- can't be bothered. I liked taking care of myself and cooking was a necessary evil so I did it. These past 30 days I've fallen in love with cooking and the pure joy it can bring. Learning to cook is now definitely on my top 10 list of the best things I've ever done for happiness in my life. I am so proud of Cliff for being willing to try this experiment & once more here I am saying (respectfully) THIS SHIT WORKS! Organic, whole foods, living with intention and eating mindfully are mighty powerful___LIFE CHANGING EVEN!

-Lacy

p.s. I'll be back Monday with a post about what he ate/ what I ate/ our favorite meals from the 30 days and where we plan to go from here!

__________________

The final tally after 30 days of vegan is quite impressive!

I lost just over 8 pounds; I went from 187 down to 179. My goal is to reach 175 and see how I look and feel, so this level of nutrition and energy is working super well.

Here is what I did…

Every Sunday Lacy and I prepared meals for the 5 day week ahead. Fortunately, I work MWF only so we could supplement in between days. I have to say, the whole thing is kind of labor intensive when you first start. Mostly because I just didn’t know what I would like and what I could actually eat (that is vegan). Once you start reading ingredients it’s a whole new world. Preparing and packaging for lunches at work is an added time consumer. Still, as time went on we got it down and by the third week we were little vegan food prepping machines! I have to say at this point that I really don’t know if I could have pulled this off without the support of my amazing wife. You really have to have your person not only on board but in full “you can do this” mode. Thank you Lacy for getting up each work morning at 7, prepping and packing every lunch with great thoughtfulness and creativity and all by the ‘hit the door’ time of 7:30. Whew! Salads with dressing, carrot and sweet potato soups, cold cereal in one jar and almond milk in the other, avocado dip with vegan chips, rice and beans, collard green wraps, faux chicken salad, meatless meatball spaghetti,…etc. I started each morning with either a fruit smoothie or a veggie juice. I could hear the whirrrr of the machines through my shower water.

My weight went down effortlessly and my blood pressure went down also from 140/85 to 130/78. My resting pulse rate went from 71 down to 51 beats per minute and I am sure my cholesterol is down but I am waiting for our company heath director to recheck it for me. I will let you know about that when I get it.

Overall, I am impressed with the vegan food lifestyle.  I know there are people out there who will take to it like a duck to water but I struggled in the beginning. Looking back over my experience, I will happily embrace most aspects of the lifestyle. Adding back in my beloved eggs (although mostly whites), cottage cheese, some fish and a little red meat (maybe once a month from a local humane and organic ranch).  I listened to an eye opening radio documentary on the sushi trade the other day and it broke my heart. I will not be going back to that table again unless and until some dramatic industry-wide changes are made.

In summary: Great news! I learned that you are not bound to your genetics and doomed to live with the disabilities you inherited. Your body will respond to even 30 days of change and reward you with health and happiness. Imagine living this way for the rest of your life. How healthy, slim and powerful will you be after 60 days? One year? Ten years?

Stay thirsty for life my friends,

Cliff

 

 

Why a 30 Day Vegan Expirement?

veggie

It's time for Cliff Notes again and I'm so excited that Cliff is sharing part of his journey with you. When Cliff and I were first dating and early in our marriage he always cooked for me. I'd come home from work and he'd have dinner in progress or on the table. It was almost always some form of meat + starch (taters, bread n butter, white rice, etc) and maybe some kind of veggie. The meals were made with love and I loved every second of it, there were no complaints coming from the girl with the full mouth. We've come a long way since leaning into those first meatless meals in 2008 and our milk substitute test in 2011 (I now make our own almond milk each week). At the time it felt like such a HUGE change from the way we were both raised. I stand in awe of Cliff for being willing to make such huge changes on behalf of his health (I make a pretty strong case for wanting to keep him by my side for as long as possible). I feel so strongly that this experiment will make a difference in his numbers. So without further adieu I'll turn you over to Cliff! To my completely healthy and happy husband! Lacy

______________________________

 

Two weeks ago I received some troubling health news that I had already known but I guess, had to hear it again. I have high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My predisposition for these two common maladies has both a genetic and a lifestyle component. My father had both HTN (hypertension) and CAD (coronary artery disease) AND he ate rather poorly most of his life…lot’s of mayo and salt. However, I was raised on health food from my mother’s direction and made most of my meals myself since I was about 21 years old.

Still, here I am.

I was on medication for both diagnoses in the past but I have always wondered if I could reverse this trend using diet and exercise. It is a wild adventure that I was contemplating (somewhat skeptically) because I was raised in a clinical medicine environment. Everything was approached from the standpoint of medication first and THEN diet and exercise. It was a foregone conclusion that you would take the meds would work and then support with the other options.

Can I control this without modern pharmacological technology? We’ll see. So far, halfway through, I have seen a reduction in my blood pressure and my weight has dropped from 187.6 to 181.4 in two weeks. I crave comfort food but then I’m glad when I don’t eat it. I find that I’m less judgey about other people and that is probably coming from a new sense of self confidence. My workouts are picking up and the energy level is consistent. So overall, I feel better and my wife and friends say I look better.

I have missed cheese and eggs the most. My newest, best friends are the meatless meatball and potatoes! Funny right? I was raised on meat and potatoes and so it makes sense that I'd run back to those. I have to say if  skipping the meat, eggs and cheese lets me drop weight and keep off of the meds I think it could be habit forming, plus Lacy's made it really easy making almost all our meals and sending me out the door each morning green juice or smoothie in hand!

I’ll post an update in another 15 days with the final tally!

Cliff

p.s. food I'm most looking forward to post vegan experiment = sushi!

Animal vs. Vegetable Protein

Screen Shot 2012-07-24 at 8.36.24 PM

It's Cliff Notes time again and this week he's talking protein. When we first started leaning into going veggie protein was a major topic of conversation. I LOVE this article, it left me with some major take-aways. I know it will for you too! :) Lacy

_______________________

Until recently, protein has gotten little attention. However, lately, high-protein diets for weight loss have gained momentum and people are starting to ask about it. The Institute of Medicine recommends that adults get a minimum of 0.8 grams of protein for every kilogram of body weight per day to keep from slowly breaking down their own tissues. That's just about 8 grams of protein for every 20 pounds of body weight.

Animal protein and vegetable protein probably have the same effects on health. A 6-ounce broiled porterhouse steak is a great source of complete protein—about 40 grams worth. But it also has about 38 grams of fat, 14 of them saturated. That's more than 60 percent of the recommended daily intake for saturated fat. The same amount of salmon gives you 34 grams of protein and 18 grams of fat, 4 of them saturated. A cup of cooked lentils has 18 grams of protein, but less than 1 gram of fat. The bottom line is that it's important to pay attention to what comes along with the protein in your food choices. Vegetable sources of protein, such as beans, nuts, and whole grains, are excellent choices, and they offer healthy fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Nuts are also a great source of healthy fat (http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource).

The best animal protein choices are fish and poultry. If you are partial to red meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb, stick with the leanest cuts, choose moderate portion sizes, and make it only an occasional part of your diet, for several reasons: Research suggests that people who eat even modest amounts of red meat have a higher risk of developing colon cancer, heart disease, and diabetes, and a higher risk of dying from heart disease, cancer, or any cause. And skip the processed stuff like bacon, hot dogs, and deli meats since that's linked even more strongly to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes risk.  (Processed meats are very high in sodium, which may be one reason why they are associated with higher disease risks.)

What is protein?

Protein is found throughout the body in muscle, bone, skin, hair, and virtually every other body part or tissue. It makes up the enzymes that power many chemical reactions and the hemoglobin that carries oxygen in your blood. At least 10,000 different proteins make you what you are and keep you that way. Twenty or so basic building blocks, called amino acids, provide the raw material for all proteins. And just for clarity, amino acids rebuild the body while vitamins make it function better.

Following genetic instructions, the body strings together amino acids. Some genes call for short chains of amino acids; others are blueprints for long chains that fold, origami-like, into intricate, three-dimensional structures. Because the body doesn't store amino acids, as it does fats or carbohydrates, it needs a daily supply of amino acids to make new protein.

One protein source that has been getting a lot of attention is soybeans. We've been told that regularly eating soy-based foods lowers cholesterol, chills hot flashes, prevents breast and prostate cancer, aids weight loss, and wards off osteoporosis. Some of these benefits have been attributed to a unique characteristic of soybeans which is their high concentration of isoflavones, a type of plant-made estrogen (phytoestrogen). The claim was based on early research showing that soy protein lowered levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol. A number of solid studies done since then have questioned this finding.

However, soybean and egg protein is a "complete protein" since they each provide all of the essential amino acids for human nutrition (http://www.wikipedia.org/), (http://www.nsrl.uiuc.edu/soy_benefits.html).

a note from Lacy on soy: If you're going to do soy the best way to get it into your diet is through edamame or fermented soy like in Miso soup. Be careful of highly processed soy products! Much of the soy out there is HUGELY genetically modified and GMO is a NO GO!

Essential vs. non-essential (conditionally essential) amino acids:

The amino acids regarded as essential for humans are phenylalanine, valine, threonine, tryptophan, isoleucine, methionine, leucine, lysine, and histidine.

The amino acids arginine, cysteine, glycine, glutamine, histidine, proline, serine and tyrosine are considered conditionally essential.

image source

Enter Cliff Notes!

Screen Shot 2012-07-03 at 11.55.16 AM

I am so proud to introduce Cliff Notes to you authored by my partner, Cliff Young! Our journey to health has been a side-by-side endeavor. I'm all about essence... if it feels good do it. I remember that kale is good for me, I eat it and feel great so I'm sold. I don't have to remember all the vitamins and minerals it has for me to continue eating kale. Cliff on the other hand is a details person, a science guy and a methods man. He does actually want to know the big WHY's. One night I was listening to him talk about the book he'd just read with my mouth wide open in awe. I asked if he'd mind writing some of it down and Cliff Notes was born!

Cliff just went back into the field as a paramedic (he's been a medic for the better part of 20 years now) and many of our conversations lately have been on health care, the kinds of sickness he's seeing out there and most recently... THE FLU! I've asked him to share a little on the flu for his first entry!

Thank you for welcoming Cliff to lacylike!

<3 Lacy

________________________

 

Ever wonder where the word 'influenza' comes from?

The word Influenza comes from the [Italian language] meaning "influence" and refers to the cause of the disease; initially, this ascribed illness to unfavorable astrological influences. Changes in medical thought led to its modification to influenza del freddo, meaning "influence of the cold". The word influenza was first used in English to refer to the disease we know today in 1703 by J. Hugger of the University of Edinburgh. (Wikipedia, 2012)

Most people don't know that Influenza has a great deal to do with what we eat every day as Americans.

Along with influenza, like bird-flu (which is viral by definition), the relationship between ‘factory farms’ and all kinds of pathogens, like new strains of campylobacter, salmonella or E. Coli (all bacterial) has been established. Each case of food-borne illness cannot be traced, but where we do know the origin, or the “vehicle of transmission”, it is, overwhelmingly, an animal product. According to the US Centers for Disease Control (CDC), poultry is by far the largest cause. Recently, a study published by Consumer Reports states that 83 percent of all chicken meat (including organic and anti-biotic free brands) is infected with either campylobacter or salmonella at the time of purchase.

I am sure, like me, you have had the stomach flu once or twice before. It’s actually called the 24-hour flu because it comes and goes quickly via vomiting and/or diarrhea. And you didn’t really catch a bug, you ate one. In all likelihood that bug was created by factory farming. Factory farming is defined as 'a large industrialized farm; especially: a farm on which large numbers of livestock are raised indoors in conditions intended to maximize production at minimal cost.' (Merriam-Webster 2012) The CDC estimates that seventy-six million cases of food-borne illness occur each year in America. If you do not personally know the farmer that raised the chicken you are about to eat there is a 99 percent chance that it came from a factory farm (Excerpts from “Eating Animals, by Jonathan Safran Foer, Back Bay Books 2009).

________________________