Vegan Update: Three weeks in

So it’s been another two weeks since my last post on my vegan life change, so I figured it would be a good time to follow up on progress, struggles, and plans.

I had my doctor’s appointment yesterday and am proud to say that I’ve been cleared of needing to take blood pressure medications, under the condition that I keep monitoring it and it stays down. Going into the appointment my blood pressure was 118/78, which is down from the starting pressure on February 10th of 156/90.

Going into the appointment my weight was down to 235.1lbs down from 254.1lbs on February 10th. This morning I was down another .9lbs bringing my total down to 19.9lbs in just 25 days. I’m super pleased with the progress there. When I started this journey I had a dream of hitting 220lbs, a weight I haven’t been since probably Freshman year of College, but now that I’m just 14.2 lbs from there, I’m starting to think it might be possible to get there. The doctor also told me I am no longer classified as obese. I never really considered myself obese, big sure, but I guess based on my height/weight the papers said I was obese.

Over the past two and a half weeks, I have travelled to Orlando for a conference, and eaten out a few times with friends and family. Throughout those weeks I’ve been able to figure out vegan food options, though I’ve learned and struggled along the way. My first time eating out, I went to Bravo Cucina Italiana. I prepped for that meal by checking out there menu, and trying to figure out what I could eat there before I arrived, to save myself from having to have the conversation about being Vegan and trying to ask what they had to eat.

The waiter asked if we had any allergy or diet concerns before we ordered, but the menu had a spaghetti with vegetarian meatballs option, I figured I could order that. I also ordered a side salad, with no dressing. When the salad arrived it had cheese on it, so I had to ask the waiter to get me another one without cheese on it. He quickly obliged. When the main course arrived, it also had cheese on it, so I asked him to get the same thing without cheese. I mentioned that I had recently started eating vegan, and apologized for not letting him know. He want back to the kitchen to check, and came back to let me know that the veggie meatballs ALSO had cheese in them. Eventually I ended up eating some spaghetti noodles, that they said was cooked in a vegan oil, but I have doubts and wonder if it wasn’t just butter. Either way, I learned to tell the waiter up front what your dietary restrictions are, and work with them to figure out a solution before any food is prepared.

IMG_20200226_211536_260While I was in Orlando, I found the Caribe Royale hotel was SUPER accommodating to my dietary needs. I had great salad, fruit, vegetables and even a vegan bread option while I was there. Also while down in Orlando I went to the House of Blues in Disney Springs, and had a great vegan Impossible Burger option, with french fries. This meal might not have met the “unprocessed foods” part of the Engine 2 diet, but it felt great to have a burger and fries that tasted real. I won’t fool myself into believing I can eat forever without eating processed foods, so a little deviation here and there (just not regularly) will be okay to me going forward.

Since I’ve been back from Orlando I’ve continued to dietary plan, picked up a Ninja Foodie to try cooking more food options at home, and we also picked up a food processor as well. Earlier this week we received 3 “meals” from Purple Carrot. Two servings each meal. The meals come with recipes and all the items proportioned out. I’m hoping to prepare one of the meals tonight, so we will see how it tastes and how my food prep skills are improving. We have three more meals already ordered for next week, so hopefully the food is good!

In the next two weeks I have my first 100 mile bike race. I don’t really participate to race, but to challenge myself and “finish”, so I’ve got some more training I need to get in before then. I’ve had a couple of longer rides in the past two weeks, since my struggles on the ride on February 16th. These two rides have worked out well in terms of hydration and nutrition. I ended up finding some Scratch labs hydration options at Trailhead Bicycles that is vegan, so I decided to give that a shot. I’m going to get out and ride today, hopefully a longer ride, to make sure that the drink doesn’t upset my stomach in any way. I would rather find that out today, rather than in the hills around Stillwater Oklahoma.

What’s next? Who knows, I don’t have any plans to go back to a processed foods/dairy/meat diet, but I know at some point later in life I will want to have some good cheddar cheese again. For now though, it won’t be in the plans.

I’m still regularly tracking my food in MyFitnessPal and on the STLPlant instagram account.

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Chris Hammond

Chris Hammond is a father, husband, leader, developer, photographer and car guy. Chris has long specialized in ASP.NET and DotNetNuke (DNN) development, so you will find a variety of posts relating to those topics. For more information check out the about me page.

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