Wednesday, April 22, 2009

On the road to the new me

Two recent events have led me to make some pretty significant lifestyle changes.

One was the personal story of a friend and musical colleague, a retired geneticist who spent years studying cancer, who read a book called The China Study and immediately stopped consuming animal protein. He convinced another friend and musical colleague, an MD, to read the same book... and the latter went vegan too! Both of them report that they feel better, they're losing weight, and they're never hungry. Well, I'm about halfway through the book now, and I am avoiding animal protein - especially casein (goodbye, beloved cheese!) - as much as possible.

The other event, which came at about the same time, was that my doctor advised me my blood sugar is way too high. It's in the range she said we'll call Impaired Glucose Tolerance or hyperglycemia - "but between you and me," she added, "it's diabetes." So I'm giving up sweets, including sodas and other sweetened beverages; and I've joined a health club.The plan is to do circuit training three times a week, and swim twice a week.

So far I've been on my low-sugar, not-quite-vegan diet for a couple of weeks, and I started working out just 6 days ago. My (very rough) estimate is that I've lost about six or seven pounds so far. I feel great, and while I can't say I'm never hungry, that is primarily due to the paucity of 100% plant-based food options in downtown Richmond. I'm already getting hooked on this workout thing, and enjoying vegetarian foods when I can get them. And I can't wait until my next visit to the doctor, to see what changes I'm wreaking in my cholesterol, triglyceride and blood glucose levels.

I'll post more about all of this as I go, including progress reports. For now, I gotta go. It's time to hit the lap pool.