Today I’m talking to Jeremie, he’s on an amazing journey of health! It’s an interesting one too, because it just goes to show how much weight you can lose when switching to a plant based diet…
1. Tell me a little bit about your health & weight before you went plant based…
In June of 2008 I started my mission to lose weight. At that time I was 315 pounds, lethargic, and depressed. I decided to begin my efforts with a hobby known as geocaching, an online scavenger hunt type game using the global positioning system. I was not ever much to go out on a hike, but if there was a box with buried treasure out there on the trail maybe that would provide enough motivation to get me going. Just over a year later I’ve lost about 110 pounds and lowered my cholesterol by 50 points. There was more work to be done though. I still didn’t feel like I was functioning optimally. For two months I’ve been following a plant based diet (1 month vegetarian before that) and like so much better the way I feel now. Veganism was the next step in my efforts toward a healthier person.
2. What was your motivation for going vegan?
Primarily the health issues. It’s evident that most of the health issues Americans suffer from come from our outrageous diet. Plus as a cook I always enjoyed making dishes that would highlight wonderful whole grains rather than meat. The flavors are fresher, and I’ve found it freeing to cook now. It’s reignited my passion to cook.
3. How long did it take you to become fully comfortable with a plant based diet?
I’m still a little early in the process but feel as though the transition has been an easy one for me. I don’t so much miss the flavors of dairy or eggs now that I did a little at first. I would say that now after 2 months I’ve become acclimated.
4. What were your biggest plant based challenges?
Eating out still poses quite a challenge. Living in Maine there are relatively few options for healthful eating. Around here we were raised on staples of baked stuffed haddock and all you can eat prime rib on Sundays at the local restaurants.
5. Was there any thing you learned about eating dairy/eggs/meat that surprised you in regards to their effects on health?
Likely the biggest shock was learning of the opiate like effects of lactose. Would certainly explain why so many have the problem making the jump from vegetarianism to veganism.
6. What do you consider to be a healthy vegan diet?
I endorse a diet that allows for six meals a day. Since I need about 2,400 calories per day I aim for 400 calories at each meal. They’re smaller but I’m never hungry and my metabolism is consistently stimulated by eating every 2-3 hours. I make sure that these meals are balanced containing a proper ratio of carbs, proteins, and fats.
7. What positive message would you like to leave people with in regards to the vegan lifestyle, weight loss, in particular to changing the way they eat?
Your nutritional needs can be met entirely by plants. No we don’t lack protein. It provides freedom not limitation when it comes to cooking. You will feel better both physically and in your conscience.
8. What is your health & weight like now since going plant based?
A recent physical had my cholesterol down 50 points since my last in 2007. Triglycerides were down from 215 to 75! I also feel like I’m operating cleaner.
9. What resources were most helpful for you?
Vegan Freak Radio, Abolitionist Approach podcast and blog, Earthlings, We Other Animals Podcast
10. Has switching to a plant based diet been easier or harder than you expected?