Inside & Out …

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Cuba, October 2013

I am 3rd from the right and without a doubt, the “biggest” one in the group.

On January 1, 2013 I changed my eating habits to follow a vegan diet. This change wasn’t excessively difficult because I previously didn’t eat a ton of meat; however, cheese and sour cream were hard to think about NOT having again. Luckily I’ve found some very decent alternatives over this past year.

I was diagnosed in fall 2011 with hypertension (high blood pressure). This was concerning to my doctor because I was only 29 years old. She passed me on to a kidney specialist (because HBP can relate more often than not to they kidneys). The kidney specialist ordered a butt-load of tests for me … all to rule-out various diseases that HBP is a symptom of.

Luckily they all came back negative … meaning my HBP was due to my health, weight, genes, etc.

After 7 weeks of following a vegan diet, my blood pressure had lowered enough that my new doctor wanted to take me off the medication I had been on for 1 ½ years to regulate my blood pressure. After a month of no medication I went back for a follow up … and my blood pressure was 110/70 (which is slightly lower than normal).

In this 7 weeks I had also lost 17 lbs … unfortunately I have gained back 15 lbs.

My blood pressure remains 110/70 with no medication needed to regulate. I was also taken off my antidepressants in June and have noticed NO massive swings up or down as I used to face if I missed even 2 days of antidepressants. I absolutely chalk this up to eating real food and no animal products. My insides are happier – no doubt!

Here I am nearing Christmas 2013 … planning my Christmas dinner (only my foods because the rest of my family is not vegan) and also pondering what my 2014 health challenges will be.

I’ve decided to challenge myself one month at a time rather than an annual challenge.

I will remain vegan as I am clearly healthier on the inside. But I need to focus on my outside health … which brings me to the picture at the top.

I went to Cuba for a week in October with 6 other girls – such a great trip! However I was clearly the largest girl there … even larger than one that was pregnant (only about 18 weeks, but still!!)

I have a gym membership and have been a member at the same gym for almost 6 years. They are not a new gym and the equipment may be older, but it works all the same! One bonus of the gym I am a member is that they have a pool (small – maybe 20 meters) and a hot tub … both included with my monthly membership.

I live a 4 ½ minute walk from my work (bonus since I don’t own a vehicle!) and the gym is maybe a 4 minute walk from work. So it’s not like I live so far away that it’s almost an inconvenience to go … I just need to go!

I have the next 8 days off from work for Christmas and will be putting together meal options and playlists for January. I will be sure to post my choices and any recipes will be linked to my other blog: gonabevegan.wordpress.com

Please feel free to comment, add suggestions, etc. … but I ask you to please keep everything positive!

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