Rooting for Whole Foods


My first celery root!

My quest to eat a plant-based whole foods diet has been going really well lately.  I’m a bit more than two weeks into a renewed commitment and feeling really good.  For about six months I was trying to eat about 80% low fat vegan, but I found that I made pretty bad choices when I strayed, and it didn’t budge my high cholesterol levels.

I’d watched  Forks Over Knives  (which you can watch online for free), and read the companion book, so I had the basic idea. I was very encouraged recently when the nurse at Kaiser Permanente handed me a brochure about a plant-based diet. I asked her if she’d heard of Forks Over Knives.  “Oh yes,” she said, “Take a look at the back. Our program is based on that.”  Wonderful!  The last time I had a nutrition class at KP, it was pushing animal protein at two meals a day at least. I’m going back on the 17th to see what their new plant-based plan for lowering cholesterol looks like in detail.

I borrowed The Engine 2 Diet from the library and found it very helpful and upbeat.  It really lays out the facts about how dangerous all the animal protein (meat, fish and dairy) in the U.S. diet is, and how eating plant strong can reverse heart disease and lots of other common ailments. Now I’m reading My Beef With Meat, which covers some of the same ground, detailing all the long term research behind these concepts. There are powerful lobbies promoting meat and dairy, just like tobacco. Broccoli?  Not so much.

The challenge is to eat this way for 28 days and see how it goes. People have lowered their cholesterol numbers in this amount of time. I feel like it’s just the beginning. My palate has already changed. My food cravings have changed. It has been no trouble in terms of my attitude to avoid meat, dairy and added-sugar sweets. I’m getting used to the fact that a lot of my old cooking tricks aren’t going to cut it anymore. I’ve tried several new recipes in the past couple of weeks and only one of them was something I wouldn’t try again.

I’m not saying it’s a snap to get started, especially if others in your home aren’t doing it. I hope that by the time I have my blood work done again at the end of April I’ll have better results to report. Which is why I’m going public with this. (I was even going to start another blog, and have reserved the title, but do I really want another whole venture out there?  Maybe…?)

If you’re someone I know personally, I love you.  I am not feeling deprived. I may make the occasional choice at a restaurant that doesn’t make sense, I’m human.  I am getting sufficient protein.  I am not judging you for not doing what I feel I need to do to save my life.


Roasted celery root. Tangy and root-sweet. It will be great in a mixed roasted veggie salad with Brussels sprouts and carrots, etc.

The numbers from January 10th are at the bottom of the page because I couldn’t get the graph to work in the middle of the text. They are not great. My HDL (healthy) was up, but so was my LDL (lethal), and the triglycerides also not good. Weight was 174.  (I am already down a few pounds since then.)

I’m betting that it’s not all genetics. Even though I believe this, it took me until February 24 to get serious and start keeping a food diary, so I can see how I’m doing.

Component Standard Range Your Value
CHOLESTEROL <=199 mg/dL 269
TRIGLYCERIDE <=149 mg/dL 165
HDL >=40 mg/dL 46
LDL CALCULATED <=99 mg/dL 190

7 thoughts on “Rooting for Whole Foods

  1. Deb Snider says:

    Way to go Sally. I will be interested to follow your progress. Even if your cholesterol does not plummet in 28 days, your weight should begin a slow and steady journey down. Switching cooking styles can be daunting. Let’s share successful recipes, as I am on a similar journey. We should compare notes some time. I have some recipes from The Kind Diet and a few other books that have become favorites. Good luck and joyful eating!

    • Sundry says:

      Wonderful, Deb! I have a new recipe for a vegan split pea soup that I love. It’s a little weird following recipes since I’ve been used to using them as rough guides, but I’m getting there. Would love to see your favorites.

  2. Jodie Robitaille says:

    I’m rooting for you, Sally. Way to commit 🙂
    I love Deb’s comment ^ and I just got The Kind Diet on someone’s recommendation. I will be following your progress.

  3. Sandi Gamage says:

    I am so happy you have fully committed to the plant-based lifestyle. The science indicates that you will see the results you are hoping for if you stick to it 100%. I also agree with your reply to Jodie ^.

    • Sundry says:

      Thanks, Sandi! If anyone wants some great support in this lifestyle, join the group ForksOverKnivesSupport2 on Facebook. It’s a friendly place to share recipes, frustrations and successes, thanks to Sandi and others.

      I should probably clarify that this isn’t a 28-day commitment for me, but an ongoing one. But I think if there’s a solid goal to start with, it can be helpful.

  4. […] may recall that back on March 12th I posted about starting a 28-day challenge to eating a whole foods plant-based way of life based on the […]

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