Saturday, February 16, 2013

Ups and Downs

Five months ago, when I created this blog, I felt 10 feet tall and bulletproof. Our family was two weeks into a plant-based lifestyle: no dairy, no eggs, no meat, no fish, no cheese, etc. I was feeling great. Our daughter's allergy symptoms had disappeared and her sleep pattern improved. My husband seemed to be doing equally well.

The experiment lasted six weeks, during which time I lost 10 pounds and my husband had significant health improvements. His blood sugar dropped 60 points and his cholesterol dropped 20 points. His doctor said if his blood work was the same or better in three months, he would officially not be considered a diabetic.

Then we got cocky. We knew if that doctor visit wasn't positive, he'd be put on insulin. Since it went well, he thought he could indulge here and there. A celebration of sorts. And then I decided that I would go off the wagon to enjoy some cheese for my birthday in late September. The challenge, though, when going off the wagon is that sometimes, you never manage to get back on. I can't even articulate how much I love cheese and all things made with cheese.

My birthday in late September seemed to bleed into Thanksgiving in November and then Christmas in December. Staying meat-free wasn't hard for me, but dairy...dairy is my addiction. Whether we're talking butter in cookies or cheese as a party appetizer, I have just never met a dairy product I didn't like.

I recommitted myself to a plant-based lifestyle in January. My husband, however, isn't nearly as into it as I am. And that poses a variety of challenges. I don't want to be a short-order cook, making multiple meals at home to suit everyone. And I still like meat, which means watching him eat it tempts me to do the same.

But I'm working on it. We still don't keep dairy products in the house. No cheese, milk or sour cream is a big change for me. We have gone from eating 18 eggs a week to about 12 a month, and I only make chicken  two to three times a month. Red meat (beef, pork and lamb) never make their way into the grocery cart. Neither does fish.

We aren't perfect but we're making progress. And that's a big accomplishment.

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