Well, here we are - December 31st - the last day of the year, and as it happens, my birthday. I usually meet this day with the intent to start something new on January 1st, whether it be a diet or a new fitness regime, and I tend to feel a twinge of guilt about my overindulgences and lack of exercise from the previous year. But this year is a completely different story. Looking back on all that has happened in 2014 I can say I'm incredibly proud of what I've accomplished and also amazed at how easy it actually was. It was a year of plants and smoothies, of running, swimming, and biking more than I ever thought I would. A year of enjoying the outdoors more, having more energy than I ever thought possible, and night after night of full and restful sleep. And I owe it all to my plant based diet.
Even a year ago I hadn't even considered going plant based. I was excited about my new Vitamix Tom got me for my birthday, but I was really only excited about having a better blending machine than using it to change my life. Then the holidays of cheese and overeating caught up to me and I was desperate for a change. So I started a one week vegan diet to see how I would feel. And then one week turned into two, and then a month, and then three months, and then June came and I stopped cooking with oil after watching this video by Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and haven't even missed it.
And then suddenly it was September and the triathlon I had been training for all year. I knew I could do it thanks to my training plan, but also because of the guidance from pro-Vegan-athletes like Brendan Brazier and Rich Roll who proved that eating a plant based diet is incredibly beneficial to endurance athletes.
Looking back I see how easy it was, but while in the process there were hard times. Its hard explaining to friends and family who think I am crazy for only eating plants. Then there always are the negative comments and rolling of eyes. Some people wouldn't want to even try and understand what I was doing, but others would be curious and ask me questions and accept that what I was doing was for me, and realize I wasn't trying to tell them to change their diets. The entire purpose of this website is to put information out there for anyone who is plant-curious. In the end your diet is your choice and my diet is my choice and I'm happy to be quiet and I'm happy to share my thoughts. It was also hard when all I wanted was a piece of cheese and would fight every part of me to not eat it. Then I'd give in and eat it. Sometimes its better to give in to little things than hold out and have a bigger breakdown later. And sometimes you learn from your breakdown as I did in Falling Off The Wagon: The Cheese Effect. But looking back on this year, it was easy once I fully accepted what I was going to do and how I was going to get there. It was easier than being vegetarian, or only eating fish - my choice was plants or no plants. And I chose plants.
Its been an exciting year. Anytime I learned about something that was good for me: farro, chia seeds, flax seeds, kale, ginger, quinoa, I just wanted to eat more and more of them and the more I did the better I felt. And the better I felt the more I could swim, run, and bike. And hike and ski and garden and hang out with my niece and nephew. I rested and recovered like a champ. I used to have problems sleeping at night, waking up over and over again, but once I got into my plant based groove and workout routine I was like clockwork - out by 10pm, up by 6am and ready to go.
Its been a blast creating new recipes as well. I like having limitations (although I wouldn't call them that), cooking only with plants and no oil. Sometimes I think the more boxed in I get the more creative I become. I've lost over 12 pounds this year, went down a pants size, dropped all my cholesterol and glucose levels to nonexistent, and feel like a brand new person. I owe it all to my plant based diet and to my husband, Tom, for kickstarting our year with the gift of a Vitamix.
And also thanks to my partner in fitness and fun, Marci - I wouldn't have gotten through our triathlon or half marathon this year without her and all her incredible support (and long distance calls on our banana phones).
So thanks for reading and following me on my journey. Its been amazing and its only the start of what is to come. I'm excited for 2015 and what new things I will discover. And I can't wait to share them all with you.
Happy New Year and Mahalo for reading!