I decided it is time to step up my game with my health and shed the 15 pounds I gained from steroid medication. I also wanted to see what else this diet and lifestyle change would do for me.
If you’re new here, I have Ulcerative colitis. I was diagnosed 7 years ago. I’ve been prescribed medication after medication and I am now in remission after struggling with another 2 flare ups in 2020. I’m currently on humira along with other medications. I believe, however, my lifestyle changes I made end of last year put me into remission. I started eating a plant based diet end of 2020. About 90% plant based. I would eat some lean meats, seafood and minimal processed foods. I noticed when I did eat small amounts of meat I would get my usual pain in the left side of my abdomen. I decided a week ago, after reading the book Plant over Processed, that there was nothing to lose and that I should try eating vegan for 30 days. But not just vegan. The challenge is to consume high fiber, minimal to no processed, nutritious foods. Whole grains, nuts, legumes, all the vegetables, fruits in abundance.
I started on Monday, January 25th. And let me tell you, I’m only 7 days in and the results I have seen so far are incredible and I could not be more excited and motivated to continue. The first week of this challenge was not easy, however, because I experienced what I think was withdrawal from processed foods. Despite eating minimally processed before I still experienced some physical symptoms that made me think my body was adjusting to this new lifestyle. I’ll share in detail in just a moment.
Here is what I wanted to get out of this challenge and why I decided to go all in:
less hives (I suffer from Chronic hives and angioedema)
no pain in my abdomen
less scatter brain
figure out the last pieces of my diet that may not be benefiting my body
grow back more hair that I lost last year
over all just feel amazing
So let me just share a bit of what I went through last year, 2020. I started the year in one of the worst UC flare ups I’d ever experienced. I was put on a high dose of prednisone that would be tapered over 8 weeks. I experienced all of the side effects which I knew I would from past experience. The drug is medically necessary for some, but it can destroy a person at the same time. That’s what it did to me this time around.
I gained almost 15 pounds in the first 6 weeks of taking it. Fat deposits started appearing at the back of my neck, the base of my neck and on the sides of my rib cage. My waist was no longer small, my mid section is where I gained most of the weight. I had moon face (google it), when I came off of the medication it caused my dermatitis to flare up. These are just a few of the physical side effects I experienced. And here’s the thing, I have not been able to lose any of the weight the past year despite exercising and heating healthy. My face swelling went down a little, but not all the way. My clothes don’t fit like they did before the steroid. It’s so frustrating that all these changes in my body were not my choice. They were not self induced and there was nothing I could do to stop them from happening while on the medication.
I was also losing so much hair up until the middle of the year from the disease. I lost SO MUCH.
So you can probably understand why I was ready to make a change. It’s the beginning of a new year and after my colonoscopy on the 30th of December I was told I’m in remission. THANK THE LORD! Perfect time to go all in and give it my best shot.
So here we are 7 days in. I’m feeling amazing.
Now I’ll share what I ate (some recipes included), side effects, etc.
Here’s the day by day breakdown of week 1:
Books referenced for recipes: Fiber Fueled, Plant over Processed, A Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep
-My usual black coffee
-Morning Tonic (aids in digestion)
1 cup warm water
juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp pure maple syrup
dash of cayenne
-Left over Curry, recipe from Fiber Fueled by Dr. Will Bulsiewicz
-Green apple with natural peanut butter
-Handful of homemade trail mix
-Stuffed Shells with home made sauce, roasted cauliflower, roasted broccoli, sautéed green beans and home made garlic bread
Stuffed shells recipe from Noracooks.com, sauce recipe from Simpleveganblog.com
Felt great day 1. Easy Peasy.
-Leftover stuffed shells and veggies from the night before
tempeh seasoned with homemade taco seasoning
vegan nacho cheese, recipe from Plant Over Processed
home made quacamole
Felt great day 2 other than a slight headache.
-Caesar salad, dressing recipe from Plant Over Processed
-Asparagus pasta, recipe from A Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep. I added tomatoes.
-Vegan parmesan, recipe from minimalistbaker.com
-Peanut butter brownie, recipe from A Visual Guide to Easy Meal Prep
-Frozen Dr. Praeger california burger w/romaine, tomato, avocado, pickles, onion, ketchup
Day 3, cue withdrawals… I was incredibly moody, forgetful and fatigued.
-Same smoothie as day 1
-Tofu veggie bowl
crispy tofu, recipe from Fiber Fueled
red bell pepper
-Green apple with PB
-Creamy broccoli no cheddar soup with sourdough croutons, recipe from Plant over Processed
Day 4, I was still moody, stiff muscles in my back and neck, felt off, forgetful and fatigued.
-Gluten free pancakes, recipe from Fiber Fueled
-Leftover soup from the night before
-Peanut butter brownie
-Home made veggie pizza
Day 5 my mood was better, energy better, muscles were still stiff, headache. Also, skin was clearing, less bloat.
-Leftover creamy broccoli soup and sourdough croutons
-2 Plant based snickers bites
1 medjool date
smear of PB
vegan chocolate chips
-Tomato noodle soup, recipe from Fiber Fueled
-Grilled “cheese” on sourdough bread with tomato and avocado. I used 1 slice of Chao vegan cheese
Day 6 I felt good! I over ate at lunch by a few bites and felt over full for about an hour. Once my food settled I felt good. Started to feel lighter and look a bit smaller in my waist!
Gluten free pancake
stone ground mustard
-Tofu veggie ramen from our favorite noodle restaurant
Day 7 I felt great! Skin started to appear dewier and felt softer.
Here are the results from the first 7 days:
I lost a 1/2″ inch in my waist, 1/2″ in my hips and almost 3 pounds! My dermatitis has almost diminished. My complexion is brighter! My face is thinning and my collar bone is more visible. I slept better nights 5, 6 and 7! I feel lighter and less bloated and my mid section is starting to feel different when I touch it. My skin is dewier. I have a bit more energy and stamina.
I should mention I am on week 5, starting today, of the workout program LIIFT4 by Beach Body. This will help tone me up while I lose the weight. I also drank water every day.
Like I said above, I am excited and so motivated!
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I’ll be back next week with my week 2 results.