Hi. My name is Allan and I'm a vegan.
I admit it. I'm a vegan. I used to make fun of people like me. But at the age of 58, my height was stuck at 5'7" and my weight hit 274 lbs. My joints were aching from the Statin drugs to lower my cholesterol, I was winded just walking up stairs and taking blood pressure medicine that wasn't working all that well.
I took a good look at my red face in the mirror. I was fooling myself into thinking that I was healthy, but fat. In my entire life, I had never been thin. I'd tried dieting on my own, Weight Watchers, High Protein, Low Fat, Low Carb, etc., etc. but what ever weight I lost I would just put it back on plus a few for good measure. The problem was that each year I would put on a few more pounds. Its a gradual process. But 5 lbs a year over 20 years is 100 lbs that I shouldn't be carrying around and I was not comfortable.
So, after reading some of the good information that a local cardiologist, Joel Kahn, M.D., was putting out on the web about preventative medicine and plant based lifestyle, I made up my mind to give it a try for a year. If I could improve my cholesterol numbers, lower my blood pressure and avoid heart surgery like my Dad had at age 72, just by changing what I eat, I didn't really see any down side to it.
I bought a Vegan recipe book, picked up a few things like Kale, Quinoa, Steel Cut Oats and Nutritional Yeast that I'd never heard of before and started cooking. Its been 13 months now. My waist went from a 44 to 34, my neck went from 18.5 to 17 inches, I lost 78 lbs without exercising, my blood pressure normalized and my cholesterol numbers got into a very healthy range. I stopped taking the cholesterol medicine and sure enough the numbers got even lower! I can go up and down stairs without getting winded, my face lost its red color and my aches and pains are just plain gone. Fruits, vegetables, seeds and nuts are much cheaper per pound than meat, fish and poultry too, so Win Win! I also eat as much as I want, as often as I want and continue to lose weight.
For me, this has been easy. I want to stay as healthy as possible for as long as I can. My Wife and kids are everything to me. I want to stick around to see what they're up to for a long, long, long time.
To quote Dr. Esselstyn from The Cleveland Clinic: "Obesity is a food borne illness." If I can prevent the diseases that go along with obesity like Diabetes, Heart Disease, High Blood Pressure and Stroke by simply changing the way I eat, why wouldn't I?
Hope you choose to follow me on my blog and maybe try one of my recipes. Let me hear from you if I can help.
Dr. Allan Kalmus, DPM