Turning Around 45 Years of Bad Eating Habits

As far as lunches at work go, I’ve went from this: (Soup with a cookie as big as the soup container)


To this:


Meatless Shepherd’s Pie.

Going with a whole-food, plant-based diet has been great for my health. My blood tests this month showed reduced inflammation markers, better than they were when I was on medication, and I am no longer taking Methotrexate for Rheumatoid Arthritis. I have no pain.

Let that sink in for a minute. I HAVE NO PAIN AND I AM NOT ON ANY PRESCRIPTIONS.

Both my husband and I have tried to go vegetarian before, and before this transition really tried to limit our meat intake. He’d given up dairy completely years ago, but was starting to come back around when I kept filling our fridge with slices of pepperjack. I had used skim milk since I was a teen and had recently switched to 2 percent, thinking that was better for my bones.

As far as sodium intake levels, mine were off the charts. When doctors say processed food and meat products make up the majority of American diets, they are not kidding. I would eat a salad for dinner, and maybe a tiny one for lunch, but nothing that registered I was getting any nutrients of any substance. The rest of my day was filled with sugary treats and high-sodium microwave meals or canned soups. Friday was takeout Chinese, heavy on chicken. So much for not eating meat.

To keep myself going, a drank a half pot of coffee every day. I was tired, achy and depressed many days from the dull pain/bad eating habits lifestyle. My weight was starting to creep upward, along with inflammatory markers on my blood work and, once I got sick in February, I also was sick of the way I saw my diet and my health headed.

We’ve made the change. And now I have the blood results to keep me going with this.

So, what exactly is working?

I quit dairy before I cleaned up the rest of my diet. My pain started going away as soon as the dairy intake stopped. Slowly weaning myself from the too-high coffee level gave me my energy back, though it was a killer to come down from. I will do another blog post about that issue.

I also got rid of these guys:


And replaced with these:


I’ve learned to cook without oils, and food tastes flavorful. It does take awhile to get used to little or no salt in your foods, and that seems to be the thing that still challenges my husband. Experts say it takes about a month for your taste buds to recalibrate, and three months for your brain to realize you do not need as much food to get through the day. I’m doing fine on both levels, and my husband is, too. We’re going to keep doing this to see how we do.

4 thoughts on “Turning Around 45 Years of Bad Eating Habits

  1. I gave up dairy (well, okay…I have to admit, I do have cheese on occasion…but I used to go through at least a gallon of skim milk a week) when I was having some serious respiratory issues about 7 months ago. That made a huge difference.

    And I gave up diet Pepsi (and all soda and artificial sweeteners) about a month ago…amazing how my headaches (that I had all day, every day) have disappeared.

    I’ve pretty much given up meat (not a big deal for me as I was never much of a meat eater) and fast food. This was probably the easiest change I’ve made.

    Next on my list is processed foods and sugar. I’ll get to that healthier lifestyle one step at a time.


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