Saturday, March 26, 2016

A Shift in Eating


Happy Easter weekend! I am happy to report that I am all better, cough is finally gone, and I feel back to normal. It's been a good week, emotionally, but I have to say it has been hard to get back to the mindset I had before I got sick (eating-wise). While I was sick I craved carbs and had no appetite for healthier foods (except soup); seems my 'comfort foods' when sick include things like grilled cheese sandwiches, toast, crackers, banana bread, muffins, and sugary stuff like cereal and ice cream and pudding. I've allowed myself all of those things over the fall and winter and still was able to lose weight (slowly) but that's because those foods were a very small percentage of my intake. Obviously it's one thing to lose weight on 80% protein and produce and 20% whatever else I wanted, but the past month the percentages switched to like 30% protein and produce and 70% whatever else I wanted! My last weigh in shows this is a *gain* pattern of eating. The scale is still not going in the right direction... so I need to quit indulging the cravings that came up while I was sick. Now it's just a habit that I need to re-break.

I got some low carb protein shakes at Costco (Premier Protein) and am having one for breakfast some mornings. Other days I have eggs and/or bacon, or bacon, avocado and fruit. My goal for this week is just to cut back more on the carbs (without counting) so that I get back to the previous ratio of 80% produce and protein and 20% "other." I am happiest when I can include any foods I would like, but in small portions. My next weigh in will be on April 1st and I hope to be at least back where I was last month (228) if not lower.



27 comments:

LHA said...

This sounds good! You are recognizing the issues that have contributed to a slight weight gain and without "hysterical guilt response and panic" (my old mindset!) you just determine what you need to do and get started doing it. I predict success. I think your thought processes are really on point!

Anonymous said...

What about cutting back on the bacon and swapping for a healthier, more lean and less fatty protein?

Lyn said...

LHA~

Thanks! I feel good about it, and happy rather than the old guilt/despair mindset.

Anon~

Nah, that morning bacon is the best 80 calories of my day! But I don't have it every morning... sometimes I run out and have a yogurt, a protein shake, or just eggs.

iluvmerengue said...

I'm relieved to read that you're doing better, thank goodness!

However, I confess that I'm disappointed to see no signs that you're considering the WFPB (whole foods plant-based) diet but still wanting to do the low-carb plan. I say this because I used to be SO sold on it but learned the hard way that health cannot really be maintained by eating foods like bacon, eggs & dairy products which contain cholesterol and carcinogens (like the sulfites and acrylates in cooked bacon and the cancer causing growth hormone IGF-1 in milk).

I read your other post where you mention Chris Powell and "Extreme Weight Loss", which I used to watch. I learned that those shows don't tell us the whole story, that the participants are pushed into very unhealthy practices in order to meet the deadline, etc. In any case, I always came away thinking losing weight should not have to be so hard, and it turns out my intuition was right about that.

So at the risk of annoying you for insisting on this (the last time, I promise!), I really urge you to read "The China Study" or at the very least to watch the documentary "Forks Over Knives" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRr-8SvG6aU&list=PLMVBpyhwslBAuPBOuQiuTdv8aw3yNOtWi).

I realize this is a complete "paradigm shift" which requires being very open-minded and willing to let go of old beliefs that no longer serve us, so one has to be ready for it. But I cannot forget what Albert Einstein once said: "Insanity:
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Albert Einstein Quotes
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. - Albert Einstein
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results".
The TRUTH is that we've been lied to, carbs (except for refined ones) are NOT our enemy, they just are when eaten with animal foods but we crave them because we really need them. We have the enzyme ptyalin in our saliva expressly for starting the digestion of starches, and our brains preferred fuel is glucose, so that should tell us something. (You may want to check out the book "The Starch Solution" by John McDougall, M.D. from your local library.)

Last night I enjoyed a healthy "vegan" meal at a restaurant courtesy of the young man who served as a catalyst for my own diet change. He's maintained his weight loss and because of his new energy levels he's even going to participate in a 5k marathon in April, a far cry from the depressed (and sometimes suicidal) person he used to be prior to changing his diet, I think one just can't go wrong with God's original and perfect plan!

Raquel

Lyn said...

Raquel~

I am very open to trying vegan meals and basing my diet more on plants (I have watched Forks over Knives) and agree we need glucose as brain fuel. When I have tried to cut my carbs very low, I feel horrible. I don't feel well when I get much below 70 grams of carbs per day... and I believe those should mostly come from vegetables and fruits (for me).

When I say I am "cutting back on carbs" I don't mean I am going to an Atkins level of low carb. I mean I am cutting back on mainly things like sugary foods, baked goods, breads and crackers. I still eat healthy carbs (tonight's dinner was just a big bowl of butternut squash topped with an ounce of grated cheese) but my endocrinologist tells me to keep my blood sugar balanced, I should eat very minimal amounts of grains, and limited portions of starches like sweet potatoes or corn. I think it's highly unlikely at this point in my life that I'll cut out all meats and animal products, but I do try to eat mostly plant based foods.

Karen said...

Eating binge foods while sick is a choice. I know, because at the height of my food addiction, I used to use being sick as an excuse to eat high carbohydrate food. It never helped me get well. In fact, I could safely say that by eating high carb, processed foods, I got sick more often and I could pound the junk food. All that happened is that I gained 70+ pounds and got sick a lot. Oh, and got food high. There was that.

So happy to be off that cycle. And I rarely get sick anymore. Here's to stopping the cycle, with no detours. Food sobriety is never easy. Worth not being so sick all the time. Onward.

Anonymous said...

Everyone thinks their own plan is the best and only way for everyone. Obviously not. Everyone is different. I've noticed comments telling you to cut out various foods (bacon, all meat, wheat, all grains, all sugar, all processed foods, all high carb food, all low carb food, diet soda, protein shakes, dairy, and on and on depending on what that person thinks is "bad"). If you cut out everything people told you to stop eating, you would only be eating lettuce. What works for one is not what works for everyone! You do what makes YOU feel healthy and what makes YOU happy! I have total confidence you will hit your goal weight this year or at the latest, next year. I would bet money on it. I have read your blog and I see the progression of enlightenment. You are nearing the pinnacle of understanding and I know you are going to succeed. Blessed Be.

Anonymous said...

how much carbs have you been eating? you may have carb bloat going on.

Lyn said...

Anon (last)~

yeah, I do think there is some "carb bloat." I haven't been eating large amounts (still generally one serving), but the carby foods were starting to substitute for healthier choices. Like instead of an apple or a string cheese as a snack, I'd have a bowl of crackers or corn flakes. Or instead of salmon and asparagus with a few baby new potatoes for dinner, I'd have lasagna and garlic bread. Not huge amounts... still one serving... but less nutritious choices. And I have made those choices far more often. Before, I'd have that lasagna dinner once in awhile (maybe at a potluck) but not often. Lately, my dinners have frequently been based on pasta or rice or potatoes. Just too many carbs for me to feel my best and lose weight.

I won't cut out any foods completely. That just leads me to food obsession. My mind is in a very good place since allowing *all* foods into my life... and nothing calls to me or makes me want to overindulge like I used to when I was restricting.

iluvmerengue said...

Hi Lyn, thanks for your comment and my apologies for all the stuff from the pasting that I didn't get to erase before I hit send!

Unfortunately, most endocrinologists practice under the old teachings that carbs are the culprit, when in reality it's animal foods. I am hypoglycemic and that was what kept me from trying even a vegetarian diet for many years because the belief is the same, that carbs are bad and we need protein in every meal and snack to maintain a steady blood sugar level. But I recently so a video where a doctor used some graphs to demonstrate that there's actually a greater spike in blood sugar when animal protein is eaten with carbs (as opposed to without). So as long as you eat meat regularly the myth that carbs are bad for us will seem to be true.

I'm wondering why you said that you doubt that at this point of your life you would cut out animal foods, it can't be because of your age and thinking you wouldn't get used to it because I'm much older than you and I'm pretty content with the way I'm eating now, especially because of the benefits. And I've seen testimonies of even older people than me who also made the change and say they'd never "go back" they were taking a bunch of meds and now they don't. I know it's hard to think of doing without those foods but in practice it's actually easier when the right motivation is there. But, like I said, it's up to you, so I wish you the best with whatever you choose.

iluvmerengue said...

I want to direct this to the "Anonymous" person who said "everyone thinks their plan is the best".

For starters, "my" plan is really not mine, it was given by God to humanity in the very beginning as the perfect plan. Since for me there is no greater authority in the whole Universe than God, the matter is settled. But to those that don't believe in God I can still show that we're not really designed to eat meat, at least not in the amounts that we do today, please watch this video where a doctor tells all the reasons why we are really "herbivores": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH-hs2v-UjI&list=PLom3mO7Bu7VWS_W9mQBQhuqkPH2Su_MMw&index=7.

Also, there's no such thing as a single plant based diet, there are still many variations which leave room for individual needs, likes and dislikes which fits with the belief that there's no "one-size-fits-all". But that is very different than eating in a way that we're really not supposed to except maybe in case of dire need, it's like putting low-grade gas in a high performance car.

Besides, common sense tells us that if food is meant for the nourishment and repair of our bodies, junk foods really have no place in the diet of any person who already has health problems. And even the young and healthy should indulge in such things very seldom so they don't end up like the rest of us. I, for example, had no choice even in the past but to stop eating things that had an outright obvious bad effect on me such as refined sugar/sweets, wheat products (my late father had been diagnosed celiac, which his mother also had but was never diagnosed; it runs in families so it got to a point with me where it was foolish to keep "playing" what I could get away with), and dairy (which I also stopped and restarted many many times). What happens is that many people have grown up enjoying all the wrong things and that makes it harder to give priority to the really healthy foods, which nobody can deny are vegetables, fruits, etc., they are then viewed as less enjoyable, but our taste buds can adapt and we can find new enjoyment in new foods.

In the distant past people hunted for survival, but today we do not need to eat animal products because there's an abundance of the real good foods. We eat them out of habit and old false beliefs that they are "good" for us, beliefs that a mammoth industry like the beef, dairy and egg wants to perpetuate to keep their profits. Knowing what I know today I would catalog eating animal products as things that, if at all, should only be eaten on occasion. Raising animals for food is even contributing to destroying the planet, just do a search on YT for "Meat The Truth" or "Cowspiracy" and see for yourself. So it's not even the most responsible way for us to eat. And I want to clarify that I am not judging anyone with this for I only learned about it fairly recently. However, once I found out I couldn't feel good about eating sub-par foods (that also involve lots of suffering for the animals) just because I enjoyed them.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Karen. If you are so completely ill that all you can get down is chicken broth and gatorade - well, that's what you should eat. But if you are well enough to stomach solid food, there's no excuse to be eating lasagna and garlic bread over healthier choices. None. Whenever people say they cannot stand vegetables or a healthy plate, I want to present it to them and be like, "How does this look to you? Not great?? OK, why don't you go 2 hours without eating. Not yet? OK, 3 hours. Four. Six. Do you want it now? Yep, thought so." People who are not hungry for nutritious food have been literally sickened (in every possible way) by their poor diets.

Lyn said...

Raquel~

I think I would have to really believe in "no meat" to cut it out and not resent the change. I can tell you truly are committed and have faith in your way of eating; if I felt that passionate about it I would definitely eat that way! I am not saying "never," I just can;t see myself as vegan. By "at this point in my life" I am thinking about my lifestyle. I raised five kids on specific foods, and our family has traditions (like turkey at Thanksgiving, ham at Christmas, you know, nothing super "special" but just what they have always had and expect and enjoy). I think it would take a lot of work to try and figure out what I could cook for my family, especially for special occasions but also on a daily basis, that is vegan and that they would or could eat. I have kids with different nutritional needs than myself and I don't really know how I could feed them enough protein and fat on a vegan diet (I am not talking about picky kids... talking medical needs and issues). Both of them are thin and can't afford any weight loss so I need to make things they can and will eat enough of. I guess to me that seems like a very stressful proposition. I could of course make separate meals for myself and them, but I've never felt that was a good idea in general and not something I have the energy for long term. If I lived alone, I might just go vegan for awhile to see how I feel.

There's other reasons I think going 100% vegan would not work for me, but that's probably the #1 obstacle.

Lyn said...

Anon~

I get what you're saying, and I'm not presenting excuses for how I was eating. I state what I was eating and why. I accept that is a choice I made and now I am reversing the small weight gain. It's not a big deal in the big picture. Also, please note my food quality declined well after I became ill; I did not get pneumonia from poor eating choices. I made poor eating choices because I wanted to eat those things as a way of comforting myself while I felt unwell.

Annette said...

I love premiere shakes! I drink two a day. I bought 20 $4 coupons for a total of $4 (I saved $80 on my shakes over the past month! )

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry I have been reading your blog for about a year now. I have not made any comments, but this has become painful to read because you struggle, but I feel you are not being honest with yourself. Please seriously count calories, weigh and measure every single thing do NOT estimate. And MOVE, start by walking 30 min a day and then work your way up to spending more time on your bike. You will be uncomfortable you will experience pain, this is part of the process. NO ONE is special or beyond the laws of thermodynamics. Above all start being honest with yourself and what you are doing. I have lost 95 pounds and have kept it off for a year now. I still have my struggles, but I am maintaining, after losing weight for me, it is just doing activities I enjoy and even I when I don't want to, do it anyway, because that's life.

Lyn said...

Annette~

cool, where do you buy coupons from?

Anon~

I am so glad you're doing so well! I'd love to read about your weight loss journey if you have a blog. It's always nice to read or hear about people who have gotten to goal. If you go back further than a year in my blog, most of the prior 7 years were spent weighing, measuring, tracking calories, carbs, and protein. I am not going back to that, because for me it puts me in a mindset of being obsessed with food. I have worked hard to "fix" the mental part (stopped binge eating, stopped compulsive overeating, stopped food obsession) and have finally started to feel "normal" about the way I think about food. I'm very honest about what I am doing, which is why I've shared the junk I ate over the month of being sick, as well as how I have been changing it back to my 80/20 ratio that I am more comfortable with. Thanks for taking the time to comment and share your thoughts.

I've been walking every day lately, and biking every other day. Still small amounts (1-1.5 miles walking, 10 minutes biking) but those will gradually increase. I'm adding back strength training as soon as I get the walk/bike numbers up (in a week or two). I think the key to long term success, for me, is to NOT count calories, NOT start obsessing about food again, and focus on eating lots of produce. When I eat lots of vegetables and fruits, and enough protein, everything else falls into place (no room for a lot of other stuff!)

Anonymous said...

1. If God wants us all to be vegan's then why wasn't Jesus a vegan?
2. Genesis 9:3 - Every moving thing that liveth shall be meat for you; even as the green herb have I given you all things.
3. Romans 14:2 - For one man has faith to eat all things, while another, who is weak, eats only vegetables.
4. 1 Timothy 4:3-5 says not to abstain from meats.
5. Colossians 2:16 - Let no man therefore judge you in meat, or in drink.

Mari

Deb said...

Lyn,

Interesting comments.

A person's DNA really does tell the tale regarding what food one is attracted to, what food works well--and what food does not agree with you. For instance, my DNA revealed that I need to eat fat at the low end of a moderate amount, that I am not lactose intolerant, and that cilantro tastes like SOAP to me. (It does. I never could figure out why people liked that spice!)

AS Karen has often said, your best eating plan will find you. I can eat moderate amounts of protein and all of the non-starchy veggies I want. (Too much protein raises my glucose levels--as does almost any amount of sugary carbs.)

Listen to your body. What works for one body does not work for another. It's just the truth. And we all mean well...

Mari,

You go girl! I couldn't have said it better.

Deb

Anonymous said...

I thought this was a interesting comment " I won't cut out any foods completely. That just leads me to food obsession. My mind is in a very good place since allowing *all* foods into my life... and nothing calls to me or makes me want to overindulge like I used to when I was restricting."

Because it sounds very similar to what your counselor (Chloe?) was trying to tell you to do, but at the time, if I remember correctly, you did not think it was the right approach and stopped seeing her. Have you changed your view on that, or was that not the right time for you to moderate and give up restricted foods?

Lyn said...

Anon~

Yes, I already addressed this previously but I do think this is what Cloe meant when she told me to try to "normalize" food. At the time she gave me that advice I was still struggling with depression and recovering from some very difficult circumstances. I was still in a food-obsessed mindset that I'd been in for years, and many people relate to: one cookie was an impossibility. One candy bar would lead to more and more sugar. There was no way I could do as she suggested: when I craved chips, go buy a bag and eat some. Because one chip led to many more, and overwhelming cravings for more junk foods. I was not emotionally or mentally able to do it at that point.

Over time, and I think partly because I cut out gluten for so long AND got off this blog, stopped tracking, logging, dieting, etc, I was able to get to that place of eating small amounts of whatever I want without going overboard. It took months but I guess the time was right and I was healed enough to let go of that unhealthy attachment to food.

Rachel rbs said...

Glad you're feeling better. Good luck on the 80% protein/produce and 20% other plan. it sounds like a nice balance for you.

16 blessings'mom said...

Lyn, once again, I am so impressed with your grace and goodness in answering comments. I totally get the eating "bad" stuff while ill. After I had my gallbladder removed, I ate so many pumpkin muffins. I was home with kids just a few days after surgery, was in pain and exhausted, and decided to bake those muffins which I normally would not make, as they are my absolute favorite. I enjoyed them immensely, and honestly, I have good memories of that whole period of time because of letting myself go and eating those yummy things. Ha, I know, I have food issues. I have to deny myself day in, day out. I'm glad you are getting back on track!

Della

Granna said...

I have followed your blog for a long time...and I don't think I have ever made a comment. I have struggled with my weight since birth...truthfully. I am 61 years old and I have the doctor's notes from my 6 month visit where my weight was an issue. My mother, a nurse, told the doctor she had two skinny kids and me...who ate less than either of them ever had. Regardless, at the age of 6 months they were manipulating my formula/food. I have never tried pills (thankfully), but have tried low calorie diets and Weight Watchers. I would follow WW to perfection, and I still felt like I was starving. Less than two years ago my youngest son (I passed the weight issue on to two of my three children...the other one is thin) decided to do a Ketogenic diet. He has lost 120 pounds in about 18 months. My son-in-law saw what great results he had so he joined in 7 months ago- and he has already lost 110 pounds!! So, the hubs and I decided to give it a try. This diet is so contrary to anything we had ever tried...and my husband was especially skeptical since he has always said a calorie if a calorie. Well, today marks 12 weeks. I can't weigh today (my weigh-in day) because we are on vacation, but at the 11 week mark I was down 32 pounds, and hubs was right behind me in his loss. The beauty of High Fat/Moderate Protein/Low Carb (20 or less per day) is the total lack of hunger. I have never, ever done a "diet" where I had no hunger. Just throwing this out there...probably not for everyone...but it is working for me like nothing else I have ever tried. The skeptical hubs is now a believer, too.

iluvmerengue said...

To Mari:

1. Please watch this video as it would take me too long to write even the essence of what it says: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dx6J6jh1Dzo Please also watch this one which explains the theology of Christian veganism: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_eAhKIwaj70

2. Note that permission to eat meat was given to Noah after the flood because there was not much else to eat. Meat eating came after the fall anyway and permission to eat it should not be confused with a command for a new diet equal to the first one, it's really only 2nd best, it's proven by how drastically the life of men was shortened after that.

3. I do not take every single word written in the Bible as coming from God, some are clearly the opinions of the writers. Eating vegetables is not "weak" in any way, shape or form, that's actually saying that God's original diet choice for humanity was "a mistake", God just allowed it for the same reason He allowed divorce which He hates. Eating the meat of animals raised in factory farms is a far cry from eating healthy animals to survive during hard times way back in the day.

4. In the KJV translation the word for "meats" is the same as food as per Strong's concordance, so it's not really referring to eating animals.

5. This isn't about judging but about exhorting our brethren to choose what's really God's best. In Revelations we're told basically that during the Millenium we'll ALL be vegans, so I'm just getting an early start.

It's just an oxymoron to believe that God who created animals first, and obviously enjoyed his creations as he called them "good", would want to see us mistreating them and then killing them to eat them when He never said that his original plan was "null and void". When we shop at a supermarket it's guaranteed that the animals whose meat we're buying were cruelly mistreated all their lives, but the details are kept from us because when most of us know the truth we're no longer ok with eating meat. To even say that God enjoyed the sacrifice of animals goes against the very nature of a compassionate God who said He didn't want sacrifice but obedience. The obsession with animal sacrifice very likely comes from the association of God's people with idol worshippers. Everybody knows that all primitive religions believed in pacifying angry gods with animal and even human sacrifice, so I believe the habit of eating meat regularly came from them. But the story of Daniel and his companions clearly shows that they must've grown in a vegetarian culture because they refused to eat the King's food and asked only for vegetables (and thrived on them).

I am actually glad you used the KJV because I want to direct you to Jer. 7:22 "For I spoke not to your fathers, nor commanded them in the day that I brought them out of the land of Egypt, concerning burnt offerings or sacrifices". Clearly, it was never God's intention for people to be sacrificing animals to him.

Lastly, if the body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, how can we be ok with it being in shambles because we choose to indulge our flesh? If we go out of our way to defend eating meat, doesn't that say that we're more interested in the desires of our flesh than in living in the spirit? Doesn't Gal. 5:24 say that those who are in Christ have crucified their flesh with its passions and desires? Galatians also says not to use our freedom to indulge the flesh. So, if we're to encourage each other to good deeds I don't see why this should be off limits.

iluvmerengue said...

Lyn, I felt the need to reply to your comment to me, so forgive me if I'm still defending the WFPB diet.

I didn't feel this passionate before, trust me. I was totally convinced it just "wasn't for me". It was only when I realized I had to do "something" different that I began to change, but it didn't even enter my mind that I would become a vegan (because the image in my mind was a negative one). I just think it was God's doing in reply to my desperate prayer for help. When I started I just went one meal at a time with no long term plans at all, but to my utmost surprise I found myself enjoying the meals and feeling better so I just wanted to keep going another meal, then another day. And in the meantime I read lots of articles and watched boatloads of videos which kept me motivated.

As for your lifestyle and family traditions, I understand that to a point, but children model after what they see us do, so if you wholeheartedly believed it was the right thing to do and explained it to them they would adapt, especially if you learned to fix them some delicious vegan dishes and desserts. Plus you're the boss until they become adults. Regarding their special needs, they would be very easy to meet. If given sufficient calories they would be ok, and in fact you might thrive once the burden of digesting animal foods and its toxins were removed.

Protein has been worshiped since it's discovery and dangerously high levels that put a terrible strain on our kidneys and livers have been recommended in recent times. But I'd like to share another (short) video featuring Garth Davis, M.D., author of the book "Proteinaholic" offering a different view: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XQCt3IhaUtU. In his private life he's an athlete so he obviously gets enough protein.

I've learned that there are many bodybuilders getting big muscles on a plant based diet and most without supplements. "The China Study" revealed that certain levels of protein intake would turn carcinogens on or off, so eating less is much safer for us. Also, when we think about protein we really need to think 'amino acids', and all plant foods contain some. And even the 9 essential ones don't have to be eaten at the same meal or even on the same day to benefit us. If you stop to think about it, the animals we eat get their protein from plants and they are more easily digestible for us, so it doesn't really make sense to get it 2nd hand.

The same goes for fats, what we really need and process are 'fatty acids' which are present in almost all plant foods. Those that have it in abundance are nuts, seeds and avocadoes, for example. Animal fat is saturated and contains cholesterol and we don't really need those. The info is really all out there, there are tons of guides on how to become a healthy vegan online, some can even be requested by snail mail.

I too used to think it'd be a lot of work to cook vegan meals even for myself, but once I learned the basics it's actually been a lot easier than before as they take a lot less time to cook. I cook staples like brown rice and different types of beans in sufficient amounts to freeze the excess so I always have something handy to fix a complete meal when I just want to eat. And now I'm also out of the supermarket faster because there's fewer aisles for me to go to. ;-)

What I'm seeing is that perhaps you've politely told me that you'd consider it but you're not really feeling it at all, which I understand. There's a right time for everything, if at all, and this may not be the right time for you. Perhaps just like me you have to find yourself in a corner where the only way out is the one thing you thought you'd never do. But I am at least satisfied to have planted the seed, now the rest will be up to you. :)

Lyn said...

Raquel~

thank you for all the thoughtful information. I think you have a lot of valid points and I won't even deny that it might be best for me and others to eat in that way. There's pretty much no doubt I'd get to a normal weight if I did! Consider... yes, meaning, think about it, do some research on it, but you're right, this is not the point in my life that I have the resources to make a big shift like this, learning a new way to shop and live and cook. I did AIP on doctor's orders, which is not as big a change as veganism would be. I did it but it was a strain with the other responsibilities I have. Being a caretaker for family members with special needs can be draining in itself; I'm not blaming anyone, but I am pretty much at my limit for how many things I can juggle at the moment. I do think there's a benefit to eating produce as the basis of my diet and that is something I can easily do to improve my health.