It’s been about 6 weeks since recommitting to whole foods plant-based (WFPB) eating, well 51 days– but who’s counting?! I figured it would be a good time to recap the positives and negatives at this point as I really enjoy reading posts from others to keep myself motivated.
The positives of switching to a whole foods plant-based diet have far outweighed the negatives over the past six weeks, and here are some highlights of what I have experienced thus far this time around.
Far and away the biggest positive has been sleeping better. Sleep and I have an ongoing struggle that started even before I had kids. I don’t have a hard time falling asleep, but falling back to sleep after waking is a whole other issue. It can be so hard to shut my brain off, and I’m sure many of you can relate! When I read that embracing a WFPB diet can help you sleep better, I’ll admit that I was very skeptical.
I can now admit that it actually works! I will add the caveat, that I also cut out my nightly glass of wine and limit it now to 2 evenings a week. Regardless, I am now sleeping so much better and it’s one of the first things I noticed after finishing the first week of WFPB eating. Even if I wake up in the middle of the night, I can fall back to sleep quickly and feel more rested in the morning.
My skin is so much better. As someone who still struggles with adult acne, this was such a welcome benefit! The redness that was often in my face is gone and I have fewer zits even when it’s that time of the month. I have heard that some age spots have faded when people switch to a whole foods plant-based diet, and I am anxious to see if this works on a few of my sun spots.
Better Recovery and Less Soreness at the Gym
While I am still not back running yet due to some tendonitis in my hip, I have been hitting the gym for some cardio on the elliptical and to do some strength training. I can safely say that my recovery time after lifting is much shorter, even though I have been starting to increase the weight. My cranky hip is not as cranky as it was prior to starting and it’s probably a combination of not running and less inflammation due to my diet as I am not taking any anti-inflammatory medicines.
The one thing that is difficult when it comes to transitioning to a whole foods plant-based diet is cooking for the whole family– especially kids and teens who are not entirely on board with the process! While my husband has finally embraced this way of eating as of late, I can’t say the kids are thrilled about it. It’s sad to say, but I can see why it’s difficult for them because they are already so accustomed to eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) along with all of their friends.
Kids are Used to Eating the Standard American Diet (SAD) and So Are Their Friends
Even though our family probably eats healthier than many, the kids still consume A LOT more processed food than I would like– especially the 15-year-old. I understand how this way of eating is difficult for him to understand as he has eaten the SAD diet for most of his life and that’s what his friends eat. He doesn’t want to be different and isn’t really into changing his habits– something that he is not shy about sharing with me on a regular basis! The social pressure is real when it comes to eating and the lack of adequate nutritional education surrounding the SAD diet hasn’t helped.
It’s a Gradual Process for the Rest of the Family
As a result, I am just chipping away at the block, trying to make as many meals whole foods plant-based at home as I can. I get that it is going to be a lot more difficult to get buy-in when their taste buds are still used to eating processed foods, but for right now I think it’s the best way forward. Like many kids their age, they often don’t get enough fiber, so I am confident that they are at least getting more fiber with what I am squeezing into their day.
I’ll do another update in six weeks to see if anything else has changed and whether or not I continue to make headway with the boys!