I was walking on the trail by my house one morning. I can walk a pretty good clip compared to some people. So while I was walking I was catching up with others who we’re walking slower than me. Each time I’d catch up with someone I’d slowmy pace for a few minutes and talk with them. One man and I got to chatting about walking and he told me he walked ten miles a day. He said he liked walking because it was less stress on his knees than running. I agreed and pointed to the scar on my right knee – a constant reminder of knee resurfacing surgery that was done October 2016.
When he saw my scar he said “at least it was just your knee. Mine are from my heart” and then he pointed to his legs. Both calves had 8-10 inch scars on them. He told me that was from having double bypass surgery 20 years ago.
He said the scars are reminders to him to exercise and take care of himself. He also said he was frustrated because he wasn’t losing weight despite walking ten miles a day. I gave him my phone number and told him that eating a Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle could reverse the heart damage already done. I hope he will call and I’ll be able to provide him more information.
These scars can be powerful motivators. Seeing the scar each day reminds us of what happened to cause the scar and helps us think of improving our lives to perhaps avoid what would have caused it.
When considering a lifestyle change to improve your health inderstandijg your why is important. If you knew what you ate would make you sick in five to minutes you’d probably think twice before eating it. So why is it then if the evidence indicates that some foods will make you sick in ten, twenty or thirtybyear so many ignore the evidence.
For me it was seeing the end of my mom’s life and wanting to live longer than her that convinced me to change my habits now and adopt a Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle. I don’t see it as giving up anything. I see it as choosing a healthier tomorrow. Yes, I could have a scoop of ice cream or a bacon cheeseburger. But I’d rather live long into my ninties and hopefully to 100 and beyond with my health and mind in tact!
Ok. I’ll say it. I love my Fitbit! Not because I need to be rewarded for everything I do like badges that you earn for walking 25,000 steps a day. Not for showing me that I walked 12,221 steps in one day. Or even because it shows me how many miles I walked in a day.
Yes. I like all those features. And I recently increas d my daily goal from 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day. But for me the benefit of the FitBit is simply a guage as to whether I’ve “been active” or not during the day. There are days when I go to the rec center in the morning before work and hit my step count goal by 10am. There are other days when I don’t hit 3,000 steps before lunch. On each day I can then guage if I need to be “more active” or less active the rest of the day. Of course there is likely no negative of being more active. But it’s a good way to track if I’m getting some exercise throughout the day. While I like to incorporate going to the rec center into my routine and I use those times to hit the cardio on an elliptical, shoot some baskets and lift some weights, I also like to spread out exercise throughout the day by going on three or four walks a day giving me a chance to strecth my legs rather than sitting at my desk all day.
Dr. Michael Greger includes daily exercise in his “daily dozen”. I encourage you to check out details of his explanations. You might find a FitBit or other tracker is valuable to help you stay on track.
An easy breakfast for traveling is to make up some bags of oatmeal at home and bring them with you. I made one of these bags for each day we’d be gone. Each bag includes:
Matcha green tea
When we arrived in Washington DC we walked to Whole Foods and bought blueberries, strawberries, bananas and almond milk. Put a bag on the mix in a bowl. We are staying at an AirBNB so they have dishes. At a hotel you can probably get a bowl on the lobby or a disposable at the store. Heat up water and pour over the mic. I like to add the blueberries beforehand. After five minutes add the strawberries, banana and almond milk.
I had seen advertising for the Impossible Burger mostly on Facebook. It’s a new company making a plant based burger which is supposed to look like, have the consistency of and taste of real meat. A couple weeks ago my company was taking us out for a team building event and the place originally selected had the Impossible Burger on the menu so I had hoped to try it out. At the last minute that venue changed and we didn’t go there after all.
So while looking for a place to meet a friend for lunch I noticed that the Liberty Burger in Las Colinas had the Impossible Burger on the menu. What’s great about this is while I choose the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle and wish all my friends and family would too it gives options of places to eat to accommodate me and them. It turns out Liberty Burger also has a veggie Patty that they make in house so next time I’ll try that.
The Impossible Burger definitely lived up to the billing. It did look like, have the consistency of and taste of real meat. I actually asked to verify. The server confirmed and he even knew information about the Impossible Burger and how they are made. I enjoyed the burger and would likely order another one sometime.
A couple things to note though. First, the Impossible Burger should not be considered strictly Whole Food Plant Based because the ingredients include oil. I looked at this as one of those green light, yellow light, red light moments that Dr Greger talks about where having a little yellow light or red light food may make sense from time to time like in this case to meet a friend for lunch.
The other thing is the Impossible Burger has gluten in it. So if you have celiac or gluten sensitivity please avoid this. It’s actually one reason why I had the Impossible Burger with a friend is Mande doesn’t eat any gluten due to her Celiac and therefore it’s not an option for her. So going without her to try it made sense.
Traveling and continuing the Whole Food Plant Based lifestyle can present challenges and opportunities. It can be a challenge to find place to eat out that accommodate the lifestyle. At the same time being in different parts of the country present opportunities to try new restaurants and food that we wouldn’t get to try at home. This is our second trip since being 100% WFPB. Plus traveling with our kids who prefer a some meat makes fidning a place to eat even more challenging to meet (ha ha) everyone’s needs.
This adventure didn’t disappoint. Staying in an AirBNB in Washington, DC we searched Google maps for a few minutes and located Bare Burger about a quarter mile away. What’s interesting is living in Dallas it’s hard to find a place with any vegan options. Here we are out of town and there is a place closer to us than the major cross street in our neighborhood at home.
One we were seated and looked at th menu we found that Bar Burger had not one, not two but a whopping six plant based burgers to choose from including the Impossible burger (which I had had last week) and the beyond meat burger. However the others were all made in house so we both opted for them.
I had the sweet potato and kale burger wrapped in collard greens. This was a really unique way to serve the burger. Rather than most “burger on lettuce” options this actually had a very nice presentation being cut in half and served on a squer!
Mande choose the black bean and
corn burger on a gluten free bun. She added the vegan American cheese to try it out.
These burgers did not disappoint. If you find yourself in Washington, DC or another city with a Bare Burger location be sure to check them out.
Traveling and maintaining a whole food plant based lifestyle can bring some challenges. But it is possible to maintain healthy eating and simply bring your own food.
What we do is bring a cooler bag and use it as our carry on bag. Inside I have my salad as well as snacks like fresh veggies and fruit. You can find a list of acceptable foods to pass the TSA security checkpoint online.