This morning, I went to a follow-up consultation to go over the results of some blood work I had done.
Since going vegan, my blood had not been tested before. I think it’s important to know where you stand, health wise, just to make sure all is well, vegan or not! Plus, it provides peace of mind and PROOF that the plant based lifestyle is without a doubt, the healthiest way to live. I wasn’t worried about my levels but I felt this sudden urge and yearn to know where I’m at.
The first thing my doctor said:
“These are the lowest cholesterol levels I’ve ever seen”.
My response: “Did you know that I’m vegan?!”
He knew I was into the more holistic way of life after we chatted about why I’m not on the birth control pill… (but that’s another story for another time!) but he had no idea I follow the vegan lifestyle. Even after looking at all of my results which were as healthy as can be, I sensed he was STILL not convinced. He asked if I was sure that I was getting enough nourishment… LOL for real?!
I shared all of this on my snapchat (username: glowingfridge) and some of you wrote back with stories about doctors that did not see eye to eye with the vegan lifestyle and many of them urged you (or your children) to continue eating meat. This comes as no surprise because most doctors are not on board yet but that’s okay. There are plenty of plant based doctors focusing on diet and holistic medicine to heal and prevent disease – but it will take a long time for those doctors who don’t believe to catch up and realize how food plays a major part in overall health.
Even though my doctor was astonished (but still not convinced) it ultimately doesn’t matter what his thoughts are because I did this for me. Now I know for sure that this lifestyle works!! If you are concerned at all, go get your levels checked!! I highly recommend doing it because it provides relief and also motivation to keep doing what you’re doing or it shows you where you can improve on to feel your best.
After being vegan for over 2 years, I’m proud of where I stand and feel inspired to keep promoting and dedicating my life to health and the plant based way of eating. My levels of calcium, protein, iron and B12 are all in the healthy range but I thought I would share my cholesterol levels since he seemed to be most in awe of those.
Total cholesterol: 108 (normal range is 125-200mg/dL)
HDL – aka the good cholesterol: 58 (normal range: > or = to 46mg/dL)
Triglycerides: 73 (normal range: < 150mg/dL)
LDL – aka the bad cholesterol: 35 (normal range: < 130mg/dL)
I’m only sharing this to prove that one can be perfectly healthy (if not healthier) without eating any animal products. They are NOT necessary and eating a whole foods plant based diet allows your body to thrive! You can eat in abundance meaning as much as you want. Nothing about this lifestyle is restrictive. There are alternatives for everything which I talk about in my vegan starter guide and whole food cleanse.
The food is colorful and vibrant and delicious and affordable and all from nature. Free of cruelty, blood, pus, hormones, antibiotics, fear and anxiety. Feeding your body the purest plant based foods feels incredible and comes without any guilt because no animal was harmed in the making of your food. You know what they say, if slaughterhouses had glass walls then everyone would be vegan.
I truly believe the only way for people to change is to watch exactly what happens to their food before it gets to their plates. It’s that simple and is the ONLY way most of us change. It’s how I changed my life and went vegan overnight.
Most people (mom and dad, I’m talking to you!!) don’t want to watch the videos or documentaries because they know once they see it – they won’t want to eat it ever again. That reasoning alone is proof! Aside from the health aspects and environmental aspects… I’m telling you that actually watching what happens to the animals will make you sick and want to change.
Watch these documentaries (all found on Netflix or Amazon) and see for yourself:
- Forks Over Knives (watch the trailer)
- Vegucated (watch the trailer)
- Food Inc. (watch the trailer)
- Cowspiracy (watch the trailer)
- Fed Up (watch the trailer)
Have you had your blood tested lately to make sure your levels are healthy?!
Also, I uploaded a new YouTube video yesterday about my favorite vegan pantry staples including whole grains, beans, superfoods, snacks and more. You can also read my vegan grocery guide post about what’s in my fridge but I plan to film a video on that too! Hope you enjoy! Subscribe to my youtube channel here.
Love this blog! Keep it up 🙂
Thank you for the support Dan!
Emilie @ Emilie Eats
That’s awesome news!! I would really like to get everything checked, just to see where I’m at. It really is the healthiest way to go!
Hey Emilie! Yeah it’s kinda fun to see the results 🙂 just to make sure all is well. Wish we could have gotten together while you were in Chi but hopefully sometime soon!!
I would like to know how your iron is. I would love to be vegetarian or vegan but worry that since my iron is already low on a carnivore diet , without meat I would be even lower. There is no question you are getting enough nutrients but I am not convinced about iron absorption.
Hi Janice! My iron is in the healthy range but no need to worry about getting enough iron as there are plenty of plant sources. Combining these iron-rich foods with the vitamin C found in fruits and veggies is the KEY to proper iron absorption. For example, a bowl of brown rice and beans with salsa or a bowl of leafy greens with quinoa, broccoli, lemon juice and tahini would be perfect. Or even oatmeal with strawberries which are high in vitamin C. It’s easier than you think!
Here are the best sources:
Legumes: lentils, soybeans, tofu, tempeh, lima beans
Grains: quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, fortified cereal
Nuts and seeds: pumpkin, squash, pine, pistacio, sunflower, cashews, unhulled sesame seeds
Vegetables: leafy greens, broccoli, tomato sauce, swiss chard, collard greens
Other: blackstrap molasses, prunes/prune juice
I am glad you had your blood tested even though you expected good results because you follow a vegan lifestyle. I have to stress the importance of being responsible for one’s own health because even though I have been following a vegan lifestyle for three years I ended up in the ER this past winter with incredibly high bursting blood pressure! It is genetic and I want to stress the importance of the gene trump card. I think my vegan lifestyle probably saved me but I ignorantly thought I was immune to certain conditions because of my vegan lifestyle. To my horror I am on a pill – one little pill – but back to normal range. My cholesterol isn’t great but I can live with it. I am glad I am following a vegan lifestyle because imagine if I wasn’t???
Hi Kathy! Thank you for sharing and yes, it’s so important to take responsibility and get yourself checked. So sorry to hear about your complications though… thank goodness you are vegan! The plant based lifestyle should naturally lower your cholesterol though, no?
Another documentary to add to that list- and the one that really pushed me to veganism: Earthlings.
Yes! Thank you Sadie 🙂
I just started following your blog and I love it! You are amazing and your recipes are soo good! I cannot wait to try out more. I’ve also been very interested in the vegan lifestyle and I’m so happy I came across your blog so I can more input on what things to eat from day to day. I’m loving the vlogs as well! Keep it up! You are truly an inspiration 🙂
(P.S. I am also from Chicago)
You are so sweet Madison!! Thanks for the encouragement 🙂 we should get coffee or a green smoothie sometime?!!