A Plant-Based Diet

About 6 days ago I wasn’t feeling so hot – physically or emotionally.  I was still frustrated by my most recent set of labs, in which I discovered a crazy-high hs-CRP, high LDL cholesterol, low HDL cholesterol….basically everything has been going in the wrong direction for a really long time.  High blood pressure, high blood sugar, high BUN/Creatinine ratio… It’s all been a bit troubling.

For almost the last 2 years, I’ve been eating a lower-carb diet…sometimes very low.  I’ve been eating some form of meat or fish at least twice a day.  I’ve been off and on with dairy but I eat eggs almost every day.  The Paleo community says these are some of the staples of healthy living – meat, eggs, fat.  Many even advocate for a Ketogenic diet.  I did feel better when I started eating low-carb.  Not so sleepy.  More energy – not a ton, but more.

I got to thinking…If my labs have been going in the wrong direction, maybe it’s time to make a major change.  Try something else.  Something completely different.  Maybe the opposite of what I’ve been doing.

Last week I watched Forks Over Knives.  Usually movies promoting a plant-based diet are very emotional and difficult to watch, and involve footage of cows and chickens being tortured by the agriculture industry.  This one had none of that. It made a good and scientific case for giving up animal products for the benefit of your health.  It was very convincing.

Long story short…I am currently 5 days into a plant-based diet.  No meat of any kind, no dairy, no eggs.  I’m not calling it a “vegan” diet because this isn’t about veganism, per se, which has political undertones. It’s a 100% plant-based diet.  I’m giving myself 1 week to experiment with recipes and learn how to do this – and during this past week I’ve had some processed plant-based foods. Beginning Wednesday and for the next 4-5 weeks, it will be as close as I can possibly get to a whole-food plant based diet (food that has been processed or refined as little as possible and is free from additives/preservatives or other artificial substances).  I’m also remaining gluten-free, which won’t be hard if I’m avoiding processed food.  Essentially, this is a high-carb, moderate-fat diet.  Lots of starches, fruits, and vegetables. Not much soy. Some folks with an M.D. after their name recommend a low-fat plant-based diet for health.  I’m not doing that.  My diet will continue to include coconut oil and olive oil.

At the end of the 4-5 weeks I’m going to get labs done – probably just a lipid panel to start, along with hs-CRP, to see if things are going in the right direction.  Depending on how that turns out I may do more labs. If things doesn’t improve I’ll know the meat isn’t to blame, and I’ll consider targeting something else.

Time for bed.  Sleeping well again since discontinuing the T3.  Updates tomorrow.

12 thoughts on “A Plant-Based Diet

  1. newtopaleo


    I wouldnt get too carried away. The rats on 5% casein were dying en masse so they didnt get liver cancers not because it was somehow healthier. Considering it will be a low PUFA diet it should feel fine initially until your body runs out of nutrients and starts cannibalising itself. I am sure Ray Peat can give you multiple examples of higher protein being good for you.


    Author of many vegan books. Look what she dealt with her daughter. Theres definitely benefits to a low PUFA diet. But Forks over Knives is based on bad science.

  2. newtopaleo

    If you want to eat more plants I would try the Terry Wahls plan. Shes done extensive research on nutrient density.

  3. Oh, N2P, you’re such a wet blanket! LOL. I haven’t researched the science behind the movie, and it’s possible it’s bad. I still want to try this. I’m looking at 6 weeks max with testing. I don’t really want to give up meat and dairy. I love them. But I want to be healthy more. I haven’t yet followed your links because I’m working right now (will later) but I have a really hard time believing we need large amounts of a protein made for baby cows in order to be healthy. Also, there’s no doubt in my mind that there are many MANY ways to do a vegan diet poorly – hell, I’ve been doing that all week. Sesame seed crackers, roasted nuts, french fries… all kinds of stuff just to get by while I figure out what REALLY to eat. To have a healthy vegan diet, one must research nutrient sources, shop carefully, and cook. If the results are good and I choose to continue something along these lines, it may not be completely plant-based. I’m trying the extreme to get a better picture with labs.

  4. Has it occurred to you that maybe your high HSCRP might be cause by something other than your diet? My sister’s was like NINE last year. She had massive infections which no one had caught.

    Just a thought.

  5. Well, of course it has. And I’m hoping it’s not something very serious. I pay cash for all medical tests and interventions. I can’t afford exploratory MRIs. If there was a lab test I could order myself and afford to pay for called the “ruling out of massive infections” test I’d take it in a minute! Diet I can control, and there’s a lot of room to experiment. Do you know of any practical steps I can take? What tests determined your sister’s problems?

  6. newtopaleo

    Heh. “Sesame seed crackers, roasted nuts, french fries…” None sounds good. Too much PUFA. Anyways read up both links. If an author of vegan textbooks couldn’t make her daughter thrive on it whats your plan? I think this stuff is dangerous. You are probably better off with Terry Wahls plan.

  7. Yes, definitely too much PUFA, if you believe that kind of thing. There are so many people saying so much contradictory stuff that no one’s dogma goes unchallenged in my world. If I’m damaging myself with this way of eating don’t you think it would show up in labs? That’s the whole point. I’ve been thinking about my plan, and I’m going to adjust a few things. I’ll blog about it. Thank you for your opinion!

  8. Other than asking your doc to run a test to see if you have some sort of infection, not really. I bring it up partly because of my sister and partly because of the lead article in the latest Newsweek which scared the crap out of me. Resistant bacateria is on the rise. And I’m starting to wonder if that’s what my sister has and they’re too scared to tell her.

  9. Here’s what I’ll do – next time I get labs drawn I’ll have a CBC done. While blood cell count is part of a CBC – an elevation may indicate infection in the system. Thanks for the idea!

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