The Daily Beet

17 May “When I let folks know that I was skipping the meat, many folks bemoaned the loss of my BBQ. I had to ask them, ‘what would you miss more, my brisket, or ME if I died of a heart attack in the next few years?”

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(Marck from the blog “Sick, Crazy Carnivore)
In the ‘60’s, the unhealthy, counter culture message was ‘tune in, turn on, drop out.’ Today, the unhealthy, mainstream message, though unspoken, is a loud and clear ‘gets fat, take meds, die young anyway.’ You see it all around you, right? How many of us are overweight and taking cholesterol drugs, blood pressure pills, shots for diabetes, etc? All the while, we tune in to food porn on the television (you know the shows I mean), and feed our kids the same crap that’s steadily killing us. As a typical 45 year old suburban BBQ lovin’ Texan I was headed down the slippery slope to Cardiac Arrest Land on a brisket sled. Then on March 5th I had a physical exam. The results?
·         Weight – 227
·         Total Cholesterol – 242
·         LDL Cholesterol – 146
·         Triglycerides – 253
If you are not familiar with the healthy ranges of those numbers, I’ll summarize for you – my numbers indicate that without a change of course I was likely to have heart disease and/or diabetes and die young. My doctor said nothing about my weight (I’m 5’ 11” so I should weigh in the neighborhood of 180) or my diet, and nothing about my triglycerides. What he did was have the nurse call and tell me to start taking Pravachol for my cholesterol, and to come back in three months for another check up. Something in my unhealthy self woke up and took notice, and I decided it was time to buck the trend. A few days later I watched “Forks Over Knives,” and the very next day I woke up to a life where I would not eat meat, dairy, or oil for at least 30 days. The family and I headed to Whole Foods after church, and my wife and I were excited to see the Engine 2 Diet book, which we jammed into our shopping cart next to all the veggies and grains and such.
What makes that especially significant is the fact that a big part of my identity was ‘amateur BBQ chef.’ I would lay awake at nights thinking up different ways to include bacon in my smoked meats, and conjure up ways to involve multiple layers of meats in a single meal. The pinnacle of my carnivorous creations was the turkey I smoked for Thanksgiving one year – before putting it in the smoker, I soaked it in a sugar and salt solution and then draped a whole, smoked fat cap from a big brisket over the turkey to baste it during the cooking process. I didn’t hold back on the dairy either. Every day for breakfast I put raw whole milk on my cereal, after picking out the yellowy fat clumps. Cheese and butter? Oh sure, my typical lunch was a grilled cheese sandwich, butter used to keep it from sticking to the pan of course, and nice big green salad, with ranch dressing. Really I thought my usual meals were pretty healthy since all the dairy was organic and our kitchen was free of anything that included high fructose corn syrup.
When I let folks know that I was skipping the meat, many folks bemoaned the loss of my BBQ. I had to ask them, ‘what would you miss more, my brisket, or ME if I died of a heart attack in the next few years?’ Anyway, I do have the support of my fantastic wife, who is expecting our fifth child, and enjoying being slimmer at this stage of pregnancy than with any of the prior four. Even my BBQ loving friends recognize the health benefits I’m achieving of course, and are quite supportive.
And what are my numbers as of today?
·         Weight – 206 (180, here I come!)
·         Total Cholesterol – 155
·         LDL Cholesterol – 77
·         Triglycerides – 177
Thanks for reading my story! For more, you can check out my blog at sickcrazycarnivore.blogspot.com

Thank you for sharing Marck!

Please leave some plant-strong thanks in the comments for Marck, and be sure to check out his blog!

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Engine 2 Team
Engine 2 Team

The Engine 2 Team is dedicated to helping you become plant-strong! Each of us are on the plant-strong journey right along side of you!

  • Cynthia
    Posted at 07:35h, 17 May

    Inspiring! Way to go!

  • Kristi
    Posted at 07:54h, 17 May

    Awesome post!! I love your comment about missing the Brisket or me!! Fantastic!!

  • trafal
    Posted at 07:57h, 17 May

    I love reading stories like these. It gives me hope that change/ better health is possible and motivates me to keep trying. I am reading this as I sit sipping my breakfast of a strawberry, blueberry, and almond milk smoothie which is a far cry from my Starbuck’s venti mocha of the past.

  • Jenn
    Posted at 08:46h, 17 May

    Right on, man! 🙂 Isn’t it crazy how friends and family say they are supportive, but when it comes right down to it, they want you to stay just as unhealthy as them? You had the best response to that kind of sabotage ever. I’m going to use it, for sure…there are a few family members who are going to lament the lack of certain dishes at Thanksgiving.

  • Jess
    Posted at 10:15h, 17 May

    great post! also found my way over to your blog- enjoyed the camp out story- deal with similar frustrations on a daily basis- team sports- who made the rule that as parents we need to rotate a “team snack” every practice for the 6 year olds?? always capri suns and individually prepackaged cookies or candy! my son doesn’t get upset (anymore) when I bring his alternate snack, and the kids seem to love the oranges I bring when it’s my turn, but no other parents have jumped on the fruit bandwagon (yet)- keep posting!!

    • Jackie
      Posted at 13:19h, 17 May

      Jess, I know what you mean about the “snack” issue, at organized events for the little ones– its that same at my daughter’s preschool, and it drives me nuts. One of the teachers actually had the nerve to mock me because my daughter had never had a Capri Sun, and she asked what it was and what she was supposed to do with it! Gee, how crazy of me that I care about my 5 year olds health and try not to give her a tin foil bag of processed corn syrup for her hydration. We bring tiny bottles of water and fruit when we can, and whole wheat crackers or the like as a last ditch alternative. Keep up the good fight! 🙂

    • Alta
      Posted at 13:28h, 17 May

      Very inspiring story, Marck. And for Jess, you keep on bringing those oranges to your son’s teammates, as well as some other good treats like Black Bean Brownies and what not. I admire you for doing that! This movement is going to have to come from the bottom up, and as more and more of us make the change and show others that it is a delicious and healthy way of eating, others will join in. The Dark Side will always be with us, but we can fight it, one healthy bite at a time.

  • Lydia
    Posted at 13:10h, 17 May

    Love your blog

  • Jody
    Posted at 13:10h, 17 May

    Thanks for your inspiring story!

  • Jackie
    Posted at 13:20h, 17 May

    Totally inspiring, Marck! Thanks for sharing your story.

  • Liz
    Posted at 13:50h, 17 May

    As a 20-year veg veteran, it is sooooooo awesome to see men, men, and more men jumping on the plant wagon. And mainstream men too, not just hippies and yoga teachers (not that I have anything against hippies or yoga teachers, being both myself). I hope to see more of these men popping up in small western towns soon. Yahooo!!!!!

  • wendy (healthy girls kitchen)
    Posted at 15:34h, 17 May

    love, love, love your story! thank you for sharing!!!!!!

  • Olivia Rose
    Posted at 16:34h, 17 May

    Good for him! He probably FEELS so much better too! Not to mention he is saving animals and our environment at the same time! When I went vegan, it was awesome of course, but I never really was a big meat or dairy eater to begin with. I LOVE hearing stories about someone like this guy who was a self proclaimed BBQ Carnivore King who changes his diet to plant based. His blog says just because he gave up meat and dairy does not mean he gave up taste. So true! In fact, quite the opposite. He can inspire so many others!

  • Heidi
    Posted at 16:36h, 17 May

    Excellent, excellent story! I have often wondering when someone comes to know the truth of living a plant based diet and it completely contradicts there lifestyle and possibly livelihood how they handle it. It took a lot of courage for him to give up what people most identified him with, bravo. I would love to see stories of restaurant owners, ranchers etc.

  • Marck
    Posted at 18:06h, 17 May

    Wow! Thanks for all the encouraging comments! For the record, I’m down to 197 now, and still plant strong! Commited for life now.

  • Di
    Posted at 18:24h, 17 May

    Great story, inspirational. Thanks for sharing!

  • Susan
    Posted at 19:30h, 17 May

    I enjoyed your post. Thanks for sharing. It was very encouraging to this plant-based, whole foods newbie!

  • Sean
    Posted at 09:38h, 18 May

    Great job Marck!

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