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