I have two updates to share related to my experiment with a plant-based, whole foods diet. First, the iron level in my blood has not dropped due to this diet. In the past I had struggled to keep my iron level in the good range, even taken an iron supplement at one time.
I first noticed the iron deficiency when I went to donate blood. One of the things they always check is your iron level and one time the level was low. They waited a few minutes and checked it again and it was still a little low but high enough so that I could donate. I checked with my doctor and he suggested taking an iron supplement for a few months and not giving blood so often – I was giving blood about four times a year.
The iron supplement and dropping down to just two blood donations a year did the trick but I still wondered if the plant-based, whole foods diet would drop my iron levels. It did not. I gave blood recently and the iron level in my blood was fine. They also check your blood pressure and that had improved.
So it’s going to be hard to convince me to go back to meat if my iron level is fine, my blood pressure improved, I have more energy, my cholesterol is lower and my triglycerides are lower.
The second thing that happened recently was we went on a week-long vacation that just happened to include the Thanksgiving holiday. I did have a few bites of meat at the Thanksgiving dinner with the family. But the bigger challenge was trying to eat plant-based while we were staying at a condo after Thanksgiving.
The area we stayed in, Branson, Missouri, is a place we love to visit but it is not known for plant-based eating. It has lots of one-of-a-kind restaurants that have the kind of meat they specialize in right in the name of the restaurant; steakhouses, bar-b-que places, seafood restaurants. Normally we try to patronize non-chain restaurants to help the small businesses but in this area we found that actually the chain restaurants have better options for plant-based eating, probably because they try to appeal to a wider audience across the country.
Occasionally we did find a restaurant that had some good plant-based options but for the most part we either had to eat meat or go to the grocery store to get the ingredients we needed to cook at the condo. Overall I think we did pretty good on our diet on vacation but it was good to get back home and be able to get back to serious plant-based, whole foods eating.