Thursday, January 17, 2013

A New Year, A New Me

As anyone can attest to, I'm a serious foodie - some would call me an encyclopedia of food.  I'm a complete and utter food junkie.  I love everything that has anything to do with food.  I even have a food blog, however neglected it may be.  So what I say next may come as a bit of a shock to you, so please, sit down and clear any liquids away from your laptop...

I'm becoming a pescetarian!

...and I'm working my way toward becoming an oil-free vegan!

A pescetarian is a vegetarian who eats fish.  Some pescetarians eat any kind of seafood, but I choose to only eat fish.  That means no oysters, lobsters or uni.  Yes, sad, I know.  I've gotten personal messages from friends saying things like:

"Why do you hate life?"
"It deeply saddens me that you have become vegan"
"Sciencebunny, a vegan?  Ha!"

Gee, thanks for the support, guys. @_@  Of course they're only partially kidding, but it's true that a vegan Sciencebunny is beyond preposterous.  Many of my friends are seriously shocked.

Anyway, this is a personal decision I made in an effort to improve my health.  Though I'm still young, at a normal weight and fairly active, my cholesterol is hereditarily high.  It's not just high, it's crazy high!  So, something needs to be done.  There's a book called Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr. Esselstyn Caldwell that talks about his 12 year study of 20+ patients with advanced coronary heart disease as well as a host of other health problems and how he helped them live for 12+ years.  The evidence is pretty shocking.  He advocates a plant-based, whole foods diet.  With nothing more than putting his patients on this diet and for some, a very low dose of medication, he was able to get dramatic results, reducing their cholesterol to healthy levels, eventually weaning them off of all medications, increasing their energy levels and improving their quality of life.

In the documentary, Forks Over Knives, Dr. Esselstyn says:

"Some people think the 'plant-based, whole foods diet' is extreme.  Half a million people a year will have their chests opened up and a vein taken from their leg and sewn onto their coronary artery.  Some people would call that extreme."

Yup, I would.

I was first introduced to this book by a friend at church.  One of the other church members had a heart attack in his mid-40s and had a quadruple bypass surgery.  Yeah, that's pretty extreme.  Afterwards, he went on this diet and got his formerly ridiculously high cholesterol (mid-300s) down to normal levels (150ish).  All of it is pretty amazing evidence.  I met him myself and talked to him about the whole thing.  It's one thing to read about it in a book and in a medical study, but it's quite another to talk to someone who actually went through it.  He says he feels healthier, stronger, shed a lot of weight and will continue to live this lifestyle for as long as he can.  In his words:

"I just got 4 new tubes.  I don't want to mess them up"

Of course, this diet doesn't include being pescetarian.  Originally, I wanted to go straight into being an oil-free vegan, but a friend suggested that it may be extreme to start doing that from being a heavy carnivore.  She's got a point.  She said that it's all about long-term lifestyle change, so I need to take measures to ensure that the change is lasting.  That's very true.  So instead of going straight into it, I decided to take it in steps.  I think it would make me feel less resentful for the lack of meat and dairy as well.

In mid-December 2012, I started experimenting with eating more and more vegetarian and vegan dishes in order to ease into the diet.  At the beginning of the year, I became a pescetarian.  So far, so good.  The plan is to continue for a few months, then re-evaluate my cholesterol to see if it's at a normal level.  If so, I probably don't need to change much.  If it isn't, I'll step it up and become a vegetarian.  Rinse and repeat and move up and up with increments of vegan and oil-free vegan.

I highly recommend everyone at least watch Forks Over Knives.  If that piques your interest, then you may want to read Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.  

If I make this sound like it's an easy decision for me, it's DEFINITELY NOT!

I love steak and BBQ.  I love giant slabs of meat.  I have 5 different kinds of olive oil, including one I dragged back from Italy.  A drawer in my fridge is dedicated to cheese and charcuterie.  I believe that butter is the only true way to make french food or french-inspired food.  All my facebook friends love posting photos of their mouthwateringly delicious meals - mostly stuff I can't eat now.   I love food and hate having any kind of limitations.  I get cranky when I'm hungry.  When I say I want something, I better get it, or else I'm likely to bite someone's head off.  I mean, seriously...I'm known on the internet as THIS GIRL:

So needless to say, it's a huge sacrifice on my part.  Food has become my identity and one of my greatest passions in life.  It's not easy, but hopefully the results are worth it.  This blog will now be re-purposed to be a kind of diary of my struggles, successes and failures with this diet.  It'll include recipes and health tidbits as well.  I considered changing the name of my blog from to, but I figure that's not very positive and would probably make me feel sad.  

Anyway, wish me luck!  I'll need it.


  1. Why was the octopus eaten alive? That's pretty funny to from that to near vegetarian, lol.

  2. i'm proud of you. you're taking your first step into a larger, better world. just think - not only will your health improve, but everyone else's will as well due to the dramatic reduction of greenhouse gases your new diet will produce. you're making the world a better place for all of us. thank you for helping keep our air and earth clean! ^_^

  3. hi sciencebunny do u have facebook so that I can add u