This is part of my A to Z Challenge for the month of April.

All Hail Cauliflower!

It is one of the magic ingredients when eating a plant based diet. I wasn’t always all in on cauliflower. I liked it better than broccoli but I believe cooked broccoli is poison designed by the fictional devil himself to torture humans. The husband didn’t ever want me to make cauliflower because it reminded him of brains.

Cauliflower (and the dreaded broccoli) is part of the cruciferous family of vegetables. They are nutritional powerhouses. Everyone should eat more. The problem is that group includes a lot of the vegetables that everyone thinks they hate.

Bok choy  
Brussels sprouts
Collard greens

Last summer I heard a report on NPR about a new weight loss drug. I was tired of not losing weight. I wanted that. I decided to get an appointment with a bariatric specialist to see if I could. Long story short – no. I’m fat. But I’m super healthy for a fat person. I’m not diabetic or even pre-diabetic. My insurance won’t cover the meds for a healthy person and they are over $1500 a month without insurance.

I was surprised to find out that they didn’t really go in detail about my diet at the appointment. I told them that I ate mostly vegan and they accepted that as a good enough diet. The only thing she said was to make sure I was taking a B12 supplement. I think that was the only thing she knew about veganism because she said that at a follow up appointment even though she had tested my B12 level and it was fine when I wasn’t on a supplement.

I did try a med that was supposed to reduce hunger but it didn’t do much. I also didn’t feel like that was my issue.

I started reading more specialized books about diet like How Not to Die by Dr. Michael Greger. Eating a vegan whole food diet made sense to me. I decided to go all in with it. That day happened to be my 50th birthday. I was at the heaviest I’d ever weighed. Seemed like a fine time to make a change.

First things I changed were:

  1. No stopping at fast food places including getting coffee that were mostly sugar.
  2. No more cheese or dairy – I’ve slipped a few times on this by eating things other people have provided. I have paid dearly for that. My gut microbiome has totally given up on digesting dairy.
  3. Decrease with a goal of eliminating processed foods – even vegan ones
  4. No artificial sweeteners

About this time the husband decided that he was going to have gastric bypass. I completely lost my cool. This was NOT going to happen. He thought it would be fine because he knows several people who have had the surgery and did well. I know that he has all kinds of health issues, is a horrible patient, and if there is a side effect that can happen he gets it. He is also Italian and very much of the persuasion that believes that food is love. He would be miserable if he couldn’t eat normally. Guess who was going to have to deal with him being miserable? Yeah, me! Not going to happen.

I yelled a lot. I never yell. He wouldn’t listen. There was a while before his appointment so I said that I was going to cook for him. He ate meat and so much cheese so we often cooked our own meals. I told him what I was doing. I made him read How Not to Die. I started cooking healthy vegan meals.

In the first 2 weeks I lost 15 lbs. He did about the same in his first two weeks. It took a while before he decided not to have the surgery. He went to a lot of appointments. They had him see a psychologist and a cardiologist. He was enjoying himself. He learned some stuff. In the time this was taking, he was feeling better, losing weight, and getting educated on a plant based diet. Months went by and finally he decided that he didn’t need surgery. I was so happy when he gave up that ludicrous idea.

Now we know that bariatrics is not for us. So what are we doing instead? Come back tomorrow for C.