One of the most beautiful parts of being a nomad is the constant need for adaptation. With every country I move to, I have to learn to adapt to the culture, the language, and above all: the food. Each country brings with it new vegetables and fruits to try, and new dietary challenges.
In the United States, I tried counting calories, in China I went Paleo, in Brazil I created the Primeotarian diet and in Dubai, I’ve tweaked that even further to create Plant-Centered Primeotarian.
This latest change is a reflection of several health issues that have arisen and re-arisen since I’ve moved to the UAE. Like many travelers, I gained weight when I moved to Dubai. In addition to the weight, I also developed another fun little condition…chronic kidney stones.
I passed my first stone in 2012. This was back when I was living in Las Vegas, but we are not sure what caused that stone.
I passed my second stone in August of 2016. I passed the next one in January 2017, another one in March, another in July, another in November, and the most recent in December of 2017. Prior to the most recent stone, I thought the cause was due to High calcium oxalate, so I was limiting my diet in terms of ingredients that were likely to cause stones, such as spinach, beans, peanuts, etc. The most recent stone, however, I was able to catch. It was a Uric acid stone. They were forming due to the high level of uric acid in my system and it was recommended that I lower my intake of animal protein to counteract this issue.
That was where my plant-based journey began. I started watching documentaries on Netflix. These included: What the Health, Cowspiracy, Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead, Food Inc. and Forks Over Knives. Though a few of these were rather extreme, they did demonstrate the clear positives of eating a plant-based/vegan diet.
I already had a strong baseline with the Primeotarian diet. However, in the interest of bettering my health even further, I’ve needed to change a few more things. The base of my diet included animal protein once a day, no grains and a daily dose of dairy and egg. In order to change to plant-centered, I have cut down animal protein to no more than once a week, dairy only comes in the form of cheese, and no more than once a week, and I now eat whole grains, such as; rice, oats, and quinoa. I am also in the process of cutting out oil from my diet. This includes margarine, butter, and “healthy” oils, such as olive and coconut. My legumes have also changed, as I now eat peanuts and beans to help ensure a sufficient amount of protein.
Most of my meals are Gluten-Free Whole Food Plant Based (GFWFPB) compliant. In the 4 months that I have been on this diet, I have lowered my blood pressure, lost over 25 pounds and have been kidney-pain free!
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