Sunday, March 15, 2015


Years ago when I revamped my blog, it included a change in name: Honestly Ani.  I may not be the best at many things, but I am honest. Some people might tell me I'm sharing too much on the Internet, but honestly, who cares? I'm an open book and always have been. Why am I making this statement? Well, because I'm going to be very honest in todays' post. I'm going to share things I don't normally talk about, not because I'm ashamed or trying to keep secrets, but because I try to be positive and optimistic and I don't like to dwell in the negative. 

When I changed my diet so drastically, I didn't do it for no reason, I was unhappy with the way I was eating, what I was eating and I was unhappy with my body. I've been battling with depression since at least high school, but if I think back, I'd guess it was since before. Everyone experiences depression differently, for me two of my worst habits were not wanting to move or do anything and eating foods I normally stay away from, foods that are "bad" for me. Anyway, to keep this preamble short, I'd been battling deep depression from about September until I finally sought out help in December. During that time I stopped going to the gym and I ate poorly. Sometimes I'd even go out of my way to make poor food decisions. After months of this, I finally had enough. There were countless days in December where I'd research on the Internet for something, anything that sounded like a food plan I wanted to try. I knew I didn't feel right, I didn't know what I wanted but I knew I wanted something else. 

Cut to, as I said before, hanging out with my brother who put on a documentary I loved but was not yet ready to listen to previously. Now I was ready. As I've said before I did reaearch in the diet (noun, not adjective or verb) and called my doctor to tell her about it and request a prescription for a blood test. I had promised to post the results o this blog but I hadn't yet... Partially because I was embaressed, partially because I forgot. 

So my doctor tested for what looks like everything but I'll highlight a couple items below, things that are normally concerns, and things that are stereotypically concerns for vegans (when I have a fluke blood test we can really compare) - the numbers in parenthesis are the normal range as listed by CLP: 

January 26, 2015 - Fasting

Glucose (65-99)

Sodium (136-145)

Calcium (8.7-10.5) 

Protein, total (6.3-8.3

Cholesterol, total (<200)

Triglycerides (<150)

HDL (>39)

HDL ratio (0.0-5.0)

LDL (<130, <100 is Optimal)

B12 (243-894)

Vitamin D (30-100)

Originally I had planned to have a blood test in 4 months, but my job had free health screenings where they just did a couple tests: blood pressure, weight/BMI, cholesterol, glucose. Check out the results...

March 11, 2015 - Non-fasting

Glucose (fasting 70-99; non-fasting <140)

Cholesterol, total (<200)


HDL ratio

My non-fasting glucose is under where it should be if I were fasting! It wasn't high before, but still. But the really big news is that my total cholesterol fell 93 points!!! This felt unreal. I couldn't believe. I didn't trust it. But how can they test my blood and tell me a number that isn't actually true?? It had to be true. 

I went to the NY Veg Food Fest on Saturday (in my way there now!) and saw a lot of interesting people talk about plant-based nutrition. One person in particular caught my attention, Dr. Michelle McMacken. I spoke with her afterward because I had all these questions and no one to ask! I told her how I'd been plant-based for 7 weeks and about my blood test and the new one last week. I asked her if it was normal for the cholesterol to drop so quickly, and mentioned that my HDL also dropped. She told me yes, it's totally normal for it to drop so much and she told me not to worried about my HDL. She talked about how HDL is only a problem if you're a carnivore, people on plant-based diets don't need to worry about that. 

Que more dancing and singing and jumping over the moon! Who knew I'd be so healthy and loving every minute of it! 

She, and the other speakers, had so much great information which I will post I. A subsequent blog entry ... But alas, I must be on my way because it's about time to get off the train. 

Have you made some progress recently that's keeping you motivated or maybe you're struggling with something? Let me know! I'd love to eat and help if I can!

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