Well, I've been reading these boards for many months now. I officially switched to a vegan diet on June 21, 2009 after reading the China Study. I read the book after discovering I was gluten-intolerant and seeking out information on whole-foods eating. I was never a meat fan (I ate it only because I was supposed to) and I've always been sensitive to dairy. I stumbled upon McDougall after seeing his name referenced in the China Study. I did read ETL as well and I like Fuhrman's emphasis on veggies, but don't want to eat nuts every day.
Anyway, so I have a few issues that I thought other people might either be able to identify with, or maybe offer some advice on, so here are some more facts about how my eating is evolving.
1) My husband is incredible. He read parts of the China Study, McDougall, and Esselstyn and he is, for the most part, 100% on board. Heart disease runs in his family, so he is loving how this diet is protecting him. He eats bread (which I bake so it has no oil etc.), raw nuts, dried fruit, and granola bars and pretzels (which I can't get him to give up). But he's doing pretty good. I so appreciate his support.
2) I eat only whole foods. I realized, about a month into McDougalling that I was eating an MWL, gluten-free diet. I eat absolutely no processed foods and no nuts/seeds/dried fruit/flours. Since then, I've also discovered that several foods were causing my skin to breakout in rashes and acne. I used a modified elimination diet, and read through Burgess' blog to try to pinpoint the trouble foods. Basically, my diet now consists of veggies, fruits (which I tend to eat way too much of and am considering reducing), root veggies, squashes, quinoa. I eat no other grains right now, no beans, nuts, seeds, or dried fruit.
3) I try to eat only when I'm truly hungry and stop when I'm satisfied, but I struggle with the stopping part a great deal. I often eat until I'm incredibly stuffed, and I hate that. I have debated counting calories, restricting myself etc. but I just don't have a great solution that seems to curb my urge to overeat longterm. So, for now, I just do my best and try to stick to my safe, MWL foods. I have dealt with eating disorder behavior (though I'm more and more convinced that what is usually labeled as a 'mental disorder' is greatly helped by eating a very healthy diet). I think McDougall calls what I do 'volume eating', I call it bingeing or overeating, and I have a hard time knowing whether or not it is related to true hunger, or if it's just my brain/emotions wanting food.
4) I eat an enormous amount of raw veggies at the start of almost every meal. I love love love munching through my raw veggies.
5) I am very lean right now. I haven't weighed in a few weeks because my husband and I agreed that I wouldn't count calories or weigh myself for a while (he thinks it fuels my eating-disordered thinking...I don't know if it does or doesn't). Last time I weighed, I was about 107-109 at 5'5.5" which is technically a little underweight. I like being thin and I like that eating MWL foods allows me to maintain a lean weight but still feel energetic and strong and healthy.
6) I do sometimes have very strong cravings for calories. That's honestly what the urge feels like...it's not really for a specific food, but I usually end up going for nuts, nut butter, dried fruit, or gluten-free processed junk. It's as if I'm driven to seek out high-calorie, low-bulk foods that go down easily. It's only happened three or four times in the last year, but it's very upsetting and distressing when it happens.
7) I still drink 2 cups of black coffee each morning (I love it and can't imagine giving it up), and I also have rekindled my addiction for artificially sweetened tonic waters (Fruition's from Giant Eagle). I cut out the artificial sweeteners a while back and now I am hooked again.
I run about 15 miles per week. It really helps me feel strong, and evens out my mood and energy.
Anyway, I'm sure I could go, but I just wanted to post here, see if anyone could relate, and hopefully post somewhat regularly so us long-term MWL'ers have a place to compare notes.
Thanks for listening