Here’s a set of photos that show my progress over the years… with the photo on the right taken in August 2019…
Basically, my fitness today includes walking/hiking, yoga, tai chi as well as all the physical aspects of being a drummer and keyboardist/pianist.
Photo on the left was me as an omnivore, loving lots of potato chips, KFC, pepperoni pizzas, and McDonald’s Big Macs… middle photo I was a raw vegan which was a bit extreme for me and today being a high carb, low fat vegan.
A high carb, low fat, macrobiotic vegan diet is pretty much what I am practicing today, but let me go back in time and go over what I have been through with my dietary journey.
As A Meat Eater
I really was an indulgent omnivore. I was running 10Ks and Half Marathons prior to the birth of my oldest son in 1988, then I guess it was understandable that I should stop my triathlon training because my wife and I had a newborn… no excuses, looking back… maybe I made being a father an excuse to slack off. I should’ve found a way to keep training.
Because back then, I was burning all those calories and not really eating a healthy diet… lots of McDonald’s… Big Macs, Filet-O-Fish Sandwiches, Fries, and back then I was drinking sodas. On top of that, I loved chips, Pizzas with everything on it including the anchovies, two plates of KFC fried chicken with the mash potatoes, gravy and cole slaw along with two plates of white rice!!!
Granted, I was younger and being a runner, swimmer and cyclist, I was burning the calories… but, I never got back into the cardio after my first son was born, and by the time my second son was born in 1992, I also got laid off from my day job at a financial institution, having worked there 13 years (yes, lucky number 13)… I was depressed and I ate a lot, and I didn’t exercise or care about what I ate.
Around 1995, I experimented with veganism, looking for answer about my diet and weight gain. This lasted for about a year until I started getting really busy with playing music as a drummer in several bands… and between 1996 and 1999 I was super busy touring and performing with a popular Neo-Swing band.
I was definitely burning the calories as a drummer performing almost every night, but my diet sucked because I ended up eating fast food on the fly between gigs, etc. And, I ended up following everyone else in the band, eating crappy fast food and late night eating at Denny’s and other diner-type restaurants.
As A Raw Foodist
By 1999, I left the swing band. And I was depressed once again.
But around 2003, I started eating vegan again and lost a lot of weight, going down to around 165 (what I weighed in my early 20s).
Then I started getting into the Raw Food movement, the one that focused on Raw Vegan foods. At first I felt great, and I had lots of energy once again. I was thinking back that had I been a Vegan back when I was busy touring and performing almost every night, I would’ve felt better. I mean, lots of caffeine usually accompanies a meat eating diet, since meat takes a lot of time and energy to metabolize, so you end up drink copious amounts of coffee, mochas, and for me…. chocolate covered espresso beans!! I didn’t really work because I would sleep until 1-2pm after a big gig. It was a vicious cycle.
But, raw veganism was what I was into from around 2003 to 2010. And frankly, I was always cold because I strictly only ate raw foods. I didn’t even drink hot tea!
As A Macrobiotic Vegan
After 2010, I fell off the vegan wagon once or twice but never for long, because I always felt crappy going back to eating animal foods. I would quickly go back to veganism, and I slowly started to develop a Macrobiotic-Style of Veganism. I started eating cooked foods again (mainly rice and steamed vegetables) but still eating raw fruits and vegetables. The focus was more on whole foods, and less on process vegan foods.
It was a long struggle and I made a few mistakes along the way, but I always found my way back to veganism. Nowadays, my mindset is on saving the animals and being an ethical vegan, so my commitment is very strong and there is no turning back to the meat eater I once was.
Today, I’m doing great, and I use Cronometer as my nutritional app for track my physical activity as well as my nutritional intake. It really helps in making sure I get enough protein, which I found is actually easy to do on a vegan diet. And my wellness check and bloodwork from a couple of months ago was excellent. I have no deficiencies that people would think I would get from being vegan. I was just slightly low on Vitamin D3, and slightly high with regards to my triglyceride levels.
I know that the Macrobiotic Vegan Diet isn’t a traditional Macrobiotic Diet, but it’s the only way I can describe what I’m doing with my diet. I eat a lot of rice with some vegetables and legumes in the ratio that would be very similar to a macrobiotic diet, but I’m just eating vegan foods only.
And that’s pretty much where I am today as far as my diet is concerned.