So, this is Mitch writing for the first time on this blog. I felt that there were actually some pretty big changes and new, interesting things happening in Ang's and my life that haven't yet been blogged about. (No, we're not having a baby if any of you were just thinking that.) Not that big of change, but still kind of big; and I wasn't too sure if Angela was going to blog about it or not because we don't want anyone to get the feeling that we're boasting, or weird, or trying to push any of our ideas on them. What I'm talking about is our changes in "Health-consciousness" (if that is even a word). Angela and I have recently made some drastic changes to our diet and made some new exercise goals. Since I've been taking some pictures lately, now I want to tell you about them.

Let's start with the exercise since it's a little less extreme. I made some goals with my DPT program in early June to improve my exercise, and was thinking "how can I really accomplish this?" I've set plenty of goals in the past and never end up keeping them. Ang had been mentioning triathlons and marathons and such for a while, but I never really seriously considered it. Then it hit me while making my goals that maybe I needed something like that to give me a vision to actually work for. A few weeks later, and both of us were signed up for a service sprint triathlon here in Vegas in October. Although difficult, we have loved training so far and it definitely worked for meeting my goals. Exercising 5-6 x per week has surprisingly become enjoyable, and I am now a swimmin' and bikin' man (...maybe not so much swimming, but I am slowly improving). Here are some pictures of our new (well used, but new to us) road bikes:

. . . And now to our diet changes. They're a little more crazy to me. In fact, I was thinking the other day if someone had approached me in high school and said, "You are going to eat like a Vegan 90% of the time when you are 25," I would have laughed in their face and never believed them. They didn't call me "Buffet" for nothing! But this is what we now do.

I know a bunch of you are thinking, "What?! They're nuts!" And you're probably asking, "what happened to Mitch and Ang?" But let me tell you about it first, and show you some pictures . . . then you can call us crazy.

The Bishop's wife in our ward put on a plant-based cooking enrichment night for those who wanted to come back in May, and of course, Ang went. She then came back totally gung-ho about making a diet "life-style change" to eating only plant-based foods. I took some convincing, but since she was so excited about it, I thought I owed it to her to at least try it out for a few weeks. We decided on a 90-10 deal, 90% of the time we eat plant-based (basically avoiding meat, dairy, and highly processed/ refined things), and since we're not perfect and don't want to always turn down others' food, 10% of meals bend the rules a little. I was very skeptical and was most worried about not having meat for dinner, but I had some rules and regulations in my head about whether I could continue this or not:

1) I could not feel hungrier than before the switch - I hate normal dieting because hunger and going without food just makes me sad and angry.
2) I had to enjoy my meals just as much as before - If you know me, there aren't many things in life that bring me more joy than food.
3) I needed credible research saying this truly has health benefits.
4) I needed tangible results - giving up some sweets and foods I love would require something worthwhile in return.

Well, after 2 months of trying it, CHECK to all 4 and much more!
I'm still stuffed after meals; plus I feel way more satisfied with what I ate. I enjoy the food just as much if not more than before. Ang and I (mostly Ang) have done lots of research, and although nutrition research is filled with bias (people are very passionate about their food), we feel very, very good about this way of eating. And tangible benefits, besides just feeling overall healthier than before, I'll get to those. But first, here are some meals we've made during the past few weeks.

Confetti Quinoa with a side salad

Sweet Potato Chilli Cheese Fries with Biscuits and Fig Jam

-Yes, hard to believe but this is vegan (bean only chilli), plant-based (cheesy sauce made from boiled veggies and nutritional yeast), and healthy (baked fries w/ good oils & whole wheat biscuits). . . And probably one of the best meals I've ever had, before or after the diet change!

Black Bean Taco's

Butter Bean Fried Rice

Herb and Veggie Whole Wheat Pasta

Red Bean Fajitas

Veggie Avacado Burger (We try to avoid those processed vegetarian replacement meats and other things, but this was pretty darn good.)

One of my specialties I call "Ultimate Salsa"

For our date night last weekend, we went on a Whole Foods bulk shopping spree and made some homemade granola, trail mix, and banana carob treats. These are the delicious results:

Chilaquiles (but we just call it Mexi-cabbage)

Bibim Barley (Korean Veggie delight)

Oh yeah, and now for the tangible results I was hoping for. Well, I have lost 20 pounds in the past 2 months thanks to this diet and exercise. I haven't weighed this little since junior year of high school and it feels great! You can compare this picture with Angela's previous post about our anniversary trip and see the change. Anyways, I just wanted to share some of the pictures I've been taking lately and talk about these interesting changes we've made. I don't know how much I'll be posting in the future, but hope you enjoyed this one. Thanks!