February 1 will mark one year from when I started my first Eat to Live challenge. One whole year. I can't believe I actually made such a drastic lifestyle change and stuck with it for one whole year. Plant strong! Can I get a woot woot? And while I feel like a freaking cheerleader about healthy diets, I have to let you all know it's not all a bed of roses. Yes I am experiencing great health benefits (I haven't been sick all year long, my energy level is incredible, my PMS is definitely better, my blood pressure, blood glucose and cholesterol levels are all superb). Yes I do NOT ever go hungry. Yes I actually enjoy the food. But there is a down side. I don't want you to get the wrong idea. Eating a plant strong diet as outlined in the book Eat to Live is no piece of cake. 1. Some of the ingredients are pricey here in Hawai'i (tahini, organic veggies and fruits, ... okay. Non nutritarian ingredients are also pricey. Maybe I should scratch this one). 2. There's a small matter of the gassiness. Hmmm...all those beans? Could be. But what makes up for this is the LACK of any chance at constipation. Does the word REGULAR mean anything to you? 3. Chinese restaurants are not great options. So I have basically given up all Chinese food unless I make it myself which is not ideal on Chinese new year. I am sure that if I ate in some rural area in China, maybe someplace in which the famous The China Study was done, it would really be healthful but other than that you can usually bet that a lot of oil, sugar, salt, msg and questionable meat is in your Chinese meal. 4. You're pretty much limited to just drinking water as a beverage. Sure you can add some lemon to it, maybe some mint leaves but basically that's it. No juice. No soda. I don't even want to discuss coffee (I will NEVER EVER give up coffee, go ahead and call me a sinner). Fortunately I am loving water more and more everyday. In fact, I prefer it. 5. Desserts, other than fruits, are not easy to come by. It's not like you can run to your local bakery and buy something sugar free, refined flour free treat. Nope. You gotta make it yourself. And it's not that hard but heck, I AM TIRED SOMETIMES! So not having nutritarian desserts readily purchasable sucks. Larabars are the saving grace. I love the peanut butter ones. But expensive and really, with the two ingredients of peanuts and dates I'm sure I can make it myself. Alright. I'll try it. 6. Cooking. In general. I'm still not great at it. But it is getting simpler. I am satisfied with much more simplicity than I was in the past. But I am constantly trying to figure out new things to try. Seitan. TVP. 7. Watching others eat themselves to death. It is bothering me more and more but I need to say less and less. Food is such an addiction. I get it. They probably do, too. If people ask for help or advice, I'll give it (and try to shut me up after that!). Otherwise, mum's the word. I'm not going to do the upside post. I think every post I do is an upside. And if I did one it would be at least 4 times as long as this, but definitely the benefits are PRICELESS as the commercials say. Wouldn't you agree?