May 8th, 2012
01:03 PM ET
Adrienne LaGier is one of seven CNN viewers training to race the Nautica Malibu Triathlon with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. This weekend, the team and Dr. Gupta will head to Hawaii for a training trip. LaGier set a personal goal to focus on her diet in the month leading up to the flight.
Four weeks ago, my friend Susan posted in her Facebook group, "The Truth About Exercise," that she had lost 25 pounds since the New Year. While working out had been one of her main focuses, she recently adopted a vegan diet that catapulted her weight loss.
Up until then, I had not been focusing on my diet in this triathlon journey. I would justify going out to eat and eating what I'd like after finishing 2 to 3 hour workouts.
After reading Susan's post, and realizing I had four short weeks until leaving for Kona, I decided to give no meat and no dairy a try. And while I was at it, no caffeine either.
The first week, I got headaches because I had stopped drinking tea with milk & sugar in the morning. I wanted to prove that I didn't need to depend on anything to wake up - that I am in control of my body.
We've built an amazing vegetable garden in our backyard that my girls enjoy working in every day. My fiance Chris built a cedar 6 foot fence to border it and we've already harvested lettuce and fresh broccoli.
My yearbook students have taken notice of my new dietary regime as well. They threw a surprise vegan luncheon for me, each attempting to bring in appropriate food (the gal who brought in the Oreos must not have gotten the memo).
Here's what I've been eating:
Breakfast: Nature's Path Organic Oatmeal; Ezekiel English Muffin with Hazelnut Almond Butter
No caffeine. No added sugar. No meat. No dairy.
Results? Down a total of 23 pounds from when I went to the doctor's office on December 28. And I feel great! I notice my skin has cleared up, and I feel energized to work out each day.
This initially was an experiment to prove to myself that I could do it. But I don't see myself stopping now.
Now, I need to expand my vegan recipe repertoire and find more kid-friendly recipes so I'm not always cooking two meals during dinner. Suggestions?
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.