By age 21 I was diagnosed with hypertension. At age 23 I was a morbidly obese weighing in at 278lbs (122kg)! For years I had been trying to avoid taking prescribed blood pressure medication but by age 30 I was advised I had no other options but to take medicine to control this. They told me that I would need to take it for the rest of my life.
As the years went on, my chronic illnesses grew. Besides aches and pains from advanced osteoarthritis, I suffered from migraines, fibromyalgia, arthritis, esophagus issues, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, Diverticulitis, a myriad of gastrointestinal/stomach issues, and depression from dealing with the entirety of my health continuing to decline and my weight continually increasing. Not only was my health affected, but finances as well. With doctor appointments each week, medications and surgeries every few months was life. I was looking into double knee replacements at the age of 40 just to improve my quality of life. Like many other Americans, all my doctor would do or recommend was a prescription for pharmaceuticals rather than an explanation or cure. I started coming to terms with the fact that this may be what getting older looks and feels like. My friends and family struggled just the same. I was convinced not just by doctors, but by society that heredity and age deteriorates our health when in fact it is what we are eating. Genes are not as prevalent as we once thought when it comes to heart disease and cancer, it is more “genetically” how we learned to cook!
I certainly didn’t seem to stand out. I was following the same Standard American diet as everyone else also known as S.A.D ironically. Animal laden, high fat, low fat labelled, low fiber diet! In fact, you could even say I tried to eat healthier than most. I have been a professional dieter most of my life. Other than diet pills, I have tried any and all diets on the market, down to the shredded wheat or cabbage soup diet. Even a very popular weight-monitoring group was in our weekly schedule. Eggs may be zero points to some, but to me one egg is 197 grams of artery clogging cholesterol and saturated fat. I have tried every diet you can imagine only to lose 20-30 pounds, gain it back, and then some! I have been there!
“This is the day my diet starts, I’m sticking to it now!”
I was always trying to make healthy choices for my family, I was frustrated that the more ground turkey and lean chicken salads we ate, the more our weight and health spiraled. As my children grew, their waistlines and sickness grew as well. What could I do? It was HEREDITARY! We were already eating healthy! Organic everything! Ground turkey! Chicken salads! Salad bar weekly for dinner! We rarely ate fast food and barely ever ate out. Low fat, no fat- I was all about cooking healthy meals every day for my family and yet I was still failing miserably. While my husband was recovering from yet another surgery in 2013, I realized that things would only get worse unless we took action. We all watched the documentary, read up on whole foods plant-based and decided to improve our diet immensely, attempting to eat as few animal products as possible. After what I had just learned, I could not contribute to our poor healthy any further. My job as a parent was to keep my children and family safe: buckle them in the car, teach them about stranger danger, tell them to stay away from drugs, and to never smoke cigarettes- but here I was bringing something just as dangerous into the home. Something that causes more instances of health-related deaths than cigarettes, drugs, alcohol, and car crashes combined. I immediately stopped buying animal and animal byproducts. Within days, we could feel it. We felt amazing! Every morning we were reporting new experiences with how rapidly we started to feel better. We had tons of energy, everyone was focusing better, sleeping better, acne suddenly disappearing, having less aches and pains all because we started eating plant based, an anti-inflammatory diet! Next, our clothes started to fall off us! My family was witnessing one another lose weight but we were getting healthier and getting off medications at the same time! The more research I did on the whole foods plant-based diet, the more I realized how wrong I was when I told my daughter veganism was stupid. I realized it was literally saving our lives. Gone were the days of counting calories and taking meds. Now we were eating everything we wanted and feeling better than we have ever felt! We had so much energy that we put a ping pong table in our living room and bought mountain bikes for the first time in spring of 2015. We started cycling and have already put more than 8300 miles on our bikes! There was a day I could not go around the block and now my husband and I are cycling 20+ miles a day.
As those around us started noticing and hearing about our transformation, more and more people asked for help on how they too can lose weight while preventing and reversing disease. Everyone around me started reaping the benefits of plant-based getting their health and life back. I wasn’t the only one who was getting these results. Everyone who adopted the plant-based lifestyle through my guidance and encouragement was getting the same results as well!
It doesn’t just work for me, it works for everyone!
In January of 2017 I took my passion for helping others to the next level. I became certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through the Center For Nutrition Studies via Cornell and I became a Licensed Food For LIfe Instructor with The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine in May of 2019.
I founded Plantspiration® NFP Inc. in late December of 2017, where I continue to educate, inspire, and motivate others to achieve their optimum health by transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle. I have had tremendous success across the United States helping others not only prevent, but reverse their diseases as well. I’m not some skinny girl telling just telling you what not to eat- I’m someone who has been there and suffered just the same and can now show you what to eat to THRIVE. I was led to believe that I was stuck with these health issues and that they could not ever be reversed. I was led to believe that if I just lost weight I would be healthy when that is not true. Optimum weight is not always optimum health and you don’t have to convince yourself that big is beautiful because the bottom line is big is not healthy. I am someone who can understand what it is like to feel hopeless when nothing else works. I’m here to tell you that there is a better way to live and thrive. It is not your big bones, heart disease is not hereditary like we once thought, type two diabetes isn’t something you have to live with because we can change what we are eating and putting in us. It is the food and lifestyles we have been raised on. It is no one’s fault, it’s simply time to change. You deserve to feel good. You deserve to be healthy and have the opportunity to learn how to prevent disease and maintain optimum health for not just you, but for your family as well. This is for you.