By age 21, I was diagnosed with hypertension. At 23, I was a morbid 270lbs (122kg)! I was prescribed blood pressure medication by 30. They told me that I would need to take it for the rest of my life.
As the years went on, my illnesses grew. Besides aches and pains from advanced osteoarthritis, I suffered from migraines, esophagus issues, acid reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, a myriad of gastrointestinal/stomach issues and depression from dealing with the entirety of everything. Not only was my health affected, but finances as well- appointments each week and surgeries every few months was life. I was looking into double knee replacements before the age of 40 just to improve my quality of life. All any doctor had was a prescription 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- this is it’s like to be 40, right? My friends and family struggled just the same. I was convinced this was hereditary by my doctors, and it seemed to be normal when I looked around. I certainly didn’t seem to stand out. I was following the same Standard American Diet anyone else might eat. 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 diet or cabbage soup diet. Even a very popular weight-monitoring group was in our weekly schedule. I’m telling you I’ve been there!
“This is the day my diet starts, I’m sticking to it now!”
We all know that goes out the window by dinner-time. When I did stick to something, I would lose 20lbs and then gain 30 back. Despite monitoring what I ate diligently and praying at night for our health to change, we spiraled further. 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 rarely 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, I realized that things would only get worse unless we took action with the best information. We all watched the documentary once more. We decided to improve our diet immensely, attempting to eat as few animal products as possible. After maintaining such a strict plant lifestyle for a month, we decided to watch Forks over Knives, a highly recommended and informative documentary. This was the defining moment that I stopped bringing animal products into our home. After what I had just learned, I couldn’t 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 plants. Our clothes started to fall off us, we were witnessing not only weight loss but we were getting healthier and getting off medications. The more research I did on veganism and 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 like we’ve never felt before.We had so much energy we put a ping pong table in our living room and bought bikes for the first time in spring of 2015 and started cycling. We have already put more than 8000 miles on our bikes! There was a day I couldn’t go around the block and now we’re going 20+ miles a day. As those around us started noticing and hearing about our transformation, more and more people asked me for help on how they too can gain their health and life back, and I wasn’t only the 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 early 2017 I decided to update my education, becoming certified in Whole Foods Plant-based nutrition through the Center For Nutritional Studies provided by Cornell. I founded Plantspiration NFP Inc. in late 2017 so I could formally continue to educate, inspire, and motivate others to achieve their optimum health by changing the way they live. I’m on a mission to cure the American condition! I’m not some skinny girl telling you how to eat- I’m someone who has been there and suffered just the same. I was led to believe that I was stuck with these health issues, that they could not ever be reversed. I am someone who can understand what it’s like to feel hopeless when nothing else works. I’m here to tell you that there’s a better way to live and thrive!It’s not big bones, heart disease is not hereditary like we once thought, type two diabetes isn’t something you have to live with, and you don’t have to convince yourself big is beautiful. It’s not healthy and we shouldn’t neglect that thought. It’s what we’re eating, it’s the food and lifestyles we have been raised on. Science has proven it’s not genetics like we once thought. It’s no one’s fault, it’s simply time to change. You deserve to feel good. You deserve an opportunity to learn how to prevent disease and maintain optimum health for you and your family. This is for you.