Oct 10, 2015

My WFPB Journey

(WFPB) whole food, plant-based: A whole-food, plant-based diet is centered on whole, unrefined, or minimally refined plants. It’s a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, nuts and seeds; and it excludes animal products, including meats, dairy products, and eggs, as well as highly refined foods like bleached flour, refined sugar, and oil. It’s more than a diet though, because a “diet” implies a restricted way of eating for a specified amount of time. This is a way of life… and I feel completely UNrestricted!

I was raised by an Italian mother. Need I say more? In our house, food was not only for sustenance; it was part of our culture, our heritage and our identity. Thanks, perhaps, to “good genes” I enjoyed a healthy childhood, adolescence and on into my 20s and late 30s; I was fit, vibrant, active and trim. My weight rarely fluctuated from between 125-128.

Then I got pregnant and gained a whopping 60 pounds during the pregnancy. Some of the weight fell off easily afterwards but remained hovering in the 140 range. As more years went by the pounds climbed to 155…160… I kept buying clothes that were loose fitting. No one seemed to notice… except me. Well, maybe they were just being nice…

Then in 2011, the holidays came… went… and I realized something significant had changed. My clothes were tighter, I was sluggish and my joints were hurting. A mysterious occurrence of bursitis in my hip besieged me for about five weeks; I could barely walk. My mom said to me, “Welcome to old age.” I disagreed. I knew that this was not the path for me. I went home and bravely stepped onto a scale for the first time in ten years… and I was absolutely horrified. I stood there, naked, staring at the number. “That can’t be right,” I mumbled. I stepped off, on, off and on again — about three times. The number 183 kept staring me in the face.

I thought about my diet and remembered a friend of mine who had begun following Dr. Fuhrman’s recommendations. She told me how wonderful it was and how she was losing weight and getting healthier. I asked her about it. When she told me that she didn’t consume any salt or added oil, I “knew” that I could never do that and acknowledged her for her efforts.

I had taken an enormous interest in nutrition in my late twenties. I was a vegetarian for about eight years, I tried the “Eat Right For Your Type” diet, the Atkins disaster, Ayurvedic cooking, Macrobiotic—you name it, I tried it. I finally had settled into what I thought was a reasonably healthy regimen of eliminating most sugars, all gluten, all processed foods and red meat.

Obviously, this wasn’t working. I decided I would look into Dr. Fuhrman’s book, Eat to LiveWhy not? I thought. I’ve read so many books on diet and nutrition. I’ll read this and see what he has to say. I read that book cover to cover. Twice. I was in. This was IT. I finally realized I had found the TRUTH about health and nutrition…

I enthusiastically undertook a WFPB way of eating in the spring of 2012 and have not looked back. Was it challenging at times? Yes. Has it been worth every effort? Absolutely! I immediately dropped 8 pounds the first week. That was exciting enough, in and of itself, but what was more spectacular was how good I was feeling. I was sleeping better, my joints felt looser and my skin was smoother. But it was more than that, too. I had an undeniable awareness that my body was healing itself. The high nutrient foods that I was now consuming were giving my body the fuel that it had been starving for, for basically my entire life.

This healing has continued and still continues now. Old injuries flare up and resolve. Toxins that must have been lurking in my fatty tissues for decades have been eliminated. And I just keep feeling better and better! My blood pressure, which at one point was so dangerously high (190/113) I was rushed to the E.R., is now at 99/74. My triglycerides went from 168 to 104 and I dropped over 40 pounds and am now at my ideal weight. I have had zero incidences of bursitis. I’m sleeping better and my skin is softer and smoother. For the most part, this journey was effortless. But it was only effortless because of the KNOWLEDGE that I gained from reading and researching … books, documentaries, anything I could get my hands on to learn more about whole food, plant-based living. Knowledge is power.

I invite you to join me in a new journey to superior health and disease-free longevity. Old age doesn’t have to come with degenerative diseases and dementia. I know that now.

“Nothing tastes as good as healthy feels.”     ~ Michael Greger, M.D.

These two pictures really tell it all. On the left (March 2012), just a few weeks before undertaking a whole food, plant-based diet, I am preparing breakfast: Eggs Benedict. On the right (October 2012, just 6 months later!) I am preparing breakfast: Superfood Smoothies!

Thanks for reading. Healthy trails!

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