I had always had a desire to eat vegetarian for my health and did for many years. I ate everything I wanted to plus eggs and cheese but then slowly added chicken and seafood back and of course olive oil, all of this washed down with many vitamins (just in case) but, all of this did not improve my health. As I got older I developed I high cholesterol and many strange problems over the years. I had 3 bouts with shingles, was chronically constipated, insomnia, borderline osteoporosis, pneumonia, and panic attacks, etc. I have a family history of obesity, cancer, high blood pressure, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, depression and so on. Then for a short stressful time I threw diet out the window (but took my vitamins) and decided I would lose the extra 30 pounds with a diet of a reasonable breakfast and lunch and a candy bar for dinner. (Heck I was losing weight….but at what price.) I then joined Weight Watchers and lost weight but every time I got to my goal weight I started back up the scale. A time as a leader worked for a while but slowly I would gain back the weight and had zero energy, even though I exercised religiously.
A run-in with one of the dreaded diseases put me on a quest for a much healthier diet. The first year it was vegan but with fish. but then I found a couple of books that basically fell in my lap. One by a dietitian in Austin who healed herself of a serious skin disease with a plant based diet. I also started to investigate the studies about whole food plant based Seventh Day Adventists and their good health.
“When the student is ready the teacher will come.” I had a chance encounter with a woman in a grocery store over the organic foods and she told me she was a healthy vegan and belonged to a group of vegans in Houston and had had many cures through diet, including her daughter from juvenile arthritis. This woman wrote down websites and book titles for me and even went to her car for a DVD on healthy plant based diets, she wrote down the names of Dr. T. Colin Campbell who wrote the life changing and highly recommended book, The China Study, Dr. Esselstyn (heart disease) and others. This information propelled me to gave up all dairy, meat, fish, eggs, bad oils, high sugar, vitamins (except B12). My constipation left me, within a few months all the blood work numbers became normal or below, including my cholesterol from 240 to 168. I have energy that I didn’t know I could have at this age. A recent bone scan actually showed me in the normal range with no calcium tablets just calcium from green leafy vegetables and weight bearing exercise. I lost about 20 pounds and like Jean I have stablized. This has been my life for the last delicious and healthy nearly 8 years. If you are thinking about this change for health or future health it is totally worth it and you can learn from our mistakes, this can be the first step to a much healthier life for you (and your family). Lynda