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Confessions of an ex-carnivore

Confessions of an ex-carnivore...

Here I was, five years ago, 5' 10" pushing 225 and needing to make some kind of change in my diet. In my defense however, it was Thanksgiving, the weather was getting chilly, and didn't I need to bulk up for the winter? After all, I had given up red meat, most of the time, and mostly ate chicken and fish, I also gave up cow's milk and replaced it with almond milk, but still loved a variety of cheeses; who didn't love a variety of cheeses? Wasn't I eating pretty healthy? I ran two days a week, lifted weights twice a week and here I was visiting my parents, standing on their bathroom scale and staring at the most I'd ever weighed: 220! And that was before Thanksgiving dinner; uh oh. My jeans that had never been tight were an effort to button, and all my other pants were really getting tight too. Hmm, that wasn't a good thing. Did I need to run & lift more? Would that help? Would I be able to find more time to? My folks even asked me "Are you putting on weight?" I was.

Months earlier, my mom gave me the Forks Over Knives DVD to watch. For months I managed to never get around to it. But, it was now summer and my parents were heading up for a visit. I knew I'd be asked if I'd watched the DVD so I decided to make myself watch it, even though I really didn't want to. Maybe I didn't want to watch it because I was afraid it might compel me to change, and I didn't look forward to changing my diet and my lifestyle. "I'm eating pretty healthy" I thought, although my results and my weight suggested otherwise.

So, I watched the 90 minute movie in three thirty minute segments, watching it skeptically. I had watched and read several articles on healthy eating throughout the years, inspired by both my mom and grandma who studied health authors from Jack La Lane, Adele Davis to Paul Bragg so I was not easily impressed by new diets and their health claims. But, by the end of the second segment an amazing thing happened, I found myself being persuaded. I couldn't believe it!

The DVD recounted the current state of obesity in the Western world and how it paralleled the gradual increase of rich Western foods including animal foods and dairy. The movie also described how other countries, especially in the East, lived on a low-fat plant based diet and enjoyed long, healthy lives without many of the diseases people in the West suffer from like heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis.

The narrator admitted he ate a typical western diet, and agreed to having his health tested and found, to his surprise, he was dangerously unhealthy. He and several other extremely unhealthy patients, (many of whom had tried traditional medical solutions but to no avail) volunteered to eat a low-fat plant based diet for several days to see if they could improve their health. Every one of them, in just a few weeks, lost weight, improved their blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, got off many of their medicines and began to enjoy a better quality of health than they'd had in years! Their testimonials were powerful and convincing.

I learned how a low-fat plant based lifestyle could help prevent and reverse heart disease, cancer, diabetes and arthritis! I also learned that I could get all the protein, calcium and other nutrients I needed along with much more fiber, lower fat and minimal to no cholesterol by eating this way. I was amazed at the simplicity and effectiveness of this way of life. So to my surprise, I decided to switch to a low-fat plant based diet to improve my health, lose weight and help insure a long, healthy life!

Knowing my weaknesses, the first thing I did was remove the temptations. I bagged up all the groceries in my house that contained meat, cheese and high oil content. Then I gave away the five bags of food and restocked my fridge and pantry with healthier alternatives. Since I already loved starches, vegetables and fruit it was fun shopping with a specific purpose. I knew this was a good investment in my health, my future. Then I ordered the Forks Over Knives cookbooks and started trying recipes. I expected to suffer through bland, tasteless meals as a "health martyr"

but to my complete shock and delight, the meals were satisfying and delicious! As good if not better than any recipes I had fixed in the past!

Right around that time, my parents arrived for a visit. When my mom asked me if I had finally watched the DVD she sent me, I told her I not only watched it but I decided to go totally plant based! She was delighted and offered to help me cook a new recipe every day during their stay. The new experiments were all successful, healthy and delicious! My dad even liked them. Who would've ever thought eating plant based could taste so good?

Within a few months, I began losing weight; easily, always feeling satisfied, without reducing my portions. I ate as much as I wanted to! First my weight went under 210, then under 200 for the first time in years. Then under 190 for the first time since high school! Then under 180 for first time since my junior year in high school! Four years later I'm at 180 and still thoroughly enjoying the food I eat and the results no amount of sit-ups could ever produce. Today I cook mostly out of McDougall's Quick and Easy Cookbook making meals quickly and easily. I have gone from 200+ cholesterol to below 140, from a tight 36" waist to wearing 32," to 33" waist pants. I have abs again. I have just as much strength as when I ate animal products but more energy and endurance. I love how I feel and plan on enjoying the plant based benefits for the rest of my life and highly recommend it!

Here are some links you should check out:

Forks over Knives Official Website:

Dr. John McDougall's Official Website:

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