I stopped eating meat back in 1994, primarily because I thought it might help me lose weight. But I ate a lot of junk food, and I was totally hooked on cheese. Whenever I did manage to lose a few pounds, I always put them right back on.

In 2021, a year into the pandemic, I’d ballooned to my heaviest weight ever. I also had prediabetes; rosacea on my cheeks; high cholesterol, for which I was prescribed statins; and asthma that required three inhalers. I was fed up, and then I found out about whole-food, plant-based eating. On April 21, 2021, at 67 years old, I went all in. For me this also meant completely cutting out alcohol, cold turkey.

My Surprisingly Smooth Transition to Plant-Based Eating

It was much easier than I anticipated. I had surprisingly few cravings, and the weight began coming off almost immediately. I’d always enjoyed cooking and baking; I just had to adjust to fixing new dishes. I found lots of oil-free plant-based recipes online, and they usually proved delicious. I dedicated myself to a modest daily walking routine for exercise. To keep myself on track, I decided to post about my progress on Facebook on the 21st of each month. Every month, friends cheered me on. That proved a huge help in keeping me focused and motivated.

For further motivation, I completed the Forks Over Knives Cooking Course through Rouxbe (and came in first in a class of over 600 students!), which was an absolute game-changer for my cooking. I also earned my certificate in plant-based nutrition through eCornell.

Astonishing My Doctor

It took just seven months to reach my goal weight of 159 pounds, which put me into the normal BMI range. My cholesterol dropped enough that I was able to completely get off statins. My A1C (a measure of average blood sugar) dropped from 5.8 (prediabetic) to 5.2 (normal). My congestion receded so significantly that I no longer need inhalers, and my rosacea has significantly improved, too. I’ve astonished my doctor. She keeps asking me how I’m doing it!

I have always loved and craved both Italian and Mexican cuisines, so lately I’ve been experimenting with making various recipes compliant, and I recently perfected an awesome oil-free, dairy-free, veggie-packed “cheese” pizza.

I started with a modest walking routine for exercise, and now I typically walk two or more hours each day, which has helped me keep the weight off. I found an old pair of 32-inch Levi’s jeans that I hadn’t worn in over 20 years, and I can easily fit into them! I’m happy to say that at age 68, I’ve shed all excess weight and overcome all my other health issues simply by eating correctly.

I am excited to learn as much as I can about healthy eating and food as medicine. Feeling and looking so much better, I’ll never go back to a standard American diet again!

Ready to get started? Check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path. To learn more about a whole-food, plant-based diet, visit our Plant-Based Primer.

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