In 2011, I took over a small restaurant in my town and shortly after, we turned it into a BBQ joint. Over the course of 5 years, I gained almost 150lbs, at one point weighing in at 348 lbs. I also developed severe joint pain and was taking 21 (4,200mg) ibuprofen daily. I had horrible sleep apnea, was pre-diabetic, had high cholesterol, and high blood pressure.
In 2016, I also developed severe edema. My hands, feet and legs were always swollen. I saw my doctor many times and the answer was always to throw more pills at me. I was prescribed an anti-inflammatory, a pain killer, and a muscle relaxer. They seemed to help a little, but never fixed the issues and the edema persisted. I even had a deep vein thrombosis scan and a couple of EKG’s. No one ever asked about my diet!
In September 2016, I began having severe gastrointestinal pain. On October 3rd, I was hospitalized for it. They ran many tests, gave me NO answers, did not address my diet, and prescribed MORE medications. Upon release from the hospital, I had a conversation with my 68 year old extremely healthy, mostly plant based mom. Her words to me were “Don’t fill those prescriptions, FOOD IS MEDICINE! Do the research!”. So I did!
I was unable to work at the time, and I am an avid research junkie, so I poured through the internet and medical journals, looking for an anti-inflammatory diet. Beginning Oct. 5th, 2016 I stopped eating beef, pork, and chicken, and limited my dairy consumption to less than half of what I was eating, and stopped drinking soda. I included turmeric in my diet and started hydrating with lemon and lime in my water. I also limited my refined carbohydrate intake.
In a little over 2 weeks, my edema was gone and my blood pressure stabilized into the normal range. In 100 days, I lost 80lbs!!
In February 2017, I watched the documentary ‘Forks Over Knives’ and immediately stopped consuming cheese due to the Casein, Casomorphins, and IGF-1 in dairy. Within 3 weeks of ditching dairy, my lifelong struggle of daily anxiety magically disappeared. As I continued to research, I then gave up eggs and fish realizing that I had no need for this protein source in my diet, nor did I need the additional cholesterol.
I have now been plant based for 1 year. All of my blood work is very good, and I have lost almost 150lbs! Going Plant Based saved my life, and has changed SO many lives!