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One Year Anniversary Powered by Plants

This week marks one year for me on the “whole-food plant-based” diet, or to use Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s name for it, a “nutritarian diet”. I like to think of it as more of a lifestyle than a diet as it’s not just what we eat that has changed, but how we shop, how we cook, what’s in the fridge, and many other things besides.
Image via Bistsrips

My About page details the big improvement in my health since changing my diet, so rather than go over that, perhaps I’ll share with you what was the easiest thing about changing my diet, and what was the hardest thing.

Actually the easiest thing was “just doing it”. I guess I was just so fired up and motivated after reading Joel Fuhrman’s book “Eat to Live”. I’m not sure if the book has the same effect on others as it had on me, but I just couldn't wait to get to the end of it and get on with the show. Reading the book made me just so absolutely convinced that to fix my problem with cholesterol all I had to do was follow his advice on adopting a “nutritarian” diet. And it turned out Dr. F was right.

The surprising thing about how easy it was to give up meat, fish, and dairy was that there was a time not all that long ago (say 3 years ago) when I would never have imagined I could give up eating meat, let alone cheese! Oh yes, the cheese! If I've ever had an addiction, it was to cheese. No wonder my cholesterol was so high! But I just let it all go overnight and never looked back. I just wanted to prove to my doctor that I could resolve my bad cholesterol numbers with a change in my diet without having to take those damn pills – she was skeptical that it was possible, by the way.

What about the hardest thing? You might be surprised that it has nothing to do with what was or wasn’t going into my mouth. The hardest thing for me was actually to tell people that I was (whisper this now) “a vegan”. It felt like it was harder to do than coming out of the closet had been all those years ago! It certainly felt like a “coming out” experience. Perhaps it was memories of how I had reacted to friends in the past myself when they adopted plant-based diets. I recall telling a friend just a couple of years ago when he told me he had “gone vegan” that he was committing “social suicide” and that he needed more friends, not less friends! Ouch! But actually there is some truth in that expression I coined: “social suicide”. Many friends and family will find it hard to understand and support you in adopting a plant-based diet. Even though you tell them you are doing it for your health and to resolve health issues! But do not let it hold you back or stop you! You are doing it for yourself and your health.

So those were the two most surprising things from a year ago when I went gang-busters on the WFPB lifestyle. One year later I feel great, have completely resolved the issue with high cholesterol. And I now weigh what I weighed in my early twenties, and that was over 30 years ago!

How about you? If you are contemplating changing your diet to a plant-based diet, are thoughts of not being able to give up favorite animal foods holding you back? Or is the fear of what people will think getting in the way? If you are someone who has already adopted a plant-based diet, what were the easiest and hardest things when you made the change?

Let food be thy medicine. --John

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