In my last blog, I shared the wonderful results that have happened to me since switching to a whole food plant-based diet. One year ago, my doctor encouraged me to eat plant-based and to start walking regularly. So, I decided to do what he suggested for my health.
My blood pressure is normal now and I’m off blood pressure meds. My cholesterol is in the normal range after years of high cholesterol and my medication has been decreased by 75%. I’ve lost 40 pounds and feel so much better. I’ve made a lot of changes over the past year, but it didn’t happen overnight. I had to take small steps to move me in the right direction.
Here are a few of my first steps:
I Had to Take Responsibility of my Own Health.
I realize that I can’t control everything about my health, but there are many diseases that are caused by poor eating habits and lack of exercise. I decided not to make anymore excuses and do all I could to prevent these diseases. I had to research like crazy. Since my doctor recommended a whole food plant-based diet, I had to read books, watch documentaries and videos, and search the internet for information on this new way of eating.
No one is going to do this part for you. Many doctors find it easier to hand their patients a precription than talk with them about how to change their lifestyle & the benefits from doing so. I'm glad my doctor took the time to talk with me about lifestyle change in a very specific way.
I Had to Learn to Cook.
I never felt that I was a good cook. I was afraid to try new recipes. I knew I needed to learn to cook in order to make this way of eating a lifestyle change. I decided to take the Forks Over Knives cooking course. It was a little pricey, but worth every penny. There were instructional videos and loads of recipes. It was a legit culinary course. I learned so much and my confidence has increased dramatically. Now, I’m not afraid to try any recipe. If it turns out gross, I don’t make it again. If it turns out tasty, I make a note on the recipe. If I start to get a little bored with my food, I start trying new recipes. The plant-based recipes are never ending. You just have to look for them.
It Was Imperative That I Make my Kitchen Plant-Based Friendly.
This was a must. At first, it was a little costly, because I had to purchase several condiments and spices. But once I was well stocked with these items, my grocery purchases consist mostly of whole grains, beans, fruits, veggies, nuts, and plant milk. Occasionally, I purchase tofu or other soy products. I keep my kitchen well stocked all the time. When the brown rice is running low, I get more. When the greens are getting low, I get more. When the oats or nuts are running low, I get more. That way, I can pick just about any recipe and I will already have the ingredients for it.
Some say produce is so costly. All groceries are so costly these days. We used to eat out about 3 times a week. Now we eat out about 3 times a month. Cooking at home saves money that you can spend on healthy grocery items.
My husband does not eat the way I do. I’m hoping one day he will. We still share some of the same meals. If I fix a fresh garden plate with green beans, potatoes, tomato slices, corn on the cob and melon, he loves that. He also loves beans and rice. He purchases some items at the grocery store for just himself, like frozen fries (he cooks them in the air fryer), other frozen foods, granola bars and sweet items that he wants. Sometimes, I’ll fix him a hamburger and fix me a veggie burger. We make our eating differences work. Even though he eats animal products, he is very supportive of me and the way I eat. I’m thankful.
Maybe you don’t want to give up all animal products, but you do want to include more veggies. I still recommend you stock your kitchen with healthy foods, learn to cook healthy foods (in a healthy way) and mostly, take responsibility for your own health.
Do the research. Make the necessary changes. No one is going to do it for you. Start with tiny steps moving in the right direction.
Some people say to me, “I’d rather die than give up animal products like meat, butter, icecream, and cheese”. My response is, “I’m not trying to prevent dying. I’m trying to prevent a poor quality of life due to my poor quality of eating”.