When my husband, Justin Greener, was diagnosed with thyroid cancer three years ago, it was a wake-up call for our family to reevaluate our lifestyle and diet. We suffered from many illnesses related to the Standard American Diet, like morbid obesity, sleep apnea, chronic pain, eczema, and migraines.
After Justin’s successful thyroid removal and radiation treatment, we began our plant-based journey. Justin did a juice cleanse and then transitioned first to a plant-based diet. The kids and I were slower to transition but started by cutting out all processed food.
For me, this was the most difficult part. I don’t mind cooking, but finding dishes that were easy to fix and tasted good was a challenge. But one by one, we cut out dairy, oil, and meat from our diet. After that, we began to incorporate more whole foods and plants into our meals. The last part of the transition was our kids’ lunches at school. The total transition took three months.
I couldn’t believe the difference in how I began to feel. Within a year of eating plant-based, ailments I had struggled with for years began to lessen significantly or even fully disappear like my chronic migraines, skin problems, low energy, and painful menstrual cramps (from my endometriosis).
In total, I lost 100 pounds while my husband Justin lost around 200 pounds. He also saw a significant improvement in his overall health and no longer suffers from back pain or sleep apnea.
But we also noticed changes in the health of our two kids, Hannah and Hayden. Not only did our kids’ concentration and grades improve, their moods became more level, Hannah’ s acne cleared up, Hayden’s eczema healed, and Hannah lost around 15 pounds, while Hayden lost 20 pounds. For snacks we can take with us, we love air-popped popcorn with nutritional yeast, and homemade granola and kale chips.
We love how our family spends more time together now. We’ve become more active and do more activities together. We even started having family movie nights together to watch documentaries about plant-based lifestyles like Forks Over Knives, Food Inc., and Vegucated. Ever since we switched to plant-based, every year has been more rewarding than the last with more physical activity, family adventures, and improved quality of foods in our diet.