I never had a weight problem until I turned 20 and put on a few extra pounds. I then dieted for the next 33 years of my life. I was on the cabbage diet, celery diet, boiled egg diet, toast diet, SlimFast diet, and many others through the years. I mostly just starved myself.
In 2010, I was diagnosed with high blood pressure and high cholesterol. My cardiologist put me on high blood pressure medicine, which I hated. I worked out harder, quit smoking, and was able to get off the medicine in one year. For the next five years, I worked out with a personal trainer and followed the recommended “heart healthy” diet.
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In 2015, I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes. I was totally bummed. My numbers were off the charts (in a bad way) and my eyesight was blurry. I hadn’t had much success with the “heart healthy” diet and now had to combine it with the “diabetic diet,” which I found very limiting and frustrating. I started taking Metformin, which is a diabetes medication. Before she passed, my mother had been on Metformin, followed the “diabetic diet,” and still had to shoot up with insulin everyday for 30 years. I didn’t want to live that way.
Feeling discouraged and defeated, I ran across the Forks Over Knives documentary. Knowing I had nothing to lose, I watched it. I’m so glad, because it changed my life forever. Finally, I felt like I had found all the answers to my health issues. Watching it was like seeing a long lost friend and being wrapped in a great, big hug—it was familiar, hopeful, and long overdue.
In Six Weeks, My Blood Glucose Dropped 282 Points
The next day I cleaned out my kitchen and started learning new recipes. I grew up on Southern cooking, so I had to learn to adjust recipes to suit my palate. Within six weeks of going plant-based, I lost 15 pounds and went down two dress sizes. The best news? My blood glucose went from 382 to 100 and my A1C went from 15.6 to 5.9. (The A1C test is a 3-month average of blood sugar levels; the current A1C range for a non-diabetic is between 4 and 5.7.) In six weeks!
When I went back to my doctor, she was impressed. When I told her I was not on the recommended diabetes or heart-healthy diets, she told me that my lab work spoke for itself and to keep doing what I was doing.
I now feel both physically and mentally better than I have in 30 years. I feel like I “wrecked” my body with years of dieting and poor eating, and am now taking the steps to putting it back together. I have a new perspective on life and am always excited to discover new recipes and foods to try.
I make and eat easy granola almost every morning with almond milk and fruit. I love bean and veggie chilies, and often top baked potatoes with chili. I also like hearty soups, and make them often in my slow cooker. My all-time favorite quick frozen dessert is frozen mango, blueberries blended with almond milk, some cocoa powder, and ground flaxseeds. It takes care of ice cream and chocolate cravings at the same time!