For years, I suffered from chronic fatigue. The exhaustion was so severe that it interfered with my life. My physicians ran blood work, and my thyroid levels were considered to be in the normal range. They attributed my fatigue to my lifestyle—I have a busy schedule as a veterinarian and an entrepreneur—but I knew that how I was feeling was not normal. I also had joint pain and brain fog. I did a considerable amount of research on my own and decided I would meet with a functional medicine doctor, who evaluated my thyroid antibodies and found them to be elevated. I was diagnosed with Hashimoto’s disease.

ALIGNING MY DIET WITH MY VALUES

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Master plant-based cooking with forks

COURSE BEGINS OCTOBER 13

Frequently my go-to food was whatever was most convenient, and as a result, my health deteriorated further. I felt that there must be something more than I could do other than to just accept this diagnosis. In 2018, I started diving deep into the ways that nutrition could influence my health. I discovered the benefits of a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle. I read testimonials from people who had reversed diseases by adopting the WFPB way of eating, and I was inspired. Plus, as a veterinarian, I have a lot of compassion for animals, and I realized that eating a standard American diet of meat and dairy didn’t align with my values. I decided to try WFPB for myself. 

The transition wasn’t easy at first, and I especially had trouble sticking to the diet when I was out with friends. But gradually, I strengthened my resolve and became more consistent. My sleep patterns became more regular, and I noticed that I had more energy to exercise. The brain fog diminished, and, when I had blood work done, I found that my thyroid antibodies decreased. 

FAREWELL FATIGUE, HELLO HAPPY & HEALTHY 

I’ve been on this journey for three years now, and I’ve never felt better. I make a point of planning my meals ahead so that I can eat healthfully even on busy workdays. To my surprise, I’ve come to love salads. Before fully committing to this lifestyle, I dreaded eating “just another salad,” but there are so many creative ways to make salads enticing and satisfying.

This way of eating has changed my life. Nutrition is medicine.

Laura Catena with her dog
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