As a child, I was diagnosed with a chronic autoimmune liver disease. Doctors told me that I would probably not live past the age of 10, and would certainly not live longer than 20 years. They told my parents to begin preparing for my funeral. I was so sick that I was even gifted a wish from the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
I somehow survived through my childhood and early adulthood. In my early thirties, my autoimmune liver disease progressed to cirrhosis. Besides this new diagnosis and disease, the harsh steroids I had to take and my poor eating habits had left me battling my weight for a good portion of my adult life. At this point, I weighed 245 pounds and couldn’t walk half a block without having a severe asthma attack. I became desperate and driven to save my life.
Our gorgeous “bookazine” features 100 pages of expert tips, inspiring success stories, and 77 satisfying recipes for fresh summer meals.
My father watched Forks Over Knives one afternoon and urged me to watch it too. I watched the documentary and absorbed the message. I jumped into learning the science behind food and health, and started reading, researching, and watching other documentaries and wellness videos on YouTube.
I found a naturopathic doctor to help me, and after switching to a plant-based diet, I lost about 120 pounds over the course of two years. My main priority had been to lower inflammation in my liver and the rest of my body, and I succeeded! I lowered my inflammation markers to nearly normal levels. The weight loss was a very happy side effect, and it was great to feel full of energy and good health.
I used to regularly overeat and indulged especially in dairy products like ice cream and cheesecake, which meant I also frequently felt tired and sick. Now that I’ve kicked those habits, I’ve never felt better. I am mindful of what I do and eat, and take care to enjoy the food that gives me good health. I especially love soups now, especially in winter, since they’re so hearty, warm, and comforting.
I was featured in People magazine’s annual “Half Their Size” issue for 2016, and I’m so honored and happy that my story might help other people. I would not be standing here today, alive, if it weren’t for the knowledge and insight that was shared through Forks Over Knives. Thank you!