Monika Kurasiewicz had resigned herself to a life of weight gain and health problems. Then she adopted a plant-based diet and unleashed her full potential.
I started my whole-food, plant-based journey in September 2016, when I went to Poland to visit my sister. She was already on the plant-based diet herself, and her husband introduced me to the book How Not to Die by Michael Greger, MD. At that point I was 35 years old and 165 pounds. My mom and my dad are overweight, and both have high blood pressure and diabetes. So I was on my way down a path that I thought I couldn’t change.
With weekly meal plans, Forks Meal Planner takes the hard work out of making nutritious meals the whole family will enjoy.
But after leaving my sister’s and coming back home to the United States, I decided to try a detox cleanse. After completing it I felt much better—no more sugar cravings or heartburn—and I figured that if I could do a strict detox for two weeks, I could do anything. I had seen the Forks Over Knives documentary; I started digging further and stumbled upon Forks Meal Planner and Forks Over Knives cookbooks. I committed to making the change. I went 100-percent whole-food, plant-based.
The hardest parts were getting over cravings for comfort foods, such as burgers and other fatty foods, and transitioning to no-oil cooking. But I learned new recipes and gradually it got easier. My favorite meals became stir-fried vegetables and tofu; chickpea-flour tortillas with veggies; and soups and stews with zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and beans.
I did not see a big change in my weight at first, but after one year, I’d dropped over 30 pounds. I now weigh 123 pounds, and I have never felt better—not just physically but mentally and emotionally, as well.
The year proved to be the most challenging and rewarding of my life. I believe the diet helped me rediscover myself and find my inner strength and light again. I got out of an emotionally abusive marriage with a man who turned out to not be the person I thought I married. I started hiking with my dog. I hiked a glacier in Alaska, and I even hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back, carrying a 35-pound pack. I got my scuba-diving certificate. I became an independent, strong, and beautiful woman, a good example to my two beautiful boys.
Now I know that we are not destined to our parents’ diseases and bad diet choices. We can change by changing our eating habits, one day at a time. It’s as simple as that. You really are what you eat.
After all this, sometimes I still find it difficult to talk with people about my transition to a plant-based diet. People almost react like I’m offending them, and they ask a lot of questions: “What about protein?” “Don’t you need milk to get calcium?” etc. Usually, I just tell them to watch the Forks Over Knives documentary, since it was life-changing for me.
Thank you, Forks Over Knives, for opening my eyes to my new life!
Ready to get started? Check out Forks Meal Planner, FOK’s easy weekly meal-planning tool to keep you on a healthy plant-based path.