Oh my, just thinking of switching my diet over to healthy food was giving me a migraine on top of the one I already had. I kept thinking, I am not sure I can actually do this! I love my junk, my salt, my fats, my sweets, my dairy and especially my meats! I wasn’t sure if our new healthy lifestyle change could actually happen!
Since having surgery in November, I had been going back and forth to the doctor a lot. On my way home one day, I decided to call my sister-in-law, Cheryl, to see how her blog was coming along. During our conversation, she suggested that I watch the documentary, “Forks over Knives,” paying special attention to the scientific parts of the film. I told her that I would watch it that night, which didn’t happen. In fact, it was a couple more days before I was ready to sit down and do what Cheryl had asked me to do, which was watch with an open mind. I know now there was a part of me that just didn’t want to think about eating healthy or have to face seeing what I needed to see.
So, as I laid in bed a few nights later with my laptop right next to me, I streamed “Forks over Knives” on Netflix ®. And then I watched another documentary: “Engine 2 Diet,” and then another one: “Forks over Knives, the Extended Interviews,” then, “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead,” and, “Hungry for Change“—I couldn’t get enough! I told my boyfriend, Larry, “You have to watch these documentaries with me!” He wasn’t interested at all, but I wasn’t about to give up. Excitedly sharing things I was learning, I finally convinced him to sit with me and we watched one eye-opening food documentary after another: “Vegucated,” “Food.Inc,” “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead 2,” and “GMO, OMG.” Then my college aged daughter, Halie, and her boyfriend, Ricardo, began watching with us. We were hooked!! This information made so much sense and is what changed our mind about what we put into our bodies!
Now back to how I was feeling before I watched these groundbreaking films. I have said that I wanted to change my eating habits but I really did not do anything about it. I’ve been eating junk foods all my life. Meat, dairy, cheese, chips, cookies, candy, my favorite butter cream frosting, and the list goes on and on. On top of it all, I was hooked on diet soda, drinking up to 8 cans a day! I have tried many “diets” over my lifetime and then, as they say, gained more weight back than I had lost. So having so many fears of failure, not succeeding was a major concern of mine. I was worried about whether I could learn to like real, whole, unprocessed foods, especially all of those “weird” vegetables I was sure I couldn’t stand.
Can I do this? No, probably not. Another “diet” that will only be temporary and then back to my old habits. Well, after watching those documentaries I mentioned above, and then having my family watch and sharing their reactions, I knew this time something was different. For one, we each decided that we will never eat another animal again. “Nothing with eyes,” my friend Kim always says when referring to her way of eating.
So this life change was about to happen and so was Valentine’s Day. Oh, I couldn’t have that! I was getting See’s® Candy from my boyfriend and how I DO LOVE See’s® Candy! We had a one pound box to eat (that is all I would let him buy) and we ate it fast. We decided that on Monday, February 16, 2015, we were starting our new way of eating.
The same day we got our box of candy, we also bought quite of bit of healthy stuff from the local grocery store with our start date in mind. This was going to happen! It’s not like I didn’t have some fruits and vegetables already, it’s just that now produce is practically all I had! I even started trying the veggies that I thought I did not like and found they are not so bad after all!
Monday came and it was on. Our new way of life was beginning, and we were doing it together. And then my daughter Nikki (who is in the U.S. Navy, and a crossfit fanatic, who kept trying to get me to change the way I ate) also committed to joining us for this lifestyle change! This was awesome; everyone was on board!!!
We decided to head to a few places where we could buy vegan and organic foods. Basically, we were going to eat a whole foods, plant-based diet. As we were driving the 45 miles to the store, we were all very excited about all the foods we would find and what we were going to make, juice, and eat. Someone in the car even mentioned that, with the excitement we were all feeling, it was like “going to Disneyland.” We found a great store and we bought so many different fruits and vegetables. With all the healthy stuff they had, I felt lost! I was told by my friend Candy to make sure to buy the nutritional yeast! Nutritional yeast? I did not even know what it was, let alone what it even looked like! I did manage to find it though. :)
We came home with all of our healthy whole foods, and to make room, we started getting rid of a lot of our processed food and drinks that we would no longer be consuming!
We cleaned out all of our diet sodas, regular sodas and canned drinks, chips, crackers, cookies, candy, sugary cereal for starters. Since most of the stuff was brand new, it was too hard to just throw the food away so Ricardo took it to his family. A part of me could not believe I was actually getting rid of all this food. Then I realized that it is not what we are going to be eating anymore and Ricardo’s dad was in between jobs, so who better to benefit from all of this food?! They were so grateful!
This is all the stuff we gave away during the third time cleaning out our cupboards. Mostly my baking products, along with a bunch of other goodies. I gave some to my mom, my dearest friend Darla and again to Ricardo’s family. I still have my freezers to go through, three of them, and they are loaded with all kinds of meats! Meats of every kind. Yikes!
I did buy some healthy baking supplies that do not contain processed ingredients. So it’s going to be fun baking our first vegan/whole foods, plant-based dessert! I’m excited to see what I come up with.
So over the past three weeks, we have all felt better, lost weight (over 60 lbs between the 4 of us), and for me, got off diet soda!! Something I NEVER thought I
would could do!
I know some people will think we are crazy to switch to a whole foods, plant-based diet, and at first we thought we were too! But we are excited for this change and embrace it wholeheartedly! Everyday we realize just how much junk and processed foods we used to eat, and how much money we spent on fast foods alone! Yep, crazy!
Now for my blog…. This new way of eating, and cooking, is something that will take my blog in a new direction. My main focus will be on creating healthy plant-based recipes for all of you to enjoy, along with my family!
And so the journey begins…
Editor: Cheryl Boyles