Everyone has a story, here’s mine!
In 1997, I saw a very prominent doctor, who specialized in Weight Management. He told me the following: “It would take herculean efforts for me to ever lose weight and to maintain that weight loss.” Well, needless to say, his comments affected me mentally, physically and emotionally.
Since my late 20’s I was on every diet imaginable. I always lost weight, but quickly gained it back, and then some. It seems like I was always on some kind of diet.
In my late 40’s I reached my highest weight of nearly 240lbs and I started to really feel bad about myself. I didn’t even recognize myself anymore. I was pre-diabetic, my cholesterol was over 400 and my triglycerides were over 700.
When I turned 50 I had back surgery, and the doctor told me that if I wanted my back to truly heal, I would need to take the weight off. I thought I was eating healthy as I was already vegan, but I was the classic junk food Vegan. After all, French fries, potato chips and diet coke are vegan, right? I was also over-eating on nuts and dried fruits.
They say that when the student is ready, the teacher will appear! And that was so true for me. I was truly sick and tired of being sick and tired. I had hit rock bottom, and I didn’t want to continue living like this anymore. Something had to change. One day, while visiting my mom, I noticed she was watching a PBS special with Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I did not know who he was, but I was intrigued as to what he was saying. Everything he said made sense to me and I wanted to hear more. I started to google him and discovered he was having a week-long retreat in Utah. So I signed up my mom and myself, not really knowing what the program was about. But my gut feeling was that I was on the right track and the ripple effect that was about to happen. That was June of 2011.
We met some wonderful people and really enjoyed our trip. Even though we had spent a week learning about plant based eating, I still didn’t really know how to apply everything once I came home. But I knew in my heart that I had stumbled upon something great and it was going to be life changing. As we were heading back to the airport, my mom asked the person sitting next to her, if she knew of other events similar to the one we were just at. She said there was an event called Healthy Lifestyle Expo, which was close to my office at the time. So, I immediately signed up again and it was there that I heard about Chef AJ and that she happened to be teaching at Whole Foods near my mom’s home. So off we went.
By this point, I was on a mission, and nothing was going to stop me. When I met Chef AJ, I knew in my heart I had found someone who could help me. I loved her energy and her food tasted great. She also happened to be producing an event called Healthy Taste of LA, where her special guest speaker was Dr. Colin Campbell, the author of the China Study. So it was at this event that I met the second person who would become my mentor and friend and who would also impact my life tremendously. His name is John Pierre, better known as JP who would change my life forever. I was now going to work with the dynamic duo, chef AJ and JP. I was super excited!!
For years I was told I could not eat bananas, rice, potatoes, beans, mangos etc. And now I was being told to go right ahead and carb up! Eat till I’m satisfied?? I didn’t have to weigh and measure any of my food! I would be crazy not to try to eat this way. I was finally beginning to understand that I can’t out exercise a bad diet. Diet trumps everything!! As Dr. Klaper says…..”It’s the food, it’s always been the food!!”
what I noticed about eating this way was that my weight was moving downward and that I had never felt better. I was never hungry and I had lots of energy. I was very determined and had laser beam focus. I wanted to be healthy more than anything else. Nothing and no one was going to get in my way. I did everything Chef AJ and JP told me to do. I worked their program the way they said to do it, not my version of what the program should be. Nothing was going to stop me.
For one year, I totally immersed myself in eating a whole food plant-based diet. I took every class, went to every lecture, every conference that was being offered as I wanted to learn everything. I also went to the Mc Dougall 10-day program and I have been going to True North Health Center every year and there’s always something more to learn.
Eating a whole food plant-based diet has truly become a lifestyle. Since adopting this way of eating on January 12, 2012, I have never looked back. I still have that same laser beam focus and determination. It’s now been over eight years since I started my journey on becoming healthy and have never felt better. I am completely off all medications, I have lost 115lbs, and have gone from a size 1x to a size 4! I have never felt better and happier in my life.
Freedom has never tasted so good!! I have my health and life back! Thank you Chef AJ and John Pierre for everything! I truly believe that we can all have the health and body that we all deserve.
Since having lost all my weight, I have received my certification from Dr. Mc Dougall’s starch solution program. I am now teaching plant based cooking classes, doing webinars and also doing private coaching.
I want to be able to help others achieve success eating a Whole Food Plant-Based Diet. You can follow me on Youtube/Instagram/Facebook.
Let’s do this….
One bite at a time, one meal at a time!! Thank you for reading my story and for your support! I appreciate it so much!