The Transition

Transitioning to a whole food plant based diet was surprisingly easy for me. Once I made up my mind to do it; I was all in. The hard part was figuring out how to shop and cook this plant based way. Fortunately for me, the ladies who hosted the potluck (discussed in last week’s post) also had cooking classes for newbies! Their business is called Wholistic Kitchens https://wholistickitchens.com/  At the time it was a 4 class program that focused on a different food group each week. For example, during oil week we learned why and how to eliminate oil, find oil substitutes and how to cook without it. Milk week was learning how to make our own nut milks and taste tested many of the brands and different types found in grocery stores. Of course, we left each class stuffed from testing all the various recipes. I don’t remember the 3rd week but I do remember that the 4th week was learning how to WFPB grocery shop. The class met at a local grocery store and as we shopped we were learning to read labels, where to find tofu, nutritional yeast and miso!

At the same time, I was also educating myself through videos, such as “Forks Over Knives” http://www.forksoverknives.com/. That video really summed it up in a nutshell why I decided to change my diet for life. I was also reading “The China Study” by T. Colin Campbell http://www.amazon.com/China-Study-Comprehensive-Nutrition-Implications/dp/1932100660 and “The Starch Solution” by Dr. John McDougall https://www.drmcdougall.com/health/shopping/books/starch-solution/    The more I learned the more I was convinced this was the best decision for my health.

In the first few months of eating this way, I noticed that I was losing weight without even trying. It was amazing. No weighing or measuring anything! I really didn’t do this to lose weight as I had been at my goal weight since 2008 but if I lost a few pounds I wouldn’t complain.  Other changes I noticed pretty quickly after changing my diet were: body odor had almost disappeared, I had more energy and I was no longer overeating junk food and then obsessing over it.  The biggest concrete change was that my total cholesterol went down. The year prior I was tested at 220 and after 6 six weeks of this new way of eating I retested and came in at 175! I finally passed a test without studying!!

 

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The Beginning

Today I have decided to begin my journey of blending my two passions. Passion one is education. I am a 5th grade Dual Language ESL reading and science teacher. I love my job. I give it my time, love and commitment.

Passion number two began in 2014 when I went to a whole food plant based (WFPB) potluck with a group of people in my community that I found on Facebook. I wasn’t sure what plant based meant but I quickly learned it meant no animal or dairy products, no oils, salt and sugar. What I discovered was the food was amazing and tasty. I came home and cleaned out the pantry, refrigerator and freezer! I decided then and there to eliminate all animal and dairy products and I am still on my journey to eliminate added oils, salt and sugar.

Two years later, I am off two medications, lost a few pounds, and I feel wonderful! Through all this I have come to believe that eating this way not only promotes healthy living but it is also better for our planet and it is compassionate towards animals.

As I ponder my future in education I can’t deny my perspective has changed since I eliminated animal products from my diet and went WFPB. I no longer see myself as a teacher in the public schools five years from now. Instead, I see myself working in some capacity helping and teaching other people the benefits and rewards of living a WFPB lifestyle.

At one time I only read books on teaching and now I mostly read books on WFPB topics. I am currently reading “Proteinaholic” by Dr. Garth Davis  http://proteinaholic.com/. It is an excellent read because it makes “the why” of eating plant based understandable, very detailed in the science and research that supports this way of eating and it does have a touch of humor! I also listen to podcasts when driving to work, my current favorite is Easy Vegan by JL Fields  http://jlgoesvegan.com/about/easy-vegan-radio-show/  I love her soft and soothing voice, her questions are what I am wondering and she has great guests.

I am not sure where this blog or adventure will lead me but I will post ideas and updates along the way. Let the adventure begin!!!!