The Journey Begins . . .
Welcome to Spinach & Apples. This is my first blog post after adopting a plant-based diet on October 1, 2011. My goal is to spread the word.
What is a plant-based diet? Read my story and you will see.
Here is the short version:
In late August 2011, my brother in Tucson underwent open heart surgery. One evening after his surgery, when I was staying overnight at the hospital, he said there was a special on CNN that he wanted to see: it was about heart attacks. We tuned in and watched, “The Last Heart Attack,” with Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Featured on the program was Bill Clinton, discussing his own heart condition, where he had been and where he was today. The program addressed new diagnostic techniques and a way of eating that they said could virtually eliminate heart attacks, if adopted by the general populace. Clinton had made this diet change — he had adopted a 100% plant-based diet and said he never felt better, and “I like what I eat now.” Asked if he was vegan, he said, “If that means I don’t eat meat, then yes.”
The diet: no meat, no cheese, no eggs, no dairy, no oil — not even olive oil.
What’s that you say, no dairy! I am a milk-drinking girl, how could I possibly go vegetarian with no dairy. But the evidence was there, and I took note of the doctors appearing on the program. At the beginning, I really thought the value of the program was the new diagnostic techniques, and that was the way I pitched it to my kids, sending out an e-mail, telling everyone it was a must-see.
One of my sons, who had pretty much sworn that nothing green would ever pass his lips, was a meat-eater par excellence: a Brazilian steakhouse his favorite place in the world to eat. And then . . . as fate would have it, while out of town on business, he had been doing some thinking of his own. I’m not sure how he found them, but on Netflix, he watched two documentaries: “Forks Over Knives ” and “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead.” As a result, he started dropping by Whole Foods for a green juice and salad to take back to his hotel.
After watching these documentaries I went out and bought the books, “The China Study,” by T. Colin Caldwell, and “Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease,” by Caldwell B. Esselstyn. During this time, I continued my milk and cookies habit, although I couldn’t pour a glass of milk without considering the research. In late September, almost one month to the day since my brother’s heart surgery, I decided to make the change and set my start date for October 1st.
Here I am three months later, still going plant-strong, down 15 pounds, with a blood cholesterol level of 156 (down from 165 and a high of 196), and a target of 150 or less. And like ripples in a stream, members of my family are eagerly joining in, buying vegan cookbooks, trying new recipes, experimenting with new products, all of which I will report on in later blog posts. My ultimate goal is simply, good health — more than a diet, it’s a lifestyle. My goal for the blog is to share the miracle of feeling good and looking good and taking control of your life. Whether your goal is to lose weight, to prevent or reverse a health condition, or simply to help your family eat better, this blog is for you. We hope you will journey along.