August 15, 2015, two year ago today, I made a decision that changed my life! The decision was to throw all my beliefs about diet and weight loss out the window and eat a high starch, whole food, plant-based diet. I was scared, so scared!!! I’d been obsessed with my weight for the past 25 years, counting every calorie or on some fad diet, exercising like a crazy person, and still not liking how I looked or felt. I’d weigh myself every day just to know how much starvation I was in for that day. This was really no way to live, but if I didn’t live like this, I’d gain weight fast and I really did not want that. So, I put myself through this ridiculous daily torture. A year previous to this plant-based diet, I had switched from a high protein diet to a much healthier diet full of lots of green smoothies, fruits, veggies, nuts, and what I thought were healthy oils. Even on that diet, I was still watching my weight. This felt unfair and really ridiculous. We have a health code at church that says to make grains our staff of life and eat meat only in times of famine, winter, or hunger. I didn’t think I could follow this church diet recommendation without gaining weight so I didn’t try it out. I read a book called The Starch Solution by Dr. John McDougall that said the same thing as my church health code. I was so surprised. When the world was getting off grains and carbs, he was saying to eat them abundantly! He told me in this book that this diet would make me slim, prevent almost all modern diseases, and save the planet from the destruction we causing by producing 70 BILLION animals a year for our consumption. I wanted to believe in my church health code and in Dr. McDougall’s plan of a high starch diet, but was I willing to risk my weight on this experiment?
After reading more, seeing so many testimonials of people living this diet and finding weight loss and good health and also hearing many more doctors who supported this diet for disease prevention, I decided that I was going to do it! On August 15, 2015 I jumped in full throttle. I started living on foods I would not let myself eat in the past like potatoes, rice, whole grain pasta, whole grain breads, corn, sweet potatoes, beans, and legumes. I felt so much more satisfied after eating like this. In the past I’d fill up on veggies, eat some nuts for sustenance, and then consume a bit of dark chocolate to calm my sugar cravings. Now I was eating mostly starches with fruits and veggies on the side. I didn’t crave dessert anymore because my glucose needs were met by all the starches I was eating. What about my weight? Well, it stayed the same for about a few weeks and then it started to drop. Wait, what? I was eating mountains of potatoes and rice! How was this happening??? There are 2 reasons why this was happening. 1) I cut out fats, which are double the calories of starches, so I could eat twice as much for the same calorie count. Also, I learned from Dr. McDougall’s book that our bodies process starches differently than fats and we actually burn 30% of the calories we eat to convert those starches. Really, I could eat around 80% more and still be eating the same calories if I cut out the fats. It’s hard to eat 80% more, but I’ve sure been enjoying the no-portion-controlled eating! 2) Our bodies are designed to live on glucose. We hear that our ancestors lived on animals, but that is not the case. Archeologists have found proof that we have been starch eaters for over 100,000 years! Think of rural China. We know they primarily ate rice and veggies and they were thin, strong, and healthy. It was the same for almost all people around the world. As protein was discovered it became a status thing, then a taste preference, and now a skewed view of health. Our diets turned from homemade soups and breads to burgers, fries, soda, and processed foods. This new S.A.D. (Standard American Diet) has caused an epidemic of disease in our country which can easily be reversed if we would go back to a plant-based diet. I am so grateful that I took this leap of faith two years ago today, really to prevent losing my mind over diet but then finding hidden treasures of health and wellness for myself and the planet I could never have even imagined. I’ve never felt better inside and out and I no longer have a scale in my bathroom because I don’t need one! Hip hip hooray!
I learned so much that I wrote a book about it called 101 Things I Wish I Knew Before I Fed My Children which you can find on Amazon. I love that others are catching onto the truth of what healthy eating really means. My favorite new movie that really helps explain the food confusion out there is What The Health. You can find it on Netflix. Here’s to your health!