My dad's dad died of a heart attack and my dad had high cholesterol despite being an ironman triathlete and eating a "heart healthy" diet. He couldn't tolerate statins, so he started looking into alternatives and found the potential for diet modification to prevent heart disease compelling.
I read the research and thought it was surprisingly strong and consistent despite the confusion that seemed to surround what a "healthy" diet was among my college professors of nutrition. I also pondered the teachings of my church which have been recommending limiting meat (to times of winter or famine) and eating "every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof" since 1833.
My husband and I took the plunge and committed to a plant-based diet for 6 weeks. This was back in 2006.
THE LONG HAUL
We've stuck with this way of eating (~90% plant-based) for over a decade now, through pregnancies, different jobs, marathons, cross-country moves, and more. Why? My top two reasons are probably:
- I feel better. I have more energy throughout the day and experience drastically less post-meal sluggishness.
- I feel empowered. So many people are confronting cancer, heart-disease, obesity, diabetes; I'm convinced that eating more plants and fewer animal products is something I can do to avoid some of these problems.
An unexpected bonus is how much more I enjoy food now! Changing my diet forced me to pay attention to what I was eating and seek out the yummiest plant-based food I could find. My kids have come along for the ride, which I feel good about considering the toxic food culture they're surrounded by.