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What do a Football Player, Vegetarian and Doctor Have in Common?

People from all walks of life are seeing amazing benefits from similar food changes in their life.

Eating and health issues are loaded with many perceptions.  A few might be: after you are a competitive athlete your muscle turns to fat or, vegetarians are healthy because they don’t eat meat or, the Doctor’s advice is right after all they have been to school for decades or, that illness runs in my family so I will get it, too.

If you use any of these justifications for you questionable health join the group below.  Their commonalities were food myths and they all busted the myths the same way:  education, an open mind to try, and desire to be different.

Read their Success Stories below.  Feel free to share one of your own.

Former College Football player – Matt

FOK.Matt.Stary

I was flipping through Netflix one night and came across an interesting movie titled Forks Over Knives. At this point in my life, I was overweight and out of shape, going like a yo-yo from one “diet” to another. At my heaviest point, I tipped the scales at nearly 360 pounds. … I’m a former college football player who was done playing, but still eating like a defensive lineman. My weight and unhealthy living was affecting every aspect of my life. … What I needed was an overhaul, a complete change. So I adopted the plant-based lifestyle. I gave up alcohol, quit smoking and got my rear end off the couch to exercise.

Now, I am a mid-western boy and come from a family fully immersed in the Western diet. …. That was eight months ago. ….The results have been astounding. I have more energy, feel great and wear the same size pants I did in 8th grade. I’ve lost 100 pounds … My wife has started to eat more plant-based foods as well, with amazing results. …, she has dropped 3 sizes. In addition to the physical health benefits, the lifestyle change has also been great for her confidence and self esteem. Even our children now are reaping the benefits of healthy eating. ….

Matt’s full story

 

Vegetarian – Anna

FOK.Anna.Bolla

At … 11, I came to the realization that I could no longer eat animals. … My poor Nonna (Italian Grandmother) … “You crazy, o what? Why you wanna do dis kinda ting?”  Her attitude soon shifted … it was most important to her that she be able to continue to feed me. Meatless sauces were made “speciale” for me, …(often cooked in butter and olive oil and sprinkled with parmesan). …

I was a vegetarian, … And by avoiding meat, I was helping animals, right? I didn’t want to have a heart attack in my early 40s, like my dad did. I didn’t want to develop Type II diabetes, in my 30’s, like my mom did. I didn’t want to have my breast bone sawed in half for a bypass surgery, like my maternal grandfather … I wanted to be different!

How healthy was I as a vegetarian? …. at age 21, and at 5’2″ I weighed more than 190 lbs. …, in my early 30s, was at least 210 lbs. …

Fortunately, my story takes a positive turn. …, I went 100% vegan, cold turkey! I had watched the film Forks Over Knives, and the science behind The China Study opened my eyes. Shortly thereafter I watched the documentary Earthlings, and it was a done deal. ….

…. Going vegan has completely changed my life for the better! … I’ve easily lost more than 65 pounds, and I’m physically stronger and faster than I have ever been in my life. … and I frankly run circles around a lot of folks half my age. …. I’m enjoying an active, happy life fueled by a 100% vegan, plant-based diet. ….

Anna full Story

 

Family Physician – Steve

FOK.Steve.LawendaAs a family medicine physician, I treat patients … for conditions related to poor nutrition and obesity: diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, acid reflux, sleep apnea, arthritis, and low back pain, … Yet not so long ago, I too was careening down the very same path to health destruction. I have struggled with my weight my entire life, especially since graduating high school. I’m 6’2″ and weighed up to 255 lbs. at my peak, which technically qualified me as obese.

I was especially worried about diabetes, heart disease, and obesity, all of which run rampant in my family. … I assumed and feared I was destined for a life of obesity and its complications.

Unfortunately, with all of my extensive scientific and medical training and education, I was taught very little about nutrition and wellness. I had one class on nutrition, but it didn’t prepare me …. unfortunately typical for most physicians.

… I knew only two strategies: eating less and/or exercising more. Eating less (aka calorie counting or portion control) repeatedly failed me, leaving me hungry and craving more of my favorite foods. My weight yo-yoed up and down, … calorie-restricted diets fail 95% of the time, and my patients and I only proved that point.

After many years of sporadic weight fluctuation, I gradually gave up …. Never once did I imagine that something as simple as changing what I ate, instead of how much I ate, could change my life in such profound ways.

I first learned about the science and logic of a whole-foods, plant-based diet from the book Eat to Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. Soon after reading it, I watched the inspirational Forks Over Knives documentary and later read books from Drs. Caldwell Esselstyn (Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease), T. Colin Campbell (The China Study), and John McDougall (The Starch Solution).

I found the concept (whole, natural plant foods, no portion control) so very logical and appealing that I challenged myself to give it my best shot. This was the first time I had heard of a strategy to lose weight by eating MORE of something (whole plant foods), not less, and where portion control and calorie counting were … unnecessary, …

…. I lost 75 pounds with relative ease over eight months and have maintained this loss for over a year and a half. … I now realize that I wasn’t a failure; the food I was eating failed me.

… I loved my old comfort foods and didn’t think I liked vegetables. … many of my favorite cuisines, namely Italian, Mexican, Chinese, and Thai, had many delicious plant-based dishes. ….

In the end, with an open mind, a bit of patience, and a willingness to try some new things, I found myself very satisfied and able to enjoy delicious food without feeling deprived….

…. With my eyes opened to these new possibilities, I feel a renewed sense of optimism for my chosen profession … it’s an exciting time to be a doctor!

Steve’s full Story

For more Success Stories go to Forks Over Knives

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