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Meet our Herbie of the Week: Kate B!
While many of our Herbies of the Week talk about weight-loss, Kate is a perfect example of how a plant-based diet can do so many amazing things for your health.
After working as a nurse for a decade and seeing the decline in health of her patients, Kate knew a plant-based diet was the way to go.
Today she's off her medications for anxiety and depression, her migraines are gone and feels much better about her healthy self!
Here's Kate's story in her own words...
I have been a nurse for almost 10 years and have noticed a drastic decline in the health of the patients I take care of. This really concerns me because the patients I care for are in an outpatient surgery center, and they are supposed to be healthy! I have noticed an increase of obesity, diabetes, patients with histories of heart disease and cancer, this increase really got me thinking and asking questions. Almost three years ago I started investigating, doing research and watching documentaries, specifically "Forks Over Knives" and The China Study. After reading and seeing this, I was convinced, I needed to go plant-based for my health.
Four years ago I went through a very hard time in my life and lost a lot of weight because of stress and anxiety. Even though it was too much weight, I felt okay with it and I didn’t think I was too thin (I was!), so I became very careful about how much I ate. I was not eating a healthy diet at all and I did not feel well. I didn’t feel good about myself, my energy was low, and I was constantly getting migraines at least a couple times a week. I was on medication for my migraines, I had been on depression, anxiety and insomnia meds for years. I was not happy. When I heard about all the great results from the plant-based diet, I felt like it was time for me to make a change in my life and I was excited about it!
In February 2012 I went plant-based, and I will never go back! Since I have gone plant-based, I am off my migraine medication. Going from 2-3 headaches a week to ZERO, I don’t know why I did not do this before! I am also off medications for depression and anxiety. The only medication I take now is a vitamin B supplement! I also feel so much better about myself -- I know that I eat great and am healthy! I don’t feel the constant need to step on a scale. I know that what I am putting in my body is whole, from the earth and healthy, so there is no need to worry about what the number says. I have noticed many other benefits from being plant-based: I have SO much more energy and I don’t get tired during the day. I have the motivation to work out because I am not exhausted and have the energy to do it and keep going… I don’t want to quit after 5 minutes! I ran 3 miles in under 25 minutes, which I have NEVER been able to do. Another benefit is that I don’t have trouble sleeping anymore. I would take ambien every night to fall asleep. I don’t need it anymore (except for my trips to Honduras, when the dogs and roosters keep me up all night)! I feel better than ever, and would never want to go back to how I was living before.
I did not find it too hard of a transition; I did not eat a lot of meat anyway so that part was easy. It was hard to give up dairy, specifically cheese! I would get cravings for pizza, cheese, peanut M&Ms, but after a couple of months those cravings went away. Instead, I began craving healthy, whole foods! Now, the thought of pizza and candy makes my stomach turn. It took some getting used to, how to order in restaurants, reading labels, finding alternatives or bringing my own snacks when I went out or to a friend’s house, but it is so much easier now. I think that the hardest part is still going out to eat but thankfully, more and more restaurants are putting plant-based/vegan options on their menus. I have always loved to cook and bake, but definitely more now. I love the challenges of finding alternatives in recipes to make them plant-based; making healthy, delicious meals! One of my favorite things is making plant-based meals for people who aren’t plant-based. I make plant-based meals for my boyfriend quite often, and I love how much he enjoys it, he doesn’t need meat, sugars, and processed foods to make an awesome meal! It’s so great to see people notice that.
I have become very passionate about being plant-based and I love talking to people about it. I get some criticism from my family, but overall most people say they don’t have that kind of discipline or couldn’t do it. I disagree though; I think anyone could, especially after noticing the benefits! A year ago, after talking to my brother and sister-in-law and doing their own research, they became plant-based! I was so excited for them, and they too have noticed the wonderful benefits of being plant-based. I asked my sister-in-law a couple weeks ago if she would ever go back, and she said no way! Now if only I could get the rest of my family and friends to change their lifestyle… we would all have a very long, healthy life together!
Thanks Kate for sharing your story with us!