Meet our Herbies of the Week: Alexis & John!
After a friend shared how she lowered her cholesterol without any medication, Alexis and her husband went plant-based cold tofu!
Since making the switch five years ago, they not only lowered their cholesterol (both of their numbers are perfect), they are also healthy AND taking care of themselves!
Here's Alexis & John's story in their own words...
Five years ago, a friend of mine came to visit and she looked the healthiest she has in years! She completely changed her cholesterol levels without using any medication. She spent a few weeks with us and taught us to literally cook in healthier and delicious ways. We began to read, watch "Forks Over Knives", and decided to give the plant-based diet a try -- cold tofu! My husband had been on cholesterol medicine and was looking to wean himself by making healthier choices in his meals.
We had a couple of challenges during our transition. For me, it was crunchy foods - pretzels, those types of processed foods. I wasn't a big chip eater or soda drinker, but I did want to feel more crunch in my meals. Dairy was also a big challenge for my husband as he loves cheese, but again, we worked through it. I am an excellent cook and I delighted in making foods like brownies and other foods taste delicious without all of the fat and sugar.
Even though our children were very supportive and even watched "Forks Over Knives" with us, the biggest struggle was probably family. Coming from two big Italian families, which centered on rich food was a challenge, but we worked through it by staying steadfast in our beliefs but not pushing our ideas on anyone else. At this point, everyone knows and it is just how we eat, although my mom is still trying to figure out what I eat :)
Now that's it's been 5 years since going plant-based, I am not sure what could be more epic than:
- putting healthy food in your body
- being more mindful of nutrition
- going to the supermarket and NOT buying bags of processed food
- paying attention to food labels or what is going into your body
- decreasing oils, salt, and sugar in your body
- cholesterol levels are PERFECT for a 60 and 66 year old!
- knowledge that we are taking care of ourselves
I can't say that either of us haven't fallen off the wagon. We live in a culture where "food" is the center of celebrations. When these times happen, and they do, the very next day, the Happy Herbivore cookbooks are right on my kitchen counter putting me back on the straight and narrow. I will be whipping up some apple fritter muffins (my all-time-favorite made with no sugar or some black bean burgers or any of the hundreds and hundreds of recipes in HH cookbooks). I often tell my adult children that when they were growing up I really didn't know any better. Happy Meals were the big thing and I just went along with the crowd. I was a new mom and thought I was doing the right thing. But, I know better now and they do too and if their parents can pay attention to what is going into their bodies, so should they!
What I've also loved and really appreciated is how Lindsay's bared her soul to thousands of people just struggling to get by. The real beauty of Lindsay's message, besides healthy eating, is your ability to connect with and empathize with others who need your voice and message of support as they take baby steps with the transition to a healthier lifestyle.
To anyone wanting or looking to adopt a plant-based diet: Start with small changes. One idea is to take a food that someone loves and to think about making this healthy, i.e. "Tuna" Salad, Carrot Hot Dogs (from Holidays & Gatherings), Hippie Loaf with Thanksgiving Gravy (from the Happy Herbivore Cookbook), Apple Fritter Cups (from Everyday Happy Herbivore), Brownies ...getting people to see and taste how delicious food can be without all of the not good-for-you-ingredients - that is one way to do it. If my friend did not show us how delicious the food could be and if we didn't see results, we would still not be plant strong. I think it takes a real desire to what to improve your life.
Thanks Alexis and John for sharing your story with us!