We all have a story – here is a glimpse at mine.
I have been happily married to Tom, the love of my life since 1979. We are both originally both from Nebraska but have lived in Northern California most of our married life. We have two amazing adult children, a terrific son in law and three beautiful grandchildren. We feel blessed beyond measure.
In 2010 I started my first food blog. At that time I followed what I considered to be a healthy version of the Standard American diet. I blogged about those recipes and my ups and downs with weight loss. At my highest weight I wore a size 16! I have spent most of my adult life yo yo dieting. What a terrible way to live.
One day in 2012 I saw Dr Fuhrman on a PBS special. I bought his Eat To Live book and read it. The timing wasn’t quite right but I thought it was interesting. Then I saw Dr. Fuhrman again in 2013 on the Dr. Oz show with some of his Eat To Live followers on the show, and their transformations were amazing! I was curious so I started researching plant based diets. My LDL cholesterol had been climbing a little bit each year and I was determined not to go on a statin drug. Dr Google was telling me that a whole food plant based diet is what I needed to do! I wanted to control my health naturally and achieve a healthy weight that I could maintain. A whole food plant based diet looked like the solution for excellent health that I had been looking for.
After reading several WFPB books I sat down with Tom, my meat loving hubby to tell him what I wanted to do. He has always been supportive of my dietary changes and my challenges with weight so of course he was ready and willing to help. That is, as long as he didn’t have to give up animal products – he would eat what I fixed at home but was going to continue to eat animal products away from home. Of course even that changed over time and now he is completely WFPB!
I must admit that at first I had a difficult time wrapping my mind around how to build a menu around plants. Initially I spent far too much time looking at recipes and preparing elaborate plant based meals. We both lost weight and felt amazing. But later that year I started gaining weight around the middle, my hair was falling out, my eyebrows were falling out, I was tired, cold and depressed. I hadn’t changed the way I was eating or the amount of exercise. I ended up being diagnosed with hypothyroidism. Even after going on levothyroxine I couldn’t lose the weight. I doubled down and really practiced the principles of the Eat to Live program but the weight wouldn’t budge.
Then I heard about John Pierre and Chef AJ’s on line Ultimate Weight Loss Program and I was already familiar with Chef AJ from the Dr Fuhrman message boards and of course her cooking videos. I had some dialogue with her on either Facebook or an email and expressed my concern that I wouldn’t lose weight on her program because of my thyroid issue. She revealed to me that she also had a thyroid problem and still lost weight eating this way. That was all I needed to hear – I joined the last day you could sign up for that UWL session. That was back in February of 2015.
Joining the UWL program was the best thing I ever did for my health – both mental and physical. The food program is similar to Dr. McDougall’s Maximum Weight Loss program and the food philosophy taught at the True North Health Center located in Santa Rosa California. I follow a whole food plant based, salt, oil, sugar, flour, alcohol and gluten free food plan. In just a matter of days the cravings were gone – I mean like really gone. Both Tom and I were loving having starch – potatoes and rice – oh my goodness could this really work? Indeed it does work! I had no idea that this is how “normal” people feel. My brain is calm, I feel in control of my eating and everything is easier to deal with. I finally found the miracle cure for good health, a calm brain and weight loss! I eventually went back to a size 4!
I will always be grateful to Chef AJ and Jay Pea for creating the UWL program and sharing their knowledge with the rest of us. The UWL program contains all the missing pieces that I needed to achieve being the best version of me. The calorie density piece is an important component that is missing from all the other WFPB programs I am familiar with as well as the processed food addiction education.
I joined the UWL Mastery program to grow and learn more. I want to keep building my skills and have all the tools in place to stay on the correct path for the rest of my amazing life. I have been a mentor in the Mastery program for the past two years and enjoy helping others achieve success.
In 2019 Tom and I spent a week with Chef Aj and her husband Charles becoming certified educators to teach her Ultimate Weight Loss Program in our local community.
Tom and I also want to be able to pass it forward and to help others achieve success with their own plant based journey. We are dedicated to spreading the word about a whole food plant based lifestyle. We want to help people make this lifestyle easy so they can sustain it long term.
Get healthy – stay healthy – one meal at a time!