Inspiring Proteinaholic reader Randy Herr has generously shared his transformation story with us. In his own words:
Like many, I’ve gone through life ranging from very healthy and fit and then life getting in the way with diet and exercise falling by the wayside. Working from home for a major telecommunications company, the most exercise I was getting was walking from the bedroom to the kitchen and then into my office!
62, in pain, and obese
A number of months ago I certainly wasn’t feeling my best! At age 62, my body had become much less forgiving with symptoms of gout, pain in my joints (where walking up a set of stairs or getting in and out of a vehicle was a chore), and the toughest part of crouching down to do something was getting back up! My weight had climbed to an all-time high of 242 lbs., well into the obese category.
One day while walking through the supermarket, a book about detox by Kimberly Snyder, C.N. caught my eye. A friend had mentioned something to me about doing a detox at one time and I decided to find out more, so I bought the book. As it turned out, the book was about detoxing the body through a lifestyle change by cutting back or eliminating meat and dairy rather than a short term detox program. It was well written and made a lot of sense at which point I decided to cut back on meat and dairy to only a few days a week.
A co-worker of mine often talked about nutrition and in my excitement of starting to make some positive changes I emailed her to tell her about the book. The email I got back was interesting because in it was a link pointing me to her favorite nutrition site nutritionfacts.org. After watching the many videos by Michael Greger, M.D., it became clear that the elimination of meat and dairy from the diet was the way to go for a healthier longer life, at which point I adopted a vegan lifestyle.
It has been 5 months since I have eaten any meat or dairy products and I actually don’t miss them at all! I feel that the reason I don’t miss it is because I feel so much better. There were days when the smell of a barbequed steak was very tempting but then I remembered how I felt after eating any meal heavy in meat and the craving quickly passed.
Probably the biggest challenge were the questions I got from family members such as, where are you getting your protein, where are you getting your calcium, and where are you getting your iron? Although I did my research, there was always that nagging concern of ‘am I doing the right thing or is this too extreme’ until I read the book Proteinaholic.
What sticks with me is how Garth also questioned if this was right for him and more so, is this right for my patients. Based on the studies and the results detailed in his book, I now have no concern that the plant based lifestyle I have adopted is the right one, and one which I will follow for the rest of my life!
As an added bonus, many of my family members are now following by example and moving towards a more plant based diet. We bought a number of cookbooks and along with the recipes in Proteinaholic and websites such as the Flaming Vegan, my wife has really embraced our new way of eating and meal preparation.
My morning meal is a fruit smoothie with Coconut Milk, Coconut water and 5 fruits mixed in a blender.
My noon meal is a high nutrient smoothie with deep greens; ½ of an avocado; pumpkin, sunflower, sesame, flax, & hemp seeds; sea vegetable, Greens Herbal Blend + Probiotics, & Amla powder; assorted nuts; ½ banana & fruit such as cherries, blueberries & strawberries mixed together with almond milk in a NutriBullet.
Supper is solid food such as veggie wraps, soups with vegetables or beans, salads, and sometimes organic mock meat products. I drink water, herbal tea and apple cider vinegar in hot water throughout the day.
With this amount of nutrient rich food consumed throughout the day, I am never hungry and have lost 43 lbs. to date. My gout has disappeared, the aches in my joints have gone away and I have lots of energy for exercise and normal activities. My tastes have changed and I no longer crave meat, dairy or junk food.
My before and after pictures with my granddaughter are over a 5 month period. My goal was better health and lifestyle and that has already been achieved. I only have 15 lbs. left to go and I will be within the normal weight range for my height, all without counting calories, and simply eating a plant based diet.
Best wishes to all in their own personal journey.