This is a question that gets asked a lot in our gym. There’s a few main reasons that play into most people answers of why they initially became plant based. The main reasons are to take active steps towards securing their long term health, preventing common diseases or to remedy a current health issue. What all come away with though is a greater understanding of themselves, and the empowerment helping others and putting their health into their own hands.
For Sam(Owner), he started eating plant because of the signs his body was giving him.
“I grew up in a midwestern family where a home cooked meal meant a nice pot roast. Early in my life the only food I consumed was animal products. I was an athlete and was told I need to eat more calories mainly meat to get big. This lead to stomach problems my entire childhood. Thanks to my business partner and cousin Chase Parker I was introduced to a plant based lifestyle. I was so skeptical and doubting at first but he patiently kept giving me information about this way of eating and after a short time it was impossible to deny the science. I have since felt the best I have in my whole life for the last 4 and half years I have been plant based. In fact it has impacted me so much I decided that it has to be my mission to show people this happy healthy lifestyle.”
Kayla(Our in house culinary chef) was also alerted by the signs her body gave her growing up, primarily stemming from dairy products but also showed her a new type of way to eat and live. In her words “Growing up I always had stomach issues. Every time I would eat something my stomach would instantly get upset. I never really knew why or ever thought it might be food that was causing all these stomach aches. When I was in high school I had a bunch of test done and saw a couple different stomach specialist. Come to find out I am lactose intolerant. After that I really started to notice changes in my body when I quit eating dairy. During my first year in culinary school I was introduced to plant based eating by my boyfriend, Sam. Everyone asked me how could I be plant based if I'm in culinary school becoming a chef. I didn't really know either, but I thought why not try it if it's going to make me feel better! So after dairy came cutting out meat which wasn't that difficult because meat was never my favorite thing anyway. I have now been eating plant based for 3 1/2 years and could never imagine going back. I feel so good when I wake up everyday and I know now that whatever I put into my body will effect the way I live my life. It's all about loving yourself and taking care of the one body you get to be in for the rest of your life.”
Jaci (Personal Trainer/Nutritionist) became plant based once she started to take complete control of her health. “My plant-based lifestyle started when I eczema started appearing all over my face, neck, arms and upper torso. I had no idea where it was coming from but wanted to use natural solutions instead of steroids to combat it. So I started researching what foods cause eczema and learned that skin issues appear from unhealthy gut. I also learned the definition of the term: You are what you eat, literally. What you eat becomes your blood, tissues, organs. So if you’re eating nutrient void foods, you are nutrient deficient and you’re body is trying to tell you that through your skin. So slowly I started replacing my animal foods with plants and things started to clear up, my anxiety and depression slowed way down and my outlook on life, appreciation for animals and our planet became my focus in life. From there everything started to change for me, I knew I wanted to share all this awesome information with everyone I knew plus more so began my plant-based lifestyle and career focus. My life’s mission is to inspire and empower individuals to live to their highest potential through the context of love, great health and happiness.”
Here’s Paige’s (Owner) story about her journey from counting calories to cleansing for 30 days to eating a completely plant based diet for 5 years.
“I used to struggle a lot with accepting who I was and chasing after this image in my head of the perfect body. I was always counting calories and making sure that whatever I ate wouldn't put a single ounce of fat on my body. I was in a constant battle with myself and I finally gave up ever having a good relationship with food. My fiancé, Chase decided to go plant based in 2011 and at first I was extremely skeptical and was not willing to try. About 3 months passed and I noticed Chase having more energy in the mornings, he was happier, his insomnia no longer existed and this was all happening just from eating plants. I finally caved and knew that I had tried everything else in the books when it came to diet so I said why not try plant based. At first I looked at it as a diet and I was only going to commit to this for 30 days....well its been 5 years and I will never look back. I feel AMAZING, I haven't had the flu in 5 years, my energy through out the day is incredible, my anxiety and depression have disappeared and I can finally say that I have a HEALTHY relationship with food. I understand now that food is here to help me and provide me with energy to make it through my busy days. Food is here to support me, make me feel good and to keep me on this planet long enough to watch my children grow. I love knowing that I no longer have to worry about the possibility of getting cancer, diabetes or even a heart attack. I choose to live this lifestyle because my purpose on this earth is far too important to let any disease stand in my way. The food on your plate should be as bright as your life!
Chase(Owner) couldn’t look at the facts objectively and ignore them anymore and has been living a whole food plant based diet for over 5 years now.
“FOOD! This is where I have made my biggest strides in terms of helping myself and others find a healthy lifestyle. I was introduced to a whole foods plant-based diet by reading The China Study and then through reading hundreds of nutritional studies myself. I have never been the person to just jump into anything, especially something that I had never heard of an athlete doing it. So, in order for me to commit to a brand new way of eating I had to be sure. I did my research and sure enough, it convinced me. I ate this way for 30 days before ever talking to a client of mine about it.
Fast forward about 2 months and I now had 4-5 clients that had committed to a whole foods plant-based diet. The results convinced me to base my entire business around it. I had clients lose massive weight like 75lbs, 100lb! More importantly I saw what they were gaining opposed to what they lost. Many of my clients got completely off medications ranging from high blood pressure, to statin drugs, to diabetes medications. There is no pill on the market or gimmick that can sustain the results that simply moving and eating this way will produce.Food is not something that needs to be restricted, food is here to give us life, allow us to grow and realize our full potential in this life as friends, leaders, parents and citizens.”
What we eat on a day to day basis is the #1 determinant of health and longevity.
The underlying theme for most is they came into this lifestyle because of personal health reasons but came away with a much deeper lesson and understanding of life itself. The highlighted text shows what everyone has gained from becoming plant based. Paige sums up her experience and reasons why she will continue living a plant based lifestyle...”I choose to live this lifestyle because my purpose on this earth is far too important to let any disease stand in my way.” A powerful expression that we all agree with. To be of the highest service to others, we first must love and take care of ourselves. There are various reasons why people choose to at least attempt living plant based for 30 days but I think it’s fair to say, all of us have learned a much bigger lesson. We’ve always wanted to be the best possible version of ourselves here at Whole Health Club. Once we researched and looked at the facts objectively, how could we be confident we were becoming the best version of ourselves if we ignored the facts and kept going through life eating and living the way we were? We couldn’t and we encourage you to think about these reasons and not be afraid of hopping over the fence of change because there are many unexpected gifts of health and happiness on the other side!
Going forward, we will be diving deeper into the plant based lifestyle and it’s implications on our lives, starting with the most basic questions people often approach us with. Feel free to reach out to me at Taylor@wholehealthclub.com if you have anything you would like us to blog about. Look for the next post “Do we really need this much protein?” later this week.