I was recently at the doctor for a routine check-up and I asked her a question that I had pondered for some time. Why am I gaining weight as I get older? I have always known that exercise and eating well is the best lifestyle to live and I have been obedient for most of my adult life. I work out 4-5 days a week and eat very healthy (or so I thought) yet the scale has been inching upwards. My doctor didn’t have many answers for me. “It’s just what happens” she says. She also suggested I skip breakfast (seriously?). Another suggestion “eat less” (been there tried that, doesn’t work).
I’ve tried many of the fad diet trends that are popular today including Paleo, Tracy Anderson (starvation diet), The Zone Diet, Fat Burning Machine (you’re allowed to eat bacon), The Paleo Diet, etc. to no avail. In fact, the more I dieted the higher the number on the scale.
Until I heard Dr. Pam Popper speak in an interview on Sirius radio.
The first thing she said that caught my attention was “no oil”. I was appalled but intrigued. I couldn’t imagine that my beloved olive oil was getting a bad rap. I use it in everything. After all isn’t it the good oil?
Turns out it’s not. After googling Dr.Popper I discovered she is following in the footsteps of the great Dr. John Mcdougall, Dr. Esselystyn and T.Colin Campbell. These pioneers have been preaching the benefits of a low-fat, high starch diet and the elimination of all diary with minimal animal protein for over 30 years. And they have never strayed from their convictions. Their message has always been the same. Eat a plant based diet with as many of the good carbs as you want and you will reap the benefits of a healthy heart, be at lower risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
So exactly 6 months ago I embarked on the whole food plant based diet. How did my diet change? First, I immediately eliminated all dairy. Even though you may say ” I really don’t eat that much dairy” once you decide to eliminate ALL dairy you realize how much of it you’re consuming. Secondly I drastically reduced my consumption of all animal products. That means, eggs, chicken and fish. Dr. Popper says if you don’t want to eliminate animal products completely than limit it to 3 servings a week. Dr. Mcdoughall and Dr. Esselstyn aren’t so lenient. Whatever your preference once you delve into the research there is no denying the vast benefits of a whole food plant based diet. And sure enough after just 2 weeks changing my diet the weight I have struggled with for 3 years just came off. And the best part is 6 months later it has stayed off without a struggle, without starving myself and feeling amazing every day.
So what do I eat every day? LOTS. Oatmeal, unlimited amounts of fruit. Big salads with all the vegetables I love, whole grain pasta, Ezekiel bread, beans, hummus, etc. I eat whenever I’m hungry and I don’t count calories. Now that’s a diet I can stick to for the rest of my life!