My whole food, plant-based (WFPB) journey started when I joined the CNS Kitchen community, led by Sharme Ridley and Del Sroufe, and participated in a WFPB Wellness Challenge. At first, the transition was difficult for me, but thanks to the kindness and support of my newly discovered community, I turned that rocky beginning into a joyous experience. With the tools and tips of the community on my side, I found success and transformed into my new lifestyle.
I am no stranger to the frustrations that come with the standard American diet (SAD). I have struggled with high blood pressure; in 2012, I had two brain surgeries for an aneurysm; and I suffered multiple strokes in 2017. Additionally, before I made these changes to my diet, my age was taking a toll on me. My flexibility and mobility were weakening.
For many reasons, my self-care was non-existent. Then suddenly, my health declined, and I had an overwhelming sense of urgency. I felt I needed to do something different to thrive. So, I took a giant leap of faith, diving straight into a WFPB lifestyle.
My journey began on March 14th of this year. Improvements to my health were almost immediate. My brain fog lifted within days; I quickly had more energy and mental clarity; and by the end of my first CNS Kitchen Wellness Challenge, I had lost five pounds. I also discovered as I began to feel better how essential movement is to my self-care and wellness journey. I have committed to moving at least 30 minutes per day. Before starting a WFPB lifestyle, I would never have had the energy to commit to this.
I have adjusted to WFPB living quickly, and I cannot imagine returning to my old way of living. My long-term goal is to use this lifestyle to thrive for the rest of my life.
My journey is still in progress: To achieve optimal health, I know that I need to lose more weight and increase my movement. But already, I have improved my blood pressure and bloodwork. I have now lost 22 pounds, and I feel more vital. The freedom my body now allows me is a huge victory. For example, I can now enjoy water aerobics or Zumba, and my hips remain pain-free. Whereas before, I couldn’t even stand up on my own, I now easily go from the floor to standing. I enjoy starting my day by walking 3,000 steps on the beach, or I hop on my bike and ride to watch the sunrise over the water, two things I was never able to do before. After only six months, my life looks completely different.
And with a WFPB lifestyle, I know that continuous improvement is possible. That’s because this lifestyle feels like something I can sustain. It is easier to maintain than I imagined it would be, and I am so grateful to not have to count calories. I am being nourished by the nutrient-dense plants on my plate, but it doesn’t require a ton of work on my part.
I have deep gratitude for the kind people in the CNS Kitchen community. Sharme and Chef Del were so supportive and available to answer all my questions. The guidance, tips, and support were instrumental to my change! The community responded to my posts and supported my journey. I look forward to learning more and plan to join the next challenge!
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