From my mid-20s on, I was steadily gaining weight. I baked cookies and ate junk food every day. Over the course of 10 years, I put on 180 pounds, and developed sleep apnea, bad knees, a bad back, elevated heart rate, and high blood pressure. I knew I needed to make a change. I’d heard my mom and dad talk about how much better they felt on a plant-based diet, so I told myself to try it for a year in 2018.
I eased into it by making meals 50-percent vegetable- or fruit-based. When I craved junk food, I ate fruit until I was full. I phased out meat over seven months by making vegetarian curries, and loading up a Japanese sweet potato with hummus, beans, vegetables, and salsa, or with a mountain of brown rice, black beans, and corn. I rely on hot sauces and salsa for flavoring. Meals are colorful and filling now.
Within the first month, I lost 40 pounds. I felt great and was hooked. I have lost 220 pounds over two years and am now 95 percent plant based. I no longer have sleep apnea, and I never have joint pain or back pain. You can fall in love with food all over again, and when you do, it rewards you by helping you be healthier and leaner.
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