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The Physicians Committee

My Success Story: More Plant Foods, Less Pain

Shelly S., of Santa Cruz, Calif., attended one of our Food for Life class series and shared her success on a plant-based diet with PCRM:

What benefits have you found in a vegan diet?
I have had fibromyalgia for more than 10 years. I lived at a pain level of more than eight. Chronic fatigue was horrible. GI problems were serious. I was about to have a knee replacement surgery, but I got too scared about painful recovery. After changing to a vegan diet, within a month, the level of pain I experienced dropped significantly. I was able to walk without a cane. It was a miracle! I wish I had known years ago. Thank you, thank you!

How did you learn about a plant-based diet, and what motivated you to change your diet?
A nurse friend told me about a plant-based cooking class that her friend was teaching. I was mostly at home or at the doctor’s office, so I was lonely. I decided to try it even with the pain and fatigue. I have had celiac disease (no wheat/gluten) for more than 10 years. I was already lactose intolerant but still ate goat cheese. I phased out cheese and meat over a few weeks. The hardest thing was eating beans which I couldn't digest for many years. I still have digestive challenges, but overall, having less pain is fantastic!

How did PCRM influence your success?
The instructor Susan Lavelle was fantastic! The medical research was very informative and useful. The cooking ideas and feedback from the class were great! We now have a monthly lunch get-together and frequently e-mail one another recipes. My husband has been on the vegan diet and not only has he has lost 25 pounds, but he is off high blood pressure medication!

What are your new favorite meals?
If I could go more often, Millennium Restaurant in San Francisco has amazing food!

If you have a success story you would like to share, visit PCRM’s website >

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