What benefits have you found in a vegan diet? (Reduced pain, higher energy levels, weight loss, etc.)
Ive been a crazy workout queen my whole life. And why not? I always believed that not only would I stay in shape, Id out exercise any dietary transgressions. So, hamburgers with fried onions and blue cheese with a dark chocolate brownie chaser? Bring it on! I was thin and thought my insides were Teflon. I could eat a 3 egg omelet every day and be fine. 3 years ago next March will be the anniversary that proved me dead wrong. I found a small lump under my right arm in the shower and when my doctor told me it was breast cancer, I looked at him and said, Thats impossible. Two surgeries and 25 rounds of radiation later, I realized not only was it possible, I had joined the staggering cancer statistics in this country. I was a cancer survivor. Today, almost three years later, my tumor marker numbers are below the lowest range and my oncologist spends our bi-annual visits discussing my diet. Shes made some changes in her own eating habits and now has her children eating less sugar and less animal protein. I was chosen last year as a fitness icon for the ONeill 365 clothing line and my passion, besides discussing the benefits of activity, is teaching the miracle and wonder of plant based cooking and healing. I give PCRM classes in the DFW area, cater plant based meals to clients, and teach weekend seminars in Marshall, Texas.
How did you learn about a plant-based diet, and what motivated you to change your diet?
The true miracle in all of this is that I changed my diet and life literally overnight when I got the diagnosis. I staggered home and began researching dietary cures. Thankfully, Id had a series of vegetarian cooking classes a couple decades earlier and remembered how great I had felt eating the plant based foods. I hired a plant based dietary counselor, got a regime to follow and sailed through my medical treatments in perfect shape. Each morning I would drink a green smoothie, eat some cooked grains for breakfast and head to the hospital for my radiation treatment before work. Id walk into the lobby and see the same women patients crumpled in their chairs, red and peeling, totally overcome with exhaustion and scarred. Id literally run into the treatment room, get zapped and zoom to work. I had energy and had never felt better! My radiologist was amazed that I never scarred, never peeled, never slowed down. I would disrobe and shed examine my breast and shake her head. Keep doing what youre doing whatever it is, shed say. Id smile and say, Its the plants, Doc! I was eating a complete vegan diet with little to no oil, some fruit for dessert and grains, beans and veggies. I lost 17 pounds without trying! Cancer was the scariest catalyst to ever happen in my life but I learned how to save my own life as a result. The cure is at the end of our forks!
How did the Physicians Committee influence your success? (21-Day Kickstart, Kickstart Plus, Food for Life class, lecture, etc)
Kathryn is a Food for Life instructor. Want to take one of her classes? Check out her schedule.