My passion for health and wellbeing wasn’t spawned by chance, I had no choice but to search for “the answer”. I had been chubby my entire life and had numerous health challenges from the time I was born. Allergies, chronic nasal congestion, borderline asthma, severe acne, high blood pressure, depression, and obesity were a handful of the symptoms I suffered from as a child. When I was sixteen years of age I reached the greatest weight I had been my entire life: 320+ pounds (145 kilos)! Needless to say, I wasn’t happy with the way I looked or felt, and I wanted to see some change. Overnight I started being more conscious of my eating habits and started making little changes, gradually refining my approach as I progressed.
I grew up eating the Standard American Diet, and then some. A typical day would be bacon, eggs, and hashbrowns with toast for breakfast, some sort of bread stuffed with meat and cheese with yogurt for lunch, and steak with cheese and butter drenched potatoes and some sort of other vegetable for dinner. Some might consider this a “balanced diet”, but my waistline and health issues said something else. As I started making dietary changes, I started to think about which foods are most conducive to people gaining weight: meat, dairy, eggs, fatty foods, and processed junk foods came up first on the list. I immediately started drastically reducing the amount of these foods in my diet, but didn’t cut them out entirely at first. I started basing my diet off of whole, low fat plant based starches like rice, potatoes, millet, and quinoa, and had very little fatty foods or animal products when I had them. I started to see results in a very short amount of time, it just seemed like it would be the natural reaction.
Following this lifestyle gave me the much needed weight loss results to keep me motivated, but I wanted more for my health and started doing further research. I came across mountains of information that pointed towards the consumption of meat, fish, and fowl as being nothing but damaging to people’s health. As the Three Stages Of Truth go: 1. Ridicule 2. Violent Opposition and 3. Acceptance. This is exactly how it went for me. While I wasn’t consuming much meat or animal products, I didn’t like the idea of excluding these things entirely from my diet, so I went out and tried to find information that told me that these foods were good for me. Unfortunately, most of the “positive” information either came from the meat and dairy industry or people who were fat and out of shape themselves! Doesn’t make a lot of sense right? It does make a lot of dollars though! The facts were all right there and excluding meat from a person’s diet made all the sense in the world to me, and as a result at the age of 17 I went vegetarian in February 2010.
It was soon after I realized that “wait a second, dairy products and eggs weren’t any good for me before I went vegetarian, they can’t be any better for me now!” and I then started to realize the vast amount of information that pointed towards the consumption of dairy and egg products as just as problematic as consuming meat, if not worse. From there, it was easy to drop these things as I had made a point of making the majority of my meals entirely plant based for some time already. So in May 2010, I adopted an entirely plant based, vegan diet. Within days of dropping dairy products completely, my allergies completely disappeared and I was able to breathe through my nose on a regular basis for the first time in my life. My severe acne started disappearing and my mood all of a sudden skyrocketed. I had more energy than ever before, it was as if a thick haze had lifted from my head! I followed a high carbohydrate, starch based vegan diet for several months after, but had the itching feeling that there was something more to be had…
While browsing vegan/vegetarian forums, every once and a while there was talk of some people not only eating a vegan diet, but not eating any cooked food at all! This sounded crazy to me, but for some reason I felt compelled do some more research. It wasn’t long after that I started to experiment with having a raw meal or two per day, and soon enough transitioned to a 100% raw vegan diet in August of 2010. When I first got started, I was eating a lot of sprouted quinoa (which tasted terrible, but I still ate it!), what I thought was “a lot” of fruit, sprouted legumes and other sprouts, and my fair share of nuts/seeds and nut/seed butters. I felt the best I ever had in my life, but started to get burned out before too long. I looked at my family and friends who were getting their meals in seconds, whether it be out of the microwave or at the drive though. I didn’t want that low quality of food, but I wanted that convenience! Why did eating raw foods have to be so complicated! Did I really have to spend all of my money on expensive supplements, powders, and vegetables to juice, not to mention so much time preparing my juices and meals?
By a stroke of luck, I stumbled upon a YouTube video of a guy named Harley Johnstone, AKA Durianrider. He went through and showed how much fruit he ate in a day and I thought he was absolutely nuts (or bananas!) and thought his approach was nothing but ridiculous. I mean, that’s way too much fruit, right?! But something told me to keep coming back to him. After a while, it just started making sense, and it was in a high carbohydrate, low fat raw vegan diet that I saw the convenience and ease. On October 1st 2010, I decided to give the high carb, low fat fruit based diet a shot. With a few ups and downs as I learned how to work the diet and lifestyle correctly, I have been 100% since and haven’t looked back. My skin is clear as day, I radiate positive energy wherever I go, and for the first time in my life I actually want to go out and move! I no longer take the myriad of allergy and acne medications I used to, once I got out of my body’s way and gave it the circumstances it needed to heal, I’ve experienced nothing but vibrant health and happiness. Since I first began making dietary changes, I have lost over 130 pounds (59 kilos) and for the first time I am seeing myself becoming leaner, fitter, healthier, and happier every single day I wake up.
Many people think it’s too late to start taking better care of themselves, or they’re young enough and think they’re doing okay right now. But the very instant that you start taking better care of yourself, every single time you see results. The body is an incredible thing, and as soon as the conditions are favorable, it will always vector towards health. The easiest thing in the world is being healthy, and the hardest thing in the world is being sick. I remember being sick, I didn’t care for it all that much and all I could think about was wishing I was healthy. I quit wasting my energy on wishing and started to take control of my own health by taking the necessary actions every single day to earn my level of health and vitality. Every single person on this beautiful planet has the potential to become happier and healthier, and I feel honored to have gained the knowledge and experience to share with people how they can do just that.