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How I Found Whole Food Plant Based Nutrition

Apr 08, 2021

I share how I started eating Whole Food Plant Based all the time, but normally in just 2 minute bursts. I assume since you're here, you want the whole story, so here it goes! I hope this inspires you to eat a different way and connects some dots for you about The Word of Wisdom.

Along the bookshelves at my house are just about every single diet book written since the 90s. I tried them all. For 15 years I was a slave to the newest diet trend. My friends and I would all start a diet together. They would cheat a little and lose weight. I would follow it religiously and wouldn't lose. In 2010 I started HCG. I took homeopathic hormone drops, ate 500 calories a day, and lost about a pound everyday. It seemed like a miracle! I finally had a tool to manipulate the size of my body. That year I lost 75 pounds.

In order to maintain that weight loss I would have to continue that disordered eating. I would do the diet for 3 weeks, then eat low carb for 3 weeks, then go back to the diet. When you only eat 500 calories a day, a calorie free diet soda is pretty great, so I drank a lot of Coke Zero. I look back at that time and feel so sad for my poor body, but I did not want to be my heavier self again. I thought only one body size was worth having. Now I recognize that as a message straight from diet culture, but back then I did not understand that. I grew up in a house with very small sisters and so I lived a long time thinking that I should look like them. I have had to grow out of that and learn that I am not in control of my body size. 

I lived in this mental chaos for 8 years. Starving myself on a regular basis, living on diet soda, and believing that this was the healthiest thing I can do for myself because finally I could keep the weight off.

In 2018 I literally decided I couldn't do it anymore. I had prayed about my weight so many times, but for the first time I turned to God and left my body up to him. Giving up dieting led me to gain some weight, but my body needed that. After years of starving myself, my body needed nourishment.

That summer I went to Idaho for my son-in-laws graduation. We went to his Aunt's house as part of the celebrations. She was a nurse practitioner and so I mentioned some health concerns I was having. When I told her about my symptoms she mentioned I might be insulin resistant. She was so kind to run a 3 hour fasting glucose test in her clinic while I was there. When she got the results back, she confirmed I was insulin resistant. She gave me a prescription for metformin and instructions to eat low-carb and exercise. Low-carb felt easy. I had done Keto for 7 months the year before. Now, remember, I was seeking answers from God, so getting these test results felt like an answer. I was so surprised though that the answer was Keto... Every morning while doing Keto I would cook my bacon and think, "well this isn't very conducive to The Word of Wisdom, but hey, I don't lose weight!" 

I go home, start taking my metformin, join a low-carb support group on Facebook, and binge watch Keto videos on YouTube. One day I fall asleep watching Keto YouTube and wake up to a video about how eating whole foods can actually reverse insulin resistance. As I listen to this it seems unbelievable to me what they're saying, I had never heard anyone use the word "reverse" before in reference to insulin resistance. I don't want to just manage my insulin resistance. I want to reverse it!

As I start researching and studying about this whole food approach, I learn about Dr. Mcdougal, Dr. Esselstyn, Dr. Greger, Dr. Fuhrman, Dr. Cambell, so many doctors that have been around for years and are healing people with food. As they talk about the foods that we are supposed to eat, they list all the foods in my food storage: rice, beans, oats, wheat. How surprising, these doctors are healing people with the same foods the church has been having people can for years. 

When I start I thinking I want to eat this way, I get terrified. After eating low-carb for years before HCG and then doing Keto after, I really thought grains were going to make me fat. I nervously found a plant based doctor in my area. At my appointment with him he tells me if I eat whole foods I would not need to take that metformin I was prescribed. Well, if you know me, you know that not having to take medicine was pretty good fuel to start eating this way. On my drive home I was thinking about all the foods that the doctor recommended I eat, and I realized that they line up perfectly with The Word of Wisdom. Then I remembered one line from my patriarchal blessing, "Live The Word of Wisdom".

God had been trying to tell me that this is the diet the whole time. 

So of course I jumped in with both feet. I found all the support groups online. Pinterest became my good friend as I hunted out new recipes. I didn't really talk to my family about what I was going to do... I just went for it. My first experience making a whole food plant based meal was a "Meat Loaf" made out of lentils instead of hamburger meat. I had this whole plan that I would make it look normal and they would all just eat it without even realizing what it was. Well I serve it to my boys and they all eat it. Then my easy going husband comes home and takes a bite and immediately says, "What the hell is this?" He went to the fridge and pours hot sauce all over his little individual meat loaf, takes one more bite and then throws the whole thing away. I was so mad and hurt and upset that he did that. Immediately I recognized my mistake. I should have taught them everything I was learning and eased them into this, and so I back tracked and we started working toward eating whole food plant based together. 

The game changer for me was when I gained a testimony about food. Heavenly Father told me, "This is what you should eat. This is what I designed for your body!" I've since discovered the beautiful promises associated with living The Word of Wisdom. It is such a relief to me that I know what I am supposed to eat. I am no longer looking for the next diet. I no longer hear about a friend doing a new diet and feel the need to do that new diet. 

I truly feel like everyone can benefit from truly living The Word of Wisdom. There is peace in eating real food. Let go of counting calories and macros. Eat whole foods until you're full! How beautiful is it to tap into your bodies own hunger and fullness cues!

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