Considering Veganism After Reading Eat to Live

by Anonymous

I went vegetarian years ago because of how animals were treated, then slowly slipped back into animal consumption and continued to blindly consume animal products for another eight years or so. After reaching an enormous 223 pounds, I tried a raw vegan diet without much success and quickly gave that up.


The vegetarian and vegan lifestyle has always appealed to me, but seemed like a world so out of my reach. I did eventually lose about thirty pounds or so through calorie restriction and juice fasts, but you can imagine where that got me.

After the birth of my 2nd child I have now lost nine pounds past the initial baby fat loss and I've been stuck in this calorie restriction/ binge cycle. My weight is not doing a thing, I don't feel well, and as you can imagine my self-esteem is low.

I recently came across the Eat to Live book while searching for yet another starvation diet. I ordered the book immediately and am devouring it! I can't get enough of this information. It makes so much sense and totally makes the American diet look extreme and not the vegan.

I started the vegan diet before even receiving the book, mostly to start the healing and weight loss process. Before reading the book I was considering adding back some animal products after eight weeks of a strict vegan diet.

But after what I've read and all the years of my unhealthy eating, I'm considering never eating animal products again! Right now I feel very new and vulnerable and alone. I know there are many vegans in my area and I am going to try to seek them out for support. I know what I'm doing is the right thing and look forward to a life of health!




Editor's Note:

I want to send a huge amount of congratulations to you not just for trying a new diet, but for considering turning it into a new lifestyle and especially for seeking help when you know you might need it.

Losing weight and regaining the sense of our selves that we sometimes lose over the process of unhealthy eating always takes time and is usually emotionally draining. I think it's important that you allow yourself the right to feel whatever emotions come up without judging yourself for those thoughts. And, try not to scold yourself too much if you make a mistake or slip back into old eating habits. Sometimes just allowing yourself the right to make mistakes without it being the end of the world (or new diet) can make a huge difference.

While you are working on the internal struggle, I hope Dr. McDougall's diet will help you to feel better as well. It takes some time to detox off of unhealthy foods and to kick the cravings for those foods, but once you do, it opens your senses to a whole new world of food. There's nothing like fresh fruits and vegetables in the world, and when you dig out from the world of starvation diets and learn to really enjoy good, whole food, you will eventually stop craving any of the bad stuff and start craving the good stuff.

You are doing great so far-- nine pounds less than your pre-baby weight is really something to celebrate, and is certainly a milestone. One of many milestones in your future.

I urge everyone reading this to offer their support and words of encouragement to this lovely woman, and if you have specific experience with battling weight loss and yo-yo dieting, please share it. We have a chance to help someone who wants to be part of the compassionate world of veganism badly!

Comments for Considering Veganism After Reading Eat to Live

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For our fellow creatures
by: Anonymous

Dear friend,
You know quite a bit already about the health reasons for going plant-based. Perhaps if you go a step further and consider the change not as a diet decision, but as a way to live compassionately, you may have more success. The videos of factory farming are, of course, disturbing. They are meant to get us to face the cruel reality of life for animals used for food and clothing. I found that when I focused on saving the lives of animals and not contributing to their suffering, I didn't think about what I couldn't eat. I focus now on encouraging others and sharing whatever knowledge I gain. I see veganism not as a tedious, restrictive diet, but as an expression of my true nature. I hope this helps in some way. Good luck and happy, healthy eating to you!

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IT FEEL SO GOOD & SO RIGHT.
by: Judy Simkins

I vent vegan after seeing a video clip on the Oprah show, it was a big brown eyed cow (dead) hanging from a moving pulley thing in the processing plant. I can still see that pretty soft innocent face and I started to bawl because the next step was a big machine that cut the hooves off...I couldn't watch. I cried and cried and cried and never ate another animal again - that was in February 2011. the 1st 2 weeks I thought I might starve just standing in the grocery store reading labels but things quickly fell into place for me and I'm lucky enough to live in Seattle where we have an all vegan store!
I'll share my favorite quote off of a cookie wrapper from the ALTERNATIVE BAKING CO it reads "Why vegan? No single food choice has a farther-reaching and more profoundly positive impact on our health, the environment, and all of life on Earth than choosing vegan" It's true and I have never felt better in my entire adult life than I do now & I just turned 70. I wish you the BEST!

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Healthy life style
by: Anonymous

My wife and I are also new to the vegan lifestyle. Six months now and it is going great. You have to do this, not for losing weight but, for the fact that you will feel so much healthier. I am off many of the medication I had to take. Losing weight is the added bonus. We were and still are overweight. I started at 272 lbs and have lost 32 lbs so far. I find it easier then any other "diet" I've been on. You do have to learn how to cook and what to cook with but, once you have some recipes under your belt it will be easier. Also, have fun. We try a new restaurant each week. The one thing I would tell you is vegan doesn't mean low calorie. Be careful of the desserts. We have them once a week when we go out.

If you want to get healthier you should try it. You have nothing to lose except weight and a decrease in your medication bills.

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Keep goin past the addiction!
by: Leilani

I was in a similar situation. I read Eat to Live. I loved it. I recently read that Caesin in dairy causes endorphins which lead to the difficulty in dropping it. I am not super skinny. I could probably eat more greens. But I have been vegan for three years now. I float around 155-165. I'm 40 and am 5'6". I was about 180 when I started.

I used to be so allergic to everything, but now that I'm off dairy, I am also off all allergy meds- except when the atmospheric pressure changes. I feel best when I eat whole foods. I am also listening to a hypnosis at night that helps with weight loss. It is helping me not crave sugar. I found the free hypnosis on the App Store.
Also- I found this thing called "meet ups" maybe you have a group in your area that meets that has similar interests. I was surprised to find so many people in Texas, of all places, who are vegan too. Good luck! Be kind to yourself! And thanks for sharing your story!

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Eat to Live!
by: Tracy

Dr. Joel Fuhrman's book Eat to Live is the reason why I became a vegan. I haven't been one long, but I am inundating myself with all sorts of knowledge. I am now reading The China Study by T. Collin Campbell, Ph.D and I've watched some really good related documentaries (Forks Over Knives, Food, Inc., The Future of Food, Foodmatters, and Fat, Sick, & Nearly Dead). Additionally I watched some videos on veganoutreach.com and I literally got sick to my stomach. I know I will never eat meat or any animal products again. I wish you the best of luck. You hold the key to your health and happiness.

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YOU CAN DO IT!!
by: Anonymous

Congratulations on taking the first steps to a healthier you!! Losing 9 lbs is a huge victory! Every pound is one step closer to a healthier you! My journey started last year when I suddenly became ill. I was diagnosed with a relatively rare condition and put on all sorts of medication that just made me feel worse! I was also extremely over weight! I understand your struggle with weight. One day I woke up and decided I had enough! I had to take control of my life! I was slowly killing myself with my horrible lifestyle and now I had a real and serious medical condition to contend with! I have been on my journey for about 6 months now, I have lost 47 lbs and I am only on one of the many medications the Dr. has prescribed. I feel amazing! I made the transition after a friend told me to read the book the Kind Diet a quick easy read that gets straight to the point it really helped to get my mind right. There are recipes to get you started a mixture of vegan and vegetarian even deserts! For me it was easy once I made the decision that I wanted to take control of my life and health. Removing the animal products from my diet was the best thing I could have ever done for myself and I will never look back. My husband and children still eat some fish but they are very supportive and have taken this journey with me giving up all red meat and chicken. If they want a little fish now and then I understand I don’t force my lifestyle on them I am just happy that they support me and see the benefits of my Vegan life. By default my husband and children are benefiting as most of the meals they consume are Vegan based with the exception of the nights when they want some fish. I have successfully replaced the milk with Coconut and almond milks and they love it! They even enjoy juicing with me in the mornings. If you make the transition a not so big thing and more of a casual transition it can go off almost unnoticed. Literally it took my daughter weeks to notice we replaced sugar and honey with agave nectar! It is really a family thing now! All of this to say I am a former meat eater, former sugar -a – holic, former caffeine - a – holic, former dairy Queen! And I made the transition to Vegan life. I had some withdrawal issues especially with coffee and sugar but I got through it with the support of others who have gone through the transition and gave me advice and solutions to combat these cravings. Wheatgrass Juice is magic!! Agave Nectar is heavenly and there are many wonderful substitutes to the many sweets we often think we can’t live without. I wish you much success with your journey; I believe you can do it! If I can do it anyone can!!

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Aussie Vegan sends Love
by: Anonymous

Hi from Australia. Thankyou for embarking on this lifestyle of kindness and good health. So much more than just the number on the scales, you now join others in slowly changing the collective consciousness that is speaking to the world of vibrant health and the eventual elimination of cruelty and degredation that our animal friends must endure. Even your DNA will change over time! Keep going and over time as your friends appear to grow older...you will not! This alone is great incentive. Love and embrace your new vegan lifestyle. Kelly

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Just started too...
by: Ilene

I'm so glad I "accidentally came accross your note. I too have just started the "Vegan" way of living, and I'm on day 9, and for 4 days now have felt wonnnnderful. It's a lot to learn, but at this stage of life, I don't have anything to lose, except poor health, and weight! Congratulations to the BOTH of us - we CAN do this. Good luck.

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Keep going
by: Sarah

Truly inspiring to read stories of people who don't give up. Train your brain to think in this sense: you choose to be vegan for health and not because you have to. You can eat whatever you want, but you choose to make the decision to not eat animal products for better health. It's not a diet, it's a lifestyle. Good luck on your continued journey!!

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Just Keep Trying!
by: Anonymous

It is a difficult thing to change your eating habits, but the end result is so worth it! I began a vegan diet 2 years ago after many years of being vegetarian, and I feel so much better! There were certain foods, such as cheese, that I missed at first but after a short period of time, the desire for those foods went away.

The vegan diet opened the door to a whole world of foods that I would never have eaten as a carnivore, or even a vegetarian. I chose the mindset that it wasn't about what I couldn't eat, but rather all the new things I could!

If you can find a friend or support group that would be great, but if you can't, please don't give up. You will reap so many benefits from the vegan diet!

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Hurray for Vegans!
by: Michelle

I think it's fantastic that you are looking into a change of diet for health and healing rather than for weight loss. I know as women in particular, we are bombarded with images and articles about how we 'should' look and what it means to be beautiful, but in reality, the most beautiful thing is your health. Keep going with your new journey and remember that you are doing a service not only for yourself but for your babies too! Teaching our kids to eat healthy and nourishing foods (whilst not placing an emphasis on weight) is one of the most important things we can give them. Keep it up lady! xxx

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I'm new too!
by: Phil

A coworker of mine was diagnosed with cancer in the recent past. She read The China Study and promptly began a vegetarian lifestyle. As a once weekly meat eater, I thought,"why am I still eating meat?" So I started reading the book and have made the change. VEGAN! Because I was almost there, it hasn't been too tough yet. But it's only been a week.
Go for it. Your body will thank you. Your doctor will thank you. You'll live much more lightly on the Earth.

Good luck! You can do it.

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Healthy Eating
by: Shawn

I saw a short news report about former President Clinton and his weight loss and new diet. He talked about several doctors including Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn and how he had read The China Study, co-authored by Dr. T. Colon Campbell and that he was eating a plant based diet to improve his health and his weight loss was a side benefit.

I was curious, so I immediately bought The China Study and read it from cover-to-cover and couldn’t believe that eating animal products was not a healthy way of eating. I starting researching further and discovered Dr’s John McDougall, Dean Ornish, Neal Barnard, and Joel Fuhrman. All of these doctors believe in eating a plant based (vegan) diet to both improve your health and to lose weight.

I started following Dr. John McDougall’s The Starch Solution diet plan about a year and a half ago. At that time, I was overweight, and took meds for high blood pressure and high cholesterol. I am now a healthy weight, no longer have high blood pressure or high cholesterol, and no longer take meds for those conditions.

I am so glad that I stumbled across this way of eating and can’t believe that all through life, we are led to believe that eating animal products is healthy. Congratulations on switching to this way of eating. You will start feeling good almost immediately.

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Go for it
by: Anonymous

I went low fat Vegan after reading Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease by Dr Esselstyn and never looked back. After six months, I weighed what I did when I was 17 and skinny. I have the energy of a 20 year old and I'm 45. My skin feels great and I think very clearly now.

One thing to remember is not to overdo it with the high fat vegan foods like olive oil. If you drank a 16 oz glass of olive oil it would be 4,000 calories, and it's not good for your heart, no matter what anyone wants to tell you.

Keep up the good work and stick to low calorie density foods such as fruits, veggies and beans. You'll live a lot longer and better because of it.

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Ease into it
by: Anonymous

First, I think it's great that you want to make a change in your diet, and for all the right reasons!

The best advice I can give is to ease into it. I stopped eating red meat at home because it's messy and I don't like to scrub pots and pans. (Sad but true.) I'd still eat red meat when out, but eventually just lost the taste for it altogether.

I would still eat chicken and fish at home occasionally, but gradually replaced even that with veggie burgers and veggie burritos made with beans and rice.

For me it took about three years altogether, but I think that's why it stuck. I just gradually eliminated animal products one at a time--the hardest for me was cheese! But now I love nutritional yeast just as much, and I love almond milk so much more than cow's milk.

Summer is my favorite time of year because with the heat I find myself being not that hungry in the evenings, and my favorite dinner is frozen fruit--especially cherries and blueberries, so with the abundance of produce right now, it's a good time to start adding more of that to your diet.

So, long story short--I didn't go cold turkey (no pun intended) but eventually I got where I wanted to be. It was also an invaluable education, because I became a devoted label reader. Prior to, I really had no idea what I was putting into my body.

The more animal products you eliminate, the better you will find yourself feeling. You'll just feel lighter and less sluggish, and you'll become more conscious over all of what you put in your body and how it makes you feel.

Just keep chipping away--you'll get there.

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VIVA LA VEGAN
by: Terrie

I felt as if I were reading my own story... I saw Dr. Fuhrman on TV a while ago and liked what I saw. I live in Egypt and was not able to run out and buy the book. But, one day about 2 months ago, I went to a new upscale book store and found a copy of Eat to Live. I was thrilled. I went home, read it, and started to follow it. I did the 6 weeks plan, and I felt great, but I slipped a bit afterwards. I am now back on the track, and loving it. All I can say is keep up your efforts. It really pays off to look and feel healthy.

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Good Luck.
by: Kathy

It was so great to read your story! I have tried eating vegan for the past 2 years. The first time I did it was with my naturopath. She had a group detox class for 4 weeks and by the end of it, we were all eating completely vegan, no processed foods.

My scalp started clearing up from sebborhea (no more medicated shampoos). Dairy allergy. My cholestrol went down below 200, to 175!! Its usually between 230 and 260. My nails got so much stronger and my face glowed. Then I went on a cruise and totally found that almost impossible and started eating bad again. My cholesterol went back up to 240 and I felt sluggish and craved all bad foods.

My husband and I started eating vegan to the best of our ability the past 4 weeks, but have cheated on a few occassions with pizza, and we had sushi once. My cholesterol is back down to 187. I will go completely vegan soon. There is a great site with some really good recipes called mouthwateringvegan.com. I think its important to find people who are trying, too. It's a lot to learn.

Good luck! I wish you good health and happiness.

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Yay vegan diet!
by: Leilani

I went vegan after reading Fuhrman too! Now I'm so happy because my health problems are gone. I didn't love his recipes, so I searched out many other recipe sources. I didn't lose weight, but my cholesterol and high blood pressure problems are gone!

I have found inspiration to lose weight by following a mostly raw vegan diet. I feel much better. I am not hungry. I am releasing weight. My two favorite raw vegan inspirations are Fullyraw by Kristina and the garden diet by Jinjee Talifero. Good luck! Don't give up! Your body and the animals thank you!!!!!

Ps. My fave cooking sites- fatfreevegan.com and theppk.com
Also, even though I didn't lose a ton of weight eating regular vegan, I really never gained anymore either. I lost about 10 pounds and then just stayed there. Never counting calories or watching what I ate.... Just vegan everything!

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Keep trying
by: Anonymous

My vegetarian/vegan journey started when I was looking for info on adding a few veggie meals a week and stumbled across PETAs website. Being nosy I had to watch the videos. Haven't touched meat since. I have liked a lot of vegan fb pages and read their posts regularly. I couldn't figure out how to take ice cream and cheese out of my diet. I think cheese was probably my favorite food! One person said something about there being some pus in milk no matter how much it was processed and that turned me off from that. It's only been a week or so. Today I really wanted a caramel sundae from McD's but I just keep thinking about the pus and germiness. BTW, I am extremely obese. I'm just starting to move into more whole foods and trying to eliminate the processed foods. I still find myself having big portions of healthy food. So I'm also starting to pay more attention to that. I also listen to a lot of podcasts. It almost feels like a progression. I do one piece and get used to that, then take it to the next level, etc. Hope this helps.

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Disclaimer: Everything in this website is based upon information collected by Cathleen Woods, from a variety of sources. It is my opinion and is not intended as medical advice.
It is recommended that you consult with a qualified health care professional before making a diet change.