On January 19, 2008 I was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes. I was morbidly obese. At age 50, I weighed 371 lbs.
I didn’t know it then, but apparently high cholesterol goes hand in hand with diabetes. So, I was also in pre-stages of heart disease with elevated cholesterol levels.
The year before, I participated in a sleep study because I was waking up with headaches, had intermittent breathing throughout the night, and I was snoring loudly. Some nights I even woke up choking.
I was diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea and needed a CPAP machine to breathe as I slept.
It was time to rethink my life.
Until I was diagnosed, I would have told you I had been very healthy my entire life.
I’ve also been considered overweight or actually overweight, most of my life.
My mother has always been weight obsessed and was concerned about my weight from the time I was in elementary school. She put me on my first diet when I was in the 5th grade.
Now, with my recent diagnosis, I knew something had to change.
January 19, 2008 was the day I changed my life.
Typical nutritionists and dietitians — as they are trained to do — told me to avoid sugar and carbs and to maximize my proteins. I started a Standard American “diet” of cottage cheese, chicken, salmon, salads, veggies, lots of cheese - no candy, ice cream or cookies.
I remember giving away a donut that I’d put in my desk the day before I was diagnosed. It was devastating for me. "I was not sick! I wasn’t going to be sick!" I thought.
I had to wake up and face the truth — I was sick.
But I didn’t have to stay sick.
I started with standard dieting.
Over the next few years I lost 123 pounds while on various fad "diets." I felt deprived. My weight yo-yoed and I gained a lot back.
By Summer 2012, I had made some progress — down to 290 pounds — but I was still sleeping with my CPAP, still taking all my medications (High Cholesterol, Diabetes, Anxiety), and still pricking my finger to test my blood sugar twice a day.
My mother was diagnosed with Alzheimer's.
This was another thing to be concerned about while I was working to change my life. She was starting to decline noticeably. My grandfather, my aunt, and my grandmother had all battled Alzheimer’s. Now, my mom had it.
I started researching what I could do to prevent Alzheimer’s — reading scientific studies, books, and articles along with watching documentaries and videos for several months.
This research led me to a surprising conclusion for preventing Alzheimer's: a vegan diet.
Cutting all animal products from my diet was the answer this research was telling me.
December 25, 2012 I started a vegan diet.
I figured it would be a Christmas present to myself. It worked — sort of.
I lost some more weight and lowered my cholesterol. But the biggest win was concerning my diabetes.
Cutting out animal products completely reversed my Type 2 diabetes.
This was great news, but I realized I wasn't really being healthy even as a vegan.
I was a “junk food vegan." I would eat highly processed "vegan" products that were created in a science lab somewhere. If they're "vegan" they must be healthy, right? Not quite.
Because of this, the weight didn't say off for long. I still felt there was more for me to learn about my health.
I discovered the Whole Foods Plant Based lifestyle.
More research pointed me to something called a "Whole Foods Plant Based" lifestyle. This was the answer I had been searching for.
This way of thinking about food encourages consuming foods in their whole state or minimally processed and free of sugar, oils and food additives.
This changed my life.
I believe with all my heart and soul this is the answer for optimal health. I started eating this way on December 2, 2013. Since then —
My cholesterol is normal now.
My Type-2 Diabetes is completely gone.
I don't need my medications anymore.
My anxiety is gone.
I sleep as well as I ever have and no longer need that CPAP machine.
My gum disease is gone.
My skin is clearer.
My nails are stronger.
My hair is thicker.
Since I decided to change my life in January of 2008, I've lost 236 pounds.
The Whole Foods Plant Based lifestyle I've been living deserves the credit for enabling me to achieve this radical transformation.
Although it took me through a lot of ups, downs, twists, and turns to get here, I'm so grateful to have found this lifestyle.
I didn't have anyone to help me get through this or to show me the right path.
I want to be that person for you. I don't want you to have to journey alone like I did.
I'm here to help you get started right away to change your life!
About Purely Plants
I am doing this for three reasons
1) To help people who want to improve their health and reverse disease with weight loss as a side effect
2) To assist with weight loss as primary reason
3) To introduce younger & healthier people to this lifestyle so they will be eating for optimal health, saving the environment and the animals by living a cruelty free lifestyle.
What am I doing?
I am sharing my experience, tools and resources for those interested in learning more about, and those interested in following a Whole Foods Plant Based Diet.
I can answer questions to the best of my ability and point you in the direction of experts, blogs, documentation. I am not a medical professional.
I am sharing my support.
How can I help you?
I can help you change your life as I’ve changed mine.
There are a multitude of doctors, books, scientific studies, videos, You Tube channels, documentaries, testimonials, substantiating the health benefits of eating a plant based diet.
I would simply be THRILLED to have you on this Whole Foods Plant Based journey with me!
Where to find me
Big Change the Film Karla Freeze Interview (223lbs lost)
Karla Freeze - A life of Purely Plants
Unlock Wellness Podcast
How to Health Podcast
Face of the Race
What I eat?
The most common question I get is "what do I eat" on an average day.
I eat very simply. I am giving serving sizes for reference. I do not typically measure or weigh my food! That's the beauty of this way of eating. The fact that the food is fresh, unprocessed or minimally processed and nutrient dense, it's less dense calorically so weight loss just happens as a side effect of eating this way.
Some weeks I'll make a big pot of chili or soup. I do usually make a big batch of brown rice on the weekend and jar it up for my lunches.
I have been doing this for nearly 5 years, so you might not be ready for greens for breakfast but if you can manage it, your endothelium will thank you!!
1 cup of old fashioned oats, homemade soy yogurt, frozen blueberries
4 cups of fresh greens (usually kale, sometimes chard or spinach or collards) saute'd in a bit of tamari with a few sprinkles of ginger
1 cup of brown rice
12 oz. of frozen broccoli heated in the microwave
Frank's hot sauce
Some type of fruit - grapes, grapefruit, pineapple, apple, banana, strawberries
2 medium baked potatoes or wedges cooked in the oven
Salad with a variety of greens and chopped veggies with homemade salad dressing
Homemade soy yogurt with fruit
When ever I feel like a snack. Not on a timetable.
Frozen fruit in a jar
Whole foods 365 Woven Wheat crackers
Ezekiel toast with mashed banana or smashed strawberries
Other common things I eat:
"Stirfry" - Chopped veggies, mushrooms, all in a skillet dry browned with a little veggie broth and/or tamari - then throw in the greens and serve over brown rice.
Love frozen bags of Brussel Sprouts as a side dish
Corn tortillas (try and find a brand that only contains Corn, Lime and Water) - baked whole and then topped with canned refried beans, salsa, lettuce, homemade soy yogurt
Mexican corn flour called Masa used as pizza crust with red sauce, onion, olives, mushrooms piled on
There's really no wrong way to do this if you are only eating vegetables, fruits, 100% whole grains, beans and legumes.
Nuts and seeds are high in fat and many times a trigger for overeating. However, flax and chia make excellent egg replacements in recipes.
Sugar is known to cause cravings and is proven more addictive than cocaine. Try alternate means of sweetening without using chemical sweeteners.
I will be posting some easy and delicious recipes soon!!
Questions and Answers!!
Food as Medicine: Preventing and Treating the Most Common Diseases with Diet
How to start a plant based diet – The basics – No Meat Athlete
Changing Our Tastebuds
A Plant Based Diet is for EVERYONE!!
Fantastic YouTube video on Calorie Density:
In person services and events are available in Champaign-Urbana, IL and via Skype or FaceTime everywhere.
I will travel within a 60 mile radius of Champaign-Urbana, IL for an additional charge.
Consultations and 30 day support package available everywhere.
Daily motivational emails or texts!
Do you need an extra inspiration to stay on your Whole Foods Plant Based plan?
We will send you a daily email or text with encouraging and motivational thoughts!
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
You may pay through paypal or by credit card. Only $6 per month payable in a 2 month subscription of $12.
Introduction to the Whole Foods Plant-Based lifestyle
Changing your health and your life!
Personal Consultation (Level 2)
Take the next step toward your goals through a Whole Foods Plant-Based lifestyle.
Learn the ins and outs of reading labels and identifying food additives in your grocery products.
You'll never shop the same way again!
Out with the old and in with the new! Cleaning out the remnants from your old food lifestyle and re-stocking your pantry to make it easy to make healthy choices.
I'll be there for you with unlimited support through email, phone, text, or whichever method you prefer for 30 days.*
*Hours of availability may vary
I will be happy to share my story with you, your friends, relatives, office, co-workers, weight loss group, church, school, or any other group!
We accept all major credit cards.
These links will help you to learn more about a whole foods, plant based diet!
Long time advocate of plant based/starch based eating - Dr. John McDougall
Dr. Neal Barnard
Dr. T Colin Campbell
Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn
Dr. Michael Greger
This is the plan I follow and have since December 2, 2014.
You may join as a free member to check out the site and get 123
free recipes. Please don't hesitate to message me with questions.
Many of these documentaries are free on Netflix, YouTube or Amazon or viewable at a minimal charge on YouTube, Amazon, iTunes, Vimeo, Hulu
Forks Over Knives
Eating You Alive
Forks Over Knives the Extended Interviews
Plant Pure Nation
What the Health
The Future of Food
Hungry for Change
Earth, Voice, Food, Choice
Earthlings**(Graphic footage from hidden cameras)
Live and Let Live
The Future of Food (2004)
Peaceable Kingdom and Peaceable
Kingdom: The Journey Home
Big Change the Film – by Jason Cohen
Go to the ‘Big Change the Film’ YouTube channel for many amazing and inspirational interviews!!
The Game Changers – by Filmmaker James Cameron
Working on a few amazing things......
will post soon!
We accept all major credit cards.