MEET ROBIN: My Plant-Based Point
Years ago, my now-husband, Randy, and I were in Key West, FL. We sat down to order dinner and decided to split a shrimp cocktail. The waitress brought it over and before the glass hit the table, Randy was three shrimp deep. My eyes focused on the shrimp. I pulled my hand back and stared blankly at the cocktail.
"What's up?" he asked between bites.
I shook my head. "You're eating this shrimp’s body, head, everything...”
Randy squinted. "Yeeeees."
I pushed the plate back. "I'm never eating seafood again."
If you know me, you know I commit 100% when I make those types of proclamations. I was already meat-free, and we spent the rest of our time in Key West wandering around, playing frisbee on the beach, and enjoying seafood-less, al fresco dinners. By the end of the week, I realized it wasn’t difficult at all and felt really good about this new decision.
A few years later, as I continued to eat eggs and cheese, Randy and I decided to start a family and found ourselves pregnant with a boy. Beyond excited, we started planning everything. New Baby's room was painted, furniture picked out, baby shower held... Then we sat and waited.
Shortly after our son made his entrance into the world, Randy started experiencing some serious digestion issues. Needless to say, it was not pleasant and he was pretty miserable. I was also juggling a newborn on very little sleep. Long story short, Randy was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and put on a variety of medications, including a steroid.
"You have an increased risk of colon cancer and flare-ups will increase that risk," the doctor told us.
Wait. We have a newborn and you just dropped the C word? I did a deep dive into the web for solutions, remedies, some essential oils - whatever!
I had already watched Forks Over Knives and read Gene Baur’s, Living the Farm Sanctuary Life. I was ready to jump into researching the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, now more than ever since it seemed like Randy would benefit as well. After a few months of back and forth with his physician, we decided to move ahead with our diet change and have never looked back.
A big thing for me to remember about this transition is that I was taking baby steps for years and finally landed at: Destination Vegan, whereas my husband went from eating pulled pork and salmon to kale and quinoa overnight. Ever since, we've followed Randy's symptoms and health closely and he has truly never felt better. In fact, he no longer takes the steroid or any other prescribed medications. (It's also important to note every health story is different and before making changes to your diet, consult with your medical professional.)
Looking back, it feels like we've always eaten this way and I can say with full confidence: we don’t miss any of our old meals. Both of our kids eat plant-based, and other than the standard “what’s for dinner?” they're both healthy and thriving (and wild…). I hope to continue to show my family (and beyond) the benefits of eating plant-based. Even more than physical and mental health, plant-based living has a profound, positive effect on our animal friends, environment, neighbors, and planet.
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