By Molly Patrick
Apr 3, 2021,
Brandy grew up eating what is often referred to as the Standard American Diet and has lived with type 2 diabetes for years. Frustration over consistently worsening diabetes, despite trying to follow a prescribed diet, left Brandy feeling hopeless and she decided to eat how she wanted to eat. Months later, an excruciating bout of pancreatitis marked a turning point in her life that led her to a plant based diet.
Following recovery from pancreatitis, Brandy began transitioning to a whole food plant based diet after one of her doctors shared information about how the dietary shift could help her. Another doctor, her endocrinologist, backed up the information and encouraged her to give plant based eating a try.
Because of her openness to embracing a plant based diet, body aches and pains (unrelated to pancreatitis) that she had become used to have dissipated, and she’s finally been able to engage in exercise, something she was not able to do in the past. Her migraines are gone, her weight is dropping after years of being stuck at a plateau, and she doesn’t feel hungry all the time like she did when following a diabetic diet.
In the four months since eating a plant based diet, her blood tests showed a significant drop in cholesterol and triglycerides, she is off insulin, and her A1C decreased over four points.
As you’ll hear, Brandy made the decision to try a plant based diet despite a significant potential obstacle: a family business based around food that is decidedly not plant based, let alone whole food plant based.
In a recent Sweary Saturday Love Letter, I talked about how being open to doing hard things expands our capacity as humans; Brandy, double high fives to you for doing the hard things to reach your goals and dreams. I wish you continued positive changes and that a whole food plant based diet makes it so that you never ever have to deal with pancreatitis again.
I loved chatting with Brandy and hearing about her inspiring transformation! Here are a few words from her before you watch our chat:
My name is Brandy Saulsbury. I’m a 40-year-old mother of 3 and have an amazing husband I have been married to for almost 22 years. I am diabetic, and this time last year, I was so sick of my numbers [A1C, cholesterol, triglycerides, etc] climbing up even though I was sticking to the “diabetic diet,” meaning very little carbs and no sugar (including fruit), and lots of meat.
I finally gave up even trying, and went back to the Standard American Diet, which made my health get worse. I ended up in the hospital because I was in so much pain. The look on my husband’s and children’s faces is something that I never want to see again. I told myself I had to do something about this.
My endocrinologist was blunt. He looked me in the eye and told me I was killing myself and that my organs would start shutting down if I kept eating how I was. He then told me about Whole Food Plant Based eating and suggested that I check it out. I had nothing to lose and everything to gain, so that’s exactly what I did.
It took a little over a month to become fully plant based. I thought this would be hard because the first few Facebook groups I found weren’t supportive at all, and I never viewed plants as the main dish. I had no idea you could cook or eat them in so many different ways!!! But then I found Clean Food Dirty Girl, and that all changed!
Thank y’all so much for making this fun and being there for me on my hard days without even knowing it.
Closed captioning available.
Please note: if you are taking medication(s) and decide that you want to try a plant based diet, it’s important to let your doctor know. Changing what you eat can have an immediate impact on your metabolism and your medications may require quick adjustment. Keeping your doctor informed so they can guide you on making medication adjustments will help you navigate dietary change safely.
- 2½ tablespoons lime juice
- 2½ tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
- 2½ tablespoons coconut aminos
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ⅛ teaspoon black pepper (about 5 turns)
- dash of hot sauce (optional)
- 4 medium ripe avocados
- Place your oven rack in the second slot slot down from the top (about 4” from the element / flame. Preheat your oven to broil.
- In a small bowl whisk together the lime juice, soy sauce, coconut aminos, nutritional yeast, garlic powder, black pepper, and hot sauce (if using).
- Slice your avocados in half and remove and discard the pits. Place the avocado halves cut side up on a baking sheet. Use a knife to lightly score 3-4 lines across the tops of each avocado, going about halfway down.
- Use a basting brush to brush the tops of the avocados with the lime juice mixture, allowing some of the juice to pool in the center of the avocado.
- Place the baking sheet into your oven and broil until the tops of the avocados begin to brown and then char, about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on them so they don’t burn!
- Slice and serve on salad or enjoy alone!
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with tackling hard things. Like Brandy says, it’s not always easy, but it’s always worth it.