I recently chatted with Dirty Girl, Kendra Eades, about her plant based journey. Changing her dietary pattern to remove processed and animal foods wasn’t a journey she had ever considered.
We see the phrase “a seed was planted” so often in our community and, thanks to meeting someone who shared a similar medical burden and was on their own journey to see if their body would feel better by eating more plants, that is exactly what happened in Kendra’s case.
She was motivated to see if a change in her diet could help her get rid of PCOS symptoms, too. It hasn’t been a straight-line trajectory to all plants but a process of discovery.
Kendra shares how small goals have led her to major life change and tips on how she manages restaurant meals at regular business meetings that are a part of her career.
Her story is so inspiring!
Here’s a note from Kendra before you watch our chat:
Like many of us raised on a Southern, SAD (Standard American Diet) diet full of meat, dairy and fast food, I was a chunky kid who quickly became obese after getting to college.
I remember my first Weight Watchers meeting and the cabbage soup diet as an adolescent and tried many more diets as an adult including Atkins, paleo, etc. For most of my adult life (now 42) I hovered between 260 and 280 pounds at 5’8″, and several times managed to diet my way down to 200 lbs but never could stay at that weight very long.
I had a variety of health issues including PCOS (Poly-Cystic Ovarian Syndrome), eczema, and high cholesterol. My doctor urged cholesterol medicine on me for years and told me that my high cholesterol was genetic, and that I could never eat “perfect” enough to not need medication.
In 2016 I tried the Whole30 program for several months thinking I would prove him wrong, and though I did lose weight, my cholesterol got worse!
In January 2017 a coach who also has PCOS recommended that I read “Eat to Live” by Dr. Joel Fuhrman. I decided to try a whole-food plant based diet with no oil, sugar or alcohol for 6 weeks during the coaching program. The weight started coming off, I felt fabulous, and I stuck to the plan, losing 60 lbs in 6 months.
After that I dabbled for over a year with allowing some meat, dairy & alcohol back into my life, which just proved to me how much better I feel without those things. In Nov. 2018 I decided to cut out the nonsense (almost completely), and am now down over 100 lbs total, and under 180 lbs – a weight I hadn’t seen since high school!
I’ve been a CFDG meal plan subscriber since March 2017, and I make the plans work for my busy schedule. Sometimes I’ll make the full plan, but more often I will pick and choose recipes plus include favorite past recipes.
After only 5 weeks of eating WFPB, my cholesterol dropped enough that I didn’t need medication, and by my next checkup it was in the normal range, where it has stayed. I no longer have eczema or ANY symptoms of PCOS!
The coolest thing is that after watching my journey for the last 2 years, my parents decided to give WFPB a try. In 10 weeks my dad (a hard-core life long meat & potatoes kind of guy) has lost 32 lbs and is a master smoothie maker! My mom has also lost weight and is feeling great!
June 2019: I’m now down 118 lbs, but the big news is about my dad! He hasn’t been “perfect,” but he’s still lost over 40 lbs, and last night comfortably fit into shorts that he hasn’t been able to wear since before my parents got married 44 years ago! (Yes, he’s a bit of a hoarder, LOL.)
He also had his blood work done last week and his doctor was ecstatic. His total cholesterol is down to 103, and his A1C reading dropped from 6.4 to 6.0, meaning he is moving away from being classified as pre-diabetic.
Just goes to show the power of eating more plants!
Kendra, you were a joy to chat with! I am so happy for you and your sweet mom and dad!
Have you seen amazing health results by eating a Whole Food Plant Based Diet? Tell us about it in the comments below!
Plant Based Thousand Island Dressing (no oil)
Plant Based Thousand Island Dressing (no oil)
Makes 2 cups
- 3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 10 minutes (100 g)
- 1 tablespoon pitted, chopped dried date, soaked in water for 10 minutes (can soak cashews and date together in same bowl)
- 1 cup water (235 ml)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/8 teaspoon smoked paprika powder
- 2/3 cup diced dill pickle (100 g)
- 1/3 cup finely-diced red onion (45 g)
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper (about 10 turns)
Drain and discard the cashew and date soaking water and place the cashews and dates into your blender, along with the new water, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt, onion powder, garlic powder and smoked paprika. Blend until super creamy and smooth.
Pour the Dressing into a container with a lid. Add the pickle, onion and black pepper and stir until well combined. Store, covered, in your fridge.
Note: The flavors and texture of this dressing achieve optimal yumminess after refrigeration.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with powering up with plants.