We get a lot of emails.
Some emails are complaints about my language.
Some emails are questions about how to get into the meal plan classroom.
Some emails are from people wanting to advertise on our website.
Some emails are from people who need help finding a recipe on our blog.
And some emails are love letters filled with gratitude.
I’ve never shared any of those emails because they are personal and usually for our eyes only. But when I saw Carolyn’s email last month, I got a whisper to share it… it needed to do more than live in our inbox.
So I reached out to Carolyn and asked if I could share her story. To my delight she said yes; and so I am sharing her email with you today.
I’m sharing it because I know a lot of people can relate. It is my heartfelt wish that someone in a similar position to where Carolyn was earlier this year will see this and it will give them a sliver of light and hope.
Someone who has lost hope.
Someone who is in pain.
Someone who thinks they are out of options.
Someone who doesn’t know what to do.
Someone who has lost their zest for life.
Someone who thinks getting healthy is totally out of reach.
If you or anyone you know has lost all hope, please read on and know that it is never too late to turn your health and life around.
Sept 1st 2017
Dearest Molly and Team,
My name is Carolyn. I am 45 years old, a wife, and mother of 5 beautiful human beings.
My husband is diabetic. Has been for years. He loves food. All kinds of food. Meat, dairy, eggs, some veggies. He limited his sugar and carbs per his doctor’s orders, but his blood glucose levels kept creeping up. He is the love of my life and I want to grow old with him. I want him to be healthy.
Then there’s me. I weighed 336 pounds a month ago. I suffer from fibromyalgia. I have chronic migraines and arthritis. I am also on medication for depression. Let’s face it, being in constant pain 24/7 is depressing. I couldn’t cook for my family because standing for any length of time would be excruciatingly painful. I no longer enjoyed ANYTHING in my life.
A simple shower had to be planned for and then would require a full day of rest to recover from. Grocery shopping was torture. Walking, standing in line, trying to think felt like ….I don’t even have the words. I would come home in tears and hardly be able to move the rest of the week. Pain meds didn’t really help with the pain and left me feeling more confused and weary.
I couldn’t think of the future, because all I saw in my future was unending pain. Physically, mentally, and emotionally. I wanted to die. Literally. But I couldn’t give in to that desire because I love my family and would never do that to them. My quality of life was a joke. There was no quality.
Then I watched “What The Health” on Netflix. Something profound happened to me. A switch flipped in my brain. I made hamburgers for dinner the next night and I took two bites and couldn’t eat anymore.
I made my whole family sit down and watch “What the Health” with me again. My husband and I decided to switch to a Whole Food Plant Based diet (WFPB). But how does one do that? I can cook green beans and corn. I can bake a potato in the microwave. That was the extent of my vegetable cooking.
One of my daughters went online and came up with a week’s worth of recipes that were WFPB and we gave it a go. They were….ok. Mostly bland soups.
Then I got your Saturday Fuckery in my inbox. Helllloooo Molly! I downloaded the sample meal plan. I bought the ingredients. I batched. It was a struggle but I persevered and I did it. We ate everything and LOVED IT!!! Holy Moly!! WE can do this and it tastes GOOD!!
So my family and I have been WFPB going on five weeks now, using your meal plans as our guide. I am excited about food again. I enjoy cooking again! I feel better now than I have in 10 years. I actually ENJOYED a shower for the first time in years. I can go for walks again and not feel like death. I don’t want to die anymore.
I LOVE my life again! I’m still on antidepressants, but my dose is lower. YAY. I sleep refreshing, rejuvenating sleep again. I don’t wake up tired any more. I feel great and I know it’ll keep getting better as my body heals. I can look to the future and get excited about it again. I have also shed 20 pounds so far. YAY!
My husband’s blood glucose readings are in the normal range, consistently now. He’s also lost some weight. He sleeps better and says he feels great. He has loved everything from the meal plans so far! My children are looking healthier. Their skin and hair glow. Their tempers, and mine, are more controlled. Our emotions aren’t so up and down.
Molly, Team Dirty, I owe you my life. I owe you my family’s life. From the deepest part of my soul, THANK YOU!!
If you ever need anything, for whatever reason. I’m here for you. You literally saved me and mine.
Sincerely, with love,
October 13th 2017 / Update
Dearest Molly and Team,
It’s been over a month since our last correspondence and I wanted to give you an update! My husband, Tom had his health check up this past week and his Doctor has reduced his blood pressure medication from 5mg to 2.5 mg. He’s no longer taking a weekly injection for diabetes. He was on three diabetes medications, Trulicity, Metformin, and Actos. Now he is only on Metformin. He has lost 25 pounds so far. His Doctor is quite pleased with his results and is encouraging him to keep up this way of eating. Also, his Erectile Disfunction is not much of a problem anymore! ????
As for me, I’m off all my meds, including Zoloft for depression, a prescription muscle relaxer and blood pressure medication. I have asthma, but it is no longer an everyday thing so I haven’t needed to take my asthma meds. I’ve lost 56 pounds so far, without a struggle. It just seems to melt away. I have way more energy and fewer pain filled days. It also takes me less time to recover from over exerting myself. I have that “glow” people talk about in the facebook group.
My depression has not reared it’s ugly head for sometime now. I can play with my boys and my dogs. My creative side is urging me to start knitting and crocheting again. Yay!
Much love to you and to the TEAM!!!
Image below: Carolyn and her husband Tom.
Carolyn, I am unbelievably happy for you and proud of you for taking your health into your hands and rocking the plant based life! I am your biggest fan.
You can sign up for our life-changing weekly plant fueled meal plans that Carolyn follows here, for just $20 a month.
Do you have a similar story? Talk to me in the comments below.
Today’s recipe is perfect for someone transitioning to this way of eating. It’s comforting, familiar, hearty, health promoting and delicious.
The Best Whole Food Plant Based Meatloaf
Whole Food Plant Based Meatloaf
- 1/3 cup tomato paste (80g)
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons 100% pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 cup water (235ml)
- 1/2 cup uncooked steel cut oats, rinsed and drained (100g)
- 2 tablespoons vegan Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 5 slices sprouted grain bread, toasted in the toaster until nice and brown (should produce ~2.5 cups of bread crumbs)
- 4 cups sliced mushrooms (8oz / 250g)
- 1/2 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed well (about 3/4 cup / 140g)
- 3/4 cup chopped pecans (80g)
- 1/2 cup diced yellow onion (65g)
- 1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
- 1/2 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 2 teaspoons garlic granules
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 10 turns cracked black pepper
- 1/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (60ml)
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom and up the two long sides of a 5" x 9" loaf or cake pan.
Place all of the Sauce ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until smooth. Set aside for now.
In a small saucepan, combine the water, steel cut oats, Worcestershire sauce and tomato paste. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and cover the saucepan with a lid. Simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally so it doesn’t stick. After 15 minutes, remove the lid and set aside to cool.
Toast the bread, tear into small pieces and place them into your food processor and process until they become soft crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a large mixing bowl (No need to wash the food processor).
In the empty food processor, place the mushrooms, pinto beans, pecans, onion, ground flax seeds, smoked paprika, garlic granules, salt and pepper and process until everything is chopped into small pieces but not pureed (10 to 20 seconds). Stop intermittently during this time and scrape down the sides of the food processor and then continue processing.
Add this mixture to the large mixing bowl that has the breadcrumbs, along with the steel cut oats mixture and the nondairy milk. Mix everything together until well combined.
Scoop the entire mixture into the lined loaf pan and pack it down with a spoon. Evenly spread the Sauce that you made earlier over the entire loaf and bake for 65 minutes.
Allow to cool for 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, lift the meatloaf out of the pan by the parchment paper and set onto a cutting board. Allow to cool for 10 additional minutes and then cut the meatloaf into slices.
Meatloaf will firm up after it cools.
Wishing you a happy week. May it be filled with finding a sliver of light and hope, just when you needed it.