Written by Guest Contributor Kim Wilson of Simply Natural Health.
Too many of us spend too much money and too much time pursuing diet and lifestyle changes that are professed to make our lives radically better yet in the end seem to make almost no difference at all. This is just too discouraging (and costly!).
For years my mother-in-law cycled through diet plans, losing weight and then regaining it in complete defeat. So when my husband developed health issues in his early thirties and suggested we make some diet changes he was very clear in telling me “I’m not going on a diet. I’m not aiming to lose weight. I just want to restore my health and I think some of these changes will make the difference”.
Well, they certainly did! And not only did he find himself relieved of high blood pressure and Meniere’s Syndrome but he “accidentally” lost about 125 pounds as well! And this was a very good thing considering he had been overweight most of his life and his weight was approaching 300 pounds at the time! (check out some of our BEFORE and AFTER photos here.)
So what miracle diet plan did we use? Did we drink nothing but cranberry juice and eat nothing but celery sticks?
Far from it.
What we learned was that if we eat food as close to the way it was created as possible and focus on nutrient-rich foods (i.e. plant-based foods) our bodies naturally restore health and our body weight normalizes. We found we were able to lose weight and gain health on the very same foods.
Now some may think, that’s all good and fine for you, but you probably already had a pretty decent diet and you must have liked cooking to spend so much time preparing all these healthy meals.
Far from it again.
You can read our full story here, but the truth is my husband was a serious junk-food, meat-and-potato guy and I didn’t like cooking at all (plenty of “Hamburger Helper” type meals). My husband had never eaten fresh fruit nor salads prior to making this change and his favorite meal (really!) was 2 hot dogs, a bag of chips and a soda from the local gas station.
So how did we get from there to a whole natural plant-based diet? Gradually. Very gradually.
John had the thought that whole foods would be better than processed and that reducing the amount of animal-based products (meat and dairy) would be beneficial to our health. Now, this was in the 1990’s, so organic and plant-based diets weren’t the popular notion they are now.
I got every book on natural foods I could find and began experimenting. I reworked our favorite recipes into healthier versions and streamlined what were otherwise time-consuming natural dishes. John’s health improved and the weight began dropping off.
Now it’s important to point out that he never reduced the quantity of food he ate, nor did we count calories or worry about the percentage of fat in our diet. We trusted that whole, natural foods (including plenty of raw) would restore our health. And we didn’t even have to suffer through the process. We found that good foods actually taste good. And fourteen years later we’re still enjoying this style of eating and the benefits of it!
The key factors I’ve found for sticking with a more wholesome way of eating is that the dishes are affordable, easy to prepare and incredibly tasty. These are the goals I have with all my recipes and you can find an assortment of them on my recipe blog. You can also order any of my cookbooks through our website.
Renee here again. I know this is the time of year that many people are trying to make healthy changes to their diet. I invited Kim to share her story and resources with us to inspire and help you along this path.
Our family has been enjoying her good & easy chili recipe in the last couple weeks. It's included in her cookbook Good and Easy Eats, which at $4.99 I have to say is a steal of a deal. Also, Kim's recipes avoid gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, sugar, yeast, and animal products. And they taste good!