I received a comment from a user who has enjoyed the videos of Plant-Smart Living with Farmer Fred asking “What changes did you see and how long did it take to see them?” as it pertains to my transition to a whole foods, plant-based diet a few years ago. This is a question I see often, and relates directly to my personal story of change both in terms of my diet and in terms of my lifestyle. I put together the video (seen above) to give a detailed response on this subject.
My focus when entering into a plant-based lifestyle was on “regaining and restoring” my health. The weight loss and overcoming of specific diseases were an added bonus. I was raised on the Standard American Diet comprised heavily of meat, dairy, cheese, fatty and processed foods. For many years of my life, I knew of no other way to live. I’ve heard of many diets, but all of them just seemed to regurgitate the same headlines.
The truth is never so simple as corporations and small businesses alike attempt to push the next diet fad on us with the main goal being to convert sales. With Plant-Smart Living, we are striving to provide a different solution that promotes your active attention to making the changes you want to see in your life come true.
I, Farmer Fred, stand to provide insight into how making this change has been going for me. In many senses, the conversion to a whole foods, plant-based diet seems miraculous (and in some ways it is given that I’ve lived most of my life eating whatever I wanted and doing whatever pleased my stomach), but it is more than just a miracle. It is not like I was suddenly struck by lightning and a healthier person. It required much effort, but it was made easier by conducting research, educating myself, and having someone to look up to as a role model for this lifestyle. During the early stages of my plant-based life change, The Starch Solution by Dr. McDougall served this purpose quite well. But there is still more to cover with regards to a plant-based lifestyle that goes beyond the medical profession. I hope you find value in my created content as I display my personal story paired with my motivation to live a sustainable lifestyle rooted in my backyard garden.
Getting back on track, some of the specific changes I have experienced include the loss of 65 pounds of fat, restored mental state, lowered cholesterol to from the high 200’s to 129mg/dL, lowered blood pressure to 110/70, seen a reduction in angina symptoms, decrease in hemorrhoids, less allergy symptoms, reduced aches and pains, and reversed erectile dysfunction/impotence symptoms. It has never been so simple for me to understand how the food we eat, and how we live our lives as a whole, greatly impact our experience of life.
More importantly, even if you dig yourself into a hole that seems difficult to get out of due to being overweight or obese and suffering from countless ailments and diseases, the reality is that, for many conditions, you can reverse these simply by making changes to your diet and by getting outside. For myself, this is the most significant realization. It is not another doctor prescribed pill that holds the key to your personal success, but rather your willingness to make active changes needed to not only survive, but thrive.
At 57 years old, I had the personal revelation that I was in a bad place. This became increasingly apparent after the birth of my first grandson, Hunter, and my inability to keep up with his activity levels. I knew in my heart I wanted to, as I love my grandson, but my body was just unable to perform. There are some people my age who just give up hope, but in a world where the plant-based lifestyle seems to be highly touted by those who are young, I would like you to know that even old age doesn’t have to end your ability to live a happy and healthy life. These can actually be the real “golden years” where you can have some of the most enjoyment in life.
The whole foods, plant-based lifestyle is simple and has worked well for me. It is hard to argue with the results. Most importantly, it has been easy to implement. When I go to a grocery store, I now do most of my shopping in the produce section. This alone has made it easier to cut out needless purchases of poor quality foods as I now pass fewer of them. Of course, as I continue to expand my garden and try to live a more sustainable lifestyle, I will continue to reap the benefits of having home-grown, organic fruits and vegetables that I know are free of chemicals or any other unwanted materials. Having my garden has been a very psychological (and physical) way to get involved in truly “living” a plant-based lifestyle. I wake up and am greeted by the morning sun, the sound of gentle running backyard fountains, and find myself a space to work in whether it be while I am direct sowing a vegetable or beginning to harvest them as the season progresses. It makes the food I eat interactive, and enables me to get some well needed exercise and healthy sun exposure in the process.
Ultimately, as you can see, the whole food, plant-based lifestyle has changed me for the better. The quality of my life is vastly superior to what it once was. I feel like a new person altogether. I hope this can help inspire you to make the changes you want to see in yourself!
- FARMER FRED