Unlike Cherie, I transitioned to a whole foods diet quickly. Every time I tried to slowly change to a healthier diet, I would soon splurge on some unhealthy treat and then completely revert back to my old eating habits. During this time, my motivation to change was mostly for weight loss and I would give up when I didn’t see results soon enough. Once I realized that making a drastic change would prevent a host of health problems as well as result in weight loss (The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, Ph. D. had enough scientific research to convince me and his recommendations fit with my religious beliefs), I switched what I ate within a week. I made a list of everything I currently ate that fit with a whole foods diet. Then I added what I already ate that could still work if I made a few easy changes. I used that list to write my first week’s menus and grocery list. I threw out or donated to the food bank all the food in the house that didn’t fit with the way I had decided to eat. I lived alone at the time, so that wasn’t upsetting anyone (except my late Grandma watching all that food go to waste). I was determined to stick with this change. I thought of unhealthy food as poison (even if it wouldn’t kill me right away, it would end my life early) whenever I was tempted. When I had cravings for certain foods, I would ask my friends Cherie, Leisha, or Kelly for recipes or recommendations on brands of healthier processed food for substitutes. Also, my mom was very supportive that first year at Thanksgiving. I couldn’t have done it without their help.
Now, I still use too much processed foods as substitutes some weeks, but I continue to work at making cooking whole foods more fast and efficient, so I eat them even when I’m extremely busy or stressed. I also keep trying to add new recipes to my repertoire. Occasionally, I’ll still be tempted by something (usually when I’m extra hungry or stressed). Sometimes I’ll ask for one skittle or one bite of something, because I remember it tasted so good. It never tastes as good as I remember; my taste buds have changed. I have so much more energy and I feel better now. It’s made a tremendous difference in my quality of life.