Archive for WFPB experienced

“I asked the Lord for a definitive answer”

Mignon ProbstBy: Mignon Probst

Weight loss was not a driving factor in my change of diet. Just under 5’8″ my top weight was 155 pounds, but I typically kept it in the mid 140’s. It was my belief that as we age, our metabolism slows down and weight gain is inevitable. I was married to a dairy/cattle farmer (he has since gotten out of the dairy business, but still raises a few cows) so those foods were a huge part of our family diet and we loved the foods we ate.

There were two reasons I was searching for a better way of eating. Firstly, in my early forties, my doctor began talking to me about my unfavorable lipid count. For two or three years I tried to get my cholesterol under 200 and lower my lipids without prescription medications, trying many different “low fat” diets. None were successful. In years past, my father had a quadruple bypass surgery in his mid fifties after suffering a mild heart attack. Father took a regimen of pills for the remainder of his life and suffered the side effects of them. I began to believe bad genetics had sealed my fate and was fearful that ill health would limit my ability in future years to serve a senior couple mission, which had long been my desire.

Secondly, I was very troubled with the idea of being reliant upon prescription medications to sustain life. I worried that a time might come when I could not obtain medications. What then? I find it paradoxical in our LDS culture of preparedness that we spend a great deal of money and effort to store food and other necessities, yet may have only a three month supply of life sustaining drugs at any given time for conditions brought upon us by consuming the “king’s meat” (see Daniel 1:5) and other rich foods. So of what personal value is our home storage beyond that? I am satisfied that self-reliance not only includes gathering and storing, but decreasing/eliminating the need for prescription medications. I believe that after having done all we can do, we might more confidently call upon the Lord’s healing power for conditions beyond our control.

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“I have received wisdom and great treasures, even hidden treasures”

Sandi HemmingBy: Sandi Hemming

When I think about the influence of the Word of Wisdom in my life, my mind goes way back to the blessing of being born into a family with strong gospel roots. From there, it has been many years of learning and listening.

I was raised in southeastern Idaho on a small acreage. There I had an idyllic childhood in a wonderful family. We grew a large garden with a big strawberry patch and two long rows of raspberries and had a small root cellar where we stored potatoes, carrots, and apples for the winter. Each spring we would order 50 baby chicks and just six weeks later we would chop the heads off half of them, pluck their feathers, and put them in the freezer to supply fried chicken for half a year of Sundays.

My dad would wake my brother every day at 5:30 am to go milk the cows. Before I made it out of bed, they would be back with buckets of warm whole milk. The milk got poured through a strainer to get the bits of manure out. The thick cream would float to the top and be skimmed off for whipping cream and for putting on Dad’s cereal. Since I never enjoyed the taste of milk, I would leave my tall glass of it to the end of my meal before gulping it down. From some of the cream we churned our own butter, and since we had an ample supply of butter, we used it generously. It is hard to believe today that this vegetable-loving dietitian once buttered her fried pork chops!

Every spring each of us children would get a calf, and by the following fall, our calf would be ready for market—the proceeds would buy our school clothes and Christmas presents for each other. We also had a couple of family calves that were raised for beef. Every fall, we would take them to butcher. A few days later we would go back and pick up the tallow, from which we would made our own lye laundry soap (outside over a fire). And then back again, to pick up all the wrapped roasts and steaks and burger to fill the freezer for the winter. We were quite a self-sufficient family. We really bought very little from the store and our meals were very “animal based.”

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“I just wanted to feel normal” (Long Version)

Kevin TunstallNote from Jane: I also published a much shorter version of the following story. I’ve always wanted to share the original, long version, so I’m happy to do so here. The entire story is well worth reading, but if your time is limited, you may want to read the abbreviated version instead. Either way, this is a remarkable story!

By: Kevin Tunstall

My journey to a plant-based diet began soon after my diagnosis of prostate cancer. However, to begin fully, I should probably start earlier than the diagnosis as a series of events that some could call miracles led me to review my understanding of the Word of Wisdom and renew my understanding of the gospel, a journey that is still evolving.

My grandmother passed away from cancer after being terrified of dying of the big ‘C’ from a young age—she was in her eighties when it caught up with her. My mother passed away from lung cancer on my birthday in 2002, then a few years later my wife’s only sister developed breast cancer, which was aggressive and had started to move through the lymph nodes. She ended up having a mastectomy and her ovaries removed due to her age. This was followed by chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

I had been called as bishop of a very busy ward here in New Zealand just four months earlier and ironically one of my first challenges was dealing with a single sister in the ward with two teenage children who had breast cancer but refused to get treatment or let me tell anyone.

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“I just wanted to feel normal” (Abbreviated Version)

Kevin Tunstall at a race

Note from Jane: This is a remarkable story. The original is quite a bit longer, so I’ve published an abbreviated version here. If you prefer, you can read the long version.

By: Kevin Tunstall

My journey to a plant-based diet began soon after my diagnosis with prostate cancer. However, to begin fully, I should probably start earlier. My grandmother passed away from cancer, after being terrified of the big ‘C’ from youth. My mother passed away from lung cancer; then a few years later, my wife’s only sister developed breast cancer. She ended up having a mastectomy, followed by chemotherapy and radiation.

I had been called as bishop of a very busy ward in New Zealand. One of my first challenges was dealing with a single sister with two teenage children who had breast cancer, but refused to get treatment or let me tell anyone. The week my sister-in-law finished her radiation treatment, our 15-year-old daughter developed what was thought to be a form of leukemia. We were devastated. It was a harrowing time but through a ward fast and miracles, her life was spared.

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An Answer to a Question I Did Not Ask

Jane-wing-smBy: Jane Birch

It was Saturday, August 20, 2011. I woke up much earlier than usual to find the TV on and tuned to CNN where Dr. Sanjay Gupta was previewing a program called “The Last Heart Attack.” Dr. Gupta’s investigation of a “heart-attack proof” diet initially sounded very strange. I thought he’d be debunking some quack idea because it seemed impossible that a person could become literally “heart-attack proof,” but I soon realized Dr. Gupta was serious. Based on his research, he believes a “whole food, plant-based” diet can prevent heart disease. This was interesting to me, not because I had any risk factors for heart disease, but because I knew it is the #1 killer in America.

That very morning I started researching the diet on the Internet. I quickly learned what a whole food, plant-based (WFPB) diet means. “Whole food” means very limited or no processed foods (including refined oils) and “plant-based” means meals based on plant rather than animal foods (meat, dairy, and eggs). It includes four food groups: vegetables, fruits, legumes (beans and lentils), and whole grains. In other words, whole plants, packaged as God (or nature) designed them.

I found plenty of solid evidence in favor of the diet and was surprised that it looked much more compelling than I had expected. I learned that the evidence demonstrates that a WFPB diet doesn’t just reduce our chance of getting heart disease, but actually eliminates it. This impressed me. It isn’t easy to make big lifestyle changes, and I don’t feel motivated when it only reduces my chances of having problems; it feels like a gamble. Eliminating my chances of getting a disease, especially the #1 killer, felt very motivating to me.

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